When you spend as much time writing as I do, you need to make sure you get a decent laptop. If you spend hours and hours a day writing on your laptop, then you need to make sure you’ve got a decent laptop for the job.
It isn’t all about which laptop you have. There’s a bit more to it than that, and I’ll run through some accessories that you can purchase at the end if you’re looking to take your writing a little more seriously.
So whether you’re a student, freelance writer or just like writing in your free time, lets take a look at some of the best laptops currently available.
Best Laptops for Writers
|Product||Image||Screen Size||Specs||Get More Info|
|HP Pavilion X360||14 inch||8GB/128GB||Check Price at Amazon|
|Huawei Matebook D14||14 inch||8GB/512GB||Check Price at Amazon|
|Lenovo Thinkpad||14 inches||8GB/256GB||Check Price at Amazon|
|Macbook Air||13.3inch||8GB/256GB||Check Price at Amazon|
|Macbook Pro||16 inch||16GB/1TB||Check Price at Amazon|
HP Pavilion X360
Operating System: Windows | Screen size: 14 inch | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 128GB SSD | Processor: Intel Core i3 processor | Average Battery Life: 7 hours
Over the last few years, convertible laptops have become more and more popular. This is largely due to the Lenovo Ideapad series, but in my opinion, the X360 from HP offers far better value for money.
As part of the esteemed Pavilion series, we already know what we’re going to get performance wise. An i5 process with 8GB of RAM will be more than enough power to get your work done.
Along with that, you get a nice sized 14 inch screen with custom audio speakers, which produce great sound – perfect if you like to watch YouTube on your break.
But obviously the main part of this convertible laptop is the ability to flip it into tablet mode whenever you want. The 360 degree hinge will easily allow you to do this, and it doesn’t feel weak or flimsy like some cheaply made convertibles do.
So overall, if you want decent power and the option of a tablet too, then the x360 delivers the best of both worlds. It offers excellent value for money overall, and if you’re looking for a new laptop that isn’t too expensive, it’s a great choice.
Huawei Matebook D14
Operating System: Windows | Screen size: 14 inch | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 512GB SSD | Processor: AMD Ryzen 5 | Average Battery Life: 7.5 hours
The Matebook D14 is one of the best Huawei laptops out there, and it’s helped propel the brand into the mainstream laptops. Most people consider Acer and Asus laptops if they want a cheap option, and Apple or HP if they want something expensive. But, with the D14 Huawei have managed to make a powerful laptop at a cheap price.
For starters, the D14 comes with 512GB of storage as opposed to the standard 256GB that you get with other laptops within this price range. It weighs just 1.34kg and it’s less than 1.6cm thick, so it makes for the ideal laptop if you need to travel around a lot and you’re often working from coworking spaces or coffee shops.
You might think that not having an Apple laptop would make it more difficult to transfer files between devices, but the collaboration allows this to be really easy on the D14 too. It’s compatible with most iPhone and Android phones too, which is useful for a budget laptop.
Along with the handy fingerprint reader, it also opens to 180 degree angle, so you never need to worry about snapping it in half. It’s definitely one of the better laptops you can get at its price.
Operating System: Windows | Screen size: 14 inch | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 256GB SSD | Processor: Intel i5 processor | Average Battery Life: 8.5 hours
The Thinkpad is the company’s and businessman’s laptop of choice, but there’s a good reason for that – it’s the most practical option that you can get for the money. Whilst it’s not going to win anyone over with a sleek design, the functionality of the Thinkpad is hard to look past.
The Thinkpad X395 uses a AMD Ryzen Pro APU (2nd Generation) to keep the laptops performance high. The battery life might be one of the most impressive things about this model – it has a battery life of up to 14 and a half hours.
Plus, if you run out of battery, you can fast charge the laptop up to 80% in just an hour. This means that you’ll get more than 11.5 hours of use from just an hour charge – pretty impressive!
It’s also worth mentioning that Lenovo have tried to make the Thinkpad series as indestructible as possible. This is probably in part due to complaints about Apple products being relatively flimsy, so Lenovo have produced a laptop that will survive.. pretty much anything.
With the 180 degree flipback ensuring you won’t snap your laptop, the Thinkpad is made to last. This makes it a great laptop for writing, as you can easily take it with you pretty much anywhere.
Operating System: Mac | Screen size: 13.3 inch | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 256GB SSD | Processor: Apple M1 processor | Average Battery Life: 9 hours
Now, there are a lot of people who would probably recommend you opt for the Macbook Pro. But, in my opinion, this is going to be overkill if your sole focus of using your laptop is going to be for writing. For this, I don’t think you really need the power that you’re going to get from a Pro.. at all.
