Re: Laptops which ones wins?
I think my HP G7 is the cat's meow but it's out of your price range. But HP does make some amazing hardware as far as it's laptop line goes. I've had my DV6205us for about 7 years now and it just keeps going and going.
Having said that, most lower end laptops are just that, low end. Only thing you could possibly upgrade is the hard drive, the ram, and the wireless card as it's a plug in card on most. The processor can not be removed on most laptops. You get an Alienware laptop and that's a different story. But what you give for one of those you could put a down payment on a car.
Shop carefully. Like most of us know here once you buy a laptop you're pretty much stuck, with the exceptions I mentioned before.
Laptops have come a long ways over the years with larger hard drives, more sophisticated CPU's, better graphics, and better sound. Not to mention larger screens with jaw dropping resolution and color. And most have switched to LED backlighting.
I'd recommend looking at laptop makers websites and see if they are offering ram and hard drive upgrades for free or next to nothing.