I'm using the online build feature of different manufacturers to build the best possible laptop under $1000, and this is what I came up with for $993:
Dell system, 15.4" screen
Intel® Core™ 2 Duo T5500 (1.66GHz, 2MB L2 Cache, 667MHz FSB)
1GB Shared Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 533MHz, 2 Dimm
256MB ATI MOBILITY™ RADEON® X1400 HyperMemory™
80GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive
Free Vista upgrade
I know it's not killer, but I just want to play games like Far Cry and Age of Empires 3 without completely disabling the high res textures and special effects. Are there any suggestions, or is this a pretty good deal?
This might also be a idea. If they offer 512mb of ram. Wait a few weeks to save money Then upgrade it to 2gb. It might help with some speed for games. I save $233 doing with my alainware. Normal price $400
But that looks like a good system. You should have about 4 hours battery life just listing to muisc or searching the web with the lcd dim. Game play mybe 1 to 2 hours battery life. All the 15.4 inch laptops I seen are very quiet and about 6 to 7lb.
If you are looking for options you might also try HP. If you are going for 15.4, which it sounds like you are, try the dv6000 series. Both start for around $500. If you prefer to stick with dell, your system looks pretty good. Possibly upgrade to 2 gigs of ram.