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What are the best laptops for business and personal use? In order to answer this question, we’ll show you our recommendations: From cheap entry-level laptops to high-end computers, everything is included. 

We will also explain what you should definitely pay attention to when buying a laptop either for work or studies.

In many areas of life, it would be impossible to imagine working without a laptop. Be it in the office, at the university, or at home. The range of devices is at least as large as their intended use. 

So the question quickly arises: which is the best laptop? That depends on what and how you want to use the laptop. We are therefore going to introduce different models from different price ranges to arm you sufficiently before your next purchase. 

Hence, we guaranteed you’ll find your ideal everyday companion in this blog article.

Affiliate Disclosure: I’m an affiliate and I’ll earn a commission if you purchase anything through the links on this page. Nevertheless, it’ll be at no extra cost on you.

Best Laptops For Business and Personal Use: All Models At A Glance

placementproduct
Entry-level model:HP 15s-fq1420ng
Price-performance tip:Acer Swift 3
High end:Asus ROG Zephyrus G14
Overview

If you’re only interested in gaming laptops, check out our related buying guide: The Best Gaming Laptops 2021.

Entry-level model: HP 15s-fq1420ng

The  HP 15s-fq1420ng  is the cheapest model on our list at just under $500. It has a matt display with 15.6 inches and an AMD Athlon Silver 3050U Processor. It consumes little energy. Nevertheless, it offers enough power to do all office work without any problems. Older or less demanding games shouldn’t be a problem either.

In addition to the built-in 8 GB of RAM, the laptop also has 16 GB of Intel Optane memory. According to the manufacturer, this is an intelligent memory that remembers the most frequently used programs and loads them in advance the next time. This should make the computer work even faster.

screen15.6 inch display
1920 x 1080 pixels
Anti-glare displayYes
hard disk256 GB SSD
random access memory8 GB + 16 GB Intel Optane
connections1x USB 3.1 Type-C
2x USB 3.1 Type-A
1x AC smart pin
1x headphone / microphone combo connection
1x HDMI 1.4b connector
1x SD card reader
processorAMD Athlon Silver 3050U Processor
graphicAMD Radeon Graphics
operating systemWindows 10

Price-performance tip: Acer Swift 3

The  Acer Swift 3 SF314-57-55BK  is our price-performance winner, which is also a good all-rounder. The compact 14 inch IPS display ensures that this model weighs just under 1.6 kg. 

The SSD is sufficiently large with 512 GB. The device also has an Intel Core i5-1035G1 processor including the integrated Intel UHD graphics and 8 GB of RAM. However, one of the RAM bars is firmly soldered and therefore cannot simply be replaced. Nevertheless, you can upgrade the RAM and thus increase the RAM to a maximum of 12 GB.

Thus, this laptop is a lot more powerful than, for example, the aforementioned HP 15s-fq1420ng. Gaming is definitely possible with this laptop in a stylish aluminum garment. But it won’t be enough for the latest AAA games. 

Incidentally, we tested the Acer Swift 3 and we were most impressed by the image quality and the long-lasting battery. You can find out what else we think about the device in this review.

screen14 inch IPS display
1920 x 1080 pixels
Anti-glare displayYes
hard disk512 GB SSD
random access memory8 GB (expandable to 12 GB)
connections1x USB 3.1 Type-C
3x USB 3.0
1x USB 2.0
1x HDMI
1x headphone / microphone combo connection
1x SD card reader
processorIntel Core i5-1035G1
graphicIntel UHD graphics
operating systemWindows 10 Home (64 bit)
particularitiesBacklit keyboard
Fingerprint sensor

The best high-end laptop: Asus ROG Zephyrus G14

Hardly any high-end laptop is as compact, durable, and at the same time as powerful as the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 GA401IU-HE001T. The design is rather simple compared to the other devices in this segment. 

Thanks to the narrow bezels of the screen, you can also fully enjoy the matte 14-inch display. In addition, the display on this model has a refresh rate of 120 Hz, which creates a more pleasant image for the human eye.

The necessary computing power is provided by the AMD Ryzen 7 4800HS in combination with the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti. 16 GB of fast DDR4 RAM with 3,200 MHz are also available. If necessary, this can be expanded to 24 GB, whereby one of the bars is firmly soldered. 

After all, the battery with 76 Wh ensures the necessary endurance so that you don’t have to keep an eye on an outlet during your work. In our detailed review of the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14, you will find more information about the device and our final rating.

screen14 inch IPS display
1920 x 1080 pixels
120 Hz
Anti-glare displayYes
hard disk512 GB NVMe SSD
random access memory16 GB (expandable to 24 GB)
connections2x USB 3.2 Type-A Gen1 (Power Delivery & DisplayPort 1.4 with G-Sync)
2x USB 3.2 Type-C Gen 2
1x HDMI 2.0b
1x headphone / microphone combo connection
processorAMD Ryzen 7 4800HS
graphicNvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Max-Q (6 GB GDDR6)
operating systemWindows 10 Home (64 bit)
particularitiesBacklit keyboard

Best Laptops For Business and Personal Use: Here’s how we choose

There are a lot of laptop models on the market these days. Convertible, 2-in-1 device, ultrabook or would you prefer a mobile gaming computer? 

We have focused on the best laptops for business and personal use. At the same time, we wanted to cover different price segments and also offer additional alternatives. 

In order to be able to give you the best possible overview, in addition to our own assessments, we have also consulted a good number of user reviews.

Laptop purchase advice: what should I look out for?

