The ASUS Chromebook CX9 is rugged, light and powerful

Nathan Ingraham
·Deputy Managing Editor
·2-min read

ASUS has made a host of Chromebooks over the years, perhaps most notably its line of convertible “Flip” laptops. As part of its CES 2021 lineup, the company has a new Chromebook that’s a little different, though — the Chromebook CX9 is a thin, light and rugged laptop meant for getting work done in harsh environments. Indeed, the CX9 meets MIL-STD 810H US military standards — though ASUS hasn’t specifically said what it tested for or what kind of conditions it should be useable in.

Despite its rugged construction, the CX9 is only 16mm thick (for comparison, the svelte Pixelbook Go is a little over 13mm thick) and weighs 2.2 pounds. And unlike a lot of rugged laptops, the CX9 actually looks pretty nice, with a dark gray magnesium-alloy case. It also has a similar hinge to what I saw on ASUS’s Zenbook S a few years ago that props up the keyboard and gives it a gentle slope.

As for more tradition specs, the CX9 uses Intel’s 11th-gen processors, up to a Core i7 — more power than most people need in a Chromebook, but that means it should be exceedingly fast. ASUS squeezed a 14-inch display in here with thin bezels; the company says the laptop has a 91 percent screen-to-body ratio. ASUS didn’t mention RAM or storage sizes, but the laptop does have a generous array of ports (at least as far as a laptop in 2021 goes). One side has two USB-C ports with Thunderbolt 4 and an HDMI port, while the other has a traditional USB-A, a micro SD slot, a headphone jack and a security lock.

We don’t have a release date or price for the Chromebook CX9 just yet; at this point all we know is that it’ll be available in US in the second quarter of this year. But if it has the quality construction ASUS claims it does, it’s not hard to imagine a model with Core i7 processors costing in the $1,000 range.