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The 5 Best Business Laptops - Winter 2023 Reviews

Best Business Laptop

If you're looking for a laptop for work, your best bet is an ultraportable that's easy to carry around with a battery that lasts long enough to get you through the day. You'd also want to look at the quality of the display, keyboard, touchpad, and webcam, as they can significantly impact the overall user experience. A wide port selection will allow you to connect multiple peripherals or external displays without needing a separate dock. Of course, you'd want enough processing power to handle all of your tasks. We've put together a list of our recommendations to help you with your purchasing decision, which includes options for different operating systems and form factors, so you can find something that suits your needs.

We've tested over 60 laptops, and below you'll find our recommendations for the best laptops for work you can buy. See our recommendations for the best laptops and the best Chromebooks, or you can check out all our laptop reviews.

  1. Best Business Laptop

    The best business laptop we've tested is the LG gram 17 (2021), a well-built ultraportable laptop with long battery life. It sports a 17-inch screen that's well suited for split-screen multitasking, and its keyboard includes a Numpad, which is handy for those working with lots of numbers. The keyboard feels comfortable to type on for extended periods, the touchpad is large and responsive, and there are many ports for peripherals and external displays. Performance-wise, its Intel 11th Gen. CPU is more than capable of handling productivity tasks like text processing, web browsing, spreadsheets, and presentations.

    Before making your purchasing decision, know that there's a newer version of the gram 17 with Intel 12th Gen. CPUs, which you can find on Amazon. This new model is largely an internal upgrade, so you'll likely get a similar user experience. We haven't tested it; however, we do know that Intel 12th Gen. CPUs are a fair amount faster, especially in multi-thread performance. As we're now in 2023 and expecting a newer model with Intel 13th Gen. CPUs, you'll likely find the 12th Gen. models on sale often, so it's a great time to grab one. The other option is to wait for the 13th Gen. models, which LG says will be released in February.

    If you prefer portability over screen space, you have two options: the Dell XPS 13 (2021) for Windows users and the Apple MacBook Air 13 (2022) for Mac users. They're both excellent 13-inch ultraportables that provide a premium user experience and have plenty of processing power to handle most workloads. If you find the M2 MacBook Air too expensive, you still have the option to get the older Apple MacBook Air 13 (M1, 2020), which has an even longer battery life than the 2022 model.

    See our review

  2. Best Upper Mid-Range Business Laptop

    Our pick for the best upper mid-range laptop is the Lenovo Yoga 9i 14 (2021). It's an impressively well-built 14-inch laptop with a 360-degree hinge. You can open it into tent mode for presentations or media consumption or flip the screen around and use it as a tablet. It has a stylus if you want to take notes or doodle, and you can slip the pen into its slot to charge it. The battery lasts about nine hours of light use (with the 1080p display), so you may have to plug it in for a quick charge on long workdays.

    One thing to note is that there are two color schemes, Mica and Shadow Black, and there are slight differences between them. The Mica model has an all-metal design with a traditional touchpad (mechanical buttons) and a capacitive fingerprint sensor, while the Shadow Black model has a leather-clad lid, a haptic touchpad, and an ultrasonic fingerprint sensor. Overall, it's a versatile and feature-rich 2-in-1 that most people will be happy with and one of the best laptops for work we've tested.

    See our review

  3. Best Mid-Range Business Laptop

    If you're looking for a more modest mid-range model, the Acer Swift 3 14 (2020) is a great option. It's a sturdily built 14-inch Windows laptop with a battery that lasts nearly 14 hours of light use, which is more than enough to get through a typical workday. The keyboard feels decent to type on, even though it's a little cramped, and the touchpad is on the smaller side but reasonably responsive. The display looks sharp and gives you just enough room for split-screen multitasking; however, it doesn't get very bright, which means glare might be an issue in well-lit environments or outdoors in broad daylight. Unfortunately, the webcam's video quality is bad, as the image looks underexposed, and the microphone sounds staticky.

    Spec-wise, you can configure it with an Intel 11th Gen Core i5 or i7 CPU and up to 16GB of memory and 512GB of storage. If you're willing to spend a little more, you can get the newer 2022 model with an Intel 12th Gen. CPU, like this Core i7 model on Amazon. We haven't tested the 2022 model, but we expect it to be very similar, just with a faster CPU.

    See our review

  4. Best Budget Business Laptop

    Our best budget pick is the Lenovo IdeaPad 3 15 (2021), a 15-inch model available with AMD Ryzen 5000 series CPUs, which are more than capable of handling general productivity tasks and provide a smooth desktop experience. Its battery life sits around nine hours of light use, so depending on your workload, you may need to plug it in for a quick charge. Unfortunately, you can't charge the laptop via USB-C, so you'll have to carry the barrel plug power adapter.

    There are also other compromises, like the keyboard and touchpad. The former can cause fatigue over time as the keys require a fair amount of force to actuate, and the latter doesn't register some movements or gestures at times. The overall build quality is good, though, and it's easy to carry around, thanks to its thin and light design.

    See our review

  5. Best 2-In-1 Tablet For Business

    If you like 2-in-1s like the Lenovo Yoga 9i 14 (2021) we recommend above but prefer a tablet with a detachable keyboard, get the Microsoft Surface Pro 8 (2021), one of the best laptops for business and personal use we've tested. You can detach the keyboard to save space when consuming media or make the device easier to hold, and the built-in kickstand lets you tilt the screen to an almost flat position to take notes or draw with a stylus. Plus, unlike the Lenovo, the stylus supports tilt, making it suitable for digital artists and creators. The trade-off is that you have to buy the keyboard and stylus separately, increasing the overall cost of the device.

    The keyboard feels very comfortable to type on, especially for a type cover keyboard, and the webcam is among the best on the market. Battery life sits around seven hours of light use, although that's to be expected, as there isn't much space in a tablet form factor to fit in a big battery. There's a newer Microsoft Surface Pro 9 with faster Intel 12th Gen. CPUs; however, they're usually more expensive, so it's up to you whether you need the extra processing power.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Apple MacBook Pro 14 (2021): The Apple MacBook Pro 14 (2021) is great for business use and a good alternative to the LG gram 17 (2021). However, unless you need to do some video editing or GPU-intensive tasks, you'll be paying for GPU performance that you don't necessarily need. See our review
  • Framework Laptop (2022): The Framework Laptop (2022) is a great alternative to the Dell XPS 13 (2021) and is one of the best laptops for small businesses we've tested, as it's super easy to repair yourself without an IT department. Other than being super simple to take apart and repair or upgrade, it also has a modular port system that lets you swap out the ports on the fly for whatever you want. However, the battery doesn't last as long. You can only get this laptop through Framework's website and in select countries. See our review
  • Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 (2019): The Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 (2019) is a great general productivity laptop and a good alternative to the LG gram 17 (2021). You can get a 13-inch model if you prefer portability over screen space. This model is discontinued, but there's a newer Microsoft Surface Laptop 5 available. It's identical to the Surface Laptop 3 in design but has a more powerful Intel 12th Gen. CPU and Thunderbolt 4 support. See our review
  • Lenovo Yoga 7i 14 (2021): The Lenovo Yoga 7i 14 (2021) is a cheaper alternative to the Lenovo Yoga 9i 14 (2021). It has longer battery life than the Yoga 9i, but its display doesn't get as bright, and the laptop doesn't come with a stylus. See our review
  • Acer Chromebook Spin 713 (2020): The Acer Chromebook Spin 713 (2020) is a great alternative to the Lenovo IdeaPad 3 15 (2021). However, it runs Chrome OS, which is very limiting as you can only install web apps, Android apps, and with some tinkering, Linux apps. It's only a good option if your business works with G Suite apps like Google Docs and Sheets, or you can do all your work through a Chrome browser. See our review
  • Lenovo IdeaPad 5 15 (2021): The Lenovo IdeaPad 5 15 (2021) is a good alternative to the Acer Swift 3 14 (2020) with a better keyboard and brighter display; however, it's hard to find because it's discontinued. See our review

Recent Updates

  1. Jan 17, 2023: Minor text changes to improve clarity and provide more information about newer models. Added the Microsoft Surface Pro 8 (2021) as the 'Best 2-In-1 Tablet' pick.

  2. Dec 19, 2022: Verified accuracy of picks; no change in recommendations.

  3. Nov 18, 2022: Removed the Apple MacBook Air 13 (2022) and the 'Best MacBook For Business' category to better match user expectation.

  4. Oct 21, 2022: Replaced the Lenovo IdeaPad 5 15 (2021) with the Acer Swift 3 14 (2020) because the Lenovo is discontinued and hard to find. Replaced the Apple MacBook Air 13 (M1, 2020) with the Apple MacBook Air 13 (2022) because the newer model has a slightly larger and brighter display, better performance, and a better port selection.

  5. Sep 12, 2022: Verified accuracy of picks; no change in recommendations.

All Reviews

Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best laptops for small business you can get. We factor in the price (a cheaper laptop wins over a pricier one if the difference isn't worth it), feedback from our visitors, and availability (no laptops that are difficult to find or almost out of stock everywhere).

If you prefer to make your own decision, here’s the list of all of our laptop reviews. Keep in mind that most laptops are available in various configurations, and the table only shows the results of the model we tested, so it’s best to see the full review for information about other variants.