Depending on the type of person you are and the sort of work that you do, there are going to be some features in a laptop that you can’t live without.
If you’re just a casual web-surfer who uses your device primarily for watching Netflix or scrolling through Facebook. Then your needs will be much different from someone who uses their laptop for work from 9-5.
Just so, the best laptop for work from home for you should meet your unique requirements and most importantly, your budget.
Best Laptops for Working from Home: Things to Consider
When it comes down to the best laptops for working from home in 2021, there are a variety of things to consider.
In 2021, changes to the workplace have been in constant flux, and even remote work has come with a wide variety of new and exciting additions. One of the most important workplace tools in 2020 was undoubtedly video calls/chats.
With everyone working remotely nowadays, video calling, video chats, and online discussions are more popular now than ever before.
So, whether you work all day on Zoom meetings, or you only use it for Skyping with distant relatives. Having a quality camera, and microphone can become crucial when you least expect it.
Think about what other devices you are going to need to connect with your laptop. Some laptops will have a limited number of ports (HDMI, USB-C, etc.), which can become problematic depending on the task at hand.
Therefore, you must take the time to understand exactly what you want your work environment to look like (or sound like, feel like, etc.).
Having a laptop with a good display can vastly enhance your web browsing experience, gaming experience, and overall entertainment experience.
Most quality laptops will either have a Retina display (like the MacBook’s), consisting of a resolution ranging between 2560×1600 and 5120×2880. Or they will have the standard display featured in most “budget” laptops, which can range from a resolution of 1366×1800 to a 3200×1700 Quad HD display.
Understand that when it comes to resolution and display, you typically get what you pay for. This leads us to our final point.
Budget and price to performance are the most important factors to consider when looking to invest in a high-quality laptop for working from home.
Since this is going to be something you use every day as a primary source of income, it would be wise not to “cheap out” in this department.
But at the same time, you don’t want to pay for an expensive laptop, only to find out that there’s another one that has all the same (or similar) features. And it’s half the price… So, be sure to come up with a budget, stick to it, and you should have no problem finding the best laptop to work from home for you.
Minimum Specs for a Business Laptop to Work Remotely
When it comes down to working remotely, each user will have different requirements based on the type of job they have, their travel habits, preferences, etc.
However, whether you’re always on the go as a digital nomad or making waves in the industry from home.
You’re going to need to prioritize certain specs to optimize your work environment.
The number one most important thing to consider for remote work is battery life. Typically, if you’re working remotely, there are going to be situations where you are nowhere near an outlet to recharge your laptop.
It is widely recommended to stick to laptops with at least 8 hours of battery life if you’re hoping to work remotely. This way, you can avoid these undesirable circumstances in your travels.
The portability of your device is another important aspect to consider, especially for people with more remote lifestyles. If you’re always on the move, the absolute last thing you want to worry about is a big, bulky (and expensive) laptop jostling around between workspaces.
Therefore, for remote work, you should never invest in a business laptop that is bigger than 16” and weighs no more than 1.8 kg (4 lbs.). The ideal size for a digital nomad is a 13” laptop weighing somewhere around 1.2-1.4 kg (2-3 lbs.).
Obviously, if you are working on the road, there is a good chance that you are going to be outdoors. However, one of the perks of working remotely is the fact that you get to enjoy nature from wherever you choose, so long as you have a stable internet connection.
However, one downside to this is the potential risk of the UV glare seriously damaging the display over time. UV rays can also have a serious effect on the laptop’s overall battery life, other than the color accuracy, and display quality.
Keep an eye out for models that come with specifically designed anti-glare screens, or you can also investigate glare protectors as well (which can be purchased online.)
Specific requirements will matter in case of just as specific tasks and professions. For example, if you’re a video editor, you will need a laptop that can handle all the necessary software without quitting on you.
Or if you are a graphic designer/artist, you may find the touch screen feature more an obvious prerequisite.
If you design software, or need to download many heavy files, you will need a faster processor. For average tasks, a dual-core processor is more than sufficient. But for those who need a more powerful performance, a quad-core processor is fundamental.
Business laptops should be equipped with the latest Intel Core CPU generation, or the equivalent AMD processor models (Intel 9th Gen + / AMD 3rd Gen +) to take full advantage of your device’s speed, and performance.
Aside from the processor, the overall amount of storage available is important no matter your profession. While there are going to be some jobs that need the space more than others, RAM is going to be a major factor for anyone working at home or remotely.
How much RAM your laptop has will dictate your multi-tasking and productivity. For the average person (going through emails, reading news outlets, checking Facebook), 4 GB of RAM is ideal.
However, if you use your laptop for more intensive purposes (video editing, design software), look for something between 8-16 GB of RAM.
Top 5 Best Laptops for Working from Home
1. MacBook Pro 13” (2020)
Best Performance Laptop for Working from Home
Battery Life (11-hours!)
Touchscreen bar ability
The MacBook Pro is the perfect option for people who like the MacBook Air, but want something a little more powerful, and durable.
