As workplaces around the world adapt to changes and challenges, working from home has become more common. (Perhaps, more than anyone would have thought!) With workplaces likely to remain closed into the near future, working from home has allowed people to still earn a living. However, it has done more than that: it has opened a whole new world of opportunities for many people.
Many freelancers, digital nomads, and experts have spent a large portion of their time working from home. Whether it is in the engineering, industry, artistic, media, or education sectors, many people make a living working from home.
If you have just started working from home or have been doing so for a long time, the laptops on this list will undoubtedly help with your homebound work schedule, your budget, device needs, the complexity of your work, and other factors.
- The Top 10 Laptops for Working at Home
- Evaluate These Factors When Selecting a Laptop for Home Use
The Top 10 Laptops for Working at Home
For years, Apple’s MacBook Air has been a tried-and-true favorite, but it has gotten only minor updates. With the launch of Apple’s M1 processor that finally changed. Apple replaced the long-running use of Intel processors with its own silicon option alongside the latest “Big Sur” OS upgrade. This change has, no doubt, breathed new life into the MacBook Air.
Among Mac laptops, the MacBook Air offers the best value due to its battery life and premium ultra-slim design. In comparison to older models, the latest model has newer internals and improved minimum capacity configurations. (For example, it now has double the storage capacity.) The improved efficiency of the upgraded parts in the MacBook Air (Apple’s slimmest laptop) have truly increased its value for the Air’s target audience.
The MacBook Air addresses several issues we had with previous versions. This latest model has more efficient internal components, an improved keyboard and more storage space. If you are an Apple fan looking for a low-cost MacBook, we enthusiastically recommend the latest MacBook Air. This is something we could not say about previous MacBook Air models.
HP has flipped this underappreciated series on its head with the Envy x360 13. Rather than focus on eliminating features (to keep it within price range), HP took a look at its flagship Spectre models and used them as inspiration for the Envy. As a result, the Envy x360 13 has a lot in common with the Spectre including its sleek all-aluminum frame.
The HP Envy x360 2-in-1 convertible laptop has a screen that rotates at 360 degrees which allows you to use it as a big touchscreen computer. It is a function not found on Mac and many other Windows laptops.
The Envy comes with either an Intel or AMD Ryzen processor (Ryzen 3, Ryzen 5, and Ryzen 7) as well as Radeon graphics chips, and various RAM and storage configurations. For privacy and security, it has switches that allow you to turn off the microphone and camera, much like other HP laptops.
As far as ports go, the Envy has one USB-C port, two USB-A ports, and a MicroSD card slot. Wireless links to networks and peripherals are supported by Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5. As for battery life, HP claims a battery life of up to 11 hours, however, this can vary as it is based on how you use the device.
Finally, the Envy comes with a 720p webcam located at the top of the screen, and a fingerprint reader on the lower right corner of its backlit keyboard.
The Surface 4 has a sleek, streamlined aluminum frame and a stunning 13.5-inch touchscreen. The Surface Laptop 4 is every bit as sleek as the MacBook Air and is available in a variety of color options.
As an iteration of the previous model, the Surface Laptop 4 brings minor improvements to what was already one of the best 13-inch laptops. It has a quite extensive battery life (it can easily last you a day); it is small, lightweight, and durable. Also, its keyboard and touchpad are among the best.
Since Microsoft is not a fan of passwords, the Surface Laptop 4 was fitted with an infrared camera. Thus, you will be able to use Windows Hello to sign-in to the laptop using face recognition software.
The Surface Laptop 4 is such a joy to use, that the specs are almost irrelevant, particularly if your primary tasks are word processing and email. This is why the Surface Laptop 4 is one of our favorite laptops right now.
That said, we should mention that, in terms of style, the Surface Laptop 4’s large bezels keep it from being cutting-edge. Also, its lack of ports brings it down a notch, especially because it lacks a Thunderbolt port and includes a proprietary adapter.
The Dell XPS 13 is one of the best Ultrabooks (even one of the best laptops) around. It has Intel Evo certification, which is only given to the best-performing laptops. (The certification means that the computer has been programmed to be more effective, faster, and work better.) The price tag, of course, reflects this. You will be investing a considerable amount of money, but you will be receiving considerably better configurations.
The XPS 13’s body is made of aluminum, and the deck is available in either black carbon fiber or white glass fiber. It has a strong, streamlined, and distinctive feel to it. Also, has a Windows Hello infrared facial recognition camera tucked into the top bezel, and a fingerprint scanner integrated into the power button. This means you can log in by pressing the power button or by looking at the screen when it is open.
Overall, the Dell XPS 13 (2020) with Intel Evo is a lovely little laptop that offers great performance, battery life, and other features. It comes at the cost of ports, sound quality, and price, but none of these factors are significant enough for us to not recommend this laptop to those looking for an Ultrabook.
From its iconic look to its epic performance and battery life, there’s a lot to like about the Apple MacBook Pro 13 M1. However, this updated laptop is geared more toward existing Mac users than future users because of its new M1 chip. The M1-based MacBook Pro outperforms its contemporaries in performance and connectivity and features legacy Intel-based Mac applications.
The MacBook Pro M1 is one of the best laptops on the market. Period. It’s powerful and durable. It supports heavy workloads with no problems at all.
The Pro M1 has an improved display, improved microphones, and louder speakers. It has a larger battery, which means it lasts a little longer. Yes, it has the hopelessly perplexing Touch Bar instead of a feature row on the keyboard. However, if you press and hold it for a bit, it works the same as it does in the Air.
The MacBook Pro M1 features a minimalist business-class style. Unfortunately, its display is surrounded by anachronistically-large bezels for its price class, but that doesn’t take much away from the Quad HD+ Retina display panel with a native resolution of 2560 x 1600. It’s still one of the best displays around.
Apple currently sells only one standard MacBook Pro model with a single M1 chipset that offers 8-core compute, 8-core graphics, 16-core AI capability, and more. Overall, the MacBook Pro M1 is simply epic!
Picking up the Acer Swift 5 for the first time seems like a joke because it is much lighter than it appears to be. In fact, you would almost think it’s hollow inside! Of course, it’s not. The reason this laptop is so light is that it has the latest Intel Evo model which means power and portability.
You can focus, build, and engage at new heights with the Swift 5’s 11th Gen Intel Core processor and its vibrant Intel Iris Xe graphics and fast Intel Wi-Fi 6 connectivity.
This versatile laptop is just over 2 pounds and features a frame made of high-grade magnesium-lithium and magnesium-aluminum, which account for its thin dimensions. Also, the Swift 5’s mist green color complements its build quite well.
The Acer Swift 5’s 14-inch Full HD IPS touchscreen panel has Corning Gorilla Glass protection, which is extremely durable and antimicrobial. Its colors are vibrant, and its screen space ample. It has a 340 nits brightness and a 100 percent sRGB gamut. Also, the narrow-bezel design offers a remarkable 90 percent screen-to-body ratio.
By saying something like, “Hey Cortana,” users can activate the Windows 10 speech recognition engine from a screen off (lower power) state to a screen on (maximum power) state. Once activated, you can ask Cortana all sorts of things.
The Swift 5 features a dual-band Intel Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1, so you can quickly access wireless networks. Additionally, the Thunderbolt 4 allows you to keep your office or workspace clutter-free by powering your laptop and devices via a single cable.
As a result of its Intel Evo makeover, the Acer Swift 5 is back with the same lightweight but robust build and vastly improved internals.
If you know something about ThinkPads, you know that the ThinkPad X1 Carbon is available in any color you choose, as long as it’s black. This one comes in a more modern, flat black, style. There’s also a black carbon fiber weave pattern if you’re looking for something a little flashier. Regardless of the color you choose, this ThinkPad is (obviously) made of carbon, hence the name. We note this because, in some models you can choose between carbon fiber and aluminum builds. (For those not in the know, carbon fiber is a sturdy and lightweight substance that contrasts strongly with the much heavier aluminum.)
The ThinkPad X1’s 14-inch 16:10 panel is one of its key features. It is now taller though slightly less wide than previous models which featured a 14-inch 16:9 screen. Other neat things about it include its four Dolby Atmos-tuned speakers that provide improved audio quality. They are great for just about anything – music, videos, movies – you name it.
The main press is 1.5mm, which Lenovo has been using in its ThinkPads for quite some time. Newer ultra-thin technologies, such as the ThinkPad X1 Nano and ThinkPad X1 Titanium Yoga, have lowered it to 1.35mm.
The Samsung Galaxy Book Pro has a beautiful look. Also, it’s so compact that you can hold it in one hand with no problem. Overall, it has a strong feature set, which includes the latest Intel processors, an AMOLED display, and optional LTE support.
The Galaxy Book Pro’s most appealing attribute is its ultraportable nature. The 13.3-inch model is much lighter (only 2.31 lbs.). The 13-inch model is 11.2mm thick when closed, while the 15.6-inch model is just 11.7mm.
Samsung Galaxy Book Pro has a range of connectors, including HDMI, USB-A, and a microSD card socket, as well as the powerful Thunderbolt 4 connector.
On an aesthetic note, the Galaxy Book Pro’s colors – Mystic Blue and Mystic White – set it apart from the sea of black and silver laptops on the market. (Honestly, there are too many of these!) Also, the keyboard is pleasant to use (it has a nice click to each keystroke) and features a fingerprint scanner for quick logins.
Overall, the Samsung Galaxy Book Pro is impressive. Its razor-thin and light design make it imminently portable while its specs allow it to compete against the best laptops around.
