Typewriter vs. Laptop: The Advantages and Disadvantages of Going Digital

Productivity October 10, 2014

If you ever used a typewriter you definitely understand why there are some writers that even in this modern age choose to materialize their works with its help, instead of the easier digital alternative. There is something magical about the connection formed between an author and his typewriter, the way the letters dance on the white paper, the definitive nature of the writing and the music of the keys. So why did people turn to laptops and other modern machines to writer their stories? Is it truly a better way or it is just a result of progress and modern technology?

All writers strive to create the perfect environment for their writing, and we all know that the device you use is a key feature of that environment, so let’s take a lot at some of the advantages and disadvantages of going digital:

Save for Later

There is no doubt that a laptop can offer you more when it comes to saving and editing your work. But do you really need it? Have you thought about how the masterpieces of literature have been written? The truth is that it is all up to the writer’s preference but going digital does have its advantages if you want to later edit your work, change something in the story or proofread it. Just don’t fall into the trap of the never-ending changes, or you will never finish your book.

Easy Sharing

Self-publishing and online publishing are important practices in today’s writing world so if you are not going with a traditional publishing method, perhaps a digital device is better for you than a typewriter. You can easily optimize your work and turn it into an ebook or simply share it with your agent, editor or fans. On the other hand, a typewriter is environmentally friendly, more durable, cheaper, and prints as you write. So again, it is all a matter of finding the tool that best works for you.


When it comes to disadvantages of writing on a laptop, distraction is one of the major ones! It is so easy to get swept away by social media, music, movies or games that you will not even realize when you stopped writing; so if you do choose a laptop make sure to keep the distracting factors to a minimum.

A Typewriter is Low Tech

Believe it or not, there are still a of people out there that have not gone to the trouble of learning how to use computers so a typewriter would definitely work better for them. Whether you don’t want to get sucked into the digital age (although you have to admit that this is pretty difficult) or you just like to keep things simple, writing on a laptop can be a challenge if you are not at least a little tech-savvy. Just keep in mind that this obstacle is easy to overcome if you want to, so if the only thing that keeps you on your typewriter is that you do not know how to use a computer, take a little time to learn, it’s easy once you get the hang of it.

As you can see, if you really have your heart set on using one device, you will find a lot of things wrong with the other one, so the best thing to do is to first think about how you love writing, and what machine will serve your needs better. I for one am in love with typewriters and would love to do all my writing on one, but I am also aware that my work requires a modern approach, so I found the perfect balance with doing the work-related writing on a laptop and any other personal writings on paper, and it is the perfect compromise: I feel more connected to the writing process on paper, but I am always one step ahead on my laptop.

What your favorite writing device? Are you still enjoying the magic of typewriters or have gone digital?

2 thoughts on “Typewriter vs. Laptop: The Advantages and Disadvantages of Going Digital

  1. It’s funny. I’m sitting here in 2016 wondering if I should start using a type writer instead of a laptop to type my college papers. The major advantage to a laptop is that it has spell check. At the same time, it seems a bit like cheating. I wonder how interesting it would look if I carried on of those snazzy blue typewriter bags around the campus. Then again, the noise would probably bother people, not that the library ever stopped students from talking out loud.

  2. From my perspective, the laptop is something I prefer — mostly because of the fact that the writing programs on laptops (such as LibreOffice Writer) have Auto Correct and Spellcheck (for spelling and grammar). 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *