Best laptops for remote work

Best Laptop for Remote Work in 2022

For those who work remotely or have an online business, few decisions are more important than selecting the right laptop. But finding the best laptop for remote work can be a tough challenge. 

Because of the pandemic, more people than ever have taken the plunge into remote work. For many, it’s their first time to be so mobile. 

Some are even using remote work as an opportunity to move abroad and start new lives in other countries, sometimes with the goal to acquire second citizenship. Finding the best laptop for remote work might sound simple, but it’s a major key to success.

I’ve been through my fair share of laptops over the years, during my time spent living and working remotely in eight different countries. I know what works and what doesn’t. I also know that certain laptops are better suited to certain kinds of remote work than others.

Today I’m here to guide you on exactly what to look for in a remote work-friendly laptop. I’ll also review and compare my top picks for the best laptops for remote work in 2022.

What’s the best laptop for remote work?

Here are my top picks for the best laptops for remote work in 2022.

If you need a new machine for work on the move, especially if you’re planning to relocate abroad, then you should definitely check out some of these options.

  1. Apple MacBook Pro (our top choice for best laptop for remote work)
  2. Apple MacBook Air – Best lightweight all-rounder
  3. Microsoft Surface Pro 8 – Best laptop/tablet hybrid
  4. ASUS Zenbook 13 – Best budget lightweight/long battery combo
  5. Samsung Galaxy Book S – Best battery life + ultra light weight
  6. Lenovo ThinkPad E15 – Best heavy-duty option
  7. Acer Chromebook Spin 713 – Best Chromebook – with multiple ports
  8. Google Pixelbook Go – Best simple budget option
  9. Dell XPS 13 – Best for 4K display

The best laptop for remote workMac or PC?

best laptop for remote work

The Mac vs PC debate has raged on for many years. I still remember my first MacBook Pro, which I bought in 2010. It was heavy, but I carried it everywhere, firing it up in Korean coffee shops and throwing it into my backpack on Chinese trains. 

Before that, I’d used several PCs, but the user-friendly interface of the Mac drew me in and kept me hooked. So far, I’ve never gone back to using a PC. 

I prefer Macs for several reasons. First, it’s very difficult for Macs to get viruses. Second, they rarely crash or get stuck. The green screen of death is an unusual occurrence with a Mac. 

Whenever I finish using my MacBook, I simply close its lid and everything shuts down automatically. I don’t have to quit all the programs one by one, and that doesn’t cause any problems.

On the other hand, Macs are expensive. A PC is a better choice if you want something affordable.

How to choose the best laptop for remote work

When choosing an option from among the best laptops for remote work, there are several key considerations to keep in mind. Importantly, the sort of remote work you do will play a part in influencing your final choice.

If you mainly do labor intensive tasks like video editing, or working with graphics, then you’ll need to choose a laptop with powerful processor speed and enough hard drive space to store large files.

Every laptop user needs a good screen, but it’s especially important if you’re a writer or programmer. When you spend all day squinting at text or code on the screen, you need to do everything possible to make it easy on your eyes.

As remote workers, it’s normal for us to carry our laptops with us to most places. That means size and weight will be important factors in deciding which are the best laptops for remote work. You don’t want to lug a heavy brick around in your backpack.

  • Processor speed
  • Hard drive space 
  • Size and weight 
  • Battery life
  • Screen quality 
  • Ease of typing
  • Robustness
  • Warranty

Without any further ado… the best laptop for remote work in 2022

1. MacBook ProBest all-rounder

Specs:

  • Storage: Up to 8TB (depending on model)
  • Screen size: 14 inches
  • Weight: 3.5 pounds (1.58 kg)
  • Battery life: Up to 17 hours
  • Processor: Apple M1 Pro or M1 Max chip 
  • RAM:
  • Display: Liquid Retina XDR
  • Camera: 1080p FaceTime HD

Review: MacBook Pro

MacBooks have traditionally been associated with graphic designers and video editors.

But in today’s increasingly demanding online space, all kinds of remote workers can benefit from the power and flexibility of Apple’s flagship product. 

The MacBook Pro 13 inch is currently my main laptop. I use it to run my business and write my PhD thesis, plus do some freelance writing on the side. I recently started a YouTube channel, and the MacBook Pro has been perfect for video editing.

