I am experiencing exactly the same issue. An opinion from someone who knows would really help me out.
I'm obviously another student browsing around laptops here and there.
I have been using a Sony Vaio FXA47 laptop w/o any upgrades for the past 4 years in high school and it has suited me well. My parents are offering to buy me a new laptop for college, but it seems like we are nearing the horizon of new technology such as dual-core chips and widespread use of 64 bit computing. I'm not sure whether now would be a good time to get a new laptop that would have to last me through college. Is it worth waiting a while for the new technologies, such as the ones I mentioned above along with Longhorn, or should I just buy now and hope it will do for the next 4-5 years.
One thing I want to add is that my family and I have been loyal AMD users forever, literally. All our computers are AMDs. Our oldest PC is a 10-yr old Acer that has an AMD K5 or K6 chip, and it still runs Win 95 well! The newest one (which I built last year) has an Athlon 64, and we've never been happier. I'd like to get a new laptop with an AMD chip, preferably the new Turion 64. The laptop I really would like to get (if I get one now) is a Gateway M460XL, which has an Intel Pentium M/Centrino in it. The new HP L2000 would suit well for a Turion 64 laptop, although it is not exactly what I would wish for. The question here is if I shouldn't wait to buy a new laptop, then should I get the 64 bit Turion or will the 32 bit Centrino work. (Keep in mind that I would like to keep this new laptop for the next 4-5 years)
One more thing: at the moment, my ideal laptop is one that is thin and light, certainly something mobile and not too big (no 17" screens), long battery life, and definitely a 4 year warranty w/ accidental damage protection. I'd like it to be as powerful and fast as I can get. My max budget is approx. $3000, the lower the price the better. The Gateway M460XL meets all this. The HP I have a few reservations with, mainly on battery life and warranty (HP only offers 3 yr max; I'd very much like the 4th yr)
To sum up, here are my considered options:
A) Wait for dual-core AMD 64 notebook chip and continue to use my old Sony in the meantime.
B) Buy new laptop now with standard 32-bit Centrino processor and use for next 4-5 years. (Most likely Gateway M460XL, which I really like at the moment)
C) Buy new laptop now with Turion 64 processor and use for next 4-5 years. (Most likely HP L2000, which is not exactly my dream laptop)
Thanks for any help.