Best 2 in 1 Laptop Computers in 2020



Lenovo Flex 11 Laptop, 11.6 Inch HD (1366 X 768) Display, Intel Pentium Silver N5000 Processor, 4GB DDR4 RAM, 64GB eMMC SSD, Intel UHD Graphics 605, Windows 10, 81A7000BUS, Onyx Black Review:


Bought this for work, and it seems sturdy and reliable enough. So far, I haven't had any major complaints with it.

Pros: Touchscreen works great. 360 degree hinges that allows for tablet form. Not too heavy (but not the lightest computer in the world either). It's fast enough for basic computer work. Don't recommend any serious gaming. It's got a decent processor (for its type) and it's quad-core instead of dual-core, so the speed is not too shabby. It doesn't take up that much space to set up. Keyboard feels great, although the mouse pad could be a little bit more ergonomic. The price was great when I got it ($252), although now I see it's gone up by $50. Don't think I would buy it for $300. Has all the ports I need--USB, HDMI, etc. So far, the battery's life is great. I can go a whole day at work and it doesn't get too much below 50%. Hope the battery life stays that way.

Cons: Only a few complaints, but are rather unimportant. However, these complaints could alter one's overall decision about purchasing this computer and they are why I gave it 4 stars instead of 5:
1: The power button is right on the right side and if you're not careful you can press it and turn the computer to sleep mode accidentally (or shut it down completely if you don't happen to realize in time that you're pressing it). To be honest, it's a real pain, especially if you wanna use it in tablet form. Lenovo really should've put the power button on the upper-left part of the keyboard like with most computers.
2: At least wtih the unit I have, if I turn it on, the pin works. If it goes to sleep mode, and then put in the pin again, it says "error" and asks me to reset the pin. I then have to put in my Microsoft password in the icon below the error message. Dunno if that's a system glitch or not, but at least it's not too bad since the password does the trick and I can get back to where I was.
3: The SD drive works but the SD card sticks out. You can't tuck it in like on most computers. And it's not good to carry around with you sticking out of the drive like that. It's a design flaw in my opinion, but still, a simple flash drive that you can take with you will suffice instead of the SD card.
4: This is advertised coming with a full year of Office 365. When I got Office 365, I saw a message saying it was going to be good until November (I got this unit in June), ssooooo... I don't know if I did something wrong or if I didn't sign up right or if it will actually be good for a whole year or it's only like that with Windows S (I got out of that as soon as I set it up), or what. Have to wait and see I guess.
5: Sometimes when left-clicking on the mouse pad, the system will see it as a right-click, especially if left-clicked near the right-click part. In other words, to ensure left-click, you have to press the left-click far to the left on the pad.

Really that's it. So far, no other complaints yet, and quite happy with this. It's definitely what I needed and hopefully, it'll not let me down. Will try to post another review a year from now.



Samsung Chromebook Plus V2, 2-in-1, 4GB RAM, 64GB eMMC, 13MP Camera, Chrome OS, 12.2", 16:10 Aspect Ratio, Light Titan (XE520QAB-K03US) Review:


I've been in the market for a cheap laptop for work for a while. I have a hefty gaming PC at home but I wanted something completely separate and portable for non-gaming needs like using the internet and word processing. Additionally I've been trying to read more and sometimes this leads to me using the Kindle app on my phone. I was drawn to the Chromebook Plus (V2) because of the attempts to make it more like a tablet and utilize Android apps.

Overall the product works exactly as described. The screen is good, though the default settings make the things like the app shelf, window borders, and pointer size a little too large in comparison to the parts of the screen in use. This is variable once you poke around the settings, though, and I have no complaints. The keyboard is fantastic and responsive. The touchscreen is pretty good, though it's not quite on par with the perfection that is an iPad touch screen. Sometimes I miss when I try to click on things with my finger or perhaps it doesn't register at all. That happens so infrequently that it's still entirely usable. The pen is also nice, though I've only used it so far to doodle in the Google Keep notes app as it was not a main selling point for me. The battery life is about on par with what is advertised; I used it lightly from 7:30-2:30 yesterday, for example, and it only got to about 50%. The foldability for tent and tablet mode is a little bit awkward considering the size and the fact that the keyboard is always attached, but it works. It just makes me prefer it as a laptop more than a tablet most of the time.

The performance is acceptable considering the hardware. With my other machine having a much more powerful processor and more RAM, I actually do notice a bit of delay in navigation online and when using multiple apps. With that said, it's not bad at all, and the comparison is actually rather unfair.

My main complaint is really only the quality of the touchpad for using the cursor. It works well, but it's a little bit choppy and doesn't respond to light and subtle movements when trying to be precise. Again, this might be unfair because the only recent laptops I've used have been MacBooks and those touchpads are incredibly smooth, but it's still worth pointing out.

Overall I'm highly satisfied with my purchase. The problems I've described really aren't even problems but rather little quirks that I've already gotten used to. It works for everything you'd want a Chromebook to work for and it does it well.



Newest Acer R11 11.6" Convertible 2-in-1 HD IPS Touchscreen Chromebook - Intel Quad-Core Celeron N3150 1.6GHz, 4GB RAM, 32GB SSD, 802.11AC, Bluetooth, HD Webcam, HDMI, USB 3.0, 10-Hour Battery Review:


I absolutely LOVE this computer! It's better than an iPad but half the price and has a keyboard. It has been amazing. But I've also had some BIG issues with it. After a week it locked me out and I had to change my Google password to get back in, and as a result it erased everything on my profile and I had to start from scratch, downloading all my apps and entering passwords again. It took hours to set it up how I wanted the first time and I was not pleased to have to do it again. Then after a month there was a critical error and it was completely dead. Tech support couldn't help and even my IT team at work was stumped. Thankfully after a lot of trial and error we finally brought it back to life, but it was incredibly frustrating and now of course I'm constantly concerned those issues will happen again. But I love this little thing and it does everything I want/need and then some... but it's not reliable.



Lenovo Flex 14 2-in-1 Convertible Laptop, 14 Inch FHD Touchscreen Display, AMD Ryzen 5 3500U Processor, 12GB DDR4 RAM, 256GB NVMe SSD, Windows 10, 81SS000DUS, Black, Pen Included Review:




Acer Chromebook R 11 Convertible, 11.6-Inch HD Touch, Intel Celeron N3150, 4GB DDR3L, 32GB, Chrome, CB5-132T-C1LK Review:


I've been EXTREMELY impressed by this device. I was initially a little nervous as the system was somewhat glitchy for the first couple of weeks, seemed to be a problem with the Chrome OS because it was fixed by the next update. I previously had an Acer Chromebook c720 which I LOVED--had it for 3 1/2 years and traveled with it all over the world before the keyboard finally died. Here are my favorite things about the R11:

-Touchscreen: hey, it's not an iPad, but it works great for what I need it to do (reading and annotating e-books and pdfs through Amazon Kindle and a great app called Xodo). If you're an artist, probably not responsive enough, but if you just want to play games and underline the occasional text, this is awesome.

-360 degree rotation: LOVE the ability to watch movies in tent mode, turn it into a (slightly heavy, thick) tablet. Switching back and forth is seamless once you get used to it. I was super worried that touching the keyboard when it was in tablet mode would cause it to switch back to laptop mode, but it looks like once you move the screen back past like 180 degrees, it goes into full touchscreen. Took a week or so to get used to, but love it now. Screen stays in whatever position you put it solidly enough to use the touchscreen.

Processor: I currently have 4 windows with a total of 18 tabs open. I streamed an HD movie on Netflix with all those open, no pauses or buffering. Unreal.

Battery: SOLID. Seems to have a slightly shorter life than my Acer c720 (which literally went for days), but probably because of the aforementioned dozens of tabs and Netflix. The promised 8-9 hours definitely holds true, and will last longer if brightness is turned down/you're only web browsing, etc.

Price. I mean, come on $300 is unbeatable if what you want is email, Netflix, and books. I feel like I have a tablet and super mobile laptop rolled into one.

The bad:
- speakers are a little tinny (though the volume is AWESOME) and it's not possible to customize the equalizer on the Chrome OS right now :(
- though it's a super light laptop, the chromebook is a little heavy as a tablet, not super practical for holding, but if it's resting on something, it's golden. I mean, if you want a true tablet, buy a true tablet--this did honestly keep me from investing in a kindle as I was planning to.

