October 3, 2022
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Best Business Laptops of 2022

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Business laptops have progressed beyond the basic IBM ThinkPads and Dell Latitudes that permeated every boardroom across America. That kind of no-frills laptop still exists, but it’s no longer the default choice next to the attractive, quick, and moderately priced models we’ve selected here. A good business laptop needs enterprise-level security that can be deployed from a centralized IT department. It needs to be cost efficient yet fast enough to run for several years without any upgrades. Good battery life, Wi-Fi, and an ample number of USB-C ports are essential.

To select our Best Business Laptops, we chose models from our Best Laptops of 2022 rating that have a battery life of at least 14 hours, at least 8 gigabytes of RAM, and a solid state hard drive (SSD). Two of our choices are also 2-in-1 laptops. Read on to learn all about our Best Business Laptops of 2022.

Business partners using laptop together

(katleho Seisa)

Apple MacBook Pro

Dimensions

11.97” x 8.36” x 0.61”

Battery Life

Up to 17 hours

Apple MacBook Air

Dimensions

11.97” x 8.36” x 0.16” – 0.63”

Battery Life

Up to 15 hours

Dell XP 13 Laptop

Dimensions

11.64” x 7.82” x 0.58”

Battery Life

Up to 14 hours, 11 minutes

Computer symbol

Dimensions

11.9” x 9.2” x 0.63”

Battery Life

Up to 16 hours

Computer symbol

Dimensions

12.57” x 8.51”-8.53” x 0.60”-0.64”

Battery Life

Up to 15 hours

Apple MacBook Pro

Dimensions

11.97” x 8.36” x 0.61”

Battery Life

Up to 17 hours

Apple MacBook Air

Dimensions

11.97” x 8.36” x 0.16” – 0.63”

Battery Life

Up to 15 hours

Dell XP 13 Laptop

Dimensions

11.64” x 7.82” x 0.58”

Battery Life

Up to 14 hours, 11 minutes

Computer symbol

Dimensions

12.72” x 8.98” x 0.74”

Battery Life

Up to 19 hours

Computer symbol

Dimensions

11.9” x 9.2” x 0.63”

Battery Life

Up to 16 hours

Apple MacBook Pro

Dimensions

11.97” x 8.36” x 0.61”

Battery Life

Up to 17 hours

Apple MacBook Air

Dimensions

11.97” x 8.36” x 0.16” – 0.63”

Battery Life

Up to 15 hours

Dell XP 13 Laptop

Dimensions

11.64” x 7.82” x 0.58”

Battery Life

Up to 14 hours, 11 minutes

Computer symbol

Dimensions

11.9” x 9.2” x 0.63”

Battery Life

Up to 16 hours

Computer symbol

Dimensions

12.57” x 8.51”-8.53” x 0.60”-0.64”

Battery Life

Up to 15 hours

Apple MacBook Pro

Dimensions

11.97” x 8.36” x 0.61”

Battery Life

Up to 17 hours

Apple MacBook Air

Dimensions

11.97” x 8.36” x 0.16” – 0.63”

Battery Life

Up to 15 hours

Dell XP 13 Laptop

Dimensions

11.64” x 7.82” x 0.58”

Battery Life

Up to 14 hours, 11 minutes

Computer symbol

Dimensions

12.72” x 8.98” x 0.74”

Battery Life

Up to 19 hours

Computer symbol

Dimensions

11.9” x 9.2” x 0.63”

Battery Life

Up to 16 hours

Computer symbol

Dimensions

12.57” x 8.51”-8.53” x 0.60”-0.64”

Battery Life

Up to 15 hours

Pros:

  • Very fast eight-core M1 CPU

Cons:

  • Screen resolution limited to 2K

  • Pricier than PC competitors

MacBook Pro 13-Inch: Rated No. 1 in our Best Business Laptops rating, the MacBook Pro 13-inch is quite a powerhouse even when compared to Apple’s larger and faster 14- and 16-inch models. It’s a default choice for many graphics and video professionals who want the most speed in the smallest footprint. The new M1 chips are blazing fast. While the sleek design has been copied by every PC manufacturer, Apple remains the king of quality and simplicity. You’ll pay a premium for it, however. Plus, unless a MacBook Pro is configured with a dual-boot option, it can be difficult to integrate with a Windows-dominated business environment. Many business users would do better with a more affordable PC laptop or the MacBook Air. But if your business is primarily Apple-based or your team absolutely needs Apple products, the MacBook Pro never disappoints when it comes to performance or ease of use.

