When it comes to Chromebooks, it’s usually hard justifying a price tag of more than around $400. Normally, these devices offer lower performance and a narrower experience range than their traditional laptop counterparts. ASUS has recently launched such a device. It’s called the ASUS Chromebook C425, and the model I’ll be reviewing today is the 14-inch C425TA-DH384.
Normally, I’m not too fond of Chromebooks, since their use is limited to whatever apps you’ll find on Google Play Store. However, what sets the ASUS Chromebook C425 apart from competition is performance and portability. Mind you, these two things don’t come cheap. At the time I’m writing this review, it’s priced at just under $500.
No matter how you may look at it, it’s on the expensive side, at least for a Chromebook. For about the same money you can buy an Acer Aspire 5 A515-54-51DJ with a Core i5 processor and 256 gigabytes of storage space.
There’s a catch, though. You won’t find a 14-inch notebook with similar portability in this price range. They’re all considerably bulkier. Take the Lenovo Flex 14. As affordable laptops go, this is a steal. It costs more than the ASUS C425, is better equipped to tackle more advanced tasks, but weighs almost a pound more.
This Chromebook has some nice features going for it. Its compact body is made entirely from metal with diamond cut edges, it has a wide, 6-inch touchpad and features a 180-degree rotating hinge, so you can lay down the screen flat.
I’ll jump straight to performance. When considering a Chromebook, keep in mind that these devices usually require fewer resources than a traditional laptop. That is because Chrome OS isn’t as demanding as Windows. Plus, the apps are usually built for handheld devices with more limited resources, not full-sized notebooks.
All things considered, the ASUS Chromebook C425 features an adequate processor for the job. Specifically, it’s the Intel Core m3-8100Y CPU. This Amber Lake model is optimized and geared for energy efficiency. It has a thermal design power three times smaller than mobile Core i5 or Core i3 processors we are used to.
If you were to put the m3-8100Y inside a Windows-powered laptop, you’d get the same level of performance and snappiness as with an Intel Core i3. It has 2 cores, 4 threads, 4 megabytes of cache size and a clock range between 1.1 GHz and 3.4 GHz. it’s small, but potent.
In a Chromebook, this processor means you won’t need to worry about any apps running slow or freezing for some years from now.
System memory and storage space
We’re used to Chromebooks having laughable amounts of system memory installed. Not this one. The ASUS Chromebook C425TA-DH384 features 8 gigabytes of DDR3L RAM. You can’t expand it any further, as its soldered to the main board. I doubt anyone will feel the need for more system memory. Most Chrome OS apps run perfectly fine with 4 gigabytes, so 8 gigs will ensure more than optimum performance.
If processing power and system memory are both above what we’ve come to expect of Chromebooks, storage space isn’t. The ASUS Chromebook C425 is fitted with a 64-gigabyte eMMC drive. I’d call it decent, plus you get a one-year 100 GB subscription to Google One if you need more free real estate.
Graphics and display
Graphics-wise, the ASUS C425 doesn’t offer anything out of the ordinary, to be honest. Its integrated graphics card, the Intel HD Graphics 615 will allow you to play most mobile games without issues. What’s more, photo editing apps will feel snappy enough.
Picture quality is above average, with its 14-inch Full HD IPS-level display. What I enjoy about the C425 is its slim bezel, which allows its screen to fit within a 13-inch body, making it more compact and easier to carry.
Interface and networking options
Although the ASUS Chromebook C425TA-DH384 features 2 USB Type-C ports, it lacks an HDMI-out connection. Still, interface options are OK for such a device, although I would have liked to see 2 USB Type-A ports instead of just one.
- 2 x USB 3.1 Type-C
- USB 3.1 Type-A
- Media Card Reader
- Combo Audio Jack
As far as networking is concerned, it’s all pretty standard:
- 802.11ac Wi-Fi Card
Portability and battery life
Now, aside performance, portability is where this ASUS Chromebook shines. It’s surprisingly lightweight for a 14″ notebook, weighing just 2.8 pounds. Similar to much more expensive laptops, like the 13″ Samsung Notebook 7, or the ASUS Zenbook 13 UX331FA. For this perk alone, the C425 is worth every penny, should you value mobility first and foremost.
Battery life doesn’t disappoint either. It just adds to the overall appeal of an affordable ultra portable notebook. One full charge will last around 12 hours, give or take. That’s enough for a full day’s of work and then some. It’s way more than the laptops I’ve compared it to, price-wise, earlier in my review.
All in all, portability alone suggests this is a Chromebook most suited for students and traveling professionals who won’t need extra resources for simply browsing the web, sending emails, editing documents, researching topics, and so on. These are everyday tasks that will be handled with ease by the ASUS Chromebook C425 (C425TA-DH384).
Apart from storage space, there aren’t any real downsides to this Chromebook.