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The Best Laptop for Writers : Recommended Resources • Page 2 • Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com

The Best Laptop for Writers

If you've come across a great book, Web site, organization, etc., that you find particularly useful for writers, share it here.
williamadams
 

Re: The Best Laptop for Writers

Postby williamadams » Mon Sep 19, 2016 8:40 pm


williamadams
 

Re: The Best Laptop for Writers

Postby williamadams » Mon Sep 19, 2016 8:43 pm


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TwoStepCharlie
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Re: The Best Laptop for Writers

Postby TwoStepCharlie » Wed Oct 05, 2016 2:57 pm

#1 feature is a keyboard with backlight keys and/or a tiny keyboard light, for writing in low-light conditions. After a long day at work (retinas already weary) many writers find themselves still 'at it' deep into the night. So you want all the lights out and just the glow from the keyboard to compose by.

Also: never store anything important on a laptop. A laptop with multiple USB ports is ideal because you want all your important stuff on portable USB storage. Multiple backups of those. A laptop can be damaged or get stolen, and if so, there goes all your effort. Same thing with music: if you like music while you write, store it on a USB stick and use a USB port on your laptop to play it. Hence the need for multiple ports.
Blow up the bridge?!

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Re: The Best Laptop for Writers

Postby Piccoro » Thu Aug 31, 2017 5:47 pm

I'm surprised I stumbled upon this post searching for laptops in the first page of google. I am trying to decide whether or not to buy the macbook air or the surface pro for writing/school. I was wondering what you guys think of the Air if any of you own it or had previously own it. I'm about to pull the trigger, head to the nearest apple store and buy it after reading a review about the keyboard, battery life and because it seems to be popular among writers/bloggers : http://laptopstudy.com/best-laptop-for-writers/. It isn't that expensive either. Are there any other laptops with a great keyboard and ultra long battery life?

rob-lost
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Re: The Best Laptop for Writers

Postby rob-lost » Fri Sep 01, 2017 9:10 am

As a cybersecurity analyst, I'm troubled by the Web site just mentioned.

Domain name less than a year old. Very little traffic until two months ago, then a spike...

None of this is proof of anything. It just feels "off." Like someone's been toying with click rates, or with SEO shenanigans.

Part of my job is paranoia, so take this with a grain of salt, but I advise against that site... for now.

Still, as mentioned, the Macbook Air is quite popular. I have a Surface Pro 4 and like it. However, the attachable keyboard doesn't work so well for (if you'll pardon the pun) laptop work. It almost needs a flat surface on which to write.

For the budget-conscious, I would actually recommend a Chromebook. US$300-US$400 can get you a pretty nice one. Although, the Chromebook really needs always-available Internet to be at its best.

I also want to step back to TwoStepCharlie's post from October.

==A laptop with multiple USB ports is ideal because you want all your important stuff on portable USB storage. Multiple backups of those. A laptop can be damaged or get stolen, and if so, there goes all your effort. Same thing with music: if you like music while you write, store it on a USB stick and use a USB port on your laptop to play it.==

I disagree... partially.

Online storage services like Google Drive, Dropbox, and OneDrive all include small applications to allow synching selected (or even all) folders. I use OneDrive, and the application makes OneDrive look like an extra drive on my Windows laptop. I work with synch'd folders while there's no Internet, and next time I have Internet, the app synchronizes with OneDrive. If I have Internet while I'm working, then the access to the file is direct with OneDrive. To me, this is more reliable than the USB drive. Not that USB drives are unreliable. It's just that such drives get lost all the time.
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Piccoro
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Re: The Best Laptop for Writers

Postby Piccoro » Fri Sep 01, 2017 1:54 pm

The site isn't as bad as the others, they offer no advice or help whatsoever. I got some useful info about software I could use on a laptop (unfortunately I don't currently have one).

A chromebook is not a bad idea actually. I already have one but i can't install anything on it except google apps. Mine is old and outdated perhaps a new chromebook would be better. I've read about installing linux on it to get more software but I don't even know how that works. I think i will try to do it though before i buy another device. Yeah, Chromebooks are extremely cheap, have ultra long battery lives and are build like tanks apparently (mine is over 4 years old) if i could install other windows software on it like scrivener, that'd be enough for now.

Fictional Chef
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Re: The Best Laptop for Writers

Postby Fictional Chef » Wed Feb 21, 2018 10:13 pm

Piccoro wrote:
> The site isn't as bad as the others, they offer no advice or help
> whatsoever. I got some useful info about software I could use on a laptop
> (unfortunately I don't currently have one).
>
> A chromebook is not a bad idea actually. I already have one but i can't
> install anything on it except google apps. Mine is old and outdated perhaps
> a new chromebook would be better. I've read about installing linux on it to
> get more software but I don't even know how that works. I think i will try
> to do it though before i buy another device. Yeah, Chromebooks are
> extremely cheap, have ultra long battery lives and are build like tanks
> apparently (mine is over 4 years old) if i could install other windows
> software on it like scrivener, that'd be enough for now.

I have an 11 year old iMac that needs replacing. I love Apple's OS but am having trouble shelling out $1,000 for a MacBook Air (which I want) when a $350 Chromebook would be fine. (I refuse to use Windows.) But, like you said, I want Scrivener and, without Linux, it's not possible. Did you go the Linux route? If so, how did it go? Like you, I have no clue how Linux works or how to partition a hard drive to install it. My only problem with Chromebook is that you're entrusting EVERYTHING you keep on your Chromebook to Google. Google's reputation doesn't exactly fill me with confidence!

Technology is great. It's just the companies that make it that I don't like/trust. With that said, I'm still trying to decide between a Chromebook and MB Air. I'm only working part-time at the moment and live by the Cash on the Barrelhead policy.

Anyone have any Chromebook recommendations? Other than writing, my computer needs are no more than basic browsing and watching YouTube.

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Re: The Best Laptop for Writers

Postby Fictional Chef » Mon Mar 05, 2018 2:38 pm

For the record, I bought a MacBook Air. I got $150 off the 2017 model (and saved another $70 by not having to pay tax) on Amazon.

It was painful to spend that kind of money. Mostly because I haven't bought a.n.y.t.h.i.n.g. for myself in many years. I'm not used to it! While there's absolutely nothing wrong with Chromebooks for writing, it all came down to a comfort level for me. I ditched MS for Apple 11 years ago. I'm not a tech, or gadget, fan and found Apple to be so user friendly. I just wasn't in the frame of mind to learn another OS at this point in my life.

So, I stuck with the OS I know. I can also download Scrivener to it if I decide to. (I want to try my hand at ebooks and I understand Scrivener can automatically format in several styles.) Those were my deciding factors. I paid dearly for the privilege, but I doubt I'll regret it.

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Re: The Best Laptop for Writers

Postby robjvargas » Sun Mar 11, 2018 9:25 pm

Congratulations on the purchase. Keep those receipts. If you make enough money to include on a tax return, you may be able to get a tax credit for that purchase. Check with a tax professional. I so do NOT know the rules on that. That might ease that "greedy me" feeling you're having right now.

There really is not a wrong answer in getting a machine for writing. Heck, a typewriter is still a perfectly valid way to write. Or a quill, if you're that patient.

I have Linux running on an older Lenovo laptop that I have. It wasn't hard, and it's getting easier by the day (almost literally). So buying "a Windows laptop" doesn't necessarily mean running Windows.
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bkawriter
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Re: The Best Laptop for Writers

Postby bkawriter » Mon Jun 11, 2018 12:31 pm

Text editors are probably the least processor-intensive things you can run on a laptop and text files take up small amounts of space, so if that's all you're doing get the cheapest and most comfortable one. The only reason you'd need an expensive computer is if you were doing graphics intensive things like image/video editing or gaming.

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