12+ Best Laptops for Remote Work in 2024

12+ Best Laptops for Remote Work in 2024
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Laptops are becoming increasingly essential as workplaces shift to include more remote and hybrid roles. Remote work offers a lot of benefits, such as more flexibility and freedom when it comes to hours, but it can also be difficult if you don't have the right tools. Laptops let you operate your business from anywhere in the world.

Remote-work laptops need to be powerful enough to handle a variety of tasks and portable enough to take with you. You can choose from many styles, each with its own pros and cons. For example, a two-in-one laptop functions as both a laptop and tablet, allowing artists more flexibility in how they sketch. If tablet functionality isn’t something you need, no problem—there are many other types to consider.

From light and portable options to powerful machines that can handle more intensive tasks, we've got you covered. This article discusses the best high-quality laptops for remote work, considering factors like tech specs, pros and cons, style, and user goals.

Best laptops for remote work

MacBook Pro

Macbook Pro

If you're looking for a top-of-the-line laptop that can handle just about anything you throw at it, the MacBook Pro is a solid choice. It's Apple's most powerful laptop, with a large Retina display, fast processing speed, and all the features you need to get work done (and then some). The laptop is available in 13-, 14-, or 16-inch models and has different configuration options. For instance, the 16-inch MacBook Pro has three options with differences in SSD storage and GPU.

Its Magic Keyboard, with Touch ID, lets you easily enter emojis, lock your laptop, and perform many system functions at the touch of a key. With Touch ID, use your fingerprints to lock and unlock your laptop, make purchases on Apple apps, or use Apple pay on websites.

The Apple MacBook Pro would be a great choice for graphic designers, video editors, and other creative professionals who need a powerful machine that is easy to use. Mac is often the preference for professional creatives because of the simple, streamlined, and stylish Apple OS system and high-quality creative applications (like Final Cut Pro) that run on Apple devices. The price is high, but a MacBook Pro’s power and versatility make it worth considering.

MacBook Pro 16-inch specs:

  • 16-Core GPU
  • 512GB SSD Storage
  • Three Thunderbolt 4 ports, HDMI port, SDXC card slot, MagSafe 3 port
  • Magic Keyboard with Touch ID
  • 140W USB-C Power Adapter

Pros:

  • Powerful processor and graphics card
  • High-quality, high-resolution display
  • Light and thin, considering the quality and resolution of the display

Cons:

  • Price (starting at $1,299 for the 13-inch and $2,499 for the 16-inch)
  • Sluggish scroll performance
  • Soldered RAM in place, non-upgradable after purchase

MacBook Air

Macbook Air

The MacBook Air is a more affordable option from Apple that still offers plenty of features for remote workers. The MacBook Air can easily handle web browsing, working on documents, light photo and video edits, and most gaming with Apple's M1 processor. However, hardcore gamers and video editors may wish to research before they purchase, as the processing power may not be sufficient for heavy games or video projects.

The Air is slightly less powerful than the MacBook Pro but still has a beautiful Retina display and fast processing speed. Plus, it's ultra-portable, light, and thin, making it perfect for those who need to travel often for work or want to throw it in a backpack to work on the go.

The MacBook Air is available with the M1 processor or the brand-new M2. You can also select your memory (8GB, 16GB, and 24GB options), storage (512GB SSD, 1TB SSD, and 2TB SSD options), power adaptor, keyboard language, and software options.

MacBook Air 13-inch specs:

MacBook Air 13-inch specs:

  • 8-core CPU
  • 16GB of unified memory
  • 512GB SSD storage
  • 13.3-inch Retina display with True Tone

Two Thunderbolt 3 ports

Pros:

  • Powerful processor and graphics card
  • M1 chip for better performance
  • Lightweight and portable

Cons:

  • Price (starting at $999 for the 13-inch and $1,299 for the 15-inch)
  • Limited storage
  • Only two USB-C ports

HP Pavilion 15

HP Pavillion 15

The HP Pavilion 15 earns its place on our list for affordability and high-spec hardware. It’s a mid-range laptop with all the essentials, like a speedy 512GB SSD and a touch-screen FHD display. While the laptop body isn’t as slim as a MacBook Air, it’s still thin and well-designed, looking more expensive than it is.

