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Best laptop for writers in 2020: the 10 best laptops for authors and journalists

Best laptop for writers
We put together a list of the best laptops for writer this 2019.

If you think that the best laptops for writers can be any laptop on the market, you’re sadly mistaken. Writers, much like photographers, video editors and designers, have specific needs when it comes to laptops, even if it seems to outsiders that all they need is a word processing software and a functional keyboard.

As a writer, you have specific needs you’ll want addressed in the laptop of your choosing. First and foremost, you don’t just need a functional keyboard. You need a keyboard that is comfortable to use, has a nice tactile bounce and is very accurate. In fact, you’ll need one of the best keyboards on a laptop, if you hope to type on it all day without fatiguing.

This is also true of displays. You’ll 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. Additionally, the best laptops for writers are ideally sleek and compact, because you never know when inspiration will strike. It could be on your couch in the comfort of your own home, or it could be at a park outside the city. 

And, finally, because when inspiration does strike, you never know how many hours you’ll spend writing, it helps to have a laptop with a great battery life as well.

With these considerations in mind, we put together a list of the best laptops for writer this 2019. This way, you won’t have to scour the computing market yourself, and sort through hundreds of options. Take a look at our list, and keep an eye out for Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals. Who knows? You might just take one of these home at a bargain price.

Best laptops for writers at a glance

  1. Microsoft Surface Go
  2. Asus Zenbook UX310UA
  3. Asus Chromebook Flip
  4. Surface Laptop 2
  5. Microsoft Surface Pro 6
  6. MacBook Air (13-inch, 2018)
  7. Lenovo Flex 6 14
  8. Acer Switch 3
  9. Acer Chromebook R11
  10. HP Spectre X360

Microsoft Surface Go

Microsoft Surface Go is an insanely portable laptop that is a delight to type on. (Image Credit: Microsoft)

1. Microsoft Surface Go

A Surface, but for less

CPU: Intel Pentium Gold 4415Y | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 615 | RAM: 4GB – 8GB | Screen: 10-inch 1,800 x 1,200 PixelSense Display | Storage: 64GB – 128GB SSD

Affordable
Beautiful style
Keyboard comes separate

If you’re looking for the best laptop for writers, but you want something with tons of modern aesthetic that’s portable to boot, you can’t go wrong with the Microsoft Surface Go. Sure, you’re going to have to buy the keyboard separate, but once you get it, you’ll have an insanely portable laptop that is a delight to type on. The gorgeous PixelSense display is great for watching some Netflix in your down time, too.

Read the full review: Microsoft Surface Go

Asus Zenbook UX310UA

Asus Zenbook UX310UA is a sleek machine that’s powerful and portable. (Image Credit: Asus)

2. Asus Zenbook UX310UA

A brilliant all-rounder laptop that punches above its weight

CPU: Intel Core i3 – i5 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620 | RAM: 8GB | Screen: 13.3-inch up to QHD+ (3,200 x 1,800) | Storage: 256GB SSD

Wonderful aluminium body
Fast wake-up and use
Fantastic value for money
Average battery life

When you’re a writer, sometimes you just need a sleek machine that’s powerful and portable – and the Asus Zenbook UX310UA is a prime example of this. It’s one of the best Ultrabooks for writers – you’ll get a brilliantly performing notebook that you won’t need to upgrade for years. And, thanks to its ultra-slim design, it’s easy to carry around, which will be great if you do a lot of writing while travelling. The keyboard is a decent size which makes writing on it a breeze. Like most Asus laptops, you can spec it out to be as cheap or powerful as you want. 

Read the full review: Asus Zenbook UX310UA

  • This product is only available in the US and UK at the time of this writing. Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the MacBook Air (2018).

Asus Chromebook Flip

Asus Chromebook Flip is a great way to save cash. (Image Credit: Asus)

3. Asus Chromebook Flip

A premium but affordable Chromebook

CPU: Intel Pentium 4405Y – Intel Core m3-6Y30 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 515 | RAM: 4GB | Screen: 12.5-inch, FHD (1,920 x 1,080) LED backlit anti-glare | Storage: 32GB – 64GB eMMC

Gorgeous screen
Elegant tablet mode
Tactile keyboard
Average speakers

The best Chromebooks don’t run Windows or macOS. Instead, they’re powered by Google’s own Chrome OS – a super lightweight operating system based on the Chrome web browser. That might sound restrictive, but it’s a great way to save cash. Plus, if you’re going to primarily be writing, it’s a great choice, as Google Docs can be used as a word processor, and you also have the Chrome browser for research. The Asus Chromebook Flip is one of the best Chromebooks out there at the moment, offering truly premium build quality, a fabulous touchscreen and keyboard, on top of excellent performance. This is all while offering great value for the money. 

Read the full review: Asus Chromebook Flip C302
See more like this: The best Chromebooks 2017

Surface Laptop 2

Surface Laptop 2 is the culmination of all the best laptops for writers. (Image Credit: Microsoft)

4. Surface Laptop 2

The purest Microsoft laptop

CPU: 8th-generation Intel Core i5-i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 | RAM: 8GB-16GB | Screen: 13.5-inch 2,256 x 1,504 PixelSense Display | Storage: 128GB-1TB SSD

Quad-core processing
Gorgeous easy-to-read display
No Thunderbolt 3

Even in the face of the best touchscreen laptops, sometimes you just want a powerful, traditional laptop that feels great to type on. And, while the Surface Laptop 2 does, in fact, have a touchscreen, everything else about it is the culmination of all the best laptops for writers. The keyboard is tactile and comfy, the screen is the perfect size and resolution, and it’s got plenty of power for all the Chrome tabs you’ll have open while researching. One of the only things that holds it back is the lack of Thunderbolt 3, but with everything else this laptop does right, it’s easy to see why it’s one of the best laptops for writers.

Read the full review: Surface Laptop 2

Microsoft Surface Pro 6

Microsoft Surface Pro 6 is the best laptop for writing on the move. (Image Credit: Microsoft)

5. Microsoft Surface Pro 6

For when you need both

CPU: 8th-generation Intel Core i5-i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 | RAM: 8GB-16GB | Screen: 12.3-inch, 2,736 x 1,824 PixelSense display | Storage: 128GB-1TB SSD

Gorgeous display
Great battery life
Keyboard sold separately

If you’re going to an event or traveling, you’ll want to get your writing done on a device that’s both lightweight and capable. And, the Surface Pro 6 is the best laptop for writing on the move. With the latest quad-core processors from Intel and plenty of RAM, you won’t be held back by the hardware. It’s just a shame that you have to buy the keyboard separately – but it’s still worth your time.

Read the full review: Microsoft Surface Pro 6

MacBook Air (13-inch, 2018)

MacBook Air (13-inch, 2018) has modern and powerful components. (Image credit: Apple)

6. MacBook Air (13-inch, 2018)

Thinner, lighter, more productive

CPU: Dual-core Intel Core i5 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 617 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch, 2,560 x 1,600 Retina display (backlit LED, IPS) | Storage: 128GB – 1.5TB PCIe 3.0 SSD | Dimensions: 11.97 x 8.36 x 0.61 inches (30.41 x 21.24 x 1.56cm; W x D x H)

 Small, lighter design
 Beautiful Retina display  
 A bit underpowered 

Last year's model of the MacBook Air brought a long-awaited refresh for Apple's lightweight MacBook, with a thinner, lighter and Retina display for the first time, it’s easily the best MacBook Air we’ve ever tested, and it makes it one of the best laptops for writers as well. It's thin and light design makes it perfect for carrying around with you, if you like writing on the go, and it's got modern - and powerful - components, such as 8th generation Intel Core processors, that helps it feel speedy and responsive. There's a new version out for 2019, but it only adds the True Tone feature, which isn't much use to writers, so we still think the 2018 model is the one to get - especially if it gets a price cut.

