LAS VEGAS, NV –– It seems that ultra-light business laptops are a leading trend coming out of CES 2020 and I’m not mad it. Asus is the latest company to serve up a barely-business laptops. The new Asus ExpertBook B9450 weighs just under 2 pounds. Although Asus has yet to disclose prices, I’m eager to get my hands on this laptop when it launches in Q1 or Q2. It may very well be the next member of our best business laptops page.
Asus ExpertBook B9450 specs
Asus hasn’t shared pricing on this featherweight notebook, but the company shared plenty of specs. The laptop can be configured with up to a 10th Gen Intel Core i7 10510 processor with a max of 16GB of RAM, a pair of 1TB M.2 PCIe SSDs and an Intel UHD Graphics 620 GPU.
Asus ExpertBook B9450 design
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen the Asus ExpertBook B940. It actually made its debut back at Computex 2019 under the name of the AsusPro B9. However, back then, it wasn’t nearly as pretty with a rather ho-hum black magnesium chassis that felt kind of cheap. In the months that passed, the notebook has gotten a much-needed makeover with a snazzy Star Black finish that looks more dark blue than black.
Unlike notebooks in the ZenBook line, the ExpertBook lacks Asus’ usually concentric circle design, instead going for a smooth surface on the lid with a glossy Asus logo in the center. However, the notebook does feature Asus ErgoLift design which raises the keyboard deck at a slight angle when opened to make for a more comfortable typing experience.
Made from a magnesium-lithium alloy, the ExpertBook weighs a mind-boggling 1.9 pounds. That makes it lighter than some of our favs including the Dell XPS 13 (2.7 pounds, 11.9 x 7.8 x 0.5 inches), MacBook Pro 13-inch (3 pounds, 12 x 8.4 x 0.6 inches) and the HP Elite Dragonfly (2.5 pounds, 11.9 x 7.8 x 0.6 inches).
Asus ExpertBook B9450 durability and security
Don’t let it’s weight fool you. The Asus ExpertBook B9450 is plenty durable. That magnesium-lithium chassis has undergone MIL-SPEC-810G testing. It means the notebook can withstand drops, shock, vibration and exposure to extreme temperatures, altitudes and humidity.
But the ExpertBook wouldn’t be a business laptop without some security features, You’ll find a fingerprint reader right under the keyboard in the right corner. A physical webcam shutter, protects you against potential Peeping Toms. And when the shutter’s open, the IR camera can be used for facial recognition logins via Windows Hello. Lastly, you have TPM 2.0 for data encryption functionality,
Asus ExpertBook B9450 ports
For such a relatively slim laptop, the ExpertBook has a solid lineup of ports. You get a USB 3.1 Type-A Gen. 1 port, a headset jack and a Kensington lock slot on the right. Along the left there’s 2 Thunderbolt 3 ports, a full HDMI port and a mini-HDMI port.
Asus ExpertBook B9450 display
Asus outfitted the ExpertBook with a 14-inch, 1920 x 1080 anti-glare display. Colors seemed pretty vibrant accompanied by sharp detail. But at an estimated 300 nits, the panel is on the dim side, especially when compared to 373-nit Dragonfly, the 382-nit XPS 13 or the 408-nit MacBook Pro. But I’ll reserve final judgement until we get the laptop in for testing.
Asus ExpertBook B9450 keyboard and touchpad
I was pleasantly surprised by the ExpertBook’s keyboard. Where I expected shallow, mushy keys, I got relatively decent feedback and key travel. I’m curious to see how my fingers will feel after hours of pounding away, writing a review.
Similar to other Asus laptops, the ExpertBook has the company’s NumberPad 2.0. It’s an LED-backlit NumPad that can be summoned on the touchpad in case you want to crunch some numbers without fiddling around with the number row.
Asus ExpertBook B9450 battery life
Asus is making a lofty claim that the ExpertBook will last a full 24 hours on a charge. While I’m skeptical, I would love to be proven wrong.
As someone who travels a fair amount for trade shows like CES 2020, I like to travel as light as possible when I’m roaming the convention floor. At a scant 1.9 pounds, the Asus ExpertBook B9450 seems like it be right up my alley, especially when you toss in the durability and security features.
However, I am concerned about the seemingly dim display and I doubt the notebook reach the vaunted 24-hour mark. Plus, I still don’t know how much the notebook costs. Still, if the price is right and the test results are good, the Asus ExpertBook B9450 has a great shot at landing on our best business laptops page.