as my old laptop is finally dying, I'm trying to decide on my next computing solution.
I would appreciate if anyone could make suggestions for a laptop that comes close-ish to the following:
=> I'm interested in suggestions both for laptops with an actual HDD, and laptops with only an SSD
=> small screen size; I'm happy with 12", and unless it means a significant loss of specs, would even prefer 10"
=> simplest and fastest possible Mint 13 LTS installation, with full functionality, and with minimum fiddling and tweaking
=> reliable, few if any known weaknesses
=> it can be a used laptop (if you think I would get better value that way, or more punch for my budget)
=> I'd be happy to spend roughly 500 USD; to spend a lot more, I would have to have convincing reasons
=> nice to have: dual screen capability
Question 1: HDD or SSD?
I am somewhat undecided on whether I need an actual HDD, or can get away with SSD. If it would mean I can get a lot more for my money otherwise, I might make do without a HDD. I would appreciate suggestions for both types of laptops.
I do work with pictures quite frequently, and increasingly with video as well - but I might be able to do most of that part of my work when at home, where connecting an external drive wouldn't be a big hassle for me.
Another option might be a wireless hard drive that runs off its own battery for on the go - is there anything along those lines yet that's any good?
Question 2: Which desktop?
Main considerations: Easy installation with full functionality and without much fiddling and tweaking; as lean as possible on hardware requirements (I really liked LXDE a lot).
A slightly more radical solution:
Another thought that crossed my mind half seriously is to buy a cheapish (around 350 dollars) desktop, and add a Samsung Note 2 - which is not a tablet, but an oversized super smart phone - for mobile work. Yes, I'm serious. Most of my mobile work is limited to communicating (email, various forums, skype etc.), and to doing a few bits and pieces on web pages (mostly Wordpress) and online community platforms (mostly MyBB). That phone would totally be able to do that for me, especially since I typically have some wireless access at most places I go. If I want to, I can even throw in a wireless keyboard, and at home connect it to a large screen, as well as a (wireless?) hard drive, using the phone as a second computer - essentially using the phone for everything that has to do with "communicating and planning", and the desktop for everything that needs some grunt. Of course, this solution would most clearly exceed 500 USD and easily double that, but it would also offer additional benefits while on the go that I would consider worth the extra money. Yeah I know, not the same as a Mint Laptop, of course, a totally different world. But it's a real consideration for me.
So, what is your take on all this?