Are you new to the world of working online or you’ve been doing it a while and you’re looking for a new laptop? Either way, you’re in the right place! Today, we’re going to share with you the best laptops for digital nomads.
Computer shopping isn’t always fun, especially when you don’t know what to look for. That’s why we’re going to take the guesswork out of it for you and share exactly what you need to look for along with our favourite laptops whether you’re on a budget or want to splurge.
Let’s find the best laptop for remote work!
What makes a laptop ideal for remote work?
When trying out and choosing these computers, these are the factors that we have kept in mind as laptops that are ideal for digital nomads and remote workers specifically.
Weight: Whether you’re moving around a lot or generally staying in one place for six months to a year, you’re still likely to be flying with your laptop occasionally and also taking it to and from cafes and coworking spaces so so choosing a lightweight travel laptop is ideal, though ideally not skimping on quality.
Battery: As you may be using your laptop on the go and in cafes where you may not always have a power outlet handy or possibly in areas that suffer power outages then long battery life is ideal.
Durability: There are plenty of ways to take care of your laptop, investing in a good backpack for remote work which has a laptop pocket and also a sturdy sleeve to keep it in. Nonetheless, we’ve also made sure the laptops we’ve chosen have a good base level of durability.
Functionality: Since not everyone needs the same level of power from their laptop, we’ve made sure to choose laptops suited to all kinds of work and work styles.
Price: We’ve included laptops right across the price from budget laptops for digital nomads to more expensive machines. Some people prefer to travel with a cheaper model as the chances of something happening to it are higher and for that reason, whatever model you choose. I would also make sure it’s insured as part of travel insurance or separately. Speaking as someone who’s had an expensive laptop stolen while travelling between countries, it happens to even the most careful of us.
At the bottom, you will also find some of our favourite laptop accessories for digital nomads and remote workers to keep your tech safe and work in comfort and style.
Tip: Don’t forget to protect yourself while you work remotely with the best VPN providers for digital nomads.
Best Laptops for Digital Nomads
Get ready to find your new favourite piece of tech to support your remote work or business travel lifestyle
1) Apple Macbook Air M1
After testing out multiple laptops for digital nomads, this is the laptop that I personally, ended up going for.
Most people already know if they’re an Apple Mac fan or not (for that reason we’re covering the Apple laptops first so you can skip right past if they aren’t for you) but for travellers who are Mac users, and not on a budget, this is one of the best Apple laptops on the market, at the moment.
The air is one of the best all-around great laptops and ideal for remote workers and business travellers.
Quick review: Incredibly light laptop with exceptionally long battery life and high efficiency but does come at a high price point.
- Exceptional battery life (Between 5-18 hours depending on app usage) this laptop has the longest battery life of new Apple Mac laptops
- The M1chip truly sets this laptop apart from others in terms of speed, it turns on instantly and handles multiple tasks with the ease of laptop at higher price points.
- It comes with two storage sizes available, 256GB and 512GB, I would highly recommend the bigger size as it’s very easy to fill up the former
- This is Apple’s thinnest and lightest laptop weighing 1.29 kg (2.8 pounds)
- Touch ID is handy, so no typing in your password all the time
- A big improvement with the keyboard compared to the previous Apple Macbook Air, pre-programmed shortcuts allow you to switch keyboard languages, use emojis, and find documents with ease
- Comes in an attractive rose gold colour as well as the usual silver and grey
- You will need an adapter if you want to use a USB or SD port and these cost extra. There’s also the potential to lose or forget your adapter when you have something important to do. This is standard across Apple Mac computers now but worth bearing in mind. This laptop has two thunderbolt ports.
- Priced over $1200, this is still a very expensive laptop
2) MacBook Pro
Another popular Apple product that’s one of the best laptops for digital nomads is the MacBook Pro. The major differences between the two are that the Macbook Pro is slightly heavier but usually longer-lasting. With that said, the design of each laptop is pretty similar.
Quick review: Though it comes at a high price, this is a long-lasting and sleek laptop with tons of storage space.
- It offers a range of storage from 256 GB to 4,000 GB (4 TB). This is ideal for those who only need a little bit of space to those who need a lot of space for photos and videos.
- The new model features the very tech-savvy touch bar and touch ID fingerprint. This makes it easier to purchase Apps and items from websites. It also provides shortcuts.
- The Retina display creates very clear images that don’t require you to strain your eyes.
- The battery life is excellent. Depending on which model you have, you should get about 10 to 17 hours of battery life before having to recharge your computer.
- Depending on the model you choose, the price can be very steep. MacBook Pros start at $1,299.
- The webcam quality isn’t the best.
- Like the Air, all MacBooks including the pro require an adapter to use the USB or SD port. The MacBook Pro comes with 2 or 4 ports depending on the version.
3) Lenovo Yoga C930 (2 n 1)
You’ll find that we’re going to share a couple of Lenovo products. The Lenovo Yoga C930 is one of the best laptops for remote work due to its unique design. Its 360-degree hinge makes it great to use from anywhere whether it be on an airplane or at a cafe as it can be used as a laptop or a tablet.
