Best laptop for working from home in 2022 Guide

best laptop for working from home

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Working from home remotely is more prevalent than ever, requiring a high-quality laptop computer. In this article, our IT team will test and review ten excellent laptops for working from home, as well as provide a buyer’s guide to help you navigate the market’s extensive selection of laptops.

With so many options and brands on the market, it can be difficult to pick a laptop. How can you tell which one is the best? And, because both Mac and PC computers have a wide range of models, prices, and features, it is easy to become confused.

So in this guide, you will learn about our top 9 tested and researched laptops, how they compare, options for various budgets, and what to look for when selecting a laptop for working from home.

Our Top Picks: the Best Laptops for Working from Home

  1. The Apple MacBook Air M1 – Our Top Pick and Best Laptop for Working from Home
  2. The Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 – Top Performance ( Windows )
  3. The MacBook Pro Top Performance ( Apple OS )
  4. The Asus Swift 3 (Best Value Pick) – Affordable Laptop
  5. The HP Envy x360 ( Most Versatile / 2 in One )
  6. The Dell XPS 13 – Good Performance
  7. Microsoft Surface Pro 7 – Best Laptop / Tablet Combo
  8. Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 – Best Chromebook
  9. The Acer Aspire 5 – Budget Laptop

Hardware Requirements (Minimum and Recommended)

Our IT Team is in charge of testing and reporting on the laptops we selected for this article. Given the focus of this article, our team has compiled a minimum and recommended laptop specification guideline to assist you in avoiding laptops that may not be suitable for remote work.

One of the simplest ways to navigate the world of laptops is to use our minimum and recommended system requirements as a guideline. You should also check with your company’s IT department to see what the minimum requirements are for you to connect and work from home. 

Once you understand which hardware requirements are required as a minimum and which are recommended, it will be simple to eliminate laptops that will not be a good fit for you.

HardwareMinimumRecommended
Storage Capacity256 GBAt least 512GB
Processor
Intel Core i3 – for Light Duty Work
Intel Core i5 – For normal / Average Use
(for video / photo editing – i7 processor)
Memory8GB RAM16GB
Display13 inches ( light )15 inches
Battery6 Hours10 Hours
Weight8 Lbs5 lbs

Nine laptops for working from home Reviewed

1. The Apple MacBook Air M1 (Top Choice)

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The MacBook Air is our top laptop recommendation for working from home or remotely. This laptop offers good performance, an amazing battery life, and it is not heavy. The Air is also not as expensive as the MacBook Pro, which makes it more accessible. 

The Air is equipped with Apple’s new M1 chip processor. The Macbook Air is Apple’s least expensive, thinnest, and lightest laptop, making it ideal for working while moving around the house and traveling.

The new Apple laptops are more energy efficient, faster, and cooler to the touch than previous versions prior to the introduction of the M1 processor. I own a 2019 MacBook Pro model equipped with an i7 Intel Core processor, and I can tell that this laptop gets quite hot.

Apple recently announced the new MacBook Air with the M2 chip, which means the price of the M1 model will drop.

Apple is always at the forefront of innovation. The new MacBook Air supports the latest WiFi protocols, including WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5 wireless networks.

Specifications:

  • Processor: Apple M1 chip
  • Display: 13.3 inch screen size
  • Memory: 8 GB
  • Harddrive Capacity: from 256 GB to 512 GB
  • Weight: 3 pounds
  • Battery Life: 20 hours of battery life

Pros:

  • The MacBook Air has a remarkable battery life; long hours of battery life allow you to work for longer periods without having to recharge.
  • Outstanding display quality. The MacBook Air has a display with a high level of brightness, resolution, and sharpness.
  • Those who frequently travel between work and home can benefit from a thin, lightweight laptop.
  • Versatile – The MacBook Air has sufficient processing power for video editors and photo editors.
  • Excellent build quality.
  • There are no moving parts or fans in the MacBook Air, so it is as quiet as an iPad.
  • Quiet keyboard.

Cons:

  • Everything good has a cost, but these are great laptops.

