The best laptop for writers
For those of us who have a passion for writing, the right keyboard is of paramount importance. As someone who was a child before the age of computers, (yes, there are still lots of us around) I never learned to type properly, boys were never taught to type in the 70s, so I always typed in the same manner as anyone else in the same boat, something alone the lines of an excited Chimpanzee.
During the lockdown, I took the decision that this needed to change, because it was holding me back and as I wanted to write more posts, a book and generally be able to conduct my business in a more efficient manner, I took the decision that I needed to start from the very beginning.
I started off with working through the lessons on an online typing website, f,j,f,j,f,j,f,j,f,j, etc. At this point, I was not only trying to build up muscle memory, but I also needed to overcome over three decades of bad habits, not an easy task. I gradually worked through the lessons and by the end, I was able to touch type, whilst keeping my eyes off of the keyboard, albeit slowly. I then moved on to a website called ‘Keyber’ which is absolutely wonderful as it takes you through words (both real and fabricated) that will exercise every letter of the alphabet in turn.
After more than fifty hours of training and 5,000+ lessons, I have managed to reach an average of over sixty words per minute. There are also stats that show how your typing and accuracy have improved. I still have a long way to go, but I make a point of completing several lessons each and every day, normally when I’m on the phone!
That’s all well and good, but I spend a lot of my time working on my laptop, which is a Lenovo Thinkpad, in my opinion, the most beautiful, comfortable and easiest keyboard to use that I have ever tried. However, I also do a lot of work at my pc and finding a keyboard that would pair up with this has been a nightmare. I have bought a total of twelve keyboards and none of them even come close to the Thinkpad.
When I was going to upgrade my laptop recently, I tried to actually get a feel for the keyboard of as many laptops as possible, not an easy task when so many of the suppliers are now online only. In the first instance, I popped in to PC World, and tried everything, including all of the Apple products.
What did surprise me about the Macbooks, was the fact that they are not available with a UK Keyboard! After thousands of lessons, learning to type, I was not about to even consider a keyboard with some of the most important keys in the wrong place! I also do not like the spacing of the keys, or the lack of tactile feel when they are depressed. I’m sorry to disappoint Macbook fans, but I actually dislike the keyboards and I would never even consider any of them.
Most of the other laptops have similar keys, with very little travel, terrible feel to them and none of them even come close to the Thinkpad. The keys have a wonderful feel, with just enough travel to give a wonderful reassuring response to the typist. There is one small caveat, which is that the Ctrl and Fn keys are reversed, but that is a small price to pay. The Thinkpad keyboards are also backlit, either low or high and one further press of the Fn + Spacebar, turns on a light just below the camera, which illuminates the whole keyboard, perfect for those late night writing binges!
As for my PC keyboard, I bought a Dell Premiere keyboard, which has a beautiful Aluminium construction, it literally oozes quality, but sadly the keys are still no match for the Thinkpad, but I could not keep buying keyboards, my office looks like a computer shop. I do also have a Logitch keyboard that has the old fashioned scissor keys, but they are not quite as deep as the older keyboards. I sometimes switch to that one when I am writing something the evokes passion and I feel the need for a keyboard that I am able to actually strike with a vengeance, making the entire experience, ‘oh so satisfying’
Thinpads are not cheap, as they are designed for business use, constructed to the highest quality, they can even be dropped from desk height and normally survive in tact. Having tried every option that I was able to physically test, I am able to say without any reservation, that the only keyboard for me, is the Thinkpad.