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  • Ryan Smoot

2024 Laptop Guide for Remote Work / WFH

Updated: Jan 3

Having the right laptop for remote work is absolutely crucial to maintaining productivity and getting your days done faster. After all, remote work is clearly here to stay — according to a 2023 Stanford study, 27% of workers across industries are fully remote, and there's little desire to go back to long commutes.

When considering the best laptops in 2023 for remote work, we wanted to prioritize what we think a work from home laptop would require above all else for freelancers and professionals — fast performance, decent memory, storage as well as excellent sound and camera capabilities.

Painting of a man working remotely on a laptop

Let's jump in to the top laptops for work from home:

Best Budget WFH Laptop

2023 Lenovo IdeaPad

This might be the best laptop steal on the market right now, and is a fantastic buy if you're looking to keep expenses low. With 20GB of RAM and 1TB of storage, no other laptop this cheap is coming close to it on memory or SSD. And it's not missing any other essentials, with an HD camera and high-quality microphone.

Best Overall Laptop for Work from Home

2023 MacBook Pro M2

Who could've seen this coming? The latest MacBook Pro's have been cracking the "best of" lists for every category. But seriously—it's for a reason.

Running intense applications is quite easy with just the M2 Pro chip, so don't feel like you necessarily have to spring for the Max chip here. The latest 2023's Liquid Retina XR Display keeps videoconferencing crisp, and its new HD camera adjusts brighting effortlessly.

The speakers also got an upgrade in the '23 model, with Spatial Audio now built-in (perfect for cranking up the lo-fi focus music too). For me, the comfort of the Mac's keyboard and the OS organization makes working simply more enjoyable, and this is a durable laptop that can be worth the investment.

Best Laptop for Zoom (Under $1,000):

For under $800, you're not going to find a Mac better than this. It's M1 chip made it 3.5x faster than its predecessors, and despite there being an M2 model even faster (and more pricey), this laptop is still a great performer if you're looking for a Mac but feel a bit of sticker shock with prices (because same). And with most Macbooks, you should expect this to be a durable, long-term purchase, with most Macs lasting between 8 to 10 years for most consumers on average, even the one's that are more budget-friendly like the 2020 Macbook Air.

Best for Note-Taking Professionals

The Microsoft Surface Pro 9 is the perfect companion for remote professionals on the move, especially those who want a 2-in-1 laptop with note-taking in mind. Coming in just under 2 pounds, the Surface Pro is lightweight without sacrificing performance or battery life, boasting 15.5 hours for the latter. Plus, the Surface Slim Pen is one of the better stylus' out there in my opinion, coming close to the iPad Pro's (which strictly speaking as a computer, has worse overall performance, and far more expensive than the Surface). The Thunderbolt 4 ports on the Surface also means that you won't sacrifice desktop productivity when you're not on the move and want to hook up to monitors at home (see our best laptops for multiple monitors).

If you think I left out any great work-from-home computers from this list, or want us to test out something else in our next update, let me know in the comments below.

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Ryan Smoot
Ryan Smoot
May 22, 2023
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