In the creative world and the business world, timing can be everything. Whether it’s capturing a rush of inspiration in a coffee shop or processing a flood of time-sensitive documents on an airplane, today’s highly mobile professionals must often produce excellent work at unusual times in unusual settings. When time is of the essence, a great business laptop can be a real lifeline. Some on-the-go pros need a laptop that can chew through data-heavy workflows or resource-intensive creative tasks, while others may prioritize portability or an excellent audio-visual experience that makes remote collaboration better. No matter the need, it can be difficult to sift through all the options on the business laptop market, and premium features often come at a premium price. Buyers seek confidence that they’re getting a device that will meet their workflow needs without breaking the bank.

In four separate studies, we used a wide range of industry-standard benchmarks, hand-timed tests, and specialized speaker, microphone, and camera evaluations to compare the system performance and end-user experience of Lenovo ThinkPad business laptops to those of comparable Apple MacBook Pro options. In the first three studies, we compared three different 14-inch, Intel-powered ThinkPad models to a 14-inch Apple MacBook Pro (2023) with an Apple M2 Max processor: a ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 8 with an Intel Core i7-1370P processor, a ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 11 with an Intel Core i7-1370P processor, and a ThinkPad T14s Gen 4 with an Intel Core i9-1365U processor. In the fourth study, we compared a 16-inch ThinkPad P1 Gen 6 with an Intel Core i9-13900H processor to a 16-inch Apple MacBook Pro (2023) with an Apple M2 Max processor. (The Mac versions had the fastest processors available from Apple when the study began.)

In our 14-inch laptop comparison studies, each of the ThinkPad devices received higher performance benchmark scores than the 14-inch Apple MacBook Pro (aside from an almost equivalent Speedtest download score for both the X1 Carbon and X1 Yoga). The ThinkPads also completed Microsoft 365 tasks in less time, provided solid mic noise reduction, and consumed considerably fewer CPU resources during Zoom meetings than the 14-inch MacBook Pro.

In our 16-inch laptop comparison, the ThinkPad P1 Gen 6 received higher productivity, digital content creation, AI-based processing, and machine learning benchmark scores than the 16-inch MacBook Pro. The ThinkPad P1 Gen 6 also elevated remote collaboration experiences with lower CPU consumption, better background noise reduction, and greater speaker volume output during Zoom meetings than the 16-inch MacBook Pro.

Our studies showed that Lenovo ThinkPad laptops provided excellent end-user experiences and can be high-performance alternatives to Apple’s corresponding systems. And, when we ordered the laptops, each of the Lenovo systems—including the ThinkPad P1 Gen 6 with an optional discrete graphics card—was significantly less expensive than its respective Apple counterpart.

For more details about our Lenovo and Apple business laptop performance comparison tests, check out the reports and summary below.