Taiwanese brand Asus is popular amidst the gaming-laptop category thanks to its ROG lineup. However, commercial laptops more suited to the business and enterprise environment isn’t exactly space where the brand shines. However, that is expected to change with the Asus ExpertBook series, a line of commercial laptops that emphasize on being thin and light and come packed with a handful of features that would appeal to the modern office-going scenario. Let’s dive into the details and see if you should put your money on the Asus ExpertBook P2 that we have for review today.
The Asus ExpertBook P2 is extremely thin, light, and compact in every way. It is easy to pick up and move around with just one hand and is just compact enough to fit into most bags. If the company’s claims of a Military-grade build don’t sound too convincing to you, holding this laptop in your hand definitely will it feels rock-solid from webcam to the touchpad and elsewhere. The brand even claims that the ExpertBook P2 can survive extreme conditions of temperature, altitude, and humidity.
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However, while the build quality is great, it is the sheer size and portability factor of this laptop that really hits home. Granted, the portability isn’t the greatest use-case right now amidst a pandemic when most of us are confined to our homes. However, once work as usual begins, having this with you in the office means easy mobility all day long. The 19.9mm thin design and the 1.6kg weight make this a joy in the hands, not a burden.
The Asus ExpertBook P2 features a 14-inch display with the brand’s signature NanoEdge display, which allows it to be fit into a 13-inch chassis. The 1920×1080 pixel display is pretty vivid and has great viewing angles. This comes in handy when you make the most out of the 180-degree hinge on the screen and put down the ExpertBook P2 flat to share content with your teammates. Visibility under direct sunlight is also good with the peak brightness working well with the anti-reflective finish.
The ExpertBook P2 series is powered by the Intel Core i7 10510U processor. Couple that with 8GB DDR4 RAM and a 512GB SSD drive and you have yourself a pretty snappy performer. Two customizable DIMM slots let you take the RAM up to a maximum of 32GB and the SSD storage to up to 1TB. For graphical processing, the laptop features the Nvidia GeForce MX110 graphic card.
Asus has also added an HD webcam that supports 720p resolution. The camera quality is not bad but we felt it could do better, and feature lesser grainy outputs during video calls. However, there is a webcam shield that is just one of those features that every laptop should have. A simple switch mechanism lets you control when your webcam is on or off. There is the keyboard toggle as well, but nothing gives you more peace of mind than having an opaque barrier between the sensor and you.
While the laptop can handle intense processing tasks, you’d find better options for graphically taxing activities like gaming. You can game on this laptop, but you wouldn’t want to. The screen is compact and so is the keyboard. The Nvidia GPU onboard isn’t one of the most powerful ones out there either. Check out the PCMark and 3DMark benchmarks above for more relevance.
The Asus ExpertBook P2 comes with Windows 10 Pro pre-installed which is great. If you’re getting this machine for corporate purposes, you’d want those ‘Pro’ features that let you push it to its limits. The deal could have been further sweetened had Asus also bundled in a Microsoft Office package, but you do get the My Asus program if that’s your thing. It lets you pair your phone to the laptop, syncing everything including calls and texts.
The Asus ExpertBook P2 features support for Bluetooth 5.0 and Wi-Fi 6. There were no connectivity issues and Wi-Fi worked great. On the sides of the machine, we find a MicroSD card reader, a USB 2.0 port, two USB 3.2 Gen1 Type-A ports, one USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 port which can also charge the laptop. This port also supports fast charging, fast data transfers, and even third-part displays that you may plugin. There is also the HDMI port and a VGA port along with a headphone port and an RJ-45/Ethernet port.
Let’s face it, no matter what kind of laptop you’re looking for, the keyboard is one of the most important aspects. We believe the Asus ExpertBook shines here. The keyboard despite being compact somehow manages to feel spacious for a laptop that is this compact. Key travel is also great and makes for satisfying feedback when typing, something that really matters while writing that long report at work. Throw in some protection against accidental spills, a three-level backlighting mechanism and you’ve got a great keyboard.
One thing we disliked was the size and placement of the pointing nub between the ‘G’, ‘H’ and ‘B’ keys. We like the inclusion of a pointing nub. The ability to use it as your mouse with a pair of gloves on really could prove crucial during these COVID-hit times. However, we’d have liked it better had Asus moved the position somewhere else or altered the size. During our early days with the keyboard, we often accidentally hit the nub instead of the keys. Fortunately, however, you can toggle between keeping the trackpad, pointing nub, or both on by pressing the F6 key. This isn’t a deal-breaker though, and we must say we got used to the placement pretty quickly. It’s nitpicking but it’s the only flaw we found in this otherwise great keyboard setup.
Coming to the trackpad, we were equally satisfied. The trackpad seems adequately sized for this machine and is responsive and reliable. For clicks, the lower left and right portions of the trackpad can act as your left-click and right-click buttons. However, there’s also a pair of dedicated buttons on the top edge of the trackpad, which naturally falls into place when you use the pointing nub as your primary navigating tool. Neat! There is also a rounded-square-shaped fingerprint reader right next to the trackpad that is accurate, very fast, and most importantly, super handy.
Meeting modern standards, which will definitely appeal to the kind of enterprise group this machine is targeting, the Asus ExpertBook P2 comes with phenomenal battery life. While we did not hit the company claimed 13-hour mark during our time with the machine, we did get pretty close a few times. Charging times were pretty quick too. It is noteworthy that during this time we stuck to the ExpertBook P2 as our primary tool for both work and play.
Asus ExpertBook P2: Verdict
While we received a higher-end variant, most of this review holds true for the base variants of the Asus ExpertBook P2 which start (as of writing this review) at Rs 62,990. For that price, the ExpertBook P2 is a total win if you fall under its target ‘enterprise’ audience. Don’t get us wrong, this is no doubt a great machine for personal use as well. That also holds true for the more expensive higher-end models. If you like the hardware and design on offer but the P2 is out of your budget, you could also consider looking at the slightly toned down ExpertBook P1 series.