With Android apps coming, Asus' affordable new Chromebook bulks up on storage

With Android apps on the way for all Chromebooks, you’re going to want more than 16 gigabytes of storage on your next Chrome OS device. Asus is meeting this demand, with a $300 Asus Chromebook offering 64GB of storage.

That may not sound like much, but it’s a lot for a Chromebook at this point. Most of the Chromebooks we’ve reviewed lately offer 32 or even 16GB of storage, because until recently Chromebooks haven’t needed a lot of local storage. So not many devices offer it. Google’s $1,300 Google Pixel offers 64GB of storage, Lilputting is reporting, but not many others do. So the new Asus Chromebook C301SA offering 64GB for $300 is a nice surprise.

The new Chromebook isn’t yet available, but is listed at B&H as “coming soon”. Photos reveal a brushed metal exterior and a thick black bezel.

The Asus Chromebook C301SA is powered by a 1.6GHz Intel Celeron N3160 quad-core processor, and offers 4GB of DDR3 memory. The 1920 by 1080 display is 13.3 inches.

You’ll find a couple of USB 3.0 ports, along with HDMI for external displays. And if the 64GB of storage isn’t enough for all those Android apps you plan on installing, there’s also an SD card slot.

This suggests that Asus expects storage to be on the minds of Chromebook shoppers, something which until recently wasn’t assumed at all.

And it isn’t just laptop makers who are preparing a Chrome OS full of Android apps for the problem of storage. Google added a storage manager to a recent Chrome OS release, allowing users to closely monitor how much free storage they have and what’s taking up all that room. It’s not the kind of feature the web-oriented system bothered to have until now.

It will be interesting to see how other Chromebook makers follow up. 64GB solid state drives aren’t likely to drive up the price of Chromebooks by much, and could soon become a key selling point, especially as Google rolls out Google Play and Android apps to more devices.

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