AsusPro B9440U review: a sleek and sexy all-rounder

Asus hits the right notes with this unique-looking ultraportable

Price
£921
  • Stylish, eye-catching design; Good value; Light and portable; Good keyboard
  • Disappointing display quality; Light on ports

Specs and hardware

This is a business-grade device, and Asus has wisely opted not to palm customers off with underpowered hardware in the name of cutting the price. Instead, the B9440U has one of Intel's Kaby Lake processors at its heart. It's available in Core i3, i5 or i7 flavours, with vPro-enabled i5 and i7 options also available. This is paired with either 8GB or 16GB of RAM.

Our review unit had a non-vPro i5-7200U and 8GB of RAM under the hood; a capable allocation that saw it rack up creditable scores in our benchmark tests. Its overall result of 48 puts it in good company, as the XPS 13 and Surface Laptop both achieved similar performance. It's not going to blow anyone away with its speed and power, but it's meaty enough to handle strenuous everyday multitasking with aplomb.

Battery life

All the performance power and portability in the world isn't going to be much use if a laptop can't last more than a few hours when unplugged. This is a problem that the B9440U doesn't suffer from, though - it lasted just over eight hours in our battery tests, which is pretty much exactly what we'd expect from a modern business ultrabook.

It's also got the added advantage of fast-charging. If you run out of power just before a big meeting, just plug in the adapter for half an hour for an extra boost. In fact, we charged it for thirty minutes from flat and when we took it off, the battery was at 64%. This is a very handy feature indeed, especially for busy workers that find themselves away from a power point for most of the day.

Ports and features

Many ultraportables are distinctly lacking in ports compared to more heavy-set laptops, and the B9440U regrettably follows this trend. The hinge portion of the lid holds two USB-C ports on its sides and, aside from a 3.5mm audio jack, that's it for connectors.

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To add insult to injury, only one of these ports is capable of handling power and display delivery - the other is just a regular USB 3.1 port for data transfer. This limits the B9440U's versatility somewhat, but is easily solved with an external USB-C docking station.

It also has a fingerprint reader, allowing it to support Windows Hello biometric authentication, and our review unit came with Windows 10 Pro preinstalled.

Verdict

The AsusPro B9440U doesn't excel particularly in any one area; it's not exceptionally powerful, it isn't the thinnest or lightest laptop on the market, and it doesn't match the versatility of hybrid rivals.

On the other hand, it's a very capable all-round machine, with strong enough performance to handle everything the average user needs it to and enough battery life to carry you through a full day. This is all wrapped up in a unique and stylish design that sets it apart from even the most attractive of business notebooks.

The only downside is a poor-quality display and a slight lack of ports, but otherwise, the AsusPro B9440U is an excellent business notebook - particularly given that the model we reviewed can be yours for around 1,000 including VAT.

As jack-of-all-trade business laptops go, this one is among the most appealing we've seen, and definitely merits consideration. It may not be much of a powerhouse, but if you want a stylish all-rounder that won't stretch the budget, then this is an excellent investment.

Verdict

A solid all-round choice, this sleek and streamlined notebook is great for general purpose tasks, despite a slightly disappointing display

CPUIntel Core i5-7200U
RAM8GB
Display14in, 1080p 
Ports2 x USB 3.1
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