Here we go:
1) STEER CLEAR from netbooks, as given your tasks, it will cause the netbook to be sluggish, thus, laptop only
2) Processor: once you have steer away from netbooks, most will serve your needs
3) Memory/RAM: WinXP - 1GB or 2GB will run ably and they have a max limit of recognising of 3.5gb
Win Vista - 3GB/4GB will be good
Although Win7 is capable of running with 1GB of it, if you have gotten 4GB, it's good
4) Harddisk/Storage - Nothing less than 160GB storage, make sure its of SATA type and NOT PATA (as it's almost phrased out)
5) Optical drive / ODD - DVD+-RW at least. Slot or tray depends on liking or if you have small-sized disc lying around
6) Screen size - Given your budget, you'll find 14" more likely to fit in, but any have a weight trade-off
7) Graphics - As a non-gamer of games like COD4, you can get by with shared memory, else, a dedicated card.
As one of the moderators will respond as well with the link which can help recommend laptop/s, here it is:
Hope it helps.
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