The 10 Coolest Laptops For Working From Home In 2020

CRN rounds up 10 great WFH laptops from vendors including Dell, HP, Lenovo and Apple.

WFH Laptops

What makes a great laptop for working from home? First and foremost, you'll want a laptop with terrific performance. When trying to shift over your work routines to the home, there are few things more frustrating than seeing a huge drop in speed--and a resulting dip in your productivity.

But aside from performance, many of the things that make a top-notch laptop all-around will serve you well in a work-from-home scenario. Strong battery life and portability are handy so that you can freely move around the home space, and flexibility in modes of usage--such as with a convertible display--is an excellent option to have, too. We also believe that you can't discount the value of having a WFH laptop with a design that really appeals to you. It'll make you want to use the device more, and be a further aid to work-from-home productivity.

In this vein, we've rounded up some of the best laptops in 2020 from companies including Apple, Dell, HP Inc. Lenovo, Microsoft and Dynabook--which each meet most or all of these criteria for a great work-from-home laptop. (Disclaimer: There may be some delays in availability at the moment, given the massive demand for WFH laptops right now.)

What follows is our list of the 10 coolest laptops for working from home in 2020.

Apple MacBook Air

Apple changed up its keyboard design in November, with the launch of the 16-inch MacBook Pro, following an uproar from users and several lawsuits over the previous "butterfly" keyboard design. Now, the "Magic Keyboard" design--which uses a scissor mechanism and offers 1 mm of key travel for improved typing--has come to the new MacBook Air, which just launched in March. The new MacBook Air also moves up to quad-core processors for the first time with 10th-generation Intel Core processors (up to Core i7 with a clock speed of up to 3.8GHz). That amounts to "two times faster performance when compared to the previous generation," Apple said.

Apple MacBook Pro 16

Apple has gone bigger with the latest addition to its MacBook Pro lineup, unveiled in November. The new MacBook Pro is Apple's first notebook to feature a 16-inch Retina display, while also offering a larger battery and expanded RAM (up to 64 GB) and storage (up to 8 TB), as well. Meanwhile, the latest MacBook Pro comes with the revamped "Magic Keyboard" design, for improved typing comfort and a "stable feel," Apple says. On performance, the new MacBook Pro offers ninth-generation Intel Core processors with six or eight cores, offering clock speeds of up to 5GHz.

Dell Latitude 7400 2-in-1

For the Latitude 7400 2-in-1, Dell swaps out the usual black carbon-fiber body for brushed aluminum. The screen on the Latitude 7400 2-in-1 has narrow bezels on all four sides for a nearly "edge to edge" display. That slim-bezel design is a big help in terms of reducing the overall size of the notebook. On battery life, the Latitude 7400 2-in-1 can reach up to 24 hours on a charge (with base-level specs and a 78 WHr battery). The notebook also comes with a handy feature called "Express Sign-In," which detects when users are near and automatically wakes up the PC.

Dell XPS 13

The new XPS 13 for 2020 features smaller bezels around the "InfinityEdge" display, allowing for an impressive screen-to-body ratio of 91.5 percent. The display size is also a bit larger now at 13.4 inches, and the aspect ratio has been switched to 16:10 for a larger workspace area on the screen. Additionally, the body is made from a combination of machined aluminum, carbon fiber and woven-glass fiber. Other hardware elements have gotten an upgrade as well, with deeper keys and a 17-percent larger touchpad on the new XPS 13, and the notebook moves up to 10th-generation Intel Core processors for enhanced performance.

Dynabook Portege X30L

Dynabook's Portege X30L stands out on portability with a weight of just 1.92 pounds, which makes it the world's lightest 13.3-inch notebook with 10th-generation Intel Core processors, according to the company. The laptop supports up to an Intel Core i7-10710U processor, which comes with six cores and a clock speed of up to 4.7GHz, while the Portege X30L offers up to 14 hours of battery life, as well. In terms of design aesthetics, the laptop features a slick, durable “Onyx Blue” magnesium alloy chassis.

HP Elite Dragonfly

HP has continued to push the evolution of its business notebook portfolio with the recent launch of the Elite Dragonfly, featuring a fresh design paired with serious portability and battery life. The Elite Dragonfly features a magnesium body and an iridescent "dragonfly blue" color, with a weight of just 2.2 pounds, along with up to 24.5 hours of battery life per charge. On performance, the Elite Dragonfly offers choices of processors from Intel's eighth-generation "Whiskey Lake" series—up to a Core i7—while the notebook includes a 13.3-inch convertible touch screen with FHD or 4K resolution.

HP Spectre x360 13

With its latest update to the Spectre x360 13, HP has brought improvements to areas including portability (a 13-percent reduction in overall size and 2.8-pound weight) and display (it's HP's "first 4K OLED 13-inch diagonal display with True Black HDR" and offers an optional built-in privacy screen). The latest Spectre x360 13, announced in September, also provides up to 22 hours of battery life on a charge and enhanced performance via a quad-core, 10th-gen Intel Core processor.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga, 4th Gen

While Lenovo's fifth-generation ThinkPad X1 Yoga is not available quite yet, the fourth-gen model from last year is still a very nice convertible laptop. Key features on the fourth-gen X1 Yoga include an option for UHD resolution on its 14-inch display; a built-in webcam cover and optional integrated privacy screen; and a 17-percent smaller footprint, thanks to reduced bezels and a thinner form factor (with a thickness of 0.59 of an inch thick). The latest ThinkPad X1 Yoga also gets improved performance by moving to Intel's "Whiskey Lake" eighth-gen Core processors, and provides battery life of up to 15 hours on a charge.

Lenovo Yoga C940

Lenovo's Yoga C940 offers a 14-inch display with either FHD or UHD resolution on an all-metal chassis, and weighs in at just below 3 pounds. Key features include a built-in privacy shutter and Windows Hello facial authentication, along with an "intelligent cooling mode" that helps enable better battery life (up to 17.5 hours of battery life for the FHD model, and up to 10.5 hours for UHD). The Yoga C940 also comes with a redesigned rotating sound bar with Dolby Atmos speakers, and sports powerful performance with up to a 10th-generation Intel Core i7 processor, as well.

Microsoft Surface Book 2

With Microsoft's Surface Book, the display fully detaches from the keyboard for use as a Windows 10 tablet, and the display can be flipped all the way around the reattached to the keyboard for use in stand mode. That means maximal flexibility depending on what your work-from-home setup requires. The Surface Book 2 also features major horsepower with an available eighth-gen Intel Core i7 processor (clock speed of up to 4.2GHz), an option for discrete Nvidia GeForce GTX graphics, and up to 16 GB of RAM. In addition, the Surface Book 2 offers up to 17 hours of battery life, and the notebook also has choices between vibrant 13.5-inch and 15-inch displays.