While portability is the first thing that comes to mind when we talk about travel laptops, there are a lot of other things to consider besides it. For starters, they are expected to have enough processing firepower to cover you professionally, even while globetrotting.
As far as travel requirements are concerned, consider a laptop that boots up quickly (comes with SSD), connects to the internet at enviable speeds, and supports multi-mode operability in case you are pressed for space. Besides, if you are traveling, getting access to a charging point isn’t always possible and this is where extended battery life comes in as a handy resource.
Besides, you are tempted to use laptops while traveling for editing pictures, browsing the internet, on the go. However, if you are a digital nomad then a laptop offers you the flexibility to attend an abruptly initiated meeting or edit a presentation, responding to emails, skype chats, even when on the move.
Based on our research, you might not want an insanely powerful processor (i.e., Intel Core i9) but should at least look for a quad-core variant with ample processing meat. Graphics card isn’t mandatory as it is highly unlikely for you to play games instead of acknowledging the locales. If you plan to edit shorter video clips for social media posts, the integrated graphics coprocessor will suffice. However, for longer video editing or to perform graphic-intensive tasks, then get a laptop with a dedicated GPU.
In regards to display features, try to purchase one with a matte screen, specifically for better sunlight visibility.
Overall, you need to be proactive in case you are planning to purchase a reliable travel machine for the given price range. Instead of concentrating on the usual specifications, including the CPU, RAM, and Storage, you should think out-of-the-box and rely on the more underrated attributes, including the webcam quality, microphone, detachability, battery life, support for USB charging, and more.
The good thing is, our tech experts at Freedom 251 have done the tough research work for you to ensure minimal brainstorming and enlist some of the most reliable travel notebooks, including 2-in-1s, standard clamshells, touch-supported models, Chromebooks, and more.
- Minimum & Recommended System Requirements
- 10 Best Travel Laptops in 2021
- 1. Best Overall: HP Envy 15
- 2. Best 4K Laptop: Asus ZenBook 15
- 3. Best 13-inch Laptop: Dell XPS 13 7390
- 4. Best with MacOS: Apple MacBook Pro 13
- 5. Best Battey Life: LG Gram 14
- 6. Best 2-in-1: Lenovo Yoga C940
- 7. Best Under Budget: Acer Aspire 5
- 8. Most Lightweight Laptop: Microsoft Surface Pro 7
- 9. Cheap Travel Laptop: Lenovo IdeaPad 3
- 10. Best Chromebook: Google PixelBook Go
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Why should you consider all-inclusive portability for travel laptops instead of relying more on the lightness of form?
- Why is it important to concentrate on security specifications while purchasing a travel laptop?
- Why do certain laptops have dedicated security chips that facilitate secure boot-ups?
- Why are H-series chipsets not popular in laptops for traveling?
- Should you opt for a clamshell, convertible, or detachable as your preferred travel gadget?
Minimum & Recommended System Requirements
Travel laptops featuring the minimum set of specifications are expected to be good enough for online tasks, basic edits, and casual interactions with friends and family. However, if you choose to persist with gadgets that are loaded with the recommended or a higher set of specifications, you can consider using them for more intricate professional tasks, even when you aren’t traveling.
|Minimum System Requirements||Recommended System Requirements|
|CPU||8th Gen Intel Core i5||10th Gen Intel Core i7|
|Storage||256GB SSD||512GB SSD|
|Display||12.3-inch (2736 x 1824)||14-inch FHD IPS (1920 x 1080)|
|GPU||Integrated Intel UHD 620||2GB NVIDIA GeForce MX350|
|Battery||Up to 5 hours||Up to 10 hours|
|Weight||Less than 5 pounds||Less than 4 pounds|
10 Best Travel Laptops in 2021
Our experts have taken time out to test 41 lightweight laptops across diverse parameters to finally come up with a top 10 list of potential purchases. Most importantly, each laptop was a part of an expert’s travel kit and, therefore, was analyzed in real-time.
Not just that, besides reviewing these gadgets for sleekness and battery backup, we also tested them for physical durability, integrated security measures for combating theft and cyberattacks, and other features that might be useful to certain travelers.
