This is Asus Expert Book B9450 review. The main feature is that it has achieved the lightest weight of 870g in the lightest configuration. Lightness is a very important factor for mobile laptops, but for PC foreign-affiliated makers mainly in the United States, even if they appeal to developers the needs of a Japanese business man, a 1kg wall, It did not easily penetrate.
To achieve this lightweightness, the Asus ExpertBook B9450 uses magnesium lithium alloy. Magnesium and lithium are both lighter elements than the aluminum used in most laptop PCs, and this alloy is 38% stronger yet lighter than aluminum. When I actually picked up the Expert Book B9450 for the first time, I couldn’t help saying light! But hard!
Although it can not be tested for durability because it is a trial machine, it has cleared various tests such as drop, earthquake resistance, high temperature / low temperature / altitude test, sings military grade, 5,000 times interface removal and insertion, 50,000 times hinge Opening and closing, 150 G / 2.5 ms shock test, 30 kg point pressure test, water drop test of spilling liquid for 3 minutes, keyboard durability test of 10 million keystrokes.
In addition, the hinges and I / O ports are made of stainless steel to increase the strength, and cushions are provided on the motherboard to improve robustness even in invisible locations. You can feel secure when using it on a daily basis in business.
On the other hand, magnesium and lithium are materials that are difficult to achieve high quality. Compared to the cool and shiny aluminum, it is a material that is dull in the first place and has a powdery texture. Although each company has made some efforts in painting and finishing, the plasticity is hard to come out, and since it is made thinner because of the strength increase as an alloy, it is inevitably cheap.
However, the Asus Expert Book B9450 is not painted in a simple single color, but in a deep deep navy blue color with fine glitter that reflects in various colors. The powdery texture is the same as before, but the intention is that the feeling is this is the way it feels with a fine lamé, which on the contrary is quickly accepted. Moreover, the lamé is quite elegant, and somehow feminine in the base color of a gentleman.
In addition, fingerprints and traces of hand sweat are hardly left, so you can carry it clean. To be honest, this design element is recommended for business people who take it to customers and give presentations. If you care about the design of your inventory, the Asus ExpertBook B9450 is a good choice.
Another feature of this product is the shape that incorporates many straight lines. The housing was designed with inspiration from the geometric pattern of the building, but when viewed from the side, it looks like an L-shaped liquid crystal, wedge-shaped sides and bottom that are squeezed straight lines instead of roundness, vents, speakers Every part of the hall, rubber feet, etc. is linear and the design is unified, so it is beautiful from any angle of 360 degrees.
What I really like is the design of the palm rest surface, with a slightly steep slope in the foreground and gentle slopes on the back and left and right sides so that the keyboard part does not hit the liquid crystal. Although the materials are seamless and unified, the partitions are clearly separated, which improves usability. With the high screen occupancy and the immersive liquid crystal, I will not complain about the design.
I don’t usually talk much about PC design in reviews, but honestly, I hated the Asus ExpertBook B9450 design. It may be overstated five years ahead, but I think it’s been done one or two years ahead.
Now let’s look at the detailed usability. This unit is sometimes sung for business, and its features and design are unique. The first thing I would like to mention is the touchpad.
It’s a large and easy-to-use touchpad, but when you press and hold the upper right portion for 1 second, the backlight brings up the numbers, making it a numeric keypad. By intentionally tapping the place where the number appears, the number will be entered.
It’s really well made here, and when you move your finger after tapping, the pointer moves as it is without entering a number. And if you tap right after the pointer moves, it works as a left click instead of entering a number. Furthermore, even in this state, it accepts gestures with two or three fingers.
In other words, since the pointer can be moved even with the numeric keypad function turned on, there is no hassle of switching when I want to move the pointer for a while, and if you get used to it, you can use it with the numeric keypad function turned on. . By the way, it seems that special drivers are not included, and it seems that all the functions are completed by hardware. I was also impressed with the construction of this area.
The interface is Gigabit Ethernet with Thunderbolt 3×2 on the left side, full-size HDMI, and Micro HDMI terminal. On the right side is a 3.5mm stereo minijack, USB 3.0, and Kensington lock. Of course, the equipment with HDMI terminal should be considered in connection with the projector at the time of presentation.
On the other hand, Gigabit Ethernet, which is purposely diverted from Micro HDMI, is a measure to make it easier for managers at companies to manage devices based on MAC addresses by incorporating a network controller for wired LAN in the main unit. This area is well thought out.
What I would like to mention specially is the kind of indicator LEDs. The Caps Lock, Fn key, and power button are equipped with LEDs, so it’s not only basic, such as being able to immediately know the status, but also having a storage access indicator on the right side of the main unit has a good impression.
Since recent laptop PCs are using SSD, it is not necessary to worry about accessing the storage so much, so access lamps are often omitted. However, if the system is not responding under heavy load, it is useful to determine if the OS itself is frozen to some extent by checking if the access lamp blinks. This is especially true of SSDs, as they do not have the mechanical access sounds of HDDs. This is also a nice feature for power users.
