After our head-nerd-in-charge Jeff was delighted with the Chromebook Flip, we've been keeping an eye out for new machines running Google's lightweight OS. B&H Photo Video has a pre-order listing up for an Asus Chromebook C301SA, and it looks like a pretty good value from here. While Jeff's Chromebook Flip is a tiny 10" device with a 32-bit ARM processor, this is a 13.3" machine with a 1080p display and an Intel Celeron N3160 inside.
Sure, the N3160 is a 1.6 GHz quad-core Braswell that has more in common with Atom processors than other Celerons, but even then it should send the ARM Cortex-A17s in the Flip's Rockchip SoC scurrying. It can hit 2.24 GHz in bursts, too, which should help power through some of the occasional sluggishness we saw in the Chromebook Flip. Asus equipped this particular machine with 4GB of memory and 64GB of eMMC. That's a lot of local storage for a Chromebook—as much as Google's top-end Chromebook Pixel.
B&H is asking just $299 for this machine. That low sticker doesn't include a touchscreen, which might make using Android apps on the device a bit tricky in the future. That limitation won't matter for more laptop-like usage patterns, though. Missing touch screen aside, the C301SA appears to have most everything a budget notebook needs: 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2 for wireless connections and USB 3.0 and HDMI ports for peripheral expansion. B&H says the C301SA will begin shipping in late August.
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