1. Best Overall: HP Envy 15
The HP Envy 15 is not your conventional gaming laptop but a trendsetting resource that banks on portability and unmatched productivity. While the price tag isn’t for the fainthearted, HP certainly justifies every buck you spend on this laptop.
As far as processing prowess is concerned, the Intel Core i7-10750H chipset calls the shots and allows you to be adequately productive. While the processor exhibits the highest possible turbo clock speed of up to 5GHz, a basic traveler isn’t expected to make the most of this attribute. However, the CPU really makes an impression if you are looking for a professionally responsive laptop that isn’t just a travel-friendly gadget.
The HP Envy 15 also houses a mid-range graphics card that works in tandem with the processor. The GTX 1650 Ti GPU with Turing-based entity has 4GB of VRAM integrated within. The processing conglomerate readily qualifies it as a decent gaming notebook, provided you want to indulge in some mid-range titles while traveling.
Not just that, if you are a CAD professional, the discrete GPU can help you manage pending assignments even in transit. While you might not be playing games while you travel, but if you do end up wanting to, then this machine is capable of running high-end games like PUBG, Fortnite, WOW, SIMS 4, etc, without any lags.
While the dual-channel 16GB RAM is overkill for basic travelers, it can cover a majority of your professional requirements even outside the globetrotting arena. Besides, you can even consider upgrading the system memory up to 32GB, if and when required. Storage-wise, the 512GB SSD is more than enough. The NVMe-compatible storage module boots up the Windows 10 OS in a matter of seconds.
As far as the display is concerned, the 15.6-inch touchscreen is interactive and adequately vibrant courtesy of the cumulative resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. Bolstered further by the WLED-backlit technology, the power-efficient screen brings in edge-to-edge paneling with glass taking center-stage. Besides, the 100 percent sRGB color gamut is a reasonable creative asset and facilitates productive media consumption.
In addition to the primary specs, HP takes good care of the travel-centric productivity with a host of reliable attributes in play. These include a standard backlit keyboard, loud and high-fidelity Bang and Olufsen speakers, a TrueVision HD webcam for staying connected with the world even during trips, an integrated microphone with muting functionality, and a fingerprint scanner for added security. Besides, the webcam comes with a dedicated physical shutter for keeping cyber-threats at bay.
Despite the numerous thrills and strategically located, heat-dissipating vents, the HP Envy 15 is still pretty light at 4.74 pounds. Moreover, the port arrangement is expected to come in handy provided you want to transfer data and files to and from the laptop while traveling. Considering this, HP houses SuperSpeed Type-A, SuperSpeed Type-C, and other reliable slots.
Overall, it is the insanely powerful battery backup of at least 18 hours that readily validates the credibility of the HP Envy 15 as an all-inclusive, travel-friendly laptop.
- Ultrafast RAM
- 10th gen processor
- Mid-range GPU
- Enhanced security specs
- Long-lasting battery
- On the heavier side
- Doesn’t support multi-mode operability
2. Best 4K Laptop: Asus ZenBook 15
The Asus ZenBook 15 is certainly one of the more reliable 4K travel laptops to purchase, considering the productivity-centric attributes and a decent-enough specs sheet. Besides, it is the display that stands out and is perfectly assisted by the innovative touchpad and Asus’s proprietary ErgoLift design.
Asus takes good care of the professional, personal, and other trivial tasks with the Intel Core i7-10510U CPU. Despite being a low-power processor, the U-series processing entity is capable of reaching the maximum clock speed of up to 4.9GHz. In case you would be primarily using this as a travel laptop, the featured, 10th gen CPU is expected to be more than enough, especially for the moderately-demanding tasks.
As far as graphics support is concerned, the ZenBook 15 accommodates a mid-range GTX 1650 Max-Q GPU, clubbed with 4GB of VRAM. While the graphics card is more than capable of managing in-flight games and other leisure indulgences, it even covers you for the more demanding work-related tasks. Besides, the Max-Q variant is slightly underpowered compared to the GTX 1650 graphics card, thereby emanating lesser heat.
Memory allocation takes center-stage with it featuring 16GB of integrated RAM and a sizable yet fast, 512GB solid-state drive module. While the existing chunk of system memory takes care of diverse tasks, online classes, meetings, and mid-range gaming performances, the NVMe-supported storage drive is a handy resource, if you want to store and edit pictures on the Adobe PhotoShop. Furthermore, the storage module boots up the device featuring Windows 10 Home OS, in the least possible time.
Regardless of an otherwise beefed-up specs sheet, the Asus ZenBook 15 is best known for the enthralling 15.6-inch 4K UHD display. While Asus ditches the conventional Full HD panel for an overall resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels, it further stacks in wide-angle viewing technology, NanoEdge bezels, and the highest possible color accuracy levels (highly recommended attribute for graphic designers.) The screen quality clubbed with the slimmer chassis, allows you to carry this gadget out in the open, sans visibility issues.
Moreover, Asus also houses truckloads of productivity-enhancing attributes, including the backlit keyboard, IR-supported webcam, Alexa compatibility for unhindered accessibility, and a loud set of speakers.
However, it is the functional touchpad that deserves a special mention as it readily doubles down as a 5.65-inch touchscreen or rather the ScreenPad 2.0. Not just that, Asus makes typing on the move easier than ever with the ErgoLift hinge, which also contributes towards better airflow.
In case you prefer keeping the travel load light, the 3.6-pound laptop is expected to fit in rather perfectly. Besides, the standard arrangement of ports, including Type-C, HDMI, and more ensures that you can connect DSLR, external drives, and other travel-friendly resources with ease. Lastly, the existing Wi-Fi 6 standard allows you to connect seamlessly to the hotel Wi-Fi and other available connections effortlessly.
Then again, the ZenBook 15 is also equipped with a powerful battery, capable of lasting for up to 9 hours on standard usage. Overall, if you are strictly looking for an empowering machine with several nifty attributes to show for, this variant of the Asus ZenBook 15 is one of the more prudent selections to invest in.
- 10th gen processor
- Reliable GPU
- Innovative design
- Stellar 4K display
- Durable yet light
- Innovative ScreenPad 2.0
- Lacks touchscreen display
- Not meant for power users
3. Best 13-inch Laptop: Dell XPS 13 7390
Honestly speaking, the Dell XPS 13 7390 is the travel laptop that we all deserve, despite the slightly exorbitant price tag. While this 13-inch gadget is nothing like the 17-inch notebooks, it houses a reasonably powerful specs sheet and even brings forth several travel-friendly attributes for you to make use of.
From a processing perspective, the new and powerful U-series Intel Core i7-10710U CPU makes an appearance. Despite lower TDP levels, this hexa-core chipset exceeds expectations and allows you to handle diverse spreadsheets, microsoft office, programming (compiling), and even basic levels of accounting with seamless ease. While the base clock speed of 1.1GHz is on the lower side, it can turbo boost to 4.7GHz.
The processor gets adequate support from the UHD graphics as Dell eliminates clutter by getting rid of a dedicated GPU. Then again, you get access to 16GB of on-board RAM, which is an exceptional multitasking resource, especially if you more into simultaneous editing and online learning indulgences. The hexa-core processor gets an additional boost with the existing chunk of system memory. However, it is the 1TB SSD module that gets more of our attention.
The storage unit strikes the perfect balance between size and speed, whilst booting up the pre-existing Windows 10 OS at enviable speeds. Furthermore, the featured operating platform looks even better on the 13.3-inch 4K screen. Most importantly, the Ultra High-Definition display is bolstered further by the InfinityEdge paneling, allowing Dell to encapsulate a 13-inch screen into an 11-inch form factor.
Not just that Live streamers and creatives can benefit from the overall resolution of 3840 x 2160 and the elusive 100 percent sRGB color palette. For travelers, the anti-reflective, touch screen comes across as an asset. Besides, you can also benefit from the Wave MaxxAudio Pro speakers, clubbed with Cinema Sound acoustic enhancement. This functionality allows you to enjoy some good music even while traveling as you wouldn’t have to rely on external speakers.
