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The ASUS ExpertBook B6 Flip is a workhorse with cool factor

ASUS' latest is a hybrid built for the high-end of the market.

ASUS Expertbook B6 Flip
ASUS Expertbook B6 Flip
3.3 out of 5 stars
3.25
Display
16-inch, WQXGA, Anti-glare, 120Hz
Processor
Intel Core i7-12850HX
RAM
Up to 128GB
Storage
Up to 4TB SSD
Fergus Halliday
Mar 08, 2023
Icon Time To Read11 min read

ASUS' ExpertBook range has never had the kind of profile or any of the prestige attached to the more well-known Zenbook or Republic of Gamers sub-brands. Don't let that lack of limelight fool you though. The productivity-slanted range has quietly come into its own in recent years. All the same, there's a distinction to be drawn here between being built better and being built for anyone but an enterprise audience.

For more everyday consumers, the price paid in terms of practicality is going to make this one a hard sell. Should you fall into the business class buyers that ASUS' latest mobile workstation is surely targeting instead, then the ExpertBook B6 Flip more than makes up for it in pixels, performance and thrill-free functionality.

Quick verdict: ASUS ExpertBook B6 Flip

The ASUS ExpertBook B6 Flip combines high-performance specs with impressive cooling tech. It's not much to look at, but the larger screen comes with more than a few big drawbacks.

pro
Pros
pro Powerful performance
pro Impressively quiet
pro Extra ports!
con
Cons
con Poor battery life
con Bulky size
con Uber expensive
ASUS ExpertBook B6 Flip

How much does ASUS ExpertBook B6 Flip cost in Australia?

Business-grade hardware with a big price-tag

In Australia, the version of the ASUS ExpertBook B6 Flip that we reviewed has a recommended retail price of $4,699.

That's pretty pricey, even compared to other premium laptops. If you're looking to shore up your setup on a budget, this one might be a little bit of a stretch. It's not as wallet-smashing as the ASUS Zenbook 17 FOLD OLED, but it's more or less in line with the handful of other laptops out there rocking the Intel Core i7-12850HX processor. The ExpertBook B6 Flip is slightly cheaper than the Lenovo ThinkPad P1 but a little more expensive (and easier to get your hands on) than the HP Zbook Fury 16.

Still, if you're heart is set on this machine, you might want to save a few bucks by going with the right retailer. Check out the table below for a round-up of Australian pricing for the ASUS ExpertBook B6 Flip.

Store
Price
More info
Mwave (i7)
From
$4526
Mwave (i9)
From
$5499

Before you make a decision, be sure to read our recommendation for the specs.

ASUS ExpertBook B6 Flip - Design and features

Worth its weight in flexibility

When it comes to its chops as a portable PC, the ExpertBook B6 Flip has more in common with heavy-duty gaming hardware than it does with lightweight laptops like the Dell XPS 13.

Wrapped in a mottled mix of plastic and metal, ASUS' latest mobile workstation isn't really trying to impress or innovate when it comes to design. It looks like it's here to get the job done, rather than look good. To put it bluntly, the ExpertBook B6 Mobile looks more like the kind of laptop you'd see in a boardroom or office cubicle rather than a trendy cafe.

Despite the dour palette that's largely responsible for this pigeon-holing, the matte finish on the ExpertBook B6 Flip keeps things easy on the eyes. Meanwhile, the interior surface makes for a reasonably cozy wrist rest during use. 

One detail worth noting here is that the larger trackpad offered by the machine is oriented towards the leftmost edge of the machine. This quirk may give right-handed users a little more room to work with but it'll have the opposite effect for any potential lefties lured in by the promises that the ExpertBook B6 Flip makes when it comes to portable performance.

The 16-inch screen on the ExpertBook B6 Flip is one of its biggest selling points, and this display comes complemented by the usual bevy of bells and whistles. Unfortunately, the appeal of these inclusions (including a 16:10 aspect ratio and 120Hz refresh rate) ends up feeling a little undercut by the sheer chunkiness of the bezels involved.

As the name might suggest, the ExpertBook B6 Flip can also transform in a pinch. The hinge that runs along the spine of the laptop allows for it to be used in a number of different configurations. The caveat here is that the bigger form-factor here is bulky enough that using the ExpertBook B6 Flip as you would a tablet feels impractical outside of short bursts and very specific situations.

Still, if your problem with other incarnations of Tent Mode was that the device involved didn't come with enough ports or 100% coverage of the DCI-P3 colour gamut then this will meet those needs.

The sides of the ExpertBook B6 Flip are adorned with significantly more inputs and outputs than most mainstream laptops nowadays. You get a pair of USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A ports, a pair of Thunderbolt 4 ports plus a HDMI (2.0b) port, a combo audio slot and an RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet jack. There's even a Smart Card reader, which isn't something you see all that often outside of notebooks that means the kind of business that this one does.

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Colour gamut
Why does the colour on my laptop screen matter?

If you’re shopping for a laptop in 2022, you’ll probably run into marketing that refers to the color accuracy or gamut offered by this or that display. Some examples of common color gamuts include NTSC, sRGB, DCI-P3, Adobe RGB. 

For creative professionals, a color gamut is essentially like a palette that a display can draw upon. The larger the gamut, the more colors it has. Some gamuts give you more greens to work with, while others have less. The ability of a given display to accurately render color from any specific gamut is measured as a percentage, affording professional users a quick and easy way to tell whether a given piece of hardware will be able to meet their needs. 

If you don’t already know what a color gamut is, it probably shouldn’t affect your choice in laptop.

The ExpertBook B6 Flip stops just short of being a desktop replacement but, given the asking price and larger size, the line between the two is as blurry as these things come.

The keys on the laptop have a chunky amount of press that's comparable to that of a proper desktop setup, the amount of pixels you have to work with feels well suited towards multi-tasking and the sheer size of the piece eats away at any potential portability.

On the other hand, if what you're looking for in a laptop is something that's got business-grade looks and specs then this is going to be a pretty good fit. It's not cheap, but it will be able to get the job done.

What's more, it might be able to do it at a lower volume than other laptops with the kind of GPU and CPU grunt found here. While the generously-proportioned screen is the first thing that you're likely to notice about the ExpertBook B6 Flip, the cooling system might be its biggest asset. On paper, at least.

Other notable features here include a 1080p webcam with a physical privacy shutter, Dolby Atmos speakers, stylus support and built-in noise-cancelling microphones.

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Upgrades
Bullhorn
What can be upgraded?

Processor: As mentioned above, the ExpertBook B6 Flip comes in two CPU variants. Those who want the best performance are looking at the i9-12950HX. Those who want to save a few bucks will probably be suited just fine by the Core i7-12850HX. 

Storage: The standard ExpertBook B6 Flip comes with 500GB of SSD storage. This can be upgraded to 1TB through ASUS, and up to 4TB if you know what you're doing.

Memory: The baseline model comes equipped with 8GB of DDR5 RAM. ASUS also sell a model that comes with 32GB at a higher price. As with storage, those who know how to swap out the RAM inside their laptop should be able to go up to 128GB of DDR5 RAM.

You can chuck the ExpertBook B6 Flip in a suitcase and carry it with you, but you're rarely going to forget or overlook the 2.7kgs that it adds to your carry-on.

ASUS says they've squeezed a total of 98 blade fans inside the ExpertBook B6 Flip, with these blades using a curved design that increases both airflow and power efficiency. This commitment to smarter thermals also extends to the heat pipes inside the machine, which incorporate a set of sensors that monitor and adjust the settings on those fans accordingly.

How does this translate into standard usage?  ASUS reckons that the ExpertBook B6 Flip puts out less than 40 dBA of noise during regular use, and that estimate definitely lined up with my time with the machine. I found that ExpertBook B6 Flip was quiet during lighter usage and genuinely quieter when it came to more intensive tasks.

Given the size and specs here, this practical commitment to making a quiet but still-quite-powerful laptop sets the ExpertBook B6 Flip apart from a lot of similar and other performance-oriented machines.

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Included accessories
What's in the box?

If you buy a brand new version of this laptop, the box will include the following:

  • ASUS ExpertBook B6 Flip
  • AC-charger and power brick

ASUS ExpertBook B6 Flip - Performance and battery life

High-end hybrid work machine
ExpertBook B6 Flip

With a price that's even harder to overlook than the chunky form factor, you'd hope the performance offered by the ASUS ExpertBook B6 Flip would be among the best in its class. Thankfully, it is.

Under the hood, the ExpertBook B6 Flip comes kitted out with either an Intel Core i7-12850HX or Intel Core i9-12950HX processor, up to 128GB GB of RAM, up to 4TB storage and 90Whr battery. Our review sample had the Core-i7 processor, 32GB of DDR5 RAM and just 500GB of SSD storage.

Despite that relatively modest loadout, we came away impressed with how ASUS' latest mobile workstation fared in action. Thrown into our usual gauntlet of benchmarks, the ExpertBook B6 Flip delivered exactly the kind of high scores you'd expect. As far as Novabench and Cinebench are concerned, it came away with some of the highest scores we've seen in a laptop over the last twelve months.

As always though, there are some caveats to play with. For instance, I wouldn't say that it massively outperformed the Zenbook 16X Pro given the relatively close price points of our review sample and that machine. When you consider that the Zenbook 16X Pro has a more modest 16GB of RAM and an Intel Core i7-12700H inside it, not to mention a nicer design and an OLED screen, the margin that separates the two machines feels a little too close for comfort.

Still, it's hard to complain too much. Even if the ExpertBook B6 Flip is likely to lag behind when compared to Intel's latest 13th Gen i9 silicon, it still rates pretty high against the vast majority of laptops out there.

Rendering a 1080p test asset in Blender using the machine took 15 minutes and 5 seconds. For comparison, the same process took 1 hour and 29 minutes using the M1 MacBook Air. That's a lot of saved time.

We'd rank the performance here as Extreme, with a caveat that the NVIDIA RTX A2000 GPU here is geared towards professional graphics work rather than gaming.

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Processor rankings
How do we rank processors?

Essential processors should be able to handle the basics: email, social media and some light web browsing. Gaming or more advanced tasks like image and video editing are likely off the table. 

Everyday processors should be able to confidently meet basic performance requirements for most people. Email, social media and web browsing shouldn’t be a hassle, and while they aren’t able to handle graphically-demanding AAA releases, they should be able to run some indie or casual games. 

Enthusiast processors should be able to easily exceed the minimum requirements of most users and be powerful enough to handle some AAA gaming, though not at the highest fidelity.

Extreme processors should be able to do anything you can think of. Games should run at high frame rates on the highest possible settings, and multitasking shouldn’t be limited in any significant way.

As for the battery performance of the ExpertBook B6 Flip goes, we have some notes.

Power consumption varied based on the form factor we used the most, but it was rarely all that impressive. It was a real struggle to stretch things out across a day of regular usage.

The ExpertBook B6 Flip can easily chew through around 20% of a full charge within half an hour. As soon as we threw anything that required the cooling system to activate the battery tracker that sits in the corner of the Windows taskbar began to tick down faster and faster. Even getting to three hours of use without a power source might be a bit of an ask.

Drained from 100% to 0% using video streaming over WiFi, the ExpertBook B6 Flip lasted 5 hours and 5 minutes. Even if that's a little better than what we got actually using the ExpertBook B6 Flip, that's still a pretty poor result. It's better than the bulky gaming laptops of yesterday but a ill match for productivity-oriented contemporaries like the current MacBook Air.

Battery size
Light Bulb
Laptop batteries: why size isn't everything

Laptop batteries are typically measured in watt-hours (Whr), this unit measures how much power is expended per hour. The more Whr a laptop battery has, the longer the battery life is on paper. However, raw size isn’t everything. It’s not uncommon to find two laptops with the same amount of Whr and very different battery life. There are plenty of other factors that can affect battery life, from software optimisation to how the display has been calibrated. 

It’s also worth noting that batteries can only go so big. Most airlines won’t allow you to take any device with a battery larger than 100Whr onboard, so most manufacturers treat that as an unofficial size limit.

ExpertBook B6 versus ThinkPad P1

Which is the better mobile workstation?

If you're sold on the ExpertBook's excessive performance and thrill-free design, it might be worth taking a look at Lenovo's ThinkPad P1.

The fifth-generation version of this particular laptop comes with specs that sit just below what the ExpertBook B6 Flip brings to bear, but is a little easier to carry around. It weighs in at almost a kg lighter than ASUS' equivalent, but the ThinkPad P1 is still pretty powerful, thanks to an Intel Core i7-12700H processor and up to an NVIDIA RTX A4500 GPU. Higher specs are also available, though the price does increase pretty substantially if that's the way you want to go.

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Pre-installed software
What software is installed by default?

There are few things more annoying than buying a brand new laptop and discovering it has a bunch of annoying bloatware installed out of the box. Here's what the software situation for the ASUS ExpertBook B6 Flip looks like once you've set it up for the first time.

  • AI ClearVoice Speaker
  • Dolby Access

Is the ASUS ExpertBook B6 Flip worth buying?

How much do you value the cool-factor?
ExpertBook B6 Flip

The ASUS ExpertBook B6 Flip is an impressively powerful piece of mobile computing hardware, combing slicks specs with impressive cooling tech. It's not much to look at, but the functionality-focused tilt has its charms.

Unfortunately, those wins end up weighed down by more than just the steep price. The limited battery life and bulk involved make this a tough laptop to take with you on a day-to-day basis.

If you've got the means and needs that necessitate investing in a workhorse like the ExpertBook B6 Flip you probably won't come away disappointed with what it can do, you just might end up a little bitter about the sacrifices needed to make those ends meet.

What spec should I buy?

One size fits all

At the time of writing, there are a number of spec configurations available for the ASUS ExpertBook B6 Flip in Australia. The table below compares the base spec and the most expensive one.

Minimum Spec
Recommended Spec
Display16.-inch, 120Hz, WQXGA16.-inch, 120Hz, WQXGA
ProcessorIntel Core i7-12850HXIntel Core i9-12950HX
RAM8GB DDR532GB DDR5
Storage512GB SSD1TB SSD
RRP$4,699$5,399

How does ASUS ExpertBook B6 Flip compare?

Product
Availability
Display size
Resolution
Weight
Rating
14-inches2880 x 18001.44kg
3.5 out of 5 stars
3.5
13.8-inches2304 x 15361.34kg
4 out of 5 stars
4
14-inches3072x19201.59kg
4.3 out of 5 stars
4.25
16-inches2560x16002.5kg
3.5 out of 5 stars
3.5
13.6-inches 2,560 x 1,6641.49kg
4 out of 5 stars
4

How we review laptops

Whether you're looking at a mainstream computer brand like Dell or a dedicated gaming brand like MSI, there's an immense number of decisions you'll need to make when purchasing a laptop. If you're not sure where to start, here are a few important features to consider when shopping for your next laptop:

  • Screen size and type: Unlike upgradeable components like your GPU, RAM and storage, you're stuck with the display you buy when you purchase a laptop. Is it a comfortable size? Does it offer a wide-viewing angle?
  • Resolution: Similarly, you can't change your display's resolution after the fact. 1080p (Full HD) is the bare minimum these days and most laptops worth their price tag aim for 1440p at least (QHD or QuadHD) but you can also opt for 4K if you're willing to spend a little extra.
  • Refresh rate: A screen's refresh rate is the measurement of how frequently it changes. If you play fast-paced multiplayer games like Call of Duty, you know that the difference a few milliseconds that a high refresh rate gets you can count for a lot. The higher the refresh rate, the better. Most conventional laptops offer 60Hz to 90Hz but fancier gaming laptops can offer 144Hz, 165Hz or even 240Hz screens.
  • Ports and connections: Like your screen, ports will impact your everyday experience with a laptop, particularly if you use it for work. While you can work around this with USB hubs and adapters, a laptop with fewer ports than you need can quickly become a headache.
  • Future-proofing: There are no hard and fast rules here but as a general suggestion, you'll want to sure you're laptop has the legs to survive a few years of technology improvements in any way you can. You can overshoot on your desired specs, spending more on a machine that's more powerful than you currently need, or opt for a model or brand that has support for upgrades down the track. Check which features of the machine are upgradeable. The Dell XPS 15, for example, supports additional RAM, while Apple MacBooks do not.

Check out our dedicated laptop buying guide for more suggestions on shopping for the best laptop for your needs.

ASUS ExpertBook B6 Flip FAQ

Here are the most frequently asked questions about the ASUS Zenbook Fold 17 OLED

16GB is a good place to start when it comes to RAM, but it's not necessarily going to be the end of the road if your needs are more demanding. It's enough to get by, but it might not be enough for the future or for more performance-oriented users.

If your next laptop doesn't support upgrading your RAM later down the line, it's usually smart to overshoot and aim for 32GB of RAM instead.

Not all RAM is born equal. Size isn't everything. Speed also matters.

If you're looking to find out just how fast the RAM in your laptop is, the quickest way to do so is to identify the type of memory and then Google the standard expected speeds that it should offer. For example, LPDDR5 offers speeds of up to 6400Mbps while DDR4 memory can only rev up to 3200Mbps.

If you want to go one step further and determine whether the RAM in your laptop is delivering the speeds it should be capable of offering, then it might be worth putting the hardware to the test with a benchmarking tool like Novabench.

It's easy to spend too much or too little on your next laptop, but our take is that the best value laptops tend to sit between $1600 and $2200 in terms of price. PCs that occupy this price-point might not be able to outperform more expensive alternatives, but the bump up in quality over cheaper ones is well worth the cost involved.

Simply put, laptops of this price segment tend to sidestep all the compromises of going cheaper while getting most of the performance you'll get from spending more.

These days, there are three types of Intel Core processors found in laptops. The first is the humble Intel Core i5 processor, then there's the middle-of-the-range Intel Core i7 and the poweruser-oriented Intel Core i9.

If you're going purely by the numbers, the Intel Core i9 is going to provide the best results. However, it's also the most demanding in terms of thermal management. A laptop running an Intel Core i9 processor will be faster than one with an Intel Core i7 or Core i5, but it'll also run hotter.

If you're an everyday or more casual user, an Intel Core i5 is probably going to be fast enough for you. If you're more discerning or planning to play a lot of games, then the up-sell to an Intel Core i7 probably makes sense.

While there's no single component responsible when it comes to laptop speed, the part that usually takes the credit is the processor. If you want your next laptop to be a fast one, you'll want to make sure it has a good processor in it.

As with desktop PCs, the processor is only part of the picture however. If your laptop lacks enough RAM or relies on a slower hard drive for file storage, that'll act as a bottleneck on the performance of the machine as a whole.

Fergus Halliday
Written by
Fergus Halliday is a journalist and editor for Reviews.org. He’s written about technology, telecommunications, gaming and more for over a decade. He got his start writing in high school and began his full-time career as the Editor of PC World Australia. Fergus has made the MCV 30 Under 30 list, been a finalist for seven categories at the IT Journalism Awards and won Most Controversial Writer at the 2022 Consensus Awards. He has been published in Gizmodo, Kotaku, GamesHub, Press Start, Screen Rant, Superjump, Nestegg and more.

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