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ASUSPRO B9440UA Review

Aside from the emergence of bezel-less/thin bezels phones, notebooks seem to like to have joined the bandwagon as well. Early this year, we made a written first impression on the ASUSPRO B9440UA. With its thin bezels and portability, the ASUSPRO B9440UA may have set some standards for what business notebooks should look like. But the real question is: does this notebook have the power to fit your needs? Find out in our review.

Design and Construction

The ASUSPRO B9440UA dons a tough all-metal chassis crafted from Magnesium alloy. It is also MIL-STD 810G graded, which means it has passed the stringent reliability standards of ASUSPRO. Good news: Its exterior is not prone to fingerprint and smudges.

The notebook catered a 14-inch full HD display on a smaller 13-inch chassis. With only 0.21-inch bezels, this laptop screams more screen. Your eyes will also be delighted as it offers an anti-glare display and 72% NTSC but we’ll dig on that that later on. As you can see, the notebook lacks a built-in webcam which we find disadvantageous as you have to carry a spare one. Although this can also be an advantage to some corporate users who are concerned about security, although it’s something that can be remedied by covering the webcam with a sticker.

Looking at the side, there’s really not much to see except for the earphone jacks, status indicator LED lights and USB3.1 Type-C that supports docking, charging, Display, USB 3.1, and Ethernet. Aside from the webcam, lack of USB ports will be quite a dilemma as you still have to own a USB Type-C mini dock for you to use your flash drive and HDMI. In our case, our unit comes with a USB Type-C mini dock.

On the top right corner, we will find the fingerprint scanner and the power button. For some reason, we hoped that the fingerprint scanner is placed somewhere on the palm rest, while the power button in exchange of the fingerprint scanner whereabouts. There are times when we accidentally press the power button and mistaken it for the delete button.

Its trackpad was too smooth for our liking and sometimes it gets a little bit unstable as the cursor unnecessarily moves on the screen without us touching it. Nonetheless, it works just as fine. We got used to it for some time. Typing on the keyboard is a breeze. We didn’t feel any discomfort while typing and what’s cooler is that the keyboard is backlit so there’s no problem when typing in the dark.

The unique hinge structure of the B9440 acts like a special support allowing the keyboard to be tilted at a 7-degree angle to provide the most comfortable typing position. The device also allows wide viewing angle and can also be flipped to 178 degrees for maximum comfort.

Weighing only 2.31 lb / 1.05 kg (battery included), the B9440UA is light as it can be. Carrying it anywhere won’t be a problem as it doesn’t occupy so much space on your bag.

Display and Multimedia

The B9440UA dons a 14-inch full HD display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. Color reproduction on this notebook is accurate and vibrant, however, we noticed that its yellows are a bit prominent. Not that it’s a bad thing though. We think it’s much preferable than having a prominent blue light which can be harmful to the eyes. Also, we’ve noticed that while browsing, thin lines started showing up on screen. We thought it’s a scratch but later on, the lines just vanish as we scroll along and could just be a minor software glitch.

Its screen sports an anti-glare panel with 72% NTSC which is helpful when you’re working outdoors or when there’s too much light in your whereabouts.

Another impressive feature of this notebook is its audio quality. Equipped with ASUS SonicMaster audio system, which is designed with Harmon/Kardon, its sound generates rich bass and crystal-clear sound. Honestly, we didn’t expect this device to provide such an immersive audio quality.

OS, Apps, and Storage

The B9440UA runs on Windows 10 Pro, which is commonly used in business laptops/notebooks. Nothing new on the apps as it also contains the conventional ones found in every Windows 10 platforms such as Mail, Skype, News, and Weather.

Since this is a business notebook, ASUS provided a Business Manager that makes the access to ASUS applications much easier. ASUS Business Manager provides great functions such as One Key Recovery, USB Lock, Fingerprint Technology, and WiFi Hotspot that can help you work smarter.

Out of the box, the B9440UA comes with 512GB SSD

Performance

Powering the B9440UA is an Intel Core i7-7600U Processor, 2.9GHz (4M Cache, up to 3.9GHz) vPro, and 16GB of SDRAM. Despite being a business notebook, we tried to edit photos on Photoshop CC, and cut and color grade videos using Premiere Pro CC. Surprisingly, it works well and we haven’t encountered any lags or crashes while editing on both software.

The downside though, we experienced a little bit of lag when video rendering and web browsing at the same time. We also felt the laptop get noticeably warm after hours of usage.

Upon trying out the fingerprint scanner feature, we didn’t encounter any difficulties as we easily access the laptop in no time.

As usual, we ran our benchmark app. Find the result for Crystal DiskMark below:

Battery Life

Packed with a 48Whr 4-cell battery which ASUS claims to last for up to 10 hours. We ran our usual video loop test to the ASUSPRO B9440UA which involved a 1080p movie played continuously with settings set to Airplane mode, 50% brightness, and 50% volume with headphones plugged in, it was only able to last for 2 hours and 7 minutes. Our daily usage though got us a decent 6 hours before we needed to recharge. Speaking of charging, we were impressed by how rapid it charges. From 0%, its battery was already full at 1.5 hours.

Conclusion

Overall, the ASUSPRO B9440UA is both a powerful and portable device. It has a sleek design, tough-built exterior, backlit keyboard, superb audio quality, and remarkable internals. Its responsiveness is also one of its major advantages.

Limited USB ports and lack of webcam are two of the things we considered as the drawbacks of this device. If ASUS decided to revamp this device, the B9440UA just might be the ideal notebook. Despite that, using the ASUSPRO B9440UA for a week is still an enjoyable experience.

The ASUSPRO B9440UA will be available in local stores this July for Php89,995 and it will come with a 3-year onsite warranty.

ASUSPRO B9440UA (B9440UA-GV0289R
90NX0151-M03780)
 specs:
14-inch Full HD IPS display @ 1920 x 1080
60Hz Anti-Glare Panel with 72% NTSC with WideView Technology
Intel Core i7-7600U Processor, 2.9GHz (4M Cache, up to 3.9GHz) vPro
Integrated Intel HD Graphics 620
16GB LPDDR3 RAM
512GB PCIe Gen3 SSD
WiFi 802.11ac (2×2)
Bluetooth 4.1
1 x Microphone-in/Headphone-out jack
2 x Type C USB (USB3.1 GEN1)
Intel Anti-theft
TPM (Trusted Platform Module)
Fingerprint Reader
Illuminated Chiclet Keyboard
Windows 10 Pro
48WHrs, 4S1P, 4-cell Li-ion battery
32.1(W) x 21.6(D) x 0.09 ~ 0.15 (H) cm
0.85 KG (Without Battery) \n 1.05 KG (with 4 cell battery)

What we liked about it:

  • Lightweight
  • Harman/Kardon audio
  • Typing is a breeze
  • Backlit keyboard
  • Thin bezels which leave more room for viewing
  • Sleek design

What we didn’t like:

  • No built-in webcam
  • Still needs a dock for USBs
  • Trackpad’s too slippery


Alyza is a Multimedia Producer for YugaTech. You can follow her at @tadboring.

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