Now that many people have to work from home, they have realized that a tablet may be fine for watching a movie, but to spend eight hours in front of it they need something else. They also realize that that laptop they bought on sale, which was going to be for the kids and to look at three things on the Internet is not exactly the best option to spend eight hours in front of it. So let’s take a look at what you need to consider if you need a laptop to work at home.
And let’s start thinking that if we just have to buy it now, we are likely to find fewer and more expensive offers than at other times. Work from home thought us to find a good computer. But we still have alternatives that can be interesting.
If you can afford it, it is always better to work with a good computer. I’m not saying that we are looking for a top of the range computer that is over $1,000, but something in between $600 and $800 that gives us speed and agility to work with. Every dollar invested will be recovered in time.
Starting with the processor it would be great if you choose a 10th generation Intel Core i5. Processors are numbered by thousands, so if it is an Intel Core i5 7000 it will be 7th generation. A new generation is usually more powerful than the previous ones and therefore the higher the number the better. We could also choose AMD as a processor, which usually has a somewhat more competitive price, from the AMD Ryzen 2500 series onwards.
RAM memory is important and nowadays the minimum recommended is 8 GB. The storage disk should be SSD, even if it sacrifices space. Better to have 240 GB of SSD storage than 1 TB of traditional disk. The speed at startup and when we have to copy files compensates.
Normally when we look for a laptop we look at two parameters, autonomy and weight. If we are going to move it from one place to another, the lighter the better, and at the same time it is important that it can last at least 8 hours without being connected to a power outlet. This leads us to work with smaller screens, 13 or 14″.
If we connect to the work computer from the laptop, we may have visualization problems due to the smaller diagonal of the screen.
In a home laptop these are secondary issues. It is better to have a 15.6″ screen, which is the standard, with a good resolution and also includes in the keyboard something basic for some professionals, such as the numeric keypad. Also a network adapter, which usually disappears in the lighter ones and gives us the possibility to connect the laptop via cable.
Type of work we are going to do
Because a laptop for work is not the same as a laptop for working at home. If it is going to be in a mixed corporate environment, that is to say, we also take it to the office, here if we are going to need to have Windows 10 Pro if our network is in domain.
It is important that we have the facility to connect a second screen or a keyboard and mouse, in order to improve our productivity. We must take into account that a laptop is not exactly ergonomic, that the screen will generally be low and that 8 hours a day bending down, 5 days a week can cause cervical problems.
How do we connect to work?
If the laptop is going to be a mere screen where we are going to connect to our office computer or open a remote session on the server, we will not need a great power in the computer, but we will need a stable and reliable connection. Better in this case if we can connect with a cable to the Internet.
If, on the other hand, we work in the cloud and have to run applications, access resources from our computer, it is better to look for a more powerful computer. True, they may not consume much computing power, but then the reality is that there is a big difference in the time it takes to open a page or access a file depending on the quality of our laptop.
In both cases it should not be fundamental the operating system that we are going to use, but we have to be aware of the limitations that we can have if the application that our company uses for the remote connection is not available in that system. You can work with Mac, Chromebook or Linux without problems in most cases.
What space do we have at home to work with?
Finally, it is very interesting to consider where we are going to place the laptop. Not only for the possibility of connecting it by cable to the Internet, as we mentioned before, to have better speed. The advantage of the laptop is that we only need a table, which in many cases ends up being the same table in the living room that we use for lunch. And working in a common room with other people at home is a serious mistake.
If we have a work table or better yet an office, we should consider the possibility of having another type of equipment, perhaps an all-in-one, which integrates the CPU in the screen or behind it. With this we work with a large screen, from 21 to 27″, keyboard and mouse. We can be more productive and much more comfortable.
Here different formulas are supported, either small equipment that does not take up space and screen size we want or the all-in-one. The first one has the advantage of being able to take advantage if we already have a small television of 24 or 32″ at home. And the possibility that if something breaks down we can renew the elements, computer and screen, individually. The all-in-one has the advantage of a greater cleanliness in the wiring and order.