Notebookcheck

Review AsusPro B53V-S4042X Notebook

Tobias Winkler (translated by Liala Stieglitz), 03/23/2013

Outsider with potential. Asus' Pro B53V is the current top model from the Taiwanese business range and lures with abundant equipment. Besides typical business features, the professional Nvidia NVS 5200 graphics is particularly striking. We exhaustively tested whether Asus' Pro B53V principally has what it takes to be a threat for the established competition.

For the original German review, see here.

Asus' Pro B53 is a typical business laptop. Special interfaces, partly uncommon components and qualities that are rarely found in mainstream devices off the shelf form the uniqueness and charm of this device category.

The ASUSPRO series is available for prices starting at approximately 500 Euros (~$642). The price can climb to over 1000 Euros (~$1285) depending on the configuration. Thus, the casing has to straddle the entry-level and upper midrange in order to cater to the need of all target groups. Competitors would for example be Lenovo's L-series ThinkPads (L530) as well as the T-series (T530), particularly if a Full HD screen and the professional Nvidia NVS 5200 is essential. Other contenders are HP's ProBook 6570b, HP's EliteBook 8570p, Dell's Latitude E5530 and Dell's Latitude E6530, just to name a few.

Our Asus Pro B53V-S4042X test model features Intel's Core i5-3210M CPU, Nvidia's NVS 5200 graphics with Optimus technology, 6 GB of RAM, a 500 GB hard drive and a matte Full HD screen. Windows 7 64 bit is still used as the operating system and its price is approximately 950 Euros (~$1221).

Case

The black-gray casing exhibits a very unobtrusive design and does not reveal any slips like high gloss or chrome trimmings. In line with the taste and needs of the business sector, its looks fully comply with the corporate understatement idea. The mostly roughened plastic surfaces are slightly highlighted by a rim around the keyboard and display lid in brushed aluminum looks. Regrettably, these areas are quite susceptible to fingerprints that can only be removed by persistent polishing.

The casing's stiffness generally makes a good impression. The wrist rest is firm and the display lid can only be twisted marginally. However, weak points are found above the battery compartment and on the base in the area of the optical drive. The material can be dented easily in both areas. The material's poor stiffness is particularly noticed underneath the optical drive because the laptop is often picked up exactly here. Then, the casing creaks and conveys a weak impression. The weight of almost 2.8 kilograms exceeds that of the one or other contenders by 100 to 200 grams. In return, a high-capacity battery, which is not always customary in other laptops, is included. The dimensions of approx. 3.5 x 38 x 26 centimeters are within the range of the standard category.

Connectivity

The connectivity of Asus' Pro B53V covers all essential interfaces and even offers alternatives with eSATA and HDMI that are not the rule. USB 2.0, USB 3.0, DisplayPort, VGA and a card reader can be seen as imperative standard interfaces for the business sector. Missing interfaces can be retrofitted via ExpressCard34. A docking port enables connecting external peripherals and expansions quickly in stationary use. Up to four monitors (including the laptop screen) can be connected to Asus' Pro B53V owing to Nvidia's graphics. The Asus PowerStation II does not feature any important interfaces that are not found on the laptop, except for DVI-D. Quite the contrary is true seeing that eSATA and USB 3.0 are only available directly on the laptop. The docking station is compatible with all models from the series and costs about 160 Euros (~$205).

The interface positioning is partly quite unfavorable. Particularly the monitor ports on the left and the fast USB 3.0 and eSATA port on the right could restrict the user's elbowroom when peripherals are connected.

Front: Card reader, Smartcard reader
Front: Card reader, Smartcard reader
Left: Power socket, USB 2.0, VGA, HDMI, DisplayPort, microphone, headphone + S/PDIF
Left: Power socket, USB 2.0, VGA, HDMI, DisplayPort, microphone, headphone + S/PDIF
Rear: 80 Wh battery
Rear: 80 Wh battery
Right: Wi-Fi switch, ExpressCard34, USB 3.0, eSATA/USB 2.0, optical drive, modem jack, Gigabit LAN, Kensington
Right: Wi-Fi switch, ExpressCard34, USB 3.0, eSATA/USB 2.0, optical drive, modem jack, Gigabit LAN, Kensington

Communication

A dual-band capable Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6235 WLAN module befitting Asus' Pro B53V is installed. Thus, the 5 GHz band can be used in addition to the highly-frequented 2.4 GHz band. Theoretical transmission rates of up to 300 Mbit/s are possible via this module equipped with 2 antennas. We did not experience any connection problems in the practical test. Compared with Asus' N76VZ featuring an Atheros Wi-Fi adapter, we even had a signal strength of plus one bar depending on the distance. Gigabit LAN and Bluetooth 4.0 are further connection options. The webcam has a resolution of two megapixels and is sufficient for video calls. It can be covered manually via a hardware switch.

