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Notebookcheck's Top 10 Premium Office/Business Notebooks

Staff, 04/11/2016

April 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.

Premium Business Notebook Charts as of April 2016

Pos.DateRatingImageModelHeightWeightSizeResolutionScreenBest Price
103/2016
New!
91%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
204/2016
New!
89%Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB003RGELenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB003RGE
Intel Core i7-6500U
Intel HD Graphics 520
8 GB Memory, 256 GB SSD
16.5 mm1.2 kg14.0"2560x1440matte
304/2016
New!
89%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
403/201688%Lenovo ThinkPad T560-20FH001FGELenovo ThinkPad T560-20FH001FGE
Intel Core i5-6200U
Intel HD Graphics 520
4 GB Memory, 500 GB Hybrid
22.4 mm2.3 kg15.6"1920x1080matte
504/201588%Acer TravelMate P645-S-58HKAcer TravelMate P645-S-58HK
Intel Core i5-5200U
Intel HD Graphics 5500
8 GB Memory, 256 GB SSD
21 mm1.5 kg14"1920x1080matte
604/2016
New!
87%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
705/201586%HP EliteBook 850 G2 J8R68EAHP EliteBook 850 G2 J8R68EA
Intel Core i7-5500U
AMD Radeon R7 M260X
8 GB Memory, 256 GB SSD
21 mm2 kg15.6"1920x1080matte
801/201686%HP EliteBook 745 G3HP EliteBook 745 G3
AMD Pro A12-8800B
AMD Radeon R7 (Carrizo)
8 GB Memory, 256 GB SSD
18.9 mm1.5 kg14"2560x1440matte
903/2016
New!
85%Dell Latitude 14 E5470Dell Latitude 14 E5470
Intel Core i5-6300U
Intel HD Graphics 520
8 GB Memory, 256 GB SSD
23 mm1.8 kg14.0"1366x768matte
1003/2016
New!
85%Lenovo ThinkPad T460pLenovo ThinkPad T460p
Intel Core i5-6440HQ
Intel HD Graphics 530
4 GB Memory, 500 GB HDD
24.4 mm1.9 kg14.0"1920x1080matte

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 the probably 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 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 display diagonal of 14-inches of a 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 on a similarly high quality level as the smaller siblings. The keyboard in particular - with number block - is outstanding. However, there are also some minor points of criticism: For example the Full HD IPS display should deliver a brighter backlight and better colors. In addition, we miss Thunderbolt or a USB Type-C port. If you do not mind this (or order the 3K display for a higher price), you can enjoy a solid business veteran with low noise and temperature emissions and great battery runtimes. Incidentally: The T560 can be optionally configured with a dedicated Nvidia GeForce 940MX, which promises significantly higher 3D performance.

Discussion

5th

Does not have to hide behind the established rivals: Acer TravelMate P645-S
Does not have to hide behind the established rivals: Acer TravelMate P645-S

With its new TravelMate P645-S, Acer proves that it is not only inexpensive consumer notebooks that it can build. Thanks to its Broadwell processor, the successor of the P645-MG now manages even longer battery runtimes of up to 9 hours in practical use. The TravelMate is particularly recommended to those users who need a full working device on the road, thanks to the combination of its very bright IPS display and the integrated UMTS module. The quality of the 14-inch device does not have to hide behind the rivals from Lenovo, Dell or HP that are usually more expensive. The only drawbacks are the missing DisplayPort as well as the inactive CPU Turbo that affects the application performance slightly. Nevertheless, considering the solid price-performance ratio, the P645-S really deserved the purchase recommendation.

6th

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 finally 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 a 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.

7th

Fast and persistent, but without IPS display: HP EliteBook 850 G2
Fast and persistent, but without IPS display: HP EliteBook 850 G2

HP's EliteBook series is one the strongest competitors of the ThinkPad series. The 15.6-inch EliteBook 850 G2 is an only marginally revised edition of last year's EliteBook 850 G1 that thanks to the new Broadwell processors achieves slightly higher performance and battery life. Connectivity, build quality and input devices are on par with the competition from Lenovo. However, despite the high price, HP has not incorporated an IPS panel with wide viewing angles. Manufacturers should pay attention to such details in premium business laptops. Nevertheless, the 850 G2 has many pros: For example, the ThinkPad T550 does not feature a conventional touchpad with dedicated buttons.

8th

So much for no alternatives: HP brings AMD technology into the business class
So much for no alternatives: HP brings AMD technology into the business class

For the first time in a long while, an AMD-based notebook breaks through the Intel phalanx in our Business Top 10 with the HP EliteBook 745 G3. By no means does the slim 14-inch device aim to score points as a low-cost alternative. Quite the contrary, it brings all sorts of high-end hardware for a retail price of about 1300 Euros (~$1483): The bright, contrast-rich, and viewing-angle-stable IPS panel, which provides a big screen for complex applications and multitasking, was particularly impressive. Although the performance reserves of the incorporated Carrizo-APU are lower than those of the current Core i5 or Core i9 CPUs', together with 8 GB of RAM and an 156 GB SSD it can easily cope with all everyday tasks. However, you should stay close to a power outlet, since the 745 G3 does not prove to be particularly long-lasting with a realistic battery life of 3 to 3.5 hours.