Overall: I'm super happy with this product. So far, I feel like my expectations have been not only met, but exceeded. If you purchase this product, go into it with realistic expectations and patience getting familiar with the setup and you'll probably love it, too! :)



Asus C302CA-DHM4 Chromebook Flip 12.5-Inch Touchscreen Convertible Chromebook, Intel Core M3, 4GB RAM, 64GB Flash Storage, All-Metal Body, USB Type C, Corning Gorilla Glass, Chrome OS Review:


I've been waiting for this Chromebook for some time now and having only had it for about two weeks, I can say that the device and purchase were well worth it. To start out, I'm a software engineer working in the realm of cloud DevOps, and multi-platform web and mobile application development. As much of my time is spent writing code as building cloud infrastructure in AWS, Google Cloud, and Azure. As such, I can defer a lot of horse power to those cloud services and keep my actual computer fairly lean. After playing with a loaner Chromebook for a couple of months, I found the whole minimalist approach Google has taken with this platform to be totally refreshing, this Chromebook kits that up a notch and then some.

Going to break this down into three parts: Hardware/Design, Use as a Stock ChromeOS Device, and Advanced Usage... In each section, I'll summarize the pros/cons and then at the end will provide a final summary. Hope this helps you get a good idea of what this Chromebook is capable of and why it's such a great buy.

1. Hardware & Design
Asus has really set a new standard with the C302CA's internals and physical design. Internally this device is basically an entry-level MacBook. A 12.5" IPS screen that is gorgeous to look at, extremely bright and full 1080p resolution. A solid little M3 processor, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of SSD storage make this machine capable of handling heavy usage and earn it a solid Octane 2.0 score in the 19000-20000 range. No slouch.

The physical design is not just one of the best I've seen in a Chromebook but also in the general "ultrabook" form factor with comparable quality and design details associated with MacBook Air, MacBook, Asus' own Zen line, and Samsung's recent Chromebook Plus and Pro offerings. The case is a solid aluminum billet structure with the now-ubiquitous scissor-action chicklet keyboard. The surface texture of the case is a satiny paper-like touch, which is both clean and easy to wipe down, but also not so smooth that you have to be concerned with it slipping out of your hand when carrying it. While Samsung has gone with an iPad-esque rounded edge style with their Chromebook Plus/Pro lines, Asus has stuck with a clean, square edge design with subtle beveling reminiscent of miniaturized MacBook Pro 13". Even with the 2-in-1 flip hinge, the device has a solid feel and there's very little wobble in the screen while typing. The backlighting on the keyboard is a really nice treat and makes using the Chromebook in low-light settings a dream.

When in the "flipped" form factor, you're effectively looking at a 12.5" Android Tablet experience. The pop-up keyboard looks just like the Android screen keyboard and the orientation detection and capacitive touch screen are snappy and very responsive. One place that does frustrate me in the tablet mode is that ChromeOS has a number of UI features that don't lend themselves to touch interaction. For example, the "close-X" button on tabs is very tiny and has a small hit-target area on the screen. Similarly the task tray area of the main task bar is on the small side and lends itself to fat-fingering. A simple OS update to make tablet mode "beef-up" certain UI components would give this a much more Android-like table experience. More on Android in a bit...

The touchpad on the C302CA is the best I've used on a Chromebook to date. It has a glassy-smooth surface that resists finger-prints and goop, is very large, and has a firm but not too-clunky feeling click to it. It takes up more than 1/3rd of the palm-area horizontal space and makes thumb-tapping mouse tweaks very easy. Likewise, the touch screen has a very nice responsiveness and I regularly find myself just deferring to the touchscreen for scrolling and quick button-clicks.

Finally, there are the ports... and this is where I had the most trepidation about this machine. To keep the lean and skinny profile, Asus (like Apple) has equipped the C302CA with a whopping 2 USB-C ports (one on each side of the keyboard), a micro-SD expansion slot, and a headphone-mic jack. The USB-C ports can act as the power-jack which is convenient when your power plug is sometimes on the left and sometimes on the right. Unfortunately, if you're charging the machine, this leaves you with only one remaining USB-C port. I've purchased a multi-port hub that provides a pass-thru USB-C plug, 2 USB3.0-B plugs, and ethernet jack, and an HDMI-out port. I velcro it to the back of the screen and remove it when I'm using the device in tablet mode (since I usually don't need it wired up in tablet mode). It gets the job done, but running $50-100 for a good dongle like this, you're adding to the TCO of the device if you need more connectivity than a single USB-C port.

The battery life on the C302CA is no joke, either. I've been getting regular 10-11hr usage times between charges and it can get back to fully charged over the USB-C ports in about 2-3hrs. Really in-and-of-itself that's a great feature by just reducing the need to always lug around a power-brick.

