Whether you simply want to binge on your favorite Netflix show while sitting in a cozy hotel room or keep up with work while you soak in the beautiful sunset at a beach, there is a laptop for everything and anything.
Yup, often traveling with your laptop can be like traveling with your best friend considering you have the right laptop. But how do you find the best travel laptop with so many ‘ultra-light and portable laptops’ available?
Well, we got everything you need to know right here.
- Best Travel Laptops for 2021 Compared
- In-Depth Reviews of Laptop for Travelers
Best Travel Laptops for 2021 Compared
New Apple MacBook Air
Dell XPS 15
Lenovo Chromebook C330
New Microsoft Surface Go
New Apple MacBook Air
Dell XPS 15
Lenovo Chromebook C330
New Microsoft Surface Go
In-Depth Reviews of Laptop for Travelers
#1: New Apple MacBook Air (Best Laptop for Travel Blogging)
Ever wondered why most travelers prefer Apple Laptops over others? Simple, it offers both, quick & efficient functionality and more importantly, portability. Here’s all you need to know about it.
- Stunning 13.3-inch Retina display with True Tone technology
- Backlit Magic Keyboard and Touch ID
- Tenth-generation Intel Core i5 processor
- Intel Iris Plus Graphics
- Fast SSD storage
Did you know that the MacBook Air just weighs just about 2.9lbs? That combined with its sleek and compact dimensions make it one of the few ultraportable laptops on the market.
So whether you are carrying a handbag, backpack, or a daypack on your travel, you should have no trouble fitting this baby in and not feel the weight of it.
Then there is its long battery life as well. How long you ask?
How about 8-10 hours on a single charge? That beats most Windows laptops and ensures you do not need to run around looking for power outlets every 4-5 hours (coffee shops, the airport, you can write your blog posts anywhere you want).
But portability is useless without speed, right? MS Office Word, WordPress, Google Docs, Excel, a little bit of photoshop, etc. are travel blogger’s best tools and most likely you have multiple tabs and programs running at once.
Thankfully, the MacBook Air is tailored to handle such usage. Equipped with a 10th Gen i5 processor that clocks at 3.5GHz, am 8GB RAM and 512GB SSD
Furthermore, it also has an 8GB RAM which in tandem with the 128GB SSD offers great speed of multitasking. Not to forget, the SSD also increases booting time and 128GB is plenty of storage your travel images, videos, etc.
Its power-packed configuration means it isn’t just ideal for finishing up those articles you have pending on your blog. But also supports light graphics designing or photo editing (so you always have the best images go along with the article).
It also has two USB 3.0 Ports. So when you are looking to transfer files to and fro the Air, expect speeds of about 5GBPS. Not enough?
Then how about the Thunderbolt 2 port which turns up the heat with 20GBPS? (now that is lightning fast).
Lastly, the backlit keyboard enables you to work even in the dark (on the mountain top or in the green forests, now type just as easily as you would at home)
The Intel HD Graphics 6000 is pretty basic so it does not support gaming or other graphics-intensive tasks and this not for professional use.
#2: New Apple MacBook Pro (Best Laptop for Travel and Work)
While the Air was for light work, the Pro is the Professional’s choice. Whether you are an editor, graphic designer, or programmer, this is the MacBook you deserve. Let’s find out why.
- 15.6" 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) InfinityEdge anti-reflective touch IPS 100% a do be RGB 500-nits display
- 9th Generation Intel Core i7-9750h (12MB Cache, up to 4. 5 GHz, 6 Cores)
- 16GB DDR4-2666MHz, 2x8G
- 1TB PCIe SSD
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 4GB GDDR5
First and Foremost, it has a 6-core i7 processor that clocks at an astonishing 4.3GHz making it one of the fastest and most powerful CPUs you will find especially in MacBooks.
It is also equipped with a 16GB RAM so you can go crazy with your multitasking (now edit videos etc. without having to shut off background programs).
The 512GB SSD guarantees you quick loading of files and programs and even faster booting time than the Air so your laptop is up and ready in mere seconds. Don’t think that’s enough? Well, how about an expansion of a whopping 4TB?
But the 2 talking points of the latest pro models are the Retina Display and Touch Bar. Here’s a brief breakdown of the two.
Whether you are working on graphics or chilling watching Netflix over the weekend, now, experience colors and brightness like never before with the large 15” Retina Display. And that too not just in Full-HD but in 4k as well.
Also, forget those static buttons on the top of the keyboard and say hello to the smarter, more versatile touch bar.
The touch bar displays options relevant to the task at hand. From brightness and volume control, rewinding movies to predictive text, emoji’s, sending those email and messages will get a whole lot easier and fun.
The four Thunderbolt 3 ports are blazing quick with speeds of about 40GBPS when it comes to data transfers or even charging your smartphones, smartwatch, etc.
And even with all that power and high-end features, the laptop is capable of delivering a run-time of 8-10 hours and re-chargers in just a couple of hours (just the icing on the cake that was needed).
Well, there isn’t much to fault about the laptop except its heavy price tag as it can cost you over $2000. But for any professional, this is an absolute beast and yet manages to remain just about 4lbs for easy carrying.
