Best business laptops: 10 top business laptops reviewed and rated

Our TechRadar experts help you to get the right laptop for your business.

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Choosing the right laptop for business use isn't easy. There are a bewildering array of models with varying specifications and designs to choose from, and over the last year we've seen laptops undergo a seismic change.

The introduction of Intel's Ultrabook format shifted the focus to thin, powerful machines, while the launch of Windows 8 six months ago has meant more laptops are being fitted with touchscreens to take advantage of the new interface.

In looking at the best 10 laptops on the market for business use, instead of listing either the most powerful or the most portable machine we've gone for a mixture of abilities.

So, whether you're looking for a laptop that will last a full day in the office, a machine with the graphical muscle for professional design, or just a budget model to get some typing done on the commute, you'll find something here.

For help on choosing an operating system or choosing between Macs and PCs, we've included a short guide at the bottom of this article.

Here are our top 10 laptops for business:

Sony Vaio Duo II
The Sony Vaio Duo II

1/ Sony Vaio Duo 11

£1,149

The only hybrid device on our list, the Sony Vaio Duo 11 is an exceptionally powerful sliding Ultrabook that doubles as a full featured Windows 8 tablet.

One of its highlights is an 11.6-inch full HD IPS touchscreen display, which also provides also the main navigation method as there's no touchpad, merely an optical nubbin stuck into the keyboard.

If you're looking for portability this is going to be of interest, although we have to point out that at 1.3kg, the Duo 11 is about the same weight as a standard laptop. However, the tapered edges and classic Vaio styling mean it's certainly a looker and won't fail to draw heads in the boardroom.

Performance and connectivity haven't been left out. At the entry level configuration at the price we've quoted above, you'll find an x86 Intel Core i5 processor with integrated graphics and 4GB of RAM.

The speed comes from the 256GB SSD storage space and Sony has fitted the Duo 11 with two USB ports (one of which is the faster 3.0 format), HDMI, VGA and Ethernet ports as well as an SD card slot.

The caveat to this machine is that battery life could be improved. Sony quotes up to six and a half hours, but in real life don't expect more than about five.

MacBook Pro with retina display
MacBook Pro with retina display

2/ MacBook Pro with Retina Display

From £1,999

If you're a creative designer or work in the graphics industry then the MacBook Pro is going to be near the top of your list for a work-based laptop; but the staggering graphical power and screen resolution is matched by the astronomical price.

The top specification arrives with a 2.7-inch quad-core Intel Core i7 processor and 16GB of DDR3 RAM and 512GB of flash storage.

Graphics are supplied by an Nvidia GeForce GT650M with 1GB of dedicated video memory that backs up the Intel HD Graphics 4000 integrated chip. Apple has included both Thunderbolt and DVI digital video output that lets you attach up to four extra monitors to the MacBook Pro for a complete professional setup.

Even without the extra monitors, the 2,880 x 1,800, 220ppi display on the 15.4-inch screen is breathtaking and ideal for filmmakers, game designers or anyone else who needs the best screen money can buy.

All that technology brings the MacBook Pro in at 2.02kg and 9.7-inches thick.

The price precludes this being a realistic purchase for all but the most demanding of professionals. But it undoubtedly deserves a spot in our list.

Read the full TechRadar review of the MacBook Pro with Retina Display.

HP Pavilion Chromebook
The HP Pavilion Chromebook