The Pavilion 15 has some notable improvements from the previous version, the HP Pavilion 14, like two times better multi-core CPU performance, thinner bezels, touch screen, and the ability to run popular games at about 28% to 38% higher FPS. Read more from the comparison on Nanoreview.

The HP Pavilion 15 is a great choice for business professionals who need a machine that doesn't break the bank but can still get the job done. It’s more than enough for web browsing, working on documents, casual photo editing, streaming a movie, and all your basic day-to-day desktop work.

HP Pavilion 15 specs:

  • 8th Generation Intel® Core™ i7 processor
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti graphics card
  • 1 TB hard drive and 128 GB solid-state drive
  • 15.6-inch full HD IPS display
  • Two USB 3.0 ports, one HDMI port, one Ethernet port, and one headphone jack

Pros:

  • Powerful processor and graphics card for the price
  • Affordable, mid-range laptop
  • Plenty of ports

Cons:

  • No backlit keyboard
  • High power consumption and short battery life
  • Unpleasant fan noise under load

Other laptops worth considering

Now that you’ve reviewed the top three options for remote work laptops, let’s review a few more quality options that may better fit your needs.

Google PixelBook Go

Google Pixelbook go

Before diving into the Google PixelBook Go, we need to talk about Chromebooks in general. Chromebooks have some unique advantages (e.g., affordable, lightweight, simple UI, stable, fast), but they also have some notable disadvantages compared to other laptops.

Chromebooks have limited storage—although some have the option to extend storage with the purchase of an SD card. However, they have excellent cloud storage to make up for this. Another issue to note is that Chromebooks cannot use programs like Adobe’s Creative Suite (Photoshop, Premier, etc.) or support games besides online games or apps. They have limited offline capabilities, and are best suited for use with an internet connection.

That being said, the Google PixelBook Go is reliable, fast, and lightweight. The “limited capabilities” may even be an attractive option to remote workers looking for a simple, stripped laptop without any of the extras they won’t need. Remote workers whose day-to-day work is limited to tasks in Chrome or other Google applications will have everything they need, given they have a stable internet connection.


Google Pixelbook Go specs:

  • 8th Generation Intel® Core™ i7 processor
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti graphics card
  • 1 TB hard drive and 128 GB solid-state drive
  • 15.6-inch full HD IPS display
  • Two USB 3.0 ports, one HDMI port, one Ethernet port, and one headphone jack

Pros:

  • Very portable, lightweight, and affordable
  • 12 hours of rated battery life
  • Touch screen

Cons:

  • No fingerprint scanner
  • More expensive than non-Google Chromebooks
  • No microSD storage expansion

Samsung Galaxy Book

Samsung Galaxy Book S

The Samsung Galaxy Book earns an honorable mention on our list of best laptops for remote workers for a few reasons. First, it has impressive built-in 4G LTE connectivity. Second, it has nearly all-day battery life (16 hours). Both of these features make it an attractive option for remote workers who find themselves traveling often. It’s also the world's first laptop with a built-in S Pen, with an amazingly precise pressure level sensor.

The Samsung Galaxy Book is the latest Windows on Snapdragon laptop that combines the traditional laptop with the mobility, battery life, and speed of a smartphone. And it does a good job of it, certainly living up to the mobility, battery life, and connectivity of a smartphone. However, those benefits come at a price (starting at $999), and it isn’t the most powerful laptop on this list when it comes to performance.


Samsung Galaxy Book specs:

  • 8th Generation Intel® Core™ i7 processor
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti graphics card
  • 1 TB hard drive and 128 GB solid-state drive
  • 15.6-inch full HD IPS display
  • Two USB 3.0 ports, one HDMI port, one Ethernet port, and one microphone/headphone jack

Pros:

  • Amazing 16-hour battery life
  • Touch screen and S Pen
  • Thin, elegant design

Cons:

  • Shallow keyboard
  • No anti-glare display
  • Software compatibility issues

Acer Aspire

Acer Aspire

The Acer Aspire E 15 is a solid budget laptop. It has an amazing starting price of $315 and a wide variety of ports. With a comfortable, well-spaced keyboard and decent battery life, the Acer Aspire E 15 is a good choice for budget-conscious remote workers.

