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Best laptop for writers in 2022: the 10 best laptops for authors and journalists

PRICE
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID

Included in this guide:

A laptop on a white table in front of a glass window and a backdrop full of skyscrapers
We put together a list of the best laptops for writers

The best laptop for writers doesn’t need to be particularly powerful. Unlike photographers, graphic designers, and video editors, authors, journalists, and copywriters do not require as much power in their notebooks to see them through an entire day’s work. However, it still needs to tick a few items on the list. After all, writers need just as much focus on their creative process as other creative professionals, and nothing should get in the way of that – except perhaps the occasional cat cuddles.

In order to do so, writers need the right tools, including a laptop that caters to their needs. But, what exactly makes a great laptop for writers? For one, it needs to have an excellent display with the amount of brightness and blue light filter – just the ticket for making staring at that laptop screen for hours a more pleasant activity. A comfortable and satisfying keyboard is even more important, as is a responsive and accurate 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 if they’re working remotely or doing fieldwork.

Keeping all this in mind, we’ve gathered the best laptops for writers in 2022. From the best 2-in-1 laptops to the best MacBooks and Windows laptops, here are our top picks. Be sure to check out the included price comparison tool for the best laptop deals

Google Pixelbook Go at an angle against a white background

(Image credit: Google)

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

Surface Laptop 4 from the front against a white background

(Image credit: Microsoft)

The ultimate Surface Laptop

Specifications
CPU: Up to Intel Core i7
Graphics: Intel Iris Xe
RAM: 8GB – 32GB
Screen: 13.5-inch PixelSense (2,256 x 1,504) touch
Storage: 256GB – 1TB
Reasons to buy
+
Comfortable keyboard
+
Beautiful screen
+
Lightweight and affordable
Reasons to avoid
-
Not enough ports

As writers ourselves, we know what it takes for a laptop to be an excellent portable for wordsmiths, and we heartily recommend this new entry to Microsoft’s Surface line. It comes with a comfortable keyboard and a stunning screen, as well as that Alcantara finish that helps make typing a more luxurious experience. Writers who travel a lot or prefer to work at cafes will appreciate that it’s thin and light, and freelancers will love that it’s affordable. Not even its insufficient amount of ports can stop this from being a great laptop for writers.

Read the full review: Surface Laptop 4

MacBook Air M1 from the front against a white background

(Image credit: Apple)

The best Apple laptop for writers

Specifications
CPU: Apple M1 chip with 8‑core
Graphics: Integrated 7-core – 8-core
RAM: 8GB – 16GB unified memory
Screen: 13.3-inch 2560 x 1600 Retina display
Storage: 256GB – 2TB SSD
Reasons to buy
+
macOS Big Sur is fast and responsive
+
Battery life is great especially for writers working remotely
Reasons to avoid
-
Fanless design could impact performance

Apple first rolled out its much-talked-about M1 silicon chip on the MacBook Air (M1, 2020), and so far it’s been a real game-changer, especially for creative professionals who swear by MacBooks for their daily workload. While still being the company’s thinnest and lightest laptop for writers, this M1-powered Air is more powerful 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 who are always on the road.

Read the full review: MacBook Air (M1, 2020)

HP Spectre x360 14-inch against a white background

(Image credit: HP)

4. HP Spectre x360 14-inch

A brilliant addition

Specifications
CPU: 11th-gen Intel Core i5 - i7
Graphics: Intel Iris Xe Graphics
RAM: 8GB - 16GB
Screen: 13.5-inch WUXGA+ (1920 x 1280) IPS Touch – 13.5-inch 3K2K (3000 x 2000) OLED Touch
Storage: 512GB - 2TB
Reasons to buy
+
Bigger screen, compact design
+
Snappy performance
Reasons to avoid
-
Spectre x360 line is more expensive now

Everyone’s getting 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 laptops 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 the same prowess, if just a bit more thanks to the Tiger Lake chips that powers it – only, it comes with a larger screen and therefore, more screen real estate. 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.

Asus Chromebook Flip from the front against a white background

(Image credit: Asus)

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 (2021) against a white background

(Image credit: Dell)

An absolute stunner

Specifications
CPU: 11th-gen Intel Core i5 - i9
Graphics: Intel UHD graphics – Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti
RAM: 8GB – 64GB
Screen: 15.6-inch FHD+ 1920 x 1200 InfinityEdge Non-Touch – 15.6-inch OLED 3.5K 3456 x 2160 InfinityEdge Touch
Storage: 256GB – 8TB SSD
Reasons to buy
+
Snappy CPU
+
Great keyboard and trackpad
Reasons to avoid
-
RTX 3050/3050 Ti are underwhelming

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. Dell is really 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 a stunning visual experience that is incomparable.

Read our Dell XPS 15 OLED (2021) review 

Asus VivoBook S15 at an angle against a white background

(Image credit: Asus)

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 

Acer Swift 3 at an angle against a white background

(Image credit: Acer / Amazon)

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 from the front against a white background

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 writers. 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

Microsoft Surface Pro 8 against a white background

(Image credit: Microsoft)

The rebirth of the Surface Pro

Specifications
CPU: 11th-gen Intel Core i5 - i7
Graphics: Intel Xe Graphics
RAM: 4GB - 16GB
Screen: 13-inch 2880 x 1920 PixelSense Flow Display
Storage: 128GB or 256GB removable SSD; 512GB or 1TB
Reasons to buy
+
Oodles of updates and new features
+
Faster processors
Reasons to avoid
-
More expensive
-
No more USB Type-A

The Surface Pro line has struggled for a few years now due to its aging design and Microsoft’s refusal to give it a proper, much-needed overhaul. Luckily, the Surface Pro 8 has changed all that. Microsoft finally took the aging design and completely modernized it with a gorgeous new look, a bigger display, and, at last, Thunderbolt 4. It also comes with the new Windows 11 operating system pre-installed and one of the best webcams we’ve used on a laptop. Sadly, it’s not without its share of flaws – the battery life, for example, is a paltry 6-hour affair, which is a disappointment. However, those who’ve been waiting a few years to upgrade their Surface Pro won’t find that a deal-breaker.

Read our Surface Pro 8 review  

Senior Computing editor

Matt (Twitter) is TechRadar's Senior Computing editor. Having written for a number of publications such as PC Plus, PC Format, T3 and Linux Format, there's no aspect of technology that Matt isn't passionate about, especially computing and PC gaming. If you're encountering a problem or need some advice with your PC or Mac, drop him a line on Twitter.