I have a Dell laptop with a hdmi port, probably a silly question but can I output the pi to that screen just for setup purposes and configuring areas? Normally the pi is in the TV but it is always in use so I need another way or screen?
The vast majority of laptops only have HDMI output, not HDMI input like a television. so if you are wanting to set up your raspberry pi from your laptop you’d either have to use something like putty and manage things from the setup script in the terminal. you can also use winscp for transferring files and whatnot.
see this page for ways to remotely manage your pi: