In what looks to be another odd move, ASUS is clearly nearing a release of it’s next flagship-level Chromebook in the ASUS Chromebook Flip C433. That model number is both illuminating and confounding at the same time. Before these latest images were recently uncovered by About Chromebooks, we weren’t sure exactly what the C433 was going to be. With a model so close in number to the C434, it would make sense for it to simply be a variant. With another close sibling in the C425, though, another variant of this same basic device seems a tad confusing. So what exactly is going on here?
With this latest set of photos from the FCC filing, one thing is certain: this is a very close sibling to the ASUS C434 and 425. We’ll talk about the handful of small, exterior changes we see from the photos, but overall the chassis of this new device is basically identical in size to the existing C434 and C425. The biggest question is where this Chromebook will find itself in relation to the two already on offer and how it will differentiate itself from those two. Before we get into any of that, here are some of the photos from the FCC filing.
As you can see, if you are at all familiar with the C434 and/or C425, this device bears many of the same characteristics and that is a good thing. Even though we’ve already talked about a fair bit of disappointment with the C425’s mostly plastic build, I can tell you that it still has a lot of good going for it and is a very enjoyable Chromebook that is light and supremely portable. From the measurements in these new photos, it is clear that this new ASUS device will also hold the same body proportions present in the C434/C425 and keep that nice 14-inch display tucked into a 13-inch chassis.
Another slight difference we spotted is around the trackpad. The C425 has added a much wider surface when compared with the C434, and I love it. It looks like the C433 will carry this trend forward with a wider trackpad and a noticeably larger lip in front of the trackpad for lifting the display. Both the C434 and C425 have a much smaller cut out in this spot.
Additionally, it seems this new model will also be a bit more boxy like the predecessor to all these new ASUS Chromebooks: the Flip C302. If you recall, that Chromebook had no taper at all from front to back, and this new C433 looks to be following in that mold a bit more. It is impossible to tell if this will be completely devoid of tapering like the C302, Pixelbook and Chromebook Pixels, but it sure looks like it will be. If so, I like this move and think it makes for a much more satisfying tablet mode experience when the lid and bottom halves meet in a more seamless fashion.
Finally, I did spot what looks to be the return of the side-firing speakers I really loved on the Flip C302. With those speakers, you had ridiculous stereo separation and the sound never changed from clamshell to display to tablet modes since the speakers retain the same basic orientation throughout. The original C302 had only mediocre speakers in those placements, though. The C434 and C425 have above-average speakers that will take much better advantage of this side-firing placement if the same speakers do come along for the ride in the C433.
If past behavior is any indication, we’d expect to see this new device available and shipping in just over a month. The C434 showed up in the FCC filings on February 14 and began shipping out to customers on March 26. What isn’t exactly clear is where this device will be slotted. Is it all-aluminum or plastic? How about the screen? From the images, we clearly see a 128GB drive present, so is this going to come in much higher-spec configurations? What we know right now is what we can get from the pictures and from the fact that it is listed in the Chromebook recovery server database as ‘Shyvana’ just like the C434, so don’t expect too many radical upgrades over the original C434 here. Hopefully, we’ll know more very soon about this one.