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Best laptop for writers in 2021: the 10 best laptops for authors and journalists

Best laptop for writers
We put together a list of the best laptops for writers
PRICE
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID

Not every notebook can be the best laptop for writers. Much like photographers, 3D designers and video editors, writers have specific needs when it comes to their main writing tool, even if it seems to outsiders that all they need are Microsoft Word and a working keyboard.

If you’re spending hours typing, for example, having a functional keyboard just isn’t enough. You’ll need one that’s extremely reliable and accurate, comfortable to use, and has a satisfying bounce and tactile feedback. In fact, you’ll need one of the best keyboards on a laptop, if you hope to type on it for eight hours straight without fatiguing. You’ll also need one with an excellent display, one that lets you see things when you’re outdoors and isn’t eye-straining even when you’re indoors. And ideally, the best laptops for writers are sleek and compact, because you never know when or where inspiration will strike.

With these considerations in mind, we found all the best laptops for writers currently on offer. So you’ll spend less time scouring the computing market yourself, and more time writing.

Best laptops for writers at a glance

Google Pixelbook Go

(Image credit: Google)

1. Google Pixelbook Go

The best laptop for writers overall

Specifications
CPU: Intel Core m3 - Intel Core i7
Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 615
RAM: 8GB - 16GB
Screen: 13.3-inch Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) or 4K LCD touchscreen
Storage: 128GB - 256GB eMMC
Reasons to buy
+Incredible battery life+Amazing ‘Hush’ keyboard
Reasons to avoid
-Iffy pricing at mid- to- high-end-No biometric login

Google Pixelbook Go may not be the most powerful Google Chromebook – that title belongs to Google Pixelbook – but it's the best Chromebook ever in our view. It’s also still plenty powerful without the premium price. It also has a few things going for it beyond the specs. Its battery life, for instance, a little over 11 hours so you can write for ten hours and still have enough juice left for unwinding with a good Netflix show. It also boasts an incredible keyboard, perfect for long hours of typing, and that rare 1080p webcam so you come out sharp as tack when video conferencing with clients. There’s a couple of useful features that Microsoft may have sacrificed for the price, but overall, this is an excellent laptop for writers.

Read the full review: Google Pixelbook Go

HP Spectre x360 (2020)

(Image credit: HP)

2. HP Spectre x360 (2020)

HP’s flagship 2-in-1 gets a 2020 refresh

Specifications
CPU: 10th-generation Intel Core i5 – i7
Graphics: Intel Iris Plus Graphics
:
Screen: 13.3" FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS BrightView micro-edge WLED-backlit multitouch – 13.3" diagonal 4K (3840 x 2160) UWVA BrightView micro-edge AMOLED multitouch
Storage: 256GB – 2TB SSD
Reasons to buy
+Stylish and high-quality finish+Great all-around performance+Built-in security features are useful
Reasons to avoid
-Battery life takes a hit-Can run hot at times

With its stunning, gem-cut chassis that truly separates it from the best laptops out there, the HP Spectre x360 (2020) is without a doubt one of the most stunning laptops today. But, it’s more than just looks. This is one of the top contenders out there, if you’re looking to switch over to Windows, thanks to the powerful internals that make it great for multitasking. That 2-in-1 design and touchscreen display also make this laptop primed for any entertainment needs post- or in between writing sessions. Last but not least, that excellent keyboard will let you type up those articles or your great American novel for hours without fatiguing. It helps too that it’s got many of the ports you’ll need to connect your other devices.

Read the full review: HP Spectre x360 (2020)  

Asus Chromebook Flip

(Image credit: Asus)

3. Asus Chromebook Flip

Premium Chromebook specs, economic Chromebook pricing

Specifications
CPU: Intel Pentium 4405Y – Intel Core m3-6Y30
Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 515
:
Screen: 12.5-inch, FHD (1,920 x 1,080) LED backlit anti-glare
Storage: 32GB – 64GB eMMC
Reasons to buy
+Elegant tablet mode+Tactile keyboard
Reasons to avoid
-No out-of-box Android app support-Middling speakers

Before Google rolled out the Pixelbook, and showed us exactly what the best Chromebooks should be, the Asus Chromebook Flip was the Google laptop a lot of Google laptops aspired to be. With a full Intel Core processor and a full-HD display, the Asus Chromebook Flip was certainly a game-changer. These days, in the shadow of Google Pixelbook, the Asus Chromebook Flip is the best Chromebook for you if you want the Pixelbook’s key features, but cannot afford its steep price. If you're on a budget, this is one of the best Asus laptops to consider.

