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Notebookcheck's Top 10 Premium Office/Business Notebooks

Martina Osztovits (translated by Martina Osztovits), 01/10/2015

January 2015 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.

Premium Business Notebook Charts as of January 2015

Pos. RatingDateModelWeightHeightSizeResolutionFinish
190%02/14
Lenovo ThinkPad T440s
Intel Core i7 4600U
Intel HD Graphics 4400
8 GB RAM, SSD
from $1335 at Amazon
1.7 kg21 mm14.01920x1080matte
289%08/14
Toshiba Tecra Z50
Intel Core i7 4600U
Intel HD Graphics 4400
16 GB RAM, SSD
from $1599 at Amazon
1.8 kg20 mm15.61920x1080matte
387%

new

12/14

Asus AsusPro Advanced BU401LA
Intel Core i7-4650U
Intel HD Graphics 5000
8 GB RAM, SSD
from €1246 at Amazon

1.7 kg20 mm14.01600x900matte
487%05/14
HP EliteBook 840 G1
Intel Core i7 4600U
Intel HD Graphics 4400
8 GB RAM, SSD
from $1533 at Amazon
1.8 kg21 mm14.01600x900matte
586%

new

12/14

Dell Latitude 15 E5550
Intel Core i5-4310U
Intel HD Graphics 4400
8 GB RAM, SSD
from €1108 at Amazon

2.1 kg24 mm15.61920x1080matte
686%

11/14

Fujitsu LifeBook E754
Intel Core i7-4702MQ
Intel HD Graphics 4600
8 GB RAM, SSD
from $999 at Amazon

1.9 kg27 mm15.61920x1080matte
786%04/14

Lenovo ThinkPad T540p
Intel Core i7-4700MQ
Nvidia GeForce GT 730M
8 GB RAM, SSD
from $1524 at Amazon

2.6 kg30 mm15.52880x1620matte
885% 11/14Dell Latitude 14 E5450
Intel Core i5-4310U
Intel HD Graphics 4400
8 GB RAM, SSD
from $1076 at Amazon
2.0 kg23 mm14.01920x1080matte
985%06/14

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

1.5 kg21 mm14.01920x1080matte
1085%05/14Lenovo ThinkPad T440
Intel Core i7-4600U
Intel HD Graphics 4400
8 GB, HDD + Cache
from $850 at Amazon
1.7 kg21 mm14.01600x900matte

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

Further reviews from each month - current reviews are listed first

Editors' Comments

Slim remake of a classic: Lenovo ThinkPad T440s
Slim remake of a classic: Lenovo ThinkPad T440s

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 1700 Euros 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.

» read the review    » buy the notebook

Almost without weaknesses: Toshiba Tecra Z50-A
Almost without weaknesses: Toshiba Tecra Z50-A

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.

» read the review

Quality for litte money: AsusPro Advanced BU401LA
Quality for litte money: AsusPro Advanced BU401LA

3rd

High quality for a low price - with this winning formula Asus tries to acquire renown in the business range, too. Successfully: After the smaller BU201LA already managed to jump into the Top 10 of its category at once, the AsusPro Advanced BU401LA follows with a similarly convincing performance. Although stable case and precise input devices are more or less obligatory in this range, the very crisp keyboard with long key travel deserves praise. All things considered, the BU401 convinces with its great price performance ratio and the absence of noteworthy weaknesses - if it was not for the much too dark display, which is only apt for outdoor use to some extent, the ultrabook could have even performed better.

» read the review    » buy the notebook

Just behind the ThinkPad T440s: HP EliteBook 840 G1
Just behind the ThinkPad T440s: HP EliteBook 840 G1

4th

Although it also performs well, the HP EliteBook 840 G1, one of the most serious competitors of the ThinkPad T440s, just got fourth. 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.

» read the review    » buy the notebook

Convincing mid-range model: Dell Latitude 15 E5550
Convincing mid-range model: Dell Latitude 15 E5550

5th

Dell's Latitude E5000 series belongs to the relatively reasonably priced representatives of the business range. The Latitude 15 E5550 demonstrates impressively that this is not necessarily a bad omen for quality. Despite ample hardware including Core i5 processor, 8 GB RAM and SSD, the 15-incher remains affordable. In addition, buyers do not have to do without trackpoint or docking station port. In view of this, it should be acceptable, that the case is primarily made from plastics. The excellent IPS display with FHD resolution and high-end features including the integrated LTE module, make up for this. This raises the question whether the manufacturer risks the success of the significantly more expensive Latitude E6000 series with such a strong mid-range model...

» read the review    » buy the notebook

Performance and mobility in one device: Fujitsu LifeBook E754
Performance and mobility in one device: Fujitsu LifeBook E754

6th

In sixth place 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.

» read the review    » buy the notebook

Really heavy: Lenovo ThinkPad T540p
Really heavy: Lenovo ThinkPad T540p

7th

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.

» read the review    » buy the notebook

Price performance tip: Dell Latitude 14 E5450
Price performance tip: Dell Latitude 14 E5450

8th

With the Dell Latitude 14 (E5450), Dell placed another representative of the E5000 series in our charts. Depending on the configuration, the 14 inch notebook is available for a relatively low entry level price of about 700 Euro. The top model reviewed by us is priced at above 1150 Euro, but its features correspond to the price: A fast Core i5 CPU, 8 GB of RAM and a 128 GB SSD ensure decent performance and the IPS display with FHD resolution ensures sharp images. It is especially noteworthy, that the Latitude performs quite balanced in our tests and does not have any real weaknesses in single aspects. We assigned our Best Value Award in December 2014 to the E5450 for its excellent price performance ratio.

» read the review    » buy the notebook

More than an outsider: Acer TravelMate P645
More than an outsider: Acer TravelMate P645

9th

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.

» read the review    » buy the notebook

Business veteran: Lenovo ThinkPad T440
Business veteran: Lenovo ThinkPad T440

10th

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. The whole ThinkPad series will be updated with the new Broadwell architecture soon. So, prices for the currently latest generation might fall - bargain hunter watch out

» read the review    » buy the notebook

Additional reviews in December

Finally, we want to briefly look at the notebooks which did not quality for our Top 10. With the Dell Latitude 14 Rugged 5404 (84%), there was a really exotic contender among them. The extremely robust outdoor notebook aims at customers from the construction industry or the military. Accordingly, the 14-inch chassis is bulky and weighs above 3 kg. Especially impressive: With about 700 cd/m², the display belongs to the brightest ever reviewed by us. As a result you can even read easily from the screen in bright sunshine. The biggest downside is the steep price: The Latitude 14 Rugged costs between 1600 and 2500 Euros.

In contrast, the Fujitsu Lifebook E554 (81%) only costs 950 Euro and comes with a Core i5 processor with a TDP of 37 Watt, 8 GB of RAM and a 128 GB SSD. The matte FHD display with IPS technology is nothing to sneeze at, too. However, it should be a bit brighter than the measured 230 cd/m². Unfortunately, the E554 does not quality for our Top 10 because of a very springy keyboard and the audibly whirring fan in our test model. Both should not occur in a device for professionals and are main reasons for the only average rating.

Dell Latitude 14 Rugged
Dell Latitude 14 Rugged
Fujitsu Lifebook E554
Fujitsu Lifebook E554

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
Best Value Award in December 2014: Dell Latitude 14 E5450
Best Value Award in December 2014: Dell Latitude 14 E5450

Top 10 in Comparison

Lenovo Thinkpad T440s 20AQ0069GE
Toshiba Tecra Z50 A-12K
Asus ASUSPRO Advanced BU401LA-CZ020G
HP EliteBook 840 G1
Dell Latitude E5550
Fujitsu Lifebook E754
Lenovo ThinkPad T540p-20BE005YGE
Dell Latitude 14 E5450
Acer TravelMate P645-MG-9419
Lenovo ThinkPad T440 20B6005YGE
Screen
Brightness Center310270216280343257333293276.6294
Black Level *0.380.360.4360.690.360.250.620.2910.5440.918
Contrast81675049540695310285371007508320
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *4.564.859.639.413.155.694.673.815.8210.9
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *5.124.6710.7210.193.656.085.663.977.3711.88
Gamma *2.662.582.492.492.622.432.462.512.72.37
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)645444.84084496160.458.2940
Noise
Idle Minimum *2828.829.329.429.627.628.928.628.731.5
Idle Average *2828.829.329.429.627.628.928.628.831.5
Idle Maximum *29.828.830.929.429.627.632.328.628.931.5
Load Average *32.933.433.137.432.939.737.43330.833
Load Maximum *33.436.837.338.63744.340.533.344.133.5
Heat
Maximum Upper Side *3636.441.136.336.837.139.94447.632.4
Maximum Bottom *37.43440.541.142.643.144.441.551.238.7
Idle Upper Side *27.832.132.529.226.432.43432.530.228.4
Idle Bottom *27.829.633.53125.936.538.231.629.632.4
Battery Runtime
Reader / Idle1695769699778523898544794792858
Load2251061201127810323313211096
WiFi750434310364365362415383519260
Power Consumption
Idle Minimum *3.44.14.14.38.24.49.14.54.1
Idle Average *7.58.37.17.712.87.813.88.47.1
Idle Maximum *8.58.67.39.315.18.317.49.69.7
Load Average *27.530.228.930.632.938.960.433.436.2
Load Maximum *42.230.629.331.63750.792.633.743