2. Microsoft surface Laptop 4 – Top Performance Laptop ( Windows )

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Microsoft’s Surface Laptop 4 is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a powerful “Windows laptop.” Microsoft introduced the Surface Book Laptops series in an attempt to compete with Apple’s best-selling and most powerful MacBook Pro lineup.

The Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 outperforms the MacBook Pro in terms of touch screen and keyboard. Apple does not offer laptops with touch screens, but the Surface Laptop and Apple’s MacBook Pro are fairly close in terms of performance and specifications. Both are outstanding laptops.

Aside from the operating system, the main difference between the two is that the Surface has a touch screen, a large touchpad, and a detachable keyboard. As a result, this laptop is slightly more versatile than a MacBook Pro.

I enjoyed using the Mac Air, but the touchscreen on this laptop was my favorite feature. It is very simple to tap on the screen instead of using the keyboard. I also appreciate being able to leave the power cord connected to the keyboard and detach the screen to move around the house.

Specifications:

  • Processor: 10th Gen Intel Core i7
  • Display: 13.5 inches
  • Memory: 16 GB
  • Harddrive Capacity: from 256 Gb
  • Weight: 3 pounds
  • Battery Life: 17 hours of battery life

Pros:

  • This is an excellent business and home laptop with “heavy” application-ready performance.
  • Versatile—thanks to its touchscreen, touchpad, and keyboard.
  • Use the Surface Pen with design applications.
  • long battery life—17-hour battery life.
  • very lightweight.

Cons:

  • I wish it had more USB-C ports.
  • Due to its high performance, this laptop can be expensive.

3. The MacBook Pro Top Performance Laptop ( Apple OS )

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The MacBook Pro is arguably Apple’s most popular laptop and a flagship product. If your budget allows, the MacBook Pro series is a top-performing laptop series, and these machines will not disappoint. As with the Surface Book, this laptop’s performance is derived from its superior hardware components.

Everything, from the screen to the processor, graphics cards, Wi-Fi, and solid-state drive, is of the highest quality. 

The MacBook Pro is favored by bloggers, video editors, and photographers. Mostly because of their performance, but also because of their displays’ superior quality.

Specifications:

  • Processor: M1 Pro
  • Display: 13, 14 and 16 inch screens available
  • Memory: 8 to 64 GB
  • Storage Capacity: from 256GB to 8TB
  • Weight: 3 to 5 pounds (depends on the model).
  • Battery Life: 17 to 21 hours (depends on the model)

Pros:

  • This is a light, high-performance model. Users love these laptops because of their ease of use, reliability, and performance.
  • The image quality is unrivaled—the Macbook Pro features a Retina display.
  • Integration with all your Apple products.
  • long battery life.
  • Lightweight

Cons:

  • This level of performance comes at a price, but you are getting the “crème de la crème”.
  • The M1 chip helps this laptop operate considerably cooler than older Intel chip models.

4. The Asus Swift 3 (Best Value Pick) – affordable laptop

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The Acer Swift 3 is a great, affordable laptop that features a powerful CPU and a good screen.

This Asus Swift features an AMD Ryzen processor and a full HD monitor display. You get security features like Windows Hello for facial recognition and an integrated fingerprint scanner.

The battery life is adequate at nearly 11 hours, but expect this number to decrease when streaming video or utilizing power-hungry applications. Overall, this is the best inexpensive computer for home office work, and you get a lot of laptop for the price.

Pros:

  • Great value, affordable laptop – you get a great laptop for your money.
  • Fantastic battery life.
  • Built-in Alexa!
  • Lightweight computer.

Cons:

  • It would be nice to get more memory, but this is an affordable laptop.

5. The HP Envy x360 ( Most Versatile / 2 in One )

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The HP ENVY x360 is a highly versatile laptop that can be used for a variety of tasks, including work and play.  Remote working with this laptop is easy and a great option. This is a “two-in-one” laptop. In other words, you can use it as a traditional laptop or flip it over to use it as a tablet and type or draw on the touch screen.

The HP ENVY x360 also comes with a stylus pen for drawing and taking notes, which you can put away on the side of the laptop so it’s always within reach.

The keyboard features backlighting with different brightness settings to choose from, which is nice when working in dark rooms or areas with poor lighting.

