Working from home is a very interesting alternative especially in case of problems, transport strike, confinement, or other. Of course, you have to have the necessary equipment around you, depending on your activity, but the most important thing is to have a laptop that holds up and that allows you to do everything you have to do: work, of course. , but also participate in online meetings, and especially with a power adapted to what one does. From stationary PC to laptop for those who wish to keep a little mobility, under Windows, MacOS, Chrome or even Linux or Ubuntu… The possibilities are almost endless. This is a good thing because it means that somewhere there is necessarily the laptop made for you, to telework. Very Goods help you review the various alternatives available to you in order to help you choose the most suitable PC for your situation. In addition to that, we offer you a comparative guide of the best models on the market, mixing up all the categories that we have discussed beforehand. Thus, you will be able to choose your PC to telework knowingly.
HOW TO CHOOSE ?
Desktop tower or laptop?
Before we dive into the question of OS and configurations, it’s important to know whether you want to go for a desktop or a laptop. Of course, they each have their advantages and disadvantages, so it is very important to distinguish between things and know what to choose.
We will start by talking about stationary computers, also called office towers. Their first asset, the one that we remember, is the fact that the components are easily accessible: you just have to open the tower and the motherboard, RAM, graphics card, processor, hard disk appear … It is very practical because this allows you to improve your computer key by key over the years, in order to keep it functional without spending a fortune. On the other hand, it takes up more space in a room, and you have to count in addition the purchase of separate peripherals: a screen, a keyboard, a mouse, possibly a webcam, a microphone, a headset. But the advantage is that this computer can be versatile and be used for something other than work. On your break hours you can play on it a bit, for example.
The laptop PC, of course, shines with its mobility. Where it is complicated to walk around with its tower and its screen under your arm, a laptop PC immediately finds its place in a bag or a carrying case, to work from anywhere. Of course, the principle of teleworking is to stay at home, but even there you may want to change rooms, move, or even go to coworking spaces. It is even possible to have to go to your offices in person. And in this case, all you have to do is bring your computer with you and voila. But, just like the desktop PC, there are drawbacks. The first is that today’s machines are made from a block. It is then complicated to access the parts to change them individually, whether in the event of a breakdown or as part of a hardware improvement.
So here is the first choice you have to make: PC or laptop? To synthesize, a fixed computer, in a house, has its place in a living room or an office. It is intended to be used more or less by everyone (outside working hours) and can be used for many other things than gaming. The laptop PC has a more personal aspect, can be take everywhere, but is limited by its autonomy (in the absence of plug) and the difficulty that one can encounter in changing parts. It’s up to you to see what you prefer.
The choice of the OS, a capital element
Now that you know what laptop format you want, it’s time to take a look at the OS. Although there is a whole slew of them, especially at the level of alternative operating systems (Linux, Ubuntu, etc.), we are going to focus on the three main ones that are found on the market: Windows, MacOS and Chrome. .
Why is this important? Quite simply because depending on the OS, especially between Windows and MacOs, there may be compatibility problems with files, because the applications that are used to open them are sometimes not available on the other machine. It is increasingly rare because developers now make sure that everything is compatible, but it can happen, especially on cutting-edge software, such as video editing. Indeed, on MacOS there are editing software specific to Apple, which you will not be able to export to Windows, and vice versa. This is just one example among many. Our advice is that if you have a Mac in your workplace, it is better to go with a Mac at home.
To go into a bit of detail, let’s see the differences between the different OS. As you know, Windows is Microsoft’s operating system, MacOS is Apple’s and ChromeOS is Google’s. Windows is the most used, and the one that you will find on the majority of devices available on the market. It doesn’t matter what brand of laptop you have: Dell, HP, MSI, Asus, Acer, Lenovo … there is a good chance that you will come across a model with Windows. It is the simplest operating system, the one we all know, and the easiest to learn. It is opposite MacOS, each version of which changes its name, and which you will find on all Apple products: iMac, MacBook, iPad, iPhone, etc. It is an excellent operating system, stable and fluid, much appreciated by those who work on image and video. They are powerful, slim devices with a clean look. If you’re new to MacOS, the transition from Windows can be a bit abrupt. But after a few hours, you will have the automation of these devices and can easily use them.
Finally, comes ChromeOS, for devices running with Chrome. Just like Windows, you can find ChromeOS on PCs of all brands. Be careful not to go wrong with the purchase, because the differences between the two are obvious in use. ChromeOS uses an Android operating system, like those that can be found on smartphones. Thus, you will not be disoriented using a laptop PC running ChromeOS because you will have to go through the Google Play Store to download your work apps. These laptops, Chromebooks, are very popular with students because they are not very expensive. This is due to their very small capacity hard drive, as all storage is done online through the Google Cloud. So you often end up with product sheets that indicate 32 GB of storage, but we must not stop at that. You will have 100 GB of offers on the Google Cloud, which is more than enough for office automation. Because the downside of Chromebooks is that they don’t allow you to play games. In any case, traditional gaming. However, you will still be able to download games from the Google Play Store and play them on your laptop. But don’t expect to spin any headlines outside of that. This is not the primary purpose of the Chromebook. you will still be able to download games from the Google Play Store and play them on your laptop. But don’t expect to spin any headlines outside of that. This is not the primary purpose of the Chromebook. you will still be able to download games from the Google Play Store and play them on your laptop. But don’t expect to spin any headlines outside of that. This is not the primary purpose of the Chromebook.
