The 7 Best Laptops for Writers
|RAM / Storage
|Apple MacBook Air
|8GB / 256GB
|Acer Aspire Slim 5
|8GB / 512GB
|Dell XPS 13
|16GB / 512GB
|Windows 10 Pro
|Microsoft Surface Book 3
|8GB / 256GB
|Windows 10 Home
Only the Top 4 Laptops are displayed here – check out our entire list for all the others!
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Today, people are working from home now more than ever. If you are like the many people who are stuck trying to do an office-amount of work without the proper computer, simple things like typing up reports or writing emails can be a chore.
Or, if you are one of the many budding or professional writers who are also working from home, you might need a new laptop in order to increase your efficiency and productivity.
Not all laptops are created equal and some are far better for writing than others.
Here are our top 7 favorite laptops on the market for writers today.
Best Overall: Apple MacBook Air
I tried to avoid this conclusion, but after sifting through all of the options, the MacBook Air simply wins out. Before you groan and roll your eyes at yet another list featuring the MacBook Air as the best laptop for creatives, hear me out.
This laptop is an absolute classic for a reason and that is because it runs on a rule of simple elegance. It just works and it gives you the feel and features you crave as a writer.
It is super small. It weighs less than three pounds. When the lid is closed, it is only half an inch thick.
The MacBook Air is designed to be used in a coffee shop. It craves your fingers typing over it’s, rather excellent, scissor mechanical keyboard. It demands creativity and gives you everything you need to foster it.
The Retina display is as beautiful as ever. The processor is still fast. Apple apps are still easy to use and a pleasure to look at.
Everything that you know and love about MacBooks is here but better than before.
The simple matte metallic look now comes in multiple colors and the battery life has been boosted to nearly 12 hours of use. It does everything right and very little wrong.
I mentioned the keyboard briefly but one of the biggest gripes of MacBook Air’s design in the past was that the ultra-slim design left a lot to be desired with the keyboard. Obviously, for writers, the keyboard is important.
One of the reasons the Air made it to #1 over some stiff competition was that the newly designed keyboard feels better than ever before. It is nearly perfect and is a fantastic choice for anyone who wants to write on their laptop exclusively.
At the end of the day, it is a MacBook. If you love Apple or MacBook then this is the next iteration of an already great history of laptops.
If you do not like MacOS or find their operating systems to be restrictive for the kind of work you want to do, that won’t change here.
Apple is still a little pricey compared to PC in terms of specification to dollar ratio. Although, Apple computers have come down in price in recent years. They are not as expensive as they once were but they are still pricey enough to give some people pause.
If you love MacBook but want the bigger version, the regular MacBook Pro is still available for a little bit more money and a few more features.
In terms of elegant design, fast word processing, and a slim portable body, no other computer comes close to combining all of these things together into a desirable package.
● 10th Gen Intel Core i3 Processor
● Intel Iris Plus Graphics
● 13.3” (2560 x 1600) Retina Display
Best Budget: Acer Aspire 5 Slim
Not everyone wants a super expensive, super fashionable laptop. Some people just want a tool that will work well and fit into your budget.
That is where the Acer Aspire 5 comes in. This computer will appeal to those who appreciate functionality over form and want to write without attracting attention to themselves.
This laptop is all around a great buy. It is not flashy or particularly special but it gets the job done, is reliable, and comes in for a good chunk less money than many computers on this list.
SPECS & DISPLAY
It does everything you need it to. It feels good to type on, it has a solid battery life and a lot of storage and memory to run your favorite word processing software.
The screen is large and the resolution is sharp. The slim build comes in at less than an inch when the lid is closed making it easy to store out of the way when not in use.
For the struggling writer on a budget, not many computers offer this much functionality at this price. It is perfect for anyone who wants to get a lot of work done without spending a boatload of cash to get it done.
This is the best cheap laptop for a writer. If you find the specs to be not to your liking, Acer has made a lot of variations to their Aspire line of machines. With tons of options available, you can choose exactly which computer you want.
The laptop featured here is the most affordable Acer Aspire Slim model but for modest increases in price, you can get ones that are a little more flashy or a little more powerful.
With a utilitarian, business-like performance, this is a fantastic laptop for any writer on a budget who just wants to get the job done, no questions asked.
● AMD Ryzen 5-3500U Processor
● Radeon Vega 8 Graphics
● 15.6” (1920 x 1080) Full HD Display
Best 2-in-1: Microsoft Surface Book 3
In the spirit of honesty, I will admit that the Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 came just shy of making my #1 overall choice on this list. The only thing that held it back was the considerable weightiness of the whole set up and the high price of entry.
Other than that, this was my favorite computer on this list.
With the Microsoft Surface Laptop 3, you get the best of all worlds for fluid and comprehensive creative experience. You get a full fledged tablet, you get the ability to write by hand with a pen if you so choose (some people do, and some situations demand it).
You get unbelievable battery life. You get a full keyboard.
The full keyboard not only types well but is completely detachable so if you want to use this as a pure tablet, you can. Then reattach the keyboard when you are ready for a more traditional laptop experience.
SPECS & BATTERY
It has a fast processor, a super crisp and clear display that works great via touch, mouse, or smartpen. It is truly a fantastic experience and one of the best machines Microsoft has ever made.
If you love to write and parlay your writing into more complete works such as including artwork, drawings, or handwritten features, you are going to find this laptop to be a dream. Also, if you use any of Microsoft’s growing number of utility programs this computer is going to seamlessly integrate with your work on the fly.
This 2-in-1 machine boasts a battery life of over 15 hours which means that you can use it to your heart’s content from sun-up to sun-down without having to worry about a charge. This is great for so many reasons and only adds to the incredible flexibility and versatility that this computer offers.
The biggest downside is the weight. With the keyboard attached, it is not going to be light to take around. That is because the powerful all-in-one, detachable touchscreen computer has a lot of things packed into it.
All of that to say, this thing is dense and if you are looking for a light and thin laptop, this is not going to be it.
Also, if you are on a budget, the price tag might look a little scary but if you can afford it, I promise you it is well worth it. Not only is this by far the best 2-in-1 laptop on this list, it very nearly is the best laptop on this list period.
● 10th Gen Intel Core i5 Processor
● Intel Iris Plus Graphics with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650
● 13.5” (3000 x 2000) Touchscreen Display
Best Display: DELL XPS 13
Even for writers, the display can be important. For some people, the display is far more important than some features.
That is where the Dell XPS 13 comes in. In addition to being a great computer overall, the XPS 13 comes with a truly remarkable display that you are going to immediately enjoy.
The biggest appeal that this display offers is the stunning Infinity Edge that encompasses all four corners. This innovative piece of technology makes it so your display flawlessly reaches the edges of your laptop for a modern look.
But it doesn’t just look good, this display is made up of super resistant Gorilla Glass. Gorilla Glass is scratch and crack resistant so you get that extra protection for your machine when you take it along with you on writing excursions.
The Gorilla Glass is also naturally glare-resistant so you won’t have to worry about harsh sunlight or fluorescent washing out the white of your word processing display.
Honestly, it is hard for me to pick my favorite thing about this display. The Infinity Edge is a joy to look at and the resolution is super crisp. The anti-glare has really saved my eyes in many situations so that is good too. Any way your parse it, the display on this laptop is something special.
All of these fantastic amenities come at a cost, literally. This laptop is one of the most expensive on this list. The high fidelity display and extra durable materials do not come cheap.
If you are looking for another laptop with a similar display for a better price take a look at the next entry on our list for a Lenovo machine that has a large screen and good resolution for considerably less.
This laptop will broadly appeal to anyone who is a stickler for display. If that is you, you will consider this money well spent because it really is a pleasure to use. It keeps your eyes fresh and it ensures that the words stay sharp looking for hours on end.
● Intel Core i7-1065G7 10th Gen Processor
● Intel Iris Plus Graphics
● 13.4” (1920 x 1200) HD+ InfinityEdge Touch Anti-Reflective 500-Nit Display
The Lenovo ThinkPad E15 is not on this list for raw battery power alone but rather what you can do with that battery power. There are some slimmer, less powerful laptops that have better overall battery life.
No computer comes close to matching this machine’s battery life and its specs all at the same time.
SPECS & DISPLAY
The specs of the Lenovo ThinkPad E15 are some of the best on this list. The fact that this computer can eke out 12 hours of battery life while sporting 16GB of RAM and a full-resolution 15.6” screen is impressive.
If you keep the serious computer usage down, you can probably squeeze a few more low intensity hours from this battery as well.
The battery life to feature ratio of this computer is simply out of this world. If you are looking for an all purpose, all-around solid computer on which to write with and still get some of the best functionality of a standard personal computer, this one is a solid choice.
With 16GB of RAM And 512GB SSD this laptop is super smooth and super fast. It gives you more power than you really need but comes in at a price where it is worth it.
Lenovo has a strong track record and pedigree when it comes to making functional and affordable laptops and the Lenovo ThinkPad E15 is no different.
You are getting a sure bet at a good price which is worth a lot. Everything just works and this laptop is powerful enough that you can definitely make it your all-purpose machine on top of being great for writers.
The only downside is that all of this power comes at a cost and that cost is the weight. The E15 is considerably heavier than most of the laptops on this list which can make lugging it around a chore.
All of that battery power, screen size and RAM have to fit somewhere but if you want that to be in your bag or purse, this computer might be a little big for your taste.
If you want to try and find the laptop with the best raw battery life numbers you are probably going to want to look at a slimmed down Chromebook type computer. The fewer features, less storage, and less screen, the better for raw battery life numbers.
However, if you want a computer that can chug along for hours while giving you a large screen, powerful RAM, and smooth word processing, there are none better than the Lenovo ThinkPad E15.
● Intel i5-10210U 10th Gen Processor
● Intel Integrated UHD Graphics
● 15.6” (1920 x 1080) Full HD Anti-glare Display
Best Portability: ASUS Chromebook C202
The ASUS Chromebook C202 is one of my favorites on this list due to its rugged design and portability. Chromebooks are, by nature, slim and fast. They are not bogged down by unnecessary features which keep the build super slim and easy to grab and go.
If you are a writer who loves to work in the cozy silence of a local library or the bustle of the local coffee shop, you are going to love this laptop.
In terms of design, ASUS has hit a home run with this model. They have taken all of the best parts of any Chromebook and packaged it into a body that is designed to be used and traveled with.
You will not have to worry about dinging or banging your machine while it is in your bag or car. The high-quality materials used protect the computer to a high degree giving you the freedom to write wherever you want without stress.
For a small up-charge, you can even get the Chromebook shipped with an included case designed to add even more protection.
At 2lbs, the ASUS Chromebook C202 is extremely light. It will fit neatly anywhere. This is also bolstered by the fact that it does not overdo it on screen size.
Some computers on this list have large screens, which is great for some, but a large screen can decrease the portable nature of your laptop.
Many Chromebooks keep their costs down by sacrificing the overall quality of materials used. That is not the case with this laptop.
SPECS & DISPLAY
In terms of specs, you are not going to be blown away but they get the job done. For word processing purposes alone, it is more than enough. If you treat this computer as a pure writing machine then you are not going to be disappointed.
As previously mentioned, the screen is on the smaller side coming in at 11.6” which is plenty if you are using a word document but it might not be great for streaming or editing. It comes with more than enough RAM at 4GB.
Google’s integrated apps and software are very light on the processor so you do not need extra powerful specs to get the job done here.
