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
- ASUS ZenBook 13
- Microsoft Surface Book 3
- HP Spectre X360
- Lenovo Yoga C930
- Acer Aspire 5 Slim
- Microsoft Surface Go
- Lenovo Chromebook C330
- Acer Swift 7
1. DELL XPS 13
The best laptop for travel and work
- My current laptop and I love the machine
- 13.4-inch infinity edge display
- 12-hour battery life
- 10th Generation Intel Core i7-1065G7
- 16GB of RAM
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!
“The 13.4 inch infinity edge display is covered with Corning Gorilla Glass 6 is tough, damage resistant, durable, elegant. Perfect for life on the road.”
Weighing just 2.7lbs and coming in slightly thinner than the Macbook Air, this is a portable machine with adaptive performance that sees the battery exceed 12 hours.
in the new Dell XPS 13 we also see the return of the infrared webcam that means facial recognition is back on the table, something that was sadly lacking from its predecessor. Although if you’d rather not use it, there is also a fingerprint scanner built into the power button for convenience.
The laptop has minmal connections, just two thunderbolt ports, Micro SD reader and a headphone jack. The chances are you will need to use a USB-C or Thunderbolt hub to attach any laptop accessories you may be packing.
Onething I did have a problem wiht was the power supply from the thunderbolt to my monitor. From time to time it would drop out which rearranged all my tabs and was infurating. Like I literally shouted out loud at the screen. It seems to be an issue that some of the first models may have had.
However, I was in touch with Dell support and they were fantastic. They supplied a BIOS update and step by step walkthrough to updating and happy to say no more random shouting.
Overall this is swiftly on its way to becoming my favorite laptop ever. It ticks all of the boxes for easy travel and it looks sexy. What more could I wish for?
- Small and lightweight
- Long battery life
- Super Thin
- A bit pricey
- Precision cut from a block of aluminum in two pieces so there is no variability in construction.
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
- Stunning 13.3-inch Retina display with True Tone technology
3. ASUS ZenBook 13
Best laptop for backpacking
- 4.9 GHz 10th gen Intel Core i7-10510u
- 16GB RAM
- 512GB SSD
- 2.5 pounds
- 13 hours of battery
If you want proof that a premium laptop doesn’t have to cost your life savings, then Asus’s ZenBook 13 should clear your doubts. It’s innovative chassis design and 1080p glossy screen only serves to deliver a good taste of what’s inside this affordable tech beast – it looks good.
The obvious stand out feature is the innvoation that has been built into the trackpad. No longer a simple plastic square to move your pointer around, but it has become it’s own functioning 5.65 inch touchscreen device.
It adapts to your needs and can do many things from quick launching applications to being a handy calculator. It even reads handwriting. I love this.
The innovative trackpad takes some getting used to, but is a huge timesaver and great addition.
The laptop’s chassis is a soft royal blue shell of aluminum, and the Design Team took the awe-inspiring allure of the chassis home with a golden touch through the Asus logo on the laptop’s cover. That intentional streak also appears in its weight and thickness (11.9×7.4×0.7), but that doesn’t stop it from having a wealth of ports that includes a USB Type-C, a MicroSD slot, a USD 2.0 port, the power and headphone jacks, and even one HDMI 1.4 port.
As far as performance is concerned, the ZenBook holds its own well with an arsenal of an Intel Core 10th generation i7 processor and168GB of RAM that can easily handle over 45 Google Chrome tabs while simultaneously handling 2 1080p YouTube videos.
In what will shock many, the ZenBook also has what a thousand other similar laptops always fail to have – a good webcam. The ZenBook outperforms its rival very easily in this department with a 720p front camera that keeps every color as accurate as you’ll find in the tech market.
To top it off, the ZenBook truly astonishes with a remarkable battery that can last for more than half a day while working at 145 nits of brightness while browsing the web for that duration. Compared to the premium laptop average of 9 hours at similar conditions, the quality is without doubt.
- Stunning trackpad innovation
- Long battery life
- Speed performance
- Sleek and slim
- Tightly spaced keys
- Innovative screen pad: 5.65-Inch interactive touchscreen trackpad that adapts to your needs for smarter control and multitasking
4. Microsoft Surface Book 3 – 13″ or 15″
Best 2 in 1 laptop for travel
- 10th generation Quad core Intel core i7 Processor
- Up to 2TB of storage,
- 32 GB RAM
- Weighs 3.62 pounds
Microsoft brings back the beautiful design of the first edition of Surface Book as they continue to prove that it’s what’s inside that matters. As you would expect, they had to go to a great length to stand by that vision. With the level of this product, we should admit that they’ve done a great job. After all, the Surface Book 3 comes with an embarrassment of specs that easily sparks envy from any and everybody.
Every part of this laptop-tablet convertible is at elite-class. And while Microsoft admits it’s the fastest Surface laptop in existence, it certainly deserves a place amongst the best convertible laptops in the market – that’s if it isn’t the very best already.
For one, the laptop delivers empyrean performance by simply collecting the very best hardware pieces available. The Surface Book 3 delivers 40% more performance than the previous Surface Edition with its NVIDIA GTX GeForce GPU registering values absurdly reaching up to 1660Ti. There’s also the 10th Gen Intel Core processor standing in front of up to 32 RAM – there’s just no weak point with this one.
Intel’s Iris Plus Graphics really pop with the stunning 3000×2000 resolution PixelSense Display
Then, the screen boasts an ingenious aura of intentionality that catches the eye. Unlike the generic widescreen 16:9, the Surface blows away all competition with a 3000×2000 screen resolution that’s well complemented by enough brightness operating on the unique PixelSense Display chromes to take advantage of its majestic Intel Iris Plus Graphics.
However, it’s not just the screen that grabs the attention of your wallet. This Surface Book avails you to the very best performance enhancers at every turn. From heightened dual far-field Studio Mics merged with Dolby’s Atmos sound system to its adaptable Surface Pen, Surface Precision Mouse, and a smarter Surface dock for improved performance as a traditional workstation, there’s enough dynamic innovation to keep you happy and flexible.
- Detachable keyboard
- Innovative stylus pen
- Some have reported speaker reliability issues
- Most powerful Surface laptop yet, with quad-core powered, 10th Gen Intel Core processors. More than 50% faster than Surface Book 2 13.5”.
5. 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
- HP Spectre x360 13T Cutting Edge GEM CUT Design - 8TH GENERATION QUAD CORE CPU: Intel Core i7-8565U (1.8 GHz, up to 4 GHz, 8 MB cache, 4 cores) four-way...
6. Lenovo Yoga C930
Great laptop for a digital nomad
- Intel Core i7-8550U
- 16GB 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, one USB-C and 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
- 13.9-inch (3840 x 2160) IPS Touchscreen Display, Intel Core i7-8550U Processor (Quad-Core, 1.8GHz, 8MB Cache)
7. Acer Aspire 5 Slim
Best cheap travel laptop
- AMD Ryzen 3 3200U Dual Core Processor
- 4GB RAM
- 128GB SSD
- The battery lasts around 8 hours
While this isn’t the lightest of the quickest 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 Aspire 5 Slim 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 brushed metal texture creates a premium look to the cheap laptop which is packed with ports. On the left side of the deck, it has 1 USB 3.1 Gen 1 port, 1 USB 2.0 ports, 1 HDMI port with HDCP support, Ethernet and a headphone jack while on the left it has a second USB-2.0 and a slot for a Kensington lock.
One nice touch that is unusuale in machines at this price point is the backlit keyboard. Perfect for when you find yourself working late nights in local bars.
- Many ports
- Reasonable price
- Excellent performance
- Bulky design
- AMD Ryzen 3 3200U Dual Core Processor (Up to 3.5GHz); 4GB DDR4 Memory; 128GB PCIe NVMe SSD
8. 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 for traveling than a laptop, but 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.
Small and mighty, the New Microsoft Go is perfect for keeping on top of tasks while on the move.
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
- 10" Touchscreen PixelSense (1800 x 1200) Display, Intel Pentium Gold 4415Y Processor (1.60 GHz), 128GB SSD Drive and 4GB RAM
9. 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
- Get high performance when you need it – The Chromebook C330 boots up in seconds and features easy-to-use Chrome OS, plenty of memory and storage, and so...
10. 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
- 7th Generation Intel Core i7-7Y75 Processor (Up to 3.6GHz)
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.
If you find yourself working on the road a lot, it may be wise to look for a laptop with a back lit keyboard. This feature is often over looked, but has saved me many times from squinting in dark corners of cafes and bars.
Another option would be a keyboard light, but a back lit keyboard will always be a bit easier.
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.