Please explain AMD's processor hierarchy to me (Buying a new laptop)

It's back-to-school season and I desperately need a new laptop (right now I am using a gen 1 galaxy tab 10.1 that freezes up regularly and a Cr-48 that is literally falling apart).

I am trying to find a decent laptop that is under $500, preferably one that's under $400, but most of the laptops in that price range run AMD processors.

I've heard nothing but bad things about AMD processors, and my own personal experience backs that up. However, I've recently been hearing that some of their newer processors aren't bad at all.

But, AMD's naming scheme is a nonsensical jumble and I've been unable to find a guide that clearly states the hierarchy of AMD processors and that compares them to Intel processors. So, I was hoping someone on here could give me a concise explanation of what I should be looking for in an AMD processor.

Also, if you have any laptop recommendations that fit into my price range, especially if they have an i3 or i5, feel free to let me hear 'em (I'm not afraid of refurbs)! All I really use my laptop for is web browsing, writing papers, and Netflix.