10-inch ASUS Chromebook Flip (4GB RAM) for $265 [limit 3]

In a sea of Chromebooks, the ASUS Flip managed to climb to star status without actually doing anything. The reasons for its claim to fame are existential, it’s the only Chromebook at the moment that is capable to receive Google builds that allow it to officially run Google Play apps. Google is working to make this feature mainstream, and more new Chromebooks will come out in the next few months/years that are optimized for this.

But if you don’t want to wait until then, and you want to boldly try out Google Play on Chrome OS right now, the ASUS Flip is where it’s at. Which means sales are going to be harder to come by for it, and smaller discounts will be the norm until competing and better models are released.

To cut a long story short, the 4GB RAM with 16GB on-board storage model is currently going for $265 with a limit of three units per customer at Amazon by Amazon actual. This has a 1280 x 800 IPS touchscreen, flipping all the way to touch the back of the keyboard to form a “thick tablet”. This has a Rockchip quad-core processor.

Now shipping: 10-inch ASUS Flip Touchscreen Chromebook for $260

Do you flip for Chromebooks? *insert canned laughter here* If so, the brand new 10-inch ASUS Flip Chromebook, model C100PA-DB02, is now in-stock and ready to ship to your door for $260 with free shipping at Amazon.com by Amazon actual.

This is ChromeOS’s answer to tablets and Windows 2-in-1s. It has a touchscreen and the screen flips but does not detaches. It is a 10-inch 1280 x 800 IPS display. The screen has the usual modes of this design, the conventional laptop, the screen-front (aka Stand mode), the Tent mode (no juvenile jokes please!), and the tablet mode where the keyboard folds under the display making it a think faux-tablet.

Other specs include 4GB of RAM, quad-core processor, 16GB on-board, two USB 2.0 ports, microSD, microHDMI, with up to 9 hours of battery life.

10.1-inch 32GB HP Pavilion X2 Detachable for $200 [W8]

As of a 3/11/14 recheck, this sale is back on!

Windows goes on the attack once again, bringing fire and blood to the Chromebooks which perhaps rested a bit on their laurels.Right now, for just $200, you can get the 10.1-inch 32GB HP Pavilion X2 Detachable hybrid from Amazon.com. Or you can get the 64GB version for about $25 more. Limit three per customer.

It’s a tablet, it’s a laptop, and it is SSD powered, so no painful hard disk spinning. And it has a touchscreen. It is powered by the recent Intel Atom Z3736F Processor, with 2GB RAM, Intel HD graphics, 1280×800 resolution, and a battery life estimate of over 11.5 hours. You also get a one year subscription to Office 365.

For general purpose lightweight computer use, I am now starting to tilt towards Windows 8 2-in-1s over Chromebooks. Thanks to the Desktop persona, you can install most of your favorite Windows apps, and you can install as many browsers as you want. And that’s before you take it to the next level with Firefox Profiles.

Obviously, don’t expect these to run Photoshop or AutoCAD or heavy duty productivity software. But for email, browsers, social media, music, videos, they can be pretty, pretty, pretty good as Larry David likes to say. You still have the various frustrations of Windows, it still takes a million pointless clicks just to install a new version of an existing app, you still have to reboot every time Windows Update sneezes, and such.