What is the best travel laptop? Unfortunately there is no cut and dry answer to this question. Each person has different needs and will be traveling to different places. This was the most difficult travel purchase for me by far. When you spend as much time in front of the computer as I do, a good laptop is going to make a big difference.

I went through just about every option I could find, multiple times. Do I go with the newly created category of ultrabooks, or just get a small netbook? Maybe even a tablet? I eventually decided it was time to make a list of some travel laptop contenders.

Laptop Weight Battery Life Screen Size USB 3.0 SSD Graphics Processor Camera Ethernet Lowest Price – New Lowest Price – Used
ASUS Zenbook UX21E 2.4 lbs 35 Whrs 11.6″ 1366×768 LED Backlight 1 SATA3 Integrated Intel HD Graphics 3000 i3, i5, i7 0.3 MP No 930 750
ASUS Zenbook UX31E 2.9 lbs 50 Whrs 13.3″ 1600×900 LED Backlight 1 SATA3 Integrated Intel HD Graphics 3000 i5, i7 0.3 MP No 950 860
Toshiba Portege Z830 2.5 lbs 47Wh, 8-Cell 13.3″ 1366 x 768 1 Yes Mobile Intel HD Graphics i3, i5, i7 1.3 MP Yes, gig 800 762
Toshiba Portege R830 3.2 lbs 66Wh, 6-Cell 13.3″ 1366 x 768 1 One model only Mobile Intel HD Graphics i3, i5 VGA (640×480) Yes, gig 660 650
Acer Aspire S3 2.9 lbs 38 Wh, 3 cell 13.3″ 1366 x 768 0 Hybrid Mobile Intel HD Graphics i5 1.3 MP No 680 620
IdeaPad U300s 2.9 lbs 54 Wh, 4 Cell 13.3″ 1366×768 1 SATA2 Integrated Intel HD Graphics 3000 i5 1.3 MP No 1450 1290
IdeaPad U300e 3.5 lbs 4 Cell 13.3″ 1366×768 0 No Integrated Intel HD Graphics 3000 i5 1.3 MP Yes 960
HP Folio 13 3.3 lbs 60Wh, 6 Cell 13.3″ 1366×768 LED Backlight 1 Yes Integrated Intel HD Graphics 3000 i5 Yes Yes, gig 767 730
HP Envy 14 4.0 lbs 8 Cell 14″ 1600 x 900 LED Backlight 1 Yes Integrated Intel HD Graphics 3000 i5, i7 Yes Yes, gig 830 700
Samsung Series 5 Ultra 3.9 lbs 45 Wh, 8 Cell 13.3″ or 14″ 1366 x 768 1 Hybrid Integrated Intel HD Graphics 3000 i5 1.3 MP Yes, gig 700 592
Macbook Air 2010* 2.3 lbs 35 Wh 11.6″ 1366 x 768 LED Backlight 0 Yes NVIDIA GeForce 320M 256MB DDR3 Shared Core 2 Duo Yes No

 

* The Macbook Air 2010 was an option to take over Tiffany’s laptop and have her use and iPad. She has since found out that the iPad is not a laptop replacement for her.

The funny thing is, I did not end up choosing any of these options and went with the highly raved about Lenovo ThinkPad x220. This thing is an absolute beast. Lenovo’s ThinkPad line has a reputation for being durable and reliable. Many business use them and many Linux users recommend them. Now I do too. Take a look past the ascetics of ThinkPad line, and look at the quality. A reliable laptop is worth a lot when you are traveling.