Matt is 13 years old and now that school is out, he wants to get a good laptop for gaming and for school. His dad has given him a budget of under $1,000. Leo says that's a great budget and there's plenty of options. Gaming is challenging for laptops because of heat, performance, etc. There are gaming laptops, but they're often overpriced, heavy, and have poor battery life. Games like Half Life or Team Fortress are pretty demanding, so he'll want to get a laptop with a good graphics processing unit.
Look for one with an NVidia GPU, not Intel. He should get a 4th gen Core processor (that's the Haswell). Getting a 256 GB SSD drive is a good investment, as it's much faster. 4GB RAM should be sufficient, but if he has money left over, he should double that. He shouldn't worry about screen size, optical drives, or anything else. Keep it lean and mean.