ASUS ExpertBook B9 OLED (B9403) – a laptop for business and beyond
Corporate laptops are a special category with higher requirements than regular models. The obvious requirements of performance and battery life are complemented by reliability and durability, as well as additional information security features. ASUS has a corresponding line of ExpertBook laptops that meet these requirements. And today we’re going to tell you about the flagship ASUS ExpertBook B9 OLED (B9403), which has many interesting features.
ASUS ExpertBook B9 OLED (B9403) specifications
|ASUS ExpertBook B9 OLED (B9403)
|OLED, 14”, resolution 2880×1800, aspect ratio 16:10, refresh rate 90 Hz, pixel response time 0.2 ms
|Intel Core i7-1355U
|32 ГБ LPDDR5
|1 TB M.2 2280 PCIe 4.0×4
|Intel Iris Xe Graphics
|2x USB-C (Thunderbolt 4), 1 USB 3.2 Gen 2, 3.5 mm combination connector, HDMI 2.0b, Micro HDMI (RJ45)
|Wi-Fi 6E (802.11ax) + Bluetooth 5.3
|Built-in stereo speakers and microphone
|Backlit island-type keys
|Battery and charging
|63 W-h, power supply 65 W
|Cost of this configuration
The ASUS ExpertBook B9 OLED is packaged in a mustard-colored cardboard box made from recycled materials. Inside there are two more black boxes. One with the laptop itself, the other with accessories. Namely, a 65W power supply with a Type-C connector, a power cable, and a Micro HDMI to LAN adapter.
Interestingly, this small box can be transformed into a simple laptop stand.
ASUS often adds such elements to the packaging of its laptops.
Design and construction
All ASUS ExpertBook laptops have a restrained and laconic design, which is quite justified given the target audience. The ExpertBook B9 OLED looks stylish, with a body made of an aluminum-magnesium alloy that makes it durable and very lightweight.
ExpertBook B9 OLED has a pleasant matte texture on all surfaces. It hardly collects prints, so the laptop always looks aesthetically pleasing. The manufacturer specifies a black color (Star Black). However, under certain lighting conditions, it looks more like a pleasant dark blue with sparkling tiny specks all over.
The outer lid has the ASUS logo in the middle and a small ExpertBook logo in the upper left corner. Next to it is an LED that glows orange when the laptop owner is busy. It turns on automatically during video conferences. You can also activate it manually by pressing Fn+1.
In general, the design is quite familiar to ASUS ultraportable models. The hinges make it easy to open the laptop with one hand and fix the display well in the desired position. Speaking of durability, it’s worth noting that reinforced hinges are used. They are said to withstand at least 50,000 opening and closing cycles.
In addition, ASUS ExpertBook B9 OLED has additional dampers for the motherboard and uses reinforced connector connectors that can withstand at least 5000 connections. The laptop complies with the military standard MIL-STD 810H, which provides for a number of endurance tests: temperature, humidity, shock, dust, drops, etc.
The bottom of the laptop has two wide rubber feet that provide good fixation on the table, many holes for the cooling system, and stereo speakers that are placed at an angle to the horizontal plane. Of course, the bottom lid can be removed, but there’s not much point in doing so, since in such ultraportable models almost everything is soldered on the motherboard and only the SSD can be replaced without any problems.
ASUS is increasingly focusing on the environmental friendliness of its products, and ASUS ExpertBook B9 OLED is no exception. It is manufactured using environmentally friendly Thixomolding technology. It is claimed that this process reduces the amount of materials required by 29% and also reduces production time by 75%.
The laptop is very compact and lightweight. It measures 311×215 x15.7 mm and weighs only 990 g, so it’s very comfortable to carry around every day. The laptop is perfectly assembled, and the surfaces hardly bend.
All connectors are located on the side of the laptop. On the left, there is a Kensington Lock slot, 2 Thunderbolt 4 with Power Delivery and image and power output, HDMI 2.1, a 3.5 mm audio jack, two LED indicators, and a micro HDMI (RJ-45 LAN) with a fixed MAC address, which is important in some large corporate networks.
On the opposite side, there is 1 USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A port, an additional microphone, and a power button that also serves as a fingerprint scanner.
Considering the weight and dimensions of the ASUS ExpertBook B9 OLED, the set of ports turned out to be very good, with everything you need.
Usually, laptops come in different configurations and with different screens. In the case of ASUS ExpertBook B9 OLED, there is only one option, but there is nothing to complain about. The laptop has a 14-inch OLED screen with a WQXGA+ resolution (2880 x 1800) and an aspect ratio of 16:10. The maximum brightness is 400 nits, and the refresh rate is 90 Hz, which is not so common in business models. The screen is said to have 100% coverage of the sRGB color space and is Pantone Validated.
The screen is of high quality, has maximum viewing angles, rich colors, and a good margin of brightness, which is enough to work in almost any conditions. The only thing you might not like is the glossy finish, which glares a bit. But it is worth noting that this is not a protective glass, as in touch models, and it does not glare as much.
The laptop is equipped with an ambient light sensor, so you can turn on automatic brightness control. In addition to the usual Splendid color modes, the proprietary MyAsus application has many tools to extend the life of the OLED matrix, as well as a function to reduce flicker at low brightness.