So here are the three things to remember when it comes to OS: MacOS if you’re used to it, or if you work a lot on editing images, photos or videos. Of course it’s not limited to this use, but that’s what we recommend. If you’re on a budget, looking for an office-only device or just a troubleshooting laptop before you get back to the comfort of your desk, a Chromebook is the best bet. Especially since you can add external storage via the USB ports. Finally, for versatile use, more classic, of course, but suitable for the majority of users: Windows is a safe bet, which you will find anyway with the vast majority of laptops on the market.
It’s time to take a look at the insides of laptops, and the components that make them run. Because now it will be about the configuration of your laptop. The more DIYers among you can buy the parts and one by one to assemble their machine as they see fit. It’s not very complicated and it takes a little curiosity. Others turn more easily to ready-made configurations. It is still necessary to monitor whether the proposed components are not too old, otherwise you risk rapid obsolescence, which could be very annoying, especially for a portable configuration.
The first thing to look at is the processor. It is the nerve center of your machine and it is it which will more or less increase the overall power of your device. For that, there are two big brands: Intel and AMD. For a PC, whether fixed or portable, we recommend a minimum of Intel i5 to have a relatively efficient device. At the time of writing, the most powerful model is the Intel i9. For those who prefer there is of course the equivalent at AMD, with Ryzen processors. You can find Intel i3 processors, which are pretty decent, especially on Chromebooks that don’t require a lot of configuration to run. But if you want a laptop that does more than just office stuff and will last you a couple of years, an i5 is a union minimum.
Along with the processor comes the graphics card. Its presence is not essential and some laptops do without it very well, using the power of the processor for graphics. If you do office automation, no problem, you won’t notice the difference. On the other hand, if you do a more sustained activity, you will need a dedicated graphics card. Depending on your machine, stationary or portable, they are not the same size and do not have the same power. Just like processors, there are two big schools for graphics cards: Nvidia and AMD. It’s hard to recommend a particular model to you, as new ones come out regularly. We can nevertheless refer you to our article “how to choose your graphics card” so that you have more information on the subject. But remember this:
Third important technical aspect: RAM, or random access memory. It is this which will be used when you are going to launch a program, a software or a game, and that it will open and run more or less quickly. RAM comes in the form of bars that clip onto the motherboard. Nowadays, it is counted in gigabytes and we recommend a minimum of 8 GB of RAM to be comfortable in front of your PC. Again, everything is relative, and if you opt for a small PC or a Chromebook for office only, 6 GB or 4 GB may be more than enough. 8 GB is more for the purpose of where you want a versatile laptop. Be aware that the most powerful models on the market can go up to 64 GB of RAM, but unless you want to launch a rocket, you won’t need to go that far.
Finally, let’s talk about storage, the culmination of a good configuration. Indeed, you need space to save your documents, images or videos if necessary. If you are a graphic designer, for example, you know that a project can be several tens of gigabytes. So you need enough space to be able to work. This problem, if any, can be circumvented by external storage spaces, such as USB keys or an external hard drive. But if you don’t want to mess around with it, you better have a fairly solid basic hard drive. You have three technologies on the market, which can very well coexist elsewhere. First, there is the classic hard drive, or HDD. It is the most popular model, its price has dropped a bit with the arrival of SSDs on the market, and there are models of 2, 4, 6 or 8 TB quite easily. Then come the famous SSDs: these are also hard disks but their access and reading speed is ten times that of an HDD. Your files open faster, you browse your folders faster, in short: it’s better. But it’s also more expensive. Some manufacturers opt for a compromise: the OS is installed on an SSD, so that the laptop turns on in a few seconds. For data, the baton is passed to a hard drive. This allows, among other things, to only have to format the SSD in the event of a problem, or, on the contrary, to empty the entire HDD while leaving Windows (or other) installed. And finally, let’s talk about the eMMC memory hybrid, not without interest, whose capacities lie between the HDD and the SSD. It is a memory that is found in the vast majority on Chromebooks, its speed is about 5 times greater than that of an HDD. It allows fast access, but limited in terms of capacity. Usually eMMCs have between 32 and 34 GB of storage space.
Now that you know all of this, you can choose your PC for telecommuting with peace of mind. You just need to have in mind what you plan to do with it in everyday life, and do not hesitate to anticipate, if the budget allows it, for its future use. Thus, your telecommuting laptop will follow you for a few years without you needing to change it.