A laptop is the most important tool for writers because it is where you get all your work done. Imagine conceiving a brilliant idea, but as you open the laptop to pen it down, you encounter many problems. It is frustrating, isn’t it?
You need a reliable laptop that works smoothly and, most importantly, drives you to write more. It is fair to assume that such a laptop will cost a lot, but let us tell you, it is not the case. There are plenty of best-budget laptops for writers that would not break the bank, which is exactly what this article discusses. So, let’s get to it.
Factors To Consider When Choosing a Budget Laptop For Writing
Before getting to affordable laptops, let us tell you some factors that must be considered when you want to write on them.
Apps that you use to write on a laptop do not consume as much power. So, if you are getting a laptop strictly for writing purposes, it does not have to be power-packed. However, it does not mean you start picking from generation two or three. You must find the right balance and pick a laptop that is neither too overwhelming nor underpowered.
Keyboard Comfort and Usability
Keyboard comfort is probably the most important factor when picking a laptop for a writer. You have to write on it for hours, sometimes without even taking a break. If you do that on an uncomfortable keyboard, you will likely fatigue your fingers and be unable to work more.
You should look for a laptop with evenly spaced soft keys and preferably a full-size layout. A comfortable keyboard will drive you to write more, making it fun.
When it comes to displaying quality, you do not need hardcore graphic performance as long as you strictly need it for writing. However, ensure that the display has decent resolution and color performance to prevent eye strain.
You should look for a laptop with at least 6 hours of battery backup. Anything below that would not suffice, especially if you travel a lot because you cannot get a power plug nearby all the time.
Portability and Weight
As a writer, you will often move places and hop around cafes, gardens, and parks, making carrying a large, heavy laptop challenging. You should always look for a compact and lightweight laptop to make commuting between different places easy.
Lastly, the price has to be the defining factor in whether or not you want a particular laptop. You do not have to stretch the budget to get a quality laptop for writing; you just have to find the features you can compromise on.
Top Budget Laptops For Writers On The Market
Acer Chromebook 314
Acer Chromebook 314 is an ideal option for users who want extended laptop battery life. Since the operating system (OS) in this device is light, it does not consume much power and last longer. Furthermore, you no longer have to keep it connected to the internet to work on it. The price tag on this device is also lower than laptops that run MacOS or Windows, making it an exciting prospect for those on a little too tight a budget.
- CPU: Intel Celeron N4000
- RAM: 4GB
- Screen: 14-inches, 1366 x 768 pixels
- Storage: 32 GB
- Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 600
- Provides excellent value
- Incredible battery life
- Smooth keyboard
- Low storage
Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio
Microsoft Surface offers a premium window experience as a writing laptop. It offers the right balance of power, which is good enough to run your writing applications smoothly. Best part? It can be converted into a tablet, making it an excellent reading machine. You can proofread your documents while comfortably lying on a couch or bed.
- CPU: Quad Core 11th Generation
- RAM: 16 or 32 GB
- Screen: 14.4 inches PixelSense Flow Display Touch Screen
- Storage: 512 GB – 2TB
- Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050
- Comfortable keyboard
- Detailed display
- Powerful processor
- Slightly expensive
Huawei MateBook X Pro
Huawei MateBook X Pro has many features we can discuss, but what makes it an interesting pick for writers is its 3:2 aspect ratio. It offers more vertical space and makes scrolling up and down a document a breeze. On the flip side, it would not make an excellent media machine because that requires 16:9. Furthermore, the laptop comes with a very powerful processor, which enables the smooth functioning of applications you use for writing.
It also comes with 16 GB of DDR3 RAM, which reads and write files in a matter of second. Not to mention, it allows you to swiftly switch between different tabs without experiencing a lag.
- CPU: Intel i7 8th Gen
- RAM: 8 GB
- Display: 13.9 inches, 3000 x 2000
- Storage: 512 GB
- Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce MX150
- Excellent design
- Powerful specs
- Comfortable keyboard
- Not a great media laptop
Honorable Mentions: Other Budget Laptops For Writers Worth Considering
Some of the laptops that did not make it to the top list but are worthy enough for writing include the following;
Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook
- Processor: MediaTek Helio P60T Processor
- RAM: 4GB LPDDR4X
- Display: 10.1 inches, 1920 x 1080
- Storage: 128 GB SSD
- Excellent battery life
- Compact and portable
- Decent display
- Keyboard is not comfortable
- Low storage
HP Chromebook 14
Processor: Intel Celeron N4020
Display: 14-inch, 1366 x 768 (Brightview)
Storage: 64 GB eMMC
- Decent Display
- Comfortable keyboard
MacBook Air (M1, 2020)
Processor: Apple M1 Chip
RAM: 8 GB Unified
Display: 13.3 inches, Retina Display, 2560 x 1600
Graphics: Integrated 7 – 8 core
- Balanced laptop
- Excellent power
- Comfortable keyboard
- Incredible display
- Expensive Price Tag
How To Choose The Best Budget Laptop For Your Writing Needs
If you do not find the above-mentioned laptops a good fit or are confused between them, let us tell you a few tips that will make things easier.
Tips For Finding The Right Balance of Features and Price
- The components that drive the cost of a laptop include a processor, graphics card, and display quality. While other components, such as size, RAM, and storage, also play a role, they are not as significant as those mentioned before. You do not have to push the limit to find a quality laptop.
- You do not need a dedicated graphics card because none of the applications used for writing needs it. While having access to a higher-power processor can make things smooth, you do not need the latest chip. Go for a processor a tier or two below the latest chip, and you will experience no issues whatsoever. Anything above the 6th generation will run the laptop as smoothly as you want.
- As for the display, again, you do not need 4K resolution because you are not working on graphics. All you need is a decent screen that is bright and detailed enough to show you what you have written.
Importance of Researching and Reading Reviews Before Making a Purchase
While purchasing a laptop, never take the manufacturer at its face value, as even the giants can make mistakes. You should always read reviews of the people who have used the laptop before finally purchasing one. What some people describe as a con might not be a problem for you, but knowing what you are getting into is important. Reading the reviews will help you determine what to expect from a particular laptop.
Considerations for Long-Term Use and Future Proofing
If you are looking for a laptop for the short term and want to purchase a better one as soon as you get more money, getting just about any laptop will do. However, if you are looking for a long-term solution, it is wise to future-proof it. See, some laptop components, including RAM, storage, etc., can be replaced whenever you want. So, if you are looking for an affordable solution, compromising on them is a good idea because you can always replace them.
In contrast, other features like display, processor, and graphics card cannot be changed. You have to stick with them, and if you pick a processor that is not future-proof – meaning it would not be able to run the latest application after a certain period, it will present problems. Thus, it is best to not compromise on them and spare as much as possible to get better versions of these components to future-proof the laptop.
Finding an affordable laptop for writing is challenging, given the variety in the market, but it does not have to be expensive. You can find it a brilliant laptop for a writer at prices that would not break the bank.
Features that you can afford to compromise on include RAM, storage, and graphics card. At the same time, components like the keyboard, display, and processor should be as good as you can possibly afford. If you are looking for such a laptop, Huawei MateBook X Pro makes a brilliant option thanks to a highly-powered spec sheet and a reasonable price tag.