The first wave of “gaming” Chromebooks arrived last year, as laptops designed with cloud gaming in mind running Google’s Chrome OS. ASUS was already selling one, but now another is on the way: the Chromebook Vibe CX34 Flip.
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The CX34 Flip will be available in a few different hardware configurations, but some options might not be available in all regions. It can have an Intel Core i7-1255U, Core i5-1235U, or Core i3-1215U processor, and either 8 or 16 GB RAM. Cloud gaming doesn’t need a super-powerful processor — that’s sort of the point — but the faster CPUs will be helpful for juggling Chrome tabs and Play Store apps.
No matter which hardware configuration you get, the CX34 has a 16:10 14-inch touch screen with a refresh rate of 144 Hz. That’s a bit smaller in size than the Chromebook Vibe CX55 Flip that was revealed back in October, which has a 15.6-inch display. There’s a 360-degree hinge, so it can operate in “tent” mode on a flat surface for easier media streaming, or you can push it all the way back to use the CX34 like a giant tablet. ASUS also included pen support on the screen, but there won’t be a stylus in the box with all models.
The CX34 Flip also has a heap of connectivity options, including two USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C ports, one USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A connector, HDMI 2.1, a 3.5mm audio combo jack, a Kensington lock slot, and a microSD card reader. You also get Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2.
Besides the 144Hz screen, which can be used for streaming services that support frame rates above 60 FPS, the main gaming-related feature is the 4-zone RGB lighting on the keyboard. ASUS is also bundling three-month subscriptions to NVIDIA GeForce Now and Amazon Luna+, as well as a SteelSeries Rival 3 gaming mouse.
ASUS didn’t confirm final pricing or availability for the Vibe CX34 Flip, but it remains to be seen if gaming Chromebooks will be popular in the long term. The larger ASUS CX55 with a Core i5 CPU costs $699 (but is on sale for $599 right now), and for that price, you can buy an actual gaming laptop that doesn’t completely rely on external servers or streaming subscriptions.