I currently have a dell laptop with: Vista home premium 32 bit, AMD Turion TK55 (1.8GHZ Dual Core), 2GB RAM, 60GB Hard Drive (5400RPM), and Integrated 128mb ATI video card. Vista is a resource hog it uses 50% memory and almost 100% CPU to do simple things like play music with windows media player and near the end of the song it starts to skip and lag, also just opening a PDF file takes forever, will Ubuntu perform better than this? I checked the requirements and they were much lower than Vista's so does that mean Ubuntu will run faster on my computer?
Oh yeah heres a list of programs I plan to install on Ubuntu if it doesn't come with them already: Firefox, Gimp, OpenOffice, Foxit Reader, VLC or some other media player and that's all.
I'm only going to use it for tasks like surfing the web, writing documents, listening to music, reading pdf, editing photos, and watching movies.
My final issue is will all the drivers for my laptop be supported by Ubuntu, I still have the driver CD. But I wanna know if I just install Ubuntu will it recognize all my drivers or will it take some work to get it to work properly?
Ubuntu 8.04, 8.10, 9.04 and 9.10 should recognize all devices on the 1501 except perhaps the dialup modem.
You should try 9.04-desktop AMD64 or 9.10-desktop AMD64 on it.
All other devices should work including the wireless, no additional drivers should be required.
Ubuntu should automatically install the VGA and WiFi drivers for you.
Unlike windows, Linux includes 99% of the drivers you will ever need, they are built-into the kernel or are kernel modules that come with your kernel, you do not typically need a driver CD.
If you bought the laptop with windows already installed it's very unlikely the driver CD from Dell has any drivers for Linux and even if it did they would be outdated and probably unsuitable for Ubuntu 9.x anyway.
You should always try the official drivers that come with your distribution's kernel first before trying to install anything yourself.
Ubuntu has Firefox, Gimp, OpenOffice, VLC, mplayer various PDF readers and about 10,000 other applications. You should be covered.