I'm looking for a deal on a laptop. I prefer 17.3" Toshiba but am open to others. This will be for general use (MS Office, Facebook games, etc...). Most important is reliability then performance. It will always be plugged in so I don't care about the battery.
What is better Intel HD 4000 or AMD graphics?
Which is a better CPU; AMD or Intel?
3rd or 4th gen.?
Is 4Gb Ram enough?
My budget is around $500, is now a good time to buy? My timeframe is anytime in the next month.
Of the two I would likely go with the more expensive one with the Intel CPU.
The issue with the AMD A4-5000 CPU is that it is based on the Kabini architecture. More well known as the Jaguar core. It is mean for tablets and low cost laptops. It's primary competitor is the Intel Bay Trail generation Atom CPU not the more powerful Core i3 CPU. Despite the fact that there is only a 100MHz difference, the Kabini APU is very weak. You are likely looking at a 50% performance difference.
The Kabini APU should technically be powerful enough for what you do, but I have read many user comments of various laptops using the Kabini APU and may thought it was just too weak even for their basic needs and ended up spending more money to buy another laptop that is better suited for their needs. Having said that, the Toshiba L75D-A7283 17.3" (A4-5000) has an overall rating of 4 stars with 220 review which is pretty good actually. I suggest you read through the reviews starting with the lowest rating to find out if performance is the reason for the low rating.
Me, I prefer going with the Core i3 laptop. While the A4-5000 may provide adequate performance right now, the fact that it is relatively weak means you are more likely to replace it sooner rather than later if you were to go with Intel.