Light notebooks are the order of the day, behind were those hulks that only had the name of “notebooks”. However, that does not mean that companies have rested on their laurels. In the middle of 2020 the race is to lower the weight below the kilogram. And, it appears that Asus is ahead. Proof of this is the laptop I have had in my hands for three weeks: the Asus ExpertBook B9. This equipment has a weight of 870 grams and promises an autonomy above the average. So, without further delay, let’s start with the analysis.
Light and strong
Asus has used a lithium-magnesium alloy in the chassis of the Asus ExpertBook B9 and with this they have managed to reduce its weight to 870 grams. It is light, a lot. As you read these lines, you may not be able to imagine how light it is. But to give you an idea, my personal phone (when I’m not testing others) is the OnePlus 7 Pro and it has a weight of 206 grams. That is, carrying this laptop would be almost like carrying four OnePlus 7 Pro in your pocket. It is an impractical situation, but one that outlines the exercise Asus has done when assembling this laptop.
Also, Added to this lightness is a construction designed to withstand extreme situations. The Asus ExpertBook B9 is MIL-STD 810G certified and is capable of withstanding drops, vibrations, shocks, humidity, dust and temperatures up to 50 ° C. In real situations, all this translates into a chassis without gaps and capable of withstanding daily transfer. And, if you still need to protect it more, Asus has included a waterproof material case with a soft padding to prevent scratches. The result of the combination of lightness and resistance give rise to a perfect equipment to take anywhere.
After having talked about the two most important sections of the construction of the Asus ExpertBook B9, it’s time to talk about the design. This section can be defined with one word: discreet. This laptop is away from the eyes and the spotlights. It is elegant, but without attracting attention. The color is black, although if we get close enough we will see the texture of the materials used in the body of this laptop. The only thing that stands out about the outer cover is the brand’s serigraphy, whose shiny finish allows reflections to be created.
On the sides of the Asus ExpertBook B9 are ports for physical connections. On the left side there are two USB C Thunderbolt 3 ports that we can use interchangeably to charge the device, an HDMI port and a micro HDMI that aims to connect the adapter that includes Asus in the box to have an internet connection via RJ45 cable. On the opposite side, the space is divided by the Kensington lock slot, a combined 3.5 mm jack port (headphones and microphone) and a USB 3.1 type A port (the ones of a lifetime).
Just before lifting the lid, a white stripe appears, although it may seem merely aesthetic. It is actually an LED indicator that will light up while the laptop is charging. When lifting the lid, the first thing that stands out is how precise the hinge is, it is not necessary to hold the laptop with one hand while with the other we lift the lid. The resistance it offers is just so that with one hand we can discover what is hidden behind this cover. The Asus ExpertBook B9 boasts the already seen ErgoLift hinge. This hinge automatically raises the keyboard leaving more space between the laptop and the surface on which it rests. Thanks to this, the air flow is more efficient and also improves ergonomics when writing.
The movement of this hinge passes to a 14-inch screen with frames used in all directions. It is true that the sides are the smallest of the four, but neither the bottom nor the top are left behind. In addition, the inclusion of a webcam and IR facial recognition system in the upper frame merits; when we have seen Asus teams that have dispensed with these features. Below the screen of the Asus ExpertBook B9 is both the keyboard and the touchpad, in parallel to this touchpad is a restrained fingerprint reader. Where are the speakers? These are located on both sides of the equipment base.
Keyboard and Asus NumberPad
The touchpad of the Asus ExpertBook B9 has a secret and that is that it has double functionality. It can be both a conventional touchpad and a numeric keyboard. This feature is named Asus NumberPad and it is not the first time we have seen it on Asus computers. However, the improvement of the generations is noticeable and it is that now we can adjust the intensity of this LED lighting. Although it may seem that you are not going to use this auxiliary keyboard, in the end it is very comfortable when it comes to editing Excel documents or generating invoices. It is an additive that works if you need it in your day to day and that does not bother if you do not use it.
In addition, this touchpad is compatible with Windows gestures so we can use it to switch between desktops or go back and forth while browsing. As for the keyboard of the Asus ExpertBook B9, the experience it offers is adequate. In my day to day I type in a mechanical one and the transition to this laptop has not been a problem for me. The keys have a good size, the separation space is more than enough, they do not dance and the path is just so that we can feel the keystroke. My only complaint is the backlight, as there is no noticeable jump from minimum to maximum brightness.
Asus ExpertBook B9, datasheet
|Asus ExpertBook B9|
|screen||14 ″ – 35.56 cm LED, IPS Full HD (1920 x 1080), 16: 9 aspect, anti-glare screen, 300-nit brightness
4mm frame and 94% screen-to-body ratio
Supports 100% of the sRGB color gamut (NTSC: 72%)
178 ° Wide-View Technology
|Processor||Intel Core i7-10510U 1.8 GHz quad-core with Turbo Boost (up to 4.9 GHz) and 8 MB cache|
|Graphic card||Integrated: Intel® UHD Graphics 620 integrated|
|RAM||16GB on LDDR3 2133MHz on Dual Channel (dual channel)|
|Storage||1TB PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 NVMe|
|Sound||2 Harman Kardon certified stereo speakers
Four 360 ° far-field microphones (support noise cancellation)
Microphone array with voice recognition support from Cortana and Alexa
|Camera||720p HD camera with microphone|
|Operating system||Windows 10 Pro|
|Connectivity and security||Intel Wi-Fi 6 (Gig +) (802.11ax) 2 × 2
Fingerprint reader (Windows Hello)
IR camera (Windows Hello
Physical webcam blocking system
|Battery||33Wh, 2 Cells, Lithium Ion Polymer|
|Connectors||1 x USB 3.2 (GEN2)
2 x USB-C ™ Thunderbolt 3 (up to 40Gbps, DisplayPort, and compatible with charging and power delivery)
1 x Headphone Out / 3.5mm Microphone In (combo)
1 x HDMI
1 x Kensington Security Lock
1 x RJ45 LAN via micro HDMI port
|Dimensions||321 x 202 x 9 ~ 14.9 mm millimeters and 870 grams|
65W AC adapter
Output: DC 19V, 3.42A, 65W
Input: 100 ~ 240V AC, 50 / 60Hz universal
|Price||1,700 euros in a single model|
14 inches in a front very well used
In the design section we went over the screen and only gave the data of its inches. But these 14 inches diagonal hide an IPS panel with Full HD resolution or 1,920 x 1,080 pixels. The format is the most used in laptops, 16: 9 and the use is 94%. As for colors, the Asus ExpertBook B9 is capable of displaying 100% of the sRGB color gamut and 72% NTSC. The brightness stays at 300 nits and the viewing angles have been reinforced thanks to Wide-View technology until reaching an amplitude of 178 degrees.
Yes, the string of technical data is fine, but let’s move on to talking about your behavior in real-life situations. The first thing is its size, 14 inches are not for everyone and specifically, they are not for me. I have always preferred 15.6 inches diagonal, however, I have to contextualize the kind of product it is and how thought it is to be able to be used anytime, anywhere. And, in that case there is no discussion, The 14 inches allow you to open the laptop sitting in the passenger seat of a car as in an endless number of situations that come to mind.
Now, the screen of the Asus ExpertBook B9 is a very technical good except for one section: brightness. The 300 nits are more than enough for indoors or in the shade. But as soon as we have direct light these fall somewhat short. It is not that suddenly we stop seeing the screen, but it is somewhat more difficult to see the details. What is appreciated is the matte finish that manages to alleviate this situation, but not completely save it. Let’s hope that in future generations the brightness is one of the aspects that are first considered during development.
