The 8 Best Laptops for Working From Home for Any Budget [2022]

Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, companies got the push they needed to shift more into remote work. If you’ve recently shifted or want to shift into working from home, you’ll definitely need one tool that you cannot skimp on: a computer.

Although many people have desktop computers, most remote workers prefer laptops for their versatility and portability. So, if you’re looking for the best laptop for working from home, you’re in luck.

But the question is: What’s the best laptop for working from home?

This guide will walk you through choosing the best laptop to work from home. And, of course, we also curated a list of recommendations for the best laptops for working remotely. Let’s get right to it!

Best Laptops for Working Remotely: Our Top Choices

Best Budget Laptops for Working from Home

Best Midrange Laptops for Remote Work

Best Laptops for Remote Work When Cost Isn’t an Issue

How to Choose the Best Laptop for Remote Working

If you’ve never really done any computer or laptop shopping before, it can feel intimidating — especially if you aren’t quite sure about the specifications that you need. However, buying laptops for working from home doesn’t have to be intimidating, confusing, or scary.

Before we dive into how to choose the right laptop specifications, there are a few things you need to ask yourself first:

  1. How much am I willing to spend? Your budget will determine what laptops you can choose from. Deciding a limit will help you reduce the number of machines on your shortlist, thus making it easier for you to choose. Know that if there are some features that you absolutely need for work, you may have to increase your budget.
  2. What type of work do I do? The laptop specifications you ultimately end up with will largely depend on the type of work you do. Resource-intensive work like graphic design, video editing, or even some other tech-related tasks will require you to invest in higher-end specs.
  3. How often will you work outside of your home? Another thing to consider is how often you intend to work outside your home, like at a cafe or while traveling. This will influence your choices in terms of a laptop’s portability.

Once you have your answers to the questions above, it’s time to start considering which specifications you want. Our handy buying guide is below.

Processor

One of the first and most important things you should consider is the processor. The processor, also known as a CPU, acts as the “brains” of your computer. Without it,  your laptop will not run at all.

When choosing the right processor, there are a few things to consider:

  1. The product line
  2. The number of cores
  3. The generation

The product line (Intel Core i3, i5, i7, i9, or AMD Ryzen 3, 5, 7, 9) will tell you how capable the processor is in general. Lower-end CPUs (Core i3 or Ryzen 3) are far less powerful (and affordable) than their higher-end counterparts. You can keep this in mind:

  • Core i3 or Ryzen 3 are good enough for most general productivity tasks like word processing, emailing, spreadsheets, and the like.
  • Core i5 or Ryzen 5 are an excellent middle-ground in terms of price and performance. This level can perform general productivity tasks and some light photo or video editing tasks. They might even be able to handle some gaming, depending on the rest of your specifications.
  • Core i7 or Ryzen 7 are on the higher end and are more capable overall. These chips usually work well for heavier creative work and multitasking. With the right specs, they also do well with gaming.
  • Core i9 or Ryzen 9 are the top-end chips and are the most capable overall.

The number of cores a processor has determines how good it will be at multitasking (alongside enough RAM). Back in the day, computers really only worked on one task at a time, so single-core processors were all they needed. But today, multi-tasking is incredibly common. Dual-core is the minimum nowadays, but you’ll be better off with a quad-core and up, especially if you do intense work.

Finally, you can also consider which generation the chip is. It’s always a good idea to purchase the latest generation chips, but you can save a little money by going with a version from last year or, at most, two years ago. Any further and you’ll be compromising performance, and it won’t be worth the savings.

On Apple Processors

Apple recently came out with their own silicon. The first generation M1 chips were revolutionary, allowing laptops (and even iPads) to perform powerfully, sip on power, and multitask well. Apple’s chips are so well-optimized for their own macOS that you’ll only really need 8GB of RAM for most tasks. You can go for the MacBook Pros for the M1 Pro and M1 Max, more powerful versions of the M1.

Apple’s laptops are now on M2 silicon, and there’s no doubt that the tech giant is working on getting the Pro/Max versions out soon.

