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Asus opens up pre-orders for its $170, ARM-powered Chromebook

The Chromebook market is hotter than ever, but up until now it’s been dominated by Intel processors, as well as the occasional Nvidia Tegra. If you want to get your hands on an ARM-powered Chrome OS device, the recently announced Asus C201 is now available for preorder. Asus has a great track record making laptops, and the Asus Chromebook 2 is a well-rounded device at a good price.

The Asus C201 boasts an impressive 13 hours of quoted battery life, long even by Chromebook standards. The 11.6-inch display is a great size for a Chromebook, keeping it small and light so you can throw it into your bag or carry it to a meeting. Although it only has a resolution of 1,366 x 768, that seems to be the trend for 11-inch Chromebooks, and it’s more than sufficient unless you’re using it to watch movies and TV shows frequently.

Of course, the real draw here is the quad-core ARM processor from Rockchip, which has a high performance level for how little power it sips, as well as being one of the most affordable chips on the market. Asus hasn’t said more than that the processor inside the C201 is a Rockchip RK3288, that processor has a base clock speed of up to 1.8GHz. For graphics, the chip relies on a Mali-T764 GPU which is clocked at about 600MHz.

The Asus C201 is offered with either 2GB or 4GB of RAM, and for connectivity is equipped with 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 4.0. The price will start at a very appealing $169 when the laptop officially launches in May, but for now you can pre-order the device on Adorama to guarantee your C201 will arrive the moment they ship next month. There are also Rockchip-based Chromebooks from Hisense and Haier on their way, both of which will start at $149 for the most basic version.