11 Best Laptops For Journalists & Journalism Students

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Are you a professional journalist or a journalism student who is in search of a decent laptop? You don’t need a powerful laptop that comes with the high-end Intel i9 or i7 processor for your work. But you surely need a good one!

Below, I’ll be sharing a little about the factors that are important when choosing a laptop, but if you trust me with choosing the models Click here to scroll to the list.

In most cases, the organization offers a laptop to their journalists, so you do not need to research. But if you are a journalism student or if your company hasn’t given a work machine and are looking to invest in one, here are a few things you should consider

  • Portability: Your laptop has to be sleek and lightweight. Appearances matter a lot in a journalist’s profession. You meet important people. Lugging a heavy laptop meant for gaming while meeting them is not a good idea.
  • Strong Build: Yes, the journalists who cover war-prone areas have exceptional cases built for their laptops. Even if you are not covering a warzone, you need to ensure that the laptop is built strongly enough to handle significant day to day wear and tear.
  • Big Battery: If there’s anything confirmed in a journalist’s job, it’s long hours. You could end hours waiting for an interview, with nothing else to do but work with your laptop unplugged.
  • Spacious Keyboard: You spend a lot of your time writing articles just like a writer. So, you need a spacious and comfortable keyboard.
  • Pleasant, comfortable display: You spend a lot of time typing and looking at the screen and watching the video recordings from the camera man. Therefore you need an excellent screen as well.

Minimum and Recommended Specifications

#ComponentsMinimumRecommended
1Processor:PentiumCore i5
2Storage:16 GB Flash Memory1 TB HDD
3RAM:4 GB8 GB
4Display:11” HD Ready14” Full HD

Best Laptops for Journalists & Journalism Students

Mostly, a laptop for a journalist will be a word processing machine. Even a celeron based machine or the low powered CPUs that are built for mobile computing will do the job well for a journalist. However, for getting things done quickly, we recommend you to go for models that come with Intel i5 or above.

1. Dell XPS 13

  • Processor: 8th Generation Intel Core i7-8565U
  • RAM: 16 GB
  • Storage: 512 GB SSD
  • Display: 13.3” UHD
  • Battery Life: Up to 10 hours
  • Weight: 0.86 lb

The Dell XPS 13 is a little high powered machine for a journalist’s needs, but it is nevertheless a good buy.

It runs on a 10th generation, i7 processor and has a screen resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels and is one of the sharpest displays on this list. This machine is available in 2 variants: with touch display and without the touch display.

With a 512GB SSD, you can store all the information in the world about the subject you are going to cover a news about. If you work closely with the camera man then you can also store the videos or interviews in your laptop.

The backlit keyboard is good news for the people who use keyboards all through the day and the night. It’s a short travel keyboard, making typing on this laptop all the easier.

The laptop offers fingerprint security as well, and the fingerprint is integrated into the power button. For connectivity, it has a USB-C port & MicroSD card reader.

The build quality is reliable and robust, and it weighs less than 1 lb. The laptop looks every bit the premium, strong device that is and retains some of the design aesthetics from the earlier XPS machines. It’s an aluminum build, making it all the more strong.

2. Microsoft Surface Pro 6

  • Processor: Intel Core i7-3960X
  • RAM: 16 GB RAM
  • Storage: 1 TB
  • Display: 12.3” PixelSense Display
  • Battery Life: Up to 9 hours
  • Weight: 1.76 lbs

The Microsoft Surface was the ultimate word in portable computing when it was released. The design makes this a hybrid between the laptop and a largish tablet. The various design accents and colors make the Surface a bold step forward for mobile computing in 2019. 

Microsoft Surface Pro 6 is very portable, thanks to its hybrid design. You can either attach the keyboard or use it as a tablet. In one word, this laptop is beautiful. The Surface Pro 6 is very portable, making it a device of choice for the journalists who are always on the move.

The Surface Pro 6 has a 12.3” PixelSense Display. The resolution here is a top-of-the-line 2736×1824 pixel, one of the sharpest and crisp displays in the laptop market. The added advantage is the capacitative touch and pen support. Microsoft clumps this together and calls it the PixelSense Display.

Another added feature is the Surface Dial, an intuitive tool that’s used to navigate menus, control volume, etc. The processing power here is the Intel Core i7 8th Gen.

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Pros
  • Sleek build
  • Can be used as a laptop or tablet
  • Touchscreen
  • Pen support
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Cons
  • No Ethernet port

3. New Apple MacBook Pro (13 Inch)

  • Processor: Intel i5 8th Generation
  • RAM: 8 GB
  • Storage: 512 GB
  • Display: 13.3″ Retina Display
  • Battery Life: Up to 10 hours
  • Weight: 3.02 lbs

Apple innovates – there are no two ways about it. It’s model releases are a pop culture scenario and the new Apple Macbook Pro has everything going for it. 

The most talked-about feature of the Macbook is the Retina Display. This display is light years ahead of the Windows laptops in this range. The 13-inch display is just what the doctor ordered for a journalist typing long articles all the way home. 

The other features available in this laptop are the Touch Bar and the Touch ID. The Touch ID offers great security and the Touch Bar replaces the function keys with touch-based keys. 

The new Apple Macbook offers excellent connectivity options, as well. It has two USB 3 ports, one Thunderbolt 2 port, two power ports, and an SDXC card slot. 

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Pros
  • Retina Display
  • Tremendous RAM
  • A great audio and video device as well
  • Sleek design
  • Newly designed keyboard
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Cons
  • No ethernet port

4. LG Gram Laptop

  • Processor: Intel 8th Generation i5-8250U
  • RAM: 8 GB
  • Storage: 256 GB SSD
  • Display: 14” FHD
  • Battery Life: 21.5 hours
  • Weight: 2.19 lbs

A bit pricey, but a worthy contender is the LG Gram. The laptop line, whose brand name promises sleekness and portability, has a 13.3” FHD and touchscreen. The display has an ultra-slim bezel display, which gives much more display real estate. It juices up on 8 GB RAM. The HDD is a 256 GB SSD.

LG promises two things with this model, a whopping battery of up to 24 hours and an ultra-lightweight laptop. The company has done an excellent job of keeping the weight just about 2.19 lbs. The battery life is a tremendous advantage, as well. Another advantage is the fingerprint sensor as security.

It also offers a host of connectivity options. It has two USB 3.x ports and one USB Type-C port. Along with all this, it offers a Micro SD card reader as well. With this design, size, and weight, putting all this together is commendable.

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Pros
  • Light and sleek
  • Good, eye-catching design
  • Good battery life
  • Touchscreen
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Cons
  • The fingerprint sensor is a bit off

5. ASUS Vivobvook

  • Processor: 8th Gen Intel Core i5-8250U
  • RAM: 8 GB RAM
  • Storage: 128 SSD + 1TB
  • Display: 15.6″ FHD
  • Battery Life: Up to 5 hours
  • Weight: 3.7 lbs

Laptop makers are finally rising to the idea that big screens with FHD display are not just for the realm of gamers. So, we now have sleek, compact laptops with the said displays. Our eyes thank the laptop makers for that.

The ASUS Vivobook has a 15.6 FHD display and has four display modes, Normal, Eye-care, Manual and Vivid. It boasts of a NanoEdge display, which gives it a narrow bezel of 0.3. Basically, this is more display real estate.

The ASUS Vivobook is the thinnest laptop in the Vivobook series, weighing 3.7 lbs. Even though it is the thinnest, it makes way for connectivity ports, like the USB-C, a USB 3.1 and a USB 2.0 port. Along with that, it also has an HDMI and SD card ports.

The laptop offers one essential feature that’s a must for the roving journalist – fingerprint security. A journalist does have important and sensitive documents on their laptops routinely. A little bit of enhanced security never hurt anyone.

