Laptops

7 Best Laptops For Writers: Reviewed, Rated & Compared

We live in an increasingly computer-driven world, where companies compete to create the best graphics, wireless technology, sensors, and convenience features. If you just want to write documents and have a few basic features, you might feel left in the dust.

However, with so many options available, at a range of prices, it is more possible than ever to get the perfect writing laptop for both business and personal projects.

Image

Product Name

Operating System

Screen Size

USB Ports

Battery Life

Warranty

Check Price

Microsoft Surface Laptop (1st Gen) EUP-00001...

Microsoft 10 S (optional upgrade to Pro)

13.5 Inches

1

14.5 Hours

1 year

(hardware)

Apple 13' MacBook Air Core i5 CPU, 8GB RAM...

macOS (can be updated to most recent)

13 Inches

2

12 Hours

1 year

(hardware)

Acer Chromebook R 11 Convertible, 11.6-Inch...

Chrome OS

11.6 Inches

2

10 Hours

1 year (parts, labor; hardware support)

ASUS Chromebook Flip C302 2-In-1 Laptop-...

Chrome OS

12.5 Inches

2

10 Hours

1 year (shipping, repair, parts)

2020 HP Pavilion x360 15.6' Touchscreen...

Windows 10 Home

15.6 Inches

3

Not given

1 year

(hardware)

Microsoft Surface Pro 7 – 12.3'...

Windows 10 Home

12.3 Inches

2

10.5 Hours (maximum, but usually less)

1 year

(hardware)

Lenovo Ideapad 330 15.6' Anti Glared HD...

Windows 10 Home

15.6 Inches

3

5.5 Hours

Warranty length reported with purchase


Do I Need A Specific Laptop For Writing?

For the most part, a high-quality laptop will have useful writing features. However, such a laptop might still be either lacking or excessive for you: If you do extensive photo -, audio -, or video-editing as part of your writing project, you need to have enough storage, RAM, and graphics processing.

If serious gaming is part of your creative process, you need a powerful gaming laptop. On the other hand, these features might add expense—and maybe just get in your way—if you just want to type documents, Internet browse, and send/receive emails.


Choosing the Right Laptop for Writing

Laptop Specs

Processor:

Most processors are Intel multi-core—usually dual- or quad-core. Most new processors are i7, but there are great laptops for writing with i5, even i3 processors.


The M family of Intel Core processors are made to give rapid processing with less heat and voltage—ideal for super-thin laptops. Intel Celeron is a line of inexpensive, low-performance processors—ideal for writing-only budget laptops.

Storage:

All laptops have some SSD (solid-state drive)/HDD (hard disk drive) storage. Generally, more storage is good to have. However, high-storage-spec laptops usually cost more, and if you use cloud storage options, you might need less memory.

  • Chromebook:
    Chromebooks rely considerably on Google apps, including Google Cloud; they have relatively little storage. Some users get frustrated by the Google-dependence—but Google is fixing this with better offline features and adjustments that make Android, Linux, and Microsoft apps easier to use on Chromebooks.
  • Inexpensive storage:
    eMMC (embedded Multimedia Card) is the most common inexpensive SSD.
  • Fast storage:
    PCIe SSD (Peripheral Component Interconnect Express), often operating with NVMe (Non-Volatile Memory express) device interface, creates super-fast storage.
  • Other:
    Occasionally, you will see other labels like M.2, an integrated circuit standard that allows small SSDs, and SATA (Serial Advanced Technology Attachment), an HDD interface. A few laptops have processors by AMD, a rising competitor with Intel; it is unclear which is better at this point.
Memory/RAM:

Generally, the more GBs of RAM, the faster programs will run. RAM becomes more critical for those who run big programs and multitask (run many programs at once).

  • SDRAM:
    You can still find good laptops for writers with the now-older SDRAM (Synchronous Dynamic Random Access Memory).
  • DDR SDRAM:
    More common now are DDR types (Double Data Rate)—usually DDR2, DDR3, or DDR4. These require progressively less voltage, can be made smaller, and generate less heat.
  • LPDDR:
    Some laptops even have LPDDR (Low-Power DDR), which can be made even smaller, uses even less voltage, and produces less heat.
Screen Size/Display Panel:
  • Physical display size:
    Screen size is reported by a measure of the screen’s diagonal length. Smaller screens usually mean smaller, more maneuverable, and portable devices. However, small screens can get annoying to some, especially when video-watching or during long periods of work.
  • Bezel thickness:
    The bezel is the frame holding the display. Usually, a thinner bezel indicates a newer device. (Screen-to-body ratio, reported as a percentage, is sometimes used to show how much of the screen area is occupied by the display; it is considered a measure of the immersive experience the display provides.) Some users argue that a thick bezel is better, however, because it gives you something to hold onto as you maneuver a touchscreen.
  • Logical display size:
    Graphics are important to writers, as they need to be able to easily read what they are writing or researching. The general rule of thumb: Bigger numbers do not necessarily indicate a more precise image. Resolution is reported as the number of pixels along the length of a screen multiplied by the width pixel number. How this shows up depends on the physical size and aspect ratio (ratio of width to length—often 16:9 on laptops) of the screen.

Great Keyboard Typing Experience:

Almost every laptop released in the past few years has a chiclet/island-style keyboard—individual smooth rectangular keys embedded in a flat surface. Chiclet keys generally move no more than 1.5mm when pressed (low key travel), which promotes quick typing.

Most have backlighting—lights under the keys that come on during use and facilitate work in low-light environments.

Long Battery Life:

Most companies report highly optimistic battery runtimes. In the fine print, however, most also indicate that the battery life depends considerably on what the laptop is doing and the age of the battery. If you are just typing documents, expect at least an 8-hour runtime with a new battery; watching videos might cut it down to 4 hours.

Weight & Portability:

Newer laptops are more portable than ever—many no more than ½-inch thick, 12-inches long, and 2 lbs. in weight. Also, there are many 2-in-1 options—laptops that nearly double as tablets.

You could carry them almost anywhere, especially if you have a laptop sleeve to protect them. However, there are still some excellent traditional laptops—closer to 4 lbs. and 14 inches in length—that are great for office/desk writing.

Connectivity Quality:

The latest Wi-Fi standard is 802.11ax, or Wi-Fi 6. The latest Bluetooth standard is Bluetooth 5.0. However, most devices out in the world, and most on this list, are not compatible with these. Most here are suitable for Bluetooth 4.0 and Wi-Fi 802.11ac (Wi-Fi 5) or 802.11 a/b/g/n standards.

Extra Features:

Consider available specs of any laptop that interests you. Common areas of customization include CPU and graphics processors, storage, RAM, touchscreen, keyboard backlighting, and finish color.

Display, sound, and keyboard features:

Many newer laptops have dual-array and far-field mics that pick up and isolate sounds at greater distances. Many have light sensors, gyroscopes, accelerometers, and magnetometers to make the laptop screen seamlessly responsive to different positions, ambient lightings, and touches.

They also have anti-glare and wide-angle technology to allow a user to see the screen comfortably at any angle and in almost any light.

Connections/Ports:

With the increasing prevalence of wireless and cloud technologies, laptops are being made with fewer connections/ports. However, almost all have a 3.5-mm headset (headphone-and-microphone combination) jack; some combination of USB ports, often including a USB 3.1 Type-C; an HDMI or DisplayPort; and an SD card reader.

Some laptops still have Ethernet ports, and a few come with DVD drives, too. A few have Thunderbolt ports—a recently developed, high-versatility connection.

Screen features:

Most touchscreens are multi-touch, usually meaning the screen can respond to 10 different touches or strokes at once. Most touchscreens can be used for writing/drawing with a stylus to some extent; however, capacitive screens paired with capacitive pens are the most precise.

Furthermore, displays with palm recognition facilitate natural hand motions of drawing and writing.

Software and built-in programs:

Most laptops come with a blend of security and functionality apps (or grace periods, after which you must buy or subscribe) that work with the operating system.

Price & Warranty:

Laptops are becoming ever better values for cost. However, if you can do without the newest features, you can get excellent older models at a reduced price.

Almost all laptops have at least a 1-year limited warranty on hardware, and guaranteed tech support to help you get started. A few companies offer further guarantees on software, superficial repairs, and shipping.


7 Best Laptops for Writing Reviewed

1. Microsoft Surface Laptop

Microsoft Surface Laptop (1st Gen) EUP-00001...
  • Microsoft Surface Laptop features a 7th...
  • Backed by the best of Microsoft, including...
  • Sleek, elegant design; ultra-thin and light...
  • Luxurious Alcantara fabric-covered keyboard....

Our Top Pick

Operating System

Microsoft 10 S (optional upgrade to Pro)

Screen Size

13.5 Inches

USB Ports

1

Battery Life

14.5 Hours

Warranty

1 year (hardware)

The Microsoft Surface Laptop is the overall best laptop for writing—so much that it might even convert some Apple devotees. Moreover, it is highly customizable: Depending on the processor (i5 or i7), it can have 128GB to 1TB of SSD memory and 4GB to 16GB RAM (DDR4). As a graphics coprocessor, it has either Intel HD 620 or Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640.

For writers dealing with multimedia files—or those who want to run memory-intensive recreational software (videos, games)—this is the perfect laptop. The i7 dual-core processor gives a whopping 4GHz, making it one of the fastest CPUs on this list.

While the screen is not the largest, it does have a relatively thin bezel, a touch screen, and a 2256 x 1504 PixelSense display with a 3:2 aspect ratio and an ambient light sensor for visibility.

Not surprisingly, it also unusually great sound features: Omnidirectional Dolby® Audio speakers and a pair of noise-canceling microphones make video calls easy and immersive.

The Surface comes equipped for Windows Hello and a host of Microsoft apps, including OneDrive cloud storage. Its Wi-Fi is 802.11ac a/b/g/n Bluetooth 4.0 LE- compatible.

In ports/connections, it has a USB 3.0, Mini DisplayPort, and 3.5mm headset jack. Unfortunately, many people find this limited selection of ports to be a drawback. However, you can purchase the Microsoft Surface Dock, which adds an Ethernet port, 4 USB 3.0 ports, 2 Mini DisplayPorts, 1 audio-out port, and a magnetic Surface Connect Cable.

You can also purchase a Microsoft Surface Pen separately to write or draw on the touchscreen. Note, however, that the Surface is a laptop form factor—it does not give the tablet experience. That said, it still highly portable, and its backlit keyboard and Alcantara fabric-lined typing area is luxurious for long typing sessions.

Most users agree that the advertised 14.5-hour battery life is unrealistic, but the actual runtime of about 10 hours is still longer than that of competing laptops.

Best Buy reviewer said, “Typing experience is wonderful on this and the keys feel perfect.”

Good
  • Long battery life
  • Excellent sound system
  • Fast processing
  • Very comfortable typing
  • Clear and vibrant display
Bad
  • Relatively expensive
  • Relatively few ports/connections

2. Apple MacBook Air

Apple 13" MacBook Air Core i5 CPU, 8GB RAM...
  • 1.8 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 Processor
  • Intel HD Graphics 6000
  • Fast SSD Storage
  • 8GB memory

Best Apple laptop for writers

Operating System

macOS (can be updated to most recent)

Screen Size

13 Inches

USB Ports

2

Battery Life

12 Hours

Warranty

1 year (hardware)

The MacBook Air has a reputation as the best Apple laptop for writers, and it lives up to it. It is also excellent for audio, visual, and multimedia work, and it has features that lend it to various forms of communication (video chatting) and entertainment (videos, music, podcasts, etc.).

While this is basically true for almost all MacBook Air models, the features depend considerably on the age and specs of the MacBook Air you purchase.

Older models have a combination of Thunderbolt 2, SDXC card reader, and USB-3 ports. In contrast, the newest has two Thunderbolt 3s—this gives unprecedented data transfer speed and flexible use between transfer, charging, and video output (up to 6K display). Thunderbolt 3 is reversible and can be hooked by an adapter to almost any older device.

An inexpensive MacBook Air with as little as 8 GB RAM and 128 GB SSD storage and an older (i5) processor will still give more than enough processing speed for the writer who just wants to get work done and have basic communication and entertainment.

However, the new MacBook Air can come with a quad-core i7 processor serving up to 2TB of SSD storage. Many features, such as more convenient security features, backlit keys, touchscreen—as well as improved keyboard and trackpad feel—come with newer, pricier models.

Furthermore, new MacBook Airs have a GPU that is as much as 80% faster and the Retina Display (formerly a MacBook Pro feature), which gives a considerable boost in color variety. Newer models have a 3-piece microphone array and more powerful sound system. If you choose the top specs, the MacBook Air is perfect for the writer who wants/needs it all.

Best Buy reviewer says, “I was skeptical at first because I was so used to a MacBook Pro and iMac desktop I wasn’t sure how I would like something so small. I love it!”

