Help choosing hardware - yes, that old chestnut!


Howdy all. Been sat on the sidelines of this site forever but never gotten around to actually posting anything. Now, however, I find myself a little stumped, and so I turn to you, the Glorious Verge Overmind for guidance!

OK: I need a laptop. Simple problem but, as we all know too well, a tricky decision.

What will I use it for, you ask? Largely, writing (as in novels) so what I need is a good battery life, preferably lightweight, with solid build quality, and if it could have actual support so I am not left stranded when it breaks down, then hang the expense!

While it will also be used fro general surfing, playing music (via bluetooth - I don't care about its speakers) and research, etc, it needs no power for gaming as I already have a dedicated gaming rig.

Budget wise? Well, I don;t mind going up to £1500 - maybe more if justified - as long as it is solid and the cost is justified, but obviously, the less I can spend on this, the more I can waste on other shiny toys!

While I am very used to Windows (15+ years as IT tech/programmer) I am more than comfortable with Apple products, too. In truth, I am posting this today as I was holding out on yesterday's Apple announcement, crossing my fingers for a shiny new update to the Mac air, but it was not to be. Therefore, I am a little lost.

I think that, right now, the Mac Air is a) too expensive* for what it is and b) has an 'orrible screen, so I am far from sold on that anymore. A MBP is just...well, its overkill, innit? Also, those new post Brexxit prices are eye-watering. Other things I am considering are the Surface Book (as it looks quite sexy and ticks a lot of boxes) but worries over its battery being very hit and miss are staying my hand.

I've looked at the Dell XPS 13: it seems...solid, but uninspired, should I say? Plus its also getting harder to get hold of at sane prices. I've also considered Chrome Books of various flavours, but the online-only aspect is a none starter for me.

So, yeah: What do you recommend? Happy to listen to all thoughts as, after spending a week studying specs and reviews, I am frankly losing the will to live!

(*A note: I've spotted that the Air can be grabbed on Amazon for about £750, which is less of a sting, but I still say its a bit much for old hardware and lackluster screen.)