What should I look for on a mobile media laptop?

I have never bought a laptop before, and I'm wondering what I should be looking for. I don't need specific laptop suggestions because I won't be buying one til summer 2010.

I'm just curious as to what I should be looking for to watch HD movies lag-free.

To give you an idea of general price range, let's say $500-600, and let's stay away from netbooks. This will be for college, and because I will have a desktop for at-home use, my goal with the laptop is to provide quality playback while prolonging battery life as much as possible.

What is of higher priority, more RAM or more processing speed? How much would be adequate?

If I want to prolong battery life, should I go with an Intel or AMD CPU? Does it matter? And will choosing one or the other for the sake of battery life involve a sacrifice of playback performance?

Is it necessary that I invest in a GPU? If I do, how much of a battery life hit will I take?

If not HD, and only watching from DVDs, what would be sufficient requirements?

I know that's a lot of questions, thanks ahead of time!
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  1. Most of the laptop on sales right now will be out of production by summer time. New faster and more efficient products will be out by then, so I would say you are starting to search abit too early.

    At the moment Intel mobile processors are more efficient in term of battery life and are miles ahead in term of speed.

    3+GB memory is sufficient.

    As for the graphics; ATI latest intergraded gpu are much faster than Intel’s... Going for a modern dedicated card should give you smooth playback. Asus makes laptop with dual GPU’s, intergraded and dedicated, so you can switch between them to save battery, but costs much more than $600! http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834220633

    If you were going to purchase this right now, something like this is alright.

    Any way till summer, read reviews from here www.laptopmag.com or http://www.notebookreview.com/
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