I have a HP Pavilion a376x desktop computer that I'm very happy with but now I also want a laptop because I'll be going to college and leaving my desktop behind. I want an HP but I'm not sure what I have in mind is what I need. I don't know much about GHz, MB, etc. I really wanna keep it under $2000 and I'd like to go with a familiar brand to me like Dell, HP, or Sony. Oh and what is better Intel Centrino with Intel Pentium M or Intel Pentium 4. THANKS! I'm buying tomorrow evening before I leave Wed morning.
What I'd like it to have:
A lot of memory for my music files and home movies
Good Speaker Sound
Touchpad On/Off Option
Good Graphics Card
Sony VAIO Digital Studio Notebook with Intel® Centrino™ Mobile Technology - Gray
Hewlett-Packard Media Center Notebook with Intel® Pentium® 4 Processor 520
Hewlett-Packard Pavilion Special Edition Notebook w/Intel® Centrino™ Mobile Technology - Radiant Silver
HP Media Center zd8230us Notebook PC featuring Intel® Pentium® 4 Processor 650 with HT Technology
The problem with Pentium 4's in laptops is that you need a lot of cooling, as they run hot. If you're going for a real balls-to-the-wall gaming notebook then P4 is advisable, otherwise I'd recommend one of the cooler solutions.
For "touchpad on/off" I presume you mean you can plug in a normal mouse… not all laptops have traditional ports for mice anymore, but a lot of mice (including high-end gaming ones) come in USB flavours, so you shouldn't experience problems there.
Speaker sound is not generally something you'll get from notebooks… perhaps bigger, heftier options such as Alienware's Area-51m range (but when I say "hefty" I mean it – Pentium 4's, good speakers and graphics card means that it's not so much a laptop as a mobile desktop) have the speakers you want, but generally with notebooks it’s a case of having to invest in decent headphones.
Depending on what the onboard sound is like you can get a PCI card version of Creative's SoundBlaster Audigy 2 card for 5.1 surround and so on.
For mobile graphics, nVidia currently leads the field with the go version of their 7800, though cheaper down the line you could get a 6600, 6800, x700, x1600 and so on in mobile form… they all generally live up to expectations, though obviously the bar is set at different heights for each one.
For an individual model I wouldn't speculate having not seen them, but generally speaking you'd be correct to go with a manufacturer you know. Alienware's new range of notebooks, the m series (m5500, m5700 and m7700) run on Pentium M's but with decent graphics, not overly big (though you'd still notice 'em on the arm after a while when walking around with one in a suitcase) and within your price range.