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Asus reveals lightest 14-inch laptop in the world – could it take on Dell and HP?

Asus ExpertBook B9
(Image credit: Asus)

Asus has revealed a pair of fresh Expert Series laptops over at Computex 2022, including the lightest 14-inch notebook in the world.

That featherweight offering is the Asus ExpertBook B9, a 14-inch business laptop which weighs just 880 grams thanks to a magnesium-alloy chassis.

The ExpertBook B9 (product code B9450CBA) may be highly portable – it’s also 14.9mm thin – but Asus promises that it doesn’t cut corners in terms of the hardware inside, and the performance it’s capable of. To that end, you get the latest Alder Lake (12th-gen) Intel silicon, up to Core i7 vPro models (with integrated Iris Xe graphics), and two SSDs in RAID configuration (tailored to either performance, or for redundancy) with up to 4TB in storage possible.

Naturally, those working on the go will also expect a good level of battery life, and longevity extends to 16 hours according to Asus.

Asus ExpertBook B9

(Image credit: Asus)

The ExpertBook B9 is also well-built – to the MIL-STD 810H standard, with a reinforced construction despite that light weight – and it comes with a host of security features. That includes a webcam shield, fingerprint reader, Kensington lock slot, and more…

The B9’s full-size keyboard is spill-resistant, too, should you knock over your morning coffee anywhere near the notebook. Another interesting point to note is that the trackpad has an integrated numberpad (as well as a built-in NFC reader for logins with the swipe of a card).

The other portable unveiled at Computex is the ExpertBook B7 Flip (B7402FBA), another 14-inch model which is a hybrid, and as the name suggests, you can flip it around the 360-degree hinge to use in stand or tablet modes (it’s a touchscreen device and comes with a magnetic Asus Pen).

Asus ExpertBook B7 Flip

(Image credit: Asus)

The B7 Flip boasts 5G support as an option (and Wi-Fi 6E into the bargain), and again is built on Intel’s 12th-gen CPUs (up to Core i7), paired with up to 64GB of DDR5 system RAM. The device features a magnesium-aluminum alloy chassis and again is certified to the MIL-STD 810H standard for toughness and durability.

You get 11 hours of battery life with this convertible, and a similar bunch of security features to the B9 above in terms of biometrics (facial login and a fingerprint sensor). Also provided is Asus PrivateView, a mode of operation which fades the screen drastically at a 45-degree viewing angle (meaning someone in a seat next to you won’t be able to make out the contents of your display).

The ExpertBook B7 Flip also allows for up to three external monitors to be connected.

Both the ExpertBook B9 and ExpertBook B7 Flip will start at $1,399 in the US (around £1,100, AU$2,000) and Asus says that these laptops will be out in Q3.


Analysis: Stupidly light, yet packing a punch on multiple fronts

These look like some very smart notebooks for business users, offering a range of security features and some smart innovations (like that numberpad), with a palatable starting price for what you’re getting here.

The ExpertBook B9 is superbly lightweight, and although our roundup of the lightest ever notebooks only has its predecessor at number three, the devices which are ahead of the Asus model are smaller (13.3-inch rather than 14-inch), so they have an advantage in that respect.

Really, to make a laptop which is this lightweight, durable, and packed with features, promising some good pep on the performance front thanks to Intel’s latest Alder Lake CPUs, looks to be quite an achievement. The B9 is one to watch for business users, for sure, and the B7 Flip looks a solid bet for a convertible, too.

Hopefully the Q3 release date will mean July rather than later in the quarter…

This year, Computex is once again virtual, but we'll still be bringing you all the breaking computing news and launches as they happen, so make sure you check out all of TechRadar's Computex 2022 coverage.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).