I just got a new desktop from Cyber Power PC and although I have always been hard and fast about building my own computer, that would be my suggestion. Even with bargain basement type sites for hard ware I couldn't have built this computer for the price I got it for. From what I understand another good site is I Buy Power, but I have never bought anything from them myself. Both offer good prebuilt desktops for under $500, and from what I have seen anything on those sites will run swtor at its default graphics levels or high with no problem.
Would something like that run it ok? Again, I'm not too bothered about top settings graphics just a smooth experience.
First and cheapest thing to check is whether you've built up too much dust, cat hair, or whatever inside the machine. Start with the fan inlet/outlet vents, then go to maybe opening up some of the access panels on the bottom and see if you need to clean off the radiator(s) for your CPU and/or GPU heatsinks.
Some years ago, my old laptop was having the exact issue you're describing, and cleaning it out worked wonders.
I'll give it a look but the laptops very cool for all other purposes and older games so I think I need to bite the bullet and get a desktop.