Best Laptops for Remote Work

best laptops for remote work

I researched and reviewed ten of the most highly acclaimed laptops on the market, rigorously evaluating their performance, portability, and features to identify the best laptops for remote work. After extensive testing, two emerged as the best overall—Macbook Pro 13 and Dell XPS 13.

Between these two, it really all comes down to what operating system you prefer. Those that are diehard Apple fans would of course find Macbook Pro 14 (2021) to be the better option, while the rest will default to Dell XPS 13.

Having spent hours to research and survey actual users of these selected laptops positions me to guide you in selecting your newest reliable companion.

In the following paragraphs, I’ll delve deeper into why these two laptops earned the top spot, highlighting their key strengths that cater specifically to the needs of remote workers.

But wait, one size doesn’t always fit all. While both Macbook Pro 13 and Dell XPS 13 excel in certain aspects, there are nuanced considerations for different use cases. Whether you’re a digital creative, a data analyst, or someone in need of a budget-friendly option, I’ve got you covered. Read on to discover the best laptops tailored to your unique requirements.

Dell XPS 13 – Best Overall for Windows

Dell XPS 13 - best laptops for remote work
  • Weight: Approximately 2.8 lbs (1.27 kg)
  • Dimensions: 11.6 x 7.8 x 0.58 inches (29.4 x 19.8 x 1.47 cm)
  • Processor: Intel Core i7
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Storage: 512GB SSD
  • Display: 13.4-inch FHD+
  • Additional features: Portable and lightweight design, good battery life, USB and Thunderbolt ports.

The Dell XPS 13 stands as the quintessential laptop for remote work for Windows users, excelling across diverse users. Its Intel Core i7 processor and ample 16GB of RAM ensure seamless multitasking, making it perfect for number crunchers, programmers, and all-around users. The 13.4-inch FHD+ display not only enhances productivity but also offers a compact form factor for those who work on the move.

With a portable and lightweight design, the XPS 13 is an ideal companion for professionals who need versatility in different work settings. The inclusion of USB and Thunderbolt ports further extends its connectivity, catering to a wide range of peripheral devices and accessories.

Whether you’re engaged in data analysis, software development, or general tasks, the Dell XPS 13’s robust features and reliable performance make it the ultimate choice for Windows enthusiasts.

MacBook Pro 14-inch (2021) – Best Overall for Mac Lovers

MacBook Pro 14 - laptop for remote work
  • Weight: Approximately 3.5 lbs (1.6 kg)
  • Dimensions: 11.97 x 8.35 x 0.63 inches (30.4 x 21.2 x 1.61 cm)
  • Processor: Apple M1 Pro or M1 Max chip (Configurable with up to 10-core CPU)
  • RAM: Configurable options available (Up to 64GB)
  • Storage: Configurable options available (Up to 8TB SSD)
  • Display: 14.2-inch Liquid Retina XDR display
  • Additional features: Multiple Thunderbolt/USB-4 ports, MagSafe charging, improved thermal design, enhanced audio system.

The MacBook Pro 14-inch (2021) is a stellar laptop for remote work, offering the power of Apple’s M1 Pro or M1 Max chip, ensuring efficient multitasking and handling demanding tasks. With configurations available for up to 64GB of RAM and 8TB of SSD storage, it caters to the needs of a diverse range of professionals.

The 14.2-inch Liquid Retina XDR display provides a stunning visual experience, while the inclusion of multiple Thunderbolt/USB-4 ports ensures versatile connectivity for peripherals. The return of MagSafe charging and the enhanced thermal design contribute to an overall improved user experience.

