The Best Business Laptops: Work Laptops Under $1,000

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The Best Business Laptop, Based on Business Need

Here’s the question: Given that we’ve now blurred the lines between what is, and what is not, a work device, is there even such a thing as a business laptop anymore? It’s not like work only happens on a computer: You use your smartphone, your tablet – heck, some of you might even be using Alexa™.

And yet, when it comes to laptops, people who use laptops for work really do have distinct needs and priorities from people who don’t. The reason is glaringly obvious when you think about it. Work computers aren’t just devices for sending email, surfing the web, or watching YouTube; they’re the critical tools you rely on to do your job. So if you need a machine that can edit hundreds of hours of digital video, you need it to do that job reliably, day after day. If you need a business laptop to take you from meeting to meeting, without any opportunities to plug-in for charging, you don’t just need good battery life – you need outstanding battery life.

With that distinction in mind, we’ve assembled a carefully curated list of the best business laptops, based on your business needs.

The best business laptop for travel

When it comes to traveling with a laptop, few things matter more than battery life. Not all seats on planes have their own power outlets, and if you’ve ever waited for a flight in a busy lounge, you know these receptacles are in constant demand. That’s why we built the ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 7 with an astonishing 15.5-hour battery life. That’s enough to get you from New York to Taipei, assuming you can stay awake! But even if you do find yourself running low, one hour is enough to get you back up to 80% battery life.

The other commodity that can be tough to come by when traveling is Wi-Fi. With an optional LTE-A mobile data module, the X1 Carbon becomes its own fully independent communication platform, able to operate in over 90 countries.

Traveling can be tough on you, and even tougher on your laptop. Flimsy construction, cheap materials and inadequate protection from bumps and spills easily eliminate the majority of laptops from being truly travel worthy. That’s why we ensure the X1 Carbon meets 12 military-grade requirements and subject it to more than 200 durability tests. Go ahead and hit the road, but bring a laptop that can take a hit.

Oh, did we mention it’s awesome for movies? Yup, the X1 Carbon is the first PC that can be ordered with Dolby® Vision™ High Dynamic Range (HDR) technology. If you’ve never seen HDR content on an HDR-capable display, you will be blown away. The extra levels of color, brightness and contrast make videos and photos incredibly lifelike. Don’t be surprised if your fellow travelers stop and stare.

The best business laptop for under $1,000

As much as we’d all like to say that money’s no object when it comes to our work computers, you can’t always spend as much as you’d like. But what if there was a business laptop that offered you every productivity tool you needed, in a small, lightweight design, and could also double as a tablet, for less than $1,000? Starting at $709.99, that describes the Lenovo Yoga C740 15” perfectly. With a premium 2-in-1 design and a brilliant FHD touchscreen, the Yoga C740 switches seamlessly from tablet to laptop, offering the best of both worlds.

Typically, laptops aren't the easiest machines to upgrade. That all changes when you add a USB-C port, and fortunately, the Yoga C740 has two of them. You can connect 4K displays, external graphics cards, and solid-state storage without having to get under the hood. Not that the Yoga C740 needs these extras. With integrated Intel® UHD graphics, a Dolby Atmos™ speaker system, and up to 1TB SSD, this 2-in-1 powerhouse can tackle anything from HD video conferences to cutting-edge gameplay.

The best business laptop for processor-intensive computing

If you typically run very demanding software packages, like CAD for architecture or engineering, you probably don’t have the luxury of staying in the office and using a dedicated workstation. When the client calls, that’s your cue to go—and your work has to go with you. So we developed the ThinkPad P53s Mobile Workstation, a high-performance laptop that sports NVIDIA® Quadro® P500 2GB graphics, and up to 8th Generation Intel® Core™ i7-8665U with vPro™ CPU (1.90GHz, up to 4.80GHz with Turbo Boost, 4 Cores, 8MB Cache).

Want to expand your rig? You can connect almost any peripheral imaginable with the USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C / Intel Thunderbolt 3 port. Depending on your needs, you can also build a custom ThinkPad P53s with a 4K screen, up to 48GB DDR4 RAM, and a massive 2TB solid state drive for the ultimate in portable performance.

That kind of power doesn't last very long without an equally powerful battery, so it's got that, too. With the built-in 57Wh battery, you can enjoy up to 15 hours of battery life. And if you're using a 65W AC adapter, you can take advantage of Lenovo's Rapid Charge technology to add up to 11 hours on a single one-hour charge. Like magic.

The best business laptop for everyday computing

Sometimes, all you need is a laptop that just gets things done, at a price that keeps the accounting department happy – especially when you’re the accounting department (and CEO, and CMO…). With a focus on performance and durability, the Lenovo ThinkPad E590 is a powerful Windows 10 laptop that excels on every front, and it starts at only $769.30. This serious business machine comes complete with an 8th Gen Intel® Core™ i3 CPU and integrated Intel® UHD Graphics 620. It has a full complement of ports including USB Type-C, two USB 3.1, and HDMI, with up to 11-hour battery life using our Rapid Charge technology. You can stay productive anywhere on land, sea, and air, without compromising on performance.

With configurations that include up to 8th Generation Intel® Core™ i5-8265U CPU (1.60GHz, up to 3.90GHz with Turbo Boost, 4 cores, 6MB Cache), 32GB of DDR4 RAM, and a 1TB hard drive, there are plenty of ways to customize your E590.

And because it's a ThinkPad, you can be sure this laptop has superb construction and longevity, a full-size keyboard, and robust security features (including an optional fingerprint reader). All told, it's a joy to do business with an E590.

The best for business

If we didn’t cover your particular needs with this list, don’t worry. We know that every business is unique, and every business person has a distinct set of criteria for their laptop. That’s why Lenovo has over 50 laptop models to choose from, each with its own strengths, but all of them are customizable so you get exactly the machine you want. You can even choose your operating system: Most of our laptops feature Microsoft Windows 10, because it’s the gold standard for business computing, but it’s not the only option. Our Lenovo ThinkPad and IdeaPad Chromebooks run Google’s Chrome OS, and let you download compatible apps from the Google Play app store.

Chromebooks are ultralight, and are secure by design thanks to their cloud-based OS. For businesses that run highly collaborative teams, and don’t need the full application support of a Windows laptop, Chromebooks can be the perfect solution.

Upgrade to a Windows 10 PC

If you’re still running Windows 7 on your business laptop, now’s the time to upgrade. Microsoft has decided to phase out Windows 7 entirely, so they're not patching it with any more security updates. That means your Windows 7 laptop is vulnerable to viruses and hackers who want to steal your data. Even though you can still use Windows 7, we highly recommend you update to Windows 10 to stay protected.

Upgrading your OS is easy with Windows, and your business data will transfer over smoothly. Make sure to back up your data on an external hard drive before upgrading, though, just in case. We recommend Windows 10 over earlier versions because it’s the latest OS, and Microsoft is actively improving it all the time. Your business deserves robust security and the latest software updates.

To run Windows 10 smoothly, you’ll need a business laptop with at least a 2GHz processor and 4GB of RAM. Some Windows 7 laptops won’t have the power to run 10, so in that case, it might be time to upgrade to a new PC. The Lenovo ThinkPad laptop line consistently ranks as one of the best business PCs on the market, and every new ThinkPad comes equipped with Windows 10. Meanwhile, our ThinkBook laptop series is a sleek and affordable alternative for everyday business tasks. These Windows 10 laptops can help take your business to new heights.

Your business needs technology to run, but you don’t want to be constantly worrying about your technology. We get that. With a Lenovo laptop that’s built for business, your technology just became one less worry.

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