Choosing the computer upon which you will compose your bestselling novel is a very personal thing. You have to decide which features are most important to you and what kind of writer you are. Some of you prefer a very simple machine that sits on your desk in a corner and only needs to perform word processing. Others might prefer a much more involved set-up with multiple screens and every piece of software you can get your hands on. You’re the writer who plans to do every step of the publishing process yourself, and probably doing it for others, too. The best computers for writers are the ones that fit your lifestyle and needs. Portability, battery life, and memory are all things to consider.
- 2020 Apple MacbookAir with M1 Chip
- Dell Inspiron 14 5406 2 in 1 Convertible Laptop
- ASUS Laptop L210
- Microsoft Surface Studio 2
- Acer Aspire C27
- Acer Chromebox
Most writers who opt for laptops are always on the go. They want to take their work with them everywhere. They might be travelers, or maybe just like writing at the local coffee shop or library.
All the Bells and Whistles
Some writers prefer to have a laptop with every available feature. They want a big, high-resolution screen, loads of memory and speed, and every available program. Our recommendation is the Dell Inspiron 14 5406 2 in 1 Convertible Laptop. It can be used as a regular laptop or a touchscreen tablet and has good sharp graphics and a super-fast Intel Core i7 processor. You can connect it to your smartphone easily to sync across devices.
The best computers for writers are sometimes the ones that offer the greatest portability. The writer-on-the-go might want something lightweight yet powerful. For this writer, we recommend the 2020 Apple Macbook Air with M1 chip because of its long battery life (18 hours!) and low weight (2.8 lbs). It’s also super fast, doesn’t have a noisy fan, and is available in 256 and 512 gig versions. While Macs are on the more expensive side, we think you’ll love taking this computer with you everywhere.
Constant Companion – Honorable Mention
Honorable Mention goes to the Asus Zenbook for its ultra-lightweight (2.57 lbs) and super-long battery life (up to 21 hours!). The one downside is that there’s no audio jack, so you’ll have to listen to your playlist via wireless Bluetooth headphones.
Just the Basics
For some of you, the best computers for writers are the ones that simply allow you to write. You don’t care about anything but getting the words out of your head and into your computer. You’re the kind of writer who probably hires others to do the editing, formatting, and other publishing tasks. For you, we recommend ASUS Laptop L210. It’s just a basic, budget laptop, but it comes with one year of Microsoft Office 365 Personal for free. It’s slim and light, making it easy to carry around.
Many writers are more stationary. You might be the kind of writer who has a dedicated office, a big, beautiful desk, and a machine that fits your style. The best computers for writers are sometimes desktops.
The Command Center
If you’re the kind of writer who likes to have multiple screens and 28 browser tabs open at the same time and wants multiple screens, speed, performance, amazing graphics, and memory, then the Microsoft Surface Studio 2 is what you’re looking for. Its got a hefty price tag but will effectively serve all your word processing, note-taking, research, and any other needs you might have when creating your literary masterpiece. It also has a touchscreen and is great for drawing.
For your mid-range needs, we recommend the Acer Aspire C27. It has a nice, big, crisp display on a monitor that you can adjust the angle on with a slider to cover the camera for privacy. It doesn’t take up much space since there is no tower. The keyboard and mouse are wireless and reviews say that the dongle (device to transmit the signal between the computer and the wireless components) is hidden inside the battery compartment of the mouse, so be sure to look for it there!
The Pumpkin Spice Latte
Some of you only need word processing and plan to outsource everything else. You’re the writer who wants to just sit down at your desktop and pour your heart out and nothing else. Your needs are very basic when it comes to a computer. For you, we recommend the Acer Chromebox. It’s a small tower with a keyboard and mouse, so you’ll have to get a monitor separately. There are plenty of USB ports for memory sticks and a headphone jack to allow you to listen to your mood playlist without disturbing others while you work. You don’t get much more basic than this!
Best Computers for Writers Bonus Category – PC Sticks!
I only very recently (during the writing of this article) discovered the convenient and economic world of PC sticks. Wow! They are, more or less, memory sticks that function as full-blown computers. I won’t call them portable because they do not include necessary components (which you’ll have to purchase separately) like a keyboard, mouse, or monitor. On the upside, they allow you to customize your setup. You can use any compatible computer monitor or tv, keyboard, and mouse. On the downside, they don’t seem to have a lot of memory or power. They really don’t have to, though, since the prices seem to be in the neighborhood of $200. I can definitely see these handy little things becoming more popular and more powerful in the future!
The first one is the PC Stick Intel Atom Z8350. It comes with a few USB ports and a micro SD card slot. It works with 5G wifi and offers 4K HD video playback. It has a Quad-core Intel X5-Z8350 Processor. That’s a decent amount of punch for such a small device!
Next, we have the ASUS Chromebit CS10 Stick. This one includes an HDMI extender cable to help you access it from behind a wall-mounted TV. The processor is a 1.8 GHz rockchip_rk3288, and it uses Chrome OS. This one seems to rely a bit more on Bluetooth since there are no USB ports on the stick. It has 16 gig flash memory, so you might be better off storing your files in a cloud.
The best computers for writers are the ones that work with the individual style of the writer
Every writer works differently, and the best computers for writers are the ones that match your writing style and lifestyle! We hope this list has been helpful in giving you some idea of what’s out there and the benefits of each kind of machine. Don’t forget to check out our post about the Best Software for Writers to learn more about what kinds of programs are available for every kind of writer!