The world and the labor mar­ket are chang­ing rapid­ly. Out­sourced employ­ees, remote work­ers and free­lancers are forced or vol­un­tary to migrate, work on projects in dif­fer­ent parts of the Russ­ian Fed­er­a­tion and abroad. An employ­ee’s lap­top must be reli­able, tech­ni­cal­ly adapt­ed to the tasks and con­ve­nient for per­form­ing tasks of var­i­ous kinds — from writ­ing arti­cles to cre­at­ing 3D graph­ics. We chose the five best lap­tops for remote work in 2022 among bud­get, “folk” and pre­mi­um mod­els.

A remote lap­top should be cho­sen by cri­te­ria, not by brand or design. Pho­to: socialbuzzhive.com

Rules for choos­ing a lap­top: errors, tips, specifics
Lap­top for a copy­writer (writer) at a dis­tance
Lap­top for a remote design­er
Gen­er­al rec­om­men­da­tions
Asus Vivo­book Go 14 E410 is a bud­get employ­ee with a min­i­mum weight
Xiao­mi Mi Note­book Pro 14″ 2021 — work­sta­tion for 86,000 rubles with SSD and 2.5K dis­play
Apple Mac­Book Air M1 — octa-core, ultra-portable, ultra-reli­able

Rules for choosing a laptop: errors, tips, specifics

The most com­mon ques­tion from a remote work­er is: which lap­top is suit­able for remote work? The word­ing is incor­rect because there is no input data:

  • What tasks do you need to solve on a lap­top?
  • what is the pri­or­i­ty for their solu­tion (what char­ac­ter­is­tics are impor­tant)?
  • In what area does the per­son work or plan to work?

With­out answers to these ques­tions, it turns out that any lap­top that runs on bat­tery pow­er is suit­able for free­lanc­ing (out­sourc­ing, remote work). Peo­ple take any­thing, choose by brand — and sub­se­quent­ly suf­fer, over­pay or under­pay. The basic method for choos­ing a lap­top for remote work is to com­pare the para­me­ters of tech­nol­o­gy with the char­ac­ter­is­tics of the pro­fes­sion.

Laptop for a copywriter (writer) at a distance

Copy­writ­ers, writ­ers, cus­tomer sup­port work­ers, social net­work admin­is­tra­tors are con­stant­ly work­ing with texts. The first selec­tion cri­te­ri­on is a com­fort­able key­board that does not flex when pressed, works out touch­es well, and fits the size and lay­out of a per­son­’s hands.

The opti­mal dis­play diag­o­nal is 15.6 inch­es (more — exces­sive­ly, less — you have to scale win­dows and strain your eyes), res­o­lu­tion — 1920 x 1080. It makes no sense to over­pay for top-end hard­ware: just buy a lap­top with a quad-core proces­sor and 4–6 GB of RAM for 41000 rubles to con­fi­dent­ly open many tabs, work with text and watch use­ful videos with­out brakes.

For a copy­writer, the qual­i­ty of a key­board is more impor­tant than LED back­light­ing, sur­round sound, and 4K res­o­lu­tion. Pho­to: inkforall.com

Laptop for a remote designer

Design­ers are in a dif­fer­ent sit­u­a­tion. The screen is the most impor­tant char­ac­ter­is­tic of their lap­top. If the dis­play can­not cap­ture and accu­rate­ly dis­play the col­or palette, is dim or has a tech­no­log­i­cal­ly out­dat­ed matrix, the design­er’s effi­cien­cy will drop sig­nif­i­cant­ly. The main cri­te­ria for a good screen:

  • bright­ness — from 300–400 nits;
  • con­trast ratio — from 1000: 1;
  • col­or gamut — from 70% in sRGB and from 50% in AdobeRGB;
  • matrix — IPS or AMOLED;
  • diag­o­nal — from 15.6 inch­es (for some, 13 inch­es is enough);
  • Res­o­lu­tion is at least 1920 x 1080.

When work­ing with 3D graph­ics, you must have a dis­crete (not built-in) video card and a pow­er­ful proces­sor. It is impor­tant to have an SSD — to speed up process­es in graph­ic appli­ca­tions. Lap­tops for remote work on design projects are in the same cat­e­go­ry as gam­ing and semi-gam­ing machines. A high-lev­el design­er can buy a suit­able lap­top for 150–165 thou­sand rubles, for mid-lev­el mas­ters (with the prospect of skills growth) the option is enough for 100–115 thou­sand rubles.

There is a price to pay for a good screen and high per­for­mance in 3D appli­ca­tions, but these invest­ments will pay off. Pho­to: pcworld.com

General recommendations

All pro­fes­sions can­not be cov­ered in one arti­cle. When buy­ing a good lap­top for var­i­ous tasks at a dis­tance, you need to con­sid­er:

  • Auton­o­my. Do not over­es­ti­mate this para­me­ter. At air­ports, shop­ping cen­ters, apart­ments and offices, there is always an out­let. An extra hour of auton­o­my will not change any­thing — it makes no sense to over­pay for this para­me­ter. The main thing is to buy a mod­el with the best tech­ni­cal char­ac­ter­is­tics for spe­cif­ic tasks.
  • You can work remote­ly on a lap­top indoors or out­doors. Glossy screens give glare in the sun, but they are brighter and more juicy. Mat­te matri­ces do not glare, but their col­or repro­duc­tion is dim­mer, and the col­ors are mut­ed.
  • A lap­top with a good proces­sor but a slow HDD will be infe­ri­or in appli­ca­tion per­for­mance to a mod­el with a medi­um proces­sor and SSD.
  • Back­lit keys, acoustics from Har­man Kar­don, 10 USB ports are dec­o­ra­tions and excess­es for a work­ing device. Pro­duc­tiv­i­ty is not added. It is bet­ter to choose a mod­el with few­er “bells and whis­tles”, more pro­duc­tive hard­ware, an IPS screen, etc.
  • There are no “good” and “bad” pro­duc­ers. The main thing is what hard­ware and com­po­nents are used.

Asus Vivobook Go 14 E410 is a budget employee with a minimum weight

The TOP‑3 lap­top mod­els for free­lanc­ing and out­sourc­ing include the ele­gant, light (1.3 kg) and com­pact Asus Vivo­book Go 14. The device costs only 28,000 rubles and is suit­able for work­ing on basic tasks remote­ly.

The mod­el from Asus is close to the para­me­ters of an ultra­book that fits in any bag. Pho­to: netgear.gi

The Asus Vivo­book Go 14 E410 is equipped with a Celeron N4020 core proces­sor and 4 GB of RAM. The lap­top does not have the poten­tial for games and work with graph­ics, but the mod­el will cope with Google.Docs, reports, admin pan­els of social net­works and web­sites. The brand­ed Num­ber­Pad sim­pli­fies the solu­tion of work tasks — a touch­pad com­bined with a numer­ic key­pad. The user touch­es the touch­pad — and large keys appear on it for typ­ing num­bers.

The Asus Vivo­book Go 14 E410 has three USB ports (includ­ing two USB 3.0 ports), one HDMI out­put, a head­phone jack — every­thing for con­nect­ing periph­er­als, an exter­nal mon­i­tor, and audio devices. Thanks to unpre­ten­tious hard­ware, the lap­top holds a charge of up to 12 hours in oper­at­ing mode, does not over­heat. The screen with a diag­o­nal of only 14 inch­es, but this size retains good ergonom­ic para­me­ters: Vivo­book Go 14 E410 is car­ried lit­er­al­ly with one hand, takes up min­i­mal space.

It is con­ve­nient to fill out tables and reports on the brand­ed touch­pad. Pho­to: thegioididong.com

Asus Vivo­book Go 14 E410 is an eco­nom­i­cal, well-designed lap­top for remote work. The device is suit­able for per­son­al assis­tants, con­sul­tants, chan­nel admin­is­tra­tors in social net­works and small busi­ness man­agers (for phone calls and work with doc­u­ments).

Asus Vivo­book Go 14 Key Fea­tures:

  • screen diag­o­nal: 14 inch­es;
  • proces­sor: Celeron N4020;
  • RAM: 4 GB;
  • oper­at­ing sys­tem: Win­dows 11 Home;
  • graph­ics card: inte­grat­ed graph­ics Intel HD Graph­ics;
  • weight: 1.3 kg;
  • size: 217 x 325 x 18.4 mm.

Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro 14″ 2021 — workstation for 86,000 rubles with SSD and 2.5K display

In the Mi Note­book Pro 14″ 2021, Xiao­mi has imple­ment­ed the con­cept of a work­ing device for diverse tasks: from tex­ting and web surf­ing to graph­ics pro­cess­ing in Pho­to­shop, sim­ple video edit­ing. A pow­er­ful proces­sor and a rich screen give the user the con­fi­dence and com­fort they need for remote work eye.

Xiao­mi has paid atten­tion to all aspects: case, per­for­mance, screen, key­board mod­ule, so that the lap­top has no weak points. Pho­to: xiaomionline.global

The mod­el is dis­tin­guished by the screen refresh rate: 60, 90 or 120 Hz to choose from. High set­tings pro­vide a very smooth and “live” pic­ture, the min­i­mum (60 Hz) — save bat­tery pow­er. The 2560 x 1600 IPS dis­play is sharp, vibrant col­ors and 100% sRGB cov­er­age (a bonus for pho­to enthu­si­asts and design­ers). There is no PWM effect on the screen: tests did not reveal any unpleas­ant flick­er dur­ing oper­a­tion.

The Intel Core i5 11320H proces­sor with the sup­port of a dis­crete GeForce MX450 graph­ics card is able to run pro­fes­sion­al appli­ca­tions (from Pho­to­shop to Sony Vegas), work in mul­ti­task­ing mode with­out draw­downs and slow­downs.

The pow­er of the proces­sor-video card bun­dle is also enough for play­ing games in your free time. The leg­endary Witch­er 3 at medi­um graph­ics set­tings gives a com­fort­able 45–48 FPS. A 512 GB SSD is respon­si­ble for the speed of the sys­tem and pro­grams.

Pro­duc­tive hard­ware did not pre­vent Mi Note­book Pro 14 “2021 from being a com­pact and thin device. Pho­to: xiaomihome.global

The body made of anodized alu­minum is strong, with­out back­lash and gaps. The lap­top weighs only 1.5 kg and is easy to open with one hand. The key­board mod­ule does not flex when pressed and does not knock: you can work in flight or in a com­part­ment with­out fear of wak­ing fel­low trav­el­ers. The back­light­ing of the keys is not flashy and does not hit the eyes in the dark.

The lap­top is qui­et and not hot. In idle, the fans oper­ate almost at idle, under load they do not resem­ble the tur­bines of a Boe­ing engine. At 100% load of the proces­sor and video card, the tem­per­a­ture reach­es 48 degrees. Slight­ly above aver­age, but not dan­ger­ous. In addi­tion, in the for­mat of mod­er­ate remote work, such a load is dif­fi­cult to imple­ment. The lap­top holds a charge up to 8–9 hours, it takes 1.5 hours to ful­ly charge.

Xiao­mi Mi Note­book Pro 14″ 2021 is a device with a suc­cess­ful, durable and light­weight body, rel­e­vant for work­ing on any (except for com­plex 3D graph­ics) hard­ware tasks, a bright screen and a styl­ish design. The mod­el will please free­lancers-gen­er­al­ists, begin­ner pho­to edi­tors, busi­ness­men and man­agers , sales man­agers, radio hosts, blog­gers.

Key fea­tures of Mi Note­book Pro 14″ 2021:

  • screen diag­o­nal: 14 inch­es;
  • Proces­sor: Intel Core i5 11320H;
  • RAM: 16 GB;
  • oper­at­ing sys­tem: Win­dows 11;
  • video card: NVIDIA GeForce MX450;
  • weight: 1.5 kg;
  • size: 316 x 220 x 16 mm.

Apple MacBook Air M1 — octa-core, ultra-portable, ultra-reliable

Released in 2020, the Apple Mac­Book Air M1 is still in the rank­ings of the best lap­tops for remote work in 2022. Brand­ed build qual­i­ty is com­ple­ment­ed by the pro­cess­ing pow­er of eight M1 proces­sor cores and a high-speed SSD up to 1 TB (depend­ing on mod­i­fi­ca­tion).

The 13.3‑inch Reti­na dis­play with 400 nits of peak bright­ness deliv­ers a stun­ning­ly col­or­ful pic­ture with mil­lions of col­ors indoors and out­doors. Pho­to: techradar.com

The strict, lacon­ic design fits well into the over­all con­cept of the Mac­Book, which weighs only 1.29 kg with a met­al case thick­ness of 16.1 mm. Respon­sive keys with a soft, high trav­el do not let your fin­gers get tired after a long work. Built-in speak­ers are enough to play music or watch train­ing videos. There are two USB Type‑C ports for con­nect­ing periph­er­als.

The per­for­mance of the old­er Pro Mac­Book Air M1 mod­els is not up to par, but the proces­sor pow­er is enough for sim­ple video edit­ing and basic 3D work. Tasks are per­formed by the device quick­ly, smooth­ly and with­out slow­downs. The built-in neur­al engine algo­rithm helps with mul­ti­task­ing and pro­gram­ming.

The Mac­Book Air M1 com­bines cut­ting-edge hard­ware with stun­ning design in every detail. Pho­to: lifewire.com

The auton­o­my of the Mac­Book is amaz­ing. The device in stan­dard pow­er mode can work up to 29 hours with­out charg­ing. This is pos­si­ble thanks to the smart dis­tri­b­u­tion of tasks across proces­sor cores. It makes no sense to over­pay for an extra hour of auton­o­my, but 29 hours is a guar­an­tee that you will stay in touch with the cus­tomer, part­ners or rel­a­tives even in extra­or­di­nary life sit­u­a­tions.

Mac­Book Air M1 tra­di­tion­al­ly does not belong to the bud­get, office, design or gam­ing class. Apple for 99–125 thou­sand rubles offers per­fect ergonom­ics, excel­lent assem­bly and dis­play, decent per­for­mance. If your ide­al is a portable, stand­alone lap­top for remote work on com­mon tasks, the Mac­Book Air M1 takes the pain out of search­ing.

Key Fea­tures of Apple Mi Note­book Pro 14″ 2021:

  • screen diag­o­nal: 13.3 inch­es;
  • proces­sor: Apple M1;
  • RAM: 8 GB;
  • oper­at­ing sys­tem: macOS Big Sur;
  • video card: built-in;
  • weight: 1.29 kg;
  • size: 304.1 x 212.4 x 16.1 mm.