Top 5 Thin And Light Laptops For Travel

Image: Supplied

Whether you're away on business or going on a holiday, hauling around extra heavy luggage is a pain. But so is leaving your tech behind. Laptops have come a long way in the last few years and you no longer have to compromise convenience for comfort. There is a plethora of ultra thin models to choose from that you can take to the beach and the boardroom.

But which one should you get? That all depends on what you're after. Here are 5 of the best on the market right now.

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Price Point -- Asus ZenBook UX305

One of the most affordable Windows 10 laptops on the market, the ZenBook is a great entry level choice.

With its Skylake Core M processor, decent amount of flash storage and spacious keyboard & trackpad, you would be hard pressed to find a more competitive contender. There are cheaper options out there, but few that boast the same capabilities.

Style isn't overlooked either. The ZenBook's aluminum finish and unique lid pattern are nice touches and more than what you would expect from what could be considered to be a budget laptop.

  • Display: 13.3-inch, 1920x1080 pixel or 3200x1800 pixel QHD+
  • CPU: Intel Core M3-6Y30 – M7-6Y75
  • RAM: 8GB
  • GPU: Intel HD Graphics 515
  • Storage: 256GB – 512GB SSD
  • Dimensions: 324 x 226 x 12.3 mm, 1.2kg

Power Meets Design -- Microsoft Surface Book i7

Image: Kotaku

Microsoft changed the game last year when it dropped the Surface Book, with its sleek design, powerful processor and revolutionary detachable display.

This year's refresh continues to impress with 16 hours of battery life, a new video card and a monster processor, making it one of the most powerful on the market boasting Windows 10.

The trade off is that it is a little bigger and heavier than the majority of 13-inch laptops, but that also makes it incredibly sturdy. This is a plus when you're travelling or working on the go.

  • Display: 13.5-inch, 3000x2000 pixels
  • CPU: Intel Core i5 – i7
  • RAM: 8GB – 16GB
  • GPU: Intel HD 520 – Nvidia GeForce
  • Storage: 128GB – 256GB PCIe3.0 SSD
  • Dimensions: 312x232x13, 1.51kg

Style -- HP Spectre

Image: Supplied

Sleek and sexy, the Spectre is HP's answer to the MacBook.

In addition to being the thinnest laptop on the market, it boasts a tactile keyboard and rich screen display that will keep it ahead of the curve for awhile. Style is absolutely meeting substance with this offering.

With its gold detailing, carbon fiber and unique screen piston hinge, this is laptop is designed for those who mean business, but want to look good doing it.

  • Display: 13.3-inch, 1920x1080 pixels
  • CPU: Intel Core i5 - i7-6500U
  • RAM: 8GB
  • GPU: Intel HD 520
  • Storage: 256 - 512GB SSD
  • Dimensions: 325x229x10.4mm, 1.11kg

Work Horse -- Dell Latitude 13 7000

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The Latitude series was created with business in mind and manages to find the natural intersection between convenience and reliability.

Its ultra thin design makes it perfect for working in transit, as does its sturdy hinge that minimises wobble.

The Latitude's Intel Core M chip doesn't make it the fastest or most powerful option on the market -- but this may be a small concession if you're looking for a work-friendly machine.

The tactile keyboard and track pad are pleasures to use and the port offering makes it perfect for meetings and making it your mini home away from home.

  • Display: 13.3-inch, 1920x1080 or 3200x1800)
  • CPU: Intel Core m3 – m7
  • RAM: 4GB - 8GB
  • GPU: Intel HD 515
  • Storage: 128GB - 256GB
  • Dimensions: 305x210x14.3, 1.12kg

All Rounder -- Dell XPS 13

Image: Supplied

There are a range of fantastic, versatile ultrabooks out there (an honourable mention has to go to the Lenovo Yoga 900), but none quite hit the mark like the XPS 13.

Don't let its size fool you. In addition to being one of the moat compact and lightweight models out there, it offers some impressive power with its speedy SSD, 3200x1800 resolution and Intel Core i7 Skylake processor.

The design is sleek and built to last, with a aluminum and silver finish that doesn't wear or scratch easily. The carbon fibre of the keyboard also makes for comfortable, sweat free long hauls which is perfect for crunch time.

