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Best mobile workstations 2020: the most powerful laptops for businesses

best mobile workstation
Read on for our list of the best mobile workstations money can buy
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REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID

Dell G5 15 SE, the cheapest Ryzen 9 laptop - $1,352.39 (roughly £1,050/AU$1,900)
This might not be your traditional workstation, but it straddles both work and play seamlessly. Inside is the most powerful laptop processor on the market, the 8-core AMD Ryzen 9, as well as an AMD Radeon RX5600M GPU and a 1TB PCIe SSD.View Deal

The best mobile workstations combine the portability of a laptop with the raw power of a desktop PC. On top of being the best business laptops, they are also capable of handling intensive tasks such as video editing and rendering.

Now that processors and graphics cards are getting smaller and slimmer, we’re now getting more powerful portables with thinner and more portable designs. This means that many of the best mobile workstations can be thinner and lighter than ever without compromising on performance or build quality. However, all that also comes at a cost, which is why it’s so important to carefully choose the best mobile workstation for your needs.

Solid, reliable and powerful, the best mobile workstations must also be future proof and can help you with your work for years to come without forcing you to blow your budget. Thanks to our price comparison tool, we can help take the sting out of the price tag by helping you find the very best prices for these excellent mobile workstations.

If you'd prefer a best desktop workstation roundup, or if you're interested in a business laptop that isn't necessarily a workstation, we've got you covered as well. 

Best mobile workstations at a glance

  1. MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2019)
  2. MacBook Pro 15-inch with Touch Bar
  3. Razer Blade Studio Edition
  4. HP ZBook 17 G3
  5. Acer ConceptD 7
  6. HP Spectre Pro 13 G1
  7. Lenovo ThinkPad P40 Yoga
  8. Dell Precision 7720
  9. Lenovo ThinkPad T460s

MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2019)

(Image credit: Apple)
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1. MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2019)

The best Apple mobile workstation

CPU: 9th-generation Intel Core i7 – i9 | Graphics: AMD Radeon Pro 5300M – Radeon Pro 5500M | RAM: 16GB – 64GB | Screen: 16-inch Retina display with True Tone | Storage: 512GB – 8TB SSD

Stunning 16-inch screen
New and improved keyboard
Expensive
Limited to four Thunderbolt 3 ports

As thin, light and sleek as ever, the MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2019) doesn’t actually feel like a 16-inch behemoth.This laptop will feel just as compact as the 15-inch MacBook Pros that preceded it and perhaps more than any other 16-inch laptops out there. Though it is a behemoth when it comes to power. Touting a 9th-generation Intel Core processor and an AMD Radeon Pro 5300M or 5500M graphics card, as well as up to 64GB of memory, there’s nothing this mobile workstation can't do. And, without a doubt, it will get through all your intensive workflow without breaking a sweat. If that isn’t enough, it also has incredible speakers for all your entertainment needs, and a much improved keyboard so you can type all day without fatiguing.

Read the full review: MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2019)

Dell XPS 17 (2020)

(Image credit: Dell)

2. Dell XPS 17 (2020)

A brilliant 17-inch Ultrabook

CPU: Up to 10th Generation Intel Core i9-10885H | Graphics: Up to NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 6GB GDDR6 with Max-Q | RAM: Up to 64GB DDR4-2933MHz | Screen: 17.0" FHD+ (1920 x 1200) InfinityEdge Non-Touch Anti-Glare 500-Nit – 17.0" UHD+ (3840 x 2400) InfinityEdge Touch Anti-Reflective 500-Nit | Storage: Up to 2TB M.2 PCIe NVMe

Great screen
Long battery life
Powerful
Not the most portable
Lack of ports

For a 17-inch laptop, the Dell XPS 17 (2020) is impressively thin and light, especially when you consider the fact that it boasts powerful specs for that top-notch performance that content creators require. Among the best mobile workstations out there, this is practically the whole package, touting a big, gorgeous screen, fantastic battery life that will last you the entire day and a gorgeous design on top of everything else. That’s without even mentioning its mid-range price of entry, giving the MacBook Pro 16-inch a good run for its money.

Read the full review: Dell XPS 17 (2020)

Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition

Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition was designed with photographers, video editors and even game designers in mind. (Image credit: Razer)

3. Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition

A seriously powerful pro laptop

CPU: 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8750H | Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q – NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000 Studio Edition | RAM: 32GB | Screen: 15.6" OLED 4K Touch 60Hz, factory calibrated | Storage: 1TB SSD

Powerful
Beautiful screen
Expensive

While the regular Razer Blade laptop is famously a gaming laptop – one of the best, in fact, Razer has taken its sheer power and turned the whole thing into one of the best mobile workstations for creatives. There’s zero doubt that this laptop was designed with photographers, video editors and even game designers in mind, as it rocks powerful graphics cards and a gorgeous, factory-calibrated 4K display. Not unlike its gaming counterpart, you’ll be paying a pretty penny, especially for its souped up configuration with the Quadro RTX 5000 graphics card. However, if a fast and seamless workflow is of utmost importance in your day to day, this laptop certainly pays for itself.

