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Notebookcheck's Top 10 Premium Office/Business Notebooks

Staff, 02/07/2016

February 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.

For the original German article, see here.

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. For prices significantly above 1000 Euros (~$1335), 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 significantly longer product cycles (availability of service parts!), we will consider models as old as 12 months.

Premium Business Notebook Charts as of February 2016

Pos.DateRatingimageModelHeightWeightSizeResolutionScreen
105/201589%Lenovo ThinkPad T450s-20BWS1UT00Lenovo ThinkPad T450s-20BWS1UT00
Intel Core i5-5200U
NVIDIA GeForce 940M
12 GB Memory, 256 GB SSD
34 mm1.8 kg14"1920x1080matte
207/201489%Toshiba Tecra Z50 A-12KToshiba Tecra Z50 A-12K
Intel Core i7-4600U
Intel HD Graphics 4400
16 GB Memory, 256 GB SSD
20.4 mm1.8 kg15.6"1920x1080matte
304/201588%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
402/201588%Dell Latitude E7450Dell Latitude E7450
Intel Core i5-5300U
Intel HD Graphics 5500
8 GB Memory, 128 GB SSD
20.4 mm1.6 kg14.0"1920x1080matte
501/201587%Asus ASUSPRO Advanced BU401LA-CZ020GAsus ASUSPRO Advanced BU401LA-CZ020G
Intel Core i7-4650U
Intel HD Graphics 5000
8 GB Memory, 256 GB SSD
19.8 mm1.7 kg14"1600x900matte
605/201586%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
712/201486%Dell Latitude E5550Dell Latitude E5550
Intel Core i5-4310U
Intel HD Graphics 4400
8 GB Memory, 128 GB SSD
23.6 mm2.1 kg15.6"1920x1080matte
806/201486%Fujitsu Lifebook E754Fujitsu Lifebook E754
Intel Core i7-4702MQ
Intel HD Graphics 4600
8 GB Memory, 250 GB SSD
27 mm1.9 kg15.6"1920x1080matte
901/201685%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 kg14.0"2560x1440matte
1012/201585%Lenovo ThinkPad E560-20EWS00000Lenovo ThinkPad E560-20EWS00000
Intel Core i7-6500U
AMD Radeon R7 M370
8 GB Memory, 192 GB SSD
27.1 mm2.4 kg15.6"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

The Classic: Lenovo ThinkPad T450s
The Classic: Lenovo ThinkPad T450s

Lenovo has done it again: With a rating of 89%, the ThinkPad T450s took the top spot in our charts - and that in two ways: Apart from the high-end configuration with i7 CPU, it also achieves top ranking in the mid-range price category with the Core-i5 model. A particular highlight of this model is the dedicated GeForce 940M graphics card that allows  the office notebook to run current 3D games with medium settings. Regardless of the selected model, the T450s impresses with proven ThinkPad qualities like an excellent keyboard, detailed build quality, and low noise emissions. All this has its price: Prospective buyers have to pay at least 1000 Euros (~$1335) for the entry-level model. The price increases significantly with several recommended upgrades (e.g. the excellent Full HD IPS display). Students should opt for the highly discounted offers from the Lenovo Campus program.

2nd

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

The Toshiba Tecra Z50 A-12K has the same rating as the T450s. For many years the Japanese technology company has been a synonym for high-quality business notebooks, but the public often concentrates on the larger rivals like Lenovo, Dell or HP. Wrongfully, as the Z50-A proves: Advantages like the elegant magnesium case, great input devices as well as the very low temperature and noise development show Toshiba's 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

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.

Discussion

4th

More performance and longer battery life thanks to Broadwell: Dell Latitude E7450
More performance and longer battery life thanks to Broadwell: Dell Latitude E7450

The Latitude E7000 series belongs to the top series in Dell's business portfolio. This is not only reflected by the correspondingly high price, but also by the high quality of the models. The latest update of the 14-inch version, the Latitude 14 E7450 comes with Intel's Broadwell CPU generation introduced at the beginning of the year. Compared to the predecessor, the computational performance is about 10% higher. Otherwise, the differences are quite small. However, this is not a criticism: display, input devices, and connectivity - the Latitude performs well to very well in almost every aspect, which justifies the total rating of 88%.

5th

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

High quality for a low price - with this winning formula Asus tries to acquire fame in the business range, too. Successfully: After the smaller BU201LA  managed to make it into the Top 10 of its category the AsusPro Advanced BU401LA follows with a similarly convincing performance. Although stable case and precise input devices are more or less mandatory in this range, the very crisp keyboard with long key stroke 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 far too dark display, which is only suitable for outdoor use to some extent, the Ultrabook could have performed even better.

6th

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, which achieves slightly higher performance and battery life thanks to the new Broadwell processors. 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.

7th

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

Anyone looking for a reasonably priced alternative to the Latitude E7000 series should consider the models of the E5000 series. Although most of them have a simpler design and are, therefore heavier and thicker, the quality is hardly worse. With its excellent IPS display and fast hardware, the 15-inch Latitude 15 E5550 is suitable for many applications without neglecting aspects that are particularly important for business customers such as the many security features. Meanwhile, the notebook is also available with modern Broadwell CPUs, which brings higher performance at same TDP level. We have already reviewed this model in detail. See here for the review.

8th

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

The Fujitsu LifeBook E754 occupies the next place in our charts. Quad-core CPU and a weight of only 1.9 kg (~4.2 lb) prove that performance and mobility are not a contradiction. Otherwise, the slim business notebook is virtually flawless. 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.

9th

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-incher want 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: The bright contrast-rich, and viewing-angle-stable IPS panel, which provides a big screen real estate for complex applications and multitasking, was particularly impressing. Although the performance reserves of the incorporated Carrizo-APU are lower than 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 especially long-lasting with a realistic battery life of 3 to 3.5 hours.

10th

Lenovo ThinkPad E560
Lenovo ThinkPad E560

With the E560, yet another ThinkPad made it into our charts, although it only deserves being labelled "business" to some extent, since the E or Edge series refers to Lenovo's relatively affordable entry-level office devices. However, the manufacturer has improved the newest generation that much that it could also be attractive for demanding users: For example, it is the first time the E series (at least selected configurations) has featured high-end IPS panels, which make for high contrast and wide viewing angles. Moreover, the E560 is convincing and shines with fast Skylake CPUs, optional Radeon graphics and the usual excellent input devices. Those who can do without certain professional features like vPro will get a very attractive bundle for a bargain price. This is also true for the smaller ThinkPad E460 sibling. We honor this performance with our coveted Best Value Award.

Recent Premium Office/Business Awards

Editor's Choice in Mai 2014: HP EliteBook 840 G1
Editor's Choice in Mai 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
Editor's Choice in February 2015: Lenovo Thinkpad T450s
Editor's Choice in February 2015: Lenovo Thinkpad T450s
Best Value Award in December 2015: Lenovo Thinkpad E560
Best Value Award in December 2015: Lenovo Thinkpad E560

