Do you imagine yourself traveling across Asia, or visiting sunny Bali – free to indulge in the food and the culture, without a care in the world?
Backpacking sounds fun because of the freedom and adventure it provides, but unfortunately for a lot of us, we’re not in college, and we still have to work. But don’t let this dampen your mood – with the right tools, you too can live an exciting life on the road.
In your case, for you to travel full-time to the far lands without running out of money, you will need to pack a decent laptop.
The laptop will function as your remote office, so picking the right one can save you trouble down the road. Luckily for you, we’ve created this article to sort out the essential features and many other tips you need to make your laptop life a blast.
Essential Features For Your Travel Laptop
What’s The Ideal Size For Your Laptop?
The laptop screen size can range from 11 inches up to 17 inches. Most average laptops are in the 13-15″ range, which is a decent enough size for most work, and it won’t be difficult to pack or travel.
Laptops come in various sizes, and while some of the larger screens will have excellent graphics, they also present a challenge for a constantly moving person.
You will find several great brands that offer smaller laptops, but you have to be careful not to purchase one with the wrong operating system.
If your work requires Windows OS, and most of the smaller laptops made with Chrome OS, you will need to do a little more searching.
Units sold with detachable screens may present better options for a digital nomad; however, size tends to affect weight, so that’s another thing worth considering.
Bigger laptops can weigh up to 8 pounds, while the smaller ones weigh about 3 or 4 pounds. A difference of five pounds is significant when you have to carry around your laptop everywhere you go.
How Much Does A Travel Laptop Cost?
Most travel laptops cost between $300 and $1500 US. Depending on features and performance, the pricing varies drastically.
Price is an important factor because, in many cases, a high-end laptop will have most of the features you need for any work. If you cheap out on the essential tool for your work, you will have problems. Price is a good indicator of quality, so keep in mind that you get what you pay for most things.
But just in case you need a cheaper option, you can always purchase a model from two years ago. Another option is to wait for the holidays or other seasons when prices typically drop or hold their annual sales. You can get a good deal on a quality laptop.
Just take a look (if you’re Mr. Impatient, that is) at the end of the article. But if you read through, you’ll catch some tasty tips, so I recommend you keep on reading.
Check The Quality Of The Build.
Digital nomads move around a lot, and they don’t always travel first class – which can be a problem if your expensive, fragile unit breaks as you get bounced around when traveling on poor roads.
You can reduce the risk of damage to your laptop to travel comfortably; or avoid peak hours when buses and trains are congested. If that’s not enough, put your laptop inside a tough casing to prevent damage.
Of course, if you can get a laptop built with more metal than plastic, that would be ideal. Keyboards are usually the first to get damaged, so make sure that yours is strong enough to withstand a year or more of your lifestyle.
The best solution: spend the money on a decent laptop bag that protects your laptop from harm. It doesn’t have to be a ridiculously priced laptop bag either. I really like this backpack off Amazon. It’s got like 20k plus reviews, it’s cheaply priced, but a fairly decent fit and finish. I bought two of them for my trip to Central America but really didn’t need a backup.
How Much Storage Do You Need?
New travel laptops are small and don’t have sufficient internal store. Opt for an external hard drive and cloud storage to make up for it.
Computers now tend to be smaller, and some manufacturers prefer to use smaller hard drives to keep laptops as thin as possible, but this leaves users with a need for extra storage space. Your main options here are to use Cloud Storage or an external hard drive.
In case your work requires larger disk space, then your selection of laptops should reflect that requirement. Some files may take forever to upload to the cloud if you don’t have a strong internet connection – which is why it helps to have additional storage devices at hand like this Toshiba Canvio 4TB external hard drive with USB 3.0.
How Long Is The Battery Life?
Battery life is directly affected by the size of the screen. Unfortunately, a bigger laptop doesn’t always mean that the bigger battery will lead to longer battery life. On average, most laptops will give you 5 hours of regular use, but this will reduce as your laptop ages.
Battery life is significant when traveling, which is why you may consider buying an extra battery – for instance, an external battery that you can plug into your device in an emergency. Always have a plan for extending battery life if living in an area with unreliable electricity.
I like the Sikon Portable Laptop Power Bank. It works well in cases where I’m out traveling and have extended stays away from power.
Check The CPU And Ram
Since these two determine how powerful (and fast) your laptop is, it helps to have a computer with high processing power and loads of RAM. Your CPU options are limited since most computers use Intel or AMD.
