What are the best work from home laptops?
Lets talk about it!
Working From Home
The number of people working from home has sky rocketed in the last couple of years. Between the covid pandemic shutting everything down, and families trying to juggle two working parents – working form home has become an increasingly popular option.
However, there are a few things that you really need to have when you’re working from home, regardless of whether you’re starting your own business or an employee somewhere else.
One of the most important things you’ll need is a decent work from home laptop – so we are going to talk about it!
What Are The Best Work From Home Laptops?
This is such a difficult question to answer because there are so many different options. Everything changes depending on budget, preference to size, and what else you might be doing with your laptop.
However, there are a few laptops that really shine (in my experience).
Our list and talking points are just our opinions based on our experience, and this blog post contains no affiliate links or any paid marketing, plus all the goods are laptops we have used and were not supplied to us for the write up. So let’s talk about some work from home laptops!
My Personal Favorite!
My absolute favorite laptop for working from home is my new MacBook Air (with the M1 processor).
I recently switched from Windows 10 & Android to an iPhone 13 Pro and a new MacBook Air, and I am more impressed than I can describe.
I’ll talk about a few of favorite features with this setup, and a few overall specs. Out of all the work from home laptops I’ve had floating around in my office and traveling with me, this is my #1 pick.
Fingerprint Accessible Passwords
One of my favorite things about this laptop is that it will save my passwords and keeps them protected, and I can use them to log into various websites by using my finger print. This keeps my login information safe while making them easily accessible to me. This is AMAZING! It was one of the first things I really noticed and I am a huge fan already. Especially with creating/managing my own websites and hosting, I have a lot of different passwords saved for various websites that I like to keep safe – so this works great for me.
I have done a lot of typing over the years and tend to be a little picky with my keyboards. I absolutely love this keyboard! It feels nice and light, but still very solid. It’s not flimsy, and all of the buttons have a solid bottom so they don’t feel cheap.
It took me a minute to get used to the difference in command buttons like using CNTRL C for copy because MacBooks using a button that literally says command on it. It’s nice though because it creates a greater variety of commands.
The overall build of the laptop is awesome. It’s a recycled aluminum alloy build, so it feels very high quality and solid, while still being thin and light. I have always been a fan of laptops running an aluminum build because they feel really good, and the MacBook Air does a great job with it!
The combination of MacBook Air, Apple Watch SE, and the iPhone Pro 13 provide a crazy amount of productive features. You also don’t have to worry about leaving anything behind if you’re out and about – because your phone or watch will notify you if you happen to leave something behind. You can even remotely lock your MacBook if you happen to leave it at a coffee shop and you start driving away.
You can send messages via voice on your watch (I Love This!). Everything is linked together, so your photos show up on your laptop without having to download anything. You can text right from your laptop as well, so if you’re having multiple conversations you don’t have to look down at your phone.
You can even FaceTime on your laptop, while texting and writing a paper.
Since all of the Apple products are designed to function together it allows them to have a crazy amount of productivity together. This is something that I feel really starts to add up over time when you have a lot going on. As a work from home Dad I feel like it is incredibly helpful.
The MacOS itself has ton of great features. The Safari browser is great, and allows you to do things like set up multiple tab groups that you can switch back and forth to. I find this handy when I’m working on different projects at the same time. I’ll have my WordPress website, Analytics, and Hosting all up in one group, and then I’ll have my social media and other marketing platforms on another group, and then I’ll have things I’m researching in a 3rd tab group. It keeps things organized and you can easily switch back and forth without having too many tabs up top.
It also has the Calendar App which is linked to your phone – so you can easily set appointments or reminders on either your MacBook Air or your iPhone, and they’ll be synced together.
The Numbers app is great for so many things! It’s a lot like Excel, but I feel it’s more user friendly. They also have a ton of preloaded templets that you can use for things like budgeting or planning.
Overall, I feel there is a great amount of features that enhance the overall productivity of the MacBook itself and the combination of products – much more so than the Windows and Android combination.
The MacBook Air 2022 model is an incredible laptop. I was honestly shocked at how dang fast this thing has been. Over the years I’ve used everything from new Dells to ASUS laptops with i7 processors and AMD processors, and this M1 MacBook blows them out of the water.
I have loaded files to thumb drives, moved big files, downloaded big files, and run too many programs at the same time – and it hasn’t even had to try hard to keep up with the demand.
Previously I had been using an ASUS Vivobook with a Ryzen 4700U processor, and 8GM of ram. The 2022 M1 MacBook Air scored 198% better on a GeekBench compute test. These laptops were almost identical in price – and one is showing 200% better performance scores – which is a big deal!
