Asus Business sharpens its range of business laptops

Focus on the range of Asus laptops intended for businesses. With its Asus Business unit, the Taiwanese manufacturer, which designs and assembles its products, intends to enter the Top 4 of PC vendors.

In late 2019, Asus changed the name of its business division, renamed Asus Business, highlighting a new logo. The device was called Asus Pro since 2014 and the introduction of several products aimed at companies (desktop PCs, laptops, but also monitors and network equipment). Positioned in the premium category, Zenbooks – actually launched in 2011 – were intended for VSEs as part of a classic office automation offering, with a gradual shift towards SMEs-SMIs from 2017, accompanied by an expansion of the range of laptops’ is. And in 2019, the Taiwanese manufacturer decided to tackle the middle market (ETIs, even large accounts), explained Benjamin Colin, BtoB director at Asus Business France, during an interview. Asus’ stated ambition is to enter the Top 4 PC suppliers. According to IDC, it is now in fifth place after Lenovo, HP, Dell and Apple, just ahead of its compatriot Acer.

Buoyed by the success of their ARM-based Mac M1s, Apple is now ahead of Asus and Acer in the PC market in Q3 2021.

To support the development of this activity, Asus Business started hiring, from 2 employees in 2006 to 22 people today, to animate the commercial activity and follow the wishes of the partners. These have also evolved to expand the historical “prosumer” base (LDLC, Fnac Pro and Amazon Business). For support, Asus France provides part of it, especially the hotline, but also collaborates with Natis on maintenance with on-site intervention if necessary. ExpertBook models have a 5-year D+1 warranty. Other support solutions are also offered with the supplier’s business partners, because the model here is 100% indirect.

Serious models based on Intel or AMD

Asus’ pro range consists of several models with the entry-level Experbook B1 in 14 and 15 inches (with 11th generation Intel Core) with prices from 499 to 899 euros excluding taxes. Benjamin Colin highlights the simplicity of accessing the various components of these machines to replace the SSD or dust off the fan blades. At the end of the year, Asus will introduce the Expertbook B3 family: a convertible with a 14-inch screen. Just above, the B5, an all-terrain laptop, is available with 13.3-inch, 14-inch, and 15-inch panels. As a result of the evolution observed in the practice of users during the pandemic, B5 welcomes keys dedicated to the more frequent use of Zoom, Teams and other Meet. They allow you to turn off the microphone and camera or activate the noise reduction. A camera cover is also automatically provided to block the front video sensor. And as on some audio headsets such as the Jabra Evolve2 E85, an LED (orange) lights up to indicate that the user is in conversation. For prices, Asus announces prices starting at 1000 euros excluding taxes. Finally, at the top of the range, the supplier places the Expertbook B9, which we tested last September. If the B9 is a featherweight (900 grams), on the price side it is a heavyweight. Count a little less than €1,700 HT to take advantage of this ultraportable. A latest model should soon complete this series with the integration of a 5G modem: Expertbook B7, expected at the end of the year.

Of the convertible type, the Expertbook B7 has an optional 5G modem. (Credit Asus)

At the end of the year, these PCs will be offered with Windows, but as Benjamin Colin told us, “companies are only just finishing the transition to Windows 10. There is an unexpected effect today for PC updates, but the real transition to Windows 11 will start in 2022 for business PCs”. However, the transition will be smooth in enterprises, since Windows 10 and 11 share the same drivers. Asked about the lack of components, the head of Asus reminds that the year 2020 was excited, but that normalization is expected to return in 2022. “What is blocking today is logistics”.

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