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Notebookcheck's Top 10 Premium Office/Business Notebooks

Staff, 11/02/2016

November 2016 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.

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In addition to the entry-level office and business notebooks (top 10 available here), we want to provide a ranking of upscale business laptops reviewed by us in the last few months. With prices significantly above 1000 Euros (~$1140), they offer a lot and customers demand a great deal from them: Durable and stable case, comprehensive security features, excellent connectivity, high performance and moderate emissions. In addition, professional users require special services regarding warranty and support. Due to the significantly longer product cycles (availability of service parts!), we will consider models as old as 12 months.

Top 10 Premium Business Notebooks as of November 2016

Pos.DateRatingImageModelHeightWeightSizeResolutionScreenBest Price
103/201691%Lenovo ThinkPad T460s-20FA003GGELenovo ThinkPad T460s-20FA003GGE
Intel Core i7-6600U
Intel HD Graphics 520
12 GB Memory, 512 GB SSD
18.8 mm1.3 kg14.0"2560x1440matte
205/201690%Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB-005XUSLenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB-005XUS
Intel Core i5-6300U
Intel HD Graphics 520
8 GB Memory, 256 GB SSD
16.5 mm1.2 kg14.0"1920x1080matte
304/201689%Dell Latitude 14 7000 Series E7470Dell Latitude 14 7000 Series E7470
Intel Core i7-6600U
Intel HD Graphics 520
8 GB Memory, 256 GB SSD
19.4 mm1.7 kg14"2560x1440glossy
406/201689%Lenovo ThinkPad T560-20FH002RGELenovo ThinkPad T560-20FH002RGE
Intel Core i7-6600U
NVIDIA GeForce 940MX
8 GB Memory, 256 GB SSD
22.4 mm2.3 kg15.6"2880x1620matte
506/201689%Acer TravelMate P648-M-757NAcer TravelMate P648-M-757N
Intel Core i7-6500U
Intel HD Graphics 520
8 GB Memory, 256 GB SSD
21.2 mm1.6 kg14"1920x1080matte
605/201689%Toshiba Tecra Z50-C-10PToshiba Tecra Z50-C-10P
Intel Core i5-6200U
Intel HD Graphics 520
8 GB Memory, 256 GB SSD
24 mm2.1 kg15.6"1920x1080matte
705/201687%Lenovo ThinkPad T460-20FN003LGELenovo ThinkPad T460-20FN003LGE
Intel Core i5-6200U
Intel HD Graphics 520
8 GB Memory, 256 GB SSD
21 mm1.7 kg14.0"1920x1080matte
804/201687%HP EliteBook 840 G3 T9X59ET#ABDHP EliteBook 840 G3 T9X59ET#ABD
Intel Core i7-6500U
Intel HD Graphics 520
8 GB Memory, 256 GB SSD
18.9 mm1.6 kg14"1920x1080matte
904/201687%HP EliteBook 850 G3HP EliteBook 850 G3
Intel Core i7-6500U
Intel HD Graphics 520
8 GB Memory, 256 GB SSD
19.4 mm1.9 kg15.6"1920x1080matte
1004/201687%Lenovo ThinkPad T460p-20FXS05500Lenovo ThinkPad T460p-20FXS05500
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
NVIDIA GeForce 940MX
8 GB Memory, 512 GB SSD
24.4 mm1.9 kg14.0"2560x1440matte

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

1st

Old and new leader: Lenovo ThinkPad T460s
Old and new leader: Lenovo ThinkPad T460s

The king is dead - long live the king! With the ThinkPad T460s, Lenovo replaced the T450s predecessor, which led our Top 10 Business charts for a long time. In contrast to several competitors, the manufacturer not only upgraded the hardware platform: Thanks to its even slimmer and lighter case, the T460s is more mobile than ever before without changing stability and quality for the worse. At the same time, the ThinkPad convinces with impressive performance reserves thanks to a 25-Watt Skylake processor and, optionally, an extremely fast PCIe SSD. Once again, the input devices, especially the keyboard, and the low noise and temperature belong to the best on the market. Small points of critique are that the battery is now integrated into the case and the averagely bright WQHD display. The very well-made bundle wins our coveted Editor's Choice Award.

Apart from the high-end model for almost 2500 Euros (~$2850), we have also reviewed a cheaper Core i5 configuration of the T460s (87%).

2nd

Lightweight: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon
Lightweight: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon

The ThinkPad X1 Carbon is even further up than the T460s in Lenovo's business lineup. The buyer gets probably the lightest notebook of its category (just under 1.2 kg) for steep entry level prices of above 1500 Euros (~$1710) but has to accept a few compromises: While the Carbon impresses with many features, users cannot even upgrade RAM themselves. Moreover, some customers might wish for a fully-fledged SD-card reader and a native LAN port (adapter required). Because of these cons, the slightly less crisp keyboard and slightly teetering display hinges, we would rather recommend the sibling from the T series.

Nevertheless, the X1 Carbon is certainly attractive and performs well to very well in almost all aspects. In terms of battery life, touchpad, and display it is even slightly better than the T460s.

3rd

Touch me: Dell Latitude E7470
Touch me: Dell Latitude E7470

The Latitude series from Dell belongs to the strongest competitors of the ThinkPad T400 series. With the E7470, the US manufacturer follows a different approach than Lenovo with the T460s and does not primarily focus on mobility but uses a comparable massive case, which allows easy maintenance. The case also convinces with an excellent stability and a very powerful cooling system, which even remains super-silent under full load. The option for a high-resolution WQHD panel with touch support is also noteworthy. Although it is reflective, it can basically be used outdoors thanks to its high brightness. Certainly matte displays are available as an alternative.

4th

Great battery life: Lenovo ThinkPad T560 with two batteries and up to 116 Wh
Great battery life: Lenovo ThinkPad T560 with two batteries and up to 116 Wh

If the 14-inch ThinkPad T460(s) is too small for you, you will find a perfect 15.6-inch alternative with the ThinkPad T560. Case and input devices are of similar high quality as its smaller siblings. The keyboard in particular - with numpad - is outstanding. However, there are also some minor points of criticism: For example, the Full HD display of the base configuration should deliver better colors and a brighter backlight. In addition, there are no Thunderbolt or USB Type-C ports. If you do not mind this (or prefer to purchase the high-end 3K display for a higher price), you can enjoy a solid business veteran with low noise and temperatures and great battery runtimes. Incidentally: The T560 can be optionally configured with a dedicated Nvidia GeForce 940MX, which promises significantly higher 3D performance.

We have reviewed the cheaper base configuration of the T560 as well as the better equipped high-end edition.

Discussion

5th

Acer goes Business: Acer TravelMate P648-M
Acer goes Business: Acer TravelMate P648-M

Acer might not be the first manufacturer to be associated with high-end business notebooks. Thus, it is even more surprising that the company produced such a balanced bundle with its TravelMate P648-M. Case and input devices of the 14-incher rival those on the ThinkPad T460 or EliteBook 840 G3. In addition, the TravelMate is one of the few business notebooks to ship with Thunderbolt 3. As the laptop also delivers respectable battery runtimes, high system performance and an integrated LTE module, Acer has indeed managed to create an alternative to the established competition. This is all the more true in view of its relatively fair asking price.

6th

Does not need to hide from the competitors from HP, Dell, or Lenovo: Toshiba Tecra Z50-C
Does not need to hide from the competitors from HP, Dell, or Lenovo: Toshiba Tecra Z50-C

It often gets overlooked that apart from the "big three", Lenovo, HP, and Dell, there are other manufacturers that can produce convincing notebooks - wrongly, as Toshiba proves with the Tecra Z50 series. In contrast to many competitors, the Z50 neither omits an integrated DVD drive nor an analog VGA out. In addition, users will appreciate even four USB-3.0 ports. Pros are low noise and temperature emissions, excellent input devices, many security features, and an excellent Full HD display in 15.6-inch format. Those who can accept smaller weaknesses such as modest speaker quality or difficult maintenance will get an interesting alternative to devices such as the EliteBook 850 G3 or ThinkPad T560 in the Tecra. However, prospective buyers should consider that the price only includes a one-year warranty - which is uncommon in this category.

7th

Inexpensive alternative to the T460s top model: Lenovo ThinkPad T460
Inexpensive alternative to the T460s top model: Lenovo ThinkPad T460

No matter how appealing the ThinkPad T460s might appear, Lenovo's flagship is unfortunately not affordable for all buyers, as its price starts from above 1300 Euros (~$1477). Fortunately, the Chinese also a have a slightly cheaper alternative in the lineup with the ThinkPad T460, which, however, is notably thicker and heavier than its sibling. Those who can accept this and do not miss the optional WQHD panel of the T460s might be delighted by a solid work device with excellent office qualities. Thanks to the bigger case, the keyboard features a longer key travel and belongs to the best input devices on the market. Another pro: The T460 can be upgraded in many ways thanks to two fully fledged RAM slots, two batteries (including an external one), being WWAN ready and providing space for a 2.5-inch drive.

Unfortunately, the test model showed small flaws in build quality at the TrackPoint buttons and the case. However, this does not need to be true for all samples.

8th

Only its display performance is weak: HP EliteBook 840 G3
Only its display performance is weak: HP EliteBook 840 G3

Not only the Dell Latitude E7470 competes with the ThinkPad T460s for the lead in our charts, the HP EliteBook 840 G3 does, too. Despite its very solid performance overall, the 840 G3 could not achieve this - above all due to a well-known weakness: HP still does not incorporate a high-end IPS panel in all configurations but partly uses the TN technology with inferior contrast and viewing angles. Only models with WQHD resolution feature an IPS panel with much higher quality.

HP deserves praise for integrating a modern USB Type-C port and the fact that the EliteBook can be equipped with a 2.5-inch drive and an M.2 drive. The competing models from Lenovo and Dell can only house an M.2 SSD. The 840 G3 also meets the high expectations on a device of its price point in the classical office aspects; system noise, temperature, and input devices.

9th

Fast and long-lasting, yet unfortunately without IPS display: HP EliteBook 850 G3
Fast and long-lasting, yet unfortunately without IPS display: HP EliteBook 850 G3

Just as the HP EliteBook 840 G3 competes with the Lenovo ThinkPad T460(s), the EliteBook 850 G3 competes with the ThinkPad T560 in the 15.6-inch category. At the first glance, HP has made a very competitive bundle: A stylish metal case meets high-end input devices, fast hardware, and low noise and temperature emissions. What else does the solvent business customer wish for? Well, we had actually expected a better display in view of our configuration's price (about 1700 Euros, ~$1932). While the Full HD panel impresses with its sharp and bright image, the TN technology makes for low contrast and narrow viewing angles. Moreover, the colors could be better. In addition, we would wish for a bigger battery than our 46 Wh model in the successor.

10th

Compact hothead: Lenovo ThinkPad T460p
Compact hothead: Lenovo ThinkPad T460p

Not only Dell offers a 14-inch business notebook with quad-core power with the Latitude E5470. The counterpart from Lenovo is called the ThinkPad T460p. Compared to the T460 with frugal ULV hardware, the T460p is notably thicker in order to be able to handle the higher waste heat. Unfortunately, this still does not work satisfyingly: Although the manufacturer has limited the TDP to 35 Watt (standard: 45 Watt), the temperatures still increase alarmingly under persistent full load. By the way, this is also true for the smaller variants with i5 processor and integrated graphics.

The T460p makes up for this with usual ThinkPad quality in input devices, case and security features. The CPU performance is also nothing to sneeze at, since the reduced TDP hardly has negative impacts in practice. The optional dedicated Nvidia GeForce 940MX can smoothly run many games, albeit most of them only at low to medium settings.

Recent Premium Office/Business Awards

Best Value Award in December 2014: Dell Latitude 14 E5450
Best Value Award in December 2014: Dell Latitude 14 E5450
Best Value Award in December 2015: Lenovo ThinkPad E560
Best Value Award in December 2015: Lenovo ThinkPad E560
Editor's Choice in March 2016: Lenovo ThinkPad T460s
Editor's Choice in March 2016: Lenovo ThinkPad T460s