Read the full review: Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition

HP Envy 15 (2020)

(Image credit: HP)

4. HP Envy 15 (2020)

Elegance and affordability meet

CPU: Intel Core i7-10750H - Core i9-10885H | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics - GeForce RTX 2060 w/Max-Q design (6 GB) | RAM: 16 – 32GB | Screen: 15.6" diagonal FHD (1,920 x 1,080) – 15.6" diagonal 4K UHD (3,840 x 2,160) multitouch display | Storage: 256GB – 2TB SSD

Great performance for the price
Sleek design
Beautiful 4K display
On the heavy side
Can run hot

The HP Envy 15 (2020) may have been meant for creative professionals looking to get away from the Macbook Pro. However, its versatility, thanks to all the customizable options when purchasing, makes it ideal for a number of different uses, whether you’re looking for a reasonably priced ultrabook or one that can tackle gaming. It can be upgraded to have some serious RAM and storage, up to an Intel i9, as well as an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 and a beautiful 4K display. And, even in its souped up configuration, it comes in at a decent price especially when compared to similar offerings from Dell or Apple.

Read the full review: HP Envy 15 (2020) review

Acer ConceptD 7

(Image credit: Acer)

5. Acer ConceptD 7

A mobile workstation for creatives

CPU: 9th-generation Intel Core i7 | Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 – 2080 | RAM: 16GB – 32GB | Screen: 15.6" 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) 16:9 IPS | Storage: 1TB

Very powerful
Cheaper than MacBook Pro
Good selection of ports
Expensive
Plain design
Not as thin and light as MacBook Pro

For those who think that MacBook Pros are overpriced but still need a powerful mobile workstation, there’s the Acer ConceptD 7. This formidable laptop capable of handling complex and demanding tasks such as 3D rendering, thanks in part to its Nvidia RTX graphics, was designed specifically with creative professionals in mind. Beyond that sheer power it delivers, it also offers decent port selection, a minimalist solid white design and that stunning Pantone-validated 4K IPS display. Obviously, it’s still pretty pricey, but if you’re looking for a Windows-powered MacBook alternative for video and photo editing, it’s a great option.

Read the full review: Acer ConceptD 7 

HP EliteBook x360 1040

(Image credit: HP)

6. HP EliteBook x360 1040

Better than ever before

CPU: 8th-generation Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 | RAM: 8GB – 32GB | Screen: 14-inch diagonal BrightView LED FHD (1920x1080) – UHD (3840x2160) | Storage: 128GB – 2TB SSD

Nifty design and stylus
Great performance
Blisteringly fast SSD
Plenty of ports
Battery life disappointing
Expensive
Uneven anti-glare display

We dubbed the EliteBook x360 1040 G5 as the “apex predator of the business world” in our review because, well, it is. It boasts many excellent features in its handsome-looking chassis, as well as plenty of ports to go around, including a port that works wonders and impressively audio. Simply, this HP laptop is an ideal match for the professional who demands seamlessness and power at work. It’s not the perfect machine, but it’s got plenty of features that make up for its flaws, making it among the best mobile workstations on the market.

Read the full review: HP EliteBook x360 1040

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme mobile workstation

(Image credit: Lenovo)

7. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme mobile workstation

With great power comes a massive price tag

CPU: up to 8th-generation Intel Core i7 | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti with Max-Q | RAM: up to 64GB | Screen: 15.6-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS anti-glare – 15.6-inch 4K UHD HDR (3840 x 2160) IPS multi-touch, anti-reflective | Storage: Up to 1 TB PCIe SSD x 2 | Connectivity: up to Intel Dual Band 9560 Wireless AC (2 x 2) with vPro + Bluetooth 5.0 | Camera: 720p HD with ThinkShutter privacy cover with Infrared Camera

So much power
Glorious 4K screen
Great user experience
Heavy
Expensive
Battery life could be better

Do you have a lot of cash to spare and require a powerful mobile workstation? Look no further than the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme mobile workstation, whose impressive specs are only the beginning. You’ll also appreciate working with that bright and crisp 15.6-inch screen, especially if you’re getting the 4K version, as well as all that storage space if you go all out. Though, fair warning, this isn’t exactly the lightest laptop you’ll lug around, so investing in a sturdy backpack with padded straps is ideal for stowing it in.

Read the full review: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme mobile workstation

Lenovo ThinkPad T460s

Lenovo ThinkPad T460s is a great choice if you're looking for an accomplished and affordable workstation laptop. (Image credit: Lenovo)

8. Lenovo ThinkPad T460s

A good general purpose workstation

CPU: Dual-core 2.4GHz Intel Core i5 processor | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 256GB SSD | Screen: 14-in IPS display (1,920 x 1,080 pixels)

Excellent build and ergonomics
Thin and light
Slow processor
Relatively screen quality

The ThinkPad T-series is a no-nonsense design with a focus on robustness over style. Even so, the T460s' 18.8mm thickness is within 1mm of the MacBook, and it's actually lighter at 1.4kg. It's not as powerful as some of the workstation laptops in this list, but it's not as expensive either, which makes it a great choice if you're looking for an accomplished workstation laptop for less hardcore workloads, while also keeping to a budget.

Read the full review: Lenovo ThinkPad T460s