Best business laptops 2018: top laptops for work

Business laptop
Pick the best laptop for your business

If you're looking to buy a new laptop for work, then this list of the best business laptops will help you choose. The best business laptops combine cutting edge productivity features with slimline designs and long battery life that provides mobility and productivity - essential functions for the modern workplace.

While compiling this list of the best business laptops, we've taken into consideration a number of key factors including power, battery life, feature set and sheer value for money.

This means that we've selected a wider range of laptops to suit most (if not all) budgets and hopefully all tastes; there's a mix of cutting-edge products and old favourites here.

Almost all of them come with the professional version of Windows 10 to enhance their business credentials.

We also have our very own price comparison tool that will compare prices and make sure you're buying the very best business laptop for the very best price.

If you're looking for a bit more power, then check out our list of the best mobile workstations, as well as our pick for the best business desktop PC.

best business laptops

Where to buy business laptops

best business laptops

1. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon

The ultra-thin business laptop that sacrifices nothing

CPU: Intel Core i7-7600U vPro | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620 | RAM: 16GB | Screen: 14-inch, 2560 x 1440 pixels | Storage: 1TB SSD

Smaller and lighter in every way to previous versions
Improved Microsoft Precision Touchpad
Expensive

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. 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% capacity in only an hours, the X1 Carbon is an ultrabook that lets you keep on working while you're on the move.

2. Huawei MateBook X Pro

A stunning business laptop

CPU: 8th generation Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 , Nvidia GeForce MX150 2GB GDDR5 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.9-inch 3K (3,000 x 2,080) | Storage: 512GB SSD

Beautiful design
Fantastic display
Terrific battery life
No SD card slot
Webcam not great

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.

best business laptops

3. Dell XPS 13 (2018)

The best laptop is now even better

CPU: 8th generation Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) – 4k (3840 x 2160) | Storage: 256GB – 1TB SSD

Centered IR webcam
Gorgeous new design
Beautiful optional 4K display
Steeper starting price
White option is pricier

Believe it or not, Dell classifies the XPS 13 as a business laptop, albeit one that is geared towards a home office environment but businessmen (and women) will love the design. 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 2017 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.

With the 2018 refresh, the Dell XPS 13 is a slimmer, more powerful version with a stunning 4K display and a gorgeous Rose Gold on Alpine White color option. It's powered by an 8th-generation Intel Core i5 or i7 CPU to boot.

4. Apple Macbook Pro with Touch Bar 13-inch 2018

The best Macbook Pro ever, improved for 2018

CPU: Quad-core Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch, (2,560 x 1,600) IPS | Storage: 128GB – 2TB PCIe 3.0 SSD

The best Macbook Pro ever
Super fast performance
Expensive
Not a huge generational leap

The 2018 model of the 13-inch Macbook Pro with Touch Bar is a brilliant upgrade to Apple's formidable laptop range, and it's one of the best business laptops money can buy. While Microsoft had the performance edge over last year's MacBook Pro, with the Surface Book 2, Apple has come out swinging with some seriously beefed up specs for the 13-inch MacBook Pro 2018. The 13-inch model can be configured with the latest Intel Core processors, all USB-C ports are not Thunderbolt 3, and you can have up to 16GB of RAM. If you want even more performance, the 15-inch version is worth considering, as it bumps the specs up even more.

elitebook

5. HP Spectre Pro 13 G1

A genuine altearnative to the XPS 13

CPU: Intel Core i7-6500U | Graphics: Intel HD 520 Graphics | RAM: 8GB | Screen: 13.3-inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels | Storage: 512GB SSD

Sublime design
3 Year Next Business Day onsite warranty
Colour scheme might not be to everyone's taste
Very expensive

HP was the only one of the three big laptop vendors who didn't have a flagship thin-and-light laptop: Dell has the XPS 13 and Lenovo, the Yoga 900.

That is now no longer the case with the introduction of the HP Spectre Pro 13 G1. This is a device that not only oozes luxury with a combination of colours and a clever design but also one that packs some incredible components.