GPU

The GPU, or graphics processing unit, is also often called the “video card.” GPUs power your display — without them, your computer will run, but your screen will not display anything.

There are two types of GPU: integrated and discrete.

  • Integrated graphics usually come with your processor. You’ll see them called AMD Radeon graphics or Intel Iris, Intel UHD, or Iris Xe. Apple’s M1 and M2 chips also come with their own GPU cores. These integrated graphics are often more than enough for most users.
  • Discrete graphics are the external video cards that get added to your laptop. An example of discrete graphics is the GeForce RTX™ 3050. You may sometimes see GPUs labeled with memory or VRAM (RAM for video cards). As usual, the more VRAM, the better — but it all depends on your needs. It’s not uncommon for laptops to have both discrete and integrated graphics.

You’ll typically only need a discrete GPU if you do a lot of intense graphical tasks or want to use your laptop for gaming here and there. If your work focuses on general productivity tasks, you can save a lot of money by skipping a GPU.

RAM

RAM stands for Random Access Memory, or simply “Memory.” This is where storage like hard disk drives and solid state drives hold your files and programs long-term. RAM acts more like your computer’s short-term memory. RAM allows programs and applications to store data and then access it in the short term — it essentially holds all the data your laptop is currently using for quick access.

The more you multitask, the more RAM you’ll need. More RAM will also allow your laptop’s other components to achieve their highest possible performance. The more RAM you have, the faster your laptop can perform as well (to an extent).

Some low-end laptops offer 4GB of RAM, but that’s simply not enough — you’ll find your system lagging and freezing constantly. Today, we’d say that the minimum memory for any computer is 8GB. However, if you usually multitask, keep dozens of browser tabs open, want to do some gaming, or work on resource-intensive tasks, you’ll want at least 16GB.

When it comes to RAM, more is almost always better! The exception is with Apple’s M1 and M2 laptops. Some only come with 8GB of RAM, but because the M chips are so well optimized for Apple’s macOS, you’ll seldom need more than 8.

Operating System (OS)

The next thing for you to consider is the operating system (and therefore the ecosystem) you want to use. There are two major options: Microsoft Windows and Apple macOS. There’s a third option in Chrome OS, but it’s not always recommended as it often has limitations.

All of Apple’s machines come with macOS. When putting together a desktop computer, you’ll often have to purchase Microsoft Windows separately. Luckily, when it comes to the best laptops for working from home, they’ll all come bundled with Windows for you.

Always consider which apps and programs you intend to use and ensure they are compatible with your operating system of choice.

Storage

Storage is your computer’s long-term memory. There are two kinds: SSDs (solid state drives) and HDDs (hard disk drives). SSDs are the newer technology and are blazingly fast by comparison. HDDs have been around for a while and are much cheaper than SSDs overall.

For better performance, we recommend an SSD or a hybrid setup (128GB or 256GB SSD for your OS and most-used apps) with an HDD for extra storage space.

We recommend at least 256GB. But if you work with large files or a massive quantity of files, aim for more. You can also always just use an external storage option (flash drives, external HDDs and external SSDs, cloud storage).

Display

When it comes to a display, there are a few things to consider:

  • Size – For your comfort, we’d suggest a minimum of 13 inches for the display. Note that the larger the display, the more powerful the internals can be (because there’s more room). And the larger the screen, the heavier and less portable the laptop.
  • Resolution – We’d suggest a minimum of FHD 1080p (1920 x 1080).
  • Brightness – If you frequently work outside, you’ll want a bright screen. 400 nits will make it legible, but the brighter, the better.
  • Color accuracy – Color accuracy is only really important if you work with color-sensitive work (graphics, etc.).

Webcam Quality

If you spend a lot of time in Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or other Zoom alternatives, you’ll probably want at least a decent camera. 720p is the minimum, but it’d be better if you could get a 1080p one. You can always purchase an external webcam — we recommend the Logitech Brio or the Logitech C922 Pro.

Read more: The Best Remote Work Communication Tools

Battery Life

If you like moving around while you work or going to cafes and other locations, you’ll need a laptop with great battery life. Note that the more powerful the processor, the higher the battery consumption.

Ports and Connectivity

You’ll want Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity at a minimum — all laptops already come with this. However, you do have to think about ports. The more ports, the better, and the less you’ll need to worry about having USB dongles and adapters.

Portability

Finally, you’ll also want to consider the laptop’s size, screen size, weight, and overall portability.

Best Laptops for Remote Work in 2022 – Compared

Laptop Description Screen Size Link
Best Budget Laptops for Working from Home
acer laptop

Acer Aspire 5

Best Budget Laptop for Remote Workers 15.6” Check Price
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Lenovo Chromebook Duet

Best Chromebook for General Productivity Use 10.1” touch Check Price
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Microsoft Surface Go 3

Best Ultraportable Windows Laptop for Remote Work 10.5” Check Price
Best Midrange Laptops for Remote Work
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Lenovo Yoga 7i

Best 2-in-1 Convertible for Remote Workers 16” Check Price
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Asus Zenbook OLED

Best Midrange Laptop (for Creative Work) 14” Check Price
Best Laptops for Remote Work When Cost Isn’t an Issue
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13-inch MacBook Air M2

Best Ultraportable WFH Laptop for Multitaskers 13.6” Check Price
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Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 10

Best Windows Laptop for Remote Work 14” Check Price
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16-inch Macbook Pro

Best Work From Home Laptop for Creatives and More 16.2” Check Price

Best Laptop for Working From Home: Budget Laptops

Acer Aspire 5 – Best Budget Laptop for Remote Workers

Acer Aspire 5

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Specifications

  • Operating System: Windows 11 S
  • CPU: Intel Core i3, i5, or i7 11th Generation
  • GPU: Integrated Intel UHD Graphics
  • Memory: 4GB (extra slots for additional sticks)
  • Storage: 128GB SSD
  • Display: 15.6” Full HD (FHD) 1920 x 1080; non-touch
  • Webcam Quality: 720p
  • Size and Weight: 14.31” x 9.39” x 0.7”; 4.19lbs
  • Battery Life: Reported up to 8 hours (depending on use)
  • Ports and Connectivity:
    • Wifi-6, Bluetooth 5
    • 1 x USB-C, 2 x USB-A, HDMI, 3.5mm headphone/mic jack, Ethernet, DC-in

A laptop isn’t something you’d think would have Alexa built in, but this Acer Aspire 5 does. It’s incredibly affordable and will do you well for general productivity tasks, but the 4GB RAM will cause the laptop to feel sluggish in multitasking.

You can configure this laptop to an i5 or i7 processor at an added cost for some extra processing power. If you want more RAM, you’ll need to add it yourself; there’s a slot ready. This laptop also has a hard drive bay so you can add extra storage.

Pros

  • Affordable; specs good enough for general productivity
  • Configure to i5 or i7 for better processing power
  • There is a hard drive bay so you can put one in
  • Large screen

Cons

  • Windows 11 S mode limits app availability (you can switch from S mode but it’s permanent)
  • Only 4 GB of RAM
  • Only 128 GB of storage

Lenovo Chromebook Duet – Best Chromebook for General Productivity Use

Lenovo Chromebook Duet

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Specifications

  • Operating System: Chrome OS
  • CPU: MediaTek Helio P60T
  • GPU: Integrated
  • Memory: 4GB
  • Storage: 128GB SSD
  • Display: 10.1″ FHD+ (1920 x 1200) IPS; touchscreen
  • Webcam Quality: 2MP front; 8MP auto-focus (AF) back
  • Size and Weight: 9.44″ x 6.29″ x 0.29″ (tablet only), 9.64″ x 6.66″ x 0.71″ (with keyboard); 0.99lbs (tablet only), 2.03lbs (with keyboard)
  • Battery Life: Reported up to 10 hours
  • Ports and Connectivity:
    • Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
    • 1 x USB-C, 5-point pogo pin charger

Chromebooks are well known for having their limitations, but if you can work around them, you won’t have any trouble! This Chromebook is a great choice for those who want an affordable productivity machine.

However, you may struggle if you’re expecting to do a ton of multitasking or heavier tasks. One thing the Lenovo Chromebook Duet has going for it is just how portable and handy it is, making it great for people frequently on the go.

Pros

  • Really affordable machine for general productivity and entertainment
  • Lightweight, convertible
  • Decent battery life

Cons

  • No headphone jack
  • Only one port
  • Chrome OS has inherent limitations

Microsoft Surface Go 3 – Best Ultraportable Windows Laptop for Remote Work

Microsoft Surface Go 3

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Specifications

  • Operating System: Windows 11 Home S
  • CPU: Intel Pentium Gold or Intel Core i3
  • GPU: Intel UHD Graphics 615
  • Memory: 4GB or 8GB
  • Storage: 64GB eMMC or 128GB SSD
  • Display: 10.5″ Touchscreen
  • Webcam Quality: 5MP 1080p front; 8MP AF 1080p
  • Size and Weight: 9.65” × 6.9” × 0.33”; 1.20 – 1.22lbs (without keyboard cover)
  • Battery Life: Reported up to 11 hours
  • Ports and Connectivity:
    • WiFi-6, Bluetooth 5
    • 1 x USB-C, 1 x Surface Connect port, microSD card reader, optional LTE sim tray

We’d easily say that the Microsoft Surface Go 3 is the best computer for working from home, at least if portability is your main concern. This thing won’t have the best specs, but it is more than capable of productive work. Pair it with the keyboard case and stylus (both bought separately).

You can choose between 4GB or 8GB RAM, 64GB flash memory or 128GB SSD, and Intel Pentium Gold or Intel Core i3. There is also an optional LTE configuration for mobile connectivity.

Pros

  • Small, lightweight, extremely portable
  • More than capable of general productivity work and entertainment
  • 2-in-1 tablet and computer
  • Storage expandable with SD cards

Cons

  • Windows 11 S mode limits app availability (you can switch from S mode but it’s permanent)
  • Accessories sold separately
  • Few ports

Best Midrange Laptops for Remote Work

Lenovo Yoga 7i – Best 2-in-1 Convertible for Remote Workers

lenovo yoga duet

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Specifications

  • Operating System: Windows 11
  • CPU: Intel Core i5-1240P
  • GPU: Integrated Intel Iris Xe
  • Memory: 8GB
  • Storage: 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB SSDs
  • Display: 16” 2.5K (2560 x 1600), touch, 400 nits, IPS, 100%sRGB
  • Webcam Quality: 1080p, privacy shutter
  • Size and Weight: 12.47” x 8.67” x 0.68”; 3.2lbs
  • Battery Life: Reported over 13 hours
  • Ports and Connectivity:
    • WiFi 6E, Bluetooth 5.1
    • 2 x USB-C Thunderbolt 4, microSD slot, HDMI, 1 x USB-A, 3.5mm jack

This Lenovo Yoga 7i provides an excellent work-from-home experience thanks to its large screen size (and the display quality, of course). This convertible touch-screen laptop offers a versatile experience to its users, and the 1080p webcam camera has a privacy shutter for when you’re not actively using it. With good battery life and plenty of ports, this laptop is an excellent choice all around.

