3 Best Laptops for Remote Work and Globally Distributed Teams

3 Best Laptops for Remote Work and Globally Distributed Teams

Picture working at Spotify and hearing that you can now work remotely from anywhere at the same salary. Images of taking calls from your laptop from villas in Italy or bungalows in Bali will definitely come up. The company is one of several tech giants that are embracing remote work. It is also part of a greater trend of companies becoming global powerhouses with remote teams stretching across time zones. 


As more companies take advantage of a globally talented workforce and offer remote working to their current employees, they have to make sure they have the right equipment. This means ensuring employees have a laptop that is easily transportable and can handle multiple programs and tabs at the same time. 


So, how do you find the right laptop to equip your new remote hire, and how do you get it to them? This guide will help you choose the best suitable laptop for your remote workers and show you how easy it is to deliver to them. 


Things to consider when equipping a remote team


So you might have just found a unicorn employee who is both skilled in paid digital marketing and is an SEO wizard. You want to send them a new Macbook, but they are based in Colombia and the shipping costs are through the roof. Maybe you are onboarding a C++ developer from Nigeria and want to offer them a stipend for a new laptop but don't know how much to give. 


These issues will become increasingly more common as companies and startups expand their workforces for remote working. Companies will also have to reconsider what they offer as part of their remote onboarding plan to attract top talent. 


best laptops for remote working



The problem is distribution bottlenecks. The best laptops for remote work have substantial price differences depending on where you live or work from. Most are readily available in the USA and Europe.


At the same time, countries in Latin America and Africa have to spend large amounts of money on the same products. 


On top of all that, some remote employees are interested in changing their locations or want to work and travel. Depending on the job function, whether they are a developer or a marketer, their laptop requirements will be different. 


When looking for the right laptop for remote work, consider these categories:

Weight and size


Of course, a laptop's weight and size are considerations for digital nomads and those who want to clock-in while on vacation in the Caribbean. You want to have a lightweight laptop and not too bulky travel laptop so that it can fit in any carry-on luggage. 


However, these are also factors that should be taken into account when ordering and sending laptops to locations worldwide. The weight and size will impact how much you pay for shipping and the taxes at the border. 


best laptop for working remotely


A good-sized screen that won't make you squint but also is portable is around 13 inches. This makes it easy to transport and also won't require extensive packaging material when shipping. 


Anything above 1.5 kilograms or around 3 pounds will start to get a bit heavy for carrying around large distances. This also fits in the lower weight categories for most shipping services and taxes for going through customs.

Battery capacity

Another critical factor in remote working is how long your laptop can last on one charge. Think if you have to send an email in a bus station or airport without any available outlets. If you want to work several hours outside enjoying the fresh air, you will also need a high battery capacity. 


Laptop for remote work


Most laptops offer between 6-12 hours of battery life. The problem is that it is rare batteries actually maintain that capacity for more than the first several months of use.


Battery life degrades over time depending on how often and how long you charge. Battery capacity also varies depending on your settings and what programs you are running.


It is good to get a laptop that advertises 10 hours of battery life, and that way, you are left with 6-8 hours for years to come.


Your processor is what renders everything you see on your screen. This is often a tricky subject for those not familiar with the difference between dual, core processors or I5 processor and I7 processor. 


remote working chip


The question you have to ask yourself is, what does the team member's or your job require? If they are working with multiple programs and have to save various files to their hard drive, they would probably do better with an I5 and up. 


If they do basic data entry and surf the web, then I3 or a dual-processor should be enough to get the job done. 


Laptops these days don't make it easy for the consumer. New generation Macs require you to buy separate adapters for anything that isn't an apple product. Think USBs and HDMI cords. 


Other computer manufacturers follow suit with many new laptops only having one or two USB outlets and HDMI ports. 


laptop for working remotely


Consider how much you are willing to spend on a new reliable laptop for yourself or remote employees and always include 50-100 USD for adapters and cords. 


You may also want to think about whether a touch screen and tablet functionality are essential. Some people prefer the compactness of tablets like an Ipad pro or a surface laptop with the ability to add a keyboard and mouse. These are great for remote working but are limited to what they can do.


Whether you are equipping your remote team or looking to upgrade, budget plays the most crucial role. Be careful with selecting the lowest priced option as this is a device someone will be using day-in and day-out.


Don't sacrifice functionality or power for a low price point. You may be investing in a device that will only last a year when for a couple of hundred dollars more, it could last five. 


Think about the longevity of your equipment. There is always the option for resale, or if a remote worker leaves, they can send back the computer, and you can offer it to someone else.


The point is you are paying for productivity and getting the job done. A budget laptop prevents that. 


best laptop for remote work

You will have to also factor in shipping costs. The best option is to choose a standard model that all new employees receive and then adjust your budget accordingly depending on their location. 


Luckily some services handle the selection and distribution of laptops all from one platform. 

How much RAM do you need for working from home?

If we compile all this information, we are still left with how much RAM and storage is necessary to work from home. Your processor is important, but these components are what make up the power and performance of your operating system. 


How much RAM do you need working from home

  • Part-time remote work or standard administration: Ram 4GB, Storage 60GB-120GB
  • Full-time remote work: Ram 8GB, Storage 250GB-500GB
  • Complex Job Tasks (Design or programming): Ram 16GB, Storage 500GB-1TB

What is the best laptop for remote work?

Full disclosure: We love Apple. There are just too many positives in regards to processing power, portability, and design.


There is also the fact that with GroWrk, you can get these laptops shipped to over 100+ countries and pay back the costs in monthly installments.


We still included a bonus option for the Windows lovers out there because we also offer distribution services for your current inventory


Apple MacBook Pro -16"


The premium laptop for remote work is the 2020 Apple MacBook Pro. This laptop is perfect for designers. It comes equipped with a super-fast Intel Core i9 processor and 32 GB of memory to ensure optimum application responsiveness.


You will never need an external hard drive with 1 TB of onboard storage capacity. The 16-inch Retina display is perfect for an immersive viewing experience. The AMD Radeon Pro graphics card accelerates any type of design task.


 Best laptop for remote work


  • Includes AppleCare+
  • Screen Size: 16"
  • Processor: Intel Core i9 (2.4GHz)
  • 32GB RAM
  • Hard Drive: 1TB SSD
  • Weight: 1.83kg


Apple MacBook Pro - 13"


The new Apple M1 chip operating system gives the 13-inch MacBook Pro up to 2.8x CPU performance. Up to 5x the graphics speed. The advanced Neural Engine for up to 11x faster machine learning. And up to 20 hours of battery life.


best laptop for working remotely


  • Includes AppleCare+
  • Screen Size: 13.3"
  • Processor: M1 8-core GPU
  • 8 GB RAM
  • Hard Drive: 512 GB SSD
  • Weight: 1.37kg


Apple MacBook Air 13"


This thin, light powerful laptop is standard among many remote workers across the globe. The Apple M1 chip has completely transformed it with CPU speeds up to 3.5x faster, and GPU speeds up to 5x faster.


laptop for working remotely


  • Includes AppleCare+
  • Screen Size: 13"
  • Processor: M1 8-core GPU
  • 8 GB RAM
  • Hard Drive: 512 GB SSD
  • Weight: 1kg

Bonus: Lenovo Thinkpad x1 carbon


If we only listed Macs on this list, we might as well be working for Apple. The bias, of course, for most remote teams is that they should select a brand and model to stick with when purchasing a business laptop. Lenovo features a wide variety of durable and powerful laptops.


Apple is the most well-known brand, but this windows laptop has almost all the same power as a Mac book. Dell didn't make the list but the Dell XPS 13 definitely also deserves an honorable mention for its power and being an all-around great laptop

best laptop for remote work


  • Screen size: 14"
  • Processor: Up to Intel® Core™ vPro™ i7-7600U processor
  • RAM 4GB-16GB
  • Hard Drive: 128 GB - 1TB SSD
  • Weight: 1.2 kg


Wrapping things up


Once you have figured out the easiest way to equip your distributed team with laptops, don't stop there. In a survey conducted with remote Italian workers, 50% reported more significant neck pain, and 38% increased lower-back pain while working remotely. Your average home furniture is not designed to accommodate extensive computer use.


Ask your employees about their current home office setup and fill in the gaps by offering a home office stipend. You can also provide recommendations for more ergonomic furniture. 


Equipping remote workers is messy-until Now. GroWrk helps companies supply and manage laptops, devices, and other equipment and services in 100+ countries - all through one powerful dashboard.


Want to learn how GroWrk Remote can help you take care of your remote team with ease?                  



Schedule a call now  


Growrk Remote

GroWrk Team

February 27