As more people work from home full time or on as-needed basis, a fully functional home office has grown in importance.
The number of people who regularly work from home (and who are not self-employed) has more than doubled since 2005, according to Global Workplace Analytics) and increased 6.5 percent in 2014 from the prior year. Up to a quarter of U.S. employees have worked from home some of the time, the firm also found.
But finding the best computer and printer at the right price for your home office can be overwhelming given the large number of options. Using Consumer Reports’ 2016 Buying Guide, this list narrows down the options by showing the top-scoring desktop and laptop computers and all-in-one and regular printers that are recommended by this trusted source.
Consumer Reports compared three types of desktop computer, testing performance, versatility, ergonomics, display and speakers. It also considered features like display size, processor, memory and storage.
Best all-in-one desktop
Dell XPS 27 Touch
Best compact desktop
Acer Aspire X AXC-605-UB1F
Best full-sized desktop
Dell XPS 8700, Special Edition
Consumer Reports compared seven types of laptops, testing ergonomics, portability, performance, versatility and display. It also looked at features such as battery life, weight, processor and memory.
Best 10- to 11-inch laptop
Apple MacBook Air, 11-inch MJVM2LL/A
Best 10- to 15-inch detachable laptop
Microsoft Surface Pro 3
Best 11- to 15-inch convertible laptop
HP Spectre x360-13t Touch
Best 13-inch laptops (tie)
Acer Aspire S7-392-6832 Ultrabook
Asus Zenbook UX305FA-ASM1
Best 14-inch laptop
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon
Best 15- to 16-inch laptop
Apple MacBook Pro 15-inch with Retina Display MJLQ2LL/A
Best 17- to 18-inch laptops (tie)
Lenovo Z70 80FG0038US
Lenovo Y70 80DU00DSUS
Consumer Reports included three types of all-in-one printers. It tested a host of qualities like ink cost per month; photo, copy, scan and text quality; versatility and power saving.
Best all-in-one black-and-white laser printer
Canon ImageClass MF229DW
Best all-in-one color laser printer
Best all-in-one inkjet printers (tie)
Epson Expression Premium XP-620
Epson Expression Premium XP-820
Consumer Reports included three types of regular printers. It tested photo and text quality, speed, ink cost per month and versatility among other features.
Best black-and-white laser printers (tie)
Samsung Xpress M2835DW
HP LaserJet Pro 400 M401dw
Best color laser printer
Best inkjet printers (tie)
Canon Pixma iP8720
Canon Pixma iX6820
Consumer Reports reviewed more than 2,000 brand-name electronics, home appliances, garden supplies and paint for its 2016 Buying Guide. The guide offers reviews, recommendations and advice on purchasing these items. For more information, buy and download the guide here.