Asus Expertbook B9450 Review: lightweight, long-lasting work laptop

There are two reasons to buy Expertbook B9450: weight and battery life.

Select the Asus Expert B9450, and you’ll wonder where the rest of it is. Asus is calling it the lightest 14-inch commercial laptop in the world and it is lightweight. When moving it around, I felt like I’m not moving anything. My test unit is 2.19 pounds, but models go for as little as 1.91 pounds.

Inside the 0.6-inch chassis, however, Asus still managed to incorporate some decent specs. Models start at $ 1,699, and the base includes 16GB RAM, 512GB storage, and a Core i7-10510U with Intel’s UHD Graphics 620. The model I’m using, which costs $ 1,799, has the same processor, but increases storage. Two 1TB drives.

Asus says that the keyboard has a lifespan of up to 10,000,000 keystrokes, according to its durability test.

But ExpertBook’s battery life is more impressive (if not more) than its weight. In my testing, it lasted an average of 10 hours and 47 minutes – and while the Chrome tabs and 200 nits of the application were multitasking with a good load of brightness. This means that ExpertBook isn’t the longest-running business laptop I’ve ever tested (the $ 3,000 Dell Latitude still holds that crown), but it’s definitely in the hall of fame.

This is my Quick Take on Expertbook. They have two standout features (in addition to storage capacity). Together, they make it a great choice for business users who need a portable device with a considerable amount of storage, but potential buyers should be aware that the processor is suitable for basic office tasks. More on that in a bit.

To the left of the Asus Expertbook B9450.

It’s too bad all USB-C ports are on the same side.

One problem with laptops is that they are thin and light at times. The Expertbook is surprisingly strong, however; It is made with multiple layers of a magnesium-lithium alloy material that Asus says is 17 percent less dense than a “conventional” magnesium-aluminum alloy. The company also says that the B9450 has passed MIL-STD 810G military-grade standards, which tests various factors such as port durability, spill resistance, and shock resistance. I will believe it While I did feel a bit of flex in the keyboard deck and screen, it was nothing compared to what I’ve seen from other ultrathin units like the Vaio SX12.

Durability aside, ExpertBook feels very high quality. The finish has metallic fluxes, which give the whole thing an astronomical look in certain light.

A note with the design: Like many Asus laptops, the ExpertBook has an ErgoLift hinge, meaning that when you open the laptop, the keyboard folds down the display below the deck and lifts it slightly off the ground. It has many benefits – it is supposed to increase cooling and make typing more comfortable – but it also means that if you are using the Expertbook on your lap, you will have a sharp hinge digging into your feet. . I know that not everyone spends as much time on the couch as I do, so your mileage may vary.

Asus Expert B9450 is open, slightly tilted to the right.  The screen displays the Asus Expertbook logo on a blue and white background.

When the laptop faces at a 145-degree angle, the bottom rises 5 degrees.

The last impressive thing is the useful port selection: you’ve got two Thunderbolt 3 USB-C ports, a USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A port, an HDMI 2.0 port, a micro HDMI to LAN port, and a 3.5mm combo audio. Jack. Many manufacturers have had trouble fitting USB-A on ultrathin machines as well, so I’m impressed to see full-size HDMI here.

To the left of the Asus Expert B9450.

The HDMI 2.0 port supports 4K video output.

Other fun things: There is a fingerprint scanner under the arrow keys, the Windows Hello web camera has both a physical shutter and a kill switch, and the touchpad has the Asus’ numberpad 2.0 feature, which lets you pull an LED numberpad with touch allows for. A sensor. And there are many business-specific features, including a TPM 2.0 chip and a preloaded suite called Asus Business Manager, where you can encrypt your local drives, toggle system registry editing, and various other accessories. Can customize

It all sounds great, so what’s the catch? There is really only one, but it is one that will matter to a lot of people. This is the processor. The Core i7-10510U is a four-core processor with significantly less power than the chips you’d see in the best laptops on the market, such as the Dell XPS 13. This is far from a workhorse.

Now, expertbooks are fine for basic office work – email, Google Docs, Slack, zoom calls, this sort of thing. I never heard fans during my regular Chrome multitasking, nor did I experience any performance issues. If this is what you do all day, then Great – Expertbook is for you. But if you think you’ll ever need to work harder on it, especially tasks that take advantage of integrated graphics, you’ll want to look elsewhere.

I tried to run our traditional video export test in Adobe Premiere Pro, to illustrate the difference between this model and other ultraports you can buy, but the program crashed during each test. I told Asus about this, and he is watching it.

Assist Expert B9450 is located on the left, facing away from the Cansera.

The lid and base panel are made of magnesium-lithium alloy, which Asus says is 17 percent less than the “traditional” magnesium-aluminum alloy.

So I ended up running some lite games instead. Ran the expertbook Rocket league At maximum settings at 40fps (where 111fps in 11th Gen XPS 13 with Core i7 i7-1165G7 and 70fps in 10th Gen XPS 13 with Core i7-1065G7). On League of Legends, It averaged 85fps (205fps of the 11th Gen XPS and 160fps of the 10th Gen). It was on average 31fps OverwatchUltra settings and 10fps at lowest Tomb shadow (Which I mostly ran out of curiosity). Those frame rates are far below what you might expect from both XPS models, as well as more affordable 14-inch lots like Asus’ own ZenBook 14.

Repeat: Expertbook is nothing close to a gaming laptop. This is simply to describe the resource power you are sacrificing for the extra portability, battery life, and storage that ExpertBook provides (and of course, note that if you think you ever want to play casual games Are, think of something else happening).

One thing I want to appreciate for Asus, though: the cooling of the expertbook is very good. During many premiere export efforts and a lengthy gaming session, CPU temperatures remained consistent throughout the high 60s and rarely jumped above 70 ° C. This is impressive, especially for such a thin device. (XPS 13 spends a lot of time in the high 90s.) Fans, on the other hand, made so much noise that they were more audible than many rooms – the people around me would get nervous if I tried these tests in an office. . . If you will need to do gaming or media work from time to time, there is another reason to clarify this.

The audience for Expertbook B9450 is somewhat typical. But this does not mean that it is small. If you are someone who does not care much about processing power, but cares about portability, battery life, and storage, then this laptop is worth $ 1,9999. Not only is it the lightest you can buy in this size, but it is one of the few products in its weight class to feature a dual storage slot. It would be difficult to find those three features in many other 14-inch laptops at this price point. Add good build quality and a nifty numberpad feature, and I think this is a laptop that will have many working and on-the-go workers happy at home.

Just make sure you know what you’re getting – because low-power processors and neat fans are definitely not ideal for everyone.

Photography by Monica Chin / The Verge

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