When it comes to consuming multimedia content, the Asus ExpertBook B9 offers good colors, contrast and dynamic range. The experience is remarkable and allows us to enjoy any series or movie without any complaint. Note that by having color certifications and arriving with a good factory calibration, we can make use of photo editing programs such as Photoshop. Of course, the issue of video editing has as a limiting factor having dispensed with a dedicated graphics card. We will talk about this when we get to the performance section.
Harman Kardon plays the sound
The speaker position on the Asus ExpertBook B9 is not my favorite. I am not a fan of the speakers placed in the base, they usually have a mediocre and disembodied sound. What happens with the two speakers of this laptop is that they are signed by Harman Kardon and this shows, the sound they produce is of a good level and with a wide range. Of course, they sound much better if the laptop is supported on a surface that allows some rebound. To give an example: they sound better when it is leaning on my work table than when it is leaning on the glass table that I have in the living room. The only thing that can be improved on this pair of speakers is the volume, at maximum it falls short and it is possible that if we have ambient noise, the most logical and recommended thing is to use headphones.
The latest from Intel inside the Asus ExpertBook B9
Asus has decided to stay true to Intel on the Asus ExpertBook B9, it has not been switched to the red team as it has done in other laptops. Consequently, inside this team we find the Intel i7-10510U with four cores and eight logical processes, in addition to being able to reach up to 4.9 GHz thanks to Turbo Boost. This processor is accompanied by 16GB of 2133MHz DDR3 RAM soldered on the motherboard and configured in Dual Channel or dual channel. Storage is provided by a 1TB capacity PCIe 3.0 × 4 M.2 NVMe solid state drive. The graphics section is responsible for an integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620 graphics.
These data translate into a more than solvent experience in most situations. What are these situations? Throughout these three weeks I have used it as my main computer except for when I had to edit the videos for tuexperto’s YouTube channel. This means that I have been able to do almost everything I normally do with my desktop, in a laptop that fits in any backpack. And, to be more precise, I am talking about photo editing, instant messaging (Slack, WhatsApp, Telegram …), web browsing with multiple tabs open, consumption of multimedia content (Netflix, HBO, Filmin, Prime Video) and writing the lines of this analysis.
It is not a laptop designed for gaming, if it is not clear when you see that it does not have a dedicated graphic; Possible doubts are dispelled by inquiring into his insides. The cooling system only has a heat pipe or two-phase thermosiphon tube that covers the processor and is cooled by the fan. In these bowels we can also see that there is space for another PCIe NVMe storage unit. So we can expand the capacity on our own if we fall short. Also, these drives can be RAID mounted to gain even more speed.
The connectivity of this Asus ExpertBook B9 is expected, it comes well served with the latest in wireless connections: Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) and Bluetooth 5.0. Both connections work perfectly, in my case I don’t have Wi-Fi 6 at home, but both the download and upload speeds have been high. I have to say that I have always kept it connected to the 5GHz network and that at home I have contracted 100Mb symmetrical fiber. Bluetooth when connecting headphones and other devices has not given me problems. The only drawback is that depending on the headphones that we connect, it is possible that when watching movies or series there is a certain delay between the image and video.
Autonomy that promises 24 hours away from the charger
There are two models of the Asus ExpertBook B9, one with a 66W battery and that is capable of offering 24 hours of autonomy. Then there is the model that I have analyzed, inside we find a lithium polymer battery with 4 cells that has half the capacity, 33W. This model, according to Asus, is capable of 12 hours of use. And, well, this figure stays close, although we must take into account what we do with the laptop. Throughout my tests two different scenarios have emerged and I will explain below.
The first scenario has text editing and navigation as protagonists, with text editing I speak both of using Word and WordPress. As for navigation, the use is the most typical, which is to visit multiple news web pages, social networks (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Reddit, Tumblr …) All these tasks accompanied by my favorite Spotify playlist. The brightness is always 50% and the keyboard light is off. Having made clear the use, the battery life has been around 9 hours, sometimes a little more and sometimes a little less.