If you work in the design space especially, the MacBook Pro is likely the best option. With the ability to run all Adobe programs with ease, as well as impeccable battery life, and sufficient storage space options starting from 256 GB up to 1 TB.
This is without a doubt one of the best laptops for work in 2021.
The unit has a compact 13” Retina display, the much-coveted Apple M1 chip processor, and 16 GB of RAM (can be upgraded to 64 GB). It is also designed with fans installed, to run more graphics-intensive programs longer without overheating (unlike the MacBook Air).
However, despite 3 Thunderbolt ports, the connectivity options are somewhat limited.
For example, the laptop does not have a memory card reader, or traditional USB-A or HDMI inputs. This can become especially problematic for professional graphic designers, or video/photography editors, as they may need an adapter to transfer photos/videos.
That said, the class-leading audio system with 6 total speakers including subwoofers, which can provide vibration cancellation, end up adding some essential value to the overall product which is easily excellent from every angle, including the price point.
All in all, the MacBook Pro is perfect if you want a powerful (but small) MacBook that has world-class battery life, and elite Ultra-HD video editing (can handle 4K, and 8K videos).
The MacBook Air is easily the best work from home laptop in 2021 due to the device’s powerful processor options, lightweight design, and upgraded design features. However, what you may not realize is that it presents the most value for those who work from home as well.
Though it may not be as powerful as the MacBook Pro, it’s way more affordable and carries many of the same benefits, like Retina Display and an optional Apple M1 chip configuration as well.
However, it only carries an average battery life, and the webcam quality is less than ideal, so if these are your priorities, you may need to stretch your budget to the MacBook Pro.
Keep in mind that since this is a fanless design, it can only run intensive programs for a limited amount of time for optimal performance.
Yet, this is easily the best business laptop under $1000 and when it comes to working remotely (or from home) there is no better choice unless your preference lies in Windows OS.
This is the ideal business laptop for professionals who want sufficient performance on-the-go as well as reliability without paying over the top.
The ASUS Zenbook 13” laptop is one of the best laptops for working from home on the market for digital nomads and serious professionals alike.
Not only is it among the expensive laptop on this list, but it is also one of the lightest, and has exceptionally reliable performance.
It comes with full HD resolution, but includes a 4K resolution display option, suitable for graphics and design professionals. The base configuration includes the i7 Intel Core processor, efficient at processing heavy files and with 16 GB of RAM.
However, it’s the ASUS ScreenPad 2.0 that separates this from the competition. The additional trackpad and touchscreen can multiply up your productivity and help get the job done from home or remotely.
The latest Acer Aspire 5 is targeted towards users who need seamless performance, a large enough display, and just about enough connectivity and related features as a work laptop for working remotely.
This is the best business laptop you can buy on a budget. But it comes with an AMD Ryzen 3 dual-core processor that’s proven for multi-tasking efficiency.
Along with 8 GB of RAM, this is a work laptop that will get almost any office task done, ably helped by the Vega 3 graphics. The 15.6-inch offers more than enough screen space and surprising clarity for Full HD.
There are a lot of additional features targeted towards users who are looking for the best work laptop, including dual-band MIMO Wi-Fi, Back-Lit Keyboard to HD webcam, and sufficient battery life of above 7.5 hours.
On the connectivity front, you will enjoy 1 USB 3.1, 2 USB 2.0, 1 HDMI port, and a LAN port.
Despite, this laptop weighs around 1.8 kg making it portable enough other than the obvious bargain price tag. This is the best laptop for working from home under $500.
Choose your best laptop for working from home depending on the work you intend to do, your budget, and all else that you may need from it.
Of course, digital artists will have to shell out a bit more. Same for users who will not stray from Apple, who should extend their budgets to get the M1 chip. For a budget buy though, there’s always the 2021 Acer Aspire 5!
Q. What’s the best laptop for working from home under $1000?
The best laptop for working from home under $1000 is without a doubt the ASUS Zenbook 13. This amazingly slim and stylish laptop delivers impressive performance, tremendously innovative features, and stunning customer reviews. Plus, at just 13” and 2.5 pounds, this doubles as one of the world’s best laptops for portability. Easily the best “bang for your buck”
Q. What’s the best laptop for working from home in 2021?
The best laptop for working from home in 2021 is the MacBook Pro 16” laptop. Though the Dell XPS 15 closely rivals the MacBook Pro, it does not compare in terms of technical specifications. The MacBook Pro features one of the most dazzling 16” displays on the market and has a massive 16 GB of RAM (with the option to expand to 64GB), as well as an amazing graphics card (which can be upgraded). So if you have the bank, and you’re simply looking for the “best of the best”, get the MacBook Pro 16” (2020).
Q. What’s the best budget laptop for working from home?
The best budget laptop for working from home is without a doubt the latest Acer Aspire 5. It’s big but lightweight and mostly importantly rated as one of the best laptops for working from home under $500. For that price point, you will get to enjoy a big brilliant Full HD display, AMD Ryzen 3, and Vega 3 performance, 8 GB of RAM, and loads of features targeted towards users who need to work remotely.