It has 16GB of flash storage which, again, if you are merely storing text documents and simple pictures, won’t be too much of a problem. The rest is tied to Google’s cloud storage services such as Google Docs and Google Drive which effectively gives you nearly unlimited storage if you are connected to WiFi.
The 180 screen allows you to get a full range of motion that will keep the glare off your screen in any lighting.
The two biggest drawbacks of this machine are tied to the fact that it is a Chromebook. If you are biased against Chromebook or have had bad experiences with ChromeOS in the past, this computer is not going to change your mind.
ChromeOS is a limited platform that will not allow you to use the full suite of programs available on the market but, if you are just using it to write, that won’t matter much.
If you are not looking for a particularly portable laptop but still like the sleek functionality of Chromebook, there are a lot of other similar models on the market which are the same price or cheaper with lower levels of durability. Or, if you like the ASUS Chromebook C202 model, there is an upgraded model with full touchscreen and 2-in-1 capabilities also available.
But if you are a writer on the go who loves to strike out on a whim to your favorite typing spot, there is no better laptop suited for the up and go lifestyle. It is durable, fast, has a long battery life, and a unique 180-degree screen.
These things make the ASUS Chromebook C202 a perfect portable laptop and it is available at a price that is a steal.
● Intel Celeron N3060 Processor
● Intel Integrated HD Graphics
● 11.6” (1366 x 786) Anti-Glare Display
Best Keyboard: Acer Swift 3
The most important part of any writing focused laptop is the tactile feel of the machine during use. You can have out of this world specifications and excellent hardware but if it doesn’t feel right, then that is all for nothing.
Typing on a bad keyboard with cheap keys can be annoying or downright frustrating. Having a fluid and comfortable typing experience is critical to boosting your words per minute and feeling rested at the end of a long session.
That is the main draw of the Acer Swift 3. The keyboard and trackpad are universally praised for their surprising quality and feel and for good reason. This keyboard feels great.
I personally type on a mechanical keyboard at my desktop and I love the raised buttons and the clicking that you get from your inputs. That kind of feeling is almost nonexistent in laptops. Too often the keyboard feels flat and lifeless.
The Acer Swift 3 gives me the closest resemblance I’ve found to a mechanical keyboard in a laptop. The keys are raised and made from the same sturdy material as the body of the machine. Typing gives you excellent feedback and great bounce which makes me feel like I am typing on a desktop rather than a laptop. I love it.
SPECS & DISPLAY
The rest of the computer is solid as well. It has a good sized screen, a fast processor, long battery life, and is very light for its size. It performed admirably in everything I asked it to do in terms of writing.
Where it struggled a bit was in the display. While it has a strong resolution, the Radeon integrated graphics failed to live up to other models on the market today. The images were not super crisp or colorful. In terms of writing, this does not matter much but it might put some off.
The other issue that I found was that over prolonged periods of use or when asked to run stronger programs than a word processor, the laptop tended to heat up. This used to be a bigger issue with previous models of laptops years ago but this model still has a loud fan and excess heat that many no longer have.
If you plan on sticking to writing, this should not be an issue that happens often but it is worth noting. Honestly, the keyboard makes up for those minor nags and I wish that all laptops had a keyboard that felt this good. Overall a good laptop for writers.
● AMD Ryzen 7 4700U Octa-Core Processor
● Radeon Integrated Graphics
● 14” (1920 x 1080) Full HD IPS Display
Minimum Requirements for a Writing Laptop
What does a writing centered laptop actually need? Less than you think!
Do not be lured into getting machines with extra large RAM capacity or fancy features that are focused on video processing. Focus on the features that are going to help you write. Some extras are nice but not all of them are necessary.
Here are the minimum specs that you can comfortably get away with in a laptop focused on word processing.
STORAGE – 256GB or LESS
Word documents are small. Really small. Even the largest articles, reports, and novellas that I have stored on my computer maybe take up a megabyte at most.
Many of my files come in at just a few dozen kilobytes. What that means is that you do not need a ton of storage in order to store everything you could ever possibly write.
256GB of storage should be plenty for the writer. There is no need to jump up into the terabyte range unless you really want to.
The things that take up the most space on a computer are things such as movies, video games, and large editing programs. Even standard pictures do not take up that much space.
If you are not planning on storing a lot of music or games on your laptop, you are not going to need a ton of storage.
RAM – 4GB is Plenty
Similar to raw hard drive storage, a writing laptop should not need a ton of RAM to get the job done. RAM is used to process complex programs quickly or multiple programs at once.
If you are going to be doing a lot of writing in conjunction with spreadsheets, presentations, or research all going at the same time, you might want 8GB of RAM. You do not need 16GB or more of RAM on a writing machine, it will just cost more for very little payoff.
Obviously, more RAM can’t hurt and many of the laptops on the market today come with 8GB of RAM standard. RAM is getting cheaper all the time so if you get more for your buck, don’t sweat it but you do not need to shy away from machines with 4GB of RAM.
GRAPHICS & DISPLAY – up to you
In the computer world, few things get talked about more than graphics and displays. Everyone has their favorite resolution or graphics cards that they prefer over the competition so this one is largely up to the user.
If you really are mainly focused on writing and word processing, you do not need ultra-HD graphics or even full 1920×1080 resolutions but some people today cannot abide by anything less.
There is a good mix of graphics on this list, none of them are overly powerful but some look better than others. This department is one best left up to the user in question.
If you are looking for a machine with high-quality displays and powerful graphics, check out our list of budget gaming laptops. They will offer more in terms of graphical power but come in around the same price point as many of the laptops on this list.
BATTERY LIFE – 10+ Hours
Battery life is a big deal for writers. Having to break your concentration in order to go and wander for an outlet can completely ruin your workflow. Not having to worry about your laptop dying is important which is why we made sure to include laptops with high battery life throughout this list.
I would say you probably want a machine that can handle a minimum of 10 good hours of work without having to charge.
Also, remember that batteries degrade over time so the battery life listed on your machine’s specs is the starting battery life. It will only get shorter from there. That means if you go all in for a big screen with a powerful display, your starting battery life of 8 hours might soon be down to 5 hours which can be a real drag.
The good news is, word processing takes up very little power so many of the batteries on this list should comfortably perform as advertised and maybe even slightly better if you avoid streaming and gaming.
INPUT JACKS – The More the Merrier
The number of input jacks on your laptop can matter as a writer. Many of the computers on this list feature large numbers of inputs and for good reason.
If you are settling in somewhere to do serious writing work, you are going to want numerous USB, internet and headphone jacks at some point. I promise you will.
Whether you are charging your phone or tablet, hooking up a WiFi hotspot, or plugging in your favorite earbuds to listen to some tunes, input jacks are an important part of any computer and especially for the writer.
You probably want at least two USB ports, a headphone jack, an ethernet port, and Bluetooth. If you are thinking that these things are all standard nowadays you would be wrong.
There are still many laptops on the market that cut corners by cutting input spots. Be sure to keep an eye on these when you are shopping. You do not want to roll up to the park and realize you can’t charge your phone, can’t hook up your hotspot, and can’t listen to your music while you work.
From super lightweight to a great mechanical feeling keyboard all the way to laptops for writers on a budget. We got it all and we hope we were able to narrow down your search to a decent pick.
If you are overwhelmed by the choices, you cannot go wrong with any of these laptops on the list. It just depends what kind of budget you are looking for and whether you want to use your laptop for anything other than writing. All laptops for writers we have covered are best in their own niches, and you cannot really go wrong with any of them.
If you are looking for laptops with a bit more specs, check out our list for computer science students and AutoCAD as those have a few more specs built in if you want to run more programs than just writing ones.
Are you a writer and using a laptop other than the ones mentioned here on our list? If so, we’d love to hear from you!
Happy Laptop Shopping!