The 11 Best Business Laptops to Buy in 2018

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The Rundown

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Dell Latitude 7000 Series

It’s an interesting time to be looking for a new business laptop; a market that was once dominated almost exclusively by ThinkPads is has been overtaken by updated models from Dell, Asus, and Acer. Dell’s Latitude series gets our pick here because it’s sleek, sturdy, and gives you plenty of speed for a decent price.

Dell's ultra-portable 12.5-inch model is ideal for those who're regularly working on the road. Plus, the LED backlit screen gives you touchscreen capabilities and offers a crisp resolution of 1920 x 1080. The display is powered by an Intel HD Graphics 4400 card, and the main dual-core Intel i7 processor operates at speeds of 2.1 GHz (with an overclock boost up to 3.3 GHz). There’s a 128GB solid-state drive for plenty of file storage, and because it’s solid state, it’ll operate very quickly and perform more reliably in the long term. There’s built-in wireless and Bluetooth capability, plus three USB 3.0 ports, one Display Port, one HDMI, and an ethernet port. This configuration comes loaded with Windows 10 Professional, so it’ll be ready to get any and every job done. 

Best Budget: Acer Aspire E 15 E5-576-392H

With the Acer Aspire E 15, you don’t have to compromise on performance for a better price. For less than $500, the E 15 packs a powerful 8th generation Intel Core i3 processor, along with 6GB of RAM and 1TB HDD. The 15.6-inch screen features full 1080p resolution, but the colors and vibrancy leave something to be desired. The E 15 is unquestionably a work laptop: built with a durable poly-carbonate plastic and featuring plenty of port space, for USB 3.0, 2.0, and Type-C, Ethernet, HDMI, along with an SD card reader and a DVD slot. The laptop even includes a numeric keypad, which business professionals will surely appreciate. It also boasts a long-lasting 13.5-hour battery life.

Interested in reading more reviews? Take a look at our selection of the best laptops under $500

Best Battery Life: ASUS ZenBook UX330UA-AH54

If you’re a road warrior or you frequently work outside the office, there’s a good chance you need a laptop with good battery life. The Windows 10 ASUS ZenBook UX330UA-AH54 is your best bet with a mix of power, portability and a long-lasting battery.

First off, let’s talk battery. The ZenBook UX330UA-AH54 offers up a 57-watt-hour battery that can last more than six hours with heavy usage and more than 13 hours with light usage. So even if you work an eight-hour day outside of the office, you can likely go the whole day without a recharge (unless you are doing intensive tasks such as photo and video editing).

On top of this, the ZenBook UX330UA-AH54 is a well-rounded and powerful machine with 13.3-inch HD screen, a 7th generation Intel i5-7200U 2.5 GHz processor, 8GB of DDR3 RAM and a 256GB SSD hard drive. For ports, the ZenBook has three USB 3.0 ports, one USB 3.1 Type C port, micro-HDMI, SD card reader and a headphone jack. And even with all of this installed, the machine only weighs 2.6 pounds.

Want to take a look at some other options? See our guide to the best ASUS laptops

Runner-Up, Best Overall: Dell Precision 15 5000 (5510)

Dell Precision 15 5000 (5510)
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Another worthy candidate for a business laptop is the Dell Precision 15 5000 series (5520). It weighs 3.92 pounds, a nice weight for an on-the-go laptop and measures a slender 14.06 x 9.25 x 0.67 in. The casing is made of superior, premium materials; the exterior is made of aluminum, and the keyboard deck is constructed of carbon fiber, which offers a smooth and comfortable feel.

This laptop is available in a wealth of configurations, the most premium of which will get an office powerhouse running an Intel Xeon 3.90 gigahertz processor. Windows 10 comes standard, and the model includes 16 GB of RAM (upgradable to 32 GB) and a generous 512 GB SSD hard drive. The twin speakers are loud, and offer both power and clarity for sound presentations.

The Dell Precision 15 uses Infinity display technology and an NVIDIA Quadro graphics card. The 15.6-inch Ultra High Definition touch screen offers a splendid resolution with over eight million pixels.

Best Portability: Dell XPS 13

Dell Xps 13, 13.3" Fhd Notebook, Windows
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Tipping the scales at a mere 2.67 pounds and a slender 0.3 inches thick at its thinnest point, the Dell XPS 13 is one of the most portable laptops on the market. Even though it’s thin and light, it has the power you need in the office or on the road with 8th-generation Intel Core i5 and i7 processors and three handy USB Type-C ports for attaching any accessories you need to make your job easier, as well as a microSD slot. The laptop comes with 16GB of RAM and a 2.8GH.z quad-core CPU for faster processing. Take the laptop anywhere to work, even outside, thanks to the anti-glare screen coating that blocks light and makes your work viewable from anywhere. Plus, with the stylish Alpine White finish, you’ll look good in that coffee shop, hotel lobby or airplane - even if you’re riding coach. 

Best MacBook: 13-Inch 2018 MacBook Pro

With the release of their 2018 MacBook Pro, Apple is finally approaching parity with the high-powered PC market. You can really amp up performance on the larger 15-inch models, but because of the newer processors — and because business travelers generally look for a smaller footprint — we’re selecting the latest 13-inch model here.

First, that processor: there’s a new 8th-gen, quad-core Intel i5 that gives standard speeds of 2.3 GHz and turbo speeds up to 3.8 GHz. There’s an Intel Iris Plus 655 graphics card and 8GB of 2133MHz, LPDDR3 RAM. This particular choice contains a 512GB solid-state drive, which should be plenty of space for most workers. Apple’s tried-and-true IPS Retina display also gives you industry-leading resolution and quality, so you'll h ave no issues with visuals.

The sleeper feature for business users is Apple’s touch bar. While there are mixed reviews about this configurable toolbar, it proves extra helpful for those who work in programs optimized for it AKA Microsoft Office, web browsing, and more. One drawback is the lack of ports (there are only USB-C Thunderbolt options), so you’ll want to pick up a dongle for charging your accessories. Consumers don’t often think of MacBooks as business machines, but with a sleek build and easy workflow hacks, this Pro will deliver great office performance. 

Best 2-in-1: Microsoft Surface Pro

When Microsoft initially dropped their Surface tablet line, they were attempting to bridge the tech industry's gap between “for fun” tablet use and “for business” laptop use. While the first iteration was a bit of a flop, they’ve come a long way, and while it isn’t necessarily the most traditional business choice, you really can get a lot of work done on the Surface Pro.

First of all, the machine is super versatile. You can use it as a laptop with the keyboard case, in “studio” mode using the keyboard as a stand for sketching, and in a tablet mode without the case at all. The 12.3-inch PixelSense screen is absolutely stunning with a resolution of 2736 x 1824, and, of course, there are some great multi-touch functions. The machine also benefits from a full-featured Intel graphics card which further supports visuals alongside a powerful core i5 processor (though you can choose i7 for some configurations). We’ve chosen this particular setup with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage as it treads a nice line between power and value, offering a ton of storage and speed for right around $1,000. 

Best Value: Acer Swift 3

Acer Swift 3
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The Swift 3 may be the entry-level iteration of Acer’s Swift family of ultraportables, but that does not mean it delivers entry-level performance. From its sleek all-aluminum body to its powerful 2.3 GHz Intel i5 processor, this laptop delivers quality design and performance, all for less than $700.

The design and performance are comparable to the Macbook Air. It is slender with a 14-inch high-definition screen with matte finishing and an IPS panel. Its hinges allow the screen to be folded 180 degrees, and the backlit keyboard has a nice soft finishing.

This machine is fast, especially for the price range. The i5 processor is complemented by 8 GB RAM and an Intel Integrated GPU. The battery lasts an impressive 10 hours, but this comes partly at expense of screen brightness, which is the laptop’s biggest drawback.

Interested in reading more reviews? Take a look at our selection of the best Acer laptops

Runner-Up, Best Budget: Dell Inspirion TouchScreen HD

Dell Inspirion TouchScreen HD
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Dell is updating its Inspirion line for 2018, and it packs plenty of practical features for capable performance and usability. The device is powered by an i5-5200U Dual-Core Processor that clocks in at 2.2GHz but can be turbo boosted to 2.7GHz. This zippy processor is complemented by 8 GB RAM and integrated Intel Graphics that will handle all day-to-day applications. Store all of your files on the hefty 1TB HDD and take advantage of the three USB ports and HDMI port. A 720p HD Webcam lets you chat over Skype, and 802.11ac wireless connectivity means you will get top speeds on WiFi. The 15.6-inch screen has touch capability and 1366 x 768-pixel resolution.

Best Splurge: HP Spectre x360 15t

If you’ve got a decent budget and you’re in the market for a PC, you have plenty of machines to pick from. When shopping, put things in perspective a little: think of your purchase as an investment, as the laptop will make you and your business money. That in mind, our splurge pick goes to the HP Spectre x360 15t — an ultra-premium laptop that offers the build quality of a MacBook and the professional feature set of an HP. 

For starters, the x360 is built around an 8th-gen Intel Quad-Core i7 affording speeds of 1.8 GHz (turbo-charged up to 4 GHz). There’s a NVIDIA GeForce MX150 Graphics processor with 2GB of its own dedicated RAM and the computer’s central RAM is 16GB, giving you plenty of temporary storage headroom. There’s also an astounding 1TB solid state driving, which affords you tons of space and the performance value of flash storage. The 15-inch screen is full 4K at a resolution of 3840 x 2160, which is really the best you can expect from a laptop. Plus, it flips around into a tablet, so there are plenty of touch functions to add in. It all comes in a sleek, gold package that weighs less than 5 pounds so it’ll be an easy addition to your laptop bag.

Best Style: Microsoft Surface Laptop 2

The Microsoft Surface 2 makes for a great alternative to a MacBook, promising similar specs at a slightly lower cost. The Surface 2 is fairly similar to its predecessor, but with a couple of improvements. Just like the first model, its dimensions are 12.13 x 8.79 x 0.96 inches and it weighs just 2.76 pounds. The 13.5-inch screen also features 2256 x 1504 resolution (201ppi), with the same deep shadows and sharp, vibrant colors.

The big difference between the Surface 2 and the original is in the hardware. Microsoft boasts faster processing speeds and a silent cooling system that makes it seem like your laptop is hardly working. One of the major draws of the Surface 2 is the option to choose your own specs. At its least expensive configuration, it offers an 8th-generation Intel i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, and 128GB SSD. Microsoft also provides detailed descriptions for each of these specs to help buyers gauge which configuration best suits their needs. Customers can also choose from four stylish colors: black, platinum, burgundy, and cobalt blue.

The only downside we can find is the outdated port space. The Surface 2 offers a USB 3.0 port and a mini DisplayPort, but it doesn’t have a standard USB 3.1 input. But if your everyday work doesn’t involve importing files from external devices — or if you plan on using the Surface as more of a portable device — then this shouldn’t be a huge problem. It’s also worth noting that the Surface 2 boasts a 14.5-hour battery life, but many users are reporting it lasts closer to 5.5 hours with regular use.