Updated on: April 27, 2021

If you are looking to buy the best laptop for transcription, this guide will help you make the right choice.

We’ve narrowed down the best laptops for transcription, catering for multiple budgets and needs without compromising performance, durability, portability, and battery life.

On our list are laptops with responsive keyboards.

From Apple to Lenovo, we look at the best laptops for transcription in greater depth.

Best Laptops for Transcription at a Glance

No. Item  
1 Apple MacBook Pro (M1, 2020) (Editors’ Choice) Check Price on Amazon
2 Google Pixelbook Go Check Price on Amazon
3 HP Spectre x360 Check Price on Amazon
4 Acer Swift 5      Check Price on Amazon
5 Dell XPS 13 (2020) Check Price on Amazon
6 Lenovo Yoga C930 Check Price on Amazon
7 Apple MacBook Air (M1, 2020) Check Price on Amazon
8 Dell XPS 15 (2020) Check Price on Amazon

 

 

1. Apple MacBook Pro (M1, 2020) (Editors’ Choice)

best laptops for transcription

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If you’re already invested in the Apple ecosystem, the MacBook Pro is your best bet. It is our Editors’ Choice for the best laptop for transcription.

Aside from transcription, the MacBook Pro is a perfect fit for anyone who needs a high-end, ultra-powerful laptop capable of taking on both simple and processor-intensive computing tasks.

The laptop’s display is excellent and crisp.

Audio on the MacBook Pro is unsurprisingly outstanding. The speakers offer the same amazing sound quality as the MacBook Air. This is good news for anyone who digs good sound.

The MacBook Pros’ RAM uses more power than the previous models, however Apple isn’t skimping on the battery with the MacBook Pro. Apple has added a battery strong enough to power the MacBook Pro. You should get more than 10 hours out of the MacBook Pro without having to visit a wall plug.

The MacBook Pro has a super-responsive touchpad. Apple nailed the touchpad. It remains one of the best touchpads on the market. 

Keyboard is decent. The butterfly-style keys have been tweaked and are quieter, thanks to a silicon element beneath each keycap – so no more clacky sounds.

If budget is no issue, the MacBook Pro is worth considering and remains the best laptop for transcription given its specs and excellent keyboard.

Read: Are Touchscreen Laptops Worth It?

PROS

  • Enhanced processing speed
  • Ample storage
  • Better display
  • Very portable
  • Outstanding speakers
  • Impressive battery life
  • Excellent keyboard

CONS

  • Limited number of ports

Apple MacBook Pro (M1, 2020) Key Specifications

Display: 13-inch Retina display, 2560 x 1600 pixels
CPU: Apple M1 Chip (8-core)
GPU: Integrated 8-core GPU
RAM: 8GB – 16GB unified memory
Storage: 256GB – 2TB SSD
Size: 11.97 x 8.36 x 0.61 inches (304 x 212.3 x 15.5 mm)
Weight: 3.0 pounds (1.36kg)

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2.
Google Pixelbook Go

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The Pixelbook Go is one of the best laptops for transcription worthy of note.

Google ships the Pixelbook Go in three configurations, including a Core i7 variant at the top, a Core i5 version in the middle, and a Core m3 for budget buyers.

The entry level model with Core m3 ships with 8GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. You’ll find 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage on the Core i5 variant. There is also a Core i5 version with 16GB of RAM and 128GB of storage if you pay enough.

If you want more storage and speed, then we recommend shelling out for the Core i7 (4K display) model which packs 16GB of RAM and 256GB of storage.

It’s slim and lightweight. The body measures 12.2 by 8.1 by 0.5 inches (WDH) and weighs 2.3 pounds.

Is the Pixelbook Go a treasure trove of world firsts? No. That said, its overall performance is commendable and delivers excellent value.

A noteworthy area Google has done exceptionally well with the Pixelbook Go in terms of performance is battery life – it’s simply exceptional. The Pixelbook Go’s battery will last up to 10 hours on a single charge.

Elsewhere, Google was smart to equip the Pixelbook Go with one of the best keyboards you would find on a laptop. This is as good a keyboard as you’ll find on expensive laptops like the Apple MacBook Pro, Dell XPS 13, the Asus Chromebook Flip C434, and the HP Spectre x360.

The Google Pixelbook Go is equipped with two USB-C ports and a 3.5 mm headphone jack. The USB-C ports are for charging and display out.

