You thought that the lockdown would only be a week, a month at most. Yet, here we are, more than half a year into the pandemic with cases about to cross the eight million mark. Even though unemployment rates have been falling since the April spike, the job market is still a mess.
With 42% of the U.S. labor force working from home full-time according to the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, now is the perfect time for you to take the leap and start pursuing your dreams from home. This is especially true for parents who want to take care of their kids while still working. Of course, you’re going to need the right equipment. Take a look at the absolute essential upgrades you need to start your work from home journey.
How can you expect to work from home if you don’t have something to do that work on? Any person who wants to work from home must have access to at least one of these gadgets.
Best laptops: Xiaomi Notebook Pro and HP Elitebook 1040G3
A good laptop is essential for anyone wanting to work from home. It’s versatile, you can carry it around anywhere in the house so you’re not tied down to working in one area. Our pick for this category is the Xiaomi’s Notebook Pro. It comes equipped with an 8th generation Intel i5 processor that’s more than capable of handling any sort of spreadsheet, doc, or productivity task you throw at it. It’s even got an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 if you need to do some image and video editing. Honestly, for the discounted price it’s at right now, you can’t go wrong with this pick.
Another wonderful option is this refurbished Elitebook 1040G3 from HP. It’s got an older 6th gen intel processor but it’s an i7 rather than the Xiaomi laptop, although they are still comparable in terms of performance. Refurbished electronics also give you all the benefits without shouldering the full retail price. You can check out more refurbished work from home laptops and PCs here.
Best PC: Dell OptiPlex 5040
For those who need a little more oomph than a laptop, this PC from Dell might just be perfect. It’s got a quad-core i5 processor that has a minimum clock rate of 3.20GHz. If you have a bit of space on your desk to fit a slip PC like this, a good PC can make all the difference in terms of your productivity.
The bottom of the case has two spare 2.5in drive bays with power cables ready to attach to SSDs or laptop hard drives. This expandability allows you to store lots of work files, movies, applications, and much more. There are three memory slots that can take twelve extra gigabytes of DDR3 RAM. There are two free SATA ports, one PCI-Express x1 and one x4 slot apiece as well as single PCI-Express x16 and PCI slots.
These specifications really give the Dell OptiPlex 5040 a ton of flexibility to suit plenty of needs. This is definitely a solid contender if you want a reliable work from home station.
Best tablet: iPad
Yes, we know. Working on an iPad? Have you guys gone mad?
Don’t let what articles say about working on a tablet fool you. The truth is, tablets have come so far from the clunky, slow, and unresponsive slabs they once were. Tablets, like the third-generation iPad, combine the intuitiveness of a phone with the screen real estate of a laptop. You can get yourself a refurbished 3rd Gen iPad for less than $900, and that’s quite a steal.
Tablets are perfect for creative types such as graphic designers or digital artists with you being able to use a pen (the Apple Pencil in this case) so you have more precision.
When it comes down to it, the choice will ultimately depend on the career you’re trying to pursue. Pick the best device that matches the nature of your work and you should be good to go! Good luck!