- Very business oriented laptop with 2-in-1 capability
- 5G SIM support is an absolute bliss in WiFi-less zones
- Privacy Shield works too good
- Trackpad could be a little better
- Getting the display to work at the right viewing angle with the Privacy Display can get challenging
Months ago, we had the opportunity to look at the ASUS ExpertBook B7 Flip and in fact, we did an initial impression of it, which you can read here. But that said, we did it to review the laptop sooner or later. Lucky for us, ASUS Malaysia sent us the laptop over for us to review. While we are not going to dive into the areas of what we covered in the first look, we are going to test the performance and how capable the laptop is in this review.
ASUS ExpertBook B7 Flip B7402F Review
Design and Build
To give a quick TL; DR about the ASUS ExpertBook B7 Flip, this laptop has the same design language as its other ExpertBook brethren in the blue-black iodine-like colorway. This laptop weighs 1.47kg and is constructed out of magnesium-aluminum alloy chassis.
On top of that, if you see the name – where it says “Flip”, it means that this laptop folds into a 2-in-1 whenever you want it to. The hinges are reminiscent of the ones we have seen with the Zenbook Flip a while ago. Whatever we said in our first look, pretty much stands still as it’s the same laptop.
The variant of ASUS ExpertBook B7 Flip we have at hand comes equipped with a 14” FHD+ Display in a 16:10 aspect ratio with more vertical space. You do notice an anti-glare coating on the display, which does help in situations where you want to use the laptop under harsh lighting conditions. Now unlike a traditional laptop display, the B7 Flip has one feature that sets it apart. That is the ASUS Private View. Honestly, this display took a while for me to get used to because with it turned off, the display has an odd blacked area, and you need to position it right to have the best viewing experience.
Turn the ASUS Private View on, and the display viewing angle gets restricted and users who look at the display head-on are the only ones who can see it. That means, only you can see it and others around you can’t take a peek. It’s nice to have a display that does this because whenever you go to a café and expect to have a bit of privacy, you do have a bunch of peeping toms looking at what you are doing. In those cases, or when I do work on some sensitive documents or credentials, it does help.
But I will tell you this much, this display exists in a niche realm. Despite it having a 500 nits brightness and feels like 250 or 300 nits is normal because you have the Private View filter. Secondly, it is an IPS display, and the colors are okay with 72% of NTSC coverage. I wouldn’t recommend watching shows whatsoever with this display as it does get challenging to get the right viewing angle. Get an external monitor like the ASUS ZenScreen maybe.
The touch aspect of this display does very well and the pen which is included inside the box snaps to the side of the laptop – although I’d recommend getting a separate pen holder. So, sign those documents away when you need to.
Specification and Performance
In terms of specification, the ASUS ExpertBook B7 Flip comes equipped with the following:
- Intel 12th Generation Core i7-1260P
- 32GB DDR5 4800MHz RAM
- 1TB PCIe NVMe Gen 4.0 SSD
Since this is a business laptop, the specification can be configured according to ones liking when placing an order with ASUS. It is also available with vPro which does use similar configuration as the non-vPro variant processor we have here. For this test, we used the following benchmarks to determine the performance and experience you are signing up for. This isn’t the first time we are trying this processor out and we have done it before. The 12th Generation 1260P is a capable and efficient processor for a thin and light laptop. Check out the benchmark below.
5G Ready and a Choice of SIM and eSIM
We have tried laptops with SIM in the past and it was one of the best experiences we have had on a Windows machine. The need to not rely on WiFi when you are on the move and have a data plan makes it miles better. It is a niche feature of course but the ASUS ExpertBook B7 Flip has an optional SIM slot (if you want one). The unit we used for this review, does come with one. It’s 5G ready too.
It does support eSIM but we are not too sure if telcos in Malaysia allow any device to work on their network. But we did throw our SIM inside, and it was an absolute pleasure to use the laptop without being able to rely on WiFi most of the time. Now it has cellular connectivity – the battery life does take a hit but it’s bound to happen.
I do like the fact that adding or swapping the SIM while the laptop is turned on, is possible. Previously Windows had serious issues where one can’t add a SIM to connect to a network when the laptop is turned on. At the time of testing, we had LTE SIM and our provider has not made the jump to 5G. But despite the speed improvement, Malaysia’s infrastructure is lacking in the 5G area – so until that improves, it’s better to stick with 4G.
The keyboard is Nice but Trackpad could be Better
With the ExpertBook B7 Flip, you get a proper full-size chiclet-style keyboard with 1.5mm key travel which is nice to type on, and with the backlight, you can use it in the dark as well. The keyboard does share many traits with the B9 we reviewed a while ago. Most of the keyboards are not too different from each other.
The area where I am a little disappointed is the trackpad. ASUS has a track record of including a trackpad that’s as big as I can remember. Unfortunately, the trackpad, while it does work well with the B7 Flip, it is a little underwhelming. I was constantly hitting the blank space at the bottom thinking that it was a trackpad many times. While it may seem like me nitpicking, at least ergonomically, I wish the trackpad was positioned in the right area.
Nice Selection of Ports
When it comes to ports on the ASUS ExpertBook B7 Flip, there’s nothing to worry about as it has everything you need.
- 2x USB-C Thunderbolt 4
- 2x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Ports
- Micro HDMI to RJ 45
- Mini DP and HDMI 2.0
- Audio Combo Jack
- Smart Card Reader
There’s something funny about this laptop’s astute card reader. It looks super discreet that one would mistake it for thermal vents. It also has other connectivity like NFC for management related and so on. Maybe when Google Play is available, you could download TnG eWallet and top up that Enhanced card too?
The ASUS ExpertBook B7 Flip is without a doubt, a capable business-oriented 2-in-1 laptop that has the set of features an SME or Enterprise would opt in for. But my concern is, how does this laptop cope with all the enterprise software loaded and in a critical environment?
An interesting idea to look into and we will. But as a barebone laptop sans all of that, obviously it’s alright. For me, the winning recipe for this laptop would be the inclusion of a SIM slot, which at some point, I do wish that I get to see in other ExpertBook. Specifically in my favorite Expertbook B9.