With so many laptop brands out there, and so many new brands emerging each new day, it can be complicated for a writer to settle on a reliable laptop. And because writers are so busy, we took time analyzing a list of laptops for you and came up with the best five that we think every writer should own.
Settling on a perfect laptop for writers was a daunting task for us, just as it is with most writers. We gathered a lot of feedback and delved extensively into the specs in order to determine the most important features that a writer might focus on when choosing their preferred laptop.
With the feedback that we got, we were able to make informed comparison and consequently the best choice for laptops that best satisfy a writer’s needs.
What determined our decision on the best laptops for writers?
To ensure accuracy of our listing, we used two main strategies. The first was to analyze web reviews, 1and the second one involved interviewing writers around the globe and getting their views on the most important features they looked for in an interview.
Here’s what our feedback revealed (ranking is from the lowest to the highest priority)
- Portable and lightweight
- Battery life
- Screen size
Following this criteria, we came up with a list that best fit these descriptions. The list was long, so we categorized the laptops into the ones that excellently fit the criteria and narrowed down to the best five.
- Processor – Intel Core i5-6200U (2.30GHz- 2.80GHz 1600MHz 3MB)
- Operating System: Genuine Microsoft Windows 7 Pro 64-Bit preinstalled via…
- Display: 14″ HD, 1366 x 768 LED Display ; Graphics Card: Intel HD Graphics 520
|Dell CRM3210-1207BLK 11.6″ HD…||$237.99||Read Amazon Reviews »|
|DELL XPS XPS9350-4007SLV 13.3-Inch…||from $869.00||Read Amazon Reviews »|
|Apple MacBook Pro 15.4 Retina 2.2GHz…||No ratings yet||$1,942.01||Read Amazon Reviews »|
|Apple MMGF2LL/A MacBook Air…||from $979.00||Read Amazon Reviews »|
The Most Important Considerations when Choosing a Good Laptop for Writing
After analyzing our feedback, we came to the conclusion that most writers felt that the most important feature for a writing laptop was a keyboard. And it’s very easy to see why. Most writing jobs will require typing between 2,000 and 10,000 words per day and for one to achieve this they really need an efficient keyboard.
For most writers, writing is the primary job; whether it’s journalism, blogging or academic writing. If writing is the job that puts food on your table, then you should by no means compromise on the quality of the items that you use for the job. Look at it this way, a builder wouldn’t settle on low quality building material now, would they?
The type of keyboard that is quickly gaining popularity among writers is the Chiclet keyboards. These are likened to the American gum brand and feature a flat, bezel-separated look, low travel and low profile keys. These are a huge diversion from the mechanical keyboards that are gaining fame in some gaming laptops.
As a writer, you will only enjoy your job and make more money if you have with you a keyboard that you can type on for hours without feeling a strain on your wrists or hands.
Since it may be difficult to try a laptop before buying, trying out someone else’s laptop can be very helpful in helping you make the right decision. Also, you could just physically shop around in the local electronics store and just try to compare different laptops.
Other Top Considerations when Choosing a Laptop for Writers
- Battery Life
If you’re a writer that doesn’t like being confined to a specific spot or room when working, then battery life could be a very important factor for you. An extended battery life will mean you can work in different parts of the house, office or even work outside.
Also, if you are like Truman Capote, author of In Cold Blood, and Breakfast at Tiffany’s who has tendencies like writing lying down on a couch or in bed, then an extended battery life must feature in your list of most important considerations.
The feeling of having multiple browser widows open with double the amount of tabs open in each one is way too familiar to almost every writer. And so is the pain of memory hog browsers. An ideal writer’s laptop should have an adequate CPU and sufficient RAM space to be capable of multitasking that comes with the writing job.
- Portability and Weight
Portability is often given as much consideration as battery life. If you are a versatile writer, say a travel blogger, you will want to move around with your laptop.
A light laptop is perfect since it will give you the freedom of moving with it without feeling like you are over weighed.
Portability is closely linked to screen size, which I will talk about next. The rule of thumb is that a laptop with a large screen size will also be heavier. So the final buying decision should mostly be based on your top priorities.
- Screen Size
This point on screen size makes me go back to the point about multitasking. When you have a large screen size, it is easier to sit two windows side by side and a result you will be more productive.
I personally take an ideal screen size as one that’s not less than a 13” screen. Whenever I’m using a computer that’s anything less I tend to struggle reading my own writing. A Full HD screen will have a larger resolution and this will in turn give you a further increase in screen space.
Our Overall Best Laptop for Writers
As I said earlier, our king of best laptop for writers is the Lenovo ThinkPad T460. The ThinkPad easily clinched this title because of its quality keyboard, portability and speed and for the price it sells at.
Lenovo is said to be king of the keyboards with their tactile, springy keys that offer satisfactory typing experience.
