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A digital nomad packs his Surface device in his suitcase

May 16, 2023

Best lightweight Surface for traveling

Whether you need to keep your kids entertained on your next road trip or frequently use airplane Wi-Fi to send important emails in the air, a lightweight device makes traveling headache-free and productive. Surface laptops, from traditional laptops to 2-in-1s, have the versatility and portability to power your digital life on and off the road.

What to look for in a lightweight travel tablet or laptop

Before you purchase your next essential traveling companion, keep these features in mind:


Sleek tablets are the obvious choice for traveling, but you don’t have to forgo the best features of a laptop. A 2-in-1 laptop easily switches into a lightweight tablet with a touchscreen for on-the-go use, while giving you the versatility to use it as a laptop at any time. Get the high-power performance and detachable keyboard of a Surface 2-in-1 without sacrificing touchscreen capabilities. Prop up your Surface and adjust the angle with the built-in Kickstand, and add Surface Pro Signature Keyboard or Surface Type Cover for instant laptop productivity.​

Battery life

You won’t always have access to an outlet while traveling, which makes battery life one of the most important factors to consider when purchasing a lightweight tablet or laptop. When fully charged, you’ll want at least eight hours of battery life to seamlessly take you from your home to your destination and everywhere in between. For up to 18 hours of battery life in a device weighing in at just 2.8 lbs., try Surface Laptop 5 13.5”, the traditional laptop that will keep you powered up across the miles.*


The best tablets for travel pack powerful performance into an ultra-portable device. Today’s tablets combine all the features you’d look for in a laptop into a slim, easy-to-carry form. Choose a tablet that weighs no more than 2 lbs. for maximum portability, such as the Surface Go 3, which comes in at just 1.2 pounds.


Whether you’re looking for a lightweight tablet for dedicated travel use or want a flexible device that can do it all, you’ll need to find a balance between the features you want and the price you can afford. Luckily, today’s state-of-the-art devices come packed with features at an economical price. The Surface Go 3 2-in-1 laptop is perfect for your everyday tasks, homework, and play, all at a convenient price. If you prefer a traditional, clamshell-style laptop, Surface Laptop Go 2 could be just the budget-friendly option you need.

Best overall tablet functionality for travel

The best tablet for travel combines lightweight flexibility with all the powerful capabilities you need in a device. Surface Pro 9 stands up to the challenge: as one of the most powerful portable devices on the market, the specs of this 2-in-1 rival traditional laptops.

Weighing in at 1.94 lbs., it’s lightweight enough that you won’t notice it stowed in your carry-on. Choose Surface Pro 9 with 5G to enjoy up to 19 hours of battery life, so you won’t have to stress about recharging during your travel time.* If you’re looking for a device you’ll want to use outside of travel, too, you can’t go wrong with Surface Pro 9.

Best tablet functionality for working remotely

Whether you’re a digital nomad or a frequent business flyer, the best travel tablet for remote work combines super-fast processing speeds with necessary keyboard functionality. The Surface Laptop Studio pushes the boundaries of what a tablet looks like—with powerhouse performance and a built-in keyboard, it functions similarly to a traditional laptop. And yet its lightweight, flexible design lets you pivot to a touchscreen tablet in seconds. Pair it with the Surface Slim Pen 2 to maximize your creativity while working on the go.

Best tablet for traveling with kids

If you’re traveling with kids or teens, opt for a device that’s equal parts affordable and durable. As the smallest and most economical option, the Surface Go 3 saves you money without skimping on functionality. Weighing only 1.2 lbs. and featuring a 10.5” touchscreen, this ultra-lightweight tablet is perfect for streaming movies, playing online games, and browsing online. Don’t discount the Go 3 for adults, either—this cost-effective tablet makes a great choice for anyone looking to travel light.

Lightweight and flexible Surface devices allow you to focus on remembering to pack your socks and make your connecting flight on time without lugging a heavy computer alongside. If you’re still not sure what Surface device fits your travel needs, take our quiz to find the perfect model.

Products featured in this article

Surface logo

Microsoft Surface

Surface logo

Surface Pro Signature Keyboard

Surface logo

Surface Type Cover

Surface logo

Surface Laptop 5

Surface logo

Surface Go 3

Surface logo

Surface Laptop Go 2

Surface logo

Surface Slim Pen 2

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  • [*] Battery life varies significantly based on device configuration, usage, network and feature configuration, signal strength, settings, and other factors. See for details.