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The 5 Best Laptops For Working From Home - Spring 2023 Reviews

Best Laptops For Working From Home

If you're looking for a laptop to work from home, there are a couple of things you want to look for. A large, sharp screen allows you to work comfortably, and port selection is critical if you want to connect multiple peripherals or external displays. The quality of the keyboard and touchpad is also important, and of course, you'll need a good webcam for your meetings over Zoom or Teams. While battery life isn't the most important aspect when working from home, having a laptop that can last a while on battery allows you to move from one room to another without bringing the charger. If you plan to work outdoors in the summer, you'll also want to ensure the display is bright enough to combat glare.

We've tested more than 70 laptops, and below, you'll find our recommendations for the best laptops for working remotely you can buy. You can also see our recommendations for the best Chromebooks, the best 2-in-1 laptops, and the best business laptops.

  1. Best Laptop For Working From Home

    The best laptop for working from home we've tested is the Apple MacBook Pro 16 (2021). This premium model has nearly everything you need to work comfortably. It sports a large 16-inch screen that gets bright enough to combat glare, a comfortable keyboard you can type on all day, and a gigantic, easy-to-use touchpad. Plus, it has one of the best webcams for your video calls. You can configure it with an M1 Pro or Max SoC; both are powerful enough to handle demanding tasks. The battery lasts around 15 hours of light use, allowing you to work in different rooms or even out in your backyard without dragging the power adapter around.

    If you plan on using an external monitor with the laptop closed or as a second screen, the Apple MacBook Pro 14 (2021) might be a better choice. It's almost identical to its 16-inch sibling but has a slightly shorter battery life and is cheaper. As you may know, Apple has released newer models with M2 Pro and M2 Max chips. They're identical to their predecessors on the outside; you just get a faster SoC, Wi-Fi 6E, HDMI 2.1, and increased memory support (up to 96GB). Apple no longer sells new M1 models, so it's best to go with an M2 model unless you can find a good deal on an M1 model through a third-party seller, marketplace, or Apple's refurbished section.

    For Windows users, we recommend the MSI WS76 (2021), a 17.3-inch model available with Intel 11th Gen. processors and NVIDIA discrete GPUs. It performs exceptionally well and can handle demanding workloads. However, it isn't as portable as it's bulkier and heavier than the MacBooks, and the display's factory calibration isn't as good in the DCI P3 color space, so you may need to fine-tune it before doing any color work.

    See our review

  2. Best Upper Mid-Range Laptop For Working From Home

    If you only perform light productivity tasks like word processing, web browsing, and video playback, get the LG gram 17 (2021) instead. This ultraportable has a sharp 17-inch screen, a comfortable keyboard with a Numpad, and a large and responsive touchpad. Its port selection includes two Thunderbolt 4 ports, connecting up to two 4k displays at 60Hz with a single USB-C cable. You can configure it with an Intel 11th Gen. Core i3, i5, or i7 processor, up to 16GB of RAM, and up to 2TB of storage. The power button has a fingerprint sensor built-in, so you can log in quickly and get to work. The main downside of this laptop is its mediocre reflection handling, so it might not be the best for use in well-lit rooms or outdoors in broad daylight.

    On the Mac side, we recommend the Apple MacBook Air 13 (2022), a sleek and well-built laptop with a gorgeous display, plenty of processing power, and long battery life. However, it has a smaller screen and a very limited port selection, and its SoC can only support a single external monitor. If you want to save money, you can also check out its predecessor, the Apple MacBook Air 13 (M1, 2020), which Apple still sells alongside the newer model. It has an older design, a slightly dimmer display, and a lower-resolution webcam than the M2 model. Its M1 SoC is slower but still more than capable of handling most general productivity tasks.

    See our review

  3. Best Mid-Range Laptop For Working From Home

    If you want to save money with a more modest mid-range model, check out the Acer Chromebook Spin 714 (2022). It has a 14-inch screen that gets bright enough for use in most indoor settings, and since it's a 2-in-1 convertible, you can flip the screen around and use it as a tablet. It supports pen input and comes with a stylus that you can dock into its charging slot for transport. The keyboard feels comfortable to type on, and the webcam is among the best on the market.

