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Best Business Laptops in 2020

best business laptops - ThinkPad X1 Carbon

Whether you're buying a fleet of laptops for your employees or just looking for a single productivity system for yourself, you'll want a business laptop that's durable, powerful and easy-to-use. 

We review dozens of business laptops each year and the models that make our best business laptop list offer the best combination of comfort, performance and battery life. Don't forget about security and durability -- business laptops typically come with fingerprint sensors, IR cameras and security chips, and many have military-grade durability. 

If you need something with a bit more oomph than your traditional business laptop, then check out our best workstations page. Looking for more specific recommendations? See our best Lenovo ThinkPad, best HP EliteBook and best Dell Latitude and Precision laptops guides. 

The best business laptops you can buy today

1. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (7th Gen)
2. HP Elite Dragonfly
3. Apple MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2019)
4. Microsoft Surface Pro 7
5. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga
6. Dell Latitude 7400 2-in-1
7. HP ZBook Studio x360 G5
8. Dell Precision 7730
9. Acer TravelMate P6 P614
10. Dell Latitude 5420 Rugged

Best Business Laptop Overall: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (7th Gen)

Lenovo's ThinkPad X1 Carbon is, once again, the best business laptop thanks to its sleek design and fast performance. 

1. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (7th Gen)

Best business laptop overall

CPU: Intel Core i5/Core i7 | GPU: Intel UHD 620 | RAM: 8GB/16GB | Storage: 256GB/512GB/1TB SSD | Display: 14-inch, 1080p or 4K | Size: 12.7 x 8.5 x 0.6 inches | Weight: 2.5 pounds

Attractive, lightweight chassis
Best-in-class keyboard
Long battery life (on 1080p model)
No microSD card slot
4K model has short battery life
Top configs get pricey

Lenovo made our favorite business laptop even better by improving its speakers and adding some useful security features, including a webcam shutter and IR camera. On top of that, you get fast performance, long battery life (on the 1080p model) and two gorgeous, 1080p and 4K display options, all in an impossibly lightweight chassis. 

But it's still those classic ThinkPad features —  a durable design, best-in-class keyboard and stealthy black/red aesthetics — that carry the X1 Carbon to greatness.

See our full Lenovo ThinkPad Carbon X1 review.

HP Elite Dragonfly

HP's ThinkPad killer is the Elite Dragonfly, a gorgeous dark-blue 2-in-1 laptop with crazy-long battery life. (Image credit: Laptop Mag)

2. HP Elite Dragonfly

The best business laptop

CPU: Intel Core i3/i5/i7 | GPU: Intel UHD 620 | RAM: 8GB/16GB | Storage: Up to 2TB | Display: 13.3-inch, 1080p or 4K | Size: 12 x 7.8 x 0.6 inches | Weight: 2.2 pounds

Gorgeous, lightweight design
Extremely long battery life
Comfortable keyboard
Solid performance
Bright, vivid display
Audio needs some tuning

HP's Elite Dragonfly redefined what it means to be a business laptop. This stunning laptop has a breathtakingly gorgeous chassis that flaunts a unique dark-blue finish.

 The design is as practical as it is attractive; The Elite Dragonfly has flexible hinges that convert the laptop into a tablet, and at 2.2 pounds, it's one of the most portable 13-inch laptops around. 

You'll somehow need to take your eyes off the Elite Dragonfly's aluminum body to appreciate its bright and vivid 13.3-inch display. But the Elite Dragonfly's greatness doesn't stop there. The laptop also has a surprisingly comfortable keyboard, fast performance and a host of security features, including an IR camera, a fingerprint sensor and MIL-SPEC-810 rated durability. 

See our full HP Elite Dragonfly review 

An improved keyboard and larger 16-inch display make Apple's new MacBook Pro its best laptop yet.

An improved keyboard and larger 16-inch display make Apple's new MacBook Pro its best laptop yet. (Image credit: Laptop Mag)

3. Apple MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2019)

The best Apple laptop for business

CPU: Intel Core i7/Core i9 | GPU: Radeon Pro 5300M/5500M | RAM: 16GB/32GB/64GB | Storage: 512GB/1TB/2TB/4TB/8TB | Display: 16-inch, 2072 x 1920 | Size: 14.1 x 9.7 x 0.6 inches | Weight: 4.3 pounds

Radically improved Magic Keyboard
Immersive 16-inch display with slimmer bezels
Beastly performance
Powerful 6-speaker audio
No full-size USB port or SD card slot
Pricey

 The 16-inch MacBook Pro is just your type if you’ve been waiting for Apple to make a better keyboard. The Magic Keyboard on this premium laptop ditches the Butterfly mechanism in favor of a scissor switch, and the result is a much more comfortable typing experience. You also get a bright and sharp 16-inch display with slimmer bezels, powerful performance from an available Core i9 CPU and robust AMD Radeon 5300M or 5500M graphics. 

You also get up to 64GB of RAM and 8TB of storage if you really want to splurge. The 11 hours of battery life is another plus on this laptop, dwarfing the runtimes of its competitors. The 16-inch MacBook Pro is pricey, and Apple still doesn’t include full-size USB ports, but overall this is a very formidable workstation for creative pros. 

See our full Apple MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2019) review.

Surface Pro 7

Microsoft's latest flagship detachable, the Surface Pro 7 adds 10th Gen CPUs and a USB-C port to a proven formula.  (Image credit: Future)

4. Microsoft Surface Pro 7

The best business 2-in-1 laptop

CPU: 10th gen Intel Core i3/Core i5/Core i7 | GPU: Intel UHD or Iris Pro | RAM: 4GB/8GB/16GB | Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB/1TB | Display: 12.3-inch, 2736 x 1824-pixel | Size: 11.5 x 7.9 x 0.33 inches | Weight: 1.7-1.74 pounds

Speedy performance
Colorful display
Comfortable (optional) keyboard
USB-C port
Less battery life than predecessor
Slow, expensive SSD

The Surface Pro 7 has practically everything you could want from a business 2-in-1 laptop. The flexible detachable now has speedy 10th Gen processors, which offer a significant performance boost when compared to last year's Surface Pro. 

You can use the gorgeous, 12.3-inch touch screen display with the responsive Surface Pen, and the comfortable Type Cover keyboard attachment has a useful touchpad. We're also glad that Microsoft added a USB-C port. We just wish the Surface Pro 7 lasted longer on a charge.

See our full Surface Pro 7 review.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga (4th Gen, 2019)

The convertible version of the X1 Carbon, Lenovo's ThinkPad X1 Yoga sports a sleek aluminum design.  (Image credit: Laptop Mag)

5. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga

A great business 2-in-1 convertible laptop

CPU: Intel Core i7 | GPU: Intel UHD 620 | RAM: 16GB | Storage: 1TB | Display: 14-inch, 1080p | Size: 12 x 8.5 x 0.6 inches | Weight: 3 pounds

Bright, vivid 1080p display
Slim, durable aluminum chassis
Best-in-class keyboard
Long battery life
Not available in carbon fiber
No SD card reader

Lenovo took a chance with the ThinkPad X1 Yoga, the first metal ThinkPad, and it paid off. While we still love the signature matte-black carbon-fiber found on most ThinkPads, the aluminum and magnesium ThinkPad X1 Yoga is a gorgeous change of pace. 

Not only does it have a slim design, but this convertible 2-in-1 flaunts a bright display and offers a best-in-class keyboard and long battery life. You also get loads of extra goodies, like a built-in stylus slot and webcam cover. 

If you're curious about its new upgraded display option, read our ThinkPad X1 Yoga OLED review

See our full ThinkPad X1 Yoga (4th Gen, 2019) review.

Best Battery Life: Dell Latitude 7400 2-in-1

Dell stepped up its game with the Latitude 7400 2-in-1, an attractive laptop with 13+ hours of battery life. 

6. Dell Latitude 7400 2-in-1

An excellent clamshell 2-in-1 laptop

CPU: Intel Core i5/Core i7 | GPU: Intel UHD 620 | RAM: 8GB/16GB | Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB/1TB/2TB | Display: 14-inch, 1080p | Size: 12.6 x 7.9 x 0.6 inches | Weight: 3 pounds

Epic battery life
Strong performance
Sleek design
Nifty proximity sensor sign-in
Display could be brighter
poor speakers

If battery life is a priority, the Dell Latitude 7400 2-in-1 is the business laptop for you. But its 13+ hours of runtime isn't the only reason to buy this notebook; the Latitude 7400 2-in-1 has a sleek, flexible design, fast performance and some useful sign-in options. 

All you need to do is walk up to this Dell and it will know that you're there, thanks to its proximity sensor, making it faster to log in to the system.

See our full Dell Latitude 7400 2-in-1 review.

Best 15-inch Workstation: HP ZBook Studio x360 G5

Those who want raw power should go with HP's ZBook Studio x360 G5, a beastly workstation. 

7. HP ZBook Studio x360 G5

One beast of a workstation laptop

CPU: Intel Core i5/Core i7/Xeon | GPU: Intel UHD 630/Nvidia Quadro P1000 | RAM: 8GB/16GB/32GB | Storage: 256GB/512GB/1TB/2TB | Display: 15.6-inch, 1080p or 4K | Size: 14.2 x 9.7 x 0.8 inches | Weight: 4.9 pounds

Premium design
Gorgeous 4K panel
Comfortable keyboard
Long battery life
Lid flexes
Poor webcam

The HP ZBook Studio x360 G5 is hands down the best business laptop for power users, provided money isn't an obstacle. This exorbitantly priced 15.6-inch laptop has it all, including a vivid, bright display and outstanding performance. 

Most impressive, however, is the workstation's uncharacteristically sleek profile and long battery life. It's also uncommon for a workstation to have a flexible chassis like the x360 G5's, and the device's touch screen can be used with a stylus.

See our full HP ZBook Studio x360 G5 review.

Best 17-inch Workstation: Dell Precision 7730

Dell's Precision 7730 has a large 4K (optional) display and blistering performance. 

8. Dell Precision 7730

The best 17-inch workstation

CPU: Intel Core i5/Core i7/Xeon | GPU: Up to Radeon Pro WX 7100/Up to Quadro P5200 | RAM: 8GB/16GB/32GB/64GB/128GB | Storage: 500GB (HDD)/256GB/512GB/1TB/2TB/4TB | Display: 17.3-inch, 1080p or 4K | Size: 16.3 x 10.8 x 1.2 inches | Weight: 7.5 pounds

Vivid, detailed 4K display
Blistering performance
Comfortable keyboard
Durable design
Sub-par battery life
Runs warm

If you're willing to spend and want the most powerful machine around, look no further than the Dell Precision 7730. This 7.5-pound workstation may not be the best for travel, but its Core i9 CPU and Nvidia Quadro P5200 GPU are capable of running even the most demanding applications, like 3D modeling or photo editing. But the Precision 7730 isn't all about performance. 

A gorgeous 4K display, a comfortable keyboard, and a MIL-SPEC design make this an exceptionally well-rounded machine, even though its battery life isn't great.

See our full Dell Precision 7730 review.

Ultra portability: Acer TravelMate P6 P614

Acer's TravelMate P6 is a lightweight business laptop with a nice 1080p display and discrete graphics. (Image credit: Laptop Mag)

9. Acer TravelMate P6 P614

Ultra portability

CPU: Up to Intel Core i7 | GPU: Intel HD 620 | RAM: 8GB/16GB | Storage: 256GB/512GB | Display: 14-inch, 1080p | Size: 12.8 x 9.1 x 0.7 inches | Weight: 2.7 pounds

Slim, super-lightweight chassis
Decent 1080p display
Fast performance
Below-average battery life
Lid and keyboard flex
Poor webcam

If you travel frequently for work and want the most portability laptop with a large display, then you should strongly consider the TravelMate P6 P614 as an alternative to the ThinkPad X1 Carbon. Not only does the TravelMate P6 offer fast performance but it also comes with an optional discrete GPU for those who need to run graphics-demanding programs. 

