My old Dell e1505 can barely handle Guild Wars, the game I play most often. It has a X1300 in it.
Recently, a niece obtained a Toshiba laptop that has an 880G chipset in it, and I had the opportunity to test it. I was entirely satisfied with its performance. Time to replace my old Dell! SO....
1. What is your budget? The lower, the better; $600 max, but I doubt it will be less than $400.
2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering? 12"-15.6"
3. What screen resolution do you want? 1366x768. I'd prefer a little more rather than a little less.
4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop? Portable, and battery life is important.
5. How much battery life do you need? The more the better. I'd love to have four hours, at least for 2D apps and games; two hours for 3D games would be fine.
6. Do you want to play games with your laptop? Yes.
6b. If so then please list the games that you want to with the settings that you want for these games. (Low,Medium or High)? Guild Wars is my primary current game; Guild Wars 2 and Diablo III when they come out. I would like at least medium settings.
7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo / Video editing,watching movies, Etc.) Writing, surfing, email, photo viewing (little editing), 2D games (Diablo II, Plants vs. Zombies; nothing very demanding).
8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need? I could probably get by on a mere 80GB, and may later install a SSD in the 80GB-128GB range. The laptops I've looked at seem to come with 320GB or more, which is fine.
9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links. I'd order from Newegg.com, or other reputable site, or go to Best Buy or similar retailer.
10. How long do you want to keep your laptop? I've held onto the e1505 for eight years. As a low-usage machine, I'd hope for a similar physical lifetime, but hopefully 4-6 years of useful life.
11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ? Since movie-watching is not a priority, this can be an external drive, but I probably need at least a DVD drive to install software. I don't care about Blue Ray.
12. Please tell us about the brands that you prefer to buy from them and the brands that you don't like and explain the reasons. I have no real brand preference, as long as the selected machine is reasonably sturdy and will have replacement / additional batteries available for at least a few years.
13. What country do you live in? U.S.A.
14. Please tell us any additional information if needed. I'm not stuck on the HD42xx; that just seems to be a good graphics performance baseline. I definitely want at least a dual-core CPU, but on my budget I don't expect more, especially not with my desire for 3-4 hours of battery life.
Also, I can tolerate initial bloatware, as I'm perfectly capable of carving it out of the system.
I don't think Guild Wars is particularly demanding, and GW2 shouldn't be too far beyond that. I don't play current FPS titles. I was pleasantly surprised at how well the HD4250 did, but I suppose the 1366x768 helped too. My X1300 manages 21-25 FPS on lowest settings, and I was getting 45-50 FPS in a crowded area with mostly high settings with the 880G.
The niece has a Toshiba (behind a closed door ATM), but I think it was less than $600 at Best Buy. It has a dual-core AMD CPU, I think an Athlon II.
Have a look at the CPU link in my sig if you want to familiarize yourself with mobile CPU's and to get an idea of what to expect. I saw a few i3 based laptops on newegg within your price range with the hd4250 included. I think you'll have better luck with an i3 over any of AMD's current offerings.
If you are really sold on AMD though, maybe wait it our a few months to see what they come out with in regard to their new chips early next year. It would also give you some time to save up a bit as well.
I'm not sold on AMD at all; just on their graphics compared to Intel's. I won't find the HD4250 except on an AMD machine, but something comparable should be available. Since I won't expect to "need" this laptop in the next few months, I think waiting probably does make sense this time. Hopefully Intel and/or AMD will come up with some very low-wattage options.