If you're not using OpenGL its probably better to get a laptop with a fast and reasonably big SSD, some laptops today even have both a SSD and a traditional HDD. (not having a SSD is just pure painful)
Can only second that, we do have a HDD-only laptop at work. The specs look fine on the paper, but the small HDD is crippling the whole thing.
As soon as I start a virtual machine I can't do anything else, even opening a browser takes minutes (no exaggeration).