i am at the moment looking for the same thing. i have been reading review after review after review, for days now. Most of what i have read has supported the claim that the centrino, mobile pentiums do run cooler, and save on the battery. Id say that it's probably true. although you may lose a little processing speed, you get more battery life.
i have a laptop that i can't even take to school. why? cuz the damn thing is over 9 pounds. try lugging that around all day along with a full day of lectures and associated books, all over the campus. no fun at all. so what should you care about?
battery life and weight.
a laptop can be a tool to help you succeed and be more productive. it wont be much of a tool if you find that its a hassle to bring it.
i have read other places and seen people get the integrated wireless working to some extent. me personally? i'd buy a compatable card if i had any trouble. a quick trip to the store and i'd be good. if i read correctly, the IBM worked great with linux, other than that integrated wifi.
i am looking right now at the IBM T41. 4.5 pounds base weight, minus the extended battery i want for it. not too bad at all. the HP systems i looked at were at least 2 pounds heavier, but i did find one that was only 1 pound heavier. it adds up when your lugging it around school, or sitting on the bench using the LAP in laptop. you will care about how hot it runs then! my alienware is a straight up p4 in the 2.8GHz area and it'll burn the hair off my legs lol.
IBM's do cost a bit more, but try going with one of the preconfigured systems. you cut down the cost a whole lot by customizing one of their featured models like here
. i looked under Value, and clicked on Customize and Buy.
here is what i'm looking at. IBM ThinkPad T41
, add in the extended battery, and more ram, and that's what i'm aiming for so far.
they are still more expensive, but go look at some reviews at cnet
and see what you think. your paying for the IBM name too don't forget
for me it comes down to who can offer me the specs i want, at the lowest weight and highest battery length. Your laptop will become a desktop if its a pain to lug around school every day. my $2800 alienware is now a permanant resident in my apt. because it's too big, and too bulky, and too heavy to deal with. plus the battery life is pretty low on my p4. maybe around 2 hours. if you can find a local store that sells IBM's and HP's go check them out. type on them. see how it feels on your hands, where inputs are located, and how well you can navigate the keyboard.
i want to run linux on my upcoming laptop too, but what i want even more than that is to be able to use the thing. So, ill keep looking, find two, maybe three models i really like, and feel right, then see which ones have high compatability with linux. the IBM i found so far looks like it does. it's in the h.c.l. here, listed as a T40, which the two systems are very close. when i find other models with similar weight/battery life i'll look them up too.
hope this long post helped lol.