By and large, if you’re looking to buy one of the best laptops for transcription, the Google Pixelbook Go is a good buy, given its outstanding keyboard and incredibly impressive specs.

You Might Like: Things to Consider When Buying A Laptop

PROS

  • Excellent battery life
  • Brilliant design
  • Impressive keyboard
  • Striking webcam

CONS

  • Trackpad could be improved

Google Pixelbook Go Key Specifications

Display: 13.3-inch FHD, LCD touchscreen, 1920 x 1080 pixels
CPU: Core m3-8100Y / 1.3GHz Intel Core i5-8220Y / Intel Core i7-8500Y
GPU: Intel UHD Graphics 615 (300MHz)
RAM: 8GB LPDDR3/16GB
Storage: 64GB/128GB/256GB
Size: 12.2 x 8.1 x 0.5 inches (311 x 206.3 13.4mm)
Weight: 2.3 pounds (1.04 kg)
OS: Chrome OS

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3.
HP Spectre x360

best laptops for transcription

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The HP Spectre x360 is one of Hewlett-Packard’s best 2-in-1 laptops. Its specs and features are excellent and sure to handle all your computing needs.

It ships with a whopping 2TB of storage, and 16GB RAM. There is a model with 512GB of storage and 16GB of RAM.

Like the Lenovo Yoga C930, the HP Spectre x360 is shipped with a stylus for writing and drawing.

Every port you could reasonably expect is on this powerful laptop including USB-A and USB-C ports.

On another important front, the Spectre x360 has a responsive keyboard with good travel. So you won’t have problems typing.

Poseidon Blue and Ash Silver are colour choices available in either the 13-inch or 15-inch model.

The Spectre x360’s impressive 72.9 Wh battery will carry you through 13 hours of moderate use without getting energy anxious.

The only minor drawback of the laptop is its average touchpad – it isn’t as good a touchpad as you’ll find on the MacBook Pro. That said, the overall impressive performance of the Spectre x360 overshadows this downside. 

If this does not give you pause, then the Spectre x360 is absolutely worth owning. It remains one of the best laptops for transcription.

PROS

  • Good performance
  • Smart, stylish design
  • Very long battery life
  • Good keyboard

CONS

  • Mediocre touchpa

HP Spectre x360 Key Specifications

Display: 15.6-inch 4K display, 3840 x 2160 pixels
CPU: Intel Core i7-10750H
GPU: NVIDIA GeForce MX330 with 2GB dedicated graphics memory
OS: Windows 10
RAM: 16GB
Storage: 512GB SSD
Size: 14.17 x 8.91 x 0.79 inches (359.9 x 226.3 x 20.1 mm)
Weight: 8.58 pounds (3.89 kg)
Battery: 72.9 Wh

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4.
Acer Swift 5

best laptops for transcription

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The Acer Swift 5 is another good laptop for transcription deserving of note.

It packs a 14-inch (1920 x 1080) IPS touchscreen display, a 10th-gen Intel Core i5 or Core i7 CPU, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB or 512GB storage.

As for graphics, there are two variants: an Intel UHD Graphics 620 and Intel Iris Plus. The base model ships with the Intel UHD Graphics and Core i5 CPU.

For transcription and other day-to-day computing tasks, the Acer Swift 5 gets the job done without issues.

The Swift 5 is pretty much lightweight at 0.98kg. For comparison, the HP Envy 13 (1.27kg), Asus VivoBook S15 (1.80kg) and Lenovo ThinkPad E15 (1.9kg) weigh more than the Swift 5.

You won’t have problems connecting peripherals to the Swift 5 as there are lots of  ports on offer here. There are two USB-A port on each side of the laptop. Additionally, the laptop boasts a USB-C Thunderbolt 3 port, an HDMI port, a charging port, and a headphone jack.

Outside of that, the laptop has a fingerprint reader which works great. Just know: you have to press moderately hard to get your fingerprint registered.

The Swift 5’s battery life won’t win awards. In short, its battery life is just average. So, do not expect it to last you through an entire workday.

Overall, put portability, good keyboard, decent performance, plus affordability, and you get a good laptop for transcription and other day-to-day computing tasks.

It is a good buy, and one of the best laptops for transcription.

PROS

  • Very simple design
  • Lightweight
  • Good keyboard
  • Decent performance
  • Ample port selection

CONS

  • Average battery life

Acer Swift 5 Key Specifications

Display: 14-inch, IPS touchscreen, Full HD (1920 x 1080)
CPU: 10th-gen Intel Core i5 or Intel Core i7
GPU: Intel UHD Graphics 620 or Intel Iris Plus
RAM: 8GB
Storage: 256GB or 512GB
Size: 12.9 x 9.0 x 0.6 inches (330.2 x 230.4 x 15.4 mm)
Weight: 2.18 pounds (0.98 kg)
OS: Windows 10 Home
Battery: 45 Wh

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5. Dell XPS 13 (2020)

best laptop for transcription

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The Dell XPS 13 has pretty decent internals and a very good keyboard making it one of the best laptops for transcription.

It is sleek, professional and portable.

With a Full HD InfinityEdge touchscreen display, the laptop’s screen flaunts incredible bright and stunning colours which make for an awesome viewing experience.

Memory options range between 8 to 32GB of RAM, and storage goes from 256GB to 2TB SSD. You won’t have problems combining more than one task with the Dell XPS 13.

The Dell XPS 13 weights 2.7 pounds (1.23 kg) and has a 11.9 x 7.8 x 0.3-inch (302.3 x 198.1 x 7.6 mm) footprint.

As for ports, you’ll find two Thunderbolt 3 USB-C ports, one USB-C 3.1 port, a 3.5mm headphone jack and a microSD card slot.

The Dell XPS 13’s predecessor which is shipped with Kaby Lake R Core i7-8550U is fast, but the new Dell XPS 13 which has a 10th Gen Intel Core i7-1065G7 processor  is faster and more efficient.

Aside from transcription, the superior CPU speed will help you tackle many computing tasks effortlessly.

As far as battery performance goes, you get approximately 12 hours of use on the 4K model and 21 hours with a Full HD display, depending of course on usage.

Overall, the Dell XPS13 is highly recommended as one of the best laptops for transcription.

PROS

  • Excellent performance 
  • Cutting-edge 4k display
  • Slim & lightweight
  • Excellent keyboard
  • Outstanding battery life

CONS

  • Port selection could be better

Dell XPS 13 Key Specifications

Display: 13.3-inch display, FHD+ (1920 x 1200)
CPU: 10th Gen Intel Core i7-1065G7 processor 
GPU: Intel Iris Plus Graphics (i7)
OS: Windows 10 Pro, Windows 10 Home (64-bit)
RAM: 16GB
Storage: 512GB SSD
Ports: Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C), USB-C 3.1, microSD card reader, headset jack
Size: 11.9 x 7.8 x 0.3 inches (302.3 x 198.1 x 7.6 mm)
Weight: 2.7 pounds (1.23 kg)

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6. Lenovo Yoga C930

best laptops for transcription

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The Lenovo Yoga C930 boasts a refined, premium design, which is competitive with most 2-in-1 laptops on the market. It has a decent display with touchscreen functionality.

You wouldn’t expect anything less than an Intel Core i7 on a premium laptop like this. As expected, the C930 ticks this box: its CPU is powered by Intel’s Core i7-8550U just like Dell XPS 13 and HP Spectre x360.

This 2-in-1 is fast, however, laptops like the Dell XPS 15 and the HP Spectre x360 have better processing speeds.

The Yoga C930 comes equipped with a stylus, and Lenovo has made available a slot for stowing and charging it after use.

Elsewhere, the laptop has a decent keyboard which makes typing a joy.

Lenovo has packed in a reasonable 60 watt-hours of battery capacity into the Yoga C930’s chassis. This gives you approximately 12 hours of battery life without visiting a wall plug.

We recommend the Yoga C930 as one of the best laptops for transcription.

PROS

  • Excellent battery life
  • Superb performance
  • Slim and lightweight
  • Good speakers
  • Stylish and functional design
  • Good keyboard

CONS

  • Not so outstanding display

Lenovo Yoga C930 Key Specifications

Display: 13.9-inch touch display, 1920 x 1080 pixels
CPU: Intel Core i7-8550U
GPU: Intel UHD Graphics 620
OS: Windows 10 Home
RAM: 12GB
Storage: 256GB
Ports: 2 x USB-C (Thunderbolt 3), 1 x USB 3.1, audio jack
Size: 12.68 x 8.94 x 0.57 inches (322 x 227 x 14.5 mm)
Weight: 1.38kg (3.05 pounds)

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7.
Apple MacBook Air (M1, 2020)

best laptops for transcription

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Apple has made the new MacBook Air a lot better than previous models with improved internals, storage, and keyboard. The laptop touts a decent 2560 x 1600-pixel Retina display.

Made of aluminum and powered by macOS Catalina operating system and Apple’s M1 chipset, the 2020 MacBook Air can handle typical day-to-day computing tasks effortlessly.

With the 2020 MacBook Air, you get up 16GB of RAM. The entry-level configuration ships with 8GB of RAM, 256GB storage, Apple’s M1 chip, and an 8-core GPU.

In terms of weight, the MacBook Air is pretty much lightweight. No problems hauling the MacBook Air (11.9 x 8.36 x 0.63 inches, 2.8 pounds) in the backpack going to and from work.

Gold, Silver, and Space Gray are the three beautiful colour versions of the MacBook Air. Your choice comes down to personal preference.

The laptop boasts two USB-C Thunderbolt 3 ports on the left and a headphone jack on the right. How about the microSD card reader? Well, there isn’t one really.

We’d be lying if we said you’d be falling off your chair with excitement at the MacBook Air’s battery life. However, its battery life is just OK. In fact its battery life is a notable improvement over previous models. You should get at least 9 hours of productive work out of the laptop when it is not plugged in.

There’s no getting around the fact that the new MacBook Air still remains an excellent laptop given its decent specs.

So, if you’re looking for an affordable MacBook, then buy the Apple MacBook Air. It is one of the best laptops for transcription.

PROS

  • Super fast processors
  • Improved keyboard
  • Lightweight
  • Excellent battery life

CONS

  • Limited number of ports
  • Webcam could be better

Apple MacBook Air (M1, 2020) Key Specifications

Display: 13.3-inch Retina Display, 2560 x 1600 pixels
CPU: Apple M1 chip with 8-core CPU
Graphics: Integrated 7-core – 8-core GPU
OS: macOS Catalina
RAM: 8GB – 16GB
Storage: 256GB – 2TB PCIe SSD
Size: 11.9 x 8.36 x 0.63 inches (304 x 212.4 x 16.1 mm)
Weight: 1.27kg (2.8 pounds)

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8. Dell XPS 15 (2020)

best laptops for transcription

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The Dell XPS 15 sports a similar design as the Dell XPS 13, however, it is larger.

It is portable and lightweight. You won’t have problems hauling the Dell XPS 15 (13.57 x 9.06 x 0.71 inches, 4.5 pounds) in your backpack on the subway, going to and from work.

The Dell XPS 15 pairs an Intel Core i7 processor with 512GB of storage and 16GB of RAM. There are Core i5 and i9 variants as well. The Core i5 and i7 variants are pretty OK for transcription.

Despite its size, you get an assortment of ports: two Thunderbolt 3 and one USB-C 3.1 ports. Furthermore, there is a full size SD card reader and headphone/microphone jack.

As far as battery performance goes, the Dell XPS 15 can last through most of a normal workday on a charge.

Given its impressive specs, the Dell XPS 15 remains one of the best laptops for transcription. 

PROS                                              

  • Portable
  • Fast processors
  • Thin design
  • Impressive keyboard
  • Excellent display

CONS

  • No USB-A port

Dell XPS 15 (2020) Key Specifications

Display: 15.6-inch 4K Ultra HD, 3840 x 2160 pixels
CPU: Intel Core i7 10th Gen
GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650Ti
OS: Windows 10 Home
RAM: 16GB
Storage: 512GB PCIe SSD
Size: 13.57 x 9.06 x 0.71 inches (34.7 x 23.0 x 1.8 cm)
Weight: 4.5 pounds (2.05 kg)
Battery: 86Wh

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No. Item  
1 Apple MacBook Pro (M1, 2020) (Editors’ Choice) Check Price on Amazon
2 Google Pixelbook Go Check Price on Amazon
3 HP Spectre x360 Check Price on Amazon
4 Acer Swift 5      Check Price on Amazon
5 Dell XPS 13 (2020) Check Price on Amazon
6 Lenovo Yoga C930 Check Price on Amazon
7 Apple MacBook Air (M1, 2020) Check Price on Amazon
8 Dell XPS 15 (2020) Check Price on Amazon
 

 

Bottom Line

The best laptops for transcription we’ve recommended ship with good keyboards. These laptops are fast, reliable, portable and provide the best bang for your buck.