One thing that really stands out about this machine is how light it is compared to other laptops. It weighs just 4.3 lbs, which makes it great for moving around the house and commuting between the office and home.

Specifications:

  • Processor: Intel Core i7 1165g7 chip processor
  • Display: 15 inch screen
  • 7. Memory: 16GB RAM ( 32GB and 64GB available )
  • Storage Capacity: from 512GB to 1TB SSD
  • Weight: 4.3 pounds
  • Battery Life: 8 to 10

Pros:

  • The HP ENVY x360 is a very versatile laptop. It can be used as a tablet, to take notes and draw using the active pen.
  • Light laptops are easy to carry around.
  • A fast processor and plenty of memory for multitasking.
  • The active pen allows you to draw when using design software.

Cons:

  • Be careful with the lid hinges. It is nice to fold these laptops 360 degrees, but those hinges are delicate.

6. The Dell XPS 13  – Good Performance

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The XPS 13 is a very good laptop and a good performance option, but not as expensive as the Microsoft Surface. Dell is well-known for its affordable and dependable laptops, but the XPS models are designed for optimal performance. The XPS 13 series is Dell’s top-tier performance laptop line.

The Dell XPS 13 is a high-end notebook and features high-quality components. This laptop is powered by the Intel Core i7-1185 G7 processor and has a 13.4-inch infinity-edge HD+ LED display.

You also get the latest technology, including WiFi 6, and Bluetooth 5.

The display has an anti-reflective coating to reduce glare, and when combined with Dolby Vision, the result is stunning graphics and a monitor display of the highest quality.

Pros:

  • Incredible battery life.
  • Thin laptop, easy to carry and light.
  • Powerful Intel Core Processor.

Cons:

  • Performance does come at a price.

7. Microsoft Surface Pro 7 – Best Laptop / Tablet Combo

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The Microsoft Surface Pro is similar to the Mac Air and iPad Pro. The Surface Pro is a cross between an iPad and a laptop, but unlike the iPadPro, it runs a full version of the Windows operating system, allowing you to install the same applications as on a standard Windows laptop.

This laptop has a high-resolution screen, an Intel Core i5 processor, and a quick solid-state drive (128GB).

Pros:

  • Excellent Battery Life.
  • Light and slim at only 1.7 pounds
  • Touch Screen.

Cons:

  • Everything good comes at a price.

8. Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 (Best Chromebook for Remote Work)

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The Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 has a 13-inch Full HD display touchscreen. The Chromebook is powered by an Intel 10th generation i3 CPU.

The embedded Intel UHD GPU provides 2GB of memory and 64GB of eMMC storage. This Chromebook has a battery life of 10 hours. It supports WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5 connectivity and is a decent option for under $500.

This laptop will not set any performance records, but if your job tasks are simple and only include working on a few web-based applications, typing documents, and other simple tasks, it will suffice and save you money. I do not recommend these laptops for anything other than very light work.

Pros:

  • Chromebooks are secure computers.
  • great for the web and online applications.

Cons:

  • Can’t install some business applications.

9. The Acer Aspire 5 – Best Budget Laptop for working remotely

The Acer Aspire 5 is a great option for most remote workers, and this laptop is affordable. Nonetheless, you get a nice HD display, an Intel Core 3 processor, 8 GIGs of RAM, and a 256 GB SSD storage drive for your money. The Acer Aspire 5 delivers good performance for the money.

For your money, you get the latest technology, including WiFi 6, and built-in Alexa. For remote work, having a good webcam is important, and this computer includes a built-in HD webcam.

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Pros:

  • Great value. The Acer Aspire 5 is priced very competitively.
  • The Acer Aspire 5 offers great battery life.
  • Touchscreen laptop.

Cons:

  • The battery life is not as long as other laptops on this list.

Buyer’s Guide – Things You Should Consider when buying a laptop for home use

The reality is that more companies have made the switch and now have fully remote departments. Most laptops are suitable for working remotely, and modern laptops more often than not exceed the minimum hardware requirements for working from home. 

If you are looking for a budget laptop, you might need to settle for less performance and less quality, but you can still find good affordable laptops for working remotely. This Buyer’s Guide will help you identify the features and specs to look for.

