Best Laptops for Digital Nomads in 2023: Complete Reviews With Comparisons

working from a laptop on a terrace in Spain

Digital nomads rely heavily on laptops to get their work done. But with so many options available in the market, it can be overwhelming to choose the right one.

Whether you’re a freelance writer, a graphic designer, or a programmer, you know that having a reliable and high-performing laptop is essential for productivity and efficiency. 

So, in this article, we’ll take a look at some of the best laptops for digital nomads to help you set up your rig. From lightweight models for travel to powerful machines for demanding tasks, we’ve got you covered.

Best Laptops for Digital Nomads Reviews

1. Apple MacBook Air 2020 With M1 Chip

The Apple MacBook Air 2020 With M1 Chip is an excellent choice for digital nomads who want a high-performing and reliable laptop for their remote work needs. Like many Apple laptops, this Macbook comes with a range of impressive features that make it stand out from most competitors.

  • M1 Chip

The M1 chip is the latest innovation from Apple, and it provides exceptional performance and speed. It is an ARM-based system-on-a-chip designed by Apple, which provides high power efficiency and excellent performance. With the M1 chip integrated, this laptop is capable of performing up to 3.5 times faster than its previous model while also extending its battery life.

  • Retina Display

The Retina display is another standout feature of this laptop. It provides stunning visuals with its 13.3-inch display and a resolution of 2560 x 1600. The screen is bright, clear, and color-accurate, making it perfect for graphic designers, video editors, and anyone who needs a high-quality display, but also want a portable laptop vs a desktop.

  • Lightweight and portable

This laptop weighs only 2.8 pounds, making it one of the most lightweight options available. It is easy to carry around and won’t weigh you down when traveling. Its thin design and portability make it an ideal choice for remote workers who spend a lot of their time working on the go.

  • Touch ID

The MacBook Air’s Touch ID sensor is a convenient and secure way to log in to your laptop. You can also use Touch ID to make purchases with Apple Pay, which saves you time and makes your life easier.

  • Big Sur OS

The MacBook Air runs on Apple’s Big Sur, which provides an intuitive and user-friendly experience. Big Sur has a range of new features, including a redesigned interface, improved messaging, and better privacy features. It’s also compatible with Apple’s latest operating system, Ventura.

This update brings in major improvements, such as the Stage Manager, which enhances the user’s multitasking experience. Additionally, it revamps several built-in applications, including Mail and Messages, and introduces new features and functionalities to the entire platform.

  • Battery Life

This MacBook Air’s battery life is exceptional, providing up to 15 hours of web browsing or 18 hours of video playback. As you can imagine, this makes it perfect for long workdays or extended hours during a workation.

Pros

Lightning-fast processing speeds 

Powerful and smooth performance

Has a long battery life

Easy to carry around due to being lightweight

Excellent keyboard and trackpad

Stunning, vivid colors, sharp images, and wide viewing angles

Runs cool and quiet

Cons

Limited ports (only two Thunderbolt/USB-C ports)

No option for a dedicated graphics card

Non-upgradeable RAM

Higher price point than some other laptops in its class

2. ASUS ZenBook 13 Ultra-Slim

The ASUS ZenBook 13 Ultra-Slim is a powerful and stylish laptop perfect for digital nomads who need a high-performing device for their remote work. It includes a variety of cool features that distinguish it from its competitors.

  • Ultra-Slim Design

The ASUS ZenBook 13 has a sleek and ultra-slim design, making it ideal for work-from-anywhere professionals who need a lightweight and portable laptop. It weighs only 2.5 pounds and is one of the most lightweight options available.

  • 13.3-inch Display

Though slim, this laptop boasts a 13.3-inch Full HD display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. The screen is bright, clear, and color-accurate, so it’s perfect for those who do graphic design, video editing, and other jobs that need a high-quality display.

  • 11th Gen Intel Core i7-1165G7 Processor

Powered by an 11th Gen Intel Core i7-1165G7 Processor, you can expect exceptional performance and speed from this laptop. The processor allows it to handle demanding tasks with ease, such as video editing or even 3D modeling.

  • 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD

For fast and reliable storage, ASUS used a 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD in the ZenBook 13. Thanks to this, this laptop can quickly load applications and files, making it perfect for multitasking and increased productivity.

  • Battery Life

The ASUS ZenBook 13 has an impressive battery life, providing up to 18 hours of web browsing or 13 hours of video playback. It is an ideal choice for extended workdays or for travel.

  • Connectivity

This laptop has a range of connectivity options, including HDMI, USB Type-C, Thunderbolt 4, and Wi-Fi 6. The Thunderbolt 4 port allows you to connect to multiple displays or devices, so you can use this laptop for multitasking.

Pros

Only 0.55 inches thick and weighs just 2.5 pounds!

Has powerful processing speeds

Offers a wide viewing angle and sharp colors

Crazy good battery life

Not for users who need to store large files or multiple applications

Cons

Not for users who need to store large files or multiple applications

Non-upgradeable RAM

3. Microsoft Surface Pro 7

The Microsoft Surface Pro 7 is a 2-in-1 laptop designed for digital nomads who require a dynamic and efficient device to meet the demands of their remote work, regardless of their industry or skillset. Here are some of the essential features it offers.

  • Versatile Design

As a 2-in-1 device, you can use the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 as a tablet or laptop. The detachable keyboard and kickstand allow you to use it in multiple modes, making it perfect for both work and play. How often will this come in handy while you’re on the airplane, seriously!

  • 12.3-inch PixelSense Display

Boasting a 12.3-inch PixelSense display, the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 delivers a resolution of 2736 x 1824 pixels. The display is vivid, precise, and bright, making it an excellent choice for graphic design and video editing projects.

  • 10th Gen Intel Core i5 Processor

Equipped with a 10th Gen Intel Core i5 Processor, the Surface Pro 7 delivers outstanding performance and speed. The processor enables the device to manage complex tasks effortlessly, including 3D modeling or video editing.

  • 128GB SSD

For digital nomads seeking seamless multitasking and heightened productivity, the Microsoft Surface Pro 7’s 128GB SSD delivers fast and dependable storage. The device can swiftly load files and applications thanks to its speedy storage capacity.

  • Battery Life

Work-from-anywhere professionals can benefit from the impressive battery life of the Microsoft Surface Pro 7, which provides up to 10.5 hours of web browsing or video playback on a single charge. With this extended battery life, the device is an excellent choice for long workdays or travel.

  • Connectivity

Any virtual employee can take advantage of the various connectivity options available on this laptop, such as USB Type-C, USB Type-A, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. The USB Type-C port enables you to connect to multiple displays or devices, making it a valuable feature for efficient multitasking. This is actually a huge thing for me personally. There are still many products that require a type-A, and I often use a headphone jack if I’m in a loud place but need to take a Zoom call. The in-ear mic headphones work wonders here. In fact, it’s the one area that my Bose headphones don’t quite cut it.

Pros

Easy to pack and carry while on the go

Has high-quality front and rear-facing cameras

Perfect for video conferencing

Provides versatility in terms of input options

Ideal for productivity and creative work

Allows for hands-free usage

Offers multiple viewing angles

Cons

Keyboard and stylus sold separately

Limited (but varied) ports

4. Dell XPS 13 7390 2-in-1 Convertible

The Dell XPS 13 7390 is a great choice for digital nomads who need a stylish and high-performing device. Let’s go over its notable features.

  • Sleek Design

Like the Microsoft Surface Pro 7, the Dell XPS 13 7390 is a 2-in-1 laptop. It has a sleek and stylish design that is perfect for remote professionals who are always on the go.

  • 13.4-inch InfinityEdge Touch Display

For work-from-home professionals who require a high-quality display, this laptop features a 13.4-inch InfinityEdge Touch display with a resolution of 1920 x 1200 pixels. With its precise color accuracy and vivid display, it is especially suitable for those who work in graphic design, video editing, and other professions that demand a top-notch viewing experience.

