Notebookcheck's Top 10 Premium Office/Business Notebooks

Redaktion (translated by Martina Osztovits), 04/08/2014

April 2014 update. Here you will find the best office/business notebooks reviewed by Notebookcheck in the last few months. Our list of top models is regularly updated, maintained and commented on and should assist in purchasing decisions.

For the original German article, see here.

Besides entry-level office and business notebooks (top 10 available here), we also want to provide a ranking of upscale business laptops reviewed by us in the last months. For significantly above 1000 Euros (~$1349), they offer a lot and customers demand a lot from them: durable, stable case, many security features, excellent connectivity, high performance and moderate emissions. In addition, professional users demand special services regarding warranty and support. Due to significantly longer product cycles (availability of service parts!), we will consider models as old as 12 months.

Notebookcheck Premium Business Notebooks Chart as of April 2014

 # Date%ModelWeightDisplayCPUGPURAMDrivePrice/Buy
102/1490%Lenovo ThinkPad T440s1.7 kg

14.0-inch 1920x1080 matte

Intel Core i7-4600UIntel HD Graphics 44008 GBSSDstarting at 1799 Euros
2new86%Lenovo ThinkPad T540p2.6 kg15.5-inch 2880x1620 matteIntel Core i7-4700MQNvidia GeForce GT 730M8 GBSSDstarting at 1929 Euros
-10/1386%Fujitsu Lifebook E7532.0 kg15.6-inch 1920x1080 matteIntel Core i7-3632QMIntel HD Graphics 40008 GBSSDstarting at 1737 Euros
403/1485%HP EliteBook 850 G12.0 kg15.6-inch 1920x1080 matteIntel Core i5-4200UIntel HD Graphics 44004 GBHDDstarting at 1159 Euros
-02/1485%Dell Latitude E64402.1 kg14.0-inch 1600x900 matteIntel Core i5-4300MAMD Radeon HD 8690M8 GBSSHDstarting at 1254 Euros
-12/1385%Lenovo ThinkPad T440p2.2 kg14.0-inch 1600x900 matteIntel Core i7-4700MQNvidia GeForce GT 730M8 GBHDDstarting at 1641 Euros

-09/1385%Bullman C-Klasse rugged SRD 33.8 kg14.0-inch 1366x768 matteIntel Core i7-3632QMIntel HD Graphics 400016 GBSSDstarting at 2000 Euros
-07/1385%Dell Latitude E65403.0 kg15.6-inch 1920x1080 matteIntel Core i7-4800MQAMD Radeon HD 8790M8 GBSSDstarting at 1538 Euros
-06/1385%Lenovo ThinkPad T431s1.6 kg14.0-inch 1600x900 matteIntel Core i5-3437UIntel HD Graphics 40004 GBHDDstarting at 1194 Euros
-05/1385%Samsung Series 6 600B5C2.5 kg15.6-inch 1600x900 matteIntel Core i7-3520MNvidia NVS 5200M8 GBSSDstarting at 1500 Euros

Top 10 of the last 12 months at the time of writing; current tests are listed first

#Date%ModelWeightDisplayCPUGPURAMDrivePrice/Buy
-new84%Lenovo ThinkPad L5402.3 kg15.6-inch 1920x1080 matteIntel Core i5-4200MIntel HD Graphics 46004 GBHDDstarting at 813 Euros
-new82%Lenovo ThinkPad E5402.4 kg15.6-inch 1920x1080 matteIntel Core i7-4702MQNvidia GeForce GT 740M4 GBHDDstarting at 907 Euros











Further reviews from each month - current reviews are listed first

Editors' Comments

Slim remake of a classical laptop: Thanks to its convincing performance the ThinkPad T440s got 1st.
Slim remake of a classical laptop: Thanks to its convincing performance the ThinkPad T440s got 1st.
Lost unnecessary weight: HP's EliteBook 850 G1 focuses on maximum mobility.
Lost unnecessary weight: HP's EliteBook 850 G1 focuses on maximum mobility.
An extraordinary notebook for the harshest of scenarios: The Bullman CC-Klasse 3 SRD 14.
An extraordinary notebook for the harshest of scenarios: The Bullman CC-Klasse 3 SRD 14.
Could it be a little bit more? Quad-core performance of the newest generation in the Dell Latitude E6540.
Could it be a little bit more? Quad-core performance of the newest generation in the Dell Latitude E6540.
Not in our Top 10, yet recommendable: The ThinkPad L540...
Not in our Top 10, yet recommendable: The ThinkPad L540...
...and the ThinkPad E540 for price-conscious customers.
...and the ThinkPad E540 for price-conscious customers.

