Thursday, January 19, 2017

My initial C302CA impressions (Coming from a Samsung Chromebook 1)

It seems like somebody already beat me to the punch, eh?

This is such a nice machine. I got mine from Amazon, so I have the Core m3 64gb variant. Holy moly, is it nice. Before I ramble on, I'll try to organize this a bit.


This machine has quite a nice build. It's very thin (and fanless!) and the almost all-aluminum casing feels nice. Not quite as nice as other laptops, but it's getting there. The design is definitely aping the MacBook Pro, and that's alright with me. For a real laugh, check out this Chromebook's product page on the Asus website- you'd think Apple was gearing up for a lawsuit against Asus.


The screen is lovely. By default, it's scaled to a lower resolution than 1080p, which has the scaling look much more natural. I'm currently scaled to 1080p, making everything a bit tiny, but I'm a spry young lad and can handle it. I might swap back, though, this really is quite tiny.

There's also an option to scale to 2400x1350 for some reason. A quick check in the System app says that the display has a 1920x1080 resolution, so I guess the 2400x1350 option is for mirroring to UHD displays or something. Rendering at that resolution doesn't make a whole lot of sense on the Chromebook itself.

The touchscreen is brilliant. It's a little reflective, and I would have preferred a non-touch non-360 variant, but as it stands, it's a great touchscreen that I can't wait to use Android apps on. Chrome Unboxed has an article stating that the Play Store is coming in a few weeks, so I'll wait until then and make a followup post when I test them out.


It's pretty good. My finger gets caught up in it all the time, but I think I just have to adjust from using plastic touchpads on my Chromebooks for so long.


I definitely appreciate how spaced out the keys are compared to my old Samsung Chromebook. I think the key travel is a bit shorter, but it's nothing to get worked up over. I wish there was a way to disable the backlighting, but so far holding Alt and pressing the brightness down key every boot up suffices my desires.


At half volume, these speakers are loud enough for me to be embarrassed to use them in my home with other people in the house. They sound clear enough, but higher volumes do sound a little worse. Basically, they're fine. Good, even. Not as good as the new MacBook Pro, probably.


This blows any other Chromebook I've used out of the friggin water. I upgraded because my Samsung was running so slowly that the mouse cursor would lag when loading a webpage with 4 tabs open- I think it'll take years of bad programming for Chrome to bloat to the point where I experience that again. I particularly love how the m3 allows the whole system to be fanless. Fans are the bane of my friggin existence, and so long as medium to heavy browsing doesn't heat this thing up, I'm golden for a while.


It's funny how the power button is on the left side of the machine. It works like most power keys do. Replacing the power key is a lock key- very nice for when I want to get up for a few seconds and not worry about my friends pranking me while I'm up sneezing or something.

It's funny how there are volume buttons on the left side. Again, makes sense.

It's funny how there's a microSD slot on the right side. I would have preferred full-size SD, as I sometimes would do file management requiring an SD card with my Samsung Chromebook, but I've since gotten a USB adapter for that, so I'm good.

It's funny how there's no traditional USB ports on this thing. I wish there was at least one so that my phone could suck on my Chromebook's energy, but that's not happening unless I get a new charger for it. Speaking of chargers, the one that comes with the C302CA is hard-wired into the plug that goes into the wall. It's no big deal for me since this is my only USB-C device, but some of you hoping to get a sweet USB-C charging + data cable out of this will be disappointed. On the bright side, it came with a cloth for cleaning the screen.

e: It's funny how when I'm in tablet mode, the controls for Netflix in fullscreen don't go away

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