Asus has been looking to step up its game lately, coming out with the fantastic Flip CX5 in recent times, which is the first Chromebook ever to pack a Tiger Lake processor and a phenomenal Chrome OS experience. The next generation of Chromebooks is nigh, and the Taiwanese manufacturer appears to be more than capable of handling the tech-forward requirements of this digital era.
What we have today at our disposal is the Flip CM5, and it promises a similar experience to the rest of its C-series counterparts. However, there are multiple differences in terms of internal components and processors, and we’re here to gauge whether Asus’s latest iteration in the Chrome OS industry is another big hit or a sorrowful letdown.
In this article, therefore, we’ll be reviewing the Asus Chromebook Flip CM5 and discussing its major strengths and weaknesses so all of you can come to a definite buying conclusion. Without any further hold-up, let’s commence this review with the device’s technical specifications.
ASUS Chromebook Flip CM5 specifications
- CPU: AMD Ryzen 3 3250C 2.6 GHz Processor
- Display: 15.6″ FHD (1920 x 1080) LCD IPS-Level Display
- GPU: AMD Radeon Graphics
- Hard Drive Size: 64 GB eMMC
- RAM: 4 GB
- Camera: 720p HD Camera
- Ports: 2x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C, USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A, HDMI 1.4, 3.5mm Headphone Jack, microSD Card Reader Slot
- Battery: 57Wh, 3S1P, 3-cell Li-ion
- Charging Time: 50% in 45 Minutes
- Weight: 4.30 lbs (1.95 kg)
- Price: $449
ASUS Chromebook Flip CM5 in-depth review
The ASUS Chromebook Flip CM5 is a superb-looking device, and that truly is, to say the least. It’s got that specialized metallic design with a brilliant dark gray and orange color scheme labeled as “Mineral Gray” by the manufacturer. The looks are killer, and the Flip CM5 is an exceptional Chromebook if we are to cast a lens on the device’s design only. As ASUS has managed to polish the aesthetics and maintain the class of an all-black interior, the craftsmanship is easily noticeable.
The aluminum-alloy metal lid chassis with a plastic bottom strikes the perfect balance between durability and portability, making the CM5 an incredibly versatile Chromebook. From the top where the brand logo has been etched on, the design has been made distinctively reflective, further testifying to this device’s quality. That said, portability does suffer a tiny bit due to all the extra space that the CM5 has been given. It is a sizable Chromebook, after all, with a 15.6-inch display and a weight that’s just below 2 kgs. Still, if your expectations aren’t Duet-esque, you’ll get by just fine.
The device is also fairly durable and has mil-spec ratings, thereby marking it as military-grade. It has passed multiple durability tests, and ASUS has a history of making machines that can withstand rough use. Furthermore, you’re getting the same premium feel from the CM5 as if one would pick up the CX5. The hinge, the build quality, everything else seems to be mutual between the two, and that too is nothing but outright remarkable.
Moving on to the screen of the Flip CM5, the specs sheet tells us that you get a 15.6-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) LCD IPS-Level display that enjoys impressive colors, great viewing angles, and an overall rich viewing experience. The side bezels are made thin, so the device has more of a nano-edge look to its name. All things considered, the screen panel of the CM5 does have a wow-factor attached, as it’s simply second to none, the same as the Flip CX5.
In addition, the display of this Chromebook is touch-enabled, making it possible to play certain Android and Linux games, enhance your user experience, and increase the functionality of the device. It’s fluid, responsive, and works just as you’d expect from a machine of this standard. Sporting a convertible form factor, the CM5 can rotate all the way to 360°, allowing you to adapt quickly to diverse settings.
The tent mode could allow you to collaborate with people around you, and the same goes for everything that 2-in-1 laptops afford. Our only major gripe with the CX5 is its 250 nits screen brightness, and unfortunately, we have to witness the same thing all over again with the CM5. Great to use indoors but downright dismal on a sunny day outside.
