Are you someone who is almost always on the go, packing a computer wherever the next destination happens to be? Whether you are a remote worker, blogger, or business leader en-route to your next presentation, one thing you all have in common is the need for a reliable laptop wherever life demands. This is why we have decided to share with you our list of the best laptops for traveling.
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As a remote worker myself who has flown with my laptop many times this year, I have come to understand a few things about what makes an ideal laptop for traveling.
Whatever your reasons are and whichever your description fits, searching for the best travel laptop can be a confusing task. You need to balance the best quality specifications you can that will still fit within suit your budget. While you can almost always rely on the brand leaders to produce a quality laptop, some may well be duds. So just buying a name, doesn’t promise quality, so research is required.
So without further ado, to aim your weary mind, we present to you the 10 best laptops for traveling.
The best laptops for traveling
- DELL XPS 13
- Apple MacBook Air
- Microsoft Surface Book 2
- HP Spectre X360
- Lenovo Yoga C930
- Acer Aspire E15
- Microsoft Surface Go
- Lenovo Chromebook C330
- Acer Swift 7
- ASUS ZenBook 13
1. DELL XPS 13
The best laptop for travel and work
- Dell XPS 13 offers a 13.3-inch infinity edge display
- The battery life of this laptop is 7 hours and 50 minutes
- 1.8-GHz Intel Core i7-8565Uh
- 16GB of RAM
- 1TB SSD
- 4K touch screen
After a few attempts where some silly things weren’t quite up to scratch, Dell has finally produced a stunning laptop in their XPS range. From the gorgeous design to the stunning 4K touch screen when you open it up, there is a lot to love about this machine. Elegant on the outside, yet all power inside, the Dell XPS 13 is perfect for travelers.
The XPS 13 is a laptop with long battery life and lightweight, making it easy and convenient to take anywhere, and it will not let you down. Whether for business or personal use, if you are looking for a computer that works really fast, then this is definitely your perfect match!
“In its ‘Whiskey Lake’ Intel 8th-Gen Core i7-8565U processors give an excess of speed. It is very powerful and faster when compared to the other models of travel laptop.”
The glass-fiber weave retains by the interior deck of the laptop, which keeps the fiber attractive and durable. It has 3 thunderbolts on its left whereas UBC type-C port. The microSD card located on the right of the laptop and the headset jack and a wedge lock slot placed on the left side.
The notable feature of this laptop is side-firing speakers. It attached with waves Maxx audio software which provides the perfect amount of volume to you. The white keyboard enabled with a backlight.
- Small and lightweight
- Long battery life
- Super Thin
- A bit pricey
2. Apple MacBook Air
Best MacBook for traveling
- Intel Dual-Core i5 processor
- 4 GB of DDR3 RAM
- 128 GB Flash Drive
- Up to 12 hours of battery life
While the MacBook Pro is undoubtable the King, due to the lightness and size of the MacBook Air, when it comes to travel, it slightly shades it in my opinion. Although both are sublime machines.
With its high-resolution Retina display, razor-sharp text clarity, and thinner and lighter quality, this new MacBook Air 13 is an obvious one for this list. This iconic machine is undoubtedly one of the best laptops for traveling.
This new edition of the MacBook Air four times as many pixels as an HD display, with 48 percent more colors than previous generations.
One for the late-night writers: the keys connect via an ambient light sensor, which helps to type in a low light environment.
But it’s not just the screen, it has improvements in audio too. The bass is twice as full with greater range, and the machine packs 25% more volume than the previous generation.
The three-microphone array captures your voice more accurately than before, and even the front-facing FaceTime camera has had an upgrade. Perfect for your business meetings or even just to phone home.
Finally, I want to talk about security. Being on the road can open you up to opportunists. One notable feature of this laptop is an advanced security system. You can directly put your thumb on the ID sensor. So you can access your private details by using your finger. It protects your documents, laptop from any others.
- Great for frequent work and leisure travelers
- Slim and sleek
- Just has two Thunderbolt 3 ports
3. Microsoft Surface Book 2
Best 2 in 1 laptop for travel
- 8th generation Quad core Intel core i7 Processor
- 512 GB of storage,
- 16 GB RAM, and up to 1
- Weighs 4.3 pounds
If you are looking for versatility, this Microsoft Surface Book 2 is a perfect small, light laptop for traveling.
This fantastic 2 in 1 laptop has a backlit keyboard and designed with touch feature. It is one of the fastest Surface Book yet, with 4x more power when compared to the other models and weighs just 4.3 pounds.
SurfaceBook2 has a QHD display that delivers crystal clear visuals which are perfect for watching movies and playing games to pass the time while on the move.
