Are you a business traveler or a digital nomad who can’t stop working while bouncing around the world? I’m going to guess your answer is yes, as you are looking for the best Chromebook for travel.
While there is no doubt Chromebooks are amazing machines, offering many features of a regular laptop, often at a fraction of the cost, not all models are designed for traveling.
When selecting the perfect Chromebook to accompany you on your travels, you’ll need a compact and sturdy machine that is also lightweight with a long-lasting battery.
*The links in this page are affiliate links, that means that if you purchase after following one, I make a small commission from the sale at no additional cost to yourself. Take a look at our About Us page for more info on this.
What is a Chromebook & how it is different from a laptop?
A Chromebook is a Google powered device running the Chrome operating system that is optimized for online performance. The main concept behind this machine is to be simple and to stay connected to the internet.
There are up to 200 web apps available for the majority of Chromebooks that will work offline, including the Google docs suite, which is an excellent (and free) alternative to Office 365. Also, the newer models even run many Android apps from the Playstore.
Moreover, Chromebooks are great to take on the road due to the compact size and they will weigh less than most laptops.
The glaring difference when comparing the specs of a laptop vs a Chromebook is the size of the hard drive. Mid-range models will usually have a hard drive of around 16GB with the high-end versions going up to 64GB, but it is unusual to find a Chromebook with a large hard drive. This is because a Chromebook is all about having an internet connection and the majority of your files will be stored on the cloud.
Most of the time, this won’t be too much of an issue. Many models have SD Card slots so you can store large files externally. However, if you work with images and video, you may find the lack of internal storage a challenge. Also, you are at the mercy of WiFi hotspots and public access speed, so it would be worth traveling with a portable hotspot.
The other big difference is processing power. While the latest laptops tend to be rocking intel i7 processors, Chromebooks aren’t. They use a basic processor, but it is perfectly adequate for the type of work that a Chromebook is designed for, simple tasks and surfing the web. If you are looking for gaming on the go, a Chromebook is not for you.
In summary, Chromebooks are much simpler devices but still offer many of the same benefits a laptop has when compared to a tablet. What’s more, they are available at a very affordable price, in comparison to laptops, and an excellent choice for traveling.
So what is better? laptop or Chromebook?
When comparing a laptop to a Chromebook, it is clear that it comes down to what you will be using your device for. If you want to travel and take games with you on the road, then you will need something with more power. The same goes for if you do high-end photo editing or video creation. If you need a machine that will do a bit more, be sure to take a look at our best laptops for traveling.
However, if you are looking for a small and lightweight machine that you can comfortably travel with, create documents and blogs, stay in touch with the office or your family and keep on top of world events, then a Chromebook would be perfect. Especially if you are on a tight budget, you can find fantastic value is the Chromebook market.
The best Chromebook for travel
So, if you’re still with us, there is a good chance you think a Chromebook is for you. So now it’s time to make things a little bit easier for you by presenting our favorite models that we feel are the best Chromebooks for traveling.
Lenovo Chromebook C330: Best Chromebook for travel
There is no better way to start this list other than the Lenovo Chromebook C330 that comes with some of the best features and one of the best Chromebooks for the money. With a battery life of nearly 10 hours, it should have no problems spending the whole day on the go with you.
It is a superb 2-in-1 device that has a gorgeous appearance and is capable enough to tackle any Chromebook task. There is an upgraded version of Chrome OS installed in this device to provide quick performance. Despite being available at a budget-friendly price, it has MT8173C four-core processor for faster working.
Something we love about this model is the inclusion of an HDMI port. This doesn’t come in many models in this price range and is ideal for connecting to projectors, should you have to make presentations, also for connecting Netflix to the big TV.
If you ask us, we will say that the Lenovo Chromebook C330 is a perfect balance of price & performance. This amazing device is capable of withstanding long working without a charger in sight. Moreover, handling the wear & tear won’t be an issue if you choose to invest money in this Chromebook.
- Equipped with a great selection of ports
- Lightweight & compact construction
- Provide 10-hour battery backup
- Very quick performance
- Perfect value for the money
- Plastic Build may be an issue for some
- Underwhelming display
Dell Inspiron 14 Chromebook: Best Chromebook for the money
If your main priority is to find a great Chromebook for traveling at an affordable price, then this model from Dell is a top pick. Finding a better Chromebook for the money will be a challenge.
The Dell Inspiron boasts a rugged design and comes with a superb level of multi-tasking abilities that might surprise many buyers. This laptop has enough power to carry around and complete a days work thanks to its 9 hours battery life.
It is a little bit heavier when compared with other models in the list, but you get this at the expense of its durability. Furthermore, the appearance is quite stellar, making it an excellent option to suit a professional look while traveling.
The numbers are quite decent when looking at the availability of ports in this Chromebook. However, the lack of USB-C might be a little bit disappointing things for some buyers.
Overall, a reliable machine at a great price and a Chromebook designed for traveling. The impact & water-resistant rugged finish make sure it can take a bit of a beating without any worries.
- Highly durable & solid construction
- Perfect battery life at this price
- Solid multi-tasking functionality
- Compatible with Android apps
- Low-performance speakers
- Heavier when compared with others
HP Chromebook 14: Best 14 inch Chromebook
The AMD powered HP Chromebook 14 may have a plastic construction, but it is durable enough to deal with rough use. The appearance of this product is elevated by the stylish looks that the HP brand are known for.
Also, it has integrated Radeon graphics, which is a nice touch, and with its excellent 1080p resolution, if you love Android gaming, you will definitely want to take a close look at this model.
Something else I want to point out in this budget-friendly Chromebook is its fanless construction, you’ll love the silence that accompanies using it. that allows it to stay silent during the operation.
