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Updated October 2022
Best Business Laptop Review by BestReviews
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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HOW WE TESTED

We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

30
Models
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65
Consumers
Consulted
10
Hours
Researched
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Buying guide for best business laptops

To find the best business laptop for your work needs, you must first consider a handful of factors. Which business laptop has the best operating system for your needs? What is your ideal laptop storage size and type? Furthermore, the form factor, screen resolution, and security features can make the difference between a good business laptop and a great business laptop.

If you are someone who works on the go or travels frequently, a compact and lightweight business laptop with reliable battery life is crucial. If your laptop will mostly be staying in one spot, you may be able to sacrifice convenience for power and performance. What’s more, although storage has never been more affordable, you will still have to decide how much space you need and whether the speed of a solid-state drive is worth the additional cost.

Touchscreen laptop on table
Two-in-one models can be used as a laptop or tablet, allowing you to quickly and easily change modes to give your mouse hand a break or present a slideshow or document on your screen.

Consider these features to find the best business laptop

Whether your new business laptop will serve as your communication hub, your primary design tool, or a combination thereof, it will be the center of your work and should be suited to your needs and built to last and perform. Here are some key factors to understand before making this big purchase.

Operating system

You probably already have a preferred operating system, particularly if you use specific programs for your job. If you work in an office, you might be required to use a specific operating system. However, you should still have an idea of what each operating system currently has to offer.

Windows 10 or 11: These are the two most recent versions of Microsoft’s classic software. Windows is also one of the most popular operating systems currently available due to its ease of use and many programs. Pay attention to which software is offered as part of the package in your new laptop.

OS X: This operating system is found in current generation Apple laptops. The latest version is macOS Monterey. Though many of the same applications found on Windows 10 and 11 are available for this Mac OS, owning and operating an Apple computer in an all-Windows office can lead to frustration when transferring files between computers and workers.

Linux: Although it doesn’t come with most laptops out of the box, Linux is free, and this open-source software can be customized to suit your needs. It’s straightforward to use, but you might need to do a bit of light programming to tweak settings from time to time.

Chrome OS: This is a good option for those who regularly use Google’s G Suite and don’t need a computer with a lot of power. Chromebooks act primarily as browsing machines, though some newer models are also able to download apps from the Google Play store. Chrome OS is generally found in more affordable laptops and is straightforward to use, even for first-timers.

a woman using a laptop
DID YOU KNOW?
Different programs are available on different operating systems, and while you may already have an operating system you like, it’s worth taking a look at the features offered by the latest Windows, Apple, Chrome, and Linux software.
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Processing power and memory

The CPU determines the overall speed and performance of your machine. It does the bulk of the work and “thinking” of the computer, and its RAM allows your computer to handle multiple tasks at once. Both are vital to a high-performing machine that can handle a variety of tasks at once.

CPU: The majority of today’s processors are made by Intel, with the fastest CPUs available for laptops being Intel Core i5, i7, and i9. Most CPUs are quad-core processors, meaning there are four separate units for computing and executing functions. More powerful CPUs like i9 feature hexa-core designs, though these are often expensive and typically used for more intensive work such as 3D modeling, coding, and video editing.

RAM: Random access memory is what enables your CPU to do its work efficiently and without slowing. For a basic business laptop, a load of 4GB to 8GB RAM would suffice for most people. If you want to make the most of your CPU or plan to edit videos, 16GB is your safest option, though you’d pay extra for it.

Storage

The amount of space you need depends largely on what type of work you do and whether you store your files primarily on your computer or with a cloud-based service. Even if most of your work is kept on Dropbox or Google Drive, you will still likely access files from your computer on a daily basis.

More is more when it comes to storage space, but you will pay a higher price for it. Most people can make do with 500GB, and at 1TB, you should have plenty of space for years. However, if you know you’ll need to store large files on your computer, you might want to consider up to 2TB or 4TB of storage.

HDD and SSD: There are two primary types of storage: the hard disk drive (HDD) and the solid-state drive (SSD). The HDD is the traditional (and less expensive) option, using a spinning disc to read data. The SSD has no moving parts and is significantly faster. In addition, it tends to fare better during transport since there are no parts to be disrupted. The smallest SSDs usually hold 256GB.

