This week, Google announced the next generation of Chromebook—a glossy white beauty with top-of-the-line hardware—and we’re impressed. It’s slim (under 18 mm), lightweight (at 2.3 pounds), and travel-proof, with a magnesium alloy frame that’ll withstand bumps and dings, a slick widescreen that’s great for movie watching, and speakers that port up through the keyboard for ultra-clear, fuzz-free sound.
You’re limited to cloud-based apps and software (no Microsoft Office), but the computer works seamlessly with .doc or .xls files—it even stores your information locally so that you can be productive when there’s no Internet connection. Plus, cloud-based apps are getting increasingly comprehensive, with tools such as Pixlr and Wevideo that allow for offline photo and video editing. But the biggest selling point is one we weren’t expecting: an oh-so-packable charger whose micro-USB port is also compatible with many smartphones, tablets, and e-readers. The whole thing retails for an affordable $279—including 12 Gogo InFlight Wi-Fi passes and 100 GB of cloud storage space.
Nikki Ekstein is an Editorial Assistant at Travel + Leisure and part of the Trip Doctor news team. Find her on Twitter at @nikkiekstein.