I am of course open to other options for this price range. 1st is that the acer has 1G DDR3 vRAM and the toshiba simply has DDR3 RAM, is vRAM a big issue? I've looked it up but cant make an educated decision based on whether the difference is enough to pick one over the other. 2nd is that the HDD's are only 5400rpm and I think 7200 should be minimum for what I do I guess, so maybe just buy another 7200 500G to put in it? I've also come to the realization that those i5s are both dual instead of quad cores.. and after 3 years of reading about quad vs dual I'm still as confused as ever which to use for gaming (since some take advantage of the extra 2 cores, some do not). The Asus seems an all-aroud best choice imo.
Well,both have pretty much the same specs.So it depends on whether you need a 15" or a 17" laptop.
And yes,you can upgrade the HDD later to something faster/SSD.
As for CPU,well an i5 suffices for your task.Quadcore will help in some tasks like image/video editing but it runs notably hotter and will give you less batter life.
Okay.. so based PURELY on gaming performance (specifically BF:BC2), which of these do you think would hold up best? link here. It's basically just knowing which will bottleneck first... the hdd, gpu, or cpu, and I have no idea which one, and it's driving me nuts! For 3dmark06 scores.. ill post specs below: