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Notebookcheck's Top 10 Premium Office/Business Notebooks

Martina Osztovits (translated by Martina Osztovits), 10/10/2014

November 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 few months. For significantly above 1000 Euros (~$1335), 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 Notebook Charts as of November 2014

Pos. RatingDateModelWeightHeightSizeResolutionFinish
190%02/14
Lenovo ThinkPad T440s
Intel Core i7-4600U
Intel HD Graphics 4400
8 GB RAM, SSD
starting at $1335
1.7 kg21 mm14.01920x1080matte
289%08/14
Toshiba Tecra Z50
Intel Core i7-4600U
Intel HD Graphics 4400
16 GB RAM, SSD
starting at $1599
1.8 kg20 mm15.61920x1080matte
387%05/14
HP EliteBook 840 G1
Intel Core i7-4600U
Intel HD Graphics 4400
8 GB RAM, SSD
starting at $1533
1.8 kg21 mm14.01600x900matte
486%

07/14

Fujitsu LifeBook E754
Intel Core i7-4702MQ
Intel HD Graphics 4600
8 GB RAM, SSD
starting at $999
1.9 kg27 mm15.61920x1080matte
-86%04/14Lenovo ThinkPad T540p
Intel Core i7-4700MQ
Nvidia GeForce GT 730M
8 GB RAM, SSD
starting at $1524
2.6 kg30 mm15.52880x1620matte
685%06/14

Acer TravelMate P645-MG
Intel Core i7-4500U
AMD Radeon HD 8750M
8 GB RAM, SSD + HDD
starting at $1893

1.5 kg21 mm14.01920x1080matte
-85% 05/14Lenovo ThinkPad T440
Intel Core i7-4600U
Intel HD Graphics 4400
8 GB, HDD + Cache
starting at $1039
1.7 kg21 mm14.01600x900matte
-85%03/14

HP EliteBook 850 G1
Intel Core i5-4200U
Intel HD Graphics 4400
4 GB RAM, HDD
starting at $870

2.0 kg21 mm15.61920x1080matte
-85%02/14Dell Latitude E6440
Intel Core i5-4300M
AMD Radeon HD 8690M
8 GB RAM, SSHD
starting at $960
2.1 kg32 mm14.01600x900matte
-85%12/13Lenovo ThinkPad T440p
Intel Core i7-4700MQ
Nvidia GeForce GT 730M
8 GB RAM, HDD
starting at $1702
2.2 kg30 mm14.01600x900matte

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

#Date%ModelWeightDisplayCPUGPURAMDiskPrice/Buy
-new83%HP EliteBook 755 G22.0 kg15.6" 1920x1080 matteAMD A10 Pro-7350BAMD Radeon R68 GBHDDstarting at $850
-new82%HP EliteBook 745 G21.9 kg14.0" 1366x768 matteAMD A10 Pro-7350BAMD Radeon R64 GBHDDstarting at $957
-new81%HP EliteBook 725 G21.6 kg12.5" 1366x768 matteAMD A10 Pro-7350BAMD Radeon R64 GBHDDstarting at $859

Further reviews from each month - current reviews are listed first

Editors' Comments

Slim remake of a classic laptop: Thanks to its convincing performance the ThinkPad T440s is 1st.
Slim remake of a classic laptop: Thanks to its convincing performance the ThinkPad T440s is 1st.
Almost without drawbacks: Toshiba's Tecra Z50-A is a successful business all-rounder.
Almost without drawbacks: Toshiba's Tecra Z50-A is a successful business all-rounder.
Not quite as good: The HP EliteBook 840 G1 got 3rd.
Not quite as good: The HP EliteBook 840 G1 got 3rd.
Combines performance and mobility: The Fujitsu Lifebook E754 is a balanced all-rounder.
Combines performance and mobility: The Fujitsu Lifebook E754 is a balanced all-rounder.
More than just an outsider: The Acer TravelMate P645 can compete with the established competition.
More than just an outsider: The Acer TravelMate P645 can compete with the established competition.
Fast yet compact: Those looking for maximum performance in a 14-inch device, will be happy with the T440p.
Fast yet compact: Those looking for maximum performance in a 14-inch device, will be happy with the T440p.

1st

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 (~$2403) 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.

2nd

Only 1% behind the T440s is the Toshiba Tecra Z50 A-12K. The Japanese technology company has been a synonym for high-quality business notebooks for many years, but the public often concentrates on the bigger rivals like Lenovo, Dell or HP. Wrongfully, as the Z50-A proves: Advantages like the noble magnesium case, great input devices as well as the very low temperature and noise development show Toshiba's big experience in the professional segment. The excellent 15.6-inch IPS display with Full HD resolution deserves praise as well - many manufacturers try to save some money in this area.

3rd

Although it also performs well, the HP EliteBook 840 G1, one of the most serious competitors of the ThinkPad T440s, just got third. The EliteBook can keep up with the similarly expensive ThinkPad in terms of quality. In certain details, including impression of the used materials, the 840 G1 made from aluminum and magnesium even performs marginally better. Another pro: Many users might prefer the conventional touchpad with dedicated buttons to Lenovo's ClickPad solution. The very modest TN panel is one of its few weaknesses. It can hardly meet the premium claim. Together with shorter battery life, higher system noise, and smaller SSD, the final total rating is 3% lower than the T440s', but it is still excellent.

4th

In fourth place (shared) of our Top 10 is the Fujitsu LifeBook E754. Quad-core CPU and a weight of only 1.9 kg prove that performance and mobility are not a contradiction. Otherwise, the slim business notebook is virtually flawless, too. It impresses with surprisingly good battery runtimes, good input devices, and a high-end IPS panel with Full HD resolution. Another purchase incentive: Although the LifeBook is not a bargain, its RRP appears to be attractive compared to the competition.

For example, the Lenovo ThinkPad T540p with the same rating belongs to the latter. The bulky 15-incher brings the advantages of classic 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.

6th

That all the other notebooks from places 6 to 10 have the same rating proves that the competition is very dense in the professional range. It is somewhat surprising that the Acer TravelMate P645, a 14-inch high-end model with focus on maximum portability, ranks in here. Acer has seldom been represented in the business world so far. The Acer only weighs just above 1.5 kilograms and lasts almost 7 hours on battery in everyday scenarios. The robust plastic case with carbon reinforcements, the excellent quality of keyboard and touchpad and low system noise show the efforts of the manufacturer to offer a notebook for the special requirements of demanding business customers.

The Lenovo ThinkPad T440, a business veteran, should not be missing from any Top 10 list. At first glance it hardly differs from the T440s sister model. But, there are small differences in details: The price is slightly lower, but the case is minimally bigger and heavier. Unfortunately, several optional features, including the Full HD panel, are not available for the T440.

With a fundamentally revised concept, which focuses primarily on mobility and lightweight design, the HP EliteBook 850 G1 tries to reinvent the classic 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. 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.

Additional reviews in October

Finally, we want to briefly look at the notebooks which did not quality for our Top 10. We reviewed three models from HP in September, the EliteBook 725 G2745 G2 and 755 G2. The new EliteBook 700-series uses quad-core APUs from AMD and is designed as an inexpensive alternative to the familiar 800-series, which is only available with Intel processors. The entry-level price is around 100 Euros lower, but potential buyers will have to make some compromises: Besides the missing keyboard illumination and the M.2 slot, one key issue was the shorter battery runtime in our review. The CPU performance can also not keep up with current Core i CPUs, even though that shouldn't be a big problem with office tasks. However, there is hardly any criticism in regard to the quality of all three devices: Input devices, case and the port variety are identical to the more expensive 800-series. Only the average WXGA display of the 725 G2 and 745 G2 don't deserve the "Elite(Book)" designation.

HP EliteBook 700-G2-Serie, available in 12.5-inch (725 G2), 14.0-inch (745 G2) as well as 15.6-inch (755 G2)

Recent Premium Office/Business Awards

Editor's Choice in January 2014: Lenovo ThinkPad T440s
Editor's Choice in January 2014: Lenovo ThinkPad T440s
Editor's Choice in May 2014: HP EliteBook 840 G1
Editor's Choice in May 2014: HP EliteBook 840 G1
Editor's Choice in July 2014: Toshiba Tecra Z50-A-12K
Editor's Choice in July 2014: Toshiba Tecra Z50-A-12K
Best Value Award in March 2014: Lenovo ThinkPad S540
Best Value Award in March 2014: Lenovo ThinkPad S540

Top 10 in Comparison

Size Comparison

Measurement Results

Lenovo Thinkpad T440s 20AQ0069GE
Toshiba Tecra Z50 A-12K
HP EliteBook 840 G1
Fujitsu Lifebook E754
Lenovo ThinkPad T540p-20BE005YGE
Acer TravelMate P645-MG-9419
Lenovo ThinkPad T440 20B6005YGE
HP EliteBook 850 G1-H5G34ET
Dell Latitude E6440
Lenovo ThinkPad T440p 20AN-006VGE
Screen
Brightness Center310270280257333276.6294297338275
Black Level *0.380.360.690.250.620.5440.9180.730.870.964
Contrast8167504061028537508320407389285
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *4.564.859.415.694.675.8210.99.838.199.53
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *5.124.6710.196.085.667.3711.8811.528.7510.54
Gamma *2.662.582.492.432.462.72.372.592.162.13
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)645440496158.29405137.739.6
Noise
Idle Minimum *28.028.829.427.628.928.731.531.13128.2
Idle Average *28.028.829.427.628.928.831.531.33128.2
Idle Maximum *29.828.829.427.632.328.931.531.33528.2
Load Average *32.933.437.439.737.430.833.033.338.440.1
Load Maximum *33.436.838.644.340.544.133.536.244.141.7
Heat
Maximum Upper Side *36.036.436.337.139.947.632.439.136.645.3
Maximum Bottom *37.43441.143.144.451.238.740.64337.6
Idle Upper Side *27.832.129.232.434.030.228.425.631.535.3
Idle Bottom *27.829.631.036.538.229.632.425.833.441.6
Battery Runtime
Reader / Idle1695769778898544792858502448887
Load2251061121032331109612779121
WiFi750434364362415519260371302602
Power Consumption
Idle Minimum *3.44.14.34.49.14.14.97.35.1
Idle Average *7.58.37.77.813.87.19.112.28.4
Idle Maximum *8.58.69.38.317.49.79.314.78.8
Load Average *27.530.230.638.960.436.226.946.652.6
Load Maximum *42.230.631.650.792.643.031.674.172.4

* ... smaller is better

Benchmarks

Cinebench R11.5
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
Lenovo Thinkpad T440s 20AQ0069GE
2.75 Points ∼16%
Toshiba Tecra Z50 A-12K
2.89 Points ∼16%
HP EliteBook 840 G1
2.92 Points ∼17%
Fujitsu Lifebook E754
5.6 Points ∼32%
Lenovo ThinkPad T540p-20BE005YGE
6.77 Points ∼38%
Acer TravelMate P645-MG-9419
2.81 Points ∼16%
Lenovo ThinkPad T440 20B6005YGE
2.64 Points ∼15%
HP EliteBook 850 G1-H5G34ET
2.49 Points ∼14%
Dell Latitude E6440
3.37 Points ∼19%
Lenovo ThinkPad T440p 20AN-006VGE
5.86 Points ∼33%
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
Lenovo Thinkpad T440s 20AQ0069GE
1.42 Points ∼71%
Toshiba Tecra Z50 A-12K
1.39 Points ∼70%
HP EliteBook 840 G1
1.46 Points ∼73%
Fujitsu Lifebook E754
1.4 Points ∼70%
Lenovo ThinkPad T540p-20BE005YGE
1.49 Points ∼75%
Acer TravelMate P645-MG-9419
1.27 Points ∼64%
Lenovo ThinkPad T440 20B6005YGE
1.41 Points ∼71%
HP EliteBook 850 G1-H5G34ET
1.13 Points ∼57%
Dell Latitude E6440
1.39 Points ∼70%
Lenovo ThinkPad T440p 20AN-006VGE
1.51 Points ∼76%
PCMark 7 - Score (sort by value)
Lenovo Thinkpad T440s 20AQ0069GE
5022 Points ∼76%
Toshiba Tecra Z50 A-12K
4626 Points ∼70%
HP EliteBook 840 G1
5303 Points ∼80%
Fujitsu Lifebook E754
4446 Points ∼67%
Lenovo ThinkPad T540p-20BE005YGE
5009 Points ∼76%
Acer TravelMate P645-MG-9419
4985 Points ∼75%
Lenovo ThinkPad T440 20B6005YGE
3349 Points ∼51%
HP EliteBook 850 G1-H5G34ET
2821 Points ∼43%
Dell Latitude E6440
4149 Points ∼63%
Lenovo ThinkPad T440p 20AN-006VGE
2915 Points ∼44%
PCMark 8 - Home Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
Toshiba Tecra Z50 A-12K
3367 Points ∼68%
HP EliteBook 840 G1
3610 Points ∼73%
Fujitsu Lifebook E754
2719 Points ∼55%
Lenovo ThinkPad T540p-20BE005YGE
3456 Points ∼70%
Lenovo ThinkPad T440 20B6005YGE
2623 Points ∼53%
HP EliteBook 850 G1-H5G34ET
2766 Points ∼56%

Legend

 
Lenovo Thinkpad T440s 20AQ0069GE Intel Core i7-4600U, Intel HD Graphics 4400, Samsung SSD 840 250GB MZ7TD2560/0L9
 
Toshiba Tecra Z50 A-12K Intel Core i7-4600U, Intel HD Graphics 4400, Toshiba THNSNJ256GMCT
 
HP EliteBook 840 G1 Intel Core i7-4600U, Intel HD Graphics 4400, Intel SSD Pro 1500 Series SSDSC2BF180A4H
 
Fujitsu Lifebook E754 Intel Core i7-4702MQ, Intel HD Graphics 4600, Samsung SSD 840 250GB MZ7TD256HAFV
 
Lenovo ThinkPad T540p-20BE005YGE Intel Core i7-4700MQ, NVIDIA GeForce GT 730M, Samsung SSD 840 250GB MZ7TD256HAFV
 
Acer TravelMate P645-MG-9419 Intel Core i7-4500U, AMD Radeon HD 8750M, Toshiba HG5d THNSNH256GMCT
 
Lenovo ThinkPad T440 20B6005YGE Intel Core i7-4600U, Intel HD Graphics 4400, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
 
HP EliteBook 850 G1-H5G34ET Intel Core i5-4200U, Intel HD Graphics 4400, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
 
Dell Latitude E6440 Intel Core i5-4300M, AMD Radeon HD 8690M, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
 
Lenovo ThinkPad T440p 20AN-006VGE Intel Core i7-4700MQ, NVIDIA GeForce GT 730M, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630

Automated top 10 list updated daily

of the last 12 months
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
89% v4
Toshiba Tecra Z50 A-12K Notebook Review
Toshiba Tecra Z50 A-12K
Toshiba Tecra Z50 A-12K Notebook Review
Intel Core i7 4600U, Intel HD Graphics 4400, 07/14/2014
3
88% v4
Lenovo ThinkPad T440s 20AQ006BGE Ultrabook Review Update
Lenovo ThinkPad T440s 20AQ006BGE
Lenovo ThinkPad T440s 20AQ006BGE Ultrabook Review Update
Intel Core i7 4600U, NVIDIA GeForce GT 730M, 07/07/2014
4
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
5
86% v4
Fujitsu LifeBook E754 (E7540MXP11DE) Notebook Review Update
Fujitsu Lifebook E754
Fujitsu LifeBook E754 (E7540MXP11DE) Notebook Review Update
Intel Core i7 4702MQ, Intel HD Graphics 4600, 06/17/2014
6
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
7
85% v4
Acer TravelMate P645-MG-74508G75tkk Notebook Review
Acer TravelMate P645-MG-74508G75tkk
Acer TravelMate P645-MG-74508G75tkk Notebook Review
Intel Core i7 4500U, AMD Radeon HD 8750M, 06/16/2014
8
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
9
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
10
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
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Notebookcheck's Top 10 Premium Office/Business Notebooks
Author: Martina Osztovits, 2014-10-10 (Update: 2014-10-31)