MacBook Pros are great because they’re powerful, secure and tend to last for a long time. I’ve had this one since 2018 and it’s still going strong. 

Whenever I buy a new MacBook, I always go for the highest specification available. I do this despite the expense, because that way I know it will last me long into the future, and be well-suited for every possible task. 

Battery life in the MacBook Pro is typically very good. I can spend a large chunk of my working day in a coffee shop, and not have to worry about taking the charger with me. This is also a great benefit on long international flights. 

Of course, some tasks will drain the battery more than others.

Video editing and graphics work are two of the biggest drains on the battery. But voice dictation, which I use for everything, can be quite labour intensive as well. 

The MacBook Pro has a fantastic voice recognition system, extremely accurate and fast. If you’re a writer of any kind, I highly recommend it. It will revolutionise your workflow and make writing so much faster. 

The AirDrop feature is another fabulous part of the Apple system. If you have other Apple products, such as the iPhone or iPad, AirDrop allows you to smoothly send files from one device to another.

In short, if you’re looking for one of the best laptops for remote work, the MacBook Pro ticks an awful lot of boxes. In my opinion, the only downside is how expensive it is.

But, it’s a worthwhile investment that will stand you in good stead. 


2. MacBook AirBest lightweight all-rounder  

Specs:

  • Storage: Up to 2TB (depending on model)
  • Screen size: 13 inches
  • Weight: 2.8 pounds (1.27 kg)
  • Battery life: Up to 18 hours
  • Processor: Apple M1 chip
  • RAM:
  • Display: Retina
  • Camera: 1080p FaceTime HD

Review: MacBook Air

Buying my first MacBook Air was an exciting prospect. I was amazed by how thin it was, and at the same time how powerful. That was a few years ago, and the MacBook Air has only improved since then.

The new MacBook Air is an excellent choice if you need all the features Apple offers, but you want them in a thinner, lighter package. It’s an especially great choice for video editors and designers who are constantly on the move.

For working remotely, the MacBook Air makes life very easy. You can carry it in your backpack or handbag without adding much extra weight. This is great if you like to switch up your workday by regularly moving from one place to another.

In terms of battery life, there’s not much difference between the latest MacBook Air and the MacBook Pro. Both offer enough battery power to easily get you through a normal working day, with plenty to spare by evening time.

The old MacBook Air had a tiny 11 inch screen. I remember writing countless articles on it, which was probably terrible for my eyesight. Luckily, the new MacBook Air now has the same size screen as the MacBook Pro.

The MacBook Air is also cheaper than the Pro, so it’s a great choice if you’re (slightly) budget conscious but still want a powerful Apple machine.

For me, the MacBook Air is a strong contender as the best laptop for remote work. If I needed a new laptop tomorrow, I would seriously consider purchasing one.


3. Microsoft Surface Pro 8 – Best laptop/tablet hybrid

Specs:

  • Storage: 512 GB SSD
  • Screen size: 13 inches
  • Weight: 4.45 pounds (2.02 kg)
  • Battery life: Up to 16 hours
  • Processor: Intel ‎Core i5 4.2 GHz
  • RAM: 8 GB
  • Display:
  • Camera: 1080p

Review: Surface Pro 8

First, a confession. I haven’t owned a Microsoft computer for the last 10 years. I’m very much an Apple fan girl. I went to my local computer store to check out Microsoft’s latest offering in person.

The Surface Pro 8 is very different from the two Apple machines we already discussed. It’s a laptop/tablet hybrid with a touchscreen and a detachable keyboard.

You can also buy a separate stylus to use with the screen. If that appeals to you, then read on. But if you’re looking for a more typical laptop, the Surface Pro 8 probably isn’t a good fit.

As a remote worker and frequent international traveller, weight is one the first things I check with a new laptop. I was surprised by how heavy the Surface Pro was. At just over 2 kg, it’s almost double the weight of the MacBook Air, and still a bit heavier than the smaller MacBook Pro.

The screen is a big win for the Surface Pro: it’s bright, sharp, and feels roomy enough to have lots of programs open at once. Also, the screen’s high refresh rate makes working feel very smooth, but the trade-off is battery life. Luckily, you can adjust the screen settings to make this more efficient.

Battery life on the Surface Pro is disappointing overall. Microsoft claims the machine has up to 16 hours battery life. But many of its fancy new features also drain the battery, making the machine fall short of this claim.

If you turn down the screen’s refresh rate and stick to less intensive tasks like writing, you could probably squeeze a full workday out of it. But if battery life is a major concern for you, I recommend checking out one of the MacBooks instead.

In short, the Surface Pro 8 is a good choice if you love the flexibility of having a tablet and a laptop in one, enjoy using a stylus, and prefer Windows to Mac. But it falls short on weight and battery life – both key concerns when choosing the best laptop for remote work.


4. ASUS Zenbook 13 – Best budget lightweight/long battery combo

Specs:

  • Storage: 512GB SSD
  • Screen size: 13 inches
  • Weight: 2.5 pounds (1.13 kg)
  • Battery life: Up to 13 hours
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-1165G7 CPU
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Display: 1080p
  • Camera: 1080p, plus Shared Cam feature for smartphones

Review: Zenbook 13

ASUS makes a lot of good laptops, but the Zenbook is one of the Taiwan-based brand’s enduring best. It’s also a worthy contender for the best laptop for remote work.

For starters, the Zenbook boasts a superb battery life, which can take an average remote worker to the end of the workday and beyond.

In terms of size and weight, it’s a winner. The Zenbook clocks in at a feathery 1.13 kg (2.5 pounds) – even beating the MacBook Air on weight. With a super slim metal chassis, the machine looks the business and feels robust.

The Zenbook has several interesting features which set it apart from the pack. First, its Shared Cam feature lets you wirelessly connect your smartphone to the laptop and use it for video calls. This is useful for accessing the smartphone’s powerful camera, which is often better than a typical laptop’s onboard webcam.

As a writer, the feel, layout and responsiveness of a laptop keyboard is important to me. I’m already a big fan of MacBook keyboards, but the Zenbook 13 also does well in this area. The keyboard is responsive and satisfyingly clicky, making it a joy to use.

Overall, the Zenbook 13 is an excellent contender as the best laptop for remote work. It’s super light, sufficiently powerful, and packs several clever features that can make your life as a remote worker easier. What’s more, its price is way more friendly than those of Apple’s flagship products.


5. Samsung Galaxy Book S – Best battery life + ultra light weight

Specs:

  • Storage: 512GB SSD
  • Screen size: 13.3 inches
  • Weight: 2.09 pounds (0.95 kg)
  • Battery life: Up to 17 hours
  • Processor: Intel Core i5, 1.4 GHz
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Display: 13″ FHD LCD Touch 1920×1080
  • Camera: 720p HD

Review: Galaxy Book S

The Samsung Galaxy Book range is well known for its high build quality, speed, and battery life. The Galaxy Book S is an excellent mid-range contender among the best laptops for remote work.

The battery life is a whopping 17 hours, so it can easily carry you through if you pull an all-nighter to hit a client deadline. What’s more, it’s incredibly easy to carry around, thanks to its super light weight, coming in just under 1 kg (2.09 pounds). You probably won’t even feel it in your handbag or backpack, and your shoulders will thank you.

One thing I especially liked about the Samsung Galaxy Book range is the wide selection of ports. A common complaint about Apple laptops is their lack of ports, restricting users to USB-C, or compelling them to buy expensive Apple adapters. The Galaxy Book S adds a micro-SD port to the mix, although other Samsung models – e.g. the Galaxy Book Flex or the Ion – are more generous with their port selection.

On the downside, the Galaxy Book S uses a processor more commonly found on smart phones. This allows the machine to be lightweight, but holds it back when it comes to processing power. If you’re using power-heavy applications, such as for video editing or graphics work, the Galaxy Book S won’t be the right fit. You’ll want something with a bit more oomph.


6. Lenovo ThinkPad E15 – Best heavy-duty option

Specs:

  • Storage: 256 GB
  • Screen size: 15.6 inches
  • Weight: 4.2 pounds (1.9 kg)
  • Battery life: Up to 11 hours 
  • Processor: Intel Core i5, 1.4 GHz
  • RAM: 8 GB
  • Display: 1920 x 1080
  • Camera:

Review: ThinkPad E15

Lenovo’s ThinkPad range boasts some robust and long-lasting laptops. The E15 is no exception. While it might not look as glam as some of our previous choices, the ThinkPad E15 is tough and will withstand a lot of abuse.