Size and weight

As a result of using superior components and parts, high-end laptops are typically lighter than similarly sized budget laptops. However, you can still find inexpensive light laptops.

Laptops with bigger screens will tend to be heavier and bulkier. Companies such as Apple have achieved a remarkable balance between size and weight, and their laptops feature excellent monitor size to weight ratios.

If you are planning on commuting with your laptop or walking around the house while working, consider the laptop’s size and weight.

Processor

The processor of a PC computer is the brain; the more powerful the processor, the quicker the laptop can perform calculations. Better processors are faster but also cost more. This is one area where you can find yourself spending a lot of money if you are not careful.

You do not need the fastest and best Intel Core processors for a home laptop. Also, keep in mind that the more powerful the processor is, the more battery power it will consume.

Staying in the middle of the CPU performance spectrum is recommended for a home computer. A mid-range CPU will be enough for word processing, email, and common line of business applications, and most office tasks, unless you are working on CAD design, video, or photo editing.

AMD processors are less expensive than Intel processors and are suitable for office work. Then there is Apple’s new M1 processor, which is designed to offer the best performance levels as efficiently as possible. The M1 chips are the latest chips added to Apple’s Macbooks and MacBook machines. Apple is not releasing laptops with the nee and next generation M2 chip.

RAM and Hard Drive Storage

Computer RAM or computer memory is the amount of “quick access space” the computer has to serve data to the processor. The faster the processor can access data from the memory storage, the faster the computer operates. So it makes sense to have as much RAM memory as possible to have as much data available to the process.

Assume you have a small desk and are working on a large project. In that case, you won’t have enough room to store documents that you frequently need. 

Still, suppose you own a large desk. In that case, you can have a large mess of documents on or around your desk and grab these documents quickly when needed while working on your project. The same can be said about computer memory.

The good news is that computer memory is now reasonably priced, and even a budget laptop can be purchased with adequate memory. If your budget allows, try not to go lower than 8GB of RAM.

Graphics Card

Unless your job requires you to edit images and videos, this is one area where you could save money. Many consumers are enticed by “marketing-themed” video card specs and buy laptops with pricey video cards that they will never use.

Today, most laptops include integrated graphics cards good enough for the average computer user. Laptops with “integrated Intel XE GPU” and “Intel Iris XE graphics” are examples of integrated graphics cards.

Integrated graphics cards help with battery life, but if you need a laptop with strong video performance, then laptops with a dedicated video card such as an Nvidia graphics card should be at the top of your list.

So, in short, laptops with integrated video cards will be less expensive, and laptops with a dedicated graphics card will cost more but will yield the best video performance.

A good webcam

Web cameras were once thought to be a commodity and, in some cases, a waste of money and space. A laptop without a camera is now considered obsolete.

We utilize cameras to record video, participate in video calls, meetings, and other activities. A decent webcam is essential, especially if you work from home.

You do not need a 4K camera. All you need is a laptop with an HD camera so you can send high-quality photos and video and participate in video meetings.

Screen Display Quality

Screen display quality is important, and we recommend spending as much of your budget on a good-quality display monitor. Why? Because this is what your eyes will be staring at for hours. 

Sure, a fast laptop is wonderful, but starting a mediocre monitor for hours can be agonizing.  Laptops for remote work don’t need to have the greatest monitor in the world, but it does help to have something with good resolution to avoid straining your eyes.

Apple has nailed it with their Retina Displays, and the Macbook Pro models are known for offering stunning displays.

A Long Battery life

A long battery life is always appreciated on any device, not just laptops. Long battery life allows you to roam around and take your work anywhere, including the yard, garden, balcony, coffee shops, or the playground down the street.

This freedom allows you to work everywhere without worrying about energy sources. Six hours of battery life is my minimum.

Conclusion

So, which is the best laptop for working from home? The best pick needs to have a good battery life, a good WiFi card, and be lightweight. That being said, consider the Mac Air or Pro if you want a really good laptop and your budget allows it. The Microsoft Surface is a fantastic Windows laptop if you prefer Windows over Apple OS.

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