Starting a blog doesn’t require expensive gear. A cheap laptop with sufficient computing power can do the job perfectly fine. You may be surprised to know that many people in India even start their blogging careers using just a smartphone. So, for me, the belief that blogging requires only premium laptops is a common myth.
In this article, I’ll explore whether a cheap laptop priced at a few hundred dollars is adequate for beginner bloggers. I’ll explain the reasons in detail and provide tips for finding a good blogging laptop on a small budget.
Do You Even Need a Laptop to Start a Blog?
This question may sound like a joke to those from English-speaking countries. However, in emerging countries such as India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Brazil, it is a valid concern for many aspiring bloggers.
Surveys conducted in 11 developing countries, including India, show that a vast majority of young people aged 20-35 own or have access to a smartphone. Surprisingly, an average of 53% of all smartphones sold in these countries are capable of accessing the internet and running apps that require heavy computing power.
Many people in these nations say that mobile phones have helped them improve their personal and professional lives. It may come as a surprise that many popular Indian YouTubers started their careers with just a smartphone. With millions of people coming online and connecting with the world like never before, blogging has become a hot topic.
The availability of the cheapest and high-speed internet in the world has further fueled this trend, making blogging a favorable career option for many, from college students to those seeking to escape their 9-6 job routine.
So, the answer to the question is that you have options. Starting a blog is not rocket science, and it does not necessarily require a laptop or computer. Nowadays, many entry-level smartphones have the processing power to handle many of the required tasks for beginner bloggers.
However, a laptop can certainly boost your productivity and help you write articles faster. You can also edit thumbnails for blog posts and customize WordPress themes more efficiently with the help of a laptop.
Can You Even Star a Blog From Cheap Laptop?
Over the past two decades, blogging (previously known as weblogs) has become the most popular medium for writing and publishing articles over the internet. It has expanded to all areas of the World Wide Web, from private to academic, from cultural to professional, and from commercial to pornographic.
Many things have changed, but one thing remains untouched: the way we write, produce, and publish content on the internet. Blogging mostly involves researching on the internet, reading a lot of blog posts, news articles, and eBooks, and writing content, with a small amount of image editing involved in the process.
If you observe closely, you’ll find that most of these basic tasks do not require a powerful processor or, in other words, computing power. Any computer processor (CPU or Central processing unit) from Intel or AMD above the 5th generation is capable of handling all the mentioned tasks efficiently.
However, laptops with this specification have some limitations. I am not saying or advocating that a cheap laptop is the best option, but I believe that bloggers don’t necessarily need a high-priced and high-performance laptop to start a simple blog.
A browser with sufficient computer RAM (8 GB or more) and minimal storage of 165 GB is adequate for long hours of web surfing, document writing (using online tools like Google Docs or Calmly Writer), and various administrative tasks such as designing and maintaining a blog site.
Therefore, a laptop that costs a few hundred dollars is quite sufficient for starting a new blog or at least during the initial stages. Unless you are focused on creating YouTube videos that demand higher computing power, a premium laptop would be more suited for that purpose.
If your plan is to start with a simple blog, there is no need to buy a premium laptop. It is very possible to run a blog with a cheaper laptop. You don’t need a high-performance gaming laptop to write articles and publish them on your blog.
A cheaper laptop that is suitable for blogging and costs between $200-700 could do the job sufficiently and would be enough to overcome the initial mental block of thinking about the return on investment (ROI).
What Are the Qualities of a Perfect Blogging Laptop?
Blogging provides many opportunities for flexible working hours and, more importantly, a debt-free life. It’s no wonder that the culture of living off online jobs is increasing every day.
As a result, the demand for quality laptops has seen an upward trend, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic forced people to work from home. To address the growing demand for such portable computers and laptops, many companies have launched laptops in different price segments with endless variations.
So, finding a perfect laptop for blogging without breaking the bank is not that difficult. Here is a compiled list of cheap and entry-level laptops that I think could be a good fit for starting a simple WordPress blog. Once you see any traction in incoming traffic to your blog, then you can think about upgrading to a premium and expensive model.
Now that you have a list of popular entry-level laptops, let’s discuss some parameters of a good blogging laptop so that you can identify more blogging-friendly and affordable laptops on your own.
