Mini Asus Laptop – B23E-XH71

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The Asus B23E-XH71 is a business-oriented mini laptop launched earlier this year for those professionals in need of portability. Wearing a black on black finish, this is a 3.7-pound lightweight system that adopts a solid construction which should be able to take a beating. We’re saying this because the deck and the lid are made from magnesium alloy that feels sturdy. Asus says that the reinforced metal hinges have been tested for at least 10,000 cycles so this is an ultraportable built to last.

There are other features that make it durable, such as the spill resistance keyboard which is utilizing a drainage system located on the laptop’s bottom in order to keep at distance the (up to) 3.5 ounces of liquid away from the ultraportable’s precious hardware components. We should also mention that Asus has opted for an anti-shock hard drive, while the company has mentioned that the mini laptop is able to withstand drops at double the height in comparison to other models in this segment.

Asus B23E-XH71 (Source: laptopnews.ro)

Asus B23E-XH71 (Source: laptopnews.ro)

This isn’t one of the slimmest portables out there as it has a 1.1 inch thickness, more than those expensive ultrabooks, but even so it is light and small enough to carry it in a backpack, plus it has more ports in comparison to thin ultrabooks.

Perhaps one of the best features of the Asus B23E-XH71 would have to be the keyboard as the keys provide a lot of travel (but not too much) while flex is almost absent. It adopts an island-style configuration so there is enough space between the keys but we do have to mention that the right Shift key has been shrunken. We also the absence of a backlight which is a feature that you will find on some $900 laptops but this shouldn’t be a major issue.

Asus B23E-XH71 (Source: priceindia.org)

Asus B23E-XH71 (Source: priceindia.org)

Below this keyboard sits the touchpad from Elan which isn’t that big since it measures only 3.2 x 1.9 inches so performing multitouch gestures isn’t that great but acceptable. Sitting below this touchpad are the left and right mouse buttons which although are also on the small side at least they have a nice and soft finish, while the feedback provided is decent.

Although it might be an ultraportable, Asus still was able to install just about every port that you will ever need from a system like this one. On the right spine sit HDMI port, ExpressCard and SmartCard slots, USB 3.0 port, VGA out, Ethernet port, modem port and the power jack. That USB 3.0 port is able to charge various devices while the laptop is turned off. Moving on to the left spine, this is where you will have access to the two other USB ports, one of which also doubles as an eSATA combo port, while on the front of the B23-XH71 sit the 5-in-1 memory card slot, Wi-Fi switch, as well as the headphone and microphone jacks.

Asus B23E-XH71 (Source: xtreview.com)

Asus B23E-XH71 (Source: xtreview.com)

The list doesn’t end here as the ultraportable comes with a two megapixel webcam which features a useful sliding switch for turning it on and off. Let’s not forget that this is a business-oriented laptop so it’s no wonder that an optional feature for this model is the $149 docking station which comes with no less than four USB 2.0 ports, DVI, VGA, HDMI PS/2 and parallel ports, along with Serial, Ethernet and mic and stereo audio output.

Another business-specific feature is the mate coating on the 12.5-inch display of this Asus B23E-XH71. The screen has a native resolution of 1,366 x 768 pixels which is the standard these days among laptops up to a 15.6-inch screen. We appreciate that the viewing angles are wider than the average in this segment, while the contrast is decent.

Asus B23E-XH71 (Source: notebookreview.ro)

Asus B23E-XH71 (Source: notebookreview.ro)

At the heart of this business ultraportable from Asus we notice an impressive second-generation, Sandy Bridge-based Intel Core i7 processor running at a frequency of 2.70 GHz. It works along with 4GB of DDR3 RAM and for storage it packs a speedy 500GB hard drive spinning at 7,200 rpm. As you would expect, in the graphics department it has only a built-in Intel HD 3000 with shared system memory so it’s not an ultraportable recommended for gamers.

We should also mention that the Asus B23E-XH71 benefits from the Xpress Charge feature which means that you will be able to fill the battery to a 90% level in only 90 minutes, plus it comes with a Sonata battery developed by Boston Power so it should last for approximately 900 charges. It is a three-cell battery that during a LAPTOP Battery Test it provides enough juice for approximately 4 hour and 20 minutes. As most of you know, this test consists of doing web surfing over a wireless connection. There’s no option for an extended battery option, which is something that manufacturers like HP, Lenovo and Dell can offer.

Asus B23E-XH71 (Source: emachineslaptop.com)

Asus B23E-XH71 (Source: emachineslaptop.com)

Asus bundles this B23E-XH71 model with several software and utilities which you might find useful, such as Secure Delete for getting rid of files or the Asus Scene Switch that gives you the possibility of switching wallpapers by using a button located to the left of the keyboard. Also on board is the Cyberlink PowerRecover with which you can backup the system. In addition, it also comes with Fast Boot for lowering the time needed to boot by delaying some of the apps when starting Windows, while LifeFrame is useful for taking photos and videos. It also has facial recognition software in the form of FaceLogon. There are also other Asus programs such as Vibe Fun Center, Splendid Utility and Power4Gear Hybrid.

Aside from the programs and utilities developed by Asus, the ultraportable comes with third party software like a trial of Trend Micro Titanium Internet Security, Nuance PDF Reader and the Windows Live suite. We almost forgot to mention that the Asus B23E-XH71 offers support for Intel’s Wi-Di for streaming content from the mini laptop to a TV by using a compatible receiver that costs less than $100.

There’s also a slightly different version of this model, dubbed B23E-XS71, which has the same hardware specifications except for the Intel Core i7 processor which on this model runs at 2.80 GHz. This version will set you back $979.