PROS / The ASUS Chromebook C202’s rugged design is built to withstand chaotic classrooms and rambunctious students.
CONS / Its low-power processing and limited memory make for low-end performance.
VERDICT / The ASUS Chromebook C202 is built for the classroom, and despite its basic components, it’s still worth considering thanks to its rugged, kid-friendly design.
With so many new Chromebooks finding homes in classrooms and other educational environments, it’s surely a relief to parents to see that plenty of the best Chromebooks under $300 are built with students in mind. The ASUS Chromebook C202 is such a system, with an affordable price, basic Chrome functionality, and a design that’s built for the rough and tumble of kids in the classroom.
The C202 is a basic Chromebook, equipped with an Intel Celeron N3060 processor, the same 1.6GHz CPU found in other education-focused models. As with many low-priced Chromebooks, these components are paired with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of local storage, the minimum required for a usable Chrome OS experience. The C202 scored 48.65 points in the JetStream 1.1 general performance test and averaged 31 frames per second (fps) in WebGL Aquarium. These are on the low end of our Chromebook comparison, but the laptop should still be powerful enough for all your web browsing and web app use.
Its compact design makes it one of the smallest Chromebooks in our review, measuring 11.6 x 7.9 x 0.9 inches and weighing just 2.2 pounds. Combine this with a decent battery life of eight hours and 23 minutes, and the C202 is a Chromebook that can be used all through a day at work or school without needing to be plugged in to charge. This small notebook computer’s student-proof design gets an extra durability boost with rubber bumpers that run around the edge of the lid and chassis.
The 11.6-inch display has basic 1366 x 768 resolution, which is enough to view videos in 720p but not full HD. The LED-lit display panel doesn’t have the best color quality or viewing angles, but it’s sufficient for typing up papers in Google Docs or watching videos on YouTube.
The C202’s network connectivity is slightly disappointing. Though it uses the current 802.11ac standard for Wi-Fi, it has a basic 1 x 1 antenna array instead of the 2 x 2 option used in top Chromebooks for better connectivity. The port selection is good, though, with two USB 3.0 ports, a full-size SD card slot and an HDMI output for connecting a second display.
ASUS covers the Chromebook C202 with a one-year warranty, which is standard for this type of laptop. Support channels include phone, email and live chat on the ASUS website. You can also contact the company on social media, but you will be referred to one of those options. There’s also self-service support, with user manuals and other help available on the ASUS website.
The ASUS Chromebook C202 is inexpensive and has everything a basic education Chromebook should, but it has its flaws. With only basic performance and connectivity options, you may find yourself butting up against its limitations more than you would with a top-rated Chromebook, and you’ll notice the mediocre display every time you use it.