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Asus ExpertBook B9 Review: A Polished All-Rounder With Top-Notch Performance
When looking for a new laptop, there are several parameters that one usually considers. It could be the budget, form factor, game-centric features, specs, and so on. While looking for a professional laptop, I would consider its innards, battery, design, weight, and price as some of the main factors before purchase. Interestingly, the Asus ExpertBook B9 B9450 ticks all these boxes.
- Packs Intel EVO for extended battery
- Blazing-fast, smooth performance
- Camera shutter protection
- Narrow-bezel display
- No touchscreen
- Skips convertible hinge design
I had the opportunity to experience the Asus ExpertBook B9 for some days. Its lightweight, narrow-bezel design, unmatched performance with Intel Core i7 chipset, and extended battery life with Intel EVO were some of the features that impressed me the most. At the same time, I found a couple of flaws in it. Here, I've discussed if the ExpertBook B9's cons overpower its pros and whether this would make a good buy.
CPU: Intel Core i7-1165G7
GPU: Intel Iris Xe
RAM: 16GB 2133MHz LDDR3
Storage: 1TB Dual M.2 NVMe PCIe 3.0 x4
Display: 14-inch IPS FHD screen
Battery: 66Wh lithium-polymer with 65W AC fast charging support
Ports: 2 x Thunderbolt 3 USB-C, 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A, 1 x HDMI, 1 x RJ45 LAN via micro HDMI port, 1 x Kensington lock slot, and 1 x Audio combo jack
Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0
Weight: 0.995 Kg
Asus ExpertBook B9: Lightweight, Handy Design
The design element on the Asus ExpertBook B9 is one of the key highlights of the device. One of the first things that draw attention is its super lightweight, weighing less than a kg. Moreover, the height of the laptop when shut is just 0.59-inch, fitting in easily in your tote bag. Asus also packs a handy protective pouch, which is quite stylish to carry around from one meeting to the next!
The Asus ExpertBook B9 B9450 is available in a single Star Black color with a matte finish on the exterior that doesn't scratch easily. However, the laptop doesn't have a convertible hinge and can be flattened out only till 180-degrees. Also, the laptop doesn't support a touchscreen, a reason for its reduced rating.
Another key highlight of the design is the camera shutter button. The Asus ExpertBook B9 supports Windows Hello face recognition for easy sign-in. Yet, one can use the camera shutter button to completely close the camera. In case you don't feel like using face recognition, you can make use of the dedicated fingerprint reader below the keyboard. Having both options is surely a plus point on this laptop.
I also noticed that the speaker grilles are located below the main body. Personally, I prefer having the speakers right next to the keyboard as it enhances the overall audio experience. Like most units, you'll find multiple ports on either side of the Asus ExpertBook B9, including two Thunderbolt ports and a 3.5mm audio jack.
Asus ExpertBook B9 Display: Narrow-Bezels For Enhanced Experience
One of the things I loved about the Asus ExpertBook B9 is its super-narrow bezels of just 4mm in thickness. Tasks like editing, working on a doc file, attending video calls, or simply during video playback is very appealing, thanks to the narrow-bezel display.
Here, the Asus ExpertBook B9 packs a 14-inch LED-backlit, IPS Full HD display with 1920 x 1080 pixels resolution. The display also includes a 16:9 aspect ratio, 300nits of peak brightness, a wide 100 percent sRGB color gamut, and anti-glare support. One can experience a 94 percent screen-to-body ratio, enhancing your overall experience, be it work or leisure. This is probably one of the best bezel-less displays I've experienced.
The Asus ExpertBook B9 includes a full-size backlit keyboard with 1.5mm key travel support. The keyboard is also spill-resistant, offering an extra edge if you have butterfingers! The touchpad, on the other hand, measures 127 x 65mm and is glass-covered. It is integrated with the NumberPad and supports intelligent palm rejection. Other features include Precision Touchpad (PTP) technology that supports up to four-finger smart gestures.
