Setting up your Pi to be controlled and accessed remotely from your laptop can be done, but there are limitations. Not the least of which is poor performance. Controlling a computer over a network connection is slow. You can use SSH for command line stuff, and VNC for remote desktop, but if you want to watch videos or play games you will find it disappointing.
It really is not only easier to have a keyboard, mouse and display for the Pi, it works a lot better as well.
Many people already have a spare USB keyboard and mouse laying around. If you don't you could probably find a friend or family member with spares, or get them cheap at a thrift store. For a display, the Pi was designed to be used with a TV. The HDMI port will connect to high definition (HD) sets, and there is a composite video out for older standard definition (SD) televisions. Many computer monitors also have HDMI nowadays, and a DVI monitor can be converted to HDMI with a cheap adapter
VGA can also be converted to HDMI, but the adapters are more expensive and are often troublesome (you need an active adapter because the Pi does not output a VGA signal).
You will also need a Micro SD card to hold the operating system (which can be downloaded for free from https://www.raspberrypi.org/downloads/
). And you will need a Micro SD card reader or built-in SD card port on your main computer to write the downloaded image to the Micro SD card. Almost all laptops have an SD card slot, so at most you will just need a Micro SD to full sized SD card adapter, and many Micro SD cards come with that included. I recommend the Samsung EVO+ (EVO Plus) Micro SD cards because they offer superior performance, and are not too expensive.
My mind is like a browser. 27 tabs are open, 9 aren't responding,
lots of pop-ups...and where is that annoying music coming from?