1. Sales & Marketing
  2. Finances
  3. Your Team
  4. Technology
  5. Social Media
  6. Security
Product and service reviews are conducted independently by our editorial team, but we sometimes make money when you click on links. Learn more.
Grow Your Business Technology

Best Work Laptops of 2019

Google Pixelbook
Credit: Purch

Making the purchasing process easier is what we're all about. We test every machine and tell you about the top performers so you can make an informed decision. Our five favorite business laptops of 2019 each bring something different to the table in terms of budget and functionality. We've got you covered, whether you're looking for a sturdy workstation, a budget-friendly laptop, an adaptable hybrid or the best-all-around work machine on the market. 

Best Acer Laptop
BUY
  • Price
    $749
  • CPU
    Intel Core i7-7500U
  • RAM
    8GB
  • Display Size & Resolution
    13.3 inches, 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Battery Life Tested
    9:48
Best Dell Laptop
BUY
  • Price
    $999.99
  • CPU
    3.4 GHz Intel Core i5-8250U
  • RAM
    4GB
  • Display Size & Resolution
    13.3 inches, 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Battery Life Tested
    12:37
Best HP Laptop
BUY
  • Price
    $1,099
  • CPU
    Intel Core i5-8250U
  • RAM
    8GB
  • Display Size & Resolution
    14 inches, 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Battery Life Tested
    8:31
Best Lenovo Laptop
BUY
  • Price
    $1,367.10
  • CPU
    3.4-GHz Intel Core i5-8250U
  • RAM
    8GB
  • Display Size & Resolution
    14-inches, 1920 x 1440 Pixels
  • Battery Life Tested
    11:01
Best Chromebook
BUY
  • Price
    $899
  • CPU
    Core i5-7Y57
  • RAM
    8GB
  • Display Size & Resolution
    12.3 inches, 2400 x 1600 pixels
  • Battery Life Tested
    7:43

Credit: Acer

Acer may not be as familiar to you as some of the other laptop brands on this list, but it's a solid option for price-sensitive business users. For well under a grand ($749 to be exact), the Acer Aspire S 13 packs a ton of functionality into a beautiful obsidian chassis. The generous offering of ports, including two USB 3.0s, an SD card slot, a headphone/mic jack, HDMI and a USB Type-C, is unusual in a laptop at this price point, and the battery life (9:48) is totally respectable.

Lighter than the 13-inch MacBook Air, the Acer Aspire S 13 (2.9 pounds) is ideal for business travelers and side-hustlers. The Intel Core i7 processor is powerful enough for multitasking business usage, and the display (1920 x 1080) is better than those of many higher-priced business laptops. The Acer Aspire S 13 also has one of the most comfortable keyboards of any laptop on this list, so it's perfect for long typing sessions.  

Credit: Dell

If a Dell seems like a boring choice, you haven't seen the newest Dell XPS 13 9370 yet. This laptop features an upgraded design that's miles better than the previous incarnation, even if it has the same terrible name. Shoppers can choose between the standard silver and black chassis for a conservative business look, or opt for the eye-catching white and gold chassis ($50 extra).

The starting price for this Dell ($999) is a bit higher than some other business laptops with similar or even better specs. For example, the entry-level XPS 13 comes with an Intel Core i5, whereas the less expensive Acer on this list comes with an i7. Both laptops have the same 13.3-inch screen and 1920 x 1080 resolution, but the Acer has double the onboard RAM. Like all Dell laptops, the XPS 13 can be upgraded, but each boost comes at a price. On the plus side, this laptop feels high-end, has a modern edgeless screen design (no thick bezels in sight) and offers fantastic battery life (12:37) for all-day use.

 

Credit: Purch

 

A standout business laptop, the HP EliteBook 840 G5 may be too pricey for some ($1,099), but it's still far less expensive than many consumer laptops, and it's one of the best business devices of 2019. The model we reviewed came loaded with a seventh-generation Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM and a decent battery life (8:31). If you want additional power, HP offers lots of config options, including a top-of-the-line $2,000 version with an Intel Core i7, 32GB RAM and an AMD Radeon RX 540 graphics card with 2GB dedicated GDDR5.

The entry-level machine's display is good enough for standard business use (1920 x 1080 pixels on a 14-inch screen), but it’s the overall design that really sets this laptop apart from the rest of our favorites. The HP EliteBook 840 G5 isn't a dowdy, boxy business laptop; it has the looks of a high-end consumer device (such as an Apple MacBook or Google Pixelbook) with the functionality of a business device, with its optional fingerprint scanner, privacy lens slider and variety of ports (including a Thunderbolt).  

Credit: Purch

Lenovo laptops have long been a favorite of IT departments and businesses in general because they are affordable and easy to manage. Our favorite Lenovo for 2019 workers is the ThinkPad X1 Carbon (sixth generation). 

The sixth-gen ThinkPad X1 Carbon comes with an Intel Core i5 minimum and 8GB RAM. The lightweight design (it's even lighter than a 13-inch MacBook Pro) and incredible battery life (more than 11 hours) make it ideal for heavy business use. The above-average display (14 inches, 1920 x 1440 pixels) and soft-touch lid and inner deck round out this device, and the starting price ($1,367.10) is well worth it for a reputable business laptop.

Credit: Purch

The Google Pixelbook is a game-changer for business users who want to go the Chromebook route. While this super-slim notebook is more expensive than many other Chromebooks ($899), it also offers more built-in usability thanks to the 8GB onboard RAM, outstanding 12.3-inch display (2400 x 1600 pixels) and touchscreen with optional stylus (not included).

In addition to its great specs, the Google Pixelbook is by far the most attractive laptop I've ever had the pleasure to use. Just holding it feels good, typing on it is fun, and the stylus offers a great writing experience with very little latency. The dipped monochrome chassis makes other laptops look downright dowdy, and since Google takes care of all the security updates on the back end, this device is great for small businesses and entrepreneurs without IT departments. 

Years ago, every laptop came with an optical drive, which was crucial for installing software. Nowadays, a physical disc drive just isn't needed on most systems, since software is usually either downloaded from the web or installed via USB drive. Plus, laptops have gotten sleeker and more portable without the extra bulk an optical drive adds.

Still, a built-in CD/DVD drive can come in handy if installing and using legacy software is a regular part of your business plan. Lucky for you, a handful of business laptops still offer the feature – though the number dwindles with each passing year.

If you only need an optical drive on rare occasions, you might be better off picking up an external drive that connects to your laptop via USB and can cost as little as $15. If you really can't live without the feature built in, there are some companies that make them, but you might have to opt for an old model. 

Acer's TravelMate line has traditionally included at least one model with an optical drive. These are generally affordable, mainstream work laptops with good security credentials but no special durability features. In general, TravelMate laptops are designed to be lightweight and business-friendly but are a bit boring to look at. The line was originally used by Texas Instruments, until it sold it to Acer in 1997.

The 15.6-inch HP Notebook features a touchscreen with a seventh-generation Intel Core i3 CPU and a Super Multi DVD burner and runs Windows 10. But these gray, plastic laptops are designed to be more affordable, combining the best of new technologies with older gear such as optical drives.

Lenovo's only optical-drive-equipped laptops come in its ThinkPad line. These business-class laptops are known for their excellent keyboards, durable designs and strong security options. The black and boxy design of the series, originally developed by IBM, makes it immediately recognizable. You might also recognize the red nubbin between the G and H keys, called the TrackPoint navigation device.

Mona Bushnell

Mona Bushnell is a New York City-based Staff Writer for Business.com and Business News Daily. She has a B.A. in Writing, Literature, and Publishing from Emerson College and has previously worked as an IT Technician, a Copywriter, a Software Administrator, a Scheduling Manager and an Editorial Writer. Mona began freelance writing full-time in 2014 and joined the Business.com team in 2017.