|CPU||Intel Core i9-8950HK|
|Operating System||macOS Sierra|
|RAM Upgradable to|
|Hard Drive Size||2TB|
|Hard Drive Speed|
|Hard Drive Type||PCIe SSD|
|Secondary Hard Drive Size|
|Secondary Hard Drive Speed|
|Secondary Hard Drive Type|
|Highest Available Resolution||2880 x 1800|
|Optical Drive Speed|
|Graphics Card||Radeon Pro 560X with 4GB of memory|
|Touchpad Size||6.3 x 3.9 inches|
|Ports (excluding USB)||USB-C|
|Ports (excluding USB)||Thunderbolt 3|
|Ports (excluding USB)||Headphone|
|Warranty/Support||90 days of complimentary technical support with a one-year limited warranty|
|Size||13.8 x 9.5 x 0.6 inches|
There’s light and then there’s light. The Asus Pro B9 is definitely the former at 1.9 pounds.
There’s no word on pricing or when the Pro B9’s launching, but it’s clear that Asus is gunning to be a major player in the business laptop space, an arena the company seemed to have left to the likes of Dell and Lenovo.
I haven’t seen a laptop this light since the Lenovo LaVie Z. And honestly, it made me want to toss it like a frisbee. Let’s hope the Pro B9 fairs better. It looks to be made from the same blue aluminum seen on the likes of the Asus ZenBook Pro Duo so it’s definitely got a leg up. And the fact that the slim stunner has undergone MIL-SPEC-810G testing is reassuring that this isn’t a flimsy toy.
At 0.6-inches thick, it’s on a par with the Lenovo X1 Carbon, but the former is much heavier at 2.5 pounds.
From the quick glimpse I saw of the notebook during the slide presentation, it appears to have a variation of Asus’ ScreenPad.
In another rebuke of the slim = weak narrative, Asus has found a way to outfit the Pro B9 with some seriously powerful specs. When it launches, it will have an Intel 10th Gen Core i7 processor, a pair of 1TB PCIe SSDs in either RAID 0 or RAID 1 configuration. It will also have Wi-Fi 6 and Thunderbolt 3 ports.
And if like any good laptop, it will have TPM software and a fingerprint reader to keep your sensitive information under lock and key.
Asus is making an aggressive play on the business space with the Pro B9 laptop. As you’d come to expect from the brand, it’s undeniably pretty and really powerful and it’s incredibly light. If it can offer reasonable battery life and it delivers on the performance, the Asus Pro B9 might be the laptop du jour for mobile professionals.
Keep up with what’s happening on the IFA 2019 show floor with our up-to-the-minute coverage.
The Blade family is getting even bigger. Razer just announced two new additions to its laptop library: the Blade Stealth 13 Mercury White Edition and the Blade Stealth 13 Graphics Edition. Available starting toward the end of September, the laptops will start at $1,499 and $1,799, respectively.
Blade Stealth 13 Graphics Edition
Razer is billing the Graphics Edition Blade Stealth as the “world’s first gaming ultrabook.” That’s because the laptop is outfitted with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 GPU with 4GB of VRAM coupled with a 10th Gen Core i7-1065G processor. That means you can play games like Far Cry New Dawn and Battlefield V, just not at the highest settings.
In addition to the Core i7 processor, the laptop is stacked with 16GB of RAM and 512GB PCIe SSD. The $1,799 configuration of the notebook features a 1920 x 1080 display that features Intel’s Lower Power Display technology, which is supposed to help extend battery life. Razer also has a $1,999 version with a 4K touch panel. Either system would work for a gamer on the go, but if frame rates and battery life are a big concern, I’d recommend the 1080p iteration.
Speaking of battery life, Razer claims that the Graphics Edition will last between 10-11 hours on charge. Most gaming laptops rarely last longer than 6 hours on the Laptop Mag Battery test, so I’m not optimistic about their chances.
Blade Stealth 13 Mercury White Edition
The first thing you’ll notice about the Mercury White Edition of the Blade Stealth is… that it’s white. But just like every other Blade laptop, the entire chassis is made of CNC aluminum and sports that boxy frame we’ve come to know and love. It’s just a really pretty laptop all around. As the name suggests, this version of the Stealth will only be available in this color.
Targeting college students, the laptop has one of Intel’s new 10 Gen Ice Lake processors (Core i7-1065G7 CPU), 16GB of RAM and an Intel Iris Pro integrated graphics card. Intel is promising better overall and graphics performance with this new round of chips as well as some AI functionality. I’m excited to see whether or not the components will live up to the hype.
The laptop has been outfitted with a 13.1-inch, 1980 x 1080 matte panel with the capability to reproduce 100% of the sRGB gamut thanks to factory calibration. And for storage, you have a 256GB PCIe SSD, which should translate into fast transfer speeds.
The company is estimating 13 hours of battery life. Razer has been steadily working on the battery life, with the last Stealth lasting 8 hours and 5 minutes on the Laptop Mag battery test. Do I think the Mercury White Edition will last 13 hours? No, but I’m hoping it can clear 9 hours and maintain the company’s positive trend.
Photographers who spend hours painstakingly laboring over a photo’s every pixel require a machine with speedy performance, a decent graphics card and a fast hard drive. Of course, the most important laptop component for photographers is a beautiful display capable of accurately reproducing a wide range of colors.
These machines have gorgeous displays, but they offer a bit more performance on the whole.
For power users, the upcoming ThinkPad X1 Extreme refresh has an optional 4K OLED display. At Computex 2019, we were introduced to the Asus ZenBook Pro Duo, which flaunts a primary 15.6-inch, 4K OLED display along with a secondary 14-inch, 4K panel on the deck. Business users should seriously consider the Dell Latitude 7400 2-in-1, although its panel is a bit dim, and gamers will want to save up for the Alienware m15 OLED. You could also hold off for a couple of months and wait for the first string of laptops with Intel’s 10th Gen processors, which provide a nice performance boost over 8th Gen CPUs.
We have laptop recommendations for every type of photographer. Here are some excellent choices that fit photo editors’ demanding criteria.
Best Overall: HP Spectre x360 15
There is no better laptop for video-editing than HP’s Spectre x360 15. The highlight of this machine is a 15.6-inch, 4K OLED display that is exceptionally vivid (256% of the sRGB color gamut) and blindingly bright (483 nits). That panel is the only thing that will take your eyes off the Spectre x360 15’s elegant chassis, which looks like something only the rich and famous could afford.
Photographers will also appreciate that the laptop’s discrete MX150 GPU offers enough graphics oomph to run demanding photo-editing programs with some help from a Core i7-8565U CPU. And the keyboard on the Spectre x360 15 is one of the best around.
Pros: Lux design; Good performance and graphics; Vivid 4K OLED display; Comfortable keyboard
Cons: Battery life isn’t great; Non-configurable; Bezels are a bit thick
Key Specs: — CPU: Intel Core i7-8565U | GPU: Nvidia GeForce MX150 | RAM: 16GB | Storage: 1TB | Display: 15.6-inch, 4K OLED | Size: 14.2 x 9.8 x 0.8 inches | Weight: 4.5 pounds
Best Ultrabook: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga
The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga is the best Ultrabook for photo editing, thanks to its slim, flexible design, gorgeous display and fast performance.
While the 2K resolution on the X1 Yoga’s display doesn’t break records, it’s plenty sharp for pixel peepers and has fantastic qualities, including brilliant colors (201 percent of the sRGB color gamut) that are extremely accurate. It also gets blindingly bright at 477 nits. Photographers who prefer using a stylus will appreciate the touch-sensitive panel and flexible 2-in-1 design.
With an Intel Core i7-8650U processor and NVMe SSD, the ThinkPad X1 Yoga can handle anything you throw at it. Additionally, artists and photographers inspired by nature won’t need to worry about taking this durable laptop into the wild, cause it’s rugged.
Pros: Vivid, accurate and bright display; Slim, durable design; Fast performance
Cons: Battery life is only OK; Pricey
Key Specs: — CPU: Intel Core i5/Core i7 | GPU: Intel UHD 620 | RAM: 8GB/16GB | Storage: 256GB/512GB/1TB | Display: 14-inch, 1080p or 2560 x 1440-pixel | Size: 12.7 x 8.5 x 0.6 inches | Weight: 3.1 pounds.