#1. Browsers Are Your Best Friend, Treat It Well
As bloggers, we spend most of our day surfing the internet, researching new topics to write articles about, and performing other related tasks. This means that over 70% of our work involves using a browser in some way. Therefore, our preferred laptop should have enough processing power to handle heavy browsing loads (lots of open tabs) without any significant slowdown.
#2. Battery Life Matters a Lot
The primary task of a blogger is to write content for their readers or audience. We all know that producing a high-quality article can take several hours of hard work. Therefore, the laptop we use must have decent battery life. In my opinion, laptops with over 8 hours of battery life are best suited for blogging.
#3. Image Editing Demands a GPU Chip
Blogging also requires a fair amount of simple image editing work. From designing thumbnails for blog posts to performing basic image editing tasks, bloggers often require image editing software that can meet their needs.
While there are good alternative software options available, many professional bloggers still prefer Adobe Photoshop. However, Photoshop may be too heavy for a cheap laptop. Therefore, you can use Gimp, a great alternative to Photoshop, or use an older version of Photoshop to run it without any issues.
#4. You Need a Minimum of 165gb of Storage Space
It’s obvious that we will need sufficient storage space to back up all of our important files. Therefore, the laptop should have adequate storage space (minimum of 165 GB) available for us to work with.
However, nowadays many companies offer cheap cloud storage that we can use to back up our documents and other important files. Google Drive is one of my favorites, and I highly recommend it to others. Now that we have seen the required qualities of a good blogging laptop, let’s delve into the matter and understand the limitations of using them.
What Are the Problems You Might Face With Cheap Laptops?
Well, when you use a cheap laptop, you’re essentially giving up on some qualities that could have been very helpful otherwise. I am going to discuss the top three most common disadvantages of using any cheap laptop.
#1. Cheap Displays Can Cause Eye Strain
Cheap laptop displays often come with lower resolution (usually 1366 x 768px) and a small display (13’’ or 14’’) that’s not very good in terms of long hours of continuous usage, although every computer screen can make your eyes tired if used long enough. As a full-time blogger, you might find yourself having frequent dry eyes or headaches while staring at the screen for more than 3 hours of continuous writing or web surfing.
It’s especially true for laptops with LCD screens than their LED counterparts. When it comes to eye safety, picture quality, and low power consumption, LED screens are the clear winner as they come with a better display panel.
Additionally, LED screens are usually much brighter and visible under direct sunlight, so you can comfortably work on your laptop outside of the home. In contrast, LCD screens emit blue light that not only negatively affects your vision but also impacts your overall health.
However, you can use software like f.lux that adapts the display color of the screen to the time of day, making it warmer at night and normal during the day. Another deciding factor of whether a laptop screen is suitable for blogging or not depends on the type of the display panel itself.
Usually, screens with matte finishes are much preferred by writers as glossy screens make a lot of reflections, distracting you from work and leading to eye strain.
#2. Poor Palm and Thumb Rejection While Typing
Cheap laptops usually lack a properly usable trackpad (or touchpad, as some call it) that can reject accidental palm and thumb swipes. This is particularly a big issue for bloggers as we do a lot of writing.
I had a similar issue with an inexpensive Dell Windows laptop. Its touchpad was just not usable for writing blog posts, even though the keyboard was not that bad. Windows precision drivers have always been lacking when it comes to providing a great touchpad experience, and this is a hardware issue that even great hardware cannot do anything about.
That’s why even many premium Windows laptops don’t have trackpads that can compete with MacBooks. So, it’s always better to choose a laptop with a smooth touchpad and keyboard to maximize your working efficiency.
#3. Occasional Freezes During a Lot of Web Surfing
When companies decide to launch a cheap laptop for the masses, they often opt for a low-powered CPU (or processor) that doesn’t cost much but is suitable for everyday use.
One of the direct downsides of using such processors is that they lack the required performance for heavy workloads. As a result, you may encounter occasional freezes while web surfing with a lot of open tabs. While having more RAM (8GB or more) available on the laptop could fix the problem, a low-performance CPU can only go so far.
I can totally understand the budget constraint for those people who eagerly want to start off their successful blogging business. A cheap laptop of a few hundred dollars can help them put their first foot forward.
I have tried my best to explain the issues you would be faced with these budget-oriented blogging laptops including the reasonable thoughts that there’s no need for purchasing an expensive laptop just for trying out if blogging is your thing or not.
So I can say that the choice is up to you as it depends on your budget and the specification you want when looking for a suitable blogging laptop.