One of the many standout features of this laptop is the battery. The battery of this laptop is long for 15 hours, even used for watching movies, making it one of the best lightweight laptops with long battery life.
This is also a fantastic machine for creatives. Its Surface Pen, with tilt support, is designed with 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity. It is as close to a natural experience of writing, drawing, and even shading as you can expect when using a screen.
- Detachable keyboard
- Innovative stylus pen
- Doesn’t have a thunderbolt
4. HP Spectre X360
Best travel laptop for photographers
- 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8565U mobile processor
- 8GB RAM
- 512GB SSD
- Only 2.93 pounds
- 8 – 10 hours of battery life
The HP Spectre 360 is a beast. Perfect for intensive photo editing and a perfect fit for gamers on the go or heavy multi-taskers with its 16GB system memory. It is designed for versatile functionality; ultra-thin and ultra-light for maximum portability, and with a vast amount of storage.
The power and flexibility of the all-around performance make it a perfect laptop for bloggers.
The HP Spectre X360 has a chiclet-style keyboard which provides excellent performance when compared to other 2 in 1 laptops. These keys are designed properly spaced and large. So you have the comfortable typing experience.
The Spectre X360’s aluminum construction and sharp corners give an elegant look to the laptop. It has a fingerprint sensor which is located on the bottom right corner of the deck. So the unauthorized person cannot access your computer. It comes with Thunderbolt 3 port that can be used to connect the multiple 4k monitors. The weight of this laptop is just 2.8 pounds, which is very portable.
- Excellent battery life
- Vivid display
- Powerful speakers
- No dedicated GPU
5. Lenovo Yoga C930
Great laptop for a digital nomad
- Intel Core i5-8250U
- 8GB RAM
- 512GB SSD
- 3.04 pounds
If you are looking for a travel laptop which is compact, fast, versatile, and will stand out among the rest, then this one will not let you down! Lenovo’s Yoga range has been held in high regard for a long time, and it continues to deliver.
3 lbs in weight and 0.6” thin, this one is perfect for travelers. Has built-in HD webcam with a stereo microphone, two Thunderbolt 3 ports for advanced monitors and external drives connections, and mic in/microphone out combo jack.
The stylus slides into a pen slot in the back of the laptop, so you don’t have to worry about forgetting where you put it.
But what about the outputs? The Yoga C930 is designed with a rotating soundbar containing a Dolby Atmos speaker system. Perfect for whatever purpose you intend to use it – a laptop for work or personal use, even just watching a movie on an airplane.
Then its keyboard offers excellent response to touch. In its right side of the touchpad, there is a fingerprint sensor which helps to simple signing.
Finally, the Yoga C930’s pragmatic design also has a stylus and a webcam cover for added privacy, you never know whos watching! The lengthy battery life and its sleek design make this laptop hold it’s place among the best.
- Sturdy performance
- Integrated pen slot
- Versatile speakers
- Shallow keyboard
6. Acer Aspire E15
Best cheap travel laptop
- 8th Gen Intel Core i3-8130U
- 6GB RAM
- 1TB HHD
- The battery lasts around 8 hours
While this isn’t the most portable of travel laptops, it certainly packs a lot in for the price point and is certainly one of the best budget laptops for travel on the market. It makes an ideal laptop for a blogger who is just starting out or a remote worker who may switch between workstations.
The Acer E15 offers excellent all-around performance, long battery life, loads of connectivity options and the keyboard is well-spaced, and it is easy to type on, great for writers.
The black deck on this machine is made from thickset plastic, and its brushed metal texture creates a premium look to the laptop. It is packed with ports. On the right side of the deck, it has USB 2.0 port, 8 X DVD-RW double-layer drives, headphone jack, and a power connector whereas the USB-3.1 Type-C port, an Ethernet port, a VGA input, an HDMI port, two USB 3.0 ports, and a Kensington lock located on the left side.
One thing that does bug me about the Acer E15, although it shouldn’t be important, it’s a bit ugly when compared to the others in this list. I know when looking for a laptop it should be all about performance, I can’t help wanting a machine that looks amazing and makes me smile before I open it.
- Many ports
- Reasonable price
- Excellent performance
- Bulky design
7. Microsoft Surface Go
Great small light laptop for travelling … well tablet
- 1.6GHz Intel Pentium Gold
- 8GB RAM
- 128GB SSD
Designed for both work and play, the New Microsoft Surface Go is perfect for people on-the-go who maintain a work-life balance.
While this little lightweight machine is more tablet than laptop, when combined with the optional extras of the Microsft Mouse and keyboard, it actually makes a damn good machine. Although that pushes the price up of course.
It is a 10-inch tablet computer which includes the Pentium gold processor low-end chip. The battery life is up to 9 hours. It comes with an adjustable kickstand so you can change the angle as per your preference.
The weight of this laptop is just 1.3 pounds, which is very light to carry and perfectly fits in your bag. It works well with all Microsoft Office apps, such as word, excel, powerpoint, one-note, and outlook.
It may be small but do not underestimate this one; it is reliably fast and powerful with up to 9 hours of battery life. It is also designed with 10” Pixel Sense Display with a touch screen.
- Small and lightweight
- Long battery life
- Super Thin
- A bit pricey
8. Lenovo Chromebook C330
Great Chromebook for travel
- Mediatek 2.1 GHz processor
- 4GB RAM
- 2.64 pounds
- 10 hour battery life
- 64 GB SSD
If you want to know more about Chromebooks, be sure to check out my best Chromebooks for travel post where I focus solely on the Chrome OS. But in this post, I want to include one of the all time classics.
Chromebooks are wonderful little machines first introduced by Google in 2011 and Lenovo’s C330 is a fine example of what they can do. Since then, their popularity has seen almost every top laptop brand making their own version. They are designed to work with the Chrome operating system, so if you are a Google or Android user, this could be an excellent option for you if you are looking for a cheap travel laptop.
Chromebooks are designed for connectivity, so this would suit a user that has a great mobile hotspot, or that is usually in a connected space.
It has a small hard drive because Chromebooks are designed to work in the cloud. If you are a fan of Google Docs and use Google Drive, this could be a great budget travel laptop for you.
It is fast, with LPDDR3 memory for multitasking, eMMC storage for quick boot-ups and quick software loading.
Despite the compact size you still get a full suite of ports including USB-C, SD, and USB 3.0 and a with a 720p webcam and two 2 watt speaker systems for crystal-clear video calls.
And one of my favorite things that I just want to throw in is the ease of use. If you are like me and hate all that comes with the set up of a new laptop, no worries. No setup needed with this little machine – just log in with your Google account, and you are off!
- Incredible value
- Enjoy easy access to Google Play Store apps
- 360-degree screen
- Limited software
9. Acer Swift 7
Best travel laptop for stylish travel influencers
- Intel Core i7-8500Y
- 8GB RAM
- 512GB SSD
- 2 x Thunderbolt 3
- 1.96 pounds
If you want to look on top of your game everywhere you go, the Acer Swift 7 laptop could well be the one for you. Elegant in Black and Gold, this laptop is designed with rounded corners and chamfered edges around the touchpad. Not only that, but the Acer Swift 13 is also one of the thinnest laptop there is at just 0.39 inches.
With a 13.3” full HD display with IPS technology, up to 9 hour battery life and 3 times faster wireless performance, this is the laptop perfect for all kinds of traveler there is.
Connect anywhere using the inbuilt nano-SIM port
It has inbuilt biometric login which works perfectly, helping to secure your private documents, photos, etc. and has USB Type-C ports and a headset jack.
One additional cool feature this sleek travel laptop has is a nano-SIM slot. That means that wherever you are if you have a local SIM card, you can buy a cheap data plan and get online wherever you get a phone signal. No more running around looking for cafes with WiFi.
- LTE compatible
- Comfortable keyboard
- Incredibly thin
- Smallest audio drivers
10. ASUS ZenBook 13
Best laptop for backpacking
- 1.6 GHz Intel Core i5 8250U
- 8GB RAM
- 256GB SSD
- 2.5 pounds
Portability is your top priority when backpacking, so this Asus Zenbook 13 laptop is the one for you. Weighs less than 2.5 lbs light, just 0.5” thin, and with 13.3-inch FHD display in an ultra-compact frame. If you are looking for a lightweight ultraportable laptop, this is more compact compared to a typical 13” laptop.
It includes a USB Type-A port and even an HDMI port. The speakers are sounded and weightless and designed with low-distortion smart-amplifier technology.
Its battery lasted for a little over 11 hours, but what we love even more is the quick recharge, up to 60% in just 49 minutes.
One downside is that the size comes at the expense of the typing experience, the tight spacing of the keyboard was a bit tricky to get used to. However, the backlighting is elegant and a nice touch.
Overall, a robust machine that packs a lot of features and can be considered excellent value within the price point.
- Long battery life
- Speed performance
- Sleek and slim
- Tightly spaced keys
What to consider while looking for travel laptops
We’ve seen the top best laptops for traveling which are available in today’s market. Each one is different in its own way. You can choose one that stands out to you when looking at the specs, design, quality, features, and customer reviews. We are sure you would be happy with any of the above travel laptops just as many thousands of others already are.
But before you make your final choice, here are a few tips about what to look for before you buy the best travel laptop for you.
Comfortable operating system
This is all down to personal preference and what you are used to. Most of the laptops run with either Windows or Mac OS X. While both have their pros and cons, if you are purchasing shortly before a long trip, I would recommend buying what you are comfortable with.
