Nearly 60 percent of computers sold in 2011 were notebooks of one kind or another — desktop PCs, by contrast, accounted for less than 30 percent. Over the years, laptops have become generally slimmer, lighter and less power-hungry, and they will remain the staple tool of business workforces worldwide for the foreseeable future.
Articles about Laptops
The Vostro 3560's 1080p screen is well worth the extra outlay, and rest of the specification is solid, although we'd like more storage options. The physical design is unremarkable, the keyboard a little too flexible and battery life disappointing, but it's still good value for money.
The Aspire S5 is an exceptionally slim, light and stylish ultrabook. However, it's also expensive: to blow us away, it needs a better screen, an Ethernet port and longer battery life — and a lower price.
This 11.6in. notebook is an outstanding performer. It's not particularly lightweight or attractive, but the specification is top-notch and the screen, keyboard and touchpad are all perfectly usable. Plenty of professionals will be keen to get their hands on this system, if they can stomach the price tag.
The Satellite Pro C850-10N delivers decent performance at a reasonable price. The keyboard flex is a concern, but build quality is generally robust. Overall, it's a good basic business workhorse.
Despite a number of drawbacks, the Vostro 3555 could be a good buy if you're looking for a low-cost business workhorse. It's also the first business notebook we've seen with three USB 3.0 ports.
Dell's XPS 13 Ultrabook looks stunning, and has a good keyboard. However it's short on ports and connectors, and the display's resolution and vertical viewing angles could be better.
Dell's convertible Latitude XT3 tablet has some neat features and a good choice of configurations. However, it lacks USB 3.0 and an optical drive, battery life is disappointing and it's relatively heavy for a 13.3in. notebook. As a result, we'd hesitate to recommend it for everyday use.
Much of this ThinkPad's design — and particularly the excellent keyboard — is traditional, but it packs plenty of up-to-date specs too: Core i7 CPU, hybrid discrete/integrated graphics, solid-state drive, USB 3.0 and a high-quality multimedia subsystem. All this makes for an expensive notebook, but it's one we're happy to recommend.
The EliteBook 8560w is a well-built 15.6in. mobile workstation that can be configured with top-notch components, making it ideal for CPU-, GPU- and memory-intensive workloads. It's not especially portable, though, and battery life is among its least impressive features.
The HP Folio 13 is a neatly designed business ultrabook that's solidly built and has a comfortable keyboard. However, there are only two USB ports, the screen is unimpressive and storage capacity is limited.
The Precision M6600 is a hefty investment and it won't win points for elegance. However, this is a solid and highly configurable mobile workstation that should perform well with a wide range of demanding workloads.
The Portégé Z830 is an impressive business ultrabook. Apart from the amount of flex in the lid, we like the slimline design and thoughtful ergonomics. Not everyone will appreciate the connectors on the back edge, though, and we'd have liked access to the battery.
HP's ProBook 5330m is nicely made, with a responsive keyboard, integrated mobile broadband and generally good performance. We'd have liked it even more with an optical drive, USB 3.0 and better battery life.
This 11.6in. ultraportable features the usual impressive ThinkPad build quality and exemplary keyboard. If you're seeking a small, portable and relatively affordable notebook and don't mind the absence of an optical drive, the ThinkPad X121e is well worth considering.
The Asus U46SV's 14in. screen could be more vibrant and less shiny; the discrete Nvidia GPU doesn't boost graphics performance as much as expected; and there's more flex in the lid than we'd like. This notebook's saving grace, however, is its excellent battery life.