What are the best laptops for working from home? With the coronavirus pandemic, we’ve all been stuck working from home to reduce the spread of COVID-19. This means that all of us also require a lot of new infrastructure to get work done. For many of us, this also means it’s time to update our laptops. Xiaomi is launching its Mi Notebook in India very soon, but in the meanwhile many of us can’t really wait to buy a new laptop in order to improve our efficiency while working from home.
While some companies have started tagging some of their models as the best suited ones for people working from home, there aren’t any specific features that enable a productive work from home environment. All you need is an efficient hardware with a battery life that can help you survive even in a power cut situation. That said, with a focus on work, you can leave aside entry level laptops that are often a good choice for students, performance focused (and barely portable) gaming laptops, and also, the top end, ultra-portable ultrabooks. With this in mind, we’ve put together a list of laptops that are a good fit for professionals who will spend a lot of time using productivity tools, have good connectivity options, and good battery life so you can easily move around different locations in the house rather than causing a RSI by sitting in a single posture the whole day.
We are highlighting the popular professional options that are available through major online and offline channels. Here are our favourite laptops for working from home, in no particular order:
1. Acer Swift 3
The Acer Swift 3 features a 14-inch full-HD (1920×1080 pixels) IPS display and comes with an AMD Ryzen 4000 series processor, paired with up to 16GB of RAM and 512GB PCIe Gen3 NVMe SSD storage. The notebook also has stereo speakers and runs Windows 10 Home out-of-the-box. Further, you’ll get most of the important connectivity options including Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth v5.0, a USB Type-C port with DC in, a USB 3.2 Gen 1 port with power-off charging support, and an HDMI port. The laptop also packs a 48Wh battery that is touted to deliver up to 11 hours of usage on a single charge. Acer has provided a fast charging technology that is claimed to take 30 minutes to provide four hours of battery life. The laptop weighs 1.2 kilograms, which is fair enough for the given hardware.
Price: Rs. 59,999 for AMD Ryzen 5 4500U processor option (include 8GB RAM and 512GB storage) | Buy it from: Acer India Official Online Store
2. HP 14s (2020)
In case you don’t want to go with an AMD machine, you can pick the newly launched HP 14s (2020) that comes with a 10th-generation Intel Core i3 or Core i5 processor, along with up to 8GB of RAM. The laptop comes with a 14-inch full-HD (1920×1080 pixels) IPS display and has 1TB SATA HDD and 256GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD storage options. It also comes with a built-in Intel XMM 7360 4G LTE6 modem that enables 4G connectivity. Other options include dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth v5.0, a USB Type-C port, an HDMI 1.4b, and two USB Type-A ports. There is a 41Wh lithium-ion battery that lasts for multiple hours.
Price: Rs. 44,999 for Intel Core i3 processor option (include 4GB RAM and 1TB SATA HDD) | Buy it from: HP India Online Store
3. Asus VivoBook 14
For those who’re looking for a cheaper option, the Asus VivoBook 14 is a good option. The laptop comes with a 14-inch full-HD anti-glare display and is powered by a 10th-generation Intel Core i3 processor, paired with 4GB of RAM and 256GB of SSD. It also comes with a backlit keyboard and includes stereo speakers. Further, the Asus model provides connectivity options such as Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth v4.2, an HDMI port, a USB 3.2 Gen 1 port, and a USB Type-C port. There is also a fingerprint reader with Windows Hello support. The notebook weighs 1.5 kilograms.
Price: Rs. 35,990 | Buy from: Flipkart
4. Apple MacBook Air
If you’re comfortable with macOS but don’t want to spend much on a newer MacBook, you can go with a previous-generation Apple MacBook Air. It comes with a 13.3-inch Retina display and is powered by a 5th-generation Intel Core i5 processor, coupled with 8GB of RAM and Intel HD Graphics 6000. The MacBook Air also has 128GB of onboard storage and packs a battery that is claimed to deliver up to 10 hours of battery life on a single charge. The hardware won’t be top-notch as it’s an older MacBook Air model, though you shouldn’t face problems from this, thanks to Apple’s software optimisation.
Price: Rs. 65,990 | Buy it from: Amazon, Flipkart
5. MSI Modern 14
Windows users can pick the MSI Modern 14 that has a 14-inch full-HD (1920×1080 pixels) IPS display and up to 10th-generation Intel Core i7 processor, coupled with 8GB DDR4 RAM and 512GB NVMe M.2 SSD storage. The notebook comes with a backlit keyboard and packs a 50Wh battery that is rated for 10 hours of battery life on a single charge. Also, it has an aluminium chassis that looks good.
Price: Rs. 54,990 for the Intel Core i5 processor option | Buy it from: Amazon
How are we staying sane during this Coronavirus lockdown? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.