I've always been a desktop guy and I have a pretty good reference level of the performance of various desktop processors. With laptops, I have no idea about what cpu is equivalent to what or what I can expect from a laptop with a certain cpu. I'm looking for a laptop in the 200-300$ price range for my girlfriend. Its primary use would be web browsing but I wouldn't mind something that could manage light gaming like most indie Steam games and what not. I'm not naive to expect something that could run a 3d based game such as Skyrim even at low settings (especially at this price range) but at the same time I want something that could handle games such as Civ 4 (I imagine Civ 5 is waaayyy out of the question), Rock of Ages, or a RPG revamp like Shadowrun Returns: http://store.steampowered.com/app/234650/ .
So could someone give me some good capable CPUs (AMD and Intel) in this price range? I'm also not opposed to adding to this budget but I don't know where the sweetspot for value per dollar is with laptops. If performance was essentially doubled by spending 400$, I'd definitely do it. But at the same time, if I only lose 10% of usability staying at 200$ instead of spending 300$, I'd rather save the money. I sincerely appreciate any help.
You should not expect to play much of anything at 200-300. Your best bet is probably an AMD A4 if you can. Otherwise you're suck with "E" series APUs. An A4 is OK at best. $400 might help you a lot, you might be able to get a Intel i3 at that range, which I would recommend. I say go to $400 at least. Anything is better then a "E" series APU. If you can get into AMD's "A" series or Intel's Pentium or Core series then you should be okay and the PC should do most basic tasks alright. For games I'd stay away from Pentium and stick with Core and AMD "A" series. I hope this helps and feel free to ask anything!