A bit OT, but you shouldn't care about OS except Linux vs Mac OS.
My reasoning is that you can buy a Windows license for 7 and reformat nearly any laptop except Apple laptops. You can use Linux on many laptops, but you should do research to ensure compatibility. Since you are a student, a license for Win 7 will be very inexpensive, especially when distributed over the average 4 years of college. Since you are not in college, you have time to deal with reinstalling a Windows operating system, so the time factor is also moot (if you're using Linux, you'll need to do that anyway unless supporting a Linux vendor).
Unless I totally misunderstand secure boot and UEFI and all that other new lockdown junk Win 7 will work on any Win 8 machine.
So, in my opinion you should be asking: "Which portable laptop will have the _highest resolution_ and fit in my budget"
All things being equal, this (and an SSD, which you can upgrade whenever -- but is DIY and should be done ASAP) is the biggest factor to productivity on a laptop. GET A NICE SCREEN! You're going to look at it every day for 4+ years! High resolution, IPS. Buy the biggest SSD that fits in your budget and swap out the one that comes with your machine (again assuming you don't go with an Apple machine). Now you have a responsive machine and a portable hard drive (throw the large drive that came with your laptop in an inexpensive USB powered enclosure)
Openpandora never really lived up to the massive expectation.
Never lived up to expectation? Tell me about it! I never got mine! Just a $400 (2009 USD) donation to someone else's hobby project.
It's reasonable to assume Valve isn't doing this for the Linux desktop (though they may be doing things in such a way that Linux desktop is covered 'for free'), but likely related to the other rumors of a Steam branded game console.
Of course they're going to do it for the linux desktop, at least for source engine games (provided DRM continues to function), they are in a position to out compete the entire market, PC, console, engines, development tools.
IMO current and past games are not the big win for Valve. The Source Engine will quickly become THE most attractive engine for future development. It's easily the most disruptive idea to the video game market in a generation. As if digital distribution via Steam wasn't already disruptive, I think this is on the order of...I don't know of a good analog...optical disc vs cartrige? Microsoft's game SDK thing?
It's a masterstroke IMO.
Woah, hang on. Lets not get crazy now. At least try Chromiumo or Opera before going back to IE and stick with something that tries to embrace modern web standards as well as new proposed standards. Or Safari, as that is also based on Webkit. Or try webkit itself.
Please. Anything except IE. While the IE team is getting better, they are still holding back from widespread adoption of great new developments in web development.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Chromium - does not have the RLZ tracking enabled
Do I have a choice?
Of course you have a choice. You chose to use facebook, despite the fact that it screws you over daily.
Any good ideas about how much the gap could be closed if energy consumption was reduced through efficiency, policy, and awareness?
And James Earl Jones, who should've been behind that mask at the end of ROTJ. That would certainly have been a surprise.
And James Earl Jones, who should have been in the credits (for SW 1 and 2) (and who should have been advised to take percentage vs flat fee).
Do not meddle in the affairs of troff, for it is subtle and quick to anger.