This MacBook Pro model strikes a balance between performance and portability, making it an excellent companion for remote work.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 11 – Best for Programmers

Best Laptops for Remote Work -
  • Weight: 1.1 kg
  • Dimensions: 22.25 x 31.56 x 1.54 cm
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-1365U
  • RAM: Up to 16GB soldered memory, with options for LPDDR5/x-6000 (32GB or 64GB)
  • Storage: Up to 1TB PCIe SSD
  • Display: 14.0″ screen with options for WUXGA (1920×1200) at 400 nits, WUXGA (1920×1200) at 500 nits, or 2.2K (2240×1400) at 300 nits
  • Additional features: Intel Iris Xe Graphics, Two Thunderbolt 4, two USB 3.2 Gen 1, HDMI, headphone/microphone combo jack, Nano-SIM card slot, and Kensington Nano Security Slot

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 11 is well-suited for programmers due to its powerful specifications and portability. The laptop’s Intel Core i7 processor, up to 16GB of RAM, and up to 1TB PCIe SSD storage provide the necessary performance and responsiveness for coding, running virtual machines, and handling various development tasks.. Its lightweight design, weighing just 1.1 kg, and compact dimensions make it highly portable, allowing programmers to work from different locations with ease. 

Additionally, the laptop’s long battery life and a variety of ports, including Thunderbolt 4 and USB 3.2, ensure that programmers can stay productive throughout the day without being tethered to a power outlet. The high-resolution display options and Intel Iris Xe Graphics further enhance the visual experience, which is beneficial for tasks such as app development and design.

Overall, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 11’s combination of performance, portability, and connectivity makes it an ideal laptop for remote work, especially for programmers who require a reliable and versatile companion in their travels

HP Spectre x360 – Best for all around use

Best Laptops for Remote Work -
  • Weight: Approximately 2.87 lbs (1.3 kg)
  • Dimensions: 12.08 x 7.66 x 0.67 inches (30.7 x 19.45 x 1.69 cm)
  • Processor: Intel Core i5
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 256GB SSD
  • Display: 13.3-inch FHD
  • Additional features: Versatile performance, 2-in-1 design, good build quality.

The HP Spectre x360 caters to the needs of all-around users and project managers, offering versatile performance with its Intel Core i5 processor and 8GB of RAM. The 2-in-1 design provides flexibility for different tasks, and the laptop’s good build quality and moderate weight enhance its portability.

With a 13.3-inch FHD display and a 256GB SSD, the Spectre x360 provides a balanced combination of features for users with varied work requirements.

ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 – Best for Gamers

Best Laptops for Remote Work -
  • Weight: Approximately 3.64 lbs (1.65 kg)
  • Dimensions: 12.76 x 8.74 x 0.70 inches (32.4 x 22.2 x 1.78 cm)
  • Processor: AMD Ryzen 9
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Storage: 1TB SSD
  • Display: 14-inch QHD 120Hz
  • Additional features: High-end GPU, gaming-specific keyboard, efficient cooling.

The ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 is a gaming powerhouse, equipped with an AMD Ryzen 9 processor and a dedicated NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 GPU. Its 16GB of RAM and 1TB SSD contribute to smooth gaming performance and fast loading times. The 14-inch QHD 120Hz display and efficient cooling system enhance the gaming experience.

The Zephyrus G14’s gaming-specific keyboard and durable build make it an excellent choice for gamers who prioritize performance and portability.

Acer Aspire 5 – Best for Light Users

Best Laptops for Remote Work -
  • Weight: Approximately 3.97 lbs (1.8 kg)
  • Dimensions: 14.31 x 9.74 x 0.71 inches (36.35 x 24.77 x 1.8 cm)
  • Processor: Intel Core i3
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 256GB SSD
  • Display: 15.6-inch FHD
  • Additional features: Budget-friendly, lightweight, good battery life.

The Acer Aspire 5 is tailored for light users who prioritize budget-friendly options. With its Intel Core i3 processor and 8GB of RAM, it offers sufficient performance for basic tasks. The 256GB SSD ensures quick system responsiveness, and the 15.6-inch FHD display provides a clear viewing experience. The Aspire 5’s lightweight design and good battery life make it a practical choice for light users seeking an affordable and reliable laptop.

Dell XPS 15 – Best for Content Creators

Best Laptops for Remote Work -
  • Weight: Approximately 4 lbs (1.8 kg)
  • Dimensions: 13.57 x 9.06 x 0.71 inches (34.5 x 23.0 x 1.8 cm)
  • Processor: Intel Core i9
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti
  • RAM: 32GB
  • Storage: 1TB SSD
  • Display: 15.6-inch 4K UHD+
  • Additional features: Powerful GPU, high-quality display, large SSD.

