We all want a laptop that can run daily tasks, stream video content and support a reasonable amount of data without becoming sluggish. But we also don't want to compromise on looks and portability.
Everything on our checklists will most likely be covered by either the MacBook Pro or Microsoft's Surface Pro, but of course, this comes at a price. A high one.
Thankfully, there are lots of laptops out there that offer solid specs and performance without breaking the bank, although, you might lose out on design.
Here, we take a look at the best business-focused laptops to suit most budgets and CIOs.
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February 5, 2018
Dell offers lots of laptops designed for business use, so it should be the first stop for anyone looking for good processing power and lightweight design.
We like the Dell XPS 15 which provides a sharp 1080p screen which is two inches bigger than its sibling the XPS 13 but remains remarkably compact compared to competitors of the same listed dimensions. The XPS 15 offers 8GB of RAM and a 32GB SSD and comes with a one-year on-site warranty, lots of ports but sadly the battery is six hours, less than some of the other laptops on our list.
Dell Latitude 5289 is another great option for business users. This Dell offers the best of both worlds, a powerful laptop with the portability of a sleek consumer machine. As it's a hybrid, it comes with a touchscreen and a fantastic battery life, not to mention, enterprise-grade security, an Intel vPro CPU, 8GB of RAM and oodles of connectivity ports.
Apple launched three new
MacBook Pro models last October: a 15-inch model and two 13-inch versions, to go along side its already existing 15 and 13-inch MacBook Pros.
Both the new
15-inch model and the 13-inch one can come with a sensor 'Touch Bar' which replaces function keys on the QWERTY keyboard. However, they feature no USB-C port but does offer four Thunderbolt 3 ports which hold the same functionality.
Apple also released a 13-inch model without the
Touch Bar which is £500 cheaper. The most expensive 15-inch MacBook will also come with 2TB of SSD storage, which is pretty remarkable.
For those wanting to spend less money, the
MacBook Air 13-inch provides an impressive 12-hour battery life in the larger edition. The Air does lack the storage space of the Pro but is still a great piece of kit.
The newest member of the MacBook family is called
MacBook. Pretty simple. But the product itself is very impressive, matching the Air and Pro in a lot of areas.
The latest Surface is called the
Surface Book 2 and it is a thing of beauty. This laptop comes in two sizes, a 13inch model, and a 15inch one and each come in various processor, storage and memory combinations.
The 15inch model comes with 16GB of RAM and up to 1TB of storage if you go for the top spec machine. You'll also get a GTX 1060 chip with 6GB VRAM, meaning this model - Microsoft says - is five times faster than the original Surface Book.
Another great choice is the
Surface Laptop, with its basic model housing an Intel Core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM, and 128GB of SSD storage. But if you want to splash the cash, the top model comes with the Intel Core i7, 16GB of RAM and a 512GB of SSD storage.
If none of these takes your fancy, the Surface Pro (2017) surely will. This 'laptop' - ok, it's more of a tablet with an attachable keyboard - hosts Core i7-7660U, 16GB of RAM and a 512GB Samsung KUS040202M SSD, making performance pretty spectacular. However, you'll have to buy the keyword and stylus as additional extras.
And let's not forget
the Surface Pro 4, this Windows 10 tablet with detachable keyboard packs quite the punch. And although it is an older model, it comes with up to 16GB of RAM and 1TB of storage, enough to please the most power hungry CIO. And because it is slightly older, you can get a solid machine without breaking the bank.
The Lenovo ThinkPad laptop line is the embodiment of business laptops. They boast long battery life in a sleek and lightweight design with solid performance.
The shining star - we think - is the
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon. This impressive laptop comes with excellent b attery life, solid build quality and keyboard, plus the X1 is super light and slim. Specs-wise it hosts the 2.7GHz Intel Core i7-7500U and 8GB of RAM, as well as, three USB-C sockets, two USB 3.0s, a full-size HDMI and a miniature RJ45 networking port, much better than a MacBook.
Another solid option is the
Lenovo Yoga 11 710. This flexible laptop is ideal for the travelling CIO, offering a 360-degree hinge and a touchscreen. It's positioned in the market as a rival to the 12-inch MacBook.
Naturally, when opting for size and portability you lose out on power, but with an eight-hour battery life, perhaps this could be overlooked.