Best laptop for working from home in 2023
If you’re looking for the best laptop for working from home, we’ve got you covered right here with our top picks.
What makes a great laptop for working from home? Well, it really depends on your profession and what you’ll be using it for. For heavier usage like graphic designing and video editing, you will need a powerful laptop with a good GPU and sufficient storage to run your software. In contrast, if you want to browse and write emails, you can get a lightweight, budget-friendly laptop that can do basic productivity tasks.
Regardless of the use case, a good work-from-home laptop should make multitasking easier and deliver reliable performance, without going overboard with the price tag.
Usually, people look for sufficient storage, a comfortably big display, a good-quality webcam, and a sturdy build. You might also want to look at connectivity options if you’re planning to plug in external components like monitors and keyboards.
With that being said, let’s look at some of the best laptops for working from home.
Products at a Glance
How we picked
While choosing products, we’ve used our expertise to their technical features, performance, price, battery life, and more. We considered RAM, SSD, graphics card, performance, and other important specifications that make them suitable for working from home and have chosen laptops with consideration to all kinds of professions. We have the best premium laptop, the budget-friendly pick, and everything in between – so, you should be able to find something that meets your requirements. We also make sure to keep this page updated as much as possible with the latest products, so you can find the best laptop for you.
Also, it’s worth remembering that if you’re looking for a laptop that doubles up as something you can use for gaming too, it’s well worth checking out our extensive list of the best gaming laptops on the market today.
Best laptop for working from home in 2023
- Features powerful M2 chip
- 18-hour battery life
- 15.3-inch Retina display
- Lack of connectivity ports
First on our list is Apple’s 2023 Macbook Air Laptop. Apple’s Macbooks have been a steady companion for those who are used to their stable OS and friendly interface. And the 2023 Macbook Air Laptop features the powerful M2 chip, which makes it an impressive upgrade.
For starters, the processing power of the M2 is second to none. Thanks to the chip’s architecture, the laptop handles graphic-hungry tasks with ease, which makes it a good fit for content creators.
In keeping with Apple’s signature screen, they equipped this model with a 15.3” retina display with 500 nits of brightness. Of course, that pales in comparison with the iPad’s 1,600 nits of brightness. Along with the performance, you also get great battery life. You should be able to get 18-hours worth of usage without a hitch. With that being said, Apple 2023 MacBook Air comes in two variants – you can go for the 8GB of RAM and 256GB SSD combination or get the 16 GB of RAM and 1TB SSD.
- Powerful, efficient processor
- 16:10 aspect ratio
- Decent battery life
- Mediocre webcam
Next on our list is Lenovo’s 2023 Thinkpad Carbon Gen 9. Building on the success of its predecessors, the 2023 version of the Thinkpad Carbon makes a strong case for itself. This model is powered by the Core i7-1185g7 processor, which has four cores and eight threads. While the processor is notably power-efficient, its performance isn’t anything to be scoffed at, seeing as it has a maximum clock speed of 4.8 GHz.
The base version of this laptop is equipped with 16 GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD. Users who need more RAM and SSD can consider the 32GB RAM and 2TB SSD combination.
Unlike its predecessors, the Gen 9 has a 16:10 aspect ratio, which makes for a slightly taller-looking screen. One implication of this change is that users will need less scrolling to access lengthy documents while being able to split the screen into segments for multitasking. In terms of physical appearance, not much has changed. Users will be pleased to see the carbon fiber palm rest, making typing a pleasant experience. As for the keyboard, Lenovo has stuck with its trusty Thinkpad keyboard.
Battery life is another factor remote workers will be keen to hear about. While it won’t be winning any awards yet, the 14-hour backup is pretty generous.
- Doubles up as a tablet
- 120Hz refresh rate
- Iris Xe graphics for basic games
- Average battery life
- Cannot upgrade RAM
Next on our list is the Surface Pro 8. When Microsoft announced the Surface Pro 8 at its Surface event in September 2021, there were high expectations for the device. Just a month later, they were available and have remained a trusty companion for remote workers – and for all the good reasons.
First of all, the laptop also doubles as a tablet with adjustable angles thanks to its kickstand. The screen of the Pro 8 is also a step forward from the Pro 7. Thinner bezels and a bump from 60 to 120 Hz refresh rate account for a smoother screen experience.
The use of an EVO Core i5 processor (Core i5-1135G7) contributes to its fast boot time and ability to handle basic apps without heating up. One drawback of this device is the soldered 8 GB of RAM, which means there’s no room for an upgrade. So, if you need to run several applications while having several browser tabs open, there’s a chance you’ll run out of memory.
While the Surface Pro 8 is fitted with a 256GB SSD in the M.2 2230 30mm form factor, there’s room for an upgrade. The Iris Xe graphics chip means this laptop can handle basic games with low settings.
Coming to the battery life, Surface Pro 8 claims to have a battery life of 16 hours. However, in reality, several users have reported 4 to 8 hours of battery life, even on basic use. If you can spare a few more bucks, consider looking at Lenovo’s 2023 Yoga 7i. The laptop comes with a 16” screen, a 12th generation Core i5 processor, DDR5 RAM, and a 1TB SSD. The only downside would be the 4.18 pounds users would have to carry around.
- Great, heavy-duty performance
- Decent battery life
- Premium aluminum finish
- No touchscreen feature
There’s no point reinventing the wheel with laptops, and Dell seems to know all about that with the design of the XPS 15 9510. As with most XPS laptops in recent years, Dell stuck with its carbon-fiber palm rest on this model. Also, the aluminum finish for the top and bottom covers isn’t going anywhere. With this model being 18mm thick, there are bound to be questions asked about the 9510’s performance.
