Writers and copywriters tend to be particularly picky about one aspect of their laptops: the keyboard. And it makes all the sense in the world. They spend hours and hours typing, and even on the most comfortable keyboards, it can be a tiring process. An uncomfortable keyboard not only slows us down, but also makes the experience dire.
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And it’s not that we don’t care about performance, screen quality (especially contrast, translated as black text on white backgrounds) and other features of a laptop, it’s just that the keyboard is the component that affects us the most. That’s why we compiled this list of laptops for writers around various categories. Many stand out in our top categories, including the best laptops, the best 2-in-1s, the best Chromebooks, and more. Depending on what you are looking for, one of these laptops has the keyboard you need as a writer.
Why you should buy it: The MacBook Air is the best laptop a writer could buy
For whom it is: For anyone who wants to type at maximum speed with minimal fatigue
Some time ago – quite recently, by the way – Apple used butterfly keyboard keyboards in its MacBook line. That keyboard had minimal key travel (the distance from one key to the other) and each key had to be pressed abruptly, making typing a tiring experience. Several described the Apple butterfly keyboard as if it were written on a wooden board.
But that changed with the keyboard on the new MacBooks, which now use the familiar Magic Keyboard. This keyboard uses the traditional scissor mechanism and adds a greater travel between the keys – it is not 1 mm, but it is a little more – that makes each time you press a key the response is immediate, but at the same time it bounces quickly, making the Magic Keyboard perfect for the speediest of writers. Perhaps the most important thing is that all the keys feel solid, so none of them will give you a feeling of fatigue when typing. And of course, the keyboard has the typical layout of a MacBook, so you will not find surprises.
There are other reasons to buy a MacBook, including its beautiful high-contrast screen and powerful Apple M1 CPU. But the keyboard will be enough to make any writer happy. We highlight the Apple MacBook Air M1 in the first place because, if you dedicate yourself to making copy, you do not need power, so you are going to assess its portability and price.
Read our review of the Apple MacBook Air M1
Why you should buy it: The HP Specter has the best keyboard you’ll find in a 2-in-1 convertible, and the Specter x360 14 offers a copywriter just what they’re looking for.
For whom it isAnyone looking for the flexibility of a 2-in-1 but doesn’t want to do without a great keyboard.
The HP Specter line of 2-in-1 convertible computers have shared the same excellent keyboard for generations. The keys have the exact travel, and the key mechanism achieves a nice click that makes the keys bounce in a way that feels incredibly precise. The pressure you must exert when pressing the keys is also the exact one – not too much or too little – so you can type for hours on this keyboard without feeling tired.
The keyboard also has some additional features included in the most recent iterations, such as keys to turn off the microphone and another to pause the webcam, while the power button is not in the top row to the right. It also has a column with the Home, PgUP, PgDn, and End keys on the far right that comes in handy as soon as you get used to it, and HP manages to keep the perfect spacing and size between the keys. One downside is that in newer models, the fingerprint sensor occupies the space of the Control key, which could be problematic in applications that use it constantly.
Perhaps the best version currently available is the Specter X360 14. It has a beautiful OLED screen with otherworldly colors and contrast, and its aspect ratio is 3: 2, which makes it great for viewing large documents. If you dedicate yourself to writing, you are going to love this laptop.
Read our review of the HP Specter x360 14
Why you should buy itThe Dell XPS line of laptops has the best keyboard you can find in a Windows 10 with a clamshell or folder layout, and the XPS 13 is the best choice for a writer.
For whom it isAnyone who needs a Windows 10 and prefers a laptop with a conventional design.
Talk to writers who write on Windows 10 and half will choose the HP Specter keyboard, while the rest will choose the one on the latest Dell XPS. In other words, you can’t forcefully point out which Windows 10 keyboard is better. Dell’s has slightly less travel than the Specter, but it has more than enough and the key mechanism bounces with precision. The keyboard on the Dell XPS probably feels a bit lighter, which after many, many hours of typing could reduce fatigue.
The keyboard also has wide keys with good spacing between them, filling the entire deck and avoiding additional keys on the sides. It is a very conventional distribution that works well. There is little to complain about this keyboard and a lot to highlight.
The Dell XPS 13 is probably the best laptop for writers, with a 16:10 aspect ratio screen that is slightly taller and better for documents and web pages. The display also has fantastic contrast, making blacks stand out against white backgrounds. And the XPS 13 is perhaps the best 13-inch laptop you can buy, so if you choose it, you can hardly complain.
Read our full review of the Dell XPS 13
Why you should buy it: It has the best keyboard you’ll find on a Chromebook.
For whom it is: Anyone who needs a Chromebook, but doesn’t want a cheap, cumbersome keyboard.
Chromebooks are usually affordable laptops that save money on a number of things, including the keyboard. This is not the case with the HP Elite C1030 Chromebook, which uses the same keyboard as HP’s Windows 10 Elite line. It’s like the Specter keyboard, so the key travel is excellent and it even has a more uniform layout that ensures every key feels the same. And that feeling is fantastic. The mechanism of the keys is precise, so each time you press one you will have a punctual response. The keyboard has the usual layout of a Chromebook, as well as in the case of Apple’s Magic Keyboard, you will not find surprises.
On the other hand, the Chromebook Elite C1030 is a good computer. It’s solidly built, has a high-quality screen with adequate contrast, and its performance is solid. However, it is not exactly economical. But, if you’re a copywriter who needs a Chromebook, the investment will be worth it.
Read our full review of the HP Elite C1030 Chromebook
Why you should buy it: It is the best detachable keyboard that you can connect to a Windows 10 tablet.
For whom it isAnyone looking for a tablet with a detachable keyboard, but doesn’t want something shaky or wobbly.
Detachable tablets with an interesting mix. They try to bridge the gap between conventional tablets and those that can function as a laptop. The Lenovo ThinkPad X12 Detachable does a commendable job on both counts, making it a remarkable pen-compatible Windows 10 tablet and a 3: 2 aspect ratio display with good contrast.
But, more importantly, it has a detachable keyboard with the hallmark of the ThinkPad line, that is, a good travel between keys, comfort, a well-known layout (except for the inverted location of the Fn and Ctrl keys on the left side) and a precise and responsive feel. Better yet, and what makes the ThinkPad keyboard superior to the great keyboard cover on the Microsoft Surface, is that it’s totally solid, which is very useful when it comes to typing. It’s not something that all detachable keyboards can boast of.
The ThinkPad X12 is one of the best 2-in-1s with a detachable design and is also a great option for a writer. And if you like ThinkPads, you’ll find the look and feel you already know.
Read our full review of the Lenovo ThinkPad X12 Detachable
Why you should buy it: It is one of the best inexpensive laptops you will find.
For whom it is: Anyone who doesn’t have a lot to spend, but can’t afford a bad keyboard.
The Acer Swift 3 is our favorite affordable laptop for a number of reasons. First, its performance is excellent thanks to its AMD Ryzen CPU, in fact, it is one of the most powerful laptops we have tested in the $ 650 range. And fortunately for those who work writing, it does not suffer from a poor keyboard like most inexpensive computers.
The keyboard on the Swift 3 is surprisingly good, with good key travel, a comfortable layout, and a proper depressing mechanism that is not common in its price line. However, we have to say that the keys are a bit small. But in general, the keyboard isn’t going to slow down your work, so you won’t have to take constant breaks when typing.
If your budget is tight, rest assured that if you buy the Acer Swift 3 (2020) you will not entirely sacrifice a good writing experience.
Read our full review of the Acer Swift 3
Why you should buy it: It has the best keyboard you can have in a business laptop.
For whom it is: For those who need corporate functions, but do not want a second-rate keyboard.
We loved the first generation of the HP Elite Dragonfly, and since then HP has done a couple of hardware revisions. The first was the Elite Dragonfly G2, which improved the design and upgraded the CPU to 11th generation processors. Then came the Elite Dragonfly Max, which has the improvements of the G2 along with an improved audio and video system thought to be one of the best laptops for video conferencing.
HP also improved the keyboard on the new generation of the Elite Dragonfly, improving on what was already good. The Elite Dragonfly Max enjoys a keyboard that is perfectly consistent in each of its keys, with switches that offer great travel between the keys for the right amount of pressure when pressing each key. You could well say that its keyboard is better than the Specter’s, with a lighter, yet reliable feel that makes every touch an enjoyable experience. Its distribution is functional and also more common than that of the Specter.
The HP Elite Dragonfly Max It’s a fantastic 2-in-1 that any professional would like to see in the company’s fleet of laptops. If you dedicate yourself to writing, you are going to buy it because it has one of the best keyboards that you will find in a laptop, period.