Best laptop for writers in 2021: the 10 best laptops for authors and journalists

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Best laptop for writers in 2021: the 10 best laptops for authors and journalists


The best laptop for writers needs to meet specific metrics beyond a functional keyboard and access to a word processor, as much like other creative professionals, writers have specific laptop needs.

In fact, since writers spend most of their day staring at the screen and tapping away, it’s important that the laptop they use offers a display that’s easy on the eyes, a keyboard that is comfortable and satisfying to use, and a trackpad that is responsive and accurate. Since a number of authors and journalists like to work at cafes or travel while writing, something that is robust, incredibly portable, and has long battery life is preferable as well. Finally, it has to be powerful enough to handle multitasking, video conferences, and the occasional Netflix or Disney+ streaming without any slowdowns.

Keeping all this in mind, we’ve gathered our top selections for the best laptops for writers in 2021, including some of the best 2-in-1 laptops, the best MacBooks, and some options for those on a budget. So, you can spend less time shopping for your perfect writing tool and more time creating that next work of genius. Be sure to check out our included price comparison tool as well for the best laptop deals.

Google Pixelbook Go at an angle against a white background

(Image credit: Google)

1. Google Pixelbook Go

The best laptop for writers overall

CPU: Intel Core m3 – Intel Core i7
Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 615
RAM: 8GB – 16GB
Screen: 13.3-inch Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) or 4K LCD touchscreen
Storage: 128GB – 256GB eMMC
Reasons to buy
+Incredible battery life+Amazing ‘Hush’ keyboard
Reasons to avoid
Iffy pricing at mid- to- high-endNo biometric login

Google Pixelbook Go may not be the most powerful Google Chromebook – that title belongs to Google Pixelbook – but it’s the best Chromebook ever in our view. It’s also still plenty powerful without the premium price. It also has a few things going for it beyond the specs. Its battery life, for instance, a little over 11 hours so you can write for ten hours and still have enough juice left for unwinding with a good Netflix show. It also boasts an incredible keyboard, perfect for long hours of typing, and that rare 1080p webcam so you come out sharp as tack when video conferencing with clients. There’s a couple of useful features that Microsoft may have sacrificed for the price, but overall, this is an excellent laptop for writers.

Read the full review: Google Pixelbook Go

Surface Laptop 4 from the front against a white background

(Image credit: Microsoft)

2. Surface Laptop 4

The ultimate Surface Laptop

CPU: Up to Intel Core i7
Graphics: Intel Iris Xe
RAM: 8GB – 32GB
Screen: 13.5-inch PixelSense (2,256 x 1,504) touch
Storage: 256GB – 1TB
Reasons to buy
+Comfortable keyboard+Beautiful screen+Lightweight and affordable
Reasons to avoid
Not enough ports

As writers ourselves, we know what it takes for a laptop to be an excellent portable for wordsmiths, and we heartily recommend this new entry to Microsoft’s Surface line. It comes with a comfortable keyboard and a stunning screen, as well as that Alcantara finish that helps make typing a more luxurious experience. Writers who travel a lot or prefer to work at cafes will appreciate that it’s thin and light, and freelancers will love that it’s affordable. Not even its insufficient amount of ports can stop this from being a great laptop for writers.

Read the full review: Surface Laptop 4

MacBook Air M1 from the front against a white background

(Image credit: Apple)

3. MacBook Air (M1, 2020)

The best Apple laptop for writers

CPU: Apple M1 chip with 8‑core
Graphics: Integrated 7-core – 8-core
RAM: 8GB – 16GB unified memory
Screen: 13.3-inch 2560 x 1600 Retina display
Storage: 256GB – 2TB SSD
Reasons to buy
+macOS Big Sur is fast and responsive+Battery life is great especially for writers working remotely
Reasons to avoid
Fanless design could impact performance

Apple first rolled out its much-talked-about M1 silicon chip on the MacBook Air (M1, 2020), and so far it’s been a real game-changer, especially for creative professionals who swear by MacBooks for their daily workload. While still being the company’s thinnest and lightest laptop for writers, this M1-powered Air is more powerful than ever, touting a performance worthy of video and photo editing, let alone seeing writers through that book or those articles they’re working on. That’s without mentioning its brilliant battery life, which is a boon for those who are always on the road.

