for those of you like myself who grew up with Apple, I suggest the mac mini. For about $500 plus monitor, keyboard and mouse, you get basically a full scale, tiny (2x9x9) desktop computer. I need it to get my elegant apple fix. Windows makes me feel like I'm some sort of Huxley-esque delta...
As for typing, laptop keyboards suck (though I did do my final 38 page paper for history this year on one). I just took my friend out to Best Buy and he picked up an external, wired keyboard/optical mouse combo for 40 bucks! My brother, a seasoned college student, swears by this method.