At the beginning of this year, we spent some time with the powerful B9 (B9400) notebook PC laptop from Asus, which offered Hulk-like specs for a Hulk-like pricetag. Now we review, Asus’s ExpertBook B1500, which comes in at a more approachable R19 000 without giving up too much on the capability front.
This enterprise-class Windows 10 Pro running notebook PC is powered by Intel’s 11th gen Core i5-1135G7 CPU clocked at 2.4 GHz (8M Cache, up to 4.2 GHz, 4 cores) with Intel’s capable Xe onboard graphics that almost makes life without a dedicated MX-class GPU quite bearable (can even hit 30fps on casual game titles like Fortnite). The design of the laptop sees the hinge lifting the base up to enhance airflow and cooling.
Also keeping the operating system software, multitasking and light gaming running smoothly and snappy is the 8GB of DDR4 RAM onboard, and the 512GB M.2 NVMe PCIe 3.0 SSD. This 6.4 mm thin, 1.73kg notebook is also portable enough to be easily carried from room to room in search of a quieter Microsoft Teams/Zoom conference call. Speaking of which the 720p webcam is quite adequate in this regard but nothing to write home about in terms of quality.
You view your multimedia and create your content via a 15.6″ full HD (1920 x 1080) 16:9 LCD panel that boasts anti-glare technology, and gets plenty bright (LED-Backlit, 220nits) for use indoors under office or home lighting, outdoors and at night. It is not the panel for graphic designers and photo editors though, as it only covers 45% of the NTSC colour gamut.
You get enough ports to get any work done courtesy of a USB 2.0 Type-A port, two USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A, a Thunderbolt 4 supports display/power delivery slot, HDMI 1.4, VGA Port (D-Sub), 3.5mm Combo Audio Jack, RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet, and Micro SD card reader. The battery (42WHrs, 3-cell Li-ion) can also get you through most of a remote work day.
Ultimately, more companies will be able to opt for the B1500 compared to a behemoth like the B9 without it costing them much in terms of desirability or real-world, everyday usage professional performance. You can purchase one from local retailers such as Takealot at a recommended retail price starting at around R19 000 for the models without a dedicated Nvidia professional (GF MX330) GPU onboard.