While most brands compete to offer the lightest laptops, ASUS has introduced an updated version of its business laptop portfolio with the introduction of the ExpertBook B9400. We take a look at the unique design of the laptop, its features, and the performance that it can deliver.
There is no doubt that the weight of the laptop is an important factor considered by any user before making a purchasing decision. While many users are usually okay to carry laptops that weigh between 1.6kg to 2kg, they would still wish to have a lighter laptop and this is usually reserved for the premium-class ultrabooks.
Thanks to the magnesium-lithium alloy material, the ExpertBook B9400 is extremely light and weighs only 1.01kg. ASUS mentions that the magnesium-lithium alloy is 16% less dense than the magnesium-aluminum alloy that was used in the previous B9440 series models. It’s so light you wouldn’t feel like you are holding a conventional laptop. The construction of the magnesium-lithium alloy ensures that the assembly is tighter and prevents moisture or dust from entering the system.
The laptop also comes with the US military-grade MIL-STD-810G certification, indicating that it’s one of the toughest durable ultrabooks on the market. The screen is reinforced to withstand pressure. The hinges and I/O ports are also reinforced with heavy-duty stainless steel brackets and bigger screws, and the motherboard is attached with rubber dampers to resist shocks.
ASUS has performed several tests on the ExpertBook B9400 to prove its durability, such as drop tests at 100m, hinge tests, panel pressure tests with 30kg force, spill resistance, keyboard, and I/O durability, shock resistant tests, EMI tests, high-temperature tests up to 60 degrees operational, low-temperature tests as low as -29 degrees operational, and more.
We were amazed at how lightweight and sturdy is the laptop. Furthermore, the laptop does not have glossy surfaces, which should easily resist smudges and fingerprints, and it’s called the star black finish. ASUS says that the design of the laptop is inspired by architectural elements with premium-looking edges. The ExpertBook B9400 features the famous ErgoLift hinge, where when the laptop screen is unfolded by 145 degrees, the bottom part is also raised by 5-degrees.
This not only elevates the keyboard portion where users can type better, but it also helps for better air intake and improves the audio resonance. The screen can unfold all the way to 180 degrees. The display is 14-inch in size with Full HD as the screen resolution. The screen features an anti-glare IPS display with Full HD as the screen resolution and 300 nits of brightness. The bezels surrounding the screen are only 4mm thick which helps for a 94% screen-to-body ratio. The display also has 100% sRGB color gamut coverage (72% NTSC coverage).
There is also a 720p camera on the front, along with an IR camera and far-field microphones on the top bezel of the screen. And if you are worried about privacy, there is a webcam shield that is used to block the sensor. While the laptop is very small and lightweight, ASUS managed to implement a full-sized backlit keyboard. Each key features a 19.05mm pitch, which is the distance from the middle of the key to the adjacent side (the same as a PC keyboard).
ASUS has designed each key to feature a dish-shaped indentation that is 0.15mm, along with 1.5mm key travel. ASUS says that the key travel is the longest among business laptops. The typing experience is satisfying and I was able to get used to the keyboard layout in less time. There is also a fingerprint scanner that is located on the bottom right side of the keyboard. While the trackpad features a large and smooth glass surface, ASUS also implemented its NumberPad 2.0, where the trackpad turns into an illuminated numeric keypad for all those who want to quickly calculate all those excel sheets.
It should also be noted that there is also a light bar on the edge of the trackpad portion, which is used to indicate the status of the Alexa and Windows Cortana smart assistants. When it is red, it means the mic is turned off. When it is yellow in color, it means that the notifications are queued. And when it’s blue, it means Alexa is capturing the user’s speech or processing the request. ASUS has also implemented the AdaptiveLock, which is the name given for a proximity sensor that wakes up the system when you go near the laptop. And when away, the screen dims and sleeps. This feature works almost flawlessly most of the time.
As for connectivity, the ExpertBook B9400 features two Thunderbolt 4 ports on the right side (used also for power delivery), followed by an HDMI port and a Micro HDMI to RJ45 port. On the right side, there is the headphone jack, and a USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A port, Kensington lock slot and LED indicators for drive activity and battery.
The speakers are located on the bottom side of the laptop on the left and right sides. The laptop uses noise-canceling audio that is beneficial for business users, remote employees, and remote conferencing sessions. There is also a small air vent on the bottom side.
Features and Specifications
The ASUS ExpertBook B9 is not just a lightweight laptop. It also features some powerful hardware to back up its performance. The processor used here is the 11th generation quad-core Intel Core i7-1165G7 processor and the integrated graphics is the Intel Iris Xe GPU. The processor is joined by 16GB LPDDR4X onboard RAM with dual-channel support.
The drive used here is the Intel 512GB M.2 NVMe PCI-E SSD (SSDPEKNW512G8) with Windows 10 Pro installed. The laptop features the latest Intel WiFi 6 AX201 802.11ax module for high-speed internet and Bluetooth 5.0. We had tested the internet speeds on a home network and got download speeds up to 534Mbps with SpeedTest. Of course, you can get more if you have a faster internet connection.
We had tested the processor with PC Mark 8 Creative and Geekbench 4/5 benchmarks, along with CrystalDiskMark for SSD speeds. We used FireStrike, Night Raid, and Geekbench test for GPU benchmarks. Take a look at the score below.
ASUS has also included software such as the ASUS Control Center that helps to monitor the software and hardware remotely, BIOS, or software updates for IT users. The ASUS Business Manager software helps to directly select restore points and shredding of confidential data, and the Microsoft Autopilot, which is a unified endpoint management tool for IT administrators.
ASUS mentions that the ExpertBook B9400 is capable of charging from 1 percent to 60 percent in just 40 minutes via the USB Type-C port. With our usage, the charging time was almost the same. The B9400 comes in two models and with different battery capacities: B9400 with a 66Whr battery (1.05 g) and the other with a 33 Whr battery (880g). Upon our usage, the laptop was able to go on for 4-5 hours. Our usage included writing articles, watching YouTube, browsing the internet, etc. We also ran the PC Mark 8 Creative Battery tests and got about 5 hours and 17 minutes of usage.
The demand for lightweight business laptops has increased over the years and ASUS has proved that they can deliver a laptop that not only weighs less, but is also durable, and performs well. If you are looking for a premium lightweight laptop, then the ExpertBook B9400 is a good option to consider. The laptop features a unique architectural-inspired design with the ErgoLift hinge that helps to type better with the full-sized keyboard that is comfortable to type.
The ExpertBook B9400 also features a privacy-focused webcam with noise-canceling mics. The laptop features the latest 11th generation Intel processor with a fast SSD and sufficient RAM modules. The laptop performed well most of the time and the battery lasts for several hours that can be charged quickly via the USB Type-C port.