Best Apple Laptop: 15-inch MacBook Pro
The 15-inch MacBook Pro is a favorite among photographers not only for its proprietary Apple software but because this premium laptop has an impressive 15.4-inch Retina display that is both sharp and vibrant. While it’ll cost you a pretty penny, the MacBook Pro’s outstanding SSD performance is unrivaled, enabling you to render and transfer RAW photos in the blink of an eye. Travelling photographers will appreciate the laptop’s slim design and long battery life.
Pros: Record-breaking SSD speeds; Premium, lightweight design; Vivid, detailed display; Long battery life
Cons: No USB-A port; Expensive
Key Specs: — CPU: Intel Core i7/Core i9 | GPU: AMD Radeon Pro 560X/Pro Vega 16/Pro Vega 20 | RAM: 16GB/32GB | Storage: 512GB/1TB/2TB/4TB | Display: 15.4-inch, 2800 x 1800-pixel | Size: 13.8 x 9.5 x 0.6 inches | Weight: 4 pounds.
Most Versatile: Microsoft Surface Book 2 (15-inch)
The Microsoft Surface Book 2 is the Transformer of premium laptops. A detachable 2-in-1, the Surface Book 2 is among the most versatile machines on the market. Its unique fulcrum hinge lets you fold the display back flat, while the dock turns it into a detachable tablet. This flexibility is great for photographers who use a stylus and who frequently travel.
Featuring a unique 3:2 aspect ratio, the 15-inch display on the Surface Book 2 is capable of producing 131 percent of the sRGB color gamut and has a maximum brightness level of 417 nits. Given its extremely high price, you’d expect top-of-the-line performance, and that’s exactly what you get. The Intel Core i7-8650U processor and optional Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 GPU on high-end configurations will breeze through photo-editing tasks.
Pros: Flexible bendback and convertible design; Long battery life; Colorful, bright display; Accurate stylus; Powerful graphics
Cons: Expensive; No Thunderbolt 3
Key Specs: — CPU: Intel Core i7 | GPU: GeForce GTX 1060 | RAM: 16GB | Storage: 256GB/512GB/1TB| Display: 15-inch, 3240 x 2160-pixel | Size: 13.5 x 9.9 x 0.9 inches | Weight: 4.2 pounds.
Best Performance: HP ZBook Studio x360 G5
The HP ZBook Studio x360 G5’s 15.6-inch 4K display is extremely detailed and vibrant. Coupled with blistering workstation-class performance, this beastly machine is an excellent option for photo editors who need the most powerful setup to run demanding programs. Better yet, the x360 G5 has a rugged chassis for those times you’re out in the field, and its lengthy battery life means you don’t need to stay near an outlet.
The x360 G5 can be configured with premium components, including an Intel Xeon E-2186M CPU (with Quadro P1000 graphics), 32GB of RAM, and two 2TB SSDs. We suggest photo editors opt for the 4K Dreamcolor touch screen over the FHD model.
Pros: Versatile design; Gorgeous 4K display; Military grade durability; Long battery life; Amazing performance
Cons: Lid flexes; Poor webcam; Expensive
Key Specs: — CPU: Intel Core i5/Core i7/Core i9/Xeon | GPU: Intel UHD 630/Nvidia Quadro P1000/Quadro P2000 | RAM: 8GB/16GB/32GB/64GB | Storage:Up to 4TB| Display: 15.6-inch, 1080p or 4K | Size: 14.2 x 9.7 x 0.8 inches | Weight: 4.9 pounds.
Best Detachable: Microsoft Surface Pro 6
Our favorite detachable just got even better with the Surface Pro 6, which significantly improves battery life and performance when compared to its predecessors. Now equipped with a quad-core CPU, the 2-in-1 can run Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom without breaking a sweat. The 12.3-inch, 2736 x 1823 resolution display is everything a photo editor could ask for — it’s bright, vivid and accurate. In fact, it covers a very good 136 percent of the sRGB color gamut and reached more than 400 nits of brightness.
You’ll have to buy the Surface Pen and the Type Cover separately, but they add a ton of functionality to this lightweight (1.7 pounds) tablet. And the Surface Pro 6 remains one of few devices with a kickstand that lets you use it as a traditional laptop, a tablet or in studio mode.
Pros: Vivid and accurate display; Superfast performance; Long battery life; Snappy keyboard
Cons: No USB-C; Sluggish SSD
Key Specs: — CPU: Intel Core i5/Core i7 | GPU: Intel UHD 620 | RAM: 8GB/16GB| Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB/TB| Display: 12.3-inch, 2736 x 1824-pixel | Size: 11.5 x 7.9 x 0.3 inches | Weight: 1.7 pounds/2.4 pounds (with keyboard).
Best Business: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme
Photographers who want the benefits of a business laptop should look no further than the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme. The 15.6-inch laptop takes everything we love about the ThinkPad series to the next level. It has an excellent keyboard, tons of security features and a wide range of ports, all included in a sleek, durable chassis. And while its battery life could be better, the X1 Extreme is one of the fastest laptops we’ve ever tested.
But the crown jewel of the ThinkPad X1 Extreme is its jaw-dropping 4K HDR display, which covers an outstanding 186 percent of the sRGB color gamut. That tops the displays on the Dell XPS 15, 15-inch Apple MacBook Pro and the Asus ZenBook Pro 15. The X1 Extreme’s panel also reached a solid 366 nits of brightness.
Pros: Stunning 4K HDR display; Slim, durable chassis; Fantastic keyboard; Blazing-fast performance
Cons: Disappointing battery life; Runs warm
Key Specs: — CPU: Intel Core i5/Core i7 | GPU: GeForce GTX 1050Ti | RAM: 8GB/16GB/32GB/64GB | Storage:256GB/512GB/1TB | Display: 15.6-inch, 1080p or 4K | Size: 14.2 x 9.7 x 0.7 inches | Weight: 3.8 pounds (FHD)/4 pounds (4K).
Best Gaming: Lenovo Legion Y7000
Gaming laptops are inherently great for photo editing. Why? Because they come with discrete graphics, which is a major perk when you’re running GPU-intensive programs like Photoshop. An excellent balance of price and performance, the Lenovo Legion Y7000 is the best gaming laptop for photo editing — at least, for most people. The Y7000 sports a vivid 15.6-inch, 1080p display and its keyboard is up to the quality that we expect from Lenovo.
Pros: Sleek, elegant design; Strong performance; Solid battery life; Good keyboard
Cons: Disappointing speakers; Awful nosecam
Key Specs: — CPU: Intel Core i7 | GPU: GeForce GTX 1060 | RAM: 16GB | Storage:256GB + 1TB HDD | Display: 15.6-inch, 1080p | Size: 14.2 x 10.5 x 1.1 inches | Weight: 5.3 pounds.
Best Budget: Microsoft Surface Go
For $400, the Microsoft Surface Go gets you a gorgeous 10-inch, 1800 x 1200-pixel display that is both colorful and bright. The panel covers an impressive 129 percent of the sRGB color gamut and is easily visible outdoors, with 415 nits of brightness. While you’ll have to buy it separately, the keyboard accessory for the Surface Go is comfortable to type on and includes a touchpad. Also, the optional stylus is a joy to draw with.
Pros: Class-leading display; Useful keyboard and pen; Windows Hello login with facial recognition
Cons: Short battery life; Thick bezels
Key Specs: — CPU: Intel Pentium Gold 4415Y | GPU: Intel UHD 615 | RAM: 8GB/16GB | Storage:128GB/256GB/512GB/1TB| Display: 10-inch, 1800 x 1200-pixel | Size: 9.7 x 6.9 x 0.3 inches | Weight: 1.2 pounds.
Best Value: HP Envy 13 (2019)
The latest HP Envy 13 is an excellent all-around laptop that has a sleek, stylish aluminum chassis, fast performance and more than 11 hours of battery life (on the 1080p model). At $799, the Envy 13 is a cheaper alternative to the XPS 13 but offers some features Dell’s laptop doesn’t, including a webcam kill switch and a unique elevated hinge.
Pros: Attractive chassis; Thin and lightweight; Fast performance; Crisp speakers; Long battery life (on FHD model)
Cons: Poor battery life (on 4K model); No Thunderbolt 3
Key Specs: — CPU: Intel Core i5/Core i7 | GPU: Intel UHD 620/GeForce MX250 | RAM: 8GB/16GB | Storage:256GB/512GB/1TB | Display: 13.3-inch, 1080p or 4K | Size: 12.1 x 8.3 x 0.6 inches | Weight: 2.8 pounds.
