Laptop for a scientist (mostly writing text)

Discussion in 'Which Laptop should I buy?' started by maciek-wroc, Feb 3, 2020.

  1. maciek-wroc


    Feb 3, 2020
    Likes Received:
    Hi fellow laptop users! I am searching for a 13-14'' laptop that is light, cool and calm. The main purpose is writing. My university would buy me any laptop, so money is not a concern.

    I have very specific needs, and I would benefit greatly from your expertise!

    A) Top requirement: Low temperature and low noise in great favor of performance

    Temperatures at the bottom should barely touch 40* C (104 F), the wrist restplace should be even cooler. Noise emission should be unhearable, the best design would be fanless.

    For that, I am willing to sacrifice performance. Previously I was using Acer Swift 1 with N5000 CPU and 4GB of RAM and this was sufficient. This laptop sets the bar very high in terms of thermals and noise (

    B) 13-14'' display

    I need at least FHD resolution in IPS. The best display would be matt, however some glossy ones with low levels of reflectivity are also OK (but MS Surface reflections are too much). Brightness can be average as I run it very low anyway.

    * Mostly for typing

    I do not use touchpad at all. Some touchpad designs have convex buttons in this area (such as Lenovo Thinkpads), and I would like to avoid these.

    I find most key switches fine, and the priorities are in the keyboard layout. Keyboard layout must be ANSI (as opposed to ISO), i.e., shift must be right next to Z and enter must be next to the ' key. The Caps Lock is my most used key (I bind it to Control), and it must be placed next to A (e.g. Acer Switch 7 has the tilde key that separates these, and I would like to avoid such layouts).
    Arrow keys layout and delete/backspace are not of any concern.

    * Linux support

    I would like to avoid all Chromebooks. Any Windows or Macintosh hardware should be fine. If you know about any Linux incompatibilities, please let me know!

    My top choices at the moment are the following. Unfortunately, I was unable to find any good fanless options.

    Matt display options (I like matt a bit more):

    1. Acer Swift 5 (

    2. LG Gram (

    Glossy display options (I like glossy less):

    3. MacBook Air 2019 (

    (however, I heard that the fan is not quiet)

    4. Microsoft Surface Laptop 3

    (however, I heard that the screen is very reflective. On the other hand, this one has great 3:2 proportions)

    5. Lenovo Yoga C940 (

    Any comments are welcome!
    maciek-wroc, Feb 3, 2020
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