Read the full review: Asus Chromebook Flip  

Dell XPS 15

(Image credit: Dell)

4. Dell XPS 15 (2020)

A brilliant powerful 15-inch laptop

Specifications
CPU: 10th-generation Intel Core i5 – i7
Graphics: Intel Iris Plus Graphics - Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Ti
RAM: 8GB – 64GB
Screen: 15.6" FHD+ (1920 x 1200) IPS - UHD+ (3840 x 2400)
Storage: 256GB – 1TB SSD
Reasons to buy
+Fast performance+Eye-catching design
Reasons to avoid
-GTX 1650 Ti is a little weak-15-inch screen might be too large for some

The Dell XPS 15 is about as close to perfect as a laptop can get and one of the best Dell laptops to date; there's really not a lot we can fault it for, which means it's also one of the best laptops for writers as well. It's got some of the latest, and best, mobile tech from Intel, and can even be configured with a discrete GPU, making it adept at images and as for video editing software, and even a spot of light gaming.

It also features one of the finest designs we've seen in a laptop, and is arguably the most stylish Windows 10 laptop on the market right now. Battery life is also phenomenal, and the price, while high, isn't that bad considering what you get.

Read the full review: Dell XPS 15 (2020)

Black Friday deals Microsoft

(Image credit: Microsoft)

5. Microsoft Surface Laptop 3

The best laptop by Microsoft

Specifications
CPU: Intel Core i5 - i7 / AMD Ryzen 5 / AMD Ryzen 7
Graphics: Intel Iris Plus Graphics / AMD Radeon Vega 9 / AMD Radeon RX Vega 11
RAM: 8GB - 16GB
Screen: 13.5-inch PixelSense (2,256 x 1,504) / 15-inch PixelSense (2,496 x 1,664)
Storage: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB or 1TB SSD
Reasons to buy
+Excellent battery life+Choice of Intel or AMD CPU
Reasons to avoid
-No Thunderbolt 3 option-Too few ports for its size

With the third version of the Surface Laptop 3, Microsoft has made its best laptop yet. While it's not a huge leap over its predecessor, the Surface Laptop 3 does improve on almost every aspect. 

Best of all, with the 15-inch version you now get a choice of either Intel or AMD hardware. Previously, only Intel tech was included. Elsewhere, the Surface Laptop 3 continues the Surface Laptop's reputation for being a stunningly designed laptop. 

These are some of the most desirable laptops in the world that don't have a logo of an apple on them, with a new aluminum body that gives it a premium feel, while protecting it from knocks and drops. There are still a few niggles, like the continued lack of ports, but in general this is one of the best laptops in the world right now.

Read the full review: Microsoft Surface Laptop 3

Asus VivoBook S15

(Image credit: Asus)

6. Asus VivoBook S15 (S532F)

Thin, light and capable

Specifications
CPU: 10th-generation Intel Core i5 – i7
Graphics: Intel UHD 620
RAM: 8GB – 16GB
Screen: 15.6” LED-backlit Full HD (1920 x 1080) 16:9 Frameless four-sided NanoEdge display
Storage: 256GB – 1TB SSD
Reasons to buy
+Bright, colourful 15.6-inch screen+Weighs just 1.8kg+Powerful i7 processor
Reasons to avoid
-Merely average battery life-Only 1080p resolution-ScreenPad is a bit weird

If screen size matters, and you need lots of it without having to lug around a heavy laptop, then the Asus VivoBook S15 (S532F) is all you need. This laptop weighs just 1.8 kg (3.96 lbs) – that’s lighter than the MacBook Pro 16-inch. If you need power, it’s equipped with 10th-generation Intel Core processors and Intel UHD 620 graphics. Plus, its 15.6-inch screen is bright and vibrant, taking care of all your post-work entertainment needs. The best part is that it won’t cost you a fortune. There are some compromises you have to put up with here: the screen is only 1080p and the battery life is average. But, overall, this one’s an ace.

Read the full review: Asus VivoBook S15 

(Image credit: AppleAir)

7. Apple MacBook Air (2020)

The best Apple laptop for writers

Specifications
CPU: 10th generation Intel Core i3 - i7
Graphics: Intel Iris Plus Graphics
RAM: 8GB – 16GB
Screen: 13.3-inch (diagonal) 2,560 x 1,600 LED-backlit display with IPS technology
Storage: 256GB – 2TB SSD
Dimensions: 11.97 x 8.36 x 0.63 inches (30.41 x 21.24 x 1.61cm; W x D x H)
Reasons to buy
+Lovely design+New lower price
Reasons to avoid
-Screen colors a little muted-Battery life only OK

Apple has once again refreshed and improved the MacBook Air, and the 2020 model represents the biggest upgrade we've seen in quite a while, easily making it one of the best laptops in the world, and certainly the best affordable MacBook ever made. Apple has now included the latest 10th generation Intel processors, and for the first time you're able to get a MacBook AIr with a quad-core CPU, which makes a big difference when it comes to perfomance.

You also get more storage as well, with Apple doubling the amount the base model comes with to 256GB. While it's can't compete with the raw power of the MacBook Pro 16-inch (above), this is by far the best MacBook Air the company has ever made. Best of all, Apple has once again lowered the entry price, so you're getting a more powerful laptop for cheaper. What's not to like about that?

Read the full review: MacBook Air (2020)

Acer Swift 3

(Image credit: Acer / Amazon)

8. Acer Swift 3

The best budget laptop in the world

Specifications
CPU: up to Intel Core i7-8565U
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce MX150, Intel HD Graphics 620 or AMD Radeon Vega 8
RAM: 4GB – 8GB
Screen: 14-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) ComfyView IPS – 15.6" Full HD (1920 x 1080)
Storage: 128GB – 1 TB HDD, 16 GB Intel Optane Memory
Reasons to buy
+Superb keyboard and trackpad+Excellent performance+Very reasonably priced
Reasons to avoid
-Looks a little plain

Beyond the Acer Swift 3's modest exterior, you'll find an excellent laptop that boasts plenty of power for work and study. The Swift 3 (not to be confused with the Switch 3 another laptop from Acer) is an inexpensive laptop; however, that plain chassis is all-aluminum and packed with beefy components. 

In terms of performance, it gets surprisingly close to the far more expensive Microsoft Surface Laptop. Its display is a little lower-res, but the two are otherwise strikingly similar - other than the price. 

This laptop is incredible to use as well, with its roomy trackpad as well as its backlit keyboard that offers a comfortable typing experience with decent travel. If you're going to be writing a lot – whether you’re traveling or at the office, this is one of the best laptops for writing on offer.

Read the full review: Acer Swift 3

Acer Chromebook R11

9. Acer Chromebook R11

An incredible Chromebook at a cheap price

Specifications
CPU: Intel Celeron N3150 1.6GHz – Intel Celeron N3160 1.6GHz
Graphics: Intel HD Graphics - Intel HD Graphics 400
RAM: 2GB - 4GB
Screen: 11.6-inch 1,366 x 768 HD IPS touchscreen
Storage: 32GB
Reasons to buy
+Very versatile+Very cheap+Good battery life
Reasons to avoid
-Awkward trackpad

The Acer Chromebook R11 is probably the best cheap laptop around at the moment, and it's a great laptop for wirters. Like the Acer Chromebook Flip higher up this page, this laptop runs Chrome OS so does away with all the overheads that Windows brings. Consequently it's able to run nice and fast on less powerful components, which means a very cheap price! Its touchscreen is decent, though it's only HD, and it will flip to become a tablet too. What's more, it'll run practically all day thanks to its excellent battery life. So if you're looking for a capable but very cheap laptop that you can whip out and begin writing on, then this one is your best bet.

Read the full review: Acer Chromebook R11
See more like this: The best Chromebooks

Surface Pro 7

(Image credit: Microsoft)

10. Surface Pro 7

Best mid-range tablet with keyboard

Specifications
CPU: 10th-gen Intel Core i3 - i7
Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics - Intel Iris Plus Graphics
RAM: 4GB - 16GB
Screen: 12.3-inch 2,736 x 1,824 PixelSense display
Storage: 128GB - 1TB
Reasons to buy
+Tried and tested quality hybrid+Upgraded to cutting-edge CPU
Reasons to avoid
-Starting to feel dated-Battery life isn’t the best

If you’re wondering what a tablet’s doing in a laptop list, then let us assure you: the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 is among the most powerful tablets out there. Just take a look at its specs – this tablet boasts 10th-generation Intel Core processors and the best integrated GPUs on the market. Microsoft then pairs that sheer tablet power with its Type Cover’s keyboard that’s bouncier and has deeper travel as well as touchpad that’s smooth and responsive. And, if those aren’t enough to convince you, it also has a USB-C port and Wifi 6 support. It’s a worthy contender for writers who want to stay very mobile and still have a reliable laptop.

Read our full review: Surface Pro 7 

  • Want more choices? Check out our list of the best laptops
  • Bill Thomas has also contributed to this article