  • 10th Gen Intel Core i7 Processor

A 10th Gen Intel Core i7 Processor provides significant benefits to remote workers in terms of performance and productivity. With its advanced processing power and speed, it enables the laptop to handle demanding tasks smoothly, such as video editing, 3D modeling, and other resource-intensive applications. This allows remote workers to work more efficiently and complete their tasks faster.

Additionally, the processor’s speed and power can help minimize lag and delays, improving overall productivity and ensuring a smoother work experience. This will come in especially handy when working in locations with not-so-great internet connection speeds.

  • 512GB SSD

For digital nomads, a 512GB SSD offers several advantages over a traditional hard drive. Firstly, they have no moving parts, which makes them more durable and less prone to damage from shock and vibration. This is important for nomads who are frequently on the move.

Secondly, SSDs offer faster read and write speeds than traditional hard drives. This allows for faster boot and load times, as well as quicker access to files and applications. They also use less power than traditional hard drives, helping prolong battery life.

  • Battery Life

For remote workers who require extended battery life, the Dell XPS 13 7390 2-in-1 Convertible is an excellent choice. Its battery can last up to 10 hours of web browsing or video playback, which is ideal for long workdays or remote work while travelling.

This laptop’s long battery life makes it a reliable and efficient device for remote work, ensuring that users can stay productive throughout the day without worrying about when you’re going to run out of juice.

  • Connectivity

The Dell XPS 13 7390 2-in-1 Convertible offers a range of connectivity options to meet the needs of remote workers. It includes two Thunderbolt 3 ports, which can be used for charging, data transfer, and video output.

The laptop also features a USB-C 3.1 port, a microSD card reader, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. The Thunderbolt 3 ports are particularly useful as they can be used to connect to high-speed external storage devices or multiple monitors.

Pros

Converts from a traditional laptop to a tablet

Compact and lightweight build

Great option for demanding tasks

Impressive battery life

Perfect for creative work-from-anywhere professionals

Cons

Limited upgradeability (non-upgradeable RAM and SSD)

No USB-A ports

Speakers can be underwhelming

5. Apple 2019 MacBook Pro 16-inch

With a range of useful features, the 16-inch Apple 2019 MacBook Pro is a top-of-the-line laptop that offers exceptional performance. It is an excellent choice for work-from-home professionals seeking a powerful and high-performing device.

  • Retina Display

Featuring a Retina display with a resolution of 3072 x 1920 pixels, the MacBook Pro 16-inch boasts a stunning display that’s ideal for anyone who requires a high-quality display.

The best thing about it is the True Tone technology, which automatically adapts the color temperature of the display to match the ambient lighting. As such, it can provide an easy-on-the-eyes viewing experience.

  • 9th Gen 8-Core Intel Core i9 Processor

A 9th Gen 8-Core Intel Core i9 processor is a powerful CPU. Like, whoa. It’s a good choice for remote workers who need to perform demanding tasks, such as video editing, 3D modeling, or running multiple applications at once. The eight cores and 16 threads will provide excellent multitasking capabilities, allowing you to work more efficiently and get more done in less time.

  • AMD Radeon Pro 5500M Graphics

The Apple 2019 MacBook Pro 16-inch has an AMD Radeon Pro 5500M graphics card with 4GB of GDDR6 memory, providing a smooth and seamless graphics performance. This feature is particularly beneficial for professionals in the creative industry, such as graphic designers and video editors.

  • 1TB SSD

This MacBook’s 1TB SSD makes the laptop perform faster. It’s an excellent choice for people who need to access their data quickly and reliably while on the go.

If you are a digital nomad who primarily works with text documents, emails, and lightweight applications, this should be more than enough storage space for your needs. However, if you work with large files such as high-resolution photos or video footage, you may need more storage space, like cloud storage or an external hard drive.

  • Battery Life

The 2019 MacBook Pro 16-inch is known for having a relatively long battery life compared to other laptops in its class. As such, it can be a good choice for users who need to work on the go without being tethered to a power outlet.

  • Keyboard

The laptop features a new and improved keyboard with a scissor mechanism, providing a comfortable and responsive typing experience. This feature is a vast improvement over the previous butterfly mechanism keyboard that was prone to issues.

