Asus has updated the P42JC, most notably with a more powerful processor and an upgraded graphics card. This business laptop now features an Intel i5 Sandy Bridge processor and an NVidia GeForce 520M graphics card. The design of Asus P43SJ is businesslike – angular matte black surfaces, with brushed metal on the lid and keyboard setting. Build quality is solid.
Security options on P43SJ are abundant – LoJack and BIOS Booting User Protection, and HDD User Password Support and Security are all here, as is Intel’s Anti-Theft technology, whereby the P43SJ periodically sends location data to a central database, so the machine can be recovered if reported stolen. This option costs 80 euros for four years’ protection.
Ports are Kensignton Lock, LAN, VGA, HDMI, USB 2.0 on the left side. On the right side of P42JC notebook we find headphone and microphone jacks, two more USB 2.0 ports, and optical drive. There is no USB-3 connectivity.
The 14-inch, 1366 x 768 pixel screen of P42JC gives sharp images and text, although brightness is really only average for a middle-range notebook. Thankfully the display is not automatically dimmed on battery power. Although the screen’s brightness and contrast ratios are only middling, the display is fine for office use, and the non-reflective surface makes outdoor use possible. However, viewing angles are more suited to a single user, or two at a pinch.
Both keyboard and touchpad of Asus P43SJ are first-rate – accurate, responsive and comfortable to use for long periods. The Intel 2.3GHz i5-2410M dualcore Sandy Bridge processor is coupled with an Nvidia Geforce GT 520M, which is an entry-level graphics card. With such specs, games are only playable at lowered settings or reduced resolutions. We feel the choice of graphics card was a fudge, since the 520M only offers slightly better performance than Intels HD3000 integrated solution, which would have meant much longer battery life. In benchmarks Asus P43SJ falls into the weakest third of notebook sporting this CPU-GPU combination, but at least the P43SJ cooling mechanism works well enough for Turbo Boost to speed up a couple of cores, helping performance for most applications.
Yet the Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E320 with its i5-2310M and Intel HD3000 matches the P43SJ performance wise, and offers better battery life. For hard drive storage Asus offers a 320GB 5400rpm model, providing average file transfer of 66MB/s. Overall benchmarks scores of P43SJ would greatly benefit from a faster 7200rpm drive.
Who’d have guessed? The speakers lack bass. You might even say they were faintly tinny. Good speaker quality on a laptop is rare. The Toshiba Qosmio X775 or the Dell XPS 15 are the best option here. Considering the lack of Optimus switching, the P43SJ’s battery life under moderate use gives three hours, which is not poor for a business machine. Display quality can be overlooked, and lack of USB-3 connectivity should only seldom be a problem. But the hard drive is of the slower variety, and the lack of Optimus battery-saving technology means the P43SJ has just too many drawbacks. Nonetheless, it’s adequate for 95% of business tasks. Computers are very capable these days, and perform complicated tasks without breaking sweat, like opening or updating dozens of spreadsheets simultaneously, or browsing twenty sites at once. The Asus P43SJ struggles with current games, but in the office it will swagger around with the best of them.
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