Whether you’re a student or looking for a home-office computer, laptops are ideal because they are portable and come in enough varieties to cover any task:
The first question you may have is what are the best laptops for working at home?
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However, the biggest issue is finding a laptop that fits you, without overspending on under-performance. There are so many possibilities at various price points that it is easy to become perplexed:
So rather than just picking out 5 great laptops, we’ve picked out what you should look for too.
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What Processor To Look For?
- You only need the latest most powerful CPU if you intend to play the latest AAA games, carry out rendering, edit 4k video footage, or live stream while simultaneously recording your screen.
- However, if you only need to write, attend Zoom meetings, research on the web, or stream Netflix, look for laptops well under $1000. Or if brand is important, go for the impressive Apple MacBook Air 2020 with the M1 processor.
The processor is one of the most critical components of a laptop, providing the power required to perform all actions. As a result, the processor must be forceful to provide a seamless experience:
When shopping, you’ll see a lot of laptops with the latest 11th Gen processors, but unless you’re looking at completing intensive tasks, like 3d animation, 4k video editing, or high-end gaming, you can find 10th gen Intel CPU powered-laptops that pack a punch and cost a lot less.
Beyond Intel, you can pick up the latest AMD Ryzen series CPUs, which deliver excellent multi-core performance at roughly the same price as 10th gen Intel powered-laptops.
Additionally, the new wave of Apple MacBooks uses the M1 chipset. Apple’s own CPU, which delivers exceptional performance, and unless you need gaming on your laptop, the MacBook Air M1 is the best bang-for-buck option on the market.
Do You Need A Dedicated Graphic Cards?
- Unless you’re gaming, a dedicated graphics card on a laptop is often an extra that will bloat the price towards $1000 or more.
- If gaming is a priority on your laptop, or if you plan to mine for cryptocurrency or need dedicated GPU RAM for animation and rendering, look for the latest NVIDIA RTX 3XXX Series. They offer the best performance and the RTX 3060 option won’t break the bank.
The GPU is another critical component of a laptop. The graphics card powers what you see on the screen. And if the GPU is incapable of handling the visual data, frame drops may occur:
As a result, the commonly found laptop GPUs, Intel’s Iris XE series, and AMD Radion Vega graphics are underpowered options, despite seeing many upgrades over the years. They are good enough for word processing, web surfing, streaming Netflix, but they cannot handle large graphic projects or gaming without issues (if at all).
In regards to Apple, they now use M1 architecture, which includes a 6-32 core GPU (depending on the model). These aren’t great for gaming due to the ARM architecture, but amazing for artists.
Aside from that, if you need to undertake graphics-intensive work, you may choose even more powerful specialized Nvidia graphics cards on more expensive laptops.
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Memory and Storage
- If you’re not looking for something powerful, stop looking at the CPU and GPU, and focus on the RAM and storage.
- The key is to pick up the best laptop for you, on your budget, and if you’re looking to do college work, office reports, or watch Disney Plus’s latest show, 4 GB of RAM and 128GB of SSD storage is enough.
RAM and storage are both essential components in data processing on a laptop. RAM serves as a temporary memory for the CPU, and storage keeps the data for you to access when needed.
We recommend going for 8GB, but a 4GB laptop can get the job done if you’re looking to spend less than $400. Additionally, if you plan to store large project files on your laptop, or work with large files, we recommend looking for as much storage and at least 16GB of RAM.
- If your college course or office requires face-to-face calls, a laptop with a webcam is a must.
- Almost every laptop has a webcam these days, but the best camera is found on Apple laptops. Even on used models from 2019, you’ll find a HD FaceTime camera.
Working from home necessitates the use of a high-quality webcam. You may struggle with online streaming while presenting your office presentation if you don’t have this. However, almost every new laptop has a webcam, so you can pick up a laptop that supports this functionality on any budget.
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- If you are working from home, battery life is less important than most aspects on this list. It only really factors in if working from home, really means working on the go.
- You can pick up almost any laptop and get 4-8 hours of battery time, however if you want the best, we recommend the Apple MacBook Pro 13″ M1. This laptop can run up to 14 hours depending on what you’re doing.
The battery becomes critical if on the go. There is nothing worst than needing your laptop but finding it has no battery. The big issue with battery life is that the numbers are skewed:
You’ll see a laptop say 10 hours of battery life, but that could mean 10 hours of sitting idle with no screen brightness.
The reality is, it is unlikely battery life is #1 on your list, but if you’re willing to spend around $1000 or push the budget to $1500, you can get everything on this list. Including impressive battery life, based on real numbers.