An empty mini-PCIe slot could accommodate a WWAN card. However, the necessary antennas for the user to retrofit this are missing just like models featuring an integrated broadband module. 3G/3.5G support is listed in the configuration specs and corresponding drivers can also be found on Asus' support site though. Perhaps such models are yet to be made available in some places.

Security  

Asus uses all the security features that are currently available in business laptops: Trusted Platform Module 1.2, Smart Card reader, fingerprint scanner, face recognition, Computrace service and Intel's Anti-Theft offer many configuration options. Beyond that, the usual password options on BIOS and system level are also available. More information about security solutions for laptops can be found in our corresponding FAQ article.

Accessories

Asus also stuffs the system installation with plenty of tools and software in its business sector. The eManual can be recommended to inexperienced users as it explains the most important features quite plainly and offers a good first insight. Various setting options, from energy saving over USB-lock up to Wireless Display functionality, are summarized in Intel's Small Business Advantage tool. The user should otherwise very carefully consider what really is necessary.

Maintenance

The large maintenance cover on the base enables accessing the working memory, hard drive and an empty mini-PCIe slot. It apparently does not support mSATA standard because our Crucial m4 mSATA SSD was not identified. The fans cannot be accessed and thus the casing would have to be opened even further to clean them. However, this could lead to loss of warranty. We did not find any clarifying information about which components can be replaced by the user. The user should ask the manufacturer beforehand to be on the safe side.

Warranty

Asus includes a 24 month pick-up and return service. Three years is given on the battery. Asus offers a warranty upgrade to three years for a reasonable 69 Euros, ~$88 (79 Euros, ~$101, international).

Cyberlink Media Suite
Cyberlink Media Suite
Intel Small Business Advanced
Intel Small Business Advanced

Input Devices

Keyboard

The standard-sized keyboard features a dedicated number pad. The lettering is high-contrast and the layout is standard. Special functions are implemented as FN combinations in the F-key row, but not visibly highlighted. Our test model did not have a backlight and it is generally not provided.

The keys are arranged in a 19 mm grid and look very big because the surface is level. This needs some getting used to since the gaps between the keys are much smaller than in models with beveled sides or larger spacing. However, users will likely notice the sometimes more and sometimes less intensely teetering keyboard over the entire surface. This causes an undefined pressure point and spongy typing feel. It is a matter of personal taste whether the medium drop and quiet key stroke can compensate for that. The keyboard has to be classified as borderline for prolific typists.

Touchpad

The touchpad features an area of 80 x 50 millimeters and agreeable gliding traits. Its responsiveness and implementation of finger taps is good. However, the area is a bit tight for some multi-finger gestures and the finger will often have to be placed a second time. The dedicated touchpad buttons are very quiet, slip-proof and implement inputs very reliably. A TrackPoint as known from ThinkPads, Latitudes or ProBooks is not available.

Keyboard
Keyboard
Touchpad
Touchpad
Large arrow keys
Large arrow keys
Standard key layout
Standard key layout

Display

Our test model features a 15.6-inch Full HD screen (1920x1080 pixels) and has a pixel density of 141 dpi. This results in a much bigger desktop than on the optionally available WXGA screen with a resolution of 1366x768 pixels. The Samsung screen in our test model uses TN technology, is illuminated by white LEDs and has a matte surface.

