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Monday, January 17, 2022

Asus Chromebook CX1101 review: Surprisingly good for the price tag

Chromebooks have found a niche during the pandemic, something Google and its partners always wanted - especially in a market like India.

Rating: 4 out of 5
Rs. 18990
Written by Anuj Bhatia | New Delhi |
Updated: December 13, 2021 6:59:52 pm
Asus, Asus Chromebook CX1, Asus Chromebook CX1 review, Asus Chromebook price in India, chromebooks, Google Chromebooks, Chrome OSWhat I found is that, in typical use, the Chromebook CX1101 will be perfect for most casual users, or someone who is using a computer for the first time. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)

Chromebooks had their time in the limelight this year. Along with the push for online education, what also benefited Chromebooks is the lack of competition coming from Windows notebooks in the entry-level segment. For now, Chromebooks are in a mainstream conversation and brands like Asus want to encash on the opportunity. Asus’ latest Chromebook CX1101 offers stronger battery life, great sound, and is competitively priced. But can I use this Chromebook every day? Is the Chrome OS any good for the work I do? I had a lot of similar questions in my mind before I began using this device. Here is my review of the Asus Chromebook CX1101.

Asus Chromebook CX1101 price in India: Rs 18,990

Asus Chromebook CX1101 review: Design and aesthetics

Budget notebooks rarely impress in terms of design, but the Asus Chromebook CX1101 is an exception. With a silver(y) plastic lid and base, this Chromebook looks attractive. However, don’t be fooled by its plastic build. It does seem durable enough, and thanks to MIL-STD 810H certification, the notebook can withstand bumps, knocks, and scrapes. I wouldn’t mind carrying this Chromebook for my next work trip, it feels so lightweight, making it travel-friendly.

Asus, Asus Chromebook CX1, Asus Chromebook CX1 review, Asus Chromebook price in India, chromebooks, Google Chromebooks, Chrome OS With a silver(y) plastic lid and base, this Chromebook looks attractive. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)

The Chromebook CX1101 is not light on ports. On the right-hand side of the chassis, there is a USB-C port next to a USB-C connection and a Kensington Lock, and on the left, you will find another USB-C connection next to the USB-A port, headphone/microphone combo jack, microSD card slot. The USB-C port supports DisplayPort over USB-C, allowing you to use an external display. It’s also the charging port.

Asus Chromebook CX1101 review: Display and speakers

I wouldn’t say the display is the weakest part of the Chromebook CX1101. The CX1101 has an 11.6-inch IPS non-touch anti-glare screen. The display features a screen resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels. Let me be clear: the display isn’t super-sharp, but fairly vibrant and colourful. I can read news articles, watch shows on Netflix and work on Google Docs. Some may say the 11.6-inch screen size is too small but it is ideal if you want something portable, though the bezels at the top and bottom of the display are pretty wide. The webcam is nothing extraordinary either; just a regular 720P camera that gets the job done.

Asus, Asus Chromebook CX1, Asus Chromebook CX1 review, Asus Chromebook price in India, chromebooks, Google Chromebooks, Chrome OS The CX1101 has an 11.6-inch IPS non-touch screen. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)

I must say, audio is a strong point of the Chromebook CX1101. After having spent some time watching movies and listening to music on the CX1101,  I was impressed by the stereo speakers. What I found is that the speakers can get quite loud, an improvement over the audio output one expects from a budget notebook. However, they don’t have the oomph or the surround effect. But that’s fine.

Asus Chromebook CX1101 review: Keyboard and trackpad

The keyboard on Asus notebooks has improved considerably, and the Chromebook CX1101 is no exception. This keyboard is comfortable with good travel and more importantly, it offers just enough tactile feedback ensuring that typing is going to be pleasant and accurate. This is spill-resistant too, though it lacks the backlight option. Also, I found the trackpad is not as big as it should have been but I find it easy to use.

The keyboard is fantastic on this Asus-made Chromebook. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)

Asus Chromebook CX1101 review: Performance and battery

What I found is that, in typical use, the Chromebook CX1101 will be perfect for most casual users, or someone who is using a computer for the first time. I am sure if you push the CX1101 hard enough, you can make the CX1’s Intel dual-core Intel Celeron N4020 processor bog down a bit. That’s expected from a budget Chromebook. Anyone who is really concerned with power should know the limits of using a Chromebook and likely consider another option – preferably a Windows notebook.

But the CX1101 won’t disappoint if you stick to the basic tasks…web browsing, making a presentation, writing an assignment on Google Docs, etc. In my testing, switching between Chrome tabs was smooth but when you push this Chromebook a bit the performance gets affected. Yes, you can download and install games on the CX1101 via the Google Play Store, though the performance varies depending on what game you are playing. I tested a few games on the CX1101 and my experience was different altogether for different games. In terms of memory, the Chromebook CX1101 comes with 4GB RAM and 64GB of eMMC storage.

Asus, Asus Chromebook CX1, Asus Chromebook CX1 review, Asus Chromebook price in India, chromebooks, Google Chromebooks, Chrome OS The Google Play Store is fully supported on this Chromebook. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)

The CX1101 runs Google’s Chrome OS, and it’s a breath of fresh air if you are a Windows user all your life. The Chrome OS is a bit different from Windows but promises compatibility with Android apps, as found on smartphones. Sure, Chrome OS is not as versatile as Windows as many core applications are still missing but it’s aimed at a different set of users and that’s why Google’s OS works in a big way.

Battery life is better on the Chromebook CX1101 than Windows notebooks that cost much more. I was getting around 10 hours of real-world usage on a single charge during testing. That’s very good for a budget notebook.

Asus Chromebook CX1101 review: Should you buy it?

Chromebooks have found a niche during the pandemic, something Google and its partners always wanted – especially in a market like India. The Chromebook CX1101 comes with a strong build and battery life that lasts all day. The screen is okay, rather than outstanding and the design of the device is great. Chromebooks I feel are getting much better. They are reasonably priced, and the fact that they cater to users who want to use primarily web apps and simplistic computing tasks, Chromebooks work like a charm.

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