The Best Laptops for Business of 2021

Get the job done right on the best business laptop for your needs.
The Best Laptops for Business of 2021
Image credit: Lauren Mancke (Unsplash)

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Whether you’re running a business or have to buy your own gear as a contractor, you will almost certainly need the best business laptop for your line of work. 

The requirements for attaining such a title, however, vary depending on the laptop’s intended purpose. For some users, ruggedness and reliability might be at the top of your checklist, in which case the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 is the definitive answer. On the other hand, those who want a laptop for personal use as well as for work — like students, for instance — might be better off with a MacBook Pro or MacBook Air.

After divulging the best laptops for realtors, specifically, along with the best Chromebooks under $200, we’ve made it our goal to help you find the best laptops for business in general. No matter what you plan on using it for, all of our picks were exhaustively vetted to ensure the utmost quality in our recommendations.

Best Overall: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon ($1,295)
Best for Small Business: HP Pro C640 Chrome Enterprise ($591)
Best for Business and Personal Use: Apple MacBook Pro - 16-Inch ($2,245), also at other retailers
Best Under $1,000: Google Pixelbook Go ($849), also at other retailers
Best for Students (best for business school): Apple MacBook Air ($899), also at other retailers
Best 2-in-1: Microsoft Surface Pro 7+ for Business ($850)
Best for Online Business (best for mobile business): Lenovo IdeaPad Duet ($189), also at other retailers

Best Overall: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon ($1,295)

Best Overall: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon ($1,295)
Image credit: Lenovo

When you say the words “enterprise laptop,” the first brand that pops into a lot of laptop aficionados' heads is Lenovo, which has been supplying businesses with its ThinkPad lineup since the early aughts. The 14-inch X1 Carbon in particular takes many of the key features that define the Lenovo ThinkPad (including the signature TrackPoint nub) to a thin and light design with up to a 10th Gen Intel Core i7 processor to boot.

Best for Small Business: HP Pro C640 Chrome Enterprise ($591)

Best for Small Business: HP Pro C640 Chrome Enterprise ($591)
Image credit: HP

Chromebooks have come a long way since their conception over a decade ago, to the extent that they’re now a viable fit for the workplace. This is no more true than for the HP Pro C40 Chrome Enterprise, one of the first Chromebooks built for business first and foremost, thanks to its adoption of Chrome OS with Chrome Enterprise, Google’s managed cloud platform. It doesn’t skimp on hardware either, boasting an all-metal chassis and 10th Gen Core i7 CPU.

Best for Business and Personal Use: Apple MacBook Pro - 16-Inch ($2,245)

Best for Business and Personal Use: Apple MacBook Pro - 16-Inch ($2,245)
Image credit: Apple

The 16-inch MacBook Pro might be a couple of years behind in the processor department, but its 9th Gen Intel Core i7 and Core i9 can still best Apple’s latest M1 chip in a contest of raw performance. That, along with its gorgeous, large format Retina display makes it an incredibly versatile option for those looking to use their laptop at home for things other than work like digital art, photography, gaming, or editing videos on the side.

Best Under $1,000: Google Pixelbook Go ($849)

Best Under $1,000: Google Pixelbook Go ($849)
Image credit: Google

No one knows how to make a Chromebook quite like Google, and the Pixelbook Go sweetens the deal by keeping its price point well below the $1,000 mark, making it the best budget laptop for business bar none. In addition to a 12-hour battery life and a remarkably thin and light design, the Pixelbook Go is made to be accessible, letting you open the lid with one hand and carry it around using a rigid, grippable base.

Best for Students: Apple MacBook Air ($899)

Best for Students: Apple MacBook Air ($899)
Image credit: Apple

It might not be as powerful as the 16-inch MacBook Pro, but the MacBook Air comes close for a fraction of the price. That power comes courtesy of Apple’s own M1 processor, which is 3.5 times faster than that of its predecessor. A fanless design keeps it quiet in class while the fast SSD storage allows you to switch quickly between apps. A 20-hour battery life lets you work without interruption, even when there’s no power outlet in sight.

Best 2-in-1: Microsoft Surface Pro 7+ for Business ($850)

Best 2-in-1: Microsoft Surface Pro 7+ for Business ($850)
Image credit: Microsoft

An iterative refresh of the standard Surface Pro 7, the Microsoft Surface Pro 7+ for Business brings a few nifty features to the device that qualify it as the best 2-in-1 laptop for business. On top of its already great features including an all-metal design, a high-resolution screen, and best-in-class optional keyboard, the Surface Pro 7+ for Business adds a removable SSD and 4G LTE capabilities for computing while commuting.

Best for Online Business: Lenovo IdeaPad Duet ($189)

Best for Online Business: Lenovo IdeaPad Duet ($189)
Image credit: Lenovo

Managing a business online can be tough, especially if you’re constantly on the move. The Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook, the best laptop for mobile businesses, mitigates some of the pain points by combining a compact 10.1-inch tablet with a full-fledged keyboard and trackpad as well as a kickstand that positions it upright. Not only can you snap the keyboard on and off on the fly, but you can also participate in Zoom calls with its 2-megapixel front camera.

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