Pros:
- Internals are very performant and well-spec'd for the entry-level price point of this Chromebook
- The physical case is solid and of a production quality you'd expect in machine 3-5x the price of this machine
- Beautiful, bright IPS Screen with full 1080p resolution
- User interfaces that are tight, responsive, and comparable to Apple grade quality
- Backlit keyboard rocks
- Battery life is pretty amazing at 10-11hrs

Cons:
- 4Gb RAM cap... Rumor has it Asus will be releasing 8Gb and 16Gb variants down the road... this will be a good thing for power-users
- Many UI elements are not user-friendly in tablet mode
- Port minimalism... two USB-C's pretty much guarantees your going to be investing in a could adaptor/hubs to carry around wtih you

2. Stock ChromeOS Usage
Out of the box, the Asus C302CA is a powerhouse for stock ChromeOS usage. The general mantra of ChromeOS is that the web/cloud is your primary application interface and stand-alone applications are really just web-applications bundled up as Chrome browser Apps/extensions. Initially, this may seem like a limiting scope for being able to get actual work done beyond just web-surfing. But with a host of solid productivity suites on the web these days (Google Mail/Docs/Drive/Calendar, MS Office365, and Apple iCloud Apps), you can actually do a major amount of your day-to-day productivity activities with a Chromebook w/ having to install a single copy of anything to do it.

For more advanced usages, there are now a number of cloud-based development toolkits and graphics tools available to make a stock ChromeOS system a capable web development environment. I have a stack setup right now with GitHub for source control, Cloud9 for development environment/terminal access, and a couple of AWS services for code assembly and deployment to a dev cloud server. All and all, it's a light weight, but very robust development stack, that also has the added convenience of Cloud9's collaboration features wherein multiple developers can be writing code in even the same file simultaneously. Much like collaborative editing in Google Docs/Spreadsheets, but in code itself. Great for pair programming, code reviews and group refactoring sessions.

Performance-wise, I can easily have 12-24 tabs open simultaneously and see no slow-down in performance. On occasion a tab may freeze up on me with the "Uh-oh!" message, but this is no more regular than what I've experienced with the Chrome browser on Mac, Linux and Windows systems. I've fiddled with some web-based games, but the graphics capabilities while decent for this form factor, you won't be playing any intense games in stock ChromeOS mode.

Where ChromeOS really shines and what I think is going to be a very significant deal-maker for these devices in the coming year is the inclusion of the Google Play Store and the ability to run Android applications in the ChromeOS environment. You do have to be on the developer channel of the OS to get this feature, but there are a number of guides in the ether that explain how to set it up. As the owner of an Android phone, I really like this feature since I can load apps onto the Chromebook that I regularly use already, apps I've paid for are available on this device, and the Play Store accurately recognizes the C302CA as a "tablet" form factor and will suggest the tablet alternative of many apps. Thus far, I've loaded a number of games, my password vault, several productivity apps, Skype, Spotify and some network scanning Android Apps and they've all worked very well. On occasion with graphically intensive apps, like games, there can be some masking artifacts around graphics and sprites that can easily be fixed usually just by restarting the app. I'm really looking forward to where Google takes this in the coming years as it looks like they're trying to find the ideal balance between ChromeOS and Android... An AndroidOS, if you will.

One place that I find lacking in ChromeOS is the settings management. For the most-part you don't have much freedom to make any significant changes to settings. Mouse and Trackpad settings are very minimalist, there's no way to modify short-cut keys, and the power management options are pretty minimal, too. All and all, they are simple devices, but it would be nice to have a more immediate access to deep config settings.

One of the features of ChromeOS that I find very convenient is the way in which all of your configuration settings are stored in the cloud with your gmail account. When I grab my daughter's Acer R11 or borrow a coworker's Chromebook, all I need do is login with my Google account and within seconds I've got the same user experience I get anywhere else in the GoogSpace...

Pros:
- Clean and secure operating system that is very lean and gets the most out of the systems modest specs
- With the combination of web-based productivity tools and development apps/services, this Chromebook can provide a breadth of very viable usage scenarios without bogging the system down with locally install applications.
- Android Apps and Google Play Store are real game changers for the ChromeOS landscape... Suddenly, one device can effectively serve as a platform for two different application topologies. And the Google Play Store is chock-full of great apps and games.
- Boot time, sleep time and wake time are crazy fast... There's never a long, finger-tapping wait for the system to come up.

