But then I decided I might as well fork out the extra $300-400 or so to get an ultrabook with a bigger screen and better performance/battery life.
My main use is for school work, internet browsing and light programming (I'm learning). While none of these activities are very intensive, I'm still looking for the best bang for the buck and best performance for my budget (Max about $800-900) without sacrificing efficiency. I'm looking for the best product in that price range, placing emphasis on:
Also, I'm going to try using a Linux distribution as my primary OS on this machine. I am a complete noob when it comes to Linux (I've never used it before save for a very brief time on a virtual machine) but I read its harder to find drivers amongst other things, so if anyone has wisdom as far as Linux compatibility goes, that would be appreciated.
Finally, with the research I've done so far, the Sony Vaio T-Series and Lenovo Thinkpad X230 stand out to me; however, I've read the display on the T-Series is not very good and I'm not sure how I feel about the Thinkpad's 12.5" display vs. the 13.3" on most ultrabooks.
Thank you for any input in helping me decide using these criteria.
It's my personal opinion, but I'd highly recommend getting this. It would a much better buy than that Vaio, but only if you can really afford it.
Otherwise (if you can't afford it), I suggest getting this, it's a very good option too (and still better than that Vaio).
About Linux drivers and etc: if you're worrying about that, try looking for a Linux Distributable that has "Full Rolling Release" type of updates (for example, Distros like "Funtoo", "Gentoo", "Arch" (only for PROs) and "Yoper"), they are always the most fresh (automatically updates almost every day (week, if Gentoo), or so) and basically would have almost all (if not all already) drivers that you need. But also, I should really note that it's harder for a Linux-newbie to deal with any of the ""Full Rolling Release" distros, because they aren't user-friendly (by the most part) in the beginning, and you should really read quite a few Linux FAQs and manuals, before you decide to use any of them.
And if that is your case exactly, then I highly recommend getting Ubuntu instead, it's the most easiest Linux Distributable to use/learn from.