Is this a good laptop for me? Or are there better options?

Hi, I will be buying a laptop pretty much just for general "office" use. I have a pretty good desktop that I recently built but I need a laptop just to do some schoolwork and to program. I will probably be installing linux on it (*just in case that makes a difference). I'm not a big fan of laptops so I don't know much about them. It needs to be around $500, so if you guys have any suggestions it would be great.

Right now I've seen one that I like:

I like it because thinkpads have awesome keyboards, but I'm not sure if that laptop has the same quality keyboard as other thinkpads, since it is on the cheaper side.

Is there a better option?

Also, are these pretty much the same as the one above?:

1. What is your budget? ~$500

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering? Doesn't matter

3. What screen resolution do you want? Doesn't matter

4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop? Doesn't matter

5. How much battery life do you need? More=better but doesn't matter

6. Do you want to play games with your laptop? If so then please list the games that you want to with the settings that you want for these games. (Low,Medium or High)?- Maybe, but not atm.

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.)- Program

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?- 250gb+

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links. or

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop?- 4 years if possible

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ? DVD

12. Please tell us about the brands that you prefer to buy from them and the brands that you don't like and explain the reasons.- Lenovo thinkpads have awesome keyboards so I like them but it doesn't really matter.

13. What country do you live in? USA
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More about good laptop options
  1. Well from a technical aspect you want
    Core i3 or i5, 2xxx, faster speed is better
    At least 4GB DDR3 1333mhz
    Then HD capacity

    so from a technical aspect they were all the same expect for the third link you posted as it has a first generation i3. (380m vs 2380.)
  2. Here is a side-by-side comparison of those notebooks.
  3. Can't go wrong with Lenovo.

    An HP Probook would be a good alternative, they're very sturdy and nice. They have one on sale now. You get a good deal with this one:

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