Working Anywhere: How to Choose the Best Laptop for Remote Work

Do you need a laptop that can keep up with you? Here’s everything you need to know about how to choose the best laptop for remote work.

Did you know that more than 74 percent of Americans own laptops? Of course, the advent of the global pandemic, social distancing, and remote work have made laptops more necessary than ever.

Whether you’re working from home or taking classes long-distance, you’ve likely relied on your laptop like never before in 2020. It’s proven vital to both your personal and professional life. 

That said, you’ve probably also noticed annoying things about your current system. At the top of peoples’ lists of pet peeves? Laptops with dismally slow operating systems. 

Instead of transforming into Rip Van Winkle as you wait for your computer to load, it’s time to find the best laptop for remote work on the market. Fortunately, we’ve done the hard work for you. 

Keep reading for our complete guide to the best laptop for your current needs.

Earning Your Bread and Butter 

COVID-19 has changed many daily patterns across the United States. Where once most Americans punched a time card and put in a full day at a desk, now many of us work from home.

We’ve joined the ranks of other employees, such as freelancers, consultants, and digital nomads who pull long hours at home in front of laptops.

You’ve likely learned many new ways to stay productive this year, too. Some experts have suggested dressing up every day to remain professional and motivated. Others have counseled about the importance of keeping a steady routine.

No matter what your tricks for staying productive have looked like, one thing’s for sure. You must have an excellent laptop to get everything done professionally and promptly. 

Since you’ve spent much more time clicking away on your laptop this year, you may be in the market for a new one. And now that you rely on it for just about EVERYTHING, you understand its inherent value inside and out.

After all, your laptop represents the means by which you earn your bread and butter. What should you look for in a top-notch laptop for remote working? You need a device that will help you complete your work smoothly and rapidly.

How to Find the Best Laptop for Your Current Needs

The ideal machine should provide all the vital technological aspects essential to your work. It should also streamline how you interact with your employer and colleagues. For this reason, you must consider factors such as:

  • RAM
  • Internal storage capacity
  • GPU support
  • Battery life
  • Updates
  • System protection
  • Price points
  • Processor speed

What does each of these factors have in common? They all impact your work dynamic, both indirectly and directly.

For example, a freelance writer could get by on a bare-bones laptop. After all, they’re most interested in purchasing a reliable word processor.

But a freelance data scientist will need a machine that packs a powerful punch when it comes to RAM, CPU, GPU, and SSD storage. In other words, they’ll need a laptop capable of running high-end machine learning software.

Recommended System Requirements

Unique considerations aside, there are some minimum and recommended system requirements that all laptop shoppers should know about. These requirements will help you make an informed buying decision.

They’ll also ensure you end up with a system that can handle the rigors of remote work, such as video conferencing, writing programs or code, etc. After all, the last thing you want is your system lagging or heating up in the middle of your workday.

Talking About CPU

When it comes to CPU, make sure your laptop has a minimum of an Intel Core i3 processor for smooth use. That said, we recommend upgrading to an Intel Core i7 for the optimal experience.

What to Know About RAM

As for RAM, you may be able to get away with as little as 4GB, particularly if you’re a freelance writer who uses their laptop primarily for word processing. That said, for a truly pleasing experience, we suggest no less than 16 GB.

Storage Needs to Consider

When it comes to storage, 128GB SSD or 500GB HDD may be enough for some employees, However, if you’re continually storing images, videos, or data on your system, go with 256GB SSD or better.

The Right Display for You

The same holds true for displays. If you’re a digital nomad who backpacks with your laptop or likes to keep it in a medium-sized purse, then you may wish to get a machine with a 12-inch screen. You won’t have the best viewing experience, but it will prove compact and lightweight.

If you’d also like to use your laptop for videos and video conferencing, though, you’ll need a 15-inch FHD screen. Better yet, opt for a touchscreen for a truly intuitive experience.

What to Know About Battery Life

Last but not least, battery life really matters to many freelancers. For example, if you’re a freelance travel writer, the last thing you want to do is spend your days looking for outlets. Purchase a machine with a minimum of eight hours of battery life.

That’ll cover the duration of most plane flights. That said, if you’re truly a work-from-home employee that sits at your home office’s desk all day, then a battery life of four to five hours will be sufficient.

The Best Laptop for Remote Work

Which laptops fit the bill when it comes to remote work? Among our favorite picks are the:

  • Lenovo Legion 5i
  • Dell XPS 15 9570
  • Apple MacBook Pro 16

Let’s take a closer look at the specs on each of these units. That way, you can find the right option for your work from home needs.

Lenovo Legion 5i

For those looking for a high-performance laptop for a smoking deal, nothing beats the Lenovo Legion 5i. Getting the best deal means shopping now when holiday prices are at their lowest.

When you shop strategically, you could pick up this unit for up to $500 less than the retail price. And you won’t lose out on any functionality when it comes to performance. It comes with a stunning 15.5″ FHD display that’s fantastic for everything from Zoom meetings to videos.

It comes with the latest 10th Gen Intel Core processors and NVIDIA GeForce graphics, making it an excellent machine for gamers. The sleek 0.93-inch thin chassis makes transport a breeze, and the five-pound weight is perfect for a backpack or purse.

You’ll enjoy 16GB of memory and a hard drive with 1TB of space. With Windows 10 Home 64 as its operating system, expect convenience and speedy operations. 

Finally, the Lenovo Legion 5i comes with a TrueStrike backlit keyboard, which lets you work in a dark area. There’s no better feature whether you’re typing around a campfire or in a dark hotel room while your kids sleep. (After all, remote work means more flexibility for travel.)

Dell XPS 15 9570

If you’re looking for a laptop that can keep up with remote work, give the Dell XPS 15 9570 a try. A definite upgrade from the 2018 XPS models, it remains affordable for freelancers and digital nomads. At half the price of an Apple MacBook Pro, it delivers plenty of capability.

This laptop has it all, from its 4.1 GHz Intel Core i7-9570 to its 16 GB of RAM and 512 GB of SSD storage. Yet, it still comes with Dell’s strong esthetic. 

Constructed of an aluminum lid and bottom, it boasts carbon fiber sides, deck, and hinges for a stellar look. It includes a Thunderbolt 3, which proves useful for charging your laptop and connecting to USB-C ports. 

Best of all, you’ll love its 15.6-inch InfinityEdge 4K touchscreen. You’ll appreciate its vivid colors and wide viewing angles. Featuring 3840×2160 pixel resolution, the ultra-thin bezels screen translates into a dynamic and detailed viewing experience. 

That’s why we also rate this machine as the best laptop for gaming and work. Just make sure you stay off the games until business hours are over.

Apple MacBook Pro 16

Another best laptop for working from home? The Apple MacBook Pro 16. Yes, you’ll pay substantially more for this model, but if you prefer OS systems, it’ll prove well worth it.

The MacBook Pro 16 comes with a 9th Gen 2.6 GHz Intel Core i7 and 16GB of RAM. It offers 512 GB SSD of storage and an AMD Radeon Pro 5300M GPU. The fantastic features don’t stop there.

The MacBook Pro boasts up to 11 hours of battery life and a 16-inch Retina display with 3072×1920 pixel resolution. As a professional working from home, you’ll enjoy a seamless experience with this machine, thanks to plenty of upgrades.

What’s more, it boasts a sleek, thin design that makes it easy to tuck into a big purse, briefcase, or backpack. Weighing in at 4.3 pounds, it’s a bit heavier than some other units, but its varied capabilities and power compensate well for the heftier size.

best laptop for remote work

Whether you go with a lightweight digital workhorse like the Lenovo Legion 5i, the Dell XPS 15 9570, or the Apple MacBook Pro 16, these laptops will streamline your work life. When it comes to the best laptop for remote work, keep our system recommendations handy.

That way, you can be sure you find a machine that handles everything working from home can throw your way. From video conference calls to data management and machine learning software.

Are you interested in the latest tech news and hacks to make your life easier? Browse our blog now to find out more about the gadgets revolutionizing Americans’ work and home lives.

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