Best laptops for travel - HeaderBest Laptops For Travel -Our Top Picks For 2021

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Laptops have become essential tools for both work and entertainment. This is why you’ll most likely need to pack a laptop among your belongings when traveling. However, for your convenience and comfort, you can’t just take any laptop with you on your traveling trips.

I love traveling and have been to many countries across the globe. And I can tell you from experience that not every laptop is suitable or built to travel or from working remotely when on your trip.

Picking a laptop for travel is more than just the sheer performance of the laptop. You have to consider the weight of the laptop and go for one that’s lightweight and portable. There is also the battery life to put into consideration as you may not have the luxury of connecting to a power outlet. As such, your laptop must have incredible battery life. Add ease of use and versatility to it and you have the requirements of a travel laptop.

Not all travel laptops are built equally. It is in light of this that I’ve researched and tested several laptops on the market to bring you the very best travel laptops available today. Some of these laptops have served as my traveling companions on a number of trips.

Below you’ll find the best laptops for travel available on the market, their pros, cons, and a buying guide to help choose a laptop that fulfills your requirements.

The 7 Best Laptops For Travel in 2021

Acer Aspire 5 15.6” Laptop

2020 Newest Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop 15.6" FHD IPS Display, AMD Ryzen 3 3200u (up to 3.5GHz), Vega 3 Graphics, 8GB RAM DDR4, 256GB PCIe SSD, Backlit KB,WiFi,HDMI, Win10 w/Ghost Manta Accessories

$499.99  in stock
1 used from $441.74
Amazon.com
as of October 24, 2021 9:49 am

I start this list with the Acer Aspire 5, a powerful and travel-friendly travel laptop. Weighing a bit under 4 lbs, this laptop is very lightweight and very easy to transport. It’ll easily fit into your backpack and luggage without adding any significant weight to the total weight of your belongings.

The 8GB RAM and 10th Gen Intel Core i5-10210U processor makes this laptop very fast and powerful allowing you to do your tasks quickly and with ease. I particularly like the 15.6-in full HD Widescreen LED-backlit display with 1920 x 1080 pixels of resolution. And the Acer Bluelight Shield feature helps protect your eyes from glare allowing you to work longer and more comfortably.

The fingerprint reader tech is a nice touch and it allows you to quickly and securely log in to your system without having to type a password. The included graphics unit – Intel UHD Graphics 620 – will be of particular interest to gamers and video editors. And the incredible battery life of 9.5 hours will get you through your day without having to connect to a power outlet.

 Quick Specifications

  • Screen size: 15.6 inches
  • Laptop size: 14.31 x 9.86 x 0.71 inches / 36 x 25x 1.8 cm
  • Weight:  3.97 pounds / 1800 g
  • Processor:  10th Generation Intel Core i5-1035G1 Processor
  • RAM:  8GB (DDR4)
  • Graphics card:  Intel UHD Graphics
  • Hard disk:  256GB SSD
  • Operating System: Windows 10
  • Battery life: up to 9 hours

Pros

  • Lightweight and travel-friendly
  • Wide screen with impressive resolution.
  • Fast processor and included graphics unit.
  • High RAM bandwidth.
  • Fingerprint reader tech.
  • Full-size backlit keyboard.
  • Amazing battery life.
  • IPS technology provides the best viewing experience and perspective, seamlessly.

Cons

  • No major shortcomings.

LG Gram 14″ Laptop

LG Gram Laptop - 14" Full HD IPS, Intel 10th Gen Core i5 (10210U CPU), 8GB DDR4 2666MHz RAM, 512GB NVMeTM SSD, Up to 22.5 Hours Battery, Intel UHD Graphics - 14Z995-U.ARS6U1 (2020)

$1,129.99  in stock
2 new from $1,105.00
1 used from $699.00
Amazon.com
as of October 24, 2021 9:49 am

The LG Gram is another laptop you’ll find easy to take with you on your travels. Weighing just 2.2lbs, this laptop is very portable and compact. Thanks to the 14-inch Full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS display, this laptop produces images of high-quality.

