Laptops are a necessity for business travellers these days. Tablets and smartphones offer a range of utilities but, for now at least, they still don’t quite compare with laptops. Processing power, storage space, and interface ability in laptops has all made huge leaps over the last few years making them better and more secure than ever to manage your work on the go. But which one is right for you?
Finding a cheap and high quality laptop these days isn’t that hard, but you certainly get what you pay for when springing for the high end models. Though Price isn’t the only deciding factor, for international travel battery life will play an important role in the decision making process, particularly on long journeys with little knowledge of when you’re next opportunity to charge will be.
We took a look at the best business laptops currently on the market and picked our five favourites to help make the decision.
1. HP 255 G5 – £310
The HP 255 G5 is an excellent entry level laptop for your business needs. Its Intel i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB hard drive ensures that you’ll have everything you require for working on the go, and for a substantially lower price than its competitors.
The device has both an SD card slot and a DVD writer which, admittedly, is fairly obsolete these days but remains an option.
Of course, the downsides of the device also tie into its price, for such a low amount you shouldn’t really be expecting anything more than what your standard laptop offers. For higher power and a bit more of a kick you’ll have to spend that little bit more.
The HP 255 G5 is available from £310.
2. HP Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga – £1,775
The HP Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga is the most expensive on the list but if it’s a cutting edge machine with all the trimmings that you’re looking for, then this is the one for you. The Yoga comes with an i7 2.5GHz processor, that can be boosted to 3.1, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB SSD storage.
In a strange twist this more expensive model is lacking an optical drive but, as previously stated, optical drives have become an increasingly outdated mode of data storage and transfer. Another downside is the constant clacking of keys on the underside if you happen to be using it in tablet mode.
However, the 14 inch OLED screen combined with its old school aesthetic complete with red TrackPoint, which seems more for the sake of nostalgia at this point, gives the device an interesting synthesis of classic style and cutting edge tech.
The HP Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga is available from £1,775.
The Kaby Lake is critically acclaimed – find out why on the next page
3. Dell XPS 13 Kaby Lake – £1,150
The Dell XPS 13 Kaby Lake is a critically acclaimed wonder, having won the coveted title of ‘Laptop of the year’ from numerous publications. The ‘ultraportable’, as Dell puts it, laptop is specced with a 2.5GHz Intel Core i5, an Intel HD620, 8GB of RAM, and a 128GB SSD, all of this makes it ideal for working on the go.
However, its poor webcam position makes it slightly less than ideal for conference calls. It’ll do in a pinch, but if you want to maintain your professional look it would probably be more practical to invest in an external camera, something that would add to its already pretty significant price.
There is a cheaper version at £799 that doesn’t come with the touchscreen and with identical specs, so if the asking price is a little high for you then that option may be the best for you.
The Dell XPS 13 Kaby Lake is available from £1,150.
4. HP Elite x2 – £1,099
The HP Elite x2 blurs the line between laptop and tablet and in this case, that’s definitely a good thing. The 12 inch tablet comes with a clip on keyboard, 4GB of ram and a 128GB SSD, which is some serious technology for something of its size.
The only downside is the processing power, the Intel Core m3-6Y30 900MHz is probably more than what you’ll need it for but give it a little pressure and you’ll start to see some significant drawbacks. It’s a steep price to pay on top of this.
If the processing power is something you can live with then business laptops don’t really come much more portable for this. The windows 10 operating system and Bluetooth capability will also ensure that you’ve got everything you need in one convenient package.
The HP Elite x2 is available from £1,099.
5. Acer Chromebook 14 for Work – £400
The Acer Chromebook 14 for work is a sleek and stylish little laptop, with a design not dissimilar from a Macbook Air. This Chrome OS laptop is equipped with a 1.6GHz Intel Celeron, 2 or 4GB of RAM, and up to 32GB of storage. Whilst it’s not one of the most intensive specifications, the machine does come at a significantly lower price.
For a price as low as this it would be foolish to expect much, but the 2GB of RAM is hardly even worth considering, just opening one too many tabs on your browser would be enough to get that laptop chugging.
Thankfully, now that Chrome OS has full Android app support, you’ll never struggle to find the functions you need. The webcam also has a fantastic field of view, better than most high priced devices, so conference calls won’t be a problem for business on the go.
The Acer Chromebook 14 is available from £400.