Dell goes one step forward and throws in a responsive fingerprint scanner, thereby giving you an additional line of protection against on-premise threats. Besides, this is one of the few notebooks in the retail space to feature an external battery indicator, capable of keeping you vigilant even while traveling.
However, the specs sheet continues to enthrall with Dell XPS 13 making way for a reliable HD webcam, a decent set of microphones, and a nifty keyboard that remains unaffected by the smaller footprint. While the smooth touchpad exists, you also get a palm rest for better usability.
The 2.7-pound travel laptop is loaded with several innovative traits, including Thunderbolt 3 slots, USB charging support, and the innovative Wireless AX functionality.
As far as autonomy is concerned, the laptop is capable of lasting for up to 12 hours or a bit more, despite the 4K screen at its prime. While this variant of the Dell XPS 13 7390 is an obvious pick for travel fanatics having no budget restraints, you can always opt for the i5-powered, Dell XPS 7390 at almost half the price. Quite appropriately, the budget variant flaunts a 10th gen i5 chipset followed by 8GB RAM and a middling 256GB of storage space.
In case additional cores and 4K display aren’t your priorities, the Dell XPS 7390, with the Full HD resolution and a toned-down specs sheet, is still adequately relevant to your globetrotting requirements.
- Brilliant screen
- Hexa-core U-series chipset
- Fingerprint scanner
- Two Thunderbolt 3 ports
- Durable aluminum-clad chassis
- Lacks dedicated graphics card
- 4K screen is overkill on a 13-inch screen
4. Best with MacOS: Apple MacBook Pro 13
For Apple MacBook loyalists, the new and improved MacBook Pro 13 is probably the best travel-friendly laptop to consider. While you can always go for the 16-inch version, the 13-inch Pro is more travel-friendly, courtesy of the lightness of form and other productivity-enhancing specifications.
Apple persists with a standard Apple’s M1 8-Core processor, which is best known for the lower TDP levels and the reliable base speed clock of 3.2GHz. For moderate to even demanding usage, the existing CPU feels like an extremely resourceful entity, due to the new M1 chip architecture. As far as graphics are concerned, the integrated Integrated 8-Core Graphics is efficient enough to handle casual games and run daily computing errands with ease.
Unlike some of the more adventurous gadgets on the list, the MacBook 13 persists with 8GB of DDR4 RAM. When it comes to storage, the 512GB SSD is adequate and even speeds up the boot-up process involving the macOS Big Sur.
The MacBook 13 scales beyond any competition, despite featuring a smallish, 13.3-inch screen. However, it is the cumulative resolution of 2560×1600 that lends additional credibility to the overall visual experience. According to our experts, the near-perfect native resolution of the MacBook Pro paired with an extended PCI-D3 color gamut is the top-of-the-line and projects the best visuals, even in the outdoors.
However, the MacBook Pro 13 exceeds expectations when secondary specifications are concerned. While the Magic Keyboard with 1 mm key travel is a handy social networking resource during trips, there is no denying the functionality of the powerful speakers, FaceTime-powered webcam, and studio-grade speakers.
While this gadget weighs exactly 3 pounds, it is the connectivity suite that garners a majority of attention. You get access to 2 Thunderbolt 4 ports which ensure data and file transfers at 40 Gbps while supporting USB charging. It also accommodates 2x USB 3.1 Gen 2 port and Wi-Fi 6 AC standard for added functionality. With around 17 hours of battery backup of mixed-use, it readily qualifies as a travel gadget.
However, some of the attributes like the secure Touch ID and the accessibility-enhancing, floating Touch Bar further the utilitarian nature of this gadget. Not just that, if you are planning to get something more affordable and lighter than the MacBook Pro, the No products found. can also be considered.
- Powerful processor
- Advanced keyboard
- Long-lasting battery
- Stellar display
- Fluid macOS
- Pricier than most Windows Laptops
- Only 2 USB ports
5. Best Battey Life: LG Gram 14
As a matter of fact, the latest 2-in-1 from LG i.e. the LG Gram 14 is one of the best lightweight laptops for traveling that have been launched in 2020. While the gadget size stands perfectly between the conventional 15-inch models and the 13-inch ultraportables, it is the battery life that allows you to travel to extremely remote locales, without worrying about the adapter.