9th

Optionally with quad-core power: Dell Latitude E5470
Optionally with quad-core power: Dell Latitude E5470

With the Latitude E5470, Dell offers a relatively affordable alternative to the E7470 high-end model. While both models feature the same display diagonal of 14-inch, the E5470 is slightly thicker and heavier than its noble sibling. Nevertheless, it does not need to hide behind it or often more expensive competing models in terms of quality. However, we would advise against selecting the cheapest configurations: These not only deliver low performance reserves with Core i3 CPU and mechanical hard drive but also use a low-contrast and dark TN display with WXGA resolution. Fortunately, Dell incorporates a much better Full HD IPS panel for a surcharge.

What makes the E5470 especially interesting is the fact that it can house usual ULV processors and also fully-fledged quad-core CPUs. We will check how well the case can handle the additional waste heat in a coming review.

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. The short battery runtimes and difficult maintenance also impair the overall impression.

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. Lenovo also offers a model with dedicated Nvidia GeForce 940MX, which we will review later.

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

Measurement Results

Lenovo ThinkPad T460s-20FA003GGE
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB003RGE
Dell Latitude 14 7000 Series E7470
Lenovo ThinkPad T560-20FH001FGE
Acer TravelMate P645-S-58HK
HP EliteBook 840 G3 T9X59ET#ABD
HP EliteBook 745 G3
HP EliteBook 850 G2 J8R68EA
Dell Latitude 14 E5470
Lenovo ThinkPad T460p
Screen
Brightness248268354220309336301294207255
Brightness Distribution94958184828774888091
Black Level *0.260.320.260.270.40.650.290.660.690.24
Contrast988850146290082856311004763321121
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *4.592.613.117.494.0710.267.237.4310.164.27
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *6.383.314.357.54.8611.5169.2510.872.95
Gamma *2.512.352.372.352.492.42.142.492.412.12
CCT6238636067716115610912725690410786128817049
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)65636238.9594765.852.338.437
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)98959660.990.67495.360.458.2
Noise
Idle Minimum *29.229.131.230.829.631.22928.929.233.7
Idle Average *29.229.131.230.829.632.12928.929.233.7
Idle Maximum *29.229.131.230.830.233.131.128.929.233.7
Load Average *33.735.631.933.135.636.235.640.732.136.2
Load Maximum *38.538.131.934.435.937.835.641.336.841.9
Heat
Maximum Upper Side *40.843.238.233.341.63739.543.841.546.2
Maximum Bottom *40.34536.540.141.737.14346.541.444.7
Idle Upper Side *27.630.225.127.430.625.332.931.726.925.6
Idle Bottom *28.730.625.829.627.526.63532.929.626.7
Battery Runtime
Reader / Idle8339421085114310204428771304494
Load621151122261131467611617255
WiFi v1.3340429346661535453187393667265
Power Consumption
Idle Minimum *3.83.85.14.33.23.86.233.56.3
Idle Average *7.17.18.57.36.36.39.46.35.39.4
Idle Maximum *7.87.710.17.88.66.814.87610.6
Load Average *36.330.235.226.330.334.444.843.726.342.7
Load Maximum *4644.7313230.428.345.263.736.666.7

* ... smaller is better

Benchmarks

Cinebench R11.5
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad T460s-20FA003GGE
3.83 Points ∼22%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB003RGE
3.46 Points ∼20%
Dell Latitude 14 7000 Series E7470
3.58 Points ∼20%
Lenovo ThinkPad T560-20FH001FGE
3.23 Points ∼18%
Acer TravelMate P645-S-58HK
2.5 Points ∼14%
HP EliteBook 745 G3
2.45 Points ∼14%
HP EliteBook 850 G2 J8R68EA
3.25 Points ∼18%
Dell Latitude 14 E5470
3.44 Points ∼20%
Lenovo ThinkPad T460p
5.91 Points ∼34%
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad T460s-20FA003GGE
1.57 Points ∼73%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB003RGE
1.47 Points ∼68%
Dell Latitude 14 7000 Series E7470
1.61 Points ∼75%
Lenovo ThinkPad T560-20FH001FGE
1.29 Points ∼60%
Acer TravelMate P645-S-58HK
1.04 Points ∼48%
HP EliteBook 745 G3
0.88 Points ∼41%
HP EliteBook 850 G2 J8R68EA
1.41 Points ∼65%
Dell Latitude 14 E5470
1.42 Points ∼66%
Lenovo ThinkPad T460p
1.66 Points ∼77%
PCMark 7 - Score (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad T460s-20FA003GGE
5190 Points ∼65%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB003RGE
5350 Points ∼67%
Dell Latitude 14 7000 Series E7470
5194 Points ∼65%
Lenovo ThinkPad T560-20FH001FGE
3609 Points ∼45%
Acer TravelMate P645-S-58HK
4046 Points ∼51%
HP EliteBook 745 G3
3407 Points ∼43%
HP EliteBook 850 G2 J8R68EA
4905 Points ∼62%
Dell Latitude 14 E5470
5125 Points ∼65%
Lenovo ThinkPad T460p
3002 Points ∼38%
PCMark 8 - Home Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad T460s-20FA003GGE
3542 Points ∼62%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB003RGE
3385 Points ∼60%
Dell Latitude 14 7000 Series E7470
3344 Points ∼59%
Lenovo ThinkPad T560-20FH001FGE
2928 Points ∼52%
Acer TravelMate P645-S-58HK
2919 Points ∼51%
HP EliteBook 840 G3 T9X59ET#ABD
3231 Points ∼57%
HP EliteBook 745 G3
2445 Points ∼43%
HP EliteBook 850 G2 J8R68EA
3726 Points ∼66%
Dell Latitude 14 E5470
3438 Points ∼61%
Lenovo ThinkPad T460p
3088 Points ∼54%

