Best Laptops For Transcription In 2020

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Are you looking for the best laptop for transcription?

Well, we are here to help.

With tons of options, finding that one laptop for you might get more challenging over time. That’s why we’ve done all the research and picked a handful of laptops that are great for transcribing.

We’ve also categorized them based on the user’s needs. Without further delays, let’s take a look at the best notebooks for doing transcriptions in 2020.

ASUS ZenBook 13
(Editor’s Choice)
  • 13.3″ FHD
  • Intel Core i5
  • 8GB DDR4
  • 256GB SSD
MacBook Air
(Runner Up)
  • 13.3″ Retina
  • Apple Silicon M1
  • 8GB DDR4
  • 256GB SSD
Acer Aspire 5
  • 15.6″ FHD
  • Intel Core i5
  • 8GB DDR4
  • 256GB SSD

Best Laptops For Transcriptions

Here are our top laptop picks for doing transcriptions.

Best Laptop For Transcriptions – Editor’s Choice

ASUS ZenBook 13

  • Intel Core i5
  • 13″ Full HD
  • 8GB DDR4
  • 256GB SSD

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The ASUS ZenBook 13 is an amazing laptop and is also our Editor’s Choice for the best laptop for transcriptions in 2020.

With a 13.3″ form factor, you will find the ASUS ZenBook 13 to be a compact laptop that packs a punch. There is no lack of processing power in this machine but it also presents it with such finesse.

The keyboard on the ASUS ZenBook 13 is a godsend. It comes with a good layout and perfectly spaced keys. This is not a chiclet keyboard but has a smooth typing feel to it.

The keyboard comes with backlighting which makes it easy to use the laptop in dark areas. The trackpad we have here is a Windows Precision trackpad and gives you solid user experience.

The ASUS ZenBook 13 is powered by an Intel Core i7 processor. This is a quad-core processor from Intel and there is no lack of processing power here. Our only concern here is the heat production and its effect on the battery life of this laptop.

Fortunately, the ASUS ZenBook 13 handles the heat produced effectively with the help of the fans inside. They are not very loud, but they should also not kick in often, especially when you’re working on transcriptions.

There are 16 gigs of RAM in the memory department. This DDR4 Type RAM is plenty, in our opinion, and should give you the platform to do multitasking to your heart’s content.

The display on this laptop is nothing short of excellent and you’ll have a great visual experience. Couple it with the speakers on the laptop and you have your very own mini home theater.

The ASUS ZenBook 13 gives you excellent battery life. It can last for about 8 hours with light use which is very good. When you’re transcribing, you should be able to get pretty much the same battery life which is neat.

Overall, the ASUS ZenBook 13 is an excellent laptop and it does very well when it comes to transcribing making it the best Windows laptop for transcriptions in 2020.


Excellent keyboard
Beautiful display
Stunning battery life


Palm rest not big enough

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Best Mac For Transcriptions

MacBook Air

  • Apple Silicon M1
  • 13″ Retina
  • 8GB DDR4
  • 256GB SSD

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The MacBook Air is our choice for the best mac for transcription. Yes, we do have a much more powerful MacBook Pro but from a cost point of view, the MacBook Air gives you a better bang for the buck.

Even though the MacBook Air is the cheapest Mac laptop there is, it still manages to give you excellent performance all day long. It only comes with an Intel Core i3 processor at its helms and it is perfect for tasks like transcribing.

With a processor like the Intel Core i3, you’re not going to need fans a lot. This means that you’ll have a quiet laptop most of the time and that’s great for transcribing. The processor does well when it comes to handling your everyday applications and other tasks.

Let’s talk about the display for a second. We have a 13.3″ display that comes with Retina resolution and has more than 4 million pixels on the display. This is one of the best displays you’ll find on an ultrabook which is neat.

Retina resolution is much better than full HD and is almost as good as QHD. The picture quality is excellent and you can see super sharp texts on the display. The True Tone technology comes in handy in maintaining the true-to-life visual performance of the display. Thanks to the IPS panel, you get amazing viewing angles as well.

The keyboard on the MacBook Air comes with a scissor mechanism and is a great improvement over the previous generation’s keyboards. The keys are soft to touch and will not make much of a noise when you’re typing. This makes this laptop a good choice for working in cafes and libraries.

The keyboard doesn’t give a lot of feedback when typing but it is not a dealbreaker. The backlighting on this laptop is divine and looks simply stunning when on. The force touch trackpad on the MacBook Air is nothing short of excellent and it gives you a neat overall performance.

One of the best things about this MacBook Air is its portability. The Mac weighs just about 2.7lbs and is one of the lightest laptops out there. You can easily slide this laptop into your bag and take it with you wherever you go.

Another very impressive feature of this MacBook Air is its battery life. With light use, the MacBook Air should last for about 10 to 12 hours. You should be getting a similar performance for transcribing as well which is excellent.

Overall, the MacBook Air might be Apple’s cheapest laptop but it does give you excellent all-round performance. It is affordable, powerful, and is perfect for doing transcriptions making it the best apple laptop for transcriptions.


Touch ID
Excellent battery life


Only USB type C

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Best Budget Laptop For Transcriptions

Acer Aspire 5

  • Intel Core i5
  • 15.6″ Full HD
  • 8GB DDR4
  • 256GB SSD

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If you are on a budget and if you need a laptop for transcriptions, then the Acer Aspire 5 would be a good choice.

This Acer Aspire 5 laptop comes with all the essential features you need and will not cost you a lot of money. Yes, there are compromises but it can be allowed as you are getting a lot more by paying a lot less.

The display on the Acer Aspire 5 is 15.6″ display with Full HD resolution. Though this is a budget laptop, it comes with an IPS panel and gives us excellent picture quality and viewing angles. The speakers are not that great but are quite serviceable if you’re not an audiophile.

Let’s talk about the input devices on the Acer Aspire 5. We have a full-size keyboard on the Acer Aspire 5. The keys are good and come with good feedback. It does make a bit of a noise when typing which makes a not so good choice when you’re working in libraries and similar places.

The keyboard does come with backlighting which is another great feature. A nice addition to this keyboard is the dedicated number pad. If you’re someone who works with numbers a lot, then this keyboard will surely help you improve your workflow.

The processor that powers this Acer Aspire 5 model is an Intel Core i5 processor that comes with 2 cores. Though this is a dual-core processor, it does well when it comes to handling your everyday applications. You can run your word processors, social media apps, browsers, streaming apps, and other apps without any issues.

There are 8 gigs of DDR4 RAM that allow you to perform multitasking without any restrictions. This RAM should be more than enough for pretty all those who transcribe unless you do something resource-hungry alongside.

The Acer Aspire 5 comes with a lot of connectivity options as well. You get all the daily-use ports and also have wireless standards like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth built-in.

The battery performance in the Acer Aspire 5 laptop is pretty good. With light use, you should be able to squeeze out at least 7 hours of battery life which is excellent.

Overall, the Acer Aspire 5 is an excellent laptop as it gives you all the essential features without costing you an awful lot of money. If you’re stuck on a budget, then this laptop is something you should consider seriously.


Neat performance
Good battery life


None at this price point

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What To Look For In The Best Laptop For Transcriptions?

Here are some quick pointers to help you see what is most important on a laptop for transcription.


A fast processor is the first thing you need for a good transcribing experience. If you’re on a budget, you should be okay with a dual-core Intel processor from the recent generations.

If you can afford it, go for a quad-core Intel chip. But we would avoid going for i7 processors as they are overkill in most scenarios. You can proceed with an i7 chip if the laptop can handle it well (like the Dell XPS 13)

But do not go with Pentium or Celeron chips as they are very entry-level and will make life quite hard for transcription.


If transcriptions are the only thing you’re going to work on, then 4GB RAM will be enough for most people.

But if you want to expand your horizons later, then we recommend going with at least 8GB of RAM. This memory gives you the freedom to run several applications together without giving up on performance.


Working on transcriptions is not going to take a lot of storage.

If you’re looking to save some money, then you can even go with a 128GB solid state drive as it is the minimum you’ll get. If you feel like you’ll need some space, then get a 256GB SSD.

In any case, avoid hard disk drives. These are mechanical and old school and nature. They give you really slow performance and should not be considered if you’re looking for speed and efficiency in your workflow.

Input Devices

Having a good keyboard is paramount for transcription.

Make sure the keyboard on your laptop comes with a good layout and well-spaced keys. It is better to have a chiclet-type keyboard that gives you good feedback as you will have a good time typing on it.

You don’t want to deal with wobbly keys that are plasticky so make sure the quality of the keyboard is on point. Backlighting on the keyboard is a must as it gives you the ability to work in the dark.

The trackpad should be a Windows Precision trackpad. This way, you’ll be able to perform all the Windows gestures without any problems. If you’re going with a Mac, then you don’t have to worry about the trackpad there as they come with excellent ones out of the box.


While having a good display is important, it is not going to break or make your transcribing experience.

Even if you’re on a budget, we recommend going with at least a 1400 x 900 pixels resolution. This resolution is not full HD but is a bit better than HD resolution and will give you more details on the screen.

If you can afford, go for a display for full HD resolution or better. If you go for good laptops like the MacBook Air or Dell XPS, you automatically get an excellent display which is nice.

If you have the habit of working outdoors, make sure the display comes with decent maximum brightness. Anything upwards of 400 nits should be more than enough.

Battery Life

Battery life is one of the most important components of a laptop for transcription.

Get a laptop that gives you all-day battery life. Both the Dell XPS 13 and the MacBook Air can give you that. Even the Lenovo T480 manages to give you more than 7 hours with light use.

When you’re working on transcriptions, you want the laptop to be with you all day without having to charge again. While charging again isn’t that big of a crime, you may not get a free charging port when you’re working during travel or simply in a park or a cafe.

That’s all we have for this post and we hope you found it useful.

Finding the best laptop for transcriptions yourself is a challenging task and we wish you all success for it.

If you have any doubts or queries, do get in touch with us and we’d gladly help you out.

Also, keep visiting the Daily Tech Central for more detailed buying guides.

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