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The 5 Best Laptops For Writers - Winter 2024 Reviews

Updated
Best Laptops for Writers

For most writers, CPU performance isn't really important, as text formatting requires very little processing power. As long as you can open a dozen or more browser tabs simultaneously along with a few applications without the system bogging down, it's enough to handle a writer's typical workload. The user experience is far more important. You'd want a thin and light laptop that you can easily carry around, a long battery life, a sharp display that doesn't tire your eyes, and a spacious and comfortable keyboard. Fortunately, there are tons of ultraportable laptops on the market that check all those boxes. This article will help you narrow your options and, hopefully, help you choose the right laptop for your needs.

We've bought and tested over 105 laptops. Below, you'll find our recommendations for the best laptops for writers you can buy. You can also see our recommendations for the best laptops, the best Chromebooks, and the best Windows laptops.


  1. Best Laptop For Writers

    Current Deal: The Apple MacBook Air 13 (2022) has dropped in price by $200 at BestBuy.com. Get Deal

    The best laptop for writers we've tested is the Apple MacBook Air 13 (2022), a premium ultraportable. It has an exceptionally sturdy build, a thin and light design, and a battery that lasts easily through a full workday. The display is sharp and bright, and the keyboard feels comfortable to type on for extended periods. Its M2 SoC is plenty fast and can easily handle most writers' workloads, like text processing, web browsing, and video playback. Plus, it's a fanless device, so you don't have to worry about loud fan noise distracting you from your work. The only downside is its limited port selection; you only get two USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 with support for a single external display.

    Get the Apple MacBook Air 15 (2023) if you need more screen space. It's essentially the same device as the 13-inch but with a 15.3-inch screen and better speakers. The increased screen real estate is great when you need to keep your reference material on one side while writing, and you also get more space on the keyboard deck to rest your wrists. The downside is that it's $200 USD more expensive than the 13-inch, and the overall cost can get to an eye-watering level when you start upgrading the RAM or storage.

    The LG gram 14 (2023) is a great choice for Windows users. It's also a high-end ultraportable laptop and is incredibly light, even lighter than the MacBook Air 13. It provides a good user experience with a sharp display, a comfortable keyboard, and a responsive touchpad. Its excellent port selection includes two USB-C/Thunderbolt 4s, connecting up to two 4k displays at 60Hz and charging the laptop with a single cable. Build-wise, although it feels sturdy, its magnesium alloy chassis just doesn't feel as rigid or premium as the MacBook Air's. The display gets bright enough for use in most indoor settings but isn't as bright as the MacBook.

    See our review

  2. Best Mid-Range Laptop For Writers

    Our best mid-range pick is the Lenovo Yoga 7i 16 (2023). This 2-in-1 convertible has a large 16-inch screen, a great keyboard, and all-day battery life. It feels very well-built, not as premium as a MacBook, but sturdy. It's also relatively thin and light for a 16-inch model, so it's easy to carry around. There are two display options, an FHD+ and a QHD+ panel; we recommend the latter, as it looks sharper and gets brighter to combat glare. Support for pen input is present, which is handy when you need to mark a passage for correction or editing. Performance isn't a problem; its Intel 13th Gen CPUs are more than adequate to handle most writer's workloads. The battery lasts over 12 hours of light use, even on a model with a QHD+ display, and it charges quickly over USB-C. There's a fingerprint sensor and an IR camera, so you can log in quickly and get to work.

    If you want a more compact laptop that's easier to carry, get the Acer Chromebook Spin 714 (2022), a 14-inch 2-in-1 Chromebook. Naturally, you won't get as much screen space for split-screen multitasking, but it's more portable, and its battery lasts even longer at over 13 hours of light use. It also supports pen input and comes with a stylus that you can dock into the side of the laptop for transport. Availability might be a problem since this is an older model. If so, you can check out the newer 2023 model, which we haven't tested but expect to perform similarly. It has a faster Intel 13th Gen processor and a higher resolution webcam. You can get the 2023 model on Amazon or at Best Buy. One last thing: Chrome OS is limited in the types of applications you can install, so if you use a writing app, just make sure you can access it through the browser or via an Android app.

    See our review

  3. Best Budget Laptop For Writers

    We recommend this 14-inch Windows ultraportable, the Acer Swift 3 14 (2020), for those on a budget. Acer's Swift models aren't exactly considered budget, but because this is a 2020 model, the price has decreased considerably. For around $500 USD, you can get an Intel Core i7 configuration with 8GB of RAM and 512GB of storage. The Intel 11th Gen CPU is two generations behind Intel's latest offerings but still adequate for light tasks like text processing. The battery lasts easily through a typical workday with plenty to spare, so you don't have to worry about bringing a charger.

    Build-wise, this laptop has a mostly metal chassis that feels sturdy. It has a sharp and reasonably bright IPS display, a decent keyboard, and a small but responsive touchpad. Ports include two USB-As, one USB-C, a full-size HDMI, and a headphone jack. The USB-C supports Thunderbolt 4, allowing you to connect up to two 4k displays with a single cable. There's a fingerprint sensor so you can log in quickly and get straight to work. Unfortunately, the webcam's video quality is bad; the image looks underexposed, and the microphone sounds staticky.

    See our review

  4. Best Cheap Laptop For Writers

    The best cheap laptop we've tested is the Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 3i Chromebook 14 (2023). You can find this laptop for as little as $300 to $500 USD. Writing isn't particularly CPU-intensive, so any CPU and RAM configuration will do. However, we highly recommend getting the Core i3-N305 CPU with 8GB of RAM if you're a relatively heavy multitasker. If you have trouble finding it elsewhere, you can get this configuration (paired with a touch-sensitive FHD display) from Lenovo. The 1080p display looks sharp and gets bright for use in most indoor settings. Battery life is outstanding at around 13 hours of light use.

    Naturally, there are some downsides to a budget-friendly laptop like this one. The keyboard feels spacious but mushy, and the touchpad is small and not always responsive. The webcam is surprisingly good, though, especially for a cheap Chromebook. Port selection is decent; you get two USB-As, a USB-C, and an HDMI port. The USB-C supports charging and video output. There's no fingerprint sensor or facial recognition camera, which is unfortunate but expected for such an inexpensive device.

    See our review

  5. Best 2-In-1 Tablet For Writers

    The best 2-in-1 tablet for writers we've tested is the Microsoft Surface Pro 8 (2021), a tablet PC with a kickstand and detachable keyboard. This form factor makes the Surface Pro incredibly versatile. You can use it as a traditional laptop or as a tablet, and you can also draw and take handwritten notes. It works with Microsoft's Slim Pen 2, and there's a slot on the type cover keyboard to store and charge the pen. The stylus and type cover keyboard are separate purchases, though, so you'll have to factor them into the overall cost of the device. It has an excellent 1080p webcam for video calls and a facial recognition IR camera to log in quickly.

    As for the overall user experience, it has a very sharp 3:2 display. It gets bright enough to combat glare and has a 120Hz refresh rate to make pen input feel more responsive. The keyboard feels spacious and tactile; however, typing with the device on your lap can be challenging because all the weight is in the display, and the type cover keyboard isn't super stable. Also, the kickstand can dig into your legs if you wear shorts. The battery lasts around seven hours of light use, which is respectable for a tablet PC, and you can charge via USB-C.

    As you may already know, Microsoft has released the Surface Pro 9. It's essentially the same device but with faster Intel 12th Gen processors. The Surface Pro 9 is easier to find in stock, but if you don't need the performance increase and are willing to look around, you can save a good chunk of cash with a Surface Pro 8 since it's an older device and often on sale.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • ASUS Zenbook 14 Flip OLED (2023): The ASUS Zenbook 14 Flip OLED (2023) is a great alternative to the Apple MacBook Air 13 (2022) if you prefer a Windows 2-in-1 convertible. It has a nice 2.8k OLED display, stylus support, and a wider port selection. However, its battery life is shorter at around eight hours of light use, and the display doesn't get as bright. Also, keep in mind that OLEDs are susceptible to permanent burn-in. See our review
  • Microsoft Surface Laptop 5 (2022): The Microsoft Surface Laptop 5 (2022) is a good alternative to the Apple MacBook Air 13 (2022). It's available in a 13.5- or 15-inch size, so you can choose the size that best suits your needs. It has a premium all-aluminum build, a sharp display, a comfortable keyboard, and a responsive touchpad. However, its battery life isn't as good as the Apple laptop. Also, the display doesn't get as bright and struggles with bright reflections. See our review
  • Dell Inspiron 16 2-in-1 (2023): The Dell Inspiron 16 2-in-1 (2023) is a good alternative to the Lenovo Yoga 7i 16 (2023). It has a slightly sturdier build and a better touchpad; however, it doesn't support Thunderbolt 4 or USB4, and its battery life is shorter. Also, the Dell is only available with an FHD+ and doesn't support pen input. See our review
  • ASUS Vivobook 16 M1605 (2023): If you want a larger screen, the ASUS Vivobook 16 M1605 (2023) is a good alternative to the Acer Swift 3 14 (2020). It has a better keyboard and touchpad, but its USB-C doesn't support video output, and its battery life is much shorter at around eight hours of light use. See our review

Recent Updates

  1. Feb 01, 2024: Verified that all picks are valid and available. No change in recommendations.

  2. Dec 04, 2023: Replaced the Lenovo Chromebook C340 15 (2020) with the Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 3i Chromebook 14 (2023) because the C340 is near the end of its OS support.

  3. Oct 06, 2023: Replaced the Dell Inspiron 16 2-in-1 (2023) with the Lenovo Yoga 7i 16 (2023) because the Lenovo has longer battery life and is available with a sharper, brighter display.

  4. Aug 10, 2023: Added the Dell Inspiron 16 2-in-1 (2023) as the 'Best Mid-Range' pick and moved the Acer Swift 3 14 (2020) to the 'Best Budget' category because the Acer's price is more in-line with the budget tier. Also moved the Lenovo Chromebook C340 15 (2020) from the 'Best Budget' category to the 'Best Cheap' category, replacing the Acer Chromebook 315 (2020).

  5. Jun 15, 2023: Added the Microsoft Surface Pro 8 (2021) as the 'Best 2-In-1 Tablet For Writers'. Minor text changes to include the LG gram 14 (2023) as an alternative to the Apple MacBook Air 13 (2022) and to provide more information about the Apple MacBook Air 15.

All Reviews

Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best laptops for writers to buy. We factor in the price (a cheaper laptop wins over a pricier one if the difference isn't worth it), feedback from our visitors, and availability (no laptops that are difficult to find or almost out of stock everywhere).

If you prefer to make your own decision, here's the list of all of our laptop reviews. Keep in mind that most laptops are available in various configurations, and the table only shows the results of the model we tested, so it's best to see the full review for information about other variants.