A peek under the hood reveals a Core i7-11800H processor, which has eight cores and sixteen threads. There’s also 16 GB of DDR4 RAM, which shouldn’t cause any bottlenecks even with heavy applications. For those who would err on the side of caution and upgrade the RAM, maintenance is fairly straightforward once they unscrew eight torx-head screws. The 16GB of RAM can be maxed out to 64GB, while the 512GB SSD can be swapped for a 1TB or 2TB SSD.
Dell also decided to hook this model up with a 4GB Nvidia RTX 3050 GPU. Thanks to the GPU, this laptop has the oomph to play several AAA titles, like Call of Duty: Warzone, at 1080p and 60 fps.
Dell didn’t go all out on this model’s screen, a 1920×1200 pixel, 15.6” screen without a touchscreen feature. But that choice may do users some good in the battery department. Thanks to its 86 Wh battery, users have reported getting around 3 hours when running power-hungry tasks. However, with the right power settings and modest use, people working from home can get up to 11 hours.
While the Nvidia RTX 3050 GPU and aluminum finish may justify the heavy price tag, competitors like Acer Nitro 5 offer almost similar configuration for less. However, Acer’s laptop has a plastic chassis and the 57 Wh battery, which does not exactly scream premium.
- Premium-looking finish
- Decent battery
- Sufficient for basic productivity tasks
- No backlit keyboard
Lenovo makes the final cut on this list with its 2022 version of the Ideapad 3 laptop, which reigns supreme in the land of budget-friendly laptops. Not every person working from home needs top-of-the-line processors and GPUs, and that’s where the Ideapad has its appeal.
While the Core i3-1115G4 processor won’t win any laurels any time soon, it’s sufficient for basic tasks like web browsing and operating MS Office. Lenovo also equipped this laptop with the standard 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB of SSD. If you need more space, you can opt for the variant with 20GB of RAM and a 2TB SSD.
The screen on this laptop leaves much to be desired, as the HD resolution produces grainy images. The touchscreen feature and 15.6” size seem to make up for that shortfall. As far as battery life is concerned, you get a 45 Wh battery that should last for up to 7 hours, which is sufficient for most us.
In terms of its chassis, this model is, unsurprisingly, plastic. However, the platinum gray color gives the illusion of being somewhat premium. Interestingly, Ideapad 3 doesn’t have a backlit keyboard, which may be a deal breaker for some remote workers.
Within the same price range, you also have the ASUS Vivobook 14, which comes equipped with the same CPU, RAM, and storage. Plus, it features a 14” FHD screen and a backlit keyboard, which makes it a tough competitor to Ideapad 3. However, it should be noted that Lenovo’s 45 Wh battery, which performs better than ASUS’s 37 Wh battery.
How to pick the best laptop for working from home
To work from home, you need a laptop that strikes a balance among your requirements, performance, and price. The exact laptop will depend on the kind of work you’re looking to do. Your requirements will determine the configuration – RAM, SSD, CPU, GPU, and other technical details. For example, if you’re into demanding tasks like video editing, coding, or looking to run software, you may even need a powerful gaming option, like one of the best RTX 4090 laptops, or even a machine with a powerful CPU, like some of the best Intel 13th Gen laptops. However, if you are looking to write blogs or perform light tasks like data entry, some of the best laptops under $600 will do more than fine.
With that being said, here’s a quick overview of what you should be looking at while getting a laptop for working from home.
Whether your job demands a lot of work from your laptop or not, it’s always a good idea to have sufficient RAM on it. Most jobs need you to open dozens of tabs, run some software, switch between apps, and do all kinds of multitasking. With enough RAM, you can ensure that all your tasks happen smoothly and that there are no random freezes.
You can expect to spend around eight hours or more working on your laptop. To minimize strain on your eyes, you should have a comfortable display size with sufficient brightness. Usually, a 15.6-inch screen works well for most people, but you can go for a larger size if you have to split the screen. Further, if your screen is big enough, you can consider not getting an external monitor.
To make your viewing experience better, consider getting an IPS panel display, which will give you better and more viewing angles. Further, make sure that your display is bright enough for well-lit rooms for more comfort.
Many laptop users tend to connect to external devices like a monitor, a mouse, a keyboard, etc. To do this seamlessly, look for a laptop that offers multiple kinds of ports like USB-C, HDMI, DisplayPort, 3.5mm audio jack, Ethernet, and other preferred ports. If you have diverse ports available in your laptop, it would eliminate the need for additional hubs and save some desk space.
Now, laptops with good graphics are necessary only if you are into gaming, video editing, graphic designing, app development, or other tasks that need you to have a great GPU. A dedicated GPU will speed up your graphics-related tasks and boost the overall performance. And if you play video games on your laptop, a graphics card would deliver a more immersive experience.
If you have to attend a lot of Zoom meetings, then you need to have a good quality webcam that outputs high-resolution video – and it just becomes easy if its integrated into the laptop. While 4K might be an overkill for virtual meetings, 1080p resolution strikes a good balance between clarity and performance.
Other than this, you should take weight and battery life into consideration, if you’re planning on carrying the laptop around. For instance, if you frequently visit cafes or go on offline business meetings, portability and battery life would matter to you.
After considering all the picks, we would recommend using the 2023 Apple MacBook Air for working from home – especially if you have the Apple ecosystem. Whether you’re into content creation (like graphic designing or video editing) or simple, everyday productivity tasks, Apple MacBook Air can be a fit for all. There’s one small drawback – the ports on the laptop are quite limited, which can make connecting multiple peripherals difficult. The laptop comes with a heavy price tag, but if you look at the features, it’s justifiable. It offers a bigger screen than its predecessor, features a powerful M2 chip, and a long battery life.