The Best Laptops For Transcribing

If you’re looking to buy your first laptop, it can be difficult to figure out what the best laptop for transcribing actually is. After all, there are so many different laptops out there, and each one seems to have pros and cons that could ultimately make or break your transcription career! To help you make an informed decision, check out this article on the 4 best laptops for transcribing so you can make the most of your money and get started with your first laptop today!

4 Best Laptops for Transcribing At a Glance:

1) 2020 Apple MacBook Pro

2) HP x360 14

3) Microsoft Surface Go 10

4) Microsoft Surface Book 2

1) 2020 Apple MacBook Pro

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Display13.3-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit display with IPS technology; 2560-by-1600 native resolution at 227 pixels per inch with support for millions of colors, 16:10 aspect ratio
ProcessorSystem on Chip (SoC) Apple M1 chip; 8-core CPU with 4 performance cores and 4 efficiency cores; 16-core Neural Engine
Graphics and Video SupportApple 8-core GPU
Charging and ExpansionTwo Thunderbolt / USB 4 ports with support for Charging, DisplayPort Thunderbolt 3 (up to 40 Gbps), USB 3.1 Gen 2 (up to 10 Gbps)
WirelessWi-Fi 802.11ax Wi-Fi wireless networking; IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac compatible, Bluetooth 5.0 wireless technology
In the Box13-inch MacBook Pro, 61W USB-C Power Adapter, USB-C Charge Cable (2 m)
Height0.61 inch (1.56 cm)
Width11.97 inches (30.41 cm)
Depth8.36 inches (21.24 cm)
Weight3.0 pounds (1.4 kg)
Release Date11/10/2020


The 2018 13-inch MacBook Pro features a stunning Retina display and Touch Bar to deliver an amazing portable workstation. It’s powered by a 7th generation Intel i5-7267U processor, 8GB of memory, and 256GB solid-state drive. . If you’re not looking to spend much on your new machine, look no further than Macbook Pro – which is also great if you plan on using it for more than just transcription. This laptop has everything that newbie transcribers might need (and then some).

In fact, any transcriptionist will be happy with Macbook Pro as it can handle almost anything you throw at it… even intensive tasks like video editing. All in all, if you want a powerful machine without spending too much money – take Macbook!

2) HP x360

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If you’re in need of a laptop that’s portable and capable of transcribing, editing, and manipulating audio files, the HP x360 is an excellent choice. It features a 360-degree hinge that allows it to function as both a laptop and tablet, so you can use it in almost any situation. Despite its size, it provides robust performance with plenty of memory and processing power to run multiple software programs at once. Its battery life won’t let you down either—you can expect around seven hours on average between charges. Unfortunately, it does not come equipped with a touchscreen like some other laptops on our list. That said, if portability is your main concern and you need something sturdy enough to handle heavy loads from time to time, then we highly recommend giving the HP x360 serious consideration. On Amazon at $499. You can read our review here.

3) Microsoft Surface Go

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Standing screen display size‎10 Inches
Screen Resolution‎1800 x 1200
Processor‎Pentium
RAM‎8 LPDDR3_SDRAM
Memory Speed‎1866 MHz
Hard Drive‎128 GB
Wireless Type‎802.11a/b/g/n/ac, 802.11abg, 802.11a/b/g/n, 802.11a


A few years ago, I was looking for a laptop to transcribe my audio recordings. After researching and testing many models, I bought a Microsoft Surface Pro 3. It’s great to take notes on because it has a keyboard you can detach from its screen, but it doesn’t have enough memory or hard drive space to store long interviews without syncing them with my desktop computer. The new Surface Go is great if you are looking for something even lighter than an iPad or standard laptop that also offers better battery life and more performance than both of those devices.

And it starts at just $519.! This makes it very cost-effective while still offering similar capabilities as much more expensive laptops made by competitors. The trade-off is that you get less storage and RAM than in other, more powerful computers. But if your goal is to simply type up transcripts of audio files quickly, then I highly recommend considering a Surface Go for your transcription needs.

4) Microsoft Surface Book 2

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Standing screen display size‎13.5 Inches
Max Screen Resolution‎3000×2000 Pixels
Processor‎4.2 GHz core_i7_8650u
RAM‎16 GB LPDDR3
Memory Speed‎1866 MHz
Hard Drive‎16 GB flash memory solid state
Graphics Coprocessor‎NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050
Chipset Brand‎NVIDIA
Card Description‎Dedicated
Graphics Card Ram Size‎2 GB
Wireless Type‎802.11abg
Number of USB 2.0 Ports‎1
Number of USB 3.0 Ports‎2
Average Battery Life (in hours)‎12 Hours


A supremely powerful machine with a detachable screen, Microsoft’s Surface Book 2 is one of the best laptops on which to transcribe. The 3:2 aspect ratio is good enough for reading and writing, while you can still see things in full-screen mode if you need that. Even better, its excellent keyboard makes it easy to type at high speeds—keyboard shortcuts are built into it so you can copy and paste text without needing to rely on your mouse.

In addition, many transcriptionists report feeling faster with a trackpad than with a mouse because they don’t have to lift their hands from the home row. Finally, it boasts a good battery life (about seven hours) when using only tablet mode. Because typing uses more battery power than using apps or watching videos, you’ll want to keep an eye on that during long transcription sessions. Otherwise, though, we love using tablets like this one as our main machines; check out some of our other favorites too