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ASUS ExpertBook B1 (B1500) vs B1 (B1400): Laptop For Business Professionals

Companies involved in creating business laptops try to ensure that the probability of choosing their machine, and not the competition, is sufficiently high. Easy? Surely not, because you need to make one particular piece of equipment suitable for as many potential customers as possible. Or! To have a wide and varied portfolio that practically every potential customer will find something for themselves in the offer of a given manufacturer.

The “big three” manufacturers of business laptops, namely Dell, Lenovo, and HP, do not mean that it is not worth looking at other manufacturers. Asus presented in this year’s edition of the ExpertBook B1 series.

Two notebooks from the same manufacturer are very similar in configuration and equipment but differ in some details – perfect material for a double review. Not “comparative,” because what’s the point of comparing nearly identical machines from one series?

General Info

ExpertBook B1 (B1500)ExpertBook B1 (B1400)
$CHECK PRICECHECK PRICE
BrandASUSASUS
ModelB1 (B1500) B1 (B1400)
Weight1.72 kg (3.79 lbs)1.45 kg (3.2 lbs)
OSWindows 10 Home Windows 10 Home
Display15.6 inches
Dimensions358 x 236.5 x 19.4 mm323.4 x 215.6 x 19.2 mm
TypeBusinessBusiness

In terms of configuration, both motherboards have Core i7 1165G7, inside two media, one of which is a 2.5-inch drive. And a large amount of RAM. How does this translate into performance, and what else can ExpertBooks offer? Let’s check it out!

They are almost identical machines. In terms of design, port equipment, and materials used, the B1400C is one-to-one B1500C. The main difference between them is, of course, due to the size of the screen. The smaller ExpertBook has a matrix with a diagonal length of 14.1 inches, and the larger one – the classic 15.6 inches. Interestingly, the differences are not huge. We are talking about a difference of about 300 grams (1.45 kg B1400C and 1.73 kg B1500C), 3.5 centimeters wide, and 2 centimeters deep for the housing. The computers are 1.9 cm thick in both cases.

Asus designers reached for a style. The housing, touchpad, and keyboard in the color of “starry black” have little ornamentation. As such, I can consider an indentation that makes it easier to open the laptop, rounded corners, or a shiny manufacturer’s logo placed in the middle of the flap. However, it cannot say that the design is simple. We have been dealing here with a solution available in Asus laptops for several years, i.e., the ErgoLift hinge taking place after opening to the rear edge of the notebook and quite clearly exposed ports. 

In terms of durability, the ExpertBooks present an excellent level, the more that we are talking about cheaper business bags. The dashboard is quite stiff, and only in the middle of the 15-inch B1500C can you see the material’s soft work under the pressure of your fingers. Aluminum laptop covers are also very stiff and protect the matrix and the computer itself well. Light metal perfectly protects the screen from warping and pressure, but as it turned out – it is easier to dress it with fingerprints. The whole structure fits perfectly.

Display

Display Type IPS LCD IPS LCD
Display Size15.6 inches14 inches
Aspect Ratio16:916:9
Display Resolution1366 x 768 pixels1366 x 768 pixels
Touch ScreenNoNo
Refresh Rate60 Hz60 Hz
PPI100 PPI112 PPI

Both devices of the ExpertBook B1 series are equipped with  IPS matrices with Full HD resolution and declared brightness of 250 nits. Perfect for office tasks. The case of the B1400C Full HD is displayed on 14 “, and in the B1500C – on the screen with a diagonal of 15.6”.

Both screens are designed for office work, which, taking into account the profiling of the equipment, is by no means a disadvantage. Regarding color reproduction, coverage of the sRGB palette was standard for this segment, 60% for the B1500C and 62% for the B1400C.

However, if you expect the image to be a bit ‘washed out’ or pale. As a result, that’s none of those things. In both cases, the screen brightness is higher than the specification and closer to 300 nits than 250.

The panels are characterized by a deep and pleasant black, and the contrast is around 1500: 1 in both laptops. These are remarkably high values ​​for this price range

Performance

Processor NameIntel Core i7 1165G7
4 cores, 8 threads
Intel Core i7 1165G7
4 cores, 8 threads
Base frequency1.2-2.8 GHz1.2-2.8 GHz
Graphics CardGeForce MX330Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 (96EU)
RAM4GB4GB
Storage128GB128GB

As already mentioned, computers came in similar configurations: same processor, same graphics, and identical two-disk data storage. The only thing that stood out in the specs table was the RAM capacity. In the case of the 15-inch B1400C, 32 GB of memory was installed, and the B1400C boasted the maximum RAM capacity available for the tested laptops – 48 GB.

Intel Core i7 1165G7 is the most powerful unit with which you can buy both laptops. 11th generation low-voltage laptop processors (Tiger Lake-U) were made in an improved 10 nm microarchitecture named Willow Cove. Interestingly, the Core i7 1165G7 has a configurable TDP between 12-28 W. Asus decided to allow the unit to achieve full performance. But was the quad-core and eight-thread chip able to take advantage of it?

In terms of graphics the NVIDIA GeForce MX330 will never become an object of desire for gamers. Still, office laptops are a practical complement to the configuration, especially if everyday work requires programs that use GPU computing power. 

 

The NVIDIA GeForce MX330 will never become an object of desire for gamers. Still, office laptops are a practical complement to the configuration, especially if everyday work requires programs that use GPU computing power. 

