HP Chromebook x2 11 vs ASUS Flip CM3: Which should you buy?
HP recently unveiled the new Chromebook x2 11, available from Best Buy and HP’s own website later this month. The Chromebook x2 11 is the first new Chrome OS tablet we’ve seen in quite some time. It looks like a compelling product, but it’s always a good idea to consider all available options. On the other hand, the ASUS Flip CM3 provides enormous value and is a very reliable device. In this comparison, we’ll take a look at how these tablets differ and which one you should buy today.
HP Chromebook x2 11 vs ASUS Flip CM3: Specifications
|Specification||HP Chromebook x2 11||ASUS Flip CM3|
|Dimensions & Weight|
|RAM & Storage|
|Battery & Charging|
|Software||Chrome OS||Chrome OS|
HP Chromebook x2 11 vs ASUS Flip CM3: Design and display
Starting off with design and build, these tablets are different in a number of ways. First, the HP Chromebook x2 11 is a true detachable, while the ASUS Flip CM3 is a convertible design. This is something to take note of, especially since the keyboard adds some bulk to the CM3 when used in tablet mode. Both tablets have similar weights, if you include the detachable keyboard when measuring the HP Chromebook x2 11. Of course, the CM3 will be substantially thicker in tablet mode because it isn’t detachable.
One thing to mention here is we don’t know if HP is including the Chromebook x2 11’s keyboard in their weight calculation. This would mean the true weight of the device as a tablet could be a bit different than what’s shown in the specs sheet. This is something we’ll test and update when we review the HP Chromebook x2 11 ourselves. The nice thing is HP includes the detachable keyboard in the base price of the HP Chromebook x2 11.
The HP Chromebook x2 11 is made from an aluminum alloy. The Asus Chromebook Flip CM3 is a mix of a silver aluminum alloy lid and a matching plastic chassis. Despite the plastic body, the CM3 actually looks and feels more premium than its price tag would suggest.
Both of these tablets also support pen input. The HP Chromebook x2 11 and ASUS Flip CM3 both support the USI pen standard. HP actually includes the USI pen with the Chromebook x2 11, which attaches to the tablet magnetically. The USI pen for the CM3 is sold separately — you can buy the official one from ASUS or select a third-party option on Amazon.
One key difference worth noting is the lack of biometric security on the ASUS Flip CM3. This is somewhat expected at the $329 price point, but still a bit disappointing. The HP Chromebook x2 11 thankfully does feature a fingerprint scanner. This is refreshing to see as many high-end Chromebooks leave off biometric security options that improve user experience.
As for the displays, the HP Chromebook x2 11 is the clear winner here. With a higher resolution FHD+ panel and much higher brightness, the ASUS CM3 is simply outmatched in this category. It’s rather disappointing the CM3 only pushes out 220 nits of maximum brightness. This makes it quite difficult to use reliably in an outdoor setting.
HP Chromebook x2 11 vs ASUS Flip CM3: Keyboard and pen support
As mentioned earlier, the keyboard is attached on the ASUS Flip CM3, so it’s of course included with the price of the device. The HP Chromebook x2 11 includes both the detachable keyboard as well as the magnetically attached USI pen. With the Flip CM3 you’re going to spend an additional $40-$60 just to use a USI pen with the device. This means the price difference between these two tablets is actually a little less if you need the pen support anyway.
When it comes to keyboard quality, much is still unknown about the HP Chromebook x2 11. The initial reviews of the ASUS Flip CM3 keyboard were favorable, so you’ll get a quality typing experience even on this cheaper device. Although, it’s worth noting the keyboard on the CM3 is a bit small and cramped — if you have large hands, that might not be ideal. The Chromebook x2 11 keyboard layout looks nice, but we can’t say for sure how good it is until we test it out.
HP Chromebook x2 11 vs ASUS Flip CM3: Performance and battery
If you’re looking for the performance winner on paper, that’s the HP Chromebook x2 11 quite handily. Although we don’t know much about real-world performance just yet, the newer processors in HP’s tablet will handily outscore the MediaTek processor inside the CM3 in benchmarks.
The ASUS Flip CM3 is quite underpowered with the MediaTek Kompanio 500 inside. You can get by for basic web browsing and light productivity, but any serious multi-tasking is quite difficult. If you want to do any type of gaming or run powerful Linux apps, the CM3 is not the right Chrome tablet for you. It seems likely the HP Chromebook x2 11 will take the crown in overall performance on paper and in practice, something we can and will test in our review.
In theory, both devices get similar battery ratings from their respective OEMs. The Flip CM3 reviews indicate the ASUS tablet gets about 7-8 hours of real world use, with over 12 hours if you’re only browsing the web. This is fairly common to see and we would typically expect similar battery life from the HP Chromebook x2 11. One thing that might improve battery life however, is the Snapdragon 7c processor inside the Chromebook x2 11. If HP optimized the tablet to take advantage of the 7c’s capabilities, we could see significantly improved battery life.
HP Chromebook x2 11 vs ASUS Flip CM3: Cameras and audio
Over the course of the last 18 months, video calling rose to prominence thanks to the ongoing pandemic. Most Chromebooks still have mediocre 720p webcams and don’t feature a rear camera at all.
Camera quality is an outstanding feature on the HP Chromebook x2 11. HP features FHD+ resolution cameras on both the front and back, a 5 MP front camera and 8MP wide-vision rear camera. In the age of Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Google Meet, these cameras are a big deal. Unfortunately, the ASUS Flip CM3 features the more pedestrian 720p camera mentioned earlier. This is somewhat expected for a cheaper device, but the HP Chromebook x2 11 is the clear winner if you’re frequently on video calls.
The HP Chromebook x2 11 has dual speakers tuned by Bang and Olufsen, so this tablet should perform admirably when it comes to audio. Speakers on the ASUS Flip CM3 are relatively disappointing with low volume and nearly nonexistent bass. This is a big problem for many lower cost Chromebooks.
While both devices have pros and cons, in 2021 the HP Chromebook x2 11 has too many features missing from the ASUS Flip CM3. Not only do you get newer Intel processors inside, you also get an included detachable keyboard, USI pen, and longer Chrome OS support timeline. The HP Chromebook x2 11 looks poised to be one of the best Chromebooks of 2021.
Despite the HP Chromebook x2 11 selling for a high price, the value on offer is very impressive. Keep in mind the Flip CM3 doesn’t included the USI pen, so that tacks on additional cost if you need pen support. For a difference of about $200, you can get a more premium package with true tablet functionality from the HP Chromebook x2 11.