Chromebooks sell. Why is that? They are cheap and simple, so people are tempted to buy them. But it’s not trickery, those Chrome powered laptops are excellent for certain activities. In this review, we’ll see what are the best uses for ASUS Chromebook C201PA-DS02.
Many might not recognize the processor in this laptop. Because it’s not a familiar AMD or Intel. It’s Rockchip RK3288, a less known quad-core CPU sporting a 1.8GHz clock frequency. There aren’t many real-life tests yet, some benchmarks indicate it outperforms the Intel Atom Z3735F. In any case, the Rockchips are rock-bottom priced and also very, very energy efficient (~3 watts/hour). It’s capable of running all the Chromebook apps well, and people who bought this unit have left positive reviews about it.
This model features 4GB onboard RAM. That’s a nice amount for a Chromebook, so having a crapload of browser tabs open shouldn’t slow the system down. The 16GB storage is really an eMMC, not a real SSD, but for this price I can understand that.
Screen and gaming
ASUS Chromebook C201PA-DS02 has a glossy 11.6″ display. Not surprisingly, it’s not a premium screen, but should offer good enough quality at its 1366×768 resolution. Streaming content from online services such as Hulu or YouTube also work fine on it.
Playing games is naturally limited to browser-only titles. The Chrome OS has limitations when it comes to gaming. Besides, the Rockchip processor with its integrated graphics engine wouldn’t be fast enough to keep up with many Windows-based, high system requirement titles.
ASUS Chromebook C201PA-DS02 offers two USB ports, although both are version 2.0. Connecting the unit to an HDTV is trivial through the laptop’s micro HDMI output.
Optical drive isn’t included, Chrome OS doesn’t work well with them. But you can use the excellent 802.11ac WiFi + Bluetooth 4.0 card to access Internet. Also, the microSD card reader can be helpful with transfering files.
HD webcamera is provided, use that to chat with your friends on Google Hangouts.
Some other things to keep in mind?
ASUS Chromebook C201PA-DS02 is very lightweight, just 2.2 pounds. Moreover, the battery life is around 12 hours and this is confirmed by people who bought this unit. As the design is fanless, the system will run practically silent.
The keyboard has no numpad, there wouldn’t be space for that. The keys are not illuminated, either.
Summing it up
ASUS Chromebook C201PA-DS02 is a laptop for web surfing, emailing and occasional video streaming. The Rockchip processor coupled with 4GB RAM should be adequate for such easy activities. However, the best thing is portability: At just over 2 pounds, it’s one of the most lightweight Chromebooks. Also the 12 hours battery life is excellent. Because the unit price is so low, I can recommend this laptop for home users, students and on-the-go people without hesitation.