Guys. I need a new laptop.
I’m writing this from my local Starbucks, on my iPad and teeny tiny accompanying keyboard.
This is for two reasons.
Firstly: Sky have (oh so very kindly…) disconnected our wifi at the flat, a week earlier than agreed, to “save us some money”.
Thank you so much for that Sky. You’re a real babe. (If you really want to save money, you could offer to pay for my coffees today as well but y’know… You do you.)
And secondly: I currently don’t have a laptop. At home I’ve been working off of two of Gary’s old laptops. One won’t recognise my camera’s SD card and the other one’s USB ports have all died. Both are huge and clunky and not really made for trotting around London in search of “free” wifi…
So yeah. I’m on the hunt for a new laptop.
I’ve had my eye on a MacBook for a while… But now I’m not so sure.
See, last week I was invited down to an event with the lovely team from Dell, to spend two days eating all the delicious nibbles at Bourne and Hollingsworth, soaking up blogger/influencer knowledge from some of the top names in the biz, and, of course, testing out Dell’s brand spanking new laptop: the Dell XPS.
We started our fab two days with the most delicious breakfast buffet. I adore Bourne and Hollingsworth’s bottomless brunch menu and this was a lovely paired-down version of that, with options including fruit with granola and yoghurt, toast with whipped butter and jams, and the most YUM avocado on English muffin, topped with slow-roasted tomato.
After stuffing our faces, we headed in to our first influencer session: a fab talk on taxes and self-employment. We learned a lot in two hours, but I think the most important note I came away with was to not bury my head in the sand over tax stuff! Always, ALWAYS contact HMRC and ask questions if you’re not sure or think something has gone wrong.
We breaked for a deeeelicious lunch and then had the chance to properly test out the Dell XPS. I transferred some of the photos over from my Olympus PEN camera to it and had a little play with editing, as well as working on some emails, admin and social media stuff and I was SERIOUSLY impressed.
The 13 inch one, especially, is sooo tiny and light, but really functional as well. I found it really easy to get to grips with and the image quality of the UltraSharp QHD screen is absolutely fantastic. My photos were stupidly sharp and vibrant!
Also, it fitted perfectly into my handbag AND I could close the zip.
What else do you need in life?
The afternoon masterclass was hosted by the fabulous Shini of Park & Cube. She taught us how to use our smartphones and the Dell XPS to create handwritten graphics to add to our photos.
You know the kind of thing that Wish Wish Wish uses sometimes in her images? Yeah, that sort of thing.
It was a really, really good class, and some of the other bloggers created some awesome stuff… It’s just a shame that my handwriting is so atrocious! (Why is it so hard to make the word “Katy” look pretty?)
After the class we had a few more hours to play around with the Dell laptops and take a bazillion photos of the venue (#interiorgoals) before it was time to relax and chat over pretty canapés, colourful cocktails and a delicious dinner.
It was lovely to catch up with ladies I already knew (Claire and Laura!) as well as meeting bloggers of all genres that I’d never met before, including the lovely Gemma of Retro Chick, whose blog I’ve been reading for years!
There was everything from foodie/lifestyle blogs like mine to high-fashion male bloggers, luxury travel bloggers and everything in between.
It was such a lovely evening and I laughed til my sides hurt. Yay for diversity on the Internet!
The next day dawned bright and early with more yummy avocado and tomatoes, LOTS of coffee and a couple of outfit shots courtesy of the lovely Claire.
I also managed to nick one of the Dell XPS laptops again to answer some emails. You can just call me Productive Penelope yeah?
We then took part in a fantastic two-hour panel discussion hosted by the lovely CEO from The Apartment, who introduced us to Caroline Duong, the founder of Zine (which I’ll rave about some more in my next Happy Monday cos OMG it’s my new favourite blog thing); Nick Bain, a blogger and Head of Social at Bacchus; and Danielle Brown, one of the top PRs at Iris Worldwide.
It was a really interesting two hours, full of insight into working with PRs, how to approach them, how to pitch ideas and what they expect on the professional side of things from influencers.
After the talk, Claire and I grabbed some lunch and settled into a booth in the restaurant for the afternoon, with (more) coffees and a Dell XPS laptop each.
I picked up the 15 inch this time, just to compare the two, and can confirm it’s just as fantastic (if not better!) than the 13 inch.
The bigger screen is stupidly clear and defined, and makes editing photos an absolute dream. It’s still light and portable though, and I think that, if I had to choose one, I’d probably go for the 15 inch (despite the fact it doesn’t quite fit into my handbag…)
Just imagine watching Netflix on that bad boy though!
I’m still trying to decide what laptop I’ll buy (once I get paid next week and y’know, aren’t funemployed anymore…) but I’m honestly leaning towards the Dell XPS at the moment.
The fact that it’s so light and the HD screen is so stupidly beautiful is making it really hard to resist (even though it’s sliiiightly pricier than the MacBook).
Either way, thank you to the lovely team at Dell for letting me have a play on your beautiful computers, thank you to The Apartment for pulling together such fantastically educational talks, and thank you to the super friendly staff at Bourne & Hollingsworth for keeping my belly so happy and my Instagram full of pretty photos.
May the free wifi be with you all.