Pros:

  • Nearly as powerful as the more expensive MacBook Pro 13-inch

Cons:

  • Bested by some sleeker, lighter Windows-based machines

  • Lack of cooling fan limits performance

MacBook Air 13-Inch: Coming in at No. 2 in our rating, the MacBook Air has the same M1 chip as the MacBook Pro 13-inch and can keep up with more powerful computers that are larger and heavier. The Air’s battery life is exceptional, and its screen is brilliant. But the Air’s performance still lags behind some Windows-based laptops that are just as thin and have nearly as long-lasting batteries. The Air also doesn’t come with all the enterprise-level security features that the MacBook Pro has. Plus, without a cooling fan, under heavy use, the Air can’t keep up with the MacBook Pro. It’s a good choice if you’re shopping for Apple on a budget, but less so if you want to equip an entire office.

Dell XPS 13: Dell has a convincing Apple alternative with the XPS 13, which places third in our rating. It’s lighter and sleeker than the MacBook Pro 13-inch and costs hundreds of dollars less. While the webcam is only average, the facial recognition is a welcome addition to the fingerprint scanner. Dell’s displays are very sharp in high definition or 4K, and the screen bezel is among the thinnest on the market. You’ll find a long battery life, fast performance, and customer service that’s specifically tailored to businesses and is separate from Dell’s consumer lineup of laptops. Dell’s software is more focused on enterprise and security, including its Protected Workspace app that lets users run programs with sensitive information outside of the normal Windows shell. The XPS 13 is also available as a 2-in-1 convertible for even more flexibility and value.

Pros:

  • Excellent, high-refresh-rate touch screen

  • Tablet-based design with unique pivoting screen

Cons:

  • More expensive than many 2-in-1 laptops

  • Underperforms many 2-in-1 laptops

Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio: Tied for No. 4 in our rating of Best Business Laptops, no other tablet or 2-in-1 laptop is quite like the Surface. At first glance, it’s an ordinary silver laptop. With a gentle nudge, the screen can pivot over the keyboard like a picture stand. Press it down, and the screen lies flush with the base to act as a tablet. It’s an innovative design meant to woo creatives by offering the greater performance of conventional laptops with a tablet form factor. The Microsoft Surface also has a stylus pen that magnetically attaches to the frame and can be used during meetings, presentations, or business travel. The display is clear and offers a 120-Hz refresh rate. On the downside, the Surface is slower than many other 2-in-1 laptops that are nearly as stylish and much cheaper. As a result, it may work best as a secondary business computer rather than your only machine.

Pros:

Cons:

  • Poor tactile feel of keyboard and trackpad

Acer Swift 3: Also tying for No. 4 in our rating, the Acer Swift 3 is a basic business laptop that’s quick, offers a wide array of ports (including HDMI and USB-A), and doesn’t go overboard on the design. For many business users, the Swift 3 is a perfect choice, especially with starting prices at less than $700. The display’s 3:2 aspect ratio presents a squarer image that’s better for viewing office documents, especially at the 13.5-inch size. For the price, you do give up a good amount of speed and battery life compared to more expensive options like the Dell XPS 13 and Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch. Plus, the keyboard and touchpad score low in most professional reviews for tactile feel and overall quality. But on a budget, the Swift 3 is a good choice for businesspeople who need maximum portability and decent performance.

Pros:

  • Unique design that will appeal to some users

  • Better than expected GPU performance

Cons:

  • Top features limited to Shadow Black model

Lenovo Yoga 9i: Like the HP Spectre x360 14, the Lenovo Yoga 9i is a good performer that offers some high-end features beyond its 2-in-1 rotating screen. For example, the speaker bar is mounted on the hinges and rotates separately from the screen so you can hear sound in any of the laptop’s various working positions. The touchpad is covered in smooth glass. The top of the aluminum case is finished in smooth, black leather. The stylus slides into the base and charges so it’s always ready whenever you need it. These flourishes, most of which are only on the Shadow Black model, are what make the Yoga 9i stand out from competitors. It may be too fancy for some businesses, but if you’re looking to impress clients and improve workflow, the Yoga 9i is a great choice.

Latops are one of the most popular types of computer, according to the research firm Canalys, and business use is one of the primary reasons people buy a laptop. The base price of our Best Business Laptops of 2022 ranges from $899.99 for the Acer Swift 3 to $1,599.99 for the Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio. At the low end of that price range, you will typically find quality construction with aluminum chassis, bright HD displays, solid state disk drives, at least two USB-C ports, Wi-Fi connectivity, Windows 10 or 11, Intel Core i5 processors, and 8 GB of memory. Battery life with HD displays in this segment typically ranges from 12 to 20 hours. Most business laptops have fingerprint readers, although some companies choose not to enable them for security reasons. Midrange prices bring faster processors, more memory, and better designs (including 2-in-1 convertibles). At the top end, you’ll find more powerful hardware and higher-res displays.

Because laptops come with different screen sizes, processor types, and other options, buying one can be confusing. However, the basic steps in purchasing a laptop are relatively simple. To buy a business laptop:

  1. Decide how you will use the laptop
  2. Pick an operating system
  3. Choose the screen size and resolution
  4. Choose the processor, storage, and memory
  5. Select a manufacturer

When buying a business laptop (or any laptop), according to Avi Greengart, founder and lead analyst at the consultancy Techsponential, it’s important to first consider what you will be using it for. Business laptops typically need to handle documents, email, video meetings, and web browsing. They must connect seamlessly to a company’s intranet and cloud-based servers, and most importantly, be remotely managed and secured by an IT department. Business laptops tend to be upgraded only every three to four years once a company has fully depreciated them for tax deductions. As for manufacturer, this is less of a consideration. Research firm Gartner reports that the top four in terms of U.S. market share in the first quarter of 2022 were Dell, HP, and Lenovo. However, many other brands sell perfectly fine business laptops as well.

Our Best Business Laptops of 2022 rating doesn’t include laptops with dedicated graphics processors or displays larger than 14 inches. Those machines cost more and are better suited for more demanding photography, design, and video tasks like gaming. Instead, our picks for the best business laptops combine the quickest speed at the best value.

Every Windows laptop comes with either Windows 10 or Windows 11. While you will have to decide which version works best for your organization, upgrading to the Professional edition is required to deploy all of the enterprise-based security features. Look for a business laptop with at least a 256 GB SSD, 8 GB of memory, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, at least two USB-C ports, and either Intel or AMD Ryzen quad-core processors that can reach peak speeds above 3.0 GHz. Also look for a display with at least 1,920 x 1,200 resolution for crisp viewing and a weight of around 3 pounds or less so the machine won’t weigh you down. Upgraded models have brighter, more color-accurate displays in higher resolutions. Top-of-the-line business laptops have features like touch screens and stylus pens, which may be useful in creative fields.

Apple laptops share many features with Windows-based machines but often have significantly faster CPUs and longer battery life. However, you won’t find touch screens or 2-in-1 designs.

