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Working from home, or literally anywhere in the world, is a dream come true. The number of people working remotely has skyrocketed as more and more employees ditch the cubicle. If you want to start working remotely, one of the first you should consider is getting the best laptop for remote work.
After many hours of research, we prepared this guide to help you find the best laptop for working remotely in 2020. So, if you plan to join the work-from-home bandwagon but don’t know which laptop to use, you have come to the right place.
Top Laptops for Remote Work in 2020
Whether you are a freelancer or an employee working remotely, the following laptops will help boost your productivity. We spent a lot of time reviewing them to ensure that they are the best fit for people who work remotely.
Best Overall Laptop for Remote Work: Huawei MateBook X Pro
Huawei is hardly associated with business laptops. This is a market segment that is monopolized by Lenovo and Dell. However, the Huawei MateBook X Pro is steadily getting the attention of remote workers. The laptop packs several productivity features that make it an ideal choice for using remotely.
The design doesn’t stray too far from what we would expect from a high-end Huawei laptop. It has an aluminum unibody design that is perfected by a classy finish. The Huawei MateBook X Pro is possibly one of the thinnest laptops Huawei has released. It’s 0.19 inches thin and only weighs 2.93 pounds.
Portability is one aspect that you can’t ignore in a laptop for remote work. The MateBook X Pro checks that box. You can easily fit it in your backpack and work on the go without feeling that you carried the office with you.
If you spend most of the time typing, you will love the backlit and spill-proof keyboard. It is comfortable to use and you won’t feel much exhaustion in your fingers after typing for long. A large trackpad is nested just beneath the keyboard. It uses Microsoft’s Precision Touchpad technology which helps to detect your palms and keep them from activating touches as you type.
The 13.9-inch IPS display on the MateBook X Pro is surrounded by thin bezels resulting in a 91% screen to body ratio. With 3K resolution, you can expect crisp output as you work. This makes for a great option for freelance graphic and web designers.
Basic remote tasks is a child’s play for the Huawei Mate X Pro. With an Intel Core i7 and 16GB of RAM, we are looking at a laptop that could radically change the way you work remotely. Gamers, graphic designers and image editors will find the Nvidia MX 150 graphics priceless.
- Display: 13.9-inch
- CPU: 1.8GHz Intel Core i7-8550U (quad-core)
- RAM: 16GB LPDDR3
- Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620, Nvidia GeForce MX150 graphics
- Storage: 512 GB SSD
- Ports: 1 x Thunderbolt 3 USB-C, 1 x USB-C 3.1, 1 x USB 3.0, 3.5mm audio jack
- Connectivity: 1 x USB-C 3.1, 1 x USB 3.0, 1 x Thunderbolt 3 USB-C, 3.5mm audio jack
- Battery Life: Up to 11 hours
- Weight: 2.93 pounds
- Gorgeous design
- Impressive display
- Long battery life
- Highly portable
- No SD card slot
- World's First FullView Display: Immersive 13.9-inch 3K touchscreen with 91% screen-to-body ratio,...
- Powerful Inside: Windows 10 Home Signature Edition comes clean with no bloatware to slow you down....
- Home Theater: 3K touchscreen with 3, 000 x 2, 000 resolution, 1500:1 contrast ratio and 260 PPI...
Best Laptop for Remote Work for the Money: Lenovo Thinkpad E590
Lenovo doesn’t need any introduction in the business laptop market. In fact, many people looking for the best laptop for remote work will likely settle on a Lenovo. The Lenovo Thinkpad E590 is one of those models that perfectly fits the description of a sturdy laptop for remote work.
It looks a lot like its predecessor except for the Whiskey Lake CPU. So, if you already have the previous model, you are good to go.
That being said, we find the ThinkPad E590 a great option for performance-hungry and graphically intensive remote works. It comes with a dedicated AMD Radeon RX 550X GPU and a Whiskey Lake CPU which automatically shoots it to the top of performance charts. The design is a bit dated and reminiscent of older Lenovo laptops and yet it still carries the premium badge.
The lid is aluminum while the rest of the chassis is plastic. This, however, does not downgrade its quality. We still found the laptop durable and well built. Its keyboard is just as good as that of the Huawei MateBook X Pro, although the touchpad is slightly sketchy.
The 15.6-inch full HD IPS display is bigger than that of the Huawei MateBook X Pro making it a good option for remote workers who prefer bigger screens. While the bezels are a tad chunky, they don’t eat too much into the screen.
Finally, the lithium battery can last for up to 10 hours on a full charge. This is perfect if you are working away from the power source and don’t carry a charger around.
- Display: 15.6-inch, Full HD, IPS
- CPU: Intel Core i7-8565U
- RAM: 16GB DDR4
- Graphics: AMD Radeon RX 550
- Connectivity: 802.11ac, Bluetooth
- Battery Life: Up to 10 hours
- Weight: 4.7 pounds
- Premium design
- Comfortable keyboard
- Long battery life
- Added security features
- Good display
- Overheats when used for long
- RAM: 16GB DDR4 RAM; Storage: 512GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD (Seal is opened for upgrade ONLY, Professional...
- 15.6-Inch Anti-Glare (1366x768) Display with Front Facing HD Webcam | Integrated Intel UHD Graphics...
- Whiskey Lake-U CPU: Intel Quad Core i5-8265U 1.6 GHz (Turbo 3.90 GHz, 4 Cores 8 Threads, 6MB...
Best Cheap Laptop for Remote Work: Acer Aspire E 15
You would expect a 15-inch to be the furthest thing from portability. Surprisingly, the Acer Aspire E 15 is lightweight and easy to carry around. However, you might need a bigger laptop bag, preferably a rolling bag if you plan on frequently traveling with it.
While the full HD display provides decent viewing angles with satisfying quality, you might find it underwhelming if you have used better screens. Depending on what you will be doing with the laptop, there is a good chance you will only miss out on what you don’t necessarily need. For example, if you are a freelance writer, journalist or blogger, spending on more than what the Aspire E15 offers is not necessary.
If you are more of a creative designer than a writer, we would recommend the first two options since they offer better performance and graphics. Otherwise, you have everything you need for lightweight remote work in the Acer Aspire E15.
The keyboard offers a satisfying tying experience. You won’t feel like you are not hitting your normal typing speed because of rigid or clumsy key placement. The same goes for the touchpad. It’s extra-large and uses multi-touch gestures to ignore palm touches while you type.
There is a healthy selection of ports for peripheral connection. They range from USB 2.0 to Type-C, HDMI and Ethernet. There is also a VGA port and optical drive which come in handy for most business tasks.
The E 15 is generally a sturdy performer and capable of breezing through most remote works. Thanks to the Intel Core i5 processor and 8GB of RAM. You can easily multitask without any frustrating lags in performance.
The battery life is shorter than that of the first two options. You are looking at up to 6 hours of usage on a full charge. This is not plausible but it is not subpar either.
- Display: 15.6-inch FHD
- CPU: 1.6GHz Intel Core i5-8250U
- RAM: 8GB DDR4
- Graphics: Nvidia GeForce MX150; Intel UHD Graphics 620
- Storage: 256GB SSD
- Ports: USB Type-C, 2 x USB 3.0, USB 2.0, VGA, HDMI, Ethernet RJ-45, headphone/mic combo jack, SD card reader
- Connectivity: Dual Band 802.11ac Wi-Fi; Bluetooth 4.1
- Battery Life: Up to 6 hours
- Weight: 5.27 pounds
- Comfortable keyboard
- A host of helpful ports
- Smart touchpad
- Good design
- Bland display
- Flimsy build
- 8th Generation Intel Core i3 8130U Processor 2.2 GHz (Up to 3.2GHz)
- 15.6 inches Full HD (1920 x 1080) widescreen LED lit Display
- 6GB Dual Channel Memory, 1TB HDD and 8x DVD
What Makes a Good Laptop for Remote Work?
When looking for a reliable computer that you can use for remote work, there are certain features to focus on.
Depending on the kind of remote work you do, you can either go with a dual-core or a quad-core. If you mostly use simple applications such as Microsoft Word or Google Docs, a dual-core is good enough. Otherwise, for processor-intensive tasks, we recommend a quad-core processor.
More RAM is always better. The laptops we recommended have 8GB and above so you should stick in that range. If you can afford 16GB -that is if the work you do requires faster performance- that would be great.
Depending on whether or not you store a lot of files, software or media, the amount of storage space you need will vary. For faster performance and portability we recommended SSDs as opposed to HDDs. While most SSDs offer enough storage for most remote work, you can always complement it with an external hard drive if you need more storage.
Keyboard and Touchpad
Most remote work requires plenty of typing which makes a good keyboard a top priority for higher productivity. Look for a keyboard that:
- Is backlit
- Has well-sized and comfortably-spaced keys
- Has short travel distance
The touchpad should be responsive and use a technology that ignores palm touches while typing.
Connectivity is at the core of any remote work. You should, therefore, buy a laptop that has the most reliable connectivity options. These include:
- Fast ethernet
- Wireless network cards such as 802.11n wi-fi
If you do graphics-intensive work or hardcore gaming, you should consider getting a dedicated GPU. However, for regular remote work, an integrated GPU is enough. The screen size is a matter of preference but ensure that it at least has HD resolution for better productivity.
Working remotely brings much-needed freedom to your career. However, to be more productive, you need a good laptop. We spend a lot of time researching the best laptops for remote work in 2020 and we hope that this guide helps you find one that is a good fit for your job.