There are two reasons to buy the ExpertBook B9450: weight and battery life.
Grab the Asus ExpertBook B9450 and you’ll wonder where the rest is. Asus described it as the world’s lightest 14-inch commercial laptop, and lightweight. While pregnant, I felt like I was holding nothing. My test unit measures 2.19 lbs, but the models go down to 1.91 lbs.
Inside the 0.6-inch chassis, Asus is still able to include some decent specs. Models start from $ 1699The base includes 16 GB RAM, 512 GB storage, and Core i7-10510U with Intel UHD Graphics 620. The model I’m using, and the one that costs $ 1799, It has the same processor but it folds storage up to two 1 TB drives.
But the ExpertBook’s battery life is impressive (if not more) than it weighs. In my test, it lasted for an average of 10 hours 47 minutes – and that was while multitasking with a decent load of Chrome tabs and apps at 200 nits of brightness. This means the ExpertBook is not the longest-lasting business laptop I have tested ( $ 3,000 Dell Latitude He still holds that crown), but he’s definitely in the hall of fame.
Here’s my quick take on the expert book. These are the two salient features (in addition to storage capacity). Together, they make it a great choice for business users who need a mobile device with a large amount of storage, but potential buyers should be aware that the processor is mostly suitable for basic office tasks. More on that in a little while.
The problem with laptops this thin and light is that they sometimes feel weak. The Expert Book is surprisingly powerful; It’s made from multiple layers of the magnesium-lithium alloy material that Asus says is 17 percent less dense than the “traditional” magnesium-aluminum alloy. The company also says the B9450 has passed the MIL-STD 810G military standard, which tests various factors such as port durability, spill resistance, and impact resistance. I believed it. While I felt some flexibility in the keyboard surface and screen, that was nothing compared to what I’ve seen from other ultra-thin units like Vaio SX12.
Durability aside, the ExpertBook feels very good quality. There are metallic spots at the end, which give everything a heavenly look in a certain light.
One note with design: Like a number of Asus laptops, the ExpertBook has an ErgoLift hinge, which means the screen folds under the keyboard surface when the laptop is opened and raised slightly off the ground. This has a number of benefits – it should increase cooling and make typing more comfortable – but it also means that if you use the ExpertBook on your lap, you will have a sharp joint that digs into your legs. I know that not everyone spends as much time on the sofa as I do, so the mileage may vary.
The final thing that’s impressive is the handy port selection: You have 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. Lots of manufacturers have had trouble installing even USB-A on ultra-thin devices, so I’m impressed with seeing the full-size HDMI here.
Other fun stuff: There’s a fingerprint scanner underneath the arrow keys, the Windows Hello web camera has a physical shutter and a kill switch, and the touchpad has Asus’ NumberPad 2.0, which lets you pull out an LED digital pad with the touch of a sensor. And there are a number of business-specific features, including a TPM 2.0 chip and a pre-loaded package called Asus Business Manager where you can encrypt local drives, switch editing of the system registry, and customize many other things.
This all sounds great, so what’s the point? There is only one right, but it will matter to many people. He is the healer. The Core i7-10510U is a quad-core processor with significantly less power than the chips you’ll see in the best laptops on the market like Dell XPS 13. It is far from being a workforce.
Now, ExpertBook is a good fit for basic office work – emails, Google Docs, Slack, Zoom calls, and that kind of thing. I’ve never heard fans spin during regular multitasking in Chrome, nor have I encountered any performance issues. If that’s what you do all day long, great – the Expert Book is for you. But if you think you’ll ever need to do a lot of hard work on this, especially tasks that take advantage of integrated graphics, you will need to look elsewhere.
I tried running our traditional video export test in Adobe Premiere Pro to illustrate the performance difference between this model and other premium portable tools you can buy, but the software crashes during each trial. It let Asus know about this, and it’s researching it.
So I ended up playing some light games instead. The expert book ran Rocket League At the maximum settings at 40 fps (where 11th Gen XPS 13 With Core i7 i7-1165G7 set at 111 fps and XPS 13 With Core i7-1065G7 minus 70fps). On League of Legends, It averaged 85 fps (to 205 fps for the 11th generation and 160 fps for the 10th generation). It averaged 31 fps Note and observeUltra settings, at least 10fps Shadow Tomb Raider (Which I ran out of mostly out of curiosity). These frame rates are much lower than you might expect from the XPS models, as well as a lot of more affordable 14-inch devices like the Asus. ZenBook 14.
To repeat: The ExpertBook is nowhere near a gaming laptop. This is just to illustrate the processing power you sacrifice for the additional portability, battery life, and storage that ExpertBook provides (and of course, note that if you think you’ll want to play casual games, consider getting something else).
There is one thing I want to compliment him on, though: The ExpertBook is great cooling. During many Premiere export attempts and a long gaming session, the CPU temperature remained very steady in the high 60s and rarely jumped above 70 ° C. That’s impressive, especially for such a thin device. (The XPS 13 spends a lot of time in the high 90s.) On the one hand, fans made so much noise that they were audible from multiple rooms – people around me would have been anxious if I tried these tests in an office. This is another reason to steer clear of this if you need to play games or media work from time to time.
The ExpertBook B9450 audience is somewhat specific. But this does not mean that it is small. If you’re someone who doesn’t care much about processing power, but does care about portability, battery life and storage, this laptop is worth $ 1,799. Not only is it among the lightest you can buy in this size, but it is one of the few products in the weight class to feature dual storage slots. These three features would be hard to find on many other 14-inch laptops at this price point. Add great build quality and a nifty Numpad feature, and I envision this is a laptop that many home and on-the-go workers would love to have.
Just make sure you know what you’re getting – because the low-power processor and deafening fans are definitely not ideal for everyone.
Photography by Monica Chen / The Verge
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