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Asus Chromebook Detachable CM3 — a fully functional Android tablet and Chromebook in one » EFTM

Asus Chromebook Detachable CM3 -- a fully functional Android tablet and Chromebook in one » EFTM

Asus Chromebook Detachable CM3 — a fully functional Android tablet and Chromebook in one » EFTM


Last year we reviewed the Lenovo Chromebook Duet – a 2-in-1 detachable Chromebook.  12 months on and Asus has launched their own version with the Asus Chromebook Detachable CM3.  The CM3 offers an extremely versatile writing and work experience which is portable and easy to use.

It runs Chrome OS which is nearly as fully functional as Windows in nearly every single way these days — it is actually more functional in some areas due to its Android compatibility.   Running Chrome OS you get the benefits of the world’s most popular internet browser, which works in full desktop mode, as well as all your Chrome Extensions, Chrome Apps, passwords, browsing history and more. You also get the benefit of Android apps via Google Play.

Asus Chromebook Detachable CM3 -- a fully functional Android tablet and Chromebook in one » EFTM

The CM3 offers some great features and decent specs for a device that does not break the bank.  It includes a 10.5 inch 1920 x 1200 glossy display which is capable of a brightness of 320 nits.  Powered by a MediaTek Kompanio 500 chipset and 4GB of RAM it is available in both 64GB and 128GB of eMMC onboard storage (ChromeOS is designed to be used through the cloud so not much memory is actually required — install a few games though and the space runs out fast.  There’s front (2MP) and rear(8MP) cameras, and it’s all powered by a 27Whrs battery.

Hardware and design

The tablet itself is a black rectangle with bezels that measure around a centimetre the whole way around.  There are not a lot of ports on the tablet with a single USB-C port available to plug in devices or power it.  The opposite side houses the power button and the volume rocker.  The top right of the display houses the silo where the stylus lives.  There are stereo speakers situated at the top of the tablet as well which is great for using as a laptop but not so much when using it as a tablet in portrait mode.

Asus Chromebook Detachable CM3 -- a fully functional Android tablet and Chromebook in one » EFTM


Asus Chromebook Detachable CM3 -- a fully functional Android tablet and Chromebook in one » EFTM

Underneath the tablet sit the five pogo pins where the detachable keyboard connects to the tablet.  The keyboard is like all other keyboards you will find on devices such as this.  There is a bit of give in the keyboard as it sits slightly off the benchtop.  The keys are higher and have more travel than those on my Surface Go — Asus say they have 1.5mm of travel which does not surprise me.  At first I wasn’t convinced regarding the keys themselves with the feel being a bit harsh and little cushioning.  After a bit of use I have gotten used to it and have no issues using it for any work I may be doing.

The keyboard looks to be nearly exactly the same as that on the Lenovo Duet and given the compact size of the device the size off the keyboard surprises.  The keys are closer together than a normal keyboard meaning less room for error when typing but in the end the keyboard is limited to the size of the tablet so is a little cramped.  In saying that I was able to type consistently and accurately without any issues.

The rear cover of the CM3 is separate from the keyboard (just as for the Duet) and attaches to the rear magnetically.  The rear cover doubles as a stand and has multiple hinges allowing the stand to support the tablet landscape or portrait (obviously without the keyboard when in portrait mode).  The back of the keyboard and the rear cover are both a rough canvas/cloth that not only feels premium but adds a nice detail to look at.

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