Best laptop with a SIM card slot in 2024: student-friendly 5G options

Best laptop with a SIM card slot in 2024: student-friendly 5G options
Romilly Cotta Updated on by

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If you’re on the hunt for the best laptops with SIM card slots, we’ve got you covered right here with our top picks.

A laptop with a SIM card slot is a bit of a must-have if you’re on the go. It’s not like you always need to be productive on long journeys, but the combination of unlimited data and a laptop to take advantage of that is a sweet combo. You’ll also find switching to a laptop with a sim card slot much better for data security since you won’t have to connect to public wifi anymore.

Our top laptop picks have been chosen with the help of our in-house laptop expert, Aaron Ritchie. He tests and reviews the latest laptops, so has a solid knowledge of the laptop market in 2024. These picks cover budget, premium and mid-range laptops. We’re also spotting some good discounts on these laptops as we approach Fall, meaning you should be able to get some good bang for your buck.

Best laptops with SIM card slots at a glance

Microsoft Surface Pro 7

Processor

10th Gen Intel Core

Resolution

2736 x 1824

Weight

770g

RAM

8GB

Screen size

12.3″

Samsung Galaxy Book S 

Screen Size

13.3-inches

Processor

Intel Core i5

RAM

8GB

Storage

256GB

Resolution

1920 x 1080

Samsung Chromebook Plus LTE

Screen Size

12.2-inches

RAM

4GB

CPU

Intel Celeron 3965Y

Resolution

1920 x 1200

Operating System

Chrome OS

HP Elite Dragonfly Max 

Screen Size

13 inches

Resolution

1920 x 1080

CPU

Intel EVO Core i7 (11th Gen) i7-1185G7 Quad-core (4 Core)

RAM

16 GB

Operating System

Windows 10 Pro

Lenovo Ideapad 3

Screen Size

15.6 inches

operating System

Windows 11

RAM

8GB

CPU

11th Gen Intel Core i3-1115G4

Resolution

1366 x 768

Laptops with SIM card slots basically allow you to use a SIM card to access 4G, or in some cases, 5G. These slots will accommodate Micro SIM cards, Mini-SIM cards or Nano SIM cards. The Sim itself can be any, providing it fits in the laptop’s Sim slot. As a result, you can likely take the one out of your phone and put it straight into these devices, which is super convenient.

Having a laptop that can access the internet without depending on a dodgy public WiFi connection is super convenient – whether that’s for work or play.

You won’t find the best gaming laptops here though since we’ve focussed on the best laptops for productivity. So, if you’re a ‘digital nomad’, a student, or find yourself travelling regularly for work, then keep reading.

It’s likely you’ll want a laptop with good battery life. While you can often suss out a power source if you’re in need, you’re far less limited when your laptop can last up to 25 hours (hint: we’ve sourced the Samsung Galaxy Book S that does exactly that). Whatever you go for, we also recommend checking out the best laptop power bank.

We’ve also chosen compact laptops, all with a screen size of under 13.3″ for travelling convenience and finally, prioritised laptops with a processor of at least Intel i5 or AMD’s Ryzen so that your laptop can cope with moderate workloads without ceasing up.

So let’s get to it, these are what we think are the best laptops with SIM card slots.

Best overall laptop with SIM card slot – Microsoft Surface Pro 7

Microsoft Surface Pro 7

Processor

10th Gen Intel Core

Resolution

2736 x 1824

Weight

770g

RAM

8GB

Screen size

12.3″

Pros
  • Amazing resolution
  • Powerful CPU
  • Lightweight
Cons
  • Expensive

If you’re looking for a slim, minimalist 2-in-1 laptop that works with a SIM card then look no further.

This laptop is a brilliant choice for anyone who intends to use their laptop for a variety of tasks. It’s powered by Intel’s 10th Gen Intel Core i5, which keeps things running smoothly as you jump between tabs. Expect this laptop to handle running software with ease, whether for that’s for productivity or education purposes. Its versatility is also apparent in its hybrid design, converting easily into a tablet when needed. Cool to the touch, this hybrid design is ideal for those intending to use it for heavy workloads.

Its SIM card slot secures this laptop has one of the best laptops to use on the go. Though it lacks 5G support, we think this laptop performs extremely well thanks to its long battery life.

Overall, the combination of battery life, weight and performance makes the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 an excellent choice for busy people on the go.

Best laptop with SIM card slot for battery life – Samsung Galaxy Book S

Samsung Galaxy Book S 

Screen Size

13.3-inches

Processor

Intel Core i5

RAM

8GB

Storage

256GB

Resolution

1920 x 1080

Pros
  • Super thin and lightweight
  • Amazing battery life
  • Decent processor
Cons
  • No anti-glare coating

If you’ve been looking for a laptop with a battery life to cope with watching content out and about, this is for you.

The newest edition to Samsung’s Galaxy line offers a battery life of up to 25 hours – ideal for catching up on your favourite series on the go without feeling guilty about draining your laptop’s power. Its LTE connectivity combined with the Intel i5 processor makes it both a speedy and reliable choice.

In terms of design, the Galaxy Book S is an attractive device that feels durable thanks to its smooth metal casing. Available in either Earthy Gold or Mercury Grey, we seriously love this laptop’s understated design. It’s lightweight and small also makes it easy to carry. If you travel a lot, this laptop should have minimal qualms. Its MicroSD case means you can surf the web in glorious 4G without the need for WiFi.

Whilst it comes with Windows 10 which is massively user-friendly, this laptop might struggle with heavy workloads. Whilst it’ll be fine for regular work, anybody running intensive creative apps will probably struggle and should opt for a more powerful laptop. We recommend a current gen RTX 4060 laptop for the job here.

Best Chromebook with SIM card slot – Samsung Chromebook Plus LTE

Samsung Chromebook Plus LTE

Screen Size

12.2-inches

RAM

4GB

CPU

Intel Celeron 3965Y

Resolution

1920 x 1200

Operating System

Chrome OS

Pros
  • Budget friendly
  • Two cameras
  • Solid display
Cons
  • Heavy
  • Shallow keyboard

This budget friendly laptop ticks the boxes for productivity combined with a colorful and punchy display.

Chromebooks make great laptops for students and other users primarily using the computer for web browsing, streaming, and word processing. The Samsung Chromebook Plus LTE is actually faster than most Chromebooks thanks to its Intel Celeron processor which makes it stand out from the crowd. With a crisp 1920 x 1200 display, the Samsung Chromebook Plus LTE provides great contrast considering its relatively budget price.

In terms of connectivity, the additional USB-C and USB 3.0 ports are handy for connecting an external mouse or keyboard without the need for an adaptor. This might come in handy since we’re not massive fans of the keyboard, which is slightly cramped due to the Chromebook’s compact size.

Other worthy features include its two cameras. It has the usual front-facing camera, but also a back camera, located in the upper left corner of the keyboard deck, near the Escape key. If you’re a student, you can take a quick snap of the board before the teacher or lecturer moves on which is pretty handy.

Ultimately, this is a responsive laptop for everyday tasks that can be performed smoothly thanks to its MicroSD card reader.

Best premium laptop with SIM card slot and 5G- HP Elite Dragonfly Max

HP Elite Dragonfly Max 

Screen Size

13 inches

Resolution

1920 x 1080

CPU

Intel EVO Core i7 (11th Gen) i7-1185G7 Quad-core (4 Core)

RAM

16 GB

Operating System

Windows 10 Pro

Pros
  • Impressive performance
  • Privacy screen
  • Super stylish
Cons
  • Very expensive

This exciting sounding laptop has an impressive set of specs that deliver a brilliant performance, though for quite a hefty sum. We think it makes a great laptop for work and business trips, particularly for those regularly making video calls.

If you need to prioritize a fast internet connection regardless of where you are, this laptop might be for you. Its crowning features have to be its 5G mobile broadband capability and its long battery life, making it a trusty option for those conducting video calls over a broadband connection.

Its 1440p front camera is also ideal for this, capable of producing a crisp and smart picture. It also has a separate IR camera for Windows Hello face recognition that contributes to the laptop’s friendly user interface, a signature of the best HP laptops.

Other standout features include the laptop’s four speakers that provide incredible audio output considering how compact the laptop is. Expect clear highs and mids, plus something resembling a bass response – pretty impressive coming from a laptop, right?

The keyboard features backlit lighting, and to complement its video conferencing credentials, has a mic mute button among the Fn keys that helpfully shines a small LED when you are muted. 

Overall, this laptop has no shortage of impressive features and specs, even if the price is a little steep. For something slightly more affordable, consider the best laptops under 2500, 1500 and 1000.

