Best Laptops for Writers

Writing can often be a demanding task that usually takes long hours and lots of patience and dedication. Whether you are a novelist, blogger, journalist, researcher or any other type of writer you know that you are only as good as the laptop you use.

man writing with laptop

A reliable laptop can make or break your writing productivity. However, with tons of laptops to choose from it can often be confusing which ones offer the best value and can fit into the busy lifestyle of a writer.

Hence, we have come up with this list of the best laptops for writers. The laptops we will be discussing here have the most important characteristics that any writer looks for in a laptop.

Top 8 Laptops for Writers of 2019

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Product

Battery Life

Availability

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Acer Switch 3

 

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4 hours
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Apple MacBook Air

 

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10 hours
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Asus Zenbook UX310UA

 

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4 hours
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Dell XPS 13

 

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4 hours
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HP Envy 13t

 

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9 hours
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Lenovo Think Pad T460

 

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13 hours
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Microsoft Surface Pro 4

 

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3 hours
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Samsung Chromebook 2

 

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7 hours
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1. Acer Switch 3

Writers who are constantly on the go will definitely love the Switch 3, an affordable hybrid laptop that you can easily carry around. It weighs only 2.8 pounds and has just the right tools for your research and writing tasks. The 12.2-inches screen sports 1920 x 1200 pixel IPS LCD display which stays clear at most viewing angles.
Running things around for this laptop is a 1.10 GHz Quad-Core Intel Pentium N4200 which can be turbo boosted up to 2.5 GHz. It also has a decent 4GB RAM and a 64 GB storage space.

The keyboard cover is surrounded by sturdy matter fabric and has well-spaced keys that jump back quickly when struck. Furthermore, the keyboard has a good travel distance and suffers little flex when struck which is quite impressive for a 2-in-1 convertible laptop. Unfortunately, there is no backlighting so it requires a decent light source for nighttime typing.

It also comes with a nifty 5MP rear and a 2MP front camera. This thing also has its own stylus and some of the crucial ports- a USB 3.1 Type-C, a USB 3.1 Type-A, and Micro SD. For connectivity, you got the latest 802,11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Heat management is also excellent as the device does not get hot even when it runs at turbo boosted speeds over a long period of time.

Needless to say, you won’t be gaming on this device as its only equipped with an underpowered Intel HD Graphics 505. The hinge is also finicky which makes it hard to get the device in a standing position. Its battery life is also at a dismal 4 hours (mixed usage).

Overall, the Acer Switch 3 is a budget-friendly 2-in-1 convertible laptop that suits the lifestyle of any writer.

Display: 12.2-inches IPS LCD; 1920 x 1200 resolution
Processor: 1.10 GHz Quad-Core Intel Pentium N4200
Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 505
RAM: 4GB DDR3
Storage: 64 GB eMMC
Battery Life: 4 hours
Weight: 2.8 pounds

2. Apple MacBook Air

The most affordable way you can get into the macOS Mojave bandwagon remains to be the MacBook Air. While it just had a few upgrades since it was released three years ago, it still is relevant especially for writers who are Apple fans. Its 13.3-inch LED-backlit screen has a lucid 1440 x 900 resolution. However, it’s in dire need of an update if it wants to catch-up with competitors that have higher resolution screens and smaller footprints.

At its heart is a spirited 1.6 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 which can be turbo boosted up to 2.7 GHz. It also has a nifty 8 GB RAM and, like most Apple laptops a flash storage instead of a hard drive. Furthermore, it also has a slightly more powerful graphics card in the Intel HD Graphics 6000.

What most writers really came for the MacBook Air, though, is its unrivaled keyboard. The thin keys have less than 1mm of travel and only require 74 grams of actuation force making it very responsive and comfortable to type in. Moreover, the easy-to-clean keyboard is also backlit, which makes night typing easier.

Another great feature of the MacBook Air is its 720 pixels HD camera which is quite useful for video calls. It also has numerous ports such as SDXC card slot, MagSafe 2 power and a Thunderbolt 2. It’s also the only Apple laptop that has USB 3.0s. For connectivity, you have the latest Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0. Battery life is stellar at an average of 12 hours.

However, the MacBook Air’s design remains unchanged since it first saw the light in 2010. Many of its components are also outdated particularly the 5th gen Intel Core CPU. It also doesn’t have must-have USB Type-Cs and a lackluster screen.

Overall, the MacBook Air is quite suited for writers who value superb keyboard and portability.

