Introducing the best computers for working remotely in 2023

As a slow-traveling cat, I take great pride in my job. Defending our living space from pests, inspecting all cabinets and drains, and monitoring the local bird population are all vital to the lifestyle of a digital nomad. My human travel companion, however, has a different kind of job. She is in charge of paying the bills and, in order to do that, she uses something called a computer. When determining the best computers for working remotely, there are a few factors to consider. 

Aside from weight, size, battery life, and processing power, you should also consider whether or not your cat will enjoy laying on top of the keyboard. Sounds like a lot of research? Do not worry, we have compiled all the information you need to know for picking the best computer for working remotely. 

Apple Ecosystem – overall best computers for working remotely

Let’s get started with some of Apple’s best computers for working remotely. Just keep in mind that Apple products run on MacOS and are best suited for software in the Apple Ecosystem.

MacBook Air

Apple products have long been favored by remote workers for their reliability and stylish design. Among the Apple lineup, the Macbook Air is an excellent option for writers, editors, small business owners, and anyone who prioritizes portability and efficiency over excessive CPU power and storage capacity.

While the MacBook Pro is better suited for gaming and design purposes (which we will discuss later), the MacBook Air is specifically tailored for digital nomads. Its super lightweight design, weighing  2.8 lbs, combined with an impressive battery life of up to 18 hours on a single charge, makes it an exceptional choice for our community.

With 8 GB of RAM, the MacBook Air also features a stunning Retina screen and a fan-less design that ensures quiet operation in any environment. For those constantly on the move, this lightweight and long-lasting laptop is perfect for getting work done on the go.

best computers for working remotely - camping in Arizona
Working from Happy Trails Campground in Arizona

The entry-level model of the MacBook Air starts at $999. Although it may be pricier compared to some other models on the market, MacBooks are known for their extended lifespan. With proper care, they can outlast many competitors.

One drawback, however, is that most modern MacBooks no longer feature standard USB-C ports. Despite this inconvenience, the MacBook Air proves to be an excellent computer for a variety of professions and the perfect companion for globetrotters. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that you’ll look good carrying it around!

Summary of the entry-level Macbook Air:

  • Starting price: $999
  • Battery Life: up to 18 hours
  • Weight: 2.8 lbs
  • Processor: M1
  • CPU: 8-core
  • GPU: 7-core
  • RAM: 8 GB
  • Hard Drive: 256 GB
  • Screen size: 13.3 in
  • Ports: 2 Thunderbolt/USB 4 ports, 3.5 mm headphone jack 
  • OS: MacOS

MacBook Pro

The Macbook Pro is a powerful upgrade from the Air that features a faster processor and a durable yet surprisingly lightweight design. However, at $1,299 for the 13″ model, casual users may not find the price increase worth it over the Air.

With that said, if you’re editing photography or working in digital design, the increased CPU and Retina display may be worth it. The entry-level MacBook Pro features the M2 Pro chip, which promises the fastest processing to date. It also has a newly designed Retina display along with increased storage and processing capacity.

This is ideal if you’re dealing with large graphic design projects, software development, or similar work. All of this, plus its sturdy aluminum design makes the Macbook Pro one of the best premium laptops for remote workers available today.

Summary of the entry-level MacBook Pro:

  • Starting price: $1,299
  • Battery Life: 20 hours
  • Weight: 3 lbs 
  • Processor: M2 
  • CPU: 8-core 
  • GPU: 10-core 
  • RAM: 8 GB
  • Hard Drive: 256 GB
  • Screen size: 13.3 in
  • Ports: 2 Thunderbolt/USB 4 ports, 3.5 mm headphone jack 
  • OS: MacOS

Android Ecosystem – best computers for using Android apps

Up next we have the best computer for working remotely, if you need to easily access Android apps.

Pixelbook Go

If you are not interested in adding an Apple product to your tech ecosystem but still want to embrace the newest technology while working remotely, the Google Pixelbook Go is definitely worth considering. This laptop is specifically optimized for those who are always on the go and need a reliable companion for their remote work endeavors.

Weighing in at just 2 lbs, the Pixelbook Go is one of the lightest models available, making it an ideal choice for professionals constantly on the move. Whether you’re working from a coffee shop, a client’s office, or while traveling, the Pixelbook Go is designed to provide unparalleled portability without compromising performance.

best computers for working remotely - the MacBook Pro
Cal and his MacBook Pro

One notable advantage of the Pixelbook Go is its lightning-fast startup time. Within seconds of opening the lid, you’ll be ready to dive into your work without any frustrating delays. This ensures that you can be up and running quickly, maximizing your productivity and minimizing any downtime.

The 2-in-1 design of the Pixelbook Go also adds an extra layer of versatility. It can be easily transformed into a tablet, allowing you to utilize the device in various scenarios depending on your needs. If you prefer a traditional laptop setup for tasks that require extensive typing, simply switch back to laptop mode. 

Finally, the Pixelbook Go seamlessly integrates with your favorite Android apps. This laptop is your best option if you depend on Android apps for your day-to-day work.

The entry-level Pixelbook Go in a nutshell: 

  • Starting price: $999
  • Battery Life: up to 12 hours
  • Weight: 2 lbs
  • Processor: 8th Gen Intel  
  • RAM: 8 GB
  • Hard Drive: 64 GB
  • Screen size: 13.3 in
  • Ports: 2 USB-C ports, 3.5 mm headphone jack
  • OS: Chrome OS

Microsoft products – best computers for working remotely that run Windows OS

Remote workers who are employed by larger corporations may have special requirements for their software. In this world of remote work, Microsoft still dominates the market. If you are required to run Windows for your remote job (or simply have a preference for the Microsft ecosystem), start by looking at these two laptops, developed by Microsoft themselves.

Microsoft Surface Pro

With a 2-in-1 design and a decade-long presence in the market, the Microsoft Surface Pro line has consistently impressed users with its reliability and versatility. The latest version, the Surface Pro 9, exemplifies the perfect balance between a traditional laptop and a tablet, making it an excellent choice for professionals who require the Windows OS for work but also crave the convenience and flexibility of a tablet while on the go.

One of the standout features of the Surface Pro is its ability to connect directly to 5G cellular service. This means that you can stay connected to the internet without relying on Wi-Fi or even tethering to your phone. By simply purchasing a SIM card from any 5G or LTE provider and inserting it directly into the laptop, you unlock the freedom of uninterrupted connectivity wherever you are. This can be a game-changer for remote workers who find themselves frequently on the move or in locations with limited Wi-Fi availability.

Furthermore, the Surface Pro boasts a sleek and stylish design, making it a professional and modern companion for your remote work setup. Its high-resolution touchscreen display provides crisp visuals whether you’re navigating documents, creating presentations, or sketching new ideas.

Another notable advantage of the Surface Pro is its extensive ecosystem of accessories. From the detachable keyboard cover that transforms the device into a laptop-like experience to the Surface Pen, you have a range of tools at your disposal to enhance productivity and support your creativity. 

Spec for base-level Surface Pro 7+:

  • Starting price: $699
  • Battery Life: up to 15 hours
  • Weight: 1.7 lbs
  • Processor: 11th Gen Intel Core i3
  • Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics i3
  • RAM: 8 GB
  • Hard Drive: 128 GB 
  • Screen size: 12.3 in
  • Ports: 1 USB-C, 1 USB-A, 3.5mm headphone jack, 1 Surface Connect
  • OS: Windows 11 Home

Microsoft Surface Laptop

The Microsoft Surface Laptop line stands out as a compelling choice for remote workers. With its high performance, you can take this laptop anywhere and still feel like you are back in your home office. The high-resolution touchscreen display adds a new dimension to productivity for tasks such as note-taking, editing, and content creation. Moreover, running on the Windows operating system, the Surface Laptop ensures compatibility with a vast array of software applications commonly used by professionals, providing a familiar workflow.