Pros

Offers a large, immersive viewing experience

Can handle demanding tasks 

Keyboard offers improved reliability and comfort

Delivers impressive audio quality

Large trackpad

Cons

Has a high price tag

No SD card slot

No USB-A ports

What to Look for When Purchasing

When shopping for the best laptop for a nomadic lifestyle, there are several factors to consider to ensure that you get a device that meets your needs and works well for your lifestyle. By considering these factors, you can choose a laptop that is well-suited for your digital nomad lifestyle and will help you be productive while on the go.

Portability

Since digital nomads are always on the go, portability is a crucial factor to consider. Look for laptops that are lightweight, slim, and easy to carry around. A laptop that can fit in a backpack or carry-on luggage is ideal.

Battery life

As a work-from-anywhere professional, you won’t always have access to a power outlet, so it’s important to choose a laptop with long battery life. A laptop with a battery life of at least eight hours is recommended.

Display

Depending on your line of work, you may need a laptop with a high-quality display. Look for laptops with a Full HD or 4K display, as well as laptops with good color accuracy and brightness.

Performance

Since remote workers often work with several applications at once, it is important to choose a laptop with good performance. Look for laptops with fast processors, ample RAM, and dedicated graphics cards if needed.

Storage

The amount of storage you need will depend on your needs, but as a digital nomad, you must have enough storage to keep your files and documents safe. Look for laptops with at least 256GB of storage, or consider using external hard drives or cloud storage services.

Connectivity

Since digital nomads often rely on internet connectivity, you need to find a laptop with good Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities. Additionally, look for one with a good selection of ports, such as USB-C, HDMI, and Ethernet.

Durability

As a digital nomad, your laptop will likely be subjected to a lot of wear and tear. Look for models that are durable and built to last, with features like water-resistant keyboards and shock-resistant hard drives.

Laptops for Digital Nomads FAQs

Can I use a tablet instead of a laptop for digital nomad work?

While tablets can be useful for certain tasks, such as reading and browsing the web, they may not be as well-suited for more demanding tasks. Additionally, many digital nomads prefer laptops because they offer a more familiar computing experience and are generally more powerful and versatile than tablets.

Should I choose a Windows or Mac laptop for digital nomad work?

The choice between a Windows or Mac laptop will depend on personal preference and specific needs. While MacBooks are often preferred for their sleek design and user-friendly interface, Windows laptops are generally more affordable and offer a wider range of options.

What’s more, some digital nomads may need to choose a specific platform based on the software they need to use.

Do I need to spend a lot of money on a laptop for digital nomad work?

While it’s true that some of the best laptops for digital nomads can be pricey, there are also many more affordable options available.

Ultimately, the amount you should spend on a laptop will depend on your specific needs and budget. It is possible to find a laptop that meets your needs without breaking the bank, but it’s important to consider factors such as performance and durability when making a purchase.

Buying a Laptop for Your Digital Nomad Lifestyle

Finding the best laptop for digital nomads can be a daunting task, but it’s essential for those who work remotely or travel frequently. Look at factors such as portability, battery life, performance, display quality, storage, connectivity, and durability.

After researching and reviewing the top laptops for digital nomads in 2023, the two best options are the Apple 2020 MacBook Air with an M1 chip and the ASUS ZenBook 13 Ultra-Slim Laptop

The MacBook Air offers a sleek design, long battery life, and impressive performance with the M1 chip. Additionally, it is lightweight and easy to transport, making it an excellent option for digital nomads who prioritize portability.

The ASUS ZenBook 13 Ultra-Slim Laptop, on the other hand, offers a stunning display, solid performance, and excellent battery life. It is also lightweight and portable, making it a great option for digital nomads who need a laptop that is easy to carry around.

Founder : Wherever I May Work | Website | Other Posts

Jared has worked remotely for 15 years in various marketing capacities, and has managed hundreds of marketing campaigns along the way. He has held freelance, agency, and in-house positions for companies large and small.

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