you could buy a 17 inch HP Pavillion. Here's a link to the HP Entertainment page:
They have other laptops like the HDX, but the HDX is not what you call a mobile companion, and the other laptops are for more basic usage.
For what you're looking for, I'd recommend the HP dv9500t series. It's a 17 inch screen, has an Intel processor, and can be upgraded to all or most of your requirements. HP offers a cheaper, AMD solution, but I'm going with the Intel one for best performance. Plus AMD laptop processors aren't too great in my experience, and it looks like that HP should revamp their AMD product pages.
The base price on this HP Pavillion is $1049.99. This is with:
Vista Home Premium
Processor: 1.66Ghz Core 2 Duo processor with a 2MB L2 cache and a 667Mhz FSB
Screen: A High-Def HP LCD with Brightview (can be upgraded to more pixels and quality, etc.)
RAM: Comes with 1GB of RAM (but can be upgraded cheaply)
Graphics: Intel Graphics Media Accelerator X3100 (can also be upgraded, doesn't say if it's integrated under info)
Personalization: comes with the HP finish, a webcam, and a microphone (but you can add a fingerprint reader for security or remove what you don't need)
Wireless: Intel PRO/Wireless 4965AGN Network Connection (can be upgraded and Bluetooth can be added)
Hard Drive: standard 160GB drive @5400 rpm, so it works for you (can be upgraded to 400GB for videos, photos, music, etc.)
Drive: comes with a 8x Super Drive (can be upgraded to lightscribe or HD DVD)
Battery: standard, 8 cell battery (can be upgraded)
Software: comes with Microsoft Works 8.0, but can be upgraded accordingly and other productivity/security software may be added.
Accesories and Warranty are not all included, but can be added to your configuration.
Here's the link to the customization page: http://www.shopping.hp.com/webapp/shopping/cto/computer_customize_components.do#GRAPHICS_CARD
Note: The page does not load correctly for me, but it still loads.
My recommended configuration for great performance includes:
2.2Ghz Core 2 Duo processor
The upgraded 1680x1050 screen
383MB NVIDIA GeForce card
finger print scanner, microphone, finish, webcam
Wi-Fi with Bluetooth
2x160GB Hard drives for 320GB
Standard optical drive
High capacity 8 cell battery
MS Office Student Home Edition, comes in handy
And the 3 year accidental damage protection with pickup and return
This configuration will perform for gaming and multimedia functions. However, it costs $2311.98, which may be a bit above your budget. Thing is, most quality laptops like this one cost much more, and this one is tricked out just for you, so you may want to go ahead and get this one. It will last a long time.
Now here's the catch. XP isn't availabe on this system, but if wanted to, you could partition a drive and install it for both systems, or call in and ask about it.
The graphics card is probably not integrated, but the site does not exactly say.
I choose recommend the 8400 graphics card, but you could bump it up to the 8600 for more money. But who needs a 511MB card? 311MB is great for most people.
Now if you don't like this one, I don't know what to tell you. I have used HP's for years, and my config. is great for your needs. You could buy the 17 inch MacBook Pro, which can do all of your stuff too, but it's more expensive and much more powerful. Plus, you'd have to run Boot Camp or Parallels, etc., to run XP.
If you have any questions or would like me to check out another notebook for you, let me know. I'm happy to help. Post back, and I can try to post ASAP.
Hope this helped you out.
I want to buy a laptop in a couple of weeks.I would like to spend no more than 1,500 but I could go as high as 2,000.If I can get it cheaper than 1,500 that would be great also.
Even though I want to buy a gaming laptop I am not sure if I need one. I play games like flight simulator, the sims, age of empire. I use my pc for photos, music, programming, documents, etc. I want a laptop with at least a 17 inch screen, at least a 100 gig hard drive, a DVD rw drive and a video card that is not intergrated. (I read that intergrated cards don't give the best graphics.) I also want at least 2 gigs of ram and a wireless card.But I would settle for 1.I don't like Compaq and Sony, I had bad experiences with them.
I also wanted to know if a 8600 mgt card produces graphics equal to a 7900 gt card?
Things like a webcam and Dvi,Hdmi would be great since I am paying quite a bit for it.
I know I will probably have to use one of the online manufacturers to get what I want. So,please suggest models and manufacturers.
I want windows XP but not a lot of manufacturers are loading it on their pcs.
Thank You for the help.