As far as the processing meat is concerned, the quad-core Intel Core i7-10510U chipset is a standard yet affable inclusion. Although the low-power, U-series SoC seems a bit underpowered for high-end tasks, the turbo frequency of 4.9GHz ensures that it can hold its own even when complex processes are to be handled. While the Gram 14 misses out on a discrete GPU, the Intel UHD graphics support is more than adequate for casual online games and on the move, photo editing.
This LG Gram 14 edition is also loaded with a lot of system memory. While the 16GB RAM is barely tested during trips, you can consider deploying the same for advanced levels of multitasking, especially in your professional domain. Next in line is the 1TB storage drive, precisely segregated as two 512GB SSD modules. The NVMe-compatible units can also double down as preferential boot drives, specifically for loading the Windows 10 Home OS, at enviable speeds.
The LG Gram 14 is a standard 2-in-1 that comes with stylus support and touch screen functionality. What stands out though is the IPS panel, bolstered further by a standard resolution count of 1920 x 1080 pixels. Furthermore, the screen is rendered durable enough by the Corning Gorilla Glass 6 and is also Nebo compatible, allowing you to take notes using the stylus pen itself.
LG also incorporates a standard backlit keyboard, impactful speakers with DTS:X functionality, 3D acoustic experience, nifty fingerprint scanner, and the MIL-STD certified metal-clad chassis. As far as travel-centric productivity is concerned, the existing webcam and voice-purified speakers also come across as resourceful additions.
Despite featuring multi-mode operability courtesy of the 360-degree hinge, the LG Gram 14 isn’t short of connectivity-centric thrills. The company takes special care in accommodating Thunderbolt 3 and HDMI slots, specifically for transferring high-speed data and connecting external displays to project travel videos and images on a larger screen. Moreover, you can stop worrying about the adapter courtesy of the extended battery backup of almost 21 hours.
Needless to say, LG Gram 14 is one of the more productive travel laptops to invest in. While the all-inclusive specs sheet readily justifies the price tag, the 2.53-pound structural marvel is best known for the exhibited autonomy.
- Light and portable 2-in-1
- Stellar display with protective layering
- Insanely long-lasting battery
- Brilliant acoustics
- Thunderbolt 3 support
- Not meant for gaming
- Doesn’t having a dedicated thermal layout
6. Best 2-in-1: Lenovo Yoga C940
Lenovo’s Yoga C940 is an exceptional travel laptop, best characterized by a reasonable specs sheet and the 360-degree, rotatable hinge.
In comes the quad-core, G7-series processor that is graphics optimized and powerful enough to manage basic editing sans a dedicated graphics card. The Intel Core i7-1065G7 CPU is capable of reaching turbo frequencies in the range of 3.9GHz, which is more than adequate for a mid-range notebook. As far as graphics support is concerned, the Iris Plus co-processor is a handy inclusion.
The Yoga C940 stacks in 12GB of on-board low-power DDR4X RAM, which is more than capable of managing diverse multitasking tasks. However, this might still seem overkill for travel laptops unless you are into editing travel pictures and videos, on the move. However, the 512GB SSD unit with Intel Optane compatibility is one of the best additions, characterized by insane speeds and the fastest possible Windows 10 OS boot-ups.
As far as the display is concerned, the 14-inch screen is a refreshing choice from Lenovo. While the touch screen display adds to the resourcefulness of the 2-in-1, it is the In-plane switching technology that results in sharper viewing angles and utmost levels of visual clarity. What stands out is the overall resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels that sit onto the LED-backlit panel.
Overall, the Lenovo Yoga C940 is extremely resourceful, courtesy of the security-centric fingerprint scanner, smoothest possible trackpad, wider-viewing angles that project even the minutest of details, and a responsive HD webcam for staying connected with your kinfolks. In addition to being durable, owing to the metallic casing and rugged chassis, this convertible is also one of the lightest on the list at 2.98 pounds.
