When shopping for a work laptop, everyone invariably looks for a powerful laptop that is also lightweight and boasts a long battery life. However, not everyone manages to get the combination perfect. But, Asus has something that boasts all the right ingredients. At CES 2020 earlier this month, Asus unveiled the ExpertBook B9450. As the name suggests, it is a business-centric laptop. I got to spend some time with the new laptop at Asus’ headquarters, and here are my ExpertBook B9450 first impressions.
When you see it for the first time, the ExpertBook B9450 is every bit a modern laptop. It is well built, is easy to hold, and looks sleek. But what blows you away is the laptop’s weight – rather the lack of it. Despite the 14-inch display onboard, this is among the most compact and lightweight laptops I have come across. On paper, the laptop weighs 870 grams, but when we tested it on the scales, it showed a reading of 851 grams.
Asus has managed to keep the weight in check by using a new magnesium-lithium alloy. This new alloy is claimed to be lighter yet 38 percent stronger than traditional magnesium-aluminium alloys. Don’t let its weight fool you though. The laptop is quite durable. In fact, Asus claims that the laptop has passed the demanding tests of the MIL-STD 810G standards. The laptop needs to be experienced in real life to believe just how light it is. In short, this is exactly what a working professional needs instead of having to lug around brick-like laptops.
Display and ports
Speaking of the display, the ExpertBook B9450 flaunts a 14-inch FHD (1920×1080 pixels) anti-glare display. The bezels are quite thin by modern standards, and it boasts an impressive 94 percent screen-to-body ratio. In the short time I spent with the laptop, I found the display to be quite vivid, crisp, and featuring good viewing angles. While I reserve my judgements for the review, I do feel this display should be a treat when watching videos and playing games.
Being such a thin laptop, there are enough ports to keep a professional happy. You get one USB 3.1 port, a 3.5mm audio jack, two Thunderbolt 3 ports, a full HDMI and one mini-HDMI port. For video calling, there’s an integrated HD IR camera above the screen with a physical shield for added privacy.
Keyboard and trackpad
I was pleasantly surprised by the keyboard on this slim laptop. The spill-resistant backlit keyboard had decent feedback and key travel. There shouldn’t be too many issues during long typing sessions. Asus has also included an ‘ErgoLift’ hinge design. This essentially raises the bottom of the laptop by about five degrees to offer better ergonomics during long work hours.
Asus has also outfitted the new ExpertBook with its own NumberPad 2.0. This is essentially an LED-backlit NumPad that can be summoned on the touchpad itself. These touch numeric keys come in handy when you want to crunch some numbers, and they also support Windows 10’s gestures.
Under the hood
While a lot is being said about the laptop’s design, the ExpertBook B9450 is no slouch when it comes to performance. Under the hood is the latest 10th generation Intel Core i5 and i7 processors. You can opt for up to 16GB of RAM, and up to dual 2TB SSD. Also integrated is Intel’s UHD Graphics 620.
Being an enterprise-ready notebook, it comes with support for Intel’s vPro suite of security management technologies. There’s a physical fingerprint scanner placed under the keyboard. The webcam also supports Windows Hello to facial recognition logins.
Battery life is an equally critical aspect for any business laptop. There’s up to 66Wh 4-cell lithium-polymer battery on offer. Asus claims it is good enough to last up to 24 hours. While a tall claim, it will no doubt be music to one’s ears. Also impressive is the support for fast charging using the 65W AC adapter. The company claims that the fast charger can juice up the battery from 1-60 percent in under 40 minutes.
Asus ExpertBook B9450 initial impressions
In the short time I spent with the Asus ExpertBook B9450, it has left me impressed. As you can guess, the most impressive aspect is the design and the lightweight. On paper, the overall performance too seems promising. All eyes will now be on when Asus plans to launch the laptop in India, and at what price.