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Last Updated 23 March 2024

Cheap & Portable Laptops for your Van, Tent or Backpack

Check out the Destiny River Round-up

by Rebecca Wills

Laptops cheap enough to risk leaving in your tent, vehicle or even backpack.

Greetings fellow digital nomads and tech-lovers, it’s your favorite Vanlifer, web developer, and all-things-tech connoisseur Rebecca Wills here. Ever found your laptop gasping for battery life in the midst of uploading your latest travel vlog from your van? Or, perhaps you failed to fit that bulky laptop in your backpack or tent while on your latest adventure? Today, we are diving into the nitty-gritty details of super portable and wallet-friendly laptops that you can take on the go. We are comparing the GeoBook 2E, the feature-packed Jumper Windows 11 EZbook S5 and the ever-reliable ASUS Chromebook 14 CX1400CMA. Hold onto your portable chargers folks, as we decide which laptop is the ultimate champion for tech-savvy travelers. Will it be the slim GeoBook with its intriguing intel processor? Or maybe the super lightweight EZbook with its upgraded hardware? Don't discount the Asus Chromebook with its promising assistant voice-recognition? Keep reading, and all will be revealed. Welcome to 'Cheap & Portable Laptops for your Van, Tent or Backpack'. Buckle up. This will be one electrifying ride.

Editors Choice
Image of GeoBook 2E 12.5-inch Laptop Windows 10 Intel Celeron 4GB RAM AC 64GB

​GeoBook 2E 12.5-inch Laptop Windows 10 Intel Celeron 4GB RAM AC 64GB

Cheap doesn't have to mean 'landfill' - this laptop might be pocket-money pricing, but it's perfect for permanently leaving in your vehicle without the worry!

Read our Full Destiny River Review
Weight1.14 kgs
Screen Size12.5 inches
Warranty12 months
Operating SystemWindows 10 Pro 
Battery Life (estimated)4-6 hours
SecurityGood (Bitlocker) 
Dimensions30.2 x 20.6 x 1.9 cm
Good ForWeb, Video, Writing, Email 
Overall
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Runner Up
Image of Jumper Windows 11 EZbook S5 Laptop 14 inch  - Intel Celeron J4105

​Jumper Windows 11 EZbook S5 Laptop 14 inch - Intel Celeron J4105

Presentable, functional, everyday laptop with a UK keyboard and the latest Windows OS. Jumper may not have brand recognition, but this is a good value product at the lower end of the market.

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Weight1.24 kgs
Screen Size14 inches
Warranty12 months
Operating SystemWindows 11 
Battery Life (estimated)5 hours
SecurityLow 
Dimensions31.2 x 21.9 x 1.55 cm
Good ForEmail, Office, Web, Video Playback 
Overall
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​Worthy Alternative
Image of ASUS Chromebook 14 CX1400CMA

​ASUS Chromebook 14 CX1400CMA

Basic, but very secure and very unlikely to go wrong or get infected. If you use the Google infrastructure this is the perfect low-risk laptop for email, web browsing and more.

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Weight1.51 kgs
Screen Size14 inches
Warranty12 months
Operating SystemChromeOS 
Battery Life (estimated)12 hours
SecurityExcellent 
Dimensions32.26 x 1.8 x 22.8 cm
Good ForWeb, Video, Writing, Email 
Overall
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​#1 Product Recommendation

GeoBook 2E 12.5-inch Laptop Windows 10 Intel Celeron 4GB RAM AC 64GB

Cheap doesn't have to mean 'landfill' - this laptop might be pocket-money pricing, but it's perfect for permanently leaving in your vehicle without the worry!

Weight1.14 kgs
Screen Size12.5 inches
Warranty12 months
Operating SystemWindows 10 Pro 
Battery Life (estimated)4-6 hours
SecurityGood (Bitlocker) 
Dimensions30.2 x 20.6 x 1.9 cm
Good ForWeb, Video, Writing, Email 
Overall
Image of GeoBook 2E 12.5-inch Laptop Windows 10 Intel Celeron 4GB RAM AC 64GB

Overview

Taking into account the positives and negatives of the GeoBook 2E 12.5-inch laptop, it is an excellent option if someone is looking for excellent value and usable technology, with a minor compromise on quality. This laptop is powered by an Intel Celeron processor with 4GB RAM and 64GB eMMC storage, meaning portability is not compromised on size, as well as enhanced productivity and security features with Windows 10 Pro pre-loaded. However, users should be aware of the drawbacks of this laptop, particularly the difficulty to update the Windows 10, potential screen tints, and the small storage size that cannot support larger applications or installations.

Overall, the GeoBook 2E is a good choice for users who are comfortable taking a minor risk with less known brands, and want an affordable and capable computer, that is ready to use out of the box. While the laptop is not suitable for high-end applications and gaming, users can confidently rely on the laptop to deliver reliable quality and performance for web browsing, streaming apps, and basic word processing.

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​Our #2 Recommendation

Jumper Windows 11 EZbook S5 Laptop 14 inch - Intel Celeron J4105

Presentable, functional, everyday laptop with a UK keyboard and the latest Windows OS. Jumper may not have brand recognition, but this is a good value product at the lower end of the market.

Weight1.24 kgs
Screen Size14 inches
Warranty12 months
Operating SystemWindows 11 
Battery Life (estimated)5 hours
SecurityLow 
Dimensions31.2 x 21.9 x 1.55 cm
Good ForEmail, Office, Web, Video Playback 
Overall
Image of Jumper Windows 11 EZbook S5 Laptop 14 inch  - Intel Celeron J4105

Overview

In conclusion, the Jumper Windows 11 EZbook S5 Laptop has proven to be a reliable and efficient device that offers excellent value for its price point. As an experienced tech enthusiast, I was initially hesitant about purchasing a laptop from a lesser-known brand. However, the Jumper laptop exceeded my expectations in terms of performance and design.

The Intel Celeron processor, coupled with the generous 12GB RAM, provides seamless multitasking capabilities, making it perfect for web browsing, office tasks, and smooth video streaming. The 14-inch display delivers crisp and vibrant visuals, enhancing the overall viewing experience. The inclusion of Windows 11 as the operating system brings a fresh and user-friendly interface, further enhancing the computing experience.

While there are some drawbacks to consider, such as the laptop running hot and struggling with demanding applications or games, these are minor compared to the laptop's impressive features and affordability. The battery life might not be as long-lasting as desired, and the build quality may not feel as sturdy as more well-known brands, but overall, the Jumper Windows 11 Laptop offers good value in terms of its functionality and everyday usability.

If you are in search of a budget-friendly laptop that still delivers performance and reliability, the Jumper Windows 11 Laptop is worth considering. Whether you need a laptop for work, school, or entertainment purposes, this laptop's specifications, sleek design, and inclusion of the latest Windows operating system make it a solid choice. While it may not have the brand recognition of other laptops, it provides an affordable option without compromising on functionality or user experience.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Which laptop has the best battery life?
The ASUS Chromebook 14 CX1400CMA has the best battery life, estimated at 12 hours.
Which of these laptops is the lightest?
The GeoBook 2E 12.5-inch Laptop is the lightest, weighing only 1.14 kgs.
Which laptop has the largest screen size?
The Jumper Windows 11 EZbook S5 Laptop and the ASUS Chromebook 14 CX1400CMA both have the largest screen size at 14 inches.
Which laptop has the highest quality security?
The ASUS Chromebook 14 CX1400CMA has the highest quality security, rated as 'Excellent'.
Which laptop is the best for office work?
The Jumper Windows 11 EZbook S5 Laptop is the best for office work, as it is equipped with a powerful Intel Celeron processor and 12GB LPDDR4 for faster response.
Which laptop has the most storage?
The Jumper Windows 11 EZbook S5 Laptop has the most storage with a 256GB SSD and supports a 256GB TF card expansion.
Which laptop is the most portable?
The GeoBook 2E 12.5-inch Laptop is the most portable due to its light weight and slim design.
Which laptop has the best connectivity options?
The GeoBook 2E 12.5-inch Laptop has the most connectivity options, including USB-C, 2x USB 3.0, Mini-HDMI, 3.5mm and MicroSD slot.
Which laptop has the best warranty?
All three laptops have a 12-month warranty.
Which laptop has the most advanced operating system?
The Jumper Windows 11 EZbook S5 Laptop has the most advanced operating system, Windows 11.
Which laptop is the best for writing and email?
All three laptops are good for writing and email, but the GeoBook 2E 12.5-inch Laptop and ASUS Chromebook 14 CX1400CMA are specifically noted for these tasks.
Which laptop is the best for video playback?
All three laptops are good for video playback, but the Jumper Windows 11 EZbook S5 Laptop has HD Graphics 500 for better viewing.

