I am looking to buy a laptop for school and some gaming. I would like it to be as cheap as possible but also last a while (if its worth spending more for a machine that will last me an extra year or two I'm down). I will be going into programming in the fall and want something that will have no problem compiling and also enjoy gaming in my free time (Civilization V, Starcraft II, Diablo III, and anything new that might happen to pop up in the next couple years. I also have a mouse/keyboard/monitor that I would prefer to hook up while at home gaming. Lastly battery life is always nice for school and browsing the web when not at home.
Approximate Purchase Date: now
Budget Range: preferably under $1000 but up to $1250
System Usage from Most to Least Important: gaming, school (compiling programs), web, occasionally photoshop and the like
Parts Not Required: I have an external monitor/mouse/keyboard I would like to use when at home
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: memoryexpress.com is preferred but if others are cheaper then let me know newegg.com, ncix.com etc
Parts Preferences: I lean towards intel but whatever is best
I think something based on the A8-3500M would be good. It's comparable to a mobile i5 so it's great in terms of processing power and has some decent integrated graphics which should cope with those games on medium/high settings. Best of all, the power consumption for the CPU and GPU combined is only 35W. With Intel, the CPU alone will consume that much. This should mean better battery life too.