Under the XP OS, having 1gb of ram really is the amount that it appreciates. Having 512mb is still good, but under XP its better with 1gb of ram. However, the added power required to run the added ram though not alot will be a drain on battery resources but under direct AC, not. Since, you're buying new, inquire about cost as vendor supplied may offer a better deal and that ram is also under warranty as well.
I'm getting a Sony Vaio FS215S (1.86Gbz 750M) with the standard 512Mb RAM (2 x 256 format). I'm using it for work, but have been known to play the occasional game. Certainly, it's a good machine for today's purposes, but I'm going to be using it for several years (I hope!) and given how fast technology climbs to the next standard, do you think I should upgrade the RAM to 1024Mb in readiness? Or am I shooting too early?
Also, how easy is it to physically upgrade RAM on a Sony Vaio at a later stage? I know I can purchase extra RAM for the FS series separately, but how difficult is it to put in the upgrade, even by a specialist?
I look forward to your replys.