The keyboard is a bit underwhelming, though. It doesn’t have a backlight – which is mandatory in 2019. Also, there’s a little bit of a keyboard flex to be experienced – not something a keyboard warrior/journalist would like.

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Pros
  • Premium Build
  • FHD, big display
  • Sleek
  • Latest processor
  • Lower priced
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Cons
  • No backlight for the keyboard
  • Keyboard flex

6. HP Envy 13

  • Processor: Intel Core i5-7200U
  • RAM: 8 GB
  • Storage: 256 GB SSD
  • Display: 13.3” FHD
  • Battery Life: Up to 14 hours
  • Weight: 3.31 lbs

The HP Envy 13 has an i5 processor and 13.3 Full HD screen. The touchscreen makes it simpler to use. It has 8 GB RAM and an SSD of 256 GB. At 13.3 inches, the laptop is perfect for portability, reading and the long hours of typing that the journalists are usually involved in.

For connectivity, it has a USB Type C and an SD Card reader. It also has two USB 3.x ports. The all-metal laptop has thin and light. It has a unique aspect, where the display slightly hinges on the keyboard area, making for better reading angles. The laptop also has a single HP Fastcharge charger, the charger that powers the battery up to 90 percent in 90 minutes.

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Pros
  • Metal Build
  • Good keyboard
  • Good performance
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Cons
  • Battery life is less
  • Noisy

7. Apple MacBook Air (13 inch)

  • Processor: 8th-Gen Intel Core i5
  • RAM: 8 GB RAM
  • Storage: 128 SSD
  • Display: 13.3″ HD Widescreen
  • Battery Life: Up to 12 hours
  • Weight: 2.75 lbs

The Apple MacBook Air (13 inch) still packs a punch and makes a style statement, even though Windows-based laptops have been playing catch with Apple for decades now. This is a sleek, well-built machine that weighs around 2.75 lbs.

The Apple Macbook is the standard device in the entertainment and media industry. The Air was launched with the idea of making a slim, portable laptop and this one blew the competition out of the market until newer models grandfather-ed it. For connectivity, the Apple Macbook Air has two USB 3.0 ports and a Thunderbolt port. It also has an SDXC card slot.

The keyboard well is deep and broad enough to allow typing comfortably, the benchmark of a good laptop for a journalist. The display, if you are coming from a Windows laptop, is stunning, crisp and just what the doctor ordered to combat eye-strain.

It works on the Intel Core i5 processor, which is a pretty fast processor for all the tasks that a journalist would need for their daily tasks – typing, browsing the internet, watching that odd video, using video conferencing calls, etc. The 8 GB RAM helps in making this machine a robust one. The Apple Macbook works with SSD, which makes the laptop lighter and makes for faster HDD speeds. 

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Pros
  • Sleek and portable
  • Nice display
  • Strong build
  • Good RAM specs
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Cons
  • No ethernet port

8. Acer Chromebook Spin 13

  • Processor: 8th Gen Intel Core i5-8250U
  • RAM: 8 GB
  • Storage: 128 GB eMMC
  • Display: 13.5” FHD
  • Battery Life: Up to 10 hours
  • Weight: 3.5 lbs

The Acer Chromebook offers the right combination of style and processing power. It has an i5 processor and 8 GB RAM. The resolution, at 2256×1504, is bright and gives sharp images and crisp quality. It’s IPS with Corning Gorilla Glass, making the display more durable. The display is a touch-screen. A Corning Gorilla Glass and a touch screen display make this the right decision for journalists who are on the road all the time.

The Spin feature is a good one, allowing the user to use the laptop as a thick tablet and a computer. It also has pen support.

This is a Chromebook, so it runs on the Chrome OS and features Google Play. So, you can download and use Android apps as well. 

For ports, it offers 2 USB Type-C ports, one USB 3.1 port, and a USB 3.0 Type-A port. This is an aluminum build, making it a durable, strong laptop.