Top 10 in Comparison

Measurement Results

Lenovo ThinkPad T450s-20BWS1UT00
Toshiba Tecra Z50 A-12K
Acer TravelMate P645-S-58HK
Dell Latitude E7450
Asus ASUSPRO Advanced BU401LA-CZ020G
HP EliteBook 850 G2 J8R68EA
Dell Latitude E5550
Fujitsu Lifebook E754
HP EliteBook 745 G3
Lenovo ThinkPad E560-20EWS00000
Screen
Brightness Center288270331280216314343257319257
Black Level *0.2860.360.40.30.4360.660.360.250.290.27
Contrast100775082893349547695310281100952
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *4.354.854.073.459.637.433.155.697.237.16
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *3.74.674.863.3510.729.253.656.0866.28
Gamma *2.682.582.492.372.492.492.622.432.142.44
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)54.754596044.852.363.34965.836.6
Noise
Idle Minimum *29.128.829.629.129.328.929.627.62929.2
Idle Average *29.128.829.629.129.328.929.627.62929.2
Idle Maximum *29.128.830.23030.928.929.627.631.129.2
Load Average *33.133.435.636.433.140.732.939.735.633.6
Load Maximum *34.336.835.937.837.341.33744.335.635.5
Heat
Maximum Upper Side *49.636.441.641.641.143.836.837.139.545
Maximum Bottom *51.93441.737.140.546.542.643.14339.8
Idle Upper Side *2932.130.628.732.531.726.432.432.926.1
Idle Bottom *30.929.627.531.433.532.925.936.53527.7
Battery Runtime
Reader / Idle18577691143714699877523898442884
Load2591061131151201167810376104
WiFi v1.3648535422393187342
WiFi434459310365362
Power Consumption
Idle Minimum *3.14.13.244.138.24.46.24.2
Idle Average *8.68.36.37.87.16.312.87.89.47.5
Idle Maximum *9.68.68.697.3715.18.314.88.2
Load Average *35.630.230.331.628.943.732.938.944.849.6
Load Maximum *49.430.630.429.629.363.73750.745.265.8

* ... smaller is better

Benchmarks

Cinebench R11.5
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad T450s-20BWS1UT00
2.77 Points ∼16%
Toshiba Tecra Z50 A-12K
2.89 Points ∼16%
Acer TravelMate P645-S-58HK
2.5 Points ∼14%
Dell Latitude E7450
3.07 Points ∼17%
Asus ASUSPRO Advanced BU401LA-CZ020G
2.9 Points ∼16%
HP EliteBook 850 G2 J8R68EA
3.25 Points ∼18%
Dell Latitude E5550
2.9 Points ∼16%
Fujitsu Lifebook E754
5.6 Points ∼32%
HP EliteBook 745 G3
2.45 Points ∼14%
Lenovo ThinkPad E560-20EWS00000
3.55 Points ∼20%
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad T450s-20BWS1UT00
1.28 Points ∼3%
Toshiba Tecra Z50 A-12K
1.39 Points ∼3%
Acer TravelMate P645-S-58HK
1.04 Points ∼2%
Dell Latitude E7450
1.35 Points ∼3%
Asus ASUSPRO Advanced BU401LA-CZ020G
1.42 Points ∼3%
HP EliteBook 850 G2 J8R68EA
1.41 Points ∼3%
Dell Latitude E5550
1.3 Points ∼3%
Fujitsu Lifebook E754
1.4 Points ∼3%
HP EliteBook 745 G3
0.88 Points ∼2%
Lenovo ThinkPad E560-20EWS00000
1.45 Points ∼3%
PCMark 7 - Score (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad T450s-20BWS1UT00
4995 Points ∼63%
Toshiba Tecra Z50 A-12K
4626 Points ∼58%
Acer TravelMate P645-S-58HK
4046 Points ∼51%
Dell Latitude E7450
4650 Points ∼59%
Asus ASUSPRO Advanced BU401LA-CZ020G
5190 Points ∼65%
HP EliteBook 850 G2 J8R68EA
4905 Points ∼62%
Dell Latitude E5550
4168 Points ∼53%
Fujitsu Lifebook E754
4446 Points ∼56%
HP EliteBook 745 G3
3407 Points ∼43%
Lenovo ThinkPad E560-20EWS00000
5102 Points ∼64%
PCMark 8 - Home Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad T450s-20BWS1UT00
3128 Points ∼55%
Toshiba Tecra Z50 A-12K
3367 Points ∼59%
Acer TravelMate P645-S-58HK
2919 Points ∼51%
Dell Latitude E7450
2932 Points ∼52%
Asus ASUSPRO Advanced BU401LA-CZ020G
2711 Points ∼48%
HP EliteBook 850 G2 J8R68EA
3726 Points ∼66%
Dell Latitude E5550
2119 Points ∼37%
Fujitsu Lifebook E754
2719 Points ∼48%
HP EliteBook 745 G3
2445 Points ∼43%
Lenovo ThinkPad E560-20EWS00000
3595 Points ∼63%

