Heat and Noise
We were a bit worried about the heat levels of the B23E. Like all thin notebooks, hardware can get “cramped,” resulting in the possibility of overheating. The exterior temperatures on the top of the chassis didn’t reach very high heat levels, but the bottom of the notebook reached a peak temperature of 103 degrees Fahrenheit in the bottom right corner. Additionally, the exhaust vent on the left side of the notebook got very hot to the touch after we exerted it. While a peak of 103 isn’t too too high, it’s something to be aware of. You might also want to note that the B23E might not exactly be “lap friendly” while doing heavier work. The “hot spot” is located around the CPU and RAM. The noise coming from the fan should not be a problem; while I could hear it, I didn’t find it loud or distracting.
ASUS has implemented what the company calls the ASUS Xpress Charge; a feature that allows the battery to “quick charge” to 90 percent capacity in only 90 minutes. We can confirm this claim as we saw the battery charge fly up just moments after we plugged the adapter in. Our review unit has a 3-cell Lithium-ion battery, 4400 mAh, 48 Wh. We’d also like to mention that the battery has been tested by ASUS and Sonata to last 900 charge cycles.
During our standard battery life test, we set Windows 7 on the “Balanced” power profile, turn the screen brightness down 70 percent, and refresh a web page every 60 seconds while wireless is active. The ASUS B23E lasted 5 hours and 16 minutes during the test. Althouugh this isn’t class-leading battery life we didn’t expect results as good as this with such a low capacity battery and a relatively power-hungry processor, so we’re actually pretty pleased with the results.
Battery life test results (higher scores mean better battery life):
If the ASUS B23E is within your price range, it’s a great compact notebook to have. It has practically everything a business netbook needs: portability, decent battery life, solid performance, a good array of ports, as well as a user-friendly keyboard. The build is what we’d call above average because of its magnesium alloy support structure, despite the fact that the display lid is easily bendable. The battery lasted just over five hours during our standard battery life rundown.
It’s got a ton of business features, too. A few of these include a fingerprint reader, additional battery life/power saving options, an anti-glare display, Bluetooth 3.0, a SmartCard Reader, and a physical webcam on/off switch. Sometimes it’s the little things that really bring the value of notebooks like this up. Moreover, we meant it when we said that the B23E could be used as your main office notebook; the performance is more than enough for most office tasks.
What the B23E lacks can be easily looked over for most users. Sure, the speakers could be of a higher quality (as well in a better location), but that’s nothing a good set of headphones or external speakers can’t solve. We will say, though, that although the touchpad provided smooth cursor movement, we found it a bit small.
- Decent performance
- Great array of ports
- Comfortable, easy-to-use keyboard
- Extremely thin and portable
- Price is a bit high
- Speakers could be better
- Small touchpad