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What are the best laptops for working from home? Earlier this year the world and the economy were hit by COVID 19, which is here to stay, and most of the business organizations adopted the ‘New Normal’ – work from home.
If you too need to start working from your home you may have realized by now that it is both convenient as well as difficult.
Yes, you will save on the traveling time and the hassles of getting ready to reach your office on time every morning, but the biggest obstacle is maintaining an office culture in your home.
The ‘work from home’ concept is however nothing new. A lot of freelancers and consultants have been doing it for a significant part of their career.
These people can be related to business, tech, content creation, media, or even education.
Remember, working from home is not a part time job. It is just your office which is in your home. Period.
Therefore, you will have to maintain a precise balance between your professional and personal life.
There is one thing that you cannot do without when you are working from home – a laptop, and it should be good enough.
It should be best suited for your remote working and should come with all the features that your office computer had.
This will ensure that you can complete your tasks just as smoothly and quickly as you would have while working in your office.
Therefore, to make sure that your laptop is good enough for home working, it should be able to adjust with the environment of your home and, at the same time, not lose any essential technological aspects.
Otherwise, you will lose productivity, which is certainly not desired by you or by your office.
This means that while choosing a laptop for your work, you will need to consider the key factors such as the RAM, the processor type and speed, the internal storage capacity, the battery life, the GPU support, the updates, the security of the system, and of course the price points.
All these things are very important because it will directly or indirectly impact your work dynamic, and this is what makes choosing the right laptop for working from home so difficult.
Here is a list of some of the best laptops that you can use for your purpose.
Following this list as well as the buying guide will make your job much easier and, in the end, you will choose one of the best laptops that will make no difference whether you work from your office or your home.
- Laptops for Working from Home Price
- How to Work from Home?
- Minimum & Recommended System Requirements for Working from Home
- 5 Best Laptops for Working from Home 2021:
- Things to Look for before Buying a Laptop for Working from Home
Laptops for Working from Home Price
How to Work from Home?
Like it is said earlier, to work from home you will need a dedicated space, settings and a dedicated laptop that you can use for your work.
Simple as it may sound, working from home, if not done properly, will affect your productivity negatively.
Be warned, working from home is much more than using your laptop on the coffee table.
Though the larger aspect of it is to nail down the tech part, it is also required for you to focus on the softer side.
It includes the hours you work, how you stay connected with your office and coworkers, and even how you dress up while working from home!
In order to make it look like you are really working in and for your office and not taking it as a part of your recreation, you should define your workspace.
You will need to find out the right space that will work for you and also for your work but still be unique.
It is also required to make sure that when you are at your workstation others members in the home know that you are on call and in your ‘office’ and should not be bothered.
Similarly, when you work from home, you should not feel compelled to ‘visit your office’ any time after hours. This means that you should sick to that nine-to-five work format of your office.
A definite working space and work culture in your home environment is nothing silly and not to be taken lightly at all. In fact, it will create a significant psychological difference while you work.
In addition to that ergonomics is also very essential to maximize your productivity while working from home.
Some of the basic guidelines to follow include not working on the couch or bed, and keeping the desk at your arm’s length and the monitor at your eye level.
It is also necessary that you use an office chair preferably than a hard kitchen or dining chair.
If you do not have an office chair at home, buy one. This small investment will surely affect your productivity in a positive manner.
This will not strain your back and neck and you will also not nod off while working.
Make sure that you do refresh your body and mind, get up and walk around a bit periodically.
Also, have lunch and tea breaks just like you do in your office.
Minimum & Recommended System Requirements for Working from Home
Depending on the type of job you are engaged with, the requirements in your laptop to work from home will differ. However, the minimum system requirement that will allow you to work smoothly from home includes 2.0 GHz Intel Cire processor or AMD equivalent, 3 GB of RAM and 80 GB of hard drive. This is in addition to a strong and reliable internet connectivity.
However, since you want a laptop that will be durable and serve your purpose for years to come, it is wise to go for a device that comes with much better configurations than that. ideally, you will be better off if you go for the recommended system requirement rather than the minimum to get the best bang in return.
Minimum system requirements: Intel Core i5 processor of the 7th generation or above | 8 GB of RAM | 256 GB SSD | Integrated Intel HD graphics 620 or better | 12.3 inches screen or bigger | 1024 x 768 pixels resolution | 8 hours of battery life
Recommended system requirements: 7th generation Intel Core i7 or higher processor| 16 GB of RAM or higher | 512 GB SSD or larger | Dedicated Nvidia GeForce MX 150 or higher | 15.6 inches screen or larger | 1920 x 1080 pixels resolution or higher | 10 hours of battery life or more
5 Best Laptops for Working from Home 2021:
1. Apple MacBook Pro – Best Overall
Bottom Line: The performance of the 9th generation Intel core i7 processor with its six powerful cores as well as the AMD Radeon Pro graphics card ensures that whether you work from home or office you will always get the best overall computing experience with all the other components playing their part well.
- Screen: 16 inches
- Storage: 512 GB
- RAM: 16 GB
- Processor: 9th generation Hexa-Core Intel i7
- OS: Mac OS
- GPU: AMD Radeon Pro 5300M
- Keyboard is good with good key travel.
- The screen is quite good with better resolution.
- The audio system produces sharp and distinct sound.
- The laptop is very heavy.
- There is no numeric keypad.
- The system comes with a limited variety of ports.
The specs of the system make it one of the best laptops overall. It comes with a 9th generation processor that will handle most of your work from home jobs.
The touch bar and touch ID of the system is a unique feature which adds to the performance of the system.
The screen is fantastic with Retina display and True Tone technology ensures that the pictures are sharper and clearer.
The graphics card comes with GDDR6 memory and operates at a high speed to produce images with no lags or tears.
If you want clear sound then this is the laptop that you should consider. It comes with a six-speaker audio system that has force-cancelling woofers to produce exceptional sound.
However, the variety, and not the number of ports, are limited.
The system also supports Bluetooth 5.0 wireless technology and wi-fi wireless networking of 802.11ac standard that is also compatible with the a, b, g, and n standards. Check out Apple MacBook Pro Review.
2. Dell XPS 15 9570 – Runner Up
Bottom Line: With an Intel Core i7 processor belonging to the 8th generation and a dedicated and adequately efficient graphics card, a fast SSD storage and sufficiently large amount of RAM, and a virtually borderless 4K touchscreen, this Runner up laptop will fruitfully meet all the needs of working from home.
- Screen: 15.6 inches
- Storage: 512 GB SSD
- RAM: 16 GB DDR4 SDRAM
- Processor: 8th generation Intel Core i7 8750H
- OS: Windows 10 Home
- GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050Ti
- The performance of the laptop is quite speedy.
- The fingerprint reader is very quick for Windows Hello.
- The keyboard and touchpad are outstanding.
- The laptop gets warm under constant or heavy use.
- The touchscreen performance is not good with a flickering screen.
- The webcam takes poor quality pictures at weird angles.
The screen is virtually borderless. This provides maximum screen space. The design of the entire system is superb which makes it light in weight and durable.
It is made from a single block of aluminum and the Corning Gorilla Glass 4 makes it doubly durable as well.
The touch screen will allow you to interact easily and naturally by tapping, swiping, and pinching.
The sound system of the laptop is also incredible with the Waves Maxx Audio technology that enhances the volume and clarity of every tone.
The processor and the graphics card will allow you to complete the most intensive jobs on this laptop in quick time.
With a high bandwidth of 2666 MHz the memory of the system is faster and so is the M.2 2280 PCIe SSD.
Both enhances the responsiveness and performance of the system allowing you to access your files quicker and run the apps smoothly.
You will also get a stable and strong wi-fi connectivity with the Killer 1535 Wireless AC adapter.
It is also a secure laptop to use for your work as it comes with the Windows Hello feature that allows you to enjoy a password free login with the fingerprint reader.
Since this reader is integrated into the power button it allows the fastest access.
The system will not become hot easily and stay cool under pressure.
The carbon fiber palm rest is thin and strong, like aluminum metal, and will be cooler to touch as well. Check out Dell XPS 15 9570 Review.
3. HP Flagship Laptop – Larger and Good Screen
Bottom Line: It is the large and good screen that makes this laptop one of the most favored devices to work from home. The resolution of this screen is quite good which delivers the images with vivid colors and with every minute details shown clearly. It is especially good for people who are into content creation.
- Screen: 17.3 inches
- Storage: 256 GB SSD
- RAM: 16 GB DDR3 SDRAM
- Processor: 8th generation Intel Core i5 8265U
- OS: Windows 10
- GPU: Intel UHD Graphics 620
- The system boots up pretty quickly.
- The keyboard is good and provides a lot more room.
- The sound is good enough.
- There is no optical drive included in the system.
- The fan gets noisy at times.
- It is slightly heavy weighing more than 5 pounds.
It is the technical specifications of this laptop that makes it one of the best systems for work from home business and personal use.
The display is very big and the technology makes this HD WLED-backlit display deliver the clearest of images.
The Intel Core i5 processor comes with 6 MB cache and can operate at a speed up to 3.90 GHz to process things faster.
The wi-fi standards, the graphics, the 720p webcam, the keyboard, the multi-format secure digital media reader, all adds to the level of performance of this laptop.
The RAM and storage of this system will allow you to run multiple apps and store a lot of files and access them with ease.
