Whether you are a small business owner who needs a laptop for business and personal use or you are a student who wants a machine to take it to your college, if you’re looking for a laptop that is practical for business activities such as accounting, finance analytics, stock trading, creating invoices using Excel, etc., then you are at the right place.
Unlike a gamer, data scientist, ML enthusiast, or 3D modeler, a business student should not aim for high-end specs like Intel Core i9, 32GB RAM, high-end RTX-series GPU, etc. However, the laptop should include some of the additional features that are highly suitable for business-related work.
Who Needs a Business Laptop & Why?
- A business student: you’ll be tossing these machines from bag to desk to presentation rooms which means they have to be sturdy without being ugly and bulky.
- A small/medium business owner: You’ll need a laptop to create invoices, print receipts, using QuickBooks, managing online websites, analyzing business activities, maintaining stock etc.
- A home-based business owner: Do you run a business based out of home? You don’t just need a laptop for business purposes, but you’ll also need to rely on it to get customers (unless you have a solid name in the offline market.)
- An eBay & Amazon Business Owner: Do you run a store on eBay? Do you want to know the number of items that were ordered and want to ship them accordingly? You can do these tasks on any laptop or even a smartphone but why just settle with any random laptop, when you can get the one that’s recommended by top eBay store owners.
We interviewed 83 students from 31 colleges of MBA studies and other business study programmes. We asked them for things that mattered the most in their laptops so that you don’t have to go through the issues or problems they ran into.
- Minimum & Recommended System Requirements
- 10 Best Business Laptops in 2021
- 1. Best Overall: ASUS VivoBook K571
- 2. Best Runner Up: Lenovo X1 Carbon
- 3. Best for Students: Acer Aspire 5
- 4. Best with MacOS: Apple MacBook Pro
- 5. Best from Dell: Dell XPS 9360
- 6. Best 2-in-1 Laptop: Lenovo Flex 14
- 7. Best Budget Laptop: Microsoft Surface Pro 6
- 8. Best with 3K Display: Huawei MateBook X Pro
- 9. Best Chromebook: Samsung Chromebook Plus V2
- 10. Cheapest Option: Asus Chromebook Flip
- Frequently Asked Questions
Minimum & Recommended System Requirements
|Minimum System Requirements||Recommended System Requirements|
|CPU||8th Gen Intel Core i5||9th Gen Intel Core i7|
|Storage||256GB SSD||512GB SSD|
|Display||13.3-inch FHD (1920 x 1080)||15.6-inch FHD IPS (1920 x 1080)|
|GPU||Integrated Intel HD Graphics||Integrated Intel UHD / Iris Plus Graphics|
|Battery||Up to 5 hours||Up to 8 hours|
Trust us with the requirements? Jump to the list!
We also discussed the opinions with 15 business execs who are part of successful small & medium businesses. On combining the results from students and execs, we began researching for the laptops that matched all the criteria mentioned and came across 36 different laptops that matched them well.
We then found out a few top-rated eBay stores with huge sales, we contacted 17 of them, and luckily 12 of them responded, and after interviewing them, we found out that they need a laptop.
We browsed the internet to determine if the machines had overheating problems or other problems that could affect the performance. After checking out 70+ forums and 120+ videos, we removed the models that weren’t up to the mark so that you don’t see a shitty product in this list.
10 Best Business Laptops in 2021
|ASUS VivoBook K571|
|Lenovo X1 Carbon|
|Acer Aspire 5|
|Apple MacBook Pro|
|Dell XPS 9360|
|Lenovo Flex 14|
|Microsoft Surface Pro 6|
|Huawei MateBook X Pro|
|Samsung Chromebook Plus V2|
|Asus Chromebook Flip|
The specifications of a laptop for a business student might match with a mid-tier laptop. However, it does has to have certain qualities to qualify as a business laptop.
Everyone has a different budget for a laptop. That’s why we’ve divided this list into 3 parts, the machines that are ranked between 1-5 are high-value (high performance), the ones between 6-8 are mid-tier performance (budget choices), 9-10 are cheap machines that could do the business tasks.
1. Best Overall: ASUS VivoBook K571
Asus puts Vivobook K571 as a combination that takes care of your productivity and entertainment. It fits the requirements of students and small businesses by merging processing power and storage. The HDD and SSD’s offer a blend of fast data accessibility and abundance of storage.
The 10th Gen processor (Intel Core i7-10750H) comes with a higher base speed of 2.6GHz and a maximum clocking speed of 4.5GHz. The NVIDIA GTX 1650 GPU and the i7 processor make this a solid processing unit. It can handle graphics-intensive photo/video editing applications, mid-level games, and management software.