Display: 13.3-inch LED-backlit; 1440 x 900 resolution
Processor: 1.6 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5
Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 6000
RAM: 8GB DDR3
Storage: 256GB flash storage
Battery Life: 10 hours
Weight: 2.96 pounds

Pros:

  • Outstanding battery life
  • Comfortable keyboard
  • Very portable
  • Has USB 3.0 ports (dongles not required)

Cons:

  • Lackluster screen
  • Outdated CPU

3. Asus Zenbook UX310UA

For writers who are looking for more than just a capable digital notepad, the Asus Zenbook is the perfect fit. Visually, it looks stunning with its metallic aluminum body. The concentric circles that surround the Asus logo are hypnotically beautiful. The sleek casing of this ultrathin laptop is matched with an astonishing 13.3-inches QHD screen which has a stunning 3200 x 1800 resolution which is noticeable at a 178 degree viewing angle.

Inside this Zenbook ultrathin is a powerful 2.5 GHz Intel Core i5-7200U matched with 8 GB of RAM which allows you to multitask with ease. Another great addition is the 256 GB SSD storage, which allows faster booting and better transfer rates than its HDD counterpart. The laptop’s graphics are pretty standard and uses an Intel HD Graphics 620.

The backlit keys, though, has a bend in the center which may take some time to get used to especially if you are used to rock-solid keyboards. Case in point, the Zenbook UX310UA’s keyboard has a 1.6 mm travel and a required actuation force of 81 grams. The touchpad, however, is a bit stiff and a hard to use.

When it comes to ports, this laptop has more than plenty. It has USB 3.1 Type-C, USB 3.0 and 2.0s, HDMI, and COMBO audio jack. The 0.9MP camera, however, is subpar and produces fuzzy pictures. Its battery life was tested to have, on average, only 4 hours.

Overall, the Zenbook UX310UA is perfect for writers who want better aesthetics and faster performance from their hardworking laptop.

Display: 13.3-inches QHD; 3200 x 1800 resolution
Processor: 2.5 GHz Intel Core i5-7200U
Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620
RAM: 8GB DDR4
Storage: 256 GB SSD
Battery Life: 4 hours
Weight: 3.09 pounds

Pros:

  • Aesthetically pleasing design
  • Backlit keyboard
  • Solid CPU performance
  • Fast to wake up

Cons:

  • Small storage space
  • Short battery life

4. Dell XPS 13

Dubbed as the king of small laptops, the XPS 13 is a must-have for writers who want a complete packaged device. Dell has constantly been tweaking their flagship 13-inch laptop over the years. The newest edition now has a smaller 4 mm bezel and the webcam was moved on the center below the screen. Despite its changes, it retains the UltraSharp Infinity Edge display which has a striking 3840 x 2160 resolution.

Powering all those computing tasks is a 1.8 GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7-8550U which can be turbo boosted up to 4.0 GHz. Complimenting the CPU is the standard Intel UHD Graphics 620 and 16 GB RAM. The best component of the XPS 13 is its 1 TB SSD storage, which also allows it to boot faster.

The backlit keyboard on this laptop is also quite unique because it’s the first one to have a woven glass fiber on its keys. Moreover, the keyboard has also been coated in titanium oxide coating to make it shinier and have stronger stain-resistance. The chiclet keys are also enjoyable to type with and have a good actuation force of 72 grams and a travel of 1.2 mm.

Sweetening the deal is a Widescreen HD camera with 720 pixels which is quite useful when you need to have a Skype chat. This laptop also has some of the latest ports such as Thunderbolt 3, USB Type-C 3.1, headset jack and a micro SD card. It can run on battery alone for more than 4 hours.

However, the XPS 13 has a few issues of its own. While the screen is 4K, its color accuracy is slightly below average hence is not recommended for video editing and other image creation tasks. The webcam also has an awkward position resulting to a weird angle of you during a video call.

Overall, the Dell XPS 13 is an excellent choice for writers wants to spend their extra few bucks on a laptop that can offer the best value.

Display: 13.3-inches Ultra Sharp Infinity Edge HD; 3840 x 2160
Processor: 1.8 GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7-8550U
Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620
RAM: 16 GB DDR3
Storage: 1 TB PCIe SSD
Battery Life: 4 hours
Weight: 2.67 pounds

Pros:

  • Sleek and clean design
  • Vibrant screen
  • Remains cool all the time
  • Powerful CPU

Cons:

  • Lacks USB Type-A Ports
  • Awkwardly placed webcam

5. HP Envy 13t

While it’s more expensive than many of the other laptops on this list, the Envy offers a lot of value especially for professionals whose work involves writing. This laptop has everything that a writer can ask- long battery life, an alluring all-metal chassis and one of the best keyboards around. The 13.3-inches IPS screen has a stunning 1920 x 1080 resolution which also comes with backlight and anti-glare technology.

The centerpiece of this ultra-thin laptop is the capable 2.5 GHz dual-core Intel Core i7-6500U which is an 8th gen Intel processor. It’s mated with an 8 GB RAM and a useful 256 GB of SSD storage. The Intel HD Graphics 520, is OK but needs to be upgraded if you want to play some decent games.

The Envy 13t has also broken the prejudice that it’s hard to type in an ultra-thin laptop because of its shallow profile. This laptop’s keyboard provides an enjoyable typing experience thanks to its key’s having just 1.2 mm of travel and actuation force requirement of only 60 grams. Meanwhile, its buttonless touchpad is also highly accurate at going around the desktop and highlighting text.

Another stellar feature of the Envy 13t is its availability of two USB 3.0s. Many ultra-thins laptops have settled for slimmer connectors like USB-C, which it also has. Aside from these connections, this laptop also has a microSD card slot and an audio jack. The 720-pixel camera is also sufficient enough to make clear Skype calls. Furthermore, it also has a long battery life of 9 hours, on average.

However, the Envy 13t has minor design issues. The touchscreen display just won’t easily pop out of its keyboard, as compared to most 2-in-1 convertible laptops. The audio quality is also not that impressive.

Overall, the Envy 13t is a good investment if you want a portable ultra-thin laptop that performs great and has a long battery life.

Display: 13.3-inches diagonal IPS with Anti-Glare Backlit; 1920 x 1080 resolution
Processor: 2.5 GHz dual-core Intel Core i7-6500U
Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 520
RAM:  8GB DDR3L
Storage: 256 GB PCIe SSD
Battery Life: 9 hours
Weight: 2.9 pounds

Pros:

  • Very attractive design
  • More ports than its competitors
  • Great keyboard experience
  • Strong CPU performance

Cons:

  • The display won’t pop out of its keyboard
  • Subpar audio quality

6. Lenovo Think Pad T460

If you don’t mind the extra bulk in your next writer’s laptop, then you will love the Think Pad T460. It’s considered as a business laptop and its credentials speak for itself as it has all the tools to help its user multitask with ease. This thing’s 14-inch screen has a 1920 x 1080 resolution and has good color accuracy. The matte touchscreen also eliminates some glare compared to its glossier counterparts.

Powering this business laptop is a 2.5 GHz Dual-core Intel Core i5-6300U mated with a 16 GB DDR3 RAM. This combination allows the computer to run smoothly even with multiple applications and browser tabs are open at the same time. Moreover, it comes with a standard Intel UHD Graphics 520 and a neat 256 GB SSD.

The Thinkpad T460’s curved keyboard provides a pleasant typing experience. The keys have a deep 2.33 mm vertical travel while requiring only 50 grams of actuation. It felt comfortable every time you hit the spill-resistant keys. Much like other Thinkpads, the T460 also has a pointing stick in the middle of the keyboard which you can choose to highlight text or navigate through Windows.

It’s built in 720 pixels webcam produces bright and colorful images perfect for Skype calls. This laptop also has plenty of ports such as audio jack, SD card reader, a SIM card slot, USB 3.0, Ethernet, HDMI, Display port and a Kensington lock slot. It does not, however, have the latest USB Type-C connector. Lenovo also installed it with a larger battery that now lasts up to 13 hours.

However, this laptop also has a number of issues that may turn away picky buyers. There are some minor design flaws such as it’s hard to open and always require two hands. The display is also not as color accurate and vibrant as its competitors. Finally, you are likely stuck with its current GPU.

Overall, the Lenovo Touchpad T460 is a reliable workstation which is still light enough to be carried around. If your work requires multitasking on a daily basis, choose this laptop.

Display: 14.1-inches
Processor: 2.5 GHz Dual-core Intel Core i5-6300U
Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 520
RAM:  16 GB DDR3L
Storage: 256 GB SSD
Battery Life: 13 hours
Weight: 3.8 pounds

Pros:

  • Incredible battery life
  • Overloaded with ports
  • Comfortable keyboard
  • Durable Design

Cons:

  • Lacks GPU upgrade
  • Poor display quality

7. Microsoft Surface Pro 4

What’s a tablet doing in a list dedicated for laptops? Well, the Surface Pro 4 isn’t your typical tablet, neither is it your basic hybrid laptop. You can say that this gadget has found a perfect balance of both worlds. Moreover, it taunts a crystal clear 12.3-inch PixelSence display which has a 2736 x 1824 resolution. Bottom-line, you definitely will love watching movies and doing artistic stuff on this thing, aside from writing of course.

At its core is a 2.4 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5-6300U which can be turbo boosted up to 3.0 GHz. Matched with an Intel UHD Graphics 520, this combination is plenty enough to handle the demanding display aspect of this laptop. It also comes with an 8GB RAM and a fast booting 256 GB SSD storage.