Read the full review: MacBook Air (M1, 2020)

HP Spectre x360 (2020) at an angle against a white background

(Image credit: HP)

4. HP Spectre x360 (2020)

HP’s flagship 2-in-1 gets a 2020 refresh

CPU: 10th-generation Intel Core i5 – i7
Graphics: Intel Iris Plus Graphics
Screen: 13.3″ FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS BrightView micro-edge WLED-backlit multitouch – 13.3″ diagonal 4K (3840 x 2160) UWVA BrightView micro-edge AMOLED multitouch
Storage: 256GB – 2TB SSD
Reasons to buy
+Stylish and high-quality finish+Great all-around performance+Built-in security features are useful
Reasons to avoid
Battery life takes a hitCan run hot at times

With its stunning, gem-cut chassis that truly separates it from the best laptops out there, the HP Spectre x360 (2020) is without a doubt one of the most stunning laptops today. But, it’s more than just looks. This is one of the top contenders out there, if you’re looking to switch over to Windows, thanks to the powerful internals that make it great for multitasking. That 2-in-1 design and touchscreen display also make this laptop primed for any entertainment needs post- or in between writing sessions. Last but not least, that excellent keyboard will let you type up those articles or your great American novel for hours without fatiguing. It helps too that it’s got many of the ports you’ll need to connect your other devices.

Read the full review: HP Spectre x360 (2020)  

Asus Chromebook Flip from the front against a white background

(Image credit: Asus)

5. Asus Chromebook Flip

Premium Chromebook specs, economic Chromebook pricing

CPU: Intel Pentium 4405Y – Intel Core m3-6Y30
Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 515
Screen: 12.5-inch, FHD (1,920 x 1,080) LED backlit anti-glare
Storage: 32GB – 64GB eMMC
Reasons to buy
+Elegant tablet mode+Tactile keyboard
Reasons to avoid
No out-of-box Android app supportMiddling speakers

Before Google rolled out the Pixelbook, and showed us exactly what the best Chromebooks should be, the Asus Chromebook Flip was the Google laptop a lot of Google laptops aspired to be. With a full Intel Core processor and a full-HD display, the Asus Chromebook Flip was certainly a game-changer. These days, in the shadow of Google Pixelbook, the Asus Chromebook Flip is the best Chromebook for you if you want the Pixelbook’s key features, but cannot afford its steep price. If you’re on a budget, this is one of the best Asus laptops to consider.

Read the full review: Asus Chromebook Flip  

Dell XPS 15 at an angle against a white background

(Image credit: Dell)

6. Dell XPS 15 (2020)

A brilliant powerful 15-inch laptop

CPU: 10th-generation Intel Core i5 – i7
Graphics: Intel Iris Plus Graphics – Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Ti
RAM: 8GB – 64GB
Screen: 15.6″ FHD+ (1920 x 1200) IPS – UHD+ (3840 x 2400)
Storage: 256GB – 1TB SSD
Reasons to buy
+Fast performance+Eye-catching design
Reasons to avoid
GTX 1650 Ti is a little weak15-inch screen might be too large for some

The Dell XPS 15 is about as close to perfect as a laptop can get and one of the best Dell laptops to date; there’s really not a lot we can fault it for, which means it’s also one of the best laptops for writers as well. It’s got some of the latest, and best, mobile tech from Intel, and can even be configured with a discrete GPU, making it adept at images and as for video editing software, and even a spot of light gaming.

It also features one of the finest designs we’ve seen in a laptop, and is arguably the most stylish Windows 10 laptop on the market right now. Battery life is also phenomenal, and the price, while high, isn’t that bad considering what you get.

Read the full review: Dell XPS 15 (2020)

Asus VivoBook S15 at an angle against a white background

(Image credit: Asus)

7. Asus VivoBook S15 (S532F)

Thin, light and capable

CPU: 10th-generation Intel Core i5 – i7
Graphics: Intel UHD 620
RAM: 8GB – 16GB
Screen: 15.6” LED-backlit Full HD (1920 x 1080) 16:9 Frameless four-sided NanoEdge display
Storage: 256GB – 1TB SSD
Reasons to buy
+Bright, colourful 15.6-inch screen+Weighs just 1.8kg+Powerful i7 processor
Reasons to avoid
Merely average battery lifeOnly 1080p resolutionScreenPad is a bit weird

If screen size matters, and you need lots of it without having to lug around a heavy laptop, then the Asus VivoBook S15 (S532F) is all you need. This laptop weighs just 1.8 kg (3.96 lbs) – that’s lighter than the MacBook Pro 16-inch. If you need power, it’s equipped with 10th-generation Intel Core processors and Intel UHD 620 graphics. Plus, its 15.6-inch screen is bright and vibrant, taking care of all your post-work entertainment needs. The best part is that it won’t cost you a fortune. There are some compromises you have to put up with here: the screen is only 1080p and the battery life is average. But, overall, this one’s an ace.

Read the full review: Asus VivoBook S15 

Acer Swift 3 at an angle against a white background

(Image credit: Acer / Amazon)

8. Acer Swift 3

The best budget laptop in the world

CPU: up to Intel Core i7-8565U
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce MX150, Intel HD Graphics 620 or AMD Radeon Vega 8
RAM: 4GB – 8GB
Screen: 14-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) ComfyView IPS – 15.6″ Full HD (1920 x 1080)
Storage: 128GB – 1 TB HDD, 16 GB Intel Optane Memory
Reasons to buy
+Superb keyboard and trackpad+Excellent performance+Very reasonably priced
Reasons to avoid
Looks a little plain

Beyond the Acer Swift 3’s modest exterior, you’ll find an excellent laptop that boasts plenty of power for work and study. The Swift 3 (not to be confused with the Switch 3 another laptop from Acer) is an inexpensive laptop; however, that plain chassis is all-aluminum and packed with beefy components. 

In terms of performance, it gets surprisingly close to the far more expensive Microsoft Surface Laptop. Its display is a little lower-res, but the two are otherwise strikingly similar – other than the price. 

This laptop is incredible to use as well, with its roomy trackpad as well as its backlit keyboard that offers a comfortable typing experience with decent travel. If you’re going to be writing a lot – whether you’re traveling or at the office, this is one of the best laptops for writing on offer.

Read the full review: Acer Swift 3

Acer Chromebook R11 from the front against a white background

9. Acer Chromebook R11

An incredible Chromebook at a cheap price

CPU: Intel Celeron N3150 1.6GHz – Intel Celeron N3160 1.6GHz
Graphics: Intel HD Graphics – Intel HD Graphics 400
RAM: 2GB – 4GB
Screen: 11.6-inch 1,366 x 768 HD IPS touchscreen
Storage: 32GB
Reasons to buy
+Very versatile+Very cheap+Good battery life
Reasons to avoid
Awkward trackpad

The Acer Chromebook R11 is probably the best cheap laptop around at the moment, and it’s a great laptop for writers. Like the Acer Chromebook Flip higher up this page, this laptop runs Chrome OS so does away with all the overheads that Windows brings. Consequently it’s able to run nice and fast on less powerful components, which means a very cheap price! Its touchscreen is decent, though it’s only HD, and it will flip to become a tablet too. What’s more, it’ll run practically all day thanks to its excellent battery life. So if you’re looking for a capable but very cheap laptop that you can whip out and begin writing on, then this one is your best bet.

Read the full review: Acer Chromebook R11
See more like this: The best Chromebooks

Surface Pro 7 at an angle against a white background

(Image credit: Microsoft)

10. Surface Pro 7

Best mid-range tablet with keyboard

CPU: 10th-gen Intel Core i3 – i7
Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics – Intel Iris Plus Graphics
RAM: 4GB – 16GB
Screen: 12.3-inch 2,736 x 1,824 PixelSense display
Storage: 128GB – 1TB
Reasons to buy
+Tried and tested quality hybrid+Upgraded to cutting-edge CPU
Reasons to avoid
Starting to feel datedBattery life isn’t the best

If you’re wondering what a tablet’s doing in a laptop list, then let us assure you: the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 is among the most powerful tablets out there. Just take a look at its specs – this tablet boasts 10th-generation Intel Core processors and the best integrated GPUs on the market. Microsoft then pairs that sheer tablet power with its Type Cover’s keyboard that’s bouncier and has deeper travel as well as touchpad that’s smooth and responsive. And, if those aren’t enough to convince you, it also has a USB-C port and Wifi 6 support. It’s a worthy contender for writers who want to stay very mobile and still have a reliable laptop.

Read our full review: Surface Pro 7 

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