Business intelligence (also known as business analytics) can allow you to understand your business on a deeper level. By gaining knowledge of facts, figures, data and statistical methods, you can make better informed decisions as your company grows. Nowadays, the best BI software requires powerful laptops with ample storage space to ensure the tasks are done quickly and effectively. For this, you need a machine with certain specifications that suit your specific needs. The ideal laptop will have lots of hard drive space and RAM, so you can store large amounts of data. It might also have connections for an external monitor, allowing you to present your research to your team. A portable laptop allows you to work on the go, while touchscreen functionality means you can intuitively interact with your data, to draw connections and lay out your findings. Whatever your plans, we have a laptop to suit you. Here are our top five recommended most powerful laptops for business intelligence and analysis.
Product Comparison Table: Best Laptop for Business Intelligence
Best in class
Best for Presentations
The Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch Laptop has an Apple designed M1 chip, bringing the laptop’s CPU, GPU and machine learning performance up to a professional standard. This 8-core CPU delivers up to 2.8 times faster performance than previous Apple Mac models, while the 8-core GPU offers up to 5 times faster graphics for complex graphs and sophisticated presentations. On top of this, the 16-core neural engine facilitates advanced machine learning capabilities, such as video analysis, voice recognition, image processing and more. There’s also 8GB of unified RAM, and up to 2TB of SSD storage. Best of all, it has up to 20 hours of battery life – the longest of any Mac to date. Although not all applications are compatible with Mac, the M1 supports the largest range of Apple-compatible apps available.
- Long-lasting battery, light and portable
- Powerful graphics processor and stunning display
- Fast processor, large SSD
- Only 8GB max RAM
- Not all apps are compatible with MacOS
The Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch Laptop is our best Mac option for business intelligence, due to the way it irons out a lot of the issues usually associated with Apple devices. The 20-hour battery life is phenomenally long-lasting, while the M1 processor really packs a punch when it comes to computing power. However, the lack of software compatibility could be difficult if you rely on more obscure apps, and the low max RAM means the laptop is prone to crashing occasionally.
The ASUS ZenBook Pro 15 OLED Laptop boasts a 15.6 inch, 400 nits FHD OLED NanoEdge bezel touch display. Although the laptop doesn’t fold into a tablet, this gives you a satisfying intuitive interface. Plus, the screen combines with the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Ti 4GB GDDR6 graphics technology to produce some of the most stunning imagery on this list. ASUS OLED displays have a 0.2 ms response time (50x faster than the average laptop LCD display), plus they offer a cinema-grade 100% DCI-P3 color gamut for bright, true colors. Internally, the AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX processor has 8-cores of power, achieving a 4.6GHz max CPU speed. As for storage and memory, there’s a 1TB SSD and 16GB of RAM. There’s even a full complement of I/O ports and an SD card reader for external screen connections.
- Stunning FHD OLED display
- Range of connection ports for external screens
- Huge SSD and high RAM capacity
- Doesn’t fold or convert
It might seem like a high resolution isn’t a concern with a business intelligence computer. Why would you need flashy graphics to do statistical research? The answer is for presentations. With the ASUS ZenBook Pro 15 OLED Laptop, you can give stunning, professional looking presentations that will make your analysis crystal clear. However, although the laptop is touchscreen, it doesn’t fold or convert, which means you probably won’t get much use out of this feature.
The HP Envy x360 2-in-1 15.6″ FHD Touchscreen Laptop uses an 11th Gen Intel Core i5-1135G7 processor with 4 Cores, achieving up to 2.4GHz base frequency, or up to to 4.2GHz max turbo. It features a fingerprint reader for extra security, Thunderbolt port support, backlit keyboard and touchscreen; most strikingly, as a convertible laptop, it can be folded in half and used as a touchscreen tablet. The 15.6 inch screen is much larger than most convertibles, and features full HD imagery with an almost unbreakable Corning Gorilla Glass surface. As for memory and storage, it has 16GB of dual-channel RAM for smooth multitasking, video and photo processing. However, it only has a 512GB SSD.
- High quality Gorilla Glass screen
- Converts into a touchscreen tablet
- Thunderbolt port, fingerprint scanner and other features
- Smaller SSD storage
- Less powerful processor
Convertible laptops are the most portable and innovative solution for business people who travel. WIth a convertible, you can work whenever and wherever – the slim folding build also slips effortlessly into your bag. However, despite its fancy modern features (such as fingerprint scanner, Thunderbolt port and Gorilla Glass), the ASUS ZenBook Pro 15 OLED Laptop’s processing power is a little backward. The SSD has half the storage of others in this article, and the CPU is a little slower on average. If performance is less important than portability, this is the laptop for you.
The lowest cost model on our list, the HP Stream 14-Inch Laptop offers unbeatable value. The Intel Celeron N4000 Series dual-core processor offers a 1.1 GHz base frequency or 2.6GHz base frequency. There’s 4GB of installed RAM and a 64bit hard drive, and the battery life lasts 11 hours. There are also a large range of connection options, including an HDMI port, two USB 3.1, one USB 2.0, one headphone/microphone combo, and one micro SD media card port. It’s even available in a range of colours (black, blue, white and rose pink). The main downside is the operating system: Windows 10 S Mode. S mode means applications can only be downloaded from the Windows store; you can switch out of it, but this might cause performance loss.
- Comes in a range of colours
- Great value low price
- Huge range of connection ports
- Limited storage and memory
The HP Stream 14-Inch Laptop is our best value option, perfect for sole traders, very small businesses and pre-incorporation research. If you want a cheap, reliable machine to begin scoping out the market, this will fulfil all your basic needs. The CPU power, storage and RAM are definitely not enough for more complex tasks – let alone machine learning or serious multitasking – but the performance is still far better than you’d expect for the price.
The Dell XPS 13 900 13inch FHD Laptop is visually beautiful; crafted from industrial-grade aluminium and sleek, strong carbon fiber. It has a Corning Gorilla Glass 6 touchscreen, and exceptional venting from an intuitive thermal pipe layout; a predictive engine prevents battery drain on high intensity tasks, ensuring up to 10 hours runtime per charge. As for processing power, the Intel Core i7-1065G7 chipset allows a turbo clock speed of up to 3.9GHz. This is more than enough to run even the most complex analytic tasks, including machine learning, video processing and multitasking. There’s also 16GB of RAM, and the SSD has a full 1Tb of space. Lastly, it has 4 Thunderbolt ports, a 3.5mm jack, a MicroSD reader, and USB ports for connection to external screens.
- Huge storage capacity, powerful processing and high RAM
- Gorilla Glass touchscreen
- Long-lasting battery life
- Large number of connection ports
- Doesn’t fold into a convertible
- Heavy and bulky
The Dell XPS 13 900 13inch FHD Laptop combines the best features of all the other laptops on this list, and outdoes several of them on processing power, memory and build quality. The Thunderbolt port speeds up data transfer, the plethora of connection ports and FHD resolution make presenting a breeze, and the strong CPU and RAM mean you can run as many concurrent tasks as you desire. The main downsides of this machine are the weight (5 pounds), and the fact it doesn’t fold or have a detachable screen – this makes the touchscreen slightly less useful. However, this is still by far our best powerful laptop for business intelligence and analytics.