It all comes down to the GPU. Do you play games? If so you need a good GPU. If you don't you can settle for a slower GPU and get one with a better CPU for around the same price. If you want to pick up a gaming laptop go for an Asus G50 Series.
I'm kind of in the same boad but I do want one that can handle some gaming. You don't need 1080P on a laptop 16-17' screen. Waste of money. Put that money into a better processor or a 22" monitor.
If you throw GAMING out of the picture, There looks to be plenty of options on Newegg.com to choose from with around those options. To get a little bit newer processor, I think you need to spend $800-$900.
I typically find it easier to find what I think is a good deal at Newegg and then compare that to other sites or stores to see if I'm getting a good deal.
Only reason I might use Best Buy for a laptop purchase is b/c I already have a credit card through them. I don't want to open up another account.
Important things in a value laptop I am looking for under 1,000$ :
1.) The P series 1066mhz + 3mb l2 cache processors are what you want.
2.) 7200rpm HDD - I'll take a smaller 7200rpm over a big 5400rpm any day. You can allways buy a 1TB external HD for under $150 if you need it later.
3.) Wireless N capable card.
4.) can utilize at least 6gig of ram (3 slots) 8 is better.
5.) not essential, but DDR3 memory would be nice. 1066 memory with 1066 processor would run awesome on a laptop.
6.) Some, min of 512mb of didicated vid card and with a shared mem booster to go up over 1gig. If a didicated car of 1gig, I'm fine with it not sharring any system memory. Sharring mememory is where the 6 or 8 gig of memory falls into play.
Here would be a good name brand for $850 with rebate
slower processor(still P series) but better memory with GDD3 and up to 8GB space. 500GB 7200rpm HDD is a nice touch as well. Since the Asus didn't advertise it, I'm assuming it's not a LED display like the HP is either.
I'd likely go with the HP even though it has a ATI vid card. Along with having Windows 7 already installed vs vista, I think the better DDR3 memory speed and having up to 8gigs available evens out the loss of 0.4GHZ processor speed although that is per core.
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