I'm planning to buy a new laptop and I thought I should stop by and ask you chaps for recommendations 'coz, you all seem to be pretty informative about these things.

Now, the laptop I'm planning to buy here should be around 300-600$. Nothing too fancy or powerful considering I'm going to use it mostly on studies... with a little gaming on the side, of course but not too slow either. My old man suggested that I buy a Dell laptop which is about 450$. It's hardware's decent, I guess but I'm kinda suspicious with the OS being a Windows 8. Heard some bad things about it, never used it before (or bothered to look it up) personally. Any suggestions?