Read the full review: MacBook Air 2018 

Lenovo Flex 6 14

Lenovo Flex 6 14 boasts respectable components behind a beautiful and responsive touch screen. (Image Credit: Lenovo)

7. Lenovo Flex 6 14

A great budget 2-in-1

CPU: 7th-generation Intel Core i3 – 8th Generation Intel Core i7 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620 – Intel UHD Graphics 620 | RAM: 4GB – 16GB | Screen: 14-inch 1,366 x 766 - 1,920 x 1,080 Display | Storage: 128GB – 256GB SSD

Plenty of power
Affordable
No USB-C

Lenovo is known for making some of the best laptops for writers – once you use one of its keyboards, it’s kind of hard to go back. The Lenovo Flex 6 14 is no exception. For a bargain price, you’re getting respectable components behind a beautiful and responsive touch screen. And, it’s light enough that it’s actually bearable to use in tablet mode – more than can be said of some of the best 2-in-1 laptops. If you’re looking for the best laptop for writers that can get a lot of work done on a budget, look no further.

Read the full review: Lenovo Flex 6 14

Acer Switch 3

Acer Switch 3 is a brilliant little machine. (Image Credit: Acer)

8. Acer Switch 3

A great Surface Pro competitor at half the price

CPU: 1.10GHz Intel Pentium Quad Core N4200 - Intel Core i3 7100U | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 505 | RAM: 4GB | Screen: 12.2-inch, 1920 x 1200 IPS LCD touchscreen | Storage: 64GB - 128GB eMMC

Excellent build quality
Great screen
Superb value
Good battery life

If you have your eyes on a Surface Pro, but you don’t want to spend that much money, the Acer Switch 3 is definitely up your alley. It’s designed around the same basic concept as the Surface Pro and it’s only a little less capable. However, for most tasks, especially if you’re a writer, it’s a brilliant little machine. What’s more, to add further value, this 2-in-1 laptop/tablet comes with the keyboard upgrade which means little extras to pay for. As usual, it comes in several different versions, with USB Type-C, 8GB RAM, an IPS display and an Intel Core i3-7100U processor coming with the more expensive option. 

Read the full review: Acer Switch 3
See more like this: The best 2-in-1 laptops 2017 

  • This product is only available in the US and UK at the time of this writing. Australian readers: Check out a fine alternative in the Microsoft Surface Go.

Acer Chromebook R11

Acer Chromebook R11 is probably the best cheap laptop around at the moment. (Image Credit: Acer)

9. Acer Chromebook R11

An incredible Chromebook at a crazy cheap price

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

Very versatile
Very cheap
Good battery life
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 2017 

HP Spectre x360

HP Spectre X360 is one of the best 2-in-1 laptops you can buy today. (Image Credit: HP) (Image credit: HP)

10. HP Spectre X360

A 2-in-1 with a winning keyboard

CPU: Intel Core i5-8250U - i7-8550U | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 | RAM: 8GB - 16GB LPDDR3 | Screen: Up to 13.3-inch Ultra HD (3840 x 2160) Micro-edge touchscreen | Storage: 256GB-2TB NVMe SSD

 Includes stylus 
 Long battery life 
 Weak hinges 

If you’re looking for a laptop that you can fold up and play with when you’re done writing for the day, look no further than the HP Spectre x360. Not only is this one of the best 2-in-1 laptops you can buy today, but thanks to the keyboard’s stiff force curve, you’ll find typing is a breeze for any touch typist. And, thanks to its long battery life, you’ll be able to write all day on this comfortable keyboard without having to worry about scrambling for your charger. That’s not to mention the beautiful 4K display, which will make text look nice and crisp with no pixelation. 

Read the full review: HP Spectre X360 

  • Want more choices? Check out our list of the best laptop 2019
  • Bill Thomas has also contributed to this article