So, you have the luxury of working from a laptop but you don’t have one picked out yet.
Notebooks are the best for work because they’re light, thin, and unobtrusive. They’re the best work-from-anywhere computers that don’t have the restrictions of tablets or smaller devices.
Only you can decide which brand or model is best. Here you’ll find tips that can help narrow that search, leaving only the most sensible options behind for your workload.
The Basic Notebook Requirements
First, let’s set the bar.
Remember that notebooks are much better at CPU work, not GPU work because their smaller graphics cards mean they can’t play intensive games. If you want to play hard after working hard, you can still find a lot of entertainment online. Websites in iGaming host hundreds of games in one convenient place, so any notebook user can discover the latest slots and games available without worrying about the graphics. Any computer can run their games, notebooks included, so they’re perfect for on-the-go entertainment. All you need to get started is an internet connection, which you’ll already have if you’re working remotely.
As for that CPU, you’ll want it to look for an i5 processor or equal. That’s the minimum you should expect if the notebook is at or over $500. 13 inches is the most optimal screen size – it strikes a balance between being large enough to enjoy but small enough to haul around. The larger the screen size, the less travel-worthy your gadget is. Also, 8+ hour battery life is non-negotiable if you’re putting in an average workday.
From here, you’ll have some wiggle room depending on what you’re doing and how you’re doing it.
Size, Storage & RAM
Size is obviously very connected to screen size, though not wholly, and the size of a laptop has bearing on its weight. So, if you’ll be carrying it around a lot, lighter is best. The average 15-inch laptop will weigh between 4 and 5 pounds. They’re the most popular notebook screen sizes but as we said, a 13-inch screen is good enough and should come in under 4 pounds on the scale. If a larger screen is more important to your work, like for creative, visual jobs, then more inches are warranted.
Storage should be a 256-500GB SSD for a higher-end notebook. If you don’t know, SSDs are faster at reading the data stored on them. An SSD goes best in a work notebook, especially when the OS is installed onto it and your whole computer boots faster. 8GB is enough RAM for most, 16GB is a nice-to-have if your budget is higher. RAM becomes more important if pulling up previously important tasks a lot, typically through editing and copywriting.
Ports, Peripherals & Touchscreen
Perhaps the most important, you should check which ports your dream notebook has. Notebooks have less ports than usual laptops, so aim for at least one USB A, C, HDMI, and an Ethernet port to access internet anywhere. If you have work equipment that uses other ports, make sure they are reflected in your notebook or you’ll need an adapter.
If rampant portability is the goal, you may wish to get a 2-in-1 model instead. These are laptops with touchscreen technology that can also detach and function as a tablet. There are some touchscreen downsides to think about but they may be worth it in your line of work.
Last, consider a lot of the add-ons that modern notebooks can come with. Peripherals like a mouse and other plug-ins can be great if you’re at a workstation, otherwise they’ll hold you back. Others can help productivity, like earphones.
Ultimately, the storage hardware and ports/peripherals will change the most about your notebook. Once you’ve figured out where you are on the balance of performance and portability, it should be easy to find what you need.