What to look for in a laptop...

The laptop is the number one piece of equipment for the writer today. Below are several amazing notebook computers that I would personally buy depending on my budget at the time. I'd love an Apple Macbook but even if you can afford one of those you may want to go for a cheap laptop that you can throw into your bag without worry and easily replace it if it breaks.

Hard Drive

There are two different types of hard drive, HDD (Hard Disk Drive) which is a mechanical drive that contains a a spinning metal disk. They need to be handled with care as a drop could cause the read arm to hit the disk which will mean a replacement and reinstall of the software will be needed. A HDD will also use more power to spin the disk which will affect the battery life if you are away from a mains power source. A power bank could also be a handy purchase. I think I'll get a few on here!) A better choice these days is an SSD (Solid State Drive) which is basically a big flash drive. (I'm assuming you know what that is.) Long and short. It has no moving parts so it isn't susceptible to the same movement and knocks that a HDD is and it uses less power. Always backup your data as SSD drives can still fail. A HDD tends to be larger, storage capacity wise, than a similarly priced SSD.

Hard Drive Size

Size is a personal preference. (oo, err, madam. Sounds a bit rude!) 1 Terabyte (TB) is 1000 Gigabytes (GB). I would personally go around the 256GB and I have a 1TB cloud storage system that comes with Microsoft Office 365. You can store 1TB in the cloud and choose which folders to store locally so they are always on the laptop or they download when you access them. You can them right click and 'make space' which means it deletes it from the laptop and just keeps the copy in the cloud. So your local hard drive doesn't need to be anywhere near 1TB. Some 'Stream' notebooks only come with 32GB of storage. BTW 'notebook' is just a posh word for laptop. I'm not sure if notebook is more of an American term but I just thought I would let those that didn't know that, err, well, know that lol.

Microsoft Office 365

There are two versions, Personal, which is for 1 user and around £5.99 a month. Sounds like a lot but you get the full Microsoft Office suite of programs and 1TB of cloud storage! Then there is the Home version. You can use it for up to 5 people so you just add a relatives email to your subscription and you all get full office and each of you gets 1TB of cloud storage. I have added my mum, who obviously doesn't live with me, my wife and I can add my kids when they come of age (need it, they are only 8 and 9 at the moment.)

Display Size

This is another personal preference. I find that a 14 inch display is ideal for myself. It's not as heavy as most 15.6 inch laptops and an 11 inch display is too small for my taste. When at home you can always buy an external monitor and set it up as a 2nd display dragging things from one screen to another or set the laptop up to stay on when you close the laptop and just have the picture sent to the external monitor.

ASUS VivoBook with 12 Months Microsoft 365 E402YA 14

  • Comes with a 1 year licence of Microsoft 365 pre-installed, for all your daily computing needs

  • An ideal laptop for basic home use and kids school work with access to Word, PowerPoint, Excel etc

  • 64GB eMMC storage paired with 4GB memory

  • Display : 14 inches HD WXGA LED 1366 x 768 Pixels

  • Operating System : Windows 10 Home in S mode

ASUS Chromebook C423NA 14 Inch Laptop, Intel Celeron N3350, Chrome OS

  • Comes with a 1 year licence of Microsoft 365 pre-installed, for all your daily computing needs

  • An ideal laptop for basic home use and kids school work with access to Word, PowerPoint, Excel etc

  • 64GB eMMC storage paired with 4GB memory

  • Display : 14 inches HD WXGA LED 1366 x 768 Pixels

  • Operating System : Windows 10 Home in S mode

HP Pavilion 13-an0006na 13.3-Inch

  • HP Pavilion 13-an0006na

  • 13.3-Inch Full HD Laptop

  • Intel Core i5-8265U

  • 8 GB RAM

  • 256 GB SSD

  • Windows 10 Home

  • Silver

  • Thinner than ever: At only 15.4 mm thin and weighing 1.308 kg, this PC is built to go wherever you go; add a smooth metal finish and striking geometric design and you'll never want to leave it behind

  • Power through your day: Get powerful multitasking performance with Intel Core i5 processor and lightning fast 256 GB PCIe SSD with 11 hours of battery life, you can keep your grind going all day

  • Log in with a touch: With just the touch of your finger, seamlessly log in to your PC, patented 3-D fingerprint technology ensures secure access; preventing unwanted users from using your device

  • Optimised metal design: Streamlined, premium metal design delivers a thinner, lighter PC while providing robust durability-thanks to advanced 3D metal-forming technology

  • Carry on in the dark with a back lit keyboard and the subtle elevation of the keyboard provides a comfortable typing experience and allows air to circulate, keeping your computer cool

P Spectre 13 x 360 13.3-Inch Full HD Touch-Screen Convertible Laptop with Stylus - £200 for Schools

  • BrandHP

  • SeriesHP Spectre x360 Convertible

  • Display Size13.3 Inches

  • Operating SystemWindows 10 Home

  • Processor Count4

  • CPU manufacturerIntel

  • Memory Size8 GB

  • Graphics Chipset BrandIntel

  • Hard Disk Size512 GB

  • Connectivity TypeBluetooth, Wi-Fi, Miracast

  • £200 towards laptops for your school of choice; when you buy an HP ENVY or Spectre (Valid: 26th Aug – 20th Oct, 2020)

  • Fingerprint Reader - Keep it confidential; security for your peace of mind; log on quickly and securely with the fingerprint reader

  • Webcam Kill Switch - Designed to ease your mind; peace of mind to work anywhere, anytime; security from hacking with Webcam Kill Switch

  • HP Sure View Gen 3 Privacy Screen - Enterprise-level visual hacking protection; no sacrificing on image details; power efficiency enhancement

  • FHD Micro-Edge Touch Display with Stylus - Vibrant, high definition micro-edge display with 360 hinge that adapts to you; simultaneous pen and touch support - 4 different modes

New Apple MacBook Air 13-inch, 1.1GHz dual-core 10th-generation Intel Core i3 processor, 8GB RAM, 256GB - 3 Colors

  • Stunning 13.3-inch Retina display with True Tone technology

  • Backlit Magic Keyboard and Touch ID

  • Tenth-generation Intel Core i3 processor

  • Intel Iris Plus Graphics

  • Fast SSD storage

  • 8GB of memory

  • Stereo speakers with wider stereo sound

  • Two Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports

  • Up to 11 hours of battery life

  • Force Touch trackpad

New Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD Storage, Magic Keyboard

  • Eighth-generation quad-core Intel Core i5 processor

  • Brilliant Retina display with True Tone technology

  • Backlit Magic Keyboard

  • Touch Bar and Touch ID

  • Intel Iris Plus Graphics 645

  • Ultra-fast SSD

  • Two Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports

  • Up to 10 hours of battery life

  • 802.11ac Wi-Fi

  • Force Touch trackpad

Macbooks

Laptops