ASUS ExpertBook B1 B1500 review – they have probably cut the right corners this time

Today we have another business solution in our office. It is made from ASUS and comes to compete for the attention of enterprise users, which need security, stability, and to some extent – performance.

Indeed, the ExpertBook B1 B1500 doesn’t have the tradition of the ThinkPads and Latitudes out there, but it clearly has the potential. ASUS has outfitted their laptop with up to a Core i7-1165G7, and an optional GeForce MX330 graphics card.

Besides the hardware, you get two display options. One of them is the safe choice – a 1080p IPS panel, while the other is so bad, that it’s not worth considering – a 768p TN display. Once again, we are baffled to see such a display option on a business machine in 2021.

Another feature ASUS is really proud of is the upgradability. They claim you have access to a 2.5-inch SATA device, an M.2 slot, and a single RAM SODIMM slot. Later on, we will see if this is true.

You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/asus-expertbook-b1-b1500/

Contents


Specs Sheet

ASUS ExpertBook B1/L1 (B1500/L1500) - Specs

  • LM156LF-5L06 (NCP0046)
  • Color accuracy  4.0  3.6
  • HDD/SSD
  • up to 2000GB SSD + up to 1000GB HDD
  • RAM
  • up to 40GB
  • OS
  • Windows 10 Pro, Windows 11 Pro, Windows 10 Home, No OS
  • Battery
  • 42Wh, 3-cell
  • Body material
  • Plastic / Polycarbonate, Aluminum
  • Dimensions
  • 358 x 236.5 x 19.4 mm (14.09" x 9.31" x 0.76")
  • Weight
  • 1.73 kg (3.8 lbs)
  • Ports and connectivity
  • 1x USB Type-A
  • 2x USB Type-A
  • 3.2 Gen 2 (10 Gbps)
  • 1x USB Type-C
  • Thunderbolt 4, Power Delivery (PD), DisplayPort
  • HDMI
  • 1.4
  • VGA
  • 1
  • Card reader
  • MicroSD
  • Ethernet LAN
  • 10/100/1000 Mbit/s
  • Wi-Fi
  • 802.11ax
  • Bluetooth
  • 5.0
  • Audio jack
  • 3.5mm Combo Jack
  • Features
  • Fingerprint reader
  • optional
  • Web camera
  • HD with Privacy Shutter
  • Backlit keyboard
  • optional
  • Microphone
  • Array microphone with Cortana voice-recognition support
  • Speakers
  • Optical drive

What’s in the box?

Inside the package, we found some paper manuals and a 65W power adapter. Thankfully, ASUS provides 2.5-inch SATA drive mounting hardware with every laptop.


Design and construction

As far as the construction goes, we are met by a plastic device, that boasts an aluminum lid cover, weighs 1.73 kg, and has a profile of 19.4mm. Ultimately, it is on the light side for a 15-inch machine. And while the metal lid provides additional structural integrity the base seems to show a tendency to flex when twisted. The real “issue” in our view, however, is the surface on the base. It uses something that feels abrasive in a bid to mimic the rubber-feeling surface of some ThinkPads. Well, it’s safe to say it didn’t work out very well.

And while the lid can’t be opened with a single hand, the hinges feel pretty smooth. Not only that, but the device uses the ErgoLift mechanism quite aggressively, lifting the backside of the base significantly. Another good-to-have feature is the privacy shutter over the HD Web camera. However, the switch is a bit hard to toggle.

Next, let’s move to the base. Its layout is good, with decently-sized keycaps, a NumberPad section, and an optional backlight (our unit lacks such). Here, the key travel is pretty long, while the feedback feels clicky. Weirdly, the characters look like stickers, and their finish is different from that of the keycaps themselves, which results in the characters appearing blurry. Weird choice by ASUS, perhaps they saved a couple of cents over this?

Nevertheless, on the top right corner, you will notice the power button, which doubles as a fingerprint sensor.

And below the keyboard, you will find a touchpad of average size. Despite its unimpressive looks, it provides fast and accurate tracking. The clicking mechanism offers a rather short travel, but the feedback is clicky and distinguishable.

Then, on the bottom panel, you will notice the speaker cutouts. Additionally, there is a massive ventilation grill. Respectively, the heat exhaust is significantly smaller and is located in between the backside of the base, and the lid.

Ports

Interestingly, the sides of the laptop are extremely thin. However, you can see that they are bulked around the ports. So, on the left side, there is the charging plug, a Thunderbolt 4 connector, a VGA port, an HDMI 1.4 connector, and two USB Type-A 3.2 (Gen. 2) ports. Then, on the right, you will see an RJ-45 connector, USB Type-A 2.0 port, an audio jack, and a MicroSD card slot.


Disassembly, upgrade options and maintenance

There are 10 Phillips-head screws you need to undo before you pry the bottom panel open. Just make sure that you use a plastic tool during the process.

Here we see a 42Wh battery pack.

In terms of memory, you get either 8 or 16GB soldered to the motherboard. Additionally, there is one SODIMM slot for further expansion. As for the storage, there is an M.2 PCIe x4 slot, as well as a 2.5-inch SATA drive bay.

And for the cooling, there are two heat pipes, a medium-sized heat spreader, and a fan.


Display quality

ASUS ExpertBook B1 B1500 comes with a Full HD IPS panel, model number Panda LM156LF-5L06 (NCP0046). Its diagonal is 15.6″ (39.62 cm), and the resolution – 1920 х 1080p. Additionally, the screen ratio is 16:9, the pixel density – 142 ppi, their pitch – 0.18 x 0.18 mm. The screen can be considered Retina when viewed from at least 60 cm (from this distance, the average human eye can’t see the individual pixels).

The viewing angles are good. We offer images at different angles to evaluate the quality.

Also, a video with locked focus and exposure.

The maximum measured brightness is 311 nits (cd/m2) in the middle of the screen and 294 nits (cd/m2) average across the surface with a maximum deviation of 9%. The Correlated Color Temperature on a white screen and at maximum brightness is 6600K (average) – almost matching the 6500K optimum for sRGB.
In the illustration below you can see how the display performs from a uniformity perspective. The illustration below shows how matters are for operational brightness levels (approximately 140 nits) – in this particular case at 63% Brightness (White level = 141 cd/m2, Black level = 0.11 cd/m2).
Values of dE2000 over 4.0 should not occur, and this parameter is one of the first you should check if you intend to use the laptop for color-sensitive work (a maximum tolerance of 2.0 ). The contrast ratio is good – 1280:1.

To make sure we are on the same page, we would like to give you a little introduction to the sRGB color gamut and the Adobe RGB. To start, there’s the CIE 1976 Uniform Chromaticity Diagram that represents the visible specter of colors by the human eye, giving you a better perception of the color gamut coverage and the color accuracy.

Inside the black triangle, you will see the standard color gamut (sRGB) that is being used by millions of people on HDTV and on the web. As for the Adobe RGB, this is used in professional cameras, monitors, etc for printing. Basically, colors inside the black triangle are used by everyone and this is the essential part of the color quality and color accuracy of a mainstream notebook.

Still, we’ve included other color spaces like the famous DCI-P3 standard used by movie studios, as well as the digital UHD Rec.2020 standard. Rec.2020, however, is still a thing of the future and it’s difficult for today’s displays to cover that well. We’ve also included the so-called Michael Pointer gamut, or Pointer’s gamut, which represents the colors that naturally occur around us every day.

The yellow dotted line shows ASUS ExpertBook B1 B1500’s color gamut coverage.

Its display is limited just to 53% of the sRGB/ITU-R BT.709 (web/HDTV standard) in CIE1976.

Our “Design and Gaming” profile delivers optimal color temperature (6500K) at 140 cd/m2 luminance and sRGB gamma mode.

We tested the accuracy of the display with 24 commonly used colors like light and dark human skin, blue sky, green grass, orange, etc. You can check out the results at factory condition and also, with the “Design and Gaming” profile.

Below you can compare the scores of ASUS ExpertBook B1 B1500 with the default settings (left), and with the “Gaming and Web design” profile (right).

The next figure shows how well the display is able to reproduce really dark parts of an image, which is essential when watching movies or playing games in low ambient light.

The left side of the image represents the display with stock settings, while the right one is with the “Gaming and Web Design” profile activated. On the horizontal axis, you will find the grayscale, and on the vertical axis – the luminance of the display. On the two graphs below you can easily check for yourself how your display handles the darkest nuances but keep in mind that this also depends on the settings of your current display, the calibration, the viewing angle, and the surrounding light conditions.

Response time (Gaming capabilities)

We test the reaction time of the pixels with the usual “black-to-white” and “white-to-black” method from 10% to 90% and vice versa.

We recorded Fall Time + Rise Time = 25 ms.

After that, we test the reaction time of the pixels with the usual “Gray-to-Gray” method from 50% White to 80% White and vice versa between 10% and 90% of the amplitude.


Health impact – PWM / Blue Light

PWM (Screen flickering)

Pulse-width modulation (PWM) is an easy way to control monitor brightness. When you lower the brightness, the light intensity of the backlight is not lowered, but instead turned off and on by the electronics with a frequency indistinguishable to the human eye. In these light impulses, the light/no-light time ratio varies, while brightness remains unchanged, which is harmful to your eyes. You can read more about that in our dedicated article on PWM.

ASUS ExpertBook B1 B1500’s backlight does not flicker at any brightness level. This ensures comfort to the eyes in this aspect.

Blue light emissions

Installing our Health-Guard profile not only eliminates PWM but also reduces the harmful Blue Light emissions while keeping the colors of the screen perceptually accurate. If you’re not familiar with the Blue light, the TL;DR version is – emissions that negatively affect your eyes, skin, and your whole body. You can find more information about that in our dedicated article on Blue Light.

Buy our profiles

Since our profiles are tailored for each individual display model, this article and its respective profile package are meant for ASUS ExpertBook B1 B1500 configurations with 15.6″ Panda LM156LF-5L06 (NCP0046) (FHD, 1920 × 1080) IPS.

*Should you have problems with downloading the purchased file, try using a different browser to open the link you’ll receive via e-mail. If the download target is a .php file instead of an archive, change the file extension to .zip or contact us at [email protected]

Read more about the profiles HERE.

In addition to receiving efficient and health-friendly profiles, by buying LaptopMedia's products you also support the development of our labs, where we test devices in order to produce the most objective reviews possible.

Office Work

Office Work should be used mostly by users who spend most of the time looking at pieces of text, tables or just surfing. This profile aims to deliver better distinctness and clarity by keeping a flat gamma curve (2.20), native color temperature and perceptually accurate colors.

Design and Gaming

This profile is aimed at designers who work with colors professionally, and for games and movies as well. Design and Gaming takes display panels to their limits, making them as accurate as possible in the sRGB IEC61966-2-1 standard for Web and HDTV, at white point D65.

Health-Guard

Health-Guard eliminates the harmful Pulse-Width Modulation (PWM) and reduces the negative Blue Light which affects our eyes and body. Since it’s custom tailored for every panel, it manages to keep the colors perceptually accurate. Health-Guard simulates paper so the pressure on the eyes is greatly reduced.

Get all 3 profiles with 33% discount


Sound

ASUS ExpertBook B1 B1500’s speakers produce a sound of good quality. However, the low, mid, and high tones all have some deviations from clarity.


Drivers

All of the drivers and utilities for this notebook can be downloaded from here: https://www.asus.com/Laptops/For-Work/ExpertBook/ExpertBook-B1-B1500/HelpDesk_Download/?model2Name=ExpertBook-B1-B1500

Battery

Now, we conduct the battery tests with Windows Better performance setting turned on, screen brightness adjusted to 120 nits, and all other programs turned off except for the one we are testing the notebook with. This laptop’s 42Wh battery pack lasts for 6 hours and 46 minutes of Web browsing, and 4 hours and 57 minutes of video playback.

In order to simulate real-life conditions, we used our own script for automatic web browsing through over 70 websites.


CPU options

This laptop can be purchased with a range of processors. This includes the Celeron 6305, Pentium Gold 7505, Core i3-1005G1, Core i3-1115G4, Core i5-1135G7, and Core i7-1165G7.

ASUS ExpertBook B1/L1 (B1500/L1500) CPU variants

Here you can see an approximate comparison between the CPUs that can be found in the ASUS ExpertBook B1/L1 (B1500/L1500) models on the market. This way you can decide for yourself which ASUS ExpertBook B1/L1 (B1500/L1500) model is the best bang for your buck.

Note: The chart shows the cheapest different CPU configurations so you should check what the other specifications of these laptops are by clicking on the laptop’s name / CPU.

Results are from the Cinebench R23 CPU test (the higher the score, the better)

Results are from our Photoshop benchmark test (the lower the score, the better)


GPU options

Respectively, the graphics choices are comprised of the UHD Graphics, the Iris Xe Graphics G4, Iris Xe Graphics G7 with 80 or 96EU, as well as the dedicated NVIDIA GeForce MX330 with 2GB of VRAM.

ASUS ExpertBook B1/L1 (B1500/L1500) GPU variants

Here you can see an approximate comparison between the GPUs that can be found in the ASUS ExpertBook B1/L1 (B1500/L1500) models on the market. This way you can decide for yourself which ASUS ExpertBook B1/L1 (B1500/L1500) model is the best bang for your buck.

Note: The chart shows the cheapest different GPU configurations so you should check what the other specifications of these laptops are by clicking on the laptop’s name / GPU.

Results are from the 3DMark: Time Spy (Graphics) benchmark (higher the score, the better)

Results are from the 3DMark: Fire Strike (Graphics) benchmark (higher the score, the better)

Results are from the 3DMark: Wild Life (Graphics) benchmark (higher the score, the better)


Gaming tests

cs-go-benchmarks

CS:GO HD 1080p, Low (Check settings) HD 1080p, Medium (Check settings) HD 1080p, MAX (Check settings)
Average FPS 107 fps 84 fps 39 fps

DOTA 2 HD 1080p, Low (Check settings) HD 1080p, Normal (Check settings) HD 1080p, High (Check settings)
Average FPS 117 fps 70 fps 44 fps

Temperatures and comfort

Max CPU load

In this test we use 100% on the CPU cores, monitoring their frequencies and chip temperature. The first column shows a computer’s reaction to a short load (2-10 seconds), the second column simulates a serious task (between 15 and 30 seconds), and the third column is a good indicator of how good the laptop is for long loads such as video rendering.

Average core frequency (base frequency + X); CPU temp.

