Picking a device as the best laptop for writers might seem strange. But, writers have specific needs for their main device, just like video editors, 3D designers, and photographers. And, those needs go beyond a functional keyboard and a word processor.
For instance, a working keyboard is not enough when you’re typing away for hours at a time. It needs to be comfortable to the touch, accurate, very dependable, and have tactile feedback and a satisfying bounce. If you plan on typing for long hours without experiencing fatigue, you’ll probably need one of the best keyboards on a laptop. Along with an excellent keyboard, you also need a fantastic monitor that won’t hurt your eyes after long writing sessions and can be used outdoors. Additionally, you will probably want something that’s slim and portable, so that you can explore your ideas no matter where you are.
Keeping all this in mind, we’ve gathered our top selections for the best laptops for writers, including some of the best 2-in-1 laptops, the best Chromebooks and the best MacBooks. This way, you can spend less time shopping for a laptop and more time creating that next work of genius.
Best laptops for writers at a glance
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
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
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)
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
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)
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
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)
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
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.
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
With the best laptops for writers, you'll often be taking them out and about, so it's always a good idea to get them insured against theft or accidental damage. If you're in the UK, then you can shop around and compare contents insurance to keep your gadgets, including laptops, protected.
- Want more choices? Check out our list of the best laptops
- Bill Thomas has also contributed to this article