Best Travel Laptops 2018: The Definitive Guide

The best travel laptopsA laptop is an essential item you need to pack when you go travelling. However, choosing the best travel laptops can be tricky!

When it comes to buying a laptop for travelling, there are a number of things to consider. You want a laptop that is portable, won’t take up too much space, and one that is sturdy.

I didn’t travel to Australia with a laptop initially, which was a big mistake. I had to rely on using computers in cafes that were unreliable. If you want to keep in touch with friends and family or do work on the road, you need a laptop. It’s that simple!

This list of travel laptops is designed to help you cut through all the information and find the best product for your needs!

Without further ado, let’s get into it!

Best Travel Laptops 2018

Best Chromebook Laptops

If you want a travel laptop that is lightweight, portable and easy to use, a chromebook is a good option. However, there are a few caveats to consider before you buy a Chromebook.

They run on a simpler OS, than laptops that run on Windows 10. Their opertaing system is a basic one that is centred around the Chrome web browser, hence the name Chromebook. If you want a laptop that is going to be able to complete complicated tasks, a Chromebook is not for you.

However, if you want a basic laptop that will allow to surf the web, watch videos, and edit basic word documents, a Chromebook is perfect! They are no frills laptops, ideal for a budget conscious traveller.

ProductPriceSizeBattery lifeRAM SpaceStorage Space
Acer Chromebook$27714 Inch12 Hours4 GB32 GB
HP Chromebook 14$26914 Inch 9 Hours4 GB16 GB
Samsung Chromebook$18911.6 Inch11 Hours4 GB16 GB

Acer Chromebook

The Acer Chromebook is a great option if you’re looking for a laptop under $400. It has a lot of features which make it an ideal purchase. There is a 13″ touchscreen, which is ideal if you want to watch films or skype during your travels. The LED backlit screen is an added bonus, which gives you some oomph when watching films.

The 64MB memory is a good siz for a chromebook. The majority of models have 32GB or less. This gives it an advantage if you’re looking to do work on it during your travels.

It should be noted that the R13 is not the most lightweight of laptops. It’s quite clunky and will take a bit of space in your bag. The trackpad can be clunky, and it’s not as smooth as other models.

However, considering the price, it’s a great purchase. You won’t get many laptops with similar capabilities for less than $400!

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HP Chromebook 14

I bought the HP Chromebook 14 before I went backpacking in Spain. There were a few factors which swayed my decision to buy it. Firstly, it’s cheap, really cheap. I didn’t have a lot of money at the time, and I just needed a laptop to surf the internet and prepare my English lessons on.

Firstly, it’s not the most powerful laptop. It will struggle if you have 8 or 10 tabs open at once. The battery life detoriated after a year, which meant I had to recharge it regularly. The memory, or lack of it, became an issue after a while.

The hard drive would become full regularly, and I had to delete fles and clean the drives on a weekly basis. However, there were a lot of benefits to the HP Chromebook 14.

It’s really easy to use. You can open it up and get to work straight away. There was hardly any issues with the running of the laptop, it was smooth and slick. The laptop is lightweight. There was never any problem fitting it into my backpacks while I was travelling.

If you want a travel laptop to do basic tasks and not much more, I would highly reccomend the HP Chromebook 14. However, for meatier tasks, it may be worth investing in a more powerful laptop!


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Samsung Chromebook Pro

The Samsung Chromebook is another fantastic laptop for travellers on a budget. It has a nice lightweight design and will easily fit into your backpack.

It also has the ability to be used as a tablet. You readjust the hinge and instead of a laptop you now have a tablet.

One downside of the Samsung is that the battery life is not as impressive as the other budget models. A full-charge will only give you 7 hours worth of battery life.

However, it is one of the cheaper options. The battery issue aside, it’s one of the best chromebooks for travellers. Its ease of use and the inclusion of Chromebook Plus, where you can download apps on android and use them offlibe, make it a great option.


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Best mid-range Laptops

If you’re looking for a laptop that is under $1000, yet still packs a punch, these are the laptops for you! This is a competitive market, with a number of laptops that offer great value.

Laptops in this category have great processing power and features, but they are lacking the top-end quality that higher-end laptops possess. These laptops will appeal to the average traveller, who is looking for a quality laptop that doesn’t weigh too much, is light, and reliable.

If you want a more powerful model, it may be worth looking at the higher-end travel laptops.

