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Best Laptops for Business Use 2020 (Updated)

Best Laptops for Business Use

Best Laptops for Business Use | Complete Guide

Whether you’re buying a fleet of laptops for your employees or just looking for a single productivity system for yourself, you’ll want one of the best business laptops, something that’s durable, powerful and easy-to-use. Don’t forget about security and durability – business laptops typically come with fingerprint sensors, IR cameras and security chips, and many have military-grade durability. Newer models should even feature webcam sliders or camera kill switches.

Business laptops vary with the requirement of work. A designer may requires a different machine as compared to a software developer or accountant. Fabulaes has compiled a list of 10 Best Laptops for Business Use as under:

 

10. Apple MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2020)

Apple MacBook Pro

Key Specifications:

  • CPU: Intel Core i5-1030NG7
  • GPU: Intel Iris Plus
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Storage: 512GB
  • Display: 13.3-inch, 2560 x 1600
  • Size: 12 x 8.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Weight: 3.1 pounds

The MacBook Pro offers double the storage with great performance and the excellent Magic keyboard, but the battery life could be longer.

Design:

The MacBook Pro offers double the storage with great performance and the excellent Magic keyboard, but the battery life could be longer.

The latest MacBook Pro looks exactly like its predecessor, which is fine. Although I was hoping for somewhat of a change, like thinner bezels or new colors. But no, the MacBook retains the elegant, familiar looks of the previous notebooks. You have your all-aluminum Space Gray chassis that is also available in Silver. The MacBook Pro (12 x 8.4 x 0.6 inches) is a little on the heavy side, at 3.1 pounds. Both the HP Spectre x360 (2.7 pounds, 12.1 x 7.7 x 0.7 inches) and Dell XPS 13 (2.8 pounds, 11.6 x 7.8 x 0.6 inches) are a good deal lighter.

Durability & Security:

Apple didn’t make any monumental changes to the MacBook Pro this time around. But it did address a couple of customer concerns that are sure to make the MacBook-loving populace stand up and cheer. Not only did Apple double the maximum storage and RAM, but it also put the final nail in the Butterfly keyboard’s coffin, paving the way for the comfort of the Magic keyboard. Toss in an incredibly fast SSD and you’ve got a winner.

However, if you’re looking for more battery life, a slightly more vivid display and better performance, Dell XPS 13 is the way to go. Overall, with its seemingly minor improvements, the 13-inch MacBook Pro is sure to be a crowd pleaser with students or creative professionals.

Display:

Apple knows how to make a pretty screen, which is why every system, including this one, has a 2560 x 1600-pixel Retina display. The 13.3-inch panel is beautiful on its own, but like other modern MacBooks, this Pro has True Tone, a utility that, when enabled, automatically adjusts the color temperature based on the environment so you can enjoy optimal hues whether you’re in natural or fluorescent lighting or in a darkened room.

When I watched the trailer for Bad Trip, I was enraptured by the Pepto Bismol pink Ford Taurus actor Erik Andre was working on. Details were sharp enough that I could see the individual sparks flying as he placed the jumper cables on the wrong portion of the car’s engine.

Performance:

The MacBook Pro is armed with a 2-GHz Intel Core i5-1030NG7 processor with 16GB of RAM. The laptop chewed through 30 open tabs of Google Chrome while I watched Black Butler on Netflix.

The laptop fared pretty well on our synthetic benchmarks. When we ran the Geekbench 5.0 test, an Overall Performance benchmark, the MacBook achieved 4,399, sailing past the 4,171 premium laptop average. It also beat the Spectre and its Core i7-1065G7 CPU, which scored 4,074. However, it was no match for the XPS 13 (Core i7-1065G7 CPU), which hit 4,648.

On the Blackmagic benchmark, the MacBook’s 512GB SSD had a read time of 2,060.2 megabytes per second, shattering the 1,421.9MBps average. It also crushed the 1,198.7MBps write average with a blistering score of 2,315.9MBps.

During the Handbrake video transcoding test, the MacBook turned a 4K video to 1080p in 12 minutes and 43 seconds. It was much faster than the 18:52 average. The XPS 13 was a close second at 15:40, while the Spectre completed the task in 21:13. That’s impressive since both the Dell and the HP have Core i7 processors compared with the MacBook’s Core i5 CPU.

Battery Life:

The MacBook Pro delivers all-day performance, lasting 10 hours and 21 minutes on the test. That’s longer than the 9:05 premium laptop average. However, it’s nowhere near as long as the XPS 13 and Spectre, which clocked times of 12:39 and 13:19, respectively.

 

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Elegant Design
  • Solid Performance
  • Great Keyboard
  • Excellent SSD Speeds
  • Powerful Speakers
Cons
  • A Bit Heavy
  • Thick Bezels
  • Battery Life Could Be Longer

 

9. Acer TravelMate P6

Acer TravelMate Piv

 

Key Specifications:

  • CPU: Intel Core i7-10510U
  • GPU: Intel UHD
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Storage: 1TB
  • Display: 14-inch, 1080p
  • Size: 12.6 x 8 x 0.6 inches
  • Weight: 2.2 pounds

Acer’s TravelMate P6 is a surprisingly capable portable business laptop, but it faces tough competition.