    This laptop is available with various Intel 12th Gen. CPUs; however, it may be hard to find the exact configuration you want due to low availability. The Core i5 model with 8GB of memory and 128GB of storage is the easiest to find in stock. The Core i5 is plenty fast for Chrome OS, although heavy multitaskers might want to look for a model with more memory. Ports include one USB-A, two USB-C/Thunderbolt 4s, and an HDMI port. Unfortunately, there's no fingerprint sensor or a facial recognition IR camera for quick logins.

    See our review

  4. Best Budget Laptop For Working From Home

    Our best budget pick is the Lenovo Chromebook C340 15 (2020), a 2-in-1 convertible Chromebook. It has a decently sharp 15-inch screen, a spacious and tactile full-size keyboard, and a small but responsive touchpad. You can get it with an Intel Pentium Gold or Core i3 CPU; both are fast enough to provide a smooth experience on Chrome OS. However, you can only get a maximum of 4GB of memory, so you might experience some stutters if you have too many things running simultaneously. The battery lasts easily through a typical day of light use and charges over USB-C. Port selection is okay; you get one USB-A, two USB-Cs, an SD card reader, and a headphone jack. The main downside is that the screen doesn't get very bright, so it's not the best for sunny rooms or outdoors in broad daylight.

    See our review

  5. Best 2-In-1 Laptop For Working From Home

    If you want a versatile device that you can use for general media consumption during your downtime, go with the Microsoft Surface Pro 8 (2021), a tablet PC with a built-in kickstand and detachable keyboard. You can detach the keyboard to make the device lighter and easier to hold or to save space, like on a kitchen counter. Its 3:2 IPS panel looks incredibly sharp, gets bright enough to combat glare, and supports pen input. The keyboard feels good to type on, but you need to buy it separately, and the same goes for the stylus. Its 1080p webcam is excellent, and you also get an IR camera for quick logins via facial recognition. The port selection isn't that great, as you only get two USB-C/Thunderbolt 4s, a headphone jack, and a Surface charging port.

    Microsoft has released the Surface Pro 9. It's the same device but with faster Intel 12th Gen. processors. It's easier to find since it's a newer model, but if you don't need the increased performance and would rather save money, you can likely find a good deal on a Surface Pro 8.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Acer Swift 14 (2023): The Acer Swift 14 (2023) is a good alternative to the Apple MacBook Pro 16 (2021) if your workload requires a high-performance CPU but very little graphical processing power, like programming or music production. However, it has a smaller display, and its keyboard isn't as comfortable to type on. See our review
  • ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 (2022): The ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 (2022) is a great alternative to the Apple MacBook Pro 16 (2021) if you want a device you can also use for gaming during your downtime. It has a nice 14-inch display with full DCI P3 coverage, plenty of processing power, and a battery that lasts around 10 hours of light use. Its webcam and speakers aren't nearly as good as the MacBook Pro's, though, and it also gets hotter and louder under load. See our review
  • Microsoft Surface Laptop 5 (2022): The Microsoft Surface Laptop 5 (2022) is a good alternative to the LG gram 17 (2021). It's available in a 13.5-inch or 15-inch size, so you can choose the one that fits you best. It has a nice 3:2 display, a comfortable keyboard, and an amazing webcam. There are a couple of tradeoffs, though, like its shorter battery life and limited port selection. See our review

All Reviews

Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best laptops for working remotely to buy. We factor in the price (a cheaper laptop wins over a pricier one if the difference isn't worth it), feedback from our visitors, and availability (no laptops that are difficult to find or almost out of stock everywhere).

If you prefer to make your own decision, here’s the list of all of our laptop reviews, sorted by price from low to high. Keep in mind that most laptops are available in various configurations, and the table only shows the results of the model we tested, so it’s best to see the full review for information about other variants.