Searching for the absolute affordable writing laptop you get can get on a BUDGET. This is not the ultimate list of the best writing laptops, so only read this list if you have a budget and want good value for money but cheap (SCROLL DOWN to just get to the list of laptops)…
As you know, writing is a tough gig.
Therefore it is helpful to save money on work-related expenses whenever you can. That said, it is still extremely important to have a laptop that allows you to be as productive as possible to keep the word processing (and the money) rolling along smoothly.
Style and substance are highly important for most writers and so these qualities remain important in their search for a new laptop.
What writers NEED in a laptop
There are several characteristics unique to professional writing that narrow down the search for a laptop. Above all, the laptop should have a comfortable keyboard. Compact keyboards can be painful to use if writing is an all-day activity for you. Perhaps even consider buying a laptop with a backlit keyboard so that bad lighting will not impede you from working.
Additionally, the laptop should be light and portable. This is naturally less important if you like to work from the comfort of your home, but if you enjoy working from multiple locations (or wherever inspiration strikes) such as your favorite café, then you will not want to be lugging around a heavy paperweight.
It is also useful to consider the screen. Ideally, it will be pleasant to look at (if you will be staring at it for several hours each day) with good viewing angles and sufficient size.
Battery life is another portability related concern, as more computing-intensive laptops tend to have batteries that power out faster. You would not want your battery to die just before you were about to complete an article or book just before a key deadline!
Best laptops for writers on a budget in 2020
As this is a list of laptops for writers on a budget, it naturally follows that you do not need to look for top-end specifications (unless you also moonlight as a professional gamer in which case, read our post about gaming laptops).
What you should be looking for is a good value for your money at a lower price point. To save you the headache of having to slog through reviews (so you can be more productive hammering out your words-per-minute), here is a list of the best laptops for writers on a budget.
This laptop is rated as “Amazons Choice” for several good reasons. This is a very cheap laptop for writers, and that is why it is at the top of this list.
At only 2.65 pounds, it is extremely lightweight and easy to carry around. It is fairly rugged and durable and claims to be able to withstand a drop of 3.9 feet! It comes with a 1.6 GHz Intel Celeron processor and the Chrome OS, so it is sure to operate word processing programs with great speed.
With an 11.6 inch screen, 4 GB of RAM, and 16 GB of eMMC storage space, its specifications are actually quite good. With integrated Intel HD graphics, you should not have any problems running basic applications. Finally, with 10 hours of battery life, you should be able to complete that article that you are working on before you need to recharge.
- Excellent price.
- Limited gaming capability.
- No backlighting on the keyboard.
The HP Chromebook also appears on the “Amazon’s Choice” list and it is easy to see why. This solid setup comes at a very reasonable price for those aspiring writers who need quality equipment on a budget.
With an entry-level Intel Celeron N3060 1.6 GHz dual-core processor, 4 GB of RAM, and 16 GB of eMMC storage space, this sleek laptop is perfect for word processing quickly. It has an 11.6-inch screen complete with antiglare protection which will help when writing at all times of day.
At only 2.51 pounds, it is also extremely light and portable. The integrated Intel HD graphics are easily enough for writing purposes. Consider this option if word processing is primarily what you need a new laptop for which most writers do!
- Excellent price.
- Anti-glare screen.
- Difficult to attach accessories (such as a printer).
- Specifications are on the low-end for gaming.
This offering from ASUS is small, thin, light, and fast, which makes it absolutely ideal for writing. The sleek grey color is also quite aesthetically pleasing and looks good when writing in a café or the university library. This setup also has very reasonable specifications including an Intel i5 Core capable of 3.4 GHz of processing speed, 8 GB of RAM, and 128 GB of hybrid storage space.
It has many diverse connection ports which will help if you need to attach any accessories to aid you with your work. With a 15.6” wide and 0.8” thin build, this laptop has an excellent display and is highly portable (it also only weighs in at 3.7 pounds).
Best of all, it has an 80% screen to body ratio which maximizes your viewing capabilities while minimizing bulk. Consider this setup if you have a tight but reasonable budget and need slightly better specs for your writing assignments.
- Lightweight and portable.
- Easily upgradable (which removes some of the cons).
- No backlit keyboard.
- HDD hard drive is somewhat slow.
The Acer Aspire E15 is a strong offering that combines reasonable speed and specifications at a very reasonable price. With an Intel i3 Core processor capable of 2.2 GHz, 6 GB of RAM, and 1 TB of HDD storage space, this computer is sure to run advanced word processing programs very quickly. At 5.27 pounds, it is in the mid-range of weight, yet remains highly portable.
The large 15.6” full HD screen more than makes up for this small increase in body weight. One of the most critical advantages of this setup is the claimed 13.5 hours of battery life and a survey of reviews suggests that this claim holds up reasonably well. Its integrated Intel HD graphics are adequate for basic computing tasks, and it is easily upgradable if your writing career takes off and some extra money rolls in. We like this as an affordable writing laptop.
- Long battery life.
- Good specifications for a reasonable price.
- Easy to upgrade.
- Contains an HDD which is slightly slower than SDD.
Pushing the budget slightly but still remaining within a modest price range, the ASUS Zenbook is a great laptop for writing tasks like writing a novel. This laptop hits pretty much every box that has been specified in the recommendations at the top of this list. The Intel i7 Core processor, 8 GB of RAM, and 256 GB of SSD storage space allow it to run fast and easy for any conceivable writing application you could need.
