As you say "These are my software needs:"
3DS Max 2013
With this list, Linux ( regardless of distribution ) isn't going to meet your needs in anyway.
None of the not natively supported software is going to run at any kind of performance or stability required for professional work. As someone who worked professionally in the 3D and Video editing industry, I know how important stability and workflow is. I would never consider trying to use software that wasn't exactly the version and OS that my clients were using.
Hobbyist will push stuff like Blender or Gimp as ( just as good ), a professional knows this is just not true. Margins are just to thin to waste any time trying to deal with converting assets from one format to another, or having software crash constantly or not redraw the screen correct, etc. You can't afford to waste even a second on trying to get things to work with some partially compatible software like Blender or Gimp.
If you are doing this professionally, or want to, then stick to the native operating system that your software runs on, anything else is a waste of time. You will probably need to have a more powerful machine than a laptop either way.
Linux is great as a headless 3D render farm OS where there is a render farm node available for it. As for working with the software you listed, it is an exercise in a waste of time if just one piece of that software isn't available natively.
If you really want to use Unix then use OSX.
Every package on that list except 3DS Max 2013 has a native version for OSX. OSX is Unix, it passes the Unix certification since Leopard. There are ways to use OSX on that ASUS laptop if you want to put some work into it, probably the same amount of work it would take to get Linux running on it as well.