Thanks for the advice.
Lenovo do seem to offer pretty good value, the one I was looking at I5, 8gb, 512ssd and only £550. More than enough for my modest use. Just wasn’t sure on the privacy issues. Couldn’t see any red flags either on line or through the answers here, speaking to one or two others far more knowledgeable than me suggests they aren’t any worse than other brands.
So it’s now sat on my lap. Fingers crossed.