If you're one of the millions of people trying to figure out how to work from home, you already know that having the right technology is a big part getting your job done. For most of us, that means figuring out which computer will give us the most bang for our buck.
With that in mind, here's my list of the seven best laptops for working remotely.
1. Best Overall: MacBook Air
For most people, in most working situations, the decision is actually quite simple. The 2020 13-inch MacBook Air is probably the best laptop option. Period. Yes, there are exceptions, and that's why there are six more choices on this list.
For most users, however, the new Air--which now comes with 256GB of storage, 8GB of RAM, the Magic Keyboard, Retina display, and 10th-generation Intel Core dual, or quad-core processors--is really the best lightweight portable device that can keep up with most people's daily use.
Apple has also managed to get the starting price back down to $999, which is a bonus. That said, I recommend paying the extra $100 for the i5 version. You'll be glad you did.
2. Best for Power Users: MacBook Pro
Ah, yes, the MacBook Pro. Specifically, I'm recommending the 13-inch here, though clearly the 16-inch MacBook Pro is the king of power-portables. The 2020 13-inch version, however, is mighty powerful in its own right, at least if you buy the models with the 10th-generation Intel Quad-core processors.
Those start at $1,799, but you now get at least 256GB of storage, which can expand to 4TB. They also start with 16GB of RAM, though you can opt for 32GB if you really need the memory. Now that the Magic Keyboard is back (along with a physical escape-key), the 13-inch MacBook Pro is my overall favorite choice. In fact, it would be the best overall if not for its higher starting price tag.
3. Best for Windows Users: Dell XPS 13-inch (New)
What the MacBook Pro is for macOS, the new XPS 13-inch is for PCs. It combines a slim form-factor with the power you need to get work done. It's a little pricier than a few of the options on this list (starting at $1,299 for the 10th-generation Intel Core i5 processor with 256GB of storage), but if you're a Windows user and you want the very best laptop you can get, dollar for dollar, this is it. The 4K touch-display, though more expensive, also happens to be very nice.
4. Best 2-in-1: Microsoft Surface Book 3
The Surface Book 3 isn't the most powerful device on this list, though it'll get work done. It does, however, have a trick that really none of the other devices can do (save the iPad Pro, which we'll get to in a minute): a detachable display. Generally, if you want a solid laptop that you can occasionally use as a tablet (a large tablet at that), this is a great option. It's also the best option if you're a creative-type who wants to stick with a PC.
5. Best of Both Worlds: 12.9-inch iPad Pro with Magic Keyboard
I can't quite call this a 2-in-1 because that doesn't describe this combo. Instead, the iPad Pro with Apple's brand-new Magic Keyboard case is a super-portable, flexible, high-powered option that really is the best of both worlds.
It's also worth mentioning that the iPad Pro is faster than pretty much everything else on this list, save the MacBook Pro (and maybe the XPS depending on how you configure it). It also happens to have a better front-facing camera than any laptop you can buy right now. That's a big deal if you spend a lot of time on Zoom meetings.
6. Best for Battery Life: Samsung Galaxy Book S
The Galaxy Book S took a while to show up, despite its being introduced last summer. It also sports a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8CX, which happens to be a smartphone processor. That's what makes it so lightweight, but it has reportedly had some trouble with some Windows apps. That said, it's plenty fast and the Galaxy Book's battery life is ridiculously long.
Samsung says it should get 23 hours of use. That's kinda crazy. There aren't really any options, and $999 will get you 256GB of storage along with LTE cellular wireless, which is great for when you're finally able to work somewhere other than home.
7. Best Chromebook: Google Pixelbook Go
I don't love Chromebooks, but if you made me use one, I could get by with the Google Pixelbook Go. It's also the least expensive option on this list, though that's deceiving because it also has far fewer tricks than anything else. Actually, it's really only inexpensive compared with the other choices on this list. Compared with Chromebooks, it's on the high end (starting at $649). That said, it is the best Chromebook you can get, and if that's the world you work in, this is your best option.