The slimness, however, doesn’t impact the connectivity suite with Lenovo accommodating Thunderbolt 3 slots, Type-A, Type-C, and Wi-Fi 6 standard into the scheme of things. Besides, you also get a reasonable battery backup of up to 12 hours, depending on usage patterns. To sum it up, the Lenovo Yoga C940 is one of the more resourceful travel laptops on the list, best characterized by a host of nifty, productivity-centric features.
- Stellar display
- Multimode operability
- Fingerprint scanner
- Thunderbolt 3 support
- Wi-Fi 6 standard
- Doesn’t come with a dedicated graphics card
7. Best Under Budget: Acer Aspire 5
The Acer Aspire 5 is easily one of the best notebooks under $700 in the market, regardless of the usage patterns and individual preferences. Despite being an affordable clamshell notebook, it still manages to house an entry-level graphics card for basic gaming and graphics-centric coverage.
When it comes to the processing power, you get hold of an Intel Core i5-1035G1 chipset, best known for the decent turbo clock speed of up to 3.6GHz. The graphics optimized processor is also known for the lower TDP levels, which in turn keeps heat emanation to permissible limits. Next in line is the discrete, MX350 GPU, clubbed with 2GB of video RAM.
Despite being an entry-level GPU, exhibiting 14nm architecture, the GeForce MX350 can still handle a few mid-range games at 720p presets. The 64-bit memory bus associated with the GPU is good enough for basic GPU-accelerated photo and video editing processes. As far as system memory is concerned, the Acer Aspire 5 stacks in 8GB DDR4 RAM, which is good enough for basic multitasking.
As far as storage-support is concerned, you get hold of a 512GB SSD module. The existing storage unit is good enough for booting up the Windows 10 Home OS in a heartbeat whilst retrieving files and data sets sans stutters. The 15.6-inch screen on offer is nothing short of a spectacle with Acer exhibiting an overall resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. What stands out is the Color Intelligence technology followed by a widescreen visual projection and the anti-glare, BlueLightShield support.
Other resourceful specs include the backlit keyboard, HD webcam, voice-purified microphones, and the TrueHarmony speakers, sitting atop an innovative acoustic layout. As far as the structural layout is concerned, it is the aluminum-clad top cover that stands out.
Despite this enhancement, the laptop weighs a mere 3.97 pounds and is accommodative towards a diversified connectivity suite, including Type-C port, USB 3.1 Gen 1 slot, Power-off charging support, and Wi-Fi 6 connectivity standard. The battery backup of up to 8 hours is more than enough for a standard user, which in turn qualifies this as reliable 10th gen travel laptop.
- 10th gen processor
- Discrete graphics card
- 1080p panel
- Wi-Fi 6 support
- Sizable storage capacity
- Lacks Thunderbolt 3 support
- Middling acoustic setup
8. Most Lightweight Laptop: Microsoft Surface Pro 7
We have always been fond of detachables as relevant travel accessories and this is why the Surface Pro 7 finds a well-deserved place on this list. Besides being exceedingly light, this gadget also flaunts a host of productivity-centric attributes and even doubles down as a tablet, if and when necessary.
To start with, Microsoft houses a reliable and adequately powerful, Intel Core i5-1035G4 CPU that works in tandem with the Intel Iris Plus graphics card. As it is a graphics optimized processor, you can expect it to assume middling turbo clock speeds of up to 3.7GHz.
However, the quad-core chipset is still capable of handling several moderately demanding tasks like scriptwriting, editing, spreadsheet management, and content creation, almost effortlessly.
Despite being a travel-friendly gadget, the Surface Pro 7 is equipped with 8GB of low-power DDR4 RAM. As it is a low-power unit, the 10th gen CPU allows it to process files and data at 3733MHz. The high-speed chunk of system memory is perfectly complemented by a 256GB SSD module, which is good enough to boot-up the Windows 10 Home edition OS in a heartbeat.
