Asus ExpertBook B9450 review: lightweight, long-lasting work laptop

There are two causes to purchase the ExpertBook B9450: the burden and the battery life.

Choose up the Asus ExpertBook B9450, and also you’ll marvel the place the remainder of it’s. Asus is touting it because the world’s lightest 14-inch industrial laptop computer, and it’s mild. Carrying it round, I felt like I used to be carrying nothing. My check unit is 2.19 kilos, however fashions go as little as 1.91 kilos.

Contained in the 0.6-inch chassis, although, Asus has nonetheless managed to incorporate some respectable specs. Fashions begin at $1,699, and the bottom consists of 16GB of RAM, 512GB of storage, and a Core i7-10510U with Intel’s UHD Graphics 620. The mannequin I’m utilizing, which prices $1,799, has the identical processor however bumps the storage as much as two 1TB drives.

Asus says the keyboard has a lifespan of as much as 10,000,000 keystrokes, per its sturdiness testing.

However the ExpertBook’s battery life is simply as (if no more) spectacular than its weight. In my testing, it lasted a median of 10 hours and 47 minutes — and that was whereas multitasking with a good load of Chrome tabs and apps at 200 nits of brightness. Meaning the ExpertBook isn’t the longest-lasting enterprise laptop computer I’ve ever examined (the $3,000 Dell Latitude nonetheless holds that crown), nevertheless it’s actually within the corridor of fame.

That’s my fast tackle the ExpertBook. These are the 2 standout options (along with the storage capability). Collectively, they make it a terrific possibility for enterprise customers who want a transportable gadget with fairly a little bit of storage, however potential patrons must be conscious that the processor is usually appropriate for fundamental workplace duties. Extra on that in a bit.

The left side of the Asus ExpertBook B9450.

It’s too dangerous all USB-C ports are on the identical aspect.

An issue with laptops this skinny and light-weight is that they generally really feel flimsy. The ExpertBook is surprisingly sturdy, although; it’s made with a number of layers of a magnesium-lithium alloy materials that Asus says is 17 p.c much less dense than “standard” magnesium-aluminum alloy. The corporate additionally says the B9450 has handed MIL-STD 810G military-grade requirements, which assessments numerous components like port sturdiness, spill resistance, and shock resistance. I’d imagine it. Whereas I did really feel a little bit of flex within the keyboard deck and display screen, it was nothing in comparison with what I’ve seen from different ultrathin models just like the Vaio SX12.

Sturdiness apart, the ExpertBook feels very top quality. There are metallic flecks within the end, which give the entire thing a little bit of a celestial look in sure mild.

One word with the design: like numerous Asus laptops, the ExpertBook has an ErgoLift hinge, which suggests the show folds underneath the keyboard deck while you open the laptop computer and lifts it a bit off the bottom. This has an a variety of benefits — it’s supposed to extend cooling and make typing extra comfy — nevertheless it additionally implies that should you’re utilizing the ExpertBook in your lap, you’ll have a pointy hinge digging into your legs. I do know not everybody spends as a lot time on the sofa as I do, so your mileage could fluctuate.

The Asus ExpertBook B9450 open, angled slightly to the right. The screen displays the Asus ExpertBook logo on a blue and white background.

When the laptop computer is unfolded to a 145-degree angle, the underside rises by 5 levels.

The ultimate spectacular factor is the helpful port choice: you’ve obtained two Thunderbolt 3 USB-C ports, one USB 3.2 Gen 2 Sort-A port, one HDMI 2.0 port, one Micro HDMI to LAN port, and one 3.5mm combo audio jack. Loads of producers have had bother becoming even USB-A onto ultrathin machines, so I’m impressed to see a full-sized HDMI right here.

The left side of the Asus ExpertBook B9450.

The HDMI 2.0 port helps 4K video output.

