It is easy to find a laptop that is durable and has a great battery life, but it is rare to have both these qualities packed into an incredibly lightweight design.
The latest ExpertBook B9450 from ASUS is that rare laptop that uses magnesium-lithium alloy, increasing the device’s sturdiness and weighs just under a kilogram. Moreover, it promises a whopping 24 hours of battery life.
So does this combination makes for a great business laptop? We have reviewed the product. Our findings are included in this review. Read on.
Design and Display
The ExpertBook B9450 weighs just 995 grams and is being vaunted by the company as the world’s lightest 14-inch laptop. It is so very light that we could lift the device by holding it in just two fingers. The chief reason for the lightness is the used material, a magnesium-lithium alloy- 17% less dense than the usual magnesium alloy in other lightweight laptops.
The chassis is painted in an attractive navy blue color with some sparkling metallic dots, which add some style for a business laptop. The matte finish prevents it from slipping from our hands.
The 14-inch full HD+ (1080×1920) LCD screen comes with pretty thin bezels- 4mm at the sides and 7mm at the top. The wider top bezel allows space for two essential equipment- a privacy shutter button-equipped HD IR webcam, which is also compatible with Windows Hello and four omnidirectional microphones aided by dual Harman/Kardon speakers. They don’t just make it great for web-conferencing but also better the voice interaction via Amazon Alexa and Cortana. For convenience, an Alexa status light is also integrated into the palm rest, which can be seen even when the laptop is closed.
The laptop makes use of ASUS’s ErgoLift hinge that ups the keyboard by five degrees for a comfortable typing and a room for heat dissipation. The laptop is, however, capable of folding down to flat 180 degrees.
The screen is crisp, colorful, evenly lit, and bright. The brightness adjusts itself according to the place of your work. If you are outside, it gets bright, and while you are inside the cabin, it adequately dims itself.
There is also a MyASUS software that allows for controlling the color automatically or manually or setting it to eyes-saver mode depending on your preference. The display is also said to be energy-efficient as it recognizes the static content and prevents the system resources from being used unnecessarily.
Keyboard and touchpad
The laptop is fitted with a full-sized Scrabble-tile keyboard with 1.5mm of travel and good feedback, ideal for an extended typing period. The keys are easy to reach, and with a three-tier backlight, they are easy to read as well in dark conditions.
The glass-covered touchpad nicely changes into a number pad on pressing the touch-button, situated at the touchpad’s top-right portion. This provision makes the number-crunching extremely fast and convenient. There is a fingerprint scanner on the right side of the touchpad; however, the webcam also doubles as face unlock.
Ports and connectivity
The ExpertBook B9450 has adequate numbers of ports and connectivity options. On the left, it has two Thunderbolt 3 USB-C ports (one is a charging port) and a full-sized HDMI 2 port and a mini HDMI port. The latter can serve as an Ethernet port attaching a dongle.
Placed on the right side are a USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A port and a 3.5mm headphone jack. The laptop supports Bluetooth 5 and Wi-Fi 6, thus ensuring fast and reliable connectivity. There is no SD card reader nor WWAN option.
Performance and battery
The ASUS ExperBook B9450 is geared towards business users. The model we tested was packed with a 1.8GHz (can go up to 2.3GHz) Intel Corei7-10510U CPU, 16GB LPDDR3 RAM, and two 1-TB SSDs. Apart from that, models with 1-TB SSD and 8GB RAM and a choice of Intel Core i5 CPUs are also available with integrated GPU. There is no Core i8 or a dedicated GPU since it is not meant for gaming. However, you can be able to play some low to mid-tier games without any hassle.
The laptop may not be the fastest in the world, but it does what it is made for. The business users who mainly work with their office applications will find the performance to be entirely satisfactory. The ultra-portability factor, however, remains the main USP of this laptop.
Another pitching feature of the ExpertBook B9450 is its incredible battery life. While the company says it has 24 hours of battery, it lasted about 20 hours which is amazing. The claim of a 60% charge in 40 minutes was in line with our observation.
The laptop is a quiet performer with everyday use. The fan usually feels running at inaudible levels. However, selecting the turbo mode to increase the performance bumps up the sound but only mildly.
The ASUS ExpertBook B9450 comes with an optional TPM 2.0 module that works with the fingerprint scanner, tightening the security aspect a little more.
The laptop is certified for military-grade MIL-STD 810G rating. Hence, it is capable of surviving abuses, drops, and spills of water. Moreover, the steel hinges and I/O ports reinforcements protect against the mechanical failings.
The magnesium-lithium alloy goes through 21 stages before milling, including the micro-arc oxidation process that adds a ceramic layer enhancing the hardness, strength, and resistance to corrosion and oxidation.
The business laptop is equipped with lots of business deployment software tools, including ASUS’ Business Deployment Suite and ASUS Control Center, which offer remote hardware and software monitoring. It is qualified for Intel Project Athena certification, a set of Intel guidelines for specs and features that manufacturers adhere to to make a thin and lightweight laptops.
A software feature aligns the laptop with the phone, so the latter can be accessed even without keeping it on the desk. A premium magnetically-sealed carry sleeve offers a little added protection for the laptop on the go.
Pros and Cons
- Premium look
- Incredibly lightweight
- Military-grade durability
- Astounding battery life
- Touchpad-cum- number pad
- Premium carry sleeve
- A lot of business-oriented software tools
- Not for heavy-duty games
- Integrated RAM, so can’t be extended
The ASUS ExpertBook B9450 starts at INR1, 80,000. It is certainly not cheap for individual buyers, but the companies will bear the cost anyway, so it is not much of a concern.
From our end, we can say that the laptop is exceptionally lightweight, well-built, long on battery life, and pleasure to use. It ticks every box for a business-friendly ultraportable laptop. There is no reason why it should not be at the top of every business users’ wishlist.