The ThinkPad T460’s keyboard is compact, sturdy and also spill-resistant. The sturdiness can be attributed to Lenovo’s strict testing. This has even certified the laptop to military-specifications.
The T460 encompasses an Intel i5-6200U processor and 16GB of RAM. This makes it extremely fast, and ensures that you have a smooth multi-tasking experience. The included 240 GB solid state hard drive ensures responsive applications and fast boot times.
The T460 has a 14” inch screen, which makes it a darling for those of use looking at getting both screen size and portability. The 14” screen makes it possible to open multiple windows side by side, and work quicker and more efficiently.
When it comes to portability, you won’t fail to love the T460. It is 0.8 inches thick and 3.8 lbs. and so is very easy to carry around. The top of the screen has a 720P HD webcam with a wide angle technology and face tracking. This ensures the highest possible quality for your video calls. And while still on quality of video calls, there are also dual noise-cancelling microphones that limit the amount of background noise that will be picked up during your call.
Let’s talk about the T460’s 12-18 hour battery life. Well, depending on the battery configuration, this laptops battery will last a whole day and more without charge making it easy for you to work without looking for your charger and a charging spot.
As a writer, you also need data protection for your work. Lenovo has an in-built fingerprint reader that ensures that your data is safe and secure at all time.
Too good to believe? Well, you can simply find out by picking a Lenovo T460, which will come with a one-year manufacturer’s warranty.
Four other Best Alternatives to Lenovo T460
Although Lenovo took the winning spot, there were 4 other laptops that easily give it a run for its money.
The Dell XPS 13 was the closest rival to the Lenovo T460. It’s similarity with the latter is the comfortable and quality Chiclet-style keyboard.
The Dell XPS 13 features a Quad HD 13.3” display, a Dual core i5-6200U CPU, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD.
This laptop weighs 2.8 lbs., and measures 0.6 inches thick making it an ideal laptop for travelers that love to move around.
As you can see, this laptop was a very close rivalry to the Lenovo T460, the only thing that made it miss the #1 spot is that we found Lenovo more luxurious to type on.
Apple has put a lot of consideration for writers in their laptop designs. Typing on their laptops for extended periods of time is a luxury and they are also a beauty to carry around.
MacBooks feature Chiclet keyboards with very little noise when typing and with a solid feedback. I would say the typing noise on the MacBook Pro 15.4 inch is satisfactory; enough feedback for a click but not too loud to drive you nuts.
This Apple laptop features a 15.5” Retina display with an impressive pixel density that gives life to pictures and texts. It also has a 256GB SSD, 16GB of RAM and i7 Processor. This is very helpful in jobs that need you to multi-task, even when these involve very intensive applications.
If you are a versatile writer, you shouldn’t worry so much about the portability of this printer. The battery life can last you a good 9 hours, making it possible for you to move about without worrying about where your charger is, or looking for a charging port.
Still on working on the go, Apple has done a great job in scaling down the weight of this laptop. The once heavy laptop has improved to a thickness of 0.7” and a weight of 4.5lbs.
Our general feeling with Apple laptops is that their full potential is brought out when you have an iPhone. This is one of the reasons why the MacBook Pro failed to clinch our 1st position spot.
The Apple MacBook Air 13.3” is famous for being portable. It weighs in at slightly less than 3lbs making it easy to carry around. Let’s just say the Air is a perfect example of an ultra-thin portable laptop. So in addition to the fact that its battery life can go up to 12 hour straight, there’s just no limitation to what you can achieve with this one.
The MacBook Air comes with 256 GB SSD hard drive and i5 processor, which make it extremely responsive. It also has 8GB of RAM which makes it easy for you to run multiple applications at once.
However, our one complaint with Apple laptops still remains. The Air requires you to have a complete Apple ecosystem if you’re to really reap its full potential. When you combine a MacBook with an iPhone, you get some awesome options like iCloud syncing, text forwarding, seamless copy pasting and others.
So like the MacBook Pro, the Air failed to take the first spot since we felt that the full potential of this laptop can only be achieved when one has an iPhone and we are not sure everyone owns one.
A budget notebook, the Dell Chromebook 3120 is ideal for part-time or budget conscious writers. This laptop is designed mainly to focus on people that work with cloud storage.
Chromebooks have an SSD hard drive and limited storage and as such are capable of delivering extremely fast speeds. The Chromebook has a small hard drive, 16GB for this model and as such you will have to store most of your files in the cloud, using applications like Google Drive.
The portability of the Chromebook 3120 is enhanced with its 11.6” screen and 12 hour battery life capability. You can also multi-task on this laptop thanks to the 4GB of RAM that makes it possible to open several tabs without experiencing slowness. When it comes to the keyboard, we would rate the Chromebook 3120’s as average in comparison to the other laptops that featured in our top 5 list.