Best 13-inch: Microsoft Surface Laptop 2
The follow-up to one of our favorite laptops improves upon a winning formula in almost every way. The Surface Laptop 2 retains the original’s unique fabric chassis, which gives the laptop a luxurious and inviting feel. For photographers, the 13.5-inch, 2K display is exceptionally vivid, capable of reproducing an amazing 176 percent of the sRGB color gamut. That tops the XPS 13, MacBook Pro and Spectre 13. The Surface Laptop 2 also has long battery life, fast performance and a useful magnetic Surface connector.
Pros: Striking fabric design; Bright and vivid display; Good keyboard; Long battery life
Cons: Slow SSD; Loud fan; Pre-loaded with Windows 10S
Key Specs: — CPU: Intel Core i5/Core i7 | GPU: Intel UHD 620 | RAM: 8GB/16GB | Storage:128GB/256GB/512GB/1TB | Display: 13.5-inch, 2256 x 1504-pixel | Size: 12.1 x 8.8 x 0.6 inches | Weight: 2.7 pounds.
Best 15-inch: Dell XPS 15 (2019)
You haven’t seen a good laptop display until you’ve feasted your eyes on the OLED panel gracing the newest Dell XPS 15. With exceptional brightness and color reproduction, this pricey upgrade is a photographer’s dream. The 15.6-inch laptop also gives you tons of power to run even the most demanding photo-editing software, all packaged in a chassis that can be easily transported from shoot to shoot. But our favorite thing about the 2019 model is that the webcam has returned to its rightful position, above the display.
Pros: Striking 4K OLED display; Awesome overall performance; Webcam is where it should be; Slim, premium design
Cons: Meh battery life
Key Specs: — CPU: Intel Core i5/Core i7/Core i9 | GPU: Intel UHD 630/GeForce GTX 1650 | RAM: 8GB/16GB/32GB | Storage: 256GB/512GB/1TB | Display: 15.6-inch, 1080p or 4K | Size: 14.1 x 9.3 x 0.7 inches | Weight: 4.5 pounds
Best 17-inch: LG Gram 17
When photographers touch-up their pictures, they need to see every last detail, which is why the editing is often done on a massive monitor. But how can you get the same precision when you’re on the go? Meet the LG Gram 17, a remarkably portable laptop with excellent battery life and a large, high-resolution 17-inch display. How portable is it really? Get this: the Gram 17 fits a 17-inch display into a featherweight 3-pound chassis that’s about the size of a 15-inch laptop.
Another reason photographers will love the Gram 17 is for its display. The laptop’s bright and vivid panel has a resolution of 2560 x 1600 and its unique 16:10 aspect ratio lets you see more content at once without scrolling.
Pros: Lightest 17-inch laptop ever; Excellent battery life; Vivid, detailed display
Cons: Keyboard quirks; No discrete GPU; Slow SSD
Key Specs: — CPU: Intel Core i7 | GPU: Intel UHD 620 | RAM: 16GB | Storage:512GB | Display: 17-inch, 2560 x 1600-pixel | Size: 15 x 10.5 x 0.7 inches | Weight: 3 pounds
Whether you’re buying an entire fleet of notebooks for your employees or just looking for a single productivity system for yourself, you’ll want a business laptop that’s durable, powerful and easy-to-use. The best business laptops outdo their consumer-focused counterparts by offering better security, stronger build quality and a superior typing experience.
For power users, Lenovo updated the ThinkPad X1 Extreme with an optional 4K OLED display. If you want portability, go with the upcoming Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon and ThinkPad X1 Yoga. HP’s Elite x2, a sleek detachable with a 1000-nit display, is also worth a look.
For everyone else, these are our favorite business laptops right now.
Best Business Laptop Overall: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (6th Gen)
Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Carbon is the Maserati of business laptops, a sleek and stylish system with plenty of power under the hood. At 2.49 pounds, this 14-inch laptop can go anywhere, but it still finds room for a full suite of ports and enough battery capacity to provide over 11 hours of endurance.
The 6th Gen version of the X1 Carbon, ups the ante by adding a quad-core, Intel Kaby Lake-R CPU and one of the most gorgeous screens we’ve ever seen on a laptop. The optional, 2K HDR display rivals the OLED screens we see on top phones as it reproduces 199 percent of the sRGB gamut and provides up to 500 nits of brightness.
Pros: Super-vibrant HDR display; Long battery life; Excellent keyboard; Lightweight chassis
Cons: Tinny audio; Meh webcam
Key Specs — CPU: Intel Core i5/Core i7 | GPU: Intel UHD 620 | RAM: 8GB/16GB | Storage: 256GB/512GB/1TB SSD | Display: 14-inch, 2560 x 1440 or 1080p | Size: 12.7 x 8.5 x 0.6 inches | Weight: 2.5 pounds
Best Apple Laptop: MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2019)
Start putting money aside now because the latest 15-inch MacBook Pro is one pricey machine, and there’s really no other business laptop like it. Performance is where the MacBook Pro really stands out from the crowd. With up to a Core i9-9980HK CPU and 32GB of RAM, this sleek productivity machine can handle some serious number crunching. Not to mention the breathtaking speed of its record-breaking SSD. And like the MacBook Pros before it, the 2019 model has a sharp, vivid display, great speakers and long battery life (10+ hours).
Pros: Blistering performance; Sharp, vivid display; Powerful audio; Long battery life
Cons: Very expensive; Keyboard isn’t great; No USB Type-A ports
Key Specs — CPU: Intel Core i7/Core i9 | GPU: Radeon Pro 555X/Pro 560X/Pro Vega 16/Pro Vega 20| RAM: 16GB/32GB | Storage: 512GB/1TB/2TB/4TB | Display: 15.4-inch, 2880-1800-pixel | Size: 13.8 x 9.5 x 0.6 inches | Weight: 4 pounds
Best Design: HP EliteBook x360 1030 G3
The HP EliteBook x360 1030 G3 is the complete package. Its aluminum chassis is not only thin and lightweight, but it’s also durable to military-grade specifications. Not to mention, the business laptop’s sturdy yet flexible hinge allows the gorgeous 13.3-inch, 1080p display to rotate back into tablet mode. Aside from its stylish looks, the Elitebook x360 1030 G3 has a comfortable keyboard, long battery life and a fast hard drive.
Pros: Sleek design; Gorgeous display; Comfortable keyboard; Solid audio; Fast SSD; Long battery life
Cons: Competing laptops are faster; Expensive
Key Specs — CPU: Intel Core i5/Core i7 | GPU: Intel UHD 620 | RAM: 8GB/16GB | Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB/1TB/2TB | Display: 13.3-inch, 1080p or 4K | Size: 12 x 8.1 x 0.6 inches | Weight: 2.8 pounds
Best Business Detachable: Microsoft Surface Pro 6
The Surface Pro 6 wasn’t designed as a business laptop, per say, but it has everything you could want from an enterprise machine. New to the Surface Pro is a sophisticated matte black finish that will blend into any professional office environment. The flexible detachable now has 8th Gen quad-core processors, which offer a significant performance boost when compared to last year’s Surface Pro. Battery life has also been markedly improved, so you can leave your charger at home. You can use the gorgeous, 12.3-inch touch screen display with the responsive Surface Pen, and the comfortable Type Cover keyboard attachment has a useful touchpad.
Pros: Speedy performance; Long battery life; Colorful display; Comfortable (optional) keyboard
Cons: No USB-C port; Sluggish SSD
Key Specs — CPU: Intel Core i5/Core i7 | GPU: Intel UHD 620 | RAM: 8GB/16GB | Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB/1TB | Display: 12.3-inch, 2736 x 1824-pixel | Size: 11.5 x 7.0 x 0.3 inches | Weight: 1.7 pounds
Best Business 2-in-1: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga
If you want your business laptop to outshine those around you, then pick up the ThinkPad X1 Yoga. This 2-in-1 has a gorgeous 2K HDR screen that is among the most colorful we’ve ever seen. The laptop also features an elegant Mil-Spec tested design and its 8th Gen Intel processors offer excellent performance. If you’re worried about privacy, the X1 Yoga comes with a slider on the webcam, so you can ditch the tape.
