Business laptops are largely about drab designs and entirely about functionality. At least they were for many years. But the recent crop of laptops, ultrabooks and convertibles is trying to infuse some beauty into these machines made for office use. And they are trying to do it without compromising on performance, security or data privacy.
We select five laptops for enterprises, businesses and professionals on the move.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon
The latest generation X1 Carbon ultrabook runs an Intel Core i5-6300U processor, 8 GB RAM and 256 GB solid-state drive storage. The fast storage read-and-write speed improves performance. Battery life lasts around 10 hours if it’s used as a primary office computing device. The Full HD (1,920x1,080), 14-inch IPS display is not reflective. It weighs 1.1kg, is just 16mm at its thickest point, and has a carbon-fibre-reinforced lid and a magnesium casing.
Dell XPS 13
Dell claims this is the smallest 13-inch laptop. The new design has eliminated the bezels, allowing the 13-inch, Quad HD (3,200x1,800) resolution display to offer edge-to-edge viewing. The XPS 13 is 15mm thick and weighs just 1.18kg. It is, however, quite sturdy—it has been constructed from a single block of aluminium. Dell has bundled 20 GB of cloud storage space on Dropbox, and a whole set of encryption and authentication features to keep data safe.
HP EliteBook Folio
Just 12mm thick and weighing a mere 1kg, this is one of the lightest business laptops you can buy. It runs the Intel Core m5-6Y54 processor with 8 GB RAM, but what makes a big difference is the high-performance, 256 GB solid-state drive, which shortens app-load times and enables better multitasking. The Folio has a 12.5-inch (1,920x1,080 resolution) display. Professionals should pick this for the compact design, comfortable display, excellent keyboard and consistent battery life.
Apple MacBook Pro with Retina Display
This MacBook should be powerful enough for most professionals. It runs the latest MacOS Sierra operating system, Intel Core i5 processor, 8 GB RAM and 128 GB flash storage. The 13.3-inch IPS display has a 2,560x1,600 resolution. It is perhaps the most accurate in terms of colour reproduction. All-day battery life on a single charge is something most Windows laptops have not been able to manage so far—the MacBook Pro is an exception.
Asus Zenbook Flip
This is a genuine convertible PC, with a 360-degree hinge that allows the screen to be pushed all the way back. It runs the ultra-low-power-consuming Intel Core M6Y30 processor, with 4 GB RAM and Windows 10. Professionals and business users might be more interested in the 512 GB flash storage option and the 13.3-inch (1,920x1,080 resolution) display. The aluminium chassis has concentric circles—a trademark design element of Asus laptops.