​Conclusion

In conclusion, each of these three laptops - the GeoBook 2E, Jumper EZbook S5, and ASUS Chromebook CX1 - have been designed to cater to the unique needs and preferences of digital nomads and frequent travelers alike. They all offer portability, efficient performance and their own distinctive pros, making it important to consider what you value most in a laptop before making your choice. However, taking into consideration its balance of cost-effectiveness, reliable performance, and an array of useful features, my recommendation has to go to the GeoBook 2E 12.5-inch laptop as the pick of the bunch. It's slim, light and ready for remote work, making it a top choice for your van, tent, or backpack. As always, it's indispensable to keep an eye out for any deals or price reductions as the tech market is fast-moving and unpredictable, and remember, it's always wise to aim to get the best deal you can, which often means buying the cheapest option available at the time.

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Rebecca Wills
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Self-professed vanlifer, digital nomad, blogger and freelance web developer. My van in the UK and my mobile home in the US aren't just places I live, they're my roving offices allowing me to work whilst giving me access to spaces that inspire me and feed my sense of adventure.

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Buying Advice for Travel Laptops

When it comes to choosing a laptop for travel, several factors must be considered to ensure that you're investing in the right device. Let's walk through some key points you should look for when selecting an inexpensive laptop that's fit for travel, focusing on battery life, security and reliability, weight, and a few other essential points.

Battery Life:

Nothing is more frustrating than a laptop dying on you in the middle of an important task. Especially for travelers, the duration between recharges is paramount since you may not always have a power outlet available. Look for models that offer at least 8-10 hours of battery life for regular tasks like browsing the web or working on documents. Some standout models in the budget category, such as Acer Swift 3 and Asus VivoBook 15, offer impressive battery longevity which can come in handy during long flights or layovers.

Security and Reliability:

Keeping your digital information secure while on the move is crucial. Make sure the laptop has in-built security features such as fingerprint readers or facial recognition for secure sign-in. Also, consider the operating system's security features; for instance, Windows 10 and 11 come with built-in security features such as BitLocker and Windows Defender. As for reliability, check user reviews and warranties before purchasing. Models from brands like Dell, HP, and Lenovo often rank highly in terms of reliability and customer service.

Weight and Size:

Since portability is key for a travel laptop, a lightweight and compact device is essential. Aim for laptops that weigh under 3 pounds and are thin enough to comfortably fit in a backpack or carry-on. 13-14 inch models are often the sweet spot for balancing usability and portability. The Lenovo IdeaPad 3 and HP Pavilion 14 are excellent choices in this category, boasting slim profiles without sacrificing performance.

Performance and Storage:

Your laptop should be capable enough to handle your usual tasks smoothly. Even for budget laptops, at least 8GB RAM and an Intel i5 or equivalent processor should be the baseline. For storage, a solid-state drive (SSD) is preferred over a hard disk drive (HDD) for faster loading times and improved durability. Many inexpensive laptops offer 256GB SSDs, which should be sufficient for most travelers.

Connectivity and Durability:

A good travel laptop should have enough ports for connecting peripherals and should support the latest Wi-Fi standards for fast, reliable internet access. A robust build quality is also important; your laptop is likely to take a bit of a beating on the road. Some laptops, like the ASUS Chromebook C202, are designed with durability in mind and can withstand knocks and drops better than average.

In Conclusion:

In conclusion, a good budget travel laptop should offer a balance between performance and portability, long battery life, robust security features, and solid reliability. Don't forget to check user reviews and consider after-sales service as well. With careful consideration, you can find a budget-friendly laptop that meets all your travel needs without breaking the bank.

Our Editor's Recommendation

GeoBook 2E 12.5-inch Laptop Windows 10 Intel Celeron 4GB RAM AC 64GB

Cheap doesn't have to mean 'landfill' - this laptop might be pocket-money pricing, but it's perfect for permanently leaving in your vehicle without the worry!

Check Latest Price
Image of GeoBook 2E 12.5-inch Laptop Windows 10 Intel Celeron 4GB RAM AC 64GB