Best hardware for a no-boot, always-on Scrivener experience

I have Scriv installed on my PC and iPad. It’s great for serious writing binges and ‘just checking this one thing’, respectively, but neither are good for ‘quick writing jots’ or portable writing.

The PC is too power-heavy and noisy to leave on all the time and the boot-up/backup/shut down process can be a barrier to unexpected short-writing urges.

On the iPad, I find that flicking between the Scriv app and anything else or even just turning the screen off and on again later can result in it reloading itself back to the main app entry page. I don’t know if it’s because of an iOS design feature/flaw or if my file size is just too huge. Either way, not ideal.

Can anyone recommend a good device/OS that will enable Scriv to be open and ready 24/7? Quiet like a tablet, with a screen that can be switched off and on without shutting the machine itself down or losing where I’m up to in the program? Or am I chasing the impossible?

iOS Scrivener should return to where you were in most cases. If it doesn’t in your case, you might want to look at your usage habits a little more closely. (In particular, are you synchronizing to another device, and has that version of the project changed?)

Depending on your hardware, many laptops have a fast wake from sleep/suspend mode. That would work if you don’t mind the bulk of the laptop itself. Be aware, though, that because sleeping a laptop does not close Scrivener, automatic backups and similar housekeeping tasks do not run. That can have catastrophic consequences if the battery dies or if something like a system update forces a reboot.

My own solution to the “quick note” use case is about as old school as it gets: paper. Always on, no boot time, allows me to decide where this specific note should go later. For interviews and more serious portable writing, I use an iPad Mini with an external keyboard.

Maybe you’re looking for an M1-MacBook Air. Fanless, snappy, insane battery life. And it comes with a keyboard.


I never sync multiple versions at once anymore. It feels more like iOS just won’t or can’t hold the software in suspension/background. Not always, but often enough to be a little frustrating if I’m flicking back and forth between looking stuff up online.

Thanks for your thoughts. Paper is my current emergency backup but I often can’t get the words out fast enough and end up writing bullet points more than anything else.

Cheers, I’ll look it up.

I was getting enthused about Chromebooks before realising they don’t do Scriv. :slight_smile: I’d also like to avoid Surface Pro simply because of how often Windows pushes updates that force a reboot.

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Does your iOS device behave like this with other applications? My experience is that iOS Scrivener “remembers” my location in a project for hours or days at a time, regardless of what else I’m doing.

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Occasionally YouTube has the same problem, but Scriv does it most often.

Like NS I use an M1 MacBook Air for nearly all my work. Just sold my 16" MBP that has sat largely unused since the MBA arrived. I will get the new 14" when it is released just for a little additional power for video work.

My MBA is on constantly with a roughly weekly shut down just to clear caches, refresh etc. I do have Scrivener set to shut down after a period of non-use primarily from the days I used to jump between computers/iPad, though you could leave it running as you wish.

The MBA gets plugged into power from time to time to juice up, but with 30-40 Safari tabs and a number of programs running it is good for all day and more.


It might have as much to do with the amount of RAM in your iPad as the OS. I’ve read that the less RAM, the more reloads, at least in browser windows. (Apparently, until recently, Apple didn’t disclose the amount of RAM in iPads, but users have figured it out.) I’ve not noticed what you describe happening in Scrivener on my 2017 iPad Pro, but it supposedly has 4GB of RAM, more than non pro iPads.


M1-MacBook Air for the win, especially since the M2 version is now out and you can get a M1 at a reduced price. Beautiful machine, extremely fast, bright screen, great keyboard. I’ve used Scrivener on just about everything, including a Windows Surface and on my iPad Pro, and the MacBook Air is the overall winner. The battery lasts forever, and if you close the lid and leave it in sleep mode, the moment you open it Scrivener is there and ready to go. Instantly.

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Please be aware that “sleep” mode prevents Scrivener’s normal shutdown processing, including automatic backups. It also prevents synchronization with Dropbox and similar services. For your own protection, make sure to either close Scrivener regularly or have some other routine backup strategy.