Earlier this week, the long-awaited ASUS Chromebook Detachable CM3 finally showed up here in the states via an Amazon listing but we were still awaiting the arrival of the 12″ Flip model that should have graced Costco’s shelves weeks ago. Along with the MediaTek-powered convertible, the 15.6″ AMD-powered Chromebook Flip CM5 was also known to be headed to Costco but we had yet to see any signs of either until yesterday. I have been checking Costco’s website daily to see when the devices might be available but Kevin Tofel of About Chromebooks beat me to the punch and discovered that both models are now in stock and available for purchase without a Costco Club membership.
There’s really nothing new to report about the Chromebooks as we have had the specs and details about them for quite some time. So, we’ll just run through the major specs briefly and discuss the pricing as that is the most important takeaway from these Costco listings. The ASUS Chromebook Flip CM3 is powered by the same MediaTek SoC that is found in the Lenovo Duet and the detachable ASUS CM3. It’s a decent processor for light tasks and makes for an okay tablet but somewhat of a mediocre laptop if you’re doing any serious work. This model comes paired with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. The Chromebook Flip CM3 is a 12″ which gives it a slight edge over Lenovo’s Duet as a laptop but it has a 220 nit display that will be noticeably dimmer than the 400 nit Duet. Apart from that, the ASUS CM3 should perform no differently than Lenovo’s tablet but that price is what sets the two apart. On any given day, (like today) you can pick up the Duet with keyboard for $249 and you’ll be getting the 128GB storage option. You won’t get a stylus but you can pick up a nice USI pen from Lenovo for under $40 or a really nice one from Penoval for just under $50. That gets you an okay Chrome OS laptop that is also a very good tablet for under $300. The ASUS is retailing for $369 and you get half the storage and a dimmer display. For that kind of money, you can get a much more powerful and versatile device like the Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5.
The ASUS Chromebook Flip CM5 is meant to be the “gamer-centric” sibling to the extremely powerful Tiger Lake Chromebook Flip CX5 that Robby just reviewed. As we’ve demonstrated, the Ryzen series of processors made for Chromebooks don’t come close to the performance of Tiger Lake and they even fall a bit short of putting up benchmarks similar to comparable 10th Gen CPUs from Intel. That said, this new Chromebook is a looker and I’m sure that there are those that will buy it simply for its unique design. It comes in a near-black Mineral Grey with orange accents on the WASD keys, power button, and volume rocker and I must admit, it’s a very sleek-looking device. Apart from that, it has a meh 250 nit display that’s powered by the AMD Ryzen 5 and that matched with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of NVMe storage. These are better than average internals but the price tag on this model is $599 at Costco and that’s a problem. That ASUS Flip CX5 with its Tiger Lake Core i3 will absolutely smoke the AMD-powered model and it retails for $30 less. There is no way that I would recommend the AMD model of the Intel-powered CX5 but, to each their own. If you want to check them out, both listings are live at Costco. If you don’t have a membership, you can still purchase them with a small surcharge but I can’t recommend either of these devices when there are way better Chromebooks on the market for comparable or less money.