The 10 Best Business Laptops
This wiki has been updated 11 times since it was first published in January of 2020. Designed for sustained high-intensity use, business laptops need to have top-spec performance. Portability and battery life are essential for travelers, while a good set of ports is useful for presentations. Unlike many consumer laptops, most business machines are easy to crack open for maintenance and upgrades. Our list covers a variety of options, from budget 2-in-1s to sleek flagship models. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
October 01, 2020:
The term "business laptop" applies to a wide range of machines, but a few characteristics separate notebooks built for professionals from those aimed at consumers. The first is ports. While modern ultrabooks have pared connections down to a minimum, business laptops need to work with conference-room projectors and a multitude of USB devices, often simultaneously. Most business laptops include multiple USB-A connections and an HDMI port, and some (like the Lenovo ThinkPad L14) add extras like SD card readers and Ethernet ports.
The second advantage of a business laptop is hardware access. Many consumer laptops are difficult to open for repair, with the battery and memory glued or soldered in. In an effort to appease IT departments, business machines can usually be opened with nothing more than a Phillips-head screwdriver. SSD storage and batteries are easy to swap out, and RAM is often user upgradable. For this reason, the category is dominated by Windows laptops. The Apple MacBook Pro 16 is a good choice for buyers who prefer macOS, but we suggest choosing specs carefully, because upgrading won't be a possibility.
For frequent travelers, portability and a long battery life will be strong priorities. 2-in-1 designs like the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 or Lenovo Yoga C940 are light and versatile, but include fewer ports than most others. The Asus ExpertBook 9450 leads the pack for battery life and weighs less than two pounds, but still includes an HDMI port. For travelers who hate small screens, the LG Gram is remarkably portable for a 17-inch laptop.
As is true for all laptops, it's worth matching performance specs to your needs. For resource-intensive processes or keeping many applications and tabs open, look for a laptop like the Dell XPS 15 with a powerful Intel or AMD processor. If rendering, modeling, or video editing is a part of your workflow, you'll want a dedicated graphics card that can handle the load. For their virtues, business laptops command a premium over mainstream models. If you don't need the performance, ports, or access, you may be better served by an ultrabook or budget laptop. Our favorite business laptops are the ones that combine all of these strengths in a light, attractive package, like the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon.
Dell Latitude 7220 Rugged Extreme If your business involves working outside, fragile machinery can be an expensive liability. This tablet from Dell is drop tested, temperature tested, and IP-65 rated for use in harsh environments. dell.com
HP ZBook For demanding creative or scientific work, HP's line of ZBook workstations offers heavyweight performance for a premium price. With up to 128 gigabytes of RAM and the option for Nvidia Quadro RTX 5000 graphics, the collection includes a wide range of notebooks and 2-in-1s for power users. hp.com