Student Laptop Purchasing Advice

Hey there fellow Verge-ians, I've come to you all seeking advice on a laptop purchase.


The main use my machine would get involves a lot of code writing. I'm a MIS (Management Information System) major and my classes mostly involve Visual Basic, HTML/Javascript/CSS/PHP, and a lot of Database work. None of these things are very taxing on a machine so my main focus isn't raw power so much as it is productivity. Along with this there will be a lot of papers to write and Google docs to share.


As with most Students a few of the basic needs I have involve portability and battery life. I need a good machine that won't die in the middle of a three hour night class in case I forget my power adapter. Portability isn't too big of a priority, but the lighter and thinner, the better I suppose.


A touch screen and Windows 8.1 are a must and a high quality track pad would be nice but I will use a wireless mouse when I'm not laying in bed. Cellular Data connection is not necessary.


At $899 USD the Surface Pro 2 is at the very top of my price range and even that is pushing it. I'm looking to get a high quality machine for under $800 and that's where I look to you guys. What do you suggest and why? All feedback is much Appreciated!