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

Ever wish your laptop acted — well, more like your phone, especially when it comes to data connections?While you can still hop on the internet outside the home using your phone as a hotspot, the setup process is annoying. 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 extensive laptop reviews allow us to make some top recommendations, starting with the versatile Surface Pro X. Check out our full list for other options, including laptops ready for 5G connections.

The Best

Surface Pro X

The Surface Pro X may not have the largest screen in our batch, but it’s an innovative addition to Microsoft’s Surface Pro line. It’s built around an ARM processor, the SQ1, that’s a joint effort between Microsoft and Qualcomm and promises always-connected performance and long battery life. It comes with LTE connectivity by default, meaning you can configure it how you want and access the internet wherever you go.

Pricing starts at $1,000 for a version with 8GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD. You can spend $1,800 for 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD. No matter which you choose, you’ll get a black chassis that’s the sleekest and most modern of any Surface Pro to date.

The display is a slightly larger 13-inch model at a high 2,880 x 1,920 resolution, and it enjoys smaller bezels than the standard Surface Pro 7. You’ll get two USB-C ports, a Surface Connect port, and a nano SIM slot for the LTE connectivity. You’ll want to save some money for the Surface Type Cover ($140) and Surface Slim Pen ($145), neither of which are included in the base price.

The Rest

HP Spectre x360 13

The newly revised HP Spectre x360 13 is the best 360-degree convertible 2-in-1 on the market, hands down. It offers a choice of low-power Full HD or 4K AMOLED displays, but unfortunately, if you want LTE then you’re stuck with the Full HD option. That’s not a terrible thing, though, because it offers great display performance while also stretching out battery life thanks to its low-power technology.

You’ll enjoy Intel 10th-gen CPUs with Iris Plus graphics, making this a great portable powerhouse for creative types. The keyboard and touchpad are second to none, and the included active HP Pen is great for drawing or handwriting on the touch display.

For ports, the Spectre x360 13 includes two USB-C ports with Thunderbolt 3, a USB-A 3.1 port, a Micro SD card reader, and a headphone jack. Connectivity is provided by Intel Wi-Fi 6 with Bluetooth 5, and Intel’s XMM 7560 LTE-Advanced Pro provides always-connected performance.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon

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

Lenovo’s 7th-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 laptop to fit your needs, including processor options ranging from the 8th-generation Core i5-8265U to the 1oth-gen Core i7-10710U sporting the same integrated UHD Graphics 620 component.

This laptop provides options for a Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) display with a brightness of 400 nits and a 4K UHD (3,840 x 2,160) display with a brightness up to 500 nits and support for Dolby Vision high dynamic range (HDR). 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 51WHr battery.

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 5.0 and Wi-Fi 6 on versions with Intel’s 10th-gen CPU. An optional Fibocom L850-GL 4G LTE Advanced Cat 9 adds $100 to the total price and provides download speeds of up to 450Mbps.

Samsung Chromebook Plus

It’s not easy to find a good Chromebook with LTE capabilities, but Samsung’s line remains one of the few modern Chromebooks to offer data capabilities — and at an affordable price compared to many alternatives. This 2-in-1 model has a 12.2-inch HD display with touchscreen, an Intel 1.5GHz Celeron processor, and 4GB of RAM. Two USB-C and one USB 3.0 port are included on the laptop, and the battery is rated to last around 8 hours before needing a recharge.

These specs probably feel familiar to anyone who has used a Chromebook before. However, the 360-swivel in tablet mode does make this laptop feel that bit different. Plus, that LTE connection will be there whenever you need it. The only downside is that this laptop has limited capacity at just 32GB. We recommend expanding your onboard storage via the microSD card slot if necessary. That said, it’s a small price to pay given the other features of the device.

HP Elite Dragonfly

If you’re looking for an LTE laptop that’s high-powered, efficient, and future-ready, the latest Dragonfly model from HP is ready for all the latest data connections. With the right spec choices, it supports 5G LTE connections. You will already be set for Wi-Fi 6 as well. This sleek laptop is attractive, slim, and means business in every way possible. It’s sturdy and easy to use with plenty of perks for working on the go.

The Dragonfly is a sensible choice if privacy is an essential concern for you. This laptop works hard to keep your activities private with a privacy shutter for your webcam and a built-in privacy filter. There’s also the ability to activate generation three multi-factor authentication if you want maximum privacy and protection.

The laptop can support up to 16 GB of RAM and 8th-gen Intel Core i5, though customization options can vary. You’ll also enjoy up to a whopping 2TB of PCIe SSD storage. The display is a 13.3-inch HD touchscreen that can upgrade to UHD if you want it.

The battery has a rating of 38 watt-hours, but you can swap the base option to an expanded battery pack for even more time. There are also two Thunderbolt USB-C ports, an HDMI port, and a USB 3.1 port.

Staying connected on your laptop can be challenging and even downright obnoxious when you have to use a hotspot. Choosing one of these laptop options with LTE connectivity is an excellent compromise that can ease your work while you’re on the road.

If you can pin down the features you truly want for your laptop, and what you’re willing to pay for the privilege of always-on mobile connectivity, you could easily find a happy place with one of the laptops on this list.

Editors' Recommendations