Good
  • Thunderbolt connections
  • Excellent display
  • Mac applications
  • Long battery life
  • Great video chat features
Bad
  • Expensive

3. Acer Chromebook R 11 Convertible

Acer Chromebook R 11 Convertible, 11.6-Inch...
  • Chromebook runs on Chrome OS - an operating...
  • All the Google apps you know and love come...
  • With the Google Play Store, you can access a...
  • Chromebooks come with built-in storage for...

Best laptop for writers on a budget

Operating System

Chrome OS

Screen Size

11.6 Inches

USB Ports

2

Battery Life

10 Hours

Warranty

1 year (parts and labor; hardware support)

The Acer Chromebook R 11 Convertible laptop is one of the best laptops for writers on a budget. Despite its low price, it has all of the connections the average user needs: HDMI port, SD card slot, and USB-3 and USB-2 ports (1 of each).

The R 11 Convertible lives up to its name—it can fold 360⁰ to function as a notebook, display, tent, or tablet. It has a 10-point touchscreen (responds to 10 different touches simultaneously); Zero Air Gap technology cuts down on light reflection from the screen (anti-glare); IPS (in-plane switching) makes the display effective at all angles.

The R 11 allows you to type, read, and watch in almost any position, making it one of the best 2-in-1 laptops for writing.

Users are pleasantly surprised that the R 11 can also operate at 1080p (usual standard for Internet videos)—and keep playing seamlessly even as you convert it to a different position.

Its pair of studio speakers under-performs in the opinion of some users, but good Bluetooth earbuds remedy this to some extent. (This laptop is compatible with prevalent Bluetooth technology.)

With its 1.6-GHz Intel Celeron N3150 quad-core processor, 4 GB of DDR3L RAM, and 32 GB eMMC storage, this laptop could sound like a slow, low-power device. However, most users are surprised at its speed.

Also, because it is made to use with Google applications, most of which are online, most people do not need as much solid storage. If you need more storage, you can use an SD card of almost any size.

Best Buy reviewer says, “I have regularly used this Chromebook for up to 10 hours per charge of web surfing and things….I'm very impressed with its performance so far.”

Good
  • Good selection of connections
  • Very inexpensive
  • Notebook, tent, display, and tablet positions
  • Performs fast
  • Long battery life
Bad
  • Thick bezel
  • Some restriction of apps

4. Asus Chromebook Flip

ASUS Chromebook Flip C302 2-In-1 Laptop-...
  • The flexible 360 Degree hinge and 12.5" full...
  • Intel Core Processor with 64GB storage and...
  • Extremely lightweight at 2.65 pounds with the...
  • Chromebooks come with built-in storage for...

Best laptop for writing with stylus

Operating System

Chrome OS

Screen Size

12.5 Inches

USB Ports

2

Battery Life

10 Hours

Warranty

1 year (shipping, repair, parts)

The best laptop for writing with a stylus is the Asus Chromebook Flip; use it with a passive (capacitive) stylus. Like the Acer R 11 Convertible reviewed above, the Flip has a 10-point touchscreen with IPS and ambient light sensing, and a 360⁰ hinge design that allows it to be positioned as a notebook, display, tent or tablet.

However, the Flip has a larger screen and thinner body, making it a little better suited to on-screen drawing and writing. Newer Flips even have palm rejection for easier writing and drawing with a stylus. If you anticipate heavy touchscreen use, consider a screen protector to prevent wear and damage.

The Flip has up-to-date connections/ports: 2 USB-C 3.1 ports; a microSD card reader that supports SDHC and SDXC (secure digital high and extra-high capacities); and a 3.5mm headset jack.

Furthermore, newer Flips have a combined USB C-DisplayPort-DC input port that accommodates a reversible connection, much like the Mac Air’s, mentioned above. The eDP (embedded DisplayPort) can output to a 4K monitor.

(Alternatively, if you need HDMI functionality, you can use a USB-C to HDMI adapter.)This is one of the best laptops for professional writers who are on-the-go.

The Flip has a 1.1 GHz, dual-core, M3, M5, or M7 Intel processor and Intel HD Graphics coprocessor. It has 4 GB or 8GB LPDDR3 RAM and 64 GB eMMC flash storage. (As a Chromebook, it does not need as much hard drive space.)

Most users are impressed by the processor speed, long battery life, backlit keyboard, and the 1920 x 1080 resolution screen—even comparing this laptop to the MacBook Pro. It is Wi-Fi 802.11 ac, Bluetooth-4.0 compatible.

happy customer says, “…Everything works well, and my apps run perfectly. Also, the unit is very light, the screen is bright and just the right size for me.”

Good
  • USB-C 3.1 ports
  • Extra-thin build
  • Notebook, tent, display, and tablet positions
  • Backlit keyboard
  • Long battery life
Bad
  • Thick bezel
  • Some restriction of apps

5. HP 15.6’’

2020 HP Pavilion x360 15.6" Touchscreen...
  • Powered by latest 10th Gen Intel Core...
  • 15.6" diagonal HD SVA micro-edge...
  • 8GB 2666MHz DDR4 Memory for full-power...
  • Realtek 802.11 b/g/n/ac (2x2) and Bluetooth 5...

Top Rated – Value for Money

Operating System

Windows 10 Home

Screen Size

15.6 Inches

USB Ports

3

Battery Life

Not given

Warranty

1 year (hardware)

The HP 15.6’’ Touchscreen Laptop Computer is top-rated when it comes to value for money. The HP 15.6’’ has a rare feature among newer laptops—an optical (DVD-RW) drive. It also has USB-3.1 A- and C-type ports, HDMI port, SD card reader, and a headset jack. It also has a numerical keyboard. Keyboard backlighting is an optional feature.

This laptop has one of the most immersive displays on this list: it has an unusually thin (“micro-edge”) bezel, effectively giving it an 81% screen-to-body ratio. The 10-point touchscreen has a 1366 x 768 resolution that comes through even at wide angles. Graphics are powered by either Intel UHD or Iris Plus.

This laptop is at the top in terms of memory and RAM: You can get as much as 2 TB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD storage and 32 GB DDR4 RAM—or as little as 512 GB SSD and 8 GB RAM. The processor is an i5 1.00 GHz 10th Generation Intel quad-core. In addition, it is equipped with an HP TrueVision Camera with dual speakers and dual-array microphone.

Plus, depending on specs, it can accommodate even the latest Wi-Fi standards. This is one of the best laptops for the writer who is an extensive researcher, photographer, videographer, gamer, or otherwise needs plenty of speed and storage.

Most users agree that the HP 15.6’’ has a fast processor, and, while it looks suspect that HP fails to report a battery life, users generally are satisfied—but a few note that the battery life shortens noticeably if you are watching videos or gaming.

One satisfied reviewer says, “I love the feel of the keyboard and the size of the screen. This computer had everything that I needed for work and home.”

Good
  • Large display
  • Optical drive
  • USB 3.1 A and C ports
  • Great selection of ports/connections
  • Numerical keyboard
Bad
  • Relatively expensive
  • Relatively large

6. Microsoft Surface Pro 7

On Sale Today
Microsoft Surface Pro 7 – 12.3"...
  • Next-gen, best-in-class laptop with the...
  • Faster than Surface Pro 6, with a 10th Gen...
  • More ways to connect, with both USB-C and...
  • Standout design that won’t weigh you down...

Best mini laptop for writers

Operating System

Windows 10 Home

Screen Size

12.3 Inches

USB Ports

2

Battery Life

10.5 Hours (maximum, but usually less)

Warranty

1 year (hardware)

The Microsoft Surface Pro 7 is the best mini laptop for writers: It gives all of the functionality of a laptop in a tablet-size device.

It has an adjustable kickstand to keep it steady at the angle of your choice, but one caveat is that, for a keyboard, you have to purchase the Microsoft Surface Pro Signature Type Cover separately. You can also purchase separately the highly portable, wireless Surface Arc Mouse.

Despite its relatively small size, the touchscreen is excellent: with a resolution 2736 x 1824 and 3:2 aspect ratio, the PixelSense display is powered by Intel Iris Plus Graphics. The sound system keeps pace: Dolby speakers and a pair of far-field microphones.

Also, light, motion, and position sensors streamline the audiovisual experience. The Surface Pro 7 is compatible with the latest Wi-Fi and Bluetooth standards. This is one of the best laptops for writers who also want to read, watch videos, or video-chat extensively.

The Surface Pro 7 is powered by a 10th Generation Intel quad-core processor—you can get an i5 or i7: It can have as little as 4 GB DDR2 RAM and 128 GB SSD storage or as much as 16 GB RAM and 1 TB SSD. It has a USB-A and USB-C port, a micro-SDXC card reader, and a headset jack. This is one of the best laptops for writing projects that involve photo- or video-editing.

