Asus Reveals First Chrome Hybrid

Four new Chromebooks have been previewed at a Google event in the USA – including the first convertible device running the Chrome OS. Owners of Asus’ new C100 Chromebook Flip can switch between tablet and notebook modes using a 360° rotating hinge.

Two of the products were from Asus: the Flip and its sister model, the non-convertible C201. Full specifications are still to be revealed, but we do have some basic information.

With its sights on Windows-powered convertibles like Lenovo’s Yoga, the Flip has a 10.1″ touchscreen display, with 1280 x 800 resolution and an IPS panel. It is fanless, with a quad-core Cortex-A17-based chipset (Rockchip 3288), running at 1.8GHz. RAM options are 2GB or 4GB, and the unit features 16GB of storage. HDMI and USB (x2) ports are featured. Asus will ship the device this spring, for $250.

The C201 appears to be very similar to the Flip, but with a larger 11.6″ display and longer battery life (13 hours versus 10 hours). It will be launched in May, for $170.

Asus also showed the Chromebit HDMI dongle – a new form factor for the operating system. It has 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage and a USB 2.0 port. The stick will be launched later this year, for $100.

It wasn’t all about Asus, though. Haier and Hisense both showed new budget models: the Hisense Chromebook and Haier Chromebook 11 (plus an education model, the 11E). Both have 11.6″ displays with 1366 x 768 resolution and 200cd/m² of brightness. The education model is said to be more durable, with a spill-resistant keyboard, removable battery and carrying handle.

The Hisense and Haier Chromebooks will cost $150 each, and can be pre-ordered now.