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Asus ExpertBook B9450 Hands-On: Most Compact And Lightweight 14” Notebook
Asus unveiled a range of computing products at this year's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. We got a chance to test new notebooks, desktops and laptops during a recent visit to the Asus headquarter in Taiwan. The Asus ExpertBook B9450 instantly caught our attention due to its compact and lightweight form-factor.
For a 14" enterprise-ready business laptop, the B9450 is unbelievably lightweight and easy to carry around. If you are eyeing a powerful yet ultra-compact Windows-powered notebook, the ExpertBook B9450 can be the right choice. Let's find out more about the 14" notebook.
Exceptionally Lightweight And Durable
Asus ExpertBook B9450 is by far the most compact and lightweight Windows notebook we have come across. Despite carrying a 14" 1080p screen, the notebook weighs just 870 grams as specified by Asus; however, it showed a reading of 851 grams on the scale.
The weight is so well managed that the notebook feels lighter than even some of the premium big-screen tablets selling in the market. Measuring 14.9mm, the B9450 is also quite sleek and can be carried around easily in a bag pack.
MIL-STD 810G Military-Grade Certified
The credit for the extreme lightweight body of the ExpertBook B9450 goes to the new magnesium-lithium alloy, which is claimed to be 38% stronger than the traditional magnesium-aluminium alloy. The lid and base panel of the notebook is made up of the new magnesium-lithium alloy material. Additionally, the alloy also adds the required strength to the chassis of the 14" notebook to ensure a long-lasting design.
We found the compact notebook quite robust and well-built despite its feather-light design. Asus also mentioned that the ExpertBook B9450 has proven its durability by passing the demanding tests of the MIL-STD 810G standards. The hinges and I/O ports of the notebook are also braced with stainless steel brackets.
14” full HD (1920 x 1080p) Anti-Glare Display
The ExpertBook B9450 flaunts a 14" full HD (1920 x 1080p) anti-glare display. The bezels around the display are extremely thin, just 4 mm, to provide an impressive 94% screen-to-body ratio. The screen is quite vivid and crisp and will come as a delight to consume multimedia content. The viewing angles are also good due to the anti-glare coating. The 14" notebook also gets an integrated HD IR camera with a physical shield for added privacy. The ExpertBook B9450 notebook also comes equipped with four Harman Kardon-certified speakers.
Full-Sized Spill-Resistant Backlit Keypad
The Asus ExpertBook B9450 features the ErgoLift hinge design. It raises the bottom by 5° in the laptop mode when the notebook is unfolded to a 145° angle. There's a full-sized backlit keyboard on this compact notebook which is also spill-resistant. The keys seemed quite good to type on and have a good 1.5 mm key travel for comfort during prolonged typing sessions. The ExpertBook B9450 also features an integrated fingerprint scanner below the right edge of the notebook for a quick sign in.
LED-illuminated Numeric Keypad
We were glad to see the LED-illuminated numeric keypad on the fairly large touchpad of the ExpertBook B9450. The 14" notebook features the company's NumberPad 2.0 which can be switched on/off with the help of a single-touch sensor placed at the top-right of the touchpad. The numeric keypad's brightness can be customized. It supports Windows 10's gestures and you can also swipe from the top left icon in any direction to activate the calculator app on the main display. Overall, the NumberPad 2.0 comfortably replaces the physical numeric keypad on the notebook.
Hardware And Software
Despite its compact design, the Asus ExpertBook B9450 does not compromise on performance. The notebook is powered by the latest 10th generation Intel Core i5 and i7 series processors. The notebook gets up to 16GB RAM and up to dual 2TBPCIe 3.0 x4 NVMeM.2 SSD options. The M.2 SATA options are also available for the 14" notebook. The enterprise-ready notebook supports Intel's vPro suite of security management technologies.
The notebook is fully customizable and can be configured to meet specific performance, security and budget requirements of an enterprise. It runs on Windows 10/Windows 10 Pro.
Battery Life And Connectivity
The Asus ExpertBook B9450 is available in two battery configurations- 2-cell 33-watt-hour or 4-cell 66-watt-hours battery. Asus claims that the 66-watt-hours version offers a battery life of 24 hours on one full charge. We couldn't test the battery life in our limited testing period, but it's something we will test in detail during our comprehensive review. Interestingly, the 14" notebook also features fast charging function that as per the company charges the battery from 1% to 60% in just under 40 minutes.
As far as connectivity is concerned, the ExpertBook B9450 comes equipped with full-sized HDMI 2.0 that supports 4K video output, a USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-A port and a 3.5 mm combo audio jack. Additionally, the ExpertBook B9450also has a micro HDMI-to-LAN port and 2 X Thunderbolt 3 USB-C ports. Last but not the least, a micro HDMI-to-RJ-45 adapter is also provided in the package. For wireless connectivity, the ExpertBook B9450 features the latest dual-band Intel WiFi 6 with Gig+ (802.11ax) with speeds of up to 2.4 Gbps, and Bluetooth 5.0.
Initial Thoughts On Asus ExpertBook B9450
Asus seems to have a winner in the notebook category with the launch of the ExpertBook B9450. The notebook's biggest strength is its ultra-light and compact yet durable design. Combine it with the powerful hardware and you get an incredibly performance-driven Windows-powered machine for the mobile workforce. Overall, this is one notebook that we would definitely like to see in the Indian market. Asus is yet to give us some more clarity on the India launch of the ExpertBook B9450, so stay tuned.