Best laptops for video conferencing

Video conferencing is now the new norm when you’ve got internal or external colleagues that work from another office, or if you need to check in when you’re away on business.  We will walk you through some of Amazon’s best selling laptops and assess their suitability for video conferencing. We think you’ll be really impressed with these laptops!

In this article we concentrate on laptops with the Windows and Chrome operating systems.  (There’s no need for you to go all out and splash a big chunk of your budget on a Macbook!)

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Best Laptops For Video Conferencing - Reviews

This is a great laptop for the money!

It has a nice big full HD 15.6 inches screen, and with its’ great IPS display panel, it shows crisp, true to life colours.  Just what you want for your video conferencing! You’ll have no problem reading the smaller print on Powerpoint presentations.

It also features Acer Purified Voice Technology with two built-in microphones - great when there’s several of you seated around a table.  It also has an innovative speaker design for more volume.

It comes with Windows 10 (in S mode) built in, which is the operating system that will provide the largest range of video conferencing apps.  You can use Skype or Google Hangouts for example.

It has a cracking dual core processor which (although not an Intel one) goes up to 3.5GHz, so you can be sure with that spec it can handle all your video conferencing and remote software demos.

Internet connectivity won’t let you down with this laptop either - it has a 802.11ac router, which means, at 1300Mbps, it’s up to three times faster than the older 802.11n version, which is only 450Mbps.

This excellent processing power also means it has a great battery life of up to seven and a half hours.  But that’s not the only thing that makes it so good for when you’re on the go - it weighs less than 3.97lbs - talk about portability!

Pros

  • Nice big screen
  • Full HD IPS screen resolution
  • Good internet connectivity
  • Features 2 built-in microphones
  • Good volume thanks to innovative speakers
  • Portable and light
  • Long 7.5 hour battery life
  • Powerful processor

Cons

  • This laptop only lets you purchase new software via Microsoft Store, however you will only need to purchase Windows compatible apps, so not much of a con really

Ok, so it doesn’t have the biggest screen size, in fact very few Chromebooks come with a large screen, but 14 inches isn’t too bad, considering many Chromebooks only offer an 11 inch screen.

It does however sport a Full HD 1920 x 1080 pixel display, giving you nice crisp images for your video conferencing.  It’s also an IPS display, which means you get a great picture from any angle - ideal if your video conferencing with more than one person around the laptop and are looking at the screen from different angles.

Customers love the built in webcam and microphone - the quality is great!  It also has 2 built in speakers.

Where a Chromebook differs from a more traditional laptop, is that it runs on the Chrome operating system - all the Google apps you know and love come as standard.  It also comes with built-in virus protection, updates automatically, boots up in seconds and continues to stay fast over time. You can’t go wrong!

If there’s not enough apps for you pre-installed, there’s a huge library of apps you can download from Google Play.  For your video conferencing you could try Zoom, or Google Hangouts.

In addition to the built in storage for offline access to your most important files, there’s also an additional 100GB of Google Drive space available on the cloud.

It’s battery life is the best across the board - coming in at a staggering 12 hours!

Its connectivity is not to be sniffed at either with 802.11ac WiFi featuring MIMO technology.

Pros

  • Great display resolution, 1980 x 1020 pixels
  • IPS display panel
  • Great webcam, microphone and speakers
  • Chrome operating system
  • Fantastic battery life
  • Great connectivity

Cons

  • You can’t use the app FaceTime on a Chromebook such as this, but there are alternative apps available

We’ve got to admit, we love this laptop too.  Despite being so slim and light, it has a perfect 15.6 inch screen complete with full HD 1920 x 1080 pixel display, complete with an anti-glare function - you don’t want to be looking at your reflection when you’re trying to do a video conference!  

The connectivity is great too, with lightning fast Wi-Fi 5 (802. 11AC) to keep you connected through any congestion or interference.

It’s also got 8GB of RAM for your several tab multitasking and for your video conferencing, or product demos.  And you couldn’t want for more storage - with a 256 GB solid state drive.

It’s got all the power you need, with a rocking AMD Quad Core processor that goes up to 3.6 GHz.  It has other cool features too, like an ergonomic backlit chiclet keyboard with fingerprint reader.

And with Windows 10 Home preinstalled, you can get video conferencing right from the get go!

Pros

  • Big 15.6 inch screen
  • Full HD 1920 x 1080 pixel display
  • Anti-glare screen
  • Great internet connectivity
  • Uses a large solid state drive rather than a hard disk drive
  • You get a full years’ protection against accidental damage

Cons

  • Doesn’t use an IPS display, so video won’t always be visible at all angles
  • Battery life is less than ideal

Now here’s a bargain if ever we saw one - you’d struggle to find a competitive laptop at this price!

It’s not the biggest screen but it's not bad at 14 inches.  The screen resolution makes up for it though at 1980 x 1020 pixels.

As a Chromebook, it has the Chrome operating system preinstalled, which means it has features like a quick boot up speed, loads of cloud storage on Google Drive, and a ginormous library of apps you can download, such as Zoom or Google Hangouts for your video conferencing.

The Chrome OS also means you get built in virus protection, automatic updates, and a great boot up speed. 

Customers rave about the super long battery life.

The main drawback would be the lack of IPS display, you’ll have to decide whether you need it - refer to our buying guide for guidance.

Pros

  • Chrome operating system
  • Great screen resolution, 1980 x 1020 pixels
  • Great battery life

Cons

  • The integrated webcam is situated at the bottom of the screen not the top
  • Doesn’t have an IPS display

If screen size is your primary concern, which it may well be for video conferencing, then this is the laptop to go for if you have the money!  The screen is a nice big 17.3 inches.

The display resolution is 1600 x 900 pixels, so not quite as good as 1980 x 1020, but you may feel the larger screen size makes up for it.

You’ve got your webcam, integrated speaker/microphone, and HD audio with stereo speakers.

It has other great features too, like a powerful processor, a solid state drive instead of a hard disk drive, and Windows 10 Home preinstalled.

It’s got a really good battery life, coming in at 9 hours.

Pros

  • Huge screen
  • Great audio
  • Good battery life, 9 hours
  • Huge solid state drive for document storage

Cons

  • Not a 1980 x 1080 pixel resolution
  • Having such a big screen & chassis it’s heavier than some of the other laptops, so not as portable

Best Laptops For Video Conferencing - Buyers Guide

First things first - you need a laptop with a good quality integrated microphone, webcam and speakers.  These days laptops come with these features included as standard, but we insist that you check before you buy, or even consider buying an external webcam or headset.

Integrated Microphone and speaker

In business, as in life, the difference between success and failure often comes down to communication.  If you can’t hear what your colleague is saying, you may as well make do with email. And if you’re demonstrating your software to a potential customer, you absolutely have to have a good integrated microphone and speaker, to talk them through the processes and functions.  You wouldn’t dream of delivering a presentation if your voice could not be heard.

As we mentioned previously, laptops do come with these as standard, so much so that they often don’t include these all important features in their adds.  If it’s not clear whether a laptop you’re considering purchasing has these features, then head over to the manufacturers website or do a quick Google.

Webcam - Integrated or External

The latest studies show that communication is 7 percent verbal, 38 percent vocal and 55 percent visual.  With that in mind there should be no doubt that you need a good webcam of some sort for your laptop and video conferencing.

The first advantage of integrated webcams is that they are ready to go, requiring no set-up whatsoever - the laptop comes with all the relevant software and drivers preinstalled.

The second advantage is the portability you get with an integrated webcam.  If you’re working away on training or whatever, you don’t have to lug any extra equipment with you.  Laptop in the bag and you’re good to go.

The first advantage of external webcams on the other hand, is that you can expect a far better quality resolution on the receiving end of the video call.  (Some integrated webcams come in at only 2 megapixels.)

A further advantage with external webcams is that the troubleshooting process is far easier, and you don’t have to go without your laptop while the IT department are fixing the problem.

If you decide to stick with your laptop’s integrated camera, we would recommend going for one set at the top of the screen rather the bottom, for a more flattering, and less creepy look.

Good screen and display

Ideally you would want a laptop with a screen size to rival a desktop screen, especially if you want to video call on one part of the screen whilst having software or documents showing on another part of the screen.  Laptop screen sizes vary from the smallest at 11.6 inches to 17.3 inches at the larger end of the spectrum.  For your video conferencing, we would recommend going no smaller than 14 inches.

Whatever the screen size however, you must ensure that you get good display quality - no one wants to look at a grainy video.  It all comes down to display resolution. Display resolution measures the number of distinct pixels in each dimension, and is quoted as width x height, with the units in pixels.  The higher the numbers, the crisper the picture.  We recommend display with full HD resolution, i.e. 1920 x 1080, for your video conferencing.

We also recommend that your laptop feature an IPS display.  IPS panels have the best color and viewing angles out of all the main screen types.  Ideal if you need to move around and still see the screen during a video call or conference.  Or if you have several people looking at the one screen.

Connectivity

Simply put, without connectivity there is no video conference call.  This shouldn’t be a problem if you’ve got a good wifi signal around your office, and at the office or establishment you’re calling.  If you’re on the go however, we would recommend that you for a laptop with 3G or 4G internet access.

Internet connectivity is not the only connectivity you need to worry about.  You need to ensure that you have enough ports for everything that you want to use, be it a mouse, a flash drive, SD card slot, or external webcam.

Portability and battery life

If you expect to be on the go lot, travelling for business, you might want to consider such things as portability and battery life.  

Laptops with 14 inch screens generally provide the best balance of portability and usability, if you expect to be on the go, since they can come in at under 4 pounds weight.

A 3 to 4 hour battery life will cover most train journeys, but if you want to work on your laptop during a flight, you’d be better off looking for something with 7 to 8 hours battery life.

Other considerations

Here’s a quick rundown of the remaining requirements for video conferencing: 

Processor – at least Intel Core i5 processor is recommended

RAM – At least 4GB or more

Graphics – there is no need for heavy graphics, integrated Intel graphics will work fine.

Hard Drives – We prefer at least 500 GB for a HDD drive or less for SSD

Frequently Asked Questions

Which laptop is best for Skype?

Skype runs on computers with Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems, Android and iOS mobile devices, and web browsers.  Out of our Top 5, this would include our Numbers 1, 3 and 5.

It’s not specifically designed to run on Chromebooks, but during our research we found that there is a workaround - have a Google if you’re interested.  If you do decide on a Chromebook (and who doesn’t love a bargain) there are other alternatives you can use like Google Hangouts, or Zoom, which is specifically designed for video conferencing.

What are the system requirements for Skype?

For Windows laptops and desktops, the minimum requirements for Skype are as follows:

  • Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7 with IE 11, Vista, or XP SP3 with IE 8 or higher (New Skype for Windows requires Windows 10, 8.1, 8, or 7)

  • 1 GHz processor minimum

  • 512MB or more RAM

  • DirectX v9.0 or higher

Last update on 2020-12-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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