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page title icon The Best Laptops for Writers in 2021

By
| Updated on April 16, 2021

We contacted writers and respected newspaper editors from around the globe for their opinion on the best laptops for writing. Below we narrowed that list down to the best 5.

Finding the perfect laptop for a writer can be a daunting task, which is why we gathered feedback before determining the most important features that a writer might look for in a laptop.

The feedback allowed us to make an informed comparison of the laptops, followed by a decision on which one best suits the needs of a writer.

Best Laptop For Writers Featured Image
Image feature: Lenovo; Dell

The 5 Best Laptops for Writers

Here’s a quick list of the five best laptops for writers:

#1 Laptop for Writers With the Best Keyboard

After much thinking and deliberation, we finally crowned the Lenovo ThinkPad E15 the winner.

Lenovo have long been crowned king of the keyboards with their springy, tactile keys offering a satisfying typing experience.

The Thinkpad E15’s keyboard is both spill-resistant and sturdy, it feels tough and well-made. The sturdiness most likely comes as a result of Lenovo’s strict testing which certifies the laptop to military-specifications.

Speed is not an issue for the E15, with an Intel i5-6200U processor and 16-32GB of RAM to ensure you’ll never have an issue multitasking again. The included 512GB solid state hard drive aids in fast boot times and responsive applications.

Lenovo ThinkPad E15

The E15 has a 15” screen, which is the sweet spot in terms of portability and screen space. A 15” screen will give you plenty of room to have windows open side-by-side and work to your full potential.

If portability is important to you, then the E15 won’t let you down. At just 3.8 lbs and 0.8 inches thick, you won’t have any trouble taking the laptop around with you.

A 12-18 hour battery life is achievable depending on the battery configuration, which gives you a full days work and more without needing to find a charger, or a powerpoint!

The Lenovo has a number of security features to protect you and your data. Your laptop is protected with an in-built fingerprint reader that ensures secure storage of your data.

On top of the screen you’ll find a 720P HD webcam with face tracking and wide angle technology, which allows you to have video calls with superb quality. Dual noise-cancelling microphones ensure that limited background noise gets picked up during the call.

In the event of any misfortune, Lenovo has a one-year manufacturer’s warranty which should give you some peace of mind.

With all of these features, the Thinkpad E15 fits the bill as the best laptop for writers.

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The Four Other Writer’s Laptops We Tested

Whilst we did crown the Lenovo as the winner, the other four laptops we shortlisted are still fantastic options and would not look out of place in the hands of a writer.

Dell XPS 13

Dell XPS 13

The Dell XPS 13 came in as a very close second. The XPS 13, like the E15, also has a quality and comfortable chiclet-style keyboard.

Dell has opted for a Quad HD 13.3” display, as well as a Dual core i5-6200U CPU, 8GB of RAM and a well-sized 256GB SSD.

Weighing at just 2.8 lbs and measuring at 0.6 inches thick, the XPS 13 is definitely a worthy writers laptop.

The only reason the XPS 13 was second is that we felt that typing on the E15 was a slightly better experience, but it was truly neck-and-neck.

Apple MacBook Air

Apple MacBook Air

The Apple MacBook Air 13.3″ is known for its portability. Weighing at just under 3 lbs and having a 12-hour battery life, you could consider the Air to be an ultra portable laptop.

If you are regularly working away from your desk, you will enjoy the freedom that the MacBook Air provides.

The Air is responsive thanks to its 256 GB SSD hard drive and i5 processor. 8GB of RAM ensures you can run multiple applications at once without the dreaded rainbow spinning wheel.

Where the MacBook really shines is if you have the whole Apple ecosystem. Combining an iPhone with a MacBook gives you some fantastic options such as seamless copy-pasting, text forwarding, iCloud syncing etc.

The reason the MacBook Air isn’t #1 is because we feel like the laptop really shines when paired with an iPhone. As we can’t be certain everyone owns an iPhone, we couldn’t give this laptop the top spot.

Dell Chromebook 3120

Dell Chromebook 3120

Perfect for the budget conscious or part-time writer, the Dell Chromebook 3120 is a budget notebook aimed at those who primarily work with cloud storage.

Where Chromebooks really shine is their ability to deliver fast speeds due to the SSD hard drive and limited storage. Chromebooks are designed to have small hard drives, in this case 16GB, with most of your files stored in the cloud with an application like Google Drive.

The Chromebook 3120 has an excellent 12-hour battery life and small form factor with its 11.6” screen, making it really easy to carry around.

An adequate 4GB of RAM allows you to have plenty of browser tabs open without experiencing slowness. The keyboard is good, but not great, and is outclassed by the other laptops in our list.

Apple MacBook Pro

Apple MacBook Pro

There is a reason we’ve included a second MacBook on the list and that’s because Apple has done a wonderful job in making their laptops comfortable to type on for extended periods of time.

MacBooks come with a chiclet keyboard with solid feedback and a satisfying typing noise. In my opinion the typing noise on the Apple MacBook Pro 15.4″ is just right, enough feedback so you get the satisfying click but not loud enough that it drives you mad.

The MacBook Pro comes with the 15.4” Retina display with incredible pixel density which really makes text and pictures ‘pop’ out at you.

A modestly sized 256GB SSD, 16GB of RAM and i7 Processor allow you to multi-task even the most intensive applications without a problem.

For the portable writer, 9 hours of battery life should be more than enough for you to move around throughout the day without running out of charge.

Apple has done a great job to get the weight of their once heavy laptop down to a measly 4.5 lbs and measure up at 0.7” thickness.

Like the Air, we feel like the full potential of the Mac is unleashed when you also have an iPhone and for that reason we couldn’t give the MacBook Pro our #1 spot.

How we chose the best laptop for writers

To accurately determine the best laptop for writers we scoured the web for reviews, including the good and the bad, and conducted interviews with writers around the globe to find out what they think the most important features in a laptop are.

The following features were determined from the feedback, ranked in order of highest priority, to the lowest:

  • Keyboard
  • Speed
  • Screen Size
  • Battery Life
  • Portable and Lightweight

With these features in mind, we set out to find laptops that fit our criteria and then narrowed it down to five that excelled in the aforementioned areas.

The most important consideration when choosing the best laptop for writers

From the feedback we received, there was an overwhelming number of people who responded that the most important feature of a laptop for writers is a good keyboard.

With writers getting down anywhere from 2k to 10k words a day, you can see why they place such a huge importance on their keyboard.

As a writer, your job of writing, whether it be blogging, journalism or some other form, is likely your primary job that brings home the bacon. Just like a tradesman wouldn’t buy a cheap power tool, you shouldn’t skimp on the item that makes you your money.

Chiclet style keyboards are quite popular these days and are a reference to the American gum brand. Chiclet keyboards are characterised by both their flatter, bezel-separated look and low-profile, low-travel keys, a far cry from the mechanical keyboards popping up in some gaming laptops.

Ultimately, you want to find a keyboard that is comfortable to type on for hours at a time that doesn’t hurt your hands and wrists.

Obviously it’s quite difficult to ‘try-before-you-buy’, but a trip down to the local electronics store or trying out a colleague or family members laptop can go a long way to finding one that you find comfortable.

Best Laptop For Writers - Lenovo Thinkpad T460 Keyboard

Other considerations when choosing the best laptop for writers

As well as the keyboard, other factors were taken into account to determine the best laptop for writers.

Speed

As it turns out, writers have the need, the need for speed! (I’m sorry). If you’re a writer yourself then you would know the feeling of having multiple browser windows open with double the amount of tabs open in each one.

I’ve seen plenty of users sit there with 5 different Google Chrome windows open during my years in IT, and some browsers can be real memory hogs.

The best laptops for writers will have sufficient RAM and an adequate CPU to deal with the multitasking that is required for the job.

Screen Size

Along the same vein, multitasking is quite a bit easier when you have plenty of screen real estate. Having a larger size screen allows you to sit two windows side-by-side and improve your productivity.

As a writer, I wouldn’t recommend any less than a 13” screen, otherwise you will struggle to read your own writing! Full HD screens will have larger resolutions, which will give you a further increase in screen space.

Battery Life

If you’re a writer that loves to produce work on your laptop in different parts of the house, office, or even outside, a long battery life could be critical factor for you.

Alternatively if you have some interesting tendencies like Truman Capote, the author of Breakfast at Tiffany’s and In Cold Blood such as needing to write lying down in bed or on a couch, an extended battery life is definitely something to consider.

Portable and Lightweight

Going hand in hand with the previous point on battery life, portability is important if you are often moving around the house or workplace.

A laptop that is light is ideal in this situation and will allow you the freedom to work wherever you feel most comfortable without having to carry a large weight around.

Portability is also closely related to screen size. Often laptops with larger screen sizes are heavier, so you should weigh up your top priorities when making a final decision on which to buy.

The bottom line

The Lenovo ThinkPad E15 is just such a fantastic all-rounder that we couldn’t not give it the title of the best laptop for writers!

When you combine its fantastic keyboard, portability, battery life, specs, it is pretty unbeatable.

In saying that, the competition was very fierce and it was a very slim victory for the E15 with the MacBooks and Dell’s right behind its tail.

Whilst we did crown the Thinkpad E15 as the winner, the other four laptops we reviewed are still fantastic options and you won’t be disappointed if you purchase any of the ones we’ve recommended.


8 thoughts on “The Best Laptops for Writers in 2021”

  1. Excellent commentary,well thought out. I should not be surprised that Lenovo is your considered first choice. I used to go to a deli in Santa Monica and always saw a young man diligently working on his laptop. Since I was a total non-tech person who needed to know more I inquired as to his choice. He proceeded to tell me about all the different products he had used, all his research and why now he was only using a Lenovo. That has always stayed in my mind.

    Reply
  2. I agree with you, a 1080p screen gives good screen estate. It allows you to have two Word documents open side by side. In general, I wouldn’t want to skimp on a laptop. Spending 700-1000 bucks ensures you will get a quality piece of electronics.

    Reply
  3. Thanks Marcus for this guide,
    Few days back, I bought the Macbook Air for my work from here and after using it, I must say, it’s one of the best laptop to provide portability and productivity. One should definitely go for it!

    Reply
  4. Hi Marcus,

    Thanks for this. More especially and important to me I liked the buying guide at the end of the post.

    Thanks

    Reply
  5. Hi Marcus

    Thanks For sharing the review for the best laptop, I personally use Dell Chromebook and MacBook Air for my work. Chromebook is best for the feature but MacBook has amazing feature that other laptop does not have.

    Regards
    Mathew Brown

    Reply
  6. Great post. For me as a writer, the winning combination is my 13.3 inch MacBook Air with Scrivener. It’s a weight, battery life, backlit keys and comfort is ideal for my needs and Scrivener works best on macOS.

    Reply
  7. Thanks for the guide, I bought the MacBook Air 2020 and It works like charm. I’m in love with this device, way better than my old laptop. It’s perfect for writers like me who are always typing and trying to get things published.

    Reply
    • Hey yeah no problem 🙂 Glad my article could help you out. The 2020 version is most definitely a beast of a laptop for any writer out there.

      Enjoy it!

      Reply

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