I mostly ignored the Windows world until late last year when Microsoft introduced the Windows Linux Subsystem — basically a way to use a Linux terminal natively in Windows — which made me realize that development on Windows might actually be pleasant eventually. I wrote back then that even this was enough to tempt me back to Windows, and it was a game changer:. After waiting eagerly for the MacBook Pro refresh, then being utterly disappointed by what Apple actually shipped — a high-end priced laptop with poor performance — I started wondering if I could go back to Windows.
Then, in October , Microsoft unveiled the next version of Windows: Creators Update out of nowhere. It brings dedicated gaming features, full OS-level VR support, color customization, a people bar for quick chat and a lot more in a free update. It took me months to convince myself to do it, but I spent weeks poring over forum posts about computer specs and new hardware before realizing how far ahead the PC really is now: So, in February , I found myself building a computer from scratch.
I sold my 15" MacBook Pro I now use a 12" MacBook for on-the-go productivity , and invested in building a desktop workhorse that would fit my needs and last for a long time.
On top of that? Over the coming weeks I plan to write about the great parts of Windows, how I got my development environment set up, the apps I use, and, of course, the bad parts. For the last few months I've been looking for a laptop that can replace my trusty MBP and it's been more difficult than expected.
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Owen is a freelance writer, marketer and maker based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, helping make technology friendlier with words. Are you tired of tech news being full of clickbait and ads? The technology industry is noisy, and it's hard to keep up. My weekday briefing helps you busy people like you keep up with tech in a few minutes, explaining the why behind the story. I wrote back then that even this was enough to tempt me back to Windows, and it was a game changer: Our general takeaway, though, is that under most circumstances, they tend to work better as adjunct than primary machines in most businesses.
Take some time to consider the nature of your particular job. Doing so should point you toward the ideal business laptop. Paying a little extra for more power or capabilities now will save you headaches down the road. The added value of a longer warranty some business laptops come with three years , specialized tech support, and a more ruggedized frame fortified by carbon fiber or magnesium alloy are some of the extra benefits you may get with a business laptop. If your work is graphics-intensive, you'll want to opt for a laptop with discrete graphics.
When choosing a processor, you'll have to find the right balance between power for your applications and energy efficiency, and in selecting a battery, you'll need to choose between its capacity and weight.
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When you determine the best features for your needs, you can focus on just those laptops that incorporate them. And that's where our deep-dive reviews come in. Our current favorite business laptops are laid out below. We refresh the list often to include the newest products, and because of the large number of laptops we review every year, not every top-rated product makes the cut. For more, also see our overall top laptop picks , and if money is tight, our roundup of the best budget laptops is worth a read.
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If you're looking to fully outfit your work area, also check out our takes on the best business monitors , plus our favorite keyboards and printers. Excellent battery life. Core i9 processing muscle. Sleek, thin all-metal design.
Beautiful display with automatic color-temperature adjustment. Roomy SSD. High starting price, and painfully expensive as configured. With the addition of an Intel Core i9 processor, the sleek inch MacBook Pro is now one of the most powerful desktop-replacement laptops you can buy, making it an excellent choice for well-heeled, on-the-go creative pros. Wonderfully compact and light.
Three screen choices: Crisp keyboard. Good array of ports, including two Thunderbolt 3. Marathon battery life. Impressive audio. No SD card slot. Clumsy cursor-arrow keys. Superb audio quality. Comfortable, oversized touchpad. Thin, sleek design. Screen aspect ratio makes editing documents easier. Remarkably thin and light. Formidable six-core Xeon horsepower. Gorgeous 4K touch screen. Unusable webcam placement. No middle button or any buttons on touchpad. Only one Thunderbolt 3 port.
Elegant detachable design. Spiffy screen. More lap-friendly than tablets with kickstands. Strong performance and battery life. No backlit keyboard. Mediocre cameras. Premium build quality.
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Thin and light. Very good battery life. Quick charging. Finicky touch screen. Anemic speakers. No Ethernet port. The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon offers premium features in a slim and attractive package that business users will love-just be prepared to open your wallet wide for this top-notch ultraportable laptop. Stylish, sleek, and light.
Stunning 4K touch screen. Legendary ThinkPad keyboard. Two Thunderbolt 3 ports. Ethernet port requires optional dongle. Lackluster battery life. Premium alloy construction. Elegant convertible design. Sharp high-resolution touch display in new larger size. Discrete Nvidia GTX graphics.
Very long battery life.
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Multiple configuration options. Xbox wireless controller receiver is integrated. Surface Pen is an additional purchase. Adding SSD storage is pricey. Some finicky issues required troubleshooting in our tests. Mighty muscle from hexa-core CPU. Comfortable keyboard. A plethora of ports. Reflective screen. Relatively heavy and bulky. Speedy new 8th Generation Intel processor.
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Good battery life. Premium feel. Sleek all-black color option. Brilliant display. Well-implemented kickstand. Minimal changes from previous model. As ever, keyboard sold separately. Not ideal for in-lap use. Somewhat restrictive configuration combinations.