Being able to bring your office to your home has become a lot more important in recent times, whether you’re hiding from a deadly new virus or simply need to work from home occasionally for childcare reasons.
Having the right laptop can make remote working a breeze and allow you to simply pick up where you left off.
We’ve identified 5 top laptops for remote work and you’ll find product reviews on each of them coming up.
Following that we have a buying guide for you covering the different things you might like to think about before you buy.
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- 1 Best Laptop For Remote Work - Comparison Table
- 2 Best Laptop For Remote Work - Reviews
- 3 Best Laptop For Remote Work - Buyers Guide
- 4 Answers to your most frequently asked questions
Best Laptop For Remote Work - Comparison Table
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Best Laptop For Remote Work - Reviews
This is a fantastic laptop for the price - great value for money!
The stand out feature is that it comes with a free 12 month subscription to Office 365! This not only lets you use all your favourite office apps, like Word, Excel, Outlook and Powerpoint, but you also get 1 TB worth (that’s 1000 GB) of cloud storage. And you get advanced security and tech support too!
It comes installed with Windows 10 Home, which has some really cool features, like Windows Hello and always-enabled free updates.
It offers great internet connectivity, specifically 802.11ac.
There is a drawback to this model, and that’s that the screen size isn’t too big, coming in at just 14 inches. But you're simply not going to get a Windows laptop with a 15.6 inch screen at this super affordable price. And there’s a variety of ways you can set up your app windows on your screen so you can see everything you need to or you can simply flick back and forth between apps.
There’s an integrated webcam and microphone, so you can still take part in meetings while working remotely. And although the screen isn’t that big, the screen resolution makes up for it, coming in at 1366 x 768.
The rest of the specs look good, including a dual core CPU with a speed of 1.6 GHz, 4 GB of RAM for running several apps at the same time, and 64 GB of storage space, should you rather save something on the hard drive rather than in the cloud.
It’s lightweight at just over pounds and the battery can last up to 5 hours following a full charge, making it pretty good for use on the go.
Here’s another laptop that’s a huge hit with customers - the average customer rating comes in at an amazing 4 and a half stars out of 5!
It comes from Dell, a good and well established brand.
It comes with Windows 10 in S mode pre-installed. So it’s great if you're planning on using Microsoft Office applications. With Windows 10 in S mode, Start up is quick, the browser has advanced security features built in, and you can access thousands of apps on the Microsoft Store.
One great bonus is that it comes complete with a 30 day trial of Microsoft Office. This is a great way for you to help determine which suite of apps you want to work with at no cost to you.
It has a nice big screen, coming in at 15.6 inches, and with pretty good screen resolution, coming in at 1366 x 768. But that’s not all - the screen is actually a touch screen! This can be such a handy feature if you forget to pack a mouse or if you don’t like tracker pads.
The internet connectivity on it is great, specifically 802.11ac.
It has a built in HD webcam and microphone for your video conferencing.
It comes with an Intel CPU, with a good speed of 2.1 GHz.
There’s a large hard disk drive for storing your apps and files, coming in at 128 GB.
And there’s 8 GB of RAM to handle having multiple apps open at the same time.
It’s lightweight for when you’re on the go, weighing just 4.41 pounds.
This nifty little laptop from Acer is a huge hit with customers - after over 4500 customer ratings, the average customer rating comes out at a whopping 4 and a half stars out of 5!
It comes with Windows 10 (in S mode) already installed, and it’s the perfect operating system for using Microsoft Office applications. There are other advantages to this operating system too. It’s browser, Microsoft Edge, has advanced security features built in. Start up is quick. And you can access thousands of apps on the Microsoft Store.
The screen size is nice and big, coming in at 15.6 inches, making it easy to work from several apps simultaneously.
It’s also good for video conferencing, featuring an integrated webcam situated above the screen, and two built in microphones.
The internet connectivity is amazing, specifically 2x2 802.11ac, which is three times faster than the older version!
What we really love about it is it’s battery life - an outstanding 7.5 hours after a full charge. Perfect for when you need to work during a train or plane journey. We also love the backlit keyboard!
It has a powerful dual core CPU which goes up to a staggering 3.5GHz. And the hard disk is huge, giving you 128 GB to work with for all your apps and files.
This laptop from Lenovo is really really popular with customers. After over 1000 ratings, it’s average customer rating comes in at a staggering 4 stars out of 5.
It’s really good value for money too at under $400.
It runs on Windows 10 Home, so you get the latest windows operating system, which has some nifty features like always-enabled free updates and Windows Hello.
And whether you wanted to download the latest Microsoft Office suite or to try out the Google Docs alternative, then both options are open to you.
It features excellent internet connectivity, specifically 802.11ac.
The screen is a good size, a nice 15.6 inches, providing plenty of room for your apps, and the resolution is good at 1366 x 768. And this combined with the integrated webcam and built in microphone mean you won’t have any trouble video conferencing.
The rest of the specs are all good too. There’s a dual core CPU with a speed of 2.5 GHz for instance, and there’s 4 GB of RAM for running several apps at the same time, and to top it off you get 128 GB of storage on the hard drive for your apps and files (that’s quite a lot).
This renewed Acer Flagship laptop is flying off the shelves at Amazon, and even after over 2000 customer ratings, the average customer is a whopping 4 stars out of 5!
As it’s supplied by Amazon Renewed, you pay a lot less than if you were to get it from Acer directly. In fact you may be able to get it for just $200 - what a bargain!
This one is a Chromebook, rather than a Windows laptop, so runs off Google’s Chrome operating system, and as such it’s best for use with the Google Docs suite of apps, rather than Microsoft Office. This means that you cannot install Microsoft Office 2019 or older on it. If you wanted however you could still access Microsoft Office 365.
As a Chromebook, it has a ginormous library of apps you can download, and other great features like a quick boot up speed, and loads of cloud storage on Google Drive. It also comes with built-in virus protection and it updates automatically.
It has a good size screen for a laptop, coming in at 15.6 inches. This will allow you to have your emails lined up on one half of the screen, and another app on the other half.
The screen resolution is good too, coming in at 1366 x 768, which is more than adequate for your video conferencing.
The internet connectivity is good, specifically Wireless LAN - IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac.
You also get that all important webcam and integrated microphone for video conferencing.
The remaining specs are all up to standard too, there’s an Intel CPU which runs at 1.6 GHz, 2 GB of RAM for multitasking, 16 GB of file storage, and an integrated graphics card.
Best Laptop For Remote Work - Buyers Guide
There are various things to think about when buying a laptop, but when seeking out a laptop for remote working some aspects become more important than others. But first let's start with basics.
Every laptop on the market these days comes with several elements as standard. You need a laptop with: a good CPU (that’s the processing unit - basically the “brain” of the computer), a decent battery, in case you want to work somewhere where you can’t plug the laptop in, some RAM (that’s random access memory, and is responsible for efficiently running several apps at once, and some storage space for your files, whenever you’re unable to save to “the cloud”.
As to how all that might look as a list of requirements, our suggestion is that you use the requirements for running Microsoft Office 2019 as the gold standard. For this reason, we have included said list in our FAQ section, just scroll down for details. If you prefer however you could go by the requirements for Microsoft Office 365.
Operating System and Application Compatibility
Despite there being so many useful office applications out there on the market today, Microsoft Office is still the most prevalent and well known, and most likely the one which you and/or your employees have the most experience with.
For that reason, if your business chooses to continue using such systems you should ensure that any laptop you buy is compatible. This means that ideally you should invest in a Windows laptop, Microsoft’s own operating system.
There are exceptions to this however. If your business is relatively new, you can choose to set everything up using Google Docs, as opposed to Microsoft Office.
Google Docs has several applications which work in a very similar way to Microsoft Office, but are available at no charge. Furthermore, Google Docs allows you to save up to 15 GB of files on it’s cloud before asking a charge.
A Chromebook is not necessary to access Google Docs however, which can be accessed by any browser.
With both Windows and Microsoft Office, and Google and Google Docs in mind, our Top 5 laptops for remote working includes a mixture of Windows laptops that will run office, and Chromebooks, Google’s affordable alternative to a Windows laptop.
We have not included Macbooks in our Top 5, not because they are not suitable, but rather because they tend to cost a lot more money, and such a premium product needn’t be sought for general office work, which many mid priced models can handle with ease.
Features Specific to Remote Working
Once all of the above has been considered, there are 2 important additional things to think about.
The first is connectivity. Your laptop needs to be able to access the internet.
This is especially important when it comes to working on documents in real time to which several employees have access. If there’s a delay in between you inputting data onto say a spreadsheet, this in effect is like having incorrect information being displayed to your co-worker.
And there’s nothing more frustrating when a bad internet connection means you don’t get an urgent response on something that needs to be dealt with quickly.
In the office, employees are accustomed to having a large screen, if not several screens. And this can be very useful and convenient. Emails on one screen maybe, spreadsheet on another and company database on a third.
At home however you don’t have that luxury. If the laptop screen is the only one you can work from, you need it to be at least 15.6 inches big to accommodate all the apps and windows you might need open simultaneously.
The only potential drawback to a laptop with a large screen is that it directly and significantly affects it’s cost.
Video Conferencing Capability
An important feature in remote working is video conferencing. Even if you think you may not need it every day, being able to hold a face to face meeting over the internet is a great way for colleagues to keep in touch with each other, impart important developments and decisions, and it allows managers to check in on their team members, and provide feedback on the team’s performance.
To take part in a video conference, the laptop will need an integrated camera, an integrated microphone, and a sufficiently good screen resolution to bring about a crisp and clear video image. Many laptops these days offer a screen resolution of 1920 x 1080 which is perhaps even better than what you need. With regards to the integrated webcam, a camera positioned above the screen will provide the most flattering image.
Answers to your most frequently asked questions
What are the requirements to run Microsoft Office 2019?
(Based on Windows operating system)
A CPU of 1.6 GHz or faster, 2 core
Memory of 4 GB RAM
Storage of 4 GB (HDD or SSD)
Screen resolution of 1280 x 768
Graphics of DirectX 9 or later
Last update on 2021-01-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API