When it comes to laptops for writers, whether it be novelists, poets, copywriters, journalists, bloggers, or whatnot, there are specific needs that must be met so that the writing process can be as smooth and productive as possible.
Contrary to what one may think, having a working keyboard and an updated version of Microsoft Word aren’t enough to deem a product the best laptop for authors. Of course, these two things are still important. In fact, the keyboard alone comes with several requirements, such as tactile feedback, bounce, accuracy, reliability, and comfort when using.
It’s just that, there are various other necessities to make for a great writing experience, such as an excellent display that isn’t straining to the eyes, a compact and sleek profile that is easily portable for writers on the go, and variable storage options for all those drafts and typescripts.
With all these different considerations to take into account, finding the best laptops for writers can be a bit hard- but we’re here to help. Here’s the ultimate review and buying guide on the best laptop for writers in 2021.
Recommended Laptop Specs
There are many different features that need to be considered when buying a laptop for writing, but the most important ones are as follows:
- Keyboard: for writers, the most important factor is arguably the keyboard, since it influences your comfort while working, as well as your typing speed and accuracy. Try to look for the most comfortable keyboards with the right amount of loudness and bounce you prefer. The keyboard should also be backlit for working in low light conditions.
- Touchscreen: some writers prefer writing by hand or adding lots of notes on their drafts, so if this sounds like you, a touch screen display may be a great investment. This way, all your writings are still consolidated in one soft copy, but you get to enjoy the “freedom” that comes with a good ol’ pen and paper.
- Battery life: the beauty of modern laptops is that they all come with a decent battery life, but to make sure that you’re getting the most productivity out of your device, especially when working outdoors, look for a laptop with more than 4 hours of juice.
- Storage: regardless of where you want to store your files, having a decent amount of built-in storage is always a good idea, so don’t go anywhere less than 256 GB, and if you can, choose an SSD over an HDD.
- Weight: again, if you often work outside the office, portability is a big issue, so make sure that the laptop doesn’t weigh more than 4 pounds.
- Processor: these days, any decent laptop should at least have an Intel i5 CPU.
- Graphics: unless you’ll be performing heavy tasks on your laptop, there’s no need for advanced graphics cards.
- RAM: at least 4GB of RAM is a must, but if you can, go for 8GB or more.
- Software: Windows or Mac- it’s really up to you!
You can also read “How I found the best laptop for writers” for more information, or head down to our buying guide below to get a glimpse of what makes for a good laptop for writers.
Top 6 Laptops for Writers
Finding the best laptop for writing a book or copy can be difficult and time-consuming, so, to help you spend more time with your craft and less time browsing the net, here’s a compilation of the best laptops for writers in 2021. All of our picks below come with decent keyboards, just the right amount of processing power, and excellent features for on-the-go productivity.
Our top pick for the best laptop for typing is the Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop, which is a relatively affordable choice that comes with a 10th generation quad core Intel i5 CPU and 8 gigabytes of RAM to accommodate all your multitasking needs.
It’s equal parts portable and powerful, making it ideal for everyday computing needs. This laptop can take on just about any complex job, and of course, it allows you to fuel your creativity with its backlit keyboard, full HD display with crisp and sharp visuals, and thin bezels on a 15.6 inch frame that offers more space for you to work with.
Not only that, it also comes with 256 gigabytes of ultrafast SSD to let you access large files and manuscripts at the fraction of a second. Overall, the Acer Aspire 5 is a great writing computer that offers a great balance of specs, features, and cost.
- Powerful processing and exceptional performance
- Excellent screen quality and brightness
- Lightweight profile with slim bezels
- 7.5 hours of battery life
Also check out: Acer Aspire E 15
Another amazing option is the Asus Chromebook C202 Laptop, which is particularly ideal for students and individuals who are always on the move, thanks to its rugged design and construction that is guaranteed to meet intense usage demands and the daily rigors of working in and out of the office or classroom.
Aside from being highly resistant to damage and being virtually unbreakable, it’s also easy to maintain, which effectively maximizes usage. This means you can spend more time working and playing instead of updating, upgrading, and troubleshooting.
Our favorite feature, however, is the spill-proof keyboard. That, and the bumper frame made of tough rubber surrounding all edges, along with the nano-molding technology that protects all the laptop’s critical components. Simply put, it’s a great choice for the best Chromebook for writers.
