9 Of The Best Laptops For Writers On A Budget In 2020

9 Of The Best Laptops For Writers On A Budget

You’re shopping for a writing laptop. And the options… let’s just say they’re overwhelming. And that’s just for the ones you can afford. 

Computers for writers come with so many different features. Some have Microsoft 365 included. Others have touchscreens and can convert to tablets. 

And then there are Macs, which are in a class all their own.

If you don’t know exactly which features you want (and which ones you can live without), you’re bound to feel lost.

But we can help with that.

Welcome to the AuthorityPub list of the 9 best laptops for writers on a budget. 

Apple MacBook Air (13-inch, 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD Storage)Amazon Button
HP 2020 Newest 17.3 Inch Flagship Laptop (16GB RAM, 256GB storage)Amazon Button
HP 15.6” HD Touchscreen Laptop (8GB RAM and 128GB SSD storage)Amazon Button
Samsung XE500C13 Chromebook 3 (11.6” display, 2GB RAM, 16GB storage)Amazon Button
HP Stream 14-inch Laptop (4GB RAM, 32 GB storage) Amazon Button
2019 New Lenovo 300e Flagship 2-in-1 Business Laptop/Tablet with 11.6” touchscreenAmazon Button
HP Stream 14-inch Laptop (4GB RAM, 64GB eMMC storage)Amazon Button
ASUS VivoBook 15 Thin and Light Laptop (15.6” display, 8GB RAM, 128 SSD)Amazon Button
Samsung Chromebook 3 (11.6” HD display, 4GB RAM, 32GB storage) Amazon Button

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Things to Consider When Buying a Laptop for Writers

When shopping for a new laptop, there are a few things you need to take into consideration:

  • Battery Life — If you want a laptop for typing away from home, you need something you won’t have to charge two hours (or less)  after you begin. 
  • Display  — Anything with a display of 10 inches or smaller (diagonally) is likely to cause eye strain over hours of use. 
  • Portability — If you’ll be toting your laptop to the library, coffee shop, cafe, etc., you want something lightweight and easy to stow in the laptop pocket of your messenger bag or backpack. 
  • Keyboard — The smaller the laptop, the smaller the keyboard, and you want typing to feel as natural and comfortable as possible. Look for a laptop that prioritizes this in their product description or check the reviews for comments on the keyboard.
  • Software — If you’re planning to use Microsoft Office 365, some laptops come with a one-year membership included in the price. If you want the program also installed in your laptop’s hard drive, you’ll need something with enough storage space. 
  • Storage — If you’re planning to save most of your work to the Cloud, you won’t need a machine with a high capacity for data storage. Look for something with 32GB+ of storage if you’re looking to save your work on your hard drive, too. 
  • Webcam — If you’re planning to use this laptop for video chats or any kind of video marketing, a webcam is a must. Fortunately, most laptops (including every one of the models on the list below) come equipped with one. 

Now that you know what to look for, check out the options below to find the laptop that will serve you (and your budget) best. 

9 of the Best Laptops for Writers on a Budget 

This is not the time to impulse-shop (as fun as that can be).

You want a laptop notebook for writers that won’t give you buyer’s remorse before the first year is up. 

Apple MacBook Air (13-inch, 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD Storage)

At around $750, this is the priciest option but still worth listing here — especially for diehard fans of Apple devices.

If you’re looking for something that will sync with your iPhone or iPad, this is one of the most affordable MacBooks available. 

It comes with a backlit, glossy, high-resolution widescreen display and weighs just under three pounds, making it both lightweight and easy on the eyes (in more ways than one). 

Pros:

MacBooks (and Apple devices in general) have an established reputation for quality
No more buggy Windows OS
Lightweight (under 3 pounds) 
1.8 dual-core Intel Core i5 processor 
Intel HD Graphics 6000
8GB Memory and fast SSD storage

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Cons:

Pricey at around $750 (most expensive on the list — because Apple)

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HP 2020 Newest 17.3 Inch Flagship Laptop (16GB RAM, 256GB storage) 

This HP laptop has a 17.3 inch display and an 8th Gen Intel Core (i5) processor for fast performance and a 256GB SSD harddrive for generous storage.

It comes with a DVD drive and weighs in at 5.4 pounds. 

The RAM has been upgraded from 8GB to 16GB for multi-tasking. And the massive harddrive storage makes it easy to store important data on your device — in case something interferes with your connection to cloud storage.

Pros:

Large (17.3”) HD + Brightview WLED-backlit display with Intel HD Graphics 620
DVD/CD burner
DTS stereo sound with dual speakers
16GB RAM and 256GB SSD storage

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Cons:

Heaviest at 5.4 pounds
Still pricey at $686.99

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HP 15.6” HD Touchscreen Laptop (8GB RAM and 128GB SSD storage) 

This HP option has a touchscreen with a 15.6” display and weighs 4.4 pounds.

The 10th Gen Intel Core i3 gives you processing speeds of up to 3.4GHz, leaving behind most other laptops at this price point. 

At 4.4 pounds, it’s a bit heavier than most of the other laptops on this list, but it makes up for that with its long battery life, larger display, and ample storage.

Pros: 

15.6 in HD WLED touchscreen (1366 x 768), 10-finger multi-touch support.
HD Audio with stereo speakers
HP TrueVision HD camera
8GB RAM and 128GB SSD storage

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Cons: 

Heavier than some of the other options (but not by much)
Current price: $456 

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Samsung XE500C13 Chromebook 3 (11.6” display, 2GB RAM, 16GB storage) 

At around $200 and weighing just under three pounds, the Samsung Chromebook packs a lot of value into a small package with a budget-friendly price.

And with up to 11 hours of battery life on a single charge, you can take it anywhere without worrying about where you’ll plug it in to recharge it. 

Built-in security features protect this laptop from viruses and malware, while the spill-resistant keyboard protects it from accidental damage from liquids nearby. 

Pros: 

Up to 11 hours battery life on one charge
Spill-resistant keyboard
Lightest option at 2.54 pounds
Rugged design to keep it going even after three years of use

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Cons: 

Light on the USB ports and may not even have an HDMI port
Low RAM (available options are 2GB and 4GB)
Low memory (available options are 16GB and 32GB)

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HP Stream 14-inch Laptop (4GB RAM, 32 GB storage) 

This Windows 10 laptop comes in a stunning aqua blue and includes a one-year membership in Office 365 Personal and 1 TB (terabyte) of OneDrive cloud storage.

The battery last up to 9 hours on a single charge. 

The DTS stereo sound guarantees a deep bass and clear dialogue for all your entertainment and telecommuting needs.

And at 3.17 pounds, this thin, lightweight laptop is easy to pack for writing on the go. 

Pros:

Up to 9 hours of battery life for video playback or up to 7 for wireless streaming
Thin and lightweight at only 3.17 pounds
One-year membership in Office 365 Personal with 1TB OneDrive cloud storage
3 USB ports + an HDMI port for connecting with an external display
Low price at under $300 for a new model
Textured aqua blue finish

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Cons:

Low RAM (4 GB — not upgradable) 
Low memory (32GB — which is fine if you don’t plan on storing much)

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2019 New Lenovo 300e Flagship 2-in-1 Business Laptop/Tablet with 11.6” touchscreen 

If you’re looking for a laptop with a touchscreen, and you love the idea of converting it to a tablet, the Lenovo 300e comes with Windows 10 in S mode, which is fast, secure, and energy-efficient.

If you want to use apps that aren’t in the Microsoft Store, you can easily switch from S-mode to Windows 10 Professional for free in Windows settings. 

This model weighs 3.2 pounds and has an average battery life of 8 hours. It comes in jet black with a matte finish. 

