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amazon Asus ExpertBook B5 reviews
Thin and light are always two prominent factors on laptops, making this product easy to attract attention and popular with many users. That’s why almost every laptop brand in the world has at least a few representing the thin and light trend. Asus used to be very famous for its ZenBook series with its thinness and weight in the form of “supermodels”. However, ZenBook is mainly aimed at individual users because it lacks business-specific features.
That’s why the ExpertBook series was born. The common point of this product line is the durability of US military standards, thin and light design, many specialized security features, high configuration, full connectivity, dual storage system, and the ability to upgrade in terms of features after need. These are also the criteria that businesses focus on during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Asus ExpertBook B5 in Asia currently has 2 versions. A standard B5 version with a traditional folding design, while the B5 Flip version has a touch screen that rotates 360 degrees.
Compact design, high durability
The design language of the ExpertBook B5 retains the professional, minimalist identity of the ExpertBook series. The charcoal blue lid is finished in aluminum alloy, while the area around the keyboard and palm rest is made of magnesium-aluminum alloy. The machine is solidly machined, giving it a sturdy, high-class feel. I tried pressing hard on the case, palm rest area, and keyboard as well as twisting the machine both when opening or closing and found that the machine is very solid, not at all creaking or loose.
ExpertBook B5 continues to meet the US military MIL-STD 810H durability standard with shock and impact resistance, working in harsh environments with high temperature, humidity, and pressure. The machine announced by Asus can withstand drops from a height of 120cm, the keyboard part has a spill-proof feature, and can withstand water of about 66 cc (equivalent to 66 ml) without damage. Overall from the solid chassis and the parameters Asus announced, I am quite assured of the durability of this laptop.
With a size of only 13.3 inches, the ExpertBook B5 is very compact. The machine weighs only about 1kg, with a thickness of 16.9mm. I am using a 14-inch LG gram with a weight of less than 1Kg but still have to be impressed with the compactness of the ExpertBook B5. Putting it in a backpack or crossbody bag is very neat and light, because the machine does not take up much space, or weight, and is very strong. I can also easily hold the device with one hand for a long time, with the other hand hovering on the touchpad or typing without much discomfort.
On the lid, right in the ExpertBook logo area, there is a status light. This light will light red when you are using video calling or voice calling on online meeting programs such as Zoom, Google Meet, Skype, or Teams, even calling Messenger, Zalo is also supported.
According to Asus, this indicator light will help colleagues around know that you are busy in a meeting or talking with customers, and limit disturbing you in the middle. I have tested, that every program that uses the mic will light up red, and this is also a good way for you to check if you are being eavesdropped on or not.
An unfortunate point in the design of the ExpertBook B5 is that it is impossible to open the machine with one hand because the hinge is substantial and the hinge mechanism does not support it.
Diverse connectivity, fancy power key cum fingerprint
It’s thin and light, but the connection ports on the ExpertBook B5 are still quite rich, not reduced as much as other compact laptop models. Specifically, the machine has up to 2 Thunderbolt 4 USB-C ports with 40Gbps bandwidth, both transmitting data, outputting 4K audio and images, and charging the battery. In addition, there is 1 HDMI 2.0b port and 1 micro HDMI port for Gigabit RJ45 wired network connection when combined with the adapter cable included in the box.
The remaining connection ports include 1 USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-A, and 1 3.5mm combo mic/headphone audio jack. Of course, wireless connections such as Wifi 6 ax, and Bluetooth 5.0 are also fully. According to Asus with 2 Thunderbolt 4 ports and 1 HDMI 2.0b port, ExpertBook B5 allows to output images to 3 4K screens at the same time, suitable when you need maximum multitasking.
An interesting point is that the power button of the ExpertBook B5 is located on the right side instead of on the keyboard area like the ExpertBook B9 or B1 that I recently experienced. Perhaps because the B5 has an additional Flip version with a touch screen that can be used as a tablet, leaving the power key next to this will make it convenient to turn on the device even when used in laptop mode or flip the screen upside to the tablet.
Besides the strange position, the power key of the ExpertBook B5 is also integrated with a fingerprint sensor, similar to some current smartphones. Fingerprint recognition speed is fast and accurate, making Windows login very convenient, without having to type a password. However, although Asus has made the edges around the power button a little concave, it is still a bit difficult to manipulate because the surface of the power button is smooth. I hope that in the next version, Asus will make the power button in the form of a rough texture, and concave it a bit more to make it easier to recognize.
Round-shoulder screen, flexible 180-degree flip
As I mentioned, the ExpertBook B5 has a screen of only 13.3 inches, and, at first, I also found this size a bit small because I was used to using laptops with screens of 14 inches or more. However, after about a week of experience, my eyes started to get used to it, plus adjusting the DPI level of Windows to 125% (default is 150%), everything was fine.
Of course, if Asus made the screen in a more trending 16:10 ratio, with thinner borders, instead of the traditional 16:9 and slightly thicker borders like today, the ExpertBook B5 will have a spacious and eye-catching display area. than. Full HD 1920 x 1080 pixels resolution is just enough to deliver sharp images. An anti-glare screen instead of a mirror screen is a big plus in limiting reflection, especially when there is a light shining directly on the screen.
The screen can be opened to a maximum angle of 180 degrees, convenient when it is necessary to change the viewing angle to suit different spaces or when it is necessary to exchange work with the opposite person. The ability to display 100% of the sRGB color gamut provides bright colors, good contrast, and wide viewing angles.
The drawback is that the screen has a slightly low brightness, only 300 nits, I usually have to leave the screen between 80% and 100% to use it. The screen is more suitable for working indoors, bringing it outdoors will be quite dark and difficult to see.
Speaker and mic have useful 2-way noise cancellation, but the webcam has not overcome physics
The device has 2 speakers placed at the bottom for sufficient volume and basic quality, just enough for online meetings. This is not an entertainment-oriented machine, so it is difficult to ask for more majestic speaker quality. It is worth noting that Asus is equipped with Asus AI Noise-cancelling 2-way de-stabilization technology, which uses artificial intelligence (AI) to remove noise for both the speakers and the mic on the ExpertBook B5.
This feature allows noise cancellation for both you and the person on the other end of the line. When I tried it, it was true that the AI Noise-cancelling filter cleans out the noise, even the music when opening the song, keeping only the singer’s voice. The sound of the fan and the typing of the keyboard are also effectively filtered. You can quickly toggle this noise cancellation right on the keyboard, through a dedicated shortcut, which is quite convenient.
Besides 2-way noise cancellation for speakers and mic, Asus also equips 3D noise cancellation technology integrated into ExpertBook B5’s HD webcam to improve image quality in many lighting conditions. The webcam part is equipped with a physical cover, ensuring the safety of the user’s image, and limiting the ability to reveal private images, especially useful when working from home.
Even so, Asus is also hard to overcome the laws of physics, the 1MP HD webcam on this laptop is still only of average quality. Although I was sitting in a room filled with light, the image obtained was still quite blurry and noisy. This webcam also does not have an infrared sensor for Windows Hello face unlock.
Pleasant keyboard, touchpad, interesting virtual number pad
Despite its compact size, the ExpertBook B5 still owns a quite spacious keyboard, made in Full Size with a good bounce, providing a pleasant typing experience. The ErgoLift hinge automatically tilts the keyboard by about 15 degrees for a more comfortable typing position.
As I shared above, this keyboard has a spill-proof feature and can withstand 66 cc of liquid without damage, so you can rest assured if you accidentally pour water here. The keyboard backlight is also equipped with a single brightness level, the brightness is good enough to work in the evening without turning on more desk lights.
The touchpad has a comfortable size, and good sensitivity, and continues to be equipped by Asus with the NumberPad 2.0 virtual numeric keypad to serve objects or enter data. Even if you turn on these virtual number keys, you can still hover normally, quite nice.
However, I find that when I turn on the virtual key and move the mouse, there will be a certain delay when manipulating the mouse. If Asus equips more pressure sensors or vibrations, I think it will be more stable.
When you turn on the NumberPad 2.0 virtual key, you should use an external mouse, because Asus also includes a wireless mouse with the machine. The mouse has an eye-catching design with a silver emulsion shell, and carefully crafted metal imitation plastic material. The mouse has a built-in 2A battery inside and you’ll connect it to your computer via the included compact USB dongle. The quality of this mouse is enough for most basic needs, just missing the forward and backward keys, so browsing the web is not very convenient.
Stable performance, easy to upgrade more power
In terms of processing power, the version of ExpertBook B5 I experienced has the following configuration:
– Intel Core i5-1135G7 CPU, 4 cores 8 threads, 2.4GHz base clock, 4.2GHz max turbo, 8MB cache, TDP max 28W.
– 8GB RAM LPDDR4X 3200 MHz hard-mounted, with 1 separate RAM slot for an upgrade, maximum support of 48GB RAM
– 512GB M.2 NVMe PCIe 3.0 SSD, with 1 discrete M.2 NVMe PCIe 3.0 SSD slot for upgrade
– Intel Iris Xe integrated GPU 1.30 GHz
This configuration is enough for ExpertBook B5 to handle quite simply his daily tasks such as browsing the web with about 20 tabs, opening Word and Lightroom in parallel to compose documents, making pictures for reviews, or when needing to edit videos basic with Premier Pro. The processing of tables and data with a large capacity is also not a problem. The speed of booting, shutting down, opening, and closing apps is very agile thanks to the standard PCIe SSD. The machine is also very cool even when running heavy tasks continuously. However, when I just plugged in the charger and used it, the device was a bit hot around the charging port area.
