If you are a business owner or a professional whose job description includes a powerful computer as a must, you’ve probably already looked around to find the best laptop for the work. A desktop computer is also a choice, but if you need to go anywhere at all and can’t be separated from your computer, or let’s be honest, you’re just tired of all the wires and the sheer bulk of the equipment, a laptop is the way to go (and no, tablets will never fully replace the powerful and effective notebooks).
There are literally a dime and a dozen laptops around, mostly in the consumer market, but if you want something that has the best hardware and has gone through extensive testing to ensure it will last for years to come, a business laptop is what you should choose. And below I made a short list of the best business laptops that are currently on the market.
Dell Precision M4600 and M6600. The Precision line of laptops is very well known among business professionals – it’s been the staple of practically every large corporation’s desks at one time or the other and still continues to rule. The latest Mx600 incarnation offers the ultimate performance with NVidia’s or ATi’s best graphics adapters and Intel’s Sandy Bridge processors, as well as a great design, tested by time and proven to hold its own even in the worst environments.
Lenovo ThinkPad W520. Lenovo’s (and formerly IBM’s) ThinkPad line of business laptops has been the leader in durability and reliability for practically as long as it has existed (over 10 years now). It’s still going strong – the latest W520 15.6 inch laptop offers everything you may need, including powerful Core i7 quad core processors and Quadro video adapters (both of which are cooled by the best cooling systems on any laptop), up to 32 GB of RAM, IPS display and more in a durable roll-cage shell with an ergonomic keyboard and touch pad. An added benefit of the ThinkPad series has always been the exterior design, which looks very ascetic and simple, making it very thief-proof.
HP Elitebook 8540w and 8740w. The Elitebook series has gained a lot of popularity with businesses around the world, thanks to the excellent design (the laptops both look well and are durable, made almost fully out of metal) and excellent range of hardware options. The latest series is the 8x60w, but unfortunately, HP went through a complete redesign, creating some pretty unique looking laptops that, although durable, have not been field tested for long, so they can’t really be recommended at the moment. The previous 8x40w line can, however, as it’s the pinnacle of evolution for the design and it still offers a lot of hardware power and features. You can get a fast Core i7 quad core processor, up to 32 GB of RAM, a Quadro 5000 graphics adapter and the beautiful DreamColor 2 IPS display in the top models. The 8740w is also perfect if you are still not ready to move to the 16:9 aspect ratio (which sadly looks like it’s here to stay) – it’s a 16:10 unit and even the basic model looks great.
Dell Precision M6500. What I said about the Elitebook 8740w applies to Dell’s Precision M6500 laptop – it is the previous generation of Precisions, however the 16:10 display make it a worthy purchase for a lot of people (I don’t know about you, but 16:9 looks very weird on a 17 inch laptop). You can get it for relatively cheap now that the M6600 is here, and you still get a lot of power with the first generation Core i7 processors, DDR-1600 RAM (up to 32 GB), and NVidia Quadro or ATi FirePro video adapters. There’s also the option of an RGBLED backlit display, which is almost as good as an IPS and much cheaper.
Toshiba Satellite Pro C650. If you don’t need all the power you can get in a laptop, but want to get the cheapest laptop that is also sure to be reliable for years to come, Toshiba’s Satellite Pro C650 may interest you. It has a simple design, it is pretty thick, it’s made out of plastic, but it’s very sturdy, uses a tested components design (courtesy of Toshiba’s best engineers) has an excellent display and the processor and graphics adapter choices are enough for all purposes except heavy video editing or number crunching. And the price can’t be beat, which is the main attraction point!
There are a lot of laptops around nowadays, but if you want something that will work for a long time and will endure any kind of intensive application or use, the above five-o are your best bet. There’s really not that many business laptops around, and while Asus and Acer have some lines of their own, the above mentioned laptops have proven to be the most stable and reliable.