I currently own a three-and-a-half-year-old Dell Inspiron 1545 that has served me pretty decently. However, there are several major reasons I don't want to take it to college with me: a) it is fat and a pain to lug around, b) it's getting slow and shuts down for no reason, and c) I still have Windows Vista on here, and getting a new laptop would allow me to get a newer OS.
Originally I thought I'd just get a netbook or something and keep Calliope (my Inspiron) in my dorm room as a gaming computer. But netbooks are way more expensive than I thought they'd be. That means I'm looking for one of two things: a very light, thin laptop that doesn't necessarily need to do more than have word-processing capabilities and connect to the Internet, or a laptop that is still light but also has good enough graphics and processing for gaming. Calliope ran all three Mass Effect games fine, but struggled some with the Dragon Age games, so if I got the latter option, it'd preferably run games better than she did.
I heard that the Inspiron 4z laptops are good, but I had a horrible customer experience due to Calliope's hard drive conking out and would prefer not to buy another Dell product. Are there other options that are both light and have good graphics for under $1000?