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 20FB003RGE Intel Core i7-6500U, Intel HD Graphics 520, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
 
Dell Latitude 14 7000 Series E7470 Intel Core i7-6600U, Intel HD Graphics 520, Samsung SSD PM851 M.2 2280 256GB
 
Lenovo ThinkPad T560-20FH001FGE Intel Core i5-6200U, Intel HD Graphics 520, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
 
Acer TravelMate P645-S-58HK Intel Core i5-5200U, Intel HD Graphics 5500, Kingston RBU-SNS8100S3256GD
 
HP EliteBook 840 G3 T9X59ET#ABD Intel Core i7-6500U, Intel HD Graphics 520, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZNTE256HMHP
 
HP EliteBook 745 G3 AMD Pro A12-8800B, AMD Radeon R7 (Carrizo), Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZNTE256HMHP
 
HP EliteBook 850 G2 J8R68EA Intel Core i7-5500U, AMD Radeon R7 M260X, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZ7TE256HMHP
 
Dell Latitude 14 E5470 Intel Core i5-6300U, Intel HD Graphics 520, Liteon L8H-256V2G
 
Lenovo ThinkPad T460p Intel Core i5-6440HQ, Intel HD Graphics 530, Toshiba MQ01ACF050

Automated top 10 list updated daily

of the last 12 months
1
85% v4
Lenovo ThinkPad E460 (Core i5, Radeon R7 M360) Notebook Review
Lenovo ThinkPad E460-20EUS00000
Lenovo ThinkPad E460 (Core i5, Radeon R7 M360) Notebook Review
Intel Core i5 6200U, AMD Radeon R7 M360, 12/01/2015
2
81% v4
Acer TravelMate P257-M-56AX Notebook Review
Acer TravelMate P257-M-56AX
Acer TravelMate P257-M-56AX Notebook Review
Intel Core i5 5200U, Intel HD Graphics 5500, 10/29/2015
3
80% v4
Lenovo ThinkPad E450 Notebook Review
Lenovo ThinkPad E450 20DDS01E00
Lenovo ThinkPad E450 Notebook Review
Intel Core i5 5200U, AMD Radeon R7 M260, 07/11/2015
4
79% v4
Toshiba Tecra A50-C Notebook Review
Toshiba Tecra A50-C1510W10
Toshiba Tecra A50-C Notebook Review
Intel Core i5 5200U, Intel HD Graphics 5500, 10/08/2015
5
77% v4
Lenovo B70-80 80MR0006GE
Lenovo B70-80 80MR0006GE
Lenovo B70-80 80MR0006GE Notebook Review
Intel Core i5 5200U, NVIDIA GeForce 920M, 10/21/2015
6
77% v4
Dell Vostro 15 3558 Notebook Review
Dell Vostro 3558
Dell Vostro 15 3558 Notebook Review
Intel Core i5 5200U, Intel HD Graphics 5500, 06/23/2015
7
77% v4
HP 350 G1 (2015) Notebook Review
HP 350 G1 F7Z01EA
HP 350 G1 (2015) Notebook Review
Intel Pentium 3558U, Intel HD Graphics (Haswell), 06/12/2015
8
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
9
76% v4
Acer TravelMate P277-MG-7474 Notebook Review
Acer TravelMate P277-MG-7474
Acer TravelMate P277-MG-7474 Notebook Review
Intel Core i7 5500U, NVIDIA GeForce 940M, 11/25/2015
10
76% v4
Acer Aspire E15 Start ES1-512-P1SM Notebook Review
Acer Aspire E15 ES1-512-P1SM
Acer Aspire E15 Start ES1-512-P1SM Notebook Review
Intel Pentium N3540, Intel HD Graphics (Bay Trail), 06/29/2015
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