My dream ultra-portable: does it exist?

I'm a veterinary medical student in my second year and I have two years left before I go off into the real world. Right now I'm rocking one of Lenovo's consumer IdeaPad laptops that performs fairly well, but does hiccup/slow on occasion when I have Outlook, OneNote, PowerPoint, and several tabs in Chrome open, even though I have 8 GB of RAM, but it's probably the ULV processor that's the bottleneck. It's pretty annoying that large Powerpoint presentations with over 50 high-quality digital images of radiographs (X-rays) cause the program to slow to a crawl, but that's what I get for getting a cheaper laptop.

In any case, next spring I would like to upgrade to something that will last longer and travel with me around the country.

This is what I'm looking for:


  1. 13 or 14 inch screen, and I have mediocre vision so I don't care about super high-res screens.
  2. No optical drive, portability matters more. Less than 4.5 lbs would be great.
  3. Decent battery life. I'm used to about 3.5 hours of real-world use, but 6 would be stellar.
  4. Backlit keyboard with keys that are not super flat. I like Lenovo's "smile" concave keys on the X1 and also the more traditional keyboards on their Thinkpad line.
  5. At least 500 GB of hard drive space. Don't really need an SSD, but it would be nice to have a decent amount of storage. 
  6. At least a Core i5 processor that will easily handle multiple MS Office programs open at once, with a browser in the background, and perhaps some music playing from Winamp, etc.  
So, is there anything out there or coming out in the future that will satisfy someone like me? The only thing I've felt that was reasonable close was the X220, but its screen is a bit smaller than I'd like and no backlit keyboard.  Ultrabooks look nice, but a little too costly to upgrade to even a 256 GB SSD.  If the T420s married the X1 and they had a baby, I'd kidnap the sh*t outta that baby and keep it for myself.  


What do you all think?