Pros

  • Large screen, 2-in-1 convertible
  • Decent specs capable of general productivity and some heavier work
  • Plenty of ports

Cons

  • On the heavier side
  • Only 8GB RAM

14-inch Asus Zenbook OLED – Best Midrange Laptop (for Creative Work)

Zenbook

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Specifications

  • Operating System: Windows 11 Home
  • CPU: Intel Core i5-1240P
  • GPU: Integrated Intel Iris Xe
  • Memory: 8GB
  • Storage: 512GB
  • Display: 14” 2.8K 2880 x 1800, 600 nits, 100% DCI-P3 color gamut, 90Hz, low blue light, PANTONE validated
  • Webcam Quality: 720p
  • Size and Weight: 12.35 x 8.69 x 0.67; 3.06lbs
  • Battery Life: Reported up to 18 hours
  • Ports and Connectivity:
    • WiFi-6E, Bluetooth 5
    • 2 x USB-C, HDMI 2.0, 3.5mm combo headphone/mic jack, 1 x USB-A, microSD reader

Although we’ve labeled this laptop the best midrange machine for creative work, we’re actually happy to recommend it as the best mid-range option overall. You can thank the wonderful (and bright) display, capable internals, and the fact that this machine has so many ports included. It also has a battery that can top out at a reported 18 hours. All told, it’s hard to beat this machine at this price range.

Pros

  • Wonderful specs
  • Glorious screen is also really bright for outside work
  • Excellent battery life
  • Great value all around

Cons

  • Only 8GB RAM
  • The number pad on the touchpad is an eyesore
  • Subpar camera

Best Laptops for Remote Work When Cost Isn’t an Issue

13-inch MacBook Air M2 – Best Portable WFH Laptop for Multitaskers

macbook air

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Specifications

  • Operating System: macOS
  • CPU: Apple M2
  • GPU: Integrated
  • Memory: 8GB
  • Storage: 256GB or 512GB SSD
  • Display: 13.6” Liquid Retina display
  • Webcam Quality: 1080p
  • Size and Weight: 11.97” x 8.46” x 0.44” inches; 2.7lbs
  • Battery Life: Reported up to 18 hours
  • Ports and Connectivity:
    • WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5
    • MagSafe 3 charging, 2 x Thunderbolt 4 USB-C, 3.5mm headphone/mic combo jack

Regardless of your type of work, we’d wager that Apple’s current MacBook Air lines are some of the best work from home laptops you can get. Apple’s MacBook Air with M2 is a highly capable machine. With external cooling, it’s even capable of editing and rendering a 4K video.

Of course, it won’t hold a candle to some of the high-end MacBook Pros, but on its own, the MacBook Air is hands down one of the best ultraportables out there today.

If you’d like to save a little, the MacBook Air M1 (2020) is also still an amazing option.

Pros

  • M2 chip offers amazing processing power
  • Whisper-quiet performance
  • King of ultraportables

Cons

  • Price
  • The basic model has some issues, so it’s best to go for the higher model
  • Screen notch

Read more: The Best Macbook Air Alternatives

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 10 – Best Windows Laptop for Remote Work

thinkpad

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Specifications

  • Operating System: Windows 11 Pro
  • CPU: 12th Gen Intel Core i7-1260P or 1280P
  • GPU: Integrated Intel Iris Xe Graphics
  • Memory: 16GB, 32GB
  • Storage: 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB SSD
  • Display:
    • 14” FHD+ Touch, IPS, 400 nits, 100% sRGB, anti-glare, touch; OR
    • 14.0″ WQUXGA (3840 x 2400) IPS, touchscreen, HDR 400, anti-touch, 500 nits, anti-reflect, low blue-light
  • Webcam Quality: 720p
  • Size and Weight: 12.4” x 8.8” x 0.6”; 2.48lbs
  • Battery Life: Reported up to 14 hours
  • Ports and Connectivity:
    • Wi-Fi 6E, Optional 4G/5G, Bluetooth 5.2
    • 2 x Thunderbolt 4 USB-C, 2 x USB-A, HDMI, 3.5mm headphone/mic combo, optional sim card slot, Kensington lock

The Lenovo ThinkPad line of laptops goes back a long way. The X1 Carbon appears to be on the higher end of their line. This 10th-generation laptop offers extremely powerful and configurable internals, excellent battery life, and plenty of ports. We’d say this is the best Windows laptop for remote workers if you don’t want to worry about specs issues.

Pros

  • Highly powerful internals; configurable
  • Great display options
  • Good battery life for its specs

Cons

  • Subpar camera
  • Price

16-inch Macbook Pro – Best Work From Home Laptop for Creatives and More

macbook

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Specifications

  • Operating System: macOS
  • CPU: Apple M1 Pro or M1 Max
  • GPU: Integrated
  • Memory: 16GB, configurable to 32GB or 64GB
  • Storage: 512GB, 1TB SSDs
  • Display: 16.2” Liquid Retina XDR Display; 3456 x 2234 at 254PPI
  • Webcam Quality: 1080p
  • Size and Weight: 14.01” x 9.77” x 0.66”; 4.7lbs
  • Battery Life: Reported up to 14 hours (up to 21 for movie playback in Apple TV app)
  • Ports and Connectivity:
    • WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5.0
    • SD card slot, HDMI, 3.5mm combo jack, MagSafe 3 charging, 3 x Thunderbolt 4 USB-C

Last but not least is our choice for the best WFH laptop all around (if cost isn’t a problem). The 16-inch MacBook is an extremely powerful machine with excellent battery life and a gorgeous screen. This machine is absolutely overpowered for most general users, but for creatives and power users, it’s tough to beat.

Pros

  • Tons of ports
  • Amazing display
  • Excellent battery life for a laptop its size

Cons

  • Price
  • On the heavy side

Read more: The Best Macbook Pro Alternatives

How We Tested the Best Laptops for Remote Workers

As we searched for the winner of the title of the best laptop for remote workers, we did a massive amount of research. We looked through countless laptops at every price range, reading tons of reviews and going by our own experience with some of the models. We made sure to include only the most reliable laptops that provided the best value.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Best Laptop To Use for Working From Home?

The best laptop for remote work depends on your needs and budget. Before purchasing a machine, consider the type of work you’ll be doing, how often you’ll be working outside of your home, how much you’re willing to spend, and whether there are certain features you absolutely cannot forego.

What Laptop Specs Do I Need for Working From Home?

A good laptop for working from home will offer you the right specifications to fit your needs. However, figuring out what specs you need will largely depend on what kind of work you do. General productivity work such as emailing, word processing, spreadsheets, and more will require lower specs than intense creative work like photo or video editing. Please check out our buying guide above for more guidance.

What Processor Is Best for Working From Home?

The type of processor you need for your laptop depends on what kind of work you intend to do and how intense it will be. For general productivity, word processing, and the like, we’d say that even an Intel Core i3 processor would be enough when paired with SSDs and at least 8GB of RAM. The more intense your work is, the higher end your processor will have to be — and the more cores, the better.

How Much RAM Do I Need To Work From Home?

Today, we would say that the minimum RAM you’d need to be able to use your laptop without lag issues is 8GB. This amount works for anyone, as long as you’re just doing general productivity tasks and maybe light creative work. For any heavier workloads, we would recommend a minimum of 16GB (make sure you read the recommended specs for each program you use). For RAM, more is always better!

Is a Bigger Laptop Screen Better?

A larger screen can benefit you if you’re doing a lot of creative work or tasks requiring frequent multitasking. You may also want to opt for a larger display if the laptop is going to be your only machine or screen. However, if you frequently take your laptop with you to work outside your home, a smaller display may work better in your favor.

Conclusion

Choosing a good work from home laptop is a personal experience. You’ll need to figure out exactly what you need and then find a laptop that fits those needs and falls within your budget. Luckily, it’s not as challenging to figure out as you might have initially thought — as long as you keep a few things in mind as you shop. Don’t forget to read through our buying guide above to help you choose!

We hope that this article has helped you find the best laptop for working from home. If you think we missed some laptops that deserve to be on this list, please let us know in the comments below!

Read Next: The Best Work From Home Apps

Chriselle Sy
Chriselle Sy
+ posts

Chriselle has been a passionate writer for over 10 years, but she's a geek at heart. When she isn't busy writing, she spends her time streaming video games and learning new skills.

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