The 10th Gen Core i5 processor is very fast and powerful, completing all your tasks in no time. I also like 8GB RAM bandwidth which allows you to multitask and run multiple programs simultaneously without experiencing any lag. The integrated Intel UHD graphics is also good and can handle gaming and video editing well.

You get a high storage capacity as the LG Gram comes with a 512GB SSD storage capacity. And the battery life is simply stunning as LG wants this laptop to go a long time between charges. You can expect to get up to 22 hours of battery life depending on use. The keyboard also sports well-spaced keys which makes typing easy and comfortable.

 Quick Specifications

  • Screen size: 14 inches
  • Laptop size: 12.7 x 8.3 x 0.7 in / 32 x 21 x 1.8 cm.
  • Weight:  2.2 lbs / 997 g
  • Processor:  Intel Core i5
  • RAM:  8GB
  • Graphics card:  Integrated UHD Graphics
  • Hard disk:  512GB SSD
  • Operating System: Windows 10
  • Battery life: up to 22 hours depending on use.

Pros

  • Compact and portable.
  • High-quality display.
  • Fast and powerful processor.
  • Good RAM bandwidth.
  • Stunning battery life.
  • Comfortable keyboard.

Cons

  • No major shortcoming.

Asus ZenBook 13.3″ Laptop

ASUS ZenBook 13 Ultra-Slim Laptop 13.3” Full HD NanoEdge Bezel Display, Intel Core i5-1035G1 Processor, 8GB RAM, 256GB PCIe SSD, NumberPad, Windows 10 Home, Lilac Mist, UX325JA-AB51

$890.00  in stock
7 new from $867.91
3 used from $699.00
Amazon.com
as of October 24, 2021 9:49 am

I like the lilac-mist finish of the Asus Zenbook 13 as it makes it very stylish and aesthetically pleasing. However, this laptop is more than just aesthetics. The ultra-thin design means this laptop can easily serve as a travel laptop due to the ease of transport it offers.

You are not going to be disappointed with the performance of the Zenbook 13. The 10th Gen Intel Core i5 is one of the most powerful processors in the market and the 8GB RAM bandwidth is more than enough to multitask without any lag.

Featuring a bright and clear four-sided NanoEdge display, this laptop will produce high-quality images. The storage capacity is good at 256GB SSD. However, you can always upgrade the storage capacity if you need more storage space.

Asus promises a battery life of up to 22 hours so you can be sure that this laptop is going to get you through your day without needing to connect to a power outlet. There’s also the new edge-to-edge ergonomic keyboard which makes typing easy and the military-grade durability means you’ll be using this laptop for a very long time.

 Quick Specifications

  • Screen size: 13.3 inches
  • Laptop size: 12 x 8 x 0.55 in / 30 x 20 x 1.4 cm.
  • Weight:  2.46 lbs / 115 g
  • Processor:  Intel Core i5
  • RAM:  8GB
  • Graphics card:  Integrated Intel UHD Graphics 6000
  • Hard disk:  256GB SSD
  • Operating System: Windows 10.
  • Battery life: up to 22 hours depending on use.

Pros

  • Ultra-thin and lightweight.
  • Stylish and aesthetically pleasing.
  • Bright and clear display.
  • Ergonomic keyboard.
  • Incredible battery life.
  • Military-grade durability.

Cons

  • No major shortcomings.

Apple MacBook Air 13″ LaptopOur Top Pick

2020 Apple MacBook Air with Apple M1 Chip (13-inch, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD Storage) - Gold

$999.00
$929.00
 in stock
3 new from $929.00
Free shipping
Amazon.com
as of October 24, 2021 9:49 am

Ultrathin and lightweight, the Apple MacBook Air is one of the best laptops for travel available on the market. The screen size of 11.6-inches also makes this laptop more portable and travel-friendly. Although Apple discontinued this product some time ago, this laptop remains popular as there are still many new and refurbished MacBook Air available on the market.

