ASUS C302CA-DHM4 Chromebook Review

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January 17, 2017
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The peak popularity of Chromebooks was several years ago when they were hyped all over. Now, the storm has calmed down, yet these Chrome OS based laptops still sell rather well. One latest addition to this “family” is ASUS C302CA-DHM4, with some decent performance such as Intel Core i3 processor and also 2-in-1 functionality in the screen. Despite being new it has already gathered very positive user reports – let’s see what TechForPennies.com team thinks about it!

General performance

The processing performance, in comparison to other Chromebooks, is great in ASUS C302CA-DHM4. It doesn’t have a low-end ARM processor but the real deal from Intel: the Core m3-6Y30. It’s a processor meant for mobile devices, having a dual-core setup running on 0.9GHz clock speed and 2.2GHz turbo. The CPU Mark score it gets is around 3000 so it’s somewhere between Core i3 and i5 in performance. Of course, the design is fanless, so this laptop won’t make any sound.

The memory is fine for a Chromebook. There is 4GB installed which allows you to do multi-tab browsing. Unfortunate for some, the RAM can not be upgraded since it’s soldered on board.

As often is the case with these laptops, also this ASUS boasts eMMC as storage. It stands for embedded MultiMediaCard, a chip soldered on board which is like a budget version of solid-state drive. It can host 64 gigabytes of data which is more than Chromebook’s usual, around 32GB. This eMMC can not be upgraded.

How does it work for gaming?

ASUS C302CA-DHM4 has an integrated Intel HD 515 available for lightweight gaming, but do not forget this is indeed a laptop with Chrome OS, not Windows. Installing Windows (= the majority of) games is a tough task, it requires some extensive modification like the use of emulator. If you are not up for that, your choice of games are the browser-based ones. Chrome Web Store has many titles, and you can be sure all of them run smooth on this computer.

What ports and connections does the laptop have?

You can not praise ASUS C302CA-DHM4 for a great ports selection, yet that is always the deal with Chromebooks. Instead of the quantity, this Asus trusts on quality. Two USB 3.1 Type-C ports are found on the sides which, with the correct adapters, you can use for many things. One example is HDMI – you can indeed hook up a HDMI monitor/TV to this machine no problem.

Chrome systems rely on wireless networking. Inside is an excellent 2×2 802.11ac dual-band WiFi adapter with Bluetooth 4.0 enabled. If you insist on cable, get a cheap USB-C to RJ-45 adapter and you can connect to Internet using wire as well.

There’s a card reader for Micro SD cards. There are two good uses for the card slot. The other is to upload stuff from devices that use these cards as storage, for example digital cameras. Another benefit of this laptop’s card reader is the increased storage. Just slip in a memory card and put files there – you have more space that way!

There is no DVD burner. This computer is a small unit. And Chromebooks don’t even support audio or video discs. Only data discs work with this. So, with that in mind, you can connect external optical drive to the notebook’s USB-C port.

Any other interesting things in this laptop?

I think the screen is one of the best things in ASUS C302CA-DHM4. It has a compact 12.5 inches diagonal, and combined with 1920×1080 resolution, it will produce crystal-clear picture. It’s also a touch display with 360 degree hinge, so the tablet feature you see in Windows convertibles is also found here.

Webcam of this laptop is located on the top screen bezel. Skype video won’t work because of Chrome OS, however you can use Google Hangouts to say hi to your friends. Or then make the Skype video work with an emulator.

Chromebooks are known for their excellent battery life. This Asus seems to be no different: there are several user reports who are talking about ~9 hour operating time with a single charge. That gets you through a busy day easily. Just remember the battery is built-in, so replacing it will take considerable effort.

This laptop comes with a backlit keyboard. You will have no problems with typing in the dark.

Verdict

For a Chromebook, ASUS C302CA-DHM4 is quite a heavy-duty unit. Its Core m3 processor and 4GB RAM means your browsing experience will be same than in regular, Windows based laptops. Also the flash storage of 64 gigabytes is double from what you usually see in Chromebooks. The Full HD display is sweet, turning a full 360 degrees, giving you a Chrome tablet to play with. Battery life has been verified as a solid 8-10 hours. Sure, the Asus is tad more expensive than your typical Chrome laptop, but for the money you get excellent quality and performance!


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