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.

HP Stream 14-inch Laptop, with Office 365 Personal for 1 Year, 4 colors

  • Laptop for work, school and play: With Office 365 and 1 TB of cloud storage, this device combines functionality, connectivity, style, and value

  • Essential productivity: This nimble laptop delivers the essential productivity and entertainment you want for school or home, without slowing you down

  • Office 365 for one year: Get full access to Microsoft Excel, Word, PowerPoint, OneNote, Access, and 1 TB of OneDrive Storage for one year

  • Processor: Intel(R) Celeron(R) N4000 Processor, Dual-Core, 1.1 GHz base frequency, up to 2.6 GHz burst frequency

  • Display: 14-inch diagonal HD SVA BrightView WLED-backlit display (1366 x 768)

  • Memory: 4 GB DDR4-2400 SDRAM (not upgradable)

  • Storage: 64 GB eMMC

Lenovo IdeaPad S150 (81VS0001US) Laptop, 14" HD Display

  • Lenovo IdeaPad S150 Laptop Computer with 14 inch HD (1366 x 768) Display and Windows 10 Home—The fastest, cleanest and most intuitive version of Windows yet!

  • AMD A6-9220e 1. 60 - 2. 4GHz Dual-core Processor

  • 4GB RAM (Memory) | 64GB eMMC

  • Webcam, Card Reader, WiFi, Bluetooth

  • 1x HDMI, 2x USB 3. 1 Gen 1

2020 HP Pavilion x360 14" Touchscreen 2-in-1 Convertible Laptop, Fingerprint Reader, Windows 10

  • 10th Gen Intel Core i5-1035G1 mobile processor 1.0GHz (with Max Turbo Speed of 3.6GHz);Ultra-low-voltage platform. Quad-core, eight-way processing provides maximum high-efficiency power to go. Intel Turbo Boost Technology delivers dynamic extra power when you need it.

  • Beautiful 14" Full HD multitouch screen:The 1920 x 1080 resolution boasts impressive color and clarity. Touch, tap, glide and make the most of Windows 10. IPS technology for wide viewing angles. Energy-efficient WLED backlight.

  • 8GB DDR4 Memory for full-power multitasking; 256GB PCIe SSD + 16GB Optane Solid State Drive (PCI-e) Save files fast and store more data. With massive amounts of storage and advanced communication power, PCI-e SSDs are great for major gaming applications, multiple servers, daily backups, and more. Get up to 15x faster performance than a traditional hard drive.

  • 802.11ac wireless LAN, Bluetooth, 1 USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C (Data Transfer Only, 5 Gb/s signaling rate); 2 USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A (Data Transfer Only); 1 AC smart pin; 1 HDMI 1.4; 1 headphone/microphone combo

  • Windows 10 Home 64-bit English brings back the Start Menu from Windows 7 and introduces new features, like the Edge Web browser that lets you markup Web pages on your screen.

HP Spectre x360-13.3" FHD Touch - 10gen i7-1065G7-8GB - 512GB SSD 32GB Optane

  • Windows 10 Home, 13.3" inches 1920 x 1080 (Full HD) touch screen with HD-Built-In Webcam

  • 10th Gen Intel Core i7-1065G7 1.3GHz 8MB Cache, Intel Iris Plus Graphics

  • 8GB LPDDR4 3200 MHz, 512GB PCIe/SSD + 32GB Optane

  • 2x USB 3.1 Type C Ports, 1x USB 3.1 Type A Ports, 2x Thunderbolt 3 Ports and 1x Headphone/microphone combo jack

  • Backlit Keyboard, Wireless-AX, Fingerprint reader, Weighs 2.87lbs, No Optical Drive.

Apple MacBook Air 13-inch, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD Storage - Space Gray (Latest Model)

  • 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, 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD Storage, Magic Keyboard

  • Tenth-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

  • Ultrafast SSD

  • Four Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports

  • Up to 10 hours of battery life

  • 802.11ac Wi-Fi

  • Force Touch trackpad