There are hundreds of laptops to choose from when it comes to business use but one designed espeically for this area might not actually be the best choice. Whether running a small independent business or choosing a laptop that will play nice with a large enterprise network, there are certain features, specs and design traits to look out for.
You might be buying for yourself to run your start up in your rented workspace, or you could be here looking for a model to buying to kit out all your employees with. You might even be buying for thousands of people.
Here are the best laptops for business as of 2020. Each entry links out to a full review with more information on price, design, features, specs, battery life and software. They are ranked but that doesn't mean the #1 laptop here is the right one for you're specific budget, taste and needs.
Note that we include some models that aren't specifically pitched for business, but many consumer models from our best laptop chart make for excellent work companions.
Best business laptops 2020
1. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon - Best Overall
The Lenovo ThinkPad succeeds in the ways in which you would expect from a premium X1 Carbon model.
You get a combination of top-notch build quality, excellent ergonomics and a powerful set of specs. It's a lot of laptop that will no doubt serve you well for many years.
Our main advice is to avoid the 4K display as it's unnecessary and contributes to middling battery life. You might also want to look at a Core i5 model to save some money, which will still be powerful enough for most day-to-day tasks.
Read our full Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (7th-gen) review
2. HP Envy 13 - Best Value
It might not be the latest model, but the HP Envy 13 is still an excellent choice when it comes to getting a laptop for business.
HP has created a seriously impressive all-rounder at a frankly silly price. With plenty of change for £1,000, you get a sleek, portable design with a decent selection of ports - even an SD card reader.
It doesn't stop there becuase the display is good and there's plenty of power on offer from Intel chips. However, the highlight is the Nvidia M250 graphics card which is unsusual at this price point.
There's very little to dislike about the Envy 13.
Read our full HP Envy 13 (2019) review
3. Huawei MateBook X Pro - Best for Luxury
Huawei has once again made an extremely luxurious laptop which will suit business users who want just about everything to be high-end.
The design is especially attractive so the X Pro is a great choice if you want to make a statement when you get it out of your bag at a meeting.
There's plenty of power on offer too with up to an Intel Core i7, 16GB RAM, Nvidia MX250 graphics and 1TB storage. We're also in love with the keyboard, although the webcam is awkwardly placed here so this isn't a good choice if you need to make regular video calls.
Read our full Huawei MateBook X Pro (2020) review
4. Dell XPS 13 - Best Keyboard
Dell has its Latitude business range, but the XPS should be considered too with the XPS 13 being one of the best laptops around for many years.
The 2020 edition is once again an excellent piece of kit with a stunning display (now 16:10), best-in-class keyboard and various design improvements.
Really the main issues are that Dell has put prices up, there are some thermal issues if you're going to push the components with demanding tasks and the ports aren't as good compared to rivals.
You can look to the 2019 for a still excellent and now cheaper alternative.
Read our full Dell XPS 13 9300 (2020) review
5. Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 - Best range of specs
The Surface Book line might be the obvious choice when it comes to a business laptop but we think the Surface Laptop 3 is better for most people.
It might only have one USB-C port that isn't Thunderbolt 3 but Microsoft offers a sleek and portable design available in two different sizes and new finishes (if you don't want the Alcantara fabric).
There's also a range of specs available with a choice of Intel or AMD processors. We like the style of this machine and elements like the screen and keyboard are well suited to range of tasks.
Read our full Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 review
6. Lenovo Elite Dragonfly - Best for Creatives
HP has achieved an impressive amount with the Elite Dragonfly combining stylish and versatile design with some impressive specs and useful business features.
While there's a lot going for it, it comes at a high price for an older 8th-gen Intel processor and faces some tough rivals that are cheaper.
It's a great option for those who will make use of the hybrid design and the stylus. Also watch out for the 2020 Dragonfly with 5G and Qualcomm chips.
Read our full HP Elite Dragonfly review
7. Dell Latitude 14 7400 - Best Hybrid
Dell’s machine is one of the best-looking business laptops around, and it has a great hybrid design meaning you can use it in more places and ways compared to a traditional clamshell.
Adding to the desirability is a superb screen and excellent battery life - two important elements when it comes to business use.
However, it can’t compete with some rivals when it comes to connectivity and keyboard quality and it falls behind rivals on performance, too.
Read our full Dell Latitude 7400 2-in-1 review
8. Appple Macbook Air - Best Mac
The MacBook Air isn't the groundbreaking laptop it used to be but the 2020 model is the best choice for most users looking for an Apple laptop.
Some key changes such as the Magic Keyboard make it a lot better for business use if you need to do a lot of typing. And the cheaper Core i3 model means it's actually a pretty good value option in the grand scheme if that's enough power for you.
It's easy to forget that masOS included Apple's suite of useful applications so you might not even need to budget for additional software depending on your usage.
Be warned though, battery life and webcam aren't great and you are limited to USB-C.
Read our full Apple MacBook Air (2020) review
9. Asus Chromebook C433TA - Best Chromebook
Asus gets so many things right with the C433TA: great design, solid construction, huge battery life and fast performance. The only downsides we could find were poor gaming performance and stiff hinges.
The former isn't really the main duty for which Chromebooks are intended, and the hinges actually act as a bonus to keep the touchscreen steady once it's open.
If you want a quality Chromebook at an affordable price, the C433TA should be your first port of call.
Read our full Asus Chromebook C433TA review
10. Acer Swift 3 - Best Ports
The Swift 3 might not be the most beautiful laptop around but there are more important things to think about when it comes to business use.
This is a case of function over form which is good news because Acer provides a lightweight chassis with plenty of handy ports and a decent amount of performance too. Combined, these things make the Swift 3 a good shout for a travel companion.
It comes in at an affordable price if you need a good value option. This does mean elements like the display, keyboard and trackpad are nothing to write home about.
Read our full Acer Swift 3 (SF314-57) review
Business laptop buying guide
So which laptop is going to please everyone? It won’t be the same one for every situation (if only it were that simple). Once you’ve decided if your style of business suits Windows 10, ChromeOS or macOS then you can set about choosing the model.
You'll also want to consider whether these laptops come with Windows 10 Pro as standard. If they don't it's easy to upgrade. As mentioned at the top, a dedicated business model like a ThinkPad might not be the right option so we've included a range of consumer laptops which are likely to do the job just as well, often for less money.
Price is a factor, of course. Some high-end laptops are indeed excellent but you may want to save some money while still getting decent performance. Thankfully those laptops do exist and that's why a Chromebook might be a great choice, especially if your needs aren't demanding.
Some of the laptops in this list are higher priced, but they often represent good value considering the features and specifications they have. We've included a range of different prices and options.
Robust build could be of importance if you work in the field, or you might want something featherweight to carry form meeting to meeting around the globe. Then features such as fingerprint readers for additional security or long lasting battery life might be top of your must-have list.
Security will be important to many users, especially if you will be storing sensitive data on the laptop. Look out for things like a fingerprint scanner. A webcam might also be necessary but some have awkward placements below the screen or even in the keyboard - not ideal if you need to regularly video call.
It's important to make sure the laptop you choose has the right specs for your line of work. Do you need a powerful processor and graphics card for demanding software or can you save money by getting something lower-end.
Also make sure the display will suit your environment. Someone working outside will need to make sure the screen is bright enough to view.
Ports are often forgotten about, but a laptop is no good if you can't plug a vital accessory in. Many laptops come with USB-C only now, so you might need an adapter or a hub.
Find out how we test laptops.