Remote working has swept across the worldm and workplaces everywhere are still adjusting. With many companies now fully remote or switching to hybrid arrangements, the flexibility to work remotely has created a wonderful world of freedom and possibilities for many people. But are you equipped for it? Whether you are working at home, in a coworking space, at a coffee shop or on a beach somewhere exotic, having a good laptop is essential for productivity. This handy guide compiles the best laptops for working remotely in 2024 to help you choose the right machine for your needs and budget.

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What features do you need in a laptop for working remotely?

Perhaps you’ve already been working remotely for years, and you’re looking to upgrade your old machine. Or maybe you’re new to this, and you need to equip yourself for your newfound freedom from office life, or for a workation you are planning.

Whichever it is, there are several things to consider when choosing a laptop for remote working in 2024. 

Weight and size

If your remote-working lifestyle involves travelling and moving around a lot between workspaces, then a lightweight laptop that isn’t too bulky will make your life a lot easier.  Lisa and I both use 13-inch laptops, and we find that’s just around the sweet spot for remote working.

It’s an ample enough screen size for working with images and documents, but still fairly compact, and nicely portable for journeys. Our laptops both weigh in around the 1.3kg mark. If you plan to travel a lot, we would suggest a laptop below 1.5kg

Battery life

When working remotely, you may not always be in close vicinity of a power source. Whether it’s a long bus journey, a plugless waiting room or a disconnected day on the beach, you will probably encounter situations when you will need a decent amount of battery life to get some work done. Eight hours of battery life is a good minimum threshold to aim for.

Functionality and speed

Most of us have different needs when it comes to how we use a laptop for work. Think about the core functions you need to get your job done, and make sure that the laptop you buy will be able to handle them.

For example, do you do a lot of video conferencing? Do you work with images, videos and graphic designs? Or do you mainly use a laptop for writing and editing documents, analysing data and sending emails?

The answers to these questions will dictate the functionality you need in a laptop. If you work with design software and use heavy files, then you will need a faster processor than if you are just editing documents or working with spreadsheets. For simple tasks, a dual-core processor should do the job, but for more intensive work then a quad-core processor or higher is ideal.

A webcam is an essential feature if your work involves video conferencing. It’s probably a good idea anyway, especially if you are travelling from place to place and want to connect with family and friends.

“Think carefully before squeezing the pennies too tightly on a laptop. It can easily turn out to be a false economy.”

RAM and storage

The processor is not the only consideration when it comes to the power and performance of your laptop. RAM is also crucial, as it dictates how much information your machine can handle simultaneously.

If you’re just browsing the internet and sending emails, 4GB should be sufficient. But if you are using design software or editing videos and photos, 8GB is more suitable. For more intensive tasks, you may need to look at 16GB and upwards.

For storage, it mainly comes down to your usage needs. In terms of performance and usability, SSD storage has replaced the old-school hard disk drives.

I find that 256GB SSD storage is more than enough when using my laptop for editing photos, occasionally using InDesign, and regular stuff like browsing the web and checking emails.

There’s always the option to use external storage too – we use Amazon Photos to back up all our old photos.


When you’re always on the go, a laptop that is easy to use and requires minimal faffing around will help you stay stress-free and get more done.

Good ergonomics are a big factor in the quality of a laptop. Look for a keyboard with a comfortable layout and space between the keys, and with backlighting so you can use it in the dark if needed.

Depending on your style and needs, you may want to opt for a 2-in-1 laptop. These have touch screens can be used as either a laptop or tablet, as the screen can be turned fully around. Lisa has one of these, and it’s great for switching to tablet mode for a train journey, or on the sofa at home.

Lisa HP Envy X360 laptop for remote working
Lisa’s HP Envy X360, a 2-in-1 laptop that can double up as a tablet when we’re on the go


It’s likely you will want to connect other devices to your laptop, whether it’s a camera or a monitor or headphones or something else. You can always buy adaptors, but it can get clumsy and messy, so it helps if your laptop has the ports you need already built in.

