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Buying a computer for blogging: 8 Specs to consider

Whether you’re a home blogger or travel blogger, you’ll require regular use of a computer. And, let’s face it, there’s no other practical way to write blogs or answer emails! 

If you are looking to get a new computer to use for blogging, you might be blinded by jargon and hard-to-decipher specifications. Here’s a brief guide that covers what you need to know.  

1. RAM (Random Access Memory)

Computer programs run inside a computer’s memory aka RAM. On older computers, a lack of RAM can slow your computer down to an insufferable crawl, cause freezes, lock-ups and even random reboots.  

If you’re only writing, blogging and performing basic Office tasks on an old computer, 8GB is usually enough to get by. However, if your blogging includes content writing and image or video editing, it is worth choosing a minimum of 16GB.

Fortunately, RAM is only important to power users, like gamers and designers, nowadays. That’s because accessing computer storage (using modern hard drives – see below) has accelerated to the point where it’s almost as fast as RAM.

2. Internet Connectivity

Few things are more annoying than dealing with poor connectivity… especially when a deadline is approaching. If you’re a travel blogger, or a writer working in a hard-to-reach location, then spend a bit of time thinking about how you’ll get online. All modern laptops have built-in Wi-Fi, but if there’s no Wi-Fi network, you can’t connect to it.

If that’s the case, then you may be able to connect directly to a local mobile phone network. Some laptops have a slot for 3G, 4G and 5G SIM cards. Others will require a separate dongle that then connects via a cable or Bluetooth.

3. Storage

A hard-drive is where your data is (permanently) stored. If you focus on writing, you won’t need much storage at all – 256GB should be enough. However, if you’re dealing with high-resolution photos and/or High Definition videos, you’ll need to consider a laptop with thousands of gigabytes of storage (1000GB = 1 terabyte = 1TB) to store all those photos when out travelling and blogging.

Some computers still come with mechanical hard drives. These are slow but can be capacious, relatively cheap and store huge amounts of photos and videos. More modern computers use super-fast, solid-state drives (SSDs) which have no moving parts. Capacities of the latter are increasing, but they’re not cheap.

4. CPU or Processor

The CPU, or central processing unit, is effectively the brain of the computer. It moves all the parts of a program through all the correct parts of the computer. The fastest models are expensive, use a lot of electricity and generate heat (which, in a laptop, needs to be cooled using fans). This all dramatically affects a laptop’s battery life.

Lightweight, ‘ultraportable’ laptop CPUs draw much less power which can provide day-long battery life – perfect for basic blogging on the road! However, if they’re not powerful enough, they’ll struggle dealing with any processor-intensive tasks, like photo and video editing. Fortunately, most recent computer CPUs (particularly those from AMD and Intel) offer a great combination of power efficiency and performance that cater for all common tasks.

5. Screen

Few aspects affect a modern computer’s usability more than the screen. If your blogging only involves typing, an office-friendly screen with low power consumption, HD resolution and eye-comfort technology (like low Blue Light filters) is worth considering.

If you’re often dealing with photos, you’ll likely want a larger screen with a minimum, Full HD (or even Ultra HD) resolution so you can see more of the details when editing them. You’ll also want a colourful screen – one that uses IPS or OLED screen technology – perhaps with colour-accuracy certification from the likes of Pantone. Pictures and videos can look terrible on a low-powered office screen that’s focused on office tasks. 

6. Security

If you’re a serious blogger, the data on your computer is likely more valuable than the computer itself. So, it’s essential to, at the very least, use a log-on password. If you’re really serious about security, some laptops have fingerprint readers and face scanners.

If you’ve a Windows 10, Windows 11 or Apple-branded laptop, effective, basic, malware protection is built-in to the Operating System and you no longer need a third-party application (so long as you keep everything updated). However, cybercriminals are still a major threat and it’s still easy to lose a laptop or have it stolen… so, at the very least, back everything up to a (free-to-use) ‘cloud’ repository like Microsoft OneDrive, Google Drive or Dropbox, whenever possible.

7. Operating System

Most current computers work using Microsoft Windows (version 10 or 11) as the operating system. This is the software platform that tells the hardware and software how to work together. Apple computers use their own MacOS operating system. It’s less versatile than Windows but, if you’re a beginner, it can be easier to get to grips with.

Macs are good until they go wrong or slow down, as fixes are usually hidden away out of sight. Still, some solutions to speed up your Mac include killing resource-consuming processes, managing startup items, malware scans and limiting the number of apps, running in the background. 

8. Keyboards

Since bloggers spend so much time typing, it’s important to choose a computer with a comfortable keyboard. Most modern laptops have comfortable and accurate keys, but some of them (that you use frequently) may be squished and difficult to hit accurately. Avoid stiff keyboards or your fingertips will hurt after prolonged typing. Whether you’re using a laptop or a desktop, choosing an external keyboard, with full-size keys, is always worth considering.

Put your Blogging Requirements First

Now you know what to look for, it’s worth considering what to avoid. Gaming laptops are often attractive, but they usually sacrifice portability (in terms of battery life and weight) for power, so they aren’t good for blogging on the move. Designer laptops and workstations can prove unnecessarily expensive, even if they are quite small, thanks to specialist hardware inside that suite specialist tasks like professional design work. Finally, if you find a super lightweight model, just check it’s got enough power and a suitable screen to work with photos and videos if you need it to.  

Conclusion

A perfect blogging computer allows you to comfortably type for extended periods when plugged in or travelling. Modern, business-grade laptops often make a good choice – offering judicial combinations of productivity enhancements, features, performance, portability and security. Whatever you choose, don’t go for looks alone!

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