Choosing A Blogging Laptop

28/04/2020 Blogging, Discussions 4

Recently, my trusty old Macbook breathed its’ last breath. It had been coming for a long time as it got slower and more glitchy, but it was still a blow!

For one thing, I really loved that Macbook: I’d bought it back when I graduated university and had started working full time, so it was one of the first big things I ever bought for myself. And for another, Macbooks are crazy expensive, and I knew I wasn’t going to be able to fork out £1000 for a new one. It was around Christmas, so I knew I would struggle to scrape together as much as £200 for a new laptop.

But I had no option but to replace it somehow (I don’t have any other computer), even if it meant getting a laptop on finance. Even on monthly payments, anything as expensive as a Macbook was out of the question, so this led to a whole lot of researching and looking up various types of laptop to try and find an inexpensive one that suited my needs.

Since I mainly use my laptop for blogging and writing, I came up with a short list of requirements:

  • Quick web surfing.
  • A decent word processor.
  • Able to connect my camera to upload photos.
  • Access to photo editing software/apps/programs as well as something capable of making collages and graphics.
  • Access to basic social media apps.
  • It had to be inexpensive.

Armed with this list, I began looking up reviews, researching different options and browsing around tech stores to see what I liked. And the first and biggest question I came across was:

Apple, Windows or Google Chromebook?

One of the biggest questions when getting a new laptop is what operating system you want it to run on: Apple’s IOS, Windows, or the fairly new Google Chromebook.

As I said, I previously had a Macbook, which I mainly chose because I’ve generally disliked the Windows operating system ever since they changed from Windows XP (yes, I’m that old!). And I loved my Macbook so much! It was perfect for all my blogging needs and pretty much everything I ever wanted to do on it…but they’re just so expensive to buy! So I think Apple is a great option if you can afford it.

Windows is a great option too, and by far the most popular, but personally, I just don’t like the layout of the most recent iterations of it. That’s why I started to look into the third, and fairly recent option: Google Chromebooks.

It took some researching for me to actually get to the bottom of what a Chromebook was and how it differed from other laptops. In simple terms, it’s a laptop computer that runs on Chrome OS, making it a mostly internet dependent laptop. It doesn’t have a huge amount of memory, because pretty much everything is saved online through Google applications like Google Drive.

This makes surfing the internet super quick, because the laptop isn’t bogged down by having a full memory, but it also means it’s limiting as to what you can do without access to the internet. So there’s pros and cons, but for a blogging laptop, I think it’s a great option, because being able to blog requires an internet connection anyway, and the faster the internet works, the better!

So as you can probably guess from me going on and on about Chromebooks, that’s what I went with! I managed to snap up a great deal on a Lenovo Chromebook for under £200, and I’ve now had it for around 4 months, and it’s perfect!

It does everything I want and more, and now I’m an android phone user instead of an Iphone user, I can sync it up with my phone which is another plus.

The programmes I use are:

Google Chrome

As you’d imagine, the internet browser on a Chromebook is Google Chrome, so that’s what I use for general internet browsing, and of course blogging.

Google Docs

I now use Google Docs as my primary word processor, and it works just fine. It’s nice and simple, syncs to my Google Drive automatically, and it also saves automatically, so it’s impossible to really lose anything.

I feel like this was one place I had to compromise with my fiction writing though, as I’d been using Scrivener on my Macbook, and absolutely adored it. However, there isn’t currently a version of Scrivener for Chromebooks, and probably won’t be any time soon, so I’ll be sticking with Google Docs. But it’s perfectly functional, so I can’t complain!

Google Sheets

I keep track of my writing word counts etc. using Google Sheets (yes, I’m a spreadsheet person!). Much like Google Docs, it’s just Google’s equivalent of a Microsoft Office programme, in this case Excel, and it’s nice and easy to use.

Apps

Since Chromebooks give you access to the android Google Play Store, you can get pretty much any app you can get on an android phone for it. So I have all the classic apps I use on my phone, like Evernote and Outlook, not to mention all my social media apps like Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

Pixlr and Canva (Online)

The one place I struggled with my new Chromebook was finding a good photo editing app or software. Most of the ones I tried were clearly more for use on a phone, and so was quite unwieldy to use on a laptop, and didn’t always have all the options I wanted, especially for making book cover collages.

The best photo editing app I found, and the one I’m currently using is Pixlr, as it seemed to have most of the features that I used back in Photoshop on my old Macbook, even if it is more limited (which it’s going to be, as a free app, rather than a super expensive piece of software like Photoshop!).

And for collages and graphics I now use the Canva website (I find the app kind of hard to use!), and that’s been working well for me so far.


In short, my new laptop is great for blogging and writing, which is the main things I intend to use it for. It met every requirement on my list, including being incredibly inexpensive, and so far I’ve been loving it.

But it’s really up to you what you prioritise in a blogging laptop, and I know a lot of people are die-hard Apple fans, who wouldn’t consider using anything else (I was like that…until I couldn’t afford to be!). Meanwhile other people have probably been using Windows all their life and love it, in which case they probably have the widest number of options open to them.

I think it pays to shop around though, look up reviews and do your research, as a good laptop (or desktop) is essential for blogging!

So what computer do you use for blogging? What are your requirements when it comes to a blogging laptop or computer?

4 Responses to “Choosing A Blogging Laptop”

  1. Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity

    I am always intrigued by Chromebooks… but the small memory size just doesn’t cut it for me. I think I’ll always stick to windows. I mean, I love the look of MacOS and everything but, as you say, apple is just too expensive and I just don’t feel you get enough for your money to pick it over a windows laptop (personal opinion, obviously). My windows laptop is good for all my needs, it needs to have enough memory and graphics ability to play games like the Sims and it needs to be able to be comfy to type on too. I’ve had my current laptop for a couple of years now and it’s still going strong. It’s definitely something where I was happy to pay a bit more to be sure it would keep going for a few years.

    • Laura

      I definitely recommend Chromebooks, but I can understand why they aren’t ideal for some people, if they need more memory. And if you want to play games and things on there, they aren’t much good I don’t think.
      And as much as I love MacOS, you definitely do get a lot more for your money with Windows (it’s pretty ridiculous that you can get a decent Windows laptop for half the price of a basic Macbook!). I just didn’t like the layout of Windows the last time I had a Windows laptop (but that was way back with Windows 7 when they introduced that weird tile screen thing!), but I would probably have looked more into it if I hadn’t found out about Chromebooks.
      I’m glad you have a laptop you’re happy with! 🙂

  2. Malka @ Paper Procrastinators

    When I was picking out my computer I was focusing on the fact that I needed it for school. In fact, I didn’t even start blogging until several months after I purchased this laptop!

    To be honest, I didn’t do that much research. My brother works in IT, and he recommended my laptop, a Surface Pro, since I’m doing engineering, and therefore have a lot of programs that I need to be able to download and run for my courses and beyond. But I love the fact that in runs on windows. For some reason I am so uncomfortable using Apple products! I know most people prefer it, but I’ve never clicked with it! And I don’t love Google Docs that much. It’s great for collaboration, but other than that I never tend to use it. I stick with Word and such.

    I’m so happy you found a laptop that works for you! Hopefully it keeps working well for many more years!

    • Laura

      That’s always good if you know someone who’s good with computers and they can recommend you something! I looked at online reviews, but I’d trust someone I know in real life better.
      And I’ve definitely heard of the Surface Pro, and I’ve heard they’re really good! It sounds like you do a lot more complex things with yours, so I’m glad you found something that works for you 🙂

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