The Most Important Laptop Specifications for Work from Home and Remote Workers

If you’re working from home, laptops most likely don’t need to be overly powerful as most work from home professionals at most are going to be using browsers like Chrome, video conferencing tools like Zoom, and email clients like Microsoft Outlook. Relatively inexpensive laptops have more than enough power to get you through your workday.

If you do have choices from your employer, then picking the right work from home laptop becomes much easier as many different laptops have special quality of life features that usually cost a premium but make your life easier. This post however focuses more on the internal features every laptop comes with. Let’s get started!

CPU: Low Priority

While a CPU chip is the brain of the laptop, it isn’t as important as you think. Provided you’re able to get a minimum of an i5 CPU with any modern laptop, that will more than suffice. CPU has very little impact on basic everyday software usage like Chrome or email clients.

GPU / Graphics Card: Low Priority

Assuming you’re not gaming with your work from home laptop, then each laptop comes with its own “discrete” GPU built right onto the motherboard. This chip more than suffices for everyday work purposes. If you’re really looking to game on your laptop, then be prepared to pay a premium as laptops with strong GPUs are very expensive.

Webcam: High Priority

Chances are, you’re going to be on a conference call at one point. If your job doesn’t require seeing others, then you may need to do an interview over a video call! Unfortunately, you’re unable to customize webcams for most laptops so you’ll have to make-do with the default settings. Stick with webcams 720p resolution or better which is more than enough to show your face. If you find webcams with 1080p resolution, others will notably notice your higher definition camera.

RAM/Memory: High Priority

Used to have over 40 Chrome tabs open? What’s powering all those tabs without your laptop slowing down? It’s RAM! Ensure you have at least 8GB or higher as any lower with modern operating systems will have significant slowdowns on a day-to-day basis. It is highly recommended that you find a laptop with 16GB of RAM but if cost prohibits you, 8 GB is sufficient.

Storage: Very High Priority

While overall capacity isn’t as important, when we’re talking about storage, we’re talking referring to the hard drive model. Ensure the laptop comes with an NVMe M.2 storage drive with preferably more than 256GB of space. While you can get SATA SSDs, if you can, I highly recommend looking for one that comes with an M.2 storage unit. This M.2 drive is the most efficient and loads everything on your laptop much faster than a traditional hard drive. This will translate in overall speed improvements for nearly everything on the laptop. If there is one advice to take away from this article, it is to get a laptop with an NVMe M.2 storage drive.

Display: Medium Priority

Look for a screen with at least 14 inches, 1080p, and a resolution of at least 1920×1080. Going any higher will result in astronomical increases in the price of the laptop. Most websites are optimized for 1080p screens, so you’ll have an optimal experience at that screen size. If you are not constantly on the move and are going to be working from a home office environment, then you’ll likely have access to larger external monitors. Consider saving money on screen size and investing in newer, modern monitors that have higher quality display and refresh rates. You may never need to use the laptop screen if you are using monitors.

Ports: Medium Priority

Think in advance what ports you’ll need. Most likely an HDMI to connect a monitor, some USB-C and USB-A. Those are the bare minimums and if you run out of space, purchasing a USB hub can easily mitigate the issue of lack of ports. Inspect your work area proactively and write down the minimum number of ports you need then decide if you will need to purchase additional USB hubs to make up for the lack of ports on your laptop.


Not every component of a laptop is critical for remote or work from home workers and are best suited for those who really need them. To optimize your laptop purchase, consider focusing mostly on the storage capabilities (particularly the speed), RAM, and depending on your own personal context, display, and ports.