What to ask for when buying a new Windows laptop

Hi, I need to buy a new laptop and would prefer Windows 7 because I know my programs will work with it.  This computer will be used primarily for displaying videos and other graphics on the big TV.  Can you please tell me what I should look for that would give me fast streaming, WiFi, Bluetooth, (how many GB RAM?) and other important features.  Budget is up to $500.-
Thanks
camtzAsked:
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
@camtz  - The overall budget is a wee bit low for a good quality laptop.

You need a 64-bit operating system and Windows Pro is ALWAYS better than Windows Home looking to the future. Plus $50 for Windows 7 or Windows 8 Pro.

64-bit allows 4 GB of memory which is the minimum useful. For smooth video, you would be better with 8 GB (Plus $50 to $100).

My prior ThinkPad T61p was discrete graphics, my current X230 is integrated graphics and I am very happy with my current laptop.

Windows 8 Pro 64-bit is faster on an i5 CPU than Windows 7 Pro 64-bit. Do here what you need to do.

Get a fast 7200-rpm hard drive (Plus dollars) or a big enough SSD (Plus more dollars).

Think through the list above (make a checklist) and then watch for sales of name brand product. There are always sales, so just watch. Be careful that what is on sale fits your checklist.
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camtzAuthor Commented:
Thank you both.  I now have a better idea of what to look for so I'll be checking out the specials.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
@camtz - You are very welcome and I was happy to help.
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