Before you start choosing the best laptop for work in 2020, you need to understand that this is not the thing that the user will change in a year or two. However, the variety of models on the market is literally driving the consumer crazy.
We made a series of recommendations for users who want to buy a laptop for work: what parameters should be guided in order for the device to serve you for a long time in the future, as well as how to try to save on a laptop.
What should I look for when choosing a laptop for work
Before you give preference to a specific manufacturer and model of the laptop, you must clearly determine for what tasks it is purchased. Will it be working with standard office applications and documents, or will the computer have to work with heavy graphics programs.
Notebook options to pay attention to when choosing:
- CPU frequency, number of cores
- Video card
- Hard Disk Drive / Solid State Drive (SSD)
- Size, screen size and weight
- Battery life
- Interfaces, Ports, and Connectors
- operating system
Top 10 best laptops for work
We have compiled a list of 10 devices of various price categories, which are ideal options for work.
ASUS ZenBookPremium laptops for daily work.
ZenBook Classic lineup, there are several very worthy ultrabooks for any size at once. Of particular note is the ZenBook Edition 30, a limited edition device dedicated to the 30th anniversary of ASUS. The accents are “pink gold” on the sides, the logo is covered with 18ct gold, leather trim. Comes with exclusive accessories: case and wireless mouse.
ZenBook 14 UX434 is considered the most compact ultrabook with a 14-inch screen – due to the almost frameless NanoEdge display. This is perhaps the most balanced solution for those who need a powerful modern laptop for everyday tasks.
ZenBook 15 UX534 – devices with a slightly larger, 15-inch screen. Suitable for those who work with images. A more powerful discrete graphics card and an enlarged SSD drive are installed here. With a solid diagonal, this ultrabook does not look bulky at all and fits both in a backpack and in a lady’s bag.
A feature of all these models is the updated ScreenPad 2.0. This is an intelligent touchpad, exclusive ASUS technology.
All devices are very reliable – they comply with the military standard MIL-STD 810G.
Processor: Intel® Core ™ i7 | GPU: NVIDIA GeForce MX250 / NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Max-Q | RAM: up to 16 GB | Screen: 13.3 “Full HD IPS / 14” Full HD IPS / 15.6 “Full HD IPS | Storage: SSD from 256 GB to 1 TB | Battery: 50/50/70 Wh, 3/3/8 cells | Power: 65/120 W | Weight: 1.22 / 1.26 / 1.65 kg
- + High performance and reliability
- + Non-trivial appearance
- – Anniversary pricey model
Huawei MateBook X Pro
Awesome business laptop
Huawei may not be the first name you think of when you want to buy a new laptop for work. But the Chinese company turned out to be a great laptop maker with its new MateBook X Pro. It has a beautiful design that will look nice on a worker.
The laptop is light enough to carry with you, has powerful components and excellent battery life. It is also one of the cheapest ultrabooks on the market.
Processor: Intel Core i5 – i7 | GPU: Intel UHD Graphics 620, Nvidia GeForce MX150, 2 GB, GDDR5 | RAM: 8 GB – 16 GB | Display: 13.9-inch 3K (3000 x 2080) | Memory: 512 GB SSD | Weight: 1.33 kg
- + Beautiful design
- + Fantastic display
- – Not the best webcam
Dell XPS 13
Fresh build – new and improved.
Believe it or not, Dell classifies the XPS 13 as a business notebook, although it is focused on the home office. This award-winning device manages to pack a 13.3-inch display in the chassis of an average 11.6-inch model. It was also updated in 2019 with even better components, which greatly improved performance.
The laptop can be upgraded to 16 GB of RAM and 1 TB of M2 SSD. The battery life is also exceptional – almost 22 hours when using applications to increase productivity.
In 2019, Dell pushed the Dell XPS 13 again when it comes to components, and the webcam is now positioned above the screen for better video calls, helping to make the Dell XPS 13 2019 one of the best business laptops.
Processor: Intel Core i5 – i7 | GPU: Intel UHD Graphics 620 | RAM: 8 GB – 16 GB | Display: 13.3-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) – 4 KB (3840 x 2160) | Memory: 256 GB – 1 TB SSD | Weight: 1.36 kg
- + Webcam in the center
- + Battery better than ever
- – The price is a little high
Apple MacBook Pro
Apple – and that’s it.
Start saving money now, because the MacBook Pro 16.0-inch is a very expensive machine, but there really is nothing like it. Performance is where the MacBook Pro really stands out from the crowd. With 2.6GHz 6-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 4.5GHz, with 12MB shared L3 cache, this sleek and powerful machine can handle serious problems. Not to mention the breathtaking speed of its record-breaking SSD.
Like the MacBook Pro, the 2019 model has a clear, bright display, excellent speakers and long battery life (more than 10 hours).
Apple MacBook Pro Main characteristics:
Processor: Intel Core i7 / Core i9 | GPU: AMD Radeon Pro 5300M | RAM: 16 GB / 32 GB | Memory: 512GB or 1TB SSD | Display: 16.0-inch, 2880-1800 pixels | Weight: 2.0 kg
- + Amazing performance
- + Powerful sound
- – Price
Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E590
The best choice for mobility.
Lenovo took the existing form factor and refined it to introduce the new ThinkPad E480. Equipped with 8th Gen Intel Core i5-8265U, this Laptop has a 15.6inch FHD anti-glare display powered by a 2GB Nvidia Geforce 940MX discrete graphics processor. Equipped with a moisture-proof keyboard, TrackPoint and a touchpad with 3 + 2 buttons, the E480 has more than enough ports and expansion options to satisfy the average user.
Processor: 2.4 GHz Intel Core i5-8265U | GPU: Intel HD Graphics 620 | RAM: 8 GB | Display: 15.6 inches, 1366×768 pixels | Memory: 256 GB SSD | Weight: 1.75 kg
- + Excellent value for money
- + Discrete graphics card
- – Not the best battery
Apple MacBook Air 13
Thinner, lighter, more productive.
This is by far the best MacBook Air on the market. He is also one of the best business laptops in the world due to his thin and light design, improved equipment for higher performance (including 8th generation processors, more RAM and faster solid state drives).
I wish the device had full U-series quad-core chips, rather than Y-series dual-core fanless processors. However, this means that you can easily use the battery all day, making it one of the best Macs for travel.
Processor: Dual Core Intel Core i5 | GPU: Intel UHD Graphics 617 | RAM: 8 GB – 16 GB | Display: 13.3-inch, 2,560 x 1600 Retina Display (LED with backlight, IPS) | Memory: 128 GB – 1.5 TB, PCIe 3.0, SSD | Weight: 1.35 kg
- + Small, lighter design
- + Beautiful Retina display
- – Overpriced
Dell XPS 15 laptop
It may not be a business machine, but the new Dell XPS 15 offers tons of power in a compact package that you can easily take with you to work every day. XPS 15 is equipped with a Core i9 processor and 32 GB of RAM. It provides all the ports that are needed for an external monitor, but your eyes will constantly return to its stunning 4K OLED panel, which is both bright and extremely clear image.
Processor: Intel Core i5 / Core i7 / Core i9 | GPU: GeForce GTX 1650 | RAM: 8 GB / 16 GB / 32 GB | Memory: 256 GB / 512 GB / 1 TB | Display: 15.6-inch, 1080p or 4K (OLED) | Weight: 2.7 kg
- 4K OLED Panel
- Slim Design
- Battery Life
HP EliteBook x360 1030 G3
Reliability and convenience.
The HP EliteBook x360 1030 G3 is a very convenient option. Its aluminum body is not only thin and light but also durable. Not to mention the sturdy but flexible hinge of a business laptop that allows the gorgeous 13.3-inch 1080p display to return to tablet mode. In addition to the stylish appearance, the Elitebook X360 1030 G3 has a comfortable keyboard, long battery life, and a fast hard drive.
Processor: Intel Core i5 / Core i7 | GPU: Intel UHD 620 | RAM: 8 GB / 16 GB | Memory: 128 GB / 256 GB / 512 GB / 1 TB / 2 TB | Display: 13.3-inch, 1080p or 4K | Weight: 1.25 kg
- Stylish design
- Great display
- Not the best performance
ASUS ZenBook 14 Ultra-Slim Laptop
Suitable in a backpack, and in a lady’s bag, and on the desktop.
ASUS ZenBook 14 UX433 is very compact, looks smaller than its classmates, while it has a full keyboard and a 14-inch screen. Such compactness is achieved by the fact that the ZenBook 14 UX433 has an ultra-thin display frame – the screen occupies 92% of the surface, this is one of the best characteristics in the ultrabook class.
All this is combined with high-quality assembly and a very stylish design. For all its elegance, the ZenBook meets the military standard MIL-STD 810G. The device is not afraid of shaking and changes in temperature and humidity. In general, it will feel great both in your backpack and on the table during an important presentation.
ASUS ZenBook 14 UX433 characteristics:
Processor: Intel Core i5 / Core i7 | GPU: Intel UHD Graphics 620 / NVIDIA GeForce MX150 | RAM: 8 GB / 16 GB | Memory: 256 GB / 512 GB / 1 TB | Display: 14-inch | Weight: 1.19 kg
- Stylish and powerful
- High-quality assembly and convenient form factor
- It may seem that a little expensive, although it’s definitely worth the money
Decide why you need a laptop
There are three main types of laptops on the market today – desktop, ultra-thin and transformer laptops. All of them are sharpened for various tasks, so the buyer should be more careful. For example, transformers most often come with a touch screen, so you can control them with your fingers and using a regular keyboard. Most often they work on the Windows 10 operating system, but can have two OSs: for example, Windows and Android. And ultrabooks are characterized by minimal thickness and lightness – they weigh up to one and a half kilograms, they can be easily taken with you, but they do not differ in high performance.
Therefore, for starters, it is important for the user to determine what tasks a particular laptop model is suitable for and what kind of technical specifications the device should ultimately have.
Here the gradation is quite simple – 2 GB is enough for a normal home laptop, gaming needs at least 4 GB, but to work with complex programs, for example, for designers, you need to take a device with 8 GB of RAM.
For those who work a lot and travel often, a good battery is vital, with which the laptop can last 8-10 hours. Remember that the declared operating time is calculated by the manufacturer at the minimum load and the weakest screen brightness, but in real conditions, this time can be several hours less. Therefore, choose a laptop with a good supply of battery.
Tips for choosing the best laptop for work
What you should look for when choosing a good laptop for work so it meets your requirements
Optimal frequency of the processor in the laptop
What should I look for when choosing a laptop for work, so that it meets your requirements?
The speed of a laptop depends on the processor clock speed. The frequency value characterizes the performance of the computer, that is, the number of operations performed by the machine per second. The number of processor cores also affects performance: the more cores, the faster the processor processes information.
The leaders in the processor market are Intel and AMD.
If you purchase a laptop based on Intel processors, models with Intel Core i3, Core i5, and Core i7 processors are recommended.
For working with office documents and surfing the Internet, a laptop with a Core i3 processor is suitable. For graphics programs and “heavy” games – not lower than Core i5 or Core i7.
One of the most important components that affects laptop performance is random access memory (RAM) or random access memory (RAM). “RAM” is responsible for storing information that is being processed by the processor at the “present moment”. The speed of the laptop also depends on the parameters of RAM.
High RAM performance is needed, for example, when processing video, working with graphics editors, etc. Accordingly, the more RAM parameters, the faster the computer performs the specified operations. For employees who use mostly standard office programs, high RAM figures are not necessary, so buying a laptop for work will cost them less than what it would cost for designers and programmers.
For most tasks, 4 GB of RAM is suitable. 8, 16 and more GB of RAM are equipped with powerful laptops on which it is planned to run graphic programs, perform video editing or run “heavy” games.
The modern standard for RAM is DDR4.
Video card for laptop
The video card is one of the most important elements in the configuration of a laptop. Not only image quality but also work depends on the parameters of the video card software , especially graphics and gaming applications.
Accordingly, if the laptop will be used to process images or video, launch “heavy” games, then you need to take a more powerful video card.
In low-cost laptops, mostly “built-in video cards” (built-in to the processor) are installed. The parameters of such video cards are quite suitable for office work. Therefore, the best option for an ordinary office employee is to buy a laptop with just such a video card.
More powerful in performance are discrete graphics cards (not built-in). Laptops equipped with these particular graphics cards will cost more. If work on the computer will be associated mainly with graphic editors or video processing, games, then you can not do without cards in this series. The leading positions in the market are occupied by ATI (AMD) cards of the Mobility Radeon series and NVIDIA GeForce series. For work in CAD applications (computer-aided design systems), as a rule, video cards of the NVIDIA Quadro type are used.
Choose a hard disk drive (HDD) based on how much information will be stored on the computer. Accordingly, to store a large number and volume of files requires a more capacious drive. This option is relevant for designers, photographers, architects, animators, etc. If you have to work mostly with text documents, then the excess volume of the hard drive will be unreasonable, and will only increase the cost of equipment.
It is worth noting that with the advent of the so-called solid-state drives (SSD), the buyer began to acquire more often laptops equipped with precisely these devices. The reason is that compared to traditional hard drives, SSDs are smaller in size and weight, and much faster. But SSDs also have a number of drawbacks, in particular SSDs are more expensive than regular hard drives. However, those users who prefer to store data invirtual environment or on an external hard drive and which focus on the increased performance of the laptop, of course, the option of a laptop with SSD is suitable.
In addition, manufacturers produce laptops equipped with both a solid-state drive (SSD) and a conventional hard drive; in this case, the SSD is used to install the operating system and application software, and the hard drive is designed to store large files.
Screen sizes of typical laptops range from 11 to 17 inches diagonally. Typical laptop screen resolution at the moment is FullHD (1920×1080 pixels), but technology does not stand still and it is possible to choose a laptop with a screen resolution of 3840×2160 (UltraHD / 4K).
In addition, laptops with a touch screen are on sale and, if you are used to working on a tablet with a touch screen, this will add convenience. Often laptops with a touch screen are produced in the form of “transformers”: it is possible to disconnect the screen from the keyboard part and use it as a tablet.
Large laptops with “17” inches screen and above
Laptops of this size are large and heavy (up to 4kg). As a rule, such laptops are not used as portable devices. They are purchased by people who prefer to work on the big screen and do not plan to carry a laptop (and a charger for it) with them all the time.
A great option for designers and photographers working in the studio.
Medium-sized laptops with screen sizes ranging from 13 to 16 inches
The most common laptop sizes. They are preferred by the average user. Laptops with these screens have a fairly wide range of technical parameters at various prices. Typically, the buyer finds among them the best model for himself in terms of performance and price.
They are more compact than large laptops, but most likely, carrying them everywhere with you will be uncomfortable.
Ultrabooks – 14 inches or less
The choice of those who are constantly traveling. A truly lightweight, portable and productive machine, designed for full-fledged work, including programs requiring significant resources. Ideal for people with creative specialties, and employees working remotely or freelancers.
However, the cost of ultrabooks, in most cases, is higher than the cost of a mid-sized laptop.
Netbooks – 12 inches or less screen
Small size and lightweight is great for everyday transportation. But due to the small screen size and rather weak configuration, these devices are usually used for simple tasks, for example, for working with mail or text documents, as well as surfing the Internet.
Laptop battery life time
If using a laptop is connected with traveling and it is not always possible to recharge, then you need to choose equipment with a more capacious battery, the battery life of which is at least 6 hours. Some manufacturers produce optional battery models, which have a 2 times larger capacity compared to standard installed ones, but also larger in size (favor the dimensions of the laptop).
interfaces, ports and connectors required by a laptop
To determine the number and type of ports, you need to understand that in the process it will connect to a computer.
If you use a mouse, flash drive, external hard drive, etc., then choose models with at least 4 USB ports, so as not to use an external USB splitter. Modern laptops are equipped with USB 2.0, 3.0, 3.1 ports (the higher the version, the higher the bandwidth). If you use a smartphone / tablet equipped with a wire with a USB Type-C connector, and you will connect or charge it from a laptop, choose a laptop that has such a connector.
Prefer to display the image on a separate monitor or use an additional one, then VGA / DVI, DisplayPort or HDMI connectors are required. Pay attention to the resolution of the video signal that the laptop can transmit to an external monitor.
If you work on a local network, it is advisable to have an RJ-45 connector for wired connection. If you use Wi-Fi wireless connection, then you should pay attention to the Wi-Fi standard supported by the laptop’s wireless adapter: currently 802.11ac is relevant, but the 802.11n standard has not yet left the stage. If you need to use Bluetooth, pay attention to its presence in the laptop.
Card reader, audio inputs/outputs, connector for connecting a docking station, etc.: if necessary, also check for their presence.
On some laptop models, in order to reduce the cost or reduce weight and dimensions, there may be no fan, optical drive, duplicate keys (for example, for entering numbers), etc.
The passive cooling system (without a fan) is good because the laptop is almost silent during operation. The downside is that such models are prone to overheating. Therefore, they require increased attention and service.
The lack of an optical drive is a moot point. If work requires the use of CDs or DVDs, then look for models equipped with such a drive, or use an external drive that connects via USB.
In low light conditions, the keyboard backlight is convenient. It can be realized either by backlighting the keys “from below” or by backlighting with an LED mounted above the laptop screen.
Laptop operating system
The leaders among laptop operating systems are Windows and Linux.
Windows 10 – An operating system for personal computers developed by the corporationMicrosoft as part of the Windows NT family.
Today you can buy laptops with preinstalled Windows OS only the 10th series. Officially, laptops with previous versions of Windows (XP, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1) are not for sale. If it is important to use old versions of the OS for work, then it is necessary to carry out”Downgrade” of the system.
Ubuntu is a Linux kernel operating system consisting of open source free software. It features an interesting design. Reliable and secure system. Can be installed on almost all laptops.
The plus is that unlike Windows, Linux is free.
However, if there is no experience with Linux, then the interface of this operating system will be unusual.
Based on the foregoing, we can conclude that choosing the optimal laptop for work requires taking into account many factors. You must understand for what purposes the equipment is purchased. How long the equipment will be operated. It is possible that a laptop is needed only for a while, for example, undertemporary project oran event , and its purchase may be financially unreasonable, especially if powerful equipment is required.
The most optimal solution, both in financial and in time costs, is to take the necessary equipment into the arena for a short time. To do this, contacta company specializing in this particular type of service.