Pros:

Low price: under $300 for a new laptop
11.6” HD IPS touchscreen with Intel HD Graphics 500
Convertible to tablet
Free switch from Windows 10 in S-mode Win 10 Professional
64GB hard drive storage

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Cons:

In S mode, Windows blocks any applications not in the Microsoft Store
Some customers warned against a bug in S mode that locked them out

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HP Stream 14-inch Laptop (4GB RAM, 64GB eMMC storage)

This model has the longest battery life at up to 14.25 hours for video playback and up to 11.5 hours for wireless streaming.

It also comes with a one-year membership to Microsoft Office 365 Personal, with 1 TB of OneDrive cloud storage. 

The 64GB storage capacity ensures you have plenty of room for the pre-installed apps and for those you install yourself to maximize your laptop’s usefulness. 

Pros:

Up to 14.25 hours of battery life on one charge
Includes a one-year membership with Office 365 and 1 TB OneDrive cloud storage
64GB hard drive storage 
One-year limited hardware warranty and 24-7 web support if ordered from Amazon.com (not a third-party seller)
HD display with Brightview ensures a bright, clear picture in high-definition detail

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Cons:

Low RAM (4GB) compared to some other models at this price point
No backlit keyboard, touchscreen, or fingerprint reader

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ASUS VivoBook 15 Thin and Light Laptop (15.6” display, 8GB RAM, 128 SSD) 

The ASUS option features a backlit chiclet keyboard with fingerprint sensor and an exclusive ergonomic design for a more wrist-friendly typing position. 

For added peace of mind, the ASUS one-year Accidental Damage Protection (ADP) will repair or replace your laptop in the event of liquid spills, electrical surges, and accidental drops. 

Pros:

Battery charges 60% in only 49 minutes
Intel Core i3 processor with speeds up to 3.9GHz
8GB RAM and 128GB storage
Ergonomic keyboard with fingerprint sensor
4-sided Nanoedge FHD display with 88% screen-to-body ratio

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Cons: 

Poor quality speakers, subpar graphics, and a mediocre webcam (according to a detailed review)
One reviewer reported a battery life of 2 to 3 hours on a single charge.

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Samsung Chromebook 3 (11.6” HD display, 4GB RAM, 32GB storage) 

For under $250, this Chromebook gives you up to 11 hours of use on a single battery charge, and the anti-reflective finish on the display helps reduce eye strain.

The energy efficient LED backlight means you can keep working even when the lights go off. 

The spill-resistant keyboard means you can rest easier about working with a drink close at hand.

And the USB and HDMI ports expand your options for viewing, typing, and storage. 

Pros: 

Lightweight at 2.6 pounds
Up to 11 hours of use on a single battery charge
Two USB 2.0 and Two USB 3.0 ports
HDMI port for external viewing options
Splil-resistent keyboard

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Cons: 

Only 4GB RAM (not upgradable) and 32GB hard drive storage
Limited viewing angle for the display and mediocre speakers (review)

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Here’s our recommendation for the best laptop for writers on a budget.

Now that you’ve reviewed the options, which laptop stood out as the one with everything you need — at a price you can afford? 

After carefully reviewing the nine options in this post, my personal favorite is the HP Stream in aqua blue (The closest second is the Lenovo tablet/laptop convertible).

Though it comes with only 4GB of RAM (adequate) and 32GB hard drive storage, the HP Stream includes a one-year subscription to Office 365 Personal with a terabyte of OneDrive cloud storage. 

It also has a 14” display with Brightview for clear viewing — which is essential when you’re spending hours with your eyes glued to the screen.  Clear audio is also a priority.

The price (under $300 brand new), combined with its other virtues (including the aqua blue finish), made up for the lackluster storage — at least for me.

You know your budget and your “must haves” better than I do. Whatever you write and however long you spend writing it, I hope this post helps you find a laptop you’ll love.

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