Asus Chromebook C423: the distraction-free workhorse that can speed up productivity

Chromebooks are great for students and also for people who always do a thing or two on a laptop.

A few years ago, Chromebooks were supposed to take over classrooms around the world (and since then, they’ve achieved much of the goal). In 2021, a Chromebook may be all you need if you can pinpoint your exact needs. Confused? Chromebooks are great for students and also for people who always do a thing or two on a laptop. There are plenty of inexpensive laptops on the market, but only a handful that don’t work. Plus, a good Chromebook can do almost all of the common tasks you throw on a laptop. Recently the Asus Chromebook C423 (touchscreen) was under review and after a few days it turned out to be a distraction-free device that I’ve always wanted.

Eye on the objectives

A feature overview isn’t really helpful because a Chromebook doesn’t have the spec sheet for a Windows laptop. No, a Chromebook should be judged on how well it meets your digital needs. An average laptop that performs modestly well and is supposed to last a few years will cost you at least Rs 50,000. But can you justify the price if you are just typing and browsing?

So let me share a real world case. I write. Every day. For hours. Having a distraction-free writing solution helps because there’s the iPad with all the razzmatazz and the desktop for all the heavy video editing solutions. There’s a catch: Every time I sit down with the big guys I turn to gaming and lately a ridiculously large portion of the week is spent on AR activities.

Chromebook runs Chrome OS, which is somewhat similar to the Android operating system on your phones. Many of the apps you use on the Android phone are easily accessible here, while most other things – in the age of cloud computing – can be done through the Chrome browser.

Chromebook screen can be pulled back up to 180 degrees

On the Asus Chromebook, I can’t install most of the annoying apps, but there’s a caveat here. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube … all of this is accessible. A certain degree of discipline is required when it comes to a distraction-free workspace. I am using Dashlane as my password manager, which cannot be installed here, actually telling me that I don’t need to access most “unnecessary” applications. Fortunately, with Dashlane, I made it difficult for myself to access passwords.

The app closest to my finger is Google Docs, which works great minus all the hiccups. There is also the Oxford Dictionary app. Everything I type is synced to the cloud and accessible on my other machines. The keyboard is good enough, with a 1.4mm key travel, enough to keep my fingers happy enough to generate 3,000 words per day. The trackpad is also responsive, but the only thing I’m missing is a matte finish, which helps while sliding.

In the event that the Chromebook falls into the hands of a student, it will be just as effective. Students usually need to take lots of notes, make lots of video calls (a 720p HD camera is sufficient), and the audio is output through stereo speakers which can get very loud.

The trade-off list includes slightly shifted viewing angles on the Full HD LED display, slightly thicker bezels, and fewer ports… things not everyone needs. I have no problem with an Intel Celeron N3350 powered machine with integrated Intel HD Graphics 500 and 4GB RAM because – just to iterate – the machine is meant for specific tasks and needs. Weighing just 1.34kg, it can be taken anywhere, and it’s thin enough to fit in your bag. And what we haven’t said is that there is a touchscreen, which gets bright enough to work in the sun. In addition to the 64 GB eMMC storage, the option of a microSD slot (up to 2 TB). Battery life is also pretty good – 10 hours of screen time is promised, but you’ll get at least eight to nine hours with screen brightness.

The Asus Chromebook C423 (touchscreen) is light and thin enough to fit into any bag.

Another aspect of a Chromebook that is often overlooked. Having a high-end laptop means you can’t really keep it on your lap for hours on end because of the cooling system. Here there are no fans because the machine does not heat up.

It’s for you ?

Before deciding between a laptop and a Chromebook, consider how important Adobe Premiere Pro is to your business profile. If you don’t need any special software or resource-intensive programs, a Chromebook can do the trick at a fraction of the cost. Usually, Chromebooks run faster when it comes to basic work like typing, have good battery life, and there’s no bloatware. Getting a cheap laptop computer today means that a year or two down the road, you’ll want to replace it with a more expensive machine. Having a fast machine is not the answer to most of the tasks we do. So, look at a smart option like the Asus C423 Chromebook (touchscreen), which is a distraction-free workhorse that can speed up productivity.

Device: Asus Chromebook C423 (touchscreen)

Price: 23 999 rupees

High marks

  • Distraction-free machine
  • All the basic programs we need are here
  • Excellent battery life
  • Good keyboard

Muffled Notes

  • Trackpad can be better
  • A better webcam will brighten things up during video conferences

About Jon Moses

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