CPU scores from familiar software like Cinebech R23 or Geekbench 5 all show the good performance of Intel Core i5-1135G7, especially multi-core performance. Of course, the amount of 8GB RAM will be a bit lacking when multitasking is needed. You can completely upgrade to about 16GB of RAM, even 48GB for “comfort”. The machine is also ready to upgrade to Windows 11, so if you like, you can update to experience new features. ExpertBook B5 also has other configuration options with i3 or i7 chips, more RAM, or dual SSDs.
When you need to run heavy tasks like rendering, and Excel rendering, Asus provides a Performance mode in the accompanying My Asus app, you should enable this feature so that the machine can run at full speed.
The upgradeability of the ExpertBook B5 is quite impressive when it comes to the 1 M.2 SSD hard drive slot and 1 empty RAM slot that supports upgrading to a maximum of 48GB. Upgrading the machine is quite simple when just removing the bottom surface. Asus uses a very common 4-sided screw, so you won’t need complicated screwdrivers. However, the distributor has stamped some screws, so you need to contact the company’s technical staff to not lose the warranty.
The battery is not as good as expected, but fast charging makes up for it
In terms of battery life, Asus claims the ExpertBook B5 offers up to 14 hours of battery life. The device supports fast charging, allowing to charge 60% of the battery in 39 minutes. I found out that the device has 2 battery capacity options, 33WHr and 66WHr. The B5 model I experienced has a battery capacity of 33WHr only and this is quite low.
I lightly surf the web for about 10 tabs, and open word to compose documents, Windows’ Better Battery mode, the screen brightness is about 60%, and it only lasts about 4-5 hours. Perhaps the 66WHr version with twice the battery capacity will give a better life. Compensating somewhat, the fast charger is exactly as Asus claims. The compact 65W Type C charger that comes can charge 60% of the battery in just 39 minutes, fully charge the battery to 100%, and it takes about 1 and a half hours.
For businesses, Asus offers a variety of hardware and software solutions to enhance security, suitable for business users, such as the TPM 2.0 chip to help store and protect authentication information (such as passwords, and encrypted keys) used by operating systems and applications to ensure the security of information and transactions, and optimize for device management in the enterprise. Kensington lock to fix the machine. Exclusive application ASUS Business Manager allows to manage all ports and encrypt hard drive data.
Slim, lightweight, and highly portable while still ensuring strong performance, durability, and diverse connectivity, the Asus ExpertBook B5 shows that this is a potential business laptop model. Asus has known to “scratch the itch” of most businesses in the Covid era with an affordable laptop model, equipped with many attractive features. The point where the ExpertBook B5 needs to improve the most is the battery life of the 33WHr version. At the same time, the company should also soon switch to a 16:10 screen to further optimize for work.
+ Slim, neat, sturdy case and chassis
+ Full necessary connection ports
+ Fast performance, easy upgrade, cool machine
+ 2-way noise cancellation for speakers and mic effectively
+ Comfortable keyboard, touchpad, with virtual number keys for convenient input
– Can’t open the device with one hand
– The power button is smooth, and hard to distinguish from the surrounding edge when using fingerprints
– The battery of the 33WHr version is low, only 4-5 hours
– No Windows Hello face unlock
– The screen still uses the 16:9 aspect ratio, and the brightness is a bit low
where can you get a Asus ExpertBook B5 online
ASUS ExpertBook B5 Thin & Light Flip Business Laptop, 13.3” FHD OLED, Intel Core i7-1165G7, 1TB SSD, 32GB RAM, all day battery, Enterprise-grade video conference, NumberPad, Win 10 Pro, B5302FEA-XH77T: Buy it now
ASUS ExpertBook B5 Thin & Light Flip Business Laptop, 14” FHD, Intel Core i7-1195G7, 1TB SSD, 32GB RAM, All Day Battery, Enterprise-Grade Video Conference, NumberPad, Win 11 Pro, B5402FEA-XS77T: Buy it now
ASUS ExpertBook B5 Thin & Light Business Laptop, 14” FHD, Intel Core i7-1195G7, 1TB SSD, 16GB RAM, All-Day Battery, Enterprise-Grade Video Conference, NumberPad, Win 11 Pro, B5402CEA-XS75: Buy it now
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