Cons:
- System settings could be more robust and better organized
- Tablet-mode still needs some work... It's definitely a work in progress, but with more 2-in-1's entering the market, I'm expecting there will be significant feature enhancements around tablet-mode.

3. Advanced Usage
[WARNING: Here there be dragons!!! The following options require you setting up your Chromebook in "Developer Mode" which requires a full factory-reset. This in-turn provides features that are normally disabled in "Normal" ChromeOS mode. Venture at your own risk/responsibility...]

So, this is where this little Chromebook REALLY shines... As I mentioned in the intro, I'm a software engineer and while I love the liberation and simplicity of the ChromeOS experience, there are still times where I want some more classic applications like you'd find on MacOS, Linux, or Windows. Luckily, there are a number of ways to accomplish this and there's a healthy developer community regularly making new tools and options. Since ChromeOS is itself a Linux platform that's been pared down to a very simple and low-overhead system footprint. This gives us several ways to get a more fully-featured desktop experience:

a) Chroot/Crouton Linux Desktop Installation
b) Chroot/Crouton/Xiwi Embedded Application Launcher
c) Dual Booting into Linux Desktop

The first two options are very similar and only differ in the way in which you interact with the Linux environment, while the third option is quite literally installing a full installation of Linux onto the machine and booting directly into it instead of ChromeOS. Without going into too much detail (seriously, google or wikipedia 'chroot' if you want the bloody details), a "chroot" is a parallel installation of an operating system in it's own isolated "container" in the ChromeOS operating system. It's neat because it let's you run both ChromeOS -and- a Linux Desktop OS like Ubuntu at the same time (!!!). The chroot installation is actually sharing number of resources with the ChromeOS operating system, making it still very resource conservative.

Crouton is an opensource script that makes the creation, installation and management of one or >many< chroot installations a breeze. With the Crouton script and a decent internet connection, you can very easily have Ubuntu or one of it's many variants installed in about 10 minutes. Once installed, you just need to press Ctrl-Alt-Shift-FwdArrow and you'll be in a running Linux desktop... -BackArrow to hop back over to ChromeOS. It's really seamless and smooth to move back and forth and makes experimenting with different Linux configs and environments effortless.

In addition to this first full-desktop chroot approach, Crouton offers another installation method that lets you run Linux in a "headless" mode where there is no desktop environment, rather the Linux OS forwards the application windows to the ChromeOS desktop. This is accomplished by installing the "xiwi" packages into the Linux chroot and adding a ChromeOS extension that exposes the ChromeOS desktop interface to the Linux chroot. When all is said and done, you can setup an application launcher which will bootstrap and app on the Linux chroot and then open it in a window on the ChromeOS desktop. Iv'e used this method to install VS Code, Arduino IDE, and a 3D printer host application in this "embedded mode" and it's very functional and comfortable to have everything in the ChromeOS experience and just consume the resources needed to run the application and nothing else. It's worth noting that there is a performance hit with this approach, namely that the forwarding of the application window to ChromeOS comes at the cost of losing accelerated graphics rendering for the Linux apps. While I can run Minecraft in a full-desktop chroot of Xubuntu with a very good framerate and rendering, when I use the xiwi approach here, the game is nearly unplayable. That being said, for code editors, general productivity and networking apps, and just a basic XTerm, this approach works just fine.

Finally, there's the most performant but also most disconnected from ChromeOS approach of installing a full Linux OS in a separate partition on the machine's system drive or microSD drive. I've done this using the excellent GalliumOS which is an upstart opensource distribution based on Xubuntu that pares down the OS footprint, adds appropriate graphics drivers and memory management configurations that make it zippy on a small system like this one, AND adds a number of touch, keyboard, and 2-in-1 friendly features. This installation has a lot of pep in it... Apps start very fast, graphics are much more responsive and capable when not being shared with ChromeOS and there are a number of ways you can tweak the UI/UX to your own liking. I haven't tried it yet, but there are reports that Steam-based games can be run on this sort of configuration, but with a limited number of hardware applicable games. Again, this isn't going to be a gaming mega-machine. You also sacrifice not having access to the Android/Play Store features. But if you're looking to run an app that needs all the resources, like Gimp or a Java IDE, then this is the way to go. Having a zippy 128GB microSD card to mount for system storage on the Linux side is convenient too because you can also mount it from a chroot Linus installation on the ChromeOS side so you can share files and config across the various installation types.

