If you have been using laptops regularly and haven’t been living under a rock, chances are you have heard of the Chromebook. This highly portable convertible brought new meaning to modern computing, and the latest ASUS Chromebook C523NA-DH02 is determined to keep up the legacy. ASUS’s recent launch is a 15.6” laptop that weighs only 3.2lbs and supports unplugged usage for up to 10 hours. It also boasts of a NanoEdge design that makes the screen seem bigger even though the overall body is sleek for its 15.6 inches. What you get is an over-performer that looks set to contest boundaries when it comes to portable yet dependable computing.
How’s the Processor?
It’s an Intel Pentium N4200 (Quad-Core) with 8GB RAM and 64GB of storage space (eMMC). You can also opt for an Intel Celeron N3350 (Dual-Core) and 32GB of storage space, depending on your needs. Both processing configurations are up-to-date and adept at most everyday tasks such as browsing the internet, working on documents and presentations, and playing back multimedia content. The battery life is top-notch and lasts for the majority of the day.
If the bit you love best about Chromebooks is the responsive Chrome OS, that’s at top form here with the quintessential speed and efficiency. You can comfortably access all your favorite apps on Google Play Store. Due to its inherently seamless nature, the OS also lets you access all your data from any device (say, your smartphone). This makes it convenient to work across locations without having to fret about cables and devices that bog you down.
Another tremendously reassuring feature of this laptop is its built-in virus protection. The OS updates on its own too, so you always have the best there is. Of course, it uses the same security framework that you use on your Google account—a highly secure and time-tested model.
Design & Build
Evidently, this Chromebook is designed for the road. It has a sturdy aluminum body that is both rock-solid and stylish. The thickness is only 15.6mm which is sleek enough to fit into your backpack or rucksack. Its lightweight construction further enhances the portability; it never feels too heavy to lug along as you go. The overall dimensions are 358 x 248.5 x 15.6 mm (the thickness can vary up to 16.1 mm).
When you need to share content with peers or colleagues, you can use the 180-degree hinge to lay out your screen flat. The hinge is a remarkable design feature. Not only is it handy but it is also reliable. The makers have tested the hinge for 20,000 open and close sets. So, unless you plan on being fiendishly rough with the hinge, it is going to last you a good, long time.
Another feather in the designer’s cap is the beautiful, ergonomic keyboard (Chiclet). Typing is a breeze on this machine as the 1.4mm key travel distance really ups the ante of comfort. In fact, the touchpad seems improved too. It delivers a smoother response especially when it comes to multi-touch gestures. This is quite a Godsend when you are working on the move, say, out of a rickety public transport bus.
Let’s Talk Display & Sound
The highlight of the display is the narrow bezel design that expands the screen area to a remarkable 80% screen-to-body ratio. The bezel is only 6mm thick, and this makes the viewing experience a great deal more immersive. You get a full High Definition screen with a matte anti-glare coat and an aspect ratio of 16:9. This is helpful in reducing reflections and adding to the beauty of the experience. Who needs external interference when tuning in to a favorite film after a long day at work? Note that the highest screen resolution supported is 1920 x 1080 (and the lower 1366 x 768). The refresh rate offered is a competent 60Hz.
On the sound front too, you will be happy with the two stereo speakers. These speakers are fitted with huge resonant chambers which isn’t something you find in many contemporary laptops. The result is almost a surround sound experience and much clearer audio than you would expect from such a small laptop.
You can also opt to get a touchscreen. The Chromebook C523 supports a 10-point multitouch screen. It delivers a good response in terms of comfort as well as precision.
Connectivity & Device Support
This Chromebook is equipped with two USB-C ports (Type C) that enable you to connect to devices or peripherals based on your requirement. The thing about Type C ports is that they are so astonishingly fast they make data transfer a cakewalk. Sample this: You can transfer a 2GB film to your USB drive in a few seconds! Gone are the days when sharing data and waiting for external devices to get up to speed used to be harrowing affairs. Additionally, this laptop also has a card reader, two regular USB 3.1 ports, and an HD Webcam. The card reader supports multiple formats—SD, SDHC and SDXC.
To connect to the internet, you can use the 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi (dual band). Depending on the strength of the network, this Wi-Fi setting offers great speeds and interference-free connections. This computer also supports Bluetooth 4.0.
Ever since Chromebooks have been around, they have made the personal computing space immensely comfortable and mobile. The easy-to-carry design and responsive OS makes the Chromebook an ideal traveling partner for students, working professionals, and anyone who lives a hectic lifestyle.
The ASUS Chromebook C523 is true to its ancestry and packs a punch with its flexible-hinge design and powerful processing. It also features adequate support for collaboration, sharing, and wireless connectivity. ASUS has made it fairly customizable, letting you choose a processing configuration and display that matches your needs and budget. Undoubtedly, ASUS has also lent the machine with its familiar reliability and fitment for contemporary lifestyles.