Furthermore, the 12.3-inch touchscreen deserves a special mention, owing to the sizable display resolution of 2736 x 1824 pixels. What works in your favor is the elusive 3:2 screen aspect ratio, allowing you to view images and videos regardless of the gadget orientation. In addition to these specifications, Microsoft also makes it a point to incorporate the exclusive TPM security chipset (required for lawyers, cyber enthusiasts) for safer boot-ups, which helps maintain data sanctity even if you are not connected to trusted networks.
Other relevant specs include a nifty yet sturdy keyboard, 5MP front shooter with Windows Hello support, resourceful microphones, and powerful stereo speakers with Dolby Audio enhancement. Unlike the Surface Pro 6, this variant flaunts an exceedingly durable magnesium-clad chassis that comes equipped with hidden vents and a reliable 8MP back shooter for a more travel-centric functionality.
The port arrangement is pretty standard with Microsoft making room for the Type-C, Type-A, and the Surface Connect slot for preferentially clubbing the Type Cover. Most importantly, the gadget brings forth Wi-Fi 6 support, which was amiss in the preceding models. As far as autonomy is concerned, the battery housed by the Surface Pro 7 is capable of lasting for up to 10.5 hours, whilst accommodating the fast charging functionality.
Therefore, it wouldn’t be wrong to state that the 1.70-pound Surface Pro 7 is one of the best travel-friendly detachables in the market, best known for a competitive specs sheet and innovative aesthetics.
- Durable structure
- 10th gen processor
- Long-lasting battery
- TPM security chipset
- Dual shooters
- Wi-Fi 6 support
- Lacks Thunderbolt 3 support
- Not meant for the power users
9. Cheap Travel Laptop: Lenovo IdeaPad 3
Lenovo’s budget-centric, Lenovo IdeaPad 3 is easily one of the best budget laptops for traveling on the list, especially for individuals who are seeking more affordable selections. Besides, Lenovo ditches Intel processors to get a lead on the affordability quotient.
Apparently, the AMD Ryzen 5 3500U is a decently powered CPU that relies on 4 Zen+ cores, SMT, and boosted clock speeds of up to 3.8GHz. While it is in line with any 10th gen Intel Core i5 processor in terms of performances, the laptop pricing gets a significant cut with Lenovo on-boarding AMD processor and the corresponding Radeon Vega 8 co-processor.
Despite being an integrated graphics module, the Vega 8 exceeds its contemporaries when basic editing and gaming performances are concerned. However, our experts were more than impressed by the 8GB DDR4 RAM on offer, despite the sub-$500 price tag. Storage-wise, you need to make a few adjustments as only 256GB of capacity is on offer. Not just that, you get access to Windows 10, as the pre-supplied operating system.
The 14-inch 1080p display exceeds expectations but lives up to the claims regarding visual clarity and color accuracy. However, it is the slimmer paneling that stands out with the IdeaPad 3 credibility getting a boost with the two-sided narrow bezels and a minimalistic layout. Lenovo also takes a fitting stand on productivity by adding a standard keyboard and smooth touchpad for facilitating seamless feedback.
What stands out though is the traveler-friendly acoustic setup, led by Dolby Audio speakers. Besides, if you are planning to globetrot for a while, the HD webcam, clubbed with a physical shutter for enhanced privacy, comes across as a handy resource. From a structural purview, the gadget weighs close to 3.3 pounds and still accommodates Type-A, Type-C, HDMI, and the Wi-Fi 5 connectivity standards.
The battery on offer is capable of lasting for almost 8 hours but you can get some additional autonomy upon activating the Q-Control and the relevant Battery-saving mode. Overall, the IdeaPad 3 is strictly an affordable notebook that still houses enough firepower and functionality for a traveler to make use of.
- Decent display
- Powerful processor
- Privacy shutter for the webcam
- Long-lasting battery
- Fast RAM module
- Lacks Wi-Fi 6 support
- Predictable design
10. Best Chromebook: Google PixelBook Go
So we finally take a deserving Chromebook into account by adding the Google PixelBook Go into the mix. However, this is one of the best gadgets to consider only if you are traveling to a locale that has excellent internet connectivity.
