Any advice on processors? My wife heard from someone who reportedly knows computers that you should get an Intel Core 2 Duo processor, if possible. But how much of a difference is that from an Intel Core Duo or an AMD processor (whether it be Athlon or Turion)? Obviously better processors cost more because they are slightly more efficient/faster, but how much am I going to notice a difference given what I'm going to be using it for?
I was also wondering about how much processor I need, but then I realized...I use an old Pentium III desktop with 512mb running XP Pro at my job. I regularly have all sorts of things running at the same time -- Firefox, Adobe, IM, antivirus, internet apps, our company's software. I do get a fair amount of lag from time to time but the system is bearable. If the most I had up was one or two browsers, Word, IM and antivirus software (standard school stuff), I'm sure it would run with hardly any lag at all. If it had something slightly better, like a Pentium M and 1gb memory, I'm sure it'd be total overkill for school work.
In other words, strictly for usual school work stuff, I can't imagine you would really need a Core 2 Duo over a Core Duo. But you should be honest with yourself about what you are really buying the laptop for. Buying a laptop just for school is a lot different than buying a laptop mostly for school but also for occasionally playing World of Warcraft.