However, the year or generation manufactured will give you an idea of how fast the unit is. And if you compare that with your job requirements, you’ll know what you need.
Ideally, you want at least a core i5, with 8 GB RAM – but again, base this on your uses for the laptop. The good news is; you can usually upgrade your laptop’s RAM after you’ve bought it, so that shouldn’t be a problem (as these aren’t apples, or lemons for that matter).
My Pick For The Best Travel Laptops
Travel Laptop Features
- 15.6” Full HD Display, 2.48GHz Intel Celeron Processor, Intel HD Graphics, 4GB RAM DDR3, 16 GB HDD
- WiFi 802.11AC, USB 3.0, Google Chrome OS, 4.4 Pounds
- 3 Cell Lithium Battery, Bluetooth 4.1, Available in Black
If you’re looking for a fair-priced laptop with a large screen, the Acer Chromebook offers a great experience. And it’s not too heavy. Plus, it fits nicely in the under $500 range. Chrome OS comes ready for use, without any need for antivirus software. Perfectly compatible with Google docs; and in case you want extra storage, you can get an adapter for a Micro SD card, or use the cloud instead, for easier access to your documents.
Travel Laptop Features
- AMD Ryzen 5 Processor 3500U, 12GB RAM DDR4, 256GB Hard Drive, 14″ Full HD Display, Windows 10
- Convertible Touchscreen, Webcam Shutter, Digital Pen, Radeon Integrated Graphics, 10-Hour Battery Life
This laptop offers mighty AMD processing power, with a battery life that lasts at least half-day when new. Recharge is also quick, with an hour of charge restoring up to 80% of battery power.
It’s great for everyday needs and offers security with Windows integrated security features, including antivirus, firewall, and additional protection from malware and spyware.
The active pen allows you to take notes anytime by drawing on the screen.
Travel Laptop Features
- 11.6” HD Display With Touchscreen, Intel Celeron Processor, 4GB RAM DDR4, 64GB HDD, SSD Storage
- Intel Graphics 600, Chrome OS, 2W Stereo Speakers, Available in Sand Pink
This multi-use Lenovo laptop makes your job easier on the road, where you can use it in stand mode, tent, tablet, or laptop mode.
If you need a small, slim, and super-light laptop, this mini Lenovo Chromebook is perfect for traveling.
It also comes with a full keyboard, a narrow bezel, and an IPS touchscreen screen makes it possible to click and drag items on the screen for more accessible sharing content.
Travel Laptop Features
- 14 Inch IPS Touch Display, Intel Core i5 Processor, 8GB RAM DDR4, 128GB Hard Drive
- Intel UHD Graphics 615, 1920 x 1080 Display, Windows 10, 3.52 Pounds
This Flex 14 is one of several designs from Lenovo. Still, this one comes with higher processing power, more powerful graphics, and it can handle everyday computing, gaming, sharing files, or binge-watching Netflix.
It’s made to handle both work and entertainment and you can get a lot out of your Flex 14 on the go.
The processor uses the latest 8th generation Intel technology, allowing for effortless multitasking. The battery can last more than 8 hours of moderate use, and the latest Windows security features keep your files safe from any intrusion.
These great features on a reliable platform are why this is one of the higher rated travel laptops on today’s marketplace.
Travel Laptop Features
- 1920 x 1080 Full HD Display, 256GB HDD, AMD Ryzen Processor 4500U, 16GB RAM DDR4, AMD Radeon Graphics
- Windows 10, Available in Graphite Gray
This Lenovo IdeaPad blends performance with a sleek design. It’s perfect for productivity and entertainment.
The graphics are perfect, and a narrow bezel allows for a larger viewing area with minimal clutter. It also has a physical shutter for the camera, ensuring your privacy when needed.
Lenovo Flex 5 will stand out as a sleek, premium laptop. It’s perfect if you like to make a statement.
Travel Laptop Features
- Core i5 Intel Processor
- 8GB RAM, with 256GB SSD
- 7 Hours Battery Life
- Weighs 2.7 pounds
The Dell XPS is a mid-level travel laptop with excellent battery life and super-fast 7th generation Intel processor. The WiFi range is pretty good, and it has multiple ports in addition to the SSD slot.
There is an option for a slightly heavier high-resolution touch screen. Still, overall, the Dell XPS covers most of the main features you need for your work.
The laptop has some great features including a carbon-fiber deck, soft-touch keyboard, infinity display, and long battery life.
You may need to purchase additional SSD memory or have an external hard drive handy to back up your files, but that’s assuming you can’t access cloud storage.
Travel Laptop Features
- 13.3 inch Full HD Display, Intel Core i5 Processor, 8 GB RAM, 256GB HDD
- Weighs 2.09 Pounds, 17 Hours Battery Life, WiFi 6, Available in Mercury Gray
The laptop is almost paper-thin, which is great when traveling. And it can easily tackle most of your everyday tasks, such as streaming videos, editing documents, and playing games.
This laptop is whisper quiet, the fan doesn’t make a noise. And battery life can last the entire day, but heavy applications drastically reduce this, as you are aware. However, it still provides enough power for people who need all the usual features.
Speaking of features, these include easy-to-use programs you can use to edit and upload your files to the cloud. And as far as the weight goes, it is one of the lightest laptops ever. Add that to the portability and battery life and this is one of the best laptops for travel blogging.
Final Say On Travel Laptops
These aren’t the only good options you have for a travel laptop – you will find plenty of laptops for your budget; you need to be clear about which features are more important to you. When you have a good idea of what your surroundings will be, and your living conditions, it will help you find the right laptop to kick start your travel blog.
Good luck! But wait, before we go, here’s a few sorted ways to find laptops FAST:
Why Take Up The Laptop Life?
If you find that you’ve reached a point in your life where the thought of going to work in the morning makes you gag, or you feel stuck in a routine that steals the joy out of your life – then it’s probably time to try something new.
Travel blogging is just one way people have chosen to experience life; without the usual restraints and regular work protocols. To make it work, you need only your smartphone, laptop, and an internet connection – which you’ll need to access your website and contact prospects.
When you get to a new place, learn how to get the best internet plan for your money.
The best part about travel blogging (or other forms of laptop life) is that you can create a pretty comfortable lifestyle for $50 a day or less for the most part.
But it’s the difference it brings to your life that makes it all worth it. Whether it’s the calming ocean breeze, exotic landscapes, or foreign plants’ scent, the laptop life presents fantastic experiences that you can only appreciate once you set off on your journey.
Immediate benefits of living a laptop life:
Years of living on a schedule and working to meet someone else’s goals can leave you worn out. And that’s what makes the laptop life widely appealing. It allows you to set your own goals and to decide the best way to achieve them.
When you’re out in the world, in your favorite places, you are free to create and experience a whole new life, and this will make you feel alive, more than ever.
No Time Restrictions!
There won’t be any deadlines to meet unless you decide you want to work on a schedule. Your blog or website is yours to manage as you see fit, and if this means sleeping all day and getting up late in the evening to craft an email to your latest prospect – nobody will complain.
You no longer concern yourself with having to cancel your plans because the boss wants you to work late.
Be Happy, Now!
Happiness is an elusive thing – and we’re always finding new duties and responsibilities that keep us from living the life we want for ourselves.
Well, when nothing is holding you back from living each day exactly as you want, this brings you closer to the feeling of total happiness.
Careers are often the thing that we use to measure how happy we are, but the problem is that many people are stuck doing the same thing over and over, and they stopped being happy at work years ago.
When your career involves you and your laptop, happiness becomes a lifestyle, rather than a destination or journey with you, making all the rules.
Get Paid For Your Efforts.
Are there times when you feel that your efforts at work go entirely unnoticed by your employer?
It is a familiar story for millions of people, and there’s only one way to escape a situation where your hard work doesn’t translate into fair pay.
A travel-blogger life means that you get to decide how much you earn by managing your work schedule. If you want more money, work a couple more hours.
You Are Free From The Office.
The geographic freedom alone is priceless. One of the beauties of running your e-business is that you can work anywhere you want.
If you don’t want to leave your bed that day, that’s perfectly fine because all you need to work is a laptop. A laptop life allows you the freedom to visit exotic tourist locations and still run a business as if you never left your office.
Focus On Personal Growth.
Perhaps the most valuable thing about working from anywhere is the freedom it allows for personal growth. The more time you have to do the things you want, the more time you have to learn about yourself and grow positively.
It is almost impossible when you’re always managing a dozen non-essential elements of life, such as:
- Office politics
- Morning commute
- Employment contracts
- Job discrimination, etc. etc.
Now that you know what the digital nomad life entails, let’s go ahead and make a decision on your most important tool for the journey – your laptop.
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