Ultraportable Laptop for University?

Hi folks: I'm needing a new laptop for university and am currently tossing up between two ASUS units that I'll list below. For the sake of being open to alternative suggestions I'll fill out my request as requested by the sticky.

Approximate Purchase Date: As soon as possible.

Budget Range: $900 - $1500 AUD within reason. If you propose to use my entire budget please explain why your suggestion is worth the extra price.

System Usage: Programming, Notetaking, Internet browsing and Video playback, extended use without access to external power, and in time use with AutoCAD/other design software.

Preferred website for Parts: ARC computers, PC Case Gear, will use other stores if convenient

Country: Australia

Monitor resolution: Would like to go as high as possible but it looks as though 1366x768 is the highest available.


The two notebooks I'm currently considering are the ASUS U36SD and the ASUS U36SG

ASUS U36SG --- $1099

i5 2450M CPU
Geforce GT610M

ASUS U36SD --- $1500

i7 2620M CPU
Geforce GT520M

Now I understand that the U36SD is the better machine sporting the i7 CPU and the SSD ... But is it $400 better? My thoughts are:

CPU --- I am a little hesitant to go with the i5 as I have been using a friend's Ultrabook with the i5 2557M and it has been quite sluggish at times.

SSD --- The notebook needs to handle me "throwing" it into my bag, and running at times. Now the SSD with no moving parts is going to be the most robust of the two storage options ... but my question is -- Will a HDD be sturdy enough to survive this sort of treatment?

Thanks in advance for your advice.

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  1. i5-2557M @1.7Ghz is a power efficient ULV CPU and doesn't have the same performance as the 2.5Ghz i5 2450M or the dual core 2.7Ghz i7 2620M.
    The i5 2450M & i7 2620M performance difference isn't that great.

    HDD or SSD - you really don't want to be "throwing" it anywhere.
    You could probably upgrade the HDD to SSD yourself and save quite a bit.
    Not that you'd 'need' to - a SSD is a luxury and scarifies a lot of bulk storage.
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