on August 20, 2014
The Asus Chromebook C300 is the best Chromebook on the market. It may not be as fast as the Acer C720 on paper, but it can handle 12 tabs and 3 720p YouTube videos (maybe not 1080p, but the screen can't support that anyway) all at the same time without little slow-down (assuming you have an internet connection that is fast enough to load all of that).
A couple of months ago, I purchased a MacBook Pro 15" Retina Display (over 10x the price of this computer), and I love using both of them. They're both different, but they both fit. My MacBook Pro never leaves my desk, and it's great there -- very fast, high resolution display, great for working and entertainment, etc. But the Chromebook (formerly my Samsung Chromebook but now my Asus Chromebook C300) is the computer that I take with me whenever I leave my desk. It does everything I need to do, and perfectly (thank Google Apps for Business -- but even if you have Office 365, iCloud, etc, it can still do what you need) -- and it's great for when you're not at your desk (see reasons why in the next section). Frequently, I take trips that last a week or longer, while still needing to work -- and I never hesitate to bring my Chromebook and not my MacBook Pro (not to mention I could more easily break the MacBook Pro, and that is an over 10x more expensive mistake than breaking this $229 Chromebook).
The build quality of the Asus Chromebook C300 is great (for the price) -- it has a pretty good screen (for the price), a great keyboard (for the price) and a great trackpad (again, for the price). It looks more expensive than it actually is (brushed aluminum look on the plastic body), and it's very sturdy. The best part about it, and one reason why it is especially good for when you're traveling or out and about, is the battery life. When, I'm doing something more intensive than not, I see around 11.5 hours of battery life (nonstop). When doing things less intense, I see anywhere between 16 hours and 19.5 hours of battery life. Truly amazing. And, I haven't even mentioned all of the other benefits to a Chromebook (and this Asus Chromebook), such as the security.
As I mentioned before, Chromebooks tie very well into the Google services, especially Google Apps for Business and Google Apps (for personal use). As a separate product, I recommend those to anyone (Google Apps for Business is hands down the best -- I've tried Office 365 and others, and they don't even come close). But since I made the choice for my company to use Google Apps for Business, the Chromebooks fit amazingly well. Everything we do is in Google Apps (every email in Gmail, every file in Google Drive (with unlimited storage for businesses, too), every document a Google Doc, all my photos in Google+ (coming from my iPhone and Samsung Galaxy Note 3), my calendars in Calendars, etc), and as a result, my entire life (work and personal), is in Google Apps for Business. So the Chromebook fits exceptionally well into my life, as everything is in my Google Apps for Business account and in these Google services that are so closely integrated into the Chromebooks.
But even if you don't use Google Apps for Business, and you're somewhat modern (cloud storage), or you want to be more modern, or you're just starting to use computers, a Chromebook can likely do almost all that you need it to do. And for the prices, Windows laptops (and especially Macs) are incomparable. If you're looking for a budget computer (for whatever reason), or a Chromebook fits all your needs and you see no reason to spend much more on a Windows or Mac laptop/desktop (my MacBook Pro is primarily for desk work, but the reason I purchased that one is for the creative work that I do, which includes video editing, picture editing, etc), then a Chromebook, and more specifically, the best Chromebook (this Asus Chromebook C300), is perfect for you.
- Jared Caputo
on November 12, 2014
I am quite pleased with this Chromebook. Sometimes these get bad reviews because people don't understand what Chromebooks actually do and what purpose they serve. That's not exactly fair, is it?
Chromebooks are cheap, yet highly effective, alternatives to those who live in the Googleverse and want to utilize all the web apps (and eventually ALL Android apps) on their laptop. This is not a laptop for hardcore gaming, photo editing or computing. If you're expecting that, you haven't done your research. You can't install third-party software on this, however, 95 percent of computer users don't need Windows (a very complicated OS, it really is overkill). There's a Microsoft Word app if you're not into Google Docs (an AWESOME alternative to word).
