The best business ultrabook (February 2013 edition)

There are a number of good, solid ultrabooks aimed at business users, but one stands head and shoulders above the rest.

Who says the PC is dead? There's still considerable interest in Windows-powered PCs, especially in business circles. And today's Hardware 2.0 mailbox question is related to the newest PC form factor—ultrabooks.

What's the best ultrabook for business?

Well, that was simple and straight to the point, as will be my answer. The best ultrabook for business users is the Lenovo ThinkPad T430u.

(Credit: Lenovo)

There's an awful lot to like about the ThinkPad T430u:

  • It's tough.
    Not just tough, very tough. The sturdy aluminum chassis is designed for the rigors of being on the road, and the system has been built to pass eight demanding MilSpec tests.
  • Excellent keyboard.
    The ThinkPad T430u has a well-engineered, well-designed keyboard. The keys are nicely spaced, crisp, and highly responsive. The keyboard makes you feel like you're using a desktop system, not a petite ultrabook. Keyboards have always been a strong point for Lenovo hardware, and the ThinkPad T430u lives up to this expectation.
  • Price.
    Starting at $674, the buying a fleet of these isn’t going to break the bank.
  • Easy access to the guts of the system.
    Simply flip the ThinkPad T430u over, pop the latches, and you have access to the 2.5-inch drive, removable battery, and even wireless card. This allows to easy repairs and upgrade, and means that if you have to send the device in for service, you can keep the drive containing all your precious data.
  • Windows 8 ready.
    The ThinkPad T430u is ready for Microsoft's new operating system, and is equipped with a decent trackpad that's ready to handle multi-touch gestures.

The biggest disappointment with regards to this system is the display. While it's great for business use, the 14-inch 1366 x 768 screen is dull and not up to the challenges of modern multimedia. It's fine for the odd cat video, but the poor contrast means that it's not the sort of screen you'd want to watch a movie on.

However, display aside, the ThinkPad T430u is a fantastic package of features for a price that will surprise as opposed to shock.