Now let’s look at the usability of the keyboard, which is an important point for a PC. The keyboard of our review unit has Japanese layout with few habits, and the key pitch is 18.75 mm, which is slightly shorter than the standard 19 mm. Since it is a 14-inch type, there is plenty of room in the width and there are no speakers on the left and right, so I think it would have been nice to have an array with more room. When I first started using this unit, I felt a little confused, but after getting to know the home position by using the protrusions of F and J, I got used to it.
The key top of the main key has a structure in which the center is dented to 0.15 mm, which makes it easy to stick to the fingers. Compared to the full keyboard, the dent is shallower, and the area of the key top is not so large, so the author was honestly not so concerned, but if the user has a thin finger, it will be possible to realize it. The key stroke is 1.5mm. The keyboard is equipped with a white LED backlight, and the brightness can be adjusted in 3 levels. Can be seen in the dark.
The default settings of the function keys are hot keys for volume adjustment and brightness adjustment, but you can switch to F1 to F12 with a shortcut of utility, BIOS, or Fn + Esc. Once you switch, you don’t need to reset the settings because you remember the settings.
This unit uses an Ergo Lift hinge that allows the lower part of the LCD to slide under the bottom surface when the LCD is opened, allowing the keyboard surface to tilt up. This not only improves the usability of the keyboard, but also improves the efficiency of sucking air from the bottom surface and enhances cooling performance. In addition, the contact area with the body is reduced when it is placed on the thigh, preventing the heat of the body from being transferred to the thigh. It is a well-considered mechanism.
Since heat is exhausted toward the rear part of the main body and the lower part of the liquid crystal, even if the mouse is installed on the left and right, the heat is not felt in the hand. When the load is high, the heat of the surface feels slightly up to the numbers, but it does not come down to the palm rest, so it can be used comfortably. The bottom surface is also widely spread with a graphite sheet. Thanks to the ErgoLift hinge mentioned above, the heat is almost never stressed.
In addition, a fingerprint sensor is installed on the palm rest, and you can immediately log in using Windows Hello. The webcam is equipped with a physical shutter for privacy. It should be noted that this shutter is mechanical only and does not electrically shut down the webcam signal like HP products.
Although this product is quite built in, the only disappointment was the included AC adapter. Although the AC adapter itself is small, the AC cord that connects to it is a thick type with 3 pins, and when it is combined with the AC adapter, the weight reaches 310g. At a briefing held in Taiwan, it was unclear why it was such an AC adapter for Japan because it was an outlet integrated type. However, it is a type that can output 20V / 3.25A (65W), and has a larger capacity than the 60W previously explained.
This unit supports USB PD charging, so you can use any commercially available USB PD-compatible small charger, and this is not a major weakness. However, contrary to the design that the main body is passionate about mobile, it seems that it is omission. It has become a point that lacks the painting dragon dot.
As a result, in terms of PCMark10, there was a difference of about 10% with 4,067 in Turbo and 3,688 in Normal. In Cinebench R20 that emphasizes CPU performance, the score difference spreads to about 39%. This is because the Turbo mode operates at 2.3 GHz when the load is high, but drops to about 1.6 to 1.7 GHz in Normal mode. For normal business purposes, you shouldn’t be dissatisfied with Normal, but if you’re doing patching or encoding that’s going to take a long time, it’s best to switch to Turbo.
If you are interested, it is the behavior during 3DMark implementation, and the fluctuation of the frame rate is quite strong. Probably due to heat and other factors, the power limit may be repeatedly applied and released. However, this machine is not a machine intended for game play, and if you want GPU performance, there is also a means to use an external GPU box of Thunderbolt 3, so you should also consider this.
Battery life was measured in Modern Office of PCMark 10 in Normal mode / 50% brightness setting, and it was driven for 10 hours and 33 minutes (2% remaining). The model we tried this time was the lighter 870g model, but the results were almost as expected. I was actually writing this manuscript using the Expert Book B9450, and I was doing Web browsing etc. on the way, but I did not feel uneasy about the battery level. The model with double the battery capacity weighs 995g, which can be driven for 20 hours, so users who do not have enough 10 hours can choose that.
Although the Asus ExpertBook B9450 showed excellent values on PCMark 10, the mysterious crispness of the VAIO SX14, which uses the same Comet Lake that was previously introduced in the PC short comment, cannot be felt. Although there are slight differences such as switching from the Windows login screen, reaction when pressing the start button, web browsing, software installation, etc., VAIO SX14 has a quicker reaction, you can see it immediately after using it.
Since the VAIO SX14 has 6 cores, it is natural that there will be a score difference from the Asus ExpertBook B9450 with 4 cores, but the cause can be better understood by comparing the clock transition graph of the CPU of PCMark 10 than that value. During the test of Asus ExpertBook B9450, the CPU clock frequency fluctuates from beginning to end and repeats below 1GHz and over 3-4GHz. On the other hand, VAIO SX14 is 3.7GHz or more from the beginning, except for the heavy load in the final stage, and the fluctuation of the clock is small. This may be the reason why the VAIO SX14 feels fast even at light loads, as higher clocks mean lower latencies for the same architecture.
Posted by Kamaldeep Singh on May 7, 2020 in Reviews