A couple of USB ports as a minimum is a good start, and an SD card slot is very helpful if you want to transfer photos frequently. Something else to bear in mind is that WiFi 6 launched in 2019, with speeds nearly three times faster than WiFi 5.

It’s not essential yet, but certainly a bonus if you can stretch to a new machine that is compatible with this next generation of WiFi. May 2024 is the scheduled launch timing for WiFi 7.


Finally, everybody has to work within a budget, and wherever yours lands will obviously affect the spec of laptop you can afford. Few people have unlimited budgets, and you will probably need to make trade-offs and compromises.

However, think carefully before squeezing the pennies too tightly on a laptop. It can easily turn out to be a false economy. If you can stretch your budget, a faster laptop may help you to be more productive in your work. Then you will end up with more money in your pocket or more free time on your hands to enjoy.

What laptop spec do you need for working remotely?

Bringing together all these considerations, if you’re still unsure, you can use the following suggested spec for guidance when choosing a laptop for working remotely. It’s based on my own workload, which is mainly general usage plus a bit of design work and photo editing. This can be used as a benchmark when looking for an all-round laptop:

  • Screen size: around the 13″ mark is ideal
  • Weight: lower than 1.5kg
  • Processor: Core i5, Ryzen 5 or better
  • RAM and storage: 8GB RAM, SSD 256GB storage
  • Battery life: 8 hours minimum

Best laptops for working remotely in 2023: our picks

1.  MacBook Pro

  • Processor: Apple M2 chip with 12-core CPU and 19-core GPU (2023 version)
  • RAM: up to 24GB
  • Weight: 1.4kg
  • Battery life: up to 22 hours
  • Pros: fast performance, sleek usability with versatile touch bar, keyboard and trackpad, beautiful high-resolution display
  • Cons: the base model (which I use) has only two thunderbolt ports, which is a bit restrictive, and there is no SD card slot. MacBooks are also on the expensive side – you can get laptops with similar specs for less money

We begin our compilation with the laptop I use personally for remote working – the MacBook Pro. I find this to be a powerful all-round laptop that is easy to use (I love the iOS operating system!).

MacBooks are definitely a favourite among remote workers around the world – they probably account for more than half the laptops I see whenever I go to coworking spaces. I use the 13-inch version of the MacBook Pro. After recently upgrading from my 2017 model, I’m now using the 2020 base model, with a 1.4 GHz quad-core Intel i5 processor, 8GB RAM, and SSD 256GB storage.

The newer versions are more efficient, so even though the clock speed is only 1.4 GHz compared to 3.1 GHz on my previous version, it can turbo-boost to 3.9 GHz so it handles better. In 2020, Apple introduced its new range of central processing units (CPU), the latest of which is the M2 chip, launched in 2022. This now offers 12-core CPU and up to 24GB RAM.

I have the 13-inch version, which strikes a great balance between usability and portability, as we outlined above. The touch bar, which has been featured on MacBook Pro models since 2016, adds an extra layer of usability. While I’ve had a few nicks and scrapes with it, the MacBook Pro is still my go-to laptop for working remotely. It performs well, is beautiful to use, and does everything I need it to. Well worth the investment if your budget allows.

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I use a MacBook Pro, which is a great all-round laptop for working remotely
I use a MacBook Pro, which is a great all-round laptop for working remotely

2.  Macbook Air

  • Processor: Apple M2 chip with 8-core CPU and 10-core GPU (2023 version)
  • RAM: up to 24GB
  • Weight: 1.24kg 
  • Battery life: up to 18 hours
  • Pros: solid processor performance and battery life, sleek and lightweight, lowest-cost Apple notebook
  • Cons: as with the MacBook Pro, you can get similar spec Windows laptops much less money

The MacBook Air is Apple’s slightly more lightweight and affordable laptop compared to the MacBook Pro. It has many of the same benefits, such as using the iOS operating system, and the newest version finally comes with Apple’s attractive Retina Display.

Although its hardware isn’t as powerful as the MacBook Pro, it has longer battery life and is easier to carry around, making it an attractive option if you don’t need it for intensive heavy-duty tasks. The latest version of the MacBook Air released in 2023 features the Apple M2 chip processor, with 8-core CPU, 10-core graphics and up to 24GB storage depending on which model you choose. It’s also compatible with WiFi 6.

This development came slightly too late for me as I’d just invested in a new MacBook Pro, but it would have given me serious pause for thought! The MacBook Air is a great all-round lightweight machine, and packs a lot of performance into the entry-level version for the price.

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3.  Microsoft Surface Book 3

  • Processor: 10th Generation Intel Core i7
  • RAM: 8GB / 16GB / 32GB
  • Weight: 3.18kg 
  • Battery life: 15.5 hours
  • Pros: detachable screen, brilliant battery life, excellent processor performance, touchscreen
  • Cons: expensive, design may outdate quicker than a MacBook

After receiving some feedback we have added the Microsoft Surface Book 3 to our list of recommendations by popular demand. We hadn’t tried this machine before, but having now had a whirl we can see why it’s a sought-after model.

The Surface Book was top of Lisa’s laptop wishlist, but she ultimately opted for the next option in our list, the HP Envy, because of the price tag. however, if you are ready to splash the cash on a great piece of gear, the Surface Book is a fine way to do it.

This model clocks in at above 3kg in weight, which isn’t ideal for remote working on the go. But the benefits are that you get a gorgeous, sleek laptop with a fancy detachable screen so it can double up as a tablet. A dream for working on the go. The Microsoft Surface Pro 8 is a good alternative entry point into the Surface touchscreen series. It’s cheaper, much lighter, and gets the job done.

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4.  HP Envy X360 

  • Processor: AMD Ryzen 7 5825U
  • RAM: 8GB / 16GB / 32GB
  • Weight: 1.86kg
  • Battery life: 13 hours
  • Pros: impressive processor performance, touchscreen with pen, great value for money
  • Cons: the cooling fan is pretty loud, which can be annoying

Lisa bought her first HP Envy X360 a few years ago now. It’s performed a dream and proved to be durable, reliable and convenient for carrying around on our travels. At the time she bought it as a more affordable alternative to the Microsoft Surface Pro or HP Spectre 360, but it has turned out to be an excellent purchase in its own right.

The latest model of the HP Envy X360 is a 2-in-1 laptop with premium processor and graphics performance, pretty much unrivalled at its price point. Its convertible nature makes it great for working on the go. We probably wouldn’t bother spending more on the HP Spectre 360, as there is very little difference in what it can do.

Lisa has the 13-inch version of the HP Envy X360. This is a little lighter than my MacBook Pro, and has a thinner and sleeker feel. I’m not so keen on its keyboard ergonomics, but many other reviewers have begged to differ, so that may come down to personal preference! I wouldn’t mark it down too heavily for that.

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5.  Dell XPS 13 Plus

  • Processor: 12th Generation Intel Core i7-1260P+
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Weight: 1.26kg 
  • Battery life: 10 hours
  • Pros: super lightweight, touch screen, high-quality Infinity display
  • Cons: limited port selection

The Dell XPS 13 Plus is probably the best MacBook alternative for Windows users. Its elegant minimalistic design is up there with Apple’s gold standard. What’s more, it is lighter, just as powerful, and doesn’t cost as much.

This is a fantastic all-round laptop that performs well for daily work and can handle the heat with heavier-duty tasks as well. This latest iteration in Dell’s XPS range comes with an OLED touchscreen in beautiful resolution. Prepare to be impressed if you’re looking to watch movies on your laptop.

Usability is close to that of Apple’s machines: the function row on the XPS Plus 13 works similarly to the touchbar on the Macbook Pro.

If you want to take a step up to elite performance in Dell’s range, you could consider forking out for the XPS 17 9730, which is a real Rolls Royce of a laptop that can handle intensive multi-media asks.

