As a blogger, you really only have one essential tool in your arsenal: your laptop. So if you are due for an upgrade, it is important that you get the right tool for the job.
In this review we are going to break down the needs of different types of bloggers and provide laser focused recommendations for them.
Laptops come in all shapes and sizes, so it is impossible to give a single all-purpose recommendation.
Instead, you will need to look at your individual needs as a blogger to decide which laptops will do what you need while staying within the budget.
What does a Laptop Need to run WordPress?
If you are blogging on WordPress, then you won't need a very powerful computer to get the job done.
WordPress, after all, is a cloud-based system, so your internet connection will play a much bigger role in your experience than your computer's hardware will.
As a WordPress blogger you will likely have several internet browser windows open at one time (writing, editing, researching), so you'll want to make sure you have enough RAM on your computer to handle all the tasks held in memory.
If you are going to purchase a Windows laptop, I think 8 gigs of RAM is a nice minimum (16 gigs will last you longer).
If you are going to blog on a Chromebook, you can cut that in half to a minimum of 4 gigs of RAM (more on Chromebooks later on.)
If you are blogging on a Windows Laptop, you need at least 8gb of RAM. Chromebook? Minimum of 4GB.
But I do more than just WordPress...??
Blogging is much more than simply typing into a WordPress browser.
Bloggers are also often:
- Editing Photos
- Editing Videos
- Recording & Editing Podcast Episodes
- Storing large amounts of photos & videos on their hard drives
- Live stream content directly to Facebook / Youtube etc
Are Chromebooks good for blogging?
Chromebooks can be excellent options for certain bloggers.
Chromebooks excel at:
- Having extremely long battery life
- Work very quickly on the internet
- Are very quiet, lightweight, and easy to travel with
But of course, Chromebooks have certain downsides:
- They need a good internet connection pretty much all the time
- They are not powerful enough to run photo / video editing software
- They have small hard drives so you won't be able to store many photos on it at once*
* Most Chromebooks give you free Google Drive storage space for a year to eliminate the hard drive concern, so long as you have internet.
I personally do about 50% of my blogging on my own Chromebook, but I also have a Windows Desktop PC for doing video work. This is an excellent combination that we will talk about later on.
Like snowflakes, all bloggers are unique, and their laptops will have different needs depending on what you need.
Below are my top recommendations for different types of bloggers. Enjoy!
Best Cheap Laptop for Blogging
If you are just getting started and don't have much of a budget, this section is for you!
Best Cheap Chromebook: Samsung Chromebook Plus 2 in 1
This is the Chromebook that I am currently using. It's not the absolute cheapest on the market, but it will last a LONG time, has an incredible screen, and will be a perfect companion to a desktop computer once your income justifies it.
I love my Chromebook for working in WordPress. I spend hours writing comfortably on this machine and I actually feel more focused compared to a big desktop with a bigger screen. It won't work if you want to be a famous Youtuber, but for a blogger on a budget, it's a great option.
Best Laptop for Travel Blogging
Best Performance Laptop for Travel Blogging: Lenovo X1 Extreme
Most travel bloggers will need a machine that is capable of doing heavy video editing, and lasting a long time in between airports. You also want a rugged machine that isn't going to break after a fall or a spill of coffee. This lenovo has you covered.
Lenovo has built an incredibly impressive machine in a very slim package. If you want power and durability, and are willing to open up the wallet for it. This is the laptop to buy.
Best Chromebook for Blogging
Best Chromebook for Blogging: Google Pixel Book
The Pixelbook is the best Chromebook money can buy. It's a full 4-in-1 design so you can use it as a tablet, tent, entertainment mode... even a laptop! It packs a full 512GB of storage space to eliminate the main Chromebook complaint.
And it comes with an excellent stylus to add great illustrations to your posts!
While I love my Samsung, I have to admit that the best Chromebook on the Market for bloggers is the Pixelbook. It has an incredible keyboard and more power than most full laptops. It's a great experience working in Chrome with one.
Best Laptop for Vlogging 2019
Best Vlogging Windows Laptop: Dell XPS 9570 Laptop, 15.6"
Dell has done a fantastic job with their XPS series of laptops. The XPS 15 is a great blend of portability and power that will be able to do great video editing for any Vlogger.
The specs on the XPS is similar to the Lenovo X1 Extreme (recommended for travel bloggers), but the XPS is a bit less rugged. The X1 Extreme would also be a great option for vloggers who want fast video editing.
The Dell XPS 15" laptop is a beautiful package that can handle any task you throw at it. If you are frequently doing web conferences with your laptop, I'd advise you check out the X1 Extreme (see above) for its better positioned webcam, but this is an overall excellent option.
Best for Vloggers
As a Vlogger, you will definitely be wanting a webcam and microphone to plug in to your laptop. Here's what I use and recommend:
Microphone: Blue Yeti
This is a premium USB microphone that will make your voice sound extremely clear without any additional hardware
Webcam: Logitech HD Pro C920
This webcam can live stream at 1080p and provides extremely clear picture for making quality Youtube Videos
Which Laptop is best for video and photo editing?
When it comes to photo and video editing - there is much more than just hardware to consider.
I am not the biggest fan of Apple computers, but some people swear by some of the video editing software available only for Apple computers. So I will include a recommendation for the Apple fans out there.
Best Windows Laptop for editing: Lenovo X1 Extreme
This laptop wins my recommendation for both travel blogging and pure video editing. This machine has an awesome balance of power and portability that is unmatched in the Windows space.
It fits a full-powered processor into a mobile form, and does it without excessive heat or power drain. Well done Lenovo!
If you have the budget, you're not going to get a more powerful laptop in Windows in the form factor of the X1 Extreme.
Best Apple Laptop for Video Editing: Macbook Pro 15"
The Apple Macbook Pro is one of the most iconic laptops in the blog-osphere. it's beautiful, it's powerful, and it "just works" according to the Apple crowd.
If you do video, you'll want to make sure you pick up the 15" Macbook pro and not the 13" version. You get a discrete graphics card which is the most important factor when editing high resolution content.
Final Cut Pro X is the signature Apple video editing suite that will make you proud to be an Apple user.
While I am not an Apple user myself (couldn't you tell from my tone?) I give them credit for building an incredible video editing machine with the latest Macbook Pro 15.
What do I use and recommend personally?
This post has been focused solely on laptops for bloggers, but I think the best set up is to have a powerful desktop computer like this that you can have stationed at home (with multiple monitors for comfort), and pair it up with a nice Chromebook from my recommendations above.
This provides a few benefits:
- You can get much higher performance per dollar with a desktop computer
- With a Chromebook you can do 80% of what you need without all the power or cost of some of the laptops above
- And when you NEED the power on the go, you can use a free program like Chrome Remote Desktop to control your home computer from your little chromebook on the go! It's saved me many times in the past.
So what do you think? Are you going to become a Chromebook blogger? Will you pick up a desktop and chromebook? Or will you try to have one device to rule them all and pick up a professional grade laptop? Let me know in the comments below!