The Asus ExpertBook B9 is a stylish and very light laptop that can still hold its own. The biggest problem: you don’t always feel whether the thing is in your bag or not.
Asus proudly claims that the Asus ExpertBook B9 OLED (1,487 euros excl. VAT) is the world’s lightest 14-inch business OLED laptop. That is a world record with a lot of nuance, but the fact is that this ExpertBook weighs impressively little. Asus itself claims that the device is available from 990 grams. Our configuration clocks in at 1,006 grams on our scales, so we don’t question the manufacturer’s words.
The weight of the laptop remains low thanks to, among other things, the magnesium-aluminum alloy from which the laptop is made. Other manufacturers also use that material, which sometimes feels less sturdy than it actually is. In any case, Asus states that the ExpertBook can handle various MIL tests.
Fortunately, you do get some laptop for the low weight. As the name suggests, you open the device to a 14-inch OLED screen. It has a 16:10 screen ratio and is equipped with 2,880 x 2,000 pixels. That screen has an extensive color range in sRGB (174.2 percent) and DCI-P3 (116.8 percent). It is also well adjusted for an office laptop, with an average color deviation of DeltaE 4.8 and a maximum of DeltaE 9.4.
This means that the colors are not as correct as a graphics professional might wish, but good enough for those who want a nice screen. We mainly see deviations in the red values and the greens are also consistently not completely accurate, while Asus does adjust the blue tones perfectly. The panel is equivalent to that of direct competitors Acer with the Swift Edge 16 and HP with the Dragonfly G4, although Samsung shows with the Galaxy Book 3 Pro that a 14-inch ultrabook with OLED can also have a slightly lower DeltaE, which is on average close to magic two rubs (anything under two is at the level of graphics professionals).
Asus provides the ExpertBook B9 with various applications, including MyAsus with which you can control some OLED-related settings. You can adjust the white balance, over-saturate the colors and manage the (very garish) screen saver. MyAsus is also full of ads, but does not include the features of Asus ExpertWidget (which allows you to customize keyboard shortcuts) or Asus BusinessManager, which closes itself every time we try to open it. The Oled panel is good, we can do without Asus’ software soup.
Clogged numeric keypad
Underneath the screen lies an excellent keyboard, with spacious keys that offer wonderful resistance. The keyboard is a pleasure to type with and we also have hardly any complaints about the spacious touchpad, although it is perhaps a little looser at the bottom than we would like on a premium device. However, that is nitpicking for those who look for imperfections with a magnifying glass.
Much more striking and interesting is the small button at the top right of the touchpad with which you bring up a numeric keypad via touch buttons. Asus has been integrating that handy technology for a while and it remains useful, if you take the trouble to integrate the digital numeric keypad into your daily routine.
The Asus ExpertBook B9 has sturdy internals. In our test configuration we find the following components:
- Intel Core i7-1355U
- 16GB RAM
- 1TB SSD
CPU and RAM are identical to the HP Dragonfly G4. The Intel Core i7-1355U has two P cores (dual threading, 5 GHz turbo), assisted by eight E cores (single threading, 3.7 GHz). In the ExpertBook B9 we see the CPU peaks at 3.4 GHz for a few seconds, after which we see the frequency drop quite quickly to 2.2 GHz. HP’s DragonFly consistently runs the same CPU at a slightly higher frequency, but that isn’t reflected in the results.
As you can see, the two devices are evenly matched. Despite the higher frequencies in HP’s device, P and E cores seem to play better together in the ExpertBook B9, making it slightly more powerful. The Samsung Galaxy Book has a slightly more powerful processor on board and performs better, while the Acer Swift Edge 16 is the champion in this comparison. However, that makes sense, since that is a sturdier 16-inch device.
When we look at more practical office work, we see similar results. For light workloads (Essentials) the Asus ExpertBook B9 is somewhat surprisingly the absolute champion, even above the 16-inch laptop. Are workloads becoming heavier (Extended), including photo and video editing), then the results are again in line with expectations.
In any case, rest assured: the Asus ExpertBook B9 is a high-performance laptop that, despite its thin profile and low weight, performs more than competitively in its class. If you are looking for an extremely mobile office laptop, you have come to the right place.
Moreover, you will be able to do without a socket for a while. When you’re not delving into photo or video editing, this laptop will last you a day at work. Only the HP DragonFly G4 does (significantly) better, but it also has a slightly larger battery (68 Wh for the Dragonfly, 63 Wh for the ExpertBook). Asus chooses low weight over extra autonomy here, without sacrificing too much.
If you need to top up, you can do so at a quick pace. We fill the empty laptop half full every half hour, and eighty percent full every hour. You can work quite a few extra hours if you plug in the ExpertBook B9 during your lunch break.
The Asus ExpertBook B9 has two USB Type C/Thunderbolt ports on the left side, through which you can also charge. A gate on each side would have been a little more convenient. You also get HDMI and one USB Type A port on the right side. Asus is kind enough to include an RJ45 adapter in the box.
Finally, Asus opts for an FHD webcam (with Windows Hello) and a microphone array with several electronic gadgets that compete with ambient noise during a call. The result is a device with which you can hold professional virtual meetings.
Editorial choice or not?
The Asus ExpertBook B9 OLED is a fantastic laptop. We think the ‘OLED’ in block letters is a bit exaggerated from Asus, since almost all competitors use the same screen technology in this segment, and we don’t think the associated software enhanced with bloatware is a plus either. Finally, we can talk a bit about the ridiculous screensaver and discuss whether it has a place on a business laptop, but the fireworks show is actually turned off with a few mouse clicks.
With those small details we have actually mentioned the main negatives. The Asus ExpertBook B9 is a sleek and high-quality laptop with a very low weight, despite its competitive performance and decent battery life. The keyboard is above average, the touchpad is also excellent and can be transformed into a numeric keypad and the most important connections are present.
This is a top device, which is a fair price at 1,487 euros excl. VAT. Is it now also our choice of this editor? The battle with the HP Dragonfly G4 is difficult. The slightly better battery life and the more professional-looking software on the HP push us more in that direction, together with the fingerprint sensor that is missing on the ExpertBook. On the other hand, the ExpertBook B9 is a lot cheaper. To be honest, the only thing keeping us from putting on the Editor’s Choice sticker is the lack of reliability of its predecessor. Without an endurance test, we are a little bit afraid, but with that caveat we fully recommend the Asus ExpertBook B9 OLED.
Tested configuration: Asus ExpertBook B9 OLED B9403CV – Intel Core i7-1355U, 16 GB RAM, 1 TB SSD, 14 inch glossy OLED screen (2,880 x 1,800), Windows 11 Pro – 1,487 euros excl. VAT.
- Battery life
- Excellent keyboard/touchpad combination
- Nice screen
- Screaming software
- Ridiculous screensaver