In short, this is the laptop that will enhance your productivity whether you work from your home or office. Check out HP Flagship Laptop Review.
4. Acer Aspire 5 – Useful Features
Bottom Line: This is another good laptop for people who work from home due to its unique, beautiful and useful features. One such feature of it is the screen that can be opened up to 180 degrees. This allows better visibility and screen sharing. Others include a good audio system and fast wi-fi connectivity support.
- Screen: 15.6 inches
- Storage: 256 GB SSD
- RAM: 8 GB DDR4
- Processor: 8th generation Intel Core i5 8250U
- OS: Windows 10
- GPU: NVIDIA GeForce MX150
- The screen comes with a full HD feature that ensures better images.
- The performance and power of this laptop is adequate to support daily tasks.
- The audio system of the device is quite good.
- There is no CD drive in the system.
- Upgrading it will HDD storage needs an additional bracket and cable.
- The palm rest and lid show fingerprints very easily.
This is one laptop that will suit every need of your work from home tasks. It is packed with power and the beautiful design gives it a beautiful form.
The full HD screen, the latest wi-fi connectivity, and the light weight, everything seems to work in favor of the users.
This is a budget friendly laptop that comes with class and solid performance.
You can browse the web quickly, manage the spreadsheets, check and send mails effectively and seamlessly.
The best part of this laptop is that there is a compartment door that allows easy access to the inside of the machine in case you want to quickly upgrade the memory and storage of the system.
The laptop will also protect your eyes even if you work on it for long hours by filtering out the blue light using the Blue Light Shield feature.
The latest 802.11ac wi-fi connectivity provides fast internet access for a better user experience.
The speaker design is one of its kinds and the True Harmony feature limits audio distortions and produces sound with more depth, bass, and volume.
The best part of it is that you can lay the screen flat at 180 degrees to provide you with the best viewing pleasure. Check out Acer Aspire 5 Review.
5. Microsoft Surface Pro FJX – Value for Money
Bottom Line: This device will surely provide a much higher value for money with its power when you use it to work from home. The Intel Core i5 processor of the 7th generation with the integrated graphics chip, the reliable connectivity support, the multiple modes of its usage, all adds to the utility and value of it.
- Screen: 12.3 inches
- Storage: 256 GB
- RAM: 8 GB
- Processor: 7th generation Intel Core i5
- OS: Windows 10 Pro
- GPU: Intel HD Graphics 620
- The storage and performance of the system are both fast.
- The system does not heat up easily.
- The screen is good and the images look gorgeous on it.
- The battery life is not as long as advertised and could have been better.
- There is no USB Type C port included in the system.
- The system does not come with the Surface pen.
With the latest features and a 7th generation Intel Core i5 processor, this laptop will provide you with the best value for your money.
It is light in weight but packed with power. It offers IEEE 802.11 a, b, g, n, ac compatible wi-fi connectivity standard along with Bluetooth Wireless 4.1 technology.
The system provides exceptional mobility allowing you to work and play on this device virtually anywhere which is making it suitable for work from home.
The features and hardware of the system will provide you with enough power to complete all your day’s work and be productive.
The design of the machine is attractive with a softer look and rounded edges.
You can use a Surface pen and Office to make the most of the Windows 10 professional operating system.
Using the Surface pen, you will get the experience of real-time writing.
The new tilt feature and ability of the pen will allow artistic shading as well to make your creation look even better.
You can even enhance your user experience with the optional Surface Dial for on-screen support and use the 3D creation tools to make the best and most attractive presentations for your office.
You will not have to worry about the security feature as the Windows hello feature will allow you a faster and more secure password-free sign-in. This will save a lot of time for you adding to your productivity.
You will also get an option to customize the system using the creative tools of the next generation level.
You can use a Surface Pro Signature Type Cover that comes in a wide variety of rich colors and a Surface Arc Mouse as well. Check out Microsoft Surface Pro FJX Laptop Review.
Things to Look for before Buying a Laptop for Working from Home
Ideally, all those professionals who work from home look for three basic things in a laptop they want to use for their work.
You should also look for these aspects in a laptop for working from home. These are – performance, connection and communication.
When you focus on these three specific factors, you will find it much easier to look for the configurations in the laptop for working from home when you buy one.
Remember, if you are employed in a large organization, your employer will seldom provide you with a laptop.
Even if they do, you may need to pay for it and it may not have the configurations you want.
Therefore, it is better to buy one for you and know what to look for in them in order to make the right choice.
The performance of the laptop for working from home is one of the most important factors to consider while buying a system.
Ideally, the type of office work you need to do on the laptop will determine the specs to choose which will in turn determine the level of performance of the device.
If you have to do heavy office work that involves working on multiple and large spreadsheets, surfing the internet and write a lot of documents, you should choose nothing less than an Intel Core i3 or AMD Ryzen 3 processor.
You should simply stay away from other variants of Intel processors namely, Celeron, Atom, and Pentium and AMD Athlon or A-series.
This is because all these processors are much less powerful than the I-series or Ryzen CPU chips.
As for the RAM and storage, which are also important factors for the performance of the laptop, it should be at least 4 GB of RAM and 128 GB of SSD storage. As for the screen, it is better to have a full HD display.
If you want to have a very high performance and a better user experience while using your laptop for working from home and want to do some intensive computing tasks, you should aim for the higher specs.
Ideally, an Intel Core i5 or AMD Ryzen 5 processor, 8 GB of RAM, 256 GB of SSD storage and a full HD screen is required for that matter. Higher the better, but it all depends on your affordability.
Since you will need to stay connected and communicate with your office constantly while working from home, your smartphone will not be enough for that matter.
Therefore, you will need a laptop of high quality that will offer a strong and stable connectivity.
You will need to stay connected to the internet all day to use different office software, browse the web and even make video calls. Your laptop should handle and allow you to handle all these jobs seamlessly.
Also check the selection of ports in the device so that you can connect with several external devices such as monitors and others.
SSD or HDD
Since most of the laptops today come with an SSD storage, choosing one will not be an issue.
The good thing about SSD is that it is much faster than the HDD and does not heat up the laptop quickly.
However, there are some cheaper models of laptops that come with hard disk drives.
Therefore, stay away from those if you want speed and performance in your laptop.
If you want to do some high-end computing, choosing a laptop with a combination of SSD and HDD will be a better option.
Size and weight
Though portability is not an important factor since you will not need to haul your laptop through great distances to your office, you will be better off if you choose a laptop with the right size and weight.
Ideally, if you have a dedicated desk or workstation in your home any laptop with 15 to 17-inch screen will do but if you want your system to be highly portable then choose a laptop of 13 or a 14-inch screen.
For your information, the weight of a laptop is directly proportional to its size.
Keyboard and keypad
The design of the keyboard of the laptop will determine how comfortable it is to type on it.
Backlit or not, a keyboard should have soft keys with good enough travel, proper feedback, and preferably with a scissor mechanism.
In addition to that, you must also consider whether or not you need a keyboard with a separate numeric keypad.
This will be extremely helpful if you have to work with numbers quite a lot as well as with the spreadsheets.
However, this feature is only available on laptops with a screen size of 15 inches or more.
Focus also on the touchpad because some of these can be a bit too responsive which can be very annoying at times.
This is another less important actor for a laptop for working from home but is still worth considering.
It is true that you can always recharge the battery easily in your home but staying connected to a wall outlet all the time will make your laptop as good as a desktop computer which is not portable.
Moreover, a laptop with long battery life will allow you to move with your laptop to another room, if need be, without bothering to carry the charger with you.
Finally, consider the price factor. Choose the specs of the laptop for working from home according to your affordability.
Remember, more the features in the laptop and higher the specs, the price of it will go up considerably.
Therefore, stick to your needs and, for that matter, stick to the budget laptops, if price is a big concern for you.
However, remember that the cheaper variants will not be very fast and also not suit your work.
What kind of processor to look for in the laptops for working from home?
Though an i3 processor will suffice most of your needs, it is always better to invest a few dollars more and go for an i5 variant in your laptop for working from home. This is because it will have a higher number of cores which will enhance the speed and performance of the laptop. If not Intel, you can also choose AMD processors as well.
Are 13-inch laptops suitable for working from home?
This aspect depends partly on the work needs and partly on the personal preference. A 13-inch laptop is not suitable for a professional job but it should be good enough for small jobs. However, make sure that the quality of the display is good. Ideally, a full HD 13-inch laptop is best for working from home purposes.
What standard tasks a laptop for work from home must be able to perform?
The laptops for working from home should be able to multitask and switch between each task seamlessly. Ideally, the basic jobs that the laptop should be able to perform includes word processing, working on spreadsheets, web browsing, checking and sending emails, and even preparing analytical reports.
Do I need to buy expensive laptops for working from home?
No, it is not necessary to buy a costly laptop for working from home. However, it all depends on the type of work you need to do. If your work involves those of the high-end tech professionals, then you will need a laptop with higher specs and that will cost you more. Therefore, unless you are a creative professional or a coder, go for the mid-range laptops to work from home.
Are Chromebooks suitable for working from home?
Yes. In fact, Chromebooks are the most ideal systems to use for working from home but once again, the same performance and need factors should be considered and the IT department should be discussed to get the right model with the right specs for you. Also remember that these systems will work on Chrome OS which may not support all types of software.