Asus just forayed into the commercial PC market in India with the launch of its Expert Series brand and the one that stole the limelight at today's event is the ExpertBook B9. The most premium and powerful business laptop of the lot is easily an appealing target for many, especially during this lockdown when people are relying on personal laptops more than ever. Here you'll read about what makes the flagship ExpertBook B9450FA so great.
We, at IBTimes, had been testing this flagship machine for nearly two weeks and it has made a lasting impression. Asus has really paid close attention to the details, making sure those ergonomics are perfectly aligned with the styling factor.
Asus ExpertBook B9 starts at Rs 1,02,228 in India, but the high-end configuration will set you back for Rs 1,59,294. So, Asus ExpertBook B9 might not be the first thing that comes to mind but it sure can be shortlisted while looking for a no-compromise machine. Here's why.
Asus ExpertBook B9 is in the same league as HP Elite Dragonfly and Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon - both beautiful machines but are comparatively expensive. The Asus ExpertBook B9 packs the punch and it's not that expensive too.
Asus ExpertBook B9 is one of the most elegant designs and its unbelievably light. The incredibly slim design makes it a travelers' delight. The level of sophistication in the overall design is something that will grab eyeballs at board meetings.
The ExpertBook B9 weighs little under one kilogram, thanks to the Asus' engineering prowess. Asus has gone with magnesium-lithium and magnesium aluminum alloys while the lid back and base are made of magnesium-lithium alloy, which has helped shed those extra grams. But the lightness does not mean the laptop is fragile. It feels solid in hand and quite durable at that. Also, the laptop has received several military specification certifications too.
Asus' signature hinges stand out in the machine. Dubbed as ErgoLift, the unique design helps in heat dissipation as well as typing comfortably. It makes perfect sense for long working hours, which involve a lot of typing - ideally in our line of work.
Complimenting the overall design is a matte black finish on the back. We always admire matte-black-anything, so we were naturally inclined towards the B9's outlook. And if you've an eye for detail, that back cover has shiny blue particles if you look closely, which is reminiscent of a starry night sky. Thankfully it's too subtle and does not shine a bling factor, which would not suit the taste of some business officials in board meetings.
Asus ExpertBook B9 is not just eye-candy. The practical design makes it a perfect companion, be it for traveling or working out of your 21st-floor office.
It is not one of the best displays out there but the features around it makes for an ideal package. For a 14-inch Full HD display, the laptop feels quite compact. The lack of bezels accommodates for a larger display. A 94 percent screen-to-body ratio combined with 300-nits of brightness on an anti-glare AUO AHVA panel, the ExpertBook B9 is perfect for binge-watching your favourite shows. If any screen is good enough to binge-watch shows, it's sure good for a busy workday. We had been using the laptop for 10+ hours a day and the display is good enough to look away.
But that's not even the best part. There's a super power-saving 1W consumption feature that really, really adds to the battery life. A great display is always a power hogger, not ExpertBook B9. The display also has excellent viewing angles and it can be tilted back to a full 180-degree for a better view.
But those who look for detail are going to notice the display resolution is a tad low and the 16:9 aspect ratio is not ideal. For us, it wasn't a deal-breaker.
Coming from a MacBook user, the ExpertBook B9's keyboard is excellent. The backlit keyboard with perfect distancing between the keys lets you just glide your fingers to type those lengthy reviews (such as this one). There's excellent feedback and doesn't feel any strain while typing. The missing number pad is not a concern as Asus has the perfect idea of integrating it right within the touchpad. The brightness of the number pad in the touchpad can be adjusted, and there's also a calculator function in it. One cool feature is when you hold and swipe the button, it activates the mini keyboard in Windows.
Just below the touchpad is a light bar, which is for Alexa. That is quite cool really and perfect for interacting with Alexa without having to hunt for visual cues on the screen.
The touchpad is also large enough to move the cursor around the big display without having to struggle. The touch response is accurate and doesn't reject any feedback. The ErgoLift is really something for those long working sessions.
Asus ExpertBook B9 is powered by a 10-gen Intel Core i7 processor paired with 16GB RAM and Windows 10. From a performance point of view, there's nothing you'd be settling for with the ExpertBook B9. It makes sure all tasks are rendered smoothly, without glitches. The machine packs Intel Wi-Fi 6, which instantly makes it easier to pick up signals in the farthest room.
While using the notebook for extended hours, we realized it did not heat up. This has to do with the integrated thermal conductor pipe, copper fin and 59-blade fan.
There's no shortage of ports in the B9. It has 2 USB-C ports, a full USB port, HDMI, 3.5mm jack and an RJ-45 Ethernet Port. Asus has generously bundled a dongle for the RJ-45 port. Speaking of freebies, there's a plain leather sleeve, which comes in handy.
Not every laptop demands our attention towards the webcam, but Asus ExpertBook B9 is an exception. Sure, it has a 720p HD camera there, but we were impressed by the thoughtful integration of a physical slider that can be used to block the camera. Goodbye spy apps and hackers, try your spying operations elsewhere.
Then there's this fingerprint scanner located below the full-screen keyboard towards the right. It's accessible easily and positioning makes it easy to reach. Once you start using it, there's no going back. For us, it was always a race between Windows Hello and fingerprint scanner, but the former won most of the time.
The Alexa light bar and the NumberPad 2.0 also fall under the cool stuff category, which we already covered above.
We saved the best for the last. The ExpertBook B9 packs a 66Wh battery and the fast charging function is a boon. It can power up the laptop from 0-60 percent in less than an hour. But it's the battery life that is worth mentioning. It can easily last a full day. We consistently clocked more than 12 hours between charges, which makes the ExpertBook B9 ideal for travelers. During the battery test, the screen brightness was set anywhere between 40-60% and involved a lot of browsing, streaming and Word.
Asus claimed the ExpertBook B9 lasted close to 20 hours and our individual tests came really close to that. In fact, we managed to clock close to 18 hours on a single charge, which is more than we could expect from a laptop. The battery of the ExpertBook B9 is one of the strongest USPs of the laptop.
Asus ExpertBook B9 packs a punch. It is a no-compromise machine that perfectly balances style and power. The battery life is something you will absolutely adore. With all the specs it packs, the laptop is competitively priced and makes for an ideal choice if you're looking for a laptop in a higher budget. Asus has launched other affordable models too, but the ExpertBook B9 is still the one to steal the limelight.
The ExpertBook B9 is not devoid of flaws. From little things like the not-so-great HD webcam to something as big as display resolution, the B9 is kept from achieving that perfection. But the pros outweigh the cons, making it a suitable machine to upgrade to in 2020.