- 1 year free Google 100GB Cloud storage
- Excellent overall build quality
- Vibrant, crystal clear images
- Highly versatile range of applications
Taking the third spot is the Lenovo Flex 14 2-in-1 Convertible Laptop, which is a reliable and practical mid-range laptop that features a 14 inch touchscreen display and comes with a useful active pen made for drawing, writing, and more.
Naturally, this means you can use the laptop in tablet, tent, or laptop mode, giving you uninhibited productivity. It’s also pretty lightweight and comes with various ports for maximum connectivity, including an SD card slot.
Among the many great features of this laptop is the AMD Ryzen 5 3500U CPU that never fails to display files, images, and videos in superior quality. It also comes pre-installed with Windows 10, and the built-in webcam comes with TrueBlock to give you maximum privacy on demand. All in all, it’s deserving of the title of best laptop for screenwriting.
- Touchscreen display and multiple viewing modes
- Easy to use, operate, and maintain
- High resolution webcam with privacy mode
- Fast-charging battery reaches 80% capacity under an hour
Also check out: 2019 Newest Lenovo IdeaPad
Taking the fourth spot is the HP Chromebook 14-Inch Laptop, which is among the best laptops for writers on a budget. It’s a reliable choice that comes with an AMD dual core processor, allowing you to work and play for an entire day.
This laptop brings a lot to the table despite its low price. For one thing, it features a 14” backlit anti-glare screen which displays even the smallest details in perfect clarity. The laptop can also be rotated 180 degrees, which means you can write or read in the most comfortable position no matter where you are.
Moreover, this laptop also comes with dual speakers that makes for an immersive audio experience, and boasts of a long battery life of more than eight hours. Now, by no means is it the best in terms of advanced features and extras, but it’s definitely a worthy option if you’re looking for cheap laptops for writers.
- Budget-friendly model with basic features
- Easy to use and access even for beginners
- Reliable processor for performing a variety of tasks
- Compatible with Android applications
You should also check out the Asus Chromebook Flip C302 2-In-1 Laptop, which comes in a 14 inch package featuring ultra-thin bezels and a full HD display to give you a 13-inch footprint. As the name suggests, this laptop can be flipped or used in a variety of angles in order to comfortably cater to your every need when writing or reading.
In other words, it’s a versatile device that can be used in laptop, tablet, tent, or stand mode. It’s also pretty easy to use, thanks to the backlit LCD screen. It even comes with several ports for accessing media files and the like.
Furthermore, this laptop comes with an Intel Core m3-8100y CPU to support multiple tabs and various applications without freezing or lagging. The Asus Chromebook Flip comes in a lightweight yet sturdy aluminum body, making it easily portable.
- Thin, portable, and lightweight profile
- Adjustable viewing positions
- Backlit keyboard and display
- Great value for money
Finally, you might also want to consider the Acer Chromebook CB3-131-C3SZ, a practical Chromebook that allows you to harness your full potential with its Intel Celeron CPU that works well for various programs and software needs, fitting for a true master of words.
This cloud-based laptop is a future-proof device that’s perfect for beginners and professional writers alike- its cloud storage solution makes your data and files accessible and safe, and at a mere $300, it’s one of the best laptops for writers on a budget.
We really like the fact that this model features a robust aluminum cover that looks sleek and polished. It’s resistant to fingerprint marks and smudges, too. And, the laptop features a high definition display that is perfect for travelers and on-the-go individuals.
- Affordable and lightweight option
- Chrome OS for easy accessibility and usage
- Backlit keyboard and built-in SD card reader
- High quality webcam and audio speakers
Also check out: Aspire 3 A315-53-55Y1
How To Find The Best Laptop For Writers
Here’s the thing- there is no single best computer for writers that works for every user. Each of us have different needs, goals, and workflows, for one thing. In other words, what may be a great laptop for someone may be completely useless to another.
As such, it’s important to ask yourself these questions before you make a decision:
- Do I need more power or more portability?
- How much does screen size matter to me?
- Which operating system do I prefer?
- How much am I willing to spend on a laptop?
Answering these questions will help you find the best laptop that suits your needs and requirements the most. You can also check out this article, The preferred writing instruments of famous authors, if you want to copy your idols in terms of how they like to write.
That said, if you want to find good laptops for writers, there are certain things that need to present no matter what, such as the following:
Regardless of your profession, if you are planning to use a laptop for work, it needs to last long and perform well for a considerably long time in order to give you the most value for your money. In other words, it needs to be reliable.
