The top laptop choices to make your life easier as you work from home.

The world has gone through some pretty drastic changes due to COVID-19, and remote work has become more prevalent than ever. As people are swapping their office cubicles for the couch at home, it has become increasingly important to make sure you have the right equipment for the job.

While you may have had an old laptop or dusty desktop lying around at home, it might be time to upgrade and give yourself a device that won’t lag every couple minutes or drop the internet signal every time you upload a document. While using what you have can be a great way to save money, it can also be a time waster meaning you spend more time working, and less time doing what you want.

Below is a compiled list of 5 laptops that can make your life easier and help make sure that you aren’t wasting unnecessary time on work projects when you could be doing other things. Each laptop is chosen with a specific use and purpose in mind, so before purchasing your system try to think about what you do daily and what you need out of your machine.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Performance – What are you using it for? Does it require a high performance machine? Will you want to do other things with it such as gaming, video editing, stream, etc?
  • Size – Do you need a larger screen? Do you have limited space at home? Do you need a full size keyboard with a typical layout?
  • Usage – Will you need a lot of hard drive space? Do you deal with a lot of media? Are you simply using it for email, web browsing, and writing documents?

Answering these questions will give you a better idea on what kind of laptop you need so you can find one that fits you perfectly. There are a wide array of products to choose from, so hopefully this list can cut that down to a more manageable size.

Best Overall macOS – Apple Macbook Pro

Apple has made a name for itself with the high performing and ultra reliable devices it designs. In fact, Macbooks are one of the most widely used computers in the software development industry. If you own an iPhone you will also benefit greatly due to Apple’s well developed internal system that allows its devices to talk and function with each other. The downside to a Macbook is that it runs on macOS. If you aren’t familiar with the Apple operating system or you work mostly with Windows devices then it can take time to adjust and figure out certain workarounds.

Performance

Macbook Pros come in a wide range of options that offer you different levels of hardware. Apple does an exceptional job of making sure that all of their devices function smoothly no matter the hardware inside. However, if you plan on using your laptop to do demanding tasks like compiling code, rendering media, and graphic design, then you may want to choose a laptop with higher end hardware.

Size

The Macbook comes in two primary sizes, 13.3” and 16” and the keyboard layout remains the same in both options. Your choice will depend on your needs and budget, so be sure to nail down exactly what you are looking for prior to purchase.

Usage

Apple created the Macbook with the intent that it could be used for virtually any task or job. This has created an excellent device that provides a good overall experience for most anything you can do with it. The main issue that people might have is that it runs on macOS and for those who have used Windows it can be quite difficult to get used to it.

Mobility and Flexibility – Microsoft Surface Book

The Microsoft Surface Book is quite an interesting device. It’s similar to the Microsoft surface, but comes packed with high performance hardware that allows you to pretty much do whatever you want. It can be used as a tablet or laptop depending on your needs and environment and it is incredibly lightweight and mobile. This is an excellent option for someone who does a lot of travelling or moving around and needs a lightweight device with excellent battery life.

Performance

The Microsoft Surface Book has some really incredible hardware. Microsoft offers a wide variety of options to choose from whether you want to include a larger hard drive, more RAM, or even choose a dedicated graphics card. You can customize your device so that you get the kind of performance you need.

Size

The Surface Book comes in two sizes, a 13.5” and a 15”. If you are looking for a higher performing device then you may have to go with the 15” as that offers the best performance options, however both sizes have great customization options. The keyboard is pretty compact on both devices so this might not be the perfect option for someone who will be typing for long periods of time.

Usage

Unlike its predecessor, the Microsoft Surface, the Surface Book isn’t restricted by performance issues. It comes fully loaded with excellent hardware that will allow you to pretty much get any job done. Again, if you are doing high resource demanding jobs then you may want to make sure you choose an option with hardware that can support it.

Best Overall Windows – Dell XPS 15

The Dell XPS 15 comes with a great balance of hardware and performance offerings. It’s a good sized laptop that offers a well spaced keyboard and the ability to pretty much tackle anything. This laptop would be a great alternative to anyone who wants a good overall laptop, but isn’t a fan of Apple or the macOS.

Performance

The Dell XPS Series offers a wide variety of options to ensure you get the performance you need. The XPS 15 is a good balance of cost and hardware that can handle most tasks or jobs required while also maintaining a good form factor. If you want a bigger screen and/or more performance, the XPS 17 can offer both.

Size

Dell designed three different sizes in the XPS series, the 13”, 15”, and 17”. While some performance restrictions will apply between the sizes, they all come with an excellent range of options and customization so that you can choose exactly what you need for yourself.

Usage

While there are some differences between the sizes, this laptop provides a good performance base that will allow you to accomplish most anything you can demand of it. Dell has done a good job in designing a laptop that provides a good overall performance profile.

High Performer – Razer Blade 15.6”

This wouldn’t be a proper list without an over-the-top gaming laptop. Razer has been a dominant company in the high performance laptop and peripherals market, and the Razer Blade is probably one of their biggest claims to fame. The Blade comes fully loaded with some of the best top tier hardware you can fit into a small laptop chassis so there isn’t much this computer won’t be able to do.

Performance

Performance won’t be an issue, but if you have your doubts then don’t worry, Razer offers additional options to ramp up the performance of their laptops. Options include additional RAM, upgraded graphics cards, and larger SSD drives.

Size

The Razer Blade comes in 13”, 15”, and 17” size options, and the performance between them is pretty similar. Additional options may be chosen with the larger sizes, but for the most part you can assume you will get top of the line performance out of any of the sizes.

Usage

There really isn’t much that will hold you back with the Razer Blade. This is a laptop designed to push its performance to the limit and ensure that nothing can hold it back. Whether you are a gamer, graphics designer, or coder, this laptop will carry you through your tasks without any issue.

On a Budget – Google Pixelbook Go

You may or may not have heard of Chromebooks, but they are lightweight laptops that come with pretty minimal hardware and less functionality than a normal laptop. However, don’t let that dissuade you from considering one. If you are mostly just using your laptop for web browsing, document creation, and email then the Google Pixelbook Go might be a good option for you. Most of your documents and files will be stored on the cloud so you can access them from anywhere, and the Chromebook utilizes Apps instead of programs so it can provide a much more optimized experience without being bogged down.

Performance

Performance shouldn’t be an issue with the Pixelbook as there isn’t a whole lot of performance needs. Chromebooks don’t allow for your typical computer programs to be installed, and instead rely on the cloud and Apps to provide functionality. This creates a lightweight and clean feel to the laptop.

Size

The Google Pixelbook Go is an incredibly lightweight laptop that weighs under 2lbs, and comes with a 13.3” screen. If you really just need a device to handle the basics then this is the way to go.

Usage

Functionality is pretty basic on Chromebooks, and the Pixelbook is no different. It primarily utilizes the cloud to store files and data, so you may need to purchase an external hard drive if you want to keep your files local or you have a lot of media to store. Normal programs won’t function on the chromebook, and instead you will need to rely on the app store to add functionality you might be missing from a typical laptop.