The Asus Chromebook Flip C434 is comfortably one of the best Chromebooks you can buy at the moment, and there are several reasons why: it's well designed and built, it gives you a versatile 2-in-1 form factor, and you get a lot of value in return for your money too.
How much you'll have to spend on the Flip C434 depends on the configuration that you go for, but the model that we reviewed is right in the Chromebook mid-range: above the ultra-budget laptops but still significantly cheaper than the premium options out there.
This Asus Chromebook Flip C434 review should help you decide whether this is the best laptop for your next upgrade – we'll cover the specs and the performance of the Chromebook, what to expect from battery life, the display quality, and more besides.
Asus Chromebook Flip C434 review: design and screen
Asus is well known for its solid, robust laptops and it hasn't made any mistakes in the construction of the Flip C434: this is a Chromebook that feels sturdy and very well built when you pick it up. Without breaking any ultrabook records it's relatively thin and lightweight, and the silver aluminium finish adds a touch of class and style to proceedings. It gives the impression of being a Chromebook that's going to last you a good few years.
The 14-inch, 1920 x 1080 display uses the 16:9 aspect ratio that's great for widescreen videos but not as good as 16:10 for viewing longer webpages and documents – we prefer the latter overall but it's very much a personal choice. Aspect ratio aside, the screen is sharp and bright and punchy, suitable for working outdoors as well as indoors, and in our testing it did its job well in everything from watching movies to editing documents.
Around the side of the touchscreen you've got some pleasingly thin bezels and a webcam up at the top, and as the Flip in the Chromebook's name gives away, the display can be folded right over back against the keyboard – you can use this laptop propped up in tent mode (for video calls or watching your favourite shows for example), or even deploy it as a makeshift tablet. It's a level of versatility that many Chromebooks and laptops can't offer, and it undoubtedly adds to the appeal of the Asus Flip C434.
One of the highlights of the whole Asus Chromebook Flip C434 experience is the keyboard and trackpad: the typing experience is soft, quiet and responsive, and you can really power through some work with this Chromebook at your fingertips (even the backlighting is neat). The trackpad, meanwhile, is reasonably sized and accurate, so you've got everything you need to get around Chrome OS (and don't forget the touchscreen element as well, which can be used to scroll through pages, select menu items, and so on).
As for ports and connections, the Asus Chromebook Flip C434 serves up two USB-C ports, one USB-A port, a 3.5 mm audio jack for a microphone or headphones (or both in the same headset), and a microSD card slot (handy for moving photos and videos over from a digital camera, for example). For most people that's going to be enough for attaching peripherals, and the ports don't do any harm to the overall aesthetics of the laptop either.
In short, it's a win for the Asus Chromebook Flip C434 in terms of its design and screen: it's well built, it's versatile, and it offers a fine experience whether you're typing out an essay or sitting back to watch a movie. It's fair to say it doesn't have quite the level of spit and polish as some of the most premium Chromebooks on the market, but for a quality mid-range laptop this offers more than enough in the looks and style department.
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Asus Chromebook Flip C434 review: performance and features
Our Asus Chromebook Flip C434 review sample packed an Intel M3-8100Y processor, 4GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. You don't need particularly powerful specs to run Chrome OS of course – it's one reason why Chromebooks are so appealing affordable – but that's definitely down at the lower end of the spectrum here when it comes to the amount of power you can get in a Chromebook, and very much aimed at those who'd prefer to save money than get high-end internal components that Chrome OS might never get to fully test anyway.
More powerful configurations of this laptop are available, with Intel Core i5-8200Y and i7-8500Y processors on offer, and up to 8GB of RAM if you think you're going to need it – though the price does then inevitably go up as well. In terms of the price vs performance tightrope that every Chromebook (and laptop) must walk, the base configuration that our Flip C434 had is the most appealing one in our eyes – you're getting plenty of value for money, and enough power to make sure that Chrome OS can run comfortably.
If you really push the Asus Chromebook Flip C434 – we're talking dozens of browser tabs with Android apps on top – then the M3 processor and the 4GB of RAM can start to show some strain, with lag and delays creeping in (such as when you're switching to full-screen video mode, for example). It doesn't make the laptop unusable, but if you think it might bother you then you could consider going for one of the pricier configurations.
For everyday computing, the Chromebook we had in to review coped with everything we threw at it, even as our browser tab bar got more and more crowded. With its crisp, widescreen display and the tent mode option, the Flip C434 is particularly suited for some on-the-go binge watching using your video streaming service of choice – the integrated, downward-firing stereo speakers aren't the best you'll ever hear, but they're certainly good enough for movies and television.
When it comes to battery life, the Asus Chromebook Flip C434 manages to last at least 8 or 9 hours of general use in our testing, so you're fine for a day away from the home or office (or home office). We ran a 2-hour video streaming test on the laptop – with the screen set to maximum brightness and the volume set low – and it knocked the battery level down from 100 percent to 81 percent, suggesting you can get 10-11 hours of video watching between battery charges overall.
Meanwhile, Chrome OS continues to impress: if you think about how much of your computing you actually do inside a web browser, Windows and macOS seem less and less relevant. Because everything is always in the cloud, everything is always backed up and up to date, and you don't need to worry about renewing your antivirus software or having your laptop slow down after a couple of years because it's gathered so much bloat. Chromebooks make a lot of sense, particularly for lightweight computing.
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Asus Chromebook Flip C434 review: price and verdict
As you can probably tell from everything we've written so far, we're impressed by what the Asus Chromebook Flip C434 offers, and how much money it asks in return: there's more than one reason that it's on our best Chromebooks list, and if you've decided that you want a portable computer running Google's Chrome OS, then we think that this is an option you should have somewhere near the top of your shortlist.
First and foremost it's a Chromebook that gets the design and the aesthetics right – not every Chromebook looks this appealing, or has a screen this sharp and bright, or has a display that you can fold right over against the keyboard if you need to. It makes movie watching and video calling more comfortable in certain situations, and adds to the flexibility and the versatility of the computer as a whole.
Then you have the longevity of the laptop: the Flip C434 is a Chromebook that will last you a long time, whether that's between battery charges or in terms of its overall lifespan. The lightweight and bloat-free nature of Chrome OS is a factor here, because it's not an operating system that is going to quickly get bloated or sluggish – it's really just a window onto the web, which for a lot of users is all that they're going to need.
In fact it's difficult to think of something you might need in a Chromebook that the Flip C434 can't give you, especially with that versatile form factor that means the device doesn't have to be sat in laptop mode all the time. There are of course more powerful Chromebooks out there, but with only a web browser and a few Android apps to run, it's debatable whether higher-end specs would actually be put to good use.
Check the widgets on this page for the very latest deals on the web, but the configuration of the Asus Chromebook Flip C434 that we had in to review is selling for around £600 / $700 mark at the time of writing. That's enough cash to get you a relatively decent Windows laptop, if not a MacBook – but considering everything that this Asus Chromebook has to offer, we think that's a reasonable price. It's a little bit harder to justify the more expensive configurations of this particular laptop.
Our best Chromebooks guide is packed with excellent Chrome OS laptops, so we'd always encourage you to check out the competition before buying, but the Asus Chromebook Flip C434 definitely earns its place on that list. It has all the power that most users are going to need, comes in a compact and versatile form factor, doesn't cost too much, and is generally a pleasure to use.
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