If you’re on the lookout for a cheap laptop. Then you can’t go wrong with a Chromebook. If you’re considering between a Microsoft laptop and a Chromebook. Have a read of this article explaining why a cheap Chromebook is much better than a cheap Microsoft Windows laptop. There are many manufacturers who make Chrome OS laptops and one of the best is Asus. You can find a wide range of Asus Chromebooks at different prices.
When it comes to budget laptops Asus has also been making these for many years. Budget Chrome OS laptops can offer great value for money. However, when you’re spending not much money you need to consider what the compromises are. Yes, unfortunately, it’s not really possible to buy a cheap laptop without some sort of compromise. The manufacturer will usually always have to lower the specs to make a profit.
Some compromises are absolutely fine and there is nothing to worry about. At the same time, there are some things you need to watch out for. This specification review of the Asus C423 will explain everything you need to know about this laptop. You’ll then know whether this is the laptop for you or whether buying it would be a compromise too far.
Asus C423 Build Quality
The Asus C423 looks like a nice looking normal laptop. I say normal because you get some cheap laptops that look cheap. Thankfully, this isn’t the case with the C423. It comes with an all-over plastic body, which is what you’d expect at the price. More expensive laptops with an aluminium body look the part, but they generally weigh more as well. The C423 manages to still look cool even though it’s made of plastic. This is something Asus is really good at.
It’s a laptop only device, which means you cannot rotate the lid and use it as a tablet. This isn’t anything to be too concerned about at this price. Although Hybrid 2-in-1 laptops offer extra functionality. Using a laptop with a 14-inch display in tablet mode feels a little odd. The good thing about the C423 is that it only weighs 1.2kg/2.64lbs. That’s pretty lightweight when you consider it comes with a 14-inch display.
Asus C423 Performance
This laptop is perfect for anyone wanting a laptop to surf the internet. You’ll find surfing the internet when using this laptop an absolute pleasure. This is one of the biggest advantages of Chrome OS. Even with a low performing processor. You can still surf the internet without having to worry about performance.
Other tasks such as word processing or using a spreadsheet will work fine. Checking your social media and streaming some movies on YouTube will also work well. It comes with an Intel Celeron processor, which is the type of processor you see on most cheap laptops. It has a base speed of 1.1 GHz and a turbo speed of 2.4 GHz.
The amount of RAM that comes with the C423 is absolutely fine. The 4 GB of RAM is more than enough to do all of the tasks I’ve mentioned above. Chrome OS laptops are compatible with Android Apps. This is great because it instantly gives you access to hundreds of thousands of apps from the Play Store. These include games and productivity apps. The C423 will be capable of running most of these. However, you may find it takes a while to load these apps with the processor this laptop comes with.
|Asus C423 Chromebook
|Intel Celeron dual-core
1.1 GHz / 2.4 GHz turbo
Asus C423 storage
I’m pretty impressed with the amount of storage available. The 64 GB of storage may not sound like a lot if you’re used to using an MS Windows laptop. However, for a Chrome OS laptop, this is more than enough. This is because the Chromebook is a cloud computer, so you can easily save most of your files in the cloud. To use a Chromebook you need a Google Account. The great thing about having a Google Account is that it comes with 15 GB of cloud storage for free.
This means you have no reason not to save most of your files in the cloud. The great thing is Google Drive, which is a drive in the cloud, is integrated into Chrome OS. This makes it really easy to save your files in the cloud. There is nothing you need to set up. It’s available right away. If you save most of your files in the cloud you can keep your local storage for Android Apps.
A lot of cheap Chrome OS laptops come with just 32 GB of storage. Still acceptable if you’re not going to install a lot of apps. The extra storage you get with the C423 means you’ll be able to install plenty of apps without any issues. The USA version of this laptop usually comes with 32 GB of Storage.
|Asus C423 (UK)
|Asus C423 (USA)
Asus C423 Display
As I mentioned at the beginning of this article. There is usually always something you need to compromise on when buying a cheap laptop. Well, with the Asus C423 that compromise is the display. There are two issues I have with this display. The first is that it uses a TN panel instead of IPS. This means you have to sit right in front of the display. If you move away from that position the images and text on the screen will be difficult to view.
I recently reviewed the Acer 311 C722, which also comes with a TN panel. I do like that laptop but the TN panel is something you need to know about. As I’ve said, it’s fine but you should not expect the display to impress. It’s perfectly fine to use but colours do look a little washed out. However, like I said compromises need to be made at this price.
The problem is the Asus C423 has another flaw when it comes to the display. It only uses the Standard resolution of 1,366 by 768. Again, this is the same as the Acer 311. The difference is the Acer 311 comes with an 11.6-inch display. The standard definition on a 14-inch display is not going to look good. Personally speaking, I’d never buy a 14-inch laptop that comes with SD. You need Full HD when dealing with a display of this size. It also has no touchscreen, so you may find some Android apps don’t work too well without one.
|1,366 x 768 (SD)
The Asus C423 delivers when it comes to connectivity. You’ll find two older USB A ports, which are handy if you have older peripherals that use Type-A. The two newer Type C ports are good to see because newer peripherals tend to use this type of port. Also, USB Type C can be used to charge your laptop and connect an external display.
The Micro SD slot means you can add further storage at a later date. Adding further storage at a later date using an SD card is pretty cheap. You can’t install Android apps on an SD card, so you still need to ensure you have plenty of local storage for that. However, an SD card does mean you can install other files there. This will keep your local storage available for any Android Apps you want to install.
|Micro SD slot
Is the asus C423 Chromebook right for you?
There is no denying it. The Asus C423 is a decent laptop for the money. This is what you’ve got to consider when buying a cheap laptop. It will be perfect for internet surfing and spreadsheet work. It also looks nice as well, which is really good to see at the price.
The thing that lets this laptop down is the display. It does not have an IPS panel, so you should not expect great viewing angles. Also, colours are not as vibrant on a TN panel compared to IPS. That I can forgive, but a 14-inch display with Standard definition is a step too far for me. It’s fine for a smaller display such as 11.6-inch to use SD. I don’t think a 14-inch display should be using anything less than Full HD.
That being said, the SD resolution may make this a good choice for anyone who hasn’t perfect eyesight. The Standard resolution will make it much easier to read what is on the screen. It all depends on what you want. If you’re not too fussed about having an amazing display. Then you may be happy with what is on offer considering the price.
Automatic Update Expiry (AUE) date
All ChromeOS computers receive updates on a monthly basis. These updates bring new functionality to your Chromebook or Chromebox. Apart from offering some great new features with every update; these updates also ensure you’re safe when surfing online.
This is one of the reasons why ChromeOS computers are much safer than computers running on a different operating system. To continually improve ChromeOS and take advantage of the new technology found in the latest Chromebooks; all ChromeOS computers come with an AUE date. Once this date is reached your Chromebook will no longer receive automatic updates. Find out more about the AUE date and check the AUE date for any ChromeOS computer.
Where to buy
Below is a list of some of the retailers who sell Chromebooks:
Chromebook retailers (UK)
Chromebook retailers (USA)
Chromebook retailers (Canada)
Chromebook retailers (Australia)