Waking up in Zion National Park while working remotely
Waking up in Zion National Park

However, it’s important to consider a few factors when contemplating the Microsoft Surface Laptop. One consideration is components like RAM and storage are not upgradeable, so selecting the appropriate configuration from the start is crucial to meet your long-term needs. Furthermore, compatibility with non-Windows software should be taken into account, as some specialized applications may be optimized for other platforms, requiring additional steps or alternatives to ensure functionality.

Despite these considerations, the Microsoft Surface Laptop line remains a great choice for remote workers who prioritize sleek design, portability, and compatibility with a wide range of software applications.

Summing up the base model, Surface Laptop 4:

  • Starting price: $699
  • Battery Life: up to 17.5 hours
  • Weight: 2.79 lbs
  • Processor: 11th Gen Intel Core i5-1135G7
  • Graphics: Intel Iris X
  • RAM: 8 GB
  • Hard Drive: 256 GB
  • Screen size: 13.5 in 
  • Ports: 1 USB-C, 1 USB-A, 3.5 mm headphone jack, 1 Surface Connect
  • OS: Windows 10 Home

Classic laptops for working remotely

No conversation about the best computer for working remotely is complete without mention of the tried and true computer manufacturers. These companies all specialize in developing hardware, with varying areas of focus from versatility, to style to affordability. Let’s take a look!

HP Envy

One of HP’s higher-end laptop lines, the HP Envy prioritizes premium design and advanced specifications. This laptop offers a great balance of style and performance, making it an ideal choice for professionals who want a laptop that not only performs exceptionally but also looks sleek and sophisticated during client meetings. 

The Envy series boasts powerful processors, ample RAM, and dedicated graphics cards, enabling remote workers to effortlessly handle demanding tasks like video editing, graphic design, or data analysis.

Additionally, Envy laptops feature high-resolution displays with vibrant colors, providing an immersive visual experience for multimedia consumption. Overall, the HP Envy laptop’s combination of premium design, powerful performance, and enhanced features make it an attractive choice for remote workers seeking both productivity and style in their portable workstations.

What you need to know about the HP Envy entry-level mode, HP Envy x360

  • Starting price: $849
  • Weight: 3.35 lbs
  • Processor: Intel Core i5-1335U
  • Graphics:  Intel® Iris® Xe Graphics
  • RAM: 8 GB
  • Hard Drive: 512 GB 
  • Screen size: 14 in
  • Ports: 1 USB-C, 2 USB-A,1 AC smart pin, 3.5mm headphone/mic combo
  • OS: Windows 11 Home

Dell XPS

The Dell XPS series is an excellent choice for remote work. Dell laptops have built a strong reputation for their reliability and versatility, offering a wide range of customization options to meet a variety of needs. Another advantage of the Dell XPS line is its excellent customer support and comprehensive warranty, giving users peace of mind and reliable assistance whenever needed.

While Dell excels in performance and functionality, one aspect where they differ from some of our other recommendations, such as Apple and Google, is aesthetics. Dell laptops may not boast the flashy and sleek designs commonly associated with other brands. However, it’s important to note that Dell focuses on delivering versatility and durability, ensuring that their laptops are built to withstand the demands of remote work.

Overall, the Dell XPS laptops offer a combination of durability, display quality, powerful performance, and reliable support, making them an excellent choice for remote workers looking to enhance their productivity and workflow.

