Freelancing is a fun way to make a living because most freelancers get to work at their own pace, from their choice of location. Being always on the move demands the best laptops for freelancers, that deliver high performance on the go. The average user will also expect excellent battery life in case they travel a lot. Others may look for a versatile device that is ideal for productivity and entertainment. Here’s a handpicked collection of the best laptops available at different price points and made for specific purposes.
Buying the right laptop for freelancing can be quite tricky as it will differ from one individual to another. It sorely depends on the type of freelancing work one does. For instance, a 3D artist will require a powerful laptop when compared to a blogger who would only need a basic one. However, on a general note, there are a few things you need to consider such as the display quality, processor power, storage options and so on. Here are some of the factors you need to keep in mind.
Display – The ideal display will depend on the type of freelancing work you do.
- Content writer – Displays with resolutions starting from 1366 x 768 are more than sufficient
- 3D or 2D Artists – Go for displays with a minimum resolution of 1920 x 1080
- Developers – As this may involve gaming too, it would be a safer bet to go with displays that have a resolution of 1920 x 1080
Portability – Freelancers often have to take their work with them wherever they go. Hence always go for a light and compact laptop. Portability doesn’t mean just being lightweight as you have to take the design of the laptop also into consideration.
Battery Life – Battery life goes hand in hand with portability. Freelancers who do content writing or software development should always go for laptops that last 6 to 8 hours. Those who work on graphics-intensive projects should look for somewhere between 3 to 4 hours as they require powerful laptops. It really depends on a variety of factors but as a general rule of thumb, always go for laptops that come with the highest possible battery life.
Mac or Windows – This is strictly based more on personal preference than anything else. In general, Windows laptops are more affordable but are less user friendly whereas Macs are pretty much the opposite.
Type of Freelance Work – The most important factor to look for is compatibility towards the type of work you do. For instance:
- Content Writers – Always go for a laptop that has an excellent keyboard and displays that come with good eye protection
- Artists and Video Editors – Laptops with high performing processors, a sufficient amount of RAM, large storage space and an excellent display are the way to go.
- Journalism and Travel Bloggers – The ideal laptop would be lightweight, portable and good at multi-tasking.
As a general note, you should always go for an SSD storage and extra RAM sticks to make your work that much easier to do.
See also: Best Chromebooks for business
Best Budget Laptop for Freelancers
Lenovo Chromebook C330 2-in-1 Convertible Laptop
A big debate continues to exist between Windows laptops and Chromebooks, but for a freelancer on a tight budget, the Lenovo Chromebook C330 is an easy pick. At just $200, it gets the job done, and you also have the option to work on the go when there is no internet. Based on Chrome OS by Google, the laptop has minimal space and is mainly dependent on an active internet connection.
Unless you are going to travel to a remote location, working out of a home office or a coffee shop with Wi-Fi connection is perfectly fine for this Chromebook. The laptop sports a compact 11.6-inch display with full HD 1080p resolution with an easy to carry around build quality. On the inside, it is powered by a MediaTek MT8173C processor coupled with 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage space, which is ideal for most file types.
For connectivity, the Chromebook has USB-C, USB 3.0, and you can always easily expand the storage capability with the built-in SD card slot. Google offers 100 GB of cloud storage. If you are always connected to the internet, it is very convenient to keep all your files online and access them any time without difficulty. The laptop also delivers in terms of software as it includes the OS, Google Sheets, Slides, and other apps needed for productivity.
What Makes the Lenovo Chromebook C330 2-in-1 Convertible Laptop a Budget Choice?
- The laptop folds both ways, making it convenient for work as well as recreation.
- It is quite affordable, includes the OS and software needed for most freelancers to work without any further investment.
- The Lenovo Chromebook C330 2-in-1 Convertible Laptop is a moderately powerful, budget laptop that has a very stylish finish. It is a productive machine that you can purchase because Windows OS is not a necessity for everyone, and you can also get all the work done with great battery life.
Best Lightweight Laptop to Have While on the Move
Asus VivoBook S 14-inch Laptop with NanoEdge Display
Having a thin and lightweight laptop is an ideal move for freelancers because most would want something productive but not very heavy. The Asus VivoBook S 14-inch Laptop with NanoEdge Display ticks all the right boxes because you can comfortably carry it in your backpack anywhere and start working immediately. The laptop weighs just 3.2 lbs and is extremely thin but still manages to have all the useful ports.
The pricing is slightly on the higher side, but Asus has justified it by adding an Nvidia GeForce MX150 graphics card. The addition of a GPU enables video loggers to quickly use Photoshop or maybe let freelancers who love games, check out a title without having to move to a desktop PC. The model sports a decent 14-inch display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels.
Under the stylish cream-colored metal body, the laptop houses an 8th generation Intel i7 8550U processor combined with 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB SSD. The inclusion of a solid-state drive makes it the best laptop that you could go for. It ensures there is no data corruption, and the Windows OS operates more reliable on SSDs than a conventional hard drive. It also has USB Type C apart from other traditional connectivity ports.
What Makes the Asus VivoBook S 14-inch Laptop with NanoEdge Display a Good Choice?
- The laptop weighs just 3.2 lbs making it extremely lightweight and easy to carry around.
- The nano edge display delivers good quality images even when viewed from side angles, and it houses a dedicated graphics card.
- The Asus VivoBook S 14-inch Laptop with NanoEdge Display is equipped with the best display and delivers a Surround Sound experience. It also has a good battery life, making it one of the best laptops for freelancers.
Best Freelancers’ Laptop with Multiple Connectivity Ports
Acer Aspire 5 Slim 15.6-inch Laptop
The Acer Aspire 5 Slim 15.6-inch Laptop excels in a wide range of areas, and surprisingly, the manufacturer has managed to keep the pricing of the product at an affordable range. At $500, the product offers some excellent features and provides value for money because there is no need to buy any more dongles. There are multiple connectivity ports on this device, including USB 3.1, USB Type C, HDMI, Ethernet, and many others needed to get your work completed.
The laptop also features an enormous 15.6-inch display, and it has a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels making it an ideal option for watching movies. The display features IPS technology, which significantly boosts viewing angles and also delivers excellent color, contrast ratio for immersive viewing. The hardware specs include an 8th generation Intel i5 8265U processor paired with 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB of SSD storage.
If you are a freelancer who likes to be on the move or at least travel once in a month, SSD is the way to go as they don’t have any data loss issues, and you can carry the laptop in your backpack anytime. The device uses the latest 802.11 Wi-Fi AC technology capable of delivering faster download and upload speeds with an impressive 9 hours of battery life. That is long enough to keep you working, and it also has a fingerprint reader for added security.
What Makes the Acer Aspire 5 Slim 15.6-inch Laptop a Versatile Solution?
- The Acer Aspire 5 is a sleek laptop and is filled with lots of connectivity ports so that you could hook up your TV, an additional hard drive, or phone, all at the same time.
- The battery life is an impressive 9.5 hours, and it has a fingerprint reader useful for many Windows 10 apps.
- The Acer Aspire 5 Slim 15.6-inch Laptop has a large HD display, which is excellent for work and entertainment. Be it YouTube videos or working on PowerPoint presentations, you can comfortably do it all while being able to connect multiple devices making it a versatile laptop for freelancers.
Most Popular Laptop for Freelancers with MacOS
Apple MacBook Air 13-inch Variant
Just take a stroll and ask any freelancer who is into writing, blogging, or social media management on the type of laptop they would want to use. Even though there are several other brands like Dell, HP, and Asus offering Windows machine, the Apple MacBook Air 13-inch edition is the most popular choice among freelancers and people who work at their convenience.
The surprising factor about Apple is that the company has never been keen on revealing their specifications to the general public. But, all their products would work out of the box and requires very little time for a person to set it up. Besides, you also get access to a stable macOS, and the build quality is the best of them all. The 13-inch display is vibrant, and an Intel i5 processor powers it.
