Every month, we update our in-depth laptop reviews with the latest pricing, avilability and value scores to provide a definitive ranking in various group tests. In this article, we’re looking for the best business laptop
Different laptops suit different needs: we’re not yet at a place where one laptop suits everyone. Most businesses don’t want to outfit their workforce with expensive, bulky, noisy, flashy gaming laptops. Nor do they want to spend too much on models with super-fast processors and expensive, colour-accurate screens that cost a lot of money. However, neither do businesses want laptops that fall apart or are security risks should they become lost or stolen.
In this post-pandemic era it’s also essential that they’re relatively portable and have decent web-conferencing abilities. To that end here are the results of November’s best business laptop group test.
Table of Contents
What Makes the Best Business Notebook?
The best business laptop looks like it belongs in a corporate environment and will impress the C-Suite when in the boardroom. It will be robust enough to take home and out on the road and have good web conferencing features. It will also have some extra security features as the data inside the laptop is usually worth more than the notebook itself. For the enterprise, it should offer the ability for remote management and support.
Not all business laptops have all of these features, so be sure to identify which are the most important when selecting yours.
Top 25 Best Business Laptops
1. Lenovo Yoga Pro 7i (8th Gen) – New Entry
Price: $3,378 | An almost flawless business notebook that does almost everything
Lenovo’s Yoga Pro 7i is designed for creators but it’s great for office work and can play games too. On top of all that, this 14.5-inch business laptop only weighs one-and-a-half kilos and has a 13-hour battery life. Its magnesium chassis is solid and luxurious, the screen is excellent and so are the speakers. Its Full HD webcam also supports Windows Hello secure login. We couldn’t really find fault with it. Oh, and it’s on sale right now to the point where it’s also our joint Best Value laptop to boot.
Read our Lenovo Yoga Pro 7i (8th Gen) review.
2. Acer Swift Edge 16
Price: $1,966 (US$1,300) | It’s amazing, but still has availability issues
Acer’s Swift Edge 16 is a 16-inch laptop that only weighs 1.24KG and is 15mm thick. Despite that, it looks corporate; has a 9-hour battery life; is built well enough to survive life on the road; has a superb, UHD, OLED, HDR screen; and has excellent ergonomics.
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It also uses AMD’s A.I. processor – the first we’ve seen on an x86 (i.e. not Apple) laptop. This doesn’t just provide extra power to the Edge 16, it enhances the performance (and background blurring) of the UHD webcam and does an excellent job of cutting out loud, background noise when webconferencing. An outstanding business laptop (or any laptop for that matter). Just note that, in November, it’s still very difficult to find one.
Read our Acer Swift Edge 16 review.
3. Lenovo ThinkPad Z13
Price: $1,499 | Power, performance, portability and price tag: The AMD-based Z13 is very attractive
Some office workers need a bit more grunt while retaining the best business features and Lenovo’s ThinkPad Z13 ticks all the boxes. It’s solidly built, weighs just 1.26KG and has an 18-hour battery life. Meanwhile, the AMD processor punches harder than many other business laptops, especially with its integrated 3D performance, which will suit those who need to perform occasional rendering and encoding tasks. While its price has varied considerably in recent times, in November, variants are on sale from just $1,499.
Read our Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 review.
4. Lenovo Yoga 7i (8th Gen)
Price: $2,529 | Our former Number 1 business laptop has missed the sales, it seems
The latest-gen Lenovo Legion 7i is a 16-inch, 2-in-1, convertible tablet with a 13th-Gen, Core i7, Intel processor inside and a battery that lets it run for 18 hours – that’s two days out of the office! It’s Gen 8 in Lenovo’s language and it should satisfy the business requirements of any SMB, Enterprise or vertical. Our only gripe is the slightly firm keyboard. November update: Despite Lenovo’s huge sale, the 7i has reverted to RRP. Hopefully, it will drop as Black Friday approaches.
Read our Lenovo Yoga 7i (8th Gen) review.
5. HP Elite Dragonfly G4 – New Entry
Price: $3,945 | A gorgeous business-class ultraportable. But, it’s expensive
We used many of the laptops on this list as our daily drivers but the Dragonfly was one that was particularly hard to say goodbye to. It’s a business-class laptop that’s even got a privacy-optimised ‘HP Sure View’ screen that stops people side-eyeing what you’re looking at.
HP Wolf Security is there to keep consumers and organisations secure and it has a Windows Hello fingerprint reader and a webcam. The latter is a particularly impressive 1,440p UHD model and works well with the excellent microphone array and speakers. It’s impressively built, only weighs 1.25KG and has a battery that lasts for 18 hours. The only thing we weren’t sure about was the screen’s multimedia prowess, but that’s a minor point when it comes to business. The Dragonfly is also our Best Portable Laptop at the time of writing.
Read our HP Elite Dragonfly G4 review.
6. Acer Swift Go 14
Price: $1,269 | Acer’s latest Go is a desirable, all-round, workhorse in a portable package
It’s not quite as super-human as its Edge 16 sibling, but the Acer Swift Go 14 is still very attractive for workers. It’s a 14-inch ultraportable with an OLED screen, a punchy 13th-Gen Intel processor, a 1.33KG chassis plus, it has an 11+ hour battery life. It’s a joy to use, robustly built and was our personal workhorse for a long time. It’s also on sale for just $1,699!
Read our Acer Swift Go 14 review.
7. HP Envy X360
Price: $1,999 | Our former best business laptop is ultraportable and also transforms into a tablet
The HP Envy should be high up the list of anyone choosing a business notebook for many different industries. It’s not just got the impressive business credentials that will see it thrive, both in an office environment and on the road, it’s also designed with Creators in mind.
The screen is great and it even folds ‘360-degrees’ to transform into a tablet – replete with stylus. It’s got some very nifty web-conferencing software, connectivity is decent and it’s not slow. Did we mention that it’s solidly built, weighs just 1.4KG and has a battery life of 19.5 hours? It’s still our Best Portable Laptop and, even though it’s no longer on sale in November, it’s still great value.
Read our HP Envy X360 review.
8. Acer Swift Go 16
Price: $1,399 | The Go 16 is a great 16-inch, portable, business laptop and more than just a larger Go 14
It’s just 15mm thick and weighs only 1.64KG yet its robust chassis is well-suited to road-warrior workers. It’s got very good ergonomics, including a fast OLED screen and it’s more portable than many thin-and-light laptops. It’s got a Windows-Hello-compatible fingerprint reader for extra security and an excellent UHD webcam and microphone combination for excellent web-conferencing. It’s also on sale for less than it’s smaller sibling right now!
Read our Acer Swift Go 16 review.
9. Dell XPS 13
Price: $1,799 | A business stalwart that’s near-perfect for portability
We were asked to post our most recent review of the Dell XPS 13 on Smarthouse but we nonetheless tested it using High Performance Laptops‘ in-depth methodology. It’s an industry stalwart that impresses casual users and top executives alike, thanks to its aluminium-appearance. However, its paltry, two, Thunderbolt 4 ports (one of which is used by the power supply) is still stingy and impractical in our book. The screen is also only good for office work.
Nonetheless, there’s much to like, especially in terms of ergonomics and portability. It weighs just 1.16KG and has a battery that ran our PCMark Modern Office test for an impressive 14 hours and 13 minutes. It’s come right down in price and many businesses will have lease agreements with MSPs that supply workers with them.
Read our Dell XPS 13 review.
10. MSI Prestige 14 Evo
Price: $1,498 | A price crash means the premium Prestige is now the best budget business laptop
We’ve been massive fans of MSI’s Prestige range for a while. It’s a business notebook that can be purchased in colours like Hot Pink and can even squeeze-in secret, gaming-and-creator-friendly graphics chips while remaining office friendly. We recently saw the latest, 13th-Gen, 13-inch, 18mm-thick variant at the unveiling of the new MSI Business laptops and were very impressed.
As with all best business laptops, there are many different SKUs to choose from – from powerful, expensive options to low-powered, ultraportable alternatives. Whatever you choose, MSI’s premium business notebook will impress you. November update: It’s just dropped another $500!
Read our MSI Prestige 14 Evo review.
11. HP Pavilion X360 14
Price: $1,599 | One of the best value laptops on the market
We only recently reviewed the Pavilion but were generally impressed. It doesn’t excel in many places but, as business-friendly, workhorse laptops go, it’s got a lot to offer. It weighs 1.41KG and has a 9 hour and 10 minute battery life. It’s in a crowded market, but it’s certainly worth considering and many MSPs will be able to get it even cheaper. If you want one independently, it’s dropped further in price in November to just $974!
Read our HP Pavilion X360 14 review.
12. Acer Swift 5
Price: $2,732 | An impressive, Intel Evo-based, business tool
While we’re a little miffed by the cheap, plastic base being married to such a classy, metal lid, the Acer Swift 5 is a very good, ultraportable, business laptop. It has impressive processing power and portability while retaining good ergonomics.
The trackpad is a minor annoyance but, beyond that, this really has got it where it counts. If you don’t like our review spec, you can find others in Acer’s current sale.
Read our Acer Swift 5 review.
13. Asus Expertbook B5
Price: $2,699 | An impressively light, 16-inch laptop
Asus’ Expertbook B5 feels incredibly light for a wide, 16-inch machine. If you need a big OLED screen that’s portable, this is well worth considering. It also has a 10+ hour battery and a great keyboard. If you can live with a somewhat-wobbly screen (the hinge is still strong) and a mediocre webcam, it’s a great choice for a business laptop.
Read our Asus Expertbook B5 review.
14. HP Elitebook X360 1040 G9
Price: $2,535 | A fantastic ultraportable with Enterprise-grade security
HP’s Elitebook is its top-tier, best business laptop and it’s absolutely packed with security features. Like the SMB-friendly Envy, it doubles as a convertible tablet but it also features a 5G microSIM slot for WAN-based internet access. Better-than-normal security features include HP Wolf Security technology and a smart card reader making it the best business laptop for the Enterprise.
It is light at 1.48KG and it has an almost-11-hour battery life. It’s risen in price in November, but the MSPs that will likely be procuring it, will get heavy discounts for businesses.
Read our HP Elitebook X360 1040 G9 review.
15. Microsoft Surface Pro 9
The Microsoft Surface Pro 9 is designed for corporates who want a hybrid, mobile workforce to have a mobile tool that’s good for office work; reliable when out and about and good for web-conferencing when away from a desk. In these regards it’s a great success. It’s so easy to chuck in a bag and whip it out to start working on, instantly.
However, it’s expensive compared to rival ‘laptops’ and having to pay an additional $430 for the keyboard and stylus sticks in the craw, somewhat. It also has a long footprint which makes it difficult to actually rest on your lap. Still, it’s so easy to rip-off the keyboard and use as a tablet that it’s arguably the best convertible on the market. Many business laptop buyers will be getting a very different price via their company’s MSP, too.
Read our Microsoft Surface Pro 9 review.
16. HP ZBook Power G9
We’ve not reviewed too many workstations lately, but HP’s ZBook was impressive nonetheless. It features the GPU and certifications you’d expect from a workstation, plus the security options that corporate IT security managers would demand. This all makes the ZBook Power G9 well worth investigating if you’re in the niche audience that needs it.
Read our HP ZBook Power G9 review.
17. Lenovo Legion Pro 5i (Gen 8)
Price: $2,799 | It’s a perfect business laptop, that’s also one of the best gaming laptops you can buy!
When we first reviewed the Gen 8 Legion Pro 5i, we viewed it more as a gaming laptop. However, it’s the epitome of a Clark-Kent-Superman machine. It looks corporate in almost every way and yet it’s also one of the best gaming laptops around.
While we’re not encouraging corporate procurement types to furnish their workforces with gaming machines, many of the best hybrid-work laptops double as personal laptops as people take more care of them. There are also workloads that require a hefty GPU – like rendering, code-compiling, CAD and other power-user applications. Whatever your requirements, this is one of the very best, all-round laptops on the market and it’s great for business, however you define it. December update: Unfortunately, only the previous Gen 7 is still on sale. But, it can be had for just $2,478.
Read our Lenovo Legion Pro 5i (Gen 8) review.
18. Gigabyte Aero 14 OLED
Price: $2,799 | A wannabe unicorn laptop that tries to excel at everything
Off the bat, we do have some reservations regarding this laptop’s stability, but we’re liaising with Gigabyte to see whether these issues were limited to our particular review unit. There’s much to like in this office-friendly ultraportable. It weighs just 1.47KG and has a great, Full HD webcam. The battery only lasted seven and a quarter hours, but then the Aero 14 does have integrated Nvidia RTX 4050 graphics (they’re reduced in power, though) for at least some gaming prowess.
The OLED screen is quick and it also supports the entire DCI-P3 colour space for designers. That’s in addition to offering eye-strain-reducing credentials. It does everything you want from a business laptop… to some degree.
Read our Gigabyte Aero 14 OLED review.
19. Dell Inspiron 14
Price: $1,999 | The Big Mac of business laptops
If you were to compare business laptops to food, then the Dell Inspiron 14 5420 is arguably the Big Mac. There are plenty of alternatives, but this arguably represents the baseline of acceptable quality and value in the world of work-designated laptops.
13th-Gen variants will be appearing soon but we don’t expect major differences to an Inspiron blueprint that’s been consistent for years. It won’t suit everyone, but it’s the epitome of mid-range quality and that’s especially important when you need a reliable workhorse for a mobile workforce in an SMB or Enterprise.
Read our Dell Inspiron 14 review.
20. MSI Modern 14 C13M
Price: $898 | It has issues but it’s a cheap and cheerful, business-friendly laptop
The Modern 14 C13M is the latest incarnation of MSI’s business-focused range and it came in costing the same price as its predecessor. In an era of inflation, that was impressive. As we’ve noted about MSI’s Modern range in the past, the C13M is (once again) a capable, general-purpose, portable computer that doesn’t stray far from the ordinary. In November, the price has risen slightly. However, there are many other variants that cost less in the current sales.
Read our MSI Modern 14 C13M review.
21. Acer Predator Triton 500 SE
Price: $2,649 | An gamer-friendly business laptop
The Acer Predator Triton 500 SE is a sleeper laptop. It can easily fit into an office but it’s capable of
playing games heavy rendering workloads thanks to its Nvidia GPU. Meanwhile, the fast, UHD screen ensures that fast moving enemies objects are displayed very smoothly and sharply. We’re looking forward to reviewing an updated model but the good news is that this last-gen unit is very heavily discounted. You can find more deals on Acer business laptops, here.
Read our Acer Predator Triton 500 SE review.
22. MSI Vector GP66
Price: $3,799 | MSI’s sleeper laptop can hide in an office
MSI’s Vector often gets overlooked in favour of its better-known Raider and Titan siblings which are out-and-out gaming laptops. However, the Vector eschews fancy bling to keep the price down and hide its secret identity in offices.
It’s promarily designed for creators but that means it still contains a high-end CPU and GPU. Meanwhile, the screen has a UHD, 2,560 x 1,440 resolution and a speedy 165Hz refresh rate. Plus, it supports 100 per cent of the demanding DCI-P3 colour gamut.
The price might have risen in November, but it’s cheaper than some rivals and can suit those who want a business laptop that is good during downtime too.
Read our MSI Vector GP66 review.
23. Dell XPS 13 Plus
Price: $3,198 | A special, souped-up version of the popular XPS 13
The Dell XPS 13 Plus has a stunning OLED screen with Windows-friendly HDR. It’s partnered by an amazing quad-speaker system and yet weighs only 1.27KG. However, it does get a little warm (hot under heavy load) and the high-concept trackpad is difficult to use. It’s now available with a 13th-Gen processor but the recent sale price has gone and, in November, it’s expensive once more (hence the plummet in our rankings). Hopefully it will drop as we get closer to Black Friday.
Read our Dell XPS 13 Plus review.
24. HP Spectre Foldable 17 – New Entry
Price: $8,499 | A desirable and functional multi-faceted convertible… for travelling executives
HP’s Spectre Foldable 17 folding, convertible, OLED tablet feels like a regular laptop when its keyboard is placed upon its lower half. You can also elongate the screen by dragging it backwards. Meanwhile, unfolding it can turn it into a tablet or even a desktop (via its stand). It weighs just 1.32KG and the keyboard only adds another 267g. It’s got a 14-and-a-half-hour battery life, too.
At $8,499 it’s one of the most expensive laptops we’ve ever tested. But, if you’re a travelling exec, who wants to travel with a large screen, while retaining full laptop functionality, it could be exactly what you’re looking for.
Read our HP Spectre Foldable 17 review.
25. MSI Summit E16 Flip
Price: $2,499 | It might be getting on a bit, but it’s still a good business laptop
It’s reasonably priced for an executive notebook. Of course, when it comes to buying business notebooks, they often come through a company’s MSP (Managed Service Provider) leasing deal so not all business users will get to choose this MSI. However, if you’re the boss and you don’t want a Dell, this can be a good alternative. It’s expensive in November, though.
Read our MSI Summit E16 Flip review.
Which laptop brand is best for business?
All major laptop brands make a range of good (expensive) and bad (cheap) laptops so brand is usually not the defining factor. That said, in Australia and other countries, most Managed Service Providers (MSPs – third-party, IT-outsourcing organisations who outfit large and small companies) and in-house, corporate, IT departments believe the best business laptops come from Dell, HP and Lenovo due to their focus on company requirements and local, corporate support structures.
What laptop is best for small business?
If you’re a small business (aka SMB or SME) then you have a few options. Firstly, you should consider outsourcing your technology provisions to an MSP (Managed Service Provider) who will lease you business laptops for a monthly fee. They will usually choose the brand for you. Leasing means they will set-up and support the laptops and refresh them every three years, or so. That way you don’t have huge, up-front CapEx costs and a depreciating asset – you have predictable, ongoing OpEx costs. If you’re determined to buy and support your own equipment, check that it’s from a dedicated business range from a known brand. Traditionally the best business laptops come from Dell, HP and Lenovo.
Which laptop is best for working professionals?
Not all business laptops suit all working professionals. The best business laptops tend to suit SMBs and Enterprise-like organisations. If you’re a Creative worker, engineer, academic or tradie, you may being better off looking for a laptop with a colour-accurate screen, or a laptop with Workstation graphics and industry certifications, or a rugged laptop that will survive life in the wilderness or on a building site. As such, the answer will vary according to your specific requirements.
What is the best laptop for home based businesses?
If you’re literally going to stay at home for work, then a business laptop with a large screen makes a good choice as you’ll be more productive thanks to the extra Windows Desktop real estate. Alternatively, choose a smaller model that can easily connect to a separate keyboard, mouse and monitor via connections like HDMI, DisplayPort or the more-modern, USB-C port (the latter also supports DisplayPort). USB-C also enables you to share your screen with the monitor while the monitor simultaneously charges your laptop. This can get rid significant cable clutter. Whatever you choose, make sure that both your business laptop and monitor have compatible connections.
How much should you spend on a business laptop?
This answer totally depends on your requirements. If you want the best business laptop that’s highly portable, you can get a model like the HP Envy or Dell XPS 13 for (roughly) between $1,100 and $2,500. If you want something more standard, you can pick up a functional device for anything from (roughly) $1,200 depending on your requirements. Workstations and Rugged business laptops cost considerably more ($4,000+) owing to the extra effort involved in their design, construction and testing. Creator laptops can cost more due to high-quality screens and powerful components.