Tech Tips Home
The Best Tech Tips And Daily Deals
Newsletter On The Internet!

WorldStart Tech Tip And Store Search
Email: Password: Login Remember Me

Like what you see here? Subscribe to the Tech Tips newsletter!   Email: Subscribe

Best Inexpensive PC Options For A Writer

Wednesday, September 7th, 2016 by | Filed Under: Cloud Storage, Computer Terms, Hardware & Peripherals
 
Loading...


There was an interesting question asked in a writer’s group I’m part of. One of the members needed a laptop – stat. Their trusty Dell had finally given up the ghost. The problem was that she didn’t have a whole lot to spend.  What she needed was a laptop that would allow her to do Internet research, manage social media, receive email, and access publishing site. And a good word processing program was also a necessity.

But her budget was only around $200. Is there hope?  Let’s take a look.  If being able to use office apps and access the Internet were the only criteria here I could suggest an inexpensive Android tablet with a keyboard case. But I know from first-hand experience that some of the publishing sites she needs to access don’t play well mobile browsers.

A Windows 10 tablet would be a good solution. With the addition of a keyboard, it can function like a laptop and even run the full version of Office. There are models available for less than $100. Plus, unlike Android tablets and iPads, these devices do have a USB port.

windows-10-tablet

One good option is to find a nice refurbished laptop.  There is a variety of Windows 10 laptops, some even certified refurbished by the manufacturer, for between $150 and $200.

hplaptopcrop

But there are also quite a few lower-priced new laptops out there in the $200 range. They tend to have small hard drives and be designed more for web connectivity. But for simple needs like writing and using the Internet, they work fine. These are not the PCs to buy if you need to do any heavy-duty graphics work like run Photoshop or a video editing program.

hp-stream

There’s also the option of a Chromebook. Chromebooks can be inexpensive, really more like a tablet in a laptop’s body. They are designed specifically for use with the Internet. You don’t install PC programs on this device. You find apps in the Chrome store.  This will pretty much limit you to using Google Docs for your word processing .  You can access Microsoft Office apps online, but the online app is not as fully featured as actual Microsoft Word.

chromebook2

When it comes to word processing options for writers, I really do prefer Microsoft Word. I find that it is the easiest to convert to the formats needed for publishing and I also like the ease with which things like table of contents and page breaks can be added.

But there are a lot of great free options as well. You can use Microsoft Office Apps Online, though it isn’t as full-featured as the paid version of Office. There are also great free Office suites like LibreOffice and Open Office as well the option of free Google Docs online.

A great backup plan is to keep the portable version of LibreOffice on a USB drive.  In a true PC emergency, you can tote your work and your office suite to the nearest library PC or over to a friend’s and work without having to install anything on their PC.

For my personal writing needs, I use a Microsoft Surface Pro (certainly not a cheap option) with an Office 365 subscription. A deciding factor for me was size. I needed something portable that wouldn’t pull my arm off. It fits right in a large purse. After years of having a laptop attempt to wrench my shoulder out of the socket, it’s a welcome change.

~ Cynthia

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

One Response to “Best Inexpensive PC Options For A Writer”

  1. lyn buerger says:

    All good advise. My computer crashed after it was forced to accept win 10. But I bought a 750gb,19″screen(2) good processor, lots of ram and had Win10 on it on eBay. Cost about $250. Had everything I need and more. and has a year warranty.

Leave a Reply


Like these tips? Get them for FREE in your email!

WorldStart's Tech Tips Newsletter

  • Tech Tips Daily - Become a tech pro! Get the very best tech and computer help sent directly to your email every weekday!

  • Tech Tips Weekly - If you don't want our Tech Tips newsletter every day, then sign up for this weekly newsletter to get the best information of the week. Sent on Fridays.

Other Newsletters

  • WorldStart's Daily Deals - Every week, we send out great deals in our Daily Deals newsletter. Many of these deals are exclusively for our Daily Deals newsletter subscribers and can't be found with our regular specials.

  • Just For Grins - Each issue includes a couple clean jokes, some funny quotes, and a hilarious reader's story. Newsletter is sent five days a week.


Enter Email Address:

Subscribe

Your e-mail address is safe with us!
We only use it to send you the newsletters you request. It is NEVER disclosed to a third party for any reason, ever! Plus, if you decided you don't like our newsletters (don't worry, you'll love them), unsubscribing is fast and easy.

Free Newsletter Signup



Tech Tips Daily

Become a tech pro! Get the very best tech and computer help sent directly to your email every weekday!

Tech Tips Weekly

The week's best in tech and computer help. Get your issue sent to your email every Friday!

WorldStart's Daily Deals

The very best deals on the Internet! Get a new set of incredible sales every day of the week!

Just For Grins

Clean jokes, funny quotes, and hilarious comics. Sent 5 times a week straight to your email.


Subscribe


Love Worldstart? Refer A Friend!

WorldStart's Premium Membership

Tip Archive


Categories:
Archives: