For the weight factor alone you want a Pentium M (Centrino) - this will also allow you to use wi-fi to surf the net unplugged for 3.5-4 hours or get up to 5 hours not using wi-fi (DVD's will be similar; games will get less than that if they use the hard drive alot but still up to double that of a Pentium 4M notebook).

The 15.4" LCD HPZT3000/Compaq X1000 I have (see for both) - best place to buy is at custom -- has an ATI 9200 video card with up to 64mb dedicated video - - this will be fine for the SIMS. It is 6.5 pounds

If you really want to play the top new games like Doom 3 and Half Life 2 without using reducted settings you are better off with the ATI 9600/9700 (a faster card) in the Dell 8600 which has the 128mb dedicated video option. Also, you can get the screaming fast Hitachi 7200rpm hard drive there. That notebook is 6.9 pounds with the same 15.4" LCD --the case is thicker and not as well built and the keyboard is not great either but it does give you the best video card in the mainstream hands down.

Also, there are some competitive Gateway Pentium M (and Athlon 64) models at Best Buy. The Athlon 64 models will be heavier for the same LCD size.

One of the benefits of ordering from is a 6% college student APP discount -- see for details -- and other ordering discounts.