In the second scenario it is more varied. I’m talking about using the Asus ExpertBook B9 to watch videos on YouTube, answer emails, browse, some Netflix series and write this review. In this case, the battery has decreased intermittently throughout the day. I have not been able to see the consumption pattern with this type of use, but what I have seen is that in the middle of the day (6 hours) I needed to connect the laptop to the electrical network in order to continue with it.
Yes, the Asus ExpertBook B9 allows me to forget about the charger when I work. But I have been left wanting to test the model that has 24 hours of autonomy as its main feature. The good thing is that in both models the load speed is maintained, we can go from 0% to 60% in 45 minutes. Para ello utilizaremos el cargador de 65W que se incluye en caja y que utiliza USB C como conexión con el portátil. Además, su tamaño es reducido por lo que ocupa muy poco espacio y cabe en un bolsillo sin mucho problema.
Seguridad por huella y cámara IR
En el Asus ExpertBook B9 encontramos cuatro tipos de seguridad. Los dos primeros son los más habituales y vistos: lector de huellas y cámara IR. El lector de huellas tiene un tamaño correcto y su posición es cómoda a la hora de utilizarlo, sin embargo, una vez configuré el desbloqueo facial con Windows Hello, me olvidé de este sensor. Este reconocimiento biométrico es mi favorito en portátiles, ¿por qué? Es cómodo. Si suspendemos el portátil al levantar la cámara IR empezará a buscar nuestro rostro y se desbloqueará. La posición da igual, al fin y al cabo, cuando nos disponemos a usar un portátil siempre miramos a la pantalla y por lo tanto el primer plano es, en casi la totalidad de situaciones, nuestro rostro.
Los dos tipos de seguridad restante son algo diferentes. En la cámara hay una pequeña pestaña, al deslizarla lo que ocurre es que una lámina de plástico tapa la cámara. Sí, habéis leído bien, adiós a poner una pegatina en la cámara del portátil para evitar que nos espíen. Es algo curioso y que es sencillo, pero funciona la mar de bien. Espero que muchos fabricantes empiecen a incluir este añadido en sus portátiles. Por último, el Asus ExpertBook B9 integra un módulo de Plataforma de Confianza, si no sabéis lo que es os lo resumo en una frase. Es, por decirlo de alguna manera, un pequeño procesador independiente y destinado a almacenar contraseñas, claves e información importante. Su labor es cifrar toda la información vulnerable. Es un tipo de seguridad que no salta a la vista, pero que está presente en la sombra.
Asus ExpertBook B9, la autonomía y la portabilidad tienen un precio
El Asus ExpertBook B9 es un portátil destinado a un nicho de mercado muy específico. Prueba de ello es el ejercicio de diseño que se ha realizado para conseguir un portátil de 14 pulgadas con un peso de 870 gramos. Y, es posible que esto haya sido donde más empeño ha puesto la firma y por eso nos encontremos con incongruencias como una memoria RAM DDR3 o la ausencia de una gráfica dedicada. Sin embargo, la segunda carta que ha jugado Asus es la de la autonomía. No es el modelo que promete 24 horas, pero sí 12h y se queda cerca con un uso más que exhaustivo.
Este equipo está pensado para aquellos usuarios que necesiten sí o sí el equilibrio entre ligereza, potencia y autonomía. Y, esto tiene un precio y no es comedido. El modelo que he probado es el que ostenta los 1.700 euros en su etiqueta y llega con 1TB de almacenamiento y 16GB de RAM. Sí, es un precio elevado y casi prohibitivo. Pero Asus sabe esto y lo que ha hecho es crear un producto destinado a un publico cuyos usuarios buscan opciones como este Asus ExpertBook B9. Creo que no hace falta decir que, si no perteneces a este grupo de usuarios, lo más seguro es que este portátil no sea para ti.
Otras noticias sobre… analisis, Análisis de Ordenadores, Asus