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Best Work Laptop – Top 10 Picks for Today’s Best Business Laptops

By November 5, 2020 September 16th, 2021 No Comments

By: Stacy Garrels | November 5, 2020

Several months into Covid, more workers than ever are logging in remotely to their work. During the first couple of months, many of us thought it would be short-lived. We were making do with slow wi-fi and an old laptop propped up on our couch or kitchen table.

But at this point, it’s clear the situation is not short-lived. Your slow laptop or desktop machine may no longer be cutting it. You need a more powerful machine. In addition to socially connecting and gaming, you need something that will work for work. 

And wit Black Friday laptop deals and Cyber Monday laptop specials, now is a great time to buy. 

The prices can’t be beat, and there’s never been more quality selection to choose from. Today’s laptops are slimmer, lighter, faster, and more powerful than ever. They boast sleek designs, fast speeds, fancy webcams and visual display, great warranties, and super long battery life. 

Whether you’re working from the office, from home, or both, here’s a brief look at the best business laptops you can buy today. 

When it comes to basic, day-to-day work needs (email, Zoom calls, VPN connection, Google Docs, Internet searches), any of these machines can get the job done. But if you have specific needs, like graphic design, extra powerful RAM, or a tight budget, you’ll want to check out our list below. 

In no particular order, we’re sharing with you our top picks for the top 10 best business laptops for work. Please note the prices were current at the date of the article’s publication.

10 Best Business Laptops for Work 

1. Best Overall Laptop: Dell Latitude 9410 2-in-1

The Dell Latitude 9410 2-in-1 is an excellent laptop. It has a record-shattering battery life of 15-16+ hours, fast performance, loads of storage, durable aluminum chassis, and IR (infrared) camera with a proximity sensor.  

CPU: Intel Core i7-10610 (vPro) | GPU: Intel UHD | RAM: 16GB | Storage: 512GB | Display: 14-inch, 1080p | Size: 12.6 x 7.9 x 0.6 inches | Weight: 3 pounds

Pro’s: High-speed performance, durability, sleek design, and superior battery life. The IR camera and proximity sensor make security and logging in super easy. Walk up to your Dell Latitude and it knows you’re there, and you don’t have to input any passwords (or stare down the IR. camera or provide fingerprints). 

Con’s: Some critics say that the display could be brighter, or larger than its 14-inch size. Additionally, the webcam does not come with a cover. 

Where to Buy: Dell (from *$2,302), Amazon (from $2,340), Best Buy (from *$2,324) 

*Current price after cash back rebates of 2% applied.

2. Best Lightweight Business Laptop: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon boasts an attractive, slim, and light-weight design, good battery life, and a class-leading keyboard with deeper keys for comfortable typing. The display is bright and vibrant, with 1089p and 4K display options. 

Display: 14 inches; 1,920 x 1,080-3,840 x 2,160 | CPU: 8th-Generation Intel Core i5-i7 | GPU: Intel UHD 620 Graphics | RAM: 16GB | Storage: 256GB-1TB SSD | Weight: 2.40 pounds

Pro’s: Good battery life, 2 Thunderbolt ports, 2 USB ports, 1 HDMI port. Best-in-class keyboard and HDR-ready display. 

Con’s: Does not come with an Ethernet port (although you can get an adapter). Touchpad could be better (more responsive). Weak graphics. On the pricier side.  

Where to Buy: Lenovo (from *$930) Best Buy (from $916), Newgg (from *$945)

*Current price after cash back rebates of 2% applied.

3. Best Budget Laptops: Acer Aspire 5 

With prices starting in the $400’s, it’s hard to find a better deal for a Windows laptop. Relatively large screen (nearly 16 inches) and long-battery life. Bulkier than many other laptop machines (weighs close to 4 pounds) 

Display: 15.6 inches; 1,920 x 1,080 | CPU: Intel Core i3 | GPU: Intel UHD Graphics 620 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 128GB SSD | Weight: 3.76 pounds

Pro’s: Very good battery life. In various consumer tests, the Acer Aspire 5 battery lasts 8-9+ hours long. 

