I'm looking to get a laptop for Uni, so I'm looking for one that's 11"-13", light, has a good battery life and in the price range of $300 - $850ish. I probably won't be playing any games on it - if I do, they'd most likely be just casual/indie games - so I'll mainly just need it for internet, word, music, movies, and pdf. Although, having said that, I'd like it to last 3-4yrs (don't want it to be incredibly laggy and slow after a year or two), so I'm willing to fork out a bit of extra cash if it's going to save me money in the long run.
If you could recommend any laptops/netbooks, it'd be much appreciated. I'm not particularly computer savvy when it comes to the parts of computers, so this is why I need to ask.
P.S. I'm willing to pick up an ext hard drive if the laptop has a small one/ssd.
Well, other than the Macbook Air/Pro 13" and the Dell Latitude 13" I can't think of many others around that range. I wouldn't go for a small netbook really, as the screen size just seems a little restricting. My girlfriend went from an 11" HP netbook to a 13" Macbook Pro, and I would say she can get a lot more work done on the Pro, possibly due to its better specs, size and screen.
You might want to consider a used Mac (or PC) off Craigslist if you know enough about computers to keep from getting ripped off. You can find some amazing deals if you're willing to be patient and watch the "computer - by owner" section for a few days/couple of weeks.
Otherwise, since Macs (my preferred method of computing because they're less trouble, in my opinion) are pretty much out of your price range new (though you might be able to pick up something refurbished through the apple store), I'd suggest an Asus with the highest specs you can get. Alternatively, a Dell. Those are the only two PC brands I trust and I've had good luck with both in the past.
Check out http://www.tigerdirect.com for deals.. they have awesome ones going on most of the time on various PCs.
I have the model before this (X120e) and it is fantastic. This is about half the price of a mac yet it does everything that you are looking for just fine. One of my problems with macs is that if it is lost, stolen, or broken at school you are out a lot of money. But with a cheaper, yet very functional computer, you may be less fearful of losing or breaking it.