When you're working remotely, the right tools are paramount for productivity. All of the best laptops for working from home should have two things: a built-in webcam for video conferencing and reliable internet connectivity. (All of the laptops listed below have both.) Beyond that, the necessary specifications will differ based on personal preference and industry-related needs.
When you're shopping, here are the most important terms you'll come across:
- Operating system: An operating system (or OS) is the primary software that your computer uses to run basic functions. Some of the most popular include Microsoft Windows, Apple macOS, and Chrome OS. The operating system can make or break your work experience, so be sure to choose one that is compatible with your work needs and one that you're familiar with — or don't mind learning.
- Display size: This is how big your screen is; it's usually measured diagonally in inches. A larger screen is more immersive, but not as portable.
- Processor: Also called a microprocessor, a processor is a small chip that lives in your computer and responds to basic instructions. Different brands utilize different types, which function at varying speeds. You can check the popularity and price of common processors here.
- Drive: This is how your computer stores long-term data, and it's measured in gigabytes (or GB). Computers can have hard disk drives (HDD) or solid state drives (SSD), but the latter are more commonly used in laptops because they're smaller and lighter.
- RAM: Random-access memory (or RAM) is essentially temporary storage that's necessary for whatever processes you have running at the moment. For the most part, the more gigabytes of RAM you have, the faster your programs, media, and games will run.
With all of that in mind, here are eight of the best work-from-home laptops for all different needs — and many are less than $300.
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