Design:

The TravelMate P6 has a stylish, lightweight magnesium-alloy chassis, but it’s a few tweaks away from perfection. At 2.7 pounds and 0.7 inches thick, the P6 is a very sleek machine, although category-leading notebooks like the ThinkPad X1 Carbon (2.1 pounds, 0.6 inches) and the Vaio SX14 (2.3 pounds, 0.7 inches) are even more portable. HP’s EliteBook x360 1040 G5 (3 pounds, 12.7 x 8.5 x 0.7 inches) is heavier and larger than the TravelMate P6.

Durability & Security:

TravelMate P6 passed multiple military-grade durability tests. Magnesium alloy is, without a doubt, lightweight. Unfortunately, laptops made of this material typically don’t feel as premium or as sturdy as their aluminum counterparts. In the case of the TravelMate P6, the laptop’s lid bends easily, and the keyboard flexes a bit. Nonetheless, the TravelMate P6 is MIL-STD-810G certified, so it should withstand extreme conditions (high temps, rain, drops) regardless of how fragile it might feel.

Biometric security in the form of a fingerprint sensor and an IR webcam for facial recognition protects the sensitive files you store on the TravelMate P6. When the webcam isn’t in use, you can cover it with a camera shutter to ease your fears about someone snooping on you. The laptop also has built-in TPM 2.0, a microchip that protects unencrypted data.

Display:

Explosion from bombs being dropped at Pearl Harbor burned a fiery orange as they blossomed into the air in the Midway film trailer. You don’t need a 4K panel to enjoy crisp details; the TravelMate P6’s full-HD panel is so sharp that I could see rivets on the side of an American fighter jet as it zipped across my screen. Colors also looked fairly accurate, but a reddish warm was noticeable on white pages.

According to our colorimeter, the TravelMate P6’s display covers a respectable 113% of the sRGB color gamut. The screens on the Vaio SX14 (113%) and the ThinkPad X1 Carbon (109%) are about as colorful as the Acer’s, but the panels on the EliteBook x360 1040 G5 (120%) and the average premium laptop (132%) are more vivid.

Performance:

The Intel Core i7-8565U CPU and 16GB of RAM inside the TravelMate P6 kept things running smoothly when I opened 16 Google Chrome tabs, four of which played 1080p videos. I didn’t notice any lag throughout my real-world testing, even as I streamed Monday Night Football between the Packers and Lions.

The 512GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD inside the TravelMate P6 isn’t slow, but other laptops were faster to duplicate 4.97GB of multimedia data. The P6 completed the test in 11 seconds, for a rate of 462.7 megabytes per second, which means it just edged out the ThinkPad X1 Carbon (424.1 MBps, 256GB M.2 PCIe NVMe Opal 2) but was outpaced by the SX14 (727 MBps, 1TB PCIe SSD), the EliteBook x360 1040 G5 (727 MBps, 512GB SSD) and the premium-laptop average (514 MBps).

Battery Life:

With a runtime of just 7 hours and 34 minutes on our battery test (continuous web surfing over Wi-Fi at 150 nits), the TravelMate P6 powered down long before the ThinkPad X1 Carbon (9:30), the EliteBook x360 1040 G5 (8:59) and the category average (8:15). The Vaio SX14 (4:27) did an even worse job, but that laptop has a 4K display.

 

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Slim, Super-Lightweight Chassis
  • Decent 1080p Display
  • Fast Performance
  • Discrete Graphics
  • Great Port Selection

Cons
  • Below-Average Battery Life
  • Lid And Keyboard Flex
  • Poor Webcam

 

8. Dell Precision 7730

Dell Precision 7730

Key Specifications:

  • CPU: Intel Core i5/Core i7/Xeon
  • GPU: Up to Radeon Pro WX 7100/Up to Quadro P5200
  • RAM: 8GB/16GB/32GB/64GB/128GB
  • Storage: 500GB (HDD)/256GB/512GB/1TB/2TB/4TB
  • Display: 17.3-inch, 1080p or 4K
  • Size: 16.3 x 10.8 x 1.2 inches
  • Weight: 7.5 pounds

he Precision 7730 justifies its high price with powerful overall performance and a gorgeous 4K display in a durable, attractive chassis.

Design:

Better yet, if you have a good chiropractor, carry this system around in a backpack. At 7.5 pounds, the laptop weighs more than the HP ZBook 17 G4 (7.1 pounds), but it’s lighter than the sumo-size ThinkPad P71 (8 pounds). Aggressive dual vents, a shiny metal trim around the deck and a thin LED battery indicator on the front lip are all welcome additions. I just wish the lid weren’t such a fingerprint magnet and that the display bezels were trimmed down.

While the Dell machine is slimmer than its predecessor, the Precision 7730’s 16.3 x 10.8 x 1.2-inch frame is best kept dormant on a desk. Its competitor, the Lenovo ThinkPad P71, is about the same size (16.4 x 10.4 x 1.2 inches), while the HP ZBook 17 G4 is longer on each end (16.5 x 11 x 1.3 inches). With premium, durable materials — a carbon-fiber lid, a soft-touch deck and a metal frame — the Precision 7730 exudes class.

Durability & Security:

The business laptop passed 15 MIL-SPEC durability tests, including those for high altitudes, extreme temperatures, dirt, shock and drop, according to Dell. The Precision 7730 also has safeguards to protect your sensitive data. You have the option to add a FIPS fingerprint sensor in the palm rest to go along with a standard smart-card reader and an NFC sensor for contactless smart cards.