Pros: Stunning 2K HDR display; Fast performance; Privacy webcam slider; Durable design
Cons: Pricey; Average battery life
Key Specs — CPU: Intel Core i5/Core i7 | GPU: Intel UHD 620 | RAM: 8GB/16GB | Storage: 256GB/512GB/1TB | Display: 14-inch, 1080p or 2560 x 1440-pixel | Size: 13.1 x 9 x 0.7 inches | Weight: 3.1 pounds
Best Battery Life: Dell Latitude 7400 2-in-1
If battery life is a priority, the Dell Latitude 7400 2-in-1 is the business laptop for you. But its 13+ hours of runtime isn’t the only reason to buy this notebook; the Latitude 7400 2-in-1 has a sleek, flexible design, fast performance and some useful sign-in options.
Pros: Epic battery life; Strong performance; Sleek design; Nifty proximity sensor sign-in
Cons: Display could be brighter; poor speakers
Key Specs — CPU: Intel Core i5/Core i7 | GPU: Intel UHD 620 | RAM: 8GB/16GB | Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB/1TB/2TB | Display: 14-inch, 1080p | Size: 12.6 x 7.9 x 0.6 inches | Weight: 3 pounds
Best Performance: Dell XPS 15 (2019)
It may not be a business machine, per say, but the new Dell XPS 15 offers tons of power in a slim package you can easily bring to work every day. Packing up to a Core i9 CPU and 32GB of RAM, the XPS 15 destroyed our benchmark tests and had no problems streaming a movie trailer with 25 Chrome tabs open. The XPS 15 gives you all the ports you’d need to an external monitor, but your eyes will keep coming back to its stunning 4K OLED panel, which is both bright and exceptionally vivid.
Pros: Breathtaking 4K OLED; Slim, attractive design; Great overall performance and graphics
Cons: Below-average battery life
Key Specs — CPU: Intel Core i5/Core i7/Core i9 | GPU: GeForce GTX 1650 | RAM: 8GB/16GB/32GB| Storage: 256GB/512GB/1TB | Display: 15.6-inch, 1080p or 4K (OLED) | Size: 14.1 x 9.3 x 0.7 inches | Weight: 4.5 pounds
Best 15-inch Workstation: HP ZBook Studio x360 G5
The HP ZBook Studio x360 G5 is hands down the best business laptop for power users, provided money isn’t an obstacle. This exorbitantly priced 15.6-inch laptop has it all, including a vivid, bright display and outstanding performance. Most impressive, however, is the workstation’s uncharacteristically sleek profile and long battery life. It’s also uncommon for a workstation to have a flexible chassis like the x360 G5’s, and the device’s touch screen can be used with a stylus.
Pros: Premium design; Gorgeous 4K panel; Military-grade durability; Comfortable keyboard; Excellent performance; Long battery life
Cons: Lid flexes; Poor webcam; Expensive
Key Specs — CPU: Intel Core i5/Core i7/Xeon | GPU: Intel UHD 630/Nvidia Quadro P1000 | RAM: 8GB/16GB/32GB | Storage: 256GB/512GB/1TB/2TB | Display: 15.6-inch, 1080p or 4K | Size: 14.2 x 9.7 x 0.8 inches | Weight: 4.9 pounds
Best 17-inch Workstation: Dell Precision 7730
If you have an unlimited budget and want the most powerful machine around, look no further than the Dell Precision 7730. This 7.5-pound workstation may not be the best for travel, but its Core i9 CPU and Nvidia Quadro P5200 GPU are capable of running even the most demanding applications, like 3D modeling or photo editing.
But the Precision 7730 isn’t all about performance. A gorgeous 4K display, a comfortable keyboard, and a MIL-SPEC design make this an exceptionally well-rounded machine, even though its battery life isn’t great.
Pros: Vivid, detailed 4K display; Blistering performance; Comfortable keyboard; Durable design; Powerful graphics
Cons: Sub-par battery life; Runs warm; Exorbitant price
Key Specs — CPU: Intel Core i5/Core i7/Xeon | GPU: Up to Radeon Pro WX 7100/Up to Quadro P5200 | RAM: 8GB/16GB/32GB/64GB/128GB | Storage: 500GB (HDD)/256GB/512GB/1TB/2TB/4TB | Display: 17.3-inch, 1080p or 4K | Size: 16.3 x 10.8 x 1.2 inches | Weight: 7.5 pounds
Best Business Chromebook: HP Chromebook x2
Premium Chromebooks are on the rise, and there is none better (for now) than the HP Chromebook x2. The 12.3-inch tablet has a super-bright, high-resolution display and it lasts nearly 9 hours on a charge. One of best reasons to buy the x2 over competitors is that its attachable keyboard and pen are included in the $599 price. Business professionals who spend their 9-to-5s writing reports will appreciate the comfortable typing experience offered by the Chromebook x2, not to mention the security and convenience of Chrome OS.
Pros: Bright, high-res display; Long battery life; Comfortable keyboard; Good sound
Cons: A bit heavy; Thick bezels; Core m3 CPU is underpowered
Key Specs — CPU: Intel Core m3 | GPU: Intel HD 615 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 32GB | Display: 12.3-inch, 2K | Size: 11.5 x 8.3 x 0.6 inches | Weight: 3.2 pounds
Best Rugged Laptop: Dell Latitude 5420 Rugged
Although its beefier sibling, the Latitude 7424 Rugged Extreme, is the more durable laptop, the Latitude 5420 Rugged is the better all-around machine thanks to its exceptionally bright display, strong performance and a comfortable RGB keyboard. Unlike other rugged laptops we’ve tested, the Latitude 5420 has a responsive touchpad and a relatively thin chassis to go along with its nearly 10 hours of battery life. If this machine is right for you, check out our page for the top Dell Latitude accessories.
Pros: Blindingly bright display; Survives 3-foot drops; Strong performance; Long battery life; Comfortable RGB keyboard
Cons: Expensive; No Thunderbolt 3; Poorly designed stylus slot
Key Specs — CPU: Intel Core i3/Core i5/Core i7| GPU: Intel UHD 620/AMD Radeon RX540 | RAM: 8GB/16GB/32GB | Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB/1TB/2TB | Display: 14-inch, 1080p | Size: 13.7 x 6.6 x 1.3 inches | Weight: 6.2 pounds
How to Choose a Business Laptop
Here are some things to keep in mind when choosing the right model of business laptop for you or your company.
- Do you need vPro? Many business laptops are available with CPUs that have Intel vPro technology, which lets a support person log in remotely, even if the computer can’t boot. However, unless you have a large IT department and a huge fleet of laptops that you need the ability to service remotely, you probably won’t use this feature.
- How fast do you need it to be? Most business users will be happy with a laptop that has a dual-core, Core i5 CPU like the Core i5-7200U or Core i5-7300U (vPro) and the CPU’s integrated graphics processor. However, if you require a high-end performance for 3D Modeling, professional video editing or creating predictive models, then get a mobile workstation with a quad-core Core i5 or Core i7 CPU (model numbers end in HQ) and Nvidia Quadro graphics.
- Long battery life: Nobody wants to run out of juice in the middle of a long workday or a cross-country flight. Unless you’re getting a giant workstation, look for a laptop that gets more than 9 hours on a charge. Some business systems come with a choice of regular or extended batteries; always get the high-capacity unit.
- At least a 1080p screen: It’s hard to be productive if you can’t see much text on the screen. Avoid laptops with low-resolution, 1366 x 768 screens like the plague. Get one with a resolution that’s 1920 x 1080 or higher.
- SSDs for responsiveness: If you want a truly fast computer, get a solid state drive rather than a mechanical hard drive. SSDs boot up, open programs and multitask at least three times faster than old-fashioned hard drives.
- The right ports: Nobody likes to carry a bag full of dongles. Consider which kinds of connections you or your employees will need the most. If you connect to a wired network a lot, make sure the laptop has an Ethernet port. If photography is a key part of the job, choose a laptop with a memory card reader. No matter what your needs, a Thunderbolt 3 port is a huge plus, because it will allow you to connect to a new generation of high-speed peripherals, universal chargers and powerful docks.
- A great keyboard: It almost goes without saying that every laptop should have a good keyboard. But with business systems, a comfortable typing experience is even more important. Look for snappy feedback, deep travel and absolutely no flex.
Getting a business laptop with all the features you need could cost more than you expected, but you’ll be rewarded with a computer that makes you or your employees more productive for years to come.
No matter how stacked their specs are, even the best laptops are useless if they can’t hold a charge. Fortunately, there are plenty of notebooks that go the distance. Using our Laptop Mag Battery Test 2.0, which involves continuous Web surfing over Wi-Fi at 150 nits of brightness, we’ve identified the laptops with the best battery life on the market. We’re talking more than 9 hours of endurance, which should more than suffice for that cross-country flight, a long day of meetings or multiple, back-to-back classes.
Here are the laptops with the best battery life:
Lenovo ThinkPad T480 (17:19)
The Lenovo ThinkPad T480 was the last one standing among an army of laptops, with a battery life of 17 hours and 19 minutes. Along with its spectacular battery life, you get a great keyboard and solid performance packed into a military durable chassis that can withstand extreme temperatures, humidity, dust and vibrations. You also get an Nvidia MX150 GPU, which is good for some light gaming or productivity apps.
Pros: Epic battery life (with extended battery); Snappy keyboard; Good performance
Cons: Dull screen; Heavier than competitors
Key Specs: 14.1-inch, 1920 x 1080 display; Up to Intel Core i7-8650U CPU; 3.58 pounds / 3.98 pounds (with battery)
HP Envy x2 (Qualcomm) (14:22)
Between the HP Envy x2’s built-in 4G LTE and its 14 hours and 22 minutes of battery life, you can easily go on long trips without worrying about charging your notebook. Its included HP Digital Pen felt natural and smooth to use, and the Envy’s attached pen holster makes it convenient to use on the go. On top of being extremely portable, the HP Envy x2 offers a solid detachable keyboard and an incredibly bright display.
Pros: Amazing battery life; 4G built in; Comfortable keyboard; Beautiful display; Runs cool
Cons: Sluggish performance; Doesn’t run some Windows apps
Key Specs: 12.3-inch, 1920 x 1280 display; Up to Qualcomm 835 CPU; 2.7 pounds.
Dell Latitude 7400 2-in-1 (13:08)
Let me introduce you to one of the best Dell Latitudes around: The Latitude 7400 2-in-1 — a beast of a business laptop that can last 13 hours and 8 minutes on a single charge. That battery is packed into a super sleek design, measuring just 0.6 inches thick, alongside a strong Core i7 processor. One of the coolest features that the Latitude 7400 boasts is its proximity sign-in function, so you can sign into your computer just by walking up to it.
Pros: Sleek, modern design; Strong performance; 13+ hours of battery life; Proximity sign-in feature works well
Cons: Display could be brighter; Poor speakers;
Key Specs: 14-inch, 1920 x 1280 display; Up to Intel Core i7-8665U CPU; 3 pounds.
Dell XPS 13 9380 (12:22)
The Dell XPS 13 still has the slimmest bezels imaginable thanks to its InfinityEdge design, and as a bonus, Dell managed to fit the webcam in the top bezel, which has been a long-awaited feature. And to accompany those thin bezels is a gorgeous 13.3-inch, 1080p display that covered 126 percent of the sRGB spectrum and emitted 357 nits of brightness. This baby is also super light and thin, coming in at 2.7 pounds and 0.3~0.46 inches thick, and boasts a powerful new Whiskey Lake processor.
Pros: Slim, lightweight design; Strong performance; Gorgeous 4K display; Long battery life (on 1080p model); InfinityEdge bezels with properly placed webcam
Cons: Below-average battery life (on 4K model)
Key Specs: 13.3-inch, 1920 x 1080 display; Up to Intel Core i7-8565U CPU; 2.69 pounds.
Lenovo Yoga C630 (12:14)
The Lenovo Yoga C630 sports a gorgeous aluminum chassis paired with a flexible, 0.5-inch thin design. Its battery life lasted 12 hours and 14 minutes on our tests, and when you combine that with its 4G LTE connectivity, it’s great option for people who frequently travel. As an added bonus, the Yoga C630 also features a decently colorful 13.3-inch panel.
Pros: Superslim, flexible design; Aluminum chassis; Very long battery life ; LTE connectivity
Cons: Poor price-to-performance ratio; Stiff keyboard; Hollow audio
Key Specs: 13.3-inch, 1920 x 1280 display; Up to Qualcomm 850 CPU; 2.6 pounds.
HP Spectre x360 (12:07)
HP’s Spectre x360 is back and sexier than ever, sporting a gorgeous Dark Ash Silver paint over its aluminum hood. To top off its design, its 13.3-inch, 1080p display blasted us with 150 percent of the sRGB color gamut, and the keyboard comforted us with a tactile 1.4 millimeters of travel. Not to mention that its battery lasted an epic 12 hours and 7 minutes on our tests.
Pros: Luxurious design; Outstanding battery life; Thin and lightweight; Vivid 1080p display; Class-leading keyboard; Powerful speakers
Cons: Display could be brighter; Bezels are a bit thick; Bloatware
Key Specs: 13.3-inch, 1920 x 1080 display; Up to Intel Core i7-8565U CPU; 2.8 pounds.
Dell XPS 13 9370 (11:59)
The latest version of Dell’s flagship laptop comes in an attractive rose gold and white color scheme and is a bit thinner than its predecessor, the still-for-sale XPS 13 9360. Because Dell shaved 0.14 inches off of the thickness and 0.13 pounds off the weight, the XPS 13 9370 has smaller battery and three hours less endurance. However, this sleek and sexy ultrabook still lasts nearly 12 hours on a charge and offers stronger performance and a more attractive screen than the 9360. You can also get the Dell XPS 13 9370 with an eye-popping 4K display.
Pros: Attractive design; Colorful display; Strong sustained performance; Very light
Cons: No USB Type-A port; Webcam looks up your nose
Key Specs: 13.3-inch, 1080p or 4K display; Up to Core i7-8550U CPU; 2.65 pounds.
Apple 15-inch MacBook Pro (11:57)
The 15-inch MacBook Pro boasts a ridiculously fast SSD, a vibrant display and strong performance packed into a gorgeous aluminum design. And with a Core i7 CPU, the 15-inch MacBook Pro could last as long as 11 hours and 57 minutes on a charge. That’s more than enough time to enjoy the perks of macOS as well as the MacBook’s solid speakers and improved keyboard.
Pros: Insanely speedy general performance; Fastest SSD we’ve tested; Comparatively thin and light design; Vivid, sharp display; Improved keyboard; Strong sound; Long battery life
Cons: Exorbitant price; Warm underside; No USB Type-A ports
Key Specs: 15.4-inch, 2880 x 1800 display; Up to Intel Core i9-8950HK CPU; 4 pounds.
Dell XPS 15 (11:53)
Between its sleek aluminum chassis, ridiculously gorgeous 15.6-inch display and powerful performance, it’s practically a miracle that the Dell XPS 15 has long battery life. This baby lasted a solid 11 hours and 53 minutes, and while that’s not the best of the best, its other qualities easily make it one of the best overall laptops on this list. And with its GTX 1050 Ti Max-Q GPU, you can run games like Hitman (Ultra, 1080p) at 60 frames per second.
Pros: Strong overall and graphics performance; Excellent battery life; Bright, vibrant screen; Runs cool; Attractive, if dated, design
Cons: Awkwardly placed webcam
Key Specs: 15.6-inch, 1920 x 1080 display; Up to Intel Core i7-8750H CPU; 4.2 pounds.
Lenovo ThinkPad T480s (11:29)
Even at 3 pounds and 0.7 inches thin, the Lenovo ThinkPad T480s’ sleek chassis was able to take some MIL-SPEC punishment. And in terms of security, you can get a configuration with vPro, a fingerprint reader and an IR camera for Windows Hello (not to mention it already has a privacy shutter). All of those business friendly qualities are paired with a battery that can last 11 hours and 29 minutes.
Pros: Fast performance; Long-lasting battery life; Built-in camera cover
Cons: Dim display
Key Specs: 14-inch, 1920 x 1080 display; Up to Intel Core i7-8650U CPU; 3 pounds.
You don’t even need to tell us what happened when you told your friends that you want to buy a gaming laptop. Their inner elitist got the best of them, and bashed you for not just building an outright gaming desktop. But we get you. Building a gaming PC takes knowledge and dexterity that you just don’t have or care to develop.