Form factor

Other important considerations when buying a laptop are its size, shape, and weight. There’s no debate that smaller and lighter is better, but higher-performing machines sometimes come in larger packages. The latest laptops are smaller than ever, and it’s possible to find a compact machine with a decent amount of processing power, but you are likely to pay top dollar for it.

Most laptops weigh between 2 and 5 pounds. Anything less than 3 pounds is generally quite easy to carry around. You should also take the weight of charging cables, mouse, and other accessories into consideration.

It’s a tricky balance between performance and convenience, but it’s ultimately up to you to decide which is more important. If you’re regularly working on the go or traveling, a sleek form factor may be a necessity.

Battery life

A reliable battery can go a long way in saving you headaches (or costing you precious work hours) when you’re away from an outlet. If your business laptop will mostly live on your desk, you might want to go with a small battery that adds little weight since a long rundown time won’t be an issue. If you regularly work on the go, a good battery can be a lifesaver.

Other important business laptop features

Once you have a good idea of what type of laptop you’re looking for, you should dig into the details that can make everyday use more streamlined and convenient.

Ergonomic design

You’ll likely use your laptop for eight or more hours each day, so it’s important to consider your health when choosing the device that is the center of your work. An ergonomic design doesn’t always mean a curved keyboard—though some laptops do offer one—but it does mean a comfortable keyboard. If you have large hands or suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome, consider a laptop with a larger keyboard to prevent your hands from cramping as you type. Additionally, keep in mind that laptops equipped with voice recognition can allow you to type hands-free, thereby reducing your potential for wrist strain.

Laptop weight and screen size also matter, as does the nature of the screen. A touchscreen can be more intuitive and more comfortable to use than a laptop and mouse combination. If you opt for a laptop with a touchscreen, alternate between using your mouse and the touchscreen to prevent wrist pain or strain.

Security

Although we hear the words “malware” and “virus” less often these days, security is still as important as ever when it comes to your laptop. There are a few features you should look for to get the best protection.

Fingerprint scanner or facial recognition: These two features are difficult to bypass and can prevent a stranger from accessing your files in case of theft. Built-in fingerprint scanners are simple to use and can grant you access to your computer faster than a passcode. Facial recognition is another secure option that wastes little time logging you in.

Encryption: Some operating systems offer the ability to encrypt specific files on your HDD or SSD. This scrambles important data so that only you can access these files, protecting your information from hacking attempts or theft.

a person using a laptop
DID YOU KNOW?
A warranty is an important feature in a business laptop. Although nobody wants to believe their new laptop will have problems during its first years of use, problems can and do arise. Familiarize yourself with the warranty for any business laptop you consider, and note that in most cases, the warranty lasts a minimum of 12 months and a maximum of two years.
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Connectivity

WiFi: WiFi connectivity is standard in all modern laptops; however, not all laptops connect to the internet the same way. Laptops with the best WiFi connection are dual-band, capable of connecting to 2.4GHz or 5GHz WiFi so that you can find the strongest signal in any situation.

Bluetooth: Most laptops also offer Bluetooth connectivity, allowing you to easily pair accessories like headphones or a wireless mouse to your computer.

Ports: Take note of the number and type of ports offered by each laptop. USB is still standard, with many laptops featuring USB 3.0 ports. Some devices may offer USB-C or Thunderbolt 3 for rapid charging and data transfer.

Camera and microphone: If video calls figure prominently in your workday, you should make sure your camera and microphone are up to the task. Take note of the resolution your camera is capable of, and read customer reviews to see if the microphone produces clear calls. You won’t want to use a built-in camera or microphone for professional video work, but they should be able to handle video chatting.

Screen size and resolution

For any work that requires a detailed eye, you want a decent amount of screen space and crisp resolution to catch every detail.

A larger screen means a larger laptop, but if you want to reduce eye strain or you work on multiple tasks at once, consider a laptop with a screen size of at least 15 inches. As for resolution, if you’re an artist, architect, or videographer, you’ll likely want a 4K resolution screen that leaves out no details. This may be overkill for the average user, but 4K screens do create a lovely picture that anyone can appreciate.

a laptop on a table next to a water bottle
STAFF TIP
If you’re looking at solid-state drive specs, note that a 256GB SSD is usually the smallest SSD. If you’re hoping to use your business laptop for a number of years, look for one with 512GB SSD.
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How much does a business laptop cost?

