Best travel laptop? Our picks for gap years, business travel and creatives
Looking for a laptop to take on holiday, travel with work, or to pack off for university? Check out our top picks for travel-friendly laptops…
Whether you’re someone who works remotely or a student with the travelling bug, your laptop needs will be different to those of a desk-based user.
What to look for when shopping for a travel laptop:
- Portable – thin and light, easy to carry around in your bag
- Battery life – for working without having to plug in
- Power – enough for 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 a cheap laptop to help you stay connected while you’re away
HP Pavilion X360
A good all-round computer, the Pavilion X360 is a 2 in 1 that’s built for using on the go. Work in laptop mode for researching new destinations – then turn it into a tablet when you want to kick back with a film at your hostel.
Stay entertained on an overnight train or coach journey with over 9 hours battery life. In a hurry and running low on juice? Use its fast charge function to get up to 90% power in 90 minutes.
Movies and music sound great 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.
You can take the T102 with you anywhere. It’s incredibly light (weighing less than 580g) and built from tough aluminium designed to withstand daily scuffs and knocks.
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: Portable and powerful with a slick design and plenty of juice
Surface Pro 4
Turn your laptop into a portable office with the Surface Pro 4, Microsoft’s most advanced 2 in 1 yet. Run programs like Microsoft Office without any lag thanks to the powerful Intel Core i7 processor.
Have precision control over everything you do on the 12.3-inch touchscreen, while the Surface pen lets you annotate documents and make notes as you work.
Don’t fancy typing on screen? It has the option to add a full-size keyboard so it’ll feel like you’re working on a laptop.
The premium magnetic case looks the part in any boardroom, with protective Corning Gorilla Glass so you can travel without worrying about damage. All with up to 9 hours of battery life for working on planes and trains.
HP Spectre X360 i7
If you’re after a 2-in1 that’s a true powerhouse, then you’ll love the HP Spectre.
It works just as hard as you do, 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.
Microsoft Surface Book Performance Base
Microsoft Surface Book with Performance Base From video editors to architects, creatives can stay productive on the road with the Microsoft Surface Book with Performance Base. The Surface Book is a powerful, premium laptop that you can also use as a tablet – it has a clever hinge that detaches the screen from the keyboard.
Photoshop, illustrator and other Adobe programs run smoothly thanks to the Intel Core i7 processor. And with the Surface Pen you can design directly onto the screen. But the additional Power Base gives you considerably more oomph for handling demanding video rendering in Final Cut Pro and intensive CAD design.
These are graphics-intensive tasks, and the Power Base brings twice the graphics power of Surface Book with the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M.
The travel blogger
In a nutshell: A portable, 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 – with a backlit keyboard for typing up your next post at night or on the go.
Download, edit and share your photos and videos with ease. Connect your camera and smartphone with the 2 USB 3.0 ports for downloading all your images. The powerful 7th Gen Core i5 processor means it can handle demanding editing software and has plenty of room for storing files with 256GB SSD storage.