Asus’ new gaming Chromebook is a vibe — but what’s the point?

ASUS Chromebook Vibe CX34 Flip
(Image credit: Future)

Asus has dropped its new gaming Chromebook Vibe CX34 Flip at CES 2023. It’s a powerful system with a high refresh rate — designed for game streaming.

But therein lies the problem. What actually is a gaming Chromebook? Asus brags about the Vibe pairing “incredibly realistic visuals and exceptional performance to deliver unmatched cloud gaming experiences,” but come on. Cloud gaming does not need “exceptional performance.” It’s a little misleading.

A flippin’ good gaming Chromebook?

ASUS Chromebook Vibe CX34 Flip

(Image credit: Future)

So, let’s look past some of the overly braggadocious language and head into the specs, because the Asus Chromebook Vibe CX34 Flip (CX3401FBA) is a strong system on paper.

It all starts with a 16:10, 144 Hz WUXGA display with an 83% screen-to-body ratio and full 360° ErgoLift hinge — kept smooth by up to a 12th Gen Intel Core i7 processor and 16GB of LPDDR4X memory, alongside up to a 512GB SSD for plenty of storage and a battery that runs up to 10 hours on a single charge.

Further bolstering its gaming credentials is an anti-ghosting keyboard with four-zone RGB lighting, and a distinctive Pearl White finish that includes exclusive orange accented WASD keycaps for added flair. Plus, ultrafast WiFi 6E technology helps provide a stronger, faster connection for streaming. 

And let’s not forget the integrated Harmon Kardon-certified spatial audio and LIL-STD 810H military grade-tested standards for durability. Altogether, this is certainly on the beefier side of a Chromebook spec list.


ASUS Chromebook Vibe CX34 Flip

(Image credit: Future)

But what actually is a gaming Chromebook? I get that may sound like a daft question, as it’s obviously a window into cloud gaming rather than storing them locally and needing the power potential of a dedicated GPU. 

What should be asked instead is “what’s the point of a gaming Chromebook?” Only one streaming service is able to offer a resolution and framerate that makes the most of the CX34 Flip’s display (Nvidia’s GeForce Now), and the network speed requirements are pretty unattainable for many.

So, while it’s easy to go all doom and gloom on this topic, let’s take a look at the device: 12th Gen Intel Core i7, spacious SSD, 360-degree hinge, a decent battery life, and a touchscreen with stylus. The beauty of this system may not be its gaming credentials (yet), but what you do have is a damn powerful Chromebook for getting stuff done.

Also, is it just me, or does anyone find it pretty funny that Google makes a big play for cloud gaming on its OS after killing off its big cloud gaming service?

Jason England
Content Editor

Jason brought a decade of tech and gaming journalism experience to his role as a writer at Laptop Mag, and he is now the Managing Editor of Computing at Tom's Guide. He takes a particular interest in writing articles and creating videos about laptops, headphones and games. He has previously written for Kotaku, Stuff and BBC Science Focus. In his spare time, you'll find Jason looking for good dogs to pet or thinking about eating pizza if he isn't already.