$500 laptop suggestions

This is more of a request for which components I would be looking at in the $5-600 range. I was seriously considering the surface with the type cover but figured I could get more bang for my buck considering I would not utilize the "tablet" form factor as much as using it like a standard laptop.

I do most of my serious gaming on my desktop, but would like the laptop to be able to run games like starcraft 2 and modern MMOs at low to moderate settings.

I would want a small-ish SSD and probably windows 8. Is purchasing an SSD separately more cost-effective? I have been out of the mobile scene for 4+ years since I do most everything on my desktop or phone.

I figure it might be best to wait until black Friday for some deals. Any advice would be appreciated.
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  1. http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=4840047&SRCCODE=WEBGOOPA&cm_mmc_o=mH4CjC7BBTkwCjCV1-CjCE&gclid=CNnxlIugubMCFQGFnQodwXkAXQ

    A10 for your gaming needs
    6GB 1600MHz is above average for this price point
    USB 3.0
    Rather slow hard drive, but hey, what can you do, you don't have much to spend
  2. Looks like a great deal and is actually available from FRYS for $480. Based on my research, the A8 and A10 are both integrated CPU/GPU from AMD (A10 being more powerful) and generally perform better in games than the 3rd gen ivy-bridge / HD4000 intel combo. The i5 series seems to be faster for single/dual threaded applications. It doesn't seem like I would see any noticeable differences between the intel and AMD offerings for every day internet browsing/e-mail/multitasking, correct?
  3. Thanks for the suggestion. Isn't the A8 significantly slower than the A10 though? I see that that model has a discrete card, but browsing/multitasking performance is more important than gaming to me. The only games I would play on the move are things like SC2 or MMOs.

    The 6gb vs. 4gb isn't a dealbreaker to me since I can swap my own pretty easily. I will probably add an SSD no matter which model I choose.

    Also, does anyone have information on how the A10/7660g would stack up against an ivy-bridge and HD 4000 combo like the following?

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834200522

    That model obviously has a 1TB HDD and 8gb of RAM. The base clock speed of the i5 is .2 ghz faster...what are my overclocking options between the i5 and the A10?

    Thanks again.
  4. Went ahead and ordered the Lenovo Z585 with the A10 from FRYS for $480 shipped. After spending all day reading benchmarks and reviews, it seems the performance advantage in games over intel is undeniable, and the performance difference for general usage is negligible.

    I will probably be looking to add an SSD soon. Thanks for the help.
  5. Best answer selected by foolycooly.
  6. One last question--

    I assume I can do a wipe and clean install of windows 7 by burning the ISO to a disc and reformatting the laptop when it arrives. Has this changed?

    Since I'll be upgrading to windows 8, will the best path be to reformat and reinstall windows 7, then install the windows 8 upgrade? The goal will obviously be to remove any bloatware that comes on the laptop from lenovo.

    Thanks.
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