* ... smaller is better

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%
Asus ASUSPRO Advanced BU401LA-CZ020G
2.9 Points ∼16%
HP EliteBook 840 G1
2.92 Points ∼17%
Dell Latitude E5550
2.9 Points ∼16%
Fujitsu Lifebook E754
5.6 Points ∼32%
Lenovo ThinkPad T540p-20BE005YGE
6.77 Points ∼38%
Dell Latitude 14 E5450
2.94 Points ∼17%
Acer TravelMate P645-MG-9419
2.81 Points ∼16%
Lenovo ThinkPad T440 20B6005YGE
2.64 Points ∼15%
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
Lenovo Thinkpad T440s 20AQ0069GE
1.42 Points ∼71%
Toshiba Tecra Z50 A-12K
1.39 Points ∼70%
Asus ASUSPRO Advanced BU401LA-CZ020G
1.42 Points ∼71%
HP EliteBook 840 G1
1.46 Points ∼73%
Dell Latitude E5550
1.3 Points ∼65%
Fujitsu Lifebook E754
1.4 Points ∼70%
Lenovo ThinkPad T540p-20BE005YGE
1.49 Points ∼75%
Dell Latitude 14 E5450
1.11 Points ∼56%
Acer TravelMate P645-MG-9419
1.27 Points ∼64%
Lenovo ThinkPad T440 20B6005YGE
1.41 Points ∼71%
PCMark 7 - Score (sort by value)
Lenovo Thinkpad T440s 20AQ0069GE
5022 Points ∼72%
Toshiba Tecra Z50 A-12K
4626 Points ∼67%
Asus ASUSPRO Advanced BU401LA-CZ020G
5190 Points ∼75%
HP EliteBook 840 G1
5303 Points ∼77%
Dell Latitude E5550
4168 Points ∼60%
Fujitsu Lifebook E754
4446 Points ∼64%
Lenovo ThinkPad T540p-20BE005YGE
5009 Points ∼72%
Dell Latitude 14 E5450
3469 Points ∼50%
Acer TravelMate P645-MG-9419
4985 Points ∼72%
Lenovo ThinkPad T440 20B6005YGE
3349 Points ∼48%
PCMark 8 - Home Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
Toshiba Tecra Z50 A-12K
3367 Points ∼63%
Asus ASUSPRO Advanced BU401LA-CZ020G
2711 Points ∼51%
HP EliteBook 840 G1
3610 Points ∼67%
Dell Latitude E5550
2119 Points ∼40%
Fujitsu Lifebook E754
2719 Points ∼51%
Lenovo ThinkPad T540p-20BE005YGE
3456 Points ∼65%
Dell Latitude 14 E5450
2824 Points ∼53%
Lenovo ThinkPad T440 20B6005YGE
2623 Points ∼49%

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
 
Asus ASUSPRO Advanced BU401LA-CZ020G Intel Core i7-4650U, Intel HD Graphics 5000, Liteonit LCS-256M6S
 
HP EliteBook 840 G1 Intel Core i7-4600U, Intel HD Graphics 4400, Intel SSD Pro 1500 Series SSDSC2BF180A4H
 
Dell Latitude E5550 Intel Core i5-4310U, Intel HD Graphics 4400, Lite-On LCS-128L9S
 
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
 
Dell Latitude 14 E5450 Intel Core i5-4310U, Intel HD Graphics 4400, Lite-On LCS-128L9S
 
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

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
Asus AsusPro Advanced BU401LA-CZ020G Ultrabook Review
Asus ASUSPRO Advanced BU401LA-CZ020G
Asus AsusPro Advanced BU401LA-CZ020G Ultrabook Review
Intel Core i7 4650U, Intel HD Graphics 5000, 01/09/2015
5
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
6
86% v4
Dell Latitude E5550 Notebook Review
Dell Latitude E5550
Dell Latitude E5550 Notebook Review
Intel Core i5 4310U, Intel HD Graphics 4400, 12/08/2014
7
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
8
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
9
85% v4
Dell Latitude 14 E5450 Notebook Review
Dell Latitude 14 E5450
Dell Latitude 14 E5450 Notebook Review
Intel Core i5 4310U, Intel HD Graphics 4400, 11/26/2014
10
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
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Notebookcheck's Top 10 Premium Office/Business Notebooks
Author: Martina Osztovits, 2015-01-10 (Update: 2015-01-22)