The latest IdeaPad 5 (14) is one of the best Ultrabooks ever. Its key feature? Symmetry. When the machine is open, you can see two speaker grills flanking the keyboard. In addition, the touchpad seems to be somewhat biased (specifically, left-biased).
The Lenovo IdeaPad 5 14-inch looks like it was designed to fill this niche, and it does so admirably. With it, you get an exceptionally durable and elegant aluminum frame, a soft and tactile keyboard, plenty of ports, and a 14-inch screen. The latter being the ideal size for a laptop that needs to be compact yet large enough to allow users to work on documents and presentations with ease.
The keyboard is rather nice. It has a tactile feel to it and a pleasant clicky sound that sounds just right. Students who use their laptops in class and at the library will enjoy using this keyboard. Also, there is a fingerprint reader built into the narrow power button above the keyboard. It works well and is fast and accurate.
When it comes to ports, you have an HDMI, a USB-C, two USB-A ports, and an SD card reader, which should suffice for most users. Also, the speakers are superior to others found in laptops in this price range.
Overall, the Lenovo IdeaPad 5 14-inch laptop is a light and durable machine with a decent keyboard, decent graphics, and a long battery life. All these things make it an excellent option for students and those looking for a decent work laptop at a reasonable price.
The ZenBook 13 (UX325EA-XS74), like all ZenBooks, is incredibly attractive. Its frame is made of Pine Gray aluminum alloy, while the rest of it is bland save for the gleaming Chrome ASUS emblem found on the cover. Unlike its convertible twin, the ASUS ZenBook Flip S, the ZenBook 13 is not a fingerprint magnet, however, it attracts a decent number of smudges.
In terms of ports (remember, we love ports), the ZenBook 13 offers a decent selection. You have a USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A port, a microSD card slot, a full HDMI 2.0 port, and two Thunderbolt 4 slots, making it one of the first laptops to support the next-generation charging standard.
ZenBook keyboards are the best. The broad, slightly concave keys are springy and relaxed, with plenty of room between them. The LED backlighting provides decent lighting for those times when we have to work in the dark or in low-light environments.
Overall, the ASUS ZenBook 13 (UX325EA-XS74) is a reliable, lightweight laptop that features a sleek build and offers excellent efficiency. It should definitely be at the top of your shortlist.
Evaluate These Factors When Selecting a Laptop for Home Use
Size and Weight
A lightweight laptop that is not too heavy will make your life easier, especially if your remote-working lifestyle entails a lot of traveling and jumping around between workspaces. If portability is a top priority, a smaller-sized Windows laptop is the way to go. They are typically smaller and lighter than their larger counterparts.
When it comes to how we use a laptop for work, we all have different requirements. Consider the essential features you use to get the job done. Make sure the laptop you purchase will accommodate them.
If you use design tools and work with large files, you will need a much stronger processor than if you are editing documents or working with spreadsheets. A dual-core processor can suffice for basic tasks, but a quad-core processor is ideal for more complex work.
Storage and RAM
When it comes to the quality and efficiency of your laptop, the CPU is not the only thing to consider. RAM is also important because it determines how much data your computer can process at once.
It all relates to storage requirements. SSDs have surpassed traditional hard disc drives in terms of capacity and usability. When using a laptop for photo processing, InDesign, and everyday tasks like surfing the web and reading emails, 256GB SSD storage is more than enough.
Other gadgets, such as a camera, a computer, or speakers, are likely to be connected to your laptop. You can still buy adaptors, but they can be cumbersome and messy. Therefore, it’s best if your laptop comes with the ports you need. At the very least, you will need a pair of USB ports. An SD card slot might also be a good idea if you are going to be transferring images regularly.
You cannot always be near a power source when operating remotely, therefore, it’s important that your laptop have excellent battery life. That way, no matter where you are (be it on a long bus journey, a waiting room with no power outlet, or some other place) you can always get your work done.
Ease of Use
When you are always on the move, a laptop that is simple to use will help keep you focused and allow you to get more done. Ergonomics heavily influence the quality of a laptop, so look for a keyboard with a convenient layout and plenty of room between the keys. Backlighting, too, if you think you’ll be using your laptop in the dark.
Finally, everyone must operate within a budget, and where yours falls will undoubtedly influence the kind of laptop you purchase. You might not be able to afford a laptop with certain features, so you will almost certainly have to make trade-offs and adjustments.
That said, think twice before you spend too much money on a laptop. It might easily end up being a waste of money for any number of reasons. On the flipside, if you can stretch your budget a bit, you might find a suitable laptop that will provide everything you need.
When it comes to operating from home, people do not need to be as selective about their laptop. This can perplex them, so they need to be aware of important factors that can influence their decisions. These include processing speed, efficiency, display quality, storage space, usability, and budgetary constraints.
With this article, we wanted to provide a good list of laptops for people looking to work from home. We hope you folks found this list useful! Thanks for reading!