Top 10 in Comparison

Messergebnisse

Lenovo ThinkPad T460s-20FA003GGE
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB-005XUS
Dell Latitude 14 7000 Series E7470
Lenovo ThinkPad T560-20FH002RGE
Acer TravelMate P648-M-757N
Toshiba Tecra Z50-C-10P
Lenovo ThinkPad T460-20FN003LGE
HP EliteBook 840 G3 T9X59ET#ABD
HP EliteBook 850 G3
Lenovo ThinkPad T460p-20FXS05500
Response Times
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
35.6
47.2
48
32.8
44
20
42.4
43
46.4
38.4
Response Time Black / White *
29.2
27.6
27
22.4
25
26
24.8
25
27.2
24.8
PWM Frequency
220
220
50
204
200
220
Screen
Brightness
248
301
354
322
243
277
216
336
287
280
Brightness Distribution
94
89
81
88
90
83
85
87
85
93
Black Level *
0.26
0.294
0.26
0.32
0.19
0.27
0.26
0.65
0.54
0.31
Contrast
988
1094
1462
1059
1337
1067
885
563
537
935
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
4.59
3.96
3.11
5.88
4.93
4.7
7.32
10.26
9.7
3.88
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
6.38
3.15
4.35
7.41
2.71
3.1
6.98
11.51
10.83
5.47
Gamma
2.51 96%
2.34 103%
2.37 101%
2.36 102%
2.36 102%
2.7 89%
2.5 96%
2.4 100%
2.91 82%
2.33 103%
CCT
6238 104%
7082 92%
6771 96%
6036 108%
6914 94%
6603 98%
6683 97%
12725 51%
12761 51%
6469 100%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
65
53.8
62
57.14
34
61.9
39.97
47
51.15
63.3
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
98
82.7
96
87.68
53
90.3
61.55
74
78.96
96.64
Noise
Idle Minimum *
29.2
28.8
31.2
29
31.2
32.4
29
31.2
29
29.2
Idle Average *
29.2
28.9
31.2
29
31.2
32.4
29
32.1
29
29.2
Idle Maximum *
29.2
28.9
31.2
29
31.6
32.4
29
33.1
29
29.2
Load Average *
33.7
35
31.9
34.6
33.3
33.5
34.2
36.2
32.6
33.5
Load Maximum *
38.5
35.8
31.9
37.7
32.4
33.5
37.8
37.8
34.6
38.8
Heat
Maximum Upper Side *
40.8
40
38.2
43.3
38.5
36
37.3
37
33.4
51.6
Maximum Bottom *
40.3
42.8
36.5
51.1
36.7
50
44.3
37.1
36.4
55.2
Idle Upper Side *
27.6
26.6
25.1
34
31.5
23.9
29
25.3
31.4
30.7
Idle Bottom *
28.7
27.4
25.8
33.6
29.6
23.8
30.1
26.6
30.2
31.5
Battery Runtime
Reader / Idle
833
776
1036
1083
953
1020
915
660
Load
62
123
112
133
110
98
146
142
61
WiFi
WiFi v1.3
340
411
346
456
543
354
338
453
417
298
Power Consumption
Idle Minimum *
3.8
7.6
5.1
4.4
5.3
4.7
3.5
3.8
5
5
Idle Average *
7.1
9
8.5
9.8
9.3
8
6.7
6.3
7.8
9.9
Idle Maximum *
7.8
9.6
10.1
10.9
11.5
9.8
7.3
6.8
8.4
10.8
Load Average *
36.3
24.5
35.2
52.7
30.8
29.7
28.2
34.4
28.8
52.4
Load Maximum *
46
30.3
31
64.2
32
32.6
34.6
28.3
43
89.8

* ... smaller is better

Benchmarks

PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad T460s-20FA003GGE
4442 Points ∼73%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB-005XUS
3944 Points ∼64%
Dell Latitude 14 7000 Series E7470
4543 Points ∼74%
Lenovo ThinkPad T560-20FH002RGE
4228 Points ∼69%
Acer TravelMate P648-M-757N
4594 Points ∼75%
Toshiba Tecra Z50-C-10P
3842 Points ∼63%
Lenovo ThinkPad T460-20FN003LGE
3956 Points ∼65%
HP EliteBook 840 G3 T9X59ET#ABD
4275 Points ∼70%
HP EliteBook 850 G3
4232 Points ∼69%
Lenovo ThinkPad T460p-20FXS05500
4463 Points ∼73%
Home Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad T460s-20FA003GGE
3542 Points ∼62%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB-005XUS
3237 Points ∼57%
Dell Latitude 14 7000 Series E7470
3344 Points ∼59%
Lenovo ThinkPad T560-20FH002RGE
3017 Points ∼53%
Acer TravelMate P648-M-757N
3511 Points ∼62%
Toshiba Tecra Z50-C-10P
2991 Points ∼53%
Lenovo ThinkPad T460-20FN003LGE
2891 Points ∼51%
HP EliteBook 840 G3 T9X59ET#ABD
3231 Points ∼57%
HP EliteBook 850 G3
3202 Points ∼56%
Lenovo ThinkPad T460p-20FXS05500
3292 Points ∼58%
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad T460s-20FA003GGE
141 Points ∼76%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB-005XUS
91 Points ∼49%
Dell Latitude 14 7000 Series E7470
142 Points ∼77%
Lenovo ThinkPad T560-20FH002RGE (default)
143 Points ∼77%
Lenovo ThinkPad T560-20FH002RGE (25 W TDP)
143 Points ∼77%
Acer TravelMate P648-M-757N
110 Points ∼59%
Toshiba Tecra Z50-C-10P
105 Points ∼57%
Lenovo ThinkPad T460-20FN003LGE
115 Points ∼62%
HP EliteBook 840 G3 T9X59ET#ABD
119 Points ∼64%
HP EliteBook 850 G3
130 Points ∼70%
Lenovo ThinkPad T460p-20FXS05500
147 Points ∼79%
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad T460s-20FA003GGE
347 Points ∼21%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB-005XUS
301 Points ∼18%
Dell Latitude 14 7000 Series E7470
334 Points ∼20%
Lenovo ThinkPad T560-20FH002RGE (25 W TDP)
348 Points ∼21%
Lenovo ThinkPad T560-20FH002RGE (default)
306 Points ∼18%
Acer TravelMate P648-M-757N
284 Points ∼17%
Toshiba Tecra Z50-C-10P
280 Points ∼17%
Lenovo ThinkPad T460-20FN003LGE
287 Points ∼17%
HP EliteBook 840 G3 T9X59ET#ABD
322 Points ∼19%
HP EliteBook 850 G3
322 Points ∼19%
Lenovo ThinkPad T460p-20FXS05500
662 Points ∼40%

Legend

 
Lenovo ThinkPad T460s-20FA003GGE Intel Core i7-6600U, Intel HD Graphics 520, Samsung SSD SM951a 512GB M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe (MZVKV512)
 
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB-005XUS Intel Core i5-6300U, Intel HD Graphics 520, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
 
Dell Latitude 14 7000 Series E7470 Intel Core i7-6600U, Intel HD Graphics 520, Samsung SSD PM851 M.2 2280 256GB
 
Lenovo ThinkPad T560-20FH002RGE Intel Core i7-6600U, NVIDIA GeForce 940MX, Samsung SSD PM871 MZ7LN256HCHP
 
Acer TravelMate P648-M-757N Intel Core i7-6500U, Intel HD Graphics 520, Lite-On CV1-8B256
 
Toshiba Tecra Z50-C-10P Intel Core i5-6200U, Intel HD Graphics 520, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NU
 
Lenovo ThinkPad T460-20FN003LGE Intel Core i5-6200U, Intel HD Graphics 520, Toshiba HG6 THNSFJ256GCSU
 
HP EliteBook 840 G3 T9X59ET#ABD Intel Core i7-6500U, Intel HD Graphics 520, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZNTE256HMHP
 
HP EliteBook 850 G3 Intel Core i7-6500U, Intel HD Graphics 520, Sandisk X300 SD7SN6S-256G-1006
 
Lenovo ThinkPad T460p-20FXS05500 Intel Core i7-6700HQ, NVIDIA GeForce 940MX, Samsung SSD PM871 MZ7LN512HCHP

Automated top 10 list updated daily

of the last 12 months
1
76% v4
Acer Extensa 2519-C7DC Notebook Review
Acer Extensa 2519-C7DC
Acer Extensa 2519-C7DC Notebook Review
Intel Celeron N3050, Intel HD Graphics (Braswell), 12/18/2015
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