Different enjoyable stuff: there’s a fingerprint scanner under the arrow keys, the Home windows Whats up webcam has each a bodily shutter and a kill swap, and the touchpad has Asus’ NumberPad 2.0 function, which lets you pull up an LED numpad with the contact of a sensor. And there are a variety of business-specific options, together with a TPM 2.0 chip and a preloaded suite known as Asus Enterprise Supervisor the place you possibly can encrypt your native drives, toggle system registry modifying, and customise numerous different stuff.

All this sounds nice, so what’s the catch? There’s actually just one, nevertheless it’s one that may matter to loads of individuals. It’s the processor. The Core i7-10510U is a four-core processor that’s considerably lower-powered than the chips you’ll see in the most effective laptops available on the market just like the Dell XPS 13. It’s removed from a workhorse.

Now, the ExpertBook is simply superb for fundamental workplace work — emails, Google Docs, Slack, Zoom calls, that kind of factor. I by no means heard the followers spin up throughout my common Chrome multitasking, nor did I expertise any efficiency points. If that is what you do all day, nice — the ExpertBook is for you. However should you assume you’ll ever have to do strenuous work on this, particularly duties that leverage the built-in graphics, you’ll wish to look elsewhere.

I attempted to run our conventional video export check in Adobe Premiere Professional as an instance the efficiency distinction between this mannequin and different ultraportables you should buy, however this system crashed throughout every trial. I let Asus find out about this, and it’s trying into it.

The Asus ExpertBook B9450 facing away from the canera, angled to the left.

The lid and base panel are product of magnesium-lithium alloy, which Asus says is 17 p.c much less dense than “standard” magnesium-aluminum alloy.

So I ended up operating some mild video games as a substitute. The ExpertBook ran Rocket League on most settings at 40fps (the place the 11th Gen XPS 13 with a Core i7 i7-1165G7 put up 111fps, and the 10th Gen XPS 13 with a Core i7-1065G7 put up 70fps). On League of Legends, it averaged 85fps (to the eleventh Gen XPS’s 205fps and the tenth Gen’s 160fps). It averaged 31fps on Overwatch’s Extremely settings and 10fps on the bottom Shadow of the Tomb Raider (which I ran principally out of curiosity). These body charges are significantly under what you possibly can count on from each XPS fashions, in addition to loads of rather more reasonably priced 14-inchers like Asus’ personal ZenBook 14.

To reiterate: The ExpertBook isn’t something near a gaming laptop computer. That is simply as an instance the processing energy you’re sacrificing for the extra portability, battery life, and storage that the ExpertBook affords (and naturally, to notice that should you assume you’ll ever wish to play even informal video games, take into consideration getting one thing else).

One factor I wish to commend Asus for, although: The ExpertBook’s cooling is nice. Throughout a number of Premiere export makes an attempt and an extended gaming session, the CPU’s temperature stayed very persistently within the excessive 60s and barely jumped above 70 levels Celsius. That’s spectacular, particularly for such a skinny gadget. (The XPS 13 spends quite a lot of time within the excessive 90s.) Alternatively, the followers made a lot noise that they had been audible from a number of rooms over — individuals round me would have been alarmed if I attempted these assessments in an workplace. That’s another excuse to keep away from this should you’ll have to do gaming or media work sometimes.

The viewers for the ExpertBook B9450 is considerably particular. However that doesn’t imply it’s small. In the event you’re somebody who doesn’t care a lot about processing energy, however does care about portability, battery life, and storage, this laptop computer is definitely worth the $1,799. Not solely is it among the many lightest you should buy at this measurement, nevertheless it’s one among few merchandise in its weight class to function twin storage slots. It’ll be troublesome to search out all three of these options in lots of different 14-inch laptops at this worth level. Add good construct high quality and the nifty numpad function, and I think about it is a laptop computer many at-home and on-the-go employees can be completely happy to have.

Simply be sure to know what you’re getting — as a result of the low-powered processor and deafening followers actually aren’t excellent for everybody.

Pictures by Monica Chin / The Verge

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