So, you’ve decided to finally start that podcast. You’ve realized that you have a message to share with the world and have come to the conclusion that you don’t want to wait any longer for people to hear it.
Starting a podcast ranks up there with the most enjoyable activities. Being able to spread awareness about certain topics that you’re passionate about is a lot of fun. It’s even better if you can monetize it.
The good news is you don’t have to worry about searching for a laptop that’ll burn holes in your pockets. Laptops for podcasting can be affordable and still work well. And when you’re a beginner, it’s probably best to start off small anyway.
|1. ACER ASPIRE 5
|2. THE ASUS VIVOBOOK
|3. ASUS ZENBOOK UX331UA
|4. MICROSOFT SURFACE PRO 7
|5. LENOVO THINKPAD T490
|6. LENOVO IDEAPAD S340
|7. DELL INSPIRON 5575 15.6″ TOUCHSCREEN LAPTOP
We can hear your excitement through the screen. Read through our top 10 picks for the best budget laptop for podcasting so you can start recording!
The Asus VivoBook offers 8GB of DDR4 Ram, making it useful when downloading certain editing software like Adobe Audition or Audacity. It’s 15.6 inches with a full HD display and an 80% body-to-screen ratio. This laptop comes with a fingerprint scanner, HDMI and USB ports, and a 4-hour battery backup.
The ASUS Vivobook F510UA is an amazing blend of function and performance. It only weighs 3.7 pounds making it highly portable for when you need to record in the studio, then come back home and edit.
We’ve all had trouble plugging in USB cords. It seems like you can never get it right on the first try. But this laptop offers a reversible USB-C connector that allows you to plug it in with any side up.
The visual performance for the ASUS VivoBook is incredible and uses optimized technology to give you vivid pictures, no matter the source. Perfect for audio editing and being able to see small details.
And if that wasn’t enough for you, this laptop offers a 128GB/1TB HDD/SSD combo for storage. That’s more than enough for a beginning podcaster to download editing and recording software.
This laptop has no light to indicate if Caps Lock is on. The delete and power buttons are also way too close together. You can see how this might be an absolute disaster if you have a project you’re working on that you haven’t hit save on yet.
The keyboard is also not backlit. This can be a pain for trying to type in low light. The keyboard is also a bit fragile.
The Acer Aspire 5 has a quad-core processor and 8GB of DDR4 RAM, making it quick and great for storing audio files. It’s also equipped with a full HD display measuring 15.6 inches and a battery backup of 5 hours.
The Acer Aspire 5 knows the podcaster you aspire to be. With the TrueHarmony speakers that bring you more volume and a deeper base, you will love how your playback sounds.
This performance-focused laptop has extensive connectivity featuring HDMI ports and USB 3.1/2.0 ports for any external hardware, like microphones, that you’ll be using. It also has an amazing battery life and a 3500U mobile processor.
You can edit and record your podcasts in any environment with the backlit keyboard and blue light shield screen. The blue light screen also minimizes eye strain since we know how hard you’ll be working on that amazing podcast.
The battery lasts for about 5 hours, so it might not be a great choice if you can’t get to a power outlet or if you don’t have a portable charger. The trackpad is also a little glitchy at times as you move the pointer around.
There also isn’t a DVD slot, which, in these modern times, might not be an issue. But if you’d like to burn your podcast to a CD the old school way, you won’t be able to use this laptop to play it.
The ASUS Zenbook is a powerful laptop with 8GB of DDR3 RAM and SSD storage of 256GB, making this great to save and store all your audio files. It also has a 13.3 inch HD display, featuring a slim, nano edge bezel to give you a high-quality display without the bulk.
Also featuring Harmon Kardon-certified audio, you’re sure to get crystal clear recordings and playbacks for your podcasts.
We love the thin nano edge display that is not only compact but also has great visuals offering an FHD quality.
The speakers on this laptop are amazing. They have a low-distortion amplifier that is able to boost volume up to 3 times! This is great if you are editing and recording with a group of people.
The battery is also exceptional, offering 14 hours of battery life and quick charging time so you can get your work done without searching for a charger.
ASUS Zenbook’s trackpad can be a little troublesome and unresponsive at times. The screen also has a habit of flickering if the brightness is turned all the way up. The screen also makes it difficult to use outdoors and in low light.
The Microsoft Surface Pro 7 offers an exceptional battery life of 10.5 hours, so you can work long hours, making your podcast perfect. The 256GB of SSD storage makes it possible to store large files and the touchscreen display aids with editing.
This laptop might be small, but it has a powerful battery. Being able to hold a charge for 10.5 hours, the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 can charge within only one hour.
The keyboard functions well, and the pen that comes with this laptop is very responsive. The Bluetooth feature on the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 is extremely helpful if you plan on using Bluetooth-enabled headphones while recording your podcast.
The charging lasts a long time, and the laptop charges quickly, however when you’ve had it for a while, this greatly decreases. You’ll find yourself plugging it onto the charger a lot more often.
The camera quality on this laptop isn’t high quality. So, if you were considering recording your podcast, you might want to consider an external camera.
This laptop has an anti-glare display and integrated Intel UHD graphics to give you the best visual performance from your audio editing programs. With large amounts of storage (256GB), you’ll be able to easily run large editing applications.
Despite this laptop being lightweight, it is very sturdy and solid, perfect for a reliable podcasting laptop. If you ever carry this laptop with you and forget the charger, you’ll have nothing to worry about. The Lenovo Thinkpad T490 has a battery life of 16 hours!
With a narrow bezel design, the display on this laptop is sleek and thin and offers amazing quality graphics. Equipped with Bluetooth, Lenovo Thinkpad T490 allows you to connect all your wireless devices.
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Despite the great display, this laptop also flickers when the brightness is turned up. The trackpad is also a bit glitchy and skips at times. This can be frustrating if you don’t purchase a mouse to use with this laptop.
Another Lenovo product has made our list! This laptop offers 8GB of RAM to ensure your applications run smoothly. It also has a useful anti-glare display so you can use it outdoors and offers a battery life of up to 8 hours.
The Ideapad offers you an exceptional audio experience. Equipped with Dolby Audio, you’ll feel like the playback of your podcast is being played through theater speakers.
The Lenovo Ideapad has incredible speed, 8GB RAM, and 128GB storage. You’ll be able to store all your files and folders while enjoying a boosted bootup when you turn on this laptop.
The 15.6-inch screen offers a bright display and a clear picture quality so you can edit audio files easily. We also really like the thin, bezel display. It helps the laptop look sleeker and helps it be more portable without the bulkiness.
The keyboard is also backlit, which is great if you’re working at nighttime or in a dim-lit area like a recording studio.
The battery life is only 8 hours, which is a lot shorter compared to the other competitors. The battery also has some issues as the laptop ages, like not charging quickly or not charging at all.
You also can’t upgrade RAM if you need more, which can be a drawback if you’ll be recording and editing a lot.
Dell Inspiron 5575 supports up to 16GB RAM and has an LED-backlit display, perfect for working in dim lighting. It has one USB 2.0 port and two USB 3.1 ports, making the connectivity of this laptop quite versatile.
The graphics on this laptop are absolutely amazing! But one thing we really loved more than anything is the number pad. When editing specific HZ, for example, you’ll be able to change the numbers more quickly with a number pad.
The white backlighting also makes this laptop great for outdoor use. The sound system that the Dell Inspiron 5575 is amazing as well. Great for playback and recording podcasts on any microphone.
Even though this laptop runs relatively quickly, it boots up a little slow. If you’re in a hurry to edit something and send it off to your podcast co-host, for example, this may be a bit frustrating. There is also no DVD slot, and the battery life isn’t as great as the other options.
The winner of this roundup is the Acer Aspire 5. It offers the most for its affordable price. With a quad-core processor, you’ll be able to edit your podcasts quickly and efficiently.
Even though this laptop only has a battery life of 5 hours, it still has the best speakers of all the products listed. And when it comes to podcasting, you’ll want a laptop with amazing speakers.
The flexibility of connectivity is also a plus. You’ll be able to plug in any type of microphone or other external recording materials.
We also loved the blue-light screen that the other laptops didn’t have. You’ll be spending hours editing your podcasts, so with this nifty feature, you can reduce eyestrain and avoid headaches.
