The pandemic has completely changed the way people get work done. Going to an office would have put real lives in jeopardy, which meant that working from home became a lot more common.
Communication is key to an efficient organization though, so in order to facilitate meetings and the like, people started holding them over Zoom calls. Video conferencing is now the norm for most big companies, so if you are in the market for a laptop you might want to get something that would be suitable for this type of usage.
A major problem that a lot of people are facing here is that many laptops, even high-end ones that have really amazing specs, simply don’t have great webcams. There are a bunch of other features that are required to make smooth and seamless video conferencing possible as well, so we will be discussing them in our Buyer’s Guide as well as providing you with a list of the top 5 best laptops that can make attending Zoom meetings a breeze!
Laptop for Zoom: What You Should Be Looking For
Buying the best laptop for video conferencing or zoom meetings is different than other uses. The reason is you don’t need much latest CPU but a good camera. Here are my thoughts on the 5 most important things you should be looking for.
- Webcam: This is one of the more obvious things that you would want to be on the lookout for. You don’t want to spend excess money on a separate webcam after all, so it would be better if you were to get something that has a good webcam built-in. Anything less than 2 megapixels or 1080p is not going to be worth your while.
- RAM: You might not realize it, but video conferencing requires quite a bit of memory. You should get something that offers at least 8GB RAM otherwise you might have to deal with frequent program crashes or a slow video call performance. People that are on a tight budget might be able to make do with 4GB RAM, but this is the absolute floor when it comes to memory if you want a smooth enough video call.
- Quality Speakers and Mic: Audio quality is an essential aspect of video calls. Without a set of quality speakers and a mic, you won’t be able to hear what other people are saying nor would you have the chance to get a word in edgewise. Ensuring top-notch audio quality can help facilitate easy communication and you once again wouldn’t want to have to rely on an external headset.
- Display: In the same way that you would need to send a quality video feed to your fellow meeting attendees, your own display should be able to facilitate a crystal clear image for you as well. It can be somewhat disorienting to be in the middle of a pitch only to have the other person’s video become fuzzy or low-quality. A solid display with real colors can help you overcome some of the awkwardness that is often associated with switching to video conferences since you might not know how to handle talking to a screen instead of a real person without it.
- Heat Management: This is another one of those things that people don’t realize the importance of when it comes to doing video calls and the like. The thing that you should note here is that taking part in video conferences all day will really start to overheat your system. Hence, you should avoid laptops that have a tendency to overheat as this will get worse over time. Constant overheating can do a great deal of damage to your system after all.
Top 5 Laptops for Zoom Video Calls
Acer Swift 3 Thin & Light Laptop, 14″ Full HD IPS, AMD Ryzen 7 4700U Octa-Core with Radeon Graphics, 8GB LPDDR4, 512GB NVMe SSD, Wi-Fi 6, Backlit KB, Fingerprint Reader, Alexa Built-in
Lenovo Flex 5 14″ 2-in-1 Laptop, 14.0″ FHD (1920 x 1080) Touch Display, AMD Ryzen 5 4500U Processor, 16GB DDR4, 256GB SSD, AMD Radeon Graphics, Digital Pen Included, Win 10, 81X20005US, Graphite Grey
Dell Inspiron 15 3000 Laptop (2021 Latest Model), 15.6″ HD Display, Intel N4020 Dual-Core Processor, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, Webcam, HDMI, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Black, Windows 10
Apple 13in MacBook Pro, Retina Display, 2.3GHz Intel Core i5 Dual Core, 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD, Silver, MPXR2LL/A (Renewed)
1. Acer Swift 3
- 8GB RAM
- AMD Ryzen 7 4000
- 256-512 GB SSD
- 14 inch display
Acer has provided a surprisingly effective laptop for the modern employee with the Swift 3. The 14-inch display provides quite a bit of clarity, and there are a number of really specific features that would make it perfect for regular video conferencing. One such feature is the PurifiedVoice tech that is used to optimize voice recordings from the built-in mic. This will provide superior clarity that will make it so that you can get your message across with crystal clear audio.
The fact that this laptop features tech that specifically improves audio quality is quite useful, and what’s more is that it has a built-in fingerprint sensor as well. This is particularly important for security purposes. Working from home has created a number of serious security problems for major corporations since employees don’t have access to the same level of security that would have been available at the office. The fingerprint sensor can help make up for this to a certain extent.
Overall there really isn’t anything we didn’t like about this laptop from a work-from-home perspective. Even the battery life is phenomenal since it can allow you to work on all of your tasks for a full twelve hours once it has been fully charged which is long enough for even the most workaholic of workdays.
2. Lenovo Flex 5
- AMD Ryzen 7
- 16GB RAM
- 512GB SSD
- 14 inch display
The main reason why we feel that the Lenovo Flex 5 is such a good option for frequent video calls is its versatility. The 360-degree hinge can allow you to turn this laptop into a tablet which can be great since you wouldn’t have a keyboard getting in the way of your view of your fellow meeting attendees. While the 14-inch screen is a bit on the smaller side for some, the fact that there are no bezels really helps to maximize screen real estate which is another feature that we all know works really well for video calls and the like.
We also really loved the webcam since it offers a 720p resolution. This is arguably the single best built-in webcam that you can find on the market, and it offers a crystal clear picture to anyone that you might be speaking to. Additionally, we felt that this laptop did a good job of preserving your privacy too. The webcam shutter is a perfect thing to use when you are afraid that someone might hack into your system and spy on you, and things like this are quite essential to take into consideration when you work from home. Hackers that want to gain access to your organization’s servers might use you as a stepping stone, so you should take steps to protect yourself accordingly.
3. Dell Inspiron 15
- 8GB RAM
- Intel Core i5
- 1TB HDD
- AMD Radeon 350 Graphics
One thing that can prove to be rather important when you are taking back-to-back video calls is the size of your screen. A small screen would limit your laptop’s capabilities in this regard since the various members of the video calls would be squeezed into the limited screen real estate, so the fact that this offering from Dell has a 15.6-inch screen is definitely something that could make it worth your while.
The laptop is a bit on the heavier side, but this isn’t a huge problem since you’ll be working from home and so wouldn’t really require all that much portability. The 8GB of RAM can ensure smooth video all performance, and a surprisingly useful feature that is offered here is the 1 terabyte hard drive. A lot of video calls need to be recorded and stored on your system so that you can peruse them at a later date when you need a reference or additional information. The ample hard disk space is therefore a major plus point, although the fact that it is an HDD as opposed to an SSD is one downside that prevented this laptop from gaining the top spot on our list.
Overall this is a really solid laptop that can make working from home a dream come true. While the heftiness and HDD might not be everyone’s cup of tea, this is a good starting point if you want a durable and effective machine.
4. Macbook Pro
- Intel Core i7
- 512 GB SSD
- 16GB RAM
- 720p Facetime Camera
Apple’s Macbooks are in some ways the pinnacle of laptop tech, but one thing that prevents us from ranking this laptop higher on our list is the price. This laptop is prohibitively expensive, but it has the potential to completely transform your work from home experience. The most pertinent feature that can impact your ability to do well in Zoom meetings and video calls is the 720p webcam that is built into this machine.
This webcam is about as good as the one you get from the Lenovo Flex 5, and it can be a great addition to your video calling repertoire. Another thing that sets this laptop apart is the phenomenal amount of RAM. 16GB is a huge amount of memory, and it can make glitches and frozen frames a thing of the past.
The backlit display provides a very accurate representation of the colors on your screen which can be useful when it comes to video calls as it can make it seem like you are talking to a real person rather than just a digital image. There are two screen sizes available here of 15 inches and 13 inches, and you can choose whichever size works best for you. Larger sizes tend to be more useful in video calls and the like so you might want to keep this in mind. We would say that some of the features that this laptop offers for video calls can be purchased a bit more cheaply from other company’s though.
5. Microsoft Surface Laptop
- Intel Core i5
- 8GB RAM
- 13.5 inch screen
Microsoft’s Surface tablet was a strong contender in the tablet PC world, but the Surface laptop managed to take things to a whole other level. The laptop runs on a different version of Windows than you might be used to, and this helps to simplify the user interface and help the laptop run a bit more smoothly. There is adequate RAM on offer here for good quality video calls, and the 720p camera is another thing that can help you keep yourself seen in a cluttered team meeting.
There is also a fair bit of portability on offer with this laptop, but a major prohibitive factor that might make some people not want to buy it is the price. While the specs are solid, especially for things like video calls, the laptop doesn’t offer quite enough to justify the price. It does offer performance comparable to a Macbook in some respects though, and if you prefer to use Windows instead of Mac OS this laptop might just be perfect for you.
The touch screen is a nice addition too since it can help improve your ability to interface with the laptop easily, and overall this is a pretty decent alternative to some of the other laptops we have added to this list. While it’s not quite superior to any of the entries preceding it, it still manages to offer enough value to warrant a place in our top 5.