There are two main things that serious road warriors want in their laptops: extremely long battery life, and a compact/lightweight form factor. Oh, and they don’t want any big compromises in other areas. The ASUS ExpertBook B5 B5302, first launched in 2021, seems to be the laptop made for them.
There’s actually not a lot of compromises in the ASUS ExpertBook B5 to begin with. I would have liked a touch-screen display, as well asl one with a 16:10 aspect ratio, but this is just me, and I’m sure isn’t a show-stopper for many other people. For the most part, this ExpertBook B5 is exceptional.
Let me just jump straight into the battery first. This is, afterall, a major highlight of this laptop. ASUS boasts an amazing 12 hours battery life. Indeed, my test with PCMark 10 Modern Office battery benchmark scored 12 hours and 34 minutes, which is really impressive. Furthermore, this is while still maintaining a respectable performance score. This is a laptop you can take out the whole day to work-on-the go, and just forget how it gets its power.
The ExpertBook B5 is also very compact and lightweight. The dimenions are 309 x 211 x 16.9 mm, and weigh just 1.2 kg. It’s easy to fit in any bag, and light enough to not feel bordersome to carry around.
A laptop that gets so much on-the-go use needs to be sturdy and durable. The top and bottom covers are made from alumnium, while the keyboard deck uses a magnesium-aluminium alloy. This gives the ExpertBook B5 the strength and rigidity, while still being lightweight.
For extra durability, ASUS built the ExpertBook B5 to US MIL-STD 810 military-grade standard. We probably don’t care so much about using the laptop in extreme temperatures, but it’s definitely good to know the ExpertBook B5 can handle shocks, everyday bumps, and drops. ASUS says it can handle multi-sided drop from 120 cm. The keyboard is also spill resistant.
I don’t, of course, recommend ill-treating your laptop, but it is good to know that the ExpertBook can follow you around, including into rougher environments, without needing extra attention to its tender care.
The 13.3-inch Full HD OLED display is absolutely stunning. The clarity and colour vividness of the display is awesome. I’ll dive right into the Spyder5PRO colourimeter test results: 100% sRGB, 93% NTSC, 98% AdobeRGB, and 94% P3 colour gamut coverage. This matches somewhat with ASUS’ claim of 100% P3 coverage. If you need colour accurate displays for your work, the ExpertBook B5 OLED will meet your needs.
Maximum brightness recorded in my tests is 316 nits, which is decent, though could be challenging in very bright outdoor conditions. There’s anti-glare coating on the glossy finish, but be prepared that there’ll still be some distracting reflections.
The screen can open fully to 180° to lie flat. This could be a nice feature for sharing the screen with someone across the table.
A 720p HD camera sits in the bezel atop the display. This is not IR-enabled, so there is no support for Windows Hello logins. I’m really happy to see that there is a physical privacy shutter.
The ExpertBook B5 OLED’s keyboard has full-sized chicklet keys which are well-spaced. The layout is perfectly standard, every key exactly where they ought to be, and there’s also a nice inverted-T arrow keys arrangement. The keys are backlit, only in white, and only with one level of brightness. I think this is sufficiently functional, and road warriors likely don’t need anything more fancy.
Typing on this keyboard is very comfortable, especially with the generous 1.5 mm of key travel and ample space around the keys. There’s good firm tactile response from the keys.
The touchpad below the keyboard is about 4.8-inch across, probably reasonably sized for laptops this size. If you do lots of number entry, the ASUS’ NumberPad 2.0 feature could perhaps be a good compromise from not having a dedicated number pad on the keyboard.
If you are not familiar, NumberPad 2.0 is basically a feature that turns the touchpad into a number pad with keys that are backlit from without the touchpad. This back-light has two levels of brightness. You can toggle this on and off as and when you need; you can even control the cursor while the NumberPad 2.0 is active.
The ExpertBook B5 OLED has a decent selection of ports. Starting on the left side, there are two USB Type-C ports with Thunderbolt 4 and display alternate mode/Power Delivery support, a micro HDMI port used for RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet LAN.
On the right side, there’s a full-sized HDMI 2.0b port, one USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A port, and a 3.5 mm combo audio jack.
The power button, located on the right side, also doubles up as a fingerprint reader which supports Windows Hello logins. There’s also a Kensington lock slot in case that’s something useful to you.
If I may quibble a bit, the use of a micro-HDMI port for LAN necessitates carrying around an inconvenient dongle. It’s nice that ASUS includes the micro HDMI to RJ45 dongle in the retail box, but I think realistically most people are not going to be using much of it.
Also, I’d much prefer to have one of the Thunderbolt 4 ports to be on the right, so that I have one port each on both the left and right sides.
Under the hood, this ASUS ExpertBook B5 OLED is powered by an Intel Core i7-1165G7 with 8 GB of DDR4 memory, degradeable up to 48 GB. There is 512 GB of M.2 NVMe PCIe 3.0 storage.
For connectivity, the ExpertBook B5 OLED supports dual-band Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) and Bluetooth 5.0. There is also the aforesaid micro-HDMI to Gigabit Ethernet dongle that’s included in the box.
The built-in battery has a 66 Whr Li-ion battery, with superb battery longevity as earlier mentioned. The included power adapter is a 65 Watt USB Type-C brick.
These are the benchmark scores from PCMark 10 Extended:
- Overall: 3741
- Essential: 9454
- Productivity: 6777
- Digital Content Creation: 4857
- Gaming: 1703
Geekbench 5 scores are as follows:
- Single core: 1450
- Multi core: 1084
- Compute: 10480
Cinebench R23 multi-core score is 4095.
Curiously, while the overall performance may not differ too much from similar laptops equipped with an i7-1165G7 processor, the ExpertBook B5 OLED does appear to lag in terms of the integrated GPU performance. For example, the PCMark 10 Extended score for Gaming is just 1703 on the ExpertBook B5 OLED, whereas the ZenBook Flip S UX371 scores 3027. The GeekBench 5 score on these two laptops are 10480 and 18899 respectively. I think in regular use, i.e. for casual productivity and entertainment scenarios, the ExpertBook B5 OLED will still work just fine.
The ASUS ExpertBook B5 OLED B5302 retails at $2,098. It comes with 3 years of international carry-in and local on-site warranty. Included in the retail box is an optical mouse, mini-HDMI to RJ45 dongle, power adapter, and a carrying case.
The ASUS ExpertBook B5 OLED B5302 has the two most important things that any serious road warrior needs: extremely long battery life, and a compact/lightweight form factor. The awesome display with superb colour accuracy is also a good plus point especially for content creators.