Dual core i7 vs Quad core i7 (mobile)

I am planning on buying a one of the new Vizio notebooks and know that I would like an i7.
However, I am undecided whether to get the "thin and light" with a dual core i7-3517U (1.9GHz) and 4 Gb of ram or to get the full notebook with the quad core i7-3610QM (2.3GHz) with 8 Gb of ram.

Basically my question is: what are the technical and practical limitations of the dual core i7 vs the quad core i7? Are they fundamentally different? Is the dual core i7 just an upclocked i5?

Thanks again everyone
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  1. Well that's the thing. Generally I would use it for Office, web, multimedia. But I am a biochemist and depending on what direction my research goes in, I could be doing somewhat more CPU intensive tasks (but nothing like CAD design, etc).

    Which is why I ask what the actual technical limitations of the dual i7 are. I don't want one if it is only a higher clocked i5. Your reply is exactly what I have been debating and I guess I am looking for some/any piece of new information that would push me in one direction or the other.
  2. Best answer selected by seanmcc.
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