Microsoft also has come up with a new Type Cover which is more rigid and thicker than the previous model. This allowed the evenly spread keys to have punchier feedback brought by deeper travel. The smooth glass trackpad is also larger which means you can drag, scroll, or drop items easier. Finally, the keyboard also has a fingerprint scanner which adds a layer of security.

This hybrid laptop also comes with two nifty HD cameras- an 8MP rear with autofocus and a 5MP front, both of which has 1080 pixels. It also has enough ports such as a USB 3.0, a mini display port, microSD card reader and a mic/ headphone jack. For connectivity, you got the latest 2×2 MIMD Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0. You can also use the exclusive Surface Pen to take notes and do other artistic tasks.

The Surface Pro 4, however, has a very dismal 3-hour battery life which remains unsolved for years now. Although Microsoft has significantly dropped its price it’s still more expensive than many of its competitors. The Type Cover and Surface Pen are also sold separately.

Overall, the Surface Pro 4 is a must-have for writers who also want to do some mobile gaming or artistic tasks on the side.

Display: 12.3-inch PixelSense; 2736 x 1824 resolution
Processor: 2.4 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5-6300U
Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 520
RAM: 8GB DDR3
Storage: 256 GB PCIe 3.0 SSD
Battery Life: 3 hours
Weight: 1.73 pounds

Pros:

  • Works great at being a laptop and tablet
  • Fast CPU performance
  • Comfortable keyboard with enjoyable touchpad
  • Lots of configuration options

Cons:

  • Doesn’t include the type Cover keyboard
  • Only one USB Port

8. Samsung Chromebook 2

We are closing this list with the most affordable laptop for writers- the Samsung Chromebook 2. If you want to do research, write, surf the Internet and other computing tasks without having to burn a hole in your wallet, then this laptop fits the bill. However, because the manufacturers have to cut down its price, it sacrificed the quality of some of its components. The 11.6-inch screen with a 1366 x769, for example, looks dull and washed out.

It does make out for it though with a solid performance from its 2.58 GHz Dual-Core Intel Celeron N2840. While the Intel UHD Graphics 520 video card is pretty standard it shoulders its part well. The 2GB RAM is OK, however, you can expect to encounter some lag especially when multi-tasking. It comes with a 16 GB SSD which is better than HDD, but it could have been made larger. Hence, you can only install a few programs and have to rely on external devices, like flash drives, for extra storage.

The bread and butter of this laptop though is its keyboard which has a 1.33 key travel and actuation of only 50 grams. Typing on this keyboard feels satisfying as every key is clicky and reactive. However, because of its 11-inch frame, the island keys are a bit cramped. Although its touchpad is a bit small, it’s still responsive and easy to use.

This thing also has a 720 pixel HD webcam which is decent and useful for video calls. The ports are quite fewer with only a USB 3.0 and 2.0, microSD, HDMI, and mic/headphone jack. For connectivity, you have the latest Wi-Fi and a Bluetooth 4.0. Its battery life is above average at 7 hours.

Overall, the Chromebook 2 is a nice thin laptop that is budget friendly and very portable. If you aren’t too picky, then this one is definitely a bargain.

Display: 11.6-inches ; 1366 x 769 resolution
Processor: 2.58 GHz Dual-Core Intel Celeron N2840
Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 520
RAM: 2GB
Storage: 16 GB SSD
Battery Life: 7 hours
Weight: 2.65 pounds

Pros:

  • Very affordable
  • Ergonomic design
  • Very portable
  • Decent battery life

Cons:

  • Sluggish when multitasking
  • Outdated ports and low storage space

Laptop for Writers Buying Guide

What writers should look for:

1. Comfortable Keyboard

It goes without saying that the keyboard is the most essential PC component for a writer since it’s the part we use most of the time. Its keys shouldn’t be stiff and too cramped as those gets in the way of fast typing. If you want to increase your Word per Minute (WPM) choose a laptop with a well-spaced keyboard and responsive keys.

2. Easy to Read Display

Even though you are dealing mostly with text and a few images or videos, the laptop’s display must be clear and bright. An easy to read display helps speed up the writing process.

3. Long Battery Life

Writers usually spend long hours on their computer especially if they are developing a good story. On average, laptop batteries can last 4-6 hours before recharging. We highly recommend a laptop with a longer battery life.

4. Portable

If you plan to carry the laptop around, then its weight and size can contribute a lot to its portability. Luckily, there are now thinner laptops which you can carry even in your backpack and even a handbag.

5. Powerful CPU and RAM

A lot of writers also do research before writing their articles. Hence, if you plan to multi-task you need a powerful CPU and a good amount of RAM to ensure things run smoothly.

Writing is a demanding activity that is not limited to writers alone. At some point, all of us have to write on a laptop whether it’s for recreational, academic or work-related purposes. We hope that our shortlist has provided you with the right information so you can decide which laptop is best for your writing needs.