If you want an alternate choice, try looking around on eBay for the Lenovo y500, y500p, y400, y400p, y510, y410, y50, y40, etc series laptops. I have a y500 that I bought freshman year (3.5 years ago, now) that I still use every day to run SolidWorks. It has an nVidia 750m graphics card in it. Still good for gaming too.
You could probably find one for ~$400 then throw a 64-128gb SSD in it for the boot drive, save the 750GB or 1TB drive it comes with for a storage drive that you replace the CD-drive with. Parts to do that is the cost of the drive (~$50 for something small) + ~$10 for the CD drive replacement bay. That's how mine's set up. Works great.