Between the new M1 processor and 8GB of high quality ram, it’s capable of running multiple programs at the same time without any impact on speed.
There are a few different options for hard drive size, but that just depends on what you’re going to be doing with your laptop – and if you want to utilize cloud storage at all.
Personally, I would consider the MacBook Air to be the best work from home laptop that you can get without spending over $1,500 on something like the MacBook Pro 16.
This laptop is one I used for a solid year and loved it. The MacBook Air is a noticeable upgrade, but my Vivobook was an amazing budget friendly alternative.
The Asus Vivobook is comes in many different configurations, so you have to pay attention to which one you’re getting.
I ran mine with a Ryzen 4700U processor, 8GB ram, and a 1TB hard drive, which was great! You can take a look on the Asus website here. This product line offers some really good budget friendly and higher performance work from home laptops.
The Asus Vivobook is a great laptop for its price point. It does have a plastic feel to it, but it still feels very solid and durable. Especially for a laptop that you can get in a good configuration for as little as $600-700, which is $300 less than the MacBook Air – it is a very solid competitor.
The Keyboard on the Vivobook feels good. The keys have nice travel and a solid bottom which makes typing a breeze. It’s not the best keyboard I have ever used, but it is something I could easily type all day on without any complaints.
The Asus Vivobook runs Windows 10 (or Windows 11), which is a solid OS for those who don’t want to run the macOS.
The VivoBook itself doesn’t bring much to the picture beyond what Windows itself would normally bring. It does have a fingerprint scanner, but unlike the MacBook Air it does not allow you to log into websites or apps using the finger print scanner. It does allow you to login, and things like settings or locked documents that require the admin password will give you the option to use the fingerprint scanner – which is a nice feature.
Windows itself has a limitless amount of customization and a never ending list of programs that you can use. I am a huge fan of the default programs you get with the macOS, but there are many on the Windows list that rival them. Most of the programs you’ll find on Windows will cost money – which is a downside. Things like Microsoft Office cost money, where as the macOS comes with these apps.
Most apps/programs come with downloads for both macOS and Windows, but some of them are exclusive – so that might factor into your OS that you run with.
Some programs can link your phone with your Windows computer, but it’s not as fluid as the macOS and iPhone combination. It’s definitely worth looking into for the dedicated Windows fans, as it can make transferring things like pictures so much easier!
The Vivobook does have a decent selection or ports, which is nice! Compared to the 2 USB-C ports on the MacBook Air, the Vivobook has a much better selection of ports. If you’re running a dock, this won’t be very important, but if you’re not this can be a big deal. The pricier MacBook Pros have more ports but also come with a steep increase in price.
For those if you that need several different ports, the Vivobook is a really good option because of this.
The Asus Vivobook comes in many configurations, which let you build something that has plenty of power. However, if you’re going with a more budget friendly laptop (Like the Ryzen 4700U build) which you can get for between $600 and $700 depending on current sales – it offers really solid performance. While the MacBook Air shows a 200% better score on Geekbench scores, the Vivobook is still a fast computer.
I commonly have a browser or two open with multiple tabs in each, as well as photos, calculator, and a few other various programs all running at the same time. The Vivobook ran them all without any issues.
Searching for files or documents, transferring files, and a few other tasks did take noticeably longer on my Vivobook – but with a laptop that is running $300 less I certainly won’t complain about that.
When you’re asking yourself what the best work from home laptops are, you have to consider this as a strong contender.
A newer model of the Asus Vivobook on amazon – link here – which runs the newer Ryzen 5700u processor is just over $600 and is a great option!
It does provide better performance than the model that I had tested, and is roughly the same in price range.
Depending on your budget, you can scale these Vivobook laptops up, or run a pro which will have a better screen and build, so that just depends on what your budget it. This model is great budget friendly work from home laptop though!
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The Dell Inspiron is a solid budget laptop in my opinion. Dell is not my favorite brand, but they do offer a good quality for the price level on their more budget friendly laptops. The Inspiron 15 can be equipped with the Ryzen 7 5700, 8GB ram, and whatever hard drive size you want – and that makes for a really good budget friendly work from home laptop.
The Dell Inspiron line is definitely their budget line compared to product lines like XPS – and you can tell the difference in quality. However, it is still a solid budget friendly work from home laptop. Like the Vivobook which is in a similar price range – the Dell Inspiron 15 with this configuration is only $550 with the smaller hard drives. This is a really hard price to beat for the performance and even beats out the Vivobook by a solid 100 dollars!
