Today we’ll check out Asus Chromebook C301SA-R4020-OSS, a Chromebook touting a 13 inch Full HD display that runs on the Google Chrome OS (duuuuh!!). With numerous competitors already crowding this section, Asus have to perform really spectacularly to shine out of the bunch and give a tough time to the potential contender like Acer Chromebook 14.
CPU – Intel Celeron N3160 Quad-Core, 1.6 GHz
GPU – Intel HD Graphics 400
Memory – 4 GB DDR3
Screen – 13.3-inch FHD IPS (1,920 x 1,080)
Storage – 64 GB eMMC Flash
OS – Google Chrome OS
Performance- The internal configuration is nearly equivalent to what we are accustomed to. It’s powered by an Intel Celeron processor (Braswell architecture) which is paired with 4 gigs of RAM and a slightly roomy 64 GB internal storage. So if you’re not thinking about anything fancy and graphics intensive, you’d be good to go with this one.
Battery- While Asus claims a staggering 11-hour battery backup, in real life situations it could run nearly for 8 hours or so. Although much lower than the advertised limit it still would be enough to survive a single day’s usage.
Ports- There’s no shortage of the useful ports. Along with a couple of USB type-A ports, it includes a full-size HDMI port, a micro SD card reader and the headphone jack. I think it can be forgiven the fact that it doesn’t come with a USB type-C port.
Display- The 13.3-inch display is pretty good, to be honest for a netbook. The average brightness is only okay. The colours are pretty rich and vibrant. And the viewing angle is just okay, if not good. In short, it would pose absolutely no threat to you for general tasks like web surfing or movie watching.
Build- The poor build quality is undoubtedly the biggest letdown of this netbook. Unlike Acer Chromebook 14, Asus Chromebook C301SA is completely made of plastic; there’s not even a hint of metal in there. As a result, there is a considerable amount of flex present in both the display panel and the keyboard deck.
Price- If you’re still reading this up to this point, then you already have an idea that it’s not very cheap- at least from a Chromebook point of view. At £310 it’s much pricier than the average price of a Chromebook of £200.
It could have been a great Chromebook; it had all the potential- good power packed performance, a good battery backup, an array of useful ports and a good display. But the crappy plastic chassis was a pure party pooper. So if you are looking for a mid-range netbook I’d say it’s a good fit only with some caveats.