The newest model of Macbook Air typically retails at less than £1000. And even if you shop around, you aren’t going to find a 2021 Macbook Pro for less than £1250-1300 currently, so it really makes more sense to stick with an Air.
But with a Macbook Air, you’re still going to get the long lasting battery life (listed at 12 hours but more like 10) that you get with all Apple products. And, you’re still going to get the HD retina display and above all, the easy functionality that you get with pretty much all their products.
No-ones arguing that you can’t get a better spec laptop for the same price as an Apple model. But, you’re really paying for the premium functionality and ease of navigation.
So, the Macbook Air should still be a consideration for anyone looking to purchase a decent writing laptop. The fact that it now comes with an M1 processor ends up making it a really difficult laptop to beat for the price.
Operating System: Mac | Screen size: 16 inch | RAM: 16GB | Storage: 1TB SSD | Processor: Intel i9 processor | Average Battery Life: 10 hours
Now, I know I said you don’t need a Macbook Pro – and you definitely don’t need one for writing – but if you do have the extra cash, then it might be a worthwhile investment. This is one of the best animation laptops as well.
The main thing that you’re going to get extra over the Macbook Air is the additional RAM, which is essentially how quickly your laptop can process data. So, it’s going to be a lot faster than an Air if you start using a lot of programs.
You also typically get more storage with a Pro, but you are paying a premium for this too, so don’t just buy it for the sake of it. The i9 processor of the newer Macbook Pro models will also give you a faster experience, but like I said, for the average writer this won’t be that important.
Really, the Macbook Pro might suit a freelancer who dabbles in different areas – graphic design or developing – than it would an out and out writer. But its long battery life, high quality display and well made keyboard make for an excellent typing experience.
Common FAQs – Buying Guide
What software do writers use?
If you’re unsure which softwares might lend themselves best to laptop writing, then here are a few of them that you’ll want to take into account. Obviously, Microsoft Word is a pretty easy one to say. Another well known software for you to check out is Scrivener, which is a good outliner program. And if you’re using a Mac, then you can also look at Vellum, the book writing software.
Do writers prefer Windows or Apple laptops for writing?
Another common question about writers laptops is whether an Apple or Windows laptop would prove to be the best choice. The answer to this is really, it all comes down to personal preference. Most different writing software out there will be readily available on both of these operating systems, so one of them is not definitively better than the other in this sense.
What is the best device for writers?
There’s a lot of different opinions on what the best device even is for writers, with many folks opting for a tablet instead of a traditional laptop. One good compromise you could make is by opting for a 2-in-1 convertible laptop instead of deciding between the two.
My best advice for new writers
As I mentioned at the start of the article, I have some advice for you that you might want to take into account if you’re going to be writing for several hours on a daily basis. If you’re going to be writing this amount, then in my opinion you should really think about investing in an additional keyboard and mouse, and a stand for your laptop as well.
If you get an additional keyboard and mouse, you can then position the monitor screen wherever you want with a cheap stand. This helps to keep the laptop screen at head height – the top of your laptop monitor should be in line with your eyes.
Of course, when you’re out and about you can use your laptop as normal. But when you’re writing at home for extended periods of time, then you can use this setup to avoid any unnecessary neck pain, back pain and generally forming bad posture.
3 Tips to Increase Your Productivity as a Writer
If you’re an experienced writer, then you can skip ahead here. However if you’re fairly new to writing for long hours, then here’s a few tips I’ve picked up over the years which have helped me make the most of my working day.
- Set a fixed schedule – If you don’t have a fixed schedule of working hours, then this can very easily go two ways. You can end up getting lost with your time, which can easily end up with you not putting enough hours in and underperforming. On the other end of the spectrum, you can easily overwork yourself with long 14 hour days, which isn’t great in the long term for your health. So. having a fixed schedule is essential for productivity.
- No phone – The worst thing you can do is have your phone on around your laptop whilst you’re trying to write. Remove this unnecessary distraction through your work hours, and watch your productivity increase.
- Break the day up with exercise – The beauty of freelancing or working as a writer from home is that often, you can pick your working hours. This means that if you want, you could work 8-12, then go out for a few hours walking, and come back later in the evening to finish off. Consider doing this, especially if you have a short attention span like me.
All in all, this is just a selection of some of the best laptops out there for folk who like to write. When you’re considering a laptop, they most important thing you want to take into account is the keyboard. If a laptop doesn’t have a good quality keyboard that’s responsive, then you should probably look elsewhere.