325
cd/m²
341
cd/m²
290
cd/m²
309
cd/m²
329
cd/m²
300
cd/m²
303
cd/m²
295
cd/m²
311
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
Information
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 341 cd/m²
Average: 311.4 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 85 %
Center on Battery: 329 cd/m²
Black: 0.58 cd/m²
Contrast: 567:1
Asus Pro B53V vs. sRGB
Asus Pro B53V vs. sRGB

We ascertained the maximum brightness at nine different measuring points and recorded results ranging from 290 cd/m² in the upper right corner up to 341 cd/m² in the upper center. That is a maximum average of 311 cd/m² at an illumination of 85%.  The brightness can be regulated in ten levels and is not dimmed in battery mode. Thus, the maximum brightness is available for outdoor use, which ensures a well-recognizable image. However, direct sunlight should be avoided because it can otherwise get quite strenuous for the eyes.

The contrast of Samsung's screen is 567:1 and clearly surpasses the usual standard screens. Colors look rich and the user will see a fairly saturated black. Movies, pictures and games simply look a lot nicer and much more realistic.

The sum of reproducible colors can only cover the sRGB color space to a part and reaches approximately 70%. That is remote from the required coverage in graphic fields. At least the screen exhibits a good gray scale resolution, still sufficient color accuracy and viable saturation rates after calibration. But this will not satisfy many photographers and graphic designers from the professional field because clear disadvantages have to be accepted compared with external standard monitors.

Gray scales
Gray scales
Color accuracy
Color accuracy
Color saturation
Color saturation
Calibrated gray scale
Calibrated gray scale
Calibrated color accuracy
Calibrated color accuracy
Calibrated color saturation
Calibrated color saturation

The TN screen's viewing angle stability offers a fairly wide field of view, but cannot prevent the image from fading or inverting vertically. IPS screens are much better in this sector and only a very marginal deviation is seen. The user will have to cope with a slight brightness loss and a visible yellow shimmer when looking from the side.

Generally, Asus has installed a high-quality screen, which is only usable with restrictions for graphic designers, photographers and other application fields that rely on color accuracy.

Viewing angles: Asus B53V-S4042X
Viewing angles: Asus B53V-S4042X

Performance

The Asus Pro B53V offers solid standard components that can provide enough power for many tasks. Our test model uses Intel's Core i5-3210M CPU, 6 GB of RAM (1 x 4 GB + 1 x 2 GB), a 500 GB hard drive and Nvidia's Optimus via Intel HD Graphics 4000 and Nvidia NVS 5200. Optionally, older configurations with a similarly strong Intel CPU or AMD's Radeon HD 6470M graphics are also available. However, they only feature a WXGA screen. Our test model represents the current top model and costs approximately 950 Euros (~$1221).

System info CPUZ CPU
System info CPUZ Cache
System info CPUZ Mainboard
System info CPUZ RAM
System info CPUZ RAM SPD
System info GPUZ
System info HDTune
DPC Latency
System information: Asus B53V-S4042X

Processor

MP3 converting via iTunes
MP3 converting via iTunes

Intel's Core i5-3210M features all cutting edge technologies such as Hyper Threading, Turbo Boost and 64 bit capability. Thus, it can process up to a maximum of 4 threads at the same time and boost single-thread tasks up to 3100 MHz. This ensures a situation adapted, ideal utilization of the technical possibilities. The processor achieved a quite impressive score in the benchmarks that use only one core and thus benefit from a particularly high clock. The SuperPi 32M calculation was finished in 657 seconds and 5221 points was accomplished in Cinebench R10 64 bit single-core. Converting MP3 files to AAC via iTunes is possible with a maximum speed of x43.4.

As good as the scores might be from applications that only support one core, as clear is the difference compared with quad-cores that benefit from multi-core support. The wPrime 1024m calculation took a quite long 544 seconds and relatively low 10901 points was reached in the Cinebench R10 64 bit multi-core benchmark. The results in the multi-core range are roughly twice as high (CB R10 64 bit: 21000 points) with a standard quad-core CPU, such as Intel's Core i7-3610QM.

The user will have to reckon with a clear performance drop in battery mode. The CPU only clocks with 1200 MHz. For example, only 1.05 points rather than 2.88 points was achieved in the Cinebench R11.5 multi-core benchmark. On the other hand, the full performance is maintained during full load when the power supply is connected. We could not provoke CPU throttling.

Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
4081
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
9044
Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
6150
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single CPUs 64Bit
5231 Points
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 64Bit
10901 Points
Cinebench R10 Shading 64Bit
6235 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.25 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
2.88 Points
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
26.1 fps
Help

System Performance

The system performance remains behind its potential due to the conventional hard drive. Beyond that, the system start is needlessly delayed by the innumerable tools that have to be loaded. We ascertained a time of 1:59 minutes before Windows was really usable. Even after that windows popped up and prompted us to register for this or that. The first step for faster booting is deleting unnecessary software and the second could be replacing the storage device. A swift solid state drive would also lead to a subjectively higher speed when opening programs and files. The system accomplished 6970 points in PCMark Vantage and 2042 points in PCMark 7. As we mentioned, the storage device is the main bottleneck though.

5.9
Windows 7 Experience Index
Processor
Calculations per second
7.1
Memory (RAM)
Memory operations per second
7.5
Graphics
Desktop performance for Windows Aero
6.3
Gaming graphics
3D business and gaming graphics
6.3
Primary hard disk
Disk data transfer rate
5.9
PC Mark
PCMark Vantage6970 points
PCMark 72042 points
Help

Storage Devices

Toshiba's conventional hard drive spins with a revolution speed of up to 5400 rpm and has an 8 MB cache. This hard drive's big advantage is its virtually inaudible operating noise. A very quiet clacking can only be heard when the hard drive is accessed. While the capacity of 500 GB is quite practical, this is not quite as true for the speed. An average transfer rate of 76 MB/s and access time of 18.4 ms convey the impression of a very sluggish drive. Since Asus' Pro B53V only sports one hard drive slot and the mSATA standard is not supported, this point can only be improved by exchanging the drive.

Toshiba MQ01ABD050
Transfer Rate Minimum: 5.2 MB/s
Transfer Rate Maximum: 109.7 MB/s
Transfer Rate Average: 76.2 MB/s
Access Time: 18.4 ms
Burst Rate: 51.2 MB/s
CPU Usage: 1 %

Graphics Card

Asus' Pro B53V features Nvidia's Optimus technology and can fall back on both the integrated Intel HD Graphics 4000 as well as the Nvidia NVS 5200M graphics designed for the professional field. As usual, it is possible to select either one of the two graphic chips as the standard GPU and to assign it to the used software manually or automatically. The performance of Nvidia's NVS 5200 roughly corresponds to that of a conventional Nvidia GeForce GT 620M / GT 625M. In contrast to the stronger Nvidia NVS 5400M, the memory bandwidth of the NVS 5200M is only 64 bit and only supports a maximum dedicated graphics memory of 1 GB.

The core clock is 625 MHz and can be increased to 715 MHz via Turbo like in our test model. Besides the otherwise many identical qualities, Nvidia touts the NVS 5200M to have a particularly high reliability and stability in connection with professional applications. It can also control up to four monitors at the same time.

Nvidia's NVS 5200M is on a par with Nvidia's GeForce GT 620M in the graphic benchmarks. 1136 points was achieved in 3DMark 11 and 26.10 fps in Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL, for example. More comparison rates can be found in our comprehensive GPU benchmark chart.

3D Mark
3DMark 06
 1280x1024
7503 points
3DMark Vantage4358 points
3DMark 111136 points
3DMark Ice Storm41446 points
3DMark Cloud Gate4241 points
3DMark Fire Strike671 points
Help

Owing to both graphic chips, various technologies can be drawn on with Asus' Pro B53V, which make it possible to outsource computing tasks to the GPU. OpenCL, Nvidia CUDA and Intel Quick Sync are now used by many programs to generate a speed advantage. Performance demanding filters and effects can be accelerated in Photoshop CS 6; WinZip 17 uses OpenCL for compressing files; in addition to certain effects, the AVC / H.264 coding also has benefits in Sony Vegas 12 and we have included the converting programs Badaboom and MediaEspresso many times in our practical tests. We again used Cyberlink's MediaEspresso to exemplify which speed advantage can be achieved in video converting compared to CPU-only calculation.

MediaEspresso video converting
MediaEspresso video converting
Sony Vegas Pro 12 GPU option
Sony Vegas Pro 12 GPU option
WinZip 17 GPU acceleration
WinZip 17 GPU acceleration

Although Nvidia's NVS 5200M is associated with the professional field, a performance advantage in professional 3D construction software (CAD, etc.) cannot be expected. The scores of the SPECviewperf 11 benchmark are on a par with the conventional GeForce graphics chip. Models, such as Nvidia's Quadro or AMD's FirePro, are much stronger in this application scenario.

The graphics performance drops by approximately 40% in battery mode. For example, we only achieved 17.05 fps rather than 26.10 fps in Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL Shading In return, we did not record any performance losses even after two hours of full load when the power supply was connected. The GPU-Z tool always displayed the GPU clock rate with its maximum Turbo of 715 MHz.

SPECviewperf 11
1920x1080 Catia AA:0x AF:0x (sort by value)
Asus B53V-S4042X
4.95 fps ∼7%
Fujitsu Celsius H720 H7200WXP11DE
22.94 fps ∼33% +363%
Asus N76VM-V2G-T1078V
3.97 fps ∼6% -20%
Samsung 310E5C-U01PL
4.13 fps ∼6% -17%
Samsung 310E5C-U01PL
4.13 fps ∼6% -17%
1920x1080 Ensight AA:0x AF:0x (sort by value)
Asus B53V-S4042X
12.36 fps ∼12%
Fujitsu Celsius H720 H7200WXP11DE
11.61 fps ∼12% -6%
Asus N76VM-V2G-T1078V
11.07 fps ∼11% -10%
Samsung 310E5C-U01PL
9.8 fps ∼10% -21%
Samsung 310E5C-U01PL
9.8 fps ∼10% -21%
1920x1080 Lightwave AA:0x AF:0x (sort by value)
Asus B53V-S4042X
12.89 fps ∼16%
Fujitsu Celsius H720 H7200WXP11DE
44.19 fps ∼55% +243%
Asus N76VM-V2G-T1078V
15.38 fps ∼19% +19%
Samsung 310E5C-U01PL
9.26 fps ∼11% -28%
Samsung 310E5C-U01PL
9.26 fps ∼11% -28%
1920x1080 Maya AA:0x AF:0x (sort by value)
Asus B53V-S4042X
8.4 fps ∼7%
Fujitsu Celsius H720 H7200WXP11DE
38.85 fps ∼35% +363%
Asus N76VM-V2G-T1078V
10.82 fps ∼10% +29%
Samsung 310E5C-U01PL
6.4 fps ∼6% -24%
Samsung 310E5C-U01PL
6.4 fps ∼6% -24%
1920x1080 Pro/ENGINEER AA:0x AF:0x (sort by value)
Asus B53V-S4042X
1.04 fps ∼5%
Fujitsu Celsius H720 H7200WXP11DE
12.92 fps ∼68% +1142%
Asus N76VM-V2G-T1078V
1.14 fps ∼6% +10%
Samsung 310E5C-U01PL
0.88 fps ∼5% -15%
Samsung 310E5C-U01PL
0.88 fps ∼5% -15%
1920x1080 SolidWorks AA:0x AF:0x (sort by value)
Asus B53V-S4042X
6.41 fps ∼10%
Fujitsu Celsius H720 H7200WXP11DE
30.9 fps ∼48% +382%
Asus N76VM-V2G-T1078V
7.16 fps ∼11% +12%
Samsung 310E5C-U01PL
7.53 fps ∼12% +17%
Samsung 310E5C-U01PL
7.53 fps ∼12% +17%
1920x1080 Tcvis AA:0x AF:0x (sort by value)
Asus B53V-S4042X
0.84 fps ∼1%
Fujitsu Celsius H720 H7200WXP11DE
22.34 fps ∼37% +2560%
Asus N76VM-V2G-T1078V
0.88 fps ∼1% +5%
Samsung 310E5C-U01PL
0.77 fps ∼1% -8%
Samsung 310E5C-U01PL
0.77 fps ∼1% -8%
1920x1080 Siemens NX AA:0x AF:0x (sort by value)
Asus B53V-S4042X
2.52 fps ∼4%
Fujitsu Celsius H720 H7200WXP11DE
17.43 fps ∼28% +592%
Asus N76VM-V2G-T1078V
2.09 fps ∼3% -17%
Samsung 310E5C-U01PL
2.61 fps ∼4% +4%
Samsung 310E5C-U01PL
2.61 fps ∼4% +4%

