Time for a new laptop, but I can't understand "modern" tech

I had a laptop for 5 years before it finally toasted on me. It was an HP dv9008nr. Although it had its limitations, I loved it, and had the motherboard not gone bad, I would happily still be using it.
I am looking for a replacement that will have at least the same performance. I don't understand the terminology for newer cpu's. Do I just need to make sure I have the same amount of memory or greater? Do I need to just make sure the processor speed is the same or higher? Or is it more complicated than that?
Like I said, I'd happily still use it if I could, so I'm not worried about a performance increase. I do NOT want to take a performance hit though. If I improve performance without too much investment, I'm obviously not going to complain, but I do want to get as low as reasonably possible on the price. I
The specs on the old laptop were
Microprocessor 1.6 GHz AMD Turion™ 64 X2 Dual-Core Mobile Technology TL-50
Microprocessor Cache 2 X 256KB L2 Cache
Memory 1024MB DDR2 System Memory (2 Dimm)
Video Graphics NVIDIA GeForce Go 6150 (UMA)
Video Memory up to 128MB (shared)
Display 17.0” WXGA+ High-Definition BrightView Widescreen Display (1440 x 900)
can I get the same performance in a 17.3 for under 600 dollars?
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  1. Hello bobbahoogs;
    You can get a nice performance boost, both in CPU and GPU, and meet your budget goal.
    $600 TOSHIBA Satellite L675D Athlon II P360(2.30GHz) 4GB RAM 500GB HDD Mobility Radeon HD 4250 and 17.3" 1600x900 LCD

    Are you locked in on a large 17.3" laptop for a particular reason?
  2. thank you VERY much for the suggestion WR2. I'll definitely check that one out.
    I'm locked in on a 17.3 because I can't afford an 18.4, LOL.
    my eyesight isnt the greatest, so the bigger screen the better. That and a number pad is an absolute necessity for me, and , so far at least, all the smaller laptops I've handled that had number pads had smaller keyboards to compensate, and with the size of my hands, even the laptop on the 17 felt cramped at times.
  3. would this one be a better performer because of the larger cache?
    http://www.walmart.com/ip/Acer-Acer-AS7741Z-4839/15681035
  4. It would be a better performer mostly because of the better CPU. But the video chip included in a bit less powerful then the other models graphics.

    Another decent choice is the $478 Acer 17.3" model. A different CPU and only 250GB HDD. It's CPU is also slightly faster than the one in the Toshiba model.
  5. If you compare the CPU performance of the 3 CPUs:
    Passmark CPU benchmark results
    AMD Athlon II P340 Dual-Core 1297
    Intel Pentium P6000 @ 1.87GHz 1404
    Intel Pentium P6200 @ 2.13GHz 1574

    edit; added:
    AMD Turion 64 X2 Mobile TL-50 - 768
  6. Acer Aspire AS7741Z review (slightly different model)
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