Estimates suggest that over 30 million Americans could expect to work from home at least a few days a week by 2025. It’s safe to say that remote working has become a fundamental part of our lives that’s here to stay.
With that in mind, everyone needs access to the best possible equipment to ensure that remote working can be fulfilled effectively. That’s why everyone needs to know what the best laptop for working from home really is.
This is a challenging decision to come to and requires a lot of thought and research. That’s why we’ve written this piece on how to pick a laptop, to make this decision easier.
The Best Laptop for Working From Home Will Depend on Your Actual Job
For starters, the first thing you need to consider when choosing a laptop is what your job actually is.
The reality is that the specifications you’ll need will depend on the answer to this question. For example, a writer only needs a laptop that’s fast and that has a great keyboard.
But someone working within the tech sector is going to need a state-of-the-art machine by comparison. Some other sectors that usually require advanced computers include sound design, visual designers, and many more.
As a result, you need to ask yourself this question before any other. It’s this answer that can help define your parameters for a laptop moving forward.
Think about how many hours per day you work, as well. This is something that will affect the kind of laptop you’ll need in addition to the nature of your work.
The question you need to consider, put simply, is ‘what kind of laptop do I need to work from home?’. The answer is different for everyone, dependent on job, skill, and other factors.
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Once you’ve figured out what you’re actually going to use your laptop for, we can go into further considerations on types of devices.
Will You Only Be Using Your Laptop for Work?
You should also consider what you use your laptop for, outside of work. Some of us work in remote jobs that don’t require a very advanced machine.
But then hobbies conducted in your spare time, like designing a new videogame, may require far more processing power.
Streaming videos on your laptop can also demand a lot of processing power. Videogames, in general, are perhaps the most important area to consider in this regard, however.
This is because games, particularly AAA titles, demand a great deal from a laptop. This is why many gamers choose to invest in a desktop computer, or in a dedicated gaming laptop.
You may have a hobby like illustration, but it might not be done on your laptop. For example, many illustrators prefer to work using tablets or touchscreen devices.
As a result, the best work from home laptop for you will involve a device that can do everything you need it to, both in regards to work and leisure.
Do You Regularly Hold Meetings Using a Webcam?
One of the common things involved in remote working positions in 2021 is remote meetings. These are handled through platforms like Zoom or Microsoft Teams.
They’re also important to bear in mind when considering a work-from-home laptop. For starters, you need to figure out whether or not you need to have remote meetings or not.
Some positions don’t have any remote meetings at all. Others may involve remote workspaces, like Slack, but limited video calls.
But some positions require daily video meetings every single day. If this is the case for you, you need to factor a webcam into your laptop decision-making.
A good working webcam provides a crisp, clear picture for those attending your meeting. This is particularly important if you have to chair meetings or have to meet with potential clients on a regular basis.
You’ll also need a reliable speaker, alongside the video camera itself. This is to ensure that you’re able to properly communicate on video calls at all times.
Make sure you don’t invest in a laptop that doesn’t have a webcam at all. Though you can get plug-in webcams, you’ll need to have this available regularly.
This can become troublesome should people need last-minute meetings.
Do You Actually Work From Home, or Do You Regularly Travel for Work?
Another question you need to ask yourself is whether or not you’ll actually be working from home most of the time. Though we use the term work from home, another more accurate phrase these days is remote working.
Many people travel regularly for work and need to take their laptops with them wherever they go. There are also borderless workers like digital nomads, who are always on the move and get all their work from remote sources.
If you’re one of these people, then the size of your laptop becomes a more important factor. You’ll want to invest in a laptop that’s lightweight and easy to carry around at all times.
Otherwise, you’ll be lugging around a device for no good reason. This is less important if you do actually work from your home every day, though.
In these instances, the size of your laptop isn’t as important since you won’t be moving your laptop around often. It’ll usually be kept in your home office, or in your living room.
As a result, you should figure out your personal answer to this question. Then, you should assess laptops based on dimensions, particularly weight and screen size. Remember this is only if you travel regularly for work.
How Much Storage Do You Need for Work and Leisure Purposes?
Some jobs require large documents and files to be transported around on a regular basis. If you work in the film industry, for instance, you’ll be receiving large video files for editing or other purposes all the time.
These files need to be stored safely on your device. As a result, your job may require a larger amount of RAM or storage space on your laptop overall.
This is a slightly more complex question to answer as the nature of security has to be considered. You are able to purchase external hard drives which you can keep work files on, at least in certain circumstances.
But this is something you’ll have to check with your employer. If they insist you have to keep all files on your actual laptop, then you’ll need one with a lot of storage space.
Considering Battery Life When Shopping for Laptops
Battery life is an important aspect of laptop purchasing. All laptops will have an estimated lifespan, in terms of how long they can function without being plugged in.
For remote workers, this is vital information. If you work from home, you can just plug your laptop in which mitigates the importance somewhat.
But if you travel regularly, as above, you’ll need to choose a laptop with longer battery life. Make sure to figure out what your job requires, and equate this answer to battery life itself.
That way you’ll be able to find the best laptop for you and your individual needs.
Should You Get a PC Laptop or a Mac?
This is the eternal debate surrounding laptop devices and has been raging since the 1990s. Should you get a mac, or should you get a PC?
The answer to this depends on your job and other factors. You should consider which device you’re most confident using day-to-day.
For example, some people have grown up using mac devices and are confident using their various functions. But for first-time users, an Apple laptop can be very intimidating.
There are many different keys and inputs when compared with PC devices.
As a result, you should consider which you’re most comfortable with before you buy. Some jobs will however demand one or the other of these two options.
If that’s the case, you should buy a laptop that allows you to do your job easier.
Remember Your Personal Budget and Search for the Best Affordable Laptops
Finally, many remote workers have different employment circumstances. If your employer is buying your laptop for you, then the budget is their issue rather than yours.
But if you’re buying your own laptop, then you have to consider the cost alongside the above factors. Laptops these days, particularly high-end models, can run you back thousands of dollars.
You must always make sure that you get a device that’s good enough for you to work effectively. But this also can’t break the bank if you’re having to fund the purchase yourself.
If you’ve not done so already, make sure to ask at your workplace whether they can subsidize you a laptop. Many large corporations will be able to do this in order to ensure you can properly work from home.
Where Can I Find Out More?
You should now know what you’re looking for when it comes to finding the best laptop for working from home.
If you’re still on the lookout, make sure to read through some of the previous tech articles on our website.