Best budget laptop with SIM card slot – Lenovo IdeaPad 3

Lenovo Ideapad 3

Screen Size

15.6 inches

operating System

Windows 11

RAM

8GB

CPU

11th Gen Intel Core i3-1115G4

Resolution

1366 x 768

Pros
  • Durable build
  • 10h battery life
  • Good size for travel
Cons
  • 8GB RAM may not be enough for some

The Lenovo IdeaPad 3 is one of the best choices out there if you want to cover the basics on a budget.

First and foremost, this laptop is robust and durable. You’re not going to be using this laptop to play demanding games or start your career in content creation. Instead, you want to be using this laptop for those every day-to-day computing tasks like web browsing, emails and streaming.

It has a decent battery life of 10 hours which should serve you well for most journeys so long as you don’t overload it with tasks and tabs. Its sound system is exactly what you’d expect for a laptop for this price, though the laptop’s abundance of ports makes it easy to connect a headset rather than rely on its tiny 2W speakers.

We also like its 15.6″ screen size, making this laptop a nice compact size for travel. Feel free to check out some more of the best 15 inch laptops on the market right now. Its weight isn’t too heavy to lug around either, making this laptop a sound choice for the humble traveler who needs a laptop to keep things ticking over on the go.

Lenovo is definitely a reputable brand for trusting durable laptops with good performance which is a bonus when looking at budget laptops. To aid in your search, we’ve rounded up the best Lenovo laptops too.

If you like the sound of Lenovo’s IdeaPad but need something to tackle a heavier workload, consider the IdeaPad 5 range which offers more advanced hardware in an equally compact design (and still with the all-important Micro SD card reader).

How to choose the best laptop with SIM Card slots

If you’re shopping for a laptop with a SIM Card slot, you’re going to want to focus on a few key things.

  • Portability
  • Display Size
  • Connectivity
  • Battery
  • Performance-optimised specs

Portability

All laptops are portable, right? Well, not really. Portability is beyond something being small enough that you can take it anywhere. How cumbersome is it? Does the battery last long enough for you to use it? How does the screen look in direct sunlight?

You’re really going to want to factor all of these in when considering a laptop of any kind, let alone a SIM Card laptop that’s users will probably want peak portability from.

Display Size

Most laptops with SIM Card slots are somewhat closer to ‘Notebooks’ or ‘Smartbooks.’ There’s also 2-in-1 laptops that double up as a tablet, such as the Surface Pro and all its variations.

You’ll rarely find a laptop with a SIM card slot below 15.6-inches, which is pretty much the standard size for laptops. Below that, you’ll see products with 13-inch, or 14-inch screen sizes.

These display sizes will also enhance the portability. However, the trade-off as you get smaller and increase portability, is that the laptops start to loose a lot of their performance capabilities.

Connectivity

A laptop featuring a SIM Card slot doesn’t mean it’s not going to have WiFi connectivity. There are some trade-offs, though. Some will feature reduced WiFi cards, so you won’t have access to both 2.4GHz and 5GHz internet bands.

If you’re shopping for a SIM Card laptop, you’ll want to make sure you have 5G (LTE) and WiFi, otherwise you could be left in a pinch if your mobile data ever runs out.

Battery

The bigger your battery, the more the laptop’s going to weigh. This will impact portability, but also increase your productivity time. You’re really going to have to weigh up how intensely you’ll be using the laptop to make sure your pick something that’s suited to your demands. Aim to pick up a laptop with at least 7-8 hours battery life, which you’d get from a 18,000mAH battery.

Frequently asked questions

Do all laptops have SIM card slot?

No – not all laptops have a SIM card slot so you’ll need to check. Newer laptops are more likely to have one though.

Can I use a SIM card in a laptop?

Yes – so long as your laptop has a SIM card slot, sometimes called a MicroSD slot, you can insert your SIM card to access the internet.

Are SIM cards for laptops worth it?

If you want dependent internet access regardless of where you are in the world, then a laptop with a sim card slot is definitely worth it.

Does a laptop use a lot of data?

Sometimes there will be a background app that is using up data without you realising it. But in general, a laptop should use the same amount of data as a phone would doing the same activity.

Can I put a SIM card in a Lenovo laptop?

Yes, but not all Lenovo laptops have a SIM card slot. However, if you have the Lenovo IdeaPad 3, you’re in luck!

Which Lenvovo laptops have a SIM card slot?

The following Lenovo laptops have a SIM card slot, and therefore can connect to the internet without Wi-Fi connection.

  • ThinkPad.
  • Legion.
  • ChromeBook.
  • ThinkPad Z Series.