ProductPrice SizeBattery LifeRAM SpaceStorage Space
ASUS ZenBook 3$74913.3 Inches8 Hours8 GB256 GB
Dell XPS 13$1,19913.3 Inches12 Hours16 GB512 GB
MacBook Air$76213.3 Inches 12 Hours8 GB128 GB

Asus ZenBook 3

The ASUS ZenBook is a good option for a travelling laptop if you don’t want to spend an extortionate amount of money.

It’s a lightweight and thin laptop that will slip into your backpack easily. The visuals are top-notch, as is the audio. It’s an ideal laptop if you plan on watching films while you travel.

There are few downsides, however. Due to its thinness, there is only one port for charging and USB, which can be frustarting. Plus, the slim nature of the laptop means battery life has been compromised as a result.

It’s a good option for the price, and is without a doubt, one of the best travel laptops you can buy!

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Dell XPS 13

The Dell XPS 13 is one of the top travel laptops that money can buy!

It’s a slim, yet powreful laptop that will not take up much space in your already crowded backpack. It’s a powerful laptop that has processors ranging from i3 to the top of the range i7 processos, depending on the model you buy.

An area that the Dell XPS has over its opposition is its plethora of ports. Apple laptops tend to stick to the USB-C port, but the XPS has this as well as USB 3.0 and an SD Card port!

There are a range of specs to choose from, with most models offering a high-res and multi touch screen. The battery life on the XPS is solid and should last between 10 to 12 hours after a full charge.

If you like PCs, the XPS 13 is one of the best travel computers you can buy!

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MacBook Air

The MacBook Air is one of the best laptops to buy for travelling. It has a number of qualitites that make it ideal for frequent travellers.

As the name suggests, it’s a lightweight and slim laptop. You can easily fit it into your backpacks and it won’t take up too much space. Despite its slimness, the Air packs a punch with its processing power. There is a powerful Kaby Lak processor, and 128 GB of storage too.

You can buy a model with a 265 GB hard drive, but I would recommend this for digital nomads who need to store a lot of files. Otherwise the 128 GB model should suffice.

MacBooks are extremely reliable. Out of the laptops that I have owned, they have performed the best. I noticd a drop off in the performance of my PCs after a few days, which has never been the case with my MacBooks!

This is easier cheaper alternative than the MacBook Pro, and is one of the best laptops for travel.

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Best Convertible Laptops

A Convertible laptop might sound like a fancy laptop, but it’s really a lot simpler than that. It’s essentially a 2 in 1, or a hybrid laptop.  They combine the functions of a laptop and tablet into one.

In theory, these should be the best laptops for travelling. They combine usability with functionality, making them a great choice, if you want to do some work, and relax and watch a few videos.

They are also lightweight and easy to store, which is ideal if you want to travel light. If you want to do business or use high-end softwre such as Adobe Photoshop, I would recommend a more powerful laptop.

If you simply want an affordable travel computer to take with you on your trip, then a convertible laptop is a good choice. They will allow you to browse the web and keep in contact with loved ones around the world, with no difficulty!

ProductPriceSizeBattery LifeRAM SpaceStorage Space
Lenovo Yoga 910$93913.9 Inches10 Hours8 GB256 GB
Microsoft Surface Pro 4$75912.3 Inches9 Hours4 GB128 GB

Lenovo Yoga 910

The Lenovo Yoga 910 is one of the best convertible laptops for travel that you can buy! It comes with a number of interesting features such as fingerprint recognition, which adds an extra layer of security.

The Yoga 910 is slightly heavier than the other 2 in 1 convertible laptops, but it’s offset by having more storage space. The all-metal finish is visually appealing, but it would be prone to scracthes if the laptop was knocked about while travelling.

Other useful features include a top Kaby processor, and a sharp 14inch HD display. The price is reasonable, but if you want to save a bit of cash, you can get the cheaper 710 model instead.

The Lenovo Yoga 910 is one of the best travel laptops if you want a computer that has functionality and verstatility. It’s perfect for travellers who are always on the go, and want to use the 2 in 1 convertability to their advantage!


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Microsoft Surface Pro 4

The Microsoft Surface Pro 4 is a highly verstatile laptop that would be ideal for a lot of travellers. However, there is one downside. The keyboard for the Surface Pro, which costs $120, must be bought separately.

Essentially, the surface pro is a tablet that doubles up as a laptop. If you want to read books or watch videos as you travel, it’s a fantastic choice. The memory is on te low side. You can upgrade to a 256MB or a 512MB version, but this will cost you a lot more!

