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Chromebooks are intended to be cheap, light laptops The Fundamental Advantages Of Using A Chromebook The Fundamental Advantages Of Using A Chromebook Chromebooks are highly divisive and a consensus about the merits of Google's offering is a long way from materialising. Here are the key advantages of using a Chromebook when compared to Windows and Macs. Read More for all your Web browsing needs – consequentl they tend to be less expensive, underpowered devices. The Asus Chromebook C300 falls right into that category at $189 for a basic model with 2GB of RAM, 16GB of memory, and an Intel Celeron processor.

Still, since Chromebooks basically only run the Chrome Web browser, they make good use of these internals. The Asus Chromebook C300 in particular is one of the cheapest Chromebooks you can get, but is it even worth that much?

Let’s find out. And stick around till the end to find out how you can win one of your own!

Specifications

 

  • Price: $189 at Amazon
  • Processor: Dual-Core 2.16 GHz Intel Bay Trail-M Celeron N2830
  • RAM: 2GB
  • Storage: 16GB eMMC
  • Screen: 13.3in, 1366px by 768px (720p)
  • Dimensions: 13in (330mm) x 9.1in (230mm) x 0.9in (23mm)
  • Weight: 3.08lbs (1.4kg)
  • Battery life: Asus-rated 10 hours
  • Ports and plugs: 1 headphone jack, 1 USB 3.0 port, 1 USB 2.0 port, 1 HDMI port, 1 full-size SD card reader, Kensington lock slot, AC power port.
  • Extras: 100GB of Google Drive storage for 2 years

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Performance

Powered by the Bay Trail-M Celeron processor, the C300 isn’t the most powerful computer in existence, but it is certainly good enough for most activities. The Chromebook boots up in mere seconds, and is ready to use as soon as you sign in. Shut the lid, open it again, and it’s working instantly. Coming from a traditional laptop, it feels like magic.

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Keeping a few tabs open was no problem, but if you’re one to horde tabs, the C300 might get on your nerves a bit. With more than 8 or so tabs open, they would begin to crash from a lack of memory, being replaced by the (albeit hilarious) “He’s dead, Jim” message.

c300-4

If you can keep your tab situation under control, most other tabs work well. I could get work done in Google Docs, watch videos on YouTube, and scroll through Facebook and Tumblr with no problems.

The only consistent issue I found was playing videos on non-YouTube websites. They often lagged to the point of being unplayable, even when YouTube videos were streaming just fine.

Speakers and Audio

They’re loud. That’s all you need to know.

For such a cheap computer, that’s actually quite surprising. They sound tinny as most laptop speakers do, but they reach an impressive volume that many other laptops can’t match.

There are two speakers on the bottom left and bottom right of the device. It’s curved so that if your C300 is on a flat surface, the sound bounces off the table and comes up at you. Despite the odd position of the speakers, they manage to be loud enough no matter what.

Chrome OS is also smart enough to recognize when you put your headphones in and lowers the volume automatically so you don’t hurt your ears, which is more than can be said for Windows 8 laptops.

Keyboard and Trackpad

 

asus chromebook c300 - trckpad

Typing on this keyboard, I ran into a problem I haven’t on other laptops or Chromebooks: the keys sometimes didn’t register if I didn’t press fully in the center of the key, which made me miss letters every once in a while. At first I thought it was just my typing, but after typing just fine on several other devices, I had to conclude that it was the C300’s keyboard.

Aside from that, the keyboard was otherwise alright. It has the typical Chromebook setup, which means that there are no function keys; instead, there are volume keys, brightness keys, and the like.

asus chromebook c300 - keyboard

The caps lock key is also replaced by a search function, but in the ChromeOS settings, you can change this back to caps lock or multiple other functions.

The trackpad is smooth and large, and it worked well for me. There’s no right-click on the right side, so you’ll need to double tap to right-click. But scrolling functions and pinching to zoom all worked well without issues.

Build Quality

 

asus chromebook c300 - exterior

Fingerprints. So many fingerprints.

The C300 is very plastic, but the black plastic on this model is particularly prone to fingerprints. During my time with it, the top was pretty much always covered in fingerprints. That kind of ruins the brushed metal look that Asus seemed to be going for.

If you can get past the fingerprints, it feels well built. The plastic is solid and doesn’t creak, but it’s certainly not high-end metal.

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It also comes in a variety of colors including red, light blue, and yellow, but the unit we reviewed was plain black.

At about 3lbs for a 13″ device, it’s comparably light to other devices in its class. It was a breeze to carry around in a backpack, and it felt sturdy enough that I wasn’t worried about it getting damaged.

asus chromebook c300 - ports

It also has a pretty full range of ports on it, despite its low price. You can hook it up via HDMI to a TV (which worked surprisingly well for me), use USB 3.0 devices 5 Of The Fastest USB 3.0 Flash Drives You Should Buy 5 Of The Fastest USB 3.0 Flash Drives You Should Buy Which are the fastest USB 3.0 flash drives you can buy, without having to spend a small fortune? We've covered five of the fastest, ranging in price from $20 to $200. Read More with it, or lock it with a handy Kensington Lock How To Stop Your Entire Desktop PC Or Home Office From Being Stolen How To Stop Your Entire Desktop PC Or Home Office From Being Stolen Read More .

It’s also worth noting that the charger for this device looks more like a smartphone charger than a laptop charger. The power brick is a small square that plugs directly into the wall, rather than being a large rectangle that detaches from the power cable. This means less weight in your bag if you need to bring the charger around.

Battery Life

Asus rates this laptop for 10 hours, which I found to be an accurate assessment. Using it on and off for most of the day, I never had to charge it before going to sleep in the evening. It survived through taking notes in class, editing and writing articles, listening to music, and watching a few YouTube videos throughout the day.

It’s nice to be able to leave the charger at home and go out and get work done for a day. It makes it a perfect travel device Your Chromebook As The Ultimate Travel Device Your Chromebook As The Ultimate Travel Device If you're deciding which device to get for your next trip, you may consider checking out Chromebooks. But why choose a Chromebook for travel? Because, when it comes to travel, they are spot on. Read More . If you like to write away from home, you won’t have to be constrained by wherever you can find a charging outlet.

Chrome OS

If you’ve ever read a review of a Chromebook, you’ve heard this spiel about Chrome OS: It’s great, but it’s not for everyone. If you like keeping your data in the Cloud and don’t need heavy-duty applications like Photoshop, Chrome OS might just be a great operating system for you Looking For A New Laptop? Get A Chromebook Instead! Looking For A New Laptop? Get A Chromebook Instead! Read More .

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Additionally, since it’s such a new system, Chrome OS isn’t prone to viruses and malware in the same way that Windows laptops are. There are still steps you can take to secure them Securing Your Chromebook With Two Easy Tweaks Securing Your Chromebook With Two Easy Tweaks One of the most touted benefits of a Chromebook is its security. But are there any steps that owners can take that will improve and enhance the current level of protection? Read More , but they’re generally less risky to use.

There’s also the obvious ease of use: if you’ve ever used the Chrome Web browser, you essentially already know how to use Chrome OS. Since, Chrome OS is universal across Chromebooks, so there’s not much use in diving into the software here.

Competition

In the 13″ Chromebook market, two others stand out: the $199 Acer Chromebook 13, and the $229 Toshiba Chromebook 2. Both are more expensive, but only by a little bit.

The Toshiba Chromebook 2 is actually nearly identical in terms of specs, so you can’t really justify shelling out the extra $40 for it unless you really have some sort of grudge against Asus.

On the other hand, the Acer Chromebook 13 is only $10 more but has a more powerful quad-core Nvidia Tegra K1 processor and is rated at a longer battery life of 13 hours. We’re currently in the process of reviewing this model, and I can confirm that it has a better keyboard and less fingerprint-prone design — though worse speakers then the C300. Check back in later for that review.

Should You Buy It?

The Asus Chromebook C300 is one of the cheapest Chromebooks out there, and it manages to do that while offering substantial speakers and a (mostly) fluid experience. It’s certainly not perfect — the plastic cover loves fingerprints, and the keyboard is subpar — but it offers a lot of bang for your buck.

If it weren’t for the Acer Chromebook 13, the C300 would be a solid buy. It’s so close to being the best cheap Chromebook, but not quite.

Our verdict of the Asus Chromebook C300:
Don’t buy it. While it is a good value for a Chromebook, it’s edged out by the slightly better Acer Chromebook 13. Only go for the Asus C300 if you really desire the loudest speakers possible, or maybe if you want a more colorful design.
710
ASUS C300 13.3 Inch Chromebook (Intel Celeron, 4GB, 32GB SSD, Black) ASUS C300 13.3 Inch Chromebook (Intel Celeron, 4GB, 32GB SSD, Black) Intel Celeron 2.16 GHz Processor Buy Now At Amazon

Asus Chromebook C300 Giveaway

Send your products to be reviewed. Contact James Bruce for further details.

  1. Noah McCoy
    August 22, 2015 at 2:22 pm

    I would love to win

  2. Kinza Tariq
    June 2, 2015 at 10:11 pm

    wow.

  3. LM
    May 16, 2015 at 7:35 pm

    really like it

  4. carole eaves
    May 15, 2015 at 3:34 pm

    seems just right for a beginner like me., would love to win.

  5. ELISABETH BARNWELL
    May 15, 2015 at 9:33 am

    amazing prize just what I need

  6. sam haddad
    May 13, 2015 at 8:04 pm

    My wife would really appreciate this!

  7. Norma Robles
    May 12, 2015 at 2:15 am

    I love the black case

  8. Sameer Manas
    May 11, 2015 at 1:10 am

    Hi Justin,

    I did my share to participate. There is a mistake in the last recommendation box.

    You have written go for the" Acer C300 only" in the second sentence. It should be "Asus C300".
    Users might be confused as it is a final recommendation. Kindly correct it.

  9. Gig Gofrey
    May 11, 2015 at 12:00 am

    Yes, I would definitely get the white case. If you don't see the finger prints,
    you don't worry about the germs!

  10. samharris
    May 10, 2015 at 1:36 pm

    Myc w ife could really use this.

  11. Sunny
    May 10, 2015 at 5:16 am

    I would love to try one

  12. Kim Summers
    May 9, 2015 at 10:27 am

    I have a Chromebook 13 and it's excellent. However it is worth bearing in mind that you need to fully embrace the Chrome OS to get the most out of it. Several apps and extensions make it almost like using a desktop but without the need for any software or a registry which can be prone to virus and malware attack.
    The free 100 gb storage free for 2 years is extremely useful and if you have a google account there is another 15 gb on top. Since owning mine I have now decided to put all my music and video files in the cloud : 1 TB of storage is $10.00 a month.
    I now hardly use my desktop since buying it and it will stream live tv quite easily and is good when hooked up to a TV. What more can one want from a machine that starts in seconds for a very competitive price.

    P.S. Buy a white one you can't see the fingerprints !!!!

    • Christopher Schulze
      May 10, 2015 at 9:29 am

      I like Chrome OS, used Chromebooks in the past.
      It's a highly underrated product, perfect for modern cloud using users.

      Long battery life, no worries about performance, updates, backups and at least malware.

      If I would win I would be so happy ;)

  13. winston lawrence
    May 8, 2015 at 8:26 am

    Im looking for something more than my android tablet so this would be a nice complement if I won it. Do chromebooks have any memory or other expansion capabilities (other than USB)?

  14. Zoran
    May 8, 2015 at 7:42 am

    @ MUO: check your last sentence ("Only go for the Acer C300...") ;-)

  15. Giles B. W. Welch
    May 8, 2015 at 2:51 am

    Acer netbooks have excellent displays, too.

  16. Mohammed Shahjahan
    May 8, 2015 at 2:50 am

    Winning is always good! Would give it to my kids.

  17. Ioannis
    May 8, 2015 at 12:29 am

    Excellent, would expect no less from ASUS. Surprisingly low price too. But for the price, it's a good deal. Might just get one and wipe it and slap Kubuntu Linux on it, a much more complete OS in my opinion (I dual-boot it and Windows on my desktop, too). The lack of an extra key will be problematic though I imagine.

  18. Ana
    May 8, 2015 at 12:11 am

    Thank you for the review. I was just looking at this model in the store and couldn't make a decision, but now i think i am ready

  19. George Geder
    May 7, 2015 at 11:42 pm

    I have an ACER c710 and although it is getting a little long in the tooth, it has worked fine. I think I will stick with the Google ecosystem.

    That said, the ASUS c300 would NOT be unwelcomed in my house.
    Thank you for the review. I appreciate it.

  20. Richard Orr
    May 7, 2015 at 9:55 pm

    While I don't have this model, I do have the Acer Chromebook 15 model C910. I love every aspect of it, I may be living with the devil (Google but I wouldn't know it!! Fast, brilliant screen (indoors anyway) More responsive than any laptops I have owned. 5 stars for Acer on mine anyway!!

  21. Mike F
    May 6, 2015 at 8:33 pm

    This is one of the best reviews of a Chromebook I have ever read! I really appreciate the level of detail and mention of things that most other reviewers ignore. Thanks!

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