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Notebookcheck's Top 10 Premium Office/Business Notebooks

Staff, 06/04/2016

June 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 June 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
205/2016
New!
90%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
405/2016
New!
89%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
503/201688%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
605/201687%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
704/201687%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
804/201687%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
904/201687%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
1004/201687%HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G3HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G3
Intel Core i5-6300U
Intel HD Graphics 520
16 GB Memory, 256 GB SSD
15.8 mm1.4 kg14"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

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.

Discussion

5th

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.

6th

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.

7th

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.

8th

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.

9th

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.

10th

Outrageously expensive: HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G3
Outrageously expensive: HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G3

Even 3 mm thinner and 200 g lighter than the HP EliteBook 840 G3; The EliteBook Folio 1040 G3 targets users who consider mobility most important. HP has not been sparing in terms of connectivity and equipped the 1040 G3 with as much as 16 GB of RAM, a very fast PCIe-SSD, and an integrated LTE module. The display also meets highest demands and scores with flawless brightness, high contrast, wide viewing angles, and precise colors. Nevertheless, the price of about 2500 Euros (~$2850) appears quite self-confident, since you do not even get a Core i7 processor. Moreover, upgrades and maintenance are limited, and the EliteBook cannot drive 4K displays at a full 60 Hz since it lacks a DisplayPort. The ThinkPad X1 Carbon from Lenovo might be an alternative, however, it is also very expensive.

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 20FB-005XUS
Dell Latitude 14 7000 Series E7470
Toshiba Tecra Z50-C-10P
Lenovo ThinkPad T560-20FH001FGE
Lenovo ThinkPad T460-20FN003LGE
HP EliteBook 840 G3 T9X59ET#ABD
HP EliteBook 850 G3
Lenovo ThinkPad T460p-20FXS05500
HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G3
Screen
Brightness248301354277220216336287280316
Brightness Distribution94898183848587859387
Black Level *0.260.2940.260.270.270.260.650.540.310.35
Contrast988109414621067900885563537935934
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *4.593.963.114.77.497.3210.269.73.884.39
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *6.383.154.353.17.56.9811.5110.835.474.69
Gamma *2.512.342.372.72.352.52.42.912.332.15
CCT6238 104%7082 92%6771 96%6603 98%6115 106%6683 97%12725 51%12761 51%6469 100%7101 92%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)6553.86261.938.939.974751.1563.362.52
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)9882.79690.360.961.557478.9696.6496.71
Noise
Idle Minimum *29.228.831.232.430.82931.22929.229.1
Idle Average *29.228.931.232.430.82932.12929.229.1
Idle Maximum *29.228.931.232.430.82933.12929.229.1
Load Average *33.73531.933.533.134.236.232.633.532.6
Load Maximum *38.535.831.933.534.437.837.834.638.837.8
Heat
Maximum Upper Side *40.84038.23633.337.33733.451.643.2
Maximum Bottom *40.342.836.55040.144.337.136.455.247.1
Idle Upper Side *27.626.625.123.927.42925.331.430.730.5
Idle Bottom *28.727.425.823.829.630.126.630.231.531.5
Battery Runtime
Reader / Idle83377610859531020915660530
Load621231122269814614261131
WiFi v1.3340411346354661338453417298309
Power Consumption
Idle Minimum *3.87.65.14.74.33.53.8556.3
Idle Average *7.198.587.36.76.37.89.99.4
Idle Maximum *7.89.610.19.87.87.36.88.410.810.1
Load Average *36.324.535.229.726.328.234.428.852.433.3
Load Maximum *4630.33132.63234.628.34389.849.5

* ... smaller is better

Benchmarks

PCMark 8
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%
Toshiba Tecra Z50-C-10P
2991 Points ∼53%
Lenovo ThinkPad T560-20FH001FGE
2928 Points ∼52%
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%
HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G3
3305 Points ∼58%
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%
Toshiba Tecra Z50-C-10P
3842 Points ∼63%
Lenovo ThinkPad T560-20FH001FGE
4091 Points ∼67%
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%
HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G3
4241 Points ∼69%
Cinebench R15
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad T460s-20FA003GGE
347 Points ∼22%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB-005XUS
301 Points ∼19%
Dell Latitude 14 7000 Series E7470
334 Points ∼22%
Toshiba Tecra Z50-C-10P
280 Points ∼18%
Lenovo ThinkPad T560-20FH001FGE
290 Points ∼19%
Lenovo ThinkPad T460-20FN003LGE
287 Points ∼19%
HP EliteBook 840 G3 T9X59ET#ABD
322 Points ∼21%
HP EliteBook 850 G3
322 Points ∼21%
Lenovo ThinkPad T460p-20FXS05500
662 Points ∼43%
HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G3
303 Points ∼20%
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad T460s-20FA003GGE
141 Points ∼77%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 20FB-005XUS
91 Points ∼50%
Dell Latitude 14 7000 Series E7470
142 Points ∼78%
Toshiba Tecra Z50-C-10P
105 Points ∼58%
Lenovo ThinkPad T560-20FH001FGE
113 Points ∼62%
Lenovo ThinkPad T460-20FN003LGE
115 Points ∼63%
HP EliteBook 840 G3 T9X59ET#ABD
119 Points ∼65%
HP EliteBook 850 G3
130 Points ∼71%
Lenovo ThinkPad T460p-20FXS05500
147 Points ∼81%
HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G3
124 Points ∼68%

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
 
Toshiba Tecra Z50-C-10P Intel Core i5-6200U, Intel HD Graphics 520, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NU
 
Lenovo ThinkPad T560-20FH001FGE Intel Core i5-6200U, Intel HD Graphics 520, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
 
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
 
HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G3 Intel Core i5-6300U, Intel HD Graphics 520, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256HDGL m.2 PCI-e

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
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
7
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
8
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
9
75% v4
Lenovo E50-80 Notebook Review
Lenovo E50-80
Lenovo E50-80 Notebook Review
Intel Core i5 5200U, Intel HD Graphics 5500, 09/03/2015
10
70% v4
Lenovo IdeaPad 305-15 Notebook Review
Lenovo IdeaPad 305-15ABM
Lenovo IdeaPad 305-15 Notebook Review
AMD A-Series A6-6310, AMD Radeon R4 (Beema), 09/29/2015
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