Despite being just over 10mm thick and weighing just over 1.16Kg, it manages to pack a proper Core i7 CPU with a full HD 13.3-inch display, a massive 4-cell 38Whr battery and three USB Type C connectors. 

best business laptops: Thinkpad X

6. Lenovo ThinkPad E470

Best if you're looking for something portable with a decent keyboard

CPU: 2.7GHz Intel Core i7-7500U | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620 | RAM: 16GB | Screen: 14-inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels | Storage: 256GB SSD

Outstanding value for money
Discrete graphics card
No high capacity battery option
No Displayport

Lenovo took an existing form factor and refined it to deliver the new 2016-2017 ThinkPad E470. Powered by the 7th generation Intel Core processors, this particular SKU has a 14-inch FHD anti-glare display, powered by a discrete Nvidia Geforce 940MX 2GB GPU.

Equipped with a spill resistant keyboard, a TrackPoint and a 3+2 buttons click pad, the E470 has more than enough ports and expansion capabilities to keep the average user happy. Shame that it doesn't do DisplayPort, so no 4K output.

7. Microsoft Surface Laptop 2

A brilliant sequel from Microsoft

CPU: Intel Core i5 - i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 | RAM: 8GB - 16GB | Screen: 13.5-inch PixelSense (2,256 x 1,504) | Storage: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB or 1TB SSD

Competitive power level
Lovely new black color scheme
No Thunderbolt 3 option
Too few ports for its size

Microsoft's second attempt at a pure laptop isn't a huge overhaul of the original Surface Laptop, but it offers enough improvements in all the areas we were hoping for, that makes it worthy of a place on our best business laptop list. The Surface Laptop 2 comes with improved hardware that brings some impressive performance benefits, and if you want a pure, powerful Windows 10 laptop experience that shows off Microsoft's operating system while featuring a premium build quality and design, then the Surface Laptop 2 is the business laptop for you. It also no longer ships with Windows 10 S mode, and instead comes with the full version of Windows 10 out of the box, which will be welcome news for business users.

Read the full review: Microsoft Surface Laptop 2

8. Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

Luxury meets power

CPU: Intel Core i5-i7 | Graphics: Radeon RX Vega M GL Graphics with 4GB HMB2 Graphics Memory | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 512GB PCIe SSD

 Impressive power 
 Ultra-thin design 
 Kind of expensive 

Last year’s Dell XPS 15 was already one of the best laptops you could buy, but now that Dell has taken the beautiful redesign of the Dell XPS 13 and applied it here – while also making it a convertible. This makes it easily one of the best business laptops money can buy in 2018. It looks fantastic, feels great to use and it packs one of those new Intel Kaby Lake G-series CPUs featuring ‘discrete-class’ Radeon graphics. This means that this laptop packs serious power – even if it can get a little loud.

Read the full review: Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 

9. Microsoft Surface Book 2 (13.5-inch)

The most powerful 2-in-1 laptop in the world

CPU: Intel Core i5-7300U - Intel Core i7-8650U 1.9GHz | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620; Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 (2GB GDDR5 VRAM) | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 3,000 x 2,000 (267 ppi) PixelSense display, 3:2 aspect ratio | Storage: 256GB – 1TB SSD

Very good battery life
Powerful
Pricey
No Surface Pen included

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)

10. Asus Chromebook Flip

Proof that Chromebooks make excellent business laptops

CPU: Intel Pentium 4405Y – Intel Core m3-6Y30 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 515 | RAM: 4GB | Screen: 12.5-inch, FHD (1,920 x 1,080) LED backlit anti-glare | Storage: 32GB – 64GB eMMC

Elegant tablet mode
Tactile keyboard
No out-of-box Android app support
Middling speakers

Chromebooks might not be the most obvious devices for business laptops, but the Asus Chromebook Flip proves that they can be excellent work tools. It comes with a full-fat Intel Core processor, full HD 1080p display and backlit keyboard. ChromeOS is now a more robust operating system with plenty of tools, and if you rely on web-based CMS or Google Docs to do your work, then the Asus Chromebook Flip is an affordable, well built and handy business laptop.

Check out our laptop buying guide video below.