Working from home isn’t as EASY as it sounds. People usually face a lot of obstacles that make it difficult to balance their personal and professional life. If you are going through a similar situation, a slow laptop isn’t something you’d want to deal with.
Many freelancers, digital nomads, and consultants have been working from home for a significant part of their careers. Be it the tech, business, creative, media sector, or even education, etc. you shall find a lot of people who earn their bread and butter working remotely.
A laptop that’s best suited for remote working can help the smoothly complete your work. Not only does it help you adjust in a home-based work environment, but it also ensures that you do not lose any key technological aspects essential to your work when you decide to interact with the company.
Factors like RAM, internal storage capacity, processor speed, GPU support, battery life, updates, system protection, and price points become a lot more important than you can think because each aspect impacts your work dynamic, directly or indirectly.
Whether you’ve just begun working from home or have been working remotely for a large part of your career, these work from home laptops in this list will surely support you in your homebound work routine, taking budget, system requirements, nature of work, etc. into consideration.
- Minimum & Recommended System Requirements
- Best Laptops For Working From Home or Remotely
- 1. Best Laptop For Working From Home: HP Spectre x360
- 2. Best Laptop For Digital Nomads: Acer Aspire 7
- 3. Best Business Laptop: LG Gram 14
- 4. Best Affordable MacBook: Apple MacBook Air M1
- 5. Best 2-in-1 Laptop: Microsoft Surface Pro 7
- 6. Best Laptop For Remote Work Under $1000: Asus ZenBook 14
- 7. Best Laptop For Professionals: Dell Inspiron 15
- 8. Best Budget Option: Lenovo IdeaPad 3
- Frequently Asked Questions
- What are the three factors one must consider before buying a laptop for work from home?
- What kind of processor must one look for in the laptops for work from home?
- Are 13-inch laptops suitable for work from home?
- What are the standard tasks a laptop for work from home must be able to perform?
- Does one need expensive laptops for work from home?
Minimum & Recommended System Requirements
Although, resources such as CPU, RAM, GPU, Battery, etc requirements change based on the type of work. For instance, a writer might just want a good work laptop that can run a word processor but a freelance data scientist might want a machine that comes with better CPU, RAM, GPU, and SSD storage to be able to run high-end machine learning software.
Here’s a list of the minimum and recommended system requirements one must consider to make an informed buying decision and ensure that the system does not face any lag, heating issue or more while they are in the middle of a video conference call or writing program or code.
|Minimum System Requirements||Recommended System Requirements|
|CPU||8th Gen Intel Core i3||10th Gen Intel Core i7|
|Storage||256GB SSD||512GB SSD|
|Display||12.3-inch PixelSense (2736 x 1824)||15.6-inch FHD IPS (1920 x 1080)|
|GPU||Integrated Intel HD 620||2GB NVIDIA GeForce MX350|
|Battery||Up to 5 hours||Up to 8 hours|
Best Laptops For Working From Home or Remotely
|HP Spectre x360|
|Acer Aspire 7|
|LG Gram 14|
|Apple MacBook Air M1|
|Microsoft Surface Pro 7|
|Asus ZenBook 14|
|Dell Inspiron 15|
|Lenovo IdeaPad 3|
Whether you perform CPU-intensive tasks, memory-intensive tasks, or tasks that require high graphics, or even tasks that require a combination of all the resources mentioned above. Our list includes the best-rated laptops that are highly suitable for remote access or working from home.
1. Best Laptop For Working From Home: HP Spectre x360
The HP Spectre x360 is a definite upgrade from the 2019-2020 models in terms of configuration and is still affordable for those working from home.
The HP Spectre x360 has a strong Dell aesthetic design and the laptop itself have noticeable changes as compared to the previous XPS models. Aluminum has been used to build the lid and the bottom. Carbon fiber gives the sides, deck, and hinges a premium look.
CPU and GPU
A 1.8GHz Intel Core i7-10750H CPU is configured into Spectre x360. The turbo clock speeds have significantly increased thanks to the powerful processor, and the laptop displays great efficiency. With dedicated NVIDIA GeForce MX330 and a respected battery life of up to 13.5 hours, the HP Spectre x360 is an excellent choice for light video editing, everyday work needs and can serve you as well if you want to play mid-level games as well.
RAM and Storage
With the support of 16GB DDR4 RAM and 512GB of SSD storage, the device is quick during business and personal use like documentation, Microsoft Office, web browsing, switching between tabs, and video playback. This laptop is great for those working from home. The device also has 32GB Optane memory, which will accelerate this computer, without compromising system storage capacity.
The Spectre x360 comes with a 15.6-inch Ultra HD 4K touchscreen panel that is rich in color and ensures wide viewing angles. With a 3840 x 2400 pixel resolution, the ultra-thin bezels screen gives a very vivid viewing experience to users. The luminosity on this device is excellent. Hence, whether you are working from home or on the go, you’ll love this laptop’s screen
Keyboard and Touchpad
With sufficient key travel, the HP Spectre x360 brings to the users a decent typing experience as the palm rest is very comfortable. Tactile feedback is great and the Touchpad works quite well. The accuracy of the Touchpad, as well as the response, is an attractive feature.
The inclusion of two Thunderbolt 3 ports is useful in that it gives users the ability to charge the laptop and connects to USB-C ports. Three USB 3.2, DisplayPort 1.4, headphone jack, battery meter button, and a light indicator to let you check power even when the computer is not in use.
You will love the 5MP resolution webcam on this work from home laptop. It comes in handy when attending online Zoom meetings. The hinge itself is quite sturdy and at 4.23 pounds, and the machine is comfortably light and easy to carry. In short, the HP Spectre x360 comes in first place on our best work from home laptop list.
- Excellent performance
- Decent graphics card
- Long battery life
- Seamless typing experience
- Touch is not as smooth as expected
2. Best Laptop For Digital Nomads: Acer Aspire 7
Launched as an everyday performer for those who deal with routine work-from-home, the Acer Aspire 7 is meant to provide them with a quick and reliable performance that they expect from a recommended system.
CPU, GPU, RAM and Storage
Laced with a 2.4GHz Intel Core i5-9300H processor, the machine is configured with 8GB DDR4 RAM and an astonishing 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD internal storage. This setup is well-chosen amongst digital nomads and who work by themselves at home or are freelancers. This is further supported by a powerful NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 graphics card which is a value addition under the budget. Acer chose to sell this model with Windows 10 Home Operating System.
With a 15.6-inch screen, Acer Aspire 7 competes well with the likes of high-end ASUS VivoBook laptops. The IPS FHD screen has a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels which provides clear picture quality. However, the viewing angles are not wide.
The Aspire 7 is designed to look like a high-end machine with a black chassis, lid, and deck. This item weighs 4.74 pounds, which is an exciting feature for those who travel a lot with their office work laptops. The configuration is a cherry on the top.
The keyboard works well and is accompanied by a responsive touchpad that allows multi-touch inputs. This makes the keyboard comfortable to use and provides tracking accuracy. Speakers provide average sound quality when listening to music.
The Aspire 7 is also known for its fusion connectivity features. Alongside the Gigabit ethernet port, and an HDMI port with HDCP support, you will also find one USB 3.2 Type C and two USB 3.2 ports. This is further supported by WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity which makes Aspire 7 a preferred choice for working professionals. Shockingly, there is no provision of an SD Card slot.
Lastly, the battery life on Acer Aspire 7 can last up to 8.5 hours which is above average for laptops meant for work office and it goes a long way for standard use.
- Good performance
- Thin and lightweight
- Decent level of GPU
- Impressive battery life
- Multi-touch keypad
- Value for money
- No SD Card slot
- Average design
3. Best Business Laptop: LG Gram 14
With remote desktop being a necessary aspect to rely on in the post-pandemic era, it might just be appropriate to invest in a portable yet powerful notebook. This is where the LG Gram 14 comes forth as one of the best laptops for remote work on our list, courtesy of the insanely powerful battery and an otherwise impressive specs sheet.
Taking care of the processing requirements is the Intel Core i7-1065G7 chipset. Despite not being the most powerful i7 mobile SoC in the retail arena, the featured CPU is still a good enough choice for several multithreaded tasks like photo editing and video creation. Besides, the highest possible single-core, Turbo Clock speed of up to 3.9GHz makes it a relatively smart choice for Illustrator CC, MS-Excel management, and relevant tasks.
The integrated Iris Plus Graphics co-processor is a good resource for casual games and edits. Then again, the LG Gram 14 hardly runs out of multitasking juice, courtesy of the 16GB DDR4 RAM. As per the featured processor, the existing chunk of system memory is one of the fastest processing modules on a productivity-focused notebook, at 3200MHz. Storage-specific requirements are met by the 512GB SSD unit.
As LG accommodates an NVMe-compatible storage module, you can expect the same to load applications and boot-up the pre-existing Windows 10 Home OS, in a heartbeat. Then again, it is the 14-inch IPS screen that excites us the most, courtesy of the sharpest visuals and the work-focused color accuracy. In terms of resolution, LG offers 1920 x 1080 pixels, to be exact.
Keyboard and Peripherals
Following the class-leading specs sheet are several productivity-based resources, which qualify the LG Gram 14 as the perfect WFH notebook. Firstly, it is the illuminated and spacious keyboard that makes a positive difference to productivity.
Besides, you also get access to a decent set of stereo speakers that boast of 3D audio and DTS: X enhancement. As work from home requires you to protect confidential data, LG accommodates a nifty fingerprint scanner for the job.
Professionals can also make good use of the standard webcam and serviceable microphones. Regardless of these inclusions, the LG Gram 14 continues to be one of the lightest models on the list at 2.2 pounds. This attribute ensures that you need not be restricted to a particular workstation and might contribute towards professional productivity, even on the move.
LG ensures that the metal-clad chassis is MIL-STD certified and accommodates a decent set of connectivity-based specs; include Type-A, HDMI 2.0, and the elusive Thunderbolt 3 port for the fastest possible data transfers. Besides, you also get access to high-speed wired and wireless connectivity standards, allowing you to set up secured WFH networks.
The battery on the Gram 14 continues to steal the show with an 18.5-hour backup. Therefore, if you are seeking a portable and efficient device for your WFH tasks, the LG Gram 14 readily shows up as a worthy investment to make.
- 10th gen chipset
- Feathery notebook
- Long-lasting battery
- Stellar display
- Ultrafast RAM module
- Glossy panel restricts sunlight visibility
- A bit noisy
4. Best Affordable MacBook: Apple MacBook Air M1
With a robust design and a sturdy body-build, the M1-powered MacBook Air is here to do its only job – provide endurance and convenience to the work-from-home professionals. Following the previous MacBook model’s design approach, the new MacBook Air is a reliable model with an elegant aesthetic.
CPU and GPU
Apple MacBook Air is quite lightweight as compared to a few counterparts. This 2.8 pounds machine is quite suitable for portability and it does stand out for its excellent performance. The 8-Core Apple M1 chip boosts the laptop’s value for money. It gives the professionals reason to use the device to work with Adobe Photoshop and everyday documentation purposes without hassle.
The fascinating Graphics unit on Apple MacBook Air is laced with the power of the Apple 8-core integrated GPU that enhances the performance slightly amidst the mid-range laptops for programming.
RAM and Storage
The high-quality processor is further paired with an efficient 8GB RAM which provides Apple MacBook Air with speed and easy access to programs and applications. Moving to the internal storage of this high power device, a 256GB SSD storage configuration goes a long way for those who work on the laptop routinely.
A 13.3-inch LED IPS retina display helps provide the professional with a more than decent viewing experience. The resolution of 2560 x 1600 pixels on this True Tone Technology display is a valuable feature too, given the long duration which the professionals working from home spend in front of the laptop screens.
Unfortunately, the keyboard unit is not the best-in-class although it comes with RGB backlit features. The typing experience is decent even as key travel is not quite deep. The speakers on Apple MacBook Air are pretty good at a reasonable price given that you tweak the sound-settings on the laptop.
The battery life on MacBook Air is above-average with up to 18 hours and you can adjust the performance of the processor, GPU, and RAM on this laptop. Ergo, the Apple MacBook Air is a good buy for those who are looking for an entry-level, mid-range machine for everyday professional use whether at home or on the go to fit under their budget.
- Elegant body design
- High-resolution display
- Seamless work experience
- Good speaker quality
- Sleek and robust build
- Thunderbolt 3 port
- Affordable price
- No Ethernet port
5. Best 2-in-1 Laptop: Microsoft Surface Pro 7
Launched as an ultralight and versatile machine, the new Microsoft Surface Pro 7 is a winner when it comes to the super lightweight 2-in-1 models.
Processor, GPU, RAM and Storage
The leap in performance on this Surface Pro model comes due to the 10th Gen Intel Core i7 processor paired with an integrated Iris Plus graphics support. Multitasking becomes smooth with the addition of 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD internal storage. You can switch between multiple apps on the browser without facing any lag.
The 12.3-inch PixelSense screen on this laptop is competitive amidst the convertibles. The resolution of 2736 x 1824 pixels is vivid and bright. The sRGB color gamut is excellent and accurate, something you expect usually from an iPad Pro. Coders and video editors will find it good to use this screen as it will be easy on the eyes and ensure accuracy.
Keyboard and Touchpad
As for the keyboard, everyday users will find it easy to gauge through the keys on the Surface Pro laptop. The key travel on the thin Type Cover (which has to be additionally purchased) or the keyboard is great. The Touchpad on this laptop is effective when it comes to precision. Switching between apps is smooth through the glass Touchpad. However, it may be loud and clicky.
With the presence of a tablet, laptop, and studio modes, the Surface Pro 7 comes with a matte-black finish and appears to be a thin machine. Fingerprints are resisted, thanks to the black exterior and the texture make the user grip the 2-in-1 laptop well.
The build is sturdy but the thick bezels around the display may not be an attractive feature for some. But weighing at just 1.70 pounds, the Surface Pro 7 is still a steal deal for professionals working from home who also travels a lot.
There is an addition of Surface Pen at extra cost which ensures good sensitivity and comes with an eraser on the back. It can support artists to draw and sketch on the apps available on Surface Pro. Professionals and art students can use this to create handwritten notes or editing documents.
The longevity of this laptop is probably one of the key highlights. Surface Pro can endure up to 10.5 hours of laptop use at high brightness and constant web-surfing. This makes the Surface Pro 7 a great laptop for travel and work.
- Extremely lightweight and convertible
- PixelSense display with vivid colors
- Keyboard functions very well
- Battery life is improved up to 10.5 hours
- Multitasking is easy with high performance
- Smaller display
6. Best Laptop For Remote Work Under $1000: Asus ZenBook 14
While ASUS laptops are known for their reliability and convenience, the ASUS ZenBook 14 laptop seems to be one of the most exciting laptop models by the brand by far. Plus, the convenient budget has been a point of attraction for routine professionals.
CPU, RAM and Storage
With a 2.8GHz Intel Core i7-1165G7 processor, the performance on this laptop is fairly decent. This is paired with 8GB LPDDR3 RAM for standard multitasking. Moreover, the 512GB PCIe M.2 SSD internal storage helps better the overall performance of the laptop.
The GPU for Asus ZenBook 14 is packed with Intel Iris Xe to provide an average display quality in order to support tech professionals, editors, and it’s great as an entry-level gaming laptop as well.
At only 2.58 pounds, ZenBook 14 is a thin and lightweight device that ensures portability and a 14-inch WideView Full HD LED screen. The resolution on this laptop is configured at 1920 x 1080 pixels. However, the image quality might not be up to the mark. The keyboard is slightly cramped and the Touchpad works alright with no lag.
As for the connectivity, the Zenbook comes with 1 Thunderbolt 3, 3 USB 3.0 ports, 1 USB 2.0 port, 1 HDMI port, a built-in media reader, WiFi, Bluetooth. The speakers provide a decent listening experience.
Overall, it is a decent laptop with a surprisingly long battery life lasting up to 21 hours. This is a good option for young professionals and college students who can’t spend a lot and regularly work at home.
- Doesn’t cost a fortune
- Full HD LED display
- Lightweight machine
- Long battery life
- Above-average configuration
- Modest connectivity under this range
- The keyboard is not up to the mark
- Average speakers
- Non-upgradable RAM slot
7. Best Laptop For Professionals: Dell Inspiron 15
The Dell Inspiron 15 is known for its affordability and good performance. With a robust design and a sturdy body build, the machine falls a bit short on the aesthetic of the design.
CPU, GPU, RAM and Storage
The high-speed 2.4GHz dual-core Intel Core i5-1135G7 processor is further paired with an efficient 8GB DDR4 RAM which helps the professionals perform multitasking. Moving to the internal storage of this high-power laptop, a 512GB SSD configuration goes a long way for those who work on the laptop routinely. Intel Iris Xe support further adds to the value of this affordable working laptop that ensures productivity on a daily basis. Windows 10 Home OS comes pre-installed with this device.
Even with a 15.6-inch display accompanied by a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels, this machine falls behind when it comes to displaying innovation. The picture quality might not be the greatest when compared to the others in the same budget range, but the colors are moderately better.
With 1.4 mm of key travel, the keyboard is decent but the typing experience may not be the most comfortable. However, the Touchpad on Inspiron 15 is quite impressive, with the provision of performing multiple gestures.
This Windows laptop for work comes with a 1080p display surrounded by massive bezels which might put a few users off. However, it also provides the professionals with a fingerprint reader which increases productivity. At 3.78 pounds, the Dell Inspiron 15 is a slim machine and not too bad for a convertible laptop.
As for the connectivity, this device comes with an HDMI port, 3 USB 3 ports, an SD Card slot, an Ethernet jack, and a headphone jack. The speakers on this home laptop are pretty good at a reasonable price, given that you tweak the sound settings on the laptop.
The battery life on Dell Inspiron 15 is average with up to 7 hours. This mid-range laptop is meant for everyday professional use whether at home or on the go to fit under their budget.
- Decent performance
- Smooth multitasking
- Affordable price
- Good speaker quality
- Sturdy body build
- Average battery life
8. Best Budget Option: Lenovo IdeaPad 3
The Lenovo IdeaPad 3 is one of the most lightweight and sleek 15-inch laptops in the market currently. It is highly portable and is a preferred choice of digital nomads, thanks to the ease of carrying it around.
CPU, GPU, RAM and Storage
However, for a mainstream machine, the Lenovo IdeaPad 3 comes with a powerful configuration in the form of a 2.2GHz AMD Ryzen 5 3500U processor and the GPU support of AMD Radeon Vega 8. This is further accompanied by 8GB DDR4 RAM and an internal storage capacity of 256GB M.2 SSD. The overall performance of this laptop is magnificent and is therefore recommended for those working from home.
Lenovo IdeaPad 3 comes with a 14-inch screen which provides an FHD viewing experience. This NanoEdge screen is known for the wide viewing angles. While the brightness is consistent, the color vividness might not be the best.
Keyboard and Touchpad
The keyboard doesn’t include Numpad but provides everyday professionals with a good typing experience. The Touchpad, operating on the Microsoft Precision drivers, includes a fingerprint scanner. The battery life is a disappointment, up to 8.5 hours
Design and Ports
At 3.78 pounds, this cheapt lightweight machine is courtesy of a small footprint and a light chassis which is an evident improvement from the past models of Asus. Also, the lid is built of aluminum while the base is born out of plastic, which gives it slight flexibility.
The approach to the design of this computer has been minimal and simplistic with a metal finish. Along with 3 USB 3.0 ports and a microSD card slot, Asus VivoBook provides connectivity.
- Good performance
- Smooth multitasking
- Affordable price
- Limited connectivity options
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the three factors one must consider before buying a laptop for work from home?
Usually, professionals who work remotely, be it home or away from the office, focus on the three key aspects to choose the best laptop for their professional use: connection, communication, and performance. These factors help us understand which configuration is best suited for work from home on your laptop.
What kind of processor must one look for in the laptops for work from home?
The best laptops for working from home purposes must include Intel i5 or higher processors. They provide high performance. The higher the number of cores, the more optimal the speed of the laptop. However, if you don’t wish to choose the Intel processor, you can find notebooks with newer AMD processors too.
Are 13-inch laptops suitable for work from home?
If a professional’s personal priority is big display size, 13-inch laptops wouldn’t be ideal for professional use. However, more than the screen size, the screen quality matters when considering laptops for home office. So, a 13-inch notebook with a Full HD Display and a high resolution will be feasible for work from home purposes.
What are the standard tasks a laptop for work from home must be able to perform?
The best laptops for work from home purposes ensure that the users can perform multitasking, they can switch between tasks without lag, and that the battery life is above average. These laptops have an above-average configuration and are considered portable.
Does one need expensive laptops for work from home?
Not necessarily. For high-end tech professionals like coders and creative professionals like video editors, specific configurations are essential thereby increasing the cost of the laptop. However, for most professionals who need routine documentation and web browsing, mid-range laptops can provide the required specifications for work from home too.
When it comes to working from home, the users do not have to be very specific about their choice of laptop. This might confuse them and therefore they need to know the significant factors affecting their choices like processor speed, productivity, display quality, storage capacity, accessibility, and budget restrictions.
In this ‘best laptops for work from home’ article we primarily wanted to help people who are looking to buy laptops at different price ranges.
- If you’re into small business, consider ZenBook 14. It is a budget-friendly option for general use as well.
- However, if you require high-end performance, we would suggest HP Spectre x360. It has a fast processor with a dedicated graphics unit and a 4K display.
- And if you’re looking for an Apple device for work, go for the latest Apple MacBook Air M1.
Not only do most of the laptops above provide effective overall performance, but these machines have also outdone their predecessors and have created a benchmark for many professional users from a variety of fields.