If you tend to be a bit rough with your possessions, or take your laptop on outdoor excursions, the ThinkPad E15 could be a good fit. It’s designed to withstand dropping from up to 90 cm and comes with military level specifications. At the same time, it looks like a normal laptop, no heavier or chunkier than any other.

The ThinkPad E15 offers decent performance that will be sufficient for every day tasks. But those who need high-level processing power for video or graphics work should look elsewhere.

For those who need an affordable, reliable, and tough option, the ThinkPad E15 is one of the best laptops for remote work.


7. Acer Chromebook Spin 713 – Best Chromebook, with lots of ports!

Specs:

  • Storage: 128 GB (256 GB available)
  • Screen size: 13.5-inch
  • Weight: 3.02 pounds (1.36 kg)
  • Battery life: Up to 8 hours 
  • Processor: Intel Core i5 (i7 also available)
  • RAM: 8 GB (16 GB available)
  • Display: 3:2 touchscreen, 2256 x 1504
  • Camera: Front-facing 1280 x 720

Review: Acer Spin 713

No article about the best laptop for remote work would be complete without including at least one Chromebook. Acer’s Spin 713 is one of the best Chromebooks on the market at present.

Firstly, the Spin 713 has a great keyboard that’s smooth, responsive and well-lit – making the Spin 713 an excellent choice for writers and researchers.

Battery life is pretty decent for a Chromebook, lasting around eight hours with normal use. The Spin 713 can handle a wide range of everyday tasks smoothly, without any performance issues.

The selection of ports on offer is exceptional: with two USB-Cs, a USB-A, a microSD slot, a headphone socket, and even an HDMI port. This wide range makes the machine highly versatile, without the need to invest in additional adapters or dongles.

Finally, the Spin 713 has an excellent screen, with the 3:2 display making a significant difference. The touch screen display is sharp and the colours are vibrant.

If you’re looking for a good all rounder at a reasonable price point, the Spin 713 is one of the best Chromebooks currently on the market.


8. Google Pixelbook Go – Best simple budget option

Specs:

  • 13.3-inch screen 
  • 64 GB of storage 
  • 8 GB of memory 
  • 2.33 pounds (1.06 kg) 
  • No USB port 
  • 12 hours of battery life 
  • Touchscreen 

Review: Google Pixelbook Go 

Another good choice for Chromebook fans is the Google Pixelbook Go. It’s perfect for writers, bloggers, and virtual assistants.

Even if you’re not a huge fan of Chromebooks, this machine stands out for its smart features, such as the ‘hush keys’, which use Google technology to make typing much quieter. If you like to work late at night, this nifty addition takes away the clack-clack of keys so you don’t keep anyone awake.

Aside from the quiet typing feature, this laptop is reasonably priced and available in a variety of colors, so you’ll be able to express yourself through your laptop selection. With a decent total battery life of 12 hours and weighing in at 2.33 pounds (1.06 kg), this laptop is on the lighter side of the laptops listed here.

On the downside, the Google Pixelbook Go lacks USB ports and isn’t powerful enough for hardcore users. Also, you’ll need a good cloud based storage system, such as Dropbox or Google Drive, as the Pixelbook Go only has 64 GB of on-board storage.

But overall, it’s a nice lightweight laptop at a very reasonable price point.


9. Dell XPS 13 – Best for a 4K screen

Specs:

  • 13.4-inch screen 
  • 512 GB of storage 
  • 16 GB of memory 
  • 2.8 pounds (1.3 kg) 
  • 12 hours of battery life 

Review: Dell XPS 13

Dell laptops may lack the cool factor, but they’ve evolved into solid, dependable machines. In particular, the XPS 13 is worth considering if you’re looking for a good starter laptop for working remotely.

The Dell XP 13 offers a decent amount of RAM (16GB), so if you’re prone to running lots of browser tabs at the same time, or using multiple applications, the Dell XPS 13 will be able to handle it seamlessly.

This computer is similar to the other laptops on this list in terms of screen size and battery life, and it ticks most of the typical boxes for the remote working lifestyle. The 4K display, which shows colors vividly, is a notable feature if you do a lot of design or video editing work.

Finally, if you need a larger hard drive, you can buy an upgrade for the XPS 13 to increase its capacity to an impressive 1 TB. Overall, the Dell XPS 13 is an excellent choice for remote workers, specially with its vivid 4K display.


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