Purchasing advice please


So much better now Engineer is on ignore
UKGSer Subscriber
Feb 4, 2010
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'arrow, near the 'ill.
We are’t particularly IT savvy as you may come to realise, hence this post…

We have a steam driven desk top in our
home office and want to buy something portable that we can also use in our camper.

We favour something small (14” ish screen) and slim also thinking that it can go in a cabin ‘carry on’ bag.

I use a iPhone and ‘er indoors a simple Samsung, but I have tried unsuccessfully to wean myself off excellent but restrictive IPhones

We find that stuff like letter writing etc is easier on the desktop than our old iPad which, like us are also getting on a bit and we use it to print emails as it’s hardwired to the printer.

Usual domestic usage- surfing, watch films/ TV but we aren’t online gaming buffs unless you count Solitaire.

We have thousands of pics that I’d like to store, preferably on our own drive as a back up - they are also on Google pics and I pay the additional £1.89 pmth for additional apple memory so that needs sorting out.

I’m thinking of a slim 14” laptop with external SSD probably from John Lewis, as I’m a fan.


Despite trying to wean myself off Apple, I like the fast boot up of an iPad, and it’s relatively safety in terms of virus’s compared to a windows device. I’ve never used an AppleMac ..

Do I cave in and commit to an Apple device. Or do I go for something Windows.

Quick boot up
Must have an MS word /excel capability
Decent spec/ chip & Ram for reasonable future proofing
Decent battery life
High quality screen

Budget - preferably about £800 but perhaps up to £1k

Any advice welcome
Where to buy
What to avoid

You should get a nice laptop for your needs for that kind of money.
If your doing normal stuff such as writing emails, letter and browsing the internet.

Just don't listen to staff in places like Currys, they are useless and know nothing they just work from sales pitches.
The only time you need to spend more is for graphic intensive applications such as video editing or playing games.

you can buy a decent external USB passport drive with 4TB of storage for about £90 which will take care of your extra storage needs ;)
get a laptop with an i7 processor, 1TB SSD drive, 8GB of RAM
Asus, Lenovo and HP do nice ones.
As had been already suggested by @RedRick Esq.

Buy your self a MacBook Air 13” with M2 Processor preferably. However one with M1 will do everything that you will be asking from it for a number of Years. As the name suggest, these are the slimmest, most lightweight day to day, browsing/document creating laptops that apple produce.

My Mid 2014 MacBook Pro is now 10 years old acvcording to my facebook post (reminder). It is certainly time to upgrade for me.

Latest Mac operating system is mirroring and seamlessly integrating into apple ecosystem, with all software being very familiar, if you are already using iPhone or iPad. If you already using Apple iCloud, then it is another reason to use Mac, all the photos, documents, etc are stored there and are easily accessible on any Apple device.

JL is Handy to use if you hold their credit card, as you get reward point to collect in JL and Waitrose, as well as any other retailer outside of JL group, but you do get fewer point. Points are translated to a physical JL voucher, to be used in store or online.

Here is the link to John Lewis MacBook Air options.
If you move from Apple, as Barnoe suggests this spec is very good and will boot up in moments - i7 processor, 1TB SSD drive, 8GB of RAM

I buy HP laptops for work and they are very reliable and well made.
About four or 5 years ago I bought a 15" Lenovo ThinkBook.

Paid about £700 for it, has a 512GB SSD, Core I7 processor, basic graphics card etc. - is more aimed at a business user, rather than high demand gaming needs.

Does everything I need and still fires up in 7 seconds from pushing the start button, I can't fault it.

Something like this today.

Puzzled that someone not "particularly IT savvy" finds iPhones "restrictive" but MacBook Air is probably the way to go.

Comes with apple equivalent of Word and Excel which you want.
MacBook Air, I'm on my 2nd now, its an M1, which is good enough for me, as I see no point in upgrading, but they are M2 now.
Costco link, but John Lewis if you prefer or maybe a refurbished M1 from Apple:

MacBook. Had mine for over 5 years and still works the same as the day it was new.
Another vote for MacBook Air. I use the M2 chip version, and have 16 ram not 8. It replaced an earlier MacBook I’d used for 10 years.
Thank you all for the advice, I’d intended a remote hard drive for the pics but not expressed it well.

Apple seems to be winning hands down. I’ll mull it over a for a bit and get back to you.

Thank you

i have a macbook pro, ex NuttyGSER that i bought 2 years ago off here, it is a lovely bit of kit and for me overall better than the hp laptop i use for work but the operating system might catch you out, heck i still need to google how to get a # key or do a screen print which can be annoying.

What is good is everything is synced with my iphone, emails etc. i did recently get a Trojan type virus on it telling me my machine was infected (lie) so have added Norton security.

wirelessly prints to epson printer but id perhaps have a play in JL first.

The apple freebie ms word equivalent is fairly crap but i though the excel equivalent was quite clever when using it recently.

Photos, well theres a lot of inbuilt storage and some stuff go in the cloud.

Using your finger print to access web sites is cool.

I wouldn't buy anything else now but it’s not perfect you could probably save a lot of money buying a different brand, its a clever thing though.
I’ve just looked at the prices of MacBook Pros 😳
Does an AppleMac Air need a separate anti virus??
Never needed one. I’ve been Mac user since 2009

Apple release various software & security updates on a regular basis, with free new operating system software releases every year. Same as iPhone or iPad OS

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