Some companies keep you updated while others demand high performance and presentations on a daily basis. Having a reliable laptop as a portable workstation can mean the difference between a productive day and a lousy day. Of course, being lightweight and having a touch screen helps too. We chose that as our first choice because it is not only fast but also durable and business oriented.
With that in mind, we've rounded up the best business laptops for every type of person. Whether you're always on the go or in need of a powerful touchscreen, there's something for everyone on this list.
The best business laptops
The best business laptop: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 2
Why should you buy this: It is the most powerful 15-inch business-oriented notebook on the market.
Who is it for: Any business professional who needs speed, great support and durability.
What we thought of the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 2::
Few laptop lines are as iconic as the ThinkPad. If you spend most of your time in a conference room rather than a coffee house, then you are probably considering one of these laptops. The best is Lenovo's ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 2, a 15.6-inch laptop that has the best of mainstream components with the usual ThinkPad aesthetics, build quality, and support.
Before the X1 Extreme, the ThinkPad line relied on smaller laptops like the 14-inch ThinkPad X1 Carbon to hold its own against larger business-class models. However, the ThinkPad X1 Extreme changed that equation, while the second generation improved it. The current model from Lenovo upgrades the CPU to the ninth generation from Intel and offers options for a modest quad-core – the Core i5-9400 – up to a 9880H with eight cores. In combination with up to 64 GB of RAM and an optional Nvidia GTX 1650 Max-Q graphics chip, this laptop can hold its own in comparison to other mainstream laptops.
The X1 Extreme has the ThinkPad line’s MIL-STD-810G certification, which promises superior durability, a beautiful 4K high dynamic range (HDR) display and an OLED option. You'll also find up to a terabyte of PCIe SSD storage, business-oriented service and support, and security options like the ThinkShutter webcam screen. This is a laptop that is perfect for the most demanding business customers.
While the battery life of thesuffers from using the high-end configurations and the price is higher than we'd like. There are some fantastic sales if you buy one at the right time. So keep your eyes open.
The best workstation: HP ZBook Studio (2020)
Why should you buy this: It packs the power of a desktop workstation into a surprisingly portable package.
Who is it for: Anyone who needs massive number processing and visualization options on the go.
What we thought of the HP ZBook Studio::
Editing 4K video, designing buildings, or developing products using 3D modeling requires more processing and graphics power than a typical laptop. Chances are you have a workstation desktop in your office and need something almost as powerful for being on the go. This is where portable workstations come in, and the 15-inch HP ZBook Studio is one of the best.
It all starts with a selection of workstation-class components, including a six-core Intel i9-8950HK processor, Nvidia Quadro P1000, 32 GB of RAM and 1.5 TB of PCIe NVMe SSD storage. These are optimized for applications such as the Creative App Suite from Adobe, Revit, Navisworks, Enscape for architects and AutoCAD and Solidworks for engineers. HP also offers a 4K DreamColor display that's incredibly bright at 600 nits, with 100 percent Adobe RGB coverage and true 10-bit color.
Ports are ready for everything, too, including USB-A 3.0 and 3.1, Thunderbolt 3 / USB-C with DisplayPort support, and HDMI 2.0. All of this is packaged in a chassis that's relatively light at 4.4 pounds and thin at 0.74 inches. That's a lot of portable energy – if you can handle the price.
The best for street fighters: Dell XPS 13 (2020)
Why should you buy this: It's one of the smallest 13-inch laptops you can buy, and one of our most popular all-round laptops.
Who is it for: Anyone who needs the full power of a modern, weightless laptop.
What we thought of her Dell XPS 13 (2020)::
Dell's XPS 13 isn't exactly a business-class laptop, but Dell is no stranger to enterprise equipment. And if you're looking for the smallest, lightest laptop you can carry around without sacrificing too much performance or compatibility, the XPS 13 remains one of our top options.
The latest version for 2020 comes with the latest 11th generation Intel Core processors starting with the i3-1115G4 but with plenty of upgrade options, ideal if you want top performance. The RAM starts at 8 GB and the storage starts at a 256 GB PCIe NVMe SSD. All versions are equipped with a choice of Full HD or 4K displays. You will enjoy the superb design and build quality along with an excellent keyboard and touchpad.
The graphics capabilities of the base model are standard, but not really impressive with the integrated Intel UHD. Other models get a boost with Intel Iris Xe graphics, but it's still not the best choice when you need really powerful dedicated graphics power for design work. However, the XPS 13 remains the best 13-inch notebook we've seen overall, and Dell continues to improve it.
Read our full review of a slightly earlier XPS 13 2020 model here.
The best 2-in-1: HP Envy x360 (2020)
Why should you buy this: You get all the benefits of a business class laptop with the flexibility of a pen-enabled 2-in-1 device.
Who is it for: Anyone who wants to draw and take notes – and relax with a little Netflix by their side.
What we thought of the HP Envy x360 (2020)::
HP offers some of the best 360-degree 2-in-1 devices you can buy. This is a top choice when you need business features that a consumer convertible laptop cannot, such as: B. Improved safety and added durability.
The 2020 version of the Envy x360 remains one of the best options in this area. It has a spacious 15-inch FHD touchscreen, a convertible 360-degree design and ports such as USB-A 3.2, USB-C and HDMI (plus compatibility with Wi-Fi 6).
Inside you will find a Ryzen 5 4500U processor with six cores and integrated Radeon graphics, as well as 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB of PCIe NVMe SSD storage (both upgradeable). Ports include USB-C, USB-A, HDMI 2.0, and a multi-format SD media card reader.
Keep in mind that with that big screen and keypad with a number pad, carrying and converting this 2-in-1 is going to be a much bigger task than it would be with a smaller 13-inch laptop. However, the additional exhibition space is also suitable for sketching more detailed notes or drawings, so the size is also an advantage. Just make sure you have enough space!
The best budget laptop: Lenovo ThinkPad T490
Why should you buy this: It offers most of what you would expect from a ThinkPad, with the exception of the premium price.
Who is it for: Anyone on a budget who loves the design and operation of the ThinkPad.
What we thought of the Lenovo ThinkPad T490::
We prefer the ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 2 as the best business notebook overall. However, we have to acknowledge that it is a more expensive option. If your budget is around $ 1,000, don't give up hope: the ThinkPad T490 has most of what makes the X1 Extreme a great choice – but at a fraction of the price. It's developing a cheaper, more humble ThinkPad. Still, it offers many of our favorite ThinkPad family features.
The T490 is thinner and lighter than the previous T480 that we loved. It shows off a significantly sleeker design that goes well with the streamlined, modern laptop options at this price point. It's not a MacBook Pro or XPS 13, but ThinkPads aren't aiming to imitate the competition. Overall though, this is a business laptop that isn't that difficult to carry around.
Under the hood, you have options for eighth and tenth generation Intel CPUs. Both offer decent clock speeds and graphics for those in need of a little boost. The storage is fast (PCI Express) and there are options to scale up to 16GB of storage. The keyboard is amazing, even if the 1080p display is nothing special. There aren't many laptops that can compete with the T490's features for comfort and typing accuracy. Therefore, it is an excellent choice when you are writing a lot of documents or emails.
The Lenovo ThinkPad T490 has classic ThinkPad features like the red knobs for mouse control and a decent trackpad. A notable upgrade over previous models is the great battery life combined with a price point that makes this well-rounded laptop seem like a bargain.
You need a laptop that will increase your productivity, keep pace with your workflow, and have a budget that won't get you on the road. We found a few options in this guide and we would recommend all of the previous options to business owners and operators worldwide. If you're interested in one of these great laptops but can't afford it, then you can always wait for Black Friday laptop deals to get their own.