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6.  ASUS Zenbook 14 Flip OLED

  • Processor: AMD Ryzen 7 6800H CPU
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Weight: 1.41kg
  • Battery life: 10+ hours
  • Pros: lightweight, reliable, beautiful display, strong battery life
  • Cons: slightly cramped keyboard design

The ASUS Zenbook 14 Flip OLED is among the cheapest of the premium laptops we highlight here. It’s a good value-for-money option if you don’t want to fork out for a MacBook, HP Envy or Dell XPS. We have used ASUS laptops a lot in the past, and always been impressed by their reliability; this model is no different.

The processing capabilities of the ASUS Zenbook 14 Flip OLED are more than adequate for multitasking between a range of everyday work. It also comes in below that magic 1.5kg mark, and so it’s a doozy for taking on working trips, or moving around frequently on the job.

In terms of connectivity the machine now offers Thunderbolt 4 ports, which is an upgrade on previous models. The ASUS Zenbook 14 Flip OLED is a solid all-round laptop that ticks all the boxes for working remotely, especially if you like to switch up your working environment a lot. The battery life is impressive, it’s light and compact, and it does the job.

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7.  Acer Aspire Vero

  • Processor: 2.9GHz Intel Core i7-1195G7
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Weight: 1.8kg 
  • Battery life: 7 hours
  • Pros: fast, good processor performance, robust, reliable
  • Cons: less battery life than other options, no USB-C charging

We have used Acer computers a lot over the years, and they are generally very reliable machines. The Acer Aspire Vero launched in 2022 is the latest in a long line of models that provides a solid, sturdy, no-frills laptop that performs strongly.

What you won’t get with Acer is a slick and elegant design – their laptops do have a bit of a dinosaur look about them. This is also one of the heavier machines on our list and has the shortest battery life, which makes it more suitable as a laptop for working from home than for moving around constantly. 

But for the money, this is a very solid buy. It’s fast, reliable and likely to last you a good long while. So, if you are on a bit of a tighter budget and your remote work is in a fairly fixed location, the Acer Aspire Vero is not a bad shout at all.

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Best laptops for working remotely: quick comparison table

Short of time? Here’s a quick comparison details showing the regular specs of the laptops we’ve highlighted in this article.

LaptopProcessorRAMWeightBattery lifePrice
MacBook ProApple M2 chip with 12-core CPUUp to 24GB1.4kg22 hoursView on Amazon
MacBook AirApple M2 chip with 8-core CPUUp to 24GB1.24kg 18 hoursView on Amazon
Microsoft Surface Book 310th Generation Intel Core i7-1065G78GB / 16GB / 32GB3.18kg15.5 hoursView on Amazon
HP Envy X360 AMD Ryzen 7 5825U (2GHz)8GB / 16GB / 32GB1.86kg13 hoursView on Amazon
Dell XPS 13 Plus12th Generation Intel Core i7-1260P+16GB1.26kg 10 hoursView on Amazon
ASUS Zenbook 14 Flip OLEDAMD Ryzen 7 6800H CPU16GB1.41kg10+ hoursView on Amazon
Acer Aspire Vero2.9GHz Intel Core i7-1195G716GB1.8kg7 hoursView on Amazon

See our collection of remote working tips from travellers to make the most of your work and leisure time. Have you used any of these laptops for working remotely? Let us know about your experience in the comments below.

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Need to replace your old machine, or equip yourself for newfound freedom from the office? We compile the best laptops for working remotely. #remoteworking #workingremotely #laptops #bestlaptops

2 thoughts on “7 best laptops for working remotely in 2024

  1. Chastity Dillard says:

    I’m curious why any of the Microsoft Surface laptops/tablets aren’t listed? Would you recommend against them?

    • Alex Trembath says:

      Hi Chastity, thank you so much for your comment! In this article we have focused on recommending laptops we have personal experience with, and as we haven’t used Microsoft Surface much that’s why they’re not included. We mentioned the HP Envy X360 as a good alternative for a similar style of laptop. Having said that, we hear good things about the Microsoft Surface Pro and will be trying it out for potential inclusion in the article at a later date 🙂
      Happy laptop hunting!

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