For business people and entrepreneurs who are frequently travelling for work, ASUS presents its ExpertBook B5, which features a precision-crafted chassis that makes it sturdy but also lightweight and easy to carry in a laptop bag or move from room to room when you are working remotely.
It measures 35.82 x 26.12 x 1.99 cm and tips the laptop scales at 1.55 kg, making it quite portable. Despite the portability, the B5 packs in a 16-inch 16:10 aspect ratio display, allowing for an uncompromised visual experience with more vertical workspaces to work with on Excel, PowerPoint, Word or Google Docs. The typing experience is quite comfortable (1.5mm Key-travel) via the Backlit Chiclet Keyboard with Num-key, whilst clumsy users will also appreciate the fact that this keyboard is Spill-resistant. The touchpad also has good sensitivity, making it a joy to use.
During your downtime, when content consumption takes priority over content creation, you will further appreciate that 16″ display thanks to its WUXGA (1920 x 1200) resolution, Wide view, Anti-glare functionality, and adequate 300nits LED Backlit feature. It’s not OLED colours but vivid enough with lots of detail to enjoy your favourite Netflix or Showmax series, or a trip down the YouTube or TikTok rabbit hole. The Dolby Atmos Smart Amp Technology and built-in speakers also do a decent job of delivering adequate sound volume and quality to accompany these visuals.
On the topic of performance, under the bonnet, Asus opted to incorporate Intel’s Core i7-1260P Processor clocked at 2.1 GHz (18M Cache, boost up to 4.7 GHz, 12 cores) and coupled it with 16 GB RAM and a 512GB M.2 NVMe PCIe 4.0 SSD. This makes the B5 quite snappy, responsive and smooth while navigating Windows 11 Pro and running any app you can throw at it. Graphics are also equally smooth and snappy thanks to Intel’s Iris Xᵉ Graphics which is good enough to play games like Fortnite at 30+fps but this is definitely not a gaming laptop, with the graphics acceleration capabilities being employed by professional apps like DaVinci Resolve 18 for instance.
In terms of ports, there is a myriad of options including a USB 2.0 Type-A, a USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A, two Thunderbolt 4 supports display/power delivery, an HDMI 2.0b, a 3.5mm Combo Audio Jack, an RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet and Micro SD card reader. Last but not least for all your Microsoft Teams meetings or Zoom calls, the B5 boasts two-way AI noise-cancelling technology that employs sophisticated machine learning to isolate unwanted noise. This technology not only filters out ambient noises picked up around you but also allows you to deliver a clear speech. Furthermore, is able to filter out ambient noises coming from the speaker — so you can hear clearly. All this tech really works, making the most from the sound on video calls and online meetings and consequently, note/minute taking during these quite easier.
All this fancy tech and powerful performance on the go does come at a price though, with the recommended retail price being R32 000 (was recently on special for R29 999) from local retailers such as Takealot. This performance, portability, and added video call functionality, make it worth it in our opinion.