Inexpensive

Low-priced laptops cost between $175 and $450 and typically offer Windows 10 Pro or Chrome OS. These machines may not pack much power, but they tend to be compact and can have batteries that compete with more expensive models.

Mid-range

From $500 to $1,000 are laptops that will meet most people’s needs and may have competitive RAM and processing power. These laptops can last for six years or more and usually offer Chrome OS, Windows 10 Pro, or the Mac equivalent.

Expensive

High-end laptops cost between $1,200 and $2,000 and are suited for work like graphic design, video editing, and 3D modeling. These are powerful professional machines that often have Intel Core i7 or i9 CPUs and usually run Windows 10 Pro, an upgrade to Windows 11, or the Mac equivalent.

a person using a laptop
STAFF TIP
A laptop with an IPS screen tends to provide the best viewing angles. If you plan to share your screen with others – or if you plan to have more than one screen at your workstation – consider a laptop with an IPS screen. IPS is also desirable for the vibrant colors it renders.
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Tips

  • Prolong the battery’s lifespan by fully discharging it once a month. Most laptops have lithium-ion batteries, which should be charged and discharged in small amounts.
  • Safeguard your security with a privacy filter. A privacy filter can protect you in ways that software and fingerprint readers cannot by preventing prying eyes from seeing what’s on your screen from any angle.
  • Consider Ethernet. Though almost everyone connects to the internet via WiFi when using a laptop, an Ethernet port can still be a useful feature for wiring your computer when the WiFi signal is slow or weak.
Person sitting at a desk working on a laptop
To prevent eye strain, adjust the brightness of your screen according to your surroundings.

FAQ

Q. How long should I expect my business laptop to last?

A. Most laptops can be expected to last between four and six years before they start to become sluggish. If you work in a rapidly advancing field, you might need to replace your computer more frequently to keep up with the latest programs.

Q. How can I transfer the files from my old computer to my new one?

A. If your files are smaller, you can transfer them via a cloud storage solution like Google Drive or over a local WiFi network. Otherwise, you’ll likely need to use an external hard drive or a transfer cable.

Q. Can I transfer applications from my old computer to the new one?

A. The answer to this question depends primarily on the application. In some cases, you may have multi-license applications that can be installed on multiple devices. Or, you can transfer the license to your new computer.

Q. What is the difference between a gaming laptop and a business laptop?

A. Because gaming laptops are built for playing games, they focus heavily on graphics and hence have heavy-hitting graphics cards like the GeForce line from Nvidia. These computers tend to weigh more than business laptops, and because of the extensive graphic component, they do not tend to have long battery life. They are also quite expensive.

Business laptops do not necessarily focus on graphics the way gaming laptops do. Instead, the best business laptops are lightweight, portable, high in security, and heavy on memory. Durability is paramount, and battery life is often quite lengthy. This is not to say you couldn’t play games on your business laptop—but to do so, you’d definitely need one with a fantastic graphics card.

Q. What is a good brand of business laptop?

A. A lot of companies make fantastic business laptops these days. If you’re a Mac fan, you can’t go wrong with Apple’s line of laptops, including top performers like the Macbook Pro and Macbook Air. If your budget is a concern, Asus and Acer both make affordable laptops that may suit your purposes, especially if you run a small business and your needs are minimal.

Dell makes quality computers for business purposes, and we’re particularly fond of the Dell Latitude, Dell Vostro, and Dell XPS lines. Another winning choice is the Lenovo ThinkPad, which tends to be more business-oriented than the brand’s IdeaPads, which tend to be geared more toward consumers. We also are fans of Microsoft Surface. For example, the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 is an affordable laptop for under $1,000 with a host of customizable features.

If your business is a large-scale one, you may be interested in HP’s line of EliteBook business laptops. These machines have the more sophisticated features you might want, such as Windows 10 Pro and Intel Core i5 processors. HP’s ZBook mobile workstations—which are actually considered to be “notebook computers” rather than laptops, per se—are also quite popular, and you can get these mobile workstations with features such as Windows 10 Pro, Intel Core i7 or i9, and Iris XE graphics or Intel UHD graphics.

 

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