I bought the B53J-B1B notebook a week ago and thought I'd start a user forum to share thoughts and experiences, and for users or anyone interested to post questions about it etc.
This notebook is not available in Australia so I imported it from the US but it has been a terrific professional notebook so far.
Here's a quick list just off the top of my head for now but as I think of things I'll update it...
- Build quality: Very high quality frame and brushed metal finish. Feels very sturdy and strong and is professional looking
- Windows 7 PRO
- Security: fingerprint reader, ability to destroy data remotely, smart card etc.
- Performance: i7 and 4GB memory and it hums along
- Fast HDD and comes partitioned with OS section and 200GB data section
- Keyboard is full size and easy to use
- Touchpad is very good
- Wifi and BT signal is excellent
- Screen looks great (though it's not Full HD 1080p, but I use an external monitor when docked so not a big issue for me, and this is also normal for this price range)
- Amount of software (some very useful like secure data delete and cloud storage)
- Limited accessories for it (spare battery, docking station, power packs etc), but this is because it's brand new, it'll become available with time.
- Some flex in the keyboard. Not noticeable when typing or poor build quality, but it's not a chicklet keyboard so it is there.
- Amount of software (some bloat ware and not useful, immediately uninstalled)
- The Fn keys aren't differentiated by colour (I imagine to keep it looking professional and minimalist) so it blends in to the F keys a bit more (minor gripe).
- Although it's brushed metal, it's still a fingerprint magnet!
I get about 2-2.5hrs battery time with normal use (wifi on and pretty high screen brightness). It's a 3-cell battery but new charging technology. I believe a 6 or 9 cell is (or will be) available. But the weight/battery life is fine for me.
Otherwise it's reasonably thin but more like your standard notebook size. Most of the ASUS firmware and apps are useful (I particularly like the 1-touch button to switch desktops between person and professional use which changes the wallpaper, hides icons, turns off alerts etc).
The Intel i7 and the ATI card can both control the gfx. They don't compete with one another, the ATI takes charge of managing performance and screen resolution etc, but I found it a little confusing at first knowing which one to use and for what to adjust preferences and switch monitors etc. But there's an automated option with ATI where it will adjust when it detected external monitor connects etc and this has worked very well so far.
I have it running on a single 24" monitor at the moment, no issues at 1080p.
It can run 2 monitors independently (plus the notebook screen) off the one video card which is impressive on paper. It's something I plan to use in the future, but haven't actually tried it yet. Though it's a feature of the particular commercial notebook so I'm sure it'll be fine.
Given we (in Aus) have to import these, I was a little concerned about the power supply, but it's just a cloverleaf cord connection, so I just bought one from JayCar for <$10 and it plus straight into the power pack itself. So no adapters or anything like that. It just looks like a normal Aus notebook power supply now.
3yr international warranty was definitely a factor in getting the over any other notebook, particularly importing it. Plus the build quality and business purpose was exactly what I was looking for.
If anyone wants to know anything more specific please let me know.
Tell me more about the weight and typing on the keyboard, I can take a little bit of flex with no problems and like you I'm sure Asus will get a clue and come out with a bigger battery if they expect to get any serious business share
I'm torn between this one and the U33...love the look of the fit and finish bamboo plus features but the ones on this laptop (b43/53) can't be touched!! Thanks for the review
Well regarding the weight, it's certainly noticeably lighter than my old notebook (also an ASUS with the same size screen), and lighter than my similarly sized Lenovo notebook I was using at work. But, I wouldn't call it light. So perhaps that's down to the battery included (obviously 6/9-cell batteries would add to the overall weight). But the weight of the notebook itself (components, frame, finish) is 'good'. But it'll not compete with the super slim's available now, however there is usually a performance trade-off with size isn't there.
I found portability has been fine so far, but it has the grunt to be a workhorse when needed. I usually use mine at a workstation at home or work and it performs really well.
The keyboard is functionally perfectly fine. I only noticed there is a little flex by look at it and looking for it. It certainly doesn't depress or move or anything like that in use. It's not backlit or chicklet though (not an issue for me, but a feature some people might be looking for nonetheless). I suppose it's just a normal notebook keyboard feel, but I really like the layout of the num pad on the right hand side of it.
Thanks for the review, I'm really looking forward to this laptop. Finally asus came up with a non-glossy LCD, just disappointed that they keep putting that 1366*768 LCD in everything instead of a proper laptop resolution.
Does anyone know if there are any hardware differences between the 43J and the 53J? (other than CPU options and size)
If anyone already has either the 53J or 43J already, I'd really like to know if it has a spare mini-PCIe slot.
Also, Asus advertises that it has DDR3 1333, but I was under the impression that mobile core processors only go up to 1066. what's up with that? did asus just get their hands on a cheap batch of 1333 modules and put them in there anyway?
Dimension-wise, how does it compare to a macbookpro 15in and how's the thermal management system? My previous experience with asus notebooks (G1s and F6), is that they run quite hot under full load compared to other brands.
The advantage of a matte screen is that I can use it outside but with a full black case and core i7, I can see it frying pretty fast under the sun.
Thanks for starting this thread! I just got my B53 this week and am enjoying it so far, but I do have a few questions:
How do I enable/enroll the fingerprint reader for logon?
Can this notebook automatically switch graphics processing between Intel (power-saving) and ATI (high-performance) based on usage, like with Asus's Optimus technology, or only when on battery power?
Unfortunately I am working in a difference office today and not on my B53, but there is a security suite pre-installed (can't recall the software name off the top of my head though - SecureWave rings a bell?), that you open to 'save' your fingerprint scans and manage the security (login) settings.
When you are prompted with the windows logon pad you can use fingerprint OR password.
Yes it can switch the gfx automatically. I haven't reconfigured what come pre installed, but mine switches between performance and power saving modes on or off AC, and it detects when it has been plugged into a monitor and switches to ATI for HDMI HD monitors.