Lenovo Y580

Lenovo Ideapad Y580 is the newest notebook from Chinese electronic giant to sport he latest Core i7 processor and that too at a very reasonable price tag of 1300 dollars. This will get you a quad core i7 3610QM processor (see Core i7 3610qm review to find more about it) that runs at 2.3GHz clock speed and features 6MB of L2 cache.
MSI is also offering a 16 and 17 inch notebook with similar specs. It is called MSI GT60 and has Nvidia 680M GPU with 4GB of VRAM.

lenovo y580 review

The chipset is paired with 8GB of DDR3 RAM and powerful Nvidia 660M GPU that has 2GB VRAM. Other specs include 15.6 inch display, 1366 x 768 (yep, boring), 500GB hard disk (7200 RPM), Bluetooth 4.0, HDMI, USB, DVD writer, 1.3 mega pixel camera and Wi-Fi (Intel Centrino Wireless-N 2200BGN).

Check out another very capable budget laptop, the Asus X54C bbk13

The only weak point I see in this notebook is its poor resolution, which can easily be bumped to full HD (1920 x 1080) for few more bucks. Other optional additions include Blu ray and hybrid storage (1TB HDD + 32GB SSD).