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Working on the Go: 3 of the Best Computers for Digital Nomads

By Ryan | Misc


Digital nomad careers is a fun and exciting way to see the world while making money. Here are a few computers that will be great for your life on the road.

How many countries have you visited in your life? If you're a digital nomad - someone who travels the world working remotely - you've probably seen quite a lot of the world.

From the digital nomad capitals of Chiang Mai, Thailand, and Bali, Indonesia, and the big cities like New York and Hong Kong, digital nomad careers are a great chance to learn about new cultures and meet new people.

But what laptop should you take with you on your great big adventure?

Here's everything you need to know about this important aspect of the digital nomad lifestyle.

​#1 - Apple MacBook Air

​The classic computer from Apple is the essential go-to machine for digital nomads and those who have remote writing jobs.

It's a powerful machine that, like all of Apple's range, gets updated every year. You can stream 4K videos on its high-resolution display and you can even do some light video editing. The latest iteration now comes with a Touch ID sensor. This perfect for logging in without your password or for using Apple Pay to buy things on the internet.

You can also combine a host of other Apple products with the computer that will make your life easier.

One of these is Apple Air Pods, which allows you to walk around the room listening to music or an audiobook without being physically connected to your computer.

But the best part about the MacBook Air is it's battery life and portability. This is important for a remote worker.

The battery life is now around 11-12 hours so you can work for the duration of an entire long haul flight or an overnight train. It's also incredibly lightweight and at just 13 inches, it's a good size that fits in your bag nicely and isn't too small.

best computers for digital nomads 2

​Apple's Eco System

​Remember if you have an iPad you can use it as a second screen with the new feature called Sidecar.

Now you can have your notes open on one screen whilst reading a document on the other.

Another way you can use the iPad is as a tablet. If you need to sign a document, no problem, you can use sign it on your iPad using the Apple Pencil and then drag it back over to your Mac.

If you want to access iCloud on Mac then don't despair all of your files are automatically saved there, even if you created them on an iPad or an iPhone.

​#2 -  Apple MacBook Pro

​If you're looking for a higher-end machine then you might want to opt for the Apple MacBook Pro. The new 16-inch version sports the new Magic keyboard that has more travel and depth to it than previous models.

The downside to this is that it is not as portable as the MacBook Air but in a world of tablets and phablets, you might be able to justify a bulky computer for those workdays from your villa.

You could use your secondary device when you need to travel light such as when you are at an airport. It does have a bigger battery life than some of the other previous models, however.

The MacBook Pro also comes with a touch bar that you can customize. This can save you time so you don't have to scroll through endless menu bars looking for the option you want. Instead, you can save it as a button that you can reach for at any time.

​#3 - Windows Surface Laptop

​The Surface laptop is the Windows equivalent to the MacBook Air. It's designed to be lightweight and portable but also powerful enough to stream videos and fulfill all of your computing needs.

The keyboard on the Surface Laptops is a lot bigger and has a lot more travel to them than Macs. The casing is also made of a special material that is

There's also the bonus of the Windows Operating System. This is a lot more open than Mac's OSX. One of the cool features about Windows is that you can download Netflix shows offline to watch them on a flight whereas this is not possible on a Mac that doesn't have a working Netflix App. Though do remember you can run Windows 10 on a MacBook Air.

The Windows Surface comes as a laptop but also has a convertible in which the screen can be removed from the keyboard and used as a tablet. Handy if you want to quickly jot down some notes.

​Choosing the Right Laptop For Digital Nomad Careers

There is no perfect laptop for digital nomad careers, it's about what laptop suits you and your needs.

If you are a graphic designer or an illustrator then you may need a laptop and a tablet so that you can draw. Your budget for a laptop might, therefore, be lower as you have to buy two devices. The price will be a key factor for you.

If you are a writer then you will probably want a laptop like the MacBook Air for its portability and the ability to write anywhere. This is one of the key perks of remote writing jobs or remote data entry jobs.

For digital nomads who have chosen a career in video editing - such as You-Tubers or videographers - then something more high spec like the MacBook Pro is going to suit your needs more. Portability will not be a key factor and you will probably need to carry external hard drives as well as your laptop.

If you are interested in learning more about digital nomad careers then be sure to check out the rest of our site.


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About the Author

Hi, I'm Ryan Smith, a solo traveler, and founder of with a bunch of friends. I love going outside, reading books and talking to people.