What is the Best Laptop for Remote Work (That Is Budget-Friendly)?

So you’re going to start working from home as a remote worker – that’s great!

There are many benefits to be enjoyed when it comes to working from home, whether you have chosen to stay home or your current employer has shifted you to remote work.

What is the Best Laptop for Remote Work (That Is Budget-Friendly)?

[I]f you’re striking out on your own as a freelancer, you’re going to need to invest in your own equipment to get started.

If you’re doing remote work for a company, it’s likely they have provided you with the necessary equipment to do your job.

But if you’re striking out on your own as a freelancer, for example, you’re going to need to invest in your own equipment to get started.

As a freelancer, I love my laptop.

It’s small and doesn’t take up a lot of space on my desk – leaving ample room for notebooks, papers, pens, and coffee mugs!

But if you don’t already own a laptop, finding the best one can be challenging.

To help you out, let’s look at what you should look for in a laptop as well as some budget-friendly options to get you started.

What To Look For When Buying a Laptop for Remote Work

How Big Is It?

When you work remotely, you are probably not worried too much about how heavy your laptop is.

It’s likely you aren’t going to be traveling around much with it.

However, when you are working from home, you want to make sure that your laptop fits comfortably into your office space.

Plus, there’s nothing wrong with working from the couch from time to time!

So you’ll want a laptop that is large enough to work on but small enough so it’s easy to carry around and fit in your office.

The laptops I list below include the weight and screen size, giving you an idea of how big they are!

How Long Does the Battery Last?

While working remotely usually means hunkering down at home, there’s no reason why you can’t take your work to a local coffee shop or even the beach!

That’s the beauty of remote work, isn’t it?

Well, in order to take advantage of this, you need a laptop that has long battery life.

You’ll notice that the battery life can differ significantly from laptop model to laptop model.

What Do I Need the Laptop To Do?

Things like processors and RAM can be confusing to some people, but knowing what these are when it comes to a laptop’s specs is important to make sure the laptop is going to do what you need it to do.

If you’re like me, a freelance writer, you probably don’t need something super powerful – just enough processing power to write and access the internet.

However, if you are into video editing, graphic design, or need to run multiple programs to get your work done, you’re going to need a machine with a bit more oomph.

Before we look at what is the best laptop for remote work, here are some terms you should know so you understand the specs I’ve pointed out:

  • Processor: The processor is the piece of hardware that lets the laptop interact with all of the programs and applications installed. The Intel processor is one of the most popular but Apple does have its own that is comparable.
  • RAM: RAM stands for “random access memory” and refers to the memory the laptop uses to run programs and applications. The more RAM, the more programs you can have open at once without any issues.
  • Hard Drive: This is the laptop’s memory where everything you save, download, and install is stored.
  • Operating System: The operating system is the interface used to connect you with the computer. Windows, for example, is an operating system but it is vastly different from the Chrome OS and Mac OS. What you choose is really a matter of preference.

What Can I Afford?

I know that price is a huge determining factor when it comes to the best laptop for remote work.

While you don’t want to cheap out and get a laptop that doesn’t work for you, you want to make sure you don’t blow your budget on features you don’t need.

This is why it’s important to compare laptops when it comes to price and specs.

The ones I’m listing here will describe their features so you can make an informed decision.

The 5 Best Laptops for Remote Work

1. Lenovo IdeaPad 3

  • Intel Processor
  • 6” Touch Display
  • 12GB RAM
  • 256GB Hard Drive
  • USB, HDMI, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi Connections
  • Windows OS
  • Gray
  • 84 lbs.
  • 8 Hours of Battery Life

Cost: $499.99

Lenovo is well-known for providing budget-friendly options when it comes to laptops.

This affordable laptop is well-designed for everyday use.


it is not terribly powerful but ideal if you simply need a laptop to access the internet, write, and use a few programs at once.

2. Acer Chromebook Spin 311 2-in-1

  • Intel Processor
  • 6” Touch Display
  • 4GB RAM
  • 32GB Hard Drive
  • USB, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi Connections
  • Chrome OS
  • Silver
  • 6 lbs.
  • 10 Hours of Battery Life

Cost: $214.99

As you can see, the Acer Chromebook Spin 311 doesn’t have as much RAM or storage as the Lenovo but this is reflected in the price.

However, the 2-in-1 feature is really cool, meaning that you can use the Spin as both a laptop and as an Android tablet! And, unlike a tablet, it has USB ports for more functionality.

It has a decent battery life but, again, not a ton of storage. This is better suited for someone who does more online work than actual content creation.

3. Asus VivoBook 15 X515

  • Intel Processor
  • 6” Display
  • 4GB RAM
  • 128GB Hard Drive
  • USB, HDMI, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi Connections
  • Windows OS
  • Silver
  • 7 lbs.
  • 8 Hours of Battery Life

Cost: $659.99

For those that spend their days typing, this is an amazing budget laptop for you!

Its ErgoLift Hinge angles the keyboard so that it’s more comfortable to type while you’re seated at your desk.

However, for those that need a good quality display, the Asus falls a bit short.

Although it has a nice widescreen look, the display can be dim at times

Overall, the processor in this one works quite well, allowing you to open multiple programs and multiple Google Chrome tabs (story of my life) without lagging its performance.

4. Acer Aspire 5 Slim

  • Intel Processor
  • 6” Display
  • 8GB RAM
  • 256GB Hard Drive
  • USB, HDMI, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi Connections
  • Windows OS
  • Silver
  • 7 lbs.
  • 7 Hours of Battery Life

Cost: $420.99

The Acer Aspire 5 laptop is affordable and reliable but you do get what you pay for.

Although the Aspire model is the most well-known Acer laptop out there, this one is limited in features compared to its brothers and sisters.

But don’t let that scare you away! The Acer Aspire 5 is the perfect choice if you just starting out with remote work. It has a decent processing speed and even accommodates basic photo editing

5. Apple MacBook Air

  • Apple M1 Processor
  • 3” Display
  • 8GB RAM (this can be upgraded to 16GB)
  • 256GB Hard Drive (this can be upgraded to 512GB)
  • Thunderbolt Ports (no USB), HDMI, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi Connections
  • Mac OS X
  • Gold, Silver, Space Grey
  • 8 lbs.
  • 15 Hours of Battery Life

Cost: $995

Apple products are notoriously expensive, but I added the MacBook Air because as an Apple product, it really is affordable – and it’s what I use to run my freelance business.

This is a “light” version of the MacBook Pro that provides many of the same benefits but without the power of the Pro.

It’s light and easy to transport if your remote work has you out and about.

So for an Apple product, this laptop provides the quality expected of Macs.

You Get What You Pay For

The world of laptops is competitive so you’re going to end up getting what you pay for – more expensive laptops are going to have more features and more power.

But determining what is the best laptop for remote work comes down to figuring out what you need.

If you are using your laptop to work from home, you probably don’t need a huge and powerful gaming beast!

You also have to take your budget into consideration as well. If you are starting up your own business, a lower-priced laptop may be ideal until you can afford an upgrade (just make sure it can get the job done).

There’s a lot to consider here but I know this list of best laptops for remote work is going to help get you started on choosing the perfect laptop for your needs!

How about you?

Do you have a laptop preference when it comes to working from home?

Share your picks in the comments!

Elna Cain is a B2B freelance writer  for SaaS businesses and digital marketing brands and the co-founder of Freelancer FAQs. She's been featured on Entrepreneur, The Ladders, The Penny Hoarder, Leadpages and more. If you want to learn how to freelance write, check out her free course, Get Paid to Write Online.

Leave a Reply