ASUS is rapidly carving a niche out in the business market with their enterprise-oriented ExpertBook range with laptop models for all levels of the org chart culminating in the ExpertBook B9 that is intended for the corporate elite.
This time around we get to field test the new ASUS ExpertBook B5 Flip (B5302F) that’s intended to equip the ranks of middle management with a blend of features and performance ideal for a workplace or work from home mission profile that doesn’t break the bank. Here’s our ASUS ExpertBook B5 Flip review where we put their latest convertible laptop to the test.
About our ExpertBook B5 Flip Review (B5302F) Unit
Before we start, one important thing to note is that our review sample of the ASUS B5 ExpertBook Flip (B5302F) does not have the exact specifications that are intended for retail units in the Malaysia market, primarily in terms of its processor, storage and the omission of their NumberPad touchpad. What is similar is its display and overall chassis design.
On paper, retail units for the ASUS ExpertBook B5 Flip (B5302F) will have a 13.3-inch LCD touchscreen, either an Intel Core i5-1135G4 or I7-1165G7 CPU paired with Iris Xe graphics. Our review sample came instead with the lower powered Intel Core i3-1115G4 processor that is not intended for Malaysia.
Our test sample has 8GB 3,200MHz RAM soldered in with a spare SODIMM bay allowing for up to 48GB RAM and it has a 1TB M.2 NVMe PCIe 3.0 SSD with an additional spare SSD bay if you deign to add on extra storage. In terms of RAM, our review sample is identical to retail samples though storage is doubled with a 1TB SSD versus the 512GB SSD for retail units.
Other mod-cons like WiFi 6, a TPM 2.0 security chip, a backlit keyboard and the array of ports available are also similar. Where it differs in design is that our review sample only has a conventional touchpad versus the NumberPad that has a numeric keypad overlay. Both retail units and our ExpertBook B5 Flip review sample both retain a 4-cell 66Wh Li-Ion battery with a 65W USB-C AC charger.
For the purposes of our ASUS ExpertBook B5 Flip review (B5302F) for the Malaysia market, you can draw similar conclusions in terms of the screen quality, overall build and design though actual performance will differ for the better in the case of the retail units which will use the 11th Gen i5 and i7 CPUs.
ASUS ExpertBook B5 Flip (B5302F) Specifications
|Price||RM4,999 (i5 version) RM5,599 (i7 version)|
|Display||13.3-inch LCD touchscreen, 1,920 x 1080 pixels, 16:9 aspect ratio, sRGB, 300 nits|
|OS||Windows 10 Pro (upgradable to Windows 11)|
|Processor||Intel Core i3-1115G4 3.0GHz (review unit)
Intel Core i5-1135G7 2.4GHz
Intel Core i7-1165G7 2.8GHz
|Graphics||Intel UHD graphics (review unit)
Intel Iris Xe (for i5 and i7)
|Memory||8GB 3,200MHz DDR4 RAM, maximum up to 48GB|
|Battery||66Wh 4-cell Li-Polymer/ 65W USB-C charging|
|Size/Weight||309 x 210x 16.9mm/ 1.11kg|
What is the ExpertBook B5 Flip (B5302F)? Build quality and who is this for
Where the top of the line ExpertBook B9 uses the latest, most premium materials like a magnesium-aluminium alloy internal chassis, the ExpertBook B5 Flip (B5302F) opts for a more affordable if slightly heavier aluminum chassis though it still incorporates magnesium-aluminium alloy around the keyboard area to keep the overall weight down. A conventional ExpertBook B5 clamshell design also exists for a cheaper sum.
At 1.1kg, the ExpertBook B5 Flip remains one of the lightest 13-inch convertibles in the market and one of the slimmest as well at 16.9mm thin. This is light enough and slim enough to make all-day carry in a handbag or backpack a viable possibility.
The ExpertBook B9 also remains one of the most durable laptops around with a respectable MIL-STD 810H milspec level rating so it can keep working in extremes of temperature and more importantly, survive a modest 120cm drop to the floor.
The keyboard is also spill-resistant and is rated to survive with up to 66cc of liquids without damage. That doesn’t mean you should randomly toss soda and coffee at it though as dried sugar can still gum up the keys. This kind of durability means that there is less potential downtime and headaches for company IT teams.
ASUS ExpertBook B5 Flip Review (B5302F) – Design
The top lid is made of aluminium and a matte dark grey bordering on blue finish dubbed Star Black that’s fingerprint resistant. There’s a tiny bit of give in the middle of the lid if you prod it hard but there’s no flexing in the rest of the top lid. The corner also has a tiny indicator light to indicate if you’re on a video call which comes in handy in the new normal.
On the left of the ExpertBook B5 Flip are two Thunderbolt 4 USB-C ports to charge the laptop and to allow for output to external 4K displays, a micro-HDMI port so you can hook the laptop up to wired ethernet via the provided ‘micro HDMI to LAN ’ dongle, a physical volume rocker and a trio of indicators for power, storage and CPU activity.
Unfortunately, the volume rocker button is very shallow and not particularly responsive which means you’ll have to press harder on it to yield any noticeable effect.
The right side of the laptop hosts a Kensington lock to secure it from theft, a HDMI 2.0b port, a single USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A port, a 3.5mm audio combo jack for headphones or a microphone and a power button that doubles as a fingerprint reader.
Combined, this setup allows you to theoretically connect up to 3 external 4K UHD displays via the two Thunderbolt 4 ports and HDMI 2.0 port.
This ensemble of ports gives it plenty of versatility though the clustering of both Thunderbolt 4 ports so closely to each other on the left of the B5 Flip creates ergonomic challenges if you plug in multiple devices. Fortunately, it’s something easily addressed with an additional dongle.
The underside of the laptop hosts a pair of downward firing stereo speakers as well as a grill that runs along its length for ventilation.They’ve also used Philips screws which makes access to upgrade the RAM and storage a bit easier.
In keeping with its designation, the ASUS ExpertBook B5 Flip has a 360-degree hinge that allows it to flip the touchscreen around to turn it into a tablet or leave it halfway as a tent-style display.
The trade-off with this design is that it lacks the raised Ergolift Hinge lip on the bottom which helps to raise the laptop to an ideal typing angle while allowing for some airflow on the underside. On the bright side, the hinges are exceptionally sturdy without any wobbling so it’ll stay in position though this also means that the laptop is hard to open one-handed.
When flipped open, you’re greeted by a 13.3-inch NanoEdge touchscreen LCD display with Full HD (1,920 x 1080) resolution. It has a modest 60Hz refresh rate with a matte finish to minimise glare. The panel offers slim side and top bezels to ensure a relatively generous 78% screen-to-body ratio.
Up top, the laptop holds a 720P webcam in the usual position protected by a sliding privacy screen. The base hosts a backlit chiclet style keyboard with a generously sized touchpad. Our review sample lacks the NumberPad overlay of retail units but is otherwise similar to Malaysian retail units.
ASUS ExpertBook B5 Flip (B5302F) Performance
As mentioned earlier, our ExpertBook B5 Flip review sample from ASUS uses a different 11th Gen Intel Core i3-1115G4 CPU from retail units which will use an 11th Gen Intel Core i5 or i7 so benchmarks will differ.
In terms of synthetic benchmarks, our ExpertBook B5 Flip review sample scored the following plugged in with performance dialled to maximum in the settings.
|3DMark Time Spy||717|
|3DMark Time Spy Extreme||323|
|3DMark Night Raid||6921|
|3DMark Fire Strike||1508|
|3DMark Fire Strike Extreme||743|
|3DMark Fire Strike Ultra||429|
|Unigine SuperPosition 720P Low||1911|
|Unigine SuperPosition 1080P Medium||939|
|Unigine SuperPosition 1080P High||653|
|Unigine SuperPosition 1080P Extreme||362|
|PCMark 10 Work Extended||2871|
|Geekbench 5 Single core score||1201|
|Geekbench 5 Multi core score||2534|
In terms of benchmarks, it’s not much to shout about and the 11th Gen Intel Core i3-1115G4 CPU, integrated Intel UHD graphics and 8GB RAM mean that it’s best suited for basic office work. It’s more than sufficient for web browsing, processing Word documents, shovelling through your emails and the like.
The next closest analogue we have to how a Malaysia retail version of the ExpertBook B5 Flip would perform would be the ZenBook 14 UX425EA which has a similar processor, Iris Xe graphics, RAM and storage profile and it performs markedly better than what the i3-1115G4 performs in synthetic benchmarks. You can check out our prior ZenBook 14 UX425EA review here.
Add in the diverse array of ports and otherwise solid MIL-STD 810H level of sturdiness of the laptop and you have a great laptop for middle management and those out in the field. Those pursuing more creative or graphics intensive work should opt for their ZenBook Duo 14 UX482.
The downward firing speakers proved adequate if unremarkable with sufficient volume to run a presentation in a quiet meeting room and to catch up on Netflix after work.
In terms of battery life, the laptop wasn’t able to run PCMark 8’s battery life benchmark without repeatedly crashing so we performed a manual test with WiFi on, web browsing, paperwork via Open Office and Google Docs as well as liberal usage of Netflix and YouTube. While it’s officially quoted as 16 offering hours of battery life, we managed a more modest 8 hours and 35 minutes or so with maximum performance settings, average screen brightness.and the above usage parameters.
Where the ExpertBook B5 Flip will likely gain traction is its versatility, especially in tandem with its 360-degree hinges and touchscreen which allows it to be a very capable presentation device on the move.
Should you buy the ASUS ExpertBook B5 Flip (B5302F)?
The ASUS ZenBook B5 Flip B5302F is a solidly built convertible with a decent touchscreen, well-built hinges and a generous array of ports though performance is contingent on which version you get. Our 11th Gen i3 version was underwhelming at best but the 11th Gen i5 and i7 versions should be better bets which are what Malaysia units will be equipped with.
ASUS ExpertBook B5 Flip review sample courtesy of ASUS Malaysia. For more details visit https://www.asus.com/my/Laptops/For-Work/ExpertBook/ExpertBook-B5-Flip-B5302F-11th-Gen-Intel/techspec/
ASUS ExpertBook B5 Flip Review (B5302F)
ASUS ExpertBook B5 Flip (B5302F)
The ASUS ExpertBook B5 Flip is a durable convertible with a decent touchscreen and 360-degree hinges though performance is contingent on what processor you get with the 11th Gen Intel Core i5 and i7 for the Malaysia market being your best bets for competent portable performance.
Spill resistant and sturdy chassis Wide array of ports Nice display Solidly constructed hinges
Thunderbolt 4 ports too closely spaced together Volume rocker button is too shallow Underwhelming performance with Intel Core 3 variant