I'd love to take the gaming monster with me, need something portable that doesn't sound like a jet plane unfortunately.
I'd have WIFI access most of the time, but I'd still be able to write Office documents offline right? If not can't it be added with an update?
The whole thing confuses me - surely some of the functionality is there when offline?
Also check you university website. At least both of mine had special offers for students only. A lot of times these will have prices that you can't otherwise get in stores. Also to elaborate, I would never buy a chromebook. The idea is great, I just don't think it works in practice yet. Also if this is your only and primary computer, I would definitively get something that can fulfill multiple roles (not a chromebook). Have a HDMI or other TV output so you can watch DVDs or online streaming on a tv, have it portable (not a 17inch behemoth). These are my recommendations but choose what ever fits you.
Also speaking of office. Microsoft offers the full suit (NOT the bastard editions sold in stores marked as student and home) online heavily discounted. The full suit is 47 pounds online http://students.pugh.co.uk/index.php?nID=productDetail&... , you might get it even cheaper at your university if they have MSDNAA subscription (again ask your school!).