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Grow Your Business Technology

Best Business Laptops 2018 (and Why We Love Them)

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 four favorite business laptops of 2018 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. 

Editor's Note: Our sister site LaptopMag recently named Lenovo as the best laptop brand, based on the company's support, design, innovation, value and selection, and product quality. Lenovo beat out HP and Dell (2nd and 3rd, respectfully) to come in first for the second year in a row. Acer and Asus round out the top five, with Apple falling to seventh. Apple, however, tops the list as the best customer support around. 

Best Acer Laptop
BUY
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  • 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
Read Review
  • 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
Read Review
  • Price
    $799.99
  • CPU
    Intel Core i7-8550U
  • RAM
    8GB
  • Display Size & Resolution
    13.3 inches, 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Battery Life Tested
    9:46
Best Lenovo Laptop
BUY
Read Review
  • Price
    $919
  • CPU
    Intel Core i5-6200U
  • RAM
    8GB
  • Display Size & Resolution
    14 inches, 1366 x 768 pixels
  • Battery Life Tested
    17:25
Best Chromebook
BUY
Read Review
  • 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 3.0, 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 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.  

Read a full review of the Acer Aspire S 13 on our sister site, Laptop Mag.

Credit: Dell

If opting for a Dell seems like a boring choice, then you haven't seen the new Dell XPS 13 9370 yet. This laptop features an upgraded design that's miles better than the previous incarnation, even if it shares 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 size, and the same resolution (1920 x 1080), but the Acer has double the onboard RAM. As with all Dell laptops the XPS 13 can be upgraded, but each boost comes at a price. On the flip 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.

Read a full review of the Dell XPS 13 on our sister site, Laptop Mag.

Credit: Purch

The HP Envy 13t is a competitive business machine that costs just $799 and comes with a speedy Intel Core i7 processor, 8GB RAM and a quality touch display (1920 x 1080 pixels). The battery life for this portable, 2.9-pound notebook is 9 hours and 46 minutes, and the keyboard is first rate – but the design might not be everyone's cup of tea, and the audio leaves a lot to be desired.

The silver chassis on this HP is what some might call unnecessarily architectural, and frankly a little bit try-hard. The lid angles around the hinge, so when you open the laptop the lid curves underneath the keyboard, putting it at an angle. The whole look is weirdly reminiscent of a Delorean and feels unintentionally 1980s. That said, many people are fans of the look, or don't care about design enough to skip out on a solid machine at a great price just because of its looks.

Read a full review of the HP Envy 13t on our sister site Laptop Mag.

Credit: Purch

For just under a thousand dollars, the Lenovo ThinkPad T470 delivers solid processing power (Intel Core i5, but can be upgraded further) and plenty of storage (8GB RAM) for all your non-cloud programs. The roomy keyboard is classic Lenovo and the chassis is pure business. If you opt for the optional six-cell unit battery, this laptop will also give you some of the best battery life of any machine out there, clocking in at 17 hours and 25 minutes during our testing.

The display (1366 x 768 pixels) on this laptop is where Lenovo fails to impress, but you can upgrade to a higher resolution screen (1920 x 1080). Just keep in mind that every upgrade you choose inflates the price. The real value in this machine is in the array of ports, fantastic keyboard, long battery life, business class security and overall durability.

Read a full review of the Lenovo ThinkPad T470 on our sister site, Laptop Mag.

Credit: Purch

The Google Pixelbook is a gamechanger for business users who want to go the Chromebook route. While this super slim notebook is more expensive than many other Chromebooks ($899) available 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 having 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. 

Read a full review of the Google Pixelbook on our sister site, Laptop Mag.

Mona Bushnell

Mona Bushnell is a New York City-based Staff Writer for Tom’s IT Pro, 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 Purch team in 2017.