In addition to the GeForce, the laptops have the Intel Iris Xe “integrated” in their most powerful low-voltage version. When introducing the processors with Intel Iris Xe, the new iGPU will boost the performance of independent graphics cards from the lower shelf. So how does the independent MX330 fare against Intel’s graphics?

Intel did not exaggerate this time, and Intel Iris Xe is not only comparable – the results even speak in its favor. However, you have to keep in the back of your head that this is the most efficient version of the “iris” available with a low-voltage processor. The differences can be felt in some applications, and it turned out that the “integrated” fared noticeably worse in the Unigine Superposition test at low settings.

Multimedia

Web-camAbove the displayAbove the display
Resolution1280 x 7201280 x 720
Speakers2.02.0
Audio22
Ports1x Thunderbolt 4
1x VGA
1x HDMI
2x USB 3.2 gen 2 type A
1x USB 2.0
1x RJ-45
1x Thunderbolt 4
1x VGA
1x HDMI
2x USB 3.2 gen 2 type A
1x USB 2.0
1x RJ-45
Wireless LanWi-Fi 6 AX201 160MHzWi-Fi 6 AX201 160MHz
HDMI1x HDMI 2.01x HDMI 2.0
Bluetooth5.2 5.2
EthernetIntel (13) I219-V Intel (13) I219-V
Memory SlotsmicroSD card readermicroSD card reader

And here we come to the ports. In both laptops, the set of available connectors and their arrangement are identical. We have not seen such a variety of open sockets in laptops for a long time.

Left-handed mouse users may be discouraged as most of the connectors have just hit the left side of the computers. We have Thunderbolt 4 there placed right next to VGA. The question of the legitimacy of equipping a modern ultrabook with this socket presses on the lips. On the other hand, many companies still have monitors or projectors equipped with cables with a plug that fits the socket. Next to it, we have HDMI 1.4 and two USB 3.2 gen 2. On the right side, Asus engineers have placed a universal 3.5 mm jack and USB 2.0. 

The new ExpertBooks are equipped with stereo speakers located at the front of the side edges and directed downwards. However, this did not affect their overall audibility. The audio is loud enough, the scale has not been exaggerated here, and even at maximum, the sound retains high transparency.

Asus has equipped the new ExpertBooks not only with decent membranes but also with DTS software. Of course, it is mainly responsible for such a pleasantly complex and deep sound – for laptop speakers. In addition to ready-made scenarios of the sound played (classic division: music, movie, games), DTS Audio Processing allows you to create your configuration based on settings that will enable you to boost bass, treble, and vocals, as well as a five-band equalizer.

Keyboard

The keyboards in both cases look the same, have the same key layout, the keys are enlarged, even the setup is identical. But! Asus surprised me that in the 15-inch B1500C, it “pushed” the numeric panel into the Enter key and arrows. It looks a bit distorted because it has been significantly slimmer than the rest of the keys, but it is. 

The keyboard itself can boast pleasant operating characteristics. It is not too flat, so the jump of the keys is adequately felt. The response from the keys could indeed be more precise, but this is my standard cliche. The smooth material used as the building material for the “tiles” of the keys is pleasant to the touch. The tiles are the right size (well, maybe apart from the aforementioned numeric panel, where the buttons are half a centimeter narrower). The keyboard is also backlit with white light and is splash-proof.

The ExpertBook B1400C has a touch numeric panel activated by a touch icon located in the upper left corner of the plate. However, this is not the only difference – the trackpad from the B1500C is one centimeter higher, which again shows that the manufacturer tried to make the most of the housing space. Worthy of praise.

In both cases, we are dealing with trackpads of an appropriate size, sufficient for the comfortable navigation of the cursor and the use of Windows gestures. The keys integrated with the plates also do their job well – their click is balanced correctly: not too hard and not too soft.

Battery

Battery TypeLi-IonLi-Ion
Battery Capacity42 Wh42 Wh
ReplaceableNoNo
Power65 / 90 W65 / 90 W

Asus equipped with the same battery42 Wh used in a 13- or a 14-inch ultrabook, but in a 15.6-inch laptop, it looks a bit miserable. Battery life on both laptops looked very similar when playing a movie, watching a movie, and running at full capacity. However, the Internet browsing test was surprising. In this case, the 15-inch B1500C could run for almost 1.5 hours longer than its more little brother.

However, it cannot be denied that such results are pretty average, and the new ExpertBooks of the B1 series are unlikely to be the first choice for anyone, especially when the priority is to work with a laptop for a long time away from the socket.

Conclusion!

Asus created a pretty successful competition for such recognized business machines as ThinkPad E from Lenovo, Dell Latitude 3000 series, or ProBooks from HP. At the same time,The  ExperBooks B1 is not a more or less successful carbon copy of those mentioned above.

Entry-business from Asus has its personality and tries to stand out somehow, which is not easy compared to the great competition. Asus has a narrow portfolio of machines strictly targeted at business, the brand decided to try to create laptops that will suit as many recipients as possible. It turned out pretty well.

The symbolic placement of Thunderbolt 4 next to the VGA socket is the best example of this.

Laptops should be commended for their performance. Yes, these are not particularly beautiful and slender machines, but you can see that there was an idea here that was implemented. In addition, the strength of both structures turned out to be at a high level.  Only configurations with the GeForce MX330 can raise doubts. But if someone will need independent graphics with their memory, then go ahead.

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