One highlight of this VivoBook series laptop is the storage solution of 256GB SSD and 1TB HDD that gives sufficient space without compromising the data access speeds. The 16GB RAM offers ample system memory to keep the operations smooth. The Windows 10 Home comes pre-installed in this edition, but a pro-edition would have been a valuable addition for small businesses.
The 15.6-inch screen can deliver visuals at a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. The FHD screen is driven by IPS technology, has a 120Hz refresh rate, and gives brilliant visuals with an 80% screen-to-body ratio and 178 wide-view display. The display falls under the control of integrated graphics, giving limited control over graphics settings.
Asus packs a full-sized backlit keyboard with a dedicated numeric keypad with an adjustable backlight. The panel accommodates a standard size touchpad. The panel has a plastic body that leaves a feeling of fragility.
Weighing 4.72 lbs, the laptop leans to the heavier side. The star-black design gives a classic look. The Vivobook comes with four USB ports (one USB 3.0 Type-C, one USB 3.0 Type-A, two USB 2.0 Type-A), an ethernet port, and an HDMI 2.0 port, an SD media card reader, and a 3.5mm audio jack. The laptop has Wi-Fi 5 and Bluetooth in terms of wireless connectivity.
ASUS comes with a three-cell 42Wh battery that offers a backup of 5 hours. The Vivobook synthesizes processing power and a mix of SSD and HDD, making it a viable option for managing small businesses.
- Hexa-core Processor
- Wide-view display
- HDD. & SSD storage
- Adjustable back-light
- Extensive connectivity
- Fingerprint/Dust magnet
- Heating issues
2. Best Runner Up: Lenovo X1 Carbon
Whether you need a laptop that you can take to your college or want a machine for your small/medium business management purpose. It has everything that a business student or an owner would be looking for in their machine!
Lenovo X series of laptops are known as high-performance devices with the impeccable build quality, and the Lenovo X1 Carbon 6th Gen fits right into the series. The laptop offers a superior build quality that looks classy, and any business student and the owner will definitely appreciate the fit and finish of the product.
The Lenovo X1 Carbon 6th Gen features a typical 14-inch IPS display with 1920 x 1080p resolution. On paper, the display on the laptop might look simple, however, the company is using a high-quality LCD panel on this laptop with a higher amount of brightness and accurate color reproductions, which are some of the factors a business student might appreciate while editing photos or videos.
It is powered by the 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8550U quad-core CPU with Intel UHD 620 GPU. It offers a peak CPU clock speed of 1.8GHz and can even handle some high-fidelity apps that a business owner or student like you would want to use. Thanks to 256GB SSD, the device boots up in no time, and 16GB RAM makes sure that a business student can open multiple apps at the same time without any issue.
On a single charge, the Lenovo X1 Carbon 6th Generation Ultrabook can last up to 6 hours and it also supports fast charging. Most high-performance laptops weigh more and this laptop weighs just 2.6 pounds, which makes it lighter than the Apple MacBook Pro.
- Amazing Design
- Super Lightweight
- High-Performance CPU
- Less battery life
- Old Bluetooth version
3. Best for Students: Acer Aspire 5
The Acer Aspire 5, as the name suggests is a thin laptop that still manages to all the ports that a business student might require. The laptop has a 15.6-inch IPS display with 1080p resolution and the thin bezels across the screen do reduce the overall footprint of the laptop.
The laptop is powered by the 8th Gen Intel Core i5-1035G1 processor, which is a quad-core processor with eight threads with an NVIDIA GeForce MX350 graphics card that can handle graphic designing, music editing, podcasting, and more.
By default, the laptop offers 8GB RAM, which should be good enough for normal usage. However, it does have an additional RAM slot, which can be used to upgrade double the amount of RAM. Similarly, the laptop has 512GB M.2 SSD that is quick and consumes less power compared to a hard disk that comes with most of the laptops. Users can either upgrade this SSD or can use a pen drive or an external hard disk via the USB port to get study materials from another device and it also has a full-sized HDMI port.
The Acer Aspire 5 also comes with a big battery, which can last up to 8 hours on a single charge. Even in terms of connectivity, the laptop includes a super-fast WiFi card with support for both 2.4GHz and 5GHz WiFi networks, offering gigabit-class download speeds. Finally, the laptop weighs 3.97 lbs and is slightly on the heavier side.
- Thin and portable design
- Affordable pricing
- Discrete graphics support
- Adequate storage space
- 10th Gen processor
- Enough ports for connectivity
- WiFi 6 support
- No fingerprint reader
- Low base clock speed
4. Best with MacOS: Apple MacBook Pro
Apple Macbooks have their own fan base at college campuses and business students will definitely love the new 13-inch MacBook Pro, which is now thin and powerful and costs almost the same compared to its predecessor. But it’s not just limited to students alone, a lot of known businesses consider using Apple machines as they are highly reliable and powerful.
Besides, the Apple MacBook Machines definitely set a benchmark on how a laptop should look and the device is filled with plenty of user-friendly features such as trackpad gestures, screenshot options, spotlight to make searching files faster, etc.
The new Apple MacBook Pro comes with a retina display with a native resolution of 2560 x 1600 and a pixel density of 227ppi, making it one of the best 13-inch laptops. Having a display with a higher pixel count will improve the multi-media user experience, for any user including law students, journalists, doctors, will accept it.
This model comes with a touch bar instead of physical function keys and also includes a fingerprint sensor for biometric authentication to help small/medium business owners secure important files and data.
The MacBook is powered by the latest 8-core M1 processor with a peak clock speed of 3.2GHz. This machine offers 8GB of RAM, which is aplenty in the macOS ecosystem and not to mention the superfast built-in SSD. However, neither the storage nor the RAM on this laptop is user upgradable.
According to Apple, the new MacBook Pro can last up to 10 hours on a single charge and it now comes with two Thunderbolt / USB 4 ports. Anyone of the port can be used to charge the laptop using the 61W charging adapter that comes in the retail package.
Lastly, the laptop 3.00 lbs and even every commuter student who attends business school can easily carry this machine without considering it as a burden.
- Amazing Display
- Touch ID
- Fast SSD storage
- Fluid macOS
- Only 2 USB ports
5. Best from Dell: Dell XPS 9360
Dell XPS was one of the first bezel-less laptops in the world, and the company has been improvising the same over the years. The Dell XPS 9360 is the latest laptop from the XPS series, and it looks like it was designed for business students.
A business student prefers a compact laptop, and this XPS has a 13-inch display with 1920 x 1080p resolution and the company is using an IGZO2 panel, which offers a wide viewing angle of 170 degrees. Thanks to very minimal bezel-less, it is much compact compared to a typical 13-inch laptop and almost feels like a 12-inch laptop. A business student will definitely enjoy this almost no-compromise design, especially for its display and form factor.
The laptop is based on an 8th Gen Intel Core-i5 8250U CPU with an integrated Intel UHD 620 GPU. The CPU can crank up to 3.4GHz if required and 8GB of RAM ensures that the laptop can keep most of the apps in memory. As it uses 256GB SSD based storage, the laptop can turn on in under 10 seconds and loads the app in seconds.
The laptop can offer a staggering 11 hours of battery life on a single charge and the battery can be refilled quickly, thanks to fast charging support. Though it just weighs 2.7 lbs, it still manages to include a dual full-sized USB port and an SD card slot, which makes it easy for business students to transfer files locally.
- Minimal Bezel Design
- Battery Life
- Build Quality
- No HDMI Port
- DDR3 RAM
6. Best 2-in-1 Laptop: Lenovo Flex 14
The Lenovo Flex 14 Convertible laptop is quite different, as this machine is based on an AMD Ryzen chipset. The laptop is powered by the AMD Ryzen 5 3500U quad-core CPU with a maximum clock speed of 2.1GHz and is capable of running Microsoft Office and all the other softwares a business student might use.
The chipset comes with a built-in Radeon Vega 8 GPU, which is capable of handling graphics-intensive tasks. The laptop has a 14-inch display, offering 1920 X 1080p resolution in a thin and compact form factor. It also supports touch input and pen input. Unlike a few offerings, Lenovo includes the pen in the retail package, which further sweetens the deal.
The laptop runs on Windows 10 OS and supports all sorts of softwares from Microsoft office suites to other professional packages that a business student might use. The screen is 360 degrees rotatable, which makes it easy to use in a tablet form-factor if required and it is also light in weight with just 3.52 lbs, making it easy to carry, always.
Most of the laptops with touch screen skimp on ports and the Lenovo Flex 14 2-in-1 Convertible laptop is an except as it has a full-sized USB-A port, HDMI port, a USB Type-C port, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. As per the RAM and storage, the laptop offers 8GB DDR4 RAM and 256GB SSD based storage and this combination of RAM and storage will make this machine powerful and the device cold boots within seconds.
Overall, the Lenovo Flex 14 2-in-1 Convertible laptop has everything that a business student might look for. A powerful and premium looking machine while giving presentations, and a youthful laptop with 8 hours of battery life that can easily last an entire college day and support for fast charging is just an added bonus.
- Compact Design
- Touch Display with thin bezels
- Free Touch Pen
- Slightly Lower Clocked CPU
- Subpar trackpad
7. Best Budget Laptop: Microsoft Surface Pro 6
The Microsoft Surface Pro 6 is a great example of a 2-in-1 Windows OS powered machine and a great companion for a business student. It has the right mix of hardware that a laptop of this kind should have and it is easily one of the best looking convertibles with the amazing build quality.
Connect the signature type cover, it becomes a laptop, remove it, and no one will be able to guess this is a laptop. It has a 12.3-inch touch supported display. A QHD IPS display with a maximum resolution of 2736 x 1824 pixels. There is no match for this machine’s touch input response, and a business student will surely enjoy this laptop for several factors. For one, it is easy to carry, and it is a laptop from a brand that has pioneered computer OS over the last few decades.
Though it is a tablet-style laptop (without the cover), it is still powered by one of the best mid-tier chipsets from Intel – the Intel Core i5 8400T, which is a six-core processor with a turbo speed of up to 3.3GHz and an Intel UHD 630 GPU. Combined with 8GB RAM, the laptop slides most of the tasks like making a presentation or researching a seminar topic.
One of the caveats of the Microsoft Surface Pro 6 is the fact that it just comes with 128GB of internal storage and it is not upgradable. This means, one has to use an external storage device and the laptop does have a USB port to do so.
Another interesting aspect of this laptop is battery life, the laptop can last up to 13.5 hours on a single charge, and most business students can use this device for two continuous days on a single charge without any issue, and it is also light with just 3.15 lbs.
- Amazing 2K Display
- Good Battery Life
- Premium Build Quality
- Expensive Accessories
- Tough to repair
8. Best with 3K Display: Huawei MateBook X Pro
The Huawei MateBook X Pro Signature Edition is a high-end laptop that is tailored for business students and accountants. This is a perfect machine for those who require high-fidelity hardware in slim and stylish looks.
This is also one of the first laptops in the world to feature a 3K LCD panel with a resolution of 3000 x 2000px and a 91% screen-to-body ratio. The three sides of the display have almost no bezels, and the company is smartly using the bottom bezel to include its logo.
The high-resolution screen will make sure that your graphs and pie charts look crisp and colorful. The Huawei MateBook X Pro Signature Edition is also a great machine for those who binge a lot, as it comes with Dolby Atmos Surround Sound System. This full metal unibody device weighs 2.93 lbs, which goes light on users’ backs and bags.
A business student might have to attend Zoom calls or online business conferences and this one has a web-camera hidden under one of the keyboards, which makes this machine a great one for privacy-conscious minds. This machine can last up to 12 hours on a single day, and most of the laptops in this class can’t even offer half the battery life compared to the MateBook X Pro Signature Edition is offering.
It is powered by an 8th Gen Intel Core i5-8250U, which is a powerful and power-efficient 3.4GHz processor with an integrated UHD 620 GPU. This is a quad-core CPU based on 14nm fabrication that can do almost any task that you throw at it with ease and it is hard to hear the fans spinning even while doing high-fidelity tasks like computing the problem in Microsoft Excel.
The laptop comes with 8GB RAM, which should be good enough to run most of the apps. The device also has 256GB high-speed SSD based storage that helps with device boot speed and app launch times. SSD also makes it easy to copy big files as well.
After spending a lot of money, a business student might have to spill some more to get Microsoft Office software. If you are buying this machine, then, you will also get a free version of Windows Office 365 personal as a complimentary deal.
- Premium Design
- High-Resolution Display
- Privacy Oriented
- Slim And Light
- Non-Upgradable Storage
- DDR3 Memory Instead Of DDR4
9. Best Chromebook: Samsung Chromebook Plus V2
Samsung is one of the few brands that has been launching Chromebooks for a long time. The company’s latest offering – the Chromebook Plus V2 from Samsung is such a device that brings in all the goodness from Samsung smartphones to a laptop. The Chromebook Plus V2 has a 13MP camera and an S-Pen, that can be used to accurately sketch or draw.
