Business and Workstations

Business notebooks offer a combination of mid- to high-end components, but with an emphasis on extra durability and longer battery life. Many of them also come with increased security features such as drive encryption and fingerprint readers that aren't normally found in mainstream consumer laptops.

This category encompasses a little bit of everything, but commonly you'll find 14, 15 and 17-inch screens, mid-range discrete graphics cards (though some are also settling for Intel's Ivy Bridge integrated HD 4000 graphics nowadays), at least 4GB of RAM, and plenty of connectivity options.


Lenovo ThinkPad T430s

Lenovo's ThinkPad T Series has long been known as the gold standard for business notebooks. Starting at $999, the T430s offers all the business-minded and security features you'd expect from the ThinkPad line while maintaining a slim design that's easy to lug around. It sports an island-style keyboard, and offers choices of the latest Intel Core i processors, integrated or discrete Nvidia graphics, as well as both SSD and HDD storage options.

In terms of connectivity you'll get Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Mini DisplayPort, a couple of USB 3.0 ports and a 4-in-1 multicard reader. Battery life is rated for up to 6.5 hours.

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Quick specs | Full specs Starting price: $999 ($1,569 as configured)
Processor: Intel Core i5-3320M 2.6GHz Graphics: Nvidia NVS 5200M 1GB
Memory: 4GB DDR3 1600MHz (1 DIMM) Storage: 500GB 7,200RPM HDD
Display size: 14.0 (1600 x 900) LED backlit display Optical: DVD recordable multiburner
Weight: 3.94lbs (1.79kg) Battery: ~6.5 hours


Lenovo ThinkPad W530

The ThinkPad W530 is a 15.6-inch desktop replacement workstation for content creators and business types, packing a choice of Intel Core i5 and Core i7 processors – up to the 2.9GHz Core i7-3920XM – along with up to 32GB of RAM, Nvidia Quadro graphics, and an optional color calibrator.

It has the same chassis as the last-gen model but includes several minor changes. Among them is a new 6-row chiclet style backlit keyboard and support for DisplayPort 1.2-ready. Otherwise, its core specs are the same (Ivy Bridge notwithstanding) and so is the port configuration: two USB SuperSpeed 3.0, one USB 2.0, one USB 2.0/eSATA, VGA, DisplayPort out, FireWire 400, ExpressCard/34, SDHC-card reader, and a headset combo jack.

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Quick specs | Full specs Starting price: $1,299 ($1,649 as configured)
Processor: Intel Core i7-3720QM 2.60GHz Graphics: Nvidia Quadro K1000M 2GB
Memory: 6GB DDR3 (2 DIMM) Storage: 1TB 7200RPM HDD
Display size: 15.6" (1600 x 900) LED backlit display Optical: DVD recordable multiburner
Weight: 5.95 lbs Battery: 9 cell Li-Ion Battery


HP EliteBook 8570p

Like its predecessor, the EliteBook 8570p features a design based on HP's so-called "Forge" framework that includes aluminum-alloy hinges, titanium-alloy display latches, a bottom-case drain in case of spills, and a platinum-colored DuraCase enclosure that actually manages to comply to the MIL-STD 810G military testing spec. This business powerhouse comes equipped with Intel's third-generation Ivy Bridge processors, an extensive security and wireless feature set, and a wide selection of ports.

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Quick specs | Full specs Starting price: $899 ($1,499 as configured)
Processor: Intel Core i7-3520M 2.90GHz Graphics: AMD Radeon HD 7570M 1GB
Memory: 4GB DDR3 1600MHz (2 DIMMs) Storage: 500GB 7200RPM HDD
Display size: 15.6" (1600 x 900) LED backlit display Optical: DVD SuperMulti
Weight: 5.75 pounds (2.6 kg) Battery: ~6 hours


Apple MacBook Pro with Retina Display

89 68 Reviews The all-new, 15.4-inch Retina Display packing MacBook Pro represents the next-generation of Apple’s professional-grade notebooks. It's an impressive 0.71 inches thin — almost as thin as the MacBook Air’s 0.68 inches — while weighing under four and a half pounds. The display is 15.4 inches across and sports a 220ppi 2880 x 1800 native resolution.

Besides the specs listed below, noteworthy features include dual Thunderbolt ports, dual microphones “to enable a new generation of voice applications”, USB 3.0 support, HDMI-out (finally no need for adapters), and a thinner MagSafe port, as well as the usual SD card reader, webcam and backlit keyboard.

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Quick specs | Full specs Starting price: $2,199
Processor: Intel Core i7-3615QM 2.30GHz Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GT 650M 1GB
Memory: 8GB 1600MHz DDR3L Storage: 256GB SSD
Display size: 15.4" (2880 x 1800) LED backlit IPS display Optical: none
Weight: 4.46 pounds (2.02 kg) Battery: ~7 hours