“Small but mighty” may be the best way to describe this laptop. Despite the minimal form factor, the Macbook Air comes with a powerful processor, an Intel Core i5, which makes it extremely fast and powerful.

The battery life is downright amazing as you can get up to an almost unbelievable 13 hours of battery life depending on use. The storage capacity is also great at 125GB, especially when you consider that this laptop is an 11-inch laptop. Generally, 11-inch laptops don’t come with a lot of storage space as several features, including storage capacity, have been traded off for more portability.

 Quick Specifications

  • Screen size: 11.6 inches
  • Laptop size: 11.8 x 7.5 x 0.67 in / 27.5 x 19 x 1.7 cm.
  • Weight:  2.31 lbs / 1047 g
  • Processor:  Intel Core i5
  • RAM:  4GB
  • Graphics card:  Integrated Intel HD Graphics 6000
  • Hard disk:  125GB SSD
  • Operating System: macOS
  • Battery life: up to 13 hours depending on use.

Pros

  • Ultrathin, lightweight, and travel-friendly.
  • Powerful and fast processor – Intel Core i5 is no joke.
  • Fast and large storage – 128GB SSD is surreal in an 11-inch laptop.
  • Comfortable keyboard.
  • Amazing battery life.

Cons

  • This laptop is like an 11-inch laptop of fantasies. No major shortcomings!

Lenovo Chromebook C330 2-in-1 Convertible 11.6″ Laptop

Lenovo Chromebook C330 2-in-1 Convertible Laptop, 11.6-Inch HD (1366 x 768) IPS Display, MediaTek MT8173C Processor, 4GB LPDDR3, 64 GB eMMC, Chrome OS, 81HY0000US, Blizzard White

$238.22
$199.99
 in stock
60 new from $199.99
19 used from $175.72
Free shipping
Amazon.com
as of October 24, 2021 9:49 am

Sleek, stylish, and lightweight, the Lenovo Chromebook C330 is a wonderful travel laptop. The blizzard white finish is super cool making this laptop one that’s pleasing to the eyes. But there’s more to the Lenovo Chromebook C330 than just the pleasing appearance.

For one, this laptop is extremely lightweight and portable. It’s also a 2-in-1 laptop that has four modes. You can use this laptop in the tent, tablet, laptop, or stand mode. The 11.6” IPS display has a Full HD resolution which provides you with colorful images with high clarity.

Having seamless integration to all your Google accounts is another benefit you’ll get from this laptop making it ideal for students, families, and professionals. And the incorporated MediaTek MT8137C processor is specially optimized to run apps on Google Play Store.

There is the 4GB RAM bandwidth which is standard for 11-inch laptops and the 64 GB storage space is more than what is typically offered at this range. Combine this with the additional 100GB space you’ll get from Google Drive and you have enough space for your files. 10 hours of battery life is what you’ll get from this Lenovo Chromebook which is no joke.

 Quick Specifications

  • Screen size: 11.6 inches
  • Laptop size: 11.5 x 0.77 x 8.48 in / 29 x 1.9 x 21.5cm.
  • Weight:  2.64 lbs / 1197 g
  • Processor:  MediaTek MT8137C
  • RAM:  4GB
  • Graphics card:  Integrated – PowerVR SGX543
  • Hard disk:  64B eMMC
  • Operating System: Chrome OS
  • Battery life: up to 10 hours depending on use.

Pros

  • Super portable.
  • You enjoy the quintessential adaptability of Chrome OS.
  • Good display.
  • Fast.
  • Large storage space.
  • Impressive battery life.

Cons

  • You’ll have to look at other options on this list if you want to run Windows OS.