We are talking about both the laptop’s hardware and software. On one hand, it needs to be well-built and rugged enough to withstand everyday rigors. The screen, hinges, and other materials should be of high quality and resistant to wear and tear.
On the other hand, the software components should allow for scaling, upgrading, and customization. Think of it this way: the best laptops for writers 2019, or even last year, likely won’t be the best ones today.
Unless you will work exclusively in your office (or home), you need a laptop that is portable enough so that you won’t feel strained or inconvenienced carrying it around whenever you do go out and work someplace else.
As such, the laptop must be small enough that it comfortably fits in your laptop bag or backpack. It shouldn’t weigh too much that it weighs you down and makes you think twice about bringing your laptop outside.
As a writer, you likely won’t need any advanced configurations and componentry that programmers and developers require, since you won’t be running serious software programs like AutoCAD– meaning, there’s no need for the best laptop for SolidWorks and the like.
Sure, you may want a couple of gaming-ready specs for your downtime, but if we’re solely talking about work needs, you simply need a laptop that lets you write and browse the net.
What this means is that you have a lot more leeway in terms of how much you spend on your laptop. Even with a tight budget, you can find good laptops for writers. Do understand, however, that better features come with higher costs.
Again, if you plan on working outside your home or office a lot, one of the many things you need is a decent battery life so you don’t have to be constantly on the lookout for nearby power outlets and charging stations.
A reliable battery life on a laptop means that you can work, write, and create anywhere, anytime- even when you’re in a meeting, inside a classroom, at a coffee shop, in the middle of your commute, or on a plane.
Writing for hours on end all days of the week means that your laptop keyboard will be subjected to steady wear and tear. Meaning, you need a well-built keyboard that is rugged rather than flimsy. It should be intuitive, appropriate, and accurate so as not to hinder your workflow. Ideally, the keyboard should also be backlit so you can work under any light condition.
If you happen to find a promising laptop with a not-so-satisfying keyboard, you can also consider buying an external keyboard. There are lots of great options on Amazon, so you’re sure to find the best laptop keyboard for writers in no time.
Travel distance refers to how far each key needs to travel down in order to register its corresponding character. This is important since it directly affects typing speed. Generally, a high travel distance is better as it makes the keyboard more responsive, and if you’re buying cheap laptops for writers, low travel distance keyboards are out of the question anyway.
Now, a low travel distance isn’t a bad thing, per se. It’s just that most keyboards with low travel distance are poorly made, hence the bad rap. That said, it’s entirely possible to find great quality keyboards on thin laptops, as long as you’re willing to shell out a few extra bucks.
To put it simply, keyboards with higher travel distances are more noisy to type with, since there’s a lot of click and bounce for every stroke. It can be a good thing for people who like hearing that typewriter kind of noise.
But for others, low travel keyboards are the way to go, since they offer a more silent and inconspicuous performance, which is more appropriate in public settings and shared workspaces.
The layout of the keyboard basically determines how much space there is around and between each key. Conventional keyboards mash all the keys together, while islands allow for more space and breathing room.
Choosing one over the other is entirely a matter of preference. On one hand, island keyboards will take up more space but work better for those with big hands, but conventional keyboards may be easier to work with for those with slim, nimble fingers.
The most important thing when it comes to the keyboard is the backlighting, since this allows you to conveniently and efficiently work anytime of the day or night, without having to turn on the lights around the house or use your table lamp, which may both be too bright anyway.
While writers don’t need to have professional, gaming-level display specs, having a reliable display is still a must so that you can read and write comfortably without straining your eyes. For one, this means having a display that is safe to stare at for hours, and offer clear imagery.
When it comes to the screen size, there are a few things to consider. Basically, aside from portability, how big the screen is will affect what and how much you see, and how you work.
An 11-inch screen will be the most portable, but will prove too small to let you open multiple windows simultaneously. 15 or 17-inch laptops, on the other hand, are the most comfortable on the eyes, but are too heavy and bulky for working outside the office. The perfect size, therefore, is a 13-inch screen that offers just the right amount of space, keyboard size, and portability.
You’ll also want to take a look at the laptop’s brightness levels and how easy it is to adjust this setting. If you will often be working at al fresco settings, you’ll want a high maximum brightness to let you see what you’re working on against the harsh sun. For premium laptops, the brightness levels are typically better and more easily adjustable.
Another important consideration is the operating system. There are a few options to pick from- Windows, Mac, Linux, and Chromebook- each with their pros and cons.
Windows, for instance, is the most popular, most user-friendly, and easiest to explore, but it also requires constant updates and antivirus protection. Meanwhile, IOS is a more high-end, exclusive, polished, and trendy OS that makes for effortless explorations.
When it comes to laptops for writers, Linux isn’t really a consideration, since it can feel too complex for simple word processing tasks. At the opposite end of the spectrum, however, is ChromeOS, which is a convenient, accessible, and easy to use cloud-based software. It even comes with access to Google Cloud for various computing services.
Some might say that all modern laptops have enough processing power for basic tasks such as word processing, but that may not always be true. Sure, when it comes to Chromebooks for writers, the CPU doesn’t really matter since everything is cloud-based, and Apple products always have a decent CPU among other hardware, but Windows devices are another thing.
Many Windows laptops come with weak CPUs even in this day and age. We are talking about Core i3 CPUs, Celerons, and Pentiums. If you want to run more than two programs simultaneously, stay away from these processors.
When it comes to the RAM or random access memory, here’s what you need to consider: A 2GB RAM won’t do any good no matter how simple and inconspicuous of a task you’re performing, since it’s just about what the OS alone requires to run. So, unless you want to wait for ages when loading MS office, go for at least 4GB of RAM.
This will be enough for Chromebooks and Macbooks, although it may be a little slow for Windows if you will be doing a lot of multitasking. In this case, opt for 8GB RAM.
Having a decent storage capacity is always a good idea whether you’re saving all your files on the laptop or uploading them on the cloud. But, aside from storage capacity, you also need to account for speed and reliability. These are important in letting you access files quickly, and keeping your files protected.
SSD vs HDD
It’s no argument that solid state drives are infinitely better than hard disk drives, but it’s also a well-known fact that SSDs are still more expensive. The best way to deal with this is to go for a mix of the two. Having just enough SSD capacity will make searches and load times faster, and having a sizable HDD will let you store more files.
Regardless of your storage type and size, you should always make sure you have a reliable back-up solution, whether that’s keeping copies of your files on an external hard drive or uploading them to Dropbox.com.
Of course, this won’t be an issue if you use cloud-based services, since your files will always be on the cloud, and Google will be backing up your data for you. You won’t even have to work on MS Word then upload your files online after- you can type your thoughts directly on Google Docs and each word is saved real-time. No more clicking the save button every 5 minutes!
Writers’ Laptops FAQs
How much do I need to spend on a decent writer’s laptop?
The great thing about laptops for writing is that they don’t cost a lot. With a budget of $500 to $1000, you’ll have plenty of options and are sure to find the best laptop for typing. You can even find a lot of decent options for much less. Of course, higher prices typically indicate better specs and features, so that’s one thing to consider.
Are Mac laptops better than Windows laptops for writing?
There are pros and cons to Windows and Mac laptops, so it’s really about your personal preference as to whether you prefer a more affordable, more accessible, and widely compatible device or a more high-end and secure alternative.
Are Chromebook laptops great for writing?
Yes! The beauty of Chromebooks is that almost everything is cloud-based so you don’t have to worry about storage space, backing up files, losing your progress due to crashes, and slow boot-ups. The only catch is you need a decent internet connection, especially when working on cloud-based software like Google Docs (unless you enable the offline function).
Which MacBook laptop is the best for writing?
We highly recommend the Apple MacBook Air as the best laptop for writers. It’s not too terribly overpriced, and it comes with a great set of specs and features. It’s high powered without being an overkill, and it’s perfectly lightweight and portable as well.
Is it a good idea to buy renewed or refurbished Macbooks?
Yes. refurbished Macbooks look, feel, and work like new, so they are almost always a good idea to invest in. You’ll be getting a great laptop at a fraction of its original price.
Take a look at the Renewed Apple MacBook Air (2015) with Intel i5 for example, or the Renewed Apple MacBook Air with Dual Core i7 if you want a better CPU. The only catch is some renewed laptops may not come with warranty, so that’s something to take note of.
The best laptop for writers, like the Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop, increases your comfort and productivity while writing. It should come with an excellent keyboard, a decent screen, and a long battery life to allow for hours of comfortable and productive content creation.
How about you? What’s your favorite writing computer?