Asus Chromebook Review (C202SA)

Asus Chromebook
3.5/5
  • Light and comfortable to hold
  • Rugged for a budget Chromebook
  • Low storage space
  • No optical drive

7.0

Overall

Features 5/10

Performance 7/10

Design & Build 8 / 10

Battery Life 8/10

Price to Value ratio 7/10

The Verdict

When you need a low cost, highly portable device that won’t easily break, you can’t really go wrong with the Asus Chromebook.

So long as you understand the limitations of the Chrome OS ahead of time, there aren’t many downsides to picking a rugged, easy to use model like this one.

With so many different mobile devices available on the market today, companies like to throw specs and numbers at you to justify high price points for fragile machines.

Not all users need an expensive 8th gen i7 CPU or a crazy graphics card. For a lot of people, the ability to stream videos while running a handful of Chrome tabs is really all you need.

..While it has limited functions compared to a larger Windows laptop, it does what it is intended to do very well..

That’s where a device like the Asus Chromebook comes in handy. While it has limited functions compared to a larger Windows laptop, it does what it is intended to do very well.

You get fast speeds, clear visuals, and a comfortable design for a low price, even if you do lose out on a few features you’d find with more expensive models.

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Style & Build Features

Asus made some Interesting design choices to reach this affordable price point, culling out a few features but adding in others.

Notably, this Chromebook model isn’t a touch screen and doesn’t rotate a full 360 degrees, so you can’t expect to use it like a tablet or a 2-in-1.

That being said, it does comfortably lay flat at a full 180 degrees without damaging the hinges, which is a big plus for overzealous kids who like to fling the screen back while opening a laptop.

Despite the solid construction, this is an incredibly lightweight model that’s perfect for users of any age to handle.

The rubber grips along the side are what get the job done, as its actively difficult to drop this thing once you’ve got it in your hands.

..this is a machine built to withstand heavy usage from kids..

In short, this is a machine built to withstand heavy usage from kids (or clumsy adults!).

There is one downside to the build style worth mentioning and I truly don’t understand why manufacturers keep making this obvious mistake.

While everything about this device is built to withstand damage, it is very susceptible to user error — specifically by placing the power button on the keyboard above the delete key.

If you haven’t used that style of keyboard before, I guarantee you will end up turning off your Chromebook accidentally several times by overextending your pinky while typing.

Specs

Hardware specifications for Asus Chromebook
ProcessorIntel Celeron N3060 Processor (2MB Cache, up to 2.48 GHz)
RAM4GB DDR3
Storage16GB eMMC
GraphicsIntel integrated HD graphics
Display11.6 inch anti glare display, 1366 x 768 pixels resolution
Operating SystemChrome OS
Battery Life10 hours
Weight2.65 lbs
Other Features180 degree hinge

Size & Storage Capacity

At well under 3 pounds, the Asus Chromebook is comfortable to hold, but obviously to reach that weight you have to lose a few components.

This model ditches the optical drive, since you don’t particularly need one with the Chrome OS. The storage capacity is also a tiny 16GB, as there’s no room for a huge HDD or SSD.

Asus chromebook keyboard

Now granted, 16GB doesn’t sound like much, but that’s the beauty of going with a Chromebook.

A 32GB version of this model is available for an extra $50, but you really only need that if you intend to use this as more than a web browser and email machine.

 .. this is very solidly aimed at streaming your favorite Netflix or HBOs, listening to Spotify..

Frankly you don’t actually need 32GB of onboard storage unless you are going to download game apps from Google Play, or if you specifically want to store photos or save funny memes on a physical device.

With an 11 inch screen, the Asus Chromebook isn’t really meant for gaming or using high end programs, however. This is very solidly aimed at streaming your favorite Netflix or HBO shows, listening to Spotify, video chatting, and typing up messages to your friends on Facebook.

Don’t forget you also get 100GB of space available through Google Drive, which is all the storage capacity you’d ever need.

Asus Chromeboom screen

Performance

In a Windows-based machine, this low end Celeron processor with 4GB of RAM would result in slow, sluggish response when using programs or even browsing the web with a dozen tabs open.

..the battery life isn’t quite what the manufacturer is touting in their specs, but it does have all-day battery capacity..

That’s not the case here though, as you get great performance while streaming HD video or scrolling through Instagram with Chrome.

Thankfully, you don’t lose any productivity either, as all the Microsoft programs like Word and Excel are already available online for free, or can be downloaded directly as apps via Google Play.

As usual, the battery life isn’t quite what the manufacturer is touting in their specs, but it does have all-day battery capacity, so I really can’t make any complaints there.

In fact, this is one of those rare cases where you’ll actually get really close to the maximum number of hours listed in the specs, because of the constraints of the Chrome operating system.

Even with a ton of tabs open or constantly streaming high quality video, you can expect 8 – 10 hours of battery.

The Verdict

The final score for the Asus Chromebook — and whether you should shell out the money for it — really depends on what you are looking for in a portable device.

For some users, this is the perfect combination of lightweight and sturdy design with enough features to handle everything you need to do during the course of the day.

You get zippy speed and a comfortable design at a budget-friendly price.

For writers, students who don’t need Windows, kids just learning about laptops, or even adults who only need to email and web browse, you couldn’t ask for a better machine.

If you want the power of a Windows machine with the ability to install memory-intensive programs however, then this simply isn’t the device for you, and you’d be better off looking at a more expensive model.

Want to know what other Chromebooks are available with different features and at different price points? Check out our roundup of the top 8 Chromebooks over here.

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