What laptop to buy

So the last time I bought a computer everyone was still using single core technology…a lot has changed since then and I’m in the market for a new laptop.

For work I need to be able to run programs like Photoshop, Flash, After Effects, etc. at the same time, along with a bunch of tabs in IE and Firefox. On my current laptop this is a serious load - especially when Firefox and IE start eating up my resources on top of a large Photoshop document.

The other day I went to Bestbuy and every other laptop seemed to be running either Intel Core 2 Duo or Centrino Core 2 Duo (im actually not sure those are the correct names but either way the choice was A or B). Also, virtually every laptop had 4GB of RAM. Most of the screens seemed to have similar size and resolution.

So what laptop should I buy? I’d like to stay around $1000 but I’m willing to go up to about $1300-$1400.

Looking around the internet and especially CNET I have identified the following highlights:

  • Toshiba Qosmio Series - seems to really offer some fast graphics processing and great media features
  • HP Pavilion HDX18 - good looking specs and big screen, but I really dont like the finish on this thing…too glossy and smudges easily
  • Sony Vaio VGN-FW140E/H - really slick design, decent specs

So what do you guys think? Am I making any obvious mistakes here? Am I going to regret any of those above, or do you know of anything better?

I really don’t care much about portability because I just bring my laptop into the office or the computer lab at school and setup shop…this laptop may even end up being a replacement desktop for me given my desktop is old too.

Any advice or information you guys can provide will be appreciated.