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Best business laptops 2022

Hp Elitebook 1040 G7
Hp Elitebook 1040 G7 (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

Buying the best business laptop is very different than buying one for education or casual consumer use. Priorities change, but the need for a great laptop remains. Whether it's from Dell, Microsoft, Huawei, or HP, some truly great business laptops are out there.

Best overall: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon

Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon 9th

Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (9th Gen)

Simply put, a legend

Reasons to buy

+
Superb display
+
Built-in privacy and security features
+
Thin, light, and durable
+
Great battery life
+
Red pointer for Lenovo fans

Reasons to avoid

-
Gets expensive
-
Lacks inking support

You can't look for a business laptop and not at least consider the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon. The 9th Gen model has finally launched, and as cliche as it is, it's definitely the best one yet. It keeps the same traditional design as its predecessors, including its trademark ruggedness and lightweight nature.

It still looks great on the outside, and the features that business customers care about are still present and correct. New for 2021 are some great improvements like a 16:10 display and, for the first time, 5G connectivity. The bump to 11th Gen Intel CPUs also provides a boost to performance and battery life.

Staples such as Windows Hello biometrics and a webcam privacy shutter return for another year, as does the all-important port selection. You'll find Thunderbolt 4 USB-C, USB-A, and HDMI on the latest X1 Carbon, along with an expansion dongle in the box for even more.

Fans of the red pointer will also be happy to see it continues to live on in the X1 Carbon. The more things change, the more they stay the same!

Best tablet: Microsoft Surface Pro 8

Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

Microsoft Surface Pro 8 2-in-1 Laptop

It is faster with LTE

Reasons to buy

+
Intel 11th Gen and Xe graphics are fast
+
Improved optional 4G LTE is quick and reliable
+
Thunderbolt 4
+
120Hz display
+
Longest battery life yet

Reasons to avoid

-
Can get pricey

The Surface Pro is a tablet. It's also a laptop. You have the flexibility to use it like a convertible but also completely free of a keyboard. And this "tablet" packs a full laptop's worth of hardware inside. Throw in a pen, kickstand, and a terrific-looking display, and you have an incredibly versatile business machine.

The latest version, the Surface Pro 8, is incredibly flexible and shows off the very best of what Windows 11 has to offer. This one comes with 11th Gen Intel processors, a stellar 120Hz display, Thunderbolt 4, optional LTE connectivity, and more. The design of the Surface Pro 8 is very similar to the thin-and-light Surface Pro X, too, making it very easy to carry around.

If you add a Surface Dock, this can be your desktop machine in the office. Attach the Type Cover and Surface Pen, and it's your laptop for hitting the road. It's truly a laptop for all situations.

Best rugged: Panasonic TOUGHBOOK G2

Panasonic Toughbook G2 Hero

Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

Panasonic TOUGHBOOK G2 (2021)

Go anywhere, do anything

Reasons to buy

+
3 modular bays including removable SSD
+
Excellent display
+
Optional 4G LTE (dual SIM)
+
Good performance, excellent battery life

Reasons to avoid

-
Trackpad is dreadful

Not all business is conducted in the comfort of an office. Many situations demand something that can take a serious beating. Industries such as health care and construction, for example, would be better suited to the practically indestructible Panasonic TOUGHBOOK G2.

This chunky 2-in-1 can operate as a tablet or a laptop, and whatever the conditions, it'll keep on working. The list of features this laptop has is truly mind-blowing, but each has been added to meet the TOUGHBOOK buyer's needs.

Panasonic's G2 is the perfect rugged tablet PC with an optional keyboard that is also completely adaptable to whatever job it is tasked with, thanks to its tri-modular design. It has weaknesses, like a poor trackpad, but as a go-anywhere, do-anything type of laptop, it's the top of the class.

Best ultraportable: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano

Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Nano

Source: Lenovo (Image credit: Source: Lenovo)

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano

5G, super light, but powerful

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent display
+
Cellular connectivity
+
Security-focused with multiple forms of biometric login
+
Compact and light
+
Human presence detection

Reasons to avoid

-
Higher spec models are pricey
-
Small touchpad
-
Limited port selection

Buying a laptop for business use likely also means buying a laptop that will be carried around a lot. In this case, you'll do well to get something that's compact and lightweight and won't take up much space in your bag. All while ensuring the features you care about aren't compromised.

It shouldn't come as a shock that the Lenovo ThinkPad lineup has something to offer. The X1 Nano is small and absurdly light, coming in at a hair over 2 pounds. But despite its diminutive body, it packs everything the discerning business customer would want when buying a ThinkPad.

Obvious specs to highlight include the 11th Gen Intel processor, 16GB of RAM, 1TB of PCIe storage, and optional 2K display. Perhaps more importantly, the traditional ThinkPad focuses on business-friendly features like a dTPM 2.0 chip, both fingerprint and IR biometrics, a webcam cover, and cellular connectivity. Oh, and even though it's small, it retains the trademark red pointer. It wouldn't be a ThinkPad without it!

Best convertible: HP EliteBook x360 1040 G8

HP EliteBook x360 830 G9

(Image credit: HP)

HP EliteBook x360 1040 G8 Business Laptop

Reasons to buy

+
Beautiful, sturdy all-metal chassis
+
Outstanding keyboard and trackpad
+
Impressive audio for enterprise
+
New presence-aware tech is neat
+
Options for 4G LTE and pen

Reasons to avoid

-
Still 16:9
-
Weak pen magnets
-
Weird AC behavior
-
Fans can be noisy

HP's top-of-the-line EliteBook x360 1040 might have a mouthful of a name, but the laptop is all business. The latest version is thinner, lighter, has smaller bezels and optional 4G LTE connectivity while maintaining its convertible form factor.

On the one hand, you're still getting a 16:9 display ratio. But on the more important hand, for business customers, you get a ton of features. There are options for Tile integration (device tracking), cellular, an NFC module, up to 2TB of storage, Wacom AES 2.0 Pen, and displays from matte Full HD to Sure View Reflect with 1,000 nits of brightness up to 4K UHD with touch.

All of this while looking like the kind of convertible Ultrabook anyone would desire to own. It's sleek, and slim, and packed with tech. Thoughtful software and hardware permeate the EliteBook x360 1040, such as a single press of a button to cover the webcam. Toss in solid battery life, durable build quality, and surprisingly good audio, and you have yourself a winner.

Best battery life: Dell Latitude 9410

Latitude 9410

Source: Dell (Image credit: Source: Dell)

Dell Latitude 9410

A laptop that will keep going when you stop

Reasons to buy

+
Best battery life
+
ExpressCharge option for fast recharging
+
Good performance overall
+
Great ports

Reasons to avoid

-
Not as powerful as other options

Everyone likes to have good battery life on a laptop, but it's even higher up the priority list when buying for business use. That's where the Dell Latitude 9410 comes into its own because despite not having the biggest physical battery you'll see, it has remarkable longevity.

The battery inside the Latitude 9410 is 52Wh, whichever configuration you buy, but it has different bonus features throughout the range. Some come with ExpressCharge, which can charge to 80% within an hour. Others are "long-life" batteries that come with a three-year warranty for peace of mind.

With Dell's super-low-power display panels, the Latitude 9410 can deliver up to 27 hours of battery life, which is truly outstanding and, in most cases, could stretch two days away from a charger. It's also FirstNet ready for first responders and comes with a suite of software and support from Dell.

The Latitude 9410 is also a convertible laptop with 10th Gen Intel processors, fast storage and RAM, lots of port selection, and a great-looking display. Not only will it last all day and then some, but it's also just a great laptop to use.

Bottom line

Gone are the days of business laptops being some boring black boxes that weighed a lot and were as thick as an encyclopedia. We've been there, and we're glad those days are long gone with fantastic notebooks like the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon.

The lines between consumer, prosumer, and business user are moving closer and closer together, and this laptop is a perfect example of that. It's packed with business-friendly features, insanely good build quality, and as an added bonus, it looks great around the meeting room table.

Remarkably, some of the very best Windows laptops in recent times are the ones targeted at business customers. It's great to see for the corporate world, but it can throw a real loop for normal customers.