CPU: Pentium N3350
GPU: HD Graphics 500
Display: 14-inch, 1366 x 720-pixel or 1080p
Connectivity: Wi-Fi 5, Bluetooth 4
Size: 12.6 x 8.9 x 0.7 inches
Weight: 2.7 pounds
If you want an inexpensive Chromebook with a sleek design and a variety of ports, the Asus Chromebook C423NA is a solid choice. However, even at its low $260 price, we struggle to justify this purchase because of the C423NA's slow performance and dim, non-touch display.
Asus Chromebook 423NA design and ports
Size matters and the Asus Chromebook 423NA is among the smallest, lightest and least expensive Chromebooks with a 14-inch screen you can get. However, it falls short of the mark with a dim screen, insufficient configuration and low-performance potential.
At 12.6 x 8.9 x 0.7-inches and 2.7-pounds, the C423NA is a little smaller and lighter than the C933T system, but at least half a pound lighter than the x360 14C. It’s a system that can travel easily from living room to den or home to school – and back.
It’s not a rugged system as evidenced by the noticeable lid flexes. However, the C423NA folds flat on a table for easy collaboration. Compared to its competitors, the 14-inch non-touchscreen makes some compromises such as a 1366 x 720 resolution instead of full HD. However, you can upgrade the panel to 1080p for an additional $40 (we recommend you do so).
The system brings a good assortment of ports to school, with a pair of USB-C and USB 3.0 Type-A connections for flash storage keys and plug-in printers. It’s much less restrictive than the Pixelbook Go’s two USB-C ports. There’s also a jack for headphones that might make Zoom lessons more understandable.
For connectivity, there is an 802.11ac Wi-Fi adapter with Bluetooth 4.0 but no LTE 4G option. The laptop has a Trusted Platform Module (TPM) that can ease online connections with the school’s servers. The system lacks the fingerprint reader found on the x360 14C.
Asus Chromebook 423NA display and webcam
At full brightness, the C423NA’s display delivered a disappointing 205 nits. And when we measured for color reproduction capability; the notebook only notched 42.1% of the DCI P3 gamut. That’s why normally vibrant colors looked washed out on the panel.
The system’s 1280 x 720-resolution webcam and microphone are adequate for Zoom learning, although the full HD cam on the Pixelbook Go provided more detailed video. The C423NA lacks a webcam cover which would have been nice for the sake of privacy.
Asus Chromebook 423NA keyboard and touchpad
Its keys are responsive, but their 1.3 millimeter of key travel makes them feel shallow. Like the C933T, The lack of backlighting means that the system is less useful in a darkened classroom or bedroom. The system’s 4.9-inch touchpad feels small compared to the 5.4-inch touchpad on the x360 14C.
Asus Chromebook 423NA speakers
As is the case with the C933T and Chromebook Plus, the C423NA’s speakers have bottom-mounted speakers that fail to deliver strong mid-range and high-end notes and sounds muffled at times. The C423NA’s sound system is better for listening to people talk, like in a recorded lecture or online classroom, than for music or movies.
Asus Chromebook 423NA performance
Under its silver and black plastic skin, the C423NA has a Pentium N3350 processor with 4GB of RAM. Off the shelf, the C423NA’s 32GB of storage space will only do if most of the accumulated notes, essays and homework assignments are stored in the cloud. You can expand its capacity with a micro SD card that can add up to 512GB of space.
The C423NA’s performance left us wanting more and it might be better for an elementary school student than someone going off to college. Its Geekbench 5 scores of 272 and 527 on the single- and multi-processor suite of tests are less than one-third the performance of HP’s x360 14C.
The system’s Jetstream 2 and WebXPRT scores of 39.7 and 59 reflected its online potential, although it struggled somewhat to handle Zoom calls and the Desmos graphing calculator; it took longer than the others to load the PhET science simulations.
Asus Chromebook 423NA battery life
It may have the lowest capacity battery of the group, but the C423NA’s 38 watt-hours are put to good use. Able to run for 10 hours and 55 minutes of playing YouTube videos, it flew by the Chromebook Plus’s 7:35 but couldn’t match the Pixelbook Go’s 13:05. When we ran the Laptop Mag battery test (continuous web surfing over Wi-Fi at 150 nits of brightness), the C423NA lasted 7:58.
Asus Chromebook 423NA bottom line
Inexpensive to a fault, the $270 Asus Chromebook C4232NA may be small and light enough for children to carry around the house or to and from school, but it skimps on too many things. It’s for buyers who are focused on price alone.