Are you one of the millions of people who have had to adapt to working from home? Maybe you’re struggling with a slow or outdated laptop, or perhaps you’re simply in the market for an upgrade. Whatever your situation may be, finding the best laptop for working from home can be a daunting task. With so many options on the market, it can be tough to know where to start.
Don’t worry, though – we’ve got you covered. In this article, medCPU will break down the best laptops for working from home, taking into account factors like performance, battery life, and connectivity. Whether you’re a freelancer, a student, or just someone who needs a reliable machine for their remote job, we’ve got a laptop that will fit your needs.
Without further ado, let’s dive in!
Tips for choosing the best laptop for working from home
There are many best laptops for working remotely. Some have touchscreen keyboards, while others are large enough to fit on the back of a couch. Not all laptops are created equal, and some laptops are better suited for specific jobs than others.
Let’s now look at the nine criteria I consider when deciding on a suitable laptop for remote working.
Size and Weight
I have tried every size laptop you can think of. You can find everything from large, high-spec gaming laptops with 17-inch screens and very chunky bodies (with fans that make it sound like a plane is about to take flight) to the netbooks of yesteryear (remember those tiny laptops that could only do word processing? To convertible laptops to ultrabooks, etc.
I think you get the idea. I have tried many sizes, and I found that the best size is a light device with a solid screen of 13-14 inches.
While size and weight might not be necessary when working remotely, it is convenient to grab your laptop and go.
You’ll appreciate battery life when you aren’t plugged into a computer at work. You can carry your work wherever you go, including the garden, balcony, and coffee shop across the street.
8 hours is the minimum I recommend. This freedom allows you to work anywhere, with only having to locate a power source.
My mother would be proud to say that staring at a computer screen for long periods can cause eye damage. You should have a high-quality screen on your laptop. It is the same quality screen you would want in an office if your employer cares about their employees’ health more than just empty words on the corporate website.
A screen with a higher resolution than full HD is a plus if you do design work. You don’t need to have 4k resolution, especially for a 13-14 inch screen. However, the retina displays found on the new MacBooks are fantastic.
A good webcam
It is essential to have a webcam for working remotely. Communication with customers and colleagues is done mainly via video calls without your presence at the office or in person.
These are more effective than phone calls because you can see the details clearly and communicate your message more efficiently. This can help you project a professional image to potential clients when you contact them. It can also increase their confidence in your abilities.
Webcams used to be of poor quality for years, especially when compared with modern smartphones. This is changing with the increasing focus on video conferences. It has also become an essential feature for laptops that can be used remotely.
Speed and Functionality
Because of the many types of chipsets in computers, we don’t have to get too technical. To determine if a laptop is suitable for work at home, we need to consider the speed and functionality of the computer. Although your laptop does not have to be the fastest on the market, it should have enough power to do the job you need.
I recommend an i5 processor (latest generation or second-newest generation) for Windows devices with at least 16 GB of RAM. If you own a MacBook, I recommend the M1 processor available in the most current devices with at least 8GB RAM. If you do a lot of resource-intensive work, such as video editing, you can increase that amount to 16GB.
You might be wondering why I recommend 16GB RAM minimum on Windows and 8GB for Mac. The reason is that Apple devices do a better task managing the resources so that you don’t feel any sluggishness with 8GBs.
Also, I recommend paying attention to what ports your device has in terms of speed and functionality. Like me, you will want to have a USB mouse, an external monitor, and a microSD card reader for working with photos and videos. You can find out more.
You can usually resolve this issue with a dongle or a hub. However, a high-quality hub can be pretty expensive.
Read more: Dell vs HP Laptop – What is the Best Laptop Brand
For many years, I have overlooked the importance of usability. You can get more responsive trackpads and keys that are easier to use, as well as fingerprint readers to unlock your device. I doubt that any of these would have had any impact on my purchase decision. But, what difference can it make? It is!
This was how I thought before I bought a MacBook with an excellent keyboard layout that increased my typing speed and a trackpad that made it as easy as a mouse to edit videos or images in Photoshop. Many great alternatives offer similar usability. However, a well-placed keyboard and intuitive trackpad can make your laptop easier to use.
I don’t like 2-in-1 convertible laptops. I prefer a tablet that I can use for reading and scrolling. You can also use a separate laptop for heavy lifting. However, the Microsoft Surface Pro is an excellent option if you are looking for a combination.
Storage is no longer a major deciding factor. A 256GB SSD gives me enough storage space to store documents and enough speed to run programs such as Photoshop, Premiere Pro, and others. Without any lag. External SSDs are also available at an affordable price. You can also purchase cloud storage from Google Drive for a low price.
An external SSD (1TB SanDisk Ultra Pro Portable SSD) is what I use to store my raw photos and video files. Then, I can edit them from the external SSD without any lagging and speed issues.
I recommend not purchasing the SanDisk SSD Pro version. I discovered that the SSD’s transfer speed was faster than many USB drives. Even though I have a 2000MB/s SSD, I can only get 800MB/s using my MacBook Pro. It is enough to edit 4K videos using Premiere Pro and other programs. However, the SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD costs half as much and has read/write speeds of up to 1050MB/s…
You need to be connected to the internet these days. It should not be surprising that your laptop should have good WiFi. It doesn’t make sense to have a small form factor and a longer battery life if you can’t take your laptop anywhere, including work.
A laptop I bought had a power problem. It was a Huawei Matebook 14 (2020). The WiFi adapter would not work when I turned it off from the mains. It was an isolated issue, but it made me rethink my decision to buy a Huawei laptop.
WiFi 6 is a standard feature on many high-end devices, offering speeds up to 3 times the older standard. Although this is a plus, it’s a good idea to future-proof your laptop if you plan on investing in one.
Your budget is an essential factor in choosing a great laptop for remote work. While some people may spend more than others, others may spend less. Most people want to make the most of their money.
Prices for laptops range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars. You don’t have to make the final price the deciding factor. Many features could make a huge difference, and you can pay slightly more. While I don’t advocate spending more than you can afford, it is essential to be aware of what you need and what your budget allows you to spend before purchasing.
Top 12 best laptops for working from home
MacBook Pro M1 (16GB): Best laptop for remote work
Since the beginning of 2021, I have been using the MacBook Pro M1 2020 and think it is best for drawing/designer
Even though the numbers may appear small on paper, it’s extremely fast. It’s impressive how Apple silicon is optimized, and it has gotten even better as time goes by. Photoshop opens almost instantly, and I don’t know of any task I need to wait for.
MacBook Pro M1 has a stunning resolution of 2560x 1600 pixels. I get over 8 hours of battery life, and usually about 10 hours with moderate use. The keyboard of the MacBook Pro M1 is one of my favorite features on any device. While many don’t like the touch bar, it’s something I enjoy once I get it figured out.
The main problem is the lackluster ports. However, the Anker USB C hub makes this easy to overcome. All cables can be managed on one side.
- Lightning fast
- High-quality build
- Amazing screen and resolution
- Long battery life (up to 10 hours)
- Speakers can be surprisingly effective
- A large functional trackpad with a great keyboard
- You will need to have a USB hub to use the ports.
- This model does not have a backlit keyboard.
- It is expensive to increase the storage or RAM.
Apple MacBook Air M1
If you don’t want a Windows OS and you want only the best Mac laptop to work from home for the home office/writing you can get, then the Apple MacBook Air M1 is truly the best laptop from Apple you can choose. It offers outstanding performance and a beautiful display. It is equipped with the Apple M1 chipset. This M1 chipset, which Apple designed for the first time, is the first-generation chip.
TSMC, a Taiwanese chip maker, developed the new 5nm process. It contains four performance cores as well as four battery-efficient cores. This chipset can clock at a maximum speed of 3.1GHz. It also features a 16-core Neural engine to provide the highest level of artificial intelligence performance.
This chipset also features an integrated seven-core GPU, 8GB DDR4 RAM, and 256GB SSD storage. Retina displays are used in MacBook Air’s 13.3-inch display. It has a resolution of 2560x 1600. This means that you’ll get sharper pictures than QHD displays. It also supports Dolby Vision and offers a 100% P3 gamut. This display is great for outdoor use with 500 nits max brightness.
MacBook Air M1 also features an HD camera at the top and thin bezels that make it easy to attend online meetings or video conferencing. Apple has also changed the keyboard technology of this MacBook. Previously, it used butterfly keys. It now has a larger trackpad and offers greater key travel distances. Thunderbolt 3 support will be limited to two USB C ports.
These ports support both charging and DisplayPort functionality. The new MacBook Air’s battery life is fantastic. It can run for over 10 hours without charging. It also has Wi-Fi 6 as well as Bluetooth 5 wireless connectivity. The MacBook Air M1 is the best choice if you need a good laptop that can be used remotely.
- Buttery smooth performance
- Night Work: Backlit Keyboard
- Amazing Webcam Quality
- Long-Lasting Battery
- Insufficient Storage
- Ports are not available in all areas
>>> Read also our guide about Surface Laptop 2 Vs Macbook Air Comparison
Microsoft Surface 4 – Best Business Laptop
Microsoft is the company that developed the Windows operating system. We all know this. Microsoft began as a software company a few years back. Later, it became a hardware company. They started manufacturing laptops and other electronic devices. The Surface 4 is a perfect example.
It is the latest edition of their Surface range. This laptop features the AMD Ryzen 5 4680U Microsoft Edition processor. It is a highly optimized Zen 2-based AMD chipset based on 7nm technology.
- The chipset also has six cores and 12 threads: can clock at 4.0Ghz with these cores.
- Performance is up to 14% better than the Surface 3.
- With an AMD Radeon graphics chip. It is integrated into the cores.
- This system also has 8GB DDR4 RAM, and 256GB SSD drives, and they are both not upgradeable.
- Supports both Bluetooth 5 and Wi-Fi 6: has a great internet connection
- Front-facing Windows Hello camera
Surface 4 also features a 13.5-inch IPS LED touchscreen and a resolution of 2256 x 1504. It also features bright colors and excellent picture quality.
This product comes with only one USB C and one USB A port. It also has a headphone socket and a surface connector. It can charge via the Type C port. The battery life of the Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 is more than 17 hours. It is a thin and lightweight laptop that offers powerful performance and long battery life.
- Displays with High Resolution
- Simple User Interface
- Marvelous Performance
- Ultra-Portable Design
- Thunderbolt 4 Port
- Inadequacy of external ports
- No Upgradability
Lenovo IdeaPad 5, Touchscreen Laptop with Privacy Shutter
IdeaPad 5 is 1 of the best business laptops.
This conditional touchscreen laptop is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a budget-friendly option under $900. The Intel Core i7-1165G7 processor powers the Lenovo IdeaPad 5. It is part of the 11th Gen Tiger Lake series. It uses 10nm FinTech technology. It has eight threads and four cores.
This chipset is capable of reaching a clock speed of 4.7GHz with Turbo Boost technology. It is also paired with 12GB DDR4 RAM, 512GB Solid State Drive, and 512GB DDR4 RAM. The SSD drive is 15 times faster than traditional hard drives.
IdeaPad 5 has a 15.6-inch FHD touchscreen that uses IPS LED technology, a 1920×1080 resolution and a 16/9 aspect ratio to provide the best content viewing experience. It also has 300 nits brightness and 100% sRGB coverage. This allows for photo editing and video editing, and many other tasks that require good color calibration.
Lenovo’s ideal for art projects. This Lenovo also features an integrated Intel Iris X graphics chip and can also be used to play lightweight games.
To work remotely, you will need high-speed internet access. This Lenovo has Wi-Fi 6, which offers three times the performance of Wi-Fi 5. It also offers Bluetooth 5 connectivity. For security purposes, a fingerprint scanner is available.
The included 45WHr battery gives you excellent battery life. IdeaPad will last you about 6-7 hours. It also has several ports, including USB C, HDMI, and an SD card reader. The Lenovo IdeaPad 5 is the most affordable laptop for under $800.
- 11th Gen i7 Processor
- Backlit Keyboard
- Touchscreen Display
- Fingerprint Reader
- Affordable price
- Predictable Design
- Plastic Body
Acer Aspire 7
Acer computers have been reliable and often used by us over the years. Aspire 7 is the latest model in a long line that delivers a sturdy, reliable, and no-frills laptop that performs well.
Acer laptops are not elegant and sleek. They have a somewhat dinosaur-like look to them. It is also the heaviest machine on the list, and it has long-lasting battery life. This makes it more appropriate for work at home than being used for daily travel.
This is a solid investment for the price. It is reliable, fast, and will last a long time. The Aspire 7 is a good choice if you have a limited budget and work remotely from a fixed location.
- Excellent processor performance
- This list has more options than others
- Battery life is shorter
- There is no SD slot
HP Pavilion 15 (Best for Office Work Regularly)
This laptop is a great business laptop for under $1200. The laptop is small in size but has powerful specs. The HP Pavilion 15 has a 15.6-inch large FHD IPS LED screen with 1920×1080 resolution. 400 nits can enhance outdoor visibility.
The 178-degree field-of-view display provides sharp, accurate color reproduction. This laptop will be a joy to use and enjoy the contents. You will have a more immersive experience with minimal bezels.
