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5 Best Lightweight Laptops For Writers

Updated on January 24, 2016
neosurk profile image

Roberto has been writing online for 4 years now. He graduated in engineering in 2013 and has passion for technology and gadgets.

What kind of laptop should a writer buy?

In addition to being lightweight, writers require laptops that are easy to carry, boot up fast and which they can carry easily all the time without being much of a hassle.

As a writer, I want these things in a lightweight laptop for writers:

  • A good screen. 15.6 inches is too big for me and I am happy with a 14-inch or even a 13.3-inch display monitor. Screen size does not matter as long as it has got a good screen resolution.
  • Calm and Quiet CPU. That's why I would get an SSD drive instead of a traditional mechanical hard disk which makes noise as it rotates.
  • Should not heat while I'm working. Again SSD is a pro here because it does not create unnecessary heat as it does not have moving parts.
  • WiFi is a must. Where am I gonna backup all my writing?
  • Battery life should be more than 7 hours. Okay, 6 hours if you cancel one hour for lunch break. But no, I need to check my Facebook at that time - so 7 hours is a minimum.
  • Should have a backlit keyboard - no questions asked!
  • More than two USB ports—one for charging my phone and another for a flash drive.

Do you have an OS preference?

What operating system would you like in your laptop?

See results

Top Best Lightweight Laptops for Writers

(click column header to sort results)
Laptop Type  
Price Range  
Recommended Laptop  
Battery Life  
Weight  
Windows
$800-$1000
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon
9 hours
3.15 pounds
Windows OS on a strict budget
$200-$300
HP Stream 13
7.75 hours
3.4 pounds
Macbook
$800-$1000
Apple MacBook Air MD711LL/B (11.6-inch version)
9 hours
2.38 pounds
Google Chromebook
Under $250
Toshiba Chromebook 2
9 hours
2.95 pounds
Windows OS, Mid-Range, good for everyday use but comfortable for writing
$400-$500
Acer Aspire E5-471-52TW
7 hours
5 pounds

Best Lightweight Windows Laptops for Writers

✔ The ultimate choice for Microsoft Windows OS lovers

✔ Lightweight, packed with a powerful processor and ample RAM

✔ Adequate memory for storing all work (including other files like music and movies)

✔ Best bang for the buck

1. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Touch

Lenovo's Thinkpad X1 is a winner for me because it has an amazing neat keyboard in a powerful laptop body. The weight is just 3.2 pounds which makes it easy for me to carry it around.

4th Generation Intel i5 processor ensures fast startup and the amazing Windows 8.1 Pro handles all my software needs. The screen is also an ultra HD with screen resolution more than 2560 X 1440 which fits more than two programs at the same time on the same window. This makes it easy for me to research and write at the same time. And oh, the keyboard feels amazing.

The keyboard is the best you can get on a Windows PC
The keyboard is the best you can get on a Windows PC
Yes, the Lenovo Carbon X1 also stretches out!
Yes, the Lenovo Carbon X1 also stretches out!

The Lenovo X1 has been rated 5 stars by over 41 Amazon buyers. Verified purchasers have especially commended the outstanding battery that charges to 80% under an hour.

  • The ultra book ships with a genuine Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 Pro
  • Can be upgraded to Windows 10 for free.
  • All models come with 3-years manufacturer's warranty.

Lightweight Windows Laptop On a Budget

✔ Convenience and universality of Windows

✔ Lightweight, inexpensive, but gets the work done smoothly

✔ Packed with features for writers

✔ Free Windows 10, Free Microsoft Office

✔ 13.3-inch LED Screen and costs under $250

2. For writers on a strict budget - HP Stream 13

Features

13.3" LED Screen
Processor speed up to 2.16 GHz
Runs Windows 8.1 (not bad for a machine running a Celeron processor)
Also available in Windows 10 version (and is about $30 cheaper)
2016 HP Stream 13.3" Premium HD Touchscreen Laptop - Intel Dual-Core N3050 up to 2.16GHz, 2GB RAM, 32GB eMMC, 1-yr Office 365 Included, DTS Studio Sound, WLAN, Bluetooth, Webcam, Windows 10
2016 HP Stream 13.3" Premium HD Touchscreen Laptop - Intel Dual-Core N3050 up to 2.16GHz, 2GB RAM, 32GB eMMC, 1-yr Office 365 Included, DTS Studio Sound, WLAN, Bluetooth, Webcam, Windows 10

I normally don't recommend any laptop that still runs a Celeron processor. Those processors lost their cool from 2001, however, the deal with HP Stream's notebook is different.

Not only is the laptop affordable (~$230), it also provides a free subscription to Office 365 and Windows 10. Assuming this laptop is strictly for just web browsing and writing (in addition to casual video playback and YouTube/Facebook browsing), this is a bargain deal.

 

Chromebooks—a writers' perfect machine

✔ For writers who like distraction-free OS

✔ Most recommended for those who love apps more than software

✔ Compatibility with Google applications like Google Docs and Spreadsheet

3. Toshiba Chromebook 2

Laptop Magazine claims that the new 2015 model Toshiba Chromebook CB35-B3340 is an improvement over the previous generation model in every way. The 1920 x 1080p HD display Chromebook costs $329.00 and comes with a boasting 9 hours of battery life on a single charge. There are two USB ports, and the computer supports dual band WiFi spectrum.

One of the main features is the IPS display (in-plane switching), which ensures glare free and proper display even when viewing angles are changed. This is a huge plus for writers who may want to write in different positions and places. Chromebooks are also getting better than ever, and with most of them releasing with touchscreen display, a Chromebook is an ideal choice for a writer who wants a casual machine reserved for just writing.

There is also a semi-HD version of this Chromebook laptop available for a $100 less. The main differences are:

  1. Its screen resolution is 1366 x 768 instead of 1920 x 1080, and
  2. It has 2 GB of RAM instead of 4 GB.

Other perks of Toshiba Chromebook 2

  • It has fanless CPU which reduces noise (thank god!)
  • Free 1 TB storage online at Google Drive
  • webcam, SD card slot, Bluetooth 4.0, security lock
  • Free Gogo WiFi for up to 12 flights
  • Has an amazing speaker!

Mid-range Lightweight Laptop for Writers

✔ Windows and PC users' most popular laptop range

✔ Highly recommended for casual PC users who aren't into heavy-duty performance like graphic designing or gaming

4. Acer E5 Series (471)

With the mixture of power and aesthetic beauty, Aspire E5 is a versatile laptop for a writer's needs. The keyboard area is well-built with slightly raised keys that gives a sense of a true computer keyboard. The trackpad is well-placed below the keyboard and is a smart one, that senses the modern touch gestures. This helps in:

  • Zooming in and out
  • Scrolling up and down in a document
  • Scrolling left and right
  • Pinch/Swirl/Rotate the pictures, documents, scanned documents etc.

Acer E5 Laptop for Writing
Acer E5 Laptop for Writing | Source

Technical Details

Fourth Generation Intel i5 processor has capability to speed up at 1.7 GHz
6-cell battery provides a long 7+ hour battery. More when Bluetooth and networking services are turned off.
Display with aspect ratio of 16:9, and can deliver HD quality video

Writers who love Apple and Mac

✔ Best Macbook models for writers

✔ Lightweight, portable

5. Apple Macbook Air 11.6 inch

The Macbook Air is a very sleek, light and an extremely quiet machine. I choose the 11.6-inch version instead of the 13.3-inch because that way, I can make it more portable. 11.6-inch is also the standard tablet size, so it is very convenient to carry - whether to the coffee shop or to your office.

On the other hand, if you have a lot of pictures, songs and movies you have downloaded, the 128GB model may not be enough for you. Go for the 256GB version. The hard drive is full SSD and is fast and opens in seconds.

Macbook will look great in your home office
Macbook will look great in your home office

Apple MacBook Air (check today's price) has a glossy HD display and an LED-backlit screen that offers up to 12 hours of impressive high definition widescreen display. The new 2016 model costs $850 (for the 11.6-inch model), but the 256GB is also in the same range.

What Macbook Air does not deliver in space, delivers in quality. The touch pad is absolutely to die for and is a boon for writers who don't want to carry a mouse around. It accepts all gestures like zooming in, out, controlled scrolling etc.

Apple Macbook Air 11.6
Apple Macbook Air 11.6

Features of Macbook Air Writers Would Love

  • 1440 x 900 pixels of HD resolution with 13.3-inches of screen size
  • 2 USB 3.0 ports that help transferring files faster
  • Intel HD 6600 graphics
  • Weighs only 3 pounds
  • Battery lasts 11 hours (12 hours in optimal performance)

Comments

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    • neosurk profile image
      Author

      Roberto Eldrum 2 years ago

      Thank you Susie. I feel so blessed.

    • colorfulone profile image

      Susie Lehto 2 years ago from Minnesota

      Roberto, good to hear from you. You have been in my thoughts.

    • neosurk profile image
      Author

      Roberto Eldrum 2 years ago

      @Kristen

      Oh I love Macbooks! So fast, so efficient, so elegant. And they are so appealing to touch. The keyboard feels so smooth and nice.

      Thank you for your comment.

    • neosurk profile image
      Author

      Roberto Eldrum 2 years ago

      @Colorfulone

      Thank you. Yeah, I love the simplicity of Chromebooks. And with more and more touchscreen Chromebooks rolling out, they are growing on me more.

    • monia saad profile image

      monia ben saad 2 years ago from In my Dream

      vry ggod and important review thank you a lot

    • profile image

      BarbaraCasey 2 years ago

      Useful reviews, thanks.

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      I have a MacBook Pro for 2.5 years. I had an Ibook years ago and two Mac Desktop computers. In my writing group, some of my friends have the MacBook air. Great hub with insightful information. Voted up for useful!

    • colorfulone profile image

      Susie Lehto 2 years ago from Minnesota

      I purchased a Chromebook a few months ago and am happy with its speed, HD quality and sound. The price was right too.

      This is a helpful review.