Legend

 
Lenovo ThinkPad T450s-20BWS1UT00 Intel Core i5-5200U, NVIDIA GeForce 940M, Samsung SSD PM871 MZ7LN256HCHP
 
Toshiba Tecra Z50 A-12K Intel Core i7-4600U, Intel HD Graphics 4400, Toshiba THNSNJ256GMCT
 
Acer TravelMate P645-S-58HK Intel Core i5-5200U, Intel HD Graphics 5500, Kingston RBU-SNS8100S3256GD
 
Dell Latitude E7450 Intel Core i5-5300U, Intel HD Graphics 5500, Samsung SSD PM851 mSATA 128 GB
 
Asus ASUSPRO Advanced BU401LA-CZ020G Intel Core i7-4650U, Intel HD Graphics 5000, Liteonit LCS-256M6S
 
HP EliteBook 850 G2 J8R68EA Intel Core i7-5500U, AMD Radeon R7 M260X, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZ7TE256HMHP
 
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
 
HP EliteBook 745 G3 AMD Pro A12-8800B, AMD Radeon R7 (Carrizo), Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZNTE256HMHP
 
Lenovo ThinkPad E560-20EWS00000 Intel Core i7-6500U, AMD Radeon R7 M370, Samsung CM871 MZ7LF192HCGS

Automated top 10 list updated daily

of the last 12 months
1
89% v4
Lenovo ThinkPad T450s Ultrabook Review
Lenovo ThinkPad T450s-20BWS1UT00
Lenovo ThinkPad T450s Ultrabook Review
Intel Core i5 5200U, NVIDIA GeForce 940M, 05/20/2015
2
89% v4
First Impressions: Lenovo ThinkPad T450s
Lenovo ThinkPad T450s-20BWS03F00
First Impressions: Lenovo ThinkPad T450s
Intel Core i7 5600U, Intel HD Graphics 5500, 02/20/2015
3
88% v4
Acer TravelMate P645 Notebook Review
Acer TravelMate P645-S-58HK
Acer TravelMate P645 Notebook Review
Intel Core i5 5200U, Intel HD Graphics 5500, 04/18/2015
4
87% v4
Lenovo ThinkPad T550 Notebook Review
Lenovo ThinkPad T550
Lenovo ThinkPad T550 Notebook Review
Intel Core i7 5600U, Intel HD Graphics 5500, 03/13/2015
5
86% v4
HP EliteBook 850 G2 Notebook Review
HP EliteBook 850 G2 J8R68EA
HP EliteBook 850 G2 Notebook Review
Intel Core i7 5500U, AMD Radeon R7 M260X, 05/16/2015
6
85% v4
Lenovo ThinkPad E560 (Core i7, Radeon R7 M370) Notebook Review
Lenovo ThinkPad E560-20EWS00000
Lenovo ThinkPad E560 (Core i7, Radeon R7 M370) Notebook Review
Intel Core i7 6500U, AMD Radeon R7 M370, 12/14/2015
7
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
8
85% v4
HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G2 Ultrabook Review
HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G2
HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G2 Ultrabook Review
Intel Core i7 5600U, Intel HD Graphics 5500, 05/30/2015
9
85% v4
HP EliteBook 840 G2 Notebook Review
HP EliteBook 840 G2
HP EliteBook 840 G2 Notebook Review
Intel Core i5 5200U, Intel HD Graphics 5500, 04/01/2015
10
84% v4
Lenovo ThinkPad L450 Notebook Review
Lenovo Thinkpad L450 20DS0001GE
Lenovo ThinkPad L450 Notebook Review
Intel Core i5 5300U, Intel HD Graphics 5500, 04/21/2015
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Author: Staff, 2016-02- 7 (Update: 2016-02- 7)