Computing

The 5 Best Laptops for Working from Home in 2024

With remote work becoming more common, more and more folk are looking to grab a business laptop to work from home. Luckily, the laptops meant for working from home have boomed in the past few years, meaning that there are a ton of choices out there for you to pick from. On the downside, that does mean that the market is saturated, and for those who don’t know a lot about laptops, it can be daunting to pick a good laptop for working at home.

To that end, we’ve picked the best best laptops for working from home, each with a specific benefit for a different type of person. So, if you need something in the Apple ecosystem or a budget-friendly option, there’s a little something for everybody below.

The Best Laptops for Working from Home

  • Buy the

    if you want a budget-friendly laptop for working from home

  • Buy the

    if you want the best Apple laptop for working from home

  • Buy the

    if you want an alternative Apple laptop for working from home

  • Buy the 

    if you want a business-oriented laptop for working from home

  • Buy the

    if you want a large-screen laptop for working from home

Dell Inspiron 15

Best budget laptop for working from home

The Dell Inspiron 15 at a side angle while showing an image of a man and a ball.
Dell
Pros Cons
Excellent pricing Screen doesn’t run that bright
Solid productivity performance Only comes with Windows 11 Home
Lots of RAM

Grabbing a good laptop to work from home doesn’t have to break the bank, and the Inspiron 15 is the perfect example of that. Running you just over $500, it has everything you could potentially need to get your work done, such as a large 15.6-inch screen running a 1920×1080 resolution. Even more impressively, it manages to hit a 120Hz refresh rate, the sort you’d see on a flagship smartphone, so you’re going to have an overall smoother experience using the computer and looking at the screen.

In terms of processing power, you have an Intel Core i5-1235U, which is a mid-range CPU that’s more than capable of most productivity and business-related tasks like data entry and whatnot. It also comes with 16GB of RAM, which is always appreciated, considering Windows 11 tends to eat up a lot of it, so you’ll have a better quality of life. That said, we should mention that this only comes with Windows 11 Home, so if you want the Pro version, you’ll have to upgrade to that for an extra cost, although it’s not strictly necessary.

The 512GB of storage is also going to be more than enough for most folks, as will be the overall build, which is nice and sturdy, so you should feel comfortable putting it in a bag and taking it with you. On the other hand, it is important to note that the screen of the Inspiron 15 can only hit a peak brightness of 250nits, which will be hard to see with direct or even potentially indirect sunlight. So, be cognizant of where you’re going to place it in your home or where you use it.

Specifications
Screen Size
15.6-inches
Processor Intel Core i5-1235U
RAM 16 GB
Storage 512GB
Weight
3.65 pounds

MacBook Pro 16

Best MacBook for working from home

The Apple 16-inch MacBook Pro M3 against a white background.
Apple
Pros Cons
The best keyboard on a Mac Touch Bar is still not useful
Excellent performance for content creation Very expensive
The 16-inch screen is gorgeous

If you’re a fan of Apple and want to pick the best option when it comes to its laptops, then the latest MacBook Pro 16 is the way to go. For one thing, it has a large 16-inch screen with a Liquid Retina XDR display running an impressive 3456 x 2234 resolution. As such, this is an excellent laptop if you’re creative or do a lot of creative work since the screen is made for better color reproduction and fidelity; plus, the large screen size means it’s easier to navigate and use editing apps compared to something a bit smaller.

Under the hood, this configuration comes with an M3 Pro chip, which is currently the second most powerful chip that Apple manufactures. As such, it can handle pretty much anything you throw at it, whether it’s graphical rendering or making complex Excel sheets; it’s more than capable and versatile enough that you won’t worry about anything. You’ll also be more than happy to see that this configuration comes with 18GB of RAM, something which is not too common with Apple MacBooks since you’re more likely to see 8GB or maybe 12GB, and that’s very much on the lower end.

Another thing worth noting is that it has an impressive battery life of around 20 hours, which is only really beaten out by the 13-inch MacBook Air, although not by much, so you’ll get a lot of use out of it without needing to recharge. It also has a 1080p FaceTime HD camera for you to work with and an array of high-quality microphones, so it’s perfect for meetings online. Obviously, the biggest downside here is that you’ll be spending quite a penny, but if you want the best of the best, then the MacBook Pro 16 is the way to go.

Specifications
Screen Size
16-inches
Processor M3 Pro
RAM 18GB
Storage 512 GB
Weight
4.7 pounds

MacBook Air 15

Best MacBook alternative for working from home

Screen on the MacBook Air 15.
Apple / Apple
Pros Cons
Long-lasting battery Only supports one external display
Shockingly thin
Excellent speakers

Of course, if you want to be in the Apple ecosystem, you don’t really have to get the most expensive thing that’s available. Instead, the M2 MacBook Air 15 is an excellent alternative, and while the screen is slightly smaller and it’s not as powerful, it’s still more than enough for most folks. For example, the screen is only one inch smaller at 15 inches, but it still has a lovely Liquid Retina display running a 2880 x 1864 resolution, which is perfect for this size of screen.

Under the hood, you get the M2 Chip, the second generation of Apple’s chip and still quite powerful compared to the base M3 chip. Therefore, it will handle all the productivity and editing tasks you want without issue, although it might get a bit hot under the keyboard if you run heavy programs for too long. A lot of that is due to the fact that this is a fanless laptop, one of the only few in the world, and it means that it’s incredibly quiet compared to your average laptop.

The lack of fans also helps the MacBook Air 15 be so incredibly thin at just 0.44 inches and weigh in at just 3.3 pounds, despite the fact that it has a big screen and a powerful processor under its hood. We should also touch on the RAM, of which you get 16GB, more than you’d usually find but a perfect amount nonetheless. Storage is also quite respectable at 512GB, and while you can find cheaper models with just 256GB, they also tend to bump down the RAm to 8GB, so we wouldn’t go for that if we were you.

Specifications
Screen Size
15-inches
Processor M3 Chip
RAM 16 GB DDR5
Storage 512 GB
Weight
3.3 pounds

ThinkPad T14s Gen 4 AMD

Best business-specific laptop for working from home

ThinkPad T14 left front view on white background.
Lenovo
Pros Cons
Has a fingerprint reader Screen could be better
Perfect for online meetings Keyboard is a little cramped
Excellent battery life

The ThinkPad T14s Gen 4 is easily one of the ideal business-specific laptops you can find, and it’s packed with features that a working professional would get a lot of use out of. For example, it comes with a fingerprint reader, which will come in handy if you need to access sensitive documents or servers where other forms of 2FA would be problematic. Similarly, it has a 5MP RGB+IR camera, which people can see you much better, and dual microphones so that they can hear you better, too, making this an excellent option if you have regular online meetings.

That said, the screen size is certainly on the smaller side at 14 inches, but it does run a 1920 x 1200 resolution, which is nice, and the smaller size makes it a lot more portable, which is useful if you ever plan to travel with it. That said, be aware that it can only hit a peak brightness of 300 nits, which isn’t bad, but it won’t fair well with direct sunlight. It also runs at 60hz, and for something that is meant to be looked at all day and be a premium product, we would have preferred to see it at 120Hz.

Even so, it’s still very powerful, with an AMD Ryzen 7 PRO 7840U under the hood, which is a mid-to-high-end CPU that can easily handle productivity and the majority of work tasks without a hitch. In a similar vein the 32GB of DDR5 RAM is excellent for things like programming or CAD work, and also just generally giving you a smooth day-to-day experience. The 1TB of storage is likely more than you’ll ever need, but you might be somebody who stores a lot of files locally, in which case, we’re sure it’s very much appreciated.

Specifications
Screen Size
14-inches
Processor AMD Ryzen 7 PRO 7840U
RAM 32 GB DDR5
Storage 1 TB
Weight
2.77 pounds

Dell XPS 17

Best large-screen laptop for working from home and business

Dell XPS 17 open at a right angle.
Dell
Pros Cons
Large screen Expensive
Thin and light High-resolution configuration is costly
Excellent performance with discreet GPU

A lot of people value having a large screen to work with, and if you’re using a laptop at home, that might mean hooking up a larger monitor to your laptop as a second screen. Of course, you could just also have a laptop with an already large screen, such as the XPS 17. Not only does it have a larger screen than usual, but it’s made by Dell to compete with MacBooks, so it’s very thin and light and is packed with powerful specifications under the hood.

For starters, it has a mid-to-high-end Intel Core i7-13700H processor that will handle most productivity and work tasks just fine. Even more impressive, though, is that it comes with an RTX 4050 GPU, which means you could get some light and casual gaming on it. More importantly, it can also help with things like graphical rendering, so if your job requires some minor part of that or video editing, the RTX 4050 will certainly help you along with that.

Besides that, you also get a respectable 16GB of DDR5 RAM and 512GB of storage, although you can upgrade both of those. You can also upgrade the screen since the base version only runs an FHD resolution, and you could upgrade it to UHD+, but that also forces you to go with either an RTX 4070 or RTX 4080, which makes sense for the higher resolution. It also forces you to go for an Intel Core i9-13900H, and both of these upgrades add a lot of extra cost, so you have to see whether it’s worth it for you or not, but if you don’t game or do graphical and video editing work that often, then it’s probably not.

Specifications
Screen Size
17-inches
Processor Intel Core i7-13700H
RAM 16 GB DDR5
Storage 512 TB
Weight
5.10 pounds

How We Chose These Laptops for Working from Home

Screen Size & Performance

While performance is always important for any laptop, the truth is that if you’re mostly going to use it from home, it’s not that big of an issue. On the other hand, by giving up that portability, you can get a much larger screen size or something much more powerful, so we’ve prioritized things like screen size and performance over something like portability. That said, there are options that do a good job of toeing the line of portability and performance, such as the MacBook Air 15.

Features

When it comes to business laptops, productivity and work are usually at the forefront, and while that means having a powerful processor and good RAM, it also means having features that a professional might need. For example, the fingerprint reader of the ThinkPad T14s Gen 4 can be a very useful security feature if you deal with sensitive data. Also, if you tend to have a lot of meetings, then a good camera and microphone combo is important, which is why nearly every option picked above has an excellent set of both.

This article is managed and created separately from the Digital Trends Editorial team.

Editors’ Recommendations






Courtesy by: Digital Trends

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