Our Techradar experts help you choose the right business laptop
The best business laptops combine cutting edge productivity features with slimline designs and long battery life that provides mobility and productivity – essential functions for the modern workplace.
Having the best business laptop that suits your needs is essential, and thanks to modern advancements in hardware, especially on the mobile side of things, business laptops are now thinner and lighter than ever before. This means you no longer have to sacrifice power for portability.
It also means that that when it comes to brilliant laptops for business, you’ve got no shortage of options when looking for the best business laptop.
However, to make buying your next business laptop as easy as possible, we’ve gathered together the very best business laptops currently on the market for this article.
While compiling this list of the best business laptops, we’ve taken into consideration a number of key factors including power, battery life, feature set and sheer value for money.
This means that we’ve selected a wider range of laptops to suit most if not all budgets and hopefully all tastes; there’s a mix of cutting-edge products and old favourites here.
Almost all of them come with the professional version of Microsoft Windows to enhance their business credentials.
1. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon
The ultra-thin business laptop that sacrifices nothing
Previous versions of the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon have been the absolute best-in-class when it comes to business laptops, and this year’s model is no exception, with Lenovo delivering a thinner and smaller design with practically no trade-offs. Despite its small size, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon comes with pretty much every feature you need in a productivity machine, making it the best business laptop money can buy. Thanks to a battery life of up to 15.5 hours, and a rapid charging feature that brings the battery back up to 80% capacity in only an hours, the X1 Carbon is an ultrabook that lets you keep on working while you’re on the move.
2. Dell XPS 13 Kaby Lake
A business ultraportable that punches above its weight
CPU: 2.5GHz Intel Core i5-7200U | Graphics: Intel HD620 | RAM: 8GB | Screen: 13.3-inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels | Storage: 256GB SSD
Believe it or not, Dell classifies the XPS 13 as a business laptop, albeit one that is geared towards a home office environment but businessmen (and women) will love the design. This ultraportable laptop – as Dell puts it – punches above its weight with Windows 10 Pro across the entire range as well as rather attractive pricing.
This award winning laptop (it won best laptop of the year from us and many others) manages to pack a 13.3-inch display into the chassis of an average 11.6-inch model.
The laptop can be upgraded to 16GB of RAM and a 1TB M2 SSD drive. Battery life is exceptional as well with almost 22 hours of continual use when using productivity applications.
3. Lenovo ThinkPad E470
Best if you’re looking for something portable with a decent keyboard
CPU: CoreTM i7 7500U 7th Gen Intel | Graphics: NVidia 940MX 2GB DDR3 | RAM: 8GB DDR4 | Screen: 14-inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels | Storage: 1TB SATA
Lenovo took an existing form factor and refined it to deliver the new 2016-2017 ThinkPad E470. Powered by the 7th generation Intel Core processors, this particular SKU has a 14-inch FHD anti-glare display, powered by a discrete Nvidia Geforce 940MX 2GB GPU.
Equipped with a spill resistant keyboard, a TrackPoint and a 3+2 buttons click pad, the E470 has more than enough ports and expansion capabilities to keep the average user happy. Shame that it doesn’t do DisplayPort, so no 4K output.
4. HP Spectre Pro 13 G1
A genuine altearnative to the XPS 13
CPU: Intel Core i7-7500 | Graphics: Intel HD 520 Graphics | RAM: 8GB | Screen: 13.3-inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels | Storage: 512GB SSD
HP was the only one of the three big laptop vendors who didn’t have a flagship thin-and-light laptop: Dell has the XPS 13 and Lenovo, the Yoga 900.
That is now no longer the case with the introduction of the HP Spectre Pro 13 G1. This is a device that not only oozes luxury with a combination of colours and a clever design but also one that packs some incredible components.
Despite being just over 10mm thick and weighing just over 1.16Kg, it manages to pack a proper Core i7 CPU with a full HD 13.3-inch display, a massive 4-cell 38Whr battery and three USB Type C connectors.
5. Apple MacBook Pro 15-inch 2016
A great performer with an excellent screen
CPU: 2.6GHz Intel Core i7 quad-core | Graphics: Radeon Pro 450 with 2GB RAM | RAM: 16GB | Screen: 15.4-inch, 2880 x 1800 pixels | Storage: 256GB SSD
Should a member of Apple’s award winning MacBook Pro family be included in a best business laptop shortlist? Certainly as it hits all the right notes especially as IBM has boosted Apple’s credentials as an enterprise player.
And Apple’s top of the range models are certainly not overly expensive compared to their Windows-based counterparts, especially if you buy them from trusted third-party websites.
The new generation introduces a Touch Bar and Touch ID functionality as well as a plethora of USB Type-C ports in lieu of more traditional ports.
6. Dell Latitude E5480
A solid performer backed by Dell’s quality aftersales
CPU: 2.8GHz Intel Core i5-7440H | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 630 | RAM: 8GB | Screen: 14-inch, 1920 x 1080 | Storage: 256GB SSD
Dell managed to deliver a magnificent piece of kit which it says is the most secure, most reliable and most manageable business-class laptop.
That Latitude 5480 does come at a hefty price though and compared to the competition, this notebook may feel underwhelming.
However, Dell’s forte lies in its services and aftersales. That particular model comes with a 7th generation Intel CPU, one that is an actual four-core CPU.
While it has a far higher TDP than most of its peers (45W vs 15W), it is likely to be more powerful than even a top of the range Core i7-7600U.