Need Laptop recommendation for Designer/Artist/CAD

This is for my Wife, she uses it for business and some gaming. Currently she is using an HP DV2620US that is now underpowered for her needs. Her uses are mostly graphic design, web/html design, AutoCAD, Photoshop, and some video editing and gaming.

1. What is your budget? Under $1000 if possible

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering? Up to 17" wide-screen

3. What screen resolution do you want? I'm not sure what's appropriate, currently she has a 14.1 WGXA screen that could use a size upgrade, crisp resolution is preferred and she does use an external monitor (22" w/DVI) most of the time.

4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop? She does not have a desktop, this is replacing her laptop, although she mostly uses it on an external monitor/keyboard/mouse at home with some travel.

5. How much battery life do you need? 3+ hours if possible on power saving settings (normally she brings her battery cable with her when traveling), but I'm not familiar with how long modern laptops last.

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)? Yes, HIGH settings, but the games are usually a couple years old with some exceptions. I'm expecting a laptop built for graphic design would be suitable for some gaming as well (I could be wrong on this?)

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? Photo editing, HD video editing, music playback (external speakers).

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need? At least 250gb.

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links. - or other site or big name retail store.

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop? 3+ years.

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ? DVD Read/Write w/lightscribe

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. Currently using an HP, would prefer to stay away from lesser known brands and stick with brands that are compatible and easy to find drivers for (especially graphic drivers!)

13. What country do you live in? USA

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed. Having a back-lit keyboard would be a nice feature.

Thank You!
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  1. I Have the Toshiba Satellite A505D. It runs Inventor 2011, Autocad 2011, Phtoshop Cs3, Illustrator Cs3, and 3dsMax 2011, All without ANY lag. It is 16inches, has an SD card port built in, 3 usb ports, Hdmi out, and a Dvd Writer with Labelflash. I dont know if these are sold anymore for what the website says, but This laptop is a good deal and a must buy for Cad purposes.

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