The laptop has a 12.2-inch display with an almost FHD (1900 x 1200) resolution display, protected by tempered glass. This is a touch display and the laptop also offers a large trackpad, for those who like to use this laptop in an old-school way. This is a great laptop for Business students, as they can easily take notes using the S-Pen and can save everything on the cloud.
Though the device just has 64GB storage, it does come with a microSD card slot that can be used to store local files. 4GB RAM should be sufficient, as all the tasks on this laptop will be done via the web browser. The Intel Celeron, which is an entry-level processor with 1.5GHz clock speed with Intel HD 615 GPU can handle most of the tasks, where users can also download Android apps directly from the Google Play Store as well.
On a single charge, the laptop can last up to 10 hours and a business student can complete a day roaming around the campus, without worrying about the battery life or feeling it heavy, as it is well under 3 lbs (2.98lbs).
- 13MP Camera
- Limited Storage
10. Cheapest Option: Asus Chromebook Flip
The Asus Chromebook Flip is not an ordinary laptop, as it is powered by ChromeOS and a tailormade device for business students. It is one of the lightest laptops, which makes it easy to carry for students wherever they go.
Being a Chromebook does have its advantage, compared to a Windows OS powered computer, a Chromebook, in this case, Asus Chromebook Flip does offer better battery life and it can last up to 10 hours on a single charge.
As the name suggests, it is a Flip style laptop with a 12.5-inch touch display and 1920 x 1080 max pixel resolution. And the device can be used as a laptop or a tablet as it comes with a 360-degree hinge. Though it doesn’t have thin bezels, it still looks premium with a flushed-in type LCD panel, which is color accurate.
The Intel Core m3 is a power-efficient dual-core processor, made for ultrabooks. Though it is not that powerful compared to an Intel Core i series chipset, it is designed for laptops and notebooks with a fanless design with the built-in Intel HD 515 GPU that runs at 850MHz.
Coming to I/O, the laptop has a multi-purpose USB Type-C port, that can accept all sorts of USB Type-C based peripherals. It also has an embedded display port, with a proper dongle (VGA or HDMI) you can project your Business presentation to your class without much of a fuss. One of the fascinating facts about this machine is its weight, with just 2.65lbs weight, it is easy to carry on a backpack or a sling bag.
The laptop can easily play two to three movies on the go, which is a great feature for exchange program business students, who travel a lot. Thanks to the 64GB SSD, this machine will be quick to boot and load apps in no time, and it also has a microSD card slot for additional storage expansion.
The Asus Chromebook Flip combines the power of a great keyboard with 1.4mm travel, an accurate trackpad, and a touch display in a single device, making it easy to create presentations on services like Google Slides.
- Compact Touch Display
- 360-degree Hinge
- Amazing Battery Life
- Light in Weight
- Good Looking
- Limited amount of storage
- Lack of ports
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best-rated laptop for business students?
All the ten models that we have mentioned in the list are the best possible laptops that a business student can buy. Business students with budget constraints can opt for models like the Samsung Chromebook. Similarly, those who want the best can get an Apple Mac Pro or the Huawei MateBook X Pro.
Which is the best Lenovo laptop for business students?
The Lenovo X1 Carbon is the best laptop for business students, as it is light, which makes it easy to carry and is packed with a high-end Intel processor with 16GB RAM and 256GB SSD storage.
How much RAM do a business student need?
The Laptop should have a minimum of 4GB RAM, and going for a model with 8GB RAM will further improve the overall user experience. Similarly, one can also get high-end laptops with 16GB RAM, especially for using apps like photoshop.
What makes a business oriented laptop fast?
To begin with the hardware, it should have a quad-core CPU and an SSD based storage that helps the device to boot quickly and load apps quickly.
What are the specifications of a good business laptop?
A Good Business student laptop should have a good display, possibly with touch input, at least 4GB RAM, SSD based storage, and it should be thin and light, which makes it easy to carry from classes to conference halls.
These are some of the best laptops available in the market that will suit a business student. These laptops are in such a way that they offer almost everything a business student might require. On top of that, these laptops are not that expensive and do not become a burden on business students.
As one can see, most of the models that we have suggested come with a touch screen, at least 4GB of RAM and the storage is based on an SSD. A business student can easily use a laptop based on Windows OS, ChromeOS, or macOS.
As stated before, a business student laptop should look good and should be light in weight. Similarly, it should not compromise when it comes to performance, as business students tend to use a lot of software for preparing presentations and wiring essays. If you are a business student and planning to buy a new laptop, then either one of the models from the list should fulfill all the requirements.