The small and medium business desktop and laptop market has been traditionally dominated by brands such as HP and Dell. ASUS is looking to make a mark in this market, and its ExpertBook lineup is dedicated to appeasing corporate users. The ASUS ExpertBook B5 Flip is their latest 360-degree flip laptop. Here’s how it fares.
The device is built from aluminium and features a magnesium alloy chassis that is built for rugged environments and features slim contoured edges which aren’t too sharp while carrying around.
The laptop is less than 1 inch thick and weighs 1.38 kg making it easy to lug it around on your work trips. Given the 14-inch form factor, this was easy to put into a messenger bag with ample space remaining to carry the charger along.
The B5 Flip features a 1920x1080p Full HD display with a touch screen. The laptop features a 360-degree hinge which allows the users to use it as a tablet with landscape and portrait orientations. The screen wobble can be felt while propped up in screen-only mode.
As with all ASUS displays, the colours are vivid, making it an ideal laptop not just for work, but also for media consumption in tablet mode. Watching Tom Cruise dive out of a plane in Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One on the vivid 14-inch display while in tablet mode was a joy. The stereo speakers on the laptop sound very feeble and flat and quite indicative that this device isn’t an audio power horse while consuming multimedia content.
The keyboard is one of the best tried I have had in recent times; the keys have a good amount of key travel and make typing long documents an easy task. The rectangular trackpad which also functions as the number keys is quite small and while being responsive is a little small for my liking, especially for someone with large hands.
The virtual Numberpad 2 takes up space on the trackpad when activated, and works well.
The ASUS B5 Flip features quick access to functions like audio-off on, keyboard backlighting, webcam–on/off with a physical shutter, and access to MyASUS suite. The suite gives users granular access to features that include battery health, AI noise cancellation, colour profiles, and Wi-Fi optimisation besides system diagnostics and access to ASUS’ support. The 0.9 Megapixel webcam will suffice and along with AI noise reduction in tow will make the office laptop ideal for those early morning zoom calls and has an IR camera which is quick to log in for Windows Hello support.
The laptop does feature a user status indicator on the lid of the laptop to let others know that you are busy in a meeting and can be toggled via the fn+1 key.
The battery life of the B5 was adequate for an office environment. An hour of document typing, social media posting, and researching information from the web with the screen set at 70 per cent with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on saw the battery drain of an average 20 per cent in an hour. The laptop stayed on for almost six hours in ‘Balanced mode,’ which gives the best mix of power and battery efficiency, while powered through a few online meetings as well.
The unit is charged using a compact 65-watt USB-C power adapter, and it takes about 2 hours to charge the battery from zero to 100 per cent.
The unit that I reviewed was the top-of-the-line 12th Gen i7-1260P with 16 GB of RAM and Intel Xe graphics. It breezed through day-to-day tasks and having a WI-FI 6/6E capable laptop for faster internet meant browsing the web is snappier considering the internals.
While casual games like Solitaire are a non-issue, graphic-heavy games such as Wings of War: Modern Aircraft can be played at low to medium settings with ease. The laptop renders a 1-minute 1080p footage with effects within 4 minutes on DaVinci Resolve, making it a decent alternative for multimedia professionals.
The ExpertBook B5 Flip takes the cake when it comes to connectivity and ports. It comes with dual-band 2*2 WI-6/6E antennas and with Bluetooth 5.2 making it the latest in terms of wireless tech. The B5 Flip has two Thunderbolt-4 ports, an RJ-45 ethernet port, a full-sized HDMI port, a USB 3.0 port, a volume rocker, and power and status indicators on the left side. The right side houses the garage for the stylus, power button with an inbuilt fingerprint reader, audio jack combo, a USB 2.0 port, and a microSD card along with the Kensington lock slot.
While the ASUS ExpertBook B5 Flip has many things going for it as a work laptop, the cost might keep it out of reach of most common consumers. However, it might be easier for workplaces to procure for enterprise use by their management. It’s just the right mix of work and play features that will be ideal for working professionals who would prefer B5 Flip as a tool for both office and home.