#3: Lenovo Chromebook C330 (Best Travel Laptop Under 500)
Looking for a travel laptop on the cheap? At less than $500, this Convertible Lenovo Chromebook is where your search finally ends.
- 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 much more
- Sleek, stylish, and secure, this 360⁰ convertible laptop is less than 1-inch thin and about the weight of a hardback book, with an 11-inch touchscreen display that's perfect for day-to-day computing and multimedia, on or offline
- The Lenovo Chromebook C330 is easy to use, offers built-in virus protection and keeps going with long battery life. No setup needed – Just login with a Google account so emails, maps, documents, and photos stay with you via cloud storage
- Built to connect, this notebook computer includes a variety of USB ports for effortless connectivity. Plus, stay in touch with the built-in camera. Bluetooth 4.2
- Users love it; "High end features for a low price," says one happy reviewer. Another adds, "This Chromebook has far exceeded my expectations. The speed is snappy and the device responds quickly to gestures and commands."
The reason the laptop is so ideal for travelers is because of its touchscreen and 360-degree convertibility. This laptop can also be used as a tablet or even in the tent mode.
So whether you are cramped up for space in a flight or spending the night on someone’s couch, the Chromebook is pretty easy to use for browsing, movies, music, etc.
Plus, it only weighs 2.6lbs and is compact enough to be carried around in the hands and comfortably fits into any handbag as well making it a traveler’s delight.
But that is not all, for a cheap Chromebook, the C330 can pack a punch as well with its MediaTek MT8173C Processor and 4GB LPDDR3 Memory good enough to browse on multiple tabs, windows, watching movies all day long or even light gaming on the Chrome OS.
Furthermore, making all those long hours of travel entertaining is the 11-inch HD IPS display which delivers good sharpness and contrast.
There is also a 64GB eMMC storage so you know the laptop will be lightning-fast when it comes to booting and loading up apps while giving you a decent amount of storage for images, videos, etc.
But what if you need more storage? Well, that is where the free 100GB of Cloud Storage on Google Drive comes in handy.
The laptop has USB 3.0 ports so you can enjoy quick transfer speeds and also charge your devices like smartphones, watches, etc. You also have the option of connecting 2 devices using Bluetooth thanks to the Bluetooth 4.1 Technology.
Lastly, it has an 8-10 hour battery life which is pretty good for a low-costing Chromebook so you do not have to worry about carrying your charger or looking for power outlets all the time.
On the downsides, it is not the most advanced laptop and neither does it support any Windows software which limits its use for entertainment purposes only.
Also, it does not have a full-HD screen.
Also Read: Best Chromebooks for 2021
#4: New Microsoft Surface Go (Best Lightweight Travel Laptop)
Where the Lenovo Chromebook lacks, the New Microsoft Surface Go makes up and is one of the best new launches especially for travelers with an eye for graphics and photo editing, and here’s why.
- High res 10 inch PixelSense: Display designed to be viewed, touched, and written on
- Lightest surface yet, starting at 1.15 pounds. Touch: 10 point multi touch
- All day battery life, with upto 9 hours of unplugged power. Ambient light sensor
- Runs Windows 10 Home in S Mode, streamlined for security and superior performance
- Includes multi tasking USB C, fast charging surface connect, and headphone jack. Use it in Laptop, Tablet or Studio Mode
If you are looking for a mid-range work and play laptop the Surface Pro perfectly hits the brief with its 8th Gen i5 Processor and its 8GB RAM.
This means the laptop can easily run software like Lightroom, Photoshop, etc. and even games such as PUBG or Fortnite (though it is more of an artist’s laptop, who does not enjoy the occasional break, right?).
Further, enabling you to work at faster speeds while giving you enough space to install heavy editing software is the 128GB SSD.
Think you need more power, space, and memory? Luckily, you also have the option of an i7 processor, 1TB SSD storage and a 16GB RAM (now that is what I would call a peach of a laptop).
Allowing designers to work on the go is the portability and versatility of the Surface Pro. In an instant, you can flip from a laptop to tablet or even into studio mode (adapts to just the way you want to use it for).
It also features Cortana, the Windows Virtual Assistant. So whether you want to make appointments, reschedule them, get the latest flight tickets, etc. you have an on the go assistant ready to do the job for you anywhere anytime.
Another standout feature of the Surface Pro 6 is the variety of accessories compatible with it. From an external keyboard, mouse to even surface dial or a pen, these accessories will make using the laptop a breeze.
Furthermore, the laptop easily fits into the ultralight category since it weighs just and I repeat just 1.7lbs (even your kids can carry this in their hands).
And just like any high-end powerful laptop, this one will also stick by you for 8-10 hours on a single charge which is ample for a hard day’s work.
Lastly, 12.3-inch PixelSense Display gives you decent colors and contrast to help you get the job done well enough. Not full HD, but yet, impressive.
Like I mentioned above, it does not support Full-HD or 4k display which is a tad disappointing.
Also since all the accessories are sold separately, it can become expensive.
And if you are looking for more portable options at a similar price range then do check out our detailed guide on the best 2 in 1 laptop Under 600 (trust me, you want to read this).