Finally, connectivity is quite brilliant. There are dual USB-C 3.1 ports that can be used for charging & power. That’s not all; the manufacturer has also added a microSD card reader & two USB-A 3.0 ports. This machine packs in a lot for the money and is a great value Chromebook.
Another great HP option is the HP Chromebook x360. You can read more about this model in our post where we show off 6 of the best Chromebooks with a backlit keyboard.
- A good option for playing games
- Equipped with a very convenient touchpad
- Brilliantly working touchpad
- Crafted pretty superbly
- Little bit mushy keyboard
- Lower screen brightness
Other highly recommended Chromebooks
Samsung Chromebook 3
The next model that we want to mention is the Samsung Chromebook 3. With a screen size of just 11.6 inches, it is a mini Chromebook and perfect if size matters and you want to pack light. Despite the size, with a battery life of up to to 10 hours and 4GB of RAM, it is still a quality Chromebook.
The processor is a typical entry-level mini Cortex which won’t blow your mind but will comfortably handle WordPress, web surfing and writing apps. While the Samsung Chromebook 3 may not be made from premium material, it is still a sturdy device. Moreover, you will find the majority of ports required by a typical user.
One of the details we love is the presence of a subtle texture near the screen results in reduced reflections from the glossy bezel and less distraction.
Overall, it is a blend of impressive battery life & solid construction that anyone will love to have as a Chromebook. It’s size and price mean that is one of the best Chromebooks for backpackers, especially those on a tight budget. On top of that, it equipped with a spill-resistant keyboard making things comfortable for the travelers.
- Pretty bright & précised display
- Give a solid set of performance
- Excellent battery life
- High-quality webcam
- Very average speakers
- Little bit awkward layout
Acer Chromebook 14 Celeron N3160
This Chromebook is another great option. Equipped with a large FHD screen with excellent resolution, the Acer Chromebook 14 has sharp visuals and superior usability that is very hard to find at this price range. Great if you want to watch movies on your travels.
Weighing a little under 4 lbs, it is also very portable, albeit on the heavier end of the Chromebook weight scale.
It has two USB ports and an HDMI port, so connecting to external peripherals will be a breeze.
The final stand out feature I want to point out is the stereo speakers.
The audio is powerful clear, even at the highest level, a nice touch for a budget Chromebook.
To sum up, a polished all-around machine and especially great for consuming media on the go.
- Constructed very smartly
- Equipped with crispy clear display
- Wonderful battery life
- Fairly priced Chromebook
- Non-compatible with Android apps
- Not as compact as other models
Lenovo Chromebook S330
The Lenovo Chromebook S330 is an ultra entry-level Chromebook that has reached higher ranks due to its affordable price, and superior performance.
Despite being launched more than a year ago, this product is still one of the best Chromebook for writing on the go. If you are a student that needs to write assignments, or a working professional making presentations during travel, this would be a smart choice.
The S330 is easy to carry and lightweight. It has audio ports a Kensington lock adaptor located on the right side (perfect for traveling) whereas the left side is boosted by USB 3.0 port. It powered by a Mediate 1.70 GHz processor & 4 GB RAM which is enough for doing multi-tasking but may struggle with too much going on and will slow down with time.
- Extremely sturdy construction
- Equipped with FHD & anti-glare screen
- Multiple connectivity options
- Impressive 10-hour battery life
- Little bit sluggish performance
- Charges take time
Asus Chromebook Flip C434TA-DSM4T
This one is a luxurious Chromebook that will please you with its brilliant performance, but it comes at a price. It is a 2-in-1 device that may cost a little bit more when compared with others, but the excellent set of features make it worth a look.
Released in 2019, it is a wonderful upgrade over the Asus Chromebook Flip C302CA thanks to the addition of latest features. With aluminum alloy body & well-built keyboard, you will love using this device while moving.
It comes with an Intel Core m3-8100Y and 8GB of RAM, it will perform beyond the expectations of a Chromebook. It also has a nice-looking 14-inch 1080P display that will run comfortably for 10 hours on battery power.
When it comes to the touchpad, it is pretty smooth and comfortable to use and the touch display is brilliantly crafted. So when you are using it in tablet mode, it will perform as you would want it to.
- Excellent performance
- Long-lasting battery
- Beautifully designed keypad & touchpad
- Highly durable construction
- Little bit stiff hinges
- High price for a Chromebook
Buying Guide- what do you need to know before you press to buy?
The Chromebooks market is competitive with many options, each model differing and offering different benefits. However, certain things should be considered when looking for the best Chromebook for travel, let’s take a look.
Budget: Perfect value for the money
There is a lot of great value to be found in the Chromebook market. You can easily find quality models available for less than $300. Things become better when one spend a little bit more. However, you shouldn’t overreach.
The models mentioned in this guide are priced well & come with all sort of functions that one needed during traveling.
Screen Size: Under 14 inches for easier moving
The overall portability of the Chromebook strongly depends on the screen size. As we all know, you are going to use this device for traveling; we suggest you choose any model from 11 to 14 inches. The reason behind that you will use the Chromebook on your lap for the majority of times & it will make sure minimal strain occurs.
Battery Capacity: 8 hours or more
Chromebooks for travel must have great battery life, especially if you are backpacking as you never know where your next power socket is. That’s why we strongly advise looking for a minimum of 8 hours of battery life.
Do you want a 2 – 1?
If you are spending a lot of time on buses or planes, it may be worth looking at 2 in 1’s that can be both a laptop and a tablet. Folding your Chromebook into a tent or tablet is great for passing the time and watching movies during a flight.
Final thoughts on finding the best Chromebook for travel
So which one of these do you think is the best Chromebook for travel according to your needs? We hope you have found this article useful. If you have any recommendations feel free to leave a comment, we will check it out and maybe add it to our list.