At that price, you might be wondering what the tradeoff is. With rave reviews from many of the biggest laptop review sites, it’s difficult to see its faults. While it easily handles the daily duties of remote work, multitasks, and even plays games, it may not be able to handle heavy games at their highest settings. The design also leaves something to be desired. It’s large, a little clunky, and weighs 5 pounds. If those tradeoffs are worth the affordability, then the Acer Aspire E 15 may just be the laptop for you.

Acer Aspire E 15 specs:

  • 8th Generation Intel® Core™ i7 processor
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti graphics card
  • 1 TB hard drive and 128 GB solid-state drive
  • 15.6-inch screen size, full HD IPS display
  • Two USB 3.0 ports, one HDMI port, one Ethernet port, and one microphone/headphone jack

Pros:

  • Wide port range
  • Good battery life
  • Very affordable

Cons:

  • Bulky design
  • Thick and heavy
  • Lacks Windows Hello, Fingerprint Reader, or Iris scanner

Acer Swift 3

Acer Swift 3

According to the Acer website, it’s time to “say hello to the all-new pick-up-and-go.” This laptop has an accessible price for its size, a touchpad, a backlit keyboard, and a fingerprint reader. If you’re looking for a big laptop with a generous screen that’s great at multitasking for day-to-day work, the Acer Swift 3 is worth consideration.

Its mid-range pricing does come with a few tradeoffs. While the battery life is stellar (12+ hours in testing), the webcam and display brightness could be better and performance falls behind with demanding apps. Despite its cons, the Swift 3 is a great laptop with mass appeal. It’s especially suited for writers, students, or remote workers who have places to go and people to see.


Acer Swift 3 16-inch specs:

  • Intel Core i7-11370H
  • 16-inch 1080p LCD
  • Intel Iris Xe Graphics
  • Windows Hello fingerprint reader
  • 720p webcam

Pros:

  • Excellent for multitasking
  • Great performance for the price
  • Fingerprint reader included

Cons:

  • Not as powerful as some other laptops on this list
  • Dim display
  • Speakers aren't great

Dell XPS 13

Dell XPS 13

A review by Engadget states that the Dell XPS 13 is “everything we want in a compact notebook.” It’s easy to understand the glowing reviews from experts considering its thinner display bezels, ultra-portability, modern design, and wider keyboard. The XPS 13 is an Ultrabook, a laptop that is less than 0.8 inches thick and weighs less than 3.1 pounds. The slim, lightweight XPS 13 competes with Apple’s MacBook Air.

Experts rated the Dell XPS 13 one of the best laptops, but is it the right laptop for you? If you’re looking for a luxury laptop, all-day battery life, solid performance, and beautiful design, it just might be. However, it comes with a high price tag (currently $1,169.99).

This laptop has multiple possible configurations (size, video card, hard drive, LCD, color, and keyboard), but here are some Dell XPS 13 specs:

  • Windows 11 Home
  • 13.4-inch laptop display FHD+ 1920x1200, 60Hz, Touch, Anti-Reflect, 500 nit, InfinityEdge
  • 256 GB, M.2, PCIe NVMe, SSD
  • Touchpad
  • 2 Thunderbolt™ 4 ports, 1 headset (headphone and microphone combo) port

Pros:

  • Sleek, luxurious design
  • Thinner display bezels
  • Improved, larger touchpad

Cons:

  • Average webcam
  • Dim display
  • More expensive than the predecessor

LG Gram 16

LG Gram 14

The LG Gram 16-inch laptop is one of the lightest (as the name implies), high-quality, high-resolution laptops for working from home. In fact, it holds the Guinness World Record for the lightest 16-inch laptop. If you’re looking for a featherweight laptop with great connectivity, the LG Gram 16 might be the laptop for you. Freelance writers will love working on a laptop that’s almost as light as a notebook.