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Pros
  • Unique spin design
  • Good Battery Life
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Cons
  • No HDD
  • Runs on Chrome OS

9. HP Touchscreen Laptop 15i5825T

  • Processor: Intel Core i5-8250U
  • RAM: 8 GB
  • Storage: 128 GB
  • Display: 15.6″ HD touchscreen
  • Battery Life: Up to 10.25 hours
  • Weight: 3.9 lbs

HP finally brings back the DVD drive to laptops with its latest, the Newest HP 15.6. This could have been the perfect portable laptop, but sadly it isn’t, because it doesn’t have a Full HD display. It offers a 1366×768 resolution with a touch screen. The touchscreen is a good idea, though, making the user’s life a bit simpler. At 15.6 display with touch at this price is a very good idea.

The laptop looks sleek and compact and s well worth its place in a corporate setup. It’s good to see that HP is still retaining its slightly clamshell type design for this laptop. HP also gets it right with a spacious keyboard that includes the numeric keypad too. It is a nod to the retro designs with a DVD drive and an ethernet port.

Journalists who need to travel out of city areas routinely will love the LAN. The DVD drive ensures that you don’t need to kiss your software CDs, just as yet. The laptop packs a USB 3.0 port and an SD card reader in this compact design.

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Pros
  • Big screen
  • Touchscreen
  • LAN port
  • DVD drive
  • Widescreen display
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Cons
  • No FHD

10. Samsung Chromebook 4

  • Processor: Intel Celeron N4000
  • RAM: 4 GB
  • Storage: 32 GB
  • Display: 15.6″ FHD
  • Battery Life: Up to 10.5 hours
  • Weight: 3.75 lbs

Samsung brings to you a Chromebook you can run with if you are a journalist on a budget. The device runs on the Intel Celeron processor. It has a large, 15.6 display. The display is full HD, so you have crisp, sharp images – a needed feature for journalists.

And all this is housed in a perfect build. Samsung says this its military-grade durability. It is a robust and robust build. It weighs around 3.75 lbs. The keyboard setting is spacious, offering the user good typing real estate.

The device runs on a Chrome OS and offers a 32 GB eMMC. Along with all the deliciousness of the Chrome OS, it is Google Assistant-enabled as well. For connectivity, it provides 2 USB-C ports.

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Pros
  • Cheap
  • Full HD
  • Google Assisted
  • Newer USB-C Ports
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Cons
  • Chrome OS
  • Limited storage

11. ASUS Chromebook C202SA-YS02

  • Processor; Intel Celeron N030
  • RAM: 4 GB DDR3 RAM
  • Storage: 16 GB Flash Storage
  • Display: 11.6″ non HD display
  • Battery Life: 10 Hours
  • Weight: 2.2 lbs

The ASUS Chromebook C202SA-YS02 is the best of both worlds, with rugged construction and a light in weight. The rugged construction ensures you can lug the laptop around in an effortless manner. The less weight ensures you don’t get bogged down by lugging it around the whole day. The laptop has a cute yet rugged look, which stands out among the many other laptops that have hit the market.

It runs on the Chrome OS and has in-built virus protection. The processor for this one is the Intel Celeron N3060. The 11.6 inches is armed with Anti Glare and a unique hinge that allows it to tilt to a full 180 degree. The anti-glare is easy on the eyes. Precisely what the journalists need. The 180-degree hinge is an excellent addition for journalists who have to give an impromptu presentation to four people over a dinner table.

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Pros
  • The ASUS Chromebook has a sleek, modern look
  • Spill-resistant keyboard
  • It runs on the Chrome OS, which is essentially free and you don’t need to buy any software
  • It has an inbuilt anti-virus system
  • Huge battery life
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Cons
  • Small Screen
  • The processor is pretty old (2015 model)

Verdict

These ten laptops cater to all budgets and requirements and are perfect for word processing and browsing the Internet. The list includes some of the newer models, which make it easier to access and use the laptop, like touchscreen and secondary screens. While the MacBooks offer great value for money and have a great ‘ooh’ value, the Chromebooks offer cheap solutions for journalists on a budget.

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