Last year the Asus Chromebook Flip C434 was on top of our best Chromebook ranking. But the competition is expanding, with laptops like the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook and Google Pixelbook Go entering the premium space. The Chromebook Flip C436, a $799 Chromebook with a 2-in-1 design like his brother or sister, but with a higher starting price, is meant to secure Asus’ position for another 12 months. And today, we are here with our Asus Chromebook Flip C436 Review.
Does the Chromebook Flip C436 answer the sticker shock? In short, yes. It has a sleek design, a lively screen, fast performance, and good battery life. But the Flip C436 isn’t perfect, and other first-class competitors are narrowing the gap while cheaper Chromebooks offer a better price.
Asus Chromebook Flip C436 Review: Design
The Chromebook Flip C436 is a beautiful laptop, and there are a few things that stand out from the design. First of all, the white lid. The ivory lid contrasts with the chrome Asus logo and silver hinges to give the Chromebook a sleek look. I also like the detailing in the hinge. Precise dotting covers the slender rectangular surface, and a narrow hexagonal cut-out adds a regal element. I wish there were speakers under the hinge, but the detailing (see Yoga C940) is just aesthetic.
That does not mean that the design is impractical. The glued fronts make the lid easy to open, and the Chromebook Flip C436 is a 2-in-1 laptop, which means you can convert it into a tablet or put it in the tent position for viewing. The hinges felt secure, and I had no problem flipping the screen. Speaking of sturdy, the magnesium alloy chassis feels solid, if not as high-quality as aluminum. The Flip C436 also has narrow display housings, although we’ve seen much thinner ones.
The owners of the Flip C436 should buy a dongle to connect old peripherals such as wired mice and keyboards. There is no USB-A port, but you do get a USB-C input and a headphone jack on the left. On the right, you will find a second USB-C port and a microSD card slot.
Keyboard and TouchPad
Generally, ultraportable laptops have either terrible keyboards (see MacBook Pro) or laptops that just aren’t very exciting. The Chromebook Flip C436 keyboard falls into the latter category, and I’m pretty excited about it. Laptops that are so thin usually don’t offer as many key moves as what you get on the Flip C436. The keys provide positive feedback and are well-dimensioned for medium and large hands. There’s an audible click at the end of each press and resilience that brings you back to the surface. I also like how the arrow keys are shifted so you can quickly identify them without scanning.
As striking as it looks, the silver translucent font keyboards don’t work for everyone. Tapping typists won’t have any problems, but hunters will get frustrated when searching for letters because of the way the font melts in the background. The Flip C436 has an extra-wide glass touchpad measuring 5.1 x 2.6 inches. It’s smooth to the touch, and I had no problem using Chrome OS gestures like pinch-to-zoom or two-finger swipes left and right to go forward and back pages. The Asus Chromebook Flip C436 does not come with a stylus, but there is an optional one with 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity.
Asus Chromebook Flip C436 Review: Display
The 14-inch, 1080p display of the Chromebook Flip C436 is sharp and vivid, but not particularly bright (a recurring complaint we have at Asus laptops). Anyway, I enjoyed using the display to write this review and, I admit, purify my mind by watching YouTube videos. The ripe tomato shade red on David Harbour’s Red Guardian suit stood out in the trailer for Black Widow. The Flip C436 proves that you don’t need a 4K panel to get a detailed view; Harbour’s disheveled beard was in full view under his mask. Hair strands shot out in all directions, each visible on the panel of the Flip C436.
My observations were confirmed by our colorimeter, which covers the Chromebook Flip C436’s display 117% of the sRGB color gamut, making it livelier than the panels on the Pixelbook Go (108%), Chromebook Flip C434 (93%) and the average of the mainstream laptop category (94%). Good luck with the Galaxy Chromebook (224%) and the AMOLED screen in this category.
Asus tends to underperform when it comes to screen brightness. I wouldn’t say that the Flip C436 suffers from the same pitfalls, but I would like to see Asus ramp things up a bit. With 287 nits, the screen of the Flip C436 is dimmer than that of the Pixelbook Go (368 nits) and the Galaxy Chromebook (357 nits). The Flip C434 of the Chromebook (286 nits) and the category average (280 nits) will be cut out in any case.
Do not set the volume of the Asus Chromebook Flip C436 too high. When I did that while listening to Anthony Green’s “Dear Child (I’ve Been Dying to Reach You), a crackling distortion came out of the speakers. The double speakers, located on the side of the laptop, seemed to have trouble with the singer’s high falsetto voice and certain electronic trebles. I heard the same shrill crackle from Swae Lee and Post Malone’s “Sunflower” until I reduced the volume to 50%. In the middle volume, the treble was relaxed, and there was an excellent clarification of the vocals and a lame bass.
Chrome books are still popular among students and children, but the market is expanding upwards. Premium Chromebooks are becoming more familiar with the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook as an example. Other competitors in this field include the Pixelbook Go, which starts at $649 and rises to $1,399. We expect to see more premium notebooks in this market as Chrome OS booms in popularity, and new productivity features are added. The most significant change in Chrome OS in recent years has been the addition of Android apps, so people can now download mobile apps onto their laptops.
Some apps are still not optimized, even after three years. For example, the Slack app is slow compared to the Windows 10 version. Also, many made-for-mobile games take up a fraction of the screen. Even the popular game Heads Up! is not optimized for large screens and presents itself on the Galaxy Chromebook as a YouTube video recorded in portrait mode. Despite those obstacles, Chrome OS has come a long way from being a desktop operating system focused on a browser to a real Windows 10 and macOS competitor.
Asus Chromebook Flip C436 Review: Performance
Chrome OS is a lightweight operating system, so the Intel Core i3-10110U and 8GB RAM in the Chromebook Flip C436. The laptop had no problems while testing in the real world, even when I loaded 22 Chrome tabs, four of which played 1080p YouTube videos, without experiencing any delay. There was no stuttering when I opened the Play Store or when I started downloading a free game.
The laptop did a bang-up job on our benchmarks, scoring 2,699 on the Geekbench 5.0 overall performance test. That’s the top of the PixelBook Go (1,356, Core i5-8200Y) by almost double and even surpasses the Galaxy Chromebook (2,232, Core i5-10210U). The category average is 3,432.
The Chromebook Flip C436 has also landed at the top of the pack on the Jetstream 2.0 benchmark. With a score of 102, the Flip C436 beat the Google Pixelbook Go (85.9), the Asus Chromebook Flip C434 (77), and the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook (92). The category average is again slightly higher with 115.
Intel UHD graphics mean that the Chromebook Flip C436 can’t play the most demanding games. On the WebGL Aquarium benchmark, the laptop showed 5,000 fish at 45 frames per second, which is the top of the Flip C434 (37 fps), but not the Pixelbook Go (60 fps).
Asus Chromebook Flip C436 Review: Battery Life and Heat
We are satisfied with the 9 hours and 25 minutes running time of the Chromebook Flip C436 on our battery test (continuous web surfing over Wi-Fi with 150 nits of brightness). That the endurance of the day survives the Galaxy Chromebook (5:56 with a 4K AMOLED display) but runs out of gas for the Chromebook Flip C434 (9:58) and Pixelbook Go (11:29). The average of an ordinary laptop is only 7 hours, but we expect more than 8 hours.
The Flip C436 kept it cool during our heat test. After playing a 15 minute, 1080p video, the laptop warmed up to only 87 degrees Fahrenheit, which is well below our 95 degrees comfort threshold. The keyboard and touchpad also had no fever, 83, and 76 degrees, respectively.
Price and Configuration Options
With a starting price of $799, the Chromebook Flip C436 is one of the most expensive Chromebooks. The basic model we reviewed comes with an Intel Core i3-10110U CPU, 8GB RAM, and a 128GB SSD. There is a more expensive $999 model with a Core i5-10210U CPU, 16GB RAM, and a 512GB SSD. The laptop is available in either “Transparent Silver” or “Aerogel White,” and both versions have a 14-inch, 1080p display. Asus does not currently offer the Flip C436 with 256GB of storage space.
Asus Chromebook Flip C436 Review: Conclusion
The Chromebook Flip C436 is an excellent laptop with an attractive, lightweight design, colorful display, and outstanding performance. But it is not as successful as the Chromebook Flip C434 before it. Part of the problem is pricing. The starting price of $799 is much in demand from people, many of whom flee to Chrome OS as a refuge for the more expensive Mac and Windows 10 laptops.
Another reason why the Flip C436 is not good enough is the renewed competition from PixelBook Go and Galaxy Chromebook, among others. The Pixelbook Go doesn’t offer the same flexibility or performance, but for $649, you get a slim design, beautiful screen, and great battery life. For $200 more than the Flip C436, you can buy the Galaxy Chromebook but then trade in stamina for a stunning 4K AMOLED display.
In the end, if you have the budget and need a 2-in-1 running Chrome OS, the Flip C436 of the Chromebook is the one to buy. For more options, check our list of Best Chromebooks in 2020
With an elegant, portable design and fast performance, the Chromebook Flip C436 from Asus is a great buy despite the high price.
- Sleek design
- Fast performance
- Vivid 1080p display
- Decent battery life
- Pricey for a Chromebook
- Speakers distort at max volume
- Stylus sold separately