Are you a professional journalist or a journalism student who is in search of a reliable laptop? You don’t need a powerful laptop that comes with the high-end Intel i9 or i7 processor for your work.
In most cases, when it comes to professions like journalism, the organizations generally offer a work laptop to their journalists. However, if you are a journalism student or have the freedom to choose the machine, then you are at the right place.
A Few Things To Consider Before Buying a Laptop That Shall Be Used For Journalism
- 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 Specs
|Dell XPS 13|
Processor: 8th Generation Intel Core i7-8565U
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|Microsoft Surface Pro 6|
Processor: Intel Core i7-3960X
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|New Apple MacBook Pro (13 Inch)|
Processor: Intel i5 8th Generation
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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
The Dell XPS 13 is a high powered machine for a journalist’s needs, but it is nevertheless a good buy. The 10th gen Intel core i7 processor combined with 16GB of RAM can help you with your research by allowing you to surf the internet with a lot of tabs open and also run other tasks simultaneously without any lag or heating issues.
The 13.3-inch UHD display with a screen resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels makes it one of the sharpest displays in this list. Besides that, this laptop is available in 2 variants: with touch display and without the touch display. In case you’re more into touch-based systems then consider getting the touchscreen variant. However, if touch-based screen isn’t an important, then you shall consider saving a few bucks by getting the non-touchscreen model.
The laptop comes with a 512GB SSD which allows you to store all the information in the world. Doesn’t matter if you need to store videos or research databases related to the news story you’re covering. Also, 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. Also, the machine offers fingerprint security as well, and the fingerprint is integrated into the power button.
Coming to the connectivity, it has a USB-C port & MicroSD card reader. Although, we live in a wireless world, but when you’re stuck without wireless technologies, these connectivity models shall be really helpful.
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
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.
3. New Apple MacBook Pro (13 Inch)
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.
4. LG Gram Laptop
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.
5. ASUS Vivobvook
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.
6. HP Envy 13
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.
7. Apple MacBook Air (13 inch)
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 comes with SSD, which makes the laptop lighter and makes for faster HDD speeds.
8. Acer Chromebook Spin 13
The Acer Chromebook offers the right combination of style and processing power. It has an i5 processor and 8GB RAM.
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 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 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.
9. HP Touchscreen Laptop 15i5825T
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-inch HD display with touch, 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.
10. Samsung Chromebook 4
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.
11. ASUS Chromebook C202SA-YS02
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.
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.