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Asus Chromebook CX9 review | PCMag

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Whether it’s the HP EliteBook 840 Aero G8, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 9, or one of the many, 14-inch lightweight business laptops are the backbone of executives on the go. According to Asus, the same goes for “cloud-based business” too: the Chromebook CX9 (starting at $ 749.99; $ 999.99 according to testing) can use it with any Windows slimline, but it is based on Chrome OS and Google Workspace. Impressively light but packed with features ranging from a fingerprint reader to Thunderbolt 4 ports, the CX9 is an expensive yet capable device that will appeal to any business that has chosen to embrace Chromebooks.


Core i7 is probably overkill

The base $ 749.99 model of the Asus CX9 Chromebook combines an 11th generation Intel Core i3 processor, 8 GB of memory, a 128 GB SSD and a Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixel) touchscreen. Upgrading to our $ 999.99 test unit, you get a 2.4GHz Core i5-1135G7 quad-core processor with integrated Intel Iris Xe graphics, 16GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD (with PCI Express Gen 3 instead of the slightly faster Gen 4 interface, but that’s still much faster than the eMMC flash storage on cheaper Chromebooks).

(Photo: Molly Flores)

As you’ll see in the performance section below, our Core i5 CX9 turned out to be one of the fastest Chromebooks we’ve ever tested, but if you’re looking for even more speed you can spend 1,149, $ 99 for a Core i7-1165G7 model with 512 GB SSD. Another $ 100 on top gives you a 4K (3840 x 2160) resolution screen.

Like elite Windows business laptops, the Asus meets Intel Evo specifications for connectivity and responsiveness and has passed MIL-STD 810H torture tests for shock, vibration, and extreme environmental conditions. There’s virtually no flex if you grab the corners of the screen or crush the keyboard, which is tilted for comfortable typing by the ErgoLift hinge also seen in Asus’ luxury Windows laptops. (The bottom of the screen frame supports the base at a slight angle.)

Rear View of the Asus CX9 Chromebook

(Photo: Molly Flores)

Its aluminum alloy frame measures 0.71 x 12.7 x 8.1 inches and tips the scales at 2.31 pounds. The HP Elite c1030 Chromebook Enterprise has a 13.5-inch display with a 3: 2 aspect ratio instead of Asus’ usual 16: 9 aspect ratio, tilting its aspect ratio to 0.7 by 11.6 by 8.5 inches, and weighs 2.87 pounds. Lenovo’s ThinkPad C13 Yoga Chromebook, winner of our company’s Chromebook Editors’ Choice award, weighs a pound more than the CX9 despite its smaller 13.3-inch display, but that goes with its convertible hinge.

We’re giving major accessories to Chromebooks with HDMI ports rather than bothering external monitor users with DisplayPort dongles. The Asus has one on the left side, as well as two USB-C ports with Thunderbolt 4 capability, one of which accommodates the AC adapter. On the right, you’ll find a USB 3.2 Type-A port, a microSD card slot, an audio jack, and a security lock slot.

Asus Chromebook CX9 Left Ports

(Photo: Molly Flores)


A screen to see

The lower screen frame is not particularly thin but is hidden under the keyboard by the ErgoLift hinge; overall, Asus claims an almost borderless screen-to-body ratio of 92%. The 1080p screen offers sufficient brightness and contrast. The only things that spoil extreme viewing angles are the reflections on the touch screen glass.

Colors are rich and well-saturated, and white backgrounds are immaculate instead of dull. Fine details are crisp; as with most Chromebooks, you can choose from an array of bogus “look-alike” resolutions – the default is 1,536 by 864 – if the native 1080p makes screen elements too small for your liking.

Front view of the Asus Chromebook CX9

(Photo: Molly Flores)

The 720p webcam captures colorful and lightly speckled images with a little noise or static electricity. It has a sliding shutter in the upper bezel for more privacy. A fingerprint reader to the right of the keypad allows you to log in after locking the system or not entering passwords. Lower speakers produce loud, somewhat loud, or harsh sound at high volume; the bass is minimal, but you can distinguish the overlapping tracks.

The backlit keyboard offers a standard Chromebook layout (with a search / launch key instead of Caps Lock) and a fast typing feel. Generously sized buttonless touchpad glides and types smoothly; it has easy and quiet click action.

Asus Chromebook CX9 Keyboard

(Photo: Molly Flores)


Chromebook CX9 review: 11th gen processors lead the way

The only other company-specific Chromebook to complement our new benchmark plan is the HP Elite c1030 Enterprise Chromebook mentioned above. So I put together an assortment of other systems, including HP’s Chromebook x360 14c, a 14-inch Core i3 convertible. The 2021 version of Lenovo’s IdeaPad Flex 5 Chromebook is a 13.3-inch convertible currently under review that features an 11th-gen Core i3 chip, while the 15.6-inch Samsung Chromebook 4+ is an example of this. entry-level laptop with Intel Celeron. power, be sure to follow our test results. You can see their basic specs in the table below.

We test Chromebooks with three overall performance suites: a Chrome OS, an Android, and an Online. The first, Principled Technologies’ CrXPRT 2, measures how quickly a system performs daily tasks across six workloads such as applying photo effects, graphing a stock portfolio, analyzing DNA sequences and the generation of 3D shapes using WebGL. The second, UL’s PCMark for Android Work 3.0, performs various productivity operations in a smartphone-style window, while Basemark Web 3.0 runs in a browser tab to combine low-level JavaScript calculations with CSS content and WebGL. All three give numerical scores; higher numbers are better. (Learn more about how we test laptops.)

The Asus raced to victory in CrXPRT 2, with Lenovo’s 11th gen Core i3 edging out HP’s 10th gen Core i7 for the silver medal. The Elite c1030 got its revenge by posting the highest PCMark score for Android, but the CX9 was a good second, with the IdeaPad the surprise winner of Basemark Web 3.0. The Asus turned out to be the best performer overall, with the cheap Samsung being, as you might expect, the poorest.

Another Android benchmark focuses on the processor: Geekbench from Primate Labs uses all available cores and threads to simulate real-world applications ranging from PDF rendering and speech recognition to machine learning. Finally, to test the battery life of a Chromebook, we loop a 720p video file with screen brightness set to 50%, audio volume at 100%, and Wi-Fi and backlight. keypad disabled until the system is closed. If there is not enough internal storage to hold the video, we play it from an external SSD plugged into a USB port.

The CX9’s new Core i5 is powered by Geekbench’s processor drive, with HP Elite’s older Core i7 not far behind. Samsung’s Celeron did pitifully. The battery life of Chromebooks was less than that of current Windows subnotebooks, but was found to be more than enough to get you through a full day of work or school.


Set to work

We’ve been impressed with the 11th Gen Intel mobile chips in Windows laptops, and we’re also impressed with them in Chrome OS laptops. Asus’ Chromebook CX9 costs $ 999.99 for our well-equipped Core i5 unit or $ 1,249.99 for a Core i7 model with a 4K display, but your money gets you a near-flawless enterprise Chromebook, with nothing major missing except maybe mobile broadband for remote use from Wi-Fi hotspots.

Asus Chromebook CX9 Straight Ports

(Photo: Molly Flores)

It’s lightweight yet rugged, with great performance, plenty of ports, and a first-class display and keyboard. A price drop of $ 100 or $ 200 would have earned him an Editors’ Choice award.

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