Need to work from the road? Here are the 5 best laptops with LTE

Now that mobile computing is shrinking down to thin-and-light designs and convertible form factors, the smartphone isn’t quite the major focal point in our Facebook trolling and email reading. And while you can still hop on the internet outside the home using your phone as a hotspot, the setup process is annoying. All we want is to open our laptops and just surf with no manual connections required. This is where our list of the best laptops with LTE comes into play.

With the recent push for “always connected” PCs, you’ll want to know what’s the best of the best along with the data plans that support them. Our list details the best that you can find, in our opinion, along with three other great picks. Here you’ll find LTE connectivity, eighth-generation Intel CPUs, great battery life, great screen resolutions, and more to create the best laptops with LTE you can purchase right now.

The Best

Surface Pro ($1,500)

Surface Pro

The Surface Pro may not have the largest screen in our batch, but it’s a solid device sold by Microsoft. The problem is that out of the seven set configurations, only one sports LTE connectivity. That’s the Core i5 model costing $1,449. It’s also not part of the new “always connected” family, thus its download speed will be slower than the recent Snapdragon-based LTE capable laptops that fall under the new “always connected” umbrella.

In this model you’ll find a 12.3-inch PixelSense display with a 2,736 x 1,824 resolution powered by Intel’s seventh-generation Core i5-7300U processor and 8GB of system memory. The graphics are handled by the processor’s integrated HD Graphics 620 component while the Windows 10 Pro operating system resides on a 256GB SSD. All of this is powered by a battery promising up to 12.5 hours of local video playback.

Port-wise, the Surface Pro includes one full USB-A port (5Gbps), a Micro SD card reader, one Mini DisplayPort connector, a headphone jack, a port for the Surface Type Cover (sold separately) and a Surface Connect port. Connectivity is handled by Bluetooth 4.1, Wireless AC, and a 4G LTE Advanced cat 9 modem supporting download speeds up to 450Mbps. You can read our review here.

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The Rest

HP Envy x2 ($900)

hp envy x2 review angle close
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Like the Surface Pro, the HP Envy x2 sports a 12.3-inch screen but with a lower 1,920 x 1,280 resolution. Yet unlike the Surface Pro, HP’s latest detachable falls under the “always connected” umbrella packing Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 all-in-one-processor. Backing the screen is integrated Adreno 540 graphics and 4GB of system memory (LPDDR3).

As for other goodies crammed into this detachable, you’ll find 128GB of storage, an HP Wide Vision 5MP camera on the front, a 13MP camera on the back, and a pair of Bang & Olufsen speakers. Powering this device is a 49WHr battery promising up to 22 hours.

For ports, the Envy x2 includes one USB-C port (5Gbps), one Nano SIM slot, one Micro SD card reader, and a headphone jack. Connectivity is provided by Wireless AC (867Mbps), Bluetooth 5, and Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X16 LTE cat 16 modem promising download speeds of up to one gigabit per second (1Gbps). You can read our review here.

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Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (starting at $1,140)

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (2018) review
Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

Lenovo’s sixth-generation ThinkPad X1 Carbon is the largest laptop in our bunch with a 14-inch screen. But in this case, you have six starting points to customize the 2-in-1 to fit your needs, including four processor options ranging from the eighth-generation Core i5-8250U to the Core i7-8650U sporting the same integrated UHD Graphics 620 component.

This laptop provides options for a 1,920 x 1,080 display with a brightness of 300 nits, and a 2,560 x 1,400 display with a brightness up to 500 nits. Memory is served up in either 8GB or 16GB configurations, and you have a choice of storage solutions spanning 256GB to 1TB on an M.2 SSD. All of this is powered by a 57WHr battery promising up to 15 hours on a single charge.

For ports, the ThinkPad provides two USB-A ports, two Thunderbolt 3 ports, one headphone / microphone combo jack, one Micro SD card reader, and a fingerprint reader for password-free logins into Windows 10. Wireless connectivity consists of Bluetooth 4.1, Wireless AC (867Mbps), and an optional Fibocom L850-GL 4G LTE Advanced Cat 9 that adds $100 to the total price and provides download speeds of up to 450Mbps. You can read our review here.

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Asus NovaGo ($700)

asus novago
Matt Smith/Digital Trends

Like the HP Envy x2, the Asus NovaGo falls under the “always connected” umbrella, promising a constant internet connection. It relies on the same Snapdragon 835 chip and Snapdragon X16 LTE Cat 16 modem as HP’s model, promising a super-long battery life of up to 22 hours on a single charge via a 52WHr battery.

The NovaGo sports the second-largest screen in our batch measuring 13.3 inches with a 1,920 x 1,080 resolution. It’s backed by the Snapdragon chip’s integrated Adreno 540 graphics and an unusual 6GB of system memory – typically we see 4GB, 8GB, 16GB or 32GB. The 128GB storage plays host to Windows 10 in S Mode, meaning the platform is locked to Microsoft Store apps until you upgrade to Home or Pro.

Other goodies thrown into the convertible include two USB-A ports, one HDMI port, a headphone / microphone combo jack, a Micro SD card slot supporting up to 256GB cards, a front-facing 720p camera, and a Nano SIM card tray for your wireless carrier’s SIM card. Wireless connectivity includes Bluetooth 4.1 and old-school Wireless N. You can read our review here.

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