Specifications for the current XPS base model, Dell XPS 13

  • Starting price: $999
  • Weight: 2.59 lbs
  • Processor: 12th Gen Intel i7
  • Graphics: Intel Iris XE 
  • RAM: 8 GB
  • Hard Drive: 512 GB
  • Screen size: 13.4 in
  • Ports: 2 Thunderbolt/USB 4 ports
  • OS: Windows 11 Home

Dell Inspiron

The Dell Inspiron line is widely recognized for striking a balance between performance, affordability, and versatility, making it a popular choice among a diverse range of users. While the Inspiron series may not offer the same premium features and top-tier performance as Dell’s higher-end product lines like XPS, it delivers reliable performance at a reasonable price point.

One notable advantage of the Inspiron line is the availability of expandable storage and upgradable components. Many Inspiron models offer the flexibility to customize and upgrade key hardware components such as RAM and storage drives. This allows users to adapt their devices to changing requirements and extend their lifespan, ensuring their laptops can keep up with evolving needs and technologies.

Overall, a Dell Inspiron is a good laptop for delivering solid performance for everyday computing needs, such as web browsing, word processing, and multimedia consumption. If you are looking for reliable performance, reasonable pricing, and customizable options, you may have just found the right laptop for you!

The skinny on Dell Inspiron starting model – Inspiron 14:

  • Starting price: $549
  • Weight: 3.18 lbs
  • Processor: Snapdragon 8cx
  • Graphics: Adreno 690
  • RAM: 8 GB
  • Hard Drive: 256 GB 
  • Screen size: 14 in
  • Ports: 2 USB-C, 1 USB-A, 3.5mm headphone jack
  • OS: Windows 11 Home

Acer Aspire

The Acer Aspire line offers affordable options and a diverse range of models, making them accessible to budget-conscious remote workers. They provide decent performance for everyday tasks and light productivity work, coupled with user-friendly designs featuring comfortable keyboards and responsive touchpads. The expandability and upgrade options allow for customization as needs evolve, and their devices offer respectable battery life for on-the-go productivity. 

Temporary office in Austin, Texas
Temporary office in Austin, Texas

However, some potential drawbacks of the Aspire line include lower build quality compared to higher-end laptops. This is most noticeable in lower display resolution and processing power. Additionally, Acer has received mixed reviews about customer support. 

Summary of the Acer Aspire 1:

  • Starting price: $299
  • Battery life: up to 8 hours
  • Weight: 3.64 lbs
  • Processor: Intel Celeron N4500
  • Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics
  • RAM: 4 GB
  • Hard Drive: 64 GB 
  • Screen size: 15.6 in
  • Ports: 1 HDMI, 1 USB 2, 1 USB-A, 1 RJ-45
  • OS: Windows 11 Home

Acer Swift

Acer Swift laptops have gained a reputation as lightweight and durable machines that perfectly suit the needs of remote workers worldwide. These laptops offer impressive battery life, with up to 10.5 hours of usage per charge, ensuring uninterrupted productivity when on the move. The inclusion of a full HD LED screen enhances the visual experience, providing sharp visuals that cater to various types of work like designing graphics or watching multimedia content. 

Furthermore, the slim design of Acer Swift laptops, featuring an all-metal exterior, not only adds a touch of elegance but also provides protection against the inevitable bumps and knocks that come with traveling. This combination of lightweight portability, long battery life, and a durable build makes Acer Swift laptops an ideal companion for remote workers, enabling them to work efficiently, wherever their adventures take them.

The full specs for the Acer Swift 3 are:

  • Starting price: $849
  • Battery Life: up to 10.5 hours
  • Weight: 2.76 lbs
  • Processor: Intel Core i5-1240P
  • Graphics: Intel Iris Xe Graphics
  • RAM: 8 GB
  • Hard Drive: 512 GB
  • Screen size: 14 in
  • Ports: 1 HDMI, 2 USB-A, 2 USB-C
  • OS: Windows 11 Home

Lenovo Ideapad – best budget laptop for working remotely

The Lenovo IdeaPad line offers an excellent and affordable choice for remote workers, particularly those in creative fields such as artists, video editors, and graphic designers. These laptops are lightweight and prioritize multimedia options, making them ideal for individuals seeking style and creative tools. 

While the higher-end models in the IdeaPad series also provide impressive processing power, we recommend the IdeaPad line specifically for remote workers who prioritize design and lightweight computer usage, such as web browsing, conference calls, and emails. Additionally, the ThinkPad series stands out as one of the most budget-friendly options on our list, providing a major advantage for cost-conscious buyers.

Specs for the entry-level, IdeaPad 1:

  • Starting price: $329
  • Battery Life: up to 9 hours
  • Weight: 3.48 lbs
  • Processor: AMD Athlon Silver 3050U
  • Graphics: Integrated AMD Radeon 610M
  • RAM: 4 GB
  • Hard Drive: 128 GB
  • Screen size: 15.6 in
  • Ports: 2 USB-A, 1 USB-C, 1 HDMI, 1 SD card reader, 3.5mm headphone/mic combo
  • OS: Windows 11 Home

Lenovo ThinkPad

The Lenovo ThinkPad line of laptops is known for build quality and durability, ensuring reliable performance in demanding work environments. The laptops come equipped with enhanced security features such as fingerprint readers and privacy screens, providing remote workers with peace of mind when handling sensitive work data. 

ThinkPads also offer extensive connectivity options, allowing users to easily connect to peripherals and external displays, while also providing powerful performance configurations to handle resource-intensive tasks effectively. In short, Lenovo ThinkPads are an appealing choice for remote workers seeking durability, security, and productivity.

Specs for the entry-level, ThinkPad E Series:

  • Starting price: $530
  • Battery Life: up to 9.2 hours
  • Weight: 3.5 lbs
  • Processor: AMD Ryzen 3 5425U
  • Graphics: Integrated AMD Radeon Graphics
  • RAM: 40 GB
  • Hard Drive: 1 TB
  • Screen size: 14 in 
  • Ports: 2 USB-C, 1 USB 2.0, 1 HDMI, 3.5mm headphone/mic combo
  • OS: Windows 11 Home

Best laptop for gamers that work remotely

Finally, for those remote workers who also like to game at the end of a long day, Asus has just the product for you!

Asus Zenbook

Best computers for working remotely - exploring Montana
Exploring Montana

The ZenBook line is known for its sleek design and portability, making it an excellent choice for remote workers who prioritize mobility and style. The slim and lightweight form factor of ZenBooks allows for easy transportation and ensures ease in working from your favorite coffee shop.

Asus is also one of the best-known brands for gamers. This combination of productivity and gaming prowess makes the Asus ZenBook a compelling choice for remote workers who value both professional productivity and gaming capabilities in a single device

Specs for the Asus ZenBook 13:

  • Starting price: $799
  • Weight: 2.51 lbs
  • Processor: ‎4.2 Intel Core i5
  • Graphics: Intel Iris Xe Graphics
  • RAM: 8 GB
  • Hard Drive: 256 GB
  • Screen size: 13.3 in
  • Ports: 3 USB-C, 3.5mm headphone jack
  • OS: Windows 11 Home

Conclusion on the best computers for working remotely 

In conclusion, choosing the right computer for remote work is crucial for maximizing productivity. After thorough research and analysis, several standout options have emerged as the best computers for working remotely. 

The HP Envy laptop series offers a perfect blend of style, performance, and premium features, making it a great option for professionals seeking a sleek and powerful workstation. For those prioritizing portability and sleek design, the Microsoft Surface Laptop line stands out with its lightweight construction and strong performance. Alternatively, the Dell XPS lineup impresses with its reliable performance and nurmerous options for custom builds. Finally, the Apple MacBook Pro excels in the realm of creativity and seamless integration within the Apple ecosystem. 

Ultimately, the best computer for remote work will depend on individual needs, preferences, and budget. It’s important to consider factors such as performance, design, portability, and display quality to find the perfect match to empower you to excel in you work, regardless of location.

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