best laptop for research and writing

Best Laptops for Writers (Updated 2020)

Finding a great laptop, let alone one built for writers, is challenging. There are a lot of great laptops out there and a lot of terrible ones. Some have really uncomfortable keyboards, some are sluggish, and others just have short battery life. To help you find a new writing laptop for yourself or as a gift for a writer, we compiled a list of the best laptops for writers so you can be sure to buy one that is well-equipped to handle your next blog post or novel. Read on to learn which ones we recommend.

Best Laptops for Writers 2020

LaptopProcessor | RAM | StoragePrice
1. Lenovo IdeaPad S145AMD | 8GB | 1TB$519.00
2. Google PixelbookIntel® 8th Gen | 8GB | 64GB SSD$649.00 www.amazon.com
3. MacBook AirIntel® i5 | 8GB | 128GB SSD$799.99 www.amazon.com
4. HP Spectre ×360Intel® i7 | 8GB | 512 SSD$1,249.00
5. Asus Chromebook FlipIntel Core M5 | 4GB | 64B SSD$569.99
6. MacBook ProIntel® i5 | 8GB | 256GB SSD$951.26 www.amazon.com
7. Surface Laptop 2Intel® i5 | 8GB | 128GB SSD$799.99
8. ASUS ZenBookIntel® i5 | 8GB | 256GB SSD$1,427.46
9. Dell InspironIntel® i5 | 8GB | 1TBPrice not available
10. Surface Pro 7Intel® i5 | 8GB | 128GB SSD$834.88

What makes a great laptop for writers?

A great laptop for writing has several main features including battery life, storage, type of keyboard, and more. Below are our recommendations for great laptop features if your primary purpose for using the laptop is writing.

Recommended laptop features for writers

Storage: These days, at least 250GB is ideal. If you travel a lot, you may want to look into an SSD drive upgrade.

Battery Life:Most laptops these days have plenty of battery life, but we recommend looking for one with at least 4 hours of battery life unless you plan to be tethered to a desk all day.

Keyboard: The most important factor for a keyboard is comfort. It’s hard to find laptops with comfortable keyboards, but you can always buy a lightweight wireless keyboard. “Bounce” and loudness of keyboard keys (the “clickety” sound) is personal preference so we cannot make any recommendations here. We highly recommend getting a backlit keyboard so you can write in low light.

Weight: Choose something lightweight (less than 4lbs) if you will carry it often.

Touchscreen/Writing Tablet: This is an optional feature, but you may want to get a touchscreen or writing pad if you plan to take a lot of handwritten notes.

RAM: Buy at least 4GB, but more than 8GB is preferred.

Software: Buy Windows or Mac OSX and your preferred word processor.

Processor: You should get an Intel i5 or better these days.

Graphics: Getting a discrete is recommended, but not necessary.

Don’t forget to buy a new laptop bag and accessories for your new laptop!

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Best Laptops for Writers

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1. Lenovo IdeaPad S145 – Best Laptop for Writers

Lenovo Ideapad S145 - best laptops for writers

The Lenovo Ideapad received a major upgrade this year with the S145 model. The laptop now features 8GB of blazing-fast DDR4 Ram, a terabyte of storage, and a very comfortable keyboard.

Lenovo is known for making quality, lightweight laptops. The Ideapad has always been one of their most value-driven laptops available making it perfect for the budget-conscious writer.

It comes with a 3.0GHz AMD Quad Core processor, 8GB of DDR4 RAM, a 1TB hard drive, and 4 hours of battery life.

Even with all of these features, the Ideapad weighs a mere 4.08lbs and is only 0.8 inches thick, so your backpack won’t be weighed down by this laptop.See on Amazon

2. Google Pixelbook Go – Best Chromebook for Writers

Google Pixelbook Go - best laptops for writers

The Google Pixelbook Go could be one of the best investments you make. It has an extra long battery life (12 hours), a backlit keyboard with Hush keys for quiet typing, and weighs just over 2lbs.

The Google Pixelbook Go packs a 13.3 inch full-HD touchscreen, an 8th Gen Intel processor (M3, i5, or i7) and 8 or 16GB of RAM depending on the configuration you choose. The backlit keyboard with Hush Keys means you can write day or night without slowing down or waking anyone up. The laptop also has no fan so you won’t have to worry about it being noisy when the processor gets busy.

The only downside to this laptop is that it runs on Chrome OS so you need to be comfortable using Google Docs and other Google products for your content creation.See on Amazon

3. MacBook Air

MacBook Air - best laptops for writers

The MacBook Air is the most portable laptop on this list. While it is one of the more expensive laptops, it weighs only 2.95 lbs, making it the lightest laptop on this list and a great choice for writers on-the-go. It has everything a writer needs and the Mac OS makes it extremely simple to use.

The MacBook Air features a 13.3-inch display, 8GB RAM, a 128GB SSD, and up to 12 hours of battery life. The MacBook Air doesn’t have a retina display so as to limit the amount of extra weight added from a bigger battery and graphics processor.

We recommend the MacBook Air if you want a lightweight laptop that features the Mac operating system. The asking price of ~$900 may be off-putting, but if you love the Apple ecosystem, this is the laptop for you.See on Amazon

4. HP Spectre ×360

While the exterior casing might be the first thing you notice about the HP Spectre, the insides are amazing as well. HP’s 2-in-1 flagship laptop got a major (and really needed) refresh this year offering superior power and capabilities to make it one of the best writing laptops out there.

First and foremost, the keyboard is extremely comfortable. It will let you write for hours without fatigue. Second, the Intel 10th generation processor will make sure you have plenty of computing power to handle any writing or content creation application.

The battery life did declined slightly this year, but the laptop should still last over 12 hours.See on Amazon

5. Asus Chromebook Flip

While it may not pack the same power as the other laptops on this list, the 2-in-1 ASUS Chromebook doesn’t need to since it makes up for it in portability. It has a 12.5-inch screen touchscreen that converts to a writing tablet,  4GB of RAM, and an Intel M5 processor.

It only has 64GB of flash storage which is plenty since you can store everything else in the cloud. The tablet runs on Chrome OS so like the Pixelbook you will need to be ok with using Google Docs.

The battery lasts for up to 10 hours which should give you plenty of time to write off-grid.See on Amazon

6. MacBook Pro

macbook pro - best laptops for writing

While the older models of the MacBook Pro were bulkier, the new MacBook feel slimmer and is much more powerful than the previous model. The return of the magic keyboard, which has been completely redone and returns to the old butterfly-style keys, makes writing one MacBook once again an enjoyable experience.

The MacBook Pro 13.3-Inch Retina Display, 8GB RAM, a 256GB SSD, and up to 12 hours of battery life. It is also one of the lightest laptops on this list. It has a backlit keyboard for writing in low light and a spacious palm rest.

We recommend the MacBook Pro if you prefer the Mac OSX operating system environment or prefer a really great screen resolution. The asking price may be off-putting, but if you love the Apple ecosystem, this is the laptop for you.See on Amazon

7. Microsoft Surface Laptop 2

The Microsoft Surface Laptop 2 laptop is a consistent favorite amongst our readers. It’s stylish, lightweight, and features an amazing keyboard.

This laptop features a 13.5-inch touchscreen, an Intel i5 processor, 8GB of DDR4 RAM, and a 128GB solid-state hard drive. It also only weighs 2.8 lbs so it won’t weigh down your backpack. Add to that 14.5 hours of battery life and you have a great laptop for writing.See on Amazon

8. ASUS ZenBook

ASUS ZenBook - A great laptop for writers

One of the higher-priced laptops on this list, the ASUS Zenbook laptop that comes in two models: a regular laptop and a 2-in-1 (the Zenbook Flip).

This laptop version features a 13.3-inch multi-touch (yes, you can tap it!) screen, an Intel i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 512GB SSD. It even has a backlit keyboard and it is the lightest laptop on this list. Obviously, the main differentiator between this laptop and the others on this list is the touchscreen. This is a huge benefit for writers who want to archive their work immediately in real-time on their laptops.

If you’re looking for a laptop on which you can handwrite notes, this is the laptop for you!See on Amazon

9. Dell Inspiron – Best Budget Laptop for Writers

Dell Inspiron - best laptops for writers

Another great laptop, the Dell Inspiron has everything you’d expect from a great laptop for writers at a reasonable price. This is a great laptop for writers on a budget.

An i5 Intel processor, 8GB RAM, 14 inch display, a 128GB SSD and a 1TB HDD, and Windows 10 operating system. This touchscreen is cheaper than the Asus ZenBook which makes it a great buy if you are looking for a touchscreen. The wide palm area is ideal for writers.See on Amazon

10. Microsoft Surface Pro 7

Microsoft Surface Pro 7 - laptops for writers

Microsoft really knocked it out of the park when the developed the Surface Pro 7. It is a beautiful laptop that is perfect for writers who love touchscreens. While a lot pricier than most of the laptops on this list, it definitely makes up for it with value. We do only recommend this laptop for serious writers though due to the price.

Being a Microsoft laptop, the Surface Book comes preinstalled with Windows 10. The base model comes with a 12.3-inch touchscreen, an Intel i5 processor, 128 GB of solid-state storage, 8GB RAM, and up to 10.5 hours of battery life. The keyboard disconnects from the screen, allowing you to use it as a tablet as well.

The best part about this laptop is the screen. The included pen works seamlessly with the laptop, making this is the best touchscreen we have on this list. If you enjoy writing on laptops or tablets, this is the laptop for you.See on Amazon

FAQs

How much should I spend on a laptop?

While your budget is a personal decision, you can generally buy a great laptop for less than $1,000. This list even has some amazing options for less than $500. Unless you’re paying for the brand (MacBooks are more expensive because of the Apple brand), the more you pay, the better specs you get in terms of processing power, memory, battery life, etc.

What are the minimum specs I should get?

We recommend getting at least a 256 GB hard drive, 4 GB of RAM, an i5 processor or higher, and battery life of at least 4 hours.

Should I get Windows or Mac?

The decision to get a laptop with Windows or Mac is really a personal decision. If you are used to using a Mac, then get a Mac. Otherwise, Window PCs tend to be cheaper and have more software compatibility.

Conclusion

The above laptops are our favorite recommendations for writers. Laptops make great gifts for writers and great gifts for teachers, so be sure to add a new laptop to your holiday shopping list.

They will hopefully increase your productivity and comfort while you are writing. A comfortable keyboard combined with an extra-long battery life will do wonders for a writer’s content creation. However, don’t forget to get laptop accessories to make the laptop even more effective.

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