Not "faster". Assuming they are the same architecture the dual core would technically be faster. A program that uses more than 2 cores however will be faster than the same program being used on the dual core. It really all depends on what your doing. If you plan to game then the quad core would help with current generation games being optimized for more cores while if you are planning on doing school work using Microsoft word and just web browsing the dual core would be the better of the two.
The main use would be school. I bought an under powered computer with a 1 ghz AMD dual core and will be upgrading very shortly. Your help is greatly appreciated.
The dual core would be better for you then. Are their any 2 specific laptops you are having a hard time deciding over? If you can link them we should be able to tell you which one would be better for your needs. While I said that the dual core would be better, that rule only applies if the CPU's are the same architecture. We will easily be able to determine this for you.