Best laptops for writing?

sikonawt

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Sep 24, 2004
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I've been buying and building PCs for 15+ years now and am used to evaluating hardware choices based on the usual criteria. I'm now trying to select a laptop to use almost exclusively for writing, and I'm at a bit of a loss as few people talk about what is likely the most important feature to me: the quality of the keyboard.

I'd like a laptop with a keyboard that is easy to type on accurately and comfortably for long periods. I touchpad that isn't going to get accidentally triggered constantly while I type is also a must.

Secondary characteristics that are also desirable:

1. Runs cool
2. Good battery life
3. Lightweight

Any ideas for machines that I should focus in on?
 

jaguarskx

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Lenovo ThinkPads are generally known for having very good keyboards. The link below is for the recently released 14" ThinkPad E450 with a starting price of $579 and weighs in at 4lbs. By default it comes with a Haswell generation Core i3-4005u CPU @1.7GHz, but you should select the new Broadwell generation Core i3-5005u @ 2.0GHz. Broadwell CPUs consumes less power so you get longer battery life; it does not hurt that is clocked at a faster speed and is a free upgrade. Lenovo rates the laptop's battery life at up to 8 hours. However, actual battery life depends on what you do with it.

http://shop.lenovo.com/us/en/laptops/thinkpad/e-series/e450/


Below is a link to the 15.6" ThinkPad E550 and is basically the same as the E450 with the same price, but starts at 5.2lbs and up to 9 hours of battery life. Again, select the free upgrade to the Core i3-5005u.

http://shop.lenovo.com/us/en/laptops/thinkpad/e-series/e550/
 

sikonawt

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I think I can best describe what I am looking for as something with light resistance and a design where the touchpad rarely or never gets triggered accidentally when using the keyboard. That last part is the bane of my existence when typing on a laptop. I know that most of not all touchpads can be locked, but it is also annoying having to lock and unlock each time you want to use it/stop using it.

I'd also prefer a relatively full size keyboard (numpad unnecessary) and I definitely have a strong preference against flat keyboards (like the ones that the surface have).

TBH I am a desktop user primarily, so I don't have a ton of experience with laptop keyboards. I'm a bit hesitant to just go to a big box store and try things out as the selection there tends to be much smaller than what is actually available.

 

jaguarskx

Champion
Moderator
Lenovo ThinkPads are generally known for having very good keyboards. The link below is for the recently released 14" ThinkPad E450 with a starting price of $579 and weighs in at 4lbs. By default it comes with a Haswell generation Core i3-4005u CPU @1.7GHz, but you should select the new Broadwell generation Core i3-5005u @ 2.0GHz. Broadwell CPUs consumes less power so you get longer battery life; it does not hurt that is clocked at a faster speed and is a free upgrade. Lenovo rates the laptop's battery life at up to 8 hours. However, actual battery life depends on what you do with it.

http://shop.lenovo.com/us/en/laptops/thinkpad/e-series/e450/


Below is a link to the 15.6" ThinkPad E550 and is basically the same as the E450 with the same price, but starts at 5.2lbs and up to 9 hours of battery life. Again, select the free upgrade to the Core i3-5005u.

http://shop.lenovo.com/us/en/laptops/thinkpad/e-series/e550/
 

sikonawt

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Those look like great suggestions and I will look into them further. Thanks for the CPU tips. I suspect it probably runs cooler too with the lower power consumption, although I suppose that isn't a complete given.
 

jkdave

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If you are not adverse to entering the Apple ecosystem, consider a Macbook Air. Superior, 12+ hour battery life, extremely light weight, and powerful enough to run almost any applications that a writer needs. I balance my 2013 MBA's usage with my PC but for overall comfort, nothing beats sitting on the couch with the MBA. As I also utilize my Mac for web development, I wish I had sprung for the upgraded, 8 GB RAM option... but for writing, this computer is hard to beat. PCI-e SSD storage is also extremely fast and Thunderbolt is amazing.
 
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