And despite its slim chassis, the TravelMate P6 has a wide array of ports. Still, we prefer the X1 Carbon for its longer battery life and more sturdy chassis. 

Read our full Acer TravelMate P6 P614 review.

Dell Latitude 5420 Rugged

Construction and field workers should consider a rugged laptop. Dell's Latitude 5420 can survive extreme environments. 

10. Dell Latitude 5420 Rugged

This rugged laptop can take a beating

CPU: Intel Core i3/Core i5/Core i7 | GPU: Intel UHD 620/AMD Radeon RX540 | RAM: 8GB/16GB/32GB | Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB/1TB/2TB | Display: 14-inch, 1080p | Size: 13.7 x 6.6 x 1.3 inches | Weight: 6.2 pounds

Blindingly bright display
Survives 3-foot drops
Strong performance
Expensive
No Thunderbolt 3
Poorly designed stylus slot

Although its beefier sibling, the Latitude 7424 Rugged Extreme, is the more durable laptop, the Latitude 5420 Rugged is the better all-around machine thanks to its exceptionally bright display, strong performance and a comfortable RGB keyboard. 

Unlike other rugged laptops we've tested, the Latitude 5420 has a responsive touchpad and a relatively thin chassis to go along with its nearly 10 hours of battery life. If this machine is right for you, check out our page for the top Dell Latitude accessories.

See our full Dell Latitude 5420 Rugged review.

How to choose a business laptop

Here are some things to keep in mind when choosing the right model of business laptop for you or your company.

  • Do you need vPro? Many business laptops are available with CPUs that have Intel vPro technology, which lets a support person log in remotely, even if the computer can't boot. However, unless you have a large IT department and a huge fleet of laptops that you need the ability to service remotely, you probably won't use this feature.
  • How fast do you need it to be? Most business users will be happy with a laptop that has a dual-core, Core i5 CPU like the Core i5-7200U or Core i5-7300U (vPro) and the CPU's integrated graphics processor. However, if you require a high-end performance for 3D Modeling, professional video editing or creating predictive models, then get a mobile workstation with a quad-core Core i5 or Core i7 CPU (model numbers end in HQ) and Nvidia Quadro graphics.
  • Long battery life: Nobody wants to run out of juice in the middle of a long workday or a cross-country flight. Unless you're getting a giant workstation, look for a laptop that gets more than 9 hours on a charge. Some business systems come with a choice of regular or extended batteries; always get the high-capacity unit.
  • At least a 1080p screen: It's hard to be productive if you can't see much text on the screen. Avoid laptops with low-resolution, 1366 x 768 screens like the plague. Get one with a resolution that's 1920 x 1080 or higher.
  • SSDs for responsiveness: If you want a truly fast computer, get a solid state drive rather than a mechanical hard drive. SSDs boot up, open programs and multitask at least three times faster than old-fashioned hard drives.
  • The right ports: Nobody likes to carry a bag full of dongles. Consider which kinds of connections you or your employees will need the most. If you connect to a wired network a lot, make sure the laptop has an Ethernet port. If photography is a key part of the job, choose a laptop with a memory card reader. No matter what your needs, a Thunderbolt 3 port is a huge plus, because it will allow you to connect to a new generation of high-speed peripherals, universal chargers and powerful docks.
  • A great keyboard: It almost goes without saying that every laptop should have a good keyboard. But with business systems, a comfortable typing experience is even more important. Look for snappy feedback, deep travel and absolutely no flex.