Con’s: Graphics are not great. Less enjoyable experience for video and TV streaming, gaming, photo editing, and high-visual tasks. It’s made of lower quality materials than other more-expensive machines. The lid cover is made of aluminum and rest of body is made of plastic. 

Where to Buy: Best Buy (from *$467), Amazon ($464) 

*Current price after cash back rebates of 2% applied.

4. Best Apple Laptop for Business: Apple 16-inch MacBook Pro (2019)

If you’re a Mac lover, you’ll drool over this 16-inch Apple MacBook Pro. It’s a mega workhorse with an improved “Magic Keyboard” for comfortable typing, powerful 6-speaker audio for top-notch sound, and sharp 16-inch visual display. The Apple MacBook Pro is also highly rated for video editing.  

Pro’s: Powerful battery life (10+ hours), comfortable typing on Magic Keyboard, large screen with slimmer bezels for sleeker look, and sharp graphics. Up to 64GB of RAM and 8TB of storage. Best in class speakers make for impressive audio sound quality.  

Con’s: At 4.3 pounds, it’s one of the heaviest laptops on the market.  No full-size USB port or SD card slot. Pricey. 

Where to Buy: Amazon (from $2,199), Best Buy (from *$2,270), Newegg (from $2,317) 

*Current price after cash back rebates of 2% applied.

5. Best 2-in-1 Laptop: Samsung Galaxy Book Flex 

You’ll appreciate the Galaxy Book Flex’s stunning design and crazy-long battery life. In fact, in tests the battery has lasted 14-15+ hours. It comes with intuitive, touch-screen tools (the S-pen stylus) and an anti-glare mode you can use if you want to work from your laptop while lounging outside at the pool. 

Processor: 10th Generation Intel Core i7 (Ice Lake) | Memory: 12GB of RAM | Storage: 512GB SSD | Display: 15.6″ QLED (1920 x 1080 pixels) | Size: 14 x 8.9 x 0.6 inches | Weight: 3.4 pounds | Ports: 2x Thunderbolt 3, 1x USB-C microSD reader, headphone jack

Pro’s: 14-15+ hour battery life, built-in S-pen that docks on the laptop, outdoor (anti-glare) mode for good readability outside. Available in 13-inch or 15-inch designs. Use drawing features in the tablet mode. Comes with fingerprint reader. 

Con’s: The keys are on the shallow side which could be less comfortable or typists. The Shift key is about half as large which can be disruptive. Key size halved to accommodate the fingerprint reader. 

Where to Buy: Best Buy (from  *$833), Newegg (from *$804), Amazon (from $750), Samsung Online Store (from *$441) 

Price: $1,399 | Processor: 10th Generation Intel Core i7 (Ice Lake) | Memory: 12GB of RAM | Storage: 512GB SSD | Display: 15.6″ QLED (1920 x 1080 pixels) | Size: 14 x 8.9 x 0.6 inches | Weight: 3.4 pounds | Ports: 2x Thunderbolt 3, 1x USB-C microSD reader, headphone jack

*Current price after cash back rebates of 2% applied.

6. Best Laptop for Editing Photos: Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch (2020)

Display: 13 inch Retina Display (2560 x 1600) | CPU: 1.4GHz quad core 8th gen to 2.3GHz 10th gen Core i7 | GPU: Intel Iris Plus 645, Intel Iris Plus | RAM: 8GB to 32GB | Storage: 256GB to 4TB SSD | Weight: 3.1 pounds

In a major improvement from previous generations, the MacBook Pro 13-inch has a great keyboard with deeper keys for more comfortable, responsive typing. Long battery life and powerful RAM  and Core i7 processor. Fantastic graphics for photo and video editing capabilities. 

Pro’s: Long battery life (lasts 10+ hours). New “Magic Keyboard” for comfortable typing. Gorgeous machine design. Intel Iris Plus graphics for advanced photo editing and video editing. Powerful RAM. Fast SSD. 

Con’s: Can be very pricey. Weighs more than 3 pounds. Bezels (boarders between the  screen and screen frame) are very thick.  

Where to Buy: Amazon (from $1,244), Best Buy (from *$980)

*Current price after cash back rebates of 2% applied.

7. Best 2-in-1 Business Laptop for Work: Microsoft Surface Pro 7 (10th Gen CPUs) 

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

The Microsoft Surface Pro 7 is known for its colorful visual display, speedy performance, and comfortable (optional) keyboard. Weighing less than 2 pounds, the Surface Pro 7 is easy to port to and fro if you’re traveling or logging in from a local coffee shop. With a Surface Pen, you can draw or take notes on the screen.  

Pro’s: Speedy performance, comfortable typing, good visual display. Equipped with a USB-C port. 

Con’s: Battery life less powerful than predecessor model. The screen display bezels are large and chunky. Purchasing storage or RAM upgrades are expensive. 

Where to Buy: Best Buy (from *$980), Newegg (from *$980), Walmart (from $996), Amazon (from $895)  

*Current price after cash back rebates of 2% applied.

8. Best 2-in-1 Chromebook: Asus Chromebook Flip C434

Display: 14 inches; 1,920 x 1,080 | CPU: 8th-Generation Intel Core m3 | GPU: Intel UHD Graphics 615 | RAM: 4GB-8GB | Storage: 64GB | Weight: 3.19 pounds

The Asus Chromebook Flip C434 is a solid, multi-purpose Chromebook for business and personal computing. Users appreciate its slick design, solid battery life, and good visual display. While earlier models of Google’s Chrome OS were limited, Chromebooks have improved a lot over the past few years, making it a powerful, versatile machine of sound build quality.

Pro’s: Versatile – users can flip between laptop and tablet modes. Sleek design, good visual display, and good battery life. Supports many Android apps. Decent selection of ports: USB 3.1 port, two USB-c ports, a headphone jack, and a microSD card slot. 

Con’s: Chrome OS is a lightweight operating system (but the m3 processor and RAM specs should be enough to provide smooth, reliable performance). 

Where to Buy: Best Buy (from *$420), Amazon (from $439), Newegg (from $457)

*Current price after cash back rebates of 2% applied.

9. Best Business Class Chromebook: HP Pro C640 Chrome Enterprise

CPU: Intel Core i7-10610U | GPU: Intel UHD | RAM: 16GB | Storage: 128GB eMMC | Display: 14-inch, 1080p | Size: 12.8 x 8.07 x 0.65 inches | Weight: 3.3 pounds

The HP Pro C640 Chrome Enterprise boasts military-grade durability top-notch security, and super fast performance with its 10th Gen Intel Core i7 CPU. While many Chromebooks have the reputation of being cheaply made out of plastic, the Pro C640 has a durable metal chassis. Runs on Chrome OS with Chrome Enterprise (Google’s cloud-based IT platform). 

Pro’s: Military-grade durability, high-end security, fast performance, high-end security features (including an optional fingerprint scanner), comfortable keyboard (deeper keys), large touch-screen display, wide variety of ports (USB-C, USB-A, Surface Connect, headphone jack), and long battery life of 10-11+ hours. 

Con’s: Weaker display and graphics could be better, but more than acceptable if you’re not a visual, graphic, or video creator or editor. On the pricer side for a Chromebook. 

Where to Buy: Amazon (from $1,299), Newegg (from *$1,064), Staples (from *$1,060) 

*Current price after cash back rebates of 2% applied.

10. Best Surface Laptop: Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 (15-inch, Intel) 

While it may be a pricey buy, discerning users will appreciate its fast performance and long battery life, sleek and minimal design, comfortable keyboard (with deeper keys), and large touch-screen display. 

CPU: 10th-Gen Intel Core i7-1065G7 ( or Core i5-1035G7) | RAM: 16GB | Display: 15-inch touch-screen display, 2496 x 1664 | Storage: 1TB SSD (128GB, 256GB, 512GB also available) | Ports: 1x USB-C, 1x USB-A, Surface Connect port, headphone jack | Battery Life 11:30 | Wireless: Wi-Fi 6/Bluetooth 5.0 | Dimensions: 13.4 x 9.6 x 0.6 inches | Weight: 3.4 pounds

Pro’s: Powerful operating system. Large display with a 15-inch screen. Aluminum design. Battery life of 9-11+ hours. Ports for USB-C, USB-A, Surface Connect, and a headphone jack. 