Best Business Laptops Specifications

MacBook Pro 13-inch (2020) »
Operating System macOS
Processor Apple M1
Screen Size 13.3”
Storage 256 GB – 2 TB
Fingerprint Reader
Touch Screen
MacBook Air M1 (2020) »
Operating System macOS
Processor Apple M1
Screen Size 13.3”
Storage 256 GB-2 TB
Fingerprint Reader
Touch Screen
Dell XPS 13 »
Operating System Windows 11 Home
Processor 11th Gen Intel Core i5-1135G7
Screen Size 13.4”
Storage 256 GB – 2 TB
Fingerprint Reader
Touch Screen
Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio »
Operating System Windows 11 Home
Processor Quad-core 11th Gen Intel Core H35 i5-11300H
Screen Size 14.4”
Storage 256 GB – 2 TB
Fingerprint Reader
Touch Screen
Acer Swift 3 »
Operating System Windows 10 Home
Processor Intel Core i5-1035G4
Screen Size 13.5”
Storage 256 GB – 512 GB
Fingerprint Reader
Touch Screen
MacBook Pro 13-inch (2020) » Company
macOS Operating System
Apple M1 Processor
13.3” Screen Size
256 GB – 2 TB Storage
Fingerprint Reader
Touch Screen
MacBook Air M1 (2020) » Company
macOS Operating System
Apple M1 Processor
13.3” Screen Size
256 GB-2 TB Storage
Fingerprint Reader
Touch Screen
Dell XPS 13 » Company
Windows 11 Home Operating System
11th Gen Intel Core i5-1135G7 Processor
13.4” Screen Size
256 GB – 2 TB Storage
Fingerprint Reader
Touch Screen
Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio » Company
Windows 11 Home Operating System
Quad-core 11th Gen Intel Core H35 i5-11300H Processor
14.4” Screen Size
256 GB – 2 TB Storage
Fingerprint Reader
Touch Screen
Acer Swift 3 » Company
Windows 10 Home Operating System
Intel Core i5-1035G4 Processor
13.5” Screen Size
256 GB – 512 GB Storage
Fingerprint Reader
Touch Screen
Lenovo Yoga 9i » Company
Windows 11 Home Operating System
11th Generation Intel Core i5-1135G7 Processor
14.0” Screen Size
256 GB – 1 TB Storage
Fingerprint Reader
Touch Screen

There are several types of laptops that are best suited for different users. These include:

Traditional laptops: From small to large, these laptops are meant for consumers in all price ranges. They can be ultraportable or a desktop replacement with all the best features. Screen size, performance, and battery life ultimately determine their intended use.

2-in-1 laptops: Sold in 13- to 15-inch screen sizes, these laptops have screens that can rotate a full 360 degrees. They offer multiple working positions and unique ways to interact with content, such as by touch screen or stylus pen. They are among the most stylish laptops, too.

Business laptops: Business laptops need to be fast enough to last for several years but not too fancy. They used to be very utilitarian, but now some of the best choices for businesses are from the traditional laptop market. Security features such as fingerprint readers and enterprise-level management are essential in this segment.

Chromebooks: Chromebooks run Google’s Chrome OS and store most or all of their data in the cloud. These machines are quite affordable and often cost less than $400, making them suitable as a child’s laptop or a secondary machine for a home or business. However, they are slower and have less functionality than other types of laptops.

Gaming laptops: Gamers demand the highest frame rates and fastest processors available. Gaming laptops thus have dedicated graphics chipsets with 4 to 8 GB of video memory, displays that can refresh much faster than other laptops, and the quickest SSDs and memory configurations. Gaming laptops are also an excellent choice for video editing. However, they can cost upwards of $3,000.

Best Laptops of 2022

Other Guides from 360 Reviews

Why You Can Trust Us: 58 Laptops Researched

At U.S. News & World Report, we rank the Best Hospitals, Best Colleges, and Best Cars to guide readers through some of life’s most complicated decisions. Our 360 Reviews team draws on this same unbiased approach to rate the products that you use every day. To build our ratings, we researched more than 58 laptop companies and analyzed 17 laptop reviews. Our 360 Reviews team does not take samples, gifts, or loans of products or services we review. All sample products provided for review are donated after review. In addition, we maintain a separate business team that has no influence over our methodology or recommendations.

