Move over, Chromebooks, there's soon to be a new kid on the block in the form of the Asus Chromebook C200 and C300. The two are almost identical, part of a group of Chromebooks both Google and Intel introduced to the world a couple of days ago to showcase Intel's Bay Trail energy-efficient platform.
It's due to be priced moderately at $250, not the cheapest you can find, but nowhere near the most expensive. But is it worth your consideration? Let's look at them more closely to determine the answer to that question.
The C200 features a plain matte finish on the outside with a full size chiclet-style keyboard on the inside, a nice touch since most of the smaller sized notebook computers will skimp on keyboard size. If you do a lot of typing, you'll appreciate this! The touchpad appears to be wide enough to please anyone, and looks as if it compares to those found on standard 14-inch laptops. Multi-touch gestures are supported.
The C200 measures 11.6-inches, weighs 2.5 pounds, is 0.78 of an inch thick, and comes with a 1366x768 pixel resolution display. While it will feature 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage, you will be able to upgrade to 32GB. The C300 features a larger display (13.3 inches) while offering the same 1,366x768 pixel resolution. It also ups the RAM – 4GB – and comes standard with 32GB of storage. It is a bit thicker but still measures less than an inch in thickness, and it weighs a bit more at 3.1 pounds.If the storage isn't enough for you, both of them will come with 100GB of Google Drive storage for two years.
One may differ proportionally from the other, but they both are running the exact same thing – a 2.4GHz Intel Bay Trail-M processor. Intel says these new processors will offer extended battery life (an astounding 10 hours) and support for video technologies once only available to those using their line of Core products (think Amazon Instant Video and Netflix).
They both come with a 720p HD webcam, both a USB 2.0 and a USB 3.0 port, and n HDMI jack. In the future, Intel says it will support 802.11ac Wi-Fi in the form of a software update, but for now it will only support 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi.
The C200 will be available sometime at the end of June. The C300 will be soon to follow. It can't be said whether or not it is worth the price tag of $250 (probably the C200, as it is smaller). However, with the price being cheaper than most comparable netbooks on the market, one can imagine that it won't be the most powerful choice out there.
What's more, the old saying “You get what you pay for” may ring true here. With claims of high performance, where exactly is Asus scrimping? Some experts say that the low price makes them highly skeptical of the quality of the machine as a whole. I guess we'll just have to wait for its release and see what happens.