Whether you are writing for a living or you do it as a hobby, it is a given that you will be spending a lot of time on the computer. Laptops are becoming increasingly capable of replacing a desktop, given that you are able to bring them around. They might not be as powerful, but for most tasks they are more than enough. You are also able to get an external monitor and keyboard if you want a more traditional setup, but still being able to bring the laptop when you head out.
Before getting into the best laptops for writers, another guide that might interest you is the one we have on the best laptop for machine learning. If you are looking for a powerful laptop then you should definitely check that one out.
Best Laptops for Writers
Our pick as the best laptop for writers is the Dell XPS 13 (#ad).
Dell XPS 13
The Dell XPS 13 is the only 13-inch laptop in this list, and it might be the best laptop for writers. It is more compact than a 15-inch, which might be what you are looking for. It will be easy to carry around, and can nicely fit on a coffee shop table if that is your workplace of choice. If offers features that we are looking for such as a backlit keyboard and an excellent screen. It also offers quite good specs for its price. There is a more powerful 15 inch available but it is also a bit more expensive. Personally I find 13 inches to be a little small, so you might also want to consider getting a 15 inch laptop as it has more screen real-estate which is good for productivity when typing.
The XPS does not have both an SSD and a regular hard drive, but considering the size of the SSD that is not so bad. You should have room for quite a lot, and there is always cloud storage if you need more space. The laptop is also very lightweight, coming in at only 2.68 pounds. If you are looking for a computer that is easy to carry around and can offer you great specs then you should consider the XPS 13.
The laptop has 16 GB of DDR3 RAM which is a very good amount. It does not have the newer DDR4 kind which is a con, but for a writer it should not make much difference. The most important part is that you have enough of it, and 16 GB is more than enough. You can almost have an unlimited number of chrome tabs open for research and more than one word editor running.
One of the best features of this laptop is the screen. It has a beautiful ultra HD screen, which has a resolution of 3840 x 2106. The screen will not make you write better papers, but it will make it nice to look at.
The inside of the laptop is made of a some sort of mesh material. It feels smoother that it looks, but it is quite fingerprint resistant. It gets up to around 10 hours of battery life when used for only word or excel. You can expect a little less when using chrome in conjunction with your word processor. Still, 10 hours is a decent amount, and you can always bring your charger with you.
See the Dell XPS 13 (#ad) on Amazon.
The Dell Inspiron line of laptops are nice durable computers that are less expensive than more advanced models. Their keyboards are of good quality and feels good to type on. Writers on a budget may gravitate towards these laptops because they offer significant value for their lower price while still having the features of a full laptop. That being said, the Inspiron is not the cheapest laptop, but the parts that it comes with makes it a very good deal for what you get.
First off the laptop comes with a new 9th generation i7-9750H CPU. This is the same CPU that you will find in many gaming laptops so you know it is quite capable. Even in laptops that cost twice or even three times as much as this one will have the same CPU. A newer CPU also means that it can last longer as the parts will be relevant for longer. That being said, you don’t need such a powerful CPU and can easily get away with a cheaper model.
The laptop also has 8 GB of DDR4 RAM. It is not as much as some other laptops but it is the DDR4 kind which is great. DRR4 is both faster and it uses less power. You can also not upgrade from DDR3 to DDR4 because the chips are different sizes and it wont fit in the slot on the motherboard.
The laptop also comes with a GPU which makes the laptop suitable for playing video games, or doing other sorts of resource intensive tasks. For law school itself you don’t need the power of a GPU, but there are other things that it can be useful for.
See the Dell Inspiron (#ad) on Amazon.
Lenovo ThinkPads have long held a good reputation as a solid all-around laptop for personal, student and business use. ThinkPads come in a number of different series. ThinkPads come with spill-resistant keyboards which is a major plus for writers worried they may spill their morning coffee all over their new laptop. The laptop might not be the most sleek looking, but it offers really good performance and specs. If you want a laptop that will last you a long time then you can’t go wrong with a ThinkPad.
The laptop comes with 16 GB of ram, something that is slowly becoming the new norm. Programs consume more and more ram, but I don’t think as a writer you quite require 16 GB quite yet. That being said, if you plan on having the computer for a few years then having 16 GB is a good choice. You can also add more RAM to a laptop later to extend its life.The computer has a 512 GB SSD, which is more than enough for a writer. Even if you write multiple books you would not fill up all this space. You can probably even go as low as 256 GB as long as you have an SSD as your main storage. As a writer you should also get extra storage, online or external hdd, so that you can back up your work. The cloud is probably your best option as you can set up automatic syncing. Another important factor is that the keyboard is quite comfortable on the ThinkPad. One downside is the screen brightness, which is only 250 nits. The screen is an anti glare version so you don’t need extra brightness to use it is sunny areas. Overall the ThinkPad is a great choice, and it is quite common in business environments because of its reliability.