The Dell XPS 15 is an optimal choice for content creators, featuring a powerful Intel Core i9 processor, dedicated NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti GPU, and 32GB of RAM. Its 15.6-inch 4K UHD+ display with wide color gamut delivers exceptional visual quality for video editing and design work.

The large 1TB SSD ensures ample storage for media files, and the XPS 15’s premium build quality and powerful specifications cater to the demanding requirements of content creation.

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ASUS Vivobook 15X – Best for Data Analysts and Scientists

Best Laptops for Remote Work -
  • Weight: 1.70 kg (3.75 lbs) 
  • Dimensions: 35.68 x 22.76 x 1.99 ~ 1.99 cm (14.05″ x 8.96″ x 0.78″ ~ 0.78″) 
  • Processor: Intel® Core™ i7-12700H Processor 2.3 GHz (24M Cache, up to 4.7 GHz) 
  • GPU: Intel Iris Xᵉ Graphics (for models with Intel® Core™ i5/i7/i9 processors)  or AMD Radeon™ Graphics (for AMD Ryzen™ 7 5800H model) 
  • RAM: Up to 16 GB DDR4 3200 MHz
  • Storage: Up to 1 TB PCIe® 4.0 SSD
  • Display: 15.6-inch, 2.8K (2880 x 1620) OLED
  • Additional features: Windows 11 Pro, ASUS Intelligent Performance Technology, ASUS Audio Booster, ASUS Antibacterial Guard (applied on the laptop areas that users touch most frequently) 

The ASUS Vivobook 15X is a highly recommended laptop for remote work if you’re a data analyst or a data scientist. Its robust processing power and ample storage make it well-suited for handling large data sets and programming tasks, which are essential for data analysis. Specifically, the powerful processor, generous RAM, and ample storage capacity are crucial for running data analysis software, handling complex algorithms, and managing large datasets efficiently.

Additionally, the high-resolution display and reliable performance contribute to a seamless user experience, allowing data analysts to work with visualizations and complex data models effectively. The portability of the laptop also enables data analysts to work from various locations, which is a common requirement for remote workers.

Overall, the ASUS Vivobook 15X’s combination of performance, storage, and portability, it’s among the best laptops for remote work.

MacBook Air M1 – Best for those in Sales and Marketing Professional

Best Laptops for Remote Work -
  • Weight: Approximately 2.8 lbs (1.29 kg)
  • Dimensions: 11.97 x 8.36 x 0.63 inches (30.4 x 21.2 x 1.61 cm)
  • Processor: Apple M1 chip
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 256GB SSD
  • Display: 13.3-inch Retina Display
  • Additional features: Lightweight, good battery life, quality webcam and microphone.

The MacBook Air with M1 chip is designed for professionals in sales, marketing, and customer support, offering a balance of performance and portability. With its Apple M1 chip, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB SSD, it provides efficient and reliable performance. The lightweight design, quality webcam, and microphone make it an excellent laptop for remote work, especially for professionals who require a reliable device for virtual meetings and on-the-go work.

HP Elite Dragonfly – Best for those handling sensitive information

Best Laptops for Remote Work -
  • Weight: Approximately 2.2 lbs (1.0 kg)
  • Dimensions: 11.98 x 7.78 x 0.63 inches (30.4 x 19.8 x 1.61 cm)
  • Processor: Intel Core i5
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Storage: 256GB SSD
  • Display: 13.3-inch FHD
  • Additional features: Security features, lightweight, good build quality.

The HP Elite Dragonfly is a great laptop for remote work if you are in HR, healthcare, and finance, emphasizing security and portability. With its Intel Core i5 processor, 16GB of RAM, and 256GB SSD, it offers a balanced performance. The laptop’s lightweight and durable design, along with security features, make it suitable for professionals dealing with sensitive information in various fields.


