Road warriors ask a lot from a prospective travel laptop. They want one that is fast with a long battery life that can manage all basic work functions, as well as streaming, all while being as light as possible. Finding the best travel laptop for business travel can be extremely elusive and can seem like such a daunting task, that many give up or pick a less than optimal choice because they get frustrated with all the options out there. Here are our top tips on how to choose a laptop for business travel and make sure you can stay productive on trip.
TRAVEL LAPTOP SIZE AND WEIGHT
Size and weight are the two most important features to consider when comparing travel laptops. You want a laptop that has a large enough screen size that you can effectively work, but isn’t so heavy that it’ll slow you down, especially if you’re going to be running in between your flight gates. Optimal laptop screen sizes will typically lie in the 11” to 13” range and will be around 3-5 pounds.
BUDGET TRAVEL LAPTOPS
Travelers looking for travel laptops on a budget should aim for one that lies in the $150-$300 range. Travelers should be aware, however, that lower cost typically means lower processing speeds as well as decreased battery life. These laptops are great for travelers who have a primary laptop and just need something simple for quick business trips. Furthermore, they all come with built-in webcams meaning you can stay in touch with the office and your family as you travel.
Our top budget travel laptop picks are:
Lenovo IdeaPad ($149.00): The Lenovo Ideapad is probably the best value you can find in a budget travel laptop. The display is a little smaller at 11.6” but still comes with 2GB system memory as well as 16GB flash memory. This means that travelers will experience quick boot-up times, fast data management, and seamless video streaming. It only weight 2.64 pounds and is .78” thin.
Acer Chromebook ($229.99): This laptop comes with at 15.6” full HD display, 4GB system memory, and 16GB hard drive. It weighs in at 4.85 pounds and is .97” thin. This chromebook can handle all basic programs and will easily sync with your Google Drive account.
HP Chromebook ($249.00): The HP Chromebook has a 14” display, weight 3.74 pounds, and is 0.7” thin. Similar to the above Chromebooks, it has 2GB system memory as well as 16GB flash memory.
2 IN 1 HYBRID TRAVEL LAPTOPS
2-in-1 hybrid travel laptops are perfect for business travelers who want to maximize the flexibility (quite literally) of their travel laptop. 2-in-1 laptops provide the option of being in “work mode” and using it as a fully functional laptop, or switching over to “play mode” and have an easily transportable tablet. You can use it differently in different situations. Furthermore, many 2-in-1s also let you set them up in an easel position, which is best if you want to place it on a table, for instance to Skype with friends and family.
Our top 2-in-1 hybrid travel laptops are:
Asus Flip 2-in-1 ($249.00): The Asus Flip 2-in-1 also runs on the Chromebook operating system, so it comes with all the same basic functionalities but with the added bonus of being a fully functional touch screen tablet. The Asus Flip is actually lighter than the above Chromebooks, weighing only 1.96 pounds and is .61” thin. The Asus Flip is probably the best deal you will find for hybrid laptops, but the discounted price does come with the limited functionalities of the Chromebooks. The next two hybrid travel laptops come with greater processing powers and storage capabilities.
Lenovo Yoga 900 ($999.99): The next two hybrids may come with a larger price tag, but they are well worth the price if you have the budget for it. The above Chromebooks all had very similar specs: 4GB of system memory with a 16GB Hard drive. The Lenovo Yoga, however, has 8GB system memory for advanced multitasking, 256 GB solid state drive, the Windows 10 operating system, and a 6th gen intel core. Even with all these improvements, the Lenovo Yoga is still only 2.84 pounds and .59” thin.
Microsoft Surface Pro 4 ($999.99): The Microsoft Surface paved the way for 2-in-1 hybrid travel laptops and they have only gotten better since their release. Similar to the Lenovo Yoga, the increased price tag comes with significantly better computing abilities. The Microsoft Surface Pro 4 comes equipped with Windows 10 Pro, 128 GB internal storage, and a 6th Gen Intel Core i5 processor. You will also get the Surface Pen which is great if you are an artist or enjoy taking handwritten notes.
Travel ultrabooks are for road warriors who don’t want to differentiate between their work computer and their travel computer. The following laptops are fully functional and come with as much computer power that you would need. They are perfect for those who need regular laptops for doing serious work on the road.
Our top travel ultrabooks are:
Macbook ($1,299.00): The Macbook is Apple’s latest basic laptop and it is an unbeatably attractive laptop. This 12-inch laptop comes with a 10 hour battery life and is only 13.1 mm (0.5”) thin and weighs just 2 pounds. The Macbook comes with 1.1Ghz dual core Intel Core m3 processor, 8 GB of memory, and 256GB of flash storage.
Dell XPS 13 ($799.99): The XPS is the world’s smallest 13-inch laptop. The Dell XPS 13 starts at just $799.99 and is a great value ultrabook. With a 6th generation intel core i3 processor, Windows 10, 4GB of memory, and a 128GB solid state drive, the Dell XPS will help you stay productive for your upcoming business trips. It also comes with an unbeatable 18 hours of battery life and is only 2.7 pounds.
Share your favorite travel laptops below!