Finally scrounged together the funds to replace my wife's aging Dell laptop. She was wanting an i5 processor, dedicated graphics, 6gb RAM, an optical drive, and a 1TB HDD would've been nice. So we had a budget of $750 and went to see what compromises she'd have to make to stay within budget. Turns out not as much as we thought . Asus 15.6" Laptop Intel Core i5 Processor 4GB Memory 500GB Hard Drive X550CA-SI50304V - Best Buy.
And since we were thinking about getting another tablet, we went ahead and got with the money we didn't spend on the laptop. I was wanting a nook HD+ because I think it is a better value than a Kindle Fire HD (bigger/better screen, SD card slot), but the store didn't have any. I ended up with this (but in black ) Asus Google Nexus 7 Tablet 32GB NEXUS7 ASUS-1B32 - Best Buy.
So a new laptop and a new tablet (w/protection plan) w/taxes came to less than the original budget- and the money that was saved paid for lunch at the Golden Corral .