Power and productivity on the move: The best business laptops of 2024

Choosing the right laptop for your business could streamline your workflow and let you work smarter and faster

some of The best business laptops of 2024

by Chris Duffill |
Updated on

Every modern business needs reliable tech to stay productive and profitable - with the best laptops a high priority. Whether you’re a business leader with a schedule filled with on-site meetings, or a home worker who needs a reliable budget laptop - the need for dependable user-friendly machines that ‘just work’ is a must. And the best business laptops are here to do just that.

But the world of computers is a complex one, often filled with simple Chromebook laptops and chunky overpowered machines that are too heavy to take on the commute. User reviews and big marketing claims don’t always help narrow down your options either, often making your final choice more difficult instead. Our experts are here to take the effort out of finding the best business laptops to suit your needs. But, with so many sizes and brands on offer, where’s the best place to start?

Best business laptops of 2024 at a glance:

• Best overall business laptop: Acer Swift Go 14 SFG14-42 14-inch Laptop - View at Amazon
• Best budget business laptop: HP 11-ak0027na 11.6in Celeron 4GB 64GB Cloudbook - View at Argos
• Best high-end business laptop: LENOVO Yoga Pro 9i 16-inch Laptop - View at Currys
• Best mid-budget business laptop: ASUS Vivobook 16 M1603QA - View at Amazon
• Best lightweight business laptop: Lenovo Ideapad 14 Laptop, 14" HD Screen - View at Amazon
• Best business laptop for creatives: ASUS ZenBook Duo UX482EAR 14.0" Dualscreen Full HD Laptop - View at Amazon
• Best business laptop for the environment: Acer Aspire Vero AV15-52 15.6 Inch Laptop - View at Amazon
• Best Mac business laptop: Apple 2024 MacBook Air 15-inch Laptop - View at Currys
• Best touchscreen business laptop: Microsoft Surface Laptop 5 - 13.5 Inch Touchscreen Laptop - View at Amazon
• Best Chromebook business laptop: HP Laptop PC 15s-fq5021sa - View at Amazon

Well, the importance of sticking to your budget is clearly a top business concern. No matter how deep your pockets are, balancing price with performance is essential. Taking price as a starting point, the next step will be the specification of the machine.

If you’re on a super-tight budget, you can still find reliable budget laptops that can easily run the usual line-up of business software - such as Microsoft 365 (or, MS Office as it was known). A laptop with 8GB of RAM and a multi-core CPU will do, as will a 256GB SSD for storage. Naturally, the more you can spend on the right components the longer the usable lifespan of your business laptop. And the better the build quality the more sturdy the laptop will be for lugging around on the commute or to meetings.

But, if you’re looking to do more than just tweak some Word docs and spreadsheets, you might need more power. Businesses in creative industries may well need a laptop for graphic design - and that means a much beefier spec. Look for at least 16GB of RAM, an Intel i7 or equivalent CPU or higher, and a dedicated graphics card rather than an integrated one. As with all computers, you’ll need to assess your software needs before you buy.

We’ve looked at a wide range of modern business laptops to suit all budgets and needs. Whether you need a cheap laptop to keep on top of those essential tasks, or a laptop over £1000 with serious number-crunching power, we have them all - and plenty more in between. So, let’s superpower those spreadsheets and find the best business laptops for you.

Best business laptops of 2024

All prices are correct at the time of writing. Prices, stock and deals are subject to change without notice.

Best overall business laptop

We know that not every business professional is after a basic laptop for simpler tasks like emails and spreadsheets. Some demand the capacity to handle everything - like this Acer Swift Go 14 SFG14-42 model. Despite its modest 14-inch screen, this Acer boasts hardware specifications that can compete with much bulkier desktop setups. Need a display that delivers crisp, clear images for your presentations and detailed spreadsheets? No problem, as this one has an OLED screen. And that means it's easier on the eye too, so those late-night PowerPoint creations or half-day industry webinars will be a lot less of a strain.

It's also equipped with top-of-the-line specifications, including a fast AMD Ryzen 7 processor and a generous 16GB of RAM. We were happy to find that storage capacity exceeds expectations too, with 512 GB - ample space for an array of business applications. Some users who push this to its limits for high-intensity work like video rendering find it can run a little warm, which is to be expected for the components on offer here. In terms of design, this laptop doesn't disappoint, offering a robust keyboard and a fingerprint reader for enhanced security when you're out and about.

Pros

  • Enjoy incredible detail and accurate colours on the OLED display
  • The massive RAM and half-a-terabyte storage will support advanced apps
  • Excellent battery life for such a powerful laptop - will last a working day or more without mains

Cons

  • As with most small and powerful laptops, it can get hot under prolonged use for intensive tasks like rendering video

Best budget business laptop

In our opinion, the HP Stream Laptop PC 11-ak0027na is something of a steal. It's a compact and cost-effective machine that's robust enough for business use. Its lightweight yet robust HP build and 11.6-inch display make it an ideal option for professionals who need a lightweight and agile business companion. The keyboard is generously proportioned for its size too, turning this laptop into an efficient tool for handling emails and documents.

Packing an Intel Celeron processor and 4GB of RAM, this laptop isn't the most powerful on the market, but that's why it's such a great budget choice. The storage is low - so we recommend investing in an external drive. The vibrant HD screen and responsive keyboard offer a straightforward and budget-friendly choice for all day-to-day business tasks. Coupled with a 13-hour battery life, the HP 11-ak0027na Laptop PC stands out as a stunning budget option for those in need of a reliable business tool.

Pros

  • Very small and portable with a huge 13-hour battery life
  • Full-size keyboard Ideal for busy note-taking and office applications
  • One-year subscription to Microsoft 365 Personal included

Cons

  • Limited storage space - so invest in an external hard drive

Best high-end business laptop

 LENOVO Yoga Pro 9i 16-inch Laptop  LENOVO

For some professionals, a 14 or 15-inch laptop doesn't offer quite enough workspace for comfort. However, the Lenovo Yoga Pro 9i laptop expands your view with its 3.2K ultra-high-definition 16-inch display. Something of a surprise to us in a laptop, it uses mini-LED technology which makes for superior color accuracy and contrast. So, anyone working on design or detailed business data will love it. The inclusion of the Nvidia RTX 4060 graphics card means this laptop can handle heavy-duty graphic design and video editing tasks, alongside typical business applications.

From a performance standpoint, the Yoga Pro 9i is equipped with a top-tier Intel Core i9 processor and 32GB of RAM, making it more than capable of running demanding professional software suites and multitasking without a hitch. One potential drawback for mobile professionals is the battery life, which lasts about 6.5 hours. This may require planning for power access during extended meetings or business travel. Despite this, the Lenovo Yoga Pro 9i impresses with its design; it's sleek, sturdy, and looks the part.

Pros

  • The 3.2K resolution 16-inch display is a mini LED panel - colour accuracy and contrast are excellent
  • Tuned by Lenovo for performance when using creative applications such as the Adobe suite
  • The i9 CPU and 32GB of RAM are well above average, with enough power than most laptops in this price range

Cons

  • Battery life is below average - so plan for your power needs

Best mid-budget business laptop

The ASUS Vivobook 16 is expertly designed to balance costs without compromising on business needs. We particularly like that its features are well-suited to for professional use for more advanced tasks and applications. It boasts 16 GB of RAM and a generous 1TB SSD - so all of your projects and multitasking needs are going to be met here. In fact for the price, the spec is significantly higher than we'd normally expect. The battery life is a little on the average side, though, depending on what you're using the laptop for.

Powered by a Ryzen 7 processor, the Vivobook 16 is equipped to handle demanding business applications with ease. Its integrated AMD Radeon graphics card supports smooth video playback and graphics-intensive presentations without a hitch. The laptop also features a sufficient number of ports to connect peripherals such as external drives, keyboards, and other essentials for a comprehensive office setup. The combination of a webcam with a 16-inch display means you can manage multiple windows and applications alongside your video conferencing. All in all, we find the Vivobook 16 to be a laptop of exceptional value and specification for any business.