The following describes our 360 approach to researching and analyzing laptops to guide prospective consumers.

1. We researched the companies and products people care most about.

U.S. News analyzed a variety of publicly available data to determine which laptops and tech companies consumers are most interested in. We then compared them across several different rating sources. We found 58 laptop models that stand out in terms of consumer interest, then we narrowed them down to the models that provide the best customer experience. The models we ranked were available as of 12/29/2021.

After researching the most important criteria for people shopping for a laptop, we compared the available laptops across several attributes, including cost, design, features, size, and more, to create subcategories for consumers with specific interests. For college students, we focused on laptops with the best value and portability. Other subcategories were based on style and operating system.

2. We created objective 360 Overall Ratings based on an analysis of third-party reviews.

U.S. News’ 360 Reviews team applied an unbiased methodology that includes opinions from professional reviews as well as consumer reviews.

Our scoring methodology is based on a composite analysis of the ratings and reviews published by credible third-party professional and consumer review sources. The ratings are not based on personal opinions or experiences of U.S. News. To calculate the ratings:

(a) We compiled two types of third-party ratings and reviews:

  • Professional Ratings and Reviews. Many independent tech product-evaluating sources have published their assessments of laptops online. We consider several of these third-party reviews to be reputable and well-researched. However, professional reviewers often make recommendations that contradict one another. Rather than relying on a single source, U.S. News believes consumers benefit most when these opinions and recommendations are considered and analyzed collectively with an objective, consensus-based methodology.
  • Consumer Ratings and Reviews. U.S. News also reviewed published consumer ratings and reviews of laptops. Sources with a sufficient number of quality consumer ratings and reviews were included in our scoring model.

Please note that not all professional and consumer rating sources met our criteria for objectivity. Therefore, some sources were excluded from our model.

(b) We standardized the inputs to create a common scale.

The third-party review source data were collected in a variety of forms, including ratings, recommendations, and accolades. Before including each third-party data point into our scoring equation, we had to standardize it so that it could be compared accurately with data points from other review sources. We used the scoring methodology described below to convert these systems to a comparable scale.

The 360 scoring process first converted each third-party rating into a common 0 to 5 scale. To balance the distribution of scores within each source’s scale, we used a standard deviation (or Z-Score) calculation to determine how each company’s score compared to the source’s mean score. We then used the Z-Score to create a standardized U.S. News score using the method outlined below:

  • Calculating the Z-Score: The Z-Score represents a data point’s relation to the mean measurement of the data set. The Z-Score is negative when the data point is below the mean and positive when it’s above the mean; a Z-Score of 0 means it’s equal to the mean. To determine the Z-Score for each third-party rating of a company, we calculated the mean of the ratings across all companies evaluated by that third-party source. We then subtracted the mean from the company’s rating and divided it by the standard deviation to produce the Z-Score.
  • Calculating the T-Score: We used a T-Score calculation to convert the Z-Score to a 0-100 scale by multiplying the Z-Score by 10. To ensure that the mean was equal across all data points, we added our desired scoring mean (between 0 and 10) to the T-Score to create an adjusted T-Score.
  • Calculating the common-scale rating: We divided the adjusted T-Score, which is on a 100-point scale, by 20 to convert the third-party rating to a common 0-5 point system.

(c) We calculated the 360 Overall Score based on a weighted-average model.

We assigned “source weights” to each source used in the consensus scoring model based on our assessment of how much the source is trusted and recognized by consumers and how much its published review process indicates that it is both comprehensive and editorially independent. The source weights are assigned on a 1-5 scale. Any source with an assigned weight less than two was excluded from the consensus scoring model.

Finally, we combined the converted third-party data points using a weighted average formula based on source weight. This formula calculated the consensus score for each product, which we call the 360 Overall Rating.

U.S. News 360 Reviews takes an unbiased approach to our recommendations. When you use our links to buy products, we may earn a commission but that in no way affects our editorial independence.



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