Display:

The Precision 7730’s 17-inch display gives you a theater-like viewing experience. Its bright 4K panel is incredibly detailed, and the colors it produces are exceptionally vivid and rich. The Precision 7730’s 17-inch display gives you a theater-like viewing experience.

he display’s outstanding qualities were quantified in our testing. The panel reproduced a staggering 211 percent of the sRGB color gamut, achieving among the highest ratings we’ve seen. While the Lenovo ThinkPad P71 (183 percent) and HP ZBook 17 G4 (173 percent) also impressed, their panels were nowhere near as colorful as the Precision’s. The workstation average is much lower, at 149 percent.

Performance:

The Precision 7730 is a performance powerhouse. Equipped with an Intel Core i9-8950HK CPU and 32GB of RAM, the Precision 7730 quickly loaded 30 Microsoft Edge tabs, four of which played YouTube videos while two others streamed Fornite on Twitch.

The Precision also boasts very fast storage. In our File Transfer Test, the workstation’s two 512GB M.2 PCIe SSDs duplicated 4.97GB of mixed-media files in 9 seconds, for a rate of 565 megabytes per second. That’s quicker than the Lenovo ThinkPad P71’s rate (463 MBps) and the workstation average (505.6 MBps), but it falls short of the mark from the blisteringly fast dual-SSDs in the HP ZBook 17 G4 (848 MBps). Overall, The Precision 7730 is a performance powerhouse.

Battery Life:

The Precision 7730 doesn’t last long on a charge, even with the optional 97Wh battery. The machine powered down after just 4 hours and 14 minutes on the Laptop Battery Test, which involves continuous web surfing over Wi-Fi at 150 nits of brightness. The Lenovo ThinkPad P71 (5:57) and HP ZBook 17 G4 (5:23) endured for more than an hour longer, and even they fall short of the workstation run-time average (6:49).

 

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Vibrant, Sharp 4K Display
  • Blistering Performance
  • Comfortable Keyboard
  • Durable, Premium Design
  • Powerful Graphics

Cons
  • Below-Average Battery Life
  • Runs Warm
  • Top Configures Are Absurdly Expensive

 

7. HP ZBook Studio x360 G5

HP Zbook

Key Specifications:

  • CPU: Intel Core i5/Core i7/Xeon
  • GPU: Intel UHD 630/Nvidia Quadro P1000
  • RAM: 8GB/16GB/32GB
  • Storage: 256GB/512GB/1TB/2TB
  • Display: 15.6-inch, 1080p or 4K
  • Size: 14.2 x 9.7 x 0.8 inches
  • Weight: 4.9 pounds

The HP ZBook Studio x360 G5 is an amazing 2-in-1 powerhouse with an amazing display, long battery life and comfortable keyboard.

Design:

The HP ZBook Studio x360 sports a silky gray paint over its solid aluminum hood, but despite being metal, the lid flexes hard around its center. The bottom corners of the laptop are sliced off, creating a stylish and edgy aesthetic, while the top of the lid is accompanied by a solid line across the surface and the center of the laptop holds HP’s signature logo.

At 4.9 pounds and 14.2 x 9.7 x 0.8 inches, the HP ZBook Studio x360 lands in the middle between its competitors. The Apple MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2018) is lighter and thinner at 4 pounds and 0.6 inches, while the Dell Precision 3530 is portly by comparison at 5.1 pounds and 1 inch thick. Like the ZBook Studio, the Lenovo ThinkPad P52s falls in the middle, at 4.4 pounds and 0.79-0.80 inches.

Durability & Security:

The HP ZBook Studio x360 is rated to endure 14 MIL-STD-810G3 extreme tests. That means the system should be able to withstand drops (up to 2.5 feet), vibrations, freezing, high altitudes, high and low temperatures, dust, sand, temperature and functional shocks, humidity and an explosive atmosphere.

Regarding security, the ZBook Studio has configurations that come with Intel vPro, which uses remote management, a fingerprint reader, an IR camera for Windows Hello and HP’s SureView panel (aka a privacy panel). HP also includes its Sure Start software, which is a self-healing BIOS.

Display:

The HP ZBook Studio x360’s 15.6-inch, 4K (3840 x 2160) glossy touchscreen display looks stunning, and the numbers back it up.In the newest Mortal Engines trailer, I watched as several cities rolled across a grassy-dirt landscape with black fumes pumping out of their chimneys into the crisp, cloudy sky, crafting a vibrant and vivid image.

At 378 nits, the HP ZBook Studio x360 is the king of brightness, defeating the 342-nit category average and HP’s competitors. The MacBook Pro made it past the average with 354 nits, but the ThinkPad P52s and Precision 3530 fell behind at 293 and 289 nits, respectively.

Performance:

HP didn’t hold back on shoving all the power it could into this speed demon. Armed to the teeth with a 2.9-GHz Intel Xeon E-2186M processor, 32GB of RAM, 1TB SSD and an Nvidia Quadro P1000 GPU with 4GB of VRAM, the HP ZBook Studio x360 tore through over 40 Google Chrome tabs, a 1080p YouTube video and multiple game downloads from Steam without stuttering.

Armed to the teeth with a 2.9-GHz Intel Xeon E-2186M processor, 32GB of RAM, 1TB SSD and an Nvidia Quadro P1000 GPU with 4GB of VRAM, the ZBook x360 is a crazy speed demon. The ZBook Studio nailed a score of 163,238 on the 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited benchmark, surpassing the 146,490 workstation average. The ThinkPad P52s hit only 106,825 with its Quadro P500 and the Precision 3530 registered 153,074 with a Quadro P600.

Battery Life:

For a machine as powerful as the HP ZBook Studio x360, we’re impressed that its battery lasted so long. After continuously surfing the web over Wi-Fi at 150 nits of brightness, the ZBook Studio lasted 9 hours and 6 minutes, defeating the 7:04 workstation average. It also beat the ThinkPad P52s’ 8:24 and the Precision 3530’s 8:53, but the MacBook Pro managed to last over a full hour longer, at 10:21.

 

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Premium Design
  • Gorgeous 4K Display
  • Military Grade Durability
  • Great Keyboard And Stylus
  • Excellent Performance And Graphics
  • Long Battery Life

Cons
  • Lid Flexes
  • Lackluster Webcam
  • Expensive

 

 

6. Dell Latitude 7400 2-in-1

Dell Latitude 7400 2-in-1

Key Specifications:

  • CPU: Intel Core i5/Core i7
  • GPU: Intel UHD 620
  • RAM: 8GB/16GB
  • Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB/1TB/2TB
  • Display: 14-inch, 1080p
  • Size: 12.6 x 7.9 x 0.6 inches
  • Weight: 3 pounds

With a modern design and phenomenal battery life, the Latitude 7400 2-in-1 is Dell’s best business laptop yet.

Design:

Smartly incorporating design elements from Dell’s widely acclaimed XPS notebooks, the Latitude 7400 2-in-1 has a sleek machined-aluminum chassis with gorgeous detailing that will help it stand out in an office flooded with MacBooks.

You might mistake the Latitude 7400 2-in-1 for the XPS 13 the first time you see it, but there are some notable design deviations. While both notebooks flaunt a centered chrome Dell logo, the Latitude’s lid has a medium dark gray brushed-metal finish, whereas the XPS is a lighter, solid tone.

As a 2-in-1 laptop, the Latitude 7400 2-in-1 can flip into tablet mode for drawing with the optional Active Pen stylus or into tent mode when you want to view content. The Latitude is still cumbersome to use as a tablet, but the drop hinge Dell engineered for this model feels sturdy, and the lid didn’t budge when I lazily tapped on the touch screen. At 12.6 x 7.9 x 0.6 inches and 3 pounds, the Latitude 7400 2-in-1 is slimmer and lighter than even the most portable 14-inch business laptop.

Durability & Security:

The re-envisioned Latitude 7400 2-in-1 may have done away with the business-like aesthetic, but it still offers most of the features you’d expect from an enterprise notebook. To start, the Latitude 7400 2-in-1 passed 13 military-grade tests, earning it MIL-STD 810G certification. All that jargon means the Latitude can withstand extreme conditions, like low temperatures, high altitude and long exposure to shock and vibration.

The Latitude 7400 2-in-1 supports other security hardware, though most are optional. Our review unit wasn’t configured with a fingerprint sensor or smart-card reader, but you can pay extra for these conveniences. On the software front, Dell offers the Endpoint Security Enterprise program for protecting against cyber-security threats, among other encryption and anti-malware software.

Display:

The 14-inch, 1080p touch screen on the Latitude 7400 2-in-1 is relatively vivid but dimmer than what we’ve seen from other systems. And at 280 nits, the Latitude 7400 2-in-1’s peak display brightness is somewhat disappointing. The displays on the EliteBook x360 1040 G5 (340 nits), the Thinkpad X1 Yoga (477 nits) and the category average (328 nits) are all significantly brighter.

On a positive note, I had no problems using the Latitude 7400 2-in-1’s responsive touch screen to flick through websites and type URLs using the on-screen keyboard. The Latitude 7400 2-in-1’s 4.1 x 2.3-inch glass touchpad feels great and is very responsive, thanks to the included Precision drivers. My fingers comfortably glided across the surface as I scrolled through websites and executed Windows 10 gestures, like pinch-to-zoom and three-finger swiping to change windows.

Performance:

Packing an Intel Core i7-8665U CPU and 16GB of RAM, the Latitude 7400 2-in-1 didn’t stutter once during my real-world obstacle course, which involved loading 20 Google Chrome tabs, three of which played 1080p YouTube video while another trio streamed Overwatch and Fortnite in Full HD on Twitch. Even with all that running in the background, the Latitude 7400 2-in-1 didn’t bat an eye when I pulled up an ESPN+ stream of women’s Wimbledon 2019 qualifying.

The 512GB M.2 PCIe NVMe Class 40 SSD inside the Latitude 7400 2-in-1 is so fast that it transferred 4.97GB of mixed-media files in just 6 seconds for a rate of 848 megabytes per second. Other leading laptops, like the EliteBook x360 1040 G5 (512GB SSD, 727 MBps) and the ThinkPad X1 Yoga (1TB NVMe SSD, 508.9 MBps) came close, but couldn’t match that pace. The average premium laptop transfer rate is 622.3 MBps.

Battery Life:

While it doesn’t reach Dell’s ambitious 26-hour battery life claims, the Latitude 7400 2-in-1 fared very well in our lab. The Latitude lasted for 13 hours and 8 minutes on our battery life test, which involves continuous web surfing over Wi-Fi at 150 nits of brightness. Even some of the longest-lasting business laptops — including the EliteBook x360 1040 G5 (8:59) and the ThinkPad X1 Yoga (9:07) — don’t come close to that mark.

 

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Sleek, Modern Design
  • Strong Performance
  • 13+ Hours Of Battery Life
  • Proximity Sign-In Feature Works Well

Cons
  • Display Could Be Brighter
  • Poor Speakers

 

 

5. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga

Key Specifications:

  • CPU: Intel Core i7
  • GPU: Intel UHD 620
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Storage: 1TB
  • Display: 14-inch, 1080p
  • Size: 12 x 8.5 x 0.6 inches
  • Weight: 3 pounds

Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Yoga is a brilliant business laptop that offers a sleek, flexible chassis, a gorgeous 1080p display and long battery life.

Design:

Now clad in Aluminum instead of the traditional carbon fiber, the ThinkPad X1 Yoga stands out among its ThinkPad peers like an athlete wearing the wrong uniform. It’s, at least, a handsome uniform. Apart from its aluminum and magnesium materials, the biggest difference between the X1 Yoga and other ThinkPads is that the new model comes in Iron Gray, not the usual matte-black. Color swap aside, you can still tell the ThinkPad X1 Yoga belongs to Lenovo’s lineup of storied business laptops.

At 12 x 8.5 x 0.6 inches and 3 pounds, the ThinkPad X1 Yoga is much heavier than the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (12.7 x 8.6 x 0.6 inches, 2.4 pounds) but thinner and lighter than the 13-inch Lenovo ThinkPad L390 Yoga (12.7 x 8.8 0.7 inches, 3.3 pounds).

Durability & Security:

Aluminum or carbon fiber, it doesn’t matter; all ThinkPads, including the X1 Yoga, come with the reassurance of military-grade durability. More specifically, the ThinkPad X1 Yoga passed 12 MIL-STD 810G tests, which means it can withstand extreme conditions, from high temperatures to sand and dust exposure to mechanical shock.

Protecting the ThinkPad X1 Yoga from the inside is a dTPM 2.0, a microchip that provides hardware-based security by protecting unencrypted passwords. Speaking of passwords, you can skip them altogether and log in to the ThinkPad X1 Yoga using a fingerprint sensor via Windows Hello. Or you can configure the ThinkPad X1 Yoga with an IR camera if you prefer facial recognition login.

Display:

The ThinkPad X1 Yoga’s 14-inch, 1080p touch screen is extremely bright and plenty vivid. You don’t need the optional 4K panel to see fine details in the videos you’re watching; The X1 Yoga’s 1080p panel was so sharp that I could read distant ads lining the roof of a New York City train car in the movie trailer.

According to our colorimeter, the ThinkPad X1 Yoga’s display covers 106% of the sRGB color gamut, making it pretty vivid but not quite as colorful as the panels on the ThinkPad X1 Carbon (109%), the ThinkPad L390 Yoga (116%) and the category average (125%).

Performance:

Equipped with an Intel Core i5-8265U CPU and 8GB of RAM, the ThinkPad X1 Yoga didn’t have any problems loading 15 Google Chrome web pages. I checked the weather forecast, watched Twitch streamers play Fortnite and read ESPN without running into any problems. There was a momentary delay before pages fully loaded when I switched to them, but that didn’t bother me much because four 1080p videos had been playing in the background.

Despite packing an older 8th-Gen CPU, our review unit performed well on benchmark tests. The ThinkPad X1 Yoga scored a 15,002 on the Geekbench 4.1 overall performance test, which tops the ThinkPad L390 Yoga (12,404, Core i5-8265U) and the category average (14,285) but falls just short of the ThinkPad X1 Carbon (15,649, Core i5-8265U).

Battery Life:

The 1080p ThinkPad X1 Yoga has some serious endurance. With a runtime of 10 hours and 18 minutes on our Battery Test which involves continuous web surfing over Wi-Fi at 150 nits, the X1 Yoga outlasted the ThinkPad X1 Carbon (9:30), the ThinkPad L390 Yoga (8:14) and the category average (8:19).

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Bright, Vivid 1080p Display
  • Slim, Durable Aluminum Chassis
  • Best-In-Class Keyboard
  • Long Battery Life
  • Stylus Slot And Webcam Cover

Cons
  • Not Available In Carbon Fiber
  • No SD Card Reader
  • Last-Gen CPU

 

 

4. Microsoft Surface Pro 7

Microsoft Surface Pro 7

Key Specifications:

  • CPU: 10th gen Intel Core i3/Core i5/Core i7
  • GPU: Intel UHD or Iris Pro
  • RAM: 4GB/8GB/16GB
  • Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB/1TB
  • Display: 12.3-inch, 2736 x 1824-pixel
  • Size: 11.5 x 7.9 x 0.33 inches
  • Weight: 1.7-1.74 pounds

The Microsoft Surface Pro 6’s significantly longer battery life and fast 8th-gen Intel processor make this the Windows 2-in-1 to beat.

Design:

he Surface Pro 6 returns with pretty much the same formula as previous models with a slight tweak. You still get three primary modes — tablet, laptop and studio with the kickstand extended 165 degrees.

The Surface Pro 6 weighs just 1.7 pounds as a tablet and a still very light 2.4 pounds with the keyboard attached. By comparison, the 12.9-inch iPad Pro weighs 1.4 pounds as a slate and 2.28 pounds with its keyboard.

Durability & Security:

The Surface Pro 6 isn’t for everyone. It’s for people who will truly benefit from having a detachable 2-in-1 that’s light enough to carry anywhere and flexible enough to use as a tablet or laptop.

But if you’re in the market for that kind of device, Microsoft’s convertible is the one to buy. The Surface Pro 6 is not only significantly faster than its predecessor, it lasts a lot longer on a charge, which means in many cases you’ll be able to leave the charger behind. The new iPad Pro 12.9-inch is even faster than the Surface Pro 6 and offers longer battery life, but its keyboard lacks a touchpad and iOS simply isn’t as productivity-friendly as Windows (at least for now).

I wish Microsoft charged less for 256GB of storage and that it offered USB Type-C on this device, but otherwise, the Surface Pro 6 offers a nearly perfect combination of performance, endurance and ergonomic comfort. And if you want a digital pen, the integration with Windows 10 is excellent. Microsoft has once again made the productivity 2-in-1 to beat.

Display:

The 12.3-inch PixelSense display on the Surface Pro 6 is one of the better ones you’ll find on a 2-in-1. This panel is not just sharp at 2736 x 1824 pixels, it’s also remarkably bright and colorful. When I watched the Aquaman trailer on the Surface Pro 6’s screen, Jason Momoa’s scaly gold superhero uniform gleamed, and the red laser beams coming from Black Manta popped off the screen.

According to our colorimeter, the Surface Pro 6’s display covers a good 136 percent of the sRGB color gamut. That’s better than the ThinkPad X1 Tablet (118 percent) and the XPS 13 (117 percent at 1080p,130 percent at 4K).

Performance:

Compared with the last Surface Pro, the Surface Pro 6 is a major leap forward in performance, thanks to its 8th-generation, quad-core Core i5-8250U processor and 8GB of RAM. (Serious power users can step that up to a Core i7 chip and 16GB of RAM.)

Even with 28 tabs open in Chrome, the Surface Pro 6 delivered smooth performance as I wrote this review, streamed music from Spotify and watched some of my favorite parts of Black Panther on the Netflix app.

The Intel UHD 620 graphics card inside the Surface Pro 6 is certainly powerful enough to handle casual games. On the Dirt 3 racing game, for example, this 2-in-1 hit 80.9 frames per second. That beats the ThinkPad X1 (74 fps) and the Samsung Notebook 9 Pen (47 fps).

Battery Life:

Easily the best thing about the Surface Pro 6 is its improved endurance. On the Laptop Mag Battery Test, which involves continuous web surfing at 150 nits of screen brightness, the Surface Pro 6 lasted a strong 9 hours and 20 minutes. That’s nearly 2 hours better than the 2017 Surface Pro (7:30) and more than 3 hours longer than the ThinkPad X1 (5:59).

The Surface Pro 6’s longevity impressed me in everyday use as well. While writing this review, juggling lots of tabs in Chrome and occasionally streaming music and video, this slate still had 40 percent juice left after 4 hours of testing.

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Fast Quad-Core Performance
  • Excellent Battery Life
  • Bright And Colorful Display
  • Comfortable Keyboard
  • Silky-Smooth Pen Input

Cons
  • Still no USB-C/Thunderbolt ports
  • 256GB SSD is a bit sluggish

 

3. Apple MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2019)

Apple MacBook Pro 16

Key Specifications:

  • CPU: Intel Core i7/Core i9
  • GPU: Radeon Pro 5300M/5500M
  • RAM: 16GB/32GB/64GB
  • Storage: 512GB/1TB/2TB/4TB/8TB
  • Display: 16-inch, 2072 x 1920
  • Size: 14.1 x 9.7 x 0.6 inches
  • Weight: 4.3 pounds

A vastly improved keyboard, larger 16-inch display with slimmer bezels and bigger battery make the 16-inch MacBook Pro a compelling option for serious pros.

Design:

The 16-inch MacBook Pro looks very much like other MacBook Pros we’ve reviewed, complete with a comically large touchpad and a solid but unexciting aluminum design in your choice of two colors: Silver and Space gray.

The 16-inch MacBook Pro weighs 4.3 pounds, compared to 4 pounds for the previous 15-inch MacBook Pro. The new Pro measures 14.1 x 9.7 x 0.6 inches, compared to 13.8 x 9.5 x 0.6 inches for its predecessor. The only notable difference between this and the 15-inch MacBook is that the newed model has narrower bezels on the sides, thought the top bezel is relatively thick compared to systems like the Dell XPS 15.

Durability & Security:

The 16-inch MacBook Pro is the Best Apple Laptop in years. The Magic keyboard feels a lot more comfortable than any Butterfly MacBook keyboard I’ve tried. I also appreciate the slimmer bezels, sharper display and especially the booming sound. Another key selling point for pros is the nearly 11 hours of battery life, which blows away all of Apple’s closest competitors.

This machine is a bit heavier and thicker than the 15-inch MacBook Pro. I also would have liked to see Face ID for unlocking the system, even though Touch ID is pretty easy to use. And some pros will lament the lack of a 4K display and the continued lack of full-size USB ports and a memory card slot.