Pros

  • Speedy Ryzen 7 CPU - excellent number-crunching power for lots of business applications
  • Built-in webcam - ideal for teleconferences
  • Huge amount of RAM and storage - enough for all your business apps and more

Cons

  • Battery life is middling depending on the type of use

Best lightweight business laptop

Lenovo 14-inch IdeaPad 1 LaptopLenovo
Price: $299.00

Not every laptop needs to be heavy to be powerful. We think this Lenovo 14-inch IdeaPad 1 really stands out for its considerable hardware spec versus its weight. A 1TB SSD gives you a serious amount of storage, making it a prime choice for professionals with a lot of working files to take with them.
While this laptop isn't engineered for high-speed performance, it is equipped with 4GB of RAM and an Intel Celeron N4020 CPU - and that's enough to run Windows 11 in S mode.

That means that you have a fast, light and Microsoft-friendly machine that will integrate with the most common business systems and applications no matter where you go. Clearly tailored for routine office tasks rather than intensive computing workloads, this laptop is not only suitable for office needs but can also accommodate a vast array of media, such as photos or videos, for your business presentations. It's a great all-rounder for light-computing tasks on the move.

Pros

  • A great way to get a lot of fast storage without spending more on other features
  • A very lightweight and speedy machine with solid Lenovo build quality 
  • It runs Windows 11 in S mode for fast performance and a familiar interface for all Windows users

Cons

  • As mentioned - this is not a performer for more advanced applications

Best business laptop for creatives

When it comes to innovation and performance, we think the ASUS Zenbook Duo is a prime choice for the ultimate business laptop for those who need some creative power. Its innovative dual touchscreen design sets it apart, as it tilts up to seven degrees and helps to keep the main screen clear of clutter. Mounted flat above the keyboard, that additional screen works with the included ASUS Pen stylus too - although we do think it takes a little getting used to as it's horizontal.

From a design perspective, the ASUS Zenbook Duo boasts a high-tech yet aesthetically pleasing look with a sturdy yet lightweight chassis. Powered by an Intel i7 CPU and equipped with 16GB of RAM, it handles multitasking with speed and precision. Offering some tablet-style functionality, the touchscreen of both displays allows for fast intuitive control too. For us, the inclusion of the ASUS Pen adds a creative spin to this laptop, as well as offering a natural way of taking notes during meetings. That said, if you have a bit more money to spend on an ASUS with a touchscreen and stylus - but don't want that second screen - the ASUS Zenbook 14 OLED laptop we reviewed is another great option for creatives.

Pros

  • Innovative dual-screen design makes for faster, easier image editing and productivity
  • A solid mid-range spec with enough power to run professional creative applications
  • The included ASUS Pen gives creatives more choice and commuters a rest from the trackpad

Cons

  • The second screen may take some getting used to

Best business laptop for the environment

While the Acer Aspire Vero AV15-52 might not boast the sleek looks of many an office laptop, its reliability and eco-conscious manufacturing make it an ideal choice for businesses with an ecological ethos. We're impressed with how it combines top-tier hardware with environmentally sustainable practices – a rare find among office computers. Partly made from recycled and recyclable materials, it has a modular design. That means it's been designed and engineered for easy disassembly and upgrades.

But we think you won't be upgrading this for quite some time, as it has a powerful 11th-generation i7 processor, 16GB of RAM, and a generous 1TB of SSD storage. Altoghether they ensure smooth operation of demanding business applications like CRM software, projects, and complex spreadsheets. It is, however, slightly bulkier than many business laptops -but that's to be expected given the modular design. We think that the Acer Aspire Vero excels in delivering robust performance for your business with this ecologically sound machine.

Pros

  • A large 15.6-inch display - ideal for editing photos
  • Great environmental credentials - including easy upgrades and disassembly
  • Excellent RAM, CPU and SSD storage for a slick editing experience

Cons

  • The chunky, heavy design

Best Mac business laptop

Apple 2024 MacBook Air 15-inch Laptop Apple

Apple's new generation of integrated chips, the M3, really do put its laptops into a league of their own. The 2024 MacBook Air is a prime example, and that chip has a 10-core GPU and a 16-core neural engine. Classic Apple looks aside, we think it's practically tailor-made for cutting-edge business applications. Install your essential business software on this machine, and you'll also benefit from that 15-inch Liquid Retina display.

Supporting over a billion colours, the screen ensures exceptional clarity and accuracy, making it perfect for presentations and detailed document work. It operates at quad-HD resolution as well. Apple finish this laptop off by giving it an impressive 18-hour battery life under average use. However, when used for heavier computing tasks you should expect a bit less. But, for us, this Apple MacBook Air represents the optimal combination of style, speed and typical Apple high-functionality. We know that business professionals will love it, whether working from home, the office or with clients.

Pros

  • Beautiful Liquid Retina Display at Quad-HD resolution for tonnes of detail and colour accuracy
  • Robust and classy Apple design and build
  • Amazing battery life - take this with you on your trip and it'll last the day

Cons

  • You'll need to invest in an external SSD for storing all of your high-res photos

Best touchscreen business laptop

It may not be the only touchscreen laptop on this list, but we do think it's the best outside of those models aimed at high-end or creative users. For businesses who need to balance tablet-style usability with portable computing power, we think that the Microsoft Surface Laptop 5 is a real winner. Its touchscreen functionality allows easy intuitive use when using applications. Ideal for taking extensive notes or making presentations, this laptop is powered by an i5 CPU and equipped with 8GB RAM. While that's not the cream of the performance crop, it is still enough to effortlessly handle key business applications, including Microsoft Office and various creative tools if you need them.

With ample 512GB of storage capacity, it's ideal for taking a a vast array of working documents and projects with you. One extra that we appreciate is the audio output that's a real bonus when video conferencing or making multimedia presentations from across the desk. The claimed 18-hour battery life makes this on par with the Apple Macbook Air, although again this may vary depending on its use. All in all, a great hybrid laptop-tablet.

Pros

  • Works very well with Microsoft Office and common business networking and software thanks to being a Microsoft device
  • Speedy and reliable overall hardware spec
  • The hybrid design is modern and lightweight with a responsive touchscreen - ideal for keyboard-free use

Cons

  • Battery life isn't always accurate depending on the use case

Best Chromebook business laptop

HP's PC 15s-fq5021sa is a typical HP product when it comes to dependable build and solid functionality. It is, of course, a Chromebook - so don't expect a Windows 11 experience. But, if you need a lightweight and robust little laptop that can help you keep on top of everyday light business tasks, this is it.

Equipped with a 15.6-inch display, a 256GB SSD, and 8GB of RAM, it offers an outstanding spec for the price. However, the real game-changer is the Intel Core i5 processor. While many competitors at this price point opt for the less powerful i3, the inclusion of an i5 processor in this Chromebook is a cut above the rest. We love the addition of the anti-glare screen with its ultra-slim bezel that will make for more comfort during long work sessions. Our favourite feature, though, is the full-size numeric keypad - absolutely ideal for date-input tasks and spreadsheets. There is though no backlighting on the keyboard. The icing on the cake is the integrated HD camera - brilliant for video calls with colleagues and clients. All in all, this is one of the best-specced Chromebooks we've seen.

Pros

  • Excellent processor will keep up with all of your computing tasks
  • The thin bezel and anti-glare coating make the 15.6-inch screen a joy to use
  • Sturdy and reliable HP build quality

Cons

  • No backlit keyboard

Best business laptops of 2024: Buyer’s guide

Make sure your business applications will run

Every business has its own specific software needs. Some may be no more complicated than the standard Microsoft Office applications, others may use bespoke business software or specialist applications to suit their industry. The system requirements will vary hugely, so it’s important to list the key software you need for your business and put the most resource-hungry ones at the top.

