It’s a familiar scene in coffee shops throughout the world – You walk in the front door and see at least one person writing on their laptop. As a freelance writer, I am often that person! While it is nice to be able to work from anywhere, I can do as much as my laptop permits! After searching for a new computer for myself, I decided to write up this list of the best laptops for writers!
My list of the best laptops for writers
Writing on a laptop is the same for anyone. It doesn’t matter if you’re a college student, creative writer, or blogger, everyone has similar experiences when writing on a laptop. From hand cramping to pressing the wrong buttons, there are many problems that come with some laptops.
Below, I outline some of the computers I have used, tried out in a store, or have researched heavily. All of these are sure to deliver excellent user experience, with writers kept especially in mind!
How I ranked these laptops
Have you ever used a laptop outside? Let me rephrase that – have you ever tried to use a laptop outside, only to realize that the sun made the screen impossible to read? It’s very annoying to have the perfect setup outside of a coffee shop on the perfect spring afternoon, only to realize you can’t see a single word!
When trying to find the best laptops for writers, I made sure to find those that had bright screens and vibrant colors. While some of the lower-cost laptops have dimmer screens, they will still get the job done in most cases.
What kind of writer are you? One who likes to hear the sweet Click-Clack of the keyboard or someone who enjoys no sound at all? It seems like laptops are trending toward having very quiet keyboards. While this can be a good thing in some cases, there are tons of writers who want to feel stiff buttons. Personally, I like a firm keyboard because it helps me process what buttons are being pressed.
This keyboard issue was recently brought up at the 2020 Oscars by XXXX. Check out his hilarious opinion on the matter!
Everyone wants their laptop to have long battery life. The issue with this is when the computer becomes too bulky or heavy because of this battery. I looked for laptops that were long-lasting yet compact enough to be portable for writers on the go.
Screen size is important. If it is too small, it’s hard to make the most of the laptop. If it is too big, then you will have a hard time using it on a plane or taking it in a backpack with you. These laptops have varying screen sizes, and you should choose one that suits your work habits and lifestyle.
While writing a single page in Word isn’t too hard for a laptop to handle, things typically get worse when you have 20 tabs open to research the topic you’re writing about! These laptops are newer and can handle the demands the average writer will put on them.
Best laptops for writers on a budget
Budget laptops will get the job done. They are fast, lightweight, and not that expensive. However, they usually have smaller screens and less memory. Laptops in this class will give you the performance you need at a fair price and with minimal frills.
Acer is a trusted brand and created high-quality laptops. This Chromebook runs quickly, can last all day on a single charge, and is super portable. When it comes to writing, this laptop has a fun surprise. The keys are textured and give unique feedback to anyone who comes from the traditional typing world.
Who this is for: This Acer laptop is perfect for new writers or those who want a second laptop to take with them on the go.
HP is a household name because of the reliable products they offer, and they sure lived up to their name with this laptop. I tested it out and loved the bright screen, fast load times, and the island-style keyboard. This Chromebook has a nicely sized screen, but it isn’t so large that you can’t take it with you to class or a coffee shop.
Who this is for: Writers who want a stylish, no-frills laptop will love this HP Chromebook.
The Lenovo S330 is one of the leaders in this category. With a lightweight yet sturdy body and long-lasting battery, this laptop is perfect for moderate amounts of work like writing, social media management, or monitoring ads. I tried this laptop at my old office and found that it was ideal for mobile writers, but professionals working from home will want a more robust machine.
Who this is for: Entry-level writers and those who work remotely and just want a simple computer.
Best mid-range laptops
You will most likely want a computer from this category. They give you a bit of everything without emptying your wallet too much. If you are a writer who just wanted a reliable computer to get work done anywhere, then look at these laptops.
This laptop was designed to have all the features of a premium device at half the cost. The Acer Swift 3 performs amazingly because of its powerful chipset, which is perfect for a writer who has many windows open to do research. The design is somewhat basic, so you might want to pass on this if style is a big concern for you.
Who this is for: Writers who want reliable performance without a high price tag.
This laptop markets itself as being “thin and light,” and I found that is certainly the case! Aside from the awesome portability of this computer, it has a bright, colorful screen and strong, stylish aluminum casing. The battery life could be better, but that’s the trade-off of getting a light laptop!
Who this is for: This is the best laptop for writers who want the best of everything.
Asus attempted to create a stylish, powerful laptop that wouldn’t break that bank, and they succeeded with this VivoBook. Its large screen and fast processing power make it great for writers, but the keyboard isn’t backlit, which can be a dealbreaker for some people. The battery life is also shorter than some of the other computers on this list, but what else would you expect with this much power under the hood?
Who this is for: Writers who will work in well-lit areas and have access to a power outlet.
Best high-end laptops
If you need a laptop that can do more than just process words, then this is your bracket. These computers are perfect for writers who also design or handle many other business tasks from their computers. Although they come at a higher cost, these computers are worth it if you use them as intended.
This laptop is small but mighty, delivering a crazy long battery life and strong processing power. The sharp display and firm keyboard are perfect for working on your novel or letting off some steam and zoning out with Netflix. While the price tag is higher than many on the list, this laptop packs the punch you need when writing all day.
Who this is for: Writers who want to replace their desktop with a powerful, multi-purpose notebook.
You might be surprised that an Apple product hasn’t been on this list yet, but we were saving the best for nearly last! The MacBook Air packs so many features into a beautifully-crafted, powerful laptop. You most likely have seen them while you’re at a coffee shop or library, but that is because it is one of the best laptops for writers!
Who this is for: The creative writer who wants a multi-faceted laptop to also edit photos and videos.
MSI builds incredible laptops without exception. This computer is lightning fast, fully-loaded, and ready to tackle whatever you throw at it. The only criticism I’ve heard from owners of the MSI Prestige 14 is that it can get hot quickly if you’re pushing it to its limits.
Who this is for: Writers who want a laptop that can also handle video editing, gaming, and much much more.
Best laptops for writers who travel
If you’re working on the go, you need a lightweight and versatile computer. This list has some laptops for people who travel, but just remember that they aren’t always your traditional notebook.
The Surface lineup keeps getting better and better, and the Surface Pro 6 is helping to lead the charge. Not only is this light and easy to use, but it has a full keyboard that can take hours of typing. While the graphics aren’t incredibly stunning, the Surface gives you everything you need to write from anywhere in the world.
Who this is for: Digital nomads, writers, designers, and everyone in between.
While this laptop is heavier than the Surface, we included it here because it can do so much and is very lightweight. This model provides reliable performance, but it won’t be breaking any records in processing power or battery life. That said, it’s nimble aluminum design makes it perfect for carrying around when out and about.
Who this is for: Writers who want a laptop that can also handle business and creative demands.
People often think of Lenovo devices as old-school and business-oriented, but the Flex 14 is anything but that. This convertible laptop gives you everything you need in a computer but fits in your backpack. When you aren’t writing, you will love the hi-res webcam and impressive speakers.
Who this is for: Those who need a light laptop that gives you all the benefits of a desktop.
Don’t let your outdated laptop stop you from being productive. I know what it’s like to carry a massive computer to coffee shops or airports, hating every moment of it. By getting a lightweight laptop or an upgrade for your old machine will help you get more work done and enjoy doing it.
While these are some of the best laptops for writers, they aren’t one size fits all. Do your research and choose one that best fits your lifestyle!