12 Best Laptops for Writers in 2017
The office is not what it used to be. Depending on your profession, many office workers can go mobile. That includes writers, as the days of lugging around typewriters, are long gone. For mobile writers, a laptop will be your best friend, but some of the slickest ones around are less than friendly in other areas.
The best laptop for writers can be tough to find, as it all comes down to your needs. Every laptop has a keyboard and can run software that allows you to put down your thoughts, but some may require you to be near a wall jack. Battery life is just one thing you’ll need to be concerned about, and we’ve outlined a few other key areas to consider as well.
Top 12 Laptops for Writers Comparison Table
|Design||Name||Battery Life||Operating System||Rating (1-5)|
|1. New Apple MMGG2LL/A MacBook Air 13.3-Inch Laptop||12 hours||Mac OS||4.6|
|2. ASUS ZenBook UX330UA-AH54 13.3-inch Ultra-Slim Laptop||10 hours||Windows 10||4.2|
|3. Acer Chromebook 15 CB5-571-58HF||9 hours||Chrome||4.2|
|4. HP Spectre x360 2-in-1 15.6″ 4K Ultra HD TouchScreen Laptop||12 hours||Windows 10||4.2|
|5. LG gram 14Z970 i7 14″ Touchscreen Laptop||14 hours||Windows 10||4.2|
|6. ASUS UX490UA-XS74-BL 14-Inch Zenbook||9 hours||Windows 10||4.2|
|7. Lenovo ThinkPad T460s Laptop Computer||15 hours||Windows 10||4.1|
|8. Acer C910-54M1 15.6-Inch LED 1920 x 1080 (Full HD) Chromebook||8 hours||Chrome||4.1|
|9. Dell Flagship Inspiron 15 5000 15.6″ Full HD Laptop||6 hours||Windows 10||4.1|
|10. Lenovo Y700 – 15.6 Inch Full HD Gaming Laptop||5 hours||Windows 10||4.1|
| 11. Apple 15″ MacBook Pro, Retina||7 hours||Mac OS||3.9|
|12. Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575-33BM 15.6-Inch Full HD Notebook||12 hours||Windows 10||3.8|
Do You Want a Big Display or a Light Laptop?
While your keyboard and the software are certainly important, the display is something to take seriously. Considering writing requires you to stare at a screen for hours on end, you want to make sure you aren’t squinting. All of our picks have panels that will be easy on the eyes, but some are larger than others and have a higher resolution.
A good size to shoot for is 15.6” as it allows you to have a “normal” sized display and won’t drain all your battery life. On the flipside, a lightweight laptop with a 13” panel may have battery life well over 8 hours. There are a few ultrabooks that offer up a thin form factor with a large display, but the battery life generally takes a hit. In other words, think about the battery life when you’re considering the display size.
There are several different operating systems you can choose from when looking for a new laptop, but the best laptop for writers usually come with Windows onboard. That’s partly due to its popularity although you have to consider the fact there are just more Windows-based laptops in the world.
Price also plays a part in that equation as MacBooks are not cheap and Linux is far from widespread. Macs have caught up regarding the number of programs they can run, but you still may miss out on a few of your favorites.
If you are concerned about Word, don’t be as you can find in on MacBooks along with Office 365. Most office software is available on both platforms although Chrome is a different story. Chromebooks are great laptops for writers with amazing battery life, but can only run a small number of comparable apps. You will have to use Word Online however or opt for a different type of writing or office software.
Keyboard, Inputs & Extras
We’ll make this simple. If you want a fast, responsive keyboard that lets you type a million characters per minute, take a long look at gaming laptops. You can often find mechanical keyboards on some laptops built for gamers as a keystroke can mean life or death in an online shooter. Writers will appreciate that kind of accuracy and speed.
Ports are another thing to consider, especially if you use many peripherals. Type-C and USB 3.0 ports are the fastest when it comes to transfer speeds. Some laptops will only have one, while others may have one of each type along with the usual USB 2.0 ports. LAN/Ethernet, HDMI, and microSD card slots are other areas of interest with laptop ports. Regarding those extras, keep an eye out for backlit keyboards, touchscreen displays, and optical drives.
Top 5 Best Laptop for Writers Reviews
Until Apple decides they want to really shake things up, there are going to be two models of MacBooks to choose from with the regular model and the Air. A wordsmith will be able to work with either model, but the MacBook Air is our top choice for the best laptop for writers.
Apple’s tech is known for not breaking down and being user-friendly compared to other operating systems. Both of those are advantages if you are a writer although there are plenty of other reasons we like this one so much. The thin, light form factor is one of them as it’s a lightweight laptop you can tote anywhere with ease. The battery life is also top-notch with around 12 hours per charge and there speedy ports aplenty with two USB 3.0 ports and a Thunderbolt 2 port.
The 13.3” version of the MacBook Air will run any type of editing or authoring software you want to try, but it’s not the fastest PC to make the cut. It has an Intel i5 and 8GB of RAM to go along with 256GB of solid-state storage. It’s nothing to scoff at by any means although you won’t be able to run some high-end games or programs on this one.
ASUS has continually put out affordable laptops with plenty of pop. The ZenBooks have long been a fan favorite, and are often ideal for globe-trotting writers that need something light and powerful. The ZenBook UX330UA is both of those things, and it comes with a few awesome extras to boot.
Want to keep your data secure from prying eyes? It doesn’t matter if you’re concerned about passwords or have a top secret manuscript in the works, a fingerprint reader is a nice perk to have. You’ll get one with this PC, and it works with Windows Hello for one-touch access and comes with a 1-year subscription to Microsoft Office 365 Home Edition. The ZenBook has an ample amount of power thanks to an Intel Core i5-7200U and 8GB of RAM. Other tech specs include a USB Type-C port, 256GB solid-state drive and a 13.3” widescreen panel with a resolution of 1,920 x 1,080.
While there are many options available when it comes to software, Office is an excellent choice, and the 1-year subscription allows you to use Office on up to five devices including tablets and smartphones. Alternatively, if you don’t fancy Word, you purchase the laptop alone with Windows 10 and no Office.
Chromebooks are not for everyone, especially consumers that need horsepower or gamers that want to play their favorite first-person shooter. Who are they a great fit for? Writers, as Chromebooks are some of the lightest and most affordable laptops on the market.
The Acer Chromebook 15 CB5-571 is one of the beefier Chromebooks on the market. You can choose a Celeron processor, but we went with the Core i5 model which comes with 4GB of RAM. That’s enough power to handle light duty games and applications, but you won’t be able to run Word the traditional way due to the operating system. Instead, you can use Microsoft Office Online, or you can broaden your horizon with new editing software build for smartphones and slates.
This Chromebook is one of the better ones you can buy from an “all-around” standpoint with the only real weak point being the 32GB solid-state drive. You can expand through a microSD card slot or the cloud – there’s just not much storage out of the box. The battery life is solid, however, and it sports a large 15.6” FHD display while still weighing under 5 lbs.
Most of the laptops we chose are traditional in the way they work. They all have keyboards, displays, and the popular clamshell design. The HP Spectre x360 is traditional in that sense, but is incredibly powerful and converts into two different modes in case you want to switch things up.
Convertible laptops are also known as 2-in-1’s as they can magically transform from a laptop to a tablet or go into tent mode. The X360 Spectre can do both and come with a stylus in case you want to take notes or write the old fashioned way. Regardless of how you tilt the panel, it’s going look outstanding considering it has a resolution of 3,840 x 2,160. You’ll be able to watch high-def movies or play graphic intensive games with a NVIDIA GeForce 940MX, 16GB of RAM and a speedy Intel Core i7 processor.
We can’t imagine any writer having an issue with this beautiful beast as it will be able to run any program and more high-end games than most. The 512GB SSD and fast charging tech are nice as well, as is the sound system from Bang & Olufsen. The HP Spectre may be too much PC for some, but it’s a fine choice for authors looking for something more.
In the tech world, sometimes a name says it all. Sometimes you also get a string of number instead of a proper moniker, but that isn’t the case with the LG Gram. It’s a sleek laptop that lives up to its namesake considering it only weighs 2.14 lbs.
The LG Gram is in the “ultrabook” class with a thin form factor at 0.6” and an Intel i7 processor. The RAM clocks in at 8GB while the storage comes courtesy of a 512GB solid-state drive. You will be able to access your data in a flash or expand through two USB 3.0 ports. Despite the thin waistline on this PC, LG still managed to slap a 14.5” touchscreen display onto the front with a resolution of 1,920 x 1,080. That’s impressive, especially when you pit it against the lightweight MacBook Air. Other perks for the Gram include a USB Type-C port, a backlit keyboard, DTS sound and Windows 10 Home.
LG’s laptop may not have ended up at the top of our list, but it’s hard to find any fault with this one. It is fast, light and has great battery life at around 10-12 hours per charge. It also has a full metal body with very thin bezels. If you like what this one has to offer but don’t need that much power, there is a model available with an i5 processor and 256GB SSD as well.