Coming down to the keyboard, there’s simply nothing to complain about here. Despite being made out of plastic, the keyboard deck feels rather high-end and attributes to a phenomenal typing experience that’s nearly as good as the Google Pixelbook Go. It’s LED-illuminated as well, giving you backlighting in dimly lit environments, and features a quality click mechanism. The travel, according to ASUS, is about 1.4mm, and there’s even a dedicated number pad slapped onto the right side of the keyboard deck.
The manufacturer has also introduced color-blocked WASD keys that add a shard of finesse when gaming on this Chromebook. However, the feature is merely for cosmetic purposes and nothing more. You also get a dedicated numeric pad on the keyboard’s right, so there’s an additional plus. The praise continues down to the trackpad, a wide, glass-made, and high-quality one that does everything soundly. Clicks feel nice and tight, and the overall movement is picked up swiftly by the trackpad. So far, ASUS has got almost everything right with the CM5, just like what we experienced with the CX5.
The I/O is admirable on this Chromebook. You get a single USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C port for fast charging, a USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A port for legacy peripherals, an HDMI 1.4 port whose convenience knows no bounds when met with video conferences or online meeting, a standard 3.5mm headphone jack, and a microSD card reader slot for expanding your storage. The Harmon/Kardon stereo dual-speaker set is also a touch of class on this device. They sound clear and loud and exhibit high-fidelity audio.
The internal components are where the ASUS Chromebook Flip CM5 keenly differs from its closest sibling, the CX5. Let us tell you here and now that this device is no joke when it comes to sheer performance. Day in day out, the CM5 looks for a good reason to slow down but ends up finding nothing and continues to deliver amazing performances. This is what ASUS has been managing to pull off for all of its recent Chromebooks, given the fact that this one actually uses a Ryzen 3 3250C 2.6 GHz processor.
The rest of the specs include 4 GBs of RAM and 64 eMMC flash storage. There is one thing that needs to be discussed, though, and that is the 11th Gen processor of the CX5. In a direct comparison, the latter would fly past the CM5, as this slick Chromebook’s chipset is on par with a 10th Gen processor. That isn’t to belittle the base performance of the CM5, however, as it is more than capable of handling daily computing tasks without lagging or leaving you frustrated.
There are multiple other, more powerful configurations that ASUS has provided with this machine. If you’re willing to dole out a couple of extra hundreds, you can get a maxed-out CM5 with an AMD Ryzen 5 3500C processor, 16 GBs of RAM, and 256GB M.2 NVMe 3.0 SSD storage. There are other models of the Chromebook as well, and they’ll be available soon.
The Flip CM5 also comes with WiFi 6 and ASUS WiFi Stabilizer technology to help you keep connectivity at its best.
3. Battery life
The ASUS Chromebook Flip CM5 has a great battery life that spans somewhere between 11-12 hours. You can take it to the office or school with a full charge and not have to worry about the device unable to last you a full day. It’s more than suited for settings like those, making it a great recommendation for all of you looking for a stylish Chrome OS experience with decent performance.
ASUS has managed to fit a 57Wh, 3S1P, 3-cell Li-ion battery inside this sizable device. It’ll take about 35 minutes to get to 50% and around 70 minutes to get fully juiced up. This is due to the courtesy of the USB-C port that is known to offer speedier charge times.
4. Final thoughts
At the end of the day, the ASUS Chromebook Flip CM5 is one of the best-looking devices out there with appreciable internal specs, battery life, and performance. It has a great display, save for brightness issues in some cases, and a fantastic keyboard on top of the high-quality glass trackpad. It packs all the bells and whistles for everyone searching for a mid-range device since the most sized down model of the CM5 costs about $449, and it only goes up and beyond from there on out. That said, you do get great internal components with the additional price, but it’s all up to you to decide which variant sounds best to you. All things said and done; the Flip CM5 rightfully earns Chrome Ready’s nod of approval.