Platform and performance
We had an ASUS ExpertBook B9 OLED configuration with a Intel Core i7-1355U processor. This is a 10-core model that includes two high-performance cores with a frequency of up to 5 GHz and 8 energy-efficient cores with a frequency of up to 3.7 GHz, and supports up to 12 computing threads. The standard TDP level is 15 W, with a short-term increase to 55 W. Graphics are exclusively integrated Intel Iris Xe with 96 executive units and a frequency of up to 1.3 GHz. The RAM is 32 GB LPDDR5, and the storage is a Micron 3400 model with a 2 TB PCIe 4.0 x4 interface.
To connect to the network, a high-speed module with support for the Wi-Fi 6E standard is used, as well as a network connector via the bundled adapter, which we wrote about earlier. Bluetooth 5.3 is used to connect peripherals.
The configuration of ASUS ExpertBook B9 OLED fully meets the needs of business users. There is enough power to comfortably work with documents, a browser with many tabs, email and photo processing at a basic level. These are exactly the tasks the laptop is designed for. And it copes with them perfectly.
In the maximum performance mode of the PCMark office benchmark, the laptop scores 5313 points, which is a very good indicator for ultra-portable models.
When the power supply is disconnected, the system switches to a more energy-efficient mode with lower performance, which is evident from the PCMark test results of 3685 points. Although it will be almost impossible to feel the difference during operation.
The Micron 3400 2TB SSD demonstrates very fast performance. Perhaps even higher than necessary for a business model that is not used for video editing or graphics processing. On the other hand, this drive makes for fast startup and wake-up times. Read speeds are approximately 6600 MB/s and 5000 MB/s when writing data.
The Intel Iris Xe graphics accelerator has a rather modest performance. Of course, it won’t pull new demanding games, but something old – no problem. And the laptop is not designed for such use. The results in graphics tests are expectedly low:
Heating and stability of performance
ASUS ExpertBook B9 OLED uses an active cooling system with two fans. When working with programs that are not too demanding on resources, it switches to silent mode. The noise of the fans is heard only at maximum loads. Although the noise cannot be called loud.
In balanced mode under artificial maximum load in AIDA64, the processor temperature averages 80° and trotting can be observed only at the very beginning of the test until the cooling system has adapted. But at the same time, the average processor frequency is about 2.5 GHz, and the maximum is about 4.8 GHz.
In the maximum performance mode, the average frequency is higher, almost 3.2 GHz, and the maximum frequency rises to the peak declared 5 GHz. But at the same time, the processor heats up to 95° and there is throttling up to a maximum of 34% and an average of 17%. Although in real conditions it will be extremely difficult to load the laptop like that.
The case does not get too hot in both cases. The top of the topcase becomes warm. The keyboard remains cold.
ASUS ExpertBook B9 OLED is equipped with a number of different security features. Let’s start with biometrics. The laptop has a fingerprint scanner built into the power button. Given its size and location on the side, this is not very convenient.
But there is also an infrared camera for recognizing the owner by face. This method is much more convenient, fast, and accurate.
In addition, there is a presence sensor next to the cameras. Thanks to it, you can configure the AdaptiveLock function. The laptop will automatically reduce the display brightness and lock if you move away from it.
Another, more specific way to log in to the system is via NFC in the touchpad. By placing the FIDO2 NFC security key, you can log in to Windows through your Azure AD account without a password.
The webcam has a mechanical shutter, which has already become commonplace in many laptops, not just business class ones. In addition, it is worth mentioning the presence of the TPM 2.0 hardware module and the software capabilities provided by the ASUS Business Manager application. These include data encryption, blocking external devices, and deleting files without the possibility of recovery.
ASUS ExpertBook B9 OLED is well suited for video calls. It has a webcam with FullHD resolution.
And additional useful software functions. Noise reduction for microphones, speakers, camera image enhancement (background blur, lighting correction, motion tracking, etc.)
Keyboard and touchpad
ExpertBook B9 OLED has a full-size island keyboard without an additional number pad. The layout is typical for ultraportable models. With low function keys and arrows. Shift and Enter are long, so you won’t have to get used to it. The buttons have a travel of 1.5 mm, it is convenient to use. There is a white backlight with a single brightness level. It is not very bright, but it is enough for comfortable work in the dark. The keyboard is also protected against water splashes.
Buttons 1-4 are highlighted on the keyboard for a reason. With ASUS ExpertWidget, you can customize them to quickly launch applications, documents, or websites.
The touchpad is large and has a glass cover. It has excellent sensitivity and positioning accuracy and supports all standard Windows gestures. During use, there was no need to connect a mouse. The only complaint is purely aesthetic. Instead of a huge NFC inscription, it could have been a small sticker that could have been removed.
If you suddenly need an additional number pad, the touchpad turns into its touchscreen version, the NumberPad.
Sound has never been a strong point of business laptops, they’re a bit of a mixed bag. ExpertBook B9 OLED is equipped with stereo speakers that support Dolby Atmos virtual surround sound. They are directed slightly at an angle to the table, which has a positive effect on the sound.
The laptop sounds quite loud, but the quality is rather mediocre and there are almost no low frequencies. For video calls, movies, or videos, it’s good enough. But for those who appreciate high-quality sound, you should connect headphones or external speakers.
The laptop uses a three-cell 63 Wh battery. The entire ExpertBook line has always been known for its long battery life. ASUS ExpertBook B9 OLED is no exception. In everyday use with a brightness level of 50%, working with documents and a browser, the laptop lasts about 9 hours. So one charge is enough for a working day.
For charging, a 65 W power supply with a USB Type-C connector is used. A full charge takes just over two hours.