If only for the dual boot option, I'm actually looking forward to when Asus actually releases the 8GB and 16GB models as I'd actually consider that to be a worthwhile since it would open the possibility of hypervisor'ing virtualbox and docker containers with serious resource availability. All that being said, you get a lot of bang for the buck with these three enhanced desktop/application options and I use all three in some capacity every day, so don't think your'e isolated to just one approach.

4. Summary
In conclusion, the Asus C302CA Flip Chromebook is hands-down one of the best new offerings for Chromebooks in 2017 up there with the Samsung Plus/Pro models, and some of the new HP models. Build quality is amazing and not just a plastic, toy-like assembly, but a solid unit with high-quality parts through-and-through. As a stand-alone, stock ChromeOS device, the C302CA performs as well as Chromebooks in the $800-$1000 price range and provides more than enough options as just a web-application and Android app platform. If you really want to get the most out of this little wonder, then the options for installing Linux OS in various forms and integrations is solid and has outstanding opensource and community support in GitHub, reddit and Google Groups. When adding that "secret sauce" this machine goes from being a basic ChromeOS device to a fully-featured development platform... for only about $450-$500. By comparison, the entry level Apple MacBook has the same CPU, same graphics chip, comes with 8Gb more RAM, a 256Gb SSD, but a lower-resolution screen, and no touch or 2-in-1 features... for $1300. You won't be disappointed with this great little machine how ever you end up using it, and that versatility is what really makes this machine such a fun and valuable computer.

I'd also recommend that you consider the following items for accessorizing your C302CA:
a) Vinyl Skins - There are a vast number of very beautiful skins available for this model that provide protection for the screen cover, keyboard face/palm rest, and screen bezel. While the stock aluminum case is darn solid enough, it can take scratches easily from things like keys or cable connectors tossed in a bag with it.
b) Anti-glare Screen Protector - The glossy glass screen cover is beautiful, but it has two drawbacks: it's a mess of a fingerprint magnet and it's so glossy that in outdoor environments or spaces with a lot of stray light from windows, the screen becomes a glare-reflecting mess. For ~$15 you can get a nice, fitted anti-glare screen protector that reduces the fingerprint/glare problems AND gives you some piece of mind about protecting that gorgeous screen.
c) USB-C Expansion Dongle - There are a number of them out there to address this port-minimalism trend. If you want to use a mouse/keyboard with a USB-A style wireless dongle, plugin an external HDD, display to an external monitor, or use an ethernet hardline, you're going to need one of these. Expect to pay $50-$125 depending of features a build quality. Don't skimp on USB-C devices, they handle a ton of current and you don't want a cheap hub toasting your USB bus.
d) A Bluetooth Mouse - While this unarguably has one of the best trackpads in Chromebook Land, there are still times you just need the precision of a mouse... ChromeOS supports Bluetooth 4.0 and LE devices and there are a lot of nice, slim-style mice out there similar to Apple's Magic Mouse that are BT and don't require a USB dongle.
e) 64GB/128GB/256GB microSD Card - The only way to expand this machines internal storage is through a microSD card. You could conceivably install a USB 3.0 type-A low-profile memory stick on a USB-C adaptor, but that would be silly. With many of the high-performance microSD cards getting to 90-100mb/s read-write speeds, these drives can be used for all sorts of things, like storing music, videos, photos and the likes on a shared device.
f) A Capacitive Touch Pen - I prefer the kind that are active tip charging so that you can have a very fine-point, but still register contact. Helps with dealing with miniscule UI elements when in tablet mode.

Hope this has helped you make a decision and happy computing!



Newest Lenovo Ideapad S145 15.6" HD Laptop, Intel Dual-Core Pentium 5405U Gold 2.3GHz, 4GB DDR4 RAM, 500GB HDD, HDMI, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Windows 10 Home Review:


This is a great low-cost system. Spend an extra $20 on a 120GB SSD (or $32 for a 240GB), and another $32 for 8 GB of RAM (or $65 for 16GB) and upgrade this system. Sure, you lose some disk space with the smaller SSD, but it really makes this system shine as 4GB of RAM and the 5400 RPM mechanical HDD are the bottleneck of the system. It's not going to be a speed demon and play intensive games, but it works great for college homework with Microsoft Office, and web browsing with a good amount of decent performance. Plays YouTube and YouTubeTV/Netflix perfectly fine. I even have VMware Workstation running an instance of Ubuntu Linux for tinkering. I am very happy with my purchase and recommend this system if you're on a budget.

Pros: The notebook is light and has a good build quality. Screen is good. The keyboard feels good to type on. Lightweight. Bluetooth and TPM (support for Secure Boot and BitLocker [with Windows edition upgrade]).

Cons: Screen not as sharp, bright and high resolution as higher end models (to be expected), fingerprint smudge magnet, sound is a little tinny (but it's a budget system, so hey).



Asus Chromebook Flip C434TA-DS384T 2 In 1 Laptop, 14" Touchscreen FHD 4-Way NanoEdge, Intel Core M3-8100Y Processor, 8GB RAM, 64GB eMMC Storage, Backlit KB, Silver, Chrome OS Review:


I purchased the C434 very near first availability date on Amazon after highly anticipating it's arrival. I've always been a fan of Chromebooks and anxiously anticipated upgrading to this work of art (and it really is beautiful). The build quality is excellent. The screen is amazing with those wonderful little bezels. The screen is bright and responsive and is a joy to look at and interact with in almost every respect. The computer screams quality. All of that said, after about three weeks with the C434, I decided to return it and ended up purchasing the HP X360. Here are my reasons.

One of the initial reviews of the C434 complained about the keyboard. The person's complaint didn't relate to the tactile interaction with the keyboard (which is good) but rather to the viewing of the keys on the keyboard (white on metal). My initial thought on this, prior to receiving my own C434, was that this reviewer must be very short-sighted to return the computer for such a minor complaint. However, he or she was absolutely correct. In the spirit of creating a very contemporary keyboard, the white letters on the aluminum keyboard results in a very difficult layout to see in daylight. I would need to tilt and move the keyboard to position my hands properly (and I type very fast by touch so this is not a hunt and peck complaint). In dim light with the backlight on, the keyboard transforms into a wonderful experience, but using it during the day was a frustration for me I couldn't get over.

I was also disappointed in performance. Since I was an early adopter, I have the 4GB model with the core i3m processor. For light web surfing and simple tasks it's fine, but if I wanted to view my Google photos, for example, or use the Android version of Lightroom from the App Store, there is a definite lag in performance. I'm not sure if this relates to the 4GM of RAM or the i3m processor, but once I upgraded to the X360 (8 GB of RAM and a i3 U processor) it was an entirely preferred performance experience.

So, to conclude, here is my compare and contrast of the C434 with the HP X360.

Price
The HP X360 seems to be constantly on sale from it's $600 list price. I got it for $450 but it can be had for as little as $399. Great value at either of these reduced price options. I was going to hold out for the C434 i5 with 8GB of RAM but I ultimately concluded that that price point would not come close to the X360 at its discounted price.

Screen
The C434 is brighter and much nicer and has those little bezels. This is the one aspect of the C434 I miss the most. The X360 has only a bearable screen brightness and color output as compared to the C434, but ultimately this was a tradeoff I was willing to make (although I still struggle with).

Weight
The C434 is about 1/2 pound less in weight and is marginally smaller. Again, I would opt for the C434 in this case but the real world difference is really not that significant.

Keyboard
I love typing on the X360. It's got a great feel and travel and nice backlight. The C434 was fine at night but that keyboard during the day was awful to use because of the white on metal.

Performance
Hands down the X360 wins. Ok , it has a fan that comes on occasionally, but it smokes the C434 with any use other than normal web surfing or simple applications. Using the X360 with the better processor and RAM is a joy compared to the C434. Also, as an aside, I have noticed that Google Play Apps seem to run better on the X360 but I'm not sure why? For example, I have an app that gives me notifications and when I clicked on the C434 it would not take me to the App but I have no problem at all with the X360 properly behaving in this regard.

Conclusion
If you want a stylish Chromebook and your needs are limited to web surfing and light Applications, go for the C434. If, however, performance is at all a concern and you plan to do some work or moderate play, I would opt for the X360. Both are wonderful machines in their own right and it's a pleasure to see the evolution of the Chromebook.



Asus Chromebook Flip C434 2 In 1 Laptop, 14" Touchscreen FHD 4-Way NanoEdge, Intel Core M3-8100Y Processor, 4GB RAM, 64GB eMMC Storage, All-Metal Body, Backlit KB, Silver, Chrome OS, C434TA-DSM4T Review:


I purchased the C434 very near first availability date on Amazon after highly anticipating it's arrival. I've always been a fan of Chromebooks and anxiously anticipated upgrading to this work of art (and it really is beautiful). The build quality is excellent. The screen is amazing with those wonderful little bezels. The screen is bright and responsive and is a joy to look at and interact with in almost every respect. The computer screams quality. All of that said, after about three weeks with the C434, I decided to return it and ended up purchasing the HP X360. Here are my reasons.

One of the initial reviews of the C434 complained about the keyboard. The person's complaint didn't relate to the tactile interaction with the keyboard (which is good) but rather to the viewing of the keys on the keyboard (white on metal). My initial thought on this, prior to receiving my own C434, was that this reviewer must be very short-sighted to return the computer for such a minor complaint. However, he or she was absolutely correct. In the spirit of creating a very contemporary keyboard, the white letters on the aluminum keyboard results in a very difficult layout to see in daylight. I would need to tilt and move the keyboard to position my hands properly (and I type very fast by touch so this is not a hunt and peck complaint). In dim light with the backlight on, the keyboard transforms into a wonderful experience, but using it during the day was a frustration for me I couldn't get over.

I was also disappointed in performance. Since I was an early adopter, I have the 4GB model with the core i3m processor. For light web surfing and simple tasks it's fine, but if I wanted to view my Google photos, for example, or use the Android version of Lightroom from the App Store, there is a definite lag in performance. I'm not sure if this relates to the 4GM of RAM or the i3m processor, but once I upgraded to the X360 (8 GB of RAM and a i3 U processor) it was an entirely preferred performance experience.

So, to conclude, here is my compare and contrast of the C434 with the HP X360.

Price
The HP X360 seems to be constantly on sale from it's $600 list price. I got it for $450 but it can be had for as little as $399. Great value at either of these reduced price options. I was going to hold out for the C434 i5 with 8GB of RAM but I ultimately concluded that that price point would not come close to the X360 at its discounted price.

Screen
The C434 is brighter and much nicer and has those little bezels. This is the one aspect of the C434 I miss the most. The X360 has only a bearable screen brightness and color output as compared to the C434, but ultimately this was a tradeoff I was willing to make (although I still struggle with).

Weight
The C434 is about 1/2 pound less in weight and is marginally smaller. Again, I would opt for the C434 in this case but the real world difference is really not that significant.

Keyboard
I love typing on the X360. It's got a great feel and travel and nice backlight. The C434 was fine at night but that keyboard during the day was awful to use because of the white on metal.

Performance
Hands down the X360 wins. Ok , it has a fan that comes on occasionally, but it smokes the C434 with any use other than normal web surfing or simple applications. Using the X360 with the better processor and RAM is a joy compared to the C434. Also, as an aside, I have noticed that Google Play Apps seem to run better on the X360 but I'm not sure why? For example, I have an app that gives me notifications and when I clicked on the C434 it would not take me to the App but I have no problem at all with the X360 properly behaving in this regard.

Conclusion
If you want a stylish Chromebook and your needs are limited to web surfing and light Applications, go for the C434. If, however, performance is at all a concern and you plan to do some work or moderate play, I would opt for the X360. Both are wonderful machines in their own right and it's a pleasure to see the evolution of the Chromebook.



2018 RCA Cambio 2-in-1 10.1" Touchscreen Tablet PC, Intel Quad-Core Processor, 2GB RAM, 32GB SSD, Detachable Keyboard, Webcam, WIFI, Bluetooth, Windows 10, Black Review:


This is comparable to the Surface RT I used to have, but I like this keyboard better. It is a "clicky" keyboard, but that is my preference since I am old school and actually learned to type on a manual typewriter. The keys are close together on this since this is a small tablet, but that is to be expected due to the size. Functionally, it works as it should. The graphics are not fantastic, but I have streamed movies on here and they aren't terrible either. This is perfect for someone like me who isn't loading a ton of extras and uses mostly online tools to work (wordpress, hosting, online crm, etc.) The system isn't complicated, the battery has a good life if you actually shut it off when you aren't using it instead of leaving it on sleep. The only two downsides are (1) the weight. It is a little heavy when you use it in tablet mode. It is also thicker than a tablet and will not fit in most tablet holders if you want one. (2) the keyboard comes disconnected very easily. To resolve the second issue, I did go and buy a bluetooth keyboard case thingy and use that keyboard instead. Connecting to the bluetooth was easy.