The MacBook Air is the latest offering from the manufacturer, and it delivers excellent sound quality so that you can even use it to watch movies or YouTube videos. The downside is that it has only USB Type C ports and only two of them, limiting its capabilities. This particular model has 128 GB M.2 SSD making it one of the fastest laptops out there and is a good pick for anyone who doesn’t mind the few caveats.
What Makes the Apple MacBook Air 13-inch the Best Laptop for Freelancers?
- The best build quality is always a standard feature of Apple products.
- It is lightweight, has the fastest SSD, and runs on macOS.
- For any freelancer who is okay with the expensive price tag but needs a reliable product that would last them years, the Apple MacBook Air 13-inch variant is the right choice. You can’t expect it to have multiple connectivity ports or ample storage space. But, it is a reliable laptop meant to let you work without any hassles
Best Laptop for Freelance Designers
Acer Nitro 5 AN515 15.6-inch Laptop
The laptop that you use should be powerful if your work involves the use of designing software such as Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, or Corel Draw. These programs require lots of RAM, a powerful chipset and a graphics card which area minimum requirement to keep things running smooth. The Acer Nitro 5 AN515 is a 15.6-inch laptop that was originally marketed for gamers.
If you are looking to buy a powerful laptop or smartphone, you will often come across the gaming tag, which is sometimes better to ignore. But the Acer Nitro 5 is ideal for gaming because of its fantastic full HD IPS display and is equipped with a dedicated Nvidia GeForce gTX 1050Ti 4 GB card. The GFX allows you to have lots of power necessary to render designs much faster and have a fast laptop to be used on the go.
The Nitro 5 does look a bit flashy because it has a red-backlit keyboard and is larger, but the bigger footprint allows the laptop to stay cooler even when under heavy load. The heat dissipation design will ensure the laptop can last longer than usual. For freelance designers, it is a handy, essential gadget that runs on an 8th generation Intel i5 with 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB of SSD storage for all your files.
What Makes the Acer Nitro 5 AN515 a Great Laptop for Designers?
- The laptop has a dedicated GTX 1050Ti graphics card, which runs all designing software programs faster.
- It has a strong and large footprint making it less portable but ideal for tabletop usage in the long run.
- The Acer Nitro 5 AN515 is promoted as a gaming laptop, but if you are a freelance graphic designer who works from home or on the go, this is an excellent choice with some fantastic hardware specifications, including a dedicated graphics card.
The Best Premium Laptop for Freelancers from Microsoft
Microsoft Surface Laptop 2
The best laptops for freelancers are usually made by popular manufacturers like Dell, HP, and many others. Microsoft makes minimal products because they target the niche crowd, and they are quite expensive for the average person. But, if you are an experienced freelancer who has the cash to spend and looking for an exquisite laptop experience, this is the one to go for.
The Microsoft Surface Laptop 2 has a clean and elegant design that is instantly attractive. The lightweight product weighs 2.76 pounds allowing you to easily carry it in your backpack anywhere and start working in an instant. In terms of hardware specifications, the laptop is powered by an Intel Core i5 processor paired with 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB of storage space.
One of the impressive features of the Microsoft Surface Laptop 2 is its fantastic battery life. The device can comfortably last all day long with 14.5 hours of battery life to watch videos, browse the web, and so on. The 13.5-inch display is compact and easily fits in your backpack. It is also available in some exotic colors, including Burgundy, Platinum, and Cobalt Blue.
What Makes the Microsoft Surface Laptop 2 a Premium Device?
- The laptop has the best battery life, which could easily last 15 hours of usage, making it extremely reliable.
- A premium experience is delivered in terms of build quality, ease of use, and overall value for money.
- Freelancers who are looking for a premium experience and willing to spend the money. They can go for the Microsoft Surface Laptop 2, which is the best Windows alternative for a MacBook Air. It delivers on all fronts, including build quality, software experience, and battery life.
Best Laptops for Freelancers with a DVD Drive
HP 15.6-inch HD Touchscreen Laptop with DVD Drive
When was the last time you used a DVD to transfer files or watch a movie that you have in your collection? If you did it in the recent past, you are probably the target audience for Hewlett Packard. The HP 15.6-inch HD touchscreen laptop is geared towards old school freelancers who need lots of ports for quick connectivity along with SD Card reader and DVD drive, which are quite outdated now.
For those who already have a bunch of movies in DVD format, have files they use, or like to have all these extra ports instead of going the Apple route, this HP laptop ticks all the right boxes. There is no need to think twice because it is quite affordable and also features touchscreen technology to navigate on Windows 10 OS easily. The laptop runs on Windows 10 Home, has a webcam for calls and weighs just 4.51lbs.
The HP laptop is powered by an Intel Core i5 processor paired with 8 GB of RAM and has ample storage space provided by the 2 TB hard drive. That’s lots of space for all your video files and any other office work you would like to store. The laptop has a dedicated DVD Drive to access your physical disks and the SD card slot that can be used to transfer photographs as well as files from your phone’s SD card.
What Makes the HP 15.6-inch HD Touchscreen Laptop with DVD Drive an Old School Favorite?
- While the world is changing, having lots of ports will always be useful, and you can use all your old DVD collection.
- The touchscreen favors easy navigation, and the 2 TB storage is quite a handful.
- The HP 15.6-inch HD Touchscreen Laptop with DVD Drive offers excellent value for money because, for the pricing, you get a large full HD display with touchscreen capabilities. The laptop includes multiple ports, SD card reader, and the keyboard is sturdy, allowing you to work anytime, anywhere.
The Best Laptop for Freelance Video Editors
New Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch
The work of video editors who have to deal with large files and put through hours of video editing is not easy. The new Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch is the perfect companion for freelance video editors because it has been designed for such professionals. Be it Hollywood or freelancers, the Mac range of computers are ideal for video editing even though they are much more expensive than setting up a desktop PC.
The advantage of using an Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch is that you can do all your editing on the go. A lot of YouTubers already make use of the mobility the Apple product offers. You can also expect the laptop to last years and receive timely updates from Apple so that you get access to the latest software. Besides, the macOS also supports exclusive programs like Final Cut Pro that won’t work on a Windows Machine.
The new 13-inch model is powered by an 8th generation Intel i5 processor with 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage space. You might need an external hard drive with USB Type C port to transfer files as the built-in storage is much less. The battery life is quite good at 10 hours for this powerful device, which also features a touch bar to quickly access tools in the software programs you use.
What Makes the New Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch Best for Video editors?
- The build quality is top-notch that makes this Apple product a fantastic choice.
- It is designed especially for video editing and therefore, features exclusive software programs and is quite reliable.
- New Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch is among the best laptops for freelancers because of its value for money. It is a powerhouse that comfortably handles all kinds of video as well as audio editing work that professionals do daily.
Lightweight Best Laptops for Freelancers
LG Gram 15.6-inch 2019 Laptop
The LG Gram 15.6-inch 2019 laptop is the best solution for freelancers who are looking for a lightweight and easy-to-carry-around solution. While manufacturers have lots of new models, LG nailed everything right with the Gram series, which is known for its impeccable build quality, lightweight design, and the numbers of ports. They have managed to integrate everything, including an HDMI port, USB Type C, and headphone jack, among others.
While the Apple MacBook models released are often constrained by the number of ports and choices available, LG goes the conventional way to offer great value for money. The Gram laptop weighs just 2.5lbs, and it has a fantastic battery life of up to 21.5 hours. Not many models can make such tall claims, but this one does.
The model is powered by the latest 8th generation Intel i5 processor combined with 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB of SSD storage. If you are looking for a professional solution that is capable of handling some rough travel, SSDs are the way to go, but very few models offer that. Some of them are more expensive, and the LG Gram is on the same lines. The laptop has a 15.6-inch display, and the keyboard is backlit so that it is easy to use in the dark.
What Makes the LG Gram 15.6-inch 2019 Laptop a True Professional Solution?
- The laptop offers the most impressive battery life at nearly 21 hours.
- The slim and lightweight design adds up to the portability factor making it the best laptop for freelancers.
- The LG Gram has been around for some time now, and it is known for its lightweight design, excellent battery life, and performance. If you can handle the price tag, this should be the best pick on your list because the product is very useful and provides real value-for-money.
Best Budget-Friendly Laptop for Freelancers
Dell Inspiron 15.6-inch Touchscreen Laptop
Designed to be easy on your wallet, Dell has delivered a laptop that is moderately powerful and is capable of handling all your freelancing tasks with ease. You can be freelancing by being a blogger, writer, accountant, or a social media executive. Everyone needs a reliable and trustworthy product to work with, which is what the Dell Inspiron 15.6-inch Touchscreen laptop delivers.
The touchscreen is pretty much a vast value-added addition in this segment because it lets you easily navigate Windows 10 OS bundled with this laptop. The model sports an adequately sized 15.6-inch touchscreen display, and on the inside, it is powered by the Intel i3 dual-core processor clocked at 2.7 GHz. It has 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB SSD storage that ensures the utmost safety for all your office files.
While in terms of design, the Dell laptop may not impress you to the core, it gets the job done and is sturdy enough to withstand all the traveling you do. The device has a large keyboard with ample spacing that reduces wrist strain when you type, and it has an SD card reader to access your physical storage media. The additional ports include HDMI and USB ports, and everything else needed to work without interruptions.
What Makes the Dell Inspiron 15.6-inch Touchscreen Laptop a Good Choice?
- The laptop has a large touchscreen display ideal for navigating the Windows 10 OS.
- The SSD storage, good battery life, and pricing are all pros of this product.
- The Dell Inspiron 15.6-inch Touchscreen laptop has a sleek matte black finish with lots of ports, including an SD card reader, to access older files stored on physical media. The pricing is on point as it is affordable for most freelancers, and you can even purchase it to be your backup laptop as it works quite well, besides being fast and responsive to touch.
Most Powerful and Expensive Laptop for Freelancers
Razer Blade 15 Gaming Laptop with RTX 2070 2019 Edition
Razer is a PC gaming peripherals manufacturer, and when they ventured into the world of laptops, the company delivered some impressive products. At the same time, they have some of the most expensive products out there that goas much as $2000 or even more. The Razer Blade 15 Gaming Laptop with RTX 2070 2019 Edition is one such super-powerful laptop.
The product is primarily focused on gaming, but being a freelancer, you could use it for a wide variety of purposes. The graphics card ensures all your editing software, such as Photoshop, Avid Pro, and everything else is instantly responsive. The Razer Blade 15-inch is equipped with the latest RTX graphics card, which is adequately supported by the 9th generation Intel i7 processor with 16 GB of RAM and 256 GB SSD storage option.
You can make it even more powerful by making use of the Thunderbolt 3 port, which lets you attach an external GPU and make use of the excessive power delivered. The laptop is also 100% sRGB tuned, making it color accurate for freelancers who design content and want to ensure that these contents look their best on every other monitor. The monitor has a 240Hz refresh rate, and the keyboard is fully backlit.
What Makes the Razer Blade 15 Gaming Laptop with RTX 2070 2019 Edition Powerful?
- The inclusion of the Nvidia RTX 2070 graphics card makes it the most potent choice for video editing, designing, and audio works.
- It is sleek, compact, and has a professionally color-tuned monitor.
- The Razer Blade 15 Gaming Laptop with RTX 2070 2019 Edition is expensive but delivers on all fronts and is a must-have for freelancers who work as designers, YouTube bloggers and have plenty of video editing requirement. The powerful graphics card, excellent display, and gaming capabilities make it a complete package
Best Laptops for Freelancers with a MacBook Inspired Design
Huawei MateBook X Pro Signature Edition
Apple inspires most manufacturers, but LG, Dell, and HP go with their take on slim, lightweight laptops. Huawei didn’t do it but rather delivered a completely MacBook like experience, even with the inclusion of just three connectivity ports. The Huawei MateBook X Pro Signature Edition is a solid recreation of the MacBook Pro and Air editions.
The laptop is elite in its build quality as it features a 13.9-inch display that has an extensive 3K resolution and offers the most pixels per inch. Every image, video, and content you see on-screen looks so good that it will motivate freelancers to work better. After all, if you are a designer or social media expert, you have to manage lots of images, and they look amazing with this display.
The Huawei MateBook X Pro is powered by an i5 processor with 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB SSD storage. The laptop is slim, easy to carry around, and has a silvery finish making it more premium than what its price tag suggests. The display is nearly bezel-less, and they have managed to push the camera to the keyboard area. The pricing is a bit expensive, but what it delivers is much better.
What Makes the Huawei MateBook X Pro Signature Edition a Great Windows Alternative?
- The build quality is premium, and it is incredibly lightweight.
- The laptop has the best display without an annoying front camera and delivers MacBook like feel on the Windows 10 OS.
- The Huawei MateBook X Pro Signature Edition is priced right, considering the premium finish and a host of useful features. Except for the lack of ports, the laptop is impressive in terms of display clarity, and powerful hardware specs. The laptop is excellent to handle.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I go For Windows or Mac as a freelancer?
Unfortunately, there is no specific answer that can be given to the above question. Both come with their own advantages and disadvantages and ultimately it depends on your personal preference and requirements. Laptops with Windows are generally more affordable and allow more customization. Macs on the other hand are more expensive but offer an unparalleled experience when it comes to U.I and overall performance.
As a freelancer how much RAM should I look for on my laptop?
This will depend mostly on the type of freelancing work you do. Video editors and artists will require a minimum of 8 GB of RAM in their laptops whereas general freelancing needs a minimum of 4 GB. One way to figure the right amount is to check the minimum requirements for the software you mostly use and add 1 or 2 GB of RAM on top of it to ensure a hassle-free working experience.
Wouldn’t it be better to buy a powerful PC rather than an expensive laptop for my freelancing needs?
There was a time when there was a significant difference between the performance capability of a desktop and a laptop but all that has changed thanks to technology. Today many laptops in the market can stand neck to neck with powerful PCs. As a freelancer, you might have to work while you are on vacation or when you are traveling to someplace. A laptop is the most ideal solution for freelancers as it provides high performance, great visuals and amazing portability.
What are some of the standard tasks a laptop must be able to perform for general freelancing purposes?
General freelancing purposes involve almost everything except for graphics-intensive tasks. One of the most important things you need to look into is the laptops ability to multi-task. It should have enough specs to switch from 1 task to another without any lag. Another key factor to look at is its battery life. The longer the battery life the better. Don’t prioritize battery life over performance though. Ideally, you would want to find the right balance between both.
Should I future-proof my laptop as a freelancer?
As a general rule, it is always wise to future-proof your laptop to get better value for your money. However, this doesn’t mean that you should only go for expensive models with insanely high specs. It also depends on the type of work you do and the software programs you use. If you feel that your software always keeps getting updated every year and demands higher specs, then you will have to invest a little bit of money. For general freelancing needs, you can go for a laptop that is a little bit more powerful than what is required and you will be good to go.
The best laptops for freelancers are available in different flavors and sizes, ranging from an inexpensive Dell laptop to premium choices like MacBook Pro and Razer Blade products. It is all about what you require because unless you are a designer or video editor, you may not need to spend $1000 on a laptop. Similarly, video editing professionals and game streamers should invest in a great laptop to ensure their freelancing job is done right with superior quality.