Quick review: While it comes with a high price tag, this laptop offers a convenient and sleek design, lots of storage space, and a fairly decent battery life.
- It has a 360-degree hinge and thin design making this laptop very versatile and easy to use on the go. It also has a touch screen which makes it even more convenient.
- It features a speaker at the front edge of the keyboard and on the hinge to produce top-notch sound no matter its position.
- It has a pretty good battery life and can usually last up to 8 hours depending on apps opened and brightness.
- It offers plenty of storage with 526 GB.
- With a price tag of about $1,000, this laptop is more pricey than many other options.
- Some users say that although this device worked great for a while, they started to see some performance issues after about a year.
4) Microsoft Surface Laptop 7
This 5th generation Microsoft Surface Laptop has been upgraded and proves to be a quality laptop for nomads. While its simple but stylish design remains, it features faster performance and improved graphics.
Quick review: This Windows 10 laptop may be one of the best in its class with its pleasing appearance and fast performance.
- While its battery life doesn’t match up to some of our other recommended laptops, the Surface Laptop can last for close to eight hours. It also fully charges in about an hour and a half.
- Unlike other Windows products, this one doesn’t require the hassle of unwanted software trials that are known to cause issues. Instead, it has a powerful security system built-in.
- It’s lightweight at 2.84 lbs which can make it more comfortable to travel with.
- A couple of storage sizes are available: 256 GB or 512 GB. Again, we recommend going with the larger size.
- It comes in two different screen sizes: 13.5 in or 15 in.
- The larger size at 15 inches may be too big for nomads who travel around a lot.
- Its price tag can be considered a bit much for a shorter battery life of 8 hours.
5) HP Elite Dragonfly
Many Apple product lovers have gotten behind the HP Elite Dragonfly. This device offers many features making it one of the best laptops for digital nomads and remote employees. It’s portable, has a long battery life, and is filled with security features.
Quick review: Although this computer is the highest-priced one on our list, it offers the best privacy and security along with a long battery life.
- The HP Dragonfly comes in one color– a vibrant shade of blue to match its name. Its silver accent makes it very visually appealing.
- It’s 2.5 pounds and 0.6 inches thick making it compact and almost effortless to take on the go.
- It has an excellent battery life of about 14 hours with the option to upgrade, too.
- There are four available screen choices including a privacy display, one that saves battery, and multiple pixel options.
- It offers several security features.
- Compared to other computers with similar processors, the Dragonfly’s performance isn’t as good.
- This computer comes at a high price of around $2,000 – $3,000 depending on the specs you choose.
6) Microsoft Surface Go 2 lightweight & LTE-enabled cell model
This beautifully designed version of the Microsoft Surface Go 2 is just a bit larger than the older version with a 10.5-inch screen. We think this is an excellent laptop for nomads because it can conveniently be used as a laptop or tablet.
It also has a long battery life for those long travel or cafe days. This is also a Climate Pledge Friendly laptop meaning they meet certain criteria in terms of sustainable production.
Quick review: We find this one to be the best budget laptop for digital nomads. However, if you consider that the keyboard isn’t attached, it’s not exactly a laptop. This device is also lightweight and can be used as a tablet which we love for remote workers on the go.
- It offers fast charging in under an hour and a half.
- The touchscreen display and the ability to use it as a laptop or tablet offer extra convenience.
- It’s lightweight at 1.2 pounds making it perfect to travel with.
- It offers a long battery life of up to 10 hours.
- The 5 (front-facing) and 8 (rear-facing) megapixel cameras are very high quality. It also comes with facial recognition for easy log-in.
- If you do video or voice recording, you’ll love its dual studio mics.
- It’s very affordable, starting at $399. It’s important to note this price doesn’t include a keyboard.
- The base price doesn’t include a keyboard and has just 4 GB of memory. If you use your computer for work, you’ll probably want to upgrade to the 8 GB version and purchase the keyboard. We’ll share a cool portable keyboard below.
- It only has 1 USB-C port. Although, it does also have a headphone jack. MicroSD slot, and Surface Connect port.
7) Acer Swift 3
The Acer Swift 3 is another budget-friendly option that’s easy to travel with. It’s a simple ultrabook that improves with each version.
Quick review: This is a considerable option for those who want to save money and are a minimalist in the world of computers. Just make sure to keep your charger with you if you plan to work a full workday!
- It’s slim and fairly lightweight at 2.7 pounds, although not as light as the previous computer mentioned.
- It comes with either 4 or 8 GB of memory. The 4 GB version is, of course, extremely affordable.
- Its price is one of the best compared to similar ultrabooks and laptops. Depending on specs, it ranges from about $499 to $1,400.
- The speakers aren’t the best and face downwards interrupting sound clarity. However, the sound has improved some on the newer version.
- It’s not the most stylish computer. It features a matte-silver finish so if you want some flare, you may want to get a cover.
- Although the battery life has improved on the Swift 3, it will need to be charged after about 7 hours of use.
8) Asus Zenbook
Although the Asus Zenbook is small, it’s classy and many users love it. There are several versions to choose from depending on what specifications you’re looking for in terms of memory, storage, screen resolution, and more.
Quick review: This computer is ideal for long hours of use. It has a substantial battery life, a comfortable keyboard, and it’s lightweight.
- Its battery life of 12 hours is ideal for long workdays.
- It’s affordable, ranging from about $800 to $1,000.
- If you need a lot of memory, you can buy a version with 16 GB.
- The keyboard is at a slight angle making it comfortable to use and it helps keep the computer cool.
- To get high-quality performance, you may want to upgrade to the 11th generation version with better configurations.
- While it does come with an infrared camera and facial recognition, video recording isn’t the best.
9) Lenovo ThinkPad
If you’re looking for the best laptops for business travel, the Lenovo ThinkPad might be what you need. In fact, they’re designed for business.
Quick review: This laptop is exceptional for someone who wants a dependable laptop made for business. It allows for and provides durability, longevity, and security.
- It features speedy graphics and processing.
- Again, these are known for their reliability. In fact, it’s even been certified to use on the International Space Station.
- It offers enhanced security software and hardware.
- It comes at a reasonable price given its features and similar products. Different versions from about $700 to $1,300.
- Many users find its simple design too straightforward and business-like.
- The battery life can be as short as 6 hours. However, you can extend it to 10 depending on the display you’re using.
10) HP Spectre x360
The HP Spectre x360 is a popular upgraded computer and one of the leading products that HP has come out with.
Quick review: This is the best laptop for digital nomads who want extra security features and a nice design. The higher cost and short battery life can turn people off, though.
- The brushed-metal finish and premier hardware give the Spectre a sophisticated look.
- Although it has a compact design, it has nicely-sized keys for comfortable typing.
- Connectivity is made easy with two Thunderbolt 3 USB-C ports and a USB-A port. It also has a headphone jack and MicroSD port.
- Various work tasks can be done without a problem given 16 GB of RAM and speedy performance.
- It features several security features including a camera kill button and fingerprint scanner for logging on.
- The perks of this laptop come at a high cost starting at about $1,300 and up to $1,900.
- If you’re working on tasks such as video editing, the computer can run hot.
- The battery life isn’t ideal. Some tasks can wear the battery down in just a few hours. With that said, it does charge back up in just over an hour.
11) Lenovo Ideapad
Here we have another Lenovo. As you can see, they make some of the best laptops for digital nomads. Many changes have been made to Lenovos to cater to consumers, which is likely why Lenovo has consistently ranked in best overall laptops.
Quick review: This is the best budget laptop for digital nomads. It’s a prime option for those who spend a lot of time doing multiple activities on the computer.
- The greatest thing about this laptop is its $300 price tag.
- It’s larger in size and provides a very comfortable keyboard with large keys.
- It offers excellent performance and has the capabilities of handling multitasking.
- It has a long battery life of up to ten hours.
- There are no USB-C ports, but there is an HDMI port, MicroSD card reader, and a headphone jack.
- Given its less than average contrast and brightness, this laptop isn’t ideal for photo and video editing purposes.
- It’s not as small and portable as other options. It has a 14-inch screen and a weight of 3.09 lbs.
12) HP Stream 14”
The HP Stream isn’t as fancy as some of the others on this list, but you can tell they’ve put care into its design. If you’re just looking for a stripped-down laptop that does all of the basics then this is it.
Quick review: This one’s another of our best laptops for digital nomads on a budget. It doesn’t come with many bells and whistles, but it gets the job done!
- It comes with a low price tag of about $300.
- It offers a prime screen display compared to similar products.
- The nicely sized and spaced keys on the keyboard are comfortable to use.
- The battery life is only about 6 hours.
- Considering its low cost, it doesn’t have all the software and hardware needed for a long lifespan. So, you may have to replace this sooner than other options.
- If you’re working on more than a couple of web pages, the computer will start to lag.
- Since the largest storage option available is 64 GB, your drive may quickly fill up.
Laptop Accessories for Digital Nomads
Protect your laptop during travels as well as your physical health while potentially spending long hours on your computer with these laptop accessories.
- Laptop Sleeve: This handy laptop sleeve comes in several different colors and works for a variety of computers. It’s also waterproof and has a zip-up accessory pocket.
- Laptop Stand: With 7 adjustable heights, this laptop stand allows you to protect your posture. It holds most laptops securely and allows airflow from your device to prevent overheating.
- Ergonomic Mouse: Keep your hand and arm relaxed with this ergonomic mouse. It features easy thumb control, precise tracking, and connects via USB or Bluetooth.
- Mini Portable Keyboard: This foldable keyboard is perfect for fitting into your bag during travels. This is also great to use with the Microsoft Surface Go.