Still looking for a laptop: Quality vs power

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Having tried, and failed, to order a Lenovo 3000 N100 0689A6U through (Your card has been charged, it will ship 2-day air...
Now we don't know when it will ship... Your order has been canceled
but we don't know why... Now we can't guarantee that your order has
been canceled...) I've given up on trying to find an XP machine
(especially since Lenovo will only honor a Vista upgrade on XP Home
and not Pro), I have found a Thinkpad on sale at Staples this week for


Not sure if the URL will work because the site is geared towards your
zip code.

On one hand it only has a T2300E Core Duo chip rather than a T5500
Core 2 Duo chip but they're both 1.66 GHz. Since the operating system
is not 64 bit anyway, will I notice any major difference in speed? My
only worry is that since it's running Vista Business rather than XP
Pro is that the extra power required by the new OS will make it run a
lot slower. I'm really starting to lean towards the Thinkpad (rather
than to keep looking for an XP machine) for the better keyboard and
touchpad/touchbutton, as well as the hard drive drop protection and
overall ruggedness of the computer. Also the speakers on the Lenovo
were really bad, but multimedia isn't a giant selling point as I'd
likely be using headphones most of the time.

I don't plan on doing any heavy duty gaming or 3-d rendering, I'll use
it mostly for word processing and email, but will also want to run
Photoshop/other Adobe products, and possibly do some video capture
on-the-go with a USB capture box.  Eventually I plan to make it
dual-boot with XP (or possibly even get a second hard drive and just
swap them out when needed). I keep leaning towards holding out for a
Core 2 Duo chip to make sure that the computer will be useful just in
case I -do- get into anything that requires extra power, but I think I
might just be holding myself back from getting a good system while
it's on sale (also wondering about the ability to put a Core 2 Duo
chip in later down the road since there are models in this series that
have up to a Core 2 Duo 2.0 GHz chip)


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Re: Still looking for a laptop: Quality vs power

Choosing a laptop is a very personal decision, but I think you can do
better for less money.  I'd look at a Dell E1505 with one of the 20% off
$999 coupons ( ... you end up getting a loaded
machine for $800), or a Toshiba A135 model.  Circuit City has an A135
model similar to what you were looking at (it's a slightly slower CPU,
Core Duo 2050) for $649 (and that includes a free multi-function printer
and a free wireless router); Office Depot has a Core 2 Duo A135 model
for $849.  All things considered, it would probably have been better to
have bought before Vista came out, and to have gotten XP with the free
Vista upgrade, but that option is pretty much gone now, XP machines with
the free upgrades seem to have disappeared almost instantly after
Vista's January 30th launch.

The difference between Core Duo and Core 2 Duo is about 15% AT THE SAME
CLOCK AND FSB SPEED (but a Core 2 Duo may well have higher speeds).
There is no significant difference in power consumption.  It's not a
given that a Core 2 Duo upgrade will be possible in any machine using a
Core Duo chip.  Be sure to get at least 1GB of memory, most of these
machines have chipset video, which isn't too bad as long as it's GMA950
(AVOID GMA900), but you need 1GB (OR MORE) of memory.

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