First, think about what you will be using your laptop for. Your laptop should at least have these technical specifications in order to be reasonably future-proof, depending on the area of ​​application:

operation areaE-mail, surfing the Internet, office programs, casual gamesVideo editing and graphics-intensive games work, but not always at maximum settingsGaming on maximum settings, video editing, rendering, parallel operation of 
virtual machines
SSD256 GB512 GB512 GB SSD (+ 1 to 2 TB HDD)
Random Access Memory (RAM)8 GB8 to 16 GB16 GB or more
processorIntel Core i3 or Ryzen 3Intel Core i5 or Ryzen 5Intel Core i7 or Ryzen 7 and separate graphics card
priceup to $500around $800from $1,000

How big should the display be?

Regardless of all the technical data, you first have to know how big the screen of the laptop should be:

  • Big screen: More comfortable to work and play, but harder to transport.
  • Small screen: Handier and more mobile, but more unpleasant working and playing in the long run.

We recommend a screen between 14 and 17 inches depending on your area of ​​application. If you do a lot of office work on the go, 14 or 15 inches makes sense. 

Anyone who primarily uses the laptop as a gaming computer or regularly uses programs such as Photoshop or Premiere should consider a 17-inch device. But also keep in mind that a 14-inch laptop is usually much easier to handle. Gamers also have to think about the built-in graphics card.

best laptops for work and personal use
Small laptops are practical, but can also be exhausting to work in the long run. 
Image: Pixabay, Karolina Grabowska

Does the display reflect?

Laptop displays are available in matt or reflective. Basically, matt displays are to be preferred because they do not reflect the surroundings, which can be very annoying. 

However, if it has to be a laptop with a reflective display, probably because it meets other criteria, there are also matt films that you can stick on the laptop display. When buying, pay attention to the correct size of your display and the film (inches).

How big should the hard drive be?

For modern laptops, we definitely recommend a solid-state disk (SSD) instead of a hard drive disk (HDD)  – they are significantly faster. The M.2 format with a fast PCI Express connection is ideal. 

In order not to run into storage problems later, the SSD should have at least 256 GB of storage. 512 GB or even 1 TB are even better. A 256 GB SSD will do the trick if no memory-hungry programs, games, or similar software are installed. If you do buy a laptop with a 128 GB SSD, you should make sure that you can install a larger SSD later if necessary.

Which connections are useful?

Does the laptop have enough connections for your work? Are there modern USB-C ports or older USB-A ports? Is the laptop charged via a USB-C cable or with its own power supply unit? Is there a card reader for (micro) SD cards? Do I need an HDMI connection to quickly display images on a monitor

If you connect a lot of peripheral devices to your computer during your work and have hardly any connections, you have to consider using USB adapters or dongles. It’s not a lot of fun on the go.

How much memory (RAM) do I need?

Laptops are not as easy to upgrade as full-fledged PCs. If you buy too little RAM , you may not be able to change that later. To be future-proof, a laptop with upgradeable RAM memory is worthwhile.

We recommend at least 8 GB of RAM for new laptops. If you also want to play games with maximum graphics settings or use computationally intensive applications such as Photoshop or editing programs, you should have at least 16 GB. 

For pure office laptops that occasionally surf the Internet, 4 GB is sufficient if necessary. However, you are not particularly future-proof with it.

rams
Image: Pixabay, skeeze

How powerful does my laptop have to be?

This is about the built-in processor ( CPU ) that determines the performance of the laptop. This information is sometimes a bit hidden. Then take a look at datasheets or downloadable PDF manuals to find out the processor type. 

We recommend at least an Intel Core i5 processor. If you use graphics-intensive games or programs with your laptop, you should have a separate graphics card. An Intel Core i7  would even make more sense.

More and more new devices are now equipped with AMD processors. The two counterparts to the aforementioned Intel CPUs would be the AMD Ryzen 5  and the AMD Ryzen 7. They also have an integrated graphics chip and are particularly impressive due to their low energy consumption.

Best Laptops For Business and Personal Use
Most laptops still have an Intel processor built in. 
AMD could soon change that. 
Image: Intel | 
Getty Images, JUN2

Also keep in mind that a more powerful laptop consumes more energy under load, which affects the battery life. Both Intel and AMD, therefore, have special CPU series in their range that are particularly economical and optimized for long runtimes:

  • Intel U-Series: Low power consumption, relatively good performance.
  • Intel Y-Series: Even lower energy consumption, slightly less performance under constant load.
  • AMD U-Series:  Low power consumption, relatively good performance.

You can recognize CPUs of this series by their designation. Example: i5-10210 U,  i7-10510 Y or Ryzen 5 4500 U .

Repair, upgrade and warranty?

Two important points that many often overlook when buying a new laptop: the repairability and warranty conditions of a laptop. 

Repair, upgrade and warranty
Your laptop has a defect or a component needs to be replaced? 
At the latest then it is time to open the door and through. 
Image: Getty Images, Poike

Devices of this type are becoming more and more compact in their construction and often the consequence is that important components such as the battery, the main memory, or the hard drives are increasingly difficult to access. Any repairs are therefore becoming more and more complicated or even impossible for laypeople.

It would therefore be advisable to find out whether the laptop contains permanently installed or soldered components before buying. Just as important is the question of whether it has a maintenance hatch  – in most cases this allows the hard drive and memory to be exchanged easily. 

In some cases, however, every repair comes too late, and then ideally the guarantee applies. The manufacturers grant this for different lengths of time. Here, too, you should inform yourself beforehand and, if necessary, extend the guarantee in advance.

Before you buy: Are there any problems with the selected laptop model on the internet?

If you have decided to buy a laptop, you should search the Internet for problems related to this model before buying it. Above all, look at negative customer reviews, if available. 

Under certain circumstances, your chosen laptop, for example, may have problems with the WLAN or Bluetooth module – and that would be very annoying. 

If you don’t find any major complaints, then it’s a good sign.


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