Nothing is stored on this computer. If you create a document, of upload photos, they CAN go on the hard drive, but why would you do that? Simple upload them to Google Drive and you're set. Then, you will literally never lose them, unless Google goes down for some reason (not gonna happen). You can then access them on any Android tablet or smartphone too. Synching between all three is simple. Then, if you ever encounter a problem with the Chromebook, hardware, running speed, etc., simply "powerwash" the machine and it reboots, and since all your content is saved in the cloud, it's back in a flash; you never lose it.
Screen is OK. It's unrealistic to expect anything better for the pricepoint. The keyboard is the chicklit style and is quite responsive. Devise is sturdy overall. Build feels a bit cheap, but then again, it is. Take care of it, buy a $10 sleeve, and you're golden.
My biggest knock on this specific device is the cover. The black textured plastic scratches and shows finger prints liberally. If you're careful, this isn't an issue. But if you're traveling and this is bouncing around in a bag, a case may be a good option.
Overall, I LOVE the operating system, and appreciate this specific laptop. Don't expect flashy specs and abilities, because this doesn't have it. it does have a reliable operating system that is dynamite in helping you get work done and secure.
on September 4, 2014
The ASUS looks great, has a great track pad and keyboard, incredible battery life, and a nice small/compact charger. The screen is just OK, but for the price, it does its job.
What really bothered me about the ASUS was the performance. My first Chromebook was an Acer C720 2gb, which has the Haswell micro-chip. This comes with Bay Trail, and even though its clock speed is faster (2.16 ghz vs the Acer's 1.4 ghz), Bay Trail is significantly slower. Sometimes I would experience lag when typing, or when scrolling through pages. If I have about 3 or 4 tabs open (an open ebook, Google Docs, Gmail, Facebook), it's doesn't happen, but anything more (multitasking; streaming music or videos while having 3-5 other tabs open) will cause it to stutter. I use this to take to class and to get some homework and reading done in between classes, and while the ASUS does do the job, it isn't as snappy as the Acer. I bought the ASUS because I needed a bigger screen (13.3 vs the Acer's 11.6), and didn't think that the slower performance would bother me that much, but it is frustrating when you need something super fast. I'd give the Acer a 5/5 for performance, and a 3/5 for the ASUS. This one will work if you aren't a heavy multi-tasker and want long battery life. I've had the battery last for 12 hours (some periods without Wi-Fi on).
Update: The lid is a serious scratch magnet. Just brushing against some binders and slipping it in and out of my backpack has created these ugly hairline scratches.
Update 2: After using the Chromebook for a few months and installing updates, the lag and stuttering that I experienced in the past seems to have gone away. I'm able to open 8-10 tabs (mostly web pages, Google Docs, Spotify) and multitask without becoming impatient due to lag. While the ASUS can handle my multitasking needs, it still isn't as snappy as the Acer C720's Haswell processor. I would say that if you need the 13-inch screen that isn't available with the Acer, the ASUS Chromebook will do a great job multitasking. If the 11.6 inch screen is enough and performance is the most important thing, the Acer C720 is quick, snappy and reliable (and still is over a year later), and I would recommend it over the ASUS.
But because I am a student and Chrome OS has its limitations, I've moved on to Microsoft's low-end PCs and got myself an ASUS X205TA (which is about as fast as the ASUS Chromebook, by the way). While I miss the simplicity and stability of my Chromebook, it wasn't able to open up my heavily formatted Word documents and Power Points that I needed for school. My ASUS and Acer Chromebooksnow function as living room computers for the family--really nice for lounging around and surfing the web on the couch, shopping online, watching YouTube, and paying the bills.
Update 3 (1/3/2016): I've since trashed my low-end PC (low-end for a reason...never buying a PC again), and my Acer C720 and ASUS C300MA are still going strong. These days, Office Online is getting better at reading heavily formatted PowerPoints and Word documents. Would I buy the Acer C720 and ASUS C300MA again? No doubt. I've moved to using an iPad Air 2 for my textbook, PowerPoint, Word, and graphic design needs (Chromebooks aren't too good for this). Still, I highly recommend the Chromebooks if you're looking for something light to take around school, or as a second computer, especially if you're a Google Drive/Google Docs user. The Chromebooks are still running strong; you really can't go wrong with either. If you want performance, go with Acer C720. If you need the bigger screen and are OK with waiting a bit: ASUS C300MA.
on August 6, 2014
This laptop is PERFECT for students going back to school. This has incredible battery life, sometimes up to 12 hours depending on the brightness settings you have it on. The Chrome environments works great, and offline mode for Google Drive makes it easy to type up notes when you don't have Internet connection, and then when you do, it automatically saves to your Drive. Speakers are so-so, but I typically use earbud headphones to watch YouTube videos and listen to music using Spotify or any other web-based service. The keyboard is responsive and comfortable to type on, and the trackpad is spacious and reacts very well to multi-finger gestures for scrolling and other functions. The screen's colors are a tad washed out compared to higher-resolution displays, but for the now $229.00 price tag, you're definitely getting a great value here. I was comparing this to the Samsung Chromebook 2 13" model, and with an efficient Intel Celeron processor and hardware design, I have no regrets in choosing this over Samsung's higher-priced Chromebook. Out of all the Chromebooks out there currently, this unit runs the fastest and most efficient for its screen size.
on October 23, 2014
This is replacing a larger, heavier ASUS computer. I've found my need for a big, powerful laptop is minimal. I do a bit of online banking; of course order lots of Kindle books and lots and lots of social networking. When one is 68 years old; social networking is ideal. Most of my friends and ALL of my family have heard my endless stories too many times. This way they can ignore them and I'm not offended in the least. Anyway, this little beast, which I call "Ace" is just ideal. I can lie on the couch and perch it on my ample tummy while cruising on Facebook. Perfect.
on December 7, 2014
Preface: This is my first Chromebook. I don't have any other Chromebook experiences to compare this to.
I'm very happy with this computer. The battery life is great. It charges pretty quickly. The boot time really is fast. Typing in my password takes about as long as the actual boot process. As someone who came from a bogged down Windows laptop, this is a very welcome change.
I knew going into it that this computer is not a powerhouse. It is an inexpensive web browsing laptop. Sometimes a page may take a little while longer to load than it would on a faster PC, and sometimes when typing in the address bar it will hesitate as it loads all the suggestions. Once the page is loaded though, it seems to run pretty smooth. It's worked just fine for watching Netflix, Youtube, and Hulu.
The built in speakers aren't super loud, but they are adequate in most situations. Occasionally if the sound is overly saturated, the speakers sound like they are limiting themselves. I'm not sure if this is true, but it sounds like it to me. But, like I said, the speakers are usually adequate for watching videos in a quiet room. Of course this varies between various videos and streaming services. Netflix always seems to be at a good volume, Hulu can sometimes be a little quiet, but that is only on occasion, and not the case with every video on Hulu.
The screen is certainly not the best out there, but I've found it to be acceptable. Overall it's bright, crisp, and has a matte anti glare finish. The viewing angle is somewhat limited, requiring frequent adjustments of the angle of the screen. I'm not a resolution snob, so the resolution looks fine to me, but maybe look into it further if resolution is a deal breaker for you.
Learning the little nuances of the computer has been a little bit challenging. Things like page up/down, end/top, selecting text with the mouse etc, all took some practice. I still think selecting text can be tricky. It requires the user to click the track-pad down, and drag the finger without letting up on the track-pad until the text is selected. This can be tricky because my finger has a tendancy to bounce across the pad a bit, which can result in the selection process to be interrupted. So far though, that really seems to be my only qualm. That being said, the trackpad seems to work just fine. It's responsive and big, and most importantly, it does not have any location based shortcuts like most windows machines. Any windows 8 laptop I've used always has weird shortcuts built into the trackpad in the corners, or on the side that would cause things to happen unintentionally, that has not been an issue with this machine.
Overall, I'm very happy with this computer. It does what it's designed to do, and it does it well. Browsing the web, typing up documents, and watching streaming videos are all things this PC does very well.
Just know going into it, that this is not a robust Windows machine. It does not offer many apps, outside of what can already be done through a browser. As long as your expectations are realistic, I think you'll love this Chromebook. I'd say as long as you can get it for under the $200 price point, it's a good deal. If you have any questions for me, feel free to ask. I hope this review was helpful for you.
on January 28, 2015
-overall look of the laptop: beauty
-super long battery life
-google drive keeps everything easily obtainable and organized
-I installed xfce so I can run Netbeans: runs great!
-the processing speed is fast for such a cheap price
_ My main purpose for the Asus C300MA is to type documents and write code. I'm extremely satisfied with this purchase.
on August 3, 2014
5 stars- it does everything I need it to do for only $250. With that said I do not mistake the C300 for a Macbook Air, but after using this for a couple of days it does make it hard to justify spending $750 more on one. Overall the only complaint I have is the screens resolution is not that great, but for $250 you can certainly get used to it. I am not sure a Chromebook is for everyone, I have a PC desktop as well running windows 7 so I feel I have all my bases covered. So far I have been using for a week and I really like this Chromebook more than any other I have used. Here is a quick rundown
Super light weight
Excellent battery life (over 10hrs)
Looks great for what it cost
Keyboard is adequate
Boots in seconds
A lot easier to use than Windows 8
Screen is what you would expect for $250, viewing angles are fine but resolution is not all that great but you get used to it
Slight fingerprint magnet but not too bad
on July 22, 2014
Have been using the standard version of Asus C300 for a couple days, and I have to say it is not as good as I had expected.
Truly the long battery life is impressive, however, my using experience is discounted because the machine is simply not smooth. Although browsing web pages in tabs is smooth, there is always a minor lag every time a new tab is opened. And if you run some other apps (like Google+ Photo) in the meanwhile of browsing web, there is a spectacular lag. The extensions in Chrome need 1~2 second to be triggered after you click the icons.
And the trackpad is not as sensitive as that on the HP Chromebook 14.
Conclusion: if there is a HP Chromebook 13, I would definitely buy one instead of this Asus C300.
But unfortunately the options on 13" chromebooks are very limited - Toshiba is too heavy, while Samsung Chromebook 2 is too bad. Thus C300 is currently my only option, as I need to find a compromise between mobility and screen size.
For those who are interested in 11" Chromebooks, I recommend HP or Acer. For those who doesn't care about mobility, I highly recommend HP Chromebook 14.
One more thing: since Asus C300 is launched after the last major Chrome OS update (v35), maybe the lags are due to this machine has not received software optimization from Google. Let's hope its performance can be enhanced after Chrome OS v36 or v37.
on October 18, 2014
I will recommend this Chromebook to anyone who has already had a regular laptop (Windows PC or Mac) and want something that is portable while do a lot of editting (this review is editted on this Chromebook).
I am a graduate student and live 1.8 mile away from campus. I have a HP windows laptop at home, but I seldom bring it with me to campus because it is over 5 pounds and it runs out of charge within 2-3 hours (even if I only surf the internet with Chrome!). When I get this Chromebook, I find it really amazing! The battery life is excellent, about 8-9 hours in daily use (surf online, watch 720P movies, listen to music etc.). And the response time is good. Every time when I open the lid, the system will be ready within 5 secs. So I can begin my work anytime and after I finish my work I can simply close the lid and take it with me. Super convenient!
Another issue I want to say is transferring from Windows platform to Chrome OS. It seems not so comfortable, because I have to find alternative apps in web store for my Windows softwares and I need to change some of my habits that I have for years. But it is not a big deal. If you like Office, you will find google docs useful. Someone may say you cannot edit your work offline. That is not true, today so many apps have the offline versions, including google docs, video player, pdf viewer, caret (if you do some programming you will like it), python shell, stackEdit (this is where I write my notes in MarkDown format), etc. If you do like Microsoft Office and cannot live without it, you can also use the online Office (http://products.office.com/en-us/office-online/documents-spreadsheets-presentations-office-online). In fact, I find that google docs have some advantages over Microsoft Office. E.g. you can view all editting history online! This is extremely helpful for collaborative editting.
One thing which I do not like about this Chromebook is its keyboard. It is like a Mac keyboard instead of HP laptop or ThinkPad laptop of which the keyboard is excellent. So when I do a lot of editting, I prefer a desktop on campus or my HP laptop.