As long as your chosen laptop specification matches or exceeds that of your most important software, you’re good to go. If your business currently uses machines and software that run on various operating systems, you’ll need to make sure you buy different models to suit; For instance, older Apple Mac and Windows software may not run on modern systems, so always check the needs of any legacy software first.

Portability

A lightweight laptop is a joy to carry and use, and most business professionals will choose portability over power if they can. A lot of this comes down to weight, but it’ll also be affected by how much computing power you need. If you work in a creative industry, you may need to sacrifice some of that lightweight build for more advanced components and longer battery life. Of course, if you need a laptop for working from home, this is much less of an issue.

If taking the smallest, thinnest and lightest machine with you as you commute is a must, make sure your laptop choice has great build quality. These days, a slim laptop can be just as tough as a much chunkier one thanks to rugged materials and a metal chassis. And no matter what weight or size your laptop is, make sure you look after your comfort too and invest in one of the best laptop stands. Your neck, arms and shoulders will thank you.

Screen size

As great as it is to travel light, you should always balance this with your screen size. There’s no point in unpacking a super-slim and compact touchscreen laptop if you struggle to edit your documents and spreadsheets on it. The opposite is also true - with large 17-inch laptops being a little unwieldy to carry and unpack. For many a 15-16 inch laptop is an optimal size, giving a good balance of practicality and portability.

Business laptops also have to travel well in terms of screen quality and visibility. If you often find yourself sharing your screen with a colleague, make sure your laptop choice has wide viewing angles and glare protection. The latter, alongside eye care features, will be more comfortable to use as well.

Battery life

The last thing you need to be worried about when you have a business to run is running out of power. Depending on the spec of your laptop, it’ll either last a whole working day or fall a little short. That does, though, depend on how power-hungry your laptop components are and what you’re using it for. Clearly, video editing on the train is going to eat through that battery much faster than surfing and writing documents.

We recommend taking manufacturer battery life claims with a pinch of salt. Here, user reviews are your best friend, as you’ll normally be able to find testimony from users who use similar software to your own.

the keyboard and screen of a laptop
©Chris Duffill, WTB

Best business laptops of 2024: FAQs

How much RAM do I need for a business laptop?

As with all computers, your RAM needs are going to be dictated by the software you’re running. And it’s not just based on the needs of a single application. If you’re a multitasker, your system will only be able to run so many applications at once before the RAM starts to struggle. For most users, though, 16GB is a great average, allowing for lots of open application windows at once. It will, though, need to be matched with an equally competent processor, such as an Intel i7, Ryzen 7 or similar.

Can I use a business laptop for gaming?

As long as your business allows it, gaming on a business laptop is possible - but only if the machine’s specification is up to it. Most business machines, such as laptops under £600, don’t need advanced graphics cards for day-to-day use, and plenty also only need 8GB of RAM for everyday tasks. Both of those limitations will normally mean that a business laptop won’t be powerful enough for any 3D gaming.

What’s the difference between a business laptop and a normal laptop?

There’s no real distinction between a normal and a business laptop. While you can buy laptops explicitly designed for and aimed at gaming, there are no special hardware requirements for a generic business laptop. If it can run a browser, email, documents and spreadsheets, it’s normally fine for most businesses. 
If there’s any type of laptop that is more suited to average business use it’s a Chromebook. In the laptop versus Chromebook debate, there’s really no contest when it comes to weight and price. And that’s because Chromebooks are designed from the ground up to be simple and light with a long battery life - the operating system isn’t as heavyweight as Windows and so they’ll run standard office applications very well.

Chris Duffill is a Senior Tech Product Writer for What's The Best. His background includes writing, editorial, marketing, design, video production and photography.

He specialises in home entertainment and audiovisual tech, including speakers, amplifiers, turntables, streaming media players, and TVs. He is also one of our resident experts in computing (PCs, tablets, smartphones, smartwatches), DSLR photography and all kinds of digital cameras. He also writes about retro gaming, game consoles and various electronic gadgets. If it plugs in, lights up or makes a noise, he’ll write about it.

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