Originally Posted by HarryT
WINDOWS laptops, that is. I've never seen a student with a Mac. I'm sure there must be some, but I think it would perhaps be a mistake not to have a Windows laptop for compatibility reasons. Most university IT departments will only be able to support Windows systems.
There are some many options for compatibility .. with windows.
vmware, for example allows you to virtualize an entire OS inside your computer. but most lately a lot of folks will use web based / cloud options.
I wouldn't rule out Apple OSX as it is Unix based stable etc. Most laptops can do what you want .. it is mostly about the software..
if $$ isn't a concern.. ssd - solid state drives (smaller in capacity) as it is cost prohibitive are durable and faster.. tablets, smart phones use that.. so ssd in your harddrive would be good. Online services can provide back up i.e. mozy, or crashplan
unofficailly there is even OSX virtualized as well.
For undergrads paper writing, and access to the University intranet sites/ resources is OS agnostic. :-)