Review: 3 ultrabooks for business travel from Apple, Dell and Lenovo

Tablets are getting ever more useful on the road, but for business travellers who need serious productivity, there is only one device in the game: ultrabooks – slimmed-down, high-powered notebooks

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 19 January, 2016, 7:30am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 19 January, 2016, 7:30am

Apple MacBook Pro

Although it comes in various sizes, it’s the 13-inch version of the MacBook Pro (from HK9,988, apple.com/hk) that’s best for road warriors. The key feature is its featherweight 1.58kg design, though it’s 10-hour battery life and 2560x1600 pixel Retina display are also standouts. There are two USB 3.0 slots, though no SD card reader, while its ForceTouch trackpad (as modelled on the Apple Watch) that uses pressure, not just touch, takes a little getting used to. The maximum storage possible is 512GB, which should suit most, but isn’t the biggest available. An impressive all-rounder.

Dell XPS 13

There was a time when Dell was all about shifting average-quality, low-priced laptops, but that’s long changed,with the XPS 13 (from HK$11,999, Smart Digital, 21st floor, Sham Shui Po Wonder Mall, tel: 9028 6078) easily the best Windows ultrabook around on design and features. Claiming a stunning 18-hour battery life, this 13-inch ultrabook comes with an optional 3200x1800 resolution touchscreen that’s higher resolution than the Apple. Its classy InfinityEdge screen is squeezed into a metallic shell and, weighing a mere 1.29kg, it’s lighter than the MacBook too. Like the latter, it includes two USB 3.0 ports, an HDMI and 512GB storage, but it adds an SD card reader.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon

For long the go-to laptop for business travellers who prefer Windows, Lenovo’s ThinkPad line-up remains one of the finest around for productive long-haul flights. This third version of the X1 Carbon (from HK$9,038, shopap.lenovo.com/hk) weighs just 1.27g – making it the lightest of the three – and although there’s no touchscreen version, there is a massive 1TB hard disk for storing plenty of files and photos. If that makes it the ideal choice for photographers, appealing to all will be its 11-hour battery life. Unique features include a third USB slot as well as a microSD slot and a touch fingerprint scanner, which will please the IT department if you’re travelling with sensitive files.