I'm a student who is a part of the study abroad Japan program. (Assuming I get accepted for the program) I'll be traveling to Mishima Japan over the summer.
I do a lot of technical work in Java (Netbeans IDE) making small programs and occasionally write mathematics papers for classes(LaTeX) and prefer to use the Kubuntu (Linux) OS. I would consider Kubuntu compatible hardware components in your decision process.
Given that the study abroad forces me to be very portable in my choice of laptop, my current 17" (Purchased about 7+(?) years ago)/heavy workstation laptop isn't my first pick.
- Screen Size: 13-14"
- RAM: >=6GB (Either comes with 6GB or can be upgraded to >=6GB)
- HDD: >=250GB
- CPU/Graphics: I don't plan on doing any video editing (Maybe some light editing every once in a while to make a meme or something if possible), or gaming that isn't flash based and easy to run. This being said, the system shouldn't be laggy either.
- Battery life preferred due to traveling abroad, but I always have my chargers with me at all times, so this isn't a huge deal if it doesn't fit within the budget. Caveat: The plane ride to Japan from the US is 14 hours, and I'm not counting on the plane having an AC power supply, so having something that lasts about 1/2 way would be nice since I could use my phone at that point.
- Bluetooth Compatibility is a must, and it is preferred (But not necessary) that it have a 5GHz antenna on the WLAN module.
- A few USB ports would be nice, but that's about all I need. (I do almost all data transfer wirelessly and don't plan on having many peripherals or doing projector lectures anytime soon.
- Having a side-number section on the keypad is preferred but not necessary.
- Screen: I like watching HD videos
2-in-ones are ok so long as they have a "sturdy" (Like a normal laptop, not a thin wafer) keyboard.
My budget is $400-$500.