Legend

 
Asus B53V-S4042X Intel Core i5-3210M, NVIDIA NVS 5200M, Toshiba MQ01ABD050
 
Fujitsu Celsius H720 H7200WXP11DE Intel Core i7-3720QM, NVIDIA Quadro K1000M, Micron RealSSD C400-MTFDDAC256MAM
 
Asus N76VM-V2G-T1078V Intel Core i7-3610QM, NVIDIA GeForce GT 630M, Seagate Momentus SpinPoint M8 ST1000LM024
 
Samsung 310E5C-U01PL Intel Pentium B970, NVIDIA GeForce GT 620M, Hitachi Travelstar 5K750 HTS547550A9E384

Gaming Performance

The gaming suitability is basically limited to low and medium resolutions and quality settings. Compared with the Intel HD Graphics 4000, only a slightly higher performance in form of a few fps can be seen. This could result in a slightly bigger margin for some quality controls. More comparison rates can be found in the review of the Asus Pro B43V and in our comprehensive gaming benchmark chart.

low med.high ultra
World of Warcraft (2005) 26713834fps
StarCraft 2 (2010) 13738209fps
Tomb Raider (2013) 41.217.411.9fps

Emissions

System Noise

Asus' Pro B53V in our test configuration is an exceptionally quiet business laptop. Its virtually silent 29.2 dB(A) during low load was only interrupted by an occasional brief and quiet fan noise. The cooling element muted again after this short ventilation. The fan's speed naturally increased during medium load and reached a very audible 37.3 dB(A). This is the load that is common for converting and gaming. The maximum fan level of 40.4 dB(A) was only generated during maximum CPU and GPU load and will unlikely be deemed unpleasant by most users even after a longer time.

Noise Level

Idle 29.2 / 29.2 / 29.2 dB(A)
HDD 30.4 dB(A)
DVD 35.7 / dB(A)
Load 37.3 / 40.4 dB(A)
 
    30 dB
silent
40 dB
audible
50 dB
loud
 
min: , med: , max:    PCE-322A (15 cm distance)

Temperature

The low noise development does not have a negative effect on the casing's surface temperatures. We measured a maximum of 36.4 °C during low load and a maximum of 39.6 °C after two hours of full load in the vent's area. The wrist rest and keyboard were always cool and thus using the device on the lap is possible even during full load. We did not observe CPU or graphics throttling.

Max. Load
 30.8 °C27.3 °C25.1 °C 
 32.4 °C29.7 °C25.6 °C 
 28.1 °C27.8 °C25.0 °C 
Maximum: 32.4 °C
Average: 28 °C
24.9 °C27.2 °C34.6 °C
25.5 °C28.3 °C37.5 °C
24.3 °C32.1 °C29.9 °C
Maximum: 37.5 °C
Average: 29.4 °C
Power Supply (max.)  46.2 °C | Room Temperature 21 °C | Fennel Firt 550

Speakers

The speakers' sound quality only reaches the usual business standard despite the Altec Lansing logo. They can only be seen as a makeshift solution featuring a treble-heavy, bass-lacking and virtually inaudible midrange sound. The maximum volume is also too low and tends to distort in the last levels. External solutions can be connected via analog jack, S/PDIF or HDMI with 7.1 channel support. The headphone and microphone have dedicated jacks.

Energy Management

Power Consumption

The power consumption ranges from a minimum of 7.8 watts up to a maximum of 66.5 watts. It is just the minimum consumption that is made possible by the Intel HD Graphics 4000. The idle consumption is approximately 2 watts higher when Nvidia's graphics is active. Another prevalent consumer is the screen. We ascertained a consumption increase of roughly 4 watts from minimum to maximum brightness. However, the user then has a very bright screen that can be used comfortably outdoors. Altogether, the consumption rates are low to moderate and offer good preconditions for long battery runtimes. A Sonata Longlife battery with a capacity of 80 Wh was included for our test device. The battery closes flush with the casing. In addition to the fairly generous capacity, Asus includes an above average warranty of 3 years on this model.

Power Consumption

Off / Standby 0.1 / 0.5 Watt
Idle 7.8 / 13.2 / 13.7 Watt
Load 50.6 / 66.5 Watt
 
Key: min: , med: , max:         Voltcraft VC 940

Battery Runtime

Reader's Test
Maximum battery runtime (Reader's Test)
Classic Test
Minimum runtime (Classic Test)

The test model achieved 568 minutes of mains independence in Battery Eater's Reader's test using minimum brightness, energy saving mode and disabled wireless modules. It was still a good 5:22 hours in the Wi-Fi test with an adapted brightness of approx. 150 cd/m². DVD playback was not quite as long with a runtime of 4:41 hours using energy saving mode, Intel Graphics 4000, wireless off and maximum brightness.

Asus' Pro B53V provides much better full load battery runtime than the rates we measured at the mains let us assume. Besides the Nvidia Optimus technology and the 80 Wh battery, Asus also does not at all shy from reducing the clock rate of the graphics chip and processor. Also probably not to exceedingly overstrain the long-life dubbed Sonata battery. This led to 3:25 hours in Battery Eater's Classic test using maximum brightness, high-performance mode and enabled wireless modules. However, this very long minimum runtime also includes a clear performance decrease.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
9h 28min
WiFi Surfing
5h 22min
DVD
5h 08min
Load (maximum brightness)
3h 25min

Verdict

Asus Pro B53V
Asus Pro B53V

Asus' Pro B53V is a solid business laptop that particularly convinces with its extensive configuration, quiet operating noise and long battery runtimes. Typical business features like a docking port, Smartcard reader and DisplayPort are also found. The casing is overall rigid and well built. However, quite noticeable weak points are seen underneath the optical drive and above the battery compartment.

The system performance is sufficient for many office tasks and is also suitable for converting and rendering tasks when technologies like CUDA, OpenCL and Quick Sync are supported. Nvidia's NVS 5200M can provide a slightly higher performance than the Intel HD Graphics 4000 in 3D graphics performance, but it quickly finds its limits in demanding tasks. The recurrently perceivable weak point in terms of performance is the slow conventional hard drive. It slows the total system in many situations and causes an overall sluggish responsiveness.

While this drawback can be alleviated quite well by exchanging the drive, it is not possible with the middling keyboard. Particularly prolific typists will probably dislike the teetering keyboard mat and the unclear pressure point.

It is also not possible to do anything about the reduced performance of the processor and Nvidia graphics in battery mode. On the other hand, just this intervention makes the especially long minimum runtime of over 3 hours possible.

The high resolution screen compels with its high brightness, good illumination and decent contrast. The imperfect color accuracy, viewing angle stability and color space coverage will likely only be an excluding criterion in the graphic and image processing field.

If the user can accept the one or other drawback, the Asus' Pro B53V is an attractively priced business laptop that can keep up with the established competition, if not excel it.

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Specifications

Asus B53V-S4042X
Processor
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA NVS 5200M - 1024 MB, Core: 625-715 MHz, Memory: 900 MHz, Forceware 306.97 Win 7 64, Nvidia Optimus mit Intel HD Graphics 4000
Memory
6144 MB 
, Hynix, PC3-12800, 1x2GB + 1x4 GB, max. 16 GB
Display
15.6 inch 16:9, 1920x1080 pixel, Samsung SEC 314C, TN LED, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel HM77 (Panther Point)
Harddisk
Toshiba MQ01ABD050, 500 GB 
5400 rpm
Soundcard
Intel Panther Point PCH - High Definition Audio Controller
Connections
1 Express Card 34mm, 2 USB 2.0, 1 USB 3.0, 1 VGA, 1 HDMI, 1 DisplayPort, 1 Kensington Lock, 1 eSata, 1 Docking Station Port, Audio Connections: microphone, headphone, S/PDIF, Card Reader: SD/ MS/ MS Pro/ xD/ MMC, 1 SmartCard, 1 Fingerprint Reader,
Networking
Realtek RTL8168/8111 Gigabit-LAN (10/100/1000MBit), Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6235 (a b g n ), 4.0 Bluetooth
Optical drive
Slimtype DVD A DS8A8SH
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 35 x 384 x 263 ( = 1.38 x 15.12 x 10.35 in)
Weight
2.79 kg ( = 98.41 oz) Power Supply: 430 g ( = 15.17 oz)
Battery
80 Wh Lithium-Ion, 14.4V, 5600 mAh
Price
950 Euro
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64 Bit
Additional features
Webcam: 2 MP, Keyboard Light: no

 

[+] compare
Asus' Pro B53V is a solid business laptop with many advantages.
Asus' Pro B53V is a solid business laptop with many advantages.
Full-sized cards can be inserted into the empty mini-PCIe slot.
Full-sized cards can be inserted into the empty mini-PCIe slot.
Our mSATA SSD was not identified though.
Our mSATA SSD was not identified though.
Toshiba's hard drive is quiet and rather sluggish.
Toshiba's hard drive is quiet and rather sluggish.
The battery capacity is 80 Wh...
The battery capacity is 80 Wh...
and includes an especially long warranty period of 3 years.
and includes an especially long warranty period of 3 years.
The PSU is quite compact...
The PSU is quite compact...
and provides a sufficient nominal power of 90 watts.
and provides a sufficient nominal power of 90 watts.
The webcam has a resolution of 2MP and can be covered manually.
The webcam has a resolution of 2MP and can be covered manually.
The working memory can be expanded to a maximum of 16 GB via 2 modules.
The working memory can be expanded to a maximum of 16 GB via 2 modules.
It's easy to replace the RAM and storage device. Antennas for a WWAN module are absent.
It's easy to replace the RAM and storage device. Antennas for a WWAN module are absent.
Besides the business card slot on the base, the big maintenance cover is particularly interesting for upgrades.
Besides the business card slot on the base, the big maintenance cover is particularly interesting for upgrades.
It is very quiet during low load and provides enough computing power for many office tasks.
It is very quiet during low load and provides enough computing power for many office tasks.
The casing is good but has two clear weak points beneath the optical drive and above the battery.
The casing is good but has two clear weak points beneath the optical drive and above the battery.
The keyboard needs a lot of getting used to. It teeters and features a spongy pressure point.
The keyboard needs a lot of getting used to. It teeters and features a spongy pressure point.
The exterior's design is restrained and is made in solid black.
The exterior's design is restrained and is made in solid black.
The high res screen is bright, high-contrast and features wide viewing angles for a TN screen.
The high res screen is bright, high-contrast and features wide viewing angles for a TN screen.
The 3D graphics performance quickly finds its limits and is only enough for basic settings.
The 3D graphics performance quickly finds its limits and is only enough for basic settings.
Asus puts a lot of ad stickers on the B53V's wrist rest, which persistently remind the user about the innumerable software additions on the hard drive.
Asus puts a lot of ad stickers on the B53V's wrist rest, which persistently remind the user about the innumerable software additions on the hard drive.
The touchpad is a bit small but features decent touchpad buttons.
The touchpad is a bit small but features decent touchpad buttons.
The fingerprint scanner is standard like many other security features.
The fingerprint scanner is standard like many other security features.

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Links

  • Manufacturer's information

Compare Prices

Pro

+Connectivity
+Battery life
+Noise development
+Temperature development
+Business features
+Battery warranty
+Screen
 

Cons

-Reduced performance in battery mode
-Keyboard
-Hard drive
-Interface positioning

Shortcut

What we like

Asus' Pro B53V offers configuration details that are otherwise only found in upper range business devices.

What we'd like to see

A much better keyboard with a backlight and a fast storage device.

What surprises us

That a rather middling keyboard is installed in a business laptop of this price range.

The competition

Midrange and premium business laptops, such as Lenovo's ThinkPad L530 and T530, HP's ProBook 6570b and EliteBook 8570p, Dell's Latitude E5530 and E6530 or Fujitsu's LifeBook S752.

Rating

Asus B53V-S4042X
03/28/2013 v3
Tobias Winkler

Chassis
84%
Keyboard
74%
Pointing Device
85%
Connectivity
87%
Weight
77%
Battery
92%
Display
86%
Games Performance
78%
Application Performance
89%
Temperature
92%
Noise
92%
Add Points
86%
Average
85%
85%
Office *
Weighted Average
> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > Review AsusPro B53V-S4042X Notebook
Author: Tobias Winkler, 2013-03-23 (Update: 2013-07-13)