It does have a partially aluminum build which gives it a nice feel and makes the laptop durable. With a home office (especially if you have a bundle of children and animals like I do), having something that is durable is a huge deal! Dell also comes with a nice warranty, so you don’t have to stress too much about that.
The keyboard on dells is nice. It’s nothing special, but it is not bad either. I prefer the keyboard on the MacBook Air, but all of the Dells that I have used over the years work fine and run for a long time without any issues.
The Dell Inspiron does not have a finger print scanner, which is not a the worst thing to happen but it is a feature that I find useful on the other laptops.
Beyond that you’re looking at Windows 11 which is going be have your typical Windows features. Depending on what you’re doing this has the potential to run thousands of different programs that can help you accomplish just about anything you could think of. However, many of those programs, such as Office, do come with a price tag.
The dell laptop itself does not have any special features such as a Pen (you can upgrade for a touchscreen if you would like), but it has a nice selection of ports. Dell also has plenty of accessories such as docks that you can run that have any port you could imagine.
The Dell Inspiron 15 (Model 5515) does beat out the Asus Vivobook by a considerable amount. Just over 160% on a total compute test on Geekbench. It’s not as good as the MacBook Air – but it’s a solid step up in performance from the Asus Vivobook. Vivobook models running the same processor are similar in performance (a little bit better than the model I tested which has a previous generation processor), but still run a solid $100 more in price over the Dell Inspiron.
This is a laptop that is capable of handling just about anything you can throw at it as a work from home laptop. If you’re running something that is more depending such as a video editing business, you would want something with a bit more power as this would take a while to load/edit large files like that… but as a normal work from home laptop it is a great option!
The Dell XPS is a more premium laptop with a more premium budget. This is a laptop that rivals the MacBook Air in terms of size, quality, and performance. For a windows user looking for that same quality in a home office computer, the Dell XPS 13 (or larger) is going to be your best option. The model I’m looking at runs a i7 processor, 16GB ram, and has a 512GB hard drive. Especially for those of you who are a bit geeky like me and want something that will power through everything in your home office and more, the Dell XPS is a really good option for a work from home laptop.
You’re looking at a solid aluminum based body, so it’s going to have a really nice feel to it. Much like the MacBooks you’ll have something that feels solid and durable, but is still thin and light making it great for traveling.
The Dell XPS also has a great screen producing bright and accurate colors, which is going to be great if you’re doing any kind of video/photo editing!
The keyboard on the XPS is going to be similar to the other various dell models, so you know it will work just fine. I have typed thousands of words on my Dell XPS and didn’t have any complaints with it!
The Dell XPS comes with a great selection of ports, and Dell has a nice selection of accessories such as docks that you can run for even more ports so you can run just about anything you could ever need in a home office.
The Dell XPS doesn’t change much from Windows 10, so the productivity will be just about the same as all the other various Windows based laptops.
The screen does make an impact if you’re doing video or photo editing, which would give it an edge over it’s other windows competitors and would put it on par with the MacBook.
If you’re just browsing the internet or working on files and e-mails, the color accuracy won’t make a huge impact on productivity.
The Dell XPS built with a newer generation i7 and 16GB of ram does put out the same scores on the Geekbench compute test as the MacBook Air running the M1 processor and 8GB of ram, so this will come down to your operating system preference.
The Dell XPS 13 (they do have 15 and 17 models) is something that will be able to handle anything you could throw at it. It can handle video/photo editing on a more basic level, and can run any kind of office task without having to try at all.
For those of us who want the best work from home laptop, this is a solid option for a windows based laptop if it’s within your budget. It does run about $1150 for the older model, and the ‘New XPS 13’ runs about $1600 with the i7 processor.
Best Work From Home Laptop
That is a difficult one to really say, because there are so many variables! Budget, OS preferences, screen size preferences. Perhaps you need a full keyboard with the keypad for what you’re doing, or perhaps you need something that is more mobile since you’re commuting frequently.
There are so many different options it will literally make you dizzy… However, I feel like these are some really solid places to start when you’re looking for work from home laptop.
Personally, I wouldn’t go with anything less than an i7 or Ryzen 7, but I do a lot of multitasking and editing. You could get by with an i5 or Ryzen 5 series, but I wouldn’t go with anything less than that.
8GM or ram is a very common setup, which is what I would recommend (or more if you happen to get a more high end laptop).
Hard drive size and the operating system are totally up to you and what you are doing, so you can’t really go wrong here!
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