Best mobile workstations 2020: the most powerful laptops for businesses

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These are the absolute pinnacles of productivity

Read on for our list of the best mobile workstations money can buy

The best mobile workstations combine the portability of a laptop with the raw power of a desktop PC. On top of being the best business laptops, they are also capable of handling intensive tasks such as video editing and rendering.

Now that processors and graphics cards are getting smaller and slimmer, we’re now getting more powerful portables with thinner and more portable designs. This means that many of the best mobile workstations can be thinner and lighter than ever without compromising on performance or build quality. However, all that also comes at a cost, which is why it’s so important to carefully choose the best mobile workstation for your needs.

Solid, reliable and powerful, the best mobile workstations must also be future proof and can help you with your work for years to come without forcing you to blow your budget. Thanks to our price comparison tool, we can help take the sting out of the price tag by helping you find the very best prices for these excellent mobile workstations.

If you'd prefer a best desktop workstation roundup, or if you're interested in a business laptop that isn't necessarily a workstation, we've got you covered as well. 

Best mobile workstations at a glance

  1. MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2019)
  2. MacBook Pro 15-inch with Touch Bar
  3. Razer Blade Studio Edition
  4. HP ZBook 17 G3
  5. Acer ConceptD 7
  6. HP Spectre Pro 13 G1
  7. Lenovo ThinkPad P40 Yoga
  8. Dell Precision 7720
  9. Lenovo ThinkPad T460s

MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2019)

 

1. MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2019)

The best Apple mobile workstation

CPU: 9th-generation Intel Core i7 – i9 | Graphics: AMD Radeon Pro 5300M – Radeon Pro 5500M | RAM: 16GB – 64GB | Screen: 16-inch Retina display with True Tone | Storage: 512GB – 8TB SSD

US$2,251.49

Stunning 16-inch screen

New and improved keyboard

Expensive

Limited to four Thunderbolt 3 ports

As thin, light and sleek as ever, the MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2019) doesn’t actually feel like a 16-inch behemoth.This laptop will feel just as compact as the 15-inch MacBook Pros that preceded it and perhaps more than any other 16-inch laptops out there. Though it is a behemoth when it comes to power. Touting a 9th-generation Intel Core processor and an AMD Radeon Pro 5300M or 5500M graphics card, as well as up to 64GB of memory, there’s nothing this mobile workstation can't do. And, without a doubt, it will get through all your intensive workflow without breaking a sweat. If that isn’t enough, it also has incredible speakers for all your entertainment needs, and a much improved keyboard so you can type all day without fatiguing.

MacBook Pro 15-inch with Touch Bar

You can configure the MacBook Pro 2018 to match your needs and budget.

2. MacBook Pro 15-inch with Touch Bar

A brilliant Mac with a difference

CPU: Intel Core i7 | Graphics: Radeon Pro 555 with 2GB memory – 560 with 4GB memory | RAM: 16GB | Screen: 15.4-inch Retina display (2880x1800) | Storage: 128GB – 256GB SSD

US$1,699.66

Innovative Touch Bar

Massive trackpad

Light, slim and portable

Battery life could be better

Apple's most powerful laptop ever is also the best workstation laptop in 2018. It comes with the innovative Touch Bar that makes certain tasks much easier, but it's the powerful innards that really impress us with this mobile workstation. It features up to 32GB of RAM and a super-fast solid state hard drive, and comes with Intel's latest and most powerful processors. You can configure the MacBook Pro 2018 to match your needs and budget, and it all comes in Apple's trademark gorgeous design. If you're looking for the best mobile workstation that combines design and power, then this is a brilliant choice. As long as you have the budget.

Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition

3. Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition

A seriously powerful pro laptop

CPU: 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8750H | Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q – NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000 Studio Edition | RAM: 32GB | Screen: 15.6" OLED 4K Touch 60Hz, factory calibrated | Storage: 1TB SSD

US$3,999.99

Powerful

Beautiful screen

Expensive

While the regular Razer Blade laptop is famously a gaming laptop – one of the best, in fact, Razer has taken its sheer power and turned the whole thing into one of the best mobile workstations for creatives. There’s zero doubt that this laptop was designed with photographers, video editors and even game designers in mind, as it rocks powerful graphics cards and a gorgeous, factory-calibrated 4K display. Not unlike its gaming counterpart, you’ll be paying a pretty penny, especially for its souped up configuration with the Quadro RTX 5000 graphics card. However, if a fast and seamless workflow is of utmost importance in your day to day, this laptop certainly pays for itself.

HP ZBook 17 G3

HP ZBook 17 G3 is still very much a best-in-class.

4. HP ZBook 17 G3

Still a storming workstation offering

CPU: Intel Xeon E3-1575M v5 7700HQ | Graphics: Intel Iris Pro Graphics P580 | RAM: 64GB | Screen: 17.3-inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels | Storage: 500GB HDD

US$3,149

Great build quality

Plenty of configurability

Can be expensive

Battery isn’t great

HP's mobile workstation Ultrabook has already reached its third generation but the last one is still very much a best-in-class especially when it comes to sheer value for money. It is one of the cheapest workstations on the market to offer a professional dedicated graphics card, and the most affordable business laptop to come with a whopping half-decade warranty. HP opted for a 14-inch diagonal which may well hit a sweet spot for some.