Display:

he 16-inch MacBook Pro weighs 4.3 pounds, compared to 4 pounds for the previous 15-inch MacBook Pro. The new Pro measures 14.1 x 9.7 x 0.6 inches, compared to 13.8 x 9.5 x 0.6 inches for its predecessor. The XPS 15 weighs 4.5 pounds and measures 1.1 x 9.3 x 0.5-0.7 inches.

By comparison, the 15-inch version of the HP Spectre x360 15 is also heavier at 4.5 pounds, but it has a touch screen and rotating hinge. The Razer Blade Pro 17 weighs in at 6.1 pounds with its 17-inch screen.

Performance:

he 16-inch MacBook Pro should make quick work of video editing projects. It took the laptop only 8 minutes to transcode a 6.5GB 4K video to 1080p, which is the same amount of time the Dell XPS 15 took. The Razer Blade Pro 17 took a longer 10:39, but that configuration we tested had a slower Core i7 CPU.

To evaluate the SSD on the 16-inch MacBook Pro, we used the Blackmagic Disk Speed Test. The 16-inch MacBook Pro turned in a write speed 2,224 MBps and a read speed of 2,116, while the MacBook Pro sped ahead with a score of 2,805/2540 MBps for write and read.

On the graphics front, the 16-inch MacBook Pro should be able to handle any workload with ease. The AMD Radeon Pro 5300M is the starting GPU but you can upgrade to the Radeon 5500M and max out with 8GB of video RAM, which is what our review model has.

Battery Life:

Even with all of this power, the 16-inch MacBook Pro should provide plenty of endurance. It ships with a 100-watt-hour-battery. That’s 16 additional watt hours than before, which Apple says will provide up to 11 hours of web surfing time.

On the Laptop Mag Battery Test, which involves continuous web surfing at 150 nits of screen brightness, the 16-inch MacBook Pro lasted 10 hours and 55 minutes. That’s among the best run times we’ve seen for a big-screen laptop.

By comparison, the non-OLED, 4K version of the Dell XPS 13 lasted 8:48, and the OLED version lasted 8:07. The OLED version of the Spectre x360 15 lasted a meager 7 hours and 46 minutes, and the non-OLED Spectre x360 lasted 8:09. The Razer Blade Pro 17 is not even the same ballpark at 3:12.

 

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Radically Improved Magic Keyboard
  • Immersive 16-Inch Display With Slimmer Bezels
  • Beastly Performance
  • Powerful 6-Speaker Audio
  • Nearly 11 Hours Of Battery Life

Cons
  • Display Not 4K
  • No Full-Size USB Port / SD Slot Port
  • Pricey

 

2. HP Elite Dragonfly

HP Elite Dragonfly

Key Specifications:

  • CPU: Intel Core i3/i5/i7
  • GPU: Intel UHD 620
  • RAM: 8GB/16GB
  • Storage: Up to 2TB
  • Display: 13.3-inch, 1080p or 4Z
  • Size: 12 x 7.8 x 0.6 inches
  • Weight: 2.2 pounds

The HP Elite Dragonfly offers tons of security, nearly 13 hours of battery life and solid performance in one of the prettiest chassis ever.

Design:

Maybe my family’s more techie than I thought. This is the second year in a row that I’ve brought home a laptop home to review over Thanksgiving. The entirety of the keyboard deck is made from the same tantalizing blue-colored metal. The keyboard is also blue with white lettering highlighted by bright back-lighting. The keyboard is flanked by a pair of top-firing speakers sporting a funky geometric pattern. The actual speaker box is made with 15% ocean-bound plastic, making the Dragonfly the world’s first laptop to utilize the material in the actual build, making it beautiful and eco-friendly.

The Elite Dragonfly’s claim to fame is that it’s lighter than air — specifically the 2.8-pound, 12 x 8.4 x 0.2~0.6-inch Mac Book Air And at 2.5 pounds, the 11.9 x 7.8 x 0.6-inch Dragonfly lives up to the lofty claims.

Durability & Security:

The Dragonfly is secure as it is sleek. Not only is there a Fingerprint Scanner embedded into the right side of the palm rest, you also get an IR camera capable of facial recognition scans for use with Windows Hello logins. Concerned about potential peeping Toms taking over the webcam? Just move the physical switch above the camera to close the shutter.

Our laptop also features Intel’s vPro technology which allows the IT department to remotely access the laptop to update or erase data. And in case the Dragonfly is hit with a virus, the laptop is equipped with a self-healing BIOS.

Display:

Even though the Dragonfly is designed for work, you’d be forgiven if you took some time to watch a movie or two on its vivid, 13.3-inch, 1920 x 1080 touch panel. I know I watched quite a few things. The Dragonfly’s screen reproduced 117% of the sRGB Color Gamut It’s only a few points short of the premium laptop average. However, it still had richer hues than the competition. The MacBook Air only managed 100% while the Latitude and Yoga did slightly better at 103 and 106%.

Performance:

Armed with a 1.6-GHz Intel Core i7-8665U processor with 16GB of RAM, the HP Elite Dragonfly is ready to handle your day-to-day multitasking with graceful aplomb. Despite me watching The Mandalorian on Disney Plus, with 16 additional tabs open in Google Chrome, running a combination of Twitch, Tweetdeck and Facebook, the svelte system didn’t register any slow down. Still, I would love to see this slim workhorse get a bump to a 10th Gen Intel CPU instead of its current 8th Gen chip. In the grand scheme of things, I don’t need vPro, but I want as much performance power as possible.