Microsoft Surface 12.4″ Laptop

Microsoft Surface Laptop Go - 12.4" Touchscreen - Intel Core i5 - 8GB Memory - 128GB SSD - Platinum

$699.99
$599.00
 in stock
10 new from $599.00
1 used from $709.00
Amazon.com
as of October 24, 2021 9:49 am

Microsoft is a brand that needs no introduction. And you can expect laptops from Microsoft to be of high-quality. This laptop is Microsoft’s Surface line of laptops which is made of several laptops of stunning quality. Ultra-thin and weighing just a mere 2.79 pounds, this laptop is an ideal travel laptop you should take a look at.

Microsoft impressed me with the design of this laptop which you too will no doubt find aesthetically pleasing. The classic grey color is very stylish and there are four other color options if you are not a fan of grey. Every man with his own favorite color, right?

The 13.5″ display has one of the best resolutions you’ll see at this price range. There’s also the touchscreen feature with pen input. The Intel Core i5 processor, which is incorporated in this laptop, is very fast and powerful and with the 8GB RAM bandwidth, you’ll be able to multitask easily and run multiple programs with this laptop. Overall, you get improved performance and speed.

Storage space is good as the Surface 3 has a capacity of 256GB SSD. And battery life is downright amazing as you can get up to 11.5 hours battery life depending on use.

 Quick Specifications

  • Screen size: 12.4 inches
  • Laptop size: 12.13 x 8.78 x 0.57 in / 30 x 22 x 1.4 cm
  • Weight:  2.79 lbs / 1265 g
  • Processor:  Intel Core i5
  • RAM:  8GB (DDR4)
  • Graphics card:  Intel Iris Plus
  • Hard disk:  256GB SSD
  • Operating System: Windows 10
  • Battery life: up to 11.5 hours depending on use.

Pros

  • Elegant and clean design.
  • Ultra-thin and lightweight.
  • Top-notch display.
  • Fast and powerful processor.
  • Good RAM bandwidth.
  • Good storage capacity.
  • Amazing battery life.

Cons

  • The 256GB SSD may disappoint some people.

Google Pixelbook Go 13.3″ Laptop

Google Pixelbook Go - Lightweight Chromebook Laptop - Up to 12 Hours Battery Life[1] - Touch Screen Chromebook - Just Black

$689.95  in stock
7 new from $689.95
Amazon.com
as of October 24, 2021 9:49 am

The Google Pixelbook Go, as the name implies, is designed for life on the go. Weighing a mere 2 lbs and having a thickness of 13mm, this laptop offers unparalleled ease of transport. You won’t find many laptops more portable than the Pixelbook Go. I also like that this laptop comes with a design that makes it comfortable to grip and hold which will come in handy when moving between meetings or workspaces.

You’ll be blown away by the incredible battery life which can be up to 12 hours depending on use. So, you can be rest assured that this laptop will get you through your day without having to worry about connecting to a power outlet.

The keyboard on the Pixelbook Go will be one of the best you’ll encounter on a laptop. With well-spaced keys and a backlit feature, typing on this laptop will be very comfortable. The audio quality of this laptop is a pleasant surprise. Perhaps the only con of this laptop is that it doesn’t have a fingerprint sensor or face/iris scanner. This kind of sucks a little when you consider that many Chromebooks at this price range have this feature. But Google insists that the Android unlock feature, which this laptop has, is very secure although this leaves out non-android users.

 Quick Specifications

  • Screen size: 13.3 inches
  • Laptop size: 12.2 x 8.1 x 0.5 in / 31 x 20 x 1.2 cm
  • Weight:  2.33 lbs / 1056g
  • Processor:  An 8th Gen Intel® Core™ Processor
  • RAM:  8GB (DDR4)
  • Hard disk:  64GB
  • Operating System: Chrome Os
  • Battery life: up to 12 hours

Pros

  • Incredibly lightweight and travel-friendly.
  • Excellent design.
  • Stunning battery life. 12 hours battery life is no joke!
  • Rare 1080p webcam
  • Super comfortable keyboard.
  • Backlit keyboard.
  • Quality speakers.

Cons

  • No fingerprint sensor.

Best Laptops For Travel – The Guide 

Now that you know the best travel laptops available on the market, the next thing is to take you through a buying guide. The purpose of the buying guide is to help you understand the features of a product. This will, in turn, help you understand what to look out for when making a decision about a product.

How To Choose Your Travel Laptop

Type of Laptop

Chromebooks: This type of laptop uses Google OS instead of a conventional operating system like Windows or macOS. They have the advantage of being lightweight, portable, and cheap. However, you can’t run Windows or macOS apps on them.

But they are good for students and professionals that are cloud-based users.

Notebooks: These are laptops that are specifically designed for portability. The focus here is making the laptop as compact as possible. However, there is a tradeoff for performance so notebooks are usually not among the most powerful laptops. But they offer incredible portability as well as a good level of performance.

Hybrid/2-in-1: This type of laptop is all about versatility. They are designed such that you can use them as a laptop or tablet depending on your needs or the situation.

Size & Weight

As I established at the beginning of this article, not all laptops are travel-friendly. As a rule of thumb, a travel laptop shouldn’t exceed 3 lbs. Many 11-13 inches laptops meet this criterion due to the ultra-slim design that many manufacturers use.

Processor/CPU

This is the brain of your laptop and it is the CPU that processes all the tasks on your laptop. The more powerful the processor, the better the laptop will be able to handle complex tasks.

Intel has dominated the processor/CPU market for a long time but AMD is now rivaling Intel due to the quality processors they now produce.

If you want to get an Intel processor, the least you should go for is Intel Core i3. Core i5 is better and Core i7 offers the best performance and speed.

RAM

The RAM of your system handles multitasking and helps you access data faster. The more the RAM bandwidth of your system, the better your system is able to multitask without lag.

Since travel laptops include Chromebooks and convertibles that are super portable, you won’t be able to get a lot of RAM bandwidth due to the minimal form factor. The minimum RAM bandwidth you should go for is 4GB. If your workload is heavier, then you should go for a 8GB RAM laptop in order to be able to multitask without any significant lag.

Graphics Card

Graphics cards improve the quality of the image generated on your screen and they are of particular importance to gaming and video/photo-editing enthusiasts.

Most of the laptops on this list come with some form of integrated graphics card that can handle casual gaming, internet use, movies, and so on. If you are serious gaming or photo-editing enthusiast, it’s difficult, if not impossible, to get laptops that can handle such heavy tasks in this range.

Battery Life

This is another aspect where travel laptops shine after portability. Travel laptops have incredible, and oftentimes stunning battery life. The rationale behind this is that a traveler may not have access to a power outlet when on the trip. So you can be sure that a good travel laptop will get you through the entire day without having to worry about charging.

Storage Space

This is another feature you should check before buying a laptop. Travel laptops manage to have a good storage capacity despite their miniature size. You can get up to 512 GB SSD storage space depending on the model you go for. And remember that SSDs are the latest hard disk technology and that they are faster and make less noise than HDDs.

What Will You Use It For?

If you are just a casual traveler that wants to browse and stream online on a trip, then you should consider buying a Chromebook. They are cheap and are well-suited to what you want to achieve (browsing and streaming online).

If you have to work on your travel, you’ll need something more powerful than a Chromebook especially if your workload is a bit heavy. You’ll have to take a look at notebooks and there are several powerful notebooks on this list.

Digital nomads, filmmakers, and photographers and Photoshop users will require the most computing power, RAM bandwidth, as well as a graphics card. And there are several laptops on this list that will meet those requirements.

Final Thoughts

It’s easy for things to get a bit complicated when choosing or comparing travel laptops. But remember that the most important things to look out for are the size, RAM bandwidth, and processor, and OS.

It is now your budget and preferences that will ultimately decide which one you go for. I hope the buying guide will help make your decision-making process easier but you can always contact me through the comment section.

Have fun as you choose your travel companion!

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