Acer ConceptD 7

The Acer ConceptD 7 is a formidable laptop capable of handling complex and demanding tasks.

5. Acer ConceptD 7

A mobile workstation for creatives

CPU: 9th-generation Intel Core i7 | Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 – 2080 | RAM: 16GB – 32GB | Screen: 15.6" 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) 16:9 IPS | Storage: 1TB

Very powerful

Cheaper than MacBook Pro

Good selection of ports

Expensive

Plain design

Not as thin and light as MacBook Pro

For those who think that MacBook Pros are overpriced but still need a powerful mobile workstation, there’s the Acer ConceptD 7. This formidable laptop capable of handling complex and demanding tasks such as 3D rendering, thanks in part to its Nvidia RTX graphics, was designed specifically with creative professionals in mind. Beyond that sheer power it delivers, it also offers decent port selection, a minimalist solid white design and that stunning Pantone-validated 4K IPS display. Obviously, it’s still pretty pricey, but if you’re looking for a Windows-powered MacBook alternative for video and photo editing, it’s a great option.

HP Spectre Pro 13 G1

The HP Spectre Pro 13 G1 is a formidable mobile workstation.

6. HP Spectre Pro 13 G1

A genuine altearnative to the XPS 13

CPU: Intel Core i7-6500U | Graphics: Intel HD 520 Graphics | RAM: 8GB | Screen: 13.3-inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels | Storage: 512GB SSD

Today's best HP Spectre Pro 13 G1 deals

US$1,359

Sublime design

3 Year Next Business Day onsite warranty

Colour scheme might not be to everyone's taste

Very expensive

Despite being just over 10mm thick and weighing just over 1.16Kg, the HP Spectre Pro 13 G1 manages to pack a proper Core i7 CPU with a full HD 13.3-inch display, a massive 4-cell 38Whr battery and three USB Type C connectors. 

This makes it a formidable mobile workstation that offers plenty of power for even the most demanding of tasks. If you want a laptop that offers similar performance to your work desktop PC, then this brilliant machine is definitely worth considering. Its  3 Year Next Business Day onsite warranty also means if something goes wrong with the device, you can quickly get it fixed without missing out on work.

Lenovo ThinkPad P40 Yoga

Lenovo ThinkPad P40 Yoga set the standard when it comes to convertible or 2-in-1 designs.

7. Lenovo ThinkPad P40 Yoga

A champion convertible of a workstation

CPU: 2.5GHz Intel Core i7-6500U | Graphics: Nvidia Quadro M500M | RAM: 8GB | Screen: 14.1-inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels | Storage: 256GB SSD

£1,188

Unique convertible design

Superbly portable

So-so battery longevity

Only a one-year warranty

Lenovo hails this model as the world's first multi-mode workstation, one that manages to combine power and creativity thanks to a 360-degree hinge that has, to some extent, set the standard when it comes to convertible or 2-in-1 designs. What's more, it is one of the very rare laptops to come with built-in Wacom Active ES pen technology, capable of delivering 2048 levels of pen pressure sensitivity and tilt recognition.

Dell Precision 7720

Dell Precision 7720 is brilliant for photo and video editing.

8. Dell Precision 7720

A powerful 17-incher

CPU: Intel Core i7 processor | RAM: 16GB | Storage: 512GB SSD | Screen: 17-inch IPS display (3,840 x 2,160 pixels)

US$1,899.95

Very big screen

Can easily configure the specs

Not easy to carry

Base spec is underpowered

As with most of Dell's laptops you can configure the Precision 7720 to meet your needs, which makes it one of the best workstation laptops in the world. By boosting the processor, screen and GPU of this laptop (compared to its base model) you'll get an excellent laptop for heavy-duty work. The 17-inch screen (which can be upgraded to 4K), is brilliant for photo and video editing, but it does mean that it's a bit larger and heavier than other machines in this list. It's also pricey, especially if you configure it with the latest components, but it remains a brilliant 

Lenovo ThinkPad T460s

Lenovo ThinkPad T460s is a great choice if you're looking for an accomplished and affordable workstation laptop.

9. Lenovo ThinkPad T460s

A good general purpose workstation

CPU: Dual-core 2.4GHz Intel Core i5 processor | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 256GB SSD | Screen: 14-in IPS display (1,920 x 1,080 pixels)

US$397

Excellent build and ergonomics

Thin and light

Slow processor

Relatively screen quality

The ThinkPad T-series is a no-nonsense design with a focus on robustness over style. Even so, the T460s' 18.8mm thickness is within 1mm of the MacBook, and it's actually lighter at 1.4kg. It's not as powerful as some of the workstation laptops in this list, but it's not as expensive either, which makes it a great choice if you're looking for an accomplished workstation laptop for less hardcore workloads, while also keeping to a budget.

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