If you have a need to have a secondary computer, it might make more sense and save you money if you use AWS Workspaces.
The cost starts at $25 per month. Therefore a yearly fee would be $300. This is interesting because a cheap laptop would be $300 but there are additional costs. You have to pay for electricity, you have to bring it with you, it takes up space and creates heat in the summer and noise. In the cloud you simply have another window and use your existing computer.
You can use it on any computer you have. It is easy to setup and the future of the desktop experience. I love the fact that it removes risk to security that the current offline model has. With a regular laptop you have to secure it, and do all sorts of things to make it safe. However since it is online, there are limited ways in which it can be affected which reduce the cost and complexity around managing it for business.
How does this differ from a VPS or virtual private server? Well the purpose of the VPS is to allow someone to log into it remotely and manage server functions. For example, when I first started with this website it was on a VPS at Inmotion. It really worked well but I was curious and tried other hosting companies. I really like Inmotion and Rackspace and they did a great job. However as a private site that doesn’t make money, their costs were more than I wanted to spend. For companies they make perfect sense and would be a great alternative if they don’t wish to use Azure or AWS.
I am debating getting a AWS workspaces subscription myself for personal use. I like to experiment and normally I do that on a VM on my local laptop. It is easy, but it would be nice to push that to the cloud if possible for security and ease of management.