Another 'help me find a laptop' thread. What fun!

College kid looking to buy a laptop, I'll be stuffing this thing into my backpack as I ride my bike around campus so so I would like something lightweight but sturdy. Although I really don't think I want a netbook as they seem small, cramped and underpowered.

1_What is your budget?
$550, will maybe go slightly higher if it's REALLY worth it.

3_What screen resolution do you want?
15", I guess.

4_Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?
not a replacement, I have a powerful PC, this will be more of a home away from home computer.

5_How much battery life do you need?
what's the avg? 6 hours? that's fine, it wont be running unplugged that much.

6_Do you want to play games with your laptop? If so then please list the games that you want to with the settings that you want for these games. (Low,Medium or High)?
Yeah, I'd like to also use it for portable lan games. I don't expect it to run call of duty or anything like that, but of course I expect it to run Diablo 2, warcraft 3. I expect to land somewhere betweent he two, I just want to find the highest spot possible with my budget. The gpu and cpu is a big deal

7_What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo / Video editing,watching movies, Etc.)
basic stuff. music, movies. maybe some music editing.

8_How much storage (H.D.D Capacity) do you need?
they all seem to come with around 250gb, that's enough for me.

11_What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?
up to a dual layer burner would be nice, but not required. I can always just use my pc, if I have to.

13_What country do you live in?

14_Please tell us any additional information if needed.
I've been looking at the Dell Vostro, $499 on newegg, it looks like a good deal and has sort of a nice non intrusive business look, unlike every other laptop. (no I do not want a shiny, hot pink or sky blue laptop with rounded edges that looks like a perfume case..-_-)

According to cpubenchmarks, the t6670 cpu is the best cpu of all the laptops in the 500 dollar price range (I can't remember the name of the other brand's cpus, t4300 was one I think?)

I'm having a hard time comparing graphics options though, as they all just say integrated graphics.

My other issue is the i3 processors seem to be debuting for around 600 dollars. I would be willing to go over my budget a bit for an i3, but it seems like all of the i3 models for every brand STILL use the same gpus. So now I'm thinking getting an i3 would be completely pointless as the cpu would be bottlenecked by the weak gpus. Meaning it wouldn't enhance my laptop's gaming ability very much. the i3 would just speed up general windows activities and that's it, and if that's the case I would not consider the added investment worthwhile.
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More about another help find laptop thread
  1. Ok, let's make it a bit simpler. What would give me a better performance increase?

    An i3 with, h55 integrated graphics?
    a dual core with a dedicated graphics?
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