You love to travel and love to blog, so you want to know which laptop will be best for you?
For travel blogging, you need a laptop that is lightweight, powerful enough for your needs, and packs a long battery life for those flights to your latest destination, but which is best?
Which Laptop is Best for Travel Blogging? My top recommendation for Mac OS, Windows OS, Google OS, and tablet are:
- Best MacBook: MacBook Air (Newest Version) (Best Overall)
- Best PC (Windows): Acer Aspire E15 (2018)
- Best Chromebook: Asus Chromebook Flip
- Best Tablet: Microsoft Surface Pro 6
However, before you make your choice, you should ask yourself one important question:
What exactly am I going to use my laptop for? Someone running video editing software will need more expensive processing power.
In contrast, someone only writing a few blogs and watching videos can easily save money without sacrificing portability.
Important Features When Choosing Your Laptop
In my experience choosing a travel laptop, the key features to consider are:
- Operating System
- Portability (Size and Battery Life)
- Data Storage
- Computing Power (RAM)
All features are important, and you will need to be honest with yourself when figuring out what you need.
The operating system is the most important piece of software that runs on a computer. It manages all of the computer’s hardware and processing while providing the user with a beautiful interface to interact with.
What operating system do you prefer? Are you a loyal Mac OS fan, or do you prefer a Windows laptop?
Is your whole life on Google like mine and you want a Chromebook, or are you looking for ultimate portability and need a tablet?
Pick your favorite operating system as the first step.
If you aren’t loyal to one company and are flexible, there are a few things to consider.
- Mac OS: The Mac OS and MacBook laptops are very powerful and loved by many creative people for their elegant designs, but that comes at a cost.
- Windows OS: The Windows OS is the most versatile PC platform and there are many awesome laptop manufacturers to choose from which provides you with competitive pricing.
- Chrome OS: Chromebooks are beginning to resemble and operate like any laptop you may be familiar with. The Chrome OS was designed around the Chrome browser and doesn’t require a ton of expensive processing power so Chromebooks are the ultimate in budget computing if you are simply writing and researching most of the time.
While a laptop running Windows can reach the same high price as a MacBook, there are still some middling prices to make the budget shopper happy.
Based on your preferred operating system, here is what you should consider for price:
- High: MacBook ($800-$2000)
- Mid: PC and Tablets ($500-$800)
- Low: Chromebook ($300-$500)
Price is the only option that may make someone shed their loyalty to one operating system to try something new.
Lightweight, long battery life and screen size are all important features to a laptop’s overall portability.
If portability is your most important feature, then a tablet is for you. For example, look at this new Samsung tablet that reached below the 1 pound weight mark.
The lightest options are likely the thinnest as well, so make your choice understanding these two aspects of portability go hand-in-hand.
Most laptops and tablets today boast a 10+ hour battery life so it isn’t as much of a concern. You can be confident that if you choose a modern laptop, it will likely last for that overseas flight.
Lastly, screen size can be important as well. A 15” screen pushes the size limits and your neighbor’s patience and the 11” options tend to be uncomfortably small.
The sweet spot between being able to fit on a tray table and not being so small you can’t enjoy your movie is about a 13” screen, of which there are many options.
Processing power and the processor itself are important depending on what operating system and software you are running.
- MacBooks start at 8GB RAM and an Intel Core i5 processor which is plenty for someone running multiple large programs and watching videos at the same time. There is an option to upgrade to 16GB RAM and an i7 processor, but unless you are running Adobe Photoshop, a professional video editing software, YouTube, and Netflix all at the same time, you likely won’t need this upgrade.
- A strong PC will have 8GB RAM and an Intel Core i5 processor but they can be tricky. Some low-cost options have 4GB RAM and an i3 processor, but this is barely enough to run Windows 10 and all of its bloatware. If you are doing anything beyond a simple Word document and a browser window, you want 8GB and an i5 processor or more.
- A strong Chromebook will have 4GB RAM and an Intel m3 processor. These specs deceiving, but in the opposite way from PCs. A Chromebook can rock 4GB of RAM and an m3 processor and still be quick and snappy to run Netflix and many browser tabs due to the streamlined optimization of the Chrome OS for online operation.
Storage is important for those travelers taking lots of videos and pictures to enhance their blogs.
MacBooks and PCs win out over Chromebooks and most tablets in this category.
Running anywhere from 128GB of storage to over 1TB, MacBooks and PCs can hold over 100 hours of HD video, thousands of pictures and songs, and hundreds of applications even at the 128GB level.
Chromebooks and tablets tend to have far less storage. Anywhere from 32GB to 128GB of storage, you can store a few videos and pictures, but you won’t want to download all 8 seasons of Game of Thrones.
However, there are tons of options for external storage to hold all of those important files
Our Top Choices
Best MacBook (Best Overall)
- Mac OS on 8th generation Intel Core i5 Processor
- 13.3” display
- 8GB-16GB RAM, 128 GB -1.5 TB SSD Storage
- 15.6 mm (0.61 in) thick, 2.75 lb.
- Up to 12 hours of battery life.
- Price: $999-$1399
The MacBook Air is the ultimate for the traveling blogger. Powerful enough to run the largest programs and edit videos while also being lightweight and portable with a battery to last.
This laptop is the most expensive of all of the top recommendations, but if the price isn’t a concern, the MacBook Air is the way to go.
Best PC (Windows OS)
- Windows 10 OS on Intel Core i5 Processor
- 15.6” display
- 8GB RAM, 256 GB SSD storage
- 30.2 mm (1.19 in) thick, 5.27 lb.
- Up to 12 hours of battery life
- Price ~ $550
This PC packs enough power to edit videos, work on spreadsheets, and play movies while still lasting over long flights.
It lacks many aspects of portability, but that sacrifice is reflected in the price tag. At $550 this Acer Aspire E15 is a great option for those who need power and don’t mind a bit of added weight and size.
- Chrome OS on Intel Core m3-6Y30 Processor
- 12.5” reversible touch display
- 4GB-8GB RAM, 32GB-128GB storage
- 22.9 mm (0.9 in) thick, 2.6 lb.
- Up to 10 hours of battery life
- Price ~ $486 (although you may be able to find a deal with a bit of searching)
The ASUS Chromebook Flip is one of the first Chromebooks to look and feel like its full laptop predecessors. It has enough power to watch videos and operate your blog but does lack the capability to run large programs.
Chromebooks, in general, have price tags that are enough to entice any buyer (some dip below the $400 mark), so if you are open to trying a new OS and only need your laptop for simple every-day blogging, I would highly recommend a Chromebook.
- Windows 10 OS on Intel Core i5 or i7 Processor
- 12.3” touch display
- 8GB-16GB RAM, 128GB-1TB SSD Storage
- 8.34 mm (0.33 in) thick, 2.36 lb.
- Up to 14 hours of battery life
- Price Starting at $700
The Microsoft Surface Pro 6 is the best tablet out there for blogging, video editing, and more. It is as powerful as a PC and far more portable.
The price tag is lower than a MacBook Air, but when you factor in a $100-$150 keyboards that doesn’t easily hold the screen upright while typing on an airplane, the MacBook Air takes the win.
Any travel blogger looking to purchase a new laptop needs to first be honest with themselves and what they are truly going to use it for. Once you can do that, there are many great options.
If you are simply looking for the best laptop for travel blogging, look no further than the newest MacBook Air which packs a ton of power in a slim and portable design. Perfect for travel.
And if you are drawn to one laptop or brand over all the others, but it doesn’t have the computing power you need, there are options to upgrade your machine.