Recently Chromebooks have become more popular. They started off as budget alternatives to laptops for those who were always on the go. But recently, more and more manufacturers are getting behind the OS and it is an exciting and quickly growing, option.
They tend to have less power and storage than traditional laptops, as they are designed to work on the cloud, but they are certainly worth considering if you are looking for a great value option. If you have used the Android operating system before, it will take no time to get up to speed on Chrome.
Weight and Size
While taking a laptop for travel, weight is an essential factor. You will be carrying many things in your bag, so you do not need a bulky laptop in there. In the past, I have had to travel with my main, home laptop that is a little over 17 inches.
When it sits in an already full backpack, it is embarrassing fighting to remove it at airport security. Then on the plane. With my bag at my feet, I actually gave up trying to get it out as it was wedged in my backpack.
Here are the main sizes you will find:
- 11 – 12″: These small laptops are light, thin systems that tend to weigh between 2.5 to 3.5 pounds. They offer excellent portability but often at the sacrifice of power.
- 13 – 14″: Usually weighing less than 4 pounds, laptops of this size and weight will offer balance and portability.
- 15″ – 16″: This is the most popular size of laptop that typically weighs 4.5 to 6.5 pounds. If you are not going to carry your laptop often, choose this size for a larger screen.
- 17 – 18″: If you don’t take your laptop from the desk all day, this display range will suit you. These are suitable for high-end gaming and productive works.
Slim and lightweight laptops are the perfect for choice for travel (obviously). Look for 15.6 inches at the maximum, but I would advise a going for a 13-inch screen for ultimate portability.
The second thing to consider about a laptop to hit the road with is battery life. It could be that you spend long periods of time working outdoors (hopefully in the sun) and may not have access to a power socket.
Choose a computer with a minimum of 8 hour battery life. Some of the models last for a whole day.
You probably have a little less control over this one, but it is perhaps the most significant factor determining your choice. If you have a low budget and are looking for a cheap travel laptop, then it would certainly be worth looking at the Chromebook option, they are great little machines that start at around $150.
While you can find some wonderful laptops for under $500, if you can stretch your budget a little further to $800, it would be worth it. For $800 and under you will be looking at machines that include a slightly older or less powerful processor, look for an Intel Core i5 or AMD A8 CPU. Also, the RAM will be less, between 4 to 8GB of RAM. However, this could still be plenty if most of your day to day work is writing and WordPress.
When your budget goes above $800, you’ll start to see may see the premium models. And finally, above $1000 laptops are more powerful and portable. For example, Apple MacBook Air and the Dell XPS 13, are expensive but reliable.
Just remember when considering your budget that the initial outlay isn’t everything. You will want to hold some money back for anti-virus subscription and other possible subscription-based programs. Especially if you are looking to start blogging. Also, if you are buying one of the more expensive machines, you may want to consider insurance as traveling open your device up to more risks.
Processor and speed
The processor is the heart of the laptop, so choose wisely. Intel Core i9 delivers fast performance when compared to the other mobile chip. It is currently only found in premium laptops. Intel Core i7 is also a powerful processor.
If you are looking for the best laptop for travel photography or video blogging, I would look to an i7 as a minimum. The Intel Core i5 is the modern standard of the processor. It will be able to handle multitasking, mid-scale photo editing, and small videos. It makes a great all-around laptop for travel bloggers or business professionals at a value-driven price.
If you are just using your laptop for writing, emails, and chat on facebook, then even an i3 processor will probably enough. However, bear in mind your needs may change in, and it could be worth getting something with a little more oomph to future-proof yourself.
I would look for a machine that has a solid state drive (SSD) hard drive over a traditional HDD due to the improved speed and quality. However, there is a trad off in that you get less storage space for your money, so if you need a large hard drive, SSD may push the price up.
However, you could get around this by investing in external storage via SD Cards, USB sticks, or cloud storage subscriptions. Not only does it mean you can get away with a smaller hard drive on your traveling laptop, but it is also good practice to protect your data should you lose your computer.
Consider a 2-in-1 hybrid laptop?
If you are searching for the system with great flexibility, choose 2-in-1 models. There are plenty of PCs now come with these features which means you can use it as a laptop, tablet, and any other modes like a clamshell model which can be super convenient for watching movies or even getting comfortable while using your laptop in a hotel bed.
Final thoughts on the best laptops for traveling
So there you have our recommendations. Be sure to check out our product pages where you can register for price drops and check out the price history. Any of these machines will prove a powerful companion on your travels, and we are sure that you will love using them.
Do you have any other recommendations? What machine do you use, and why should our readers check it out? Feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments.