Whether you writing a book, use your laptop to complete school assignments, or simply enjoying writing as a pastime, having a laptop that allows you to quickly complete the task at hand is an important part of the process. The only problem is, with so many computer companies now focusing their efforts on computer gaming and graphics, it can often be difficult to find reviews that really narrow in on the features that make a laptop great for writers. That is why I have chosen to carefully look at each of the laptops described below solely from the standpoint of a fellow writer so that you can ultimately choose the one that is right for you.
Our picks under $300
Acer Aspire One Cloudbook 11
Pro: Faster cloud computing
Con: RAM not expandable
The Acer Aspire One Cloudbook 11 was not created for anything more than simple computing and that explains the 32GB HD capacity, 1.6GHz Dual-Core Processor (that boosts to 2.16GHz), and the 2GB (DDR3L) onboard RAM chip.
These specs may not seem like much, but the Aspire One Cloudbook is the perfect writer’s laptop since it’s highly portable (slim design), lightweight (2.54 lbs), and everything is automatically uploaded and stored in the cloud where you have 1TB OneDrive storage space for all your documents (typescripts) and all sorts of multimedia data.
With an aspect ratio of 16:9, and 1366 x 768 resolution on an 11-inch screen coupled with Intel HD graphics, the LED-backlit display is ideal for viewing work clearly or photos and videos (although screen is too small for good movie watching experience). However, video chats are okay, thanks to the 640 x 480 webcam and built-in mic.
On the upside, the Aspire Cloudbook can handle Windows 10 surprisingly well which means faster internet browsing speeds for writers’ online research, and a free personal assistant (Cortana) to help any busy writer get organized. The Acer Aspire One Cloudbook has 8 hours (video playback) battery life to give you more than enough time to save whatever unsaved work that you’re still working on or run through a few videos. In addition to the 1-year free Office 365 Personal subscription, super-fast Wi-Fi and Bluetooth for faster connections to your Bluetooth enabled devices or Wi-Fi hotspots, and the intuitive touchpad that supports near touchscreen smooth gestures (pinch, twist, flick), writers will also enjoy Acer Cloudbook’s fan-less design which means no whining fans to distract your thoughts when writing… the true definition of “noise-free computing”. With the Acer Aspire One Cloudbook 11 you also get, 1 USB 2.0 port, 1 USB 3.0 port for faster file transfer to/from external USB storage devices, and an HDMI port.
ASUS Flip 2-in-1 Touch Chromebook
Pro: Transforms to Tablet
Con: Poor night keyboard visibility
If you’re a writer with “pizzazz” or one who likes showing off, or looking extra cool when doing your thing… then the uniquely designed 10.1″ ASUS Chromebook Flip 2-in-1 will make a perfect companion.
The Asus flip converts into a tab in seconds (simple and effortless…). Although the chiclet-style keyboard is literally hard to see in the dark, writers can enjoy the flexibility of writing their works in laptop mode (for typing convenience…) then immediately switching to tablet mode (with multi-touch support) to proofread finished written works or browse/read through online research references such as articles and e-books, watch videos or view photos, as well as play a few small games from Google Play to relax your mind in-between your busy writing schedule.
You can also use Kali Linux (on Crouton) installed on a micro SD (above 64GB) and switch between Kali and Chrome OS with ease. Also, despite the ASUS Chromebook’s modest specs, a writer who needs to use heavy programs such as Photoshop or ArchiCAD can still work flawlessly by using the Google Cloud Platform as the heavy computing backend and the ASUS flip as the frontend for controls. Documents, photos, presentations, and videos are all accessible both online and offline.
The 32GB eMMC (flash memory solid state) internal storage may be a letdown to some people but the 1.8GHz Quad-Core (Rock-chip 3288-C) processor and the 4GB RAM (DDR3) more than covers for that little drawback. This simply means that while your ASUS Chromebook may not provide enough hard disk space for native desktop installations or file storage, it still works faster due to the 4GB working memory and processing speed (4 processors). Writers have the comfort of working for long hours (8 to 10 hours of battery life) without experiencing annoying instances of computer freezes or slow internet browsing. One cool feature on the ASUS
One cool feature on the ASUS Chromebook flip is definitely the ability to use specialized Google Play apps or web-based whiteboards with fiber-tipped hybrid stylus pens to jot down and save quick handwritten notes. You also get 1 HDMI port (micro), 1 combo jack for audio in or headphones, and 2 USB 2.0 ports.
Acer Chromebook: 11.6-Inch Screen (Chrome OS)
Pro: Smart simplistic design
Con: Limited computing power
It would be a terrible crime to mention the 11.6-inch Acer Chromebook (3rd gen.) without adjectives such as “awesome” or “stunning” or “breathtaking” in the same sentence… if not in immediate succession! The Acer Chromebook 11 is the ideal laptop for writers on-the-go. With 9 hours of battery life, the Acer Chromebook will always be on whenever you need to stop and access your documents, videos, presentations, or just to surf the internet at a restaurant stop via fast MIMO technology Wi-Fi connection.
Throw in the Acer nano-imprint tactile uniquely textured patterning, stylish color, finely crafted and positioned I/O ports, futuristic sleek design, the fact that it can slip right into your backpack, purse, or briefcase with the rest of your things, and a price tag that’s insanely low, and you have both works and play at the palm of your hand! It is so easy to see why the Acer Chromebook remains a favorite with avid writers; those getting introduced to Chrome OS and those with prior experience alike.
Although the 16GB SSD internal storage and 2.16GHz Dual-Core (Intel Celeron N2840) processor (that boosts to a mere 2.58GHz by the way…) are not strong selling points for the Acer Chromebook 11.6″, it still comes highly recommended for writers (and students) since you can prepare and save or retrieve your documents, photos, presentations, spreadsheets, drawings, and other files (or programs) with ease, and without snags. This processing speed coupled with the 2GB DDR3 RAM is just enough, even for serious writers who spend long hours tapping on the keyboard. The widescreen HD (LED-lit) display with anti-glare means you can work outdoors and enjoy the sun while you’re at it without any hassle. All your work is automatically uploaded and securely reserved on the 100GB storage space provided for free on Google Drive (for 2 years). You also get 1 USB 3.0 port, 1 HDMI port to extend your viewing experience with the crisp clear picture, and 1 USB 2.0 port.
ASUS E200HA: 11.6-inch Screen (Windows 10)
Pro: All day battery
Con: Cannot upgrade HDD, RAM, and Windows 10 (64-bit OS)
Although you can’t upgrade the memory, HDD, and the pre-installed Windows 10 OS (and it sucks…), the ASUS E200HA 11.6″ is still a strong competitor in this category. The twin-cell Polymer battery is rated 38Whrs meaning it can last up to 13 hours while playing videos. Translation, the battery life is enough to power up the ASUS E200HA throughout the day for your anytime-anywhere writing convenience.
With a year’s free subscription to Microsoft Office 365 (Word, OneNote, Publisher, PowerPoint, Outlook and more…), you’ll definitely have all the basic resources a seasoned writer will ever need. The 4GB DDR3 (SDRAM) and 32GB internal storage coupled with the combined processing power of four 1.44GHz processors (that boost to 1.92GHz) – Intel Atom Quad-Core Z8350 – give the ASUS E200HA enough computing power to handle a writer’s needs, and at an affordable price too.
Additionally, the ASUS E200HA notebook is super lightweight (1 Kg!), has a full chiclet keyboard, and a large touchpad (trackpad) to enhance your overall user experience; plus you can also enjoy a few simple games such as WoW or Guild Wars 2 when you’re not busy putting thoughts into typed words. Some HTML programmers also use this portable laptop for light projects (writing code) without any hitches or unnecessary dragging. Exceptional battery life, nice speakers, ideal for mobile writers, good for browsing the web or watching movies… these are just some of the reasons that have made this laptop one of the most recommended for busy traveling writers. You also get 1 USB 3.0 port, 1 USB 2.0 port, and a micro-SD port.
HP Chrome 14
Great For The Writer On The Go: At only 3.4 lbs, this lightweight laptop is great for writers who enjoy taking their work on the road with them. The ability to easily access google apps and connect a variety of WI-FI hot spots also makes it a great addition to journalists who often work in the field and need to quickly share information with other members of their team. However, if you like to print out a hard copy of your work, you better be prepared with a wireless printer as this modern laptop is not compatible with many of the classic printers on the market.
Our picks under $500
HP G1 Chromebook: 13 -Inch Screen (Chrome OS 64)
Pro: Strong mainstream computing performance
Con: Restricted to Chrome OS
The impeccably sleek, ultra-slim, executive design (with anodized brushed chassis made of light aluminum) makes the HP Chromebook G1 a leader in its category and an obvious choice for many serious writers looking for an agile performer.
The HP G1 Chromebook is all business and professionalism! Not only in its outstanding performance and amazing features, but also in its sophisticated looks that leave quite an impression. You know a writer means business when you see them walking around with the G1 Chromebook 13″.
The HP’s design combines scalability and reliable availability to maximize flexibility and balance the price-vs-performance equation; thus providing mobile professional writers with unmatched collaboration and a solid, well-organized cloud-based security system. Although being stuck with the Chrome OS may appear to be a disadvantage at first, writers can breathe easy knowing that Chrome’s exceptional security is at work around the clock to protect their hard work. This includes multi-layered protection services such as sandboxing, anti-virus, verified booting, and encryption.
Everyday computing needs are easily solved with the HP Chromebook 13 thanks to the 4GB SDRAM memory and 32GB internal flash memory (eMMC). You can multi-task and have multiple active programs, windows, or browser tabs running concurrently without annoying snags. To expand connectivity, the HP G1 comes with 1 USB 3.1 type A generation 1 port, 1 multi-format Digital Media Reader that supports SD, SDXC, and SDHC (including UHS-I), 2 USB 3.1 type C generation 1 ports, combo Bluetooth 4.2 – Wi-FI dual-band connectivity, and a combo audio in/out jack.
All this is efficiently driven by the Intel Pentium (4405Y-6th gen 1.5GHz Dual-Core) processor which is also responsible for low processing that translates to less heat emission; thus the HP’s fan-less design for silent operation. The back-lit keyboard comes in handy when you need to continue writing in the darkness in case of sudden blackouts or when in places without sufficient lighting.
ASUS F556UA-AB32: 15.6-inch Screen Full-HD
Pro: Expandable RAM
Con: Squeezed keyboard
The ASUS F556UA-AB32 is what you’d call a game changer! This laptop is pure local desktop muscle as opposed to cloud computing as extensively implemented with previously reviewed laptops (with considerable low native specs); including the HP G1 Chromebook discussed above.
If you’re a writer with small fingers (fat fingers + squeezed keyboard to accommodate Numpad = lots of typos!), and you’re looking for a powerful machine that will handle all the writing gigs you can possibly throw at it, and pretty much everything else you need a good PC for, then the ASUS F556UA-AB32 is your perfect partner. So what makes the ASUS 15.6″ so special to a professional writer?
The 1 TB internal storage (HDD) allows you to save all your written works and any other form of data (photos, videos (including movies), music) locally; plus you can install all the programs you’ll ever need, including games that have notably heavy graphics for an average computer. The luxurious superior hard-plastic chassis (with metallic finish) houses a 6th gen Core i3 (2.3GHz – 6100U) processor and expandable 4GB RAM (DDR4DL) that work together to create the perfect balance for your entertainment and productivity needs by making things a bit faster and facilitating smooth operation. USB 3.1 provides for faster data transfer, while the latest 802.11ac wireless connectivity allows you to access the internet at very high speeds. You also have the LAN/Ethernet port for wired internet connection… What more could a writer possibly want in an all-around budget laptop?
Our picks under $1000
HP ENVY Notebook: 13.3-inch Screen Full HD (Windows 10)
Pro: Futuristic clean design
Con: Poor touchpad tracking
If you’re a MacBook fan but tied on finances then the HP envy will bring you close enough. The Envy notebook is HP’s reliable technology redefined! The closest HP have ever come to perfection.
Excellent processing power (Core i5 – Dual Core 2.5GHz boosting to 3.1GHz), all-metal lightweight housing (aluminum), back-lit keyboard with well-spaced chiclet keys, very thin design, full battery charge in 90 minutes and 8-14 hours of battery life depending on use, 8GB of RAM and 250GB SSD hard drive for faster running of installed programs (such as Photoshop), awesomely crisp and vivid picture, UWVA display technology to help you work outdoors in the sun without squinting all the time or having to tilt the screen to different angles for visibility, high consistency with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connections, quality and loud enough well positioned speakers, and a glass-like touchpad that works too good for its own good! The HP Envy 13″ notebook has it all!
If you’re one of those writers with friends who own MacBooks or take MacBooks to be the standard golden benchmark for build quality, then you’ll blend right in with the HP Envy.
The ease of typing on the HP envy’s keyboard is a big selling point for writers. Overall, the HP notebook – feels good to carry around and it’s quite solid with exceptionally high read/write speeds. The SSD hard drive also shortens the Windows 10 boot time to only 8 seconds. Add the affordability factor and you have the ultimate ultra-portable personal laptop for all your writing tasks and entertainment. We all know what they say about too much work and no play, right? Well, the NVIDIA graphics will allow writers who are also avid gamers on their free time to enjoy flawless gameplay during games such as Hitman, or GTA Vice City.
On the downside, as mentioned earlier, the tracking on the touchpad works perfectly with Windows 10 gestures but it can be a bit tricky since the extra sensitive touchpad will sometimes register clicks even when your fingers are just hovering over it… without even any actual contact. The HP envy is highly recommended for all writers who prefer style and processing horsepower (17x faster than ordinary notebooks) all packaged in a beautifully designed machine that literally helps you master your workload. You also get the latest USB 3.1 port, a headphone jack, and an HDMI port.
ASUS ZenBook Flip (UX360CA-AH51T): 13.3-inch Touch Screen Full-HD (Windows 10)
Pro: Super fast USB charging
Con: Occasional crash when flipping
The ASUS Zenbook really lives up to its name when it comes to quiet peaceful computing. Everything the Zenbook UX360 does is seamless and with high levels responsiveness.
For starters, the ASUS Zen UX360 – works without a fan or clicking hard-disk which gives the writer ample time to recollect and articulate their thoughts in perfect silence. And you don’t to keep waiting for the laptop to respond or deal with annoying snags since it combines the power of a 7th gen Core i5 (M3 – the lowest capabilities in this generation of processors) processor, 8GB of SDRAM (DDR3), and an SSD hard drive (a big bonus) to make the ASUS Zen fly!
The integrated Intel HD graphics chip enables crystal clear picture display on the IPS screen to give the writer the best viewing or working experience. Anti-glare qualities also allow writers to work outside without struggling. With the pre-installed Windows 10 OS comes Cortana, your reliable virtual assistant to keep you busy and organized while bringing you all the breaking news from all over the world, on command. Please note that Cortana uses Bing for searches instead of Google.
The Zenbook UX360 lacks some useful features such as a backlit keyboard which makes it quite difficult to work with limited lighting. On the bright side, the Zenbook’s trackpad works amazingly well and it follows MS precision track specifications to present writers with accurate solid responses to navigation and clicks. This means writers can easily move between their works at reasonable speeds. For expandability, the ASUS Zenbook comes with 1 USB 2.0 port, a USB 3.0 port, 1 SD port, and the latest type C USB 3.1 port to keep you at par with technological changes. Since the Zenbook UX360 flips into a tablet, it provides writers with unmatched flexibility and convenience of operation while being highly portable for the ultimate writer’s experience.
ASUS ZenBook Ultra-Slim (UX330UA-AH54): 13.3-inch Intelligent Display (Windows 10)
Pro: Biometric secure access
Con: Not upgradable
The ASUS Zenbook UX330UA and the UX360 are not that much different in terms of build or computing power but it lacks the touch or conversion to tablet capability. The ultra slim design is made for portability with on-the-go writers in mind.
The ASUS Zenbook UX330UA-AH54 13″ also includes a backlit keyboard which is not in the UX360 flip and this makes it the perfect laptop to use in dark places. This awesome writer’s companion runs on a Core i5 processor (2.5GHz – M2), it has 8 GB of RAM, and a 256 GB SSD hard disk to accommodate all your local installations or saved works.
Apple MacBook Air 13.3-Inch
Stay Charged Up: There is nothing worse than being in the middle of an assignment and needing to stop to find a place to plug in. With the impressive 12 hours battery life offered by this lightweight machine, you can easily get through your entire writing workday without worrying about a dead battery. The fast processing speeds will also surprise you as the 1.6 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 easily competes with far more expensive machines. However, if you are planning to do some laptop gaming in your downtime, you may look somewhere else, but for your writing assignments, you won’t find better!
|Processor||1.6 GHz Intel Core i5|
|RAM||8 GB of 1600 MHz LPDDR3|
|Graphics Card||Intel HD Graphics 6000|
|Average Battery Life||12 hours|
Dell XPS 13 Inch
Before we get to the benefits this PC offers to writers, it is worth noting that it has one of the most elegant, aluminum body designs out there. One of the biggest advantages of this laptop overall the aforementioned ones is that it has backlit keyboard for typing even in dark places. This Dell version is super light (2.6 pounds) which is really impressive for a full laptop. Long battery life of over 15 hours on moderate use make this machine perfect for your writing needs.
|Processor||Intel Core i5-6200u 2.5 GHz Processor|
|RAM||8 GB LPDDR3 RAM|
|Storage||128 GB SSD|
|Graphics Card||Intel HD Graphics 520|
|Average Battery Life||15 hours|
ASUS Zenbook Pro
Pro: Quick Possessing Speeds
Con: Keyboard Not Centered
Working At The Speed Of Light: This computer is great for individuals who do a lot of research prior to taking on a new writing project thanks to the lightening fast speeds at which sites are able to load. The slightly larger than average 15.6-inch touchscreen also provides a beautiful display which is easy on the eyes even if you spend countless hours a day behind your computer. The only problem for many users is that the keyboard is a few keys off center in order to accommodate a number pad to the right of the keyboard. For individuals who must center themselves in front of the screen in order to type properly, this could lead to a lot of typos and potentially a lot of lost time.
|Processor||2.6 GHz Core i7-4720HQ|
|RAM||16 GB DDR3|
|Storage||512 GB PCIe|
|Graphics Card||Nvidia GTX960M 2GB GDDR5|
|Average Battery Life||6 hours|
Apple MacBook Pro
A Quiet Day’s Work: The ability to concentrate is key for many writers as they struggle to find just the right words to describe their current story. This concentration can be easily disruptive by laptops that tend to run hot causing the internal fan to cycle on frequently. With this laptop, this is never a problem as it’s lightweight and airy construction allows it to run considerably cooler than most of the other models the market has to offer. However, no matter how fast or quiet this machine may be, die-hard PC users may find that switching to the functions of a Mac is simply uncomfortable.
|Processor||2.7 GHz Intel Core i5|
|RAM||8 GB LPDDR3|
|Graphics Card||Intel Iris Graphics 6100|
|Average Battery Life||10 hours|
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