Help me buy the best for the money

I've been rewarded with a bonus at work for my hard work this year and have decided to spend a part of it replacing my 7-year old laptop. My old Dell was pretty solid though I did use the warranty several times to handle heat issues, wireless networking and a bad power adapter. One of the things I liked most about it was that it kept the keys in the right places. Arrow keys weren't shoved into the rest of the keyboard and the Home, PGUP, PGDOWN, and end keys (etc) were in the same 6 button arrangement as on a normal keyboard (I hate having to try and find where they've been hidden on various laptops).

Anyway, I don't necessarily need another dell or even a warranty if the brand is good enough that I don't need one. I can give up my keyboard arrangement if necessary. What I want is at a minimum:

Good processor, dual core most likely, not a cheapo (like a Celeron).
3 GB min memory. 4+ preferred
Hard drive doesn't matter. Any kind, any size. I don't really need 500 GB as I'm only using 80 now and that works for me
GPU - As strong as possible. I want to play games on this computer. I also do graphic and video work.
CD drive, meh. Speakers/sound meh. I'm not an audiophile and I can do my burning at home.

My budget is 800 to 1200 or so, hoping for closer to 1000 though I really like what I see that Toshiba has done here:

And this Alienware:

I LOVE backlit keyboards and completely unnecessary lights on the keyboard/laptop. Particularly blue or red or something interesting like that. Thank you all for your awesome expert advice.

P.S. Looking for the best deal possible. Is there a big sale I should wait for? A student discount I can get? Any other ideas for good price without sacrificing quality (Used is an option I suppose, but would I suffer breakage risks that way? I use it a LOT).
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  1. Almost forgot; I don't care at all how big or heavy it is. I don't want something that over-heats, but I have a laptop cooling stand thing if that helps. Otherwise, it could be so big I have to get a rolling case for it for all I care. In fact, the larger the keyboard and screen the happier I'll be.
  2. I've never heard of this company before, but the specs on this are really strong:
  3. Awww, come on guys. Nobody has anything?
  4. Try this one looks powerful studio 1747
  5. bishTHEvenom said:
    Try this one looks powerful studio 1747

    It looks nice and has a good price for something that includes a 3 year warranty, but it has integrated graphics which won't handle the games I want unfortunately. So far the Toshiba I listed is my strongest contender.
  6. ibuypower is horrible. the keyboard sucks and its not backlit. Its ugly too.

    i recommend the alienware
  7. Go for the alienware then...
  8. Tunafish said:
    ibuypower is horrible. the keyboard sucks and its not backlit. Its ugly too.

    i recommend the alienware

    Thanks for the warning. I wasn't very certain with a no-name brand
  9. bishTHEvenom said:
    Go for the alienware then...

    Alienware is the standard in gaming I know, but the specs on the Toshiba appear pretty strong (and better than the AW. What do you think when comparing the two?
  10. Both the Machines are high end one...looking at the configurations toshiba appears a good bet and at the same price offers better processor and more graphics ram(1 GB compared to 512mb of alienware) feature of alienware is that hardware features can be tweaked to siut your needs and with 100$ more you can get full HD of is heavier but offer powerful battery life...comparing both and your budget of 1200 toshiba may be a safe bet
  11. Or you can customize a base toshiba satellite according to your need and add features that you around 1100$ you can get a high end laptop comparable to the above mentioned ones
  12. I recommend the Qosmio!!!! Alienware costs a bit too much....

    However...You still would want the unnecessary lights :P
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