Asus ExpertBook B9

Cool factor 5/5
Usability 4/5
Value for money 3/5

Buying a Windows laptop is no easy task. The market is flooded with business laptops. So what makes the Asus ExpertBook stand out?

The ExpertBook B9 is a 14-inch laptop that has 4mm thin bezels with a 94% screen-to-body ratio. Its big selling point is that it is the lightest laptop we’ve used to date, weighing a mere 870g.

You can hold the laptop for video chats with no pressure on your wrist while multitasking, even from the kitchen. It features noise-cancelling audio that reduces ambient noise.

It also has military-grade durability, surviving shock tests; 120cm drop tests; a range of humidity, altitude and temperature tests; and a 30kg panel pressure test on its LCD without taking damage.

The B9 has an unusual ergolift hinge that, once open, tilts the laptop upwards, so it doesn’t sit flat on a surface. This clever design prevents it from overheating thanks to the free flow of air.

Its spill-resistant keyboard is backlit, featuring a large 127mm x 65mm touchpad with integrated number pad and up to four-finger gestures. When you tap the top right corner on the touchpad, it automatically switches to a numerical keypad.

The battery life on the B9 is great, making it suitable for business travel. It promises up to 24 hours from a single charge (its higher-spec model has a high-capacity battery). It fast-charges on a 65W plug with USB-C; however, it is not compatible with the Macbook’s USB-C charger.

The ExpertBook is a beast of a machine. It is powered by Intel’s 11th-generation Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM and 1TB of SSD storage. It has Harman Kardon surround sound, perfectly suited for watching Netflix or YouTube after hours, though the hinge mechanism tilts only to 180°.

Security features include an embedded security chip, Windows facial recognition software, fingerprint sensor, a webcam shield, Kensington lock slot and USB lock controls. It has many ports: 2x USB-C, USB, HDMI, micro HDMI LAN, and a 3.5mm audio jack.

The ExpertBook B9 is best suited for business travellers. It is compact, speedy and reliable with good standby time.

When a machine like this is difficult to fault, you know it comes down to price. It starts at R33,000.

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