I'm in need of some clarity on notebook processors...
My demands are not extreme for the notebook --- I plan on using my desktop for gaming and/or rendering.
I plan on using the laptop for internet, some word processing, very simple stuff but would like decent battery life. I plan on purchasing it with vista home premium. So keep in mind the processor will have to handle that.
Also, since i don't plan on gaming, can I stay with onboard video?
So the real questions are? What is the main difference between core duo, core 2 duo, (i've also seen centrino in some cases and also mobile pentium's advertised) and then I'm just as confused with the amd X2's.
Oh yeah, I'd like to keep cost down around $1,000 usd with a 15.4 WXGA screen
The Core 2 uses a new architecture than the Core Duo, but the Core 2 performs better and is slightly less energy efficient. The AMD X2 is about the equivalent of the Core Duo. For your purposes either the X2 or Core Duo will do fine or go with a low end Core 2 like a T5500 or somthing like that. If you are going for Vista, 1 gig of ram is a must and 2 is highly recommended. You could probably be OK with integrated graphics.
Would you like your laptop to come from a big vendor like Dell or HP? Or is Asus or Acer OK?
Just saw it on Newegg.com. It fits your bill just about perfectly with the added bonus of a dedicated video card. This one is around $1200, but there is also a version with integrated graphics for $100 less.
That being said, you can go online and find coupons for Dell and HP that would make those systems I linked cheaper than the one I just posted. My advice is usually to avoid Sony notebooks. They charge way too much for very limited systems. Just my opinion.