Still, the Dragonfly had some tough competition on our synthetic benchmarks. For example, the notebook scored 14,071 on Geekbench 4.3, which measures overall performance. It’s enough to surpass the Air’s (7,880) Intel Core i5 CPU, but not the 16,241 premium laptop average. The Yoga (Intel Core i5-8265U CPU) reached 15,113 while the Latitude which has its own Core i7-8665U CPU notched 16,022.

The Dragonfly’s 512GB M.2 PCIe SSD and 32GB Intel Optane 3D XPoint SSD took 12 seconds to duplicate 4.97GB of multimedia files which translates into a transfer rate of 424.1 megabytes per second, matching the Yoga’s 256GB M.2 NVMe PCIe Opal SSD. Both were short of the Latitude’s (512GB M.2 NVMe Class 40 SSD) 565.5MBps and the 517.2MBps class average.

Battery Life:

At 6 months, real dragonflies have a relatively short life span. You won’t have to worry about that with the Elite Dragonfly. Outfitted with a 4-cell, 56 watt hour battery, the laptop lasted 12 hours and 25 minutes on the Laptop Mag battery test, which consists of continuous web surfing at 150 nits of brightness.

 

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Gorgeous, Lightweight Design
  • Extremely Long Battery Life
  • Comfortable Keyboard
  • Solid Performance
  • Bright, Vivid Display
  • A Host Of Security Features

Cons
  • Audio Needs Some Tuning

 

 

1. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (8th Gen)

Lenovo ThinkPad x1 Crbon

Key Specifications:

  • CPU: 10th Gen Intel Core i5/Core i7
  • GPU: Intel UHD
  • RAM: 8GB/16GB
  • Storage: 256GB/512GB/1TB SSD
  • Display: 14-inch, 1080p or 4K
  • Size: 12.7 x 8.5 x 0.6 inches
  • Weight: 2.4 pounds

Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Carbon (Gen 8) brings faster performance to the best business laptop around. Lenovo didn’t make many changes to our favorite business laptop but the new ThinkPad X1 Carbon now flaunts Intel 10th Gen CPUs. On top of delivering fast performance, you get long battery life (on the 1080p model) and two gorgeous, 1080p and 4K display options, all in an impossibly lightweight chassis (2.4 pounds).

Design:

The X1 Carbon is a stylish, featherweight laptop that brilliantly balances modern aesthetics with practical features. Nearly identical to the early 7th Gen models, Lenovo made only a few subtle tweaks to give its flagship business notebook a consumer-friendly face-lift. A new logo on the lid puts a large “X1” stamp under the iconic ThinkPad brand. Don’t worry, the “i” still illuminates red.

Everything else is the same. On the deck are two speaker grilles flanking dual hinges. The signature ThinkPad red hue accents the pointing stick and the left-and-right click buttons, and there is a diagonal ThinkPad logo on the right side of the touchpad, next to a tiny Fingerprint Sensor.

The X1 Carbon remains remarkably lightweight for a 14-inch laptop and even weighs less than some 13-inch models. But it’s no longer in a class of its own. The use of magnesium alloy has spurred a trend toward lighter laptops.

Durability & Security:

As with every ThinkPad, the X1 Carbon is tested against 12 Military Grade Tests which means it can survive harsh conditions, like high altitudes, freezing temperatures, and even exposure to spills and drops.

Protecting the inside of the X1 Carbon is a dTPM 2.0 Chip, which ensures sensitive data is encrypted before being transmitted. The X1 Carbon also has a webcam cover, or ThinkShutter, so you can cover your lens without using ugly Scotch tape. It’s also nice to see the fingerprint sensor as a default feature, even if it’s small and blends into the deck.

Display:

We reviewed both the 1080p and 4K models of the ThinkPad X1 Carbon. Let me get this out of the way: both 14-inch displays are excellent. As much as I enjoyed watching videos on the 4K screen, I’d opt for the Full HD panel; it’s a quality screen and more power-efficient than the UHD option (more on that later). If you don’t mind being tethered to an outlet and you watch a lot of shows or movies on your laptop, go with the 4K Screen or consider the in-between option, a 1440p panel with 300 nits of brightness.

Performance:

I tested a ThinkPad X1 Carbon with an Intel Core i5-10310U with vPro CPU and 8GB of RAM and a higher-end model with a Core i7-10610U with vPro CPU and 16GB of RAM.

Both performed well, but I experienced more delays on the Core i5 model. There were some brief slowdowns on the less expensive option when I opened two dozen websites in Google Chrome, streamed music on YouTube Music, and played a pair of 1080p YouTube videos. The occasional stuttering wasn’t too bothersome and the laptop kept putting along as I added even more tabs. The Core i7 model handled this heavy workload without any sluggishness. That said, if you’re a power user, especially if you browse the web using the RAM-hungry Chrome browser, consider spending extra for 16GB of memory.

Battery Life:

The ThinkPad X1 Carbon with a 1080p display lasts a full day on a charge with a runtime of 10 hours and 45 minutes. You won’t get the same endurance from the 4K model, but it did a decent enough job on our Battery Life test (web surfing over Wi-Fi at 150 nits), lasting 7 hours and 23 minutes.

 

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Slim, Lightweight Design
  • Bright, Vibrant 1080p and 4K Display Options
  • Class-Leading Keyboard
  • Fast Performance

Cons
  • Weak Graphics

What do you think?

Written by Ana John

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