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This sleek fish isn’t your typical boring business laptop

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When I worked in the software industry in my previous life, all the ‘laptops’ we got were bulky and boxy machines that were hard to lug around.

Asus is trying to change that with its new line of commercial laptops under the Expertbook moniker in India. The company claims that these laptops not only lightweight, but also powerful and secure.

I got to use the new Asus Experbook B9 for a couple of weeks and I’m frankly impressed — it’s sleek, it packs a lot of features, and it’s got excellent battery life.

Before we talk more about the device, let’s take a look at its specifications. Keep in mind that, some of the specs are customizable, so you might have a different configuration than the one I tried. You can check out all the possible options here. The model below costs ₹167,771 ($2,285).

Specifications

  • Screen: 14-inch full HD LED screen (1920 x 1080 resolution)
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-10510U 1.8GHz quad-core processor
  • RAM: 16GB LDDR3
  • Internal Storage: 512GB Dual M.2 NVMe SSD
  • Size (L x W x H): 20.3 cm x 32 cm x 1.49 cm
  • Weight: 0.995 kg
  • Battery: 66kWh
  • Power adapter: 65W USB-C adapter
  • Front camera: 720p camera with IR camera for Windows Hello
  • Mic:  Array microphone with 4-meter range and noise cancellation
  • Ports: 2 x Thunderbolt 3 USB-C, 1 x USB 3.1 gen-2 type-A, 1 x HDMI, 1 x RJ45 LAN via micro HDMI port, 1 x 3.5 mm audio jack, 1 x Kensington lock
  • Connectivity: WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5.0
  • Operating system: Windows 10 Pro

Design and features

The Expertbook B9 is designed for enterprise, so it still follows boxy design principles, but it doesn’t look outdated. The body’s made out of magnesium-lithium and magnesium-aluminum alloys and it’ll supposedly hold up against minor falls and bumps. However, it might not last drops more than a few centimeters.

“Holy shit! It’s light,” is the first thing that’ll go through your mind when you pick up the device. The Asus laptop weighs under a kilogram and it’s amazing how the company has managed to fit in a 66 kWh battery in this machine.

Asus ships a 65W charger with the machine, and the good thing is that you can charge the laptop with either of the USB-C ports on the left side. There are plenty of small-sized chargers and power banks available now that can juice up a laptop through a USB-C port in case you don’t have the official charger around.

The laptop also has a quirky number pad that’s embedded right into the touchpad — and spreadsheet users might be delighted. You can enable it through by tapping the top right-hand corner. While the touchpad recognized the difference between clicks and keying in numbers, it might take a while for you to get used to it.

The Expertbook B9 packs nifty security features that would be useful in and out of the office. There’s an IR-camera on the top bezel that allows you to use Windows Hello for login. There’s also a hardware killswitch for the camera.

The device also has a fingerprint scanner next to the keyboard for authentication. And there’s Kensington lock port so you can lock it up on your desk. Because Windows 10 and Microsoft Edge is FIDO2 compliant. You can also use your security keys with it to login to applications.

Performance and observations

The 14-inch screen is nice and bright, but as Windows 10 defaults to 150% zoom, everything seems big and grainy. You might want to shift to 125% zoom as fonts at 100% might be too small to read.

I also wish that the aspect ratio of the screen wasn’t 16:9. It’s nice for watching movies. But this is laptop is not meant for entertainment. I’d be more comfortable with 3:2 or even 16:10 so as to I can concentrate on the content in front of me in an easier manner.