Con’s:  Has a limited number of ports, but this is a quick and cheap fix with a USB port hub. At nearly 3 1/2 pounds, it is on the heavier size for a laptop. However it is relatively light given how large the screen is.  

Where to Buy: Best Buy (from *$1,980), Amazon (from $2,399) 

*Current price after cash back rebates of 2% applied.

Choosing a Business Laptop: How to Find the Best Work Laptop for You

  • Consult with a support person in your organization first. They may have some recommendations and can share insights into the more obscure technical specs you’ll need to worry about. Like do you need Intel vPro or AMD Ryzen? Many business laptops need Intel vPro technology with enables a support person to remotely log into your machine to provide assistance. 
  • Operating system. Typically, you’ll have three choices: Windows 10, macOS (for MacBooks), or Chrome OS for Chromebooks. Windows 10 is most common and macOS tends to be favored for those connected to Apple’s ecosystem. Chrome OS is the lightweight OS, but it has got stronger and more “beefed up”. Some organizations will favor one OS over the other, or it may depend on your role within the organization. And you may Windows 10, or a particular OS, in order to access certain applications or databases. Look for a screen resolution that’s 1080 or higher. Laptops with lower resolution make productivity a challenge. It can be hard to see the text on screen, especially if you’re in more challenging light settings. 
  • Graphics display. If you do visual-graphic work, you may need a laptop with a gorgeous full HD or 4K (high pixel) backlit display. The graphics card will be extremely important. Keep in mind that a laptop built to run 3D modeling or intense photo editing applications may be heavy and ill-suited for travel. But a machine with Core i9 CPU and Nvidia Quadro P5200 GPU may be what you need to get the job done. Along with this type of laptop’s heavier weight, it will also have a shorter battery life. 
  • Make sure it has long battery life. Look for a laptop with a battery life of 9+ hours. You don’t want to run out of battery mid-project while you’re on the go or traveling. A minimum charge of 9+ hours is not hard to find, and with many business-grade laptops, you can choose extended batteries. (Always opt for the higher-capacity option. You won’t regret the investment down the road.) 
  • SSDs for responsiveness: If you want a fast computer, you’ll need to get an SSD (solid state drive) rather than a mechanical hard drive. SSD machines do a better job at booting up, opening programs and apps, and running multiple programs. A solid state drive runs at least three times faster than an HHD (hard disk drive). While HHD’s are cheaper, they are slower and less reliable. Also the cost for SSD hard drive machines is coming down. 
  • 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 drive
  • Size and portability. The idea behind laptops is they’re portable. They’re meant to move around vs staying fixed like desktop stations. Make sure your laptop is lightweight and slim enough for you to easily tote it around in your backpack or briefcase. There’s nothing worse than being stuck with a laptop that’s too heavy and cumbersome to easily move around with. 
  • Comfortable keypad. Plenty of keypads (detachable or not) are as flat as cardboard and uncomfortable to type on. Also, they’re less responsive which means you’ll make more typos and be less productive. Keyboard technology has improved immensely, and make sure you select a tablet or laptop with deep, comfortable keys. If it feels awkward to type on when you try it out, don’t tell yourself that you’ll get used to it or learn to live with it. Move on immediately for a better keyboard fit. 
  • The device has the right ports. You probably don’t want to carry around a tangled mess of cords, dongles, and adapters. (I’m stuck in that mess right now, and it is plain annoying.) Think about what kind of connections you use the most. For example, if you connect to a wired network you’ll want an Ethernet port. If you upload a load of photos, you’ll want a memory card reader. Take a look at the devices you’ll be hooking up to your laptop to figure out the ports you’ll need. 
  • Will you use this device for gaming? While you may be lucky enough to own a dedicated gaming laptop with an RGB monitor, not everyone does. True, almost any mainstream tablet or laptop can handle light gaming like Minecraft or Crossy Roads. But if you’re a more intense gamer, you’ll need a laptop that can handle heavier visual work like Nvidia Quadro graphics.

More to Read

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  3. Everything you need to know about how COVID-19 is changing up Black Friday 2020.
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