Tablet vs Laptop: Which One is Better for Travel?

A tablet is typically smaller and easier to travel with than a laptop, but laptops can be more capable from a performance perspective. A tablet is better if you only need a browser and minimal other tasks, but a laptop is better if you need higher performance. 

This post will look at tablets versus laptops for travel purposes. I’ll explain the benefits and disadvantages of each to help you decide which device is the best to bring on any upcoming travels you might have. 

Let’s dig in. 

Key Takeaways

  • Everyone has different needs when they travel, so there isn’t a single answer for whether a laptop or tablet is better for travel. 
  • If you only need to browse the internet, a tablet can be better for travel because it’s smaller and easy to transport. 
  • If you need to work or do more complex tasks while traveling, a laptop might be a better decision because of increased performance. 

Tablet vs Laptop for Travel

Typically smaller and more portableLarger but still easy to travel with
Good option if you only need basic browsingMore capable from a performance perspective
Better for short-term travelBetter for long-term travel
More affordable More expensive

If you have some upcoming travels and are wondering which type of device to bring along, there are definitely a few key factors to consider. A tablet and a laptop can be used for travel, but each has advantages and disadvantages. 

The first thing to consider when deciding is what you need from a device when traveling. Do you just need something to browse the internet, watch movies, and check your email? Or do you need to work and handle more complex tasks? 

A tablet is probably the better choice if you only need basic functions. A tablet will give you basic internet connectivity, and you can use this for anything you need to do online while traveling.

You’ll want to use a laptop if you need to handle more complex tasks while traveling, such as anything related to work that a tablet can’t do. Laptops are almost always more capable with performance in mind, depending on what you need to do. 

If the size of your device is a big concern, then a tablet is the way to go. Tablets come in many different sizes, but the smaller ones will almost always be smaller than a laptop. Using a laptop can save you room when packing your bags for travel. 

Another reason to consider a tablet is that they are more affordable than laptops in most situations. The tablet is the more affordable option if you don’t have either of these devices but want to get one before you travel. 

That cost comes into play when you also consider that you are more likely to lose your devices or have them stolen when traveling than at home. The cost of replacing a tablet is less than that of a laptop.

Another consideration is how long you plan to travel. If you only have short trips and don’t need much, a tablet will probably meet your needs. If you do a lot of long-term travel for work or anything else, then a laptop might be the better choice.

What’s the Best Laptop for Traveling?

The best laptop for traveling is probably the one you are already using. You don’t need to buy a new device for travel, and you should spend your money on the trip rather than purchase a new device. 

But if you are looking for something new or don’t already have one of these devices, you might want to consider its size to help you make an informed decision. A smaller laptop will be easier to travel with than a larger one. 

You might not think that a few inches or centimeters really matter when it comes to the size of your electronic devices. But this becomes pretty important if you have limited space and are trying to pack lightly!

How to Choose the Best Tablet for Travel

Here are a few things/factors that you should take into consideration.


When considering a tablet for travel, you must always pay attention to its size. Traveling light is always important, especially when you’re going to be gone for a long time.

Of course, that doesn’t hold up for everyone. Some people don’t mind a larger model, especially if they’re only going to be gone for a short period. Whatever size you choose, make sure it’s something you can handle.

Battery Life

While traveling, you’re going to be on the go. Sometimes that will be relaxing by the pool, and other times it will be killing time in a busy airport.

No matter where you are, you want to have a tablet that will last you quite some time. That not only makes it easier to move around, but it means you’ll never get caught off guard.


Many tablets come with included or optional accessories, like a stylus or a detachable keyboard. Such items greatly increase the tablet’s functionality and add to its versatility.

However, it is important to note that such add-ons take up more space. That can be an issue while you’re on the go. Determine how much available space you have, as well as how much of your bag you want your items to take up.


Here are a few quick answers to some of the most commonly asked questions relating to tablets versus laptops for travel. 

What can laptops do that tablets cannot? 

Laptops are typically much more capable from a performance perspective. They can handle more complex tasks like video or photo editing. Laptops also usually have more memory and storage, which can be an advantage. 

Can a tablet be as good as a laptop? 

Some of the higher-end tablet models now available have excellent performance traits that allow them to function nearly as well as some laptops. But overall, the best laptop models will still perform better than the best tablets. 

Should you bring a laptop while traveling? 

If you don’t have a definite need for a laptop while traveling, you really don’t need to bring one. While they can come in useful, most people will have everything they need on their smartphone and don’t need a laptop. 

Final Thoughts

Tablets and laptops can work for travel, and which is best depends on your needs and preferences. Tablets have a lot of advantages because they are smaller and more affordable, but laptops offer superior performance in most situations. 

Keep in mind that you also might not need either of these devices at all when you travel. A smartphone will still allow you to browse online and perform other tasks away from home without needing to bring another device. 

Do you prefer to travel with a tablet, laptop, or neither? Let me know in the comments below. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *