A 14" Dell Vostro 3450 with an i5 2450M and a Radeon 6630m (with 1 GB dedicated VRAM) is right in the middle of
well below your price range, leaving you headroom for buying more toys like RAM and maybe an SSD.
Running TF2, max settings:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xb8qg5Bg ... ure=relmfu
Check out the Dell Outlet
and Lenovo Outlet
. They sell new laptops at a discount for a variety of reasons. (They could be from canceled orders, scratch-and-dents, or customer returns which saw very little use and came back within a month. The product page should tell you.)
General laptop shopping rules apply:
- Home-market laptops like you find in the big box stores are flax. No exceptions.
- Business laptops are awesome.
- If you're seriously considering a Vaio, just buy a Macbook.
- If you care more about performance than portability, you should be shipping for desktops.
- Upgrade the RAM yourself because it's much cheaper than upgrading through the OEM's customize tool.
e: Missed the sale price at first, but its' right in the middle of your price range at normal prices.
e2: An Asus U31
with similar specs is about $800, but it's a somewhat smaller laptop than the Dell.
e3: Also if my iMac G3 can play MP3s while browsing the modern Internet, any laptop with a real processor now will run them behind games just fine.