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Need help to spec out a laptop for a heavy excel use

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Joined a startup. They gave me MacBook Air - love it except when i do Excel analysis. The Excel analysis I do consists of working files as big as 300-500MB with about 1MM records. I use filter, vlookup, and pivot table extensively. Unfortunately, MacBook Air slows to a crawl (not to mention many crashes) when I do this. So they gave me a 1200 budget to buy a windows laptop. I might be able to push for 1500. What spec do I need to worry about? I have been told quad core is not needed. What about memory and storage? I think SSD is needed. Let me know your opinions. 

Please help.

I didn't find the right solution from the Internet.


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