Asus released the AsusPro B9440UA laptop to capture the "prosumer" market with a durable ultrabook starting at $999.
The B9440UA features an Intel Core i5-7200U processor, 8GB of DDR3-1866 memory, and a 512GB SSD. Graphics are handled by the integrated Intel HD Graphics 620 processor, which means the laptop isn't meant for even remotely taxing games, but the package should be powerful enough to get most people through the day. Sometimes you just need something to edit a document, make last-minute changes to a presentation, and so on.
Indeed, Asus designed the B9440UA with those use cases in mind. The laptop features a new hinge that props up the keyboard at a 7-degree angle. This is supposed to make it more comfortable to use for long periods, and stands in stark contrast to the almost completely flat keyboards featured on some other laptops. A 50,000-cycle hinge test was supposed to ensure that Asus could use this new design without sacrificing any durability.
That doesn't mean the B9440UA's new hinge doesn't come without its drawbacks. Asus had to move the laptop's built-in WiFi antenna from the display to the base and remove the device's built-in webcam. The company downplayed this decision in a blog post by saying it meant "there’s no need to worry about three-letter government agencies looking in on what you’re doing," which might be true, but it's still a notable omission.
The B9440UA's other main feature is the reduced bezel size, which allowed Asus to build a 14" screen into a chassis typically seen on 13" laptops. This has become increasingly common of late--Dell crammed a 13" display onto an 11" chassis with the XPS 13--and will probably be a welcome change for anyone who has to lug a laptop around with them, problems regarding webcams and their inclusion or placement notwithstanding.
You might also like the B9440UA's fast charging. Asus said the laptop, which it claims has a 10-hour battery life, can reach 50% charge in just 30 minutes. That's quick enough to let you top off at a coffee shop, grab some emergency charge before a big meeting, or get enough juice to at least hope your laptop will survive part of the workday after you forgot to charge it overnight. (A problem we've never encountered, we assure you.)
Right now there's only one model available, the B9440UA-XS51, and it features the specs listed here. Asus did say on its website, though, that a variety of processors, memory configurations, and storage options will be available for the B9440UA, so we expect more models to debut soon. You can buy the B9440UA-XS51 from Asus' online store and Amazon right now for $999 or $1,299 in the U.S. or Canada, respectively.
|Processor||Intel Core i5-7200U|
|Memory||8 GB LPDDR3 1,866MHz|
|Graphics||Intel HD Graphics 620|
|Display||14.0" (16:9) LED backlit FHD (1920 x 1080) 60Hz Anti-Glare Panel with 72% NTSC with WideView Technology|
|Storage||512GB PCIE Gen3 SSD|
|Ports||1 x Microphone-in/Headphone-out jack 2 x USB 3.0 (USB 3.1 Gen 1) Type-C|
|Networking||- Integrated 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (2x2) - Built-in Bluetooth V4.1|
|Dimensions||321.3 x 216.2 x 8.9-15 mm (WxDxH)|
|Weight||1.05 kg with Battery|