Some users express frustration that it does not have USB 3.1 or Thunderbolt 3 ports. Another common complaint is shorter battery life than its peers, especially for gaming or video-watching. These deficits somewhat undermine its otherwise stellar portability and versatility; however, a portable charger/power bank will keep it going longer.

An Adorama reviewer said, “Versatile and portable! I also have an iPad Pro 12.9 and have to say, didn’t realize how much I was lacking when it comes to laptop abilities!”

Good
  • Works for serious gaming
  • Excellent sound system
  • Excellent high-resolution display
  • Great for photo and video editing
  • Full laptop and tablet functionality
Bad
  • Must purchase type cover separately
  • Relatively short battery life

7. Lenovo IdeaPad 330

On Sale Today
Lenovo Ideapad 330 15.6" Anti Glared HD...
  • Memory: 8GB DDR4 RAM , Storage: 256GB SSD...
  • 7th Generation AMD A9-9425 Processor...
  • 15. 6 Inch HD (1366x768) NON-Touch anti-glare...
  • it comes with a Coral Red chassis, Intel...

Best laptop notebook for writers

Operating System

Windows 10 Home

Screen Size

15.6 Inches

USB Ports

3

Battery Life

5.5 Hours

Warranty

Warranty length reported with purchase

Available in a range of specs and at a great price, the Lenovo IdeaPad 330 is the best laptop notebook for writers. It comes with Lenovo apps, settings, and drivers pre-installed.

The 7th Generation 3.1-GHz dual-core processor is accompanied by either Nvidia DeForce GTX 1050 or Intel UHD 620 graphics coprocessor. The IdeaPad 330 has up to 8 GB DDR4 RAM and up to 1 TB SATA hard drive storage.

A unique plus is the DVD-RW drive. It also has standard laptop connections, including two USB 3.0 ports, a USB 3.1 port, an HDMI port, an SD card reader (works for SD, SDHC, SDXC, and MMC), headset jack, and an Ethernet port. It is compatible with Bluetooth 4.1 and Wi-Fi 802.11ac.

The 1366 x 768-resolution screen can be regular or multi-touch, depending on specs. The keyboard has a numerical section, like a desktop keyboard. There is no backlit keyboard option, but most users do not mind.

Due to the screen size, traditional laptop form, and relatively low RAM—the IdeaPad 330 is an excellent laptop for typing documents. Users generally find it easy to type quickly and for long periods on the IdeaPad 330, but most find that it is not fast enough for serious gaming, video editing, etc.  

The biggest drawback of the IdeaPad 330 is its relative lack of portability: It is rather heavy at nearly 5 lbs. and its battery life is shorter than any other on this review list.

Note that Lenovo does not make this model anymore, but directs those looking for a similar laptop to its S340 or L340 models—improvements include more USB 3.1 ports and a thinner bezel. (You can still purchase this model from Amazon.)

Best Buy reviewer says, "The screen size and resolution is exceptional. It handles my personal and work needs with ease. It is extremely user friendly and a breeze to set up.”

Good
  • Great value for cost
  • Optical drive
  • USB-C 3.1 port
  • Excellent screen and graphics features
  • Numerical keyboard section
Bad
  • Short battery life
  • Relatively heavy

Keyboards Types Explained

There is no perfect answer to the question of what is the best laptop keyboard for writers. Most writers are satisfied with the standard laptop chiclet keyboard. If you have a tablet or 2-in-1 device with no keyboard, you can get an auxiliary chiclet keyboard—with or without numerical section.

However, some writers might prefer the clicking sound and added pressure feedback from mechanical keys (as you traditionally find on desktops)—if this is you, consider a wireless or USB-connected mechanical keyboard.

If you are prone to such conditions as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome or suffer hand or wrist injury, but you want to keep writing—consider an ergonomic keyboard. They are a bit funny looking, but a split keyboard and a specially curved or padded keyboard might be a serious help.

If you love to write outside or on-the-run, in less than hospitable environments—consider a flexible keyboard: These silicone keyboards fold up like rugs and can be wiped off like a countertop. You can connect flexible keyboards by either Bluetooth/wireless or USB.


Essential Applications & Systems for Writers

Almost all writers need a word processor, usually Microsoft Word, or Pages on Mac laptops. On Chromebooks, Google Docs provides word-processing, with many of the same basic features as Word and Pages. Thankfully, developers are improving compatibility between these different word processors, for those who need to switch from one to the other.

The above word processors are foundational components of each system’s suite of apps—Microsoft Office, iWork, and Google Drive. Also, the word processor of LibreOffice, a free and open-source suite of apps that works on Windows, Mac, and Linux, has arisen as a satisfying competitor for some users.

Writers who need cloud storage, data organization, presentation, note-taking, collaboration, or publishing/layout software usually will find this included in software with their operating system’s associated applications or subscriptions.

However, it is worth making sure you are getting the version of, for example, Microsoft Office 365 (Student, Personal, Home, or Business), for you.


All Writers Are Not Created Equal

There is no universal best laptop for writers, mostly because there are so many different kinds of writing. However, some primary considerations are crucial to choosing the best writing laptop for your projects.

If you are writing a book, dissertation, or thesis, you will probably be writing for long stretches, possibly some of it under stress. This might be a time to pay attention to ergonomics; the best laptop for writing a dissertation is the one that makes work feel easier.

For budding screenwriters: While there seem to be an abundance of free writing apps for laptop in this area, a suitable format in your word processor (e.g., the "Write a screenplay" template in Microsoft Word) is probably adequate.

The best laptop for scriptwriting is one that is altogether comfortable enough to sustain your creative flow. Be realistic about any relaxing or inspirational break-time activities you might want to do on the laptop, too.

Good web connection is crucial to blogging and other web publishing activities: Be sure your new laptop is compatible with your Wi-Fi and consider updating your Wi-Fi system, if possible.

For students and researchers who need to take copious diagram notes, 2-in-1 devices are best, as they allow a more natural drawing experience. This form factor is also great for digital artists.


Cleaning, Maintenance & Troubleshooting

Periodically dust off your laptop; even carefully turn it upside down to let particles fall out of the keyboard or use a small vacuum cleaner. Also, wipe with isopropyl alcohol, or just a little bit of water, using a soft cloth (microfiber, if possible).

Use proper shutdown procedure: many people just press the power button, but this is not only a hazard to saved work; over time, it can mess up the software system.

To avoid bogging down your system, use a cleaning software (like BleachBit or JetClean) or at least empty the Recycle Bin and remove files you saved but no longer need.


People Also Ask (FAQs)

Are Chromebooks good for writing?

Yes. While you can pay to get Microsoft Word for a Chromebook, this somewhat defeats the purpose. The system is really made to use with Google's online/cloud-based apps. Chromebooks make excellent cheap laptops for writers.

How much RAM do I need for writing?

Document writing alone does not demand much RAM, so good laptops for writers might have as little as 4 GB. If you do any multimedia work, you will want at least 8 GB, however. 

Are gaming laptops good for writing?

Most gaming laptops have specs that exceed basic writing needs. So, yes: a gaming laptop usually will be great for a variety of writing projects, but it might be more expensive.

What measures can one take to protect their health when writing for long periods?

Aside from getting an ergonomic keyboard for your arms and hands, also look into blue light glasses to protect your eyes, especially if you are staring at your screen for hours at a time.

What are the main differences between cheap vs. expensive models on our list?

In some cases, it is a question of how new the laptop is; other times, getting lower specs reduces price. On average, cheaper laptops are less likely to have the latest port/connection types (USB 3.1 or Thunderbolt), backlit keyboards, or touchscreen/stylus use.

Still, they might have a larger number of total inputs, potentially including an optical (CD) drive. Older/cheaper laptops also tend to be larger in weight and dimensions. (A cheaper model is probably better as a laptop for writing only.)

Which is better to use for writing, desktop, laptop or tablet?

There is no universal answer: If portability is the priority, then a tablet or 2-in-1 is fine for writing. (That said, you probably will need to get an auxiliary keyboard or kickstand to type with a tablet.) Desktops are the most stable, powerful, and comfortable for office work.

However, the laptop is a great middle road between versatility and stability—if in doubt, a safe bet. Plus, you can customize your setup with small, portable peripheral devices, such as a digital writing pad for laptop.


Conclusion

The #1 laptop on this review list, the Microsoft Surface, has the power and versatility to be the best laptop for writers overall. The #2 laptop on this review list takes a similar role as the best Mac laptop for writers.

However, needs and wants vary with person and project. So, peruse the laptop (and peripherals) options out there before buying your next laptop for writing.