Asus is one of my favourite manufacturers when it comes to Chromebooks. For a couple of years, they opted for a silver finish, which looks great, but it was also getting a little tired. The Asus CX5 has moved away from that and it looks amazing. Instead, you get a white outer casing and inside it’s black. This contrast in colours looks fantastic, and I’m really happy to see Asus offer something a little different when it comes to aesthetics. Just to avoid any confusion the Asus CX5 is also known as the C536. Just to make you aware if you start searching for this laptop online.
The laptop sits at the top end of the medium-spec range. Medium spec Chrome OS laptops offer everything you need. Higher-spec devices usually offer something to make it a little more special. This being either the display or build quality. Even though I’d consider this a medium-spec laptop. Please don’t make the mistake of thinking it isn’t amazing.
Asus CX5 build quality
Unlike most medium-spec laptops the Asus CX5 does not offer an all-over aluminium body. The lid is aluminium but the base of the laptop is plastic. However, it’s important to note we’re talking about decent plastic and it doesn’t take away from how good this laptop looks. As I’ve mentioned the white outer casing and black interior and the contrast it creates makes this one super-sexy looking laptop.
It’s a Hybrid model, which means you can use this as either a laptop or a tablet. This is a pretty big laptop though, so you might not be using it in tablet mode that often. The display is 15.6-inches, which is a pretty huge display for a laptop. Perhaps not the best laptop to choose if you need something to use on the move. However, it will be perfect for someone who wants a laptop to use at home and wants a bigger display.
I do like the fact that Asus has taken advantage of the extra space. Instead of just offering a standard keyboard. They have also added a separate number pad. This makes perfect sense when you have all that space available. It also means it makes it an ideal laptop for you number-crunching spreadsheet fans out there.
Asus CX5 Performance
When it comes to performance this laptop offers everything you need. Chrome OS doesn’t need much processing power to perform day to day tasks. Considering the entry-level model uses an Intel i3 dual-core eleventh generation processor. I think it’s safe to assume this laptop isn’t just aimed at people who need to surf the internet. We are talking about a laptop that will perform at amazing speeds.
This makes it perfect for anyone looking for a Chrome OS laptop for Android and Linux Apps. Anything you can do on Chrome OS in 2021 is going to be possible with this Chromebook. On top of that, it has 8 GB of RAM, which is perfect for using more advanced programs and apps. When you consider local gaming is just around the corner thanks to the Steam Linux App. Having this extra power is not going to go to waste if you’re into your gaming.
The Intel i3 processor comes with a crazy base speed of 3.0 GHz, which is super fast. If that isn’t fast enough the turbo speed of 4.1 GHz will blow you away. If you are hungry for more power then you have the option to choose an Intel i5 processor. The Intel i5 has a base speed of 2.4 GHz and a turbo speed of 4.2 GHz.
If you’re wondering why the base speed on the i5 is less than the i3. Well, that’s because the i5 is a quad-core processor, so you’re getting double the amount of cores running at that speed. Let’s make no mistake about it. Both of these laptops are going to perform amazingly well. The i5 will just take it to another level.
3.0 GHz / Turbo 4.1 GHz
2.4 GHz / Turbo 4.2 GHz
The Asus CX5 Storage options
The storage used on the CX5 is SSD rather than eMMC. This is one of the reasons why I said this is at the top end of the medium-spec range. A lot of medium-spec Chromebooks use eMMC. Although it works perfectly well it is not as good as SSD storage. Where SSD storage comes into its own is when dealing with large files. It’s much faster and far more reliable than eMMC.
The storage options available will range from 128 GB up to 512 GB. All very impressive storage sizes for Chrome OS. Because Chrome OS is a cloud operating system. You can store most of your files in the cloud. You only need to have local storage for the operating system and Android and Linux Apps.
When Steam for Linux is finally completed. Any games you want to store locally will also use your local storage space. Therefore, you need to consider this when choosing your laptop. In relation to where you can buy the different configurations. That will all depend on what the retailers will want to see in the future. This means although storage can reach 512 GB. It doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll see a CX5 with this amount of space available to buy.
|128 GB (SSD)
|256 GB (SSD)
|512 GB (SSD)
Asus CX5 Display
The huge 15.6-inch display comes with a Full HD resolution of 1,920 by 1,080. This is the perfect resolution for a laptop. This means you can play games and watch videos on YouTube and Netflix in Full HD. The touchscreen display also means you’ll be able to use all of the Android Apps without having to worry about compatibility issues.
They’ve used an IPS panel, which is what you’d expect from a mid-spec or high-spec laptop. An IPS panel is far better than a TN panel you can find on cheaper laptops. The great thing about IPS is that you get great viewing angles, so you don’t need to sit right in front of the laptop to get a decent image. It also provides more vivid colours and the images on the screen are more true to life.
|1,920 x 1,080 (HD)
The Asus CX5 uses the latest WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5. WiFi 6 offers a much more reliable connection compared to previous versions. This is perfect if you have a lot of gadgets competing for Your WiFi signal in your home. To take advantage of this your router would also need to come with WiFi 6 technology. If you don’t yet have a WiFi 6 router, at least you know your laptop is ready when you get around to having an upgrade.
It has one older type USB A and two newer USB Type-C ports. The older type is perfect if you’re still using old peripherals, which do not have a Type C port. The USB Type-C ports can also be used to charge your laptop and connect an external display. Something the Asus CX5 has, which you don’t see on many laptops is an HDMI port. This is great if you need to connect to a projector, as most of these only support HDMI.
A Micro SD slot is available, which means you can easily add further storage to your Chromebook at a later date. you’ll also find a headphone jack if you prefer to use wired headphones. When it comes to connectivity this Chromebook has it all.
|Micro SD slot
Is this Chromebook right for you?
Well, this will all depend on what you’re looking for. If you only need a laptop to surf the internet. Then you could buy a cheaper laptop that is more than capable of doing this. On the other hand, if you want a laptop with excellent performance and build quality to match. Then you will definitely not be disappointed with the Asus CX5. I absolutely love how this laptop looks.
If you want a laptop to use Linux Apps and to take advantage of playing games locally once Steam for Linux is available. You’ll be happy to know this laptop offers all the processing power you need. It doesn’t have a dedicated graphics card, which some games would need for local gaming. However, at the moment, there isn’t a Chromebook available that comes with a dedicated GPU. This is without question a fantastic Chromebook, but it may be too big for anyone looking for a laptop to use on the move.
Where to buy
Below is a list of some of the retailers who sell Chromebooks:
Chromebook retailers (UK)
Chromebook retailers (USA)
Chromebook retailers (Canada)
Chromebook retailers (Australia)