That’s where the gaming laptop shines, as a fast lane to PC gaming. No need to build a case or even buy a monitor. Of course, that convenience usually comes with a hefty price tag. Most vendors start their asking prices at around $1,400 (about £900, AU$1,900) for 13 and 14-inch products, whereas the biggest and beefiest 17 and 18-inch models can skyrocket upwards of $3,000 (around £1,900, AU$4,000).
If you’re ready to accept that a gaming laptop will almost never be as affordable or offer the same level of performance as a comparably-priced gaming desktop, then your decision is already made. But again, the gaming notebook is a device of convenience and portability over raw power. Without further ado, here are our favorite gaming laptops that we’ve reviewed thus far.
1. Origin EON15-X
A desktop-grade CPU in an unbeatable gaming laptop
CPU: 4GHz Intel Core i7-4790K | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 980M (8GB GDDR5 RAM), Intel HD Graphics 4600 | RAM: 8GB | Screen: 15.6-inch, 1920 x 1080 LED Backlit Matte Display | Storage: 240GB SSD; 1TB HDD (5,400 rpm)
The Origin EON15-X is a real head turner. It packs a desktop processor into a fairly compact 15.6-inch laptop that, while smaller, offers even more performance compared to other, bigger hardcore gaming rigs. This extra CPU power is handy for users who need to edit video and other processor intensive tasks that a mobile chip can’t handle. You’ll also get an extra kick of performance in no matter what game you’re running. This machine is definitely worth consideration over all others.
Read the full review: Origin EON15-X
2. Gigabyte P35X v5
Underneath the plain exterior lies a 4K gaming beast
CPU: 2.6GHz Intel Core i7-6700HQ | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 980M 8GB GDDR5, Intel HD Graphics 530 | RAM: 16GB DDR4 SDRAM | Screen: 15.6-inch, UHD 3,840 x 2,160, IPS LCD | Storage: 256GB SSD, 1TB HDD
The Gigabyte P35X v5 is a mighty powerful, 4K gaming laptop equipped. While most machines have failed to play games at Ultra HD resolutions, this 15-inch rig has come closest to making it a reality with speed Intel Core i7 processor and an Nvidia GTX 980M stacked with the maximum amount of video memory on a mobile GPU. All of this overwhelming power will see that you’re able to play 4K games at a decent 30 to 60 fps clip. All the while, the P35X v5 offers decent battery life to boot.
Read the full review: Gigabyte P35X v5
3. Lenovo Ideapad Y700 15-inch
An attractive and long lasting 15-inch gaming laptop
CPU: 2.6GHz Intel Core i7-6700HQ | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 960M (4GB DDR5 VRAM), Intel HD Graphics 530 | RAM: 16GB DDR4 (2,133MHz) | Screen: 15.6-inch FHD LED AntiGlare Backlit Multitouch (1,920 x 1,080) | Storage: 128GB SSD, 1TB HDD (5,400 RPM)
Entry-level gaming are a great introduction into the glorious world of PC gaming, and from performance to looks, it’s hard to beat the Lenovo Ideapad Y700. It’s an inexpensive machine that stands out amongst other budget gaming machines with its all metal chassis and included SSD. It also comes packed with enough power to run modern games at decent settings.
Read the full review: Lenovo Ideapad Y700 15-inch
4. Gigabyte P57Wv5
A 17-inch gaming laptop that’s almost too good for the money
CPU: 2.6GHz Intel Core i7-6700HQ | Graphics: Nvidia Geforce GTX 970M (3GB GDDR5); Intel HD Graphics 530 | RAM: 16GB DDR4 | Screen: 17.3-inch full HD 1,920 x 1,080 IPS LCD | Storage: 256GB M.2 SSD, 1TB HDD (7,200 rpm)
Want even more storage, a bigger screen and increased graphical power? Well then the Gigabyte P57W v5 has you covered. For a 100 smackers more than the Lenovo Y700, this 17-inch gaming laptop offers a Nvidia GTX 970 graphics card for bigger and better gaming and double the storage to hold those said games. The laptop’s all-plastic body leaves more to be desired, but in terms of performance, this machine delivers in spades and that’s what most gamers really care about.
Read the full review: Gigabyte P57Wv5
5. MSI GS60 Ghost Pro
The best thin-and-light gaming laptop
CPU: 2.6GHz Intel Core i7 6700HQ | Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M, Intel HD Graphics 530 | RAM: 16GB DDR4 | Screen: 15.6-inch, 1,920 x 1,080 eDP Wide View Angle | Storage: 128GB SSD; 1TB HDD
High on mature styling and light on weight, the MSI GS60 Ghost Pro is one of the thinnest gaming laptops you can buy. Don’t think this svelte machine has sacrificed performance for the sake of cutting weight. It still comes packed with a high-end Intel Skylake processor and graphics card to make it a one of the strongest platforms we’ve ever tested. Just make sure to stick with a 1080p resolution and medium to high visual settings.
Read the full review: MSI GS60 Ghost Pro
6. Asus ROG G752
This mobile PC gaming powerhouse throws a hefty punch
CPU: 2.6GHz Intel Core i7-6700HQ | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 970M (3GB GDDR5); Intel HD Graphics 530 | RAM: 16GB DDR4 | Screen: 17.3-inch, full HD 1,920 x 1,080, IPS LCD | Storage: 128GB SSD; 1TB HDD (7,200rpm)
The Asus ROG G752 has an aggressive design that sets it apart from many of the world’s sedate gaming laptops. Instead of donning the typical appearance of black plastic, the ROG G752 sports a shell with brushed aluminium panels, angular lines and the glowing red segments. On top of its in-your-face styling this 17-inch gaming laptop delivers a hefty performance and it can play modern games at a smooth clip even if you put the graphical setting to max. The only thing the Asus ROG G752 is missing is the option of a high-res 4K display.
Read the full review: Asus ROG G752
7. MSI GT72S G Tobii
More than meets the eye
CPU: 2.7GHz Intel Core i7-6820HK | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 970M (8GB GDDR5 RAM); Intel HD Graphics 530 | RAM: 32GB | Screen: 17.3-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) anti-glare IPS | Storage: 256GB SSD (PCIe Gen3x4); 1TB SATA HDD (7,200RPM)
Despite lacking the visual-slash-desktop performance appeal of the GT72S Dominator Pro, the MSI GT72S G Tobii boasts a unique set of features you can’t find anywhere else. Making use of Tobii eye-tracking technology, this version of the GT72S allows players to use their eyes as an additional control input, at least for a specific set of games. If you don’t need the extra power (or at least don’t want to shell out upwards of $3,000), the GT72S Tobii is an affordable solution with some tricks up its sleeve.
Read the full review: MSI GT72S G Tobii
8. Origin EON17-SLX
The ultimate gaming laptop built with desktop-grade power
CPU: 4GHz Intel Core i7-6700K | Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (8GB GDDR5 VRAM), Intel HD Graphics 530 | RAM: 16GB DDR4 (2,133MHz) | Screen: 17.3-inch, 1,920 x 1,080 IPS Matte Display with G-SYNC | Storage: 256GB SSD, 1TB Hybrid Drive (7,200 rpm)
The Origin EON17-SLX takes gaming laptops to their ultimate conclusion of being portable desktops. This 17-inch notebook comes packed with a desktop-grade Intel processor and Nvidia GPU chip, making it one of history’s most powerful mobile machines. Of course, it comes with the sacrifice of portability in both weight and battery life. If these are worthy trade-offs for greater performance, you won’t find a better machine whether you’re a hardcore gamer to in the media creation business.
Read the full review: Origin EON17-SLX
9. MSI GT80 Titan
An outrageously sized and powerful gaming laptop
CPU: 2.6GHz Intel Core i7-4720HQ | Graphics: 2 x Nvidia GTX 980M SLI (16 GB GDDR5); Intel HD Graphics 4600 | RAM: 16GB | Screen: 18.4-inch WLED FHD (1920 x 1080) Anti-Glare Display | Storage: 256GB SSD; 1TB HDD (7,200 RPM)
The MSI GT80 Titan goes above and beyond to give gamers a desktop experience in a notebook with a complement of high-performance parts to a built-in mechanical keyboard. However, weighing in at nearly 10 pounds and measuring roughly two-inches thick, this laptop is seriously pushing the limits of what you can call portable. For all the strain it’ll put on your back and wallet, though, this 18.4-inch gaming laptop absolutely plow through almost any graphically intense game you try to run. This gaming behemoth proved to be a monster with the best in class mobile GPUs so we can’t even fathom what it could do with a Nvidia GTX 980.
Read the full review: MSI GT80 Titan
10. Alienware 17 (2015)
The Alienware 17 is an impressive refinement for this series of gaming laptops
CPU: 2.5GHz Intel Core i7-4710HQ | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 980M (4GB GDDR5 RAM), Intel HD Graphics 4600 | RAM: 16GB | Screen: 17.3 inch, 1,920 x 1,080 IPS anti-glare display | Storage: 256 GB M.2 SATA SSD + 1TB HDD (7,200 rpm)
The Alienware 17 is one of those few outrageously priced gaming laptops that’s actually worth it. The notebook is a fully capable gaming machine on its own, but with the added power of desktop graphics through the GPU Amplifier it can play almost any game on Ultra settings.If you’re looking for something smaller, the Alienware 13 also works with the optional GPU box.
One of the latest device types to hit the market is the 2-in-1 — a tablet that, with the addition of a keyboard, becomes a full-fledged computer. This isn’t a new idea — there have been Bluetooth keyboards available for tablets practically ever since “tablet” became a tech term. And there have been tablets that came with attachable keyboards as well. But now it looks like the category has matured to the point that the 2-in-1 is seen as a possible computer substitute, especially for people who travel and use their systems to make presentations..
Is your organization prepared to do battle against an APT? You’d better be.
HP’s recent contribution to this market is its HP Elite x2, which is available for a retail price of $855 (Amazon price – What’s this?). What sets the Elite x2 aside from some its competitors — such as Microsoft’s Surface Pro, Apple’s iPad Pro and Samsung’s Galaxy TabPro S — is that it is aimed squarely at the enterprise user. HP is pushing not only the Elite x2’s usability, but also its security and its ability to be repaired by in-house IT departments.
Like the Surface Pro 4 and the TabPro S, the 12-in. Elite x2 is a Windows 10 system that includes a detachable keyboard. In fact, the package includes both the keyboard and an HP Active Pen stylus (built with technology from Wacom), which sets it apart from both the Surface Pro (which charges extra for its keyboard) and the TabPro S (which doesn’t come with a pen).
The tablet is housed in an attractive silver metal casing with a single black stripe along the upper edge. The power and volume buttons are on the left edge (when the tablet is in typing mode), while two Bang & Olufsen speakers are on either end of the top edge. With the keyboard attached, the tablet measures 11.8 x 8.4 x 0.3 in. and weighs 2.65 lb. (1.8 lb. without the keyboard).
The 12-in. Full HD display runs a top resolution of 1920 x 1280; it is bright, clean and quite satisfactory, although it doesn’t have the intense, rich colors of an AMOLED screen such as the one on the TabPro S. I also found the audio adequate but not impressive.
Considering the specs
The Elite x2 also sets itself apart in that it offers a number of permutations. The most basic configuration (which lists at $899 on the vendor site) ships with an Intel Core M3 processor with 4GB RAM; 128GB of SSD storage with a micro SD card slot for additional storage; a USB-C port with Thunderbolt for docking and charging; a USB 3.0 port (so that you have somewhere to plug in all your non-USB-C devices); a 2-megapixel front-facing camera and a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera.
The Elite x2 offers several other configurations, providing a choice of processor, memory and storage; the highest end is currently a $1,899 model with Windows 10 Pro, a sixth-generation Intel Core M7 processor, 8GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD.
The review unit was fitted with a Core M5 processor, 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, which prices at $1,349. (For comparison, a Surface Pro 4 with a similar configuration and a keyboard has a vendor price of $1,430.)
An excellent keyboard and stand
One thing that HP has definitely gotten right — the keyboard. I’ve used the keyboards for the Surface 3 and the Samsung Galaxy TabPro S extensively, and sampled both keyboards for the Surface 4, and this is the most comfortable one I’ve used on a 2-in-1 yet. The keys are spaced well and have excellent travel; in fact, it would compare favorably with many laptop keyboards.
As with the Surface Pro, the Elite x2’s keyboard can sit completely flat or use a narrow fold near the top to attach magnetically to the bottom of the tablet’s bezel, forming a slight incline that makes it easier to type on.
And the keyboard doesn’t have to be detached from the tablet when you’re finished working; just lift it up against the display to form a cover. The back of the keyboard is covered with a felt-like material, and there is a little ridge that your fingers can fit into, making it easy to carry.
The u-shaped stand for the Elite x2 folds out from the back of the tablet. While it doesn’t have quite the range of motion that the Surface Pro’s stand has, within that range you can adjust it to any position you find comfortable (unlike the TabPro S, which has only two set positions). And it worked quite nicely on my lap.
Another thing about the stand is that it is actually user-replaceable in case of damage. In fact — and this is where HP varies widely from its competition — the Elite x2 itself can actually be disassembled and repaired (although HP reps cautioned that this was probably something only experienced IT staffers should do). At the recent press demo, a rep demonstrated by unscrewing four tiny screws and then using a suction cup to lift the screen from the unit, revealing the parts within.
Other features and test results
I had no problem working with the HP Active Pen; although there is no place to store it on the tablet or the keyboard, HP includes two loops that can be attached to the tablet. And the cameras are quite adequate for video conferencing and other business purposes.
HP also adds its HP Client Security software, which includes a password manager and a variety of other security features, not to mention the fingerprint reader on the back of the tablet.
I ran Futuremark’s PCMark 8 Windows benchmark three times; the Elite x2 averaged a quite reasonable 2746, which is within the area of good performance. (In comparison, the Samsung Galaxy TabPro S, which has a Core M3 processor and 4GB of RAM, ran at 2372.)
Battery test results were good, but not overwhelming. On PCMark’s battery rundown test — which puts the system through a steady diet of word processing, data crunching and video — the Elite x2 came in at 4 hr. 7 min. The TabPro lasted about an hour more, at 5 hr. 12 min. With normal usage, the Elite x2 should last you through a day.
HP Elite x2 features and test results
|HP Elite x2
|HP Elite x2
|Samsung Galaxy TabPro S|
|Display||12-in. Full HD 1920 x 1280||12-in. Full HD 1920 x 1280||12-in. Super AMOLED 2160 x 1440|
|Dimensions (w/o keyboard)||11.8 x 8.4 x 0.3 in.||11.8 x 8.4 x 0.3 in.||11.43 x 7.83 x 0.25 in.|
|Weight||1.8 lb.||1.8 lb.||1.53 lb.|
|Processor||Intel Core M3||Intel Core M5||Intel Core M3|
|Ports||1 USB-C; 1 USB 3.0; 1 micro-SD slot||1 USB-C; 1 USB 3.0; 1 micro-SD slot||1 USB-C|
|PCMark 8 – performance test||n/a||2746||2372|
|PCMark 8 – battery test||n/a||4 hr. 7 min.||5 hr. 12 min.|
One of the advantages of having several 2-in-1 devices to choose from is that you can start to differentiate by what you want to do with them. The HP Elite x2 is not what I would choose for a consumer item; its display is bright and satisfactory, but doesn’t have the deep colors of an AMOLED screen; its audio is adequate but not impressive; and its battery life could be better.
On the other hand, its backlit keyboard is the best keyboard/cover I’ve come across so far, and when you fold it up to use as a cover, it lets you carry the tablet comfortably and securely. In addition, the Elite x2 offers both USB-C port and a more traditional USB 3.0 port, a fingerprint reader, a variety of security software and (not a small thing for an IT shop) the ability to be repaired in-house.
In short: While Microsoft’s Surface Pro 4 remains the best-known 2-in-1, the HP Elite x2 offers a good alternative for companies that want to provide their employees with a solid Windows tablet/keyboard combination.
Best-in-class keyboard; Epic battery life (with extended battery); Durable design; Loud, accurate audio
Screen brightness a bit below average
With epic battery life, a durable design, a sharp display and the best laptop keyboard anywhere, the ThinkPad T450s is the ultimate portable productivity powerhouse.
Any mainstream notebook can run popular apps like Microsoft Office, just as any pair of sneakers will protect your feet while you play basketball, but working on the Lenovo ThinkPad T450s feels like running down the court in Air Jordans. Lenovo’s ThinkPad T Series of business laptops has long been known for its first-class combination of long battery life, sharp screens, durable design and best-in-class keyboards. Starting at $881 ($1,592 as tested), the 14-inch T450s takes mobile productivity to the next level with a speedy Intel 5th Generation Core i5 CPU, over 15 hours of potential battery life and the most comfortable typing and navigation experience anywhere.