Asus ExpertBook B9 Performance: Benchmark Scorecard
Coming to the main part -- the performance of the Asus ExpertBook B9 B9450. The laptop draws power from the Intel Core i7-1165G7 integrated with the Intel Iris Xe. The laptop includes 16GB 2133MHz LDDR3 and 1TB Dual M.2 NVMe PCIe 3.0 x4 storage. I ran a couple of benchmark tests to determine its performance and compare it with other units.
Starting with Geekbench, the Asus ExpertBook B9 scored 5194 and 1497 in multi- and single-core tests. The CPU-Z benchmark gave the laptop 2704 and 548 points in multi- and single-core tests. Also, the Cinebench R23 benchmark testing revealed 2084 and 759 points in a similar test.
I also ran a GPU-based test with 3D Mark and PC Mark 10. Here, the Asus ExpertBook B9 scored a total of 954 points in the 3D Mark test with 872 and 2060 points under graphics and CPU tests, respectively. The PC Mark 10 gave the laptop an overall 4383 points for its graphics-related tasks.
I can compare the results of the Asus ExpertBook B9 with that of the HP Envy x360, which also packs the 11th Gen Intel Core i7-1165G7 CPU. The Envy x360 scored 3917 and 4253 in Cinebench and Geekbench multi-core tests, respectively. Also, the Envy x360 scored 4667 in the PC Mark 10 1343 in the 3D Mark. Comparatively, the Asus ExpertBook B9's performance is significantly higher than its competitors.
Asus ExpertBook B9 Real-Life Performance: No Hiccups Whatsoever
Keeping these test results aside, let's take a look at the real-life experience on the Asus ExpertBook B9. I used the laptop for a range of activities, including both professional and personal. Be it working on doc files, excel sheets, handling video calls and conferences, or attending online workshops - the laptop handled all these tasks without a glitch.
Speaking of video calls, the camera on the Asus ExpertBook B9 needs a special mention. The laptop packs a 720p HD IR camera with a microphone. I must say, this is one of the smallest cameras I've seen on a laptop as it manages to fit into the smallest frame. As mentioned earlier, the device also supports Windows Hello face recognition, which is seamless.
The overall experience on the Asus ExpertBook B9 is also enhanced by the two integrated stereo speakers that are certified by Harman Kardon. When switched to leisure with Netflix or gaming or just browsing on the net, the Asus laptop is quite seamless in every aspect. Even when I ran multiple apps and programs at once, there was hardly any lag in switching back and forth, giving it all its pro points.
Asus ExpertBook B9 Battery: An Entire Day On A Single Charge
One of the main highlights of the Asus ExpertBook B9 is its battery, which is enhanced by the Intel Evo platform. To note, the Intel Evo platform significantly extends the battery life, giving you more juice with just a bit of fuel. Asus claims the laptop can last 24 hours on a single charge and I absolutely agree!
Having 24 hours of battery backup is phenomenal, especially while working from home. Like most other devices, the ExpertBook B9 switched to battery saver mode at 20 percent. Thanks to the Intel Evo technology, the laptop could still run for an hour with extended life.
Moreover, the 66Wh battery is supported by a 65W fast charger, which takes two hours to fully fuel up. Simply put, you could work all day with the Asus ExpertBook B9 and switch to leisure mode with movies or songs - and still won't need to put the device on charge till the next day.
Asus ExpertBook B9 Verdict: The Unmatched All-Rounder
The Asus ExpertBook B9 starts from Rs. 1,15,489 and goes up depending on the specs you pack under the hood. Of course, there are multiple options in the market for a similar price tag, including devices like the HP Envy x360, HP Spectre x360, or even the XPS 13, and so on. However, the performance, speed, agility, and long-lasting battery on the ExpertBook B9 give it a high price-to-specs ratio.
The Asus ExpertBook B9 makes a great choice for those looking for unmatched performance. Yes, it skips touchscreen and doesn't offer a convertible design. However, the specs under the hood make up for it. The extended battery life, the sleek form factor, and the bezel-less display are some of its high points, making it a good investment for the asking price.