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Recommended laptop for remote work

Jakob Attkinson
Lost soul wondering around a techy world while trying to forge his own path
・1 min read

After 4 years spent at my current company, I decided to switch to remote work (management accepted). Therefore, I'm planning to travel around while keep working Mon-Fri. However, since I've been using only PCs my entire life, I'm not sure what laptop to choose now.

My first option was a Microsoft Surface. However, most reviews consider it overpriced and not worth the money.

I took the following into consideration:

  • has to be 15" (not bigger, not smaller)
  • at least 16GB of RAM
  • light (I travel only with a backpack, regardless if I have to use planes, trains or cars)
  • I mostly work with vagrant and docker (running around 2 VMs daily)
  • Ideally it would have 512 GB SSD, but I can manage with 256
  • I don't want HDD, nor optical drives.
  • Video card - not sure if it actually matters.

What would you recommend me?

Discussion (15)

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mfarajewicz profile image
Mirosław Farajewicz

I agree with guys recommending Macbooks. I would never say it's a great choice for daily work in the office. What's more I would never say it's good option for developer - there is bunch of iritating things on MacOS and the laptop itself.
But..
If you are to be remote worker, and you want to travel then one of the biggest problem you'll struggle is the battery on your laptop. And Macbook is far ahead of the competitors in terms of the battery.

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attkinsonjakob profile image
Jakob Attkinson Author

I haven't paid much attention to the battery, but why do you believe it is so important? Nowadays you can plug in a laptop almost everywhere

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mfarajewicz profile image
Mirosław Farajewicz

I not only believe, I also know it from my personal experience of working 4+ years remotely and travelling a lot at the same time. You can plug-in in many places, but still there are many scenarios when it's a problem:

  • crowded cafeteria with only 2 electrical plug-ins, you can crawl under tables and try to find them, ask people to allow you seat next to them etc. Or you can just don't mind it because your laptop will still have 40% of battery which allows you for 3-5 hours of working
  • apartment from airbnb with electrical plugs in completely random places (this is super common scenario, especially in Spain) - want to work on a desk or table? Forget. The closes plug-in is in a hallway.
  • countries with different plugs - when travelling to GB or Switzerland I don't always have adapter - sometimes you can find standard plugs but some of them just don't match .. few others.
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attkinsonjakob profile image
Jakob Attkinson Author

Great response. Thank you. I appreciate a lot your input.
What would be the recommended battery life? 10h?
I will probably look for a Windows laptop, but now, at least, I'm going to make sure the device I'll buy will compete with macbook on this level

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mfarajewicz profile image
Mirosław Farajewicz

Yes, 10 hours it's ok. It usually allows you to have full work day in a total sh**hole. If it charges quickly it's also great. Macbooks charges quickly - thats another bonus point for them.

If you find a good laptop for Windows (I'm in this minority that loves Windows > Linux, macOS) that comes with great battery, share it, please.

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rahmantutul profile image
Rahmantutul

HUAWEI MATEBOOK 13
CPU: 8th-generation Intel Core i5 – i7
Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620;
Nvidia GeForce MX150 (optional)
RAM: 8GB
Screen: 13.3-inch 2K (2,560 x 1,440; touch)
Storage: 256GB – 512GB SSD

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attkinsonjakob profile image
Jakob Attkinson Author • Edited

Thanks for your input. However, all Huawei laptops are smaller than 15". Coding 8h a day on a 13" can't be fun :)

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shopbeginner profile image
Shop-beginner

I know it's not 15" but its about the weight of a 15" notebook and has the full dimensions like a 15" but the screen actually is 17". I'm speaking of the LG Gram. I had to order it from america and it costs 1500EUR but it has all the specs a remote laptops needs. Check it out

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wobsoriano profile image
Robert

I'd suggest a mid 2012 Macbook PRO and upgrade it to 16gb + SSD and there you have it.

Don't get later macbook's with butterfly keyboard. Trust me.

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attkinsonjakob profile image
Jakob Attkinson Author

Thanks. I never owned a MacBook therefore I'm skeptical to switch from Windows (dualboot linux) to iOS

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wobsoriano profile image
Robert • Edited

I'm a long time windows user and switching to Mac was an excellent choice for me.

attkinsonjakob profile image
Jakob Attkinson Author

Thanks for the suggestion. I've expected 13" to be "too small" for working a full time job on it.
I'll have one for 1-2 weeks to see how I adapt.