In the old days you just took what came next:
Yet today this is a list of processors available for laptops:
AMD Athlon Neo
AMD Athlon x2 Dual Core
AMD Athlon II X3
AMD Phenom II X3
AMD Turion x2 Dual Core
AMD Turion X2 Ultra Dual Core
Intel Celeron Mobile
Intel Celeron Dual Core
Intel Pentium Dual Core
Intel Core Duo
Intel Core 2 Duo
Intel Core i3
Intel Core i5
Intel Core i7
What is the difference between AMD and Intel? What does Athlon, Phenom and Turion actually mean? The same goes for Celeron, Core 2 Duo, Core i3, Core i5 and Core i7? Is there going to be a Core i1, Core i2, Core i4 or Core i6?
Is it all just branding and marketing? Will a teacher who just does Word and Powerpoint actually know what their laptop's processor can actually do?
Today I saw in a shop with laptops on sale for just £280 +VAT:
TOSHIBA SAT C650D-10K
Processor AMD V-Series V120 2.2GHz (3200MHz Bus) (512MB cache)
Hard Drive SATA 250GB
Windows 7 Home Premium
Graphics ATI radeonHD 4250 (Shared)
DVD Plays & records CDs and DVDs
USB: 2 slots
The only thing missing would be three years NBD warranty.
Go intel at the moment. Esp the i series.
You've got it in the order of age. The i7 is the top end stuff from intel and is the quickest.
As for just doing word/excel/powerpoint on a laptop, you really don't need the power of the i series, but its good to have. I'm not a big fan of the AMD processors atm, intel seem to be better, but that's just me.
2gb of RAM isn't really enough for Win 7, look for a laptop with 3 or 4gb.
Difference between AMD and Intel? The same as between any two competing companies - they produce products which compete in each level of the market place, from budget to high end (though AMD has nothing to rival the i7 series). The difference between the names of the current processors is usually based around FSB speeds, cache, socket and voltage (Intel), hyper-transport speeds, cache and mobility (AMD).
If you're just using office apps, the teachers shouldn't care, whatever you go for. Only when you're starting to look at raw performance, whether it's for graphics rendering, number crunching, or for specific features like virtualisation technology, built in GPU, that you really need to know what they all offer.
That laptop is a Billy bargain, but for school use you'll need Win 7 Pro which should be easy enough with a licencing agreement. I disagree about the RAM requirements; 7 will run fine on 2GB - more so than Vista.