Published on October 30, 2023, 11:28 am
Google Announces Next Generation Chromebook Plus Series: A Closer Look at the Asus CX34
The Chromebook Plus series has been generating a significant amount of buzz since Google’s announcement in early October. These laptops are touted to have more powerful hardware compared to their predecessors and come with various AI-powered features. Asus, one of the selected manufacturers for this new generation, has developed the Chromebook Plus CX34. In this review, we’ll take a closer look at its design, performance, and potential for future AI updates.
At first glance, the Chromebook Plus CX34 stands out with its unique construction. The laptop’s outer shell is made entirely of sturdy plastic rather than metal like some other models. Surprisingly, the plastic build does not compromise its durability or aesthetics. Weighing just over three pounds, it is also impressively lightweight and portable.
Beneath the laptop lies a port for efficient heat dissipation. Despite its unconventional placement, the display hinge allows for proper airflow, ensuring that the internals stay cool even during extended use.
The CX34 features backlit chiclet keys that offer a pleasant typing experience. Thanks to their rubber coating and 1.4mm travel distance, users can enjoy fast and comfortable typing sessions. Additionally, anti-ghosting software ensures accurate input recognition without any dropped keystrokes.
It’s worth mentioning that the keyboard only covers a portion of the laptop’s width to accommodate an off-center touchpad. While some may prefer a larger keyboard layout for added comfort, Asus made this trade-off to provide sufficient space for the touchpad.
The upper half of the Chromebook Plus CX34 showcases a 14-inch display with full HD resolution (1920 x 1080 pixels). With an impressive 80% screen-to-body ratio, Asus opted for slightly wider bezels to ensure sturdiness instead of thinning them further. The high-resolution display looks great and is complemented by an anti-glare coating, making it suitable for outdoor use without the annoyance of sun glare.
For video calls and meetings, the CX34 features a full HD webcam supported by AI-powered enhancements. These include performance optimization and background noise cancellation, resulting in clear audio and video quality. However, the laptop’s speakers may disappoint when used for listening to music or watching movies due to limited bass output.
One notable AI feature integrated into Google Photos is the Magic Eraser tool. Users can effortlessly remove unwanted objects from photographs by replacing them with the surrounding background. While it works well for small objects, using it on larger subjects may result in image distortion. The Chromebook Plus series also offers the convenient File Sync feature, which keeps Google Drive files accessible offline.
In terms of specifications, our review unit came with an Intel Core i3-1215U processor, 8GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage. However, I recommend opting for the 256GB model instead of this smaller option to ensure ample storage space.
Looking ahead, Google has announced forthcoming updates for the Chromebook Plus series that will further leverage AI technology. These updates include a writing tool designed to enhance short-form content and a custom wallpaper generator. Though no specific timeline has been provided yet, these features are expected to roll out sometime in 2024.
Overall, I highly recommend considering the Chromebook Plus CX34 if you’re in search of a reliable work laptop. Its user-friendly design, good performance, and potential for future AI enhancements make it a promising choice. Asus has delivered an impressive mid-range device that combines affordability with substantial capabilities.