Buying Guide – Best Laptops for Remote Work

Still unsure which laptop suits your remote work needs best? Let’s go deeper into why you should consider each factor when selecting a laptop for remote work

  1. Portability 
    A lightweight and portable laptop ensures flexibility and adaptability to different work environments. Whether you’re moving between home and coffee shops or traveling frequently, portability enhances your productivity and comfort, making it an essential consideration for those on the go.
  2. Performance & Storage 
    A powerful processor, ample RAM, and sufficient storage are the backbone of efficient work tasks. They ensure smooth multitasking, quick data access, and the ability to handle demanding applications. Prioritizing performance and storage capacity guarantees a seamless workflow, especially for tasks that require substantial computing power.
  3. Battery Life 
    Extended battery life is a game-changer for any laptop for remote work, particularly when working in locations without immediate access to power outlets. A laptop with long battery life supports uninterrupted work sessions, providing the flexibility to work from diverse settings without constantly worrying about charging.
  4. Security Features 
    Protecting sensitive data is paramount. Features like fingerprint scanners, facial recognition, and Trusted Platform Module (TPM) enhance data protection, crucial for professionals dealing with confidential information in various fields.
  5. Operating System 
    Your preferred operating system impacts your overall user experience. Whether you opt for the flexibility of Windows, the sleekness of macOS, or the customization of Linux, choose an OS that aligns with your software requirements and personal preferences.
  6. Compatibility 
    Reliable internet connectivity, a high-quality webcam, and microphone are indispensable for seamless video conferencing and online meetings. Prioritize laptops that ensure clear communication and collaboration, fostering an efficient virtual work environment.
  7. Display Quality 
    A high-resolution display, such as Full HD or higher, is essential for comfortable and clear viewing during work. Whether you’re analyzing data, designing graphics, or editing content, a quality display enhances your overall visual experience and reduces eye strain.
  8. Ergonomics 
    Features like a well-designed keyboard, comfortable key travel, and a responsive trackpad contribute to a better working experience. Prioritize laptops that offer ergonomic design elements, especially if you anticipate long hours of work, to reduce the risk of discomfort and fatigue.
  9. Durability 
    For those who frequently travel or work in various environments, a durable laptop is a must. Choose a device that can withstand bumps, vibrations, and diverse conditions, ensuring longevity and reliability in challenging scenarios.
  10. Budget 
    Consider your budget as the final piece of the puzzle. It’s essential to weigh your budget against the features and performance you require for remote work. Finding the right balance ensures you get the most value within your financial constraints.

Taking these factors into account will guide you towards selecting the perfect laptop for remote work that aligns with your unique remote work requirements. Remember, a well-informed choice enhances your efficiency, comfort, and overall satisfaction in the remote work landscape.

Wrapping Up

In conclusion, when it comes to the best overall laptops for remote work, two standout contenders, the Dell XPS 13 and the MacBook Pro 14, offer compelling options depending on your operating system preference.

Dell XPS 13 
Boasting powerful performance with Intel Core processors, the Dell XPS 13 is a versatile choice for remote professionals. Its lightweight and compact design make it highly portable, ideal for those constantly on the move. The XPS 13’s impressive battery life, high-resolution InfinityEdge display, and premium build quality contribute to a seamless and reliable remote work experience. With Windows compatibility, it accommodates a wide range of professional software.

MacBook Pro 14 (2021) 
For those who prefer the macOS environment, the MacBook Pro 14 stands out as a top-tier option. With Apple’s M1 chip, it delivers exceptional performance and efficiency. The MacBook Pro’s Retina display provides stunning visuals, and its sleek and robust design reflects Apple’s commitment to quality. The macOS ecosystem enhances integration with other Apple devices, offering a seamless experience for users invested in the Apple ecosystem.

Both laptops excel in different ways, catering to users with distinct preferences. Whether you lean towards the Windows flexibility of the Dell XPS 13 or the macOS elegance of the MacBook Pro 13, both embody the essence of a reliable and versatile laptops for remote work. As technology evolves, staying informed about the latest releases ensures that your choice aligns with the most current offerings in the dynamic landscape of remote work technology. Choose a laptop for remote work that not only meets your immediate needs but also adapts to the evolving demands of the remote work environment.


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