See the Lenovo ThinkPad (#ad) on Amazon.
The ASUS VivoBook is a great option for a writer. It looks good, it is thin, and it offers OK specs. It comes with an ergonomic chiclet keyboard which might be something you should consider as a writer.
The CPU in this computer is the AMD R5-3500. This should be good enough for a writer. If you are looking to use the laptop for other things such as video games then you might want to consider a more powerful option. If you just want to write a book or articles then this laptop is a good option.
There is a combination of a 128 GB SSD and a 1 TB Hdd. This is a good compromise, where you get the fast SSD and still have a lot of storage. This is done to keep the price lower for this laptop as an SSD is more expensive than a HDD.
There is also a fingerprint sensor on this laptop which is quite convenient. You can have a secure password and still unlock it with ease.
The machine has 8 GB of RAM which is good enough for writing. 8 GB is the minimum I would recommend, as many programs are demanding quite a lot of RAM. For longevity I would not go with the 4 GB options that you see sometimes.
See the ASUS VivoBook (#ad) on Amazon.
Laptops are an important tool of the trade for writers, and it is important for all writers to find an option that works for them. The best laptop for writers will vary based on individual needs and preferences. Learn to understand the terminology and technology so you can buy the right type of laptop for your needs.
What to look for in the best laptop for writers
As a writer there are certain features that are more important than others. I assume that you want the best laptop that is available in general, but there are some things to pay extra attention to.
Keyboard feel and quality is a big one, as writers will, perhaps obviously, use the keyboard heavily. When it comes to selecting a laptop with a good keyboard, your personal preference will play a big role, which is why it might be helpful to try typing at display machines in stores. It can also be beneficial to have a backlit keyboard if you think you will ever use it in the dark.
Battery life and weight are also features to consider because most writers will be taking their laptops on the go and using them to write for extended periods of time. That being said, most places have outlets and as long as you can use it for a few hours on battery you should be okay. It might be inconvenient to carry a charger around but I have done it for years and it is manageable. Most computers have decent battery life these days if you do not include gaming laptops. It might be obvious but the more powerful the laptop the more power it will use.
Type of Screen
Having the laptop be your workstation will require you to look at it an awful lot. Because of that you should have a decent screen. You can choose between matte and glossy screens. If you want to take the computer to places such as coffee shops then you are best with the matte screen, as it has less glare. The glossy screens are only better if you need the highest quality for things such as photo editing, and you are able to control the lighting when you are working.
Size of Screen
If writing is your job then you should really be using an external monitor and an external keyboard with your laptop. They can offer you much better productivity that a laptop by itself. This of course can be difficult if you are not in the comfort of your own home or office all the time. Because of that, the size of the laptop matters. 13 or 15 inches will probably be the best size, as 17 inches is big and can be difficult to bring around, and anything smaller will make it cumbersome for many to work on.
Regardless of who uses a computer, I recommend getting a laptop with an SSD. It makes most operations on your computer that involves data and loading programs faster as an SSD is a lot faster than a hard drive. Many laptops have a combination of an SSD and a hard drive, allowing you to install programs and keep your most important files on the SSD, while storing things you use less often on the hard drive.
What Features Are Not As Important
On the other hand, there are several common laptop features that writers should not be as concerned about.
Processing power is one area where you probably won’t need the latest and greatest. Unless you will be using the laptop for something else like video editing or gaming, strong processing power is not a necessity for drafting documents in word programs because even weaker processors can handle this task without issue. That being said, many computers come with i-7 processors now and they should be able to handle even light gaming.
Graphics ability and sound systems are not especially important for the same reason as for CPU. If you do want something with a powerful GPU then check out our guide on best deep learning laptops.
Our choice as the best laptop for writers is the Dell XPS 13 (#ad) .As a writer you should first and foremost look for a laptop that is good to type on. That is probably the number one concern you should have. After that you should consider the screen. The keyboard is probably the biggest variability from laptop to laptop, as the screens are pretty much all the same. In the end you should be getting the best laptop for your price range. There are a lot of laptops out there, and in this article you will find some of the best ones. Check them out on Amazon and keep the pointers from this article in mind when comparing them. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions or concerns.
Learn more about laptops by checking out our guide on best 17 inch laptops.
I am a Software Engineer who enjoy writing about things that interest me. Here on OamaTech I write about programming as well as other tech related topics. Visit my author page to learn more about me and what I am working on right now.