Jan 30, 2016 Review
The ASUS C201, sometimes called the ASUS C201 PA-DS01, is a value priced Chromebook that features that largest touchpad available on any Chromebook along with an amazing 13 hour battery life. The quadcore 1.8GHz Rockchip processor provides more than enough power to play online until the cows come home. The compact design makes it easy to take this ASUS Chromebook with you anywhere you go.
The Asus C201 is another Chromebook model featuring the Rockchip quad-core 1.8 GHz processor. Like I have stated in other reviews of Chromebooks featuring this processor, it’s basically just a scaled up cellphone in terms of performance. On the plus side, being a cellphone-like processor, it uses very little power and, therefore, gives off very little heat.
|Item model number||C201PA-DS01|
|Operating system||Chrome OS|
|Battery||Lithium-Ion battery with up to 10 hours of battery life|
|Resolution||1366 x 768|
|Dimensions||11.3 x 7.6 x 0.7 inches
287 x 194 x 17.9 mm
|Processor||Rockchip RK3288 - 1.8Ghz Quad-core ARM Cortex-A17 Processor
ARM Mali-T760 quad core GPU
|Memory||2GB/4GB of DDR3 RAM
16GB SSD storage
|Power||33W AC adapter|
|Audio||Two stereo speakers
|Ports and connectors||2 x USB 2.0
1 x Micro HDMI
1x audio combo jack
1 x MicroSD
1 x DC jack
|Wireless||Dual-band Wi-Fi 801.11 a/b/g/n/ac
As you can see from the Google Octane Benchmark score of 7,100, the C201 is on-par with other Chromebooks in this price range in terms of performance. You can expect it to perform much like a modern smartphone. For example, Apple’s iPhone 6 scores around 7,500 on Google’s Octane Benchmark with the Galaxy S6 scores about 8,500.
I would definitely recommend picking up the C201 model with 4GB of RAM. At the time of writing this review, it was on sale for just $189. This is probably the least expensive 4GB model available. The additional RAM is great for multi-tasking and tab overload.
The LCD display is really nothing special compared to other low-end Chromebooks. It’s an 11.6″ panel with 1366×768 resolution. It’s important to note that the C201 has GLOSSY display. A glossy display is great for providing better contrast, however, it’s a nightmare if you ever take your laptop outside. The glare will be so high that you won’t be able to see the screen unless you move into the shade. The viewing angles are nice and the display has LED backlighting. The colors could be described as a little cold and leaning towards the blue end of the spectrum, but overall a very nice display. This system also comes with an HDMI port which will drive a 1080p display with full sound.
The Asus C201 comes with 16GB of internal flash storage. Of course, there’s an SD card slot in the side which will allow you to easily add more storage and bring media to your Chromebook. You could also use the two USB 2.0 ports to add additional storage or other devices. I would have really liked to have seen a USB 3.0 port on this laptop, although it isn’t as though you’d really need the extra bandwidth to copy data to the device.
One thing I thought was really cool about this laptop is the fact that it’s a low-end device that features two-channel 802.11ac WiFi with 5GHz support. 802.11ac is the latest and greatest wireless standard. This provides some level of future-proofing for this laptop along with amazing wireless performance. Of course, you’ll need an 802.11ac router, preferably with 5GHz, to take advantage of the full performance. If you have 802.11n or older don’t worry, this Chromebook will still work fine on your network.
Of course, the best part of the Asus C201 is the amazing battery life. The LED lit display, along with the power-sipping processor allows you to run this laptop for up to 13 hours on a single charge. There are few laptops in the world, let alone Chromebooks, that offer this kind of battery life. I don’t think my cell phone even offers 13 hours of continuous use. This alone makes the C201 a winner in my book.
If you’re familiar with laptops in general, you probably already know that Asus and Toshiba are two of the top names in terms of build quality. This laptop, being built by Asus, is certainly no exception to that. The build quality overall is very nice and should withstand the test of time.
Like many Chromebooks, the case is made entirely of plastic. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, though. The plastic seems very strong and doesn’t flex when put under pressure. The all plastic build makes this laptop very light, weighing only 2 pounds.
The keyboard is very standard for a Chromebook. It’s yet another island-style chiclet keyboard. Although this laptop is very compact, the keyboard is anything but cramped. This keyboard is indeed very spacious and easy to type on. The keys are very responsive and the overall build quality of the keyboard is quite impressive.
The touchpad is very large, much like a MacBook. It features a multi-touch design along with gestures to make tasks like scrolling and multitasking much easier. The touchpad is smooth and there aren’t really any issues worth noting.
Chromebooks are all about mobility and the ASUS C201 is definitely no exception. The battery lasts more than 13 hours on average making it an ideal choice for people who are always on the go. Other Chromebooks offer great battery life but the ASUS C201 really takes the cake offering a battery that most people will only have to charge a few times a week.
Most modern laptops have been following the trend of providing a large touchpad that makes it easier to be productive. Unfortunately, a lot of Chromebooks don’t offer much touchpad real-estate due to their small size. The ASUS C201 has the largest touchpad of any Chromebook currently available on the market. You won’t feel cramped or confined when using this versatile laptop.
As of right now, the ASUS C201 has over 220 reviews on Amazon. Out of those 826 reviews, over 64% of them are 5 out of 5 stars with an average rating of 4.2 out of 5 stars. People seem to really love this little laptop. Check out the reviews below to find out why.
If you’re looking for a great deal on a compact laptop with a great battery, I would definitely recommend checking out the ASUS C201. ASUS has always been known for high quality products and this notebook has a very solid build for the price. Anyone who may have otherwise purchased a Macbook Air should definitely give this little Chromebook a chance.
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