Our 4 Favorite Laptops for Business Success: Take Your Pick

Image of a person typing on a laptop with the Apple and Microsoft icons in the bottom corners

The demand for quality business laptops is greater than ever now that most of us have entered the age of working remotely. Of course, choosing the perfect laptop for your small business is not something to be taken lightly. You need more than just a fancy machine at a premium price. You need to ensure that it’s reliable, portable, and robust so you can use it no matter where you’re located. Overall, the best business laptops provide a balance between memory storage, processing power, and long battery life.

Some of today’s laptops have seen surprising leaps forward in quality and value, with an increasing rate in endurance and performance. Particular laptops use solid-state drives for more reliable data storage and faster boot times but typically come with a higher price tag. Standard hard disk drives are cheaper but more susceptible to damage from drops. Modern laptops have started integrating 4K resolution and organic light-emitting diodes (OLED) technology into their display screens, along with touch-based input support for easier use of certain apps.

Our Favorite Laptops for Business Success

Our top picks for the best business laptops will provide you with a diverse range of options to choose from. With an immense saturation of laptop brands and models, there are numerous choices currently present in the market, which can make buying a laptop quite overwhelming. Technology has continued to advance over time, making for some impressive laptops available. Check out our list of the best laptops for your small business here:

Disclaimer: All prices listed are as of 03/23/21 and may change over time. 

Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch (M1, 2020)

The MacBook Pro 13-inch has got to be one of Apple’s most groundbreaking releases yet. With its impressive M1 chip inside of it, the MacBook Pro 13-inch delivers far better performance than Intel predecessors and is, in fact, 2.8 times faster than the early 2020 model. 

Price: Prices for the MacBook Pro 13-inch (M1, 2020) start at $1,299 for the 256GB SSD/8GB RAM model, and then further increases to $2,299 for the 2TB SSD/16GB RAM model.

Design: This laptop’s dimensions are 0.61 x 11.97 x 8.36 inches, with a weight of 3.0 pounds, which looks and feels pretty identical to previous MacBook Pro 13-inch models. This sense of familiarity is also maintained when you open the laptop. There is still the TouchBar, Magic Keyboard, screen with a Retina resolution of 2560 x 1600, along with other replicated features. 

Performance: Compared to Apple’s recent intel-equipped MacBook Pros, this M1 model feels extremely fast. Applications launch within seconds, Safari and other browsers load enormous websites within the blink of an eye, and the capacity to juggle a variety of software is honestly impressive.

Image of a Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch (M1, 2020) with the features listed on the bottom
(Image: © Future)

Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 (15-inch)

The Microsoft Laptop family is continually expanding, but the one model in particular that we’d like to discuss is the Surface Laptop 3, which provides a comfortable keyboard and touchpad, along with an expanded range of color and material options. The display quality is great, and the battery should last all day away from a power outlet.

Price: The price comparison breaks down as you consider available ports and varying features, especially when looking at competing 15-inch laptops. Here’s how each 15-inch Surface Laptop 3 configurations pan out:

Ryzen 5 3580U (8GB, 128GB) – $1,199
Ryzen 5 3580U (8GB, 256GB) – $1,499
Ryzen 5 3580U (16GB, 256GB) – $1,699
Ryzen 7 3780U (16GB, 512GB) – $2,099

These options are much more affordable than the 15-inch MacBook Pro, although it lacks ports and power in comparison.

Design: The laptop feels pretty light for its size, weighing nearly 3.4 pounds and measuring 13.4 x 9.6 x .57 inches. The trackpad has an incredibly smooth feel to it, and the keys offer plenty of travel due to how quiet they are. The touch display is pretty nice, and the 2,496 x 1,664 resolution is overall quite sharp. It does, however, lack graphics and has only two ports which can be a bit frustrating.

Performance: This model is more than capable of both basic and intense computing tasks. It’s also quite the powerhouse for playing video. The Surface Laptop 3 also can last nearly a whole workday, putting it in our top 4 if your concern is battery life.

Image of a Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 (15-inch) with features on the bottom
(Image: © Laptop Mag)

Dell Latitude 7490

Dell uses the Latitude brand for various computing products, including tablets, laptops, and Ultrabooks. Being primarily targeted for business users, the 7000 Series contains machines that have 12, 13, or 14-inch displays, along with either 7th-gen Intel hardware or 8th-gen processors and chipsets.

Price: If you’re okay with accepting the previous generation Intel technology with relatively little storage space, the Dell Latitude 7490 can be bought for around $1,049. However, if you’re interested in something with more SSD storage and silicon inside, the cost increases to $1,209. The flagship model with a Core i7 CPU, 512 GB of storage, and 16 GB of RAM hover around $2,039.

Design: This laptop’s dimensions are 0.61 x 11.97 x 8.36 inches, with a weight of 3.0 pounds, which looks and feels pretty identical to previous MacBook Pro 13-inch models. This sense of familiarity is also maintained when you open the laptop. There is still the TouchBar, Magic Keyboard, screen with a Retina resolution of 2560 x 1600, along with other replicated features. Thankfully, Apple consistently produces high-quality products, meaning that design similarity is not a hindrance by any means.

Performance: Over time, business machines have become more focused on security than consumer notebooks, and the Dell Latitude 7490 is committed to keeping its contents safe. The 256 GB of storage and 8GB of DDR4 system memory is definitely enough to maneuver with ease, although some heavy laptop users may find that storage gets snug after a few months.

Image of a Dell Latitude 7490 with its main quality features listed on the bottom
(Image: © Laptop Mag)

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (Gen 8)

This laptop has been talked about quite a lot, as their 14-inch business system combines unbeatable screen and keyboard toughness while only weighing 2.4 pounds. It also features a solid array of ports and configuration options.

Price: The base model starts around $1,331 for the base model but works its way up to $1,888. The extra $557 does buy you a faster Core i5 with Intel’s vPro remote IT management, LTE mobile broadband, and Windows 10 Pro instead of Home.

Design: Today’s unit features a 1.7 GHz Core i5-10310U processor, 256GB NVMe solid-state drive, 8GB of memory, and a full HD non-touch IPS display. It doesn’t feel flimsy for its size and weight, as there’s no flex if you grab the screen corners or press on the keyboard deck.

Performance: Whichever processor you choose, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon (Gen 8) should provide a solid productivity performance. Having a vibrant 4K display, great port selection, all-day battery life (on the 1080p model), and an excellent keyboard, we’d say the performance is pretty solid.

Image of a Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (Gen 8) with features listed on the very bottom
(Image: © Laptop Mag)

Our Final Thoughts

Your laptop is one of your most crucial and fragile devices, and it more often than not plays a large role in your everyday life. Take some time to consider the nature of your job. This should help to give you more insight into the best laptop for your business. 

If you’re interested in learning more about how you can better optimize your business operations, our team is happy to offer insight and guidance into your technology. As a full-service outsourced IT department, we provide a technology blueprint to help businesses get where they want to be. Learn more about how we can help you today by seeing if you qualify for an IT consultation.