5 Best Laptops for Writers in 2019

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Laptops are a crucial piece of equipment for any writer.

This can be life changing for a full-time copywriter, or an author who likes the idea of sitting in a bar or a scenic spot and watching the world go by while they write.

But writing on laptop does require a good machine to do it on. In this post, we’ll explore the best laptops for writers, and discuss what a laptop needs to earn a place on the list.

The Best Laptops for Writers

Product

Features

Price

Microsoft Surface Laptop 3

  • Amazing keyboard
  • Useful aspect ratio
  • Slick appearance
  • Decent specs

GPD P2 Max 8.9 Inches

  • Excellent typing on a small design
  • Surprisingly fast performance
  • Can take with you anywhere

iPad Mini 5

  • Great display
  • Charming size
  • Blazingly quick
  • iOS apps
  • Apple pencil

Surface Pro 7

  • Great typing experience despite appearances
  • Perfect for taking notes on the go
  • Light and powerful

Apple Macbook Air

  • Apple ecosystem
  • Blazingly fast
  • Gorgeous design and display
  • Extremely light
  • Brilliant battery
  • “Just works”

Microsoft Surface Laptop 3

Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 - 13.5" Touch-Screen - Intel Core i5 - 8GB Memory - 128GB Solid State Drive (Latest Model) - Platinum with Alcantara

There is a lot to like about the Surface Laptop 3 if you’re a writer. First up is the keyboard. Surface Laptop keyboards have been widely celebrated as some of the best keyboards on the market, being perfectly spaced, with excellent travel, and the right amount of rebound. In short, this is a comfortable typing experience that is extremely fast to write with.

At the same time, the Surface Laptop 3 benefits from close integration between hardware and software. Seeing as Microsoft made both the laptop AND the Windows operating system running on it, that means that you can expect lightning fast updates, and won’t need to worry about updates breaking functionality (which can be an issue with smaller OEMs).

The Surface Laptop 3 is also extremely fast given its internals for this reason. They’re not bad internals either though: with 10th gen i5 and i7 processors (or an alternative from AMD), they are capable of handling impressive workloads. If you want to go all out, then you can pick a configuration with up to 32GB of RAM, and 1 TB SSD as well! That’s a very quick SSD, meaning that windows loads very quickly.

The tall aspect ratio of the screen is also very pleasing, as it means you can see a lot of a given website or document with no need to scroll.

It’s not a perfect home-run though. For one, there’s the odd omission of USB Type-C. At the same time, you do pay a fair bit extra for the Surface brand. Still though, it’s a great computer for any writer.

Pros

  • Amazing keyboard
  • Useful aspect ratio
  • Slick appearance
  • Decent specs

Cons

  • No USB Type-C
  • You pay more for the Microsoft logo

GPD P2 Max 8.9 Inches

GPD P2 Max 8.9 Inches Portable Ultrabook Mini pc Notebook Laptop UMPC Touch Screen Tablet CPU Intel m3-8100Y GPU HD Graphics 615 WIN10 16GB RAM/512GB ROM,Amber Black

The GPD P2 Max is something completely different and also entirely unique. This is a device from the makers of the GPD Pocket and GPD Win that was entirely crowdfunded on Kickstarter.

The company (also called GPD) has been enjoying a decent amount of success with tiny computers, which have inherent appeal for writes – this is something you can use anywhere! At just 8.9 inches, this will fold small enough to fit into any shoulder bag and could even fit inside an inner jacket pocket! What’s more is that it is as light as a feather (650g).

While the Pocket 2 is a smaller device from the same company, the 8.9inch form factor here was chosen for being the smallest a laptop could get without hurting typing productivity. We agree that this is a great typing experience.

There’s more to love here too. The device categorizes itself as an ultrabook rather than a netbook, which is a bold claim given the size. But nevertheless, it manages to live up to that title with decent performance via a Core m3-8100Y processor and integrated Intel HD Graphics 615. It also offers up to 16GB of RAM (which is a lot!) and 512GB internal storage!

If you’re the kind of writer who has great ideas on the bus and needs to write them down, then the GPD P2 Max is the perfect companion for you.

Pros

  • Excellent typing on a small design
  • Surprisingly fast performance
  • Can take with you anywhere

Cons

  • Doesn’t quite fit in a pocket
  • Not as powerful as larger alternatives
  • Trackpad a bit awkward

iPad Mini 5

Apple iPad Mini (Wi-Fi, 64GB) - Space Gray (Latest Model)

Okay, so this isn’t technically a laptop, but it is powerful enough to contend and it belongs on this list for a few reasons.

For one, the device is blazingly fast while still being small enough to fit into a satchel or a bag. For another, it has a stunning retina display that has been laminated to prevent glare. For another, it lets you use the many different iOS apps that are ideal for writers. They include the likes of Ulysses (for distraction free writing), Werdsmith, and of course Word.

The other great thing about the iPad Mini 5 is the Apple Pencil support and apps like Notability. This makes the device one of the very best for note-taking generally, which just happens to be one of the many other activities that writers engage in much of the time.

The downside? Of course the Mini 5 has no keyboard and doesn’t support a keyboard cover like those found on bigger iPad Pros. But don’t worry – you can easily buy a high quality portable keyboard, even something foldable like the Microsoft Folding Keyboard, and then use that to turn this into the perfect writer’s “laptop” for working on the go.

Pros

  • Great display
  • Charming size
  • Blazingly quick
  • iOS apps
  • Apple pencil

Cons

  • No built-in keyboard
  • Not a true laptop

Surface Pro 7

NEW Microsoft Surface Pro 7 - 12.3" Touch-Screen - Intel Core i5 - 8GB Memory - 256GB Solid State Drive (Latest Model) - Matte Black

Another showing from Microsoft, and another laptop that is kind of a tablet. The Surface Pro line of devices are slick tablets with detachable keyboards and kickstands.

Thanks to a very smart design, these still offer a fantastic typing experience and “lapability.” That is to say, that you aren’t compromising by typing on these, and in fact the keyboard is one of the selling points!

Like other recommendations on this list though, you’re getting a device that is very light to bring you on the go, surprisingly powerful thanks to the latest hardware, and versatile.

Like the iPad Mini 5, the Surface Pro 7 supports pen input and has its own killer note-taking app: One Note. Many writers and other professionals swear by One Note as an ideal option for quickly taking notes, and the tight integration between hardware and software here is really noticeable and makes the experience sing.

Whether you have a quick idea to write down while standing, or whether you want to sit down for a long typing session… the Surface Pro 7 has you covered. And we love it! Oh and there is finally a USB Type-C port!

Pros

  • Great typing experience despite appearances
  • Perfect for taking notes on the go
  • Light and powerful

Cons

  • The form factor won’t please everyone
  • Not the most powerful given the price

Apple Macbook Air

New Apple MacBook Air (13-inch, 8GB RAM, 128GB Storage) - Space Gray

Macbook Airs have been firm favorites among productive individuals for a long time now. There are a few reasons for that.

One is the Mac ecosystem that is perfectly aimed at creators and includes a number of great apps for writers. Another is the fact that Apple products tend to “just work” and have far fewer issues than their Windows counterparts.

This is due to the close integration between hardware and software, which means that you’re never left looking at an update screen or blue screen of death when you really need to get some work done!

That integration also helps these laptops to enjoy superior performance given their specs and pricing. Meanwhile, the build quality is superb.

The latest Macbook Air offers all of those things and more. It has a stunning retina display, touch ID, amazingly fast performance, and a brilliant battery life. Of course it is also extremely light.

That said, there are some drawbacks. Apple still refuses to introduce a touchscreen, the IO (port selection) is poor with just two USB Typ-Cs, and a lot of industry standard programs will need to be run with an emulator.

Pros

  • Apple ecosystem
  • Blazingly fast
  • Gorgeous design and display
  • Extremely light
  • Brilliant battery
  • “Just works”

Cons

  • No Windows ecosystem
  • Poor IO
  • No touchscreen

Laptops for Writers Buyer’s Tips

Stuck for which device to choose?

Ultimately, there are a few specific things that a writer should look for when buying a laptop. These include a clear screen, rapid boot times (more important than max performance), a light build-quality, the option for note-taking, and of course a fantastic keyboard.

Beyond that, it will come down to preference. Which laptops do you like the looks of? Do you prefer Windows or MacOS? And how much money do you have to spend?

Conclusion

There are lots of great reasons to consider investing in any of these laptops as a writer. Think about how you like to work – do you need supreme portability or note taking? And think about what other types of app you’ll be using.

If you choose any of these options though, you can be guaranteed an amazing typing experience, excellent battery, and lots of useful writer-centric features that you can rely on to do your very best work. Invest in your creative process!