Best business laptops 2021: top devices for working from home, SMB and more

Best business laptops 2021: top devices for working from home: The demand for the best business laptops is bigger than ever now that we’ve entered the age of working from home. They are both powerful and versatile enough to cater to a wide range of requirements and use cases, and they’re excellent solutions for professionals who no longer have to be fully-based in a physical office or travel for business.

Of course, choosing one of the best business laptops is not a task to be taken lightly. You need more than a fancy machine with a premium price. In fact, it might surprise you to know that there’s a lot of affordable business laptops out there that are a better value for your money. Plus, you need it to be reliable, robust, and portable so you can use it whether you’re working remotely or at the office. Finally, you also want a long battery life and perhaps a rugged build, if you plan on doing work outdoors.

We found the best business laptops in 2021, from the most common Windows laptops to a Linux laptop or a more economical Chromebook. Whether you want the best Ultrabook, best mobile workstation or even a thin client, you’ll find something in this guide for your small startup or your home office-based one-man team.

If you’re looking for something with a bit more oomph, one of the best business desktop PCs or even a workstation might be more ideal. Alternatively, check out our best tablets for business guide as well.

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While you’re at it, consider which accessories you may need, such as laptop bags, docking stations, and portable chargers to keep the battery going.

1. Dell XPS 15 (2020)

All-powerful Dell laptop for creative students


CPU: 10th Gen Intel Core i5 – i7

Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics – NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti

RAM: 8GB – 64GB

Screen: 15.6″ FHD+ (1920 x 1200) InfinityEdge Non-Touch Anti-Glare 500-Nit – 15.6″ UHD+ (3840 x 2400) InfinityEdge Touch Anti-Reflective 500-Nit Display

Storage: 256GB – 2TB M.2 PCIe NVMe

Reasons to buy

+Amazing speakers+Beautiful display+Comfy keyboard

Reasons to avoid

GTX 1650 Ti is a little weak

Combining staggering power in a stylish thin and light chassis, this laptop doesn’t hold back when it comes to internals and features that improve your computing experience overall, making this one of the best business laptops around. Among those amazing features are a gorgeous bright display with 500 nits of brightness, an extremely comfortable keyboard, impressive speakers, and a terrific trackpad. We’re not saying that this laptop is perfect, but our coveted 5 out of 5 rating should speak for itself.

Read the full review: Dell XPS 15

2. MacBook Pro 16″

The best Apple laptop


CPU: 2.6GHz 6‑core Intel Core i7 to 2.4GHz 8‑core Intel Core i9

Graphics: AMD Radeon Pro 5300M with 4GB of GDDR6 to AMD Radeon Pro 5500M with 8GB of GDDR6

RAM: 16-64GB 2666MHz DDR4

Screen: 16-inch 3072×1920 at 226 ppi

Storage: 512GB – 8TB SSD

Reasons to buy

+Powerful configurations+Best MacBook to date+Big and beautiful screen

Reasons to avoid


If you don’t want a Windows laptop and you want only the best Mac laptop you can get, then the MacBook Pro 16″ is truly the best laptop from Apple you can choose.

Aside from its large and beautiful 16″ screen, the technical specifications make this probably the most powerful laptop on this list, and should provide many years of excellent use.

There’s a choice of 6-core or 8-core processor, and for RAM the base model comes with 16 GB with the option to expand to 64 GB. There’s also a choice of graphics cards available, allowing this laptop to handle even the most demanding applications.

All in all this is a beautiful and powerful machine, but as you’d expect, it comes with the biggest price tag of all of the laptops featured here. If you want only the best, then the MacBook Pro 16″ should probably be at the top of your list.

3. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (6th Gen)

The ultra-thin business laptop that sacrifices nothing


CPU: Intel Core i7-7600U vPro

Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620


Screen: 14-inch, 2560 x 1440 pixels

Storage: 1TB SSD

Reasons to buy

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

Reasons to avoid


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.

If you’re looking for one of the best Lenovo laptops with business grade capabilities, you’ve got an ace here. 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 percent capacity in only an hours, the X1 Carbon is an ultrabook that lets you keep on working while you’re on the move.

4. 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

Reasons to buy

+Beautiful design+Fantastic display+Terrific battery life

Reasons to avoid

No SD card slotWebcam 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 Ultrabook’s on the market.

5. Dell XPS 13

New and improved


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

Reasons to buy

+Centered webcam+Battery life better than ever+Beautiful optional 4K display

Reasons to avoid

Update isn’t hugeExpensive

If the Dell XPS 15 is a little large or expensive for your needs, then the Dell XPS 13 makes for an excellent second.

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 2019 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.

Dell has once again given the Dell XPS 13 a boost when it comes to components, and the webcam is now placed above the screen for better video calls, which helps make the Dell XPS 13 once again one of the best business laptops money can buy.

6. MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2020)

Worth the upgrade at the highest configuration


CPU: 8th-generation Intel Core i5 – 10th-generation Intel Core i7

Graphics: Intel Iris Plus Graphics 645

RAM: up to 32GB

Screen: 13-inch Retina display with True Tone

Storage: 256GB – 4TB SSD

Reasons to buy

+Improved specs (on some models)+Larger capacity SSD for starting model+New keyboard is great

Reasons to avoid

Entry-level model still has 8th gen Intel CPUYou still only get Thunderbolt 3 ports

The MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2020)’s entry-level model may miss out on some of the lineup’s new toys. However, going for the higher-end configurations will get you new (and powerful) Intel processors and improved RAM speeds for better performance, all packed in the 13-inch incredibly svelte body. Apple rounds it all out with that incredible Magic Keyboard from the new 16-inch, finally getting rid of that problematic keyboard. Even if you don’t go for the 10th-generation Intel Core configurations, you might still appreciate the fact that all models come with more storage capacity for the same price as their predecessors.

Read the full review: MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2020)

7. Lenovo Yoga C630

A brilliant Windows on Snapdragon laptop


CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 850

Graphics: Qualcomm Adreno 630 GPU


Screen: 13.3-inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels

Storage: 256GB SSD

Reasons to buy

+4G connectivity+Huge battery life

Reasons to avoid

Windows 10 S mode uselessLimited app compatibility

The Lenovo Yoga C630 is hands-down the best Snapdragon-powered laptop ever made. Unlike other Windows laptops that run on Intel or AMD hardware, the Lenovo Yoga C630 runs on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 850 SoC. This is usually found in flagship smartphones, and it allows the Lenovo Yoga C630 to have some of the best smartphone features – but in a laptop.

So, you get instant-on startup times and 4G connectivity. This makes it one of the best business laptops because it means you don’t have to rely on Wi-Fi. You can be out almost anywhere, and as long as you have a 4G SIM installed, you can access the internet quickly and securely. The Lenovo Yoga C630 is also always connected, which means even when it is not being used, it’s still connected to the internet. So, when you next turn it on, all your emails, messages and notifications will be there waiting for you.

Best of all, it’s got a phenomenal battery life of almost 24 hours. That means it can go several work days on a single charge. The only problem is that because it doesn’t run on traditional hardware, not all applications are compatible. Hopefully that will change in the future, but if your business relies on a certain program, make sure it runs on Snapdragon or ARM hardware before you buy.

8. MacBook Air (2020)

New and improved for 2020


CPU: Intel Core i3 – i7

Graphics: Intel Iris Plus Graphics

RAM: 8GB – 16GB

Screen: 13.3-inch, 2,560 x 1,600 Retina display (backlit LED, IPS)

Storage: 256GB – 2TB PCIe-based SSD

Dimensions: 30.41 x 21.24 x 1.61 cm

Reasons to buy

+Lower price of entry+New 10th generation processors+Improved keyboard

Reasons to avoid

Screen colors a little mutedBattery life only OKWebcam still just 720p

Apple’s thinnest and lightest MacBook came back with a vengeance in 2020. Not only did it fix a lot of the complaints with its predecessors – namely, that problematic keyboard, replaced by a drastically improved keyboard. But it also came with new and more powerful internal components, even more storage space options, and a lower price of entry. There are a couple of things we’d do better, like the muted screen and the average battery life. However, all things considered, this model of the MacBook Air is better than anything we’ve seen from the line to date, and among the best business laptops for Apple fans who want to travel light.

Read the full review: MacBook Air (2020)

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

Reasons to buy

+Very good battery life+Powerful

Reasons to avoid

PriceyNo 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. Google Pixelbook Go

The best Chromebook ever made


CPU: Intel Core m3 – Intel Core i7

Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 615

RAM: 8GB – 16GB

Screen: 13.3-inch Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) or 4K LCD touchscreen

Storage: 128GB – 256GB eMMC

Reasons to buy

+Incredible battery life+Amazing ‘Hush’ keyboard

Reasons to avoid

Iffy pricing at mid- to- high-endNo biometric login

Google continues its tradition of making the best Chromebook in the world. This is a Chromebook that proves that these devices can be just as stylish and powerful as traditional laptops, and the Pixelbook Go brings a lot of the original Pixelbook’s premium features to a more affordable device. It also features a fantastic battery life and a brilliant keyboard that makes typing on a pleasure. This is among the best business laptops for professionals looking to save some cash.

Read the full review: Google Pixelbook Go

Michelle Rae Uy also contributed to this article.

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