ASUS may be prepared to tread where Lenovo has gone before with a new Chrome OS tablet, complete with kickstand and keyboard cover. Intelligence suggests that the so-called Chromebook Flip device could have nearly the same spec footprint as last year’s Duet. And in fact, the few spots where things differ, this new tablet could come out bigger and better.
The pictures we’re sharing here and spec lines come from German retailer Saturn as picked up by Chrome Unboxed — that publication suggests other sources have extra information — and they tell a strange story.
The so-called CM3000 — apparently, it comes under codename Saturn — uses MediaTek’s MT8183 processor which itself is pretty much a reheated version of the Lenovo Duet’s Helio P60T in that they mainly both sport four Arm Cortex-A73 cores and four A53 cores with all of them capable of maximum clock of 2GHz.
The screen diagonal gains 0.4″ with no change in resolution, but it does result in a larger overall footprint and more mass. ASUS also found that it could afford a 3.5mm audio jack here and has designed the keyboard cover with its soft-touch fabric surface to magnetically attach to the tablet — like Microsoft’s Surface convertibles do and unlike the Lenovo Duet. The one sore spot for the CM3000 is back with the display as its top brightness of 320 nits seems to underperform against the Duet’s 400 nits.
Otherwise, the rest of the sheet lines up.
We’re a little less sure about Chrome Unboxed’s inclusion of this picture in its media package which suggests that the tablet comes with a silo for an included stylus, especially as one of the Saturn-hosted oblique profile shots includes a clear view of the complete top edge of device with no port visible where the pen would be. That said, we’re not foreclosing the possibility that a stylus would have a fitting home on the keyboard cover and be included with sale.
As it is, Saturn has floated a price of €449 as a placeholder, but when you consider that a similarly-loaded Lenovo Duet sold for $279 at launch, we think this is best left open to discussion.