1. What is your budget? ~$500, but cheaper would be nice
2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering? Probably less than 15'" since i want it to weigh less than 4.5 pounds or so
3. What screen resolution do you want? 1366 x 768 is plenty fine
4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop? definitely portable
5. How much battery life do you need? the more the better, but weight is an important consideration! so i guess LED is mandatory here.
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)? Magic Online, Heroes of Newerth, maybe Starcraft 2, maybe emulators. Nothing that is graphic intensive but can use a decent amount of system resources, low/medium is fine
7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.) The usual stuff. Internet browsing for when i travel, taking notes in class and doing classwork while on the go. The occasional movies and music as well
8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need? Probably not too much, somewhere between 320 and 500 is enough
9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links. newegg #1 as always, im willing to do amazon as well since i have prime and their customer service is outstanding
10. How long do you want to keep your laptop? a couple years i guess? im spending less then 500 so longevity isn't the biggest concern here
11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc? Not even necessary to be honest, which is nice since this usually saves a ton of weight and space on the laptop
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'd prefer to stay away from dell because of my past experience with them. Anything with lots of bloatware is bad though i will most likely wipe it
13. What country do you live in? US
14. Please tell us any additional information if needed. If i weren't hoping to use this laptop to play magic online and heroes of newerth i would probably look straight towards a netbookm but an 11-12 inch screen might be a bit small for that, and it may not be powerful enough?
My best advice with that budget is to find a laptop with an AMD APU (CPU + Graphics).
It won't be a great gaming laptop but the APU will give the best value at that price range.
There will be a few different APU's of differing performance (like graphics cards) but I'm not sure you'll have much choice at your price range which is at the low-end of laptops anyway.
The absolute worst choice for gaming is Intel Graphics.
As i said, the games are not graphics intensive at all (at least the ones i plan to play most) so the video card is far from the most important consideration. Perhaps my title is a bit misleading then? Sorry if that is the case
The above deal for the Asus K53E-BBR9 is a good deal since the laptop has a core i5-2410M. It is a strong dual core CPU and has Hyper Threading (HT), however, most programs (games included) the average user will use does not utilize HT at all.
It comes with the Intel HD 3000 which is slightly better than the Radeon HD 5450 and should be fine for most games with low / medium settings. However, a few games may not recognize the integrated graphics core. For example, Fallout 3 will not recognize the Intel HD 3000 and will crash immediately you start a new game or load a saved game. You will need a hacked D3D9.DLL file to do so, but I've read Fallout New Vegas does not need that hack.
If gaming is really not a priority, just keep an eye on techbargains.com and buy an i5-2410M with HD 3000 graphics when one comes up at under $500 or an i3-2310M for under $400. If gaming actually matters though, you'll need a discrete card or an AMD laptop like the Toshiba posted by jaguarskx. You won't be playing games on max settings with those, but you'll be able to play them. Look CPUs and graphics up on notebookcheck to compare parts.