The PixelBook Go houses the reliable Intel Core M3-8100Y chipset that assumes the highest possible clock speeds of up to 3.4GHz. While this seems like an entry-level dual-core processor, the lower TDP and TDP down levels fit in perfectly with your travel-centric requirements. As far as graphics support is concerned, the integrated UHD 615 is an efficient resource, specifically for your online indulgences.
As the PixelBook Go is strictly a Chromebook, the 8GB RAM is mostly expected to be used to open chrome browsers and primarily multitask over online premises. The on-premise storage capacity, therefore, is appropriately restricted to 64GB, with the SSD module responsible for booting up the Chrome OS at lightning speeds.
When it comes to the display, the PixelBook Go flaunts a smallish, 13.3-inch screen, bolstered further by a cumulative resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. The touchscreen display also assumes a standard 16:9 aspect ratio which improves the visual clarity, almost significantly.
However, this Chromebook isn’t only about the primary specs sheet but also relies heavily on productivity-enhancing attributes, including the rugged and grippable chassis and a smallish keyboard with decent key travel, backlit support, and quietest possible typing experience. Besides, if you are a frequent traveler, the security-centric, Titan C chip is expected to come in handy.
Most importantly, the PixelBook Go also stacks in a dependable 2MP front shooter and functional microphones, helping you stay connected with family and friends while globetrotting. Besides, you also get access to stereo speakers, a solitary Type-C port, and the Wi-Fi 5 connectivity standards.
The battery life, as promised by Google, is tagged at 12 hours and the PixelBook Go certainly lives up to the claims. However, the battery life hardly comes under the scanner with the Chromebook offering Fast Charging support. Overall, if you do not have problems ditching the Windows platform for Chrome OS, the Google PixelBook Go is a reliable gadget to invest in.
- Dependable processor
- A sizable chunk of RAM
- Hush keyboard
- Titan C chip for enhanced security
- Fast charging support
- Not meant for on-premise edits
- Not enough storage space
Frequently Asked Questions
Why should you consider all-inclusive portability for travel laptops instead of relying more on the lightness of form?
All-inclusive portability takes battery life into account which is an essential trait for travel laptops. While it is good to purchase a light notebook, pathetic battery life isn’t expected to go well with the globetrotters. Moreover, the chassis needs to be durable whilst being light as you should expect a few bumps on the way, especially when you are considering public transport.
Why is it important to concentrate on security specifications while purchasing a travel laptop?
As a traveler, you are always at the risk of misplacing your laptop, which might have sensitive personal information housed within. Therefore, it is necessary to at least have a form of biometric security activated to prevent unscrupulous access. While an IR-powered webcam is more than adequate, nothing works better than a fingerprint scanner.
Why do certain laptops have dedicated security chips that facilitate secure boot-ups?
TPM and Titan security chipsets ensure that your gadget boots up safely even when it is being used outside the home network. This underrated feature is expected to be useful for those who frequently connect to hotel Wi-Fi networks while traveling.
Why are H-series chipsets not popular in laptops for traveling?
Despite H-series CPUs being insanely powerful, they aren’t preferred in ultraportable models, owing to higher TDP levels. Moreover, these chipsets are meant for premium laptops as they push the costs higher than usual.
Should you opt for a clamshell, convertible, or detachable as your preferred travel gadget?
As per our experts, clamshells with touch support are the best bets for your travel-centric requirements as they are expected to last longer sans the lack of mechanical touchpoints. However, if you aren’t a frequent globetrotter, a light-weighted convertible or even a detachable is a good choice, provided you get access to a secondary rear shooter for capturing the locales.
Needless to say, each of the mentioned travel laptops is good in its own right. Therefore, our tried and tested selections allow you to choose as per your preferences and budget.
- If you want a device that can also serve as your go-to professional workstation, the Asus ZenBook 15 is a credible option.
- For individuals interested in smaller screens and ultraportable notebooks, Dell's XPS 13 7390 is a potential market mover.
- If you prefer traveling to inaccessible locations and have a tendency of leaving the adapter behind, the LG Gram 14 is expected to be an affable ally.
- For budget seekers, Lenovo IdeaPad 3 is an excellent resource to invest in.
Still haven’t found the right one? Use our Laptop Finder