The 9 Best Business Laptops of 2021
Powerhouses to get through workdays
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The best business laptops provide a balance between long battery life, processing power, and memory storage. Some laptops use solid-state drives for faster boot times and more reliable data storage, but they usually come with a higher price tag. Traditional hard disk drives are cheaper but are more susceptible to damage from drops. Modern laptops have also started integrating 4K resolution and OLED technology into their display screens, as well as touch-based input support for easier use of certain applications.
When shopping for a business laptop, there are traditional clamshells for heavy typing work to a 2-in-1 style computer with a touchscreen for flexibility to higher-end laptops with a bevy of security features. No matter what your styles and needs are, here are our top picks of the best business laptops.
Best Overall: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon
The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon is the ultimate mobile workstation. It's powered by a 10th generation Intel i5-10210U quad-core processor for blazing-fast speeds. You get up to 19.5 hours of battery life on a single charge, and when you need power in a pinch, you'll get 80 percent battery with just an hour of charging. This laptop has customizable memory options with either 8 or 16GB of RAM and an SSD from 256GB to 1TB for ultra-fast boot times and plenty of storage. Even more, the 14-inch screen produces excellent 4K UHD resolution.
Along with standard USB and HDMI inputs, this laptop supports Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity for quick data transfer and reliable connections. For privacy, the built-in webcam has a physical shutter and works with an infrared sensor to alert you when someone may be looking over your shoulder. Plus, a fingerprint reader is built-in. The business laptop is also splash-resistant and put through tests against 12 military-grade requirements to ensure long-lasting durability.
Related: The Best Lenovo Laptops
Best 2-in-1: Microsoft Surface Pro 7
For professionals who like the practicality of a traditional laptop as well as the convenience of a tablet, the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 is the best choice. Use this 2-in-1 as a traditional laptop for everyday work or as a tablet for design projects or handwriting notes with the Surface Pen. The front and rear cameras use 1080p HD video streaming and recording for crisp, clear pictures. The Surface Pro 7 features both USB-C and USB-A ports as well as Bluetooth connectivity. It also has a microSD card reader for transferring files from cameras and other equipment.
The battery gives you up to 10.5 hours of life on a single charge and you'll get 80 percent of your battery with just an hour of charging. This 2-in-1 also has customizable memory options with 4 to 16GB of RAM and an SSD from 128GB to 1TB. Better yet, there's facial recognition technology for signing in with Windows Hello for more secure log-ins.
Related: The Best Note-Taking Tablets
Best for Apple Users: MacBook Pro 16-Inch
With each new iteration of the MacBook, Apple has improved on processing power, memory storage, and graphics capabilities, and this MacBook Pro model is no exception. It features a 16-inch retina display for ultra-high-definition quality and unparalleled support for millions of colors. With Thunderbolt 3 inputs, you can connect two 6K displays for the ultimate workstation. You can also customize the laptop's storage with up to 64GB of DDR4 RAM, 8GB of GDDR6 VRAM, and an SSD up to 8TB.
Choose either an Intel i7 or i9 processor with integrated AMD Radeon 5000M graphics. The laptop's battery gives you up to 11 hours on a single charge, making it great for working on-the-go. With the T2 security chip, all of your personal and work data is encrypted for protection against unauthorized access. For added security, the MacBook Pro features a Touch ID sensor for signing in with your fingerprint.
Related: The Best Desktop Computers
Best for Travel: Asus ExpertBook B9450
The Asus ExpertBook B9450 is ideal for professionals who frequently travel for business. The battery gives you up to 24 hours of use on a single charge, letting you work all day without disruption, and you'll also get a 60 percent charge in just 39 minutes for quickly powering your laptop between breaks.
Its 14-inch wide body measures just 14.9 mm thick and weighs 2.1 pounds, making it small and lightweight enough to slip into a backpack or laptop bag. It's also tested against 10 different military-grade specifications for long-lasting sturdiness. The memory options are customizable with support for two SSDs up to 2TB for all the storage space you could need. For security, there is an IR camera for facial recognition sign-in options as well as a fingerprint reader and camera shutter.
Best Budget: Asus Flip Chromebook
If you need a reliable laptop for work without breaking the bank, look no further than the Asus Flip Chromebook. This business laptop features a precision-crafted, all-aluminum body that gives the Flip a sleek, modern look. It's powered by an Intel M3-8100Y processor and has integrated Intel HD 615 graphics for superior picture quality.
