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Review: The beauty of the ASUS Chromebook Flip C436 is dulled by its price

This premium sequel ditched the ports and the battery life that helped make the C434 a wonderful all-around Chromebook.


I’ve had quite a few Chromebooks come across my standing desk in the last year, and the one I miss the most is far and away the ASUS Chromebook C434. It was a 14-inch Chromebook that was compact enough to still carry when I went to the parks, the perfect size for split-screening my research when writing articles, and while it was powerful, it didn’t force you to rely on USB-C hubs the way premium Chromebooks did. When the ASUS Chromebook C436 was announced at CES, it was clearly a premium upgrade from the C436, but I was still excited to see how it stacked up.

Once I got the C436 out of its box and opened up that shiny “Aerogel White” lid, though, I realized that I’d set my expectations just a little too high. That normally wouldn’t be a bad thing for a Chromebook, but when that Chromebook starts at $800, it needs to wow you. And unless you’re constantly running full Linux apps or dozens upon dozens of tabs, the C436 won’t wow most folks enough to justify its price tag.

At a glance

ASUS Chromebook Flip C436


Bottom line: ASUS gussied up last year’s C434, but in creating the powerful Project Athena-certified 2-in-1, it sacrificed battery life and affordability at a time when they’re more important than ever.

The Good

  • Powerful internals
  • Reliable fingerprint sensor
  • Beautiful, compact design
  • Wide screen brightness range

The Bad

  • Mediocre battery life
  • Fingerprint magnet
  • Expensive and elusive

$800 at Amazon
$1000 at Best Buy

ASUS Chromebook Flip C436 Price and release date

The C436 was announced at CES 2020 and went on sale March 2020 at the starting price of $800 for the i3 model and $1000 for the i5 model. The extra $200 also gets you double the RAM and quadruple the internal storage, and it also get you that fancy Aerogel White lid over the Silver on the i3 model. There haven’t been many discounts for the C436 yet, but with Prime Day on the horizon and Black Friday coming not long after, there’s a fair chance we start finally seeing some deals on the C436.

If you’re looking for a beautiful and powerful 14-inch Chromebook in the meantime, you’ll want to check out the ASUS Chromebook Flip C434, which starts at $500 and was the best Chromebook deal for Prime Day and Black Friday in 2019. The Intel Core m3 processor may not be as powerful — the C434 has more powerful processor options, but they’re hard to find and usually cost as much as the C436 — but it’s still plenty powerful for working from home for most folks who aren’t using specialized legacy applications.

Pretty powerhouse

ASUS Chromebook Flip C436 What shines brightest


Display 14-inch 1080p touchscreen85% screen-to-body ratio
Processor Intel Core i3 or i5
Memory 8-16GB LPDDR3
Storage 128-512GB SSD
Radios Wi-Fi 6 ● Bluetooth 5.0
Ports 2x USB 3.2 USB-CAudio combo jackmicroSD card
Features Fingerprint readerBacklit keyboardUSI Stylus compatible
Battery 42WHr Li-Polymer
Size 319.54 x 205.3 x 13.76mm
Weight 2.4lbs
Colors Aerogel White ● Silver

Like its predecessor, the form factor of the ASUS Chromebook Flip C436 is one you’ll either love or hate. The lid pushes up the back of the keyboard to give you a slight incline to type on, which most folks seem to love, but I’m not crazy about it because of the way it makes the laptop balance on the back edge of the lid instead of lying flat on a desk or my lap. Otherwise, it’s a great 2-in-1 with a hinge that you can still pretty easily reposition one-handed without flopping around at the slightest movement. Magnets help keep the C436 closed, but you won’t need two hands to pry it open.

My review unit was the more powerful i5 model with 512GB of SSD storage, and it’s purred along through dozens of Chrome tabs — even during Google Meet calls, which tend to eat lesser laptops alive — and just about every app I throw at it. With 16GB of RAM (the $800 base model has 8GB) and an i5, I wouldn’t expect any performance issues to arise without delving into the Developer channel, using a lot of intensive Linux applications, or dual-booting Chrome OS with another Linux system.

The sides of the C436 are sleek and sparse, with a speaker on each side — to go with the top-facing speaker bar above the keyboard next to hinge for pleasant Harmon Kardon “omnidirectional” sound — as well as a USB-C port on each side. To the left side, we see the headphone jack and the power/volume buttons, whereas the right holds the microSD slot, where a microSD card will stick out just far enough that you won’t want to leave one slotted in 24/7.


Most of the time when reviewing a Chromebook, we focus on a how bright a screen can get, and no worries there — the C436 will get properly bright if you want to use it outside or like to blind yourself — but what made me go “wow” in my living room was just how dim the lower levels got. You folks know me, I love dark themes and I love dark rooms, and most Chromebooks are still too bright on their lowest setting for a pitch-black room.

The C436, however, can get properly dim for those of us who tend to type or scroll Reddit until 2:30 in the morning because we are masochistic freaks. Pair that with a backlit keyboard and you’ve got a perfect Chromebook for night owls and workaholics. While you may need a charger at some point during the day to top off, the C436’s battery should last a full afternoon of staff meetings or if you need to ditch your home office for some time on the balcony instead.

ASUS Chromebook Flip C436 What dulls the glow


My $300 Lenovo Chromebook C340-11 consistently lasts at least ten hours on a single charge, but the $1000 C436 review unit on my standing desk seems lucky to reach 9 hours on a single charge despite claiming 12 hours in its spec sheet. I’m used to seeing a discrepancy of an hour or two between the written claim and actual battery life, but it’s more noticeable on the C436, especially once I crank up the brightness beyond my normal “I like living in a cave with some 20% brightness Hue bulbs” dimness.

Backlighting is still manual and still uneven.

Like the C434, ASUS has backlighting inconsistencies that are just embarrassing to see in a $800-$1000 laptop, Chromebook or not. Backlighting still isn’t automatic, either, so be prepared to be using the Alt + Brightness up and Alt + Brightness down commands to adjust it on and off as needed. The feel of the keys is fine, not amazing but certainly fine for hours and hours of typing a day.

The bright Aerogel White that I got is very much a fingerprint magnet, but that shouldn’t be an issue for most because that’s the $1000 i5/512GB model, which I can’t find for sale anywhere. The $800 i3/128GB model that you’ll probably get if you want a premium 14-inch 2-in-1 Chromebook is Silver, just like the C434 and less likely turn your oily smudges into a faint, wonky rainbow.

ASUS Chromebook Flip C436


The ASUS Chromebook C436 is a pretty good Chromebook, and I love it on my standing desk and settling on the couch with it on my new lap desk. It never stutters outside a few Android apps that just aren’t optimized for Chromebooks, it handles my workload with ease, and it’s beautiful to behold. It’s just too expensive to recommend outside very limited circles.

out of 5

While I’m a fan of having a beefy i3 or i5 processor in a Chromebook — and having 8 GB of RAM is a luxury I wish every Chromebook had in 2020 — apart from developers and the most power-hungry of power-users, this is a Chromebook that was made to tout the new Project Athena specification more than it was tailored towards actual buyers. The fingerprint sensor is a nice upgrade and the speakers are better this go-around, but until stocks of the C434 are depleted — which might not be long the way Chromebooks have been selling out the last two months — last year’s model at $550 just makes more sense for regular users who want a nice-looking, good-performing Chromebook to rely on.

Premium powerhouse

ASUS Chromebook Flip C436


$800 at Amazon
$1000 at Best Buy

Pretty powerful comes for a pretty penny.

The ASUS C436 is a beautiful refinement of one of 2019’s best Chromebooks, but reaching Project Athena’s lofty standards leave the price and the battery life in a tough place.


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Verizon has a far-reaching wireless network in the US and compliments it with a wide variety of phone choices. There’s no shortage of selection, at any price point, and the carrier does well to support its growing 5G network. Indeed, it also nabs an exclusive phone from time to time, too.Here, we gather up a handful of the best phones you can purchase at Verizon today. This isn’t a list of the best overall with the top-notch performance. Rather, our list aims to speak to specific users.Samsung Galaxy Note 20 UltraBiggest and BestIf you’re looking for the biggest and most powerful all-around device from Verizon, this is it. With a screen size (6.9-inches) that rivals early tablets, it packs an upgraded S Pen stylus and cutting-edge hardware. Oh, and then there’s a first-of-its-kind 108-megapixel camera, too.Powered by Android 10 with Samsung’s custom UI, the handset has generous battery, tons of (expandable) storage, and support for Verizon’s Ultra Wideband 5G network. Choose from Cosmic Black and Cosmic Gray color options, both of which are stunning.Shop Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra at VerizonSamsung Galaxy A51The Affordable Galaxy ExperienceSamsung’s Galaxy is a big one, to be sure. But if you’re not careful, you could end up spending more money on a phone than necessary. The “Galaxy A” series is a great way to get many of the better features found in more prominent models.Here you’ll get a sizable (6.5-inch) screen, plenty of memory and storage, and a triple-camera setup on the back. Powered by Android 10, it also supports Verizon’s 5G network. The best part? It leaves a few hundred bucks in your pocket.Shop Samsung Galaxy A51 at VerizonGoogle Pixel 4aHard to Beat Value PropositionSure, there are plenty of other devices with considerably more robust hardware at Verizon. Do you want, or need to spend hundreds for that luxury? Nope. This phone is a mid-range phone that punches above its weight. The stock Android experience stays as current as anything you’ll find and it only get better with each, timely update. Toss in a camera that wows anyone and everyone, a solid battery, and a surprising $350 price tag and you’ll just why we like it so much.Shop Google Pixel 4a at Verizon Google Pixel 52020 FlagshipGoogle’s latest smartphone, the Pixel 5, builds on its predecessors in all the right ways, including price. Slightly less expensive than the previous generation, it’s a well-rounded phone that dances between mid-range and high-end hardware.It runs the newest and most powerful version of Android yet and features another excellent camera experience. Standout details include water-resistant coating, wireless charging, and support for Verizon’s Ultra-Wideband 5G network.Shop Google Pixel 5 at VerizonMotorola Moto G PowerEntry-level AttractionWhen you care more about messaging, social media, and tasks than gaming, you don’t need to worry about high-end hardware. But that doesn’t mean you have to skimp on the important stuff.This phone runs a lean and mean Android 10 and features a sizable 6.2-inch FHD+ screen. The inner workings are sufficient enough to get the job done for many users and the 5,000mAh battery ensures it goes all day.Shop Motorola Moto G Power at VerizonMotorola RazrBest Folding PhoneThe selection of folding phones isn’t all that vast, but we do have a favorite. Indeed, we’re fond of the Motorola Razr and it’s not just for its familiar branding.Instead of two phone screens unfolding to form a giant tablet-like display, the Razr is a throwback to clam shell phones. Once opened you’ve got a generous 6.2-inch screen with the same ultra-wide dimensions used by the film industry.It doesn’t hurt that there’s a solid processor and plenty of storage tucked away. The camera experience is also cooler and more practical than you’d imagine, too.Shop Motorola Razr at Verizon

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