  • Display: 13.3-inch, 1920x1080) or 3200x1800)
  • CPU: Intel Core i5 – i7
  • RAM: 4GB - 8GB
  • GPU: Intel HD 520 – Intel Iris 540
  • Storage: 128GB – 256GB
  • Dimensions: 304x200x9-15, 1.29kg

Comments

    You have the wrong image for the XPS 13 and the Lattitude one doesn't seem right, either. It looks more like a Lenovo thing. The Lattitude also starts at an eye-watering Au$4617 for a piddling Core M5 and goes up from there, which is a ridiculous price for what it is.

    Having just replaced my Surface Book with an XPS 13, I can't say I'd consider the Surface Book thin and light at all. It weighs as much as any normal 13" laptop and it's hinge makes it very thick when it comes to finding a protective sleeve for it. It has a few things going for it but thin and light aren't any of them.

    OTOH, the XPS 13 fits into a sleeve designed for an 11" MacBook Air. It's tiny, smaller than a new 13" MacBook Pro, and does everything extremely well. The design might be going on for two years old now but it remains the benchmark, especially as Dell seem to prioritise updating it with the latest hardware available, like Intel's new Kaby Lake CPUs and USB Type C. The reason I ended up with one was because it is also hugely customisable - Dell allow you to get exactly the features you want without forcing you to pay for things you don't. That's why I was able to get the top-spec internals with the base-model, non-touch screen. With any other brand, I'd have had to compromise on one or the other, either a lower powered CPU to get the lower res screen or a pointless high-res, battery-sucking touchscreen if I wanted the Core i7 with Iris Pro graphics.

      Hello! Image issues have been fixed! Thank you very much for commenting :)

    I currently use an Asus X202e with a 3217u core i3, 4gb ram in single channel (soldered on – not upgradable) a samsung SSD.

    The unit is 11.6inch touch screen, with aluminium top and keyboard area. It has 3 USB port with one being USB 3.0, hdmi and VGA out along with an SD card reader and decent typing keyboard.

    It has been a stellar performer and has punched well above its weight. I continue to use it for Autocad 2015 and 3d engineering programs, lightroom and photoshop and the results are still okay – better than I expected. I do remove all bloatware and disbale all unneed windows 10 services to assist with ram.

    She is starting to get tired, though. I have cracked the bottom cover, dented the aluminium top and the keyboard is now starting to show its age missing the occasional key etc.

    I'm trying to find a replacement unit but am struggling to find a like for like replacement.

    I need a core i or core M cpu, minimum screen res of 1366x768, 3 usb ports, sd card reader, hdmi out and VGA or Displayport out (need two out ports), proper keyboard, 4gb ram and all in a package of 303mmx200mm in size.

    NIce to have would be 8gb ram, touch screen and possibly a screen that that goes back 360 degrees or the screen disconnects for a tablet mode.

    Is anyone aware of a unit that can match my required specs?

    Last edited 24/11/16 2:26 pm

    Why no pricing, either street price or rrp, in the article?

    Well as a travel laptop I think the Asus X205TA is almost perfect - very light (< 1 kg), cheap (around $300) which means not a total disaster if you lose it, and does all the basics well. I bought it as a travel / conference PC but actually use it as my main PC

      I bought an 11.6" Zenbook, when they first came out, and it was the same for me. I was about to head off to the US for a holiday and i thought it would be the perfect travel laptop. JB Hi-Fi dropped their pants on the price and I got my GST back at the airport so it was an absolute bargain, almost $600 off retail, all up. About a month after I got back I sold my grunty Vaio because I found the Asus was just more usable, despite it's on-board graphics and tiny size. It did overheat a bit on really hot days but I got one of those cooler stands and it was fine after that.

    I probably would have thrown the Razer Blade Stealth on this list. It is undoubtedly one of the best small Windows laptops going around.

    For the past ~6 months, I've been working/travelling with an i5 Surface Pro 4. It's not much heavier than a tablet, and the keyboard in the case is surprisingly good. Add in a travel mouse and it's a fantastic travel computer.

    I've travelled with a surface pro 3 and a macbook air 11, both are good lightweight machines that are powerful enough to get work done.

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