The Intel Core i7-1165G7 processor powers this laptop. This is the 11th generation quad-core chipset. This chipset was designed by Intel using its 10nm technology. It is highly efficient and powerful due to this. This processor can clock at 4.7GHz. It also features the Intel Iris Xe GPU for graphics. These integrated Intel GPUs provide the highest graphics performance without using the extra battery.
It also has 16GB DDR4 RAM (16GB Solid State Drive). These features make it 15 times faster than a hard drive in reading and writing speed. You will also get Wi-Fi 6 connectivity and Bluetooth 5. It has two USB C ports, two USB A ports, and an HDMI port.
A micro SD card reader has been included as well as a headphone jack. The battery can last for up to 6 hours on one full charge. The HP Pavilion 15 laptop is a small, powerful laptop that can do all your office work.
- Amazing Performance
- Durable Design
- Storage and RAM requirements are met.
- Generous Keyboard
- Ports in a decent amount
- Software glitches
- Battery Life Average
>>> Check out Hp Vs Apple Laptop – Which Brand Makes The Best Laptops?
HP Envy 360 (Best 2-in-1 Laptop to Work from Home)
The HP Envy x360 convertible laptop is less than $1000. The 11th Generation Intel Core i7-1165G7 processor powers this laptop. It features four cores and eight threads. It also features Intel’s Turbo Boost technology, which brings 4.7GHz maximum clock speed.
It generally operates at a 2.8GHz base frequency. This is a Tiger Lake based on 10nm technology. This laptop also features the Intel Iris Xe graphics card. This integrated GPU is powerful enough to handle office work as well as casual gaming.
The HP Envy x360 also comes with 8GB DDR4 RAM and a 512GB SSD. Both are upgradeable. You can upgrade to more storage and RAM if needed. This laptop has a 13.3-inch FHD display with IPS LED technology. It is bright and durable for outdoor use.
It also features an integrated privacy screen from HP Sure View, blocking others from viewing what you do. You will need to pay extra money to get the touchscreen panel that supports digital pen and finger input.
There are no bezels around the corners and an HD camera on the top with a privacy shutter. This is a helpful tool for live streaming and video conferencing. It requires an internet connection that is stable and fast to function at home.
- HP Envy x360 has equipped with Wi-Fi 6 technology: which provides reliable and fast internet speeds.
- Two USB Type-A ports and one USB Type-C port with Thunderbolt 3 support.
- Features a backlit keyboard.
It lasts for 6-7 hours of battery life on one full charge. The computer can also be charged quickly with fast charging technology, which allows you to charge up to 50% in just 30 minutes. This laptop is a good choice if you like convertible laptops. However, many other options are on the market, such as Acer Spin 5 and Lenovo Flex 5. We chose this model for its better camera quality and new i7 processor.
- Flexible 2-in-1 Display
- Ultra-portable body
- WiFi 6 Support
- Fingerprint Scanner
- Stylus-Pen not included
- Ethernet Port not available
Acer Aspire 5 (Cheapest Way for working remotely)
The Acer Aspire 5 is an excellent option for those with a tight budget. It costs less than $500 and has excellent specifications. It houses the Intel Core i3-1115G4 11th Gen processor. This chipset was created using Intel’s 10nm technology. It has two cores and four threads inside.
This chipset can generate 3GHz of base speed with these cores. Turbo Boost technology allows for a maximum clock speed of 4.1GHz. There is no dedicated GPU. Everything depends on the integrated Intel Xe GPU. This laptop is very affordable at just under 400 dollars.
You will see a 15.6-inch FHD IPS LED screen on the exterior
It has a 16-inch aspect ratio and a 1920 x 1080 screen resolution: bright and accurate in color; will deliver vivid colors and sharp picture quality.
It is also equipped with thin bezels, which help the laptop gain an 82.5% screen-to-body ratio. It also features the Acer Bluelight Shield technology that protects your eyes against blue light.
Aspire 5 comes with only 4GB DDR4 RAM and 128GB SSD storage. This isn’t enough to provide smooth experiences in 2021. Its pricing is unbeatable, as there are no other options in this price range.
It offers three times faster internet speeds. It has three USB A ports and one USB C port. There is also HDMI, an Ethernet jack, and a headset jack. Depending on how you use it, the battery will provide around 8 hours of backup.
- 11th Gen i3 Processor
- Excellent Performance
- Upgradable Memory
- High-Quality Construction
- Decent Selection of Ports
- Support Wi-Fi 6.
- Storage shortage
- Windows 10 in S Mode
Microsoft Surface Book 3
We received some feedback and have now added the Microsoft Surface Book 3 as a recommendation. This machine was new to us, but we have now tried it out to see why it is so popular.
Lisa had high hopes for the Surface Book, but ultimately she chose the HP Envy due to its higher price. The Surface Book is an excellent option if you’re willing to spend a lot on great gear.
The latest model weighs in at just over 1.5kg, but that’s not a bad thing. This model is a significant improvement over previous models. It’s a beautiful, slim laptop that can also double as a tablet. It’s perfect for mobile work.
The Microsoft Surface Pro 7 offers a great alternative to the Surface touchscreen series. It is lighter and cheaper than the Surface Pro 7 but does the job.
- Attachable screen
- Impressive battery life
- Outstanding processor performance
- The design may outdated quicker than a MacBook
ASUS Zenbook 13
While the Asus Zenbook 13 ticks all the right boxes, the keypad touchpad will prove to be a huge benefit, especially when combined with a mouse. It allows you to use a keyboard on a tiny device. Although the keypad position may take some getting used to, you will soon get to know it if you are a frequent user of spreadsheets or numbers.
OLED displays have great color contrasts and are ideal for streaming after-hours Netflix. It has a brilliant battery life at around 10 hours with moderate use.
The best thing about this device is its ports. HDMI, Thunderbolt 4 USB–C, USB Type–A, and even microSD card readers are all available. Unfortunately, there are no SD card readers or headphone jack (the essential card type for anyone involved in the next-gen).
- High-end performance
- Bright OLED display
- Innovative Keypad Touchpad
- 512GB SSD Storage
- Excellent battery life(10+ hours of battery life)
- It also has ports
- Ports not available
- The keyboard touchpad can slow down your workflow
- There is no SD card slot nor the headphone jack
- The keyboard ergonomics of the MacBooks and Dell aren’t quite as good.
Dell XPS 13
If you are looking for a high-end laptop that runs Windows in a small size, the Dell XPS 13 might be a good choice. The touch screen makes it simple to switch between your tablet and laptop. Although the build quality is excellent, it suffers from the same problem as the MacBook Pro M1, namely the lack of ports.
Although the XPS 13 is a speedy device that can handle high-workload tasks quickly, a webcam that fails to live up to its cost is another problem. It’s okay but not as good as the rest. It can last up to 8 hours with moderate use.
This is an excellent Windows device.
- Excellent performance
- Touch screen
- Battery life of 8+ hours
- Ergonomic Keyboard
- The webcam is not the best
- Ports not available
Samsung Galaxy Book S
- 13.3-inch screen
- Storage space of 256 GB
- 8GB memory
- 2.09 pounds (0.95 kg)
- Battery life: 17 hours
The best lightweight computer with incredible battery life
The Samsung Galaxy Book S is an excellent laptop for remote workers looking for a light computer. It lasts 17 hours, which is close to the longest battery life on this computer.
This computer weighs in at just 2 pounds.
This computer is ideal for digital nomads and travelers who travel a lot. It’s lightweight but still offers a large screen and has great battery life.
Because it has a processor that is commonly used in smartphones, it is extremely lightweight. However, it can still be an excellent laptop regardless of what job you have. It runs a wide range of programs and is very fast.
If you don’t have a heavy design job, this laptop is excellent. If you are creative, you might need a faster processor.
Is 4GB RAM enough for working from home?
Before you buy a laptop, it’s important to find out whether 4GB of RAM is enough for your needs. For light work from home, 4GB should be more than enough, but if you have multiple tasks going at once, or plan on editing video, you might want to consider a machine with 8GB of RAM.
>>> Read also our guide on How Much Ram For Gaming?
Which is the best generation of laptops?
It depends on the features you want and what you’re looking for.
If you are looking for a simple laptop to do things like surfing the net, checking emails, and making notes, then go for the 1st or 2nd generation.
If you are looking for a gaming laptop to play Call of Duty, Battlefield, and the like, then go for the 3rd generation or later.
The 4th generation or later models tend to be better at gaming.
That’s our list of Best laptops for working remotely. Each laptop has its own pros and cons, which you should take into consideration before buying one.
Our favorite pick is the MacBook Pro M1(16GB) only because of its processor speed and fantastic battery life. If you like your laptop to stay on even when there is no power socket insight, then this is a suitable one for you.
MedCPU hopes this article will help you decide which laptop you should buy for remote working. If you have any questions, please let me know in the comments below and I will do my best to answer.
Eyal Ephrat serves as the co-founder and CEO of medCPU.com, where technology is making significant strides in the field of medicine. Through his experience in purchasing PC and laptop equipment and various other tech products, Eyal Ephrat contributes valuable insights to medCPU’s mission.