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Asus Releases $999 AsusPro B9440UA Laptop

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.

ProductAsus B9440UA-XS51
ProcessorIntel Core i5-7200U
Memory8 GB LPDDR3 1,866MHz
GraphicsIntel HD Graphics 620
Display14.0" (16:9) LED backlit FHD (1920 x 1080) 60Hz Anti-Glare Panel with 72% NTSC with WideView Technology
Storage512GB PCIE Gen3 SSD
Ports1 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
Dimensions321.3 x 216.2 x 8.9-15 mm (WxDxH)
Weight1.05 kg with Battery
Starting MSRP$999
  • bjornl
    Prosumer and uses built-in HD graphics? I'd say this is a rather uninteresting (generic/low-end) model and far from pro-sumer.
    Reply
  • jacobdrj
    BJORNL, I disagree. I was in the market for a laptop without dedicated descret graphics as it needlessly reduces battery life, adds weight, reduces durability, increases driver completely and generally is a waste for my work. I wish more laptops at this price point came with better integrated graphics...
    Reply
  • Xajel
    19519495 said:
    Prosumer and uses built-in HD graphics? I'd say this is a rather uninteresting (generic/low-end) model and far from pro-sumer.

    You're confusing between Prosumer and Professionals.

    By Prosumer, they mean SOHO & Enterprise environment.. you don't need dGPU as most of the work is web, office & few apps ( Accountant, Management, HR admin, etc... ). and you can do more than what you need with that silly Dual-Core i7 U series.

    Professionals are those with more demands, mainly in multimedia performance, a high end Quad Core i7 is a must for any of them. a dGPU will help in a lot of applications ( where acceleration is possible ), some might even have a Pro grade dGPU like Quadro/FireG/Radeon Pro. as these tends to have a more stable and solid drivers.. and some even will have a workstation CPU ( Xeon ), in that time the laptop will be a mobile workstation.
    Reply
  • dstarr3
    The iGPU is fine. What surprises me is that this is aimed at professionals and they ditched the webcam. Don't know about you, but I spend a lot of time Skyping into meetings. Webcam's pretty necessary for a lot of professionals. Plus no ethernet port. So it's a $1k laptop that I'd need to pour even more money into. Not brilliant.
    Reply
  • cgeorgescu
    "Prosumer and uses built-in HD graphics?"
    "Professionals are those with more demands, mainly in multimedia performance"
    People wrongly think of PRO as automatically meaning Photoshop, Premiere and GPGPU compute.

    There are lots of guys using laptops to write software and only 0.01% of them need a GPGPU, the rest only need (in this order) a fast SSD, 16GB+ RAM and an i7 HQ. For these guys, a dGPU or a calibrated LCD won't speed up their compile time or the locally-installed Oracle server.

    Another example: architects spend 99% of their time drawing and they like 4k screens for their fine lines but color accuracy isn't important, nor huge amounts of RAM, nor how fast the processor is. Common rendering modules for their software can use some GPGPU but architects render those models at the best quality only once every few days, normally they do fast-renders which take 3s anyway, is nothing to benefit from having an expensive NVidia card.

    For my father in law, PRO is a 17" laptop with a 4K screen no matter how lame (color-wise) or how slow as his business is AutoCAD-based, topography.

    So PRO doesn't mean only multimedia.
    Reply