Switching to the newest rating system (v4) has changed our business ranking. The stricter evaluations of display, performance, battery life and modified weights have changed the ratings of several devices. As a result, several notebooks ranked differently.

The Lenovo ThinkPad T440s still occupies the unchallenged first place. We also reviewed the cheaper base model in the past, which also impressed with the usual ThinkPad qualities including an excellent keyboard, accurate build quality, and low system noise. But some details required improvement. The top model for above 1800 Euros (~$2478) not only features a faster Core i7 CPU and a high-res IPS panel with wide viewing angles but also an especially big memory capacity. DDR3 RAM was doubled from 4 GB to a whopping 8 GB and the 500 GB HDD was replaced by a 250 GB flash memory. In addition, the Lenovo comes with a battery group with a total capacity of 96 Wh, which makes for record-breaking battery life of up to 28 hours despite strong performance.

The Lenovo ThinkPad T540p is new on the shared second place of our Top 10. The bulky 15-incher brings the advantages of classical ThinkPads of previous years: The bulky design primarily focuses on quality and durability, while weight and size were not considered that important. Despite a somewhat old-fashioned design, the hardware including fast quad-core CPU and big memory capacity is very modern. The high-res 3K display belongs to the special highlights: Apart from an impressive pixel density, good brightness and wide viewing angles are delightful. If it wasn't for the strange touchpad without mouse buttons, which made precise clicking more difficult, the T540p could have achieved a significantly higher rating.

The Fujitsu Lifebook E753 follows a completely different approach. As the combination of quad-core CPU and a weight of only 2 kg proves, performance and mobility need not be contradictory. Otherwise, the slim business notebook is virtually flawless and convinces with solid battery life, well-designed input devices, and a high-end IPS panel.

That all other the notebooks from places 4 to 10 have the same rating proves that the competition is very dense in the professional range. Let's start with the HP EliteBook 850 G1. With a fundamentally revised concept, which focuses primarily on mobility and lightweight design, the manufacturer tries to reinvent the classical business notebook. With success: The 850 G1 is surprisingly slim for a 15-inch device and does not even weigh 2 kg. Nevertheless, the stability is excellent and impressive compared to the more massive predecessor, thanks to light metals like aluminum and magnesium. The use of frugal ULV processors was necessary for this slimming down; those who can accept the slightly lower performance might be delighted by a professional device with good build quality, many security features, and flawless input devices.

Although the Dell Latitude E6440 with Intel Core i5-4300M and dedicated AMD graphics card houses quite powerful hardware in a small case, temperature and noise remained pleasingly low. But it isn't just the cooling system that is convincing: The E6440 also scores points with its robustness and stability. However, the case is notably thicker than the E7440 sister model's. Security features and ergonomic input devices are also available. The display is the only serious point of critique. Contrast and viewing angles could not delight us in our test. In addition, the display is visibly bluish. Too bad, the Latitude E6440 could have performed even better without this weakness.

If you are looking for a smaller alternative to the already mentioned T540p, you should take a closer look at the ThinkPad T440p sister model. Price, connectivity, and features of the two models are nearly identical. So, the display format you prefer is the decisive factor. The only model we would not recommend to quality-conscious buyers is the one with the WXGA++ TN panel that we reviewed.

The Bullman C-Klasse 3 SRD with a weight of 3.7 kg and a special "ruggedized" case is particularly dazzling. Like models of the Panasonic Toughbook series, the notebook should be able to stand extreme outdoor scenarios, e. g. on construction sites.

The Dell Latitude E6540 not only showed smaller flaws in build quality, but it also suffered from high waste heat from the processor and graphics chip. The latter is the disadvantage of the enormous performance of the 15-incher. Although the extensive security features and the further-improved keyboard of the Latitude are impressive, it could not achieve a better rating because of these and other details. Depending on the demands, the Latitude can be recommended. The same is also true for Samsung's Series 6 600B5C and Lenovo's ThinkPad S440. The proprietary "quiet mode," which allows a permanent silent operation with reduced performance, is a special advantage of the 600B5C, which is unfortunately hardly available anymore. The ThinkPad T431s does not work that quietly. Since the modern T440s has already launched, there are no longer many reasons to buy the older device. The successor performs even better in many aspects. The T431s might only become interesting again through an attractive sale price.

Finally, we want to take a brief look at the two contenders of the previous month, which did not make it into our Top 10. The ThinkPad L540 and the ThinkPad Edge E540 focus on price-conscious semi-professional customers who do not want to do without basic security features and a crisp keyboard. The E540 especially offers a lot of performance for its price range, but it falls behind the L and T series models in terms of quality.

Awards of previous months in this category


Editor`s Choice in January 2014: Lenovo Thinkpad T440s
Editor`s Choice in January 2014: Lenovo Thinkpad T440s
Best Value Award in March 2014: Lenovo Thinkpad S540
Best Value Award in March 2014: Lenovo Thinkpad S540

Automated top 10 list updated daily


of the last 12 month
1
90% v4
Review Update Lenovo ThinkPad T440s 20AQ0069GE Notebook
Lenovo Thinkpad T440s 20AQ0069GE
Review Update Lenovo ThinkPad T440s 20AQ0069GE Notebook
Intel Core i7 4600U, Intel HD Graphics 4400, 02/06/2014
2
87% v4
Review HP EliteBook 840 G1-H5G28ET Ultrabook
HP EliteBook 840 G1
Review HP EliteBook 840 G1-H5G28ET Ultrabook
Intel Core i7 4600U, Intel HD Graphics 4400, 04/14/2014
3
86% v4
Review Lenovo ThinkPad T540p-20BE005YGE Notebook
Lenovo ThinkPad T540p-20BE005YGE
Review Lenovo ThinkPad T540p-20BE005YGE Notebook
Intel Core i7 4700MQ, NVIDIA GeForce GT 730M, 04/01/2014
4
86% v4
Review Fujitsu Lifebook E753 Premium Selection Notebook
Fujitsu Lifebook E753 Premium Selection
Review Fujitsu Lifebook E753 Premium Selection Notebook
Intel Core i7 3632QM, Intel HD Graphics 4000, 10/11/2013
5
85% v4
Review Lenovo ThinkPad T440 20B6005YGE Notebook
Lenovo ThinkPad T440 20B6005YGE
Review Lenovo ThinkPad T440 20B6005YGE Notebook
Intel Core i7 4600U, Intel HD Graphics 4400, 04/15/2014
6
85% v4
Review HP EliteBook 850 G1-H5G34ET Notebook
HP EliteBook 850 G1-H5G34ET
Review HP EliteBook 850 G1-H5G34ET Notebook
Intel Core i5 4200U, Intel HD Graphics 4400, 03/11/2014
7
85% v4
Review Dell Latitude E6440 Notebook
Dell Latitude E6440
Review Dell Latitude E6440 Notebook
Intel Core i5 4300M, AMD Radeon HD 8690M, 02/24/2014
8
85% v4
Review Lenovo ThinkPad T440p 20AN-006VGE Notebook
Lenovo ThinkPad T440p 20AN-006VGE
Review Lenovo ThinkPad T440p 20AN-006VGE Notebook
Intel Core i7 4700MQ, NVIDIA GeForce GT 730M, 01/07/2014
9
85% v4
Review Dell Latitude E6540 (i7-4800MQ/HD 8790M) Notebook
Dell Latitude E6540 FHD HD 8790M
Review Dell Latitude E6540 (i7-4800MQ/HD 8790M) Notebook
Intel Core i7 4800MQ, AMD Radeon HD 8790M, 07/22/2013
10
85% v4
Review Lenovo ThinkPad T431s Ultrabook
Lenovo ThinkPad T431s
Review Lenovo ThinkPad T431s Ultrabook
Intel Core i5 3437U, Intel HD Graphics 4000, 05/28/2013
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Notebookcheck's Top 10 Premium Office/Business Notebooks
Author: Redaktion, 2014-04- 8 (Update: 2014-04- 9)