In my previous job, I'd occasionally have to deal in low-end machines like this. You'll hear a lot of anecdotal evidence over which brand is best or worst (mostly worst).
Regarding low-end laptops, all the major brands manufacture comparable 14 or 15 inch models. In my opinion, they all perform about the same, so it just really just a matter of personal preference.
If your PC will mainly be used for production purposes (like producing games or graphics or whatever), I'd highly recommend a desktop rather than a laptop. I can generally get work done 1.5x faster on my desktop than on my laptop. Also, if you go this route, go for dual monitors if you can swing it.
For situations like this, Newegg is a handy site to find/compare products.