Best Business Laptops Windows Central 2020
Buying a laptop for business use 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, there are some truly great business laptops out there. But none are as good as the Dell Latitude 7400 2-in-1
- Best Overall: Dell Latitude 7400 2-in-1
- Runner-up: HP Elitebook x360 1030
- Best Tablet: Microsoft Surface Pro 6
- Best Premium: Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon
- Hidden Gem: Huawei MateBook X Pro
Best overall - Dell Latitude 7400 2-in-1
The Dell Latitude 7400 2-in-1 may go down as one of the best, albeit heavier, 14-inch Ultrabooks in 2019. Although Dell aims this squarely at businesses, the line between enterprise and prosumer has been blurred so much that the distinction is now minimized. As such, this isn't just the best laptop for business buyers, it's one of the very best laptops for anyone.
Besides the inking-friendly Full HD display that folds around, one of the other big selling points for business is the simply incredible battery life. This thing can go for 15-hours on a charge, something that no other Ultrabook in this class can truly do. Part of that is the move to a low-power display that's still plenty bright enough but won't hog your battery.
Other highlights are the proximity-based instant login feature that also detects when you're not there and automatically locks itself. It's even got great audio for those times you've done enough work for the day and just want to relax with some music or a movie.
- Excellent low-watt full HD screen
- Good audio
- Impressive battery life
- Premium build quality
- That 2-in-1 distinction
- Slightly heavy
- No 2K or 4K display options
Excellent battery, super adaptive
Dell's revamped Latitude 7400 2-in-1 for 2019 leads the pack for 14-inch Ultrabooks and overall battery life, whether business or consumer.
Runner-up - HP EliteBook X360 1030
This is a true powerhouse of a business laptop. It packs powerful internals, it's secure and durable, but it still has looks that will turn any head in the meeting room. HP's quality spans both its business and consumer products, and while there's still a definite difference between the product lines, you'd be forgiven for wanting one of these for everyday use.
There are plenty of ports on the sides, it supports a digital pen, and perhaps best of all, you can spec one up with LTE so your mobile office is connected wherever you go. Being a convertible with a full 360-degree hinge makes it a perfect companion to chill out with after you're done with big business things for the day.
The display is one of the standout features, though. You have a gorgeous, ultra-bright 4K panel, but the HP Sure View tech prevents "visual hacking" by combining the sort of thing you'd get on old stick on privacy filters right into the display. It's an ingenious solution and one that businesses will certainly enjoy to keep sensitive data away from prying eyes.
- Powerful internals
- Solid battery life
- HP Sure View privacy display
- Excellent build quality
- Optional LTE
- Full 360-degree hinge
- Fairly chunky bezels
- Can get pricey
One of the top dogs for the business world
Secure, durable, powerful, and stylish are all words that can describe the HP EliteBook x360 1030.
Best Tablet - Microsoft Surface Pro 6
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.
All of this and more is what makes the Surface Pro 6 so good. It's incredibly versatile and shows off the very best of what Windows 10 has to offer. It lacks LTE and Thunderbolt 3, but those are about the only real criticisms. The display is incredible, and it comes with 8th Gen Intel Core i processors, including a fanless Core i5 model that'll never disturb anyone in a meeting room.
The accessories make a difference, too. Add a Surface Dock and 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. You can even get a nice pair of Surface Headphones these days to help you out when you need to relax.
- New CPU is substantially more powerful
- Improved battery life; runs cooler
- Black is awesome
- Excellent build quality and design
- Flexible build
- No Type-C or Thunderbolt 3
- No LTE option (yet)
- Odd pricing levels
The king of Windows tablets
Whether you're using it as a tablet with a pen or as a full-blown laptop, the Surface Pro 6 is about as versatile as they come.
Best Premium - Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon
You can't look for a business laptop and not at least consider the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon. The 7th 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. Lenovo is also claiming up to 18.5 hours battery life from the latest model, which is good news to those who travel.
It looks great on the outside with a new woven carbon finish, but the features that business customers care about are still present and correct. While adding a gorgeous 4K display that supports HDR400 and Dolby Vision, Lenovo also has its own digital privacy feature to mask content on the screen from prying eyes.
There's also both a privacy shutter for the webcam and Windows Hello. Fans of the red pointer will also be happy to see it continues to live on in the ThinkPad in 2019. The only really disappointing thing is that it launches on 8th Gen Intel processors when many competitors will be using 9th Gen.
- Incredible HDR display
- Built-in privacy and security features
- Thin, light and durable
- Great battery life
- Red pointer for Lenovo fans
- Gets expensive
- Launching on last-gen processors
Simply put, a legend
A legendary name in business laptops, the X1 Carbon is pricey, but it's full of premium hardware and features.
Hidden Gem - Huawei MateBook X Pro
Huawei is still better known for its phones than its laptops, but ignore them at your peril. Huawei is making great laptops that in most cases match or come out better than the competition. In many cases, Huawei is also undercutting on price, which will keep the company accountant and your wallet happy.
It has a gorgeous 3:2 aspect ratio display, 8th Gen Intel processors, and dedicated NVIDIA graphics. Add in Windows Hello biometric login and great speakers, and the MateBook X Pro is great for work and play. It lacks some enterprise specific features that you might find on laptops here from Dell, HP or Lenovo, since it's not really targeted at business user, but it's an incredible laptop that business users will enjoy.
It's one of our favorite outright laptops in recent times, and thankfully the uncertainty over Huawei being able to sell laptops in the U.S. has gone away for now, which means you're able to pick one up for your business use. The name carries a little stigma still, but don't let that put you off.
- Excellent 3:2 "3K" display
- Outstanding performance
- Exceptional value
- Stylish but understated
- Bad camera angle
- Lacks some enterprise features
- No pen support
- Name carries stigma
The underdog comes packing a punch
A stunning design, dedicated graphics and a great price make the MateBook X Pro a laptop you might have ignored, but really shouldn't.
Gone are the days of business laptops being some boring black boxes that weighed a lot and were as thick as an encyclopaedia. We've been there and we're glad those days are long gone. Enter the new champion, the Dell Latitude 7400 2-in-1, which isn't just the best laptop for business buyers. It's also one of the absolute best laptops of 2019.
The lines between consumer, prosumer, and business user are getting closer and closer together and this laptop is a perfect example of that. It's packed with business friendly features like incredible battery life with a power-sipping display and proximity-based security, while also packing great audio and digital inking, which is as consumer as it is business friendly.
It's remarkable that one of Dell's very best laptops in recent times is one which is targeted at its business customers, but here we are. You can't do better.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Richard Devine is an Editor at Windows Central. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently you'll find him covering all manner of PC hardware and gaming, and you can follow him on Twitter and Instagram.
Daniel Rubino is executive editor of Windows Central. He has been covering Microsoft since 2009 back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Surface, HoloLens, Xbox, and future computing visions. Follow him on Twitter: @daniel_rubino.
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