Best travel laptop? Our picks for gap years, business travel and creatives
Love travelling and want to stay in touch on your adventures? Or on the road for work? Check out our top picks for travel-friendly laptops…
07 Apr 2018
Whether you’re a student heading off to Thailand on a gap year or a graphic designer who travels a lot to meet clients, you’ll need a laptop that performs well on the go.
What to look for when shopping for a travel laptop:
- Portability – thin and light, easy to carry around in your bag
- Battery life – for working without having to plug in
- Power – enough for Office, photo editing and entertainment
- Screen quality – if you plan on using it as your TV
Here’s how to find the right travel laptop for you:
The gap-year traveller
In a nutshell: You’re on a budget and always online – you want an affordable laptop to help you stay connected while you’re away
HP Pavilion x360
If you’re looking for a dependable all-rounder, the Pavilion x360 2-in-1 is hard to beat. Work in laptop mode for researching new destinations, then hey presto - turn it into a tablet when you want to kick back with a film at your hostel.
There’ll be no lag time as it’s fitted with the latest 8th gen Intel Core i5 processor. And with 256 GB of SSD storage, you’ll have no problem storing the hundreds of photos that you take on your travels and sharing them with friends back home.
The 11 hours of battery life mean you can stay entertained on an overnight train or coach journey.
Movies and music sound great too thanks to the built-in B&O PLAY speakers – giving you incredible audio without the need to plug in extra speakers. That’s one less thing to pack in your rucksack.
This pintsized 2-in-1 laptop is incredibly light, weighing less than 580g, and built from tough aluminium designed to withstand daily scuffs and knocks - so it can cope with going halfway around the world and back.
Get power you wouldn’t expect on many laptops – let alone a tablet – with a quad-core Atom X5 processor that makes everyday computing a breeze.
With Windows Hello you no longer need to remember multiple passwords – a single touch unlocks the laptop with your fingerprint and works with several apps for easy access. Keep hold of all your photos with 3264GB storage.
The business traveller
In a nutshell: You want something that’s portable and powerful with a slick design and plenty of juice
Microsoft Surface Pro
Turn your laptop into a portable office with the Surface Pro, Microsoft’s most advanced 2-in-1 yet. Run programs like Microsoft Office without any lag thanks to the super-fast Intel Core i5 processor.
The Quad HD display makes all your documents, images and videos really pop, while the premium magnesium exterior looks the part in any boardroom. What’s more, you get up to 13.5 hours of battery life for working on planes and trains.
Have precision control over everything you do on the 12.3-inch touchscreen. If you want to make notes on screen, you can buy a Surface Pen to go with your laptop.
Don’t fancy typing on screen? The Surface Pro has the option to add a full-size keyboard so it’ll feel like you’re working on a laptop.
HP Spectre x360 i7
If you’re after a 2-in-1 that’s a true powerhouse, then you’ll love the HP Spectre.
It works just as hard as you do (if that’s possible), with the powerful 7th gen Intel Core i5 processor delivering impressive performance with little power usage. You get a massive 15 hours of battery life from a single charge.
Enjoy incredible detail on the Ultra Sharp QHD screen – with 2.5 million more pixels than regular HD. Photos and videos will look amazing on screen. And thanks to the anti-reflective panel, you can take your work outside to enjoy the sunshine. Perfect for doing a bit of prep in between business meetings.
Microsoft Surface Book 2
From video editors to architects, creatives can stay productive on the road with the Microsoft Surface Book 2.
It’s a powerful, premium computer that gives you a considerable amount of oomph. It’s extremely versatile – more of a 4-in-1 than a 2-in-1. Use it as a normal laptop, transform it into a tablet to sketch or watch movies, or turn round the screen to share content. Did we mention that it’s also got a whopping 17 hours’ battery life too?
Photoshop, illustrator and other Adobe programs run smoothly thanks to the hard-working Intel Core i5 processor. And with the Surface Pen you can design directly onto the screen.
Give documents, spreadsheets and presentations the wow factor with fully rotatable 3D graphics, and handle demanding video rendering.
The travel blogger
In a nutshell: You’re looking for aportable, powerful, Photoshop-friendly laptop for sharing your travel stories and photos
Dell XPS 13
Clever design means the XPS 13 can be incredibly small with a large display. In fact, the edge-to-edge screen makes it the world’s smallest 13.3-inch laptop.
Take it with you as you explore and start writing when you feel inspired. Using Windows Hello facial recognition, you’ll be able to log on in under two seconds to jot down that funny line you thought of before it slips out of your head. And there’s a backlit keyboard for typing up your next post at night.
Download, edit and share your photos and videos with ease. Connect your camera and smartphone with the 2 USB 3.1 ports for downloading all your images. The powerful latest 8th-gen Core i7 processor means it can handle demanding editing software and has plenty of room for storing files with 512GB SSD storage.