Calling All Bloggers! What is the Best Laptop For Blogging?

Bloggers, I need your help.  I am in a huge debate with myself, Bert and others on what is the best laptop/chromebook/tablet out there for bloggers and blogging alike.  There has to be pros and cons to each one in the market, and I’m having quite a difficult time finding the best one for what I need to use it for.  I’ll list out the potential devices I am considering, but would absolutely love guidance – and what better than to ask individuals who are also writing/blogging – so thank you for considering helping me in the search.  Let’s see what I’m looking for, why I am and what I’ve come up with so far.  From there – all and any feedback would be appreciated!

two laptops

Why I am in the Market for a New Device

My macbook, personal laptop, is 7 years old (well 6.5 technically… haha).  I believe everyone remembers when I re-vamped my laptop last year for $63 and boy, was it lightning fast!  I added 8gb of RAM into my macbook and it was handling amazingly.  Then… we had an operating system upgrade.  Then… my screen decided to start spunnering out on me (which I believe is just an internal connection issue, as I have a 1 inch bar going down the center of my screen.  Well, the new operating system upgrade has now led to an annoyance to my computer, as I have all of these ad pop ups that I never had before and it is just really sluggish, overall.  I understand, at 7 years of age, one would think – DAMN, I have for sure gotten the life out of it that I wanted.  I still had about 60-70GB left of hard drive space on it and it worked so well before the OS upgrade, okay Apple, are you trying to push me to get a new Apple product?  I’ll say this – I definitely support Apple, their products are incredible, simple and they last.  My laptop before this didn’t last more than 12 months.  Nuff said.  My macbook was $900 and I had around $400 in Apple gift cards.  So… $500/6.5 years = $77/year in depreciation on the laptop, not bad and couldn’t be more grateful.  I more than likely can sell the RAM I purchased back online at a discounted price and will hopefully catch $40-$50 for it, they are less than 1 year old.  I also feel this will help in the blogging productivity as I have to jump between two laptops right now to accomplish things, very frustrating and I really want to hit one of the goals set to receive $1,000 in blogging income before the end of the year!  As from my last quarterly update, we are very, very far away from this goal.  Needless to say,  I am back in the market baby and I’m now a blogger, to which I love this community and writing these posts.  Nice segway into what I use my laptop for.

macbook

Activities to be performed on the next Device

I can easily list out what I do on a frequent/daily basis below and then follow it up with a little list of what I sparingly will use this device for, I will make this quick, to the point for everyone:

  • Blogging/Writing Articles
  • Reading Blogs
  • Stock Research/Financial Websites
  • Storing Photos (wouldn’t mind using a cloud device)
  • Watching Youtube videos (music, basketball, etc.)
  • Microsoft Office Products/Form of Word document & Excel/Spreadsheet usage (for investment/portfolio tracking, etc.)

Here below are the less frequent and the “occasional” usage of what the next device will be for:

  • Netflix Videos
  • Streaming ESPN, TNT, ABC, USA
  • Video Chatting with family (VERY infrequent)

Essentially, I am using the next device to write and read articles, track my investment portfolio in spreadsheets, create word documents and then the storing of photos somewhere in an online storage.  When I travel, I will occasionally watch a video on Netflix or other network, very rarely though.  Pretty easy and basic right?

What I desire the Next Device to Have

This is gong to be a list of what I’m looking for in the device – more of a specification list, if you ask me.  Again, I’ll list them out, bullet point style to make things easier:

  • 3 Pounds or Less – would love to make it easy to carry around and transport
  • 12-13 inch screen with a resolution that is HD (for pictures and viewing sites, videos)
  • 2GB Minimum of RAM to run an office-type product & blogging at the same time
  • 16GB minimum of storage on an SSD
  • Cloud Access that is very easy
  • Thin device, but not too terrible thin that it feels like I am typing on nothing
  • Processor that is fast aka about 1.6 GHZ speed and would prefer over 2 GHZ
  • Under $325

Easy enough?  To summarize – a light with a mid-size screen of 12-13 inches with quality that contains enough processing power to handle multiple activities with easy access to a large cloud storage under $325.  Thoughts?

Devices I have looked at Online

Here I will briefly show the devices I have looked at on Amazon the Specs and what I like/Don’t like about them.

