Charlie’s mum wants a new laptop for around £200, and there are models with 32GB of storage for £160. However, mum needs a DVD/RW drive …

My mum is looking to buy a new laptop after Christmas. Her budget is tight: around £200. She uses it for Microsoft Office, browsing the internet (reading the Guardian) and watching TV. I suggested a 32GB SSD drive – which would be really quick – as she will use USB sticks, SD cards and the cloud for storage. I saw one for £160, but if she bought that, she would need to buy an external DVD drive for burning music to CD etc. Would it just be easier to stay safe and get a standard laptop with a hard drive? Charlie

There are two kinds of laptop at the low end of the PC market. First, there are traditional laptops, where the base system has a 15.6in screen, 4GB of memory, a 500GB or 1TB hard drive, and (usually) a read/write DVD drive. These machines are not very portable and don’t have long battery life, but they do the job. Current prices range from around £250 to £500.

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