Programmer's laptop recommendation & i3 vs i5

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Oct 13, 2014
Hello all, my Acer (AMD Chip) laptop burnt out few weeks ago and I am looking for a decent laptop.

I am a developer working with scripting in Ruby, Python and R; Rails, RStudio, VIM / Sublime Text, Javascript frameworks, NodeJS, Apache/Nginx, MySQL/ PostGreSQL/ MongoDB and odd other tools, technologies and languages. E.g., I recently started learning Prolog just for fun. Besides, Youtubing, watching movies and reading PDFs; some documentation using MS Word.

I was a .Net developer few years ago and I am planning to start investing in learning C# and F# again in a few months. So other technologies you may consider are Visual Studio (minimal) and MS SQL Server Management.

I wanted to keep myself on budget, and was just curious if I will be okay with i3 (4th gen) with 8GB or do I need atleast i5 with 8GB? The reasons for budget are:

My experience so far says that I should get laptop for exactly the purpose I want it to fulfill. Previously, I invested in moderately expensive laptops which degraded heavily after 4-5 (in 1 case after 3 years) and I was forced to replace them, thus not really getting their value worth. I think it is wise to invest intelligently.

I am also looking forward to invest in a good camera phone and an Android tablet so that I can move reading and writing work on that. I wanted to save money for them also. Although I won't be buying all these together but I wanted to save as much money as possible for phone and tablet as well.[/listNum]
I used to dual-boot but this time I am thinking of using Vagrant + Chef with Arch on Windows for my development work.

If I go for i3, will I lose performance assuming that VMs typically takes more CPU to work properly. Since I usually watch movies, youtube, play odd games (Flash like) and read/write. Development work is rather limited right now and currently I have no plans to take on big projects.

Any help/input is greatly appreciated. Also, if you can recommend any laptop in Asus, Dell, HP or Lenovo that I could look into, will be great.

P.S.: I am from India. Based on some research, I found that most retailers ship with U or V model of CPUs and not M or H. I request you to take that into account as well.

Thank you.
Personally I'd get the i5, its a true quad core (their are dual core i5's). i3 is a dual core with hyper threading, its not the same thing as cores, the i3 would be outdated vary fast as everything just wants more cores for todays programming.
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