Acer Chromebook13 CB5-311-T9B0 (13.3-inch Full HD, NVIDIA Tegra K1, 2GB) $249.99 or for the 4GB and 32GB hard drive = $349.99

  • 1920 X 1080 HD 13.3 Inch Screen
  • 2.1 GHZ Tegra Processor with 2 GB of RAM
  • 16GB Hard drive Space
  • 3.31 pounds (a bit heavier than I’d Like) and 4 stars on amazon
  • Pros I like: Screen, Speed and Ram
  • Cons: Weight, not the most popular processor and haven’t had success with Acer

ASUS Chromebook 12-Inch with Gigabit WiFi, 32GB Storage & 4GB RAM = $259.99

  • 1366 X 768 screen
  • 4GB Ram with 32GB Storage
  • Intel Dual core process at 2.16 GHZ
  • 2.5 Pounds and has 4.5 stars out of 5 on amazon (461 ratings)
  • Pros I like: RAM + Space and the weight of it, as well as design
  • Cons: Screen quality not as strong and not as large of screen would prefer a 13 inch

Toshiba CB35-B3340 13.3-Inch Chromebook 2 (Full-HD Screen) $342 Brand New

  • 1920 X 1080 13.3 Inch screen
  • 2.16 GHZ Intel celeron Process
  • 4 GB RAM with 16GB storage
  • 2.95 pounds and has 4.5 stars out of 607 ratings from Amazon
  • Pros: Screen appears gorgeous and the design I absolutely love
  • Cons: Price and it’s a tad on the heavier side

Conclusions & Feedback

Overall, I would love to have that 13 inch screen on the ASUS above, I think is where my heart is saying to me.  I could always buy in a “Like New” condition online as well, has anyone ever had success with that?  Also – what others do you see that fit the bill here?  Under 3 pounds, clean/crisp, closer to 13 inch screen with speed above 2GHZ and a nice screen?  What are you all using?  What prices have you paid for it?  Am I crazy thinking of spending under $325?  Thanks everyone, I’m excited to hear what details you can provide.  I’ll be going to a neighborhood best buy today to potentially check them out and get a feel for them as well.  Talk soon!

-Lanny

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50 thoughts on “Calling All Bloggers! What is the Best Laptop For Blogging?

  1. Ever hear the expression, “Good, Fast, Cheap, you can only pick two”? This is what this reminds me of since you want all these things AND you want it for less than $325. If that was my budget I’d just buy a used iPad or a Samsung pad. For everything you’ve listed, it does not seem you need a lot of processing power, just lots of RAM. I have an older Mac Mini, a cheap Lenovo G7, and a Macbook Pro Retina 13″ I purchased late last year. The Mini was getting old and I rarely use it. The Lenovo I got for like $350, 15″ screen, has a number pad (I LOVE that), and is a brick. I used it for MS Office mostly. Then the hinge on the right of the screen got loose and I decided I miss my Mac. So I originally was thinking of getting a Mac Air, as I wanted something thin. However, for the price and the performance, I was able to get the new lighter MBP Retina 13″. I LOVE this computer! I was also able to get the educational discount so it was like $1200 or so? Computers are something I really do no compromise on. I use them so often and I always pay for higher quality as they last. Anyway, sorry for the long story, but I’ll be waiting to hear what you buy!

    – HMB

  2. Hey Lanny. Thanks for sharing. I personally use a desktop which I got my little brother to build as a gaming device in 2010. It’s still fast as I recently purchased a new Videocard. At work, I have a IPAD to check on emails and occasionally browse / blog. I’ve never had a laptop so I’m sorry I can’t add to the discussion but all those look nimple.
    Whatever you decide, go for it. Even though it’ll set you back some cash, it’s nice to reward yourself once in while. You certainly earned it my friend. Also, It’ll definitely make you feel better and motivate you to hustle harder.
    Cheers Lanny!

  3. Having dealt with laptops in my line of work I think you’re better off spending some money and get a higher quality laptop. I have not been impressed with these cheaper laptops. Chromebook has many limitations that have drove me a little insane.

    If I were you I’d spend the money purchase a 13″ MacBook Pro. That laptop will last you many years.

  4. I have a mid 2012 macbook pro I bought last year for $600 used on CL, I am not updating my OS as it will slow me down tremendously, hopefully this purchase will last me for 3-5 more years just doing the basic things I need to do and very similar to yours. I am not very familiar with the options you mentioned and I am not a techie sorry I am not much of help but good luck on your purchase Lanny, update us with your choice.

  5. Don’t know of any specific devices that are available right now. But I would suggest to time your purchase to either a flash sale, say on a holiday sale. Or if you can wait for the back to school special offers to pop up during the summer. Although not that perfect 13″, microsofts Surface line of tablets have over 10″ screens, good processing power and come loaded with microsoft office. I am very happy with mine, although when at home I obviously prefer my desktop although reading in bed with the tablet is nice or outside within WiFi range. Do some comparison shopping and see if there are any best price guarantee’s you can take advantage of as well.

  6. If i had only those three to choose from, is definitely go for the Asus and avoid the Acer like the plague!

    And please don’t believe the hype, apple are not better than a high quality laptop from someone else – they don’t even build their own machines, but contract that our to someone else. That someone else used to be Asus, but then apple switched to a ‘cheaper’ supplier (ie slave labour). I’ve had three apple devices, two of which failed beyond repair – and I used to be a computer hardware specialist. So I now avoid apple 100%.

    If i were you, I’d go for a solid Asus or an IBM/lenovo think pad, even a refurbished one for cheap. I personally use a desktop as typing with a proper keyboard is much better. In fact, I just replaced my desktop yesterday with an ex-corporate dell that cost £20 ($30) including the keyboard and mouse! Now, see if you can find a bargain like that, and I’ll be impressed!

    Cheers

  7. Hi
    If you have a MacBook now I don’t how you can even consider an ASUS, Acer or Toshiba. Then to use Chrome on top of those. Wow. I can’t believe you would do this to yourself.

    I would (and have done many times) buy a refurbished MacBook from Apple – same one year warranty as a new MacBook and you can extend the warranty for two more years by buying AppleCare before then end of the first year. At present here are a couple of refurbished MacBook Choices. They have others.

    MacBook Pro
    Refurbished 13.3-inch MacBook Pro 2.5GHz Dual-core Intel i5 $829.00
    Originally released June 2012
    13.3-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit glossy widescreen display, 1280-by-800 resolution
    4GB (2 x 2GB) of 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM
    500GB Serial ATA @ 5400 rpm
    8x double-layer SuperDrive (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
    Intel HD Graphics 4000

    MacBook Air
    Refurbished 13.3-inch MacBook Air 1.4GHz Dual-core Intel Core i5 $759
    Originally released April 2014
    13.3-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit glossy widescreen display with support for millions of colors
    
4GB of 1600MHz LPDDR3 onboard memory

    128GB PCIe-based flash storage
1
    720p FaceTime HD Camera
    
Intel HD Graphics 5000

    go to the Apple store on line and scroll to the bottom and look for the link to refurbished products or try this link http://store.apple.com/us/browse/home/specialdeals

    Again, I have almost always purchased refurbished Macs from Apple for myself and my business and have not regretted it.

    good luck. stay with the mac

  8. Lanny,

    Well, I blog/write quite a bit (30+ articles per month) and practically live on my computer.

    I purchased a $400 HP with Windows 7 and 4 GB RAM just a few months ago after my $400 (or maybe I spent $500?) Toshiba that I bought back in 2009 finally gave in (after a lot of punishment). I personally have never found much of a need for anything super high end, and I do A LOT of work online. I try to target $100/year, so if I can get four years out of this laptop I recently bought, I’ll be pretty happy. Keep in mind that the more you spend, the more work/time you’d have to get out of your computer to really make it worth it. And every $100 more you spend on a laptop is $100 not working for you and paying you. I’d rather spend less on a laptop and invest more. That’s just me. 🙂

    Good luck making your choice!

    Best regards.

  9. Lanny,

    I just recently purchased a new ASUS desktop and it has been a quality piece thus far. I had an Acer laptop in the past which slowed down considerably after a year or so of use – though I have enjoyed Acer desktops in the past. For the basic uses you have planned, I wouldn’t go overboard on the spending. Most expensive devices have specs used for online gaming which needs stronger system requirements – not something you need.

    Netflix/videos should be watchable with the vast majority of devices. Based on my own experience and the three options you’ve shown, I would take the ASUS just based off of my new computer.

    – Ryan from GRB

  10. Get a MacBook Pro. Period.

    If investing is how you make your money then don’t skimp on the laptop and don’t skimp on the internet access. Skimp on something else. And then ask yourself why you’re even asking these questions about computers.

    Dennis McCain
    dennismccain.weebly.com

    • Dennis,

      Thanks for your post. I am currently looking at a macbook pro now as an option – maybe not the $1,300+ one but something from Apple nonetheless. My only debate is how “little” or lack thereof, that I actually use programs that a computer can bolster. I need excel, ability to read articles and write, period. You know? I just don’t want to buy a porsche when all I need is a toyota camry. Know what I mean?

      -Lanny

  11. I’m struggling with the same issue. My primary consideration is to reduce the weight from 7 lbs to something easier to manage on the road. My challenge is whether to shift to cloud storage or external hard drive storage in order to utilize an ultra-thin device.

  12. The best laptop for blogging in my opinion is the one that you can carry around at all times without the back and shoulder pains. I dont want a laptop that is performance-friendly but travel-wise not that suitable. Based on your list i would go with ASUS chromebook. But i would suggest taking a look at Dell’s Inspiron 13 7000 series.

  13. From the post it sounds like Chromebook might be the way to go, if you are willing to substiture Microsoft office or the google equivalents. But im not sure that the one you listed is the best option, there are several good ones!

    Be aware that the Cromebook operating system is based on ubuntu. This means that stuff might not be compatible with your computer, so be sure to check that before you buy!

    Cheers!
    -Samuraimannen

  14. I have a 13 incg Asus Chromebook 4Gb/32Gb. It works well for nearly everything you require with the exception of Excel. When using office online it still is just not the same as standalone excel software.

    My advice, check out the HP Stream line. I bought my wife the Stream 11 and she loves it. They also make a 13 so I feel that you should add that to your selection list.

    I hate Macs and would never consider buying one so I only consider Windows/Chromebook machines.

  15. I’m looking to buy a new laptop primarily for writing and I can advise you to stay away from chrome books if you want to use anything except basic text offline. A lot of apps promise offline usage including Google docs but in my experience you can’t depend on offline working.

    Good luck in your search. Get a laptop you feel comfortable with and will not need an upgrade for 3 to 5 years.

  16. Really good post! I really felt I had to contribute to this discussion. I really think that if you go with an ASUS, ACER, or Toshiba you will regret it. I’m not sure how you could use a Macbook for 6.5 years and then switch back to windows. Especially since you got so much value out of it over a 7 year period. I’m also a dividend investor and value saving but I also realize you get what you pay for. There’s no way around that in my opinion.

    Before I went to school I worked in retail selling laptops/cell phones and saw first hand the issues that come with other devices. Returns for batteries, charging cords, virus software etc.

    I’ve personally owned 3 laptops now. An HP/Toshiba/and Macbook Air. The HP was my laptop during school and I bought it around the end of 2007 and it lasted until around January 2009. It was around a $700 laptop and it slowed down so quickly. The screen also got that same bar you now had on your Mac in 1.5 years. I’m also a type of person that takes care of stuff I own. I bought the Toshiba next in around January 2009. During the time I was blogging on a different site and was also into Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator so I wanted something that could handle a lot. I bought a 19′ Toshiba with 4GB of RAM, 500GB hard drive. It cost just over $1000 and was suppose to be a gaming computer. It was super fast and great at first, except for how heavy it was. It worked fine until around 2011. It slowed down, started getting viruses, and then the WIFI stopped working. The battery was also fried after one year and it has to permanently be plugged in. Not to mention WINDOWS…the popups and unnecessary annoyances that come with that. By this time I was done with Windows. Instead of buying a laptop, I bought an iPad 2. I used that until I bought an iPad air in 2013. I always wanted a Mac but didn’t want to spend the money. But in Nov 2014, I caved and bought a Mac Air. And I have had absolutely not 1 single problem since. It’s by far the best laptop I’ve ever owned and I will never own anything else again. My only regret is that I should have bought a Mac pro for retina and my usage has picked up so it would be nice to have something a little more powerful.

    Every single thing on a Mac is better. From the keyboard for typing, the overall hardware quality, aesthetically, battery life, and the OS. How many times have you seen someone have to replace their laptop battery after a year. Or even the charging cable?

    Anyways I hope this helps with your decision. I just really felt compelled to write this comment and hope it’s not too long lol

  17. A good small laptop is the Asus X205T. I own one. It runs Windows 10 flawlessly with 10+ hours battery life. You can find them for 100$ on ebay.

  18. I usually prefer to work a huge monitor. A 17 inch laptop for myself is great. You can open many resource altogether. For someone who works at home big screen feel better. If you have to blog on many different places the a smaller laptop might suit you better.

  19. Hi Lanny, Thank you for sharing your experience. I have been looking for a perfect device for my blogging. Of course I want the best one as blogging is all what I do for living. You have also specified the parameters to judge any device. I would choose my next device wisely.

  20. Here is a quick review I found for the New MacBook, probably not worth it for you. Even with the new cheap MacBook Pro its not worth it but buying an older used one might be a good option. Not that much has changed and for your purpose the new software updates work fine with it too. Going outside the ‘Apple bubble’ will take some getting used to if you decide to go down that route.

    https://a2ztechreview.wordpress.com/2016/10/28/first-blog-post/

  21. Hi guys! I’m about to start my own blog and have been researching on the most popular platforms. However, I’m still not sure about which one to choose. Could you please recommend one? I really like the organization of your blog. I would like to achieve something similar. Thank you in advance for your help!

  22. Any laptop with 4 cores and at least 4gb ram. if it has ssd even better!
    You can take any screen size that you desire. More powerful cpu ang gpu less will your battery last.
    i would recomend at least i3 cpu.

  23. I am using Asus Zenbook UX305UA-AS51. It’s quite affordable compare to other branded laptop so I chose this one. Aside from that it has 8gbof RAM and a 256gb ssd storage which is really cool. The OS is Windows 10. If you have time please check out buy cheap computer parts online for more good deals.

  24. Good Morning – I was just reading you blog about Chromebooks (I was looking for an article I could use on our blog with permission). We make the protective covers/cases for Chromebooks including a couple of the ones you use. Would you be interested in trying one out?

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