For memory, you can choose between 4 or 8GB of RAM and you'll also get a 65GB eMMC to store important documents. With both USB-C and USB-A ports, you can connect peripherals or external memory storage devices. The Flip weighs just 3 pounds and measures 14 inches wide, making it compact for travel. Get up to 10 hours of battery life on a single charge, while the 360-degree hinge lets you turn the laptop into a touchscreen tablet for handwriting notes.
Related: The Best External Hard Drives
Best Splurge: HP ZBook G5
The higher-end HP ZBook G5 is a worthy investment. This business laptop features excellent picture quality, thanks to a 4K UHD display that supports 100 percent of the Adobe RGB color range. The display also supports touch-based inputs for easy image zooming. The ZBook G5 is powered by an 8th generation Intel i7-8750H 6-core processor to give you plenty of power for everyday work, graphic design, and even gaming. For memory options, the laptop has 32GB of DDR4 RAM, a 2TB HDD, and 2TB SSD, as well as a second input bay for an M.2 style SSD up to 2TB.
With Bluetooth connectivity, Thunderbolt 3 ports, HDMI ports, and USB 3.1 inputs, there are plenty of ways to connect peripherals like mice, external memory storage, and secondary displays. To keep your information safe from unauthorized access, this business laptop has a fingerprint reader for logging in as well as a privacy screen available that limits the viewing angle. Plus, the battery gives you up to 17 hours of use on a single charge.
Best for Creatives: Dell XPS 15
Professional artists and graphic designers will love the Dell XPS 15 laptop. It features a 9th generation Intel i7-9750H 6-core CPU and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 video card with 4GB of VRAM. It also comes with 16GB of DDR4 RAM and a 1TB SSD, but you can configure the laptop with up to 64GB of RAM and an SSD up to 2TB for more storage. The 15.6-inch display uses OLED technology to produce a stunning 4K UHD resolution and supports 100 percent of the Adobe RGB color range. Even more, the display supports touch inputs so you can use a stylus for drawing.
This business laptop weighs just 4 pounds and measures 17 mm thin for portability. The dual speakers support Waves MaxxAudio technology for 3D sound and an immersive listening experience when working with music or audio mixing. The laptop is made of CNC machined aluminum and a carbon fiber palm rest for durability. Get up to 12 hours of battery life on a single charge.
Best 17-Inch: HP Envy
The HP Envy 17-inch boasts a larger screen than most other laptops. It can be configured with either a 10th generation Intel or 4th generation AMD Ryzen CPU to suit your power and processing needs. It supports up to 16GB of RAM and features a 512GB SSD that can be replaced for more storage. The display produces excellent 1080p HD resolution and supports touch-based inputs, too. With an Nvidia GeForce MX330 graphics card, you can easily edit videos, draw, animate, and even play games.
The HP Envy has Alexa built-in for hands-free voice controls over your laptop. A fingerprint reader also helps keep your personal and work data safe. With HDMI inputs, USB-C, and USB-A ports, and an SD card reader, you can connect secondary displays and peripherals or use external memory storage devices. Better yet, the battery gives you almost 12 hours on a single charge.
Related: The Best Computer Monitors
Best Style: HP Elite Dragonfly
Stylish as it is practical, the HP Elite Dragonfly features a magnesium chassis with an iridescent blue finish for sturdiness and an elegant look. The ultra-quiet keyboard is backlit and spill-resistant, while the touchpad is made of glass for smooth operation. The 13.3-inch touchscreen display produces a full 1080p HD resolution and features a minimal bezel for an edge-to-edge picture. The four-speaker array also uses audio drivers from Bang & Olufsen for a better listening experience. Beyond looks, though, the business laptop is environmentally conscious: HP created 82 percent of the laptop's mechanical parts with recycled materials, including ocean-bound plastics.
Inside the chassis is an 8th generation Intel Core i5 processor, 16GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD. The Elite Dragonfly not only has Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity, but it also features a SIM card slot to connect to high-speed LTE cellular networks. For safety, the laptop has a fingerprint reader, facial recognition software, and data encryption technology. Get up to 13 hours of battery life.
Meet the Expert
Taylor Clemons has over three years of experience writing about games and consumer technology. She has written for IndieHangover, GameSkinny, TechRadar, and her own publication, Steam Shovelers.