Lenovo’s notebook uses the same chassis as its predecessor, the ThinkPad T440s, and that’s a good thing. With the T450s’ rectangular shape and raven-black lid, sides and bottom, the device has the quiet but classy ThinkPad aesthetic that’s equally at home in the boardroom or the coffee shop. The red TrackPoint pointing stick and its red-striped buttons add small splashes of color. ThinkPad logos with glowing red lights for the dot in the “i” sit on the lid and the deck, blinking to show you when your system is asleep.
Even if you don’t like the ThinkPad T450s’ conservative looks, you have to love its durability. With a carbon-fiber lid, magnesium body and interior roll cage, the notebook is designed to take some abuse, passing MIL-SPEC tests for extreme temperatures, humidity, vibration, sand, shocks and fungus. The company also tests the T450s by opening the device’s stainless steel hinges 30,000 times and dropping metal balls on the machine from over a meter in the air. The keyboard also has a drain to help it survive spills.
If typing comfort and speed are important to you, there is no better choice than the ThinkPad T450s.
At 13 x 8.9 x 0.83 inches and 3.8 pounds, the ThinkPad T450s (touch-screen version) isn’t the thinnest or lightest business notebook in its size range, but it was more than svelte enough for me to carry around indoors or bring to work in my laptop bag. If you get a regular display rather than the touch screen our review model came with, your ThinkPad T450s will be just 3.5 pounds. This makes it the same weight as the 13-inch MacBook Pro (12.4 x 8.6 x .71 inches, 3.5 pounds), though a bit larger.
Lenovo’s own ThinkPad X1 Carbon has a 14-inch screen and is significantly thinner and lighter (13 x 8.9 x 0.73 inches, 3.07 pounds), but it costs more, and has shorter battery life and shallower keys. Using the extended battery rather than the default adds 0.4 pounds of weight and 0.3 inches of thickness to the bottom back of the T450s, but getting more than double the battery life will be worth it for many users.
If typing comfort and speed are important to you, there is no better choice than the ThinkPad T450s, which has the best laptop keyboard money can buy. It’s even better than many other ThinkPads. With 1.9mm of travel and 63 grams of actuation force (55-60 is typical), the keys have a strong tactile feel that makes typing incredibly comfortable and accurate. Almost as good is the subtle indentation in the keys themselves, which makes it easy to feel your way around and avoid adjacent-key errors.
Because of the fantastic key feel, I achieved a rate of 96 words per minute on the Ten Thumbs Typing Test, matching the highest score I’ve ever gotten and well above the 80 to 86 wpm I usually score on other laptops. The keyboard comes standard with a two-mode backlight, which was more than bright enough on its lower setting and even more powerful on the higher one.
TrackPoint And Touchpad
Like other ThinkPads, the T450s comes with two different pointing devices: a touchpad and a TrackPoint pointing stick. I prefer the TrackPoint, because it offers much more precise navigation, allowing me to highlight text, click small icons and zoom from one side of the screen to the other, without having to lift my hands off of the home row.
The ThinkPad T450s features dedicated left, right and center buttons for the TrackPoint. This is a huge improvement over the 2013-2014 ThinkPads, which built all three buttons into the top of the clickpad, forcing stick users to move their fingers down further and push with much greater force. Lenovo got some well-deserved criticism for taking dedicated buttons away on the T440s, so the company deserves some credit for listening to its customers and bringing those buttons back on the current model.
If you prefer a more traditional touchpad, the ThinkPad T450s’ 3.9 x 2.25-inch clickpad more than fits the bill. It offered smooth navigation around the desktop in my tests while accurately registering multi-touch gestures such as pinch-to-zoom, two-finger rotate and four-finger swipe for showing the task manager. Many gestures, including Windows 8’s swipe to change apps, were disabled by default, but after visiting the Advanced Settings in Control Panel, I was able to turn them all on. I also found that it was easier to move my pointer across the screen in one motion after turning the speed of the touchpad up a couple of notches.
The 1,920 x 1,080 touch screen provided sharp, colorful images in our tests. When I watched a 1080p trailer for the Avengers: Age of Ultron, the red in Black Widow’s hair and the green in the Hulk’s skin appeared deep and rich, while the battle scarring on Captain America’s shield really stood out.
The T450s’ display managed to produce 100.8 percent of the sRGB gamut on our color test, which means that it can show significantly more shades than the average notebook in its category (76.6 percent), the X1 Carbon (86 percent) and the MacBook Pro (91 percent). Its colors are reasonably accurate, as it returned a Delta e error rate of 3.9 (0 is perfect), a score that’s decent but not as strong as the MacBook Pro’s 1.2 mark.
At 236 nits on our light meter, the T450s’ screen is not as bright as the 242-nit category average, and far below the MacBook Pro’s blinding 389 nits. Viewing angles were solid up to about 60 degrees to the left or right, with some loss of dark shades at more extreme positions. However, the glossy touch screen shows fingerprints quite prominently in black areas.
The screen responded quickly and accurately to all of my touches, whether I was tapping on a tiny window widget or swiping in from the left to switch apps. The digitizer supports 10 points of touch, as I was able to draw with all of my fingers at the same time in Windows Paint and perform multi-touch gestures, such as pinch-to-zoom with ease.
While not quite high fidelity, the ThinkPad T450s’s speakers provide sound that is loud enough to fill a large room and highly accurate. Whether I was playing Mark Ronson’s drum-centric “Uptown Funk” or Chic’s bass-heavy “Good Times,” the audio was good enough to dance to and did not suffer any tinniness or distortion.
Dolby Digital Plus audio software enhances the sound quality a bit and allows you to customize the equalizer or choose from profiles, including those for movies, music and gaming. When I toggled the Dolby software to off, the music sounded a bit flat.
The ThinkPad T450s stayed pleasantly cool throughout our tests. After 15 minutes of streaming video at full screen, the touchpad measured just 82 degrees, the keyboard clocked in at a mere 85 degrees and the underside was only 89 degrees Fahrenheit. We consider temperatures below 95 degrees acceptable and those below 90 degrees imperceptible. In other words, you won’t feel any heat under normal circumstances.
Unlike thinner notebooks, such as the ThinkPad X1 Carbon, the ThinkPad T450s has a full compliment of ports, letting you connect to a variety of peripherals and networks without using a dongle. On the right side sit a USB 3.0 port, an Ethernet connection, VGA out, a headphone/mic jack, a Kensington lock slot and a 4-in-1 card reader. A number of business notebooks lack Ethernet, making it more difficult to connect to wired networks, and VGA, which is still standard on many conferencing systems and projectors.
The left side houses a mini DisplayPort out and two more USB 3.0 ports, for a total of 3. By comparison, the MacBook Pro has no Ethernet port, and the X1 Carbon has an extender port, which requires an adapter. The X1 Carbon also lacks an SD Card reader.
The T450s’ 720p webcam captured colorful images of my face, which were just a little noisy under the somewhat dim fluorescent lights of our office. In a very dark room, the picture was more pixilated but still vibrant and detailed. Frequent video-conferencers will appreciate the notebook’s dual-array microphones, which can be optimized for either single- or multi-voice conversations.
With its 2.3-GHz Intel Core i5-5300U, 8GB of RAM and 256GB SSD, our configuration of the ThinkPad T450s was more than powerful enough to handle any productivity task. On Geekbench 3, a synthetic benchmark that measures overall performance, the T450s scored 5,993. That’s below the 7,082 thin-and-light notebook category average but on par with similarly specced systems like the ThinkPad X1 Carbon. The MacBook Pro 13-inch and its 2.7-GHz Core i5-5257U were noticeably faster, notching 7,113.
HOW THE LENOVO THINKPAD T450S STACKS UP
3DMark Fire Strike
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Tests notebook graphics performance.
Lenovo ThinkPad T450sApple MacBook Pro with Retina Display (13-inch, 2015)Lenovo ThinkPad T440sLenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (2015) Category Average (as of 11/30/15)
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3DMark Fire StrikeBattery LifeColor AccuracyDisplay Brightness (Nits)Gamut VolumeGraphics Performance (3DMark)Hard Drive SpeedOverall Performance (Geekbench 3)Spreadsheet PerformanceWorld of Warcraft (autodetect, 13×7)