The many connection ports allow for several different accessories to easily integrate with the laptop and the 13.3-inch display is reasonable if you plan on being on the laptop for an extended period of time.
The best has been saved for last, however, and that is found in its 2.5-pound aluminum build and 14 HOURS of battery life. With these qualities, this setup is highly portable and lasts longer than your next deadline. You can certainly be Zen calm while working with the ASUS Zenbook.
- Long battery life.
- Sleek and aesthetic build.
- Perfect for writing a novel because of the high speed and long battery life
- Graphics are slightly light for the price point.
- The screen is on the small side (but made up for with lightweight).
The sheer simplicity of many Chromebooks makes them ideal choices for writers. The Lenovo ThinkPad 13 is no exception. Coming complete with all of the essential specifications, this laptop features an Intel Celeron 3855U processor (capable of 1.60 GHz), 4 GB of RAM, and 16 GB of eMMC storage space.
It also has the Chrome OS pre-installed which is a speedy alternative to Windows. Its weight is impossibly light, the keyboard is highly responsive, and the battery life (which is reasonable) charges quickly. All in all, this laptop represents a standard choice for those simply wanting a basic laptop for essential tasks.
- Impossibly light.
- Good build quality.
- Keys are very soft and nice to type on for long periods of time, making this laptop perfect for writing essays and doing homework, etc
- The screen is slightly dull.
- The speakers are on the lower end.
The Surface Pro 6 might not be the cheapest laptop out there, but it is on the “low end of the high end” price spectrum. It also has many attractive features for writers and so it is appropriate to include it in this list. With a 12.3” screen and a 2736×1824 pixel display, the monitor of this laptop is crisp and sharp.
Its Intel i5 Core processor (1.3 GHz), 8 GB of RAM, and 256 GB of SSD storage space make it ideal for completing tasks quickly and efficiently. Its weight is on the low end at 3.53 lbs. which makes it highly portable and easy to carry to your favorite writing spot.
With integrated Intel HD graphics, you should easily be able to carry out many types of advanced word processing tasks (including some graphics work). The touchscreen and surface pen also allows for enhanced computing ability for specific writing applications. Consider this laptop if you are on a budget but have an advance coming soon from your editor.
- Sharp display.
- Minimal connection ports.
- On the high-end of the price scale (for laptops on a budget).
8. Acer Spin 1
Writers need to take notes whenever inspiration strikes and the Acer Spin’s two in one design allows for the use of a stylus pen for precisely this purpose. If you are looking for a writing tool that goes beyond a mere keyboard, give this option a try. While the processor is on the lower-end (Intel Celeron N3350 with 1.1 GHz), the 4 GB of RAM and 32 GB of storage space are both reasonable.
The price is also highly attractive and considering that the stylus pen is included in the box is a big advantage. The 11.6” display is somewhat on the small side, but this feature is traded off by allowing the laptop to be lightweight and portable. The nine hours of battery life are nothing to forget about either!
- Two in one design is ideal for some writing applications.
- It comes with a stylus pen.
- The processor is on the lower-end.
- The display is on the lower end.
9. MacBook Air
Aesthetically speaking, nothing rivals the MacBook family in terms of standing out while writing at a table in your favorite restaurant. The sleek grey exterior is sure to satisfy and the extremely lightweight build of the aptly named MacBook Air is a highly attractive feature.
While Apple is sometimes perceived as selling notoriously expensive products, this setup is the most reasonably priced of the line. And you certainly get what you pay for! The 13.3” display provides good screen quality and the 12 hours of battery life will keep you typing late into the night.
The 1.8 GHz is quite fast for basic applications and with the possibility of upgrading this Intel i5 Core, you can even push it faster. It also has 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of SSD storage space which represents solid specifications for the price. Many consider the Mac OS to be more streamlined and fast than Windows and so you can easily run internet browsers and writing applications smoothly.
Incredibly, this only fits into a 2.98-pound build which makes it extremely lightweight. If you can afford the slightly higher price, you are sure to not be disappointed.
- Aesthetically pleasing.
- On the pricey side for this list.
The final item on this list is another version of the Acer Aspire. The E5 is similar to the E15 but has several other attractive qualities. The 15.6” screen allows for a full HD widescreen display with excellent viewing angles. The version reviewed here has an Intel i7 Core processor capable of 2.7 GHz of computing speed, 8 GB of RAM, and 1 TB of HDD storage space.
These attributes make the E5 very fast for basic applications and ideal for writers. Integrated graphics cover all of the basics for word processing and simple graphics programs. This setup even has a backlit keyboard! All in all, at this price, it’s a very wise decision for a writer on a budget.
- Excellent value for money.
- Backlit keyboard.
- Fast processor.
- On the heavy side (7 lbs.).
- HDD instead of SDD.
How to choose a writing laptop!
Whether you are a professional writer or simply looking to do some basic writing tasks for business or university, hopefully, this list of cheap laptops can point you in the right direction towards a budget laptop that works for you. Consider not only the features you want in a laptop but also how long you’ll own it for.
For example, you might save some money today by getting a cheaper one, but if you’re going to outgrow it in a year and have to buy a new one, it probably makes more sense to spend that little bit more today to save yourself from having to upgrade in a year! You might also want to check out: