All things tend to feel slower as the apps and OS progress. I never suggest future proofing but will suggest you not skimp on RAM today and go with SSD. Today I see Asus ROG laptops with 16GB RAM, 1050 GPU in the near 1000USD prices. I got one of those and popped out the 128GB SSD for a 512GB for just a little over 120USD.
But you are not a gamer but a student that carries the laptop around. No laptop I know of in that price range holds up to the travels and hits such a laptop takes. This is why I think you should not go for a high end PC but one that has 8GB RAM SSD and not a high price.
The Dell i5567-5274GRY is just such a machine. It runs 500USD here.
I am currently looking for a new laptop since my Samsung decided to stop working after 4 years.
I have always used Windows, but I'm also able to use Mac OS X.
The most important characteristics I'm looking for are:
1) Durability/reliability: this is my top priority. I'm willing to spend also 1500-2000€ (this is the top of my budget), as far as the laptop is worth it and doesn't become slow or obsolete in a few years (5+). Of course no one can predict the future and anything could happen
2) Value/price ratio
3) Portability and battery life: I'm a med student and I need to move about a lot with the laptop in my backpack, so I could use a long-lasting battery.
4) Use: I don't need particular specs since I don't use the pc for gaming or editing. I just use it for taking notes, studying, web/email, listening to music while studying and watching movies/TV series.
Anyway I would also like to have a powerful, reliable and long-lasting laptop, preferably with great audio/video performance.
Since I take notes on the pc, a good keyboard is definitely an important feature to me (I understand that this is a rather personal issue).
5) I don't know whether the RAM could influence the lifespan of the laptop. Do you think that 8gb could not be enough in the next 5-6 years?
6) My ideas: Macbook Pro or Dell Xps, both 13'', light, powerful, great displays and audio. If you have any other laptop in mind that could suit my needings at best, feel free to give me some piece of advice.
Many thanks to anyone who will try helping me out.
ps I'm writing from Italy, where I will buy the laptop, so here the prices may not be the same as you know them. But don't worry, I'll accept any advice and check it out myself.