Another useful feature of the Surface Pro is the stylus and touchscreen. The stylus is easy to use and makes writing on the touchscreen super easy!

If you want to make the most of the Surface Pro, you will need the keyboard, and an external hard drive if you don’t purchase a more powerful version.

The Surface Pro 4 is a highly verstatile laptop for travel, that is ideal for those frequently on the move!


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Best High-end Laptops

If you’re not afraid to splash the cash, you can purchase some supercharged laptops. A word of caution, these laptops cost upwards of $1,000. If you just want a simple laptop for travelling, then these are not the laptops for you.

With these laptops you can not only browse the web, but complete any number of tasks. I would recommend buying a highend laptop if you have a business that you’re working on while travelling, or if you want to invest in a laptop that will last for a number of years.

The majority of these laptops tend to be lightweight. It’s not uncommon for them to weight less than 3 pounds (1.35kg). This makes them an ideal laptop for travelling. They can be stashed away easily, and they won’t break your back as you carry them around!

They are the best type of travel laptop for photo or video editing The numerous features included and the processing power on offer, make them the perfect choice. They may cost a premium, but they have the features to go back it up.

A common point of consternation is whether to choose a Mac or a laptop with Windows. This can come down to user preference. I prefer Macs, myself. However, Microsfot has upped their game recently, and a lot of the highend laptops running Windows perform just as well, if not better than Macs now!

ProductPriceSizeBattery LifeRAM SpaceStorage Space
MacBook Pro$1,19813 Inch 10 Hours8 GB128 GB
Microsoft Surface Book$1,17513.5 Inches12 Hours8 GB256 GB

MacBook Pro

If you’re looking for a high-end laptop, there aren’t many better than the MacBook Pro!

There is one cavaet though. The MacBook Pro isn’t cheap. Far from it, if you buy the version with the Touch Bar it’s even pricier! However, what you are getting is a laptop that is powerful, verstatile and easy to get to grips with from day one!

I’m a big fan of the OS on Macs. I feel they are a lot cleaner and easier to use than Windows. The retina display is another bonus, with crisp visuals as standard, while there is top quality audio as well. One area that the MacBook Pro does fall down is the battery life, which only lasts for an average of 8 to 9 hours.

The MacBook Pro is the best travelling laptop for digital nomads in my opinion. The combination of usability and performance is hard to find with other laptops. The only issue is the price. However, it’s worth it if you want a laptop that allows you to run a business from wherever you please!


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Microsoft Surface Book

If you’re not a fan of the Mac OS, the Microsoft Surface Book is a good alternative.

The Surface Book does double up as a tablet, with its convertability, but it’s very much a high-end laptop due to its performance and price. A cool feature is the separate batteries on both the computer and tablet part of the Surface Book. The battery life is impressive, with a full charge providing 12 hours of life.

The 6th generation Intel Core Processor is down on the MacBook Pro, but it will suffice for most people’s needs. The graphics are fantastic, and it’s an ideal laptop for travellers who need to edit their photos and videos.

There are a few downsides however. The keyboard can be a bit clunky at times, while newer models have done away with the USB Type-C ports. Likewise, newer models don’t include the stylus, which costs an extra $99!

All in all, the Surface Book is a handy option if you want a portable laptop that runs on Windows!


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The Best Travel Laptop?

Deciding which laptop is the best for travelling, is not an easy feat. It’s a subjective, as my view will not represent everyones. However, I do fell that there are two laptops that stand out among the competition.

The Microsoft Surface Pro is verstatile laptop that would be ideal for the average traveller. It’s lightweight and the convertability of the Surface Pro makes it useful if you’re constantly on the go.

It’s not the best travel latpop for working, but if you want tone for general use, it’s a fantastic option!

At the higher end of the spectrum, the MacBook Pro is a laptop for the frequent traveller. It’s lightweight, portable and can perform a multitude of tasks at any give time.

It is expensive, which is a downside, but it would be a worthwhile investment, if you want a laptop for the long-term.

Disclaimer: The Travelling Tom is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to and its partners. Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of, Inc. or its affiliates. Thank you for supporting my site!

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Tom is a travel addict who first left England to spend a year Down Under. Not satisfied with this, he then went to New Zealand, about as far away from home as he could get. He is now planning his next adventures in Europe and Canada while maintaining this blog.

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2 Responses

  1. I am looking for a new computer and your list is helpful. Thank you.

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