Note: Our comparison table only shows our top 5 picks. You can find the other recommendations within this article.
Just a few years ago, it wasn't easy to carry around a PC, and even if you could, its battery life couldn't last for more than 2 hours.
However, times have changed, and now one can easily carry around their lightweight notebook that comes with a long battery life. Well, if you're looking for a new travel-friendly laptop then you're at the right place.
I know the title seems to be little confusing so let me elaborate a little bit here. What makes a laptop the travel laptop is its lightweight body, ultra-portable design, and super-long battery life. In case you have to move frequently due to your work or leisure, I believe the budget shouldn't be an issue because most of the best travel laptops aren't really budget friendly.
Having a suitable laptop for all your needs while traveling can make your trip a lot more enjoyable and stress-free. Carrying a lightweight machine will not only reduce the weight of your laptop while traveling but also the overall weight you're carrying with yourself.
Thanks to advanced technology, there are laptops on the market that weigh as less as 1.5 pounds and that too with a super-slim design. Also note, these machines are not only portable and lightweight but also powerful enough to handle just about anything including tasks like writing, gaming, watching movies, photo editing, etc.
What to look for in a Best Travel Laptop?
Weight is a crucial factor, and you should always look for a machine that weighs less than 4 pounds and if you're serious about it then look for something that's less than 3 lbs. Another thing is the battery backup which is critical while traveling because chances of finding a plug while traveling are very less.
Size is yet another important thing to be considered while buying a travel-friendly laptop and we highly recommend a 13-inch laptop or even smaller. These types of mini laptops are easy to carry in any backpack or suitcase that you're taking with yourself.
You should also look for decent performance since you will be wasting a lot of time if it's slow for your needs. You should also decide on OS, as you will see machines here that run on both, Windows as well as Mac OS.
Our Top Picks for Best Travel Laptops
1. Apple MacBook MLHE2LL/A
If you're looking for a new travel laptop, then you surely need something that is ultra-portable. The new Apple MacBook isn't something that you can compare with any other Apple laptop.
The 13.3-inch device is here to end the confusion of people between MacBook Pro and Air. It's a combination of both, and of course, it comes with a Retina display. It's little over-priced for some, but that's the price you have to pay if you want the latest product from Apple.
Its specifications are Intel Core i5 processor, 8 GB DDR4 RAM, 256 GB Flash storage and an Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640 GPU. If we talk about its audio quality, is is excellent with stereo speakers on each side of the keyboard. The light weight of 3 pounds makes it one of the best laptops for traveling. Despite its high price, we highly recommend it to bloggers, writers and business users that need a laptop while traveling.
2. Dell XPS 9360-3591SLV
While most of the best travel laptops cost somewhere around $1000, the Dell XPS 9360 will cost you over $1300. This laptop only 2.7 pounds and it also as thin as the laptop can get, yes 0.6 inch.
Now don't think that this notebook is all about its looks and design, but it also packs some of the most powerful specifications available. Its 13-inch QHD touchscreen display features a resolution of 3200 by 1800 pixels which is a lot better than the Retina display.
Its power components include 7th generation Intel Core i5-7200U processor, 256 GB SSD, 8 GB LPDDR3 RAM and Intel HD 620 graphics. It's an expensive option for many, but it's a complete package of power, portability, lightweight and an excellent display.
It also includes a backlit keyboard that gives you a luxurious and comfortable typing experience. Other than travelers, we also recommend this PC to writers and businessmen.
3. HP Spectre 13
HP Spectre laptops are known for their premium, and top-notch design and the HP Spectre 13 is not an exception. It isn't a budget laptop either in case you're wondering, and it comes with high-end hardware like an 8th generation Intel Core i7-8550U processor, 512 GB NVMe SSD, 16 GB DDR4 SDRAM and Intel UHD 620 graphics.
In most of our reviews, we usually neglect a thing or two, but we couldn't find a single drawback on this model, and that's the reason we highly suggest it to users who have to travel frequently.
Its 13-inch full HD IPS display along with BrightView technology as well as Gorilla Glass is amazing while watching videos and playing games. On top of that, it comes with quad speakers by none other than Bang and Olufsen.
For travelers, that need a full package of latest technology and power, this is exactly what you need. Overall, with its 14 hours of battery backup, it can last all day on low brightness making it one of the best travel laptops.
4. Apple MacBook Air
The Apple MacBook Air is one of the first lightweight and ultra-portable laptops. It can be considered as the best choice for a travel-friendly laptop, and after the release of Apple's new MacBook it has gotten pretty cheaper and can be affordable for people with an average budget.
It's as good as it gets and features a super-thin aluminum body as well as top-notch performance. It's currently priced at around $1000 and features an extended battery life of 12 hours. Its specifications are Intel Dual Core i5 processor, 8 GB of DDR5 RAM, 128 GB SSD and Intel UHD Graphics 617 graphics processor.
There's also a newer model available of MacBook Air, but when it comes to design, it's the same, and that's why we prefer the older model, and it'll save you some serious bucks. It's powerful enough to run most of the latest programs, but if you want latest components and even faster performance, then you can purchase the latest model.
As far as the weight is considered, it weighs less than 3 pounds, and even kids can hold it single-handedly. All in all, it's a powerful machine that comes with super quality hardware and longest battery life.
5. Microsoft Surface Pro 4
If you're looking for a something that weighs less than 2 pounds, then the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 is what you need. It's sturdy, well-designed and convertible PC manufactured by Microsoft itself. It has managed to attract customers worldwide, and its basic model will cost you around $700.
Due to its thin design and extraordinary features, we usually recommend it to artists. It includes all the required hardware within the tablet and its keyboard which is also known as "Type Cover" can be attached when you need to use it with the keyboard.
It comes with Intel Core M processor, 128 GB SSD, and 4 GB RAM. The 12-inch display features PixelSense technology and resolution of 2736 by 1824 pixels. Its battery life is too good for a laptop of such size, and according to Microsoft, it should last up to 9 hours while watching movies.
Also note, you'll have to buy its Type Cover separately, and it comes with Windows 10 Professional. Overall, it's a super portable PC that's designed to perform and we highly recommend it.
6. HP ENVY 13-ab016nr
Not everyone prefers an HP laptop for their traveling needs, but the HP Envy 13 is yet another one of our best options. While there are many expensive and high-budget notebooks for travelers, this one surely isn't one of those.
It's among the best laptops under $700 and comes with the configuration of Intel Core i5-7200U processor, 8 GB LPDDR3 SDRAM, Intel HD 620 graphics and 256 GB SSD. Its 13-inch full HD display has a resolution of 1920 by 1080 pixels.
It's designed using the minimum plastic, and aluminum alloy material covers most of the machine. Its design is very similar to Apple's MacBook, and it even feels remarkably similar. It boasts a backlit keyboard which gives you a comfortable typing experience even in dark rooms.
Its battery life of 14 hours is something to discuss, and it comes with all the latest ports including USB 3.0. Overall, I am sure travelers will be impressed by its design and performance, making it the best value for money.
7. ASUS ZenBook UX330UA-AH54
The ASUS ZenBook UX330UA is one of the very few premium laptops ever manufactured by ASUS and with its portable design and 10 hours of battery backup it's certainly a great choice for travelers.
It's also a budget travel laptop that can be used for all kinds of tasks and it's a perfect package for work and entertainment PC. The only issue few people had about this machine was its freezing issues, and I believe that's totally from Windows side and has nothing to do with the laptop.
It features a fingerprint sensor, Harman Kardon speakers, ASUS Golden Ear and Corning Gorilla Glass 4. Its configuration includes Intel Core i5-7200U processor, 8 GB DDR4 RAM and 256 GB SSD.
It boasts 13-inch full HD display with 1920 by 1080 pixels and ASUS surely could have used LED display instead of LCD. It weighs about 2.6 pounds and is surely one of the lightest laptops around. One can use it for their work, studies and entertainment purposes and easily carry around with them anywhere.
8. Acer ChromeBook R 13
Weighing only 3 pounds and and being super thin at 0.6 inches, the Acer ChromeBook R 13 is an excellent choice for travelers on a budget. It has a MediaTek MT8173C quad-core processor and 4 GB LPDDR3 RAM.
Its price is much lower than most of the high-end travel notebooks listed above. 12 hours of battery life is a plus point for travelers along with the light weight and smaller size. It's a convertible, so you can also use it as a tablet. This can be very useful on flights with limited space to use the device.
For such a lightweight and compact laptop, it includes many ports such as USB 3.1, USB 3.0 and HDMI port. It also features a bright 13.3" display with FHD resolution (1920 x 1080) and a responsive touch screen. The display ratio is 16:9, which is great for watching streaming movies and video.
This is a ChromeBook, so it uses ChromeOS rather than Windows. The experience is different than a Windows laptop, but the advantages are lower cost and more security. You can still run Microsoft Office applications on it. However, if you are planning to use the laptop for light gaming, you should consider one of the Windows-based laptops.
9. Samsung NP900X3L-K06US
The Samsung NP900X3L-K06US is an amazingly slim and compact laptop that can be a good choice for users who have to travel frequently. Equipped with powerful 6th generation Intel Core i5 processor, 256 GB SSD and 8 GB RAM.
It includes a battery life that will survive for more than 10 hours without a plug. Existing customers have praised its lightweight design, great display, and comfortable keyboard. Its 256 GB SSD might be an issue for those who like to store their movies and TV shows, and to them, we recommend buying an external HDD.
It's powered by the reliable specification and hence delivers the best performance possible. We mostly never recommend Samsung laptops, but they have done a great job on this one, and we believe this one was specially designed for travelers.
It weighs only 2.5 pounds and measures at half an inch making it one of the best laptops for travelers. Overall, it's very smooth to operate and comes with 13-inch Full HD display.
10. ASUS ZenBook Flip 14
The ASUS ZenBook Flip packs powerful 8th generation Intel Core i7 and 16 GB RAM. It sports a 14-inch touchscreen full HD display with a resolution of 1920 by 1080. It comes with 512 GB of SSD which is excellent considering its 3 pounds weight.
The same goes for battery life as it can easily last up to 10 hours or more on a single charge. While many laptops in this price range aren't travel-friendly, the ZenBook Flip by ASUS can be carried around with ease.
Tasks like watching full HD movies, playing casual games and editing some videos can be easily done with good responsiveness. These activities are well supported by the dedicated NVIDIA MX150 graphics processor.
This laptop has good specifications for a powerful travel laptop. However, a possible drawback of this machine is the lack of backlit keyboard. If that's not a critical requirement, then we feel this is a great choice for travelers.
So these are our recommendations for best travel laptops, and you can buy any one of these with confidence. We have tested all these notebooks for weeks, and they were able to survive throughout all our tests.
I know you can almost carry any laptop with yourself while traveling including those that weigh around 6 pounds but those wouldn’t be travel-friendly laptops and could be damaged in your luggage. I guess that’s all for now and feel free to let us know what you think.