Business notebooks are always a popular category, as they’re the notebooks South Africans are most likely to have some sort of exposure to. This year’s win was hard-fought, and even though our winner wasn’t technically manufactured in 2016, it’s a testament to its overall quality and appeal that it beat out others that were.
Lenovo ThinkPad X240
Price: R16 999
When it comes to shopping for a business laptop that delivers on performance without breaking the bank, it’s not a bad idea to look back to a hardware generation or two ago for value.
That’s clearly what the majority of our voters did when it came to choosing their favourite business notebook from our GOTY line-up, voting in Lenovo’s venerable ThinkPad X240 as their overall favourite of 2016 by a slim margin. It beat out Dell’s rock-solid Inspiron 15-5559 and HP’s excellent EliteBook 745, a really impressive feat considering the X240 is older than those two by quite a margin (2 years).
The state of our economy and an emphasis on shrinking IT budgets could be responsible, but there’s also a lot to like here that isn’t simply the X240’s good price. Lenovo’s excellent laptop keyboard, for instance, AC-class WiFi, a built-in fingerprint reader and the fact that it’s genuinely thin and light without feeling cheap all count considerably in the X240’s favour.
I don’t quite agree with the readers, but I suppose there’s no denying the appeal of an affordable yet competent work laptop. For me, Dell’s Inspiron 15-5559 was a more compelling offer than the X240: while it was a bit fatter and heavier and slightly more expensive at R17 899, I’d have chosen it as my GOTY for its newer hardware (Intel 6th-gen) and sleek looks.