Intel Core i7-1165G7 (15W TDP) 0:02 – 0:10 sec 0:15 – 0:30 sec 10:00 – 15:00 min
ASUS ExpertBook B1 B1500 3.70 GHz (B+32%) @ 89°C @ 51W 3.21 GHz (B+15%) @ 93°C @ 36W 3.12 GHz (B+11%) @ 93°C @ 34W
Dell Latitude 15 7520 3.49 GHz (B+25%) @ 76°C @ 39W 3.18 GHz (B+14%) @ 91°C @ 33W 2.09 GHz @ 77°C @ 15W
Lenovo ThinkPad T15 Gen 2 3.65 GHz (B+30%) @ 99°C @ 49W 3.42 GHz (B+22%) @ 99°C @ 41W 2.37 GHz @ 73°C @ 20W
Dell Latitude 14 5420 3.80 GHz (B+36%) @ 98°C @ 51W 3.27 GHz (B+17%) @ 98°C @ 35W 2.78 GHz @ 96°C @ 26W
Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Pro (14) 3.90 GHz (B+39%) @ 85°C @ 61W 2.57 GHz @ 69°C @ 26W 2.37 GHz @ 57°C @ 20W
HP Pavilion 14 (14-dv0000) 3.08 GHz (B+10%) @ 91°C @ 40W 2.79 GHz @ 89°C @ 29W 2.13 GHz @ 71°C @ 18W
Acer TravelMate P4 (TMP414-51) 2.99 GHz (B+7%) @ 94°C @ 33W 2.66 GHz @ 93°C @ 27W 1.86 GHz @ 68°C @ 16W
ASUS ZenBook Flip S UX371 3.48 GHz (B+24%) @ 90°C @ 43W 2.79 GHz @ 90°C @ 27W 1.95 GHz @ 69°C @ 14W
Acer Swift 3X (SF314-510G) 3.74 GHz (B+34%) @ 95°C @ 45W 3.45 GHz (B+23%) @ 95°C @ 37W 3.09 GHz (B+10%) @ 85°C @ 28W

For this test, we used ASUS’s Performance fan profile. It let the laptop perform at its best, which to our surprise was always above the base clock of this CPU.

Comfort during full load

As a matter of fact, the device wasn’t too loud either. And if you put the Balanced mode on, it will become nearly silent.


Verdict

Like every laptop out there, the ExpertBook B1 B1500 has its ups and downs. Impressively, the performance is one of its advantages, as it puts the Core i7-1165G7 to good use. Additionally, you have quite a good amount of upgrade options, as well, including one SODIMM slot, an M.2 slot, and a 2.5-inch SATA drive bay.

Furthermore, the port selection is quite extensive, with it not only featuring a Thunderbolt 4 connector and a MicroSD card slot, but also some of the older I/O like a VGA port.

ASUS ExpertBook B1 B1500’s IPS panel (Panda LM156LF-5L06 (NCP0046)) has a Full HD resolution, comfortable viewing angles, and a good contrast ratio. Thankfully, its backlight doesn’t use PWM for brightness adjustment. However, the display covers only half of the colors of the sRGB gamut, which results in quite a dull image.

Additionally, you are treated to a fingerprint reader and a privacy shutter on the camera. And although the keyboard is pretty good for typing, it feels a bit cheap, especially when it comes to the characters.

Another thing we didn’t particularly like about the device is its base. The finish seems a bit rough and abrasive, which is not really pleasant to the touch. Of course, this is down to personal preference, but we doubt that many people will like it.

Nevertheless, we want to report that the battery life is not that stellar either. This may explain why ASUS hasn’t said a word about it on their official Web page. So, it might be because of its small 42Wh capacity, or due to poor optimization, but we got 6 hours and 46 minutes of Web browsing, and 3 minutes short of 5 hours of video playback. Of course, these screen-on times are not horrible, but keep in mind that this is an extremely light-use scenario. Add some spreadsheet calculations, and a quick Photoshop edit, and it will drain significantly faster.

At the end of the day, ASUS didn’t do a bad job with that laptop. They could have made it better, but generally, we feel that it matches the expectations set by the price. After all, something should be given up in order to make the device more affordable.

You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/asus-expertbook-b1-b1500/

Pros

  • Capable cooling
  • Privacy shutter + Fingerprint reader
  • Thunderbolt 4 + MicroSD card slot
  • No PWM (LM156LF-5L06 (NCP0046))
  • Abundance of ports
  • Decent upgrade options


Cons

  • Low-quality keyboard characters
  • Unimpressive battery life
  • 53% of sRGB coverage (LM156LF-5L06 (NCP0046))

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