I have a Toshiba Satellite L650-12Z, which has the following specs:
Intel Core i3-330M (2.13 GHz, 2 cores)
ATI Mobility Radeon HD5145 (actually a slightly overclocked HD4570)
320 GB HDD
In theory it could run Snow Leopard, but I haven't gotten it to work yet. I got the $29 DVD from a friend who upgraded to Mountain Lion (his Mac originally came with Leopard). First I tried the OSx86 ModCD from this thread, which doesn't boot on that system (However, it does boot on my desktop, and recognizes the Snow Leopard DVD). Then I tried putting Chameleon on an USB drive (which never has any booting issues), which does boot, but when I insert the Snow Leopard DVD and F5 it, it says bootmgr is missing. Then I changed the Chameleon config to allow me to refresh optical drives. So then F5 works, so I put my Snow Leopard DVD back in and F5, and the drive simply doesn't spin up. (Drive does work, since it does run a Windows 7 DVD). I can burn CD's, but I'm usually careful with what I burn. Also, the Chameleon USB drive also doesn't spin up my desktop's DVD drive.
My Chameleon USB config looks like this;
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "http://www.apple.com/DTDs/PropertyList-1.0.dtd">
Are there any other things (bootloaders etc) which I can try to get at least the SL installer up and running?
I do have a Snow Leopard virtual machine available. Also, dualbooting isn't necessary (although having the option later on couldn't hurt).