LG Gram 16 specs:

  • Intel 11th Gen Intel Core i7-1165G7 processor
  • 16GB of RAM
  • 1TB NVMe M.2 2280 SSD
  • 16-inch IPS LCD display with a 16:10 aspect ratio at WQXGA (2560x1600) resolution
  • Two USB-C ports with Thunderbolt 4 support, two USB-A 3.2 ports, a full-size HDMI port, a microSD card reader, and a 3.5mm audio jack

Pros:

  • Featherweight
  • High-resolution screen
  • Two-in-one laptop, combining a laptop with a tablet

Cons:

  • Mediocre battery life
  • Expensive
  • Mediocre speakers

Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5

Lenovo Chromebook Flex

The Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 13-inch laptop is currently available for $387 on Amazon. Because it’s a Chromebook, it does have distinct disadvantages and capabilities. For more information on Chromebooks, refer to the section above on the Google PixelBook Go or read an in-depth article devoted to the subject here.

If you’re looking for a budget laptop and a Chromebook is a good fit for your needs, the Lenovo Flex 5 is well worth your consideration. Chromebooks are great for remote workers who don’t need to run high-end software or heavy games and just need basics like web browsing and Google apps.

Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 specs:

  • 10th Generation Intel® Core™ i3-10110U Processor
  • 13.3-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS, glossy, touch screen, 250 nits
  • 4 GB DDR4 2667MHz (Soldered)
  • 128 GB PCIe SSD
  • 2 front-facing 2W speakers

Pros:

  • Slim and light 360-degree convertible design with digital pen support
  • Affordable laptop
  • Great for video conferencing

Cons:

  • Disappointing battery life
  • Limited ports
  • Some users might need more RAM or storage

Microsoft Surface Book 4

Microsoft Surface Book 3

The Microsoft Surface Book 4 is the most powerful Surface laptop yet. Not only does it have speed and beautiful display graphics, but it’s also a detachable two-in-one laptop. This means it offers the reliability of a laptop with the functionality and flexibility of a tablet. It’s available in 13.5-inch or 15-inch sizes, both with a high-resolution touch screen.

Because this laptop functions as a portable studio, the Microsoft Surface Book 4 could be one of the best laptops for working from home if you’re a freelance artist. Like the Surface Pro, it’s amazing for sketching, animating, and drawing on the screen. It’s even great for gaming! However, it is pricey, starting at $899.

Microsoft Surface Book 3 specs:

  • Intel 10th Gen Core i7-1035G7 quad-core CPU
  • 512GB SSD
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti with Max-Q
  • Two USB 3.1 Type-A ports, one USB 3.1 Type-C, one 3.5mm headphone jack, one UHS-II SD card reader, Surface Connect port
  • 8-megapixel 1080p rear-facing camera, 5-megapixel 1080 front-facing camera

Pros:

  • Two-in-one laptop, tablet, and touch screen
  • 3:2 nearly 4K display with detachable screen
  • GPU performance

Cons:

  • Underwhelming battery life
  • Pricey
  • No Thunderbolt 3 support

ASUS Zenbook 15

ASUS Zenbook 15

The Asus Zenbook 15 is a high-quality, beautiful, well-designed laptop that is at home among the best laptops for working from home. It’s a powerful machine with an OLED panel, powerful Ryzen processors, and Ampere graphics, which will increase rendering performance due to its NVENC encoding capabilities.

The Asus Zenbook is perfect for video editors, animators, and creatives who use Adobe Creative Cloud or other heavy editing and production software.

ASUS Zenbook 15 specs:

  • Windows 10 Home OS
  • Intel® Core™ i7-8750H processor
  • Intel® Core™ i5 processor 8300H
  • NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1050 Ti
  • 7.3mm-thin bezel with 83% screen-to-body ratio

Pros:

  • Excellent battery life (15 hours)
  • Powerful (also good for gaming)
  • Comfortable keyboard

Cons:

  • Only 2GB of VRAM
  • The display could be brighter
  • Lacks Thunderbolt 3 port

Lenovo IdeaPad

Lenovo Ideapad

The brand-new Lenovo IdeaPad 5i (15-inch, Intel) laptop is the direct successor to the popular Lenovo IdeaPad S540. With new performance and cosmetic improvements, it’s a good value for the price point and does well under strenuous tasks. It’s built with business in mind. Lenovo’s site states that the laptop’s “webcam privacy shutter and fingerprint reader offer additional security with a single touch,” great for remote workers.

Lenovo IdeaPad 5i (15-inch) specs:

  • 11th Generation Intel® Core™ i5-1135G7 Processor
  • Windows 11 Home OS
  • 15.6-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS, anti-glare, touch screen
  • 8 GB DDR4 3200MHz (Soldered)
  • Up to 11 hours battery life, with Quick Charge 2.0

Pros:

  • Ports and connectivity
  • Comfortable keyboard and touchpad
  • Fingerprint reader and privacy shutter

Cons:

  • Below-average display
  • Performance could be better
  • Intel processor pales in comparison to AMD Ryzen

What to consider when choosing your laptop

Laptops offer a range of benefits, and some of them are mutually exclusive. If price is a limiting factor, for example, you might have to compromise on speed or even performance. If you need a powerful laptop, you might have to compromise on weight, size, or price. Depending on your line of work, some laptops may be better suited to your needs than others.

Here are some factors to consider before making a purchase:

Purpose and functionality

What do you need your laptop to do? If you're a web developer, you'll need a powerful laptop with more RAM and storage than someone who just needs to check email and surf the web.

If you work from home but occasionally travel or run to the office, you need a lightweight laptop that is portable and easy to take with you.

Weight and size

How much space do you have for a laptop? Do you need a laptop that can fit in your purse or backpack, or are you looking for something a little larger?

Lightweight laptops are becoming more popular as people move away from desktop computers and look for ways to be more mobile. For instance, a freelance producer might want something small and light to take to meetings or on-location shoots.

Battery life

How many hours of battery life do you need? This is an important consideration for anyone who needs to be able to work without being tethered to a power outlet.

If you're a content creator, long battery life is amazing for editing videos on the go. Most laptops will get you through a workday, but it’s important to choose a model with excellent battery life.

Ram and storage

How much RAM and storage do you need? If you're a power user like a graphic designer or video editor, you'll need a machine with a lot of RAM so you can have multiple programs open at the same time without slowing down your computer.

If you're just using your laptop for basic tasks, 4GB of RAM should be plenty. As for storage, most people will find that 128GB is plenty of space for their needs. Those working with large files or who store a lot of photos and videos may want to consider getting a machine with a larger hard drive and more processing power.

CPU

What kind of CPU and graphics do you need? You won't need a powerful processor or dedicated graphics card if you're just using your laptop for basic tasks. However, if you're a power user or plan on doing any gaming, you'll want to choose a machine with a good CPU and graphics card.

Operating system

Which operating system do you need? Windows 10 is the most popular choice for business users, while creative professionals often prefer Apple macOS for its design and video editing software.

If you're just looking for a basic machine to browse the web and check email, a Chromebook may be a better (and more affordable) fit for your needs.

Usability and Interface

Is the laptop easy to use? Some laptops have a lot of features and buttons, while others are very simple. Choose a machine that is easy to use, includes all the features you need, and has a user-friendly interface.

Webcam

Does the laptop have a webcam? If you need to participate in video conferences or take pictures and videos, ensure your laptop has a built-in webcam. For instance, streamers need a webcam to show their face on camera.

Price

How much are you willing to spend on a laptop? You can find budget laptops for under $500, but they may not have all the features you need. If you're willing to spend more, you can get a machine with a better processor, more RAM, and a larger hard drive. The goal is to find a great laptop with everything you need at a price point that works for you.

Put your new laptop to good use

Now that we've explored the best laptops for remote work, it's time to put your new laptop to good use. If you're an independent professional looking to expand your work, find new clients, or land the perfect job, Upwork can help. We're the world's largest freelancer marketplace with over 12 million registered independent professionals and 4 million clients.

Sign up today to get started and find the perfect freelance job for you.

Upwork is not affiliated with and does not sponsor or endorse any of the tools or services discussed in this section. These tools and services are provided only as potential options, and each reader and company should take the time needed to adequately analyze and determine the tools or services that would best fit their specific needs and situation.

Prices are current at the time of writing and may change over time based on each service’s offerings.

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12+ Best Laptops for Remote Work in 2024
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