Review: Asus ExpertBook (B9400), Feather-light shines bright

Asus ExpertBook (B9400): The Asus ExpertBook B9 is the latest laptop from Taiwanese company.

It’s designed for business users. We tested the 14-inch model, which is powered by an Intel Evo Core-i7 processor and 16GB LPDDR4X RAM. It has a thin, lightweight frame.

The price includes taxes and starts at Rs 1,15,489. These are the key points to consider when buying a business laptop.

Asus ExpertBook B9, B9400: Design and display

The 14-inch Asus ExpertBook B9, (B9400). It is lightweight and easy to lift and hold with one hand. ExpertBook B9 is less than 1kg and weighs in at 880g. It also has a thin profile, measuring 14.9mm.

As you open the lid, the laptop’s chassis lifts slightly from the hinge. This causes the hinge to open at an odd angle, allowing the laptop to open at a narrower length below the chassis.

This is to improve the sound quality and comfort of the built-in speakers and to dissipate heat buildup. The display is slightly longer near the hinge to give you an idea.

This design does not seem to connect directly at the center where the chassis and display should normally meet. This is the Asus ‘ErgoLift Hinge.

Asus ExpertBook (B9400)
Asus ExpertBook (B9400)

The Asus ExpertBook B9’s body is made from a Lithium/Magnesium alloy. It is completely matte, including the display. You can quickly open the lid with one hand. The hinge has a 180-degree lay flat type.

This means that the laptop can be easily opened on a table like a large slate to allow everyone at the table to see the screen during business meetings. Once life is back to normal, this option will be greatly appreciated.

There are four physical connectivity options available on the chassis’ left edge: two Thunderbolt 4 USBC ports, one HDMI port, and an RJ45 via Micro HDMI.

The laptop’s right edge has a 3.5mm headset jack, a USB Type-A port, and a Kensington lock slot. The keyboard is spill-resistant and backlit, making it very easy to type. Key travel is approximately 1.4mm.

The Asus NumberPad10 LED-illuminated numeric keyboard can be activated by pressing the icon at the top right corner. The Asus ExpertBook B9’s light weight will be its main selling point. However, it may be criticized for its aluminum body which can break if the laptop is dropped from a table or a heavy object.

However, the ExpertBook B9 (B9400 US military certification) passed several tests including Panel Pressure Test (can withstand 30 kg force on the lid and bottom with no LCD panel damage), Shock Test, Drop Test (can withstand 120 cm drop while powered up to simulate a desk accident”), Humidity and Altitude Test.

ExpertBook B9 has a 14 inch non-reflective Full HD screen with a matte finish. The display is very bright and does not reflect any background light, even in artificially lit environments. Although the display panel feels thin, it is strong enough.

It can tilt slightly if you hold the laptop in one hand and lift it off the chassis by holding the display panel open. We tried it anyway to test how the chassis handles the display’s weight. The sides of the panel have 4mm thick bezels.

Asus ExpertBook B9, B9400: Performance

Our review laptop was powered by a 2.80GHz 11th Generation Intel Evo Core i7 processor (12M cache, up to 4.7GHz, 4 cores), and 16GB LPDDR4X 4266MHz RAM. However, the RAM can be expanded to 32GB. It runs Windows 10 Pro and supports Intel Iris Xe graphics as well as RAID technology. It supports Wi-Fi 6 802.11ax.

Asus has taken care to provide some minor functions that may be needed in a pandemic-affected workplace. You can use the dedicated buttons on the keyboard to take screenshots or turn off the microphone. You can also turn off the webcam by using a toggle.

The laptop has four microphones to allow you to clearly communicate your thoughts in virtual meetings. The device’s proximity sensor wakes the display up when you return to it after a break.

If you are within one metre of the display, the display will also wake up. Several times, the proximity sensor detected that I was near it when I went to another task. It is a useful tool for business people who have a lot to think about.

While charging, the device warms up and can become uncomfortable for those typing simultaneously on it. We found this to be especially true on the left side. The temperature of the chassis increases during charging, but not enough to make the keyboards unbearably hot.

Typing becomes easier once the device is fully charged, which takes between 90 and 100 minutes.If you’re using graphics-heavy applications, the battery will last for 5-6 hours. Otherwise, you can use the device for about 7 hours on light applications such as Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint and Google Docs.

After reaching 17%, the battery quickly runs out of juice and will stop working in idle mode for 15-20 minutes. It will take about 10-15 minutes for the battery to fully discharge if you are using an application.

Asus ExpertBook (B9400)
Asus ExpertBook (B9400)

With a slight delay of 5-6 seconds in loading some tabs, the RAM was able to handle more than 30 Google Chrome tabs simultaneously. A 1080p YouTube video loaded quickly.

Asus claims you can use the touchpad “to control the cursor”, even though the LED-illuminated numeric keyboard is on. However, it was difficult to find the right spot on the touchpad and double-tap to activate the desired function. While moving the cursor is easy, tapping and selecting can be difficult when the numeric keypad has been turned on.

The Asus ExpertBook B9’s audio performance is outstanding, and it even has surround sound. Asus claims it used smart-amplifier technology paired to Harman/Kardon certified speakers in the unit.

The ‘ErgoLift hinge’ raises the chassis so that the sound can spread better than in a flat one. We were able to hear the speakers’ audio output loudly when we played music from YouTube at 60-70% volume.

If you’re listening to a soothing electronic track, there is very little distortion at higher volumes. This laptop is great for listening to soft music and even watching a few films. Cortana or Alexa voice recognition support is available on the laptop. Asus receives top marks for the ExpertBook B9 audio.

Verdict

The Asus ExpertBook B9, also known as B9400, is a versatile business laptop. The Asus ExpertBook B9 (B9400) is lightweight, light, and has an alloy construction with an ErgoLift Hinge.

It also features a full HD, nonreflective display, plenty of connectivity options, and a fast performance on heavy loads with only a few buts. The Asus ExpertBook B9 (B9400), a Windows laptop with a light weight, is a great choice if you want a seamless experience for work.

Also Read: Asus ROG Flow X13

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