Selecting the best laptop might be challenging if you don’t know exactly what to look for. And when you’re beginning your podcasting journey, you surely don’t want to be shelling out tons of money on equipment.
We put together a buying guide for you so that you can know what to look for in a budget laptop for podcasting to pick one that will be reliable and long-lasting.
You’ll want to make sure that the laptop you choose has at least 8GB of RAM, to begin with. RAM is the amount of data that your computer is able to hold for processing. Anything that your RAM can’t store gets sent to the internal storage, where the processor has to wait a while before processing it.
This essentially means that the more RAM you have, the quicker your laptop will run. So, 8GB is good to start with, but if you choose a laptop that can be upgraded with more RAM, you’ll make a good choice by upgrading it.
Having large amounts of RAM allows your laptop to better handle editing software, plugins, and multiple audio tracks. All of these things are essential while podcasting, so you should consider purchasing a laptop with the most RAM possible if you want to be able to effortlessly use all your software.
The CPU is known as the brain of your computer. It allows your computer to be able to carry out any task more quickly. A fast CPU means you’ll be able to process multiple audio tracks quickly.
Aside from speed, you should also look for the number of cores. When a laptop has a multi-core processor, this means that it’ll be able to carry out more than one task at a time. Which, in turn, means it’ll run a lot quicker.
Latency is the time that lapses between the output and input of the audio signals. This essentially refers to the time it takes an audio signal to enter the microphone to the time it takes to be heard on your laptop monitors.
If there is any delay between the two, it will be heard. This is why a low latency laptop is best for podcasting. Most laptops with a high-speed processor and enough RAM will automatically be low latency.
Your ideal laptop for podcasting is one that uses an SSD for internal storage. Using an HDD for internal storage causes higher latency, which, therefore, causes a delay in audio signal processing.
Choosing a laptop with SSD storage also causes less noise. However, these tend to be more expensive and don’t store as much as HDD storage.
Your choice of an operating system is purely personal. Some people will think that Windows works better while others prefer Mac OS. Just do your research and choose the one that is better for you and your budget.
Be aware, however, that some editing software like GarageBand and Logic Pro only work on Apple Devices. There are plenty of alternatives to this software if you do choose to purchase Windows. The two most common are Audacity, which is completely free, and Adobe Audition.
It’s likely that you’ll be using a few plugins to help add sound effects, transitions, and music to your podcasts. You’ll need to know if the plugins you plan on using can be downloaded onto the laptop you’re considering purchasing.
Most of these types of plugins require a fast processor because they use a lot of RAM. So, if you think you’ll be using a lot of plugins, you’ll just need to make sure you invest in a laptop with sufficient RAM or a laptop that allows you to upgrade RAM.
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Do You Even Need a Laptop for Podcasting?
If you’re wondering if you even need a laptop for podcasting, the answer is: it depends. Laptops aren’t a mandatory device while hosting a podcast. If you’ve got a great pair of headphones, a mixer, and a mic, you can make a podcast.
However, podcasts are evolving. You need to make sure the quality is sufficient if you expect anyone to continue listening to you. Also, adding in some flair like music and sound effects requires editing software.
So, why can’t you just do it on a computer?
Desktops are fine, but they aren’t portable. Choosing the best budget laptop for podcasting allows you to take it anywhere. This is especially helpful when podcasting in case you choose to record in a studio one day and in your home the next.
The portability also comes in handy if you plan on doing virtual interviews through Zoom or Skype. You may have an interview scheduled at 12 pm, but your interviewee got the time mixed up and needs to be interviewed an hour earlier.
Instead of rushing home to get to your desktop, you can always just pull your laptop from your bag and start the interview.
Do I need a mic to record my podcast?
If you’re looking for a budget laptop for podcasting, you will likely need an external mic. Although these laptops have great quality with playback, the recording might not be as clear as you’d get with a more expensive laptop.
Budget laptops still have multiple connectivity options, though. So, you’ll be able to use almost any mic with any of the laptops previously mentioned. This is useful because not all mics plug into an earphone jack. Some need to be connected via USB.
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