This new work-from-home trend is reviving the best business laptops in a massive way. Don’t get us wrong; business laptops have always been around. However, innovations in portable computing has somewhat forced them in the shadows, as general consumers set their sights on sleeker Ultrabooks and more affordable laptops.
Now, with more and more professionals working from home, the best business laptops have found their place in the sun again. These powerful, versatile and robust machines are the perfect solutions for professionals no longer tied to their office desks – much like they have been for those who often traveled for business. As added perks, many of them are thinner, more lightweight and longer-lasting than ever.
Whether you’re looking for one with long battery life and perhaps a rugged build, or you want the thin and light option, we found the best business laptops of 2021 for you. From the most common Windows laptops to a Linux laptop and a more economical Chromebook, here are our top picks.
For more options, check out our best mobile workstation and best thin client guides where you’ll find something for your small startup or your home office-based one-man team. If you’re looking for something with a bit more oomph, one of the best business desktop PCs or even a workstation might be a better fit. Alternatively, check out our best tablets for business guide as well.
- We've also featured the best laptops for writers, programmers, graphic designers, and photographers.
Combining staggering power in a stylish thin and light chassis, this laptop doesn’t hold back when it comes to internals and features that improve your computing experience overall, making this one of the best business laptops around. Among those amazing features are a gorgeous bright display with 500 nits of brightness, an extremely comfortable keyboard, impressive speakers, and a terrific trackpad. We’re not saying that this laptop is perfect, but our coveted 5 out of 5 rating should speak for itself.
Read the full review: Dell XPS 15
If you don't want a Windows laptop and you want only the best Mac laptop you can get, then the MacBook Pro 16" is truly the best laptop from Apple you can choose.
Aside from its large and beautiful 16" screen, the technical specifications make this probably the most powerful laptop on this list, and should provide many years of excellent use.
There's a choice of 6-core or 8-core processor, and for RAM the base model comes with 16 GB with the option to expand to 64 GB. There's also a choice of graphics cards available, allowing this laptop to handle even the most demanding applications.
All in all this is a beautiful and powerful machine, but as you'd expect, it comes with the biggest price tag of all of the laptops featured here. If you want only the best, then the MacBook Pro 16" should probably be at the top of your list.
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.
If you're looking for one of the best Lenovo laptops with business grade capabilities, you've got an ace here. 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 percent capacity in only an hours, the X1 Carbon is an ultrabook that lets you keep on working while you're on the move.
Huawei may not be the first name you think of when looking to buy a new business laptop - whereas Dell and Lenovo are two names you'd more likely associate with notebooks for work, but the Chinese company has proved to be an excellent laptop manufacturer with its new MateBook X Pro. It has a beautiful design that will get appreciative looks in the boardroom, it's light enough to carry around with you, and it has powerful components and excellent battery life. It's also one of the cheaper ultrabooks on the market.
If the Dell XPS 15 is a little large or expensive for your needs, then the Dell XPS 13 makes for an excellent second.
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. It was also refreshed in 2019 with even better components, for a much improved business laptop experience.
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.
Dell has once again given the Dell XPS 13 a boost when it comes to components, and the webcam is now placed above the screen for better video calls, which helps make the Dell XPS 13 once again one of the best business laptops money can buy.
The MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2020)’s entry-level model may miss out on some of the lineup’s new toys. However, going for the higher-end configurations will get you new (and powerful) Intel processors and improved RAM speeds for better performance, all packed in the 13-inch incredibly svelte body. Apple rounds it all out with that incredible Magic Keyboard from the new 16-inch, finally getting rid of that problematic keyboard. Even if you don’t go for the 10th-generation Intel Core configurations, you might still appreciate the fact that all models come with more storage capacity for the same price as their predecessors.
Read the full review: MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2020)
Even its limited ports and small trackpad cannot hold the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano back. One of the best business laptops we’ve ever tested, this portable is not only the lightest laptop we’ve ever tested, but also surprisingly powerful considering how sleek it is. That makes it the most ideal choice for professionals who are always on the go. Excellent features abound as well, with the likes of a crisp 2K 16:10 touchscreen, a physical webcam shutter and advanced biometrics of the fingerprint scanner adding to its value and making it worth its steep price. At least if portability and performance are your top priorities.
Read the full review: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano
Apple’s thinnest and lightest MacBook came back with a vengeance in 2020. Not only did it fix a lot of the complaints with its predecessors – namely, that problematic keyboard, replaced by a drastically improved keyboard. But it also came with new and more powerful internal components, even more storage space options, and a lower price of entry. There are a couple of things we’d do better, like the muted screen and the average battery life. However, all things considered, this model of the MacBook Air is better than anything we’ve seen from the line to date, and among the best business laptops for Apple fans who want to travel light.
Read the full review: MacBook Air (2020)
The Surface Book 2 (13.5-inch) is another entry from Microsoft in our best business laptop list, and it's worthy of its spot, as Microsoft has crafted one of the most powerful 2-in-1 laptops in the world. The Surface Book 2 has some powerful enough components to handle most day-to-day tasks, and even some light gaming and video editing if you go for a model with a dedicated graphics card. If you want a bigger screen, then there is also a 15-inch version of the Surface Book 2, which comes with more powerful components.
Read the full review: Microsoft Surface Book 2 (13.5-inch)
Google continues its tradition of making the best Chromebook in the world. This is a Chromebook that proves that these devices can be just as stylish and powerful as traditional laptops, and the Pixelbook Go brings a lot of the original Pixelbook's premium features to a more affordable device. It also features a fantastic battery life and a brilliant keyboard that makes typing on a pleasure. This is among the best business laptops for professionals looking to save some cash.
Read the full review: Google Pixelbook Go
Michelle Rae Uy also contributed to this article.
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