The ASUS B9440 is a thin and sleek laptop that’s designed for business, but won’t look out of place for the design-conscious.
The AsusPro B9440 is a strong advocate of the ultrabook trend, with a slim frame, and tiny bezels on the display, allowing it to cramp a 14” screen into a 13.3” laptop body. Business users no longer need to forego style.
Thin, Light, Durable
The laptop is only 1.05 kg, and measures 12.7 x 8.5 x 0.6 inch. The hinge design of the laptop allows the display to prop up the laptop at an ergonomic angle, while helping in cooling, and also offering a svelte, neat look. I like that it elevates the keyboard slightly, which make it easy to type. The keyboard is full-sized, backlit, and also spill-resistant. On the same note, the touchpad is generously big, making it easy to use.
The laptop is MIL-STD-810G tested for shocks, temperature and drops, which is a good thing, as this laptop is meant to be carried around, and extra protection or hardiness is always a plus point.
I like the almost bezel-less screen. And the harmon kardon speakers on the laptop were pretty decent too. Good enough for watching movies in hotel room. The volume was adequate, and thankfully, the output was robust enough, offering sufficient mids and just about enough on the low end.
However, there are compromises that potential users need to take note of. The laptop is designed with portability, yet, your effectiveness might be limited due to primarily two things.
(1) 2xUSB-C Ports
The laptop is equipped with only 2 USB-C port and a 3.5mm headphone jack. While USB-C adoption continues to increase, it still hasn’t exactly reach the critical saturation point either. Business folks typically would want to conduct presentations on the go, and I know of a few places that only accept VGA input, although, thankfully, that’s getting rarer. Dongles are an option, and ASUS had nicely included a USB-C dock, with USB-A ports and a HDMI output. But that means something extra to carry, and it doesn’t pack nice into the sleek leather laptop sleeve that comes with the laptop.
(2) Lack of a web camera
This may not be a deal breaker, but for those who conduct video conference calls regularly on the go, this would be an issue. For those who eschews privacy, and covers up the web camera, this laptop could be perfect for you.
Other minor quirks are that the laptop has two USB-C ports, but only the one on the left side of the laptop can be used for charging.
For those who want a docking station, there’s an ongoing purchase with purchase promotion for the SimPro Dock. I tried out the dock too, and I like that it is really compact – and yet, crammed with ports. There’s 2 displayport, hdmi, vga, gigabit ethernet, sd card reader, 4xUSB-A, USB-C, and a 3.5mm jack. It connects to the laptop via a single USB-C, which allows both power and data. The dock comes with a separate power charger.
The lack of ports doesn’t impact me that much, but for a laptop that wants to cater to the needs of a business user, the reliance on dongle may be something to seriously consider based on your usage patterns. Similarly, the lack of a web camera. But if you can accept these two compromises, the B9440 impresses with the lightweight, compact size, and at the same time, still offering strong durability.