The best laptop for writers requires a different set of specifications than having the highest-powered processor or graphics card. Portability, battery life, keyboard design, and screen settings take top priority in this field.
To be creative, writers need the appropriate tools, including a laptop that caters to their needs. But what exactly makes an outstanding laptop for writers?
To make our choices below, we've looked at laptops with an excellent display – the brightness and blue light filter – just the ticket for making staring at that laptop screen for hours more pleasant. We also consider how comfortable and satisfying the keyboard experience is, along with the responsiveness and accuracy of the trackpad, because they are what a writer uses the most. Of course, it also doesn't hurt to have a thin and light design, an all-day battery life, and a superb camera, especially when working remotely or doing fieldwork.
Considering this, we've gathered the best laptops for writers in 2023. Our top picks are from the best 2-in-1 laptops to the best MacBooks and Windows laptops.
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The best laptop for writers of 2023 in full
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Google Pixelbook Go may not be the most powerful Google Chromebook – that title belongs to Google Pixelbook – but it is currently the best Chromebook in our view. It’s also still plenty powerful without the premium price.
Additionally, it has a few things going for it beyond the specs. Its battery life, for instance, is 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 a tack when video conferencing with clients.
Google may have sacrificed some useful features for the price, but overall, this is an excellent laptop for writers.
Read the full review: Google Pixelbook Go
As writers, we know what it takes for a laptop to be an excellent portable for wordsmiths, and we recommend this new entry to Microsoft’s Surface line. It comes with a comfortable keyboard, a stunning screen, and an Alcantara finish that helps make typing a more luxurious experience.
Writers who travel a lot or prefer to work at cafes will appreciate its lightness. At just 0.57 inches thick and weighing in at just 2.79 pounds (1.3 kg), it makes it a breeze to carry around in your bag while commuting. But even with the Surface Laptop 4 being so thin, it still feels incredibly robust.
Freelancers will also love that it’s affordable. Its insufficient ports cannot stop this from being a great laptop for writers.
Read the full review: Surface Laptop 4
Apple next generation M2 model builds on it’s predecessor the MacBook Air (M1, 2020), and has made some upgrades that writers will appreciate like a larger 13.6in screen, new 1080p FaceTime HD camera and of course blazing fast M2 processor.
While still the company’s thinnest and lightest laptop for writers, this redesigned M2-powered Air is more powerful, bigger, and lighter than ever, touting a performance worthy of video and photo editing, let alone seeing writers through that book or those articles they’re working on.
That’s without mentioning its brilliant battery life, which is a boon for those always on the road. According to Apple, you'll enjoy up to 15 hours of wireless web browsing or up to 18 hours of video. That's a full day's work before needing to plug it in - especially handy if you're regularly on the move.
Read the full review: MacBook Air (M2, 2022)
Everyone is on the 14-inch bandwagon, including HP’s flagship line, the Spectre x360. The older 13-inch model has always secured a place in the best laptop guides, so it’s no surprise that the 14-inch is following in its footsteps.
This new model comes with the same attractive gem-cut design and just a bit more prowess, thanks to the Tiger Lake chips that power it. Plus, it comes with a larger screen and, therefore, more screen real estate.
The Spectre x360 is just the ticket for authors, journalists, and bloggers who need to spread out, whether they’re writing their next piece, doing research, or fact-checking. Upgrade to the OLED touch display model, which boasts a 3K2K screen, and not only is there even more screen space, but any media consumption after work is even more immersive thanks to the stunning OLED-quality visuals.
Read our HP Spectre x360 review
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.
The Asus Chromebook Flip was certainly a game-changer with a full Intel Core processor and a full-HD display. These days, in the shadow of the 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.
The Asus Chromebook Flip has been specifically designed for tablet use, with a clever magnetic clasp that pulls the screen lid tight to the notebook's underside. This neat detail helps the 2-in-1 Chromebook feel like one solid machine rather than a foldable electronic one.
If you're on a budget, this is one of the best Asus laptops.
Read the full review: Asus Chromebook Flip
The Dell XPS 15 is back and better than ever, this time around offering a great leap in specs with the RTX 3050, RT 3050Ti, and 3.5K OLED display options – not to mention up to 8TB of storage (though note in the UK and Australia you'll be limited to 2TB.)
Dell is gunning for that pro-level status here, perhaps to compete with Apple’s M1-powered offerings, and it’s almost there.
This model, even the OLED configuration, is snappy and can see you through the more modest creative workloads. Although the RTX 3050/3050Ti graphics are a bit underwhelming in performance, this is still a terrific companion to creative pros looking for a PC they can travel with. Go for the OLED version, and you’re also getting an incomparable, stunning visual experience.
Read our Dell XPS 15 OLED (2021) review
The Acer Swift 3 OLED is a follow-up to one of the finest laptops ever made, the Acer Swift 3, as well as the Acer Swift 5 touchscreen. However, not a touchscreen like the others, this laptop's main draw is its bright and absolutely stunning OLED screen which also supports HDR.
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 strikingly similar - other than the price.
This laptop is also incredible to use, with its roomy trackpad and backlit keyboard that offers a comfortable typing experience with decent travel. If you're going to be writing a lot – whether traveling or at the office, this is one of the best laptops for writing on offer.
Read the full review: Acer Swift 3
Microsoft's Surface Pro 9 5G builds on the design changes that the Surface Pro 8 introduced for an even more powerful and portable experience. .
As a 5G system, the Surface Pro 9 5G stands ready to keep you connected at home and on the go without the need for a Wi-Fi connection, making this an ideal solution for writers on the go. It also comes with the new Windows 11 operating system pre-installed and one of the best webcams we’ve used on a laptop.
With its bigger screen, nested and slim pencil, and day-beating battery life, the Surface Pro 9 5G moves Microsoft's Surface line in the right direction, but the custom ARM chip brings with it a host of hiccups.
Read the full review: Surface Pro 9 5G
Frequently Asked Questions
How to choose the best laptop for writers for you
When choosing the best laptop for writers, there are several key factors you'll want to consider when weighing up your options. First and foremost, have a budget in mind. Given the wide range in costs, this could immediately whittle down the options, allowing you to focus only on those you're able and willing to afford.
Next, consider any platform preferences you have. Used to working with Windows? Will you only consider Apple? Happy to go for Google? This factor will ensure you're only looking in the right place.
After that, consider what you'll be using it for. Generally, writers may not necessarily need the fastest processing speeds or largest storage options. Still, journalists who are also expected to store and edit imagery may need more powerful machines.
If so, consider features like CPU, graphics, RAM, and storage capacity. Finally, think about other features you might find useful. Those regularly on the move may want something robust but light, while others may find use in the versatility provided by laptops that can convert to tablet form, too.
The best laptop for writers: How we test
With a wealth of options for the best laptop for writers, we've aimed to provide a thorough rundown of the top options on the market. We've done this by pitting each laptop's key features against each other, analyzing speed, power, storage, graphics, and screen size.
Given the particular requirements of writers and journalists, however, we've also made a point to note other factors that could prove key in your decision-making. As many writers spend a lot of time in front of their screens, we've looked at what each laptop's display offers, including whether additional considerations like blue light filers are included.
For the same reason, we've also considered ease of use and comfort, trackpad performance, port and storage options, and - for those regularly on the move - we've also tested each laptop's battery life and portability.