The Intel Core Duo 2 is THE chip to get in a laptop...
You can Google for info if you wish, but in every benchmark the Core Cuo 2 smokes AMD's offering's (really) and is very energy efficient doing so.
On the GPU, I'd go for the fastest one that you can afford...
Here's some info on GPU's.Notebook Video Graphics Card Guide 2006http://www.notebookforums.com/thread178265.htmlMobile Graphics Comparison Charthttp://www.notebookforums.com/thread157799.html
Based upon what you said I'd spec one out like this. You can play around with the CPU options, 1.83 is as low as I'd go... on the RAM, it's $179 for the 512 to 2 gig upgrade, so it's about the SAME amount of money to buy ram after the fact....www.newegg.com
and you get to KEEP those (2) 256mb chips... Which come on handy for "testing" purposes later on.
Buy the unit, make sure to "burn-it-in" with Prime95, Heayload, etc for about a week or so to make sure you got a "good" one, then order the RAM...
Costco Member Price $1,190.99 - $50 mail in HP rebate.. (Note Try not to cut the upc off the box... it makes things easier to "return".
Shipping & Handling $0.00
Estimated Shipping Date : 11/6/2006
* Intel(R) Core(TM) 2 Duo processor T7200 (2.00 GHz)
* 512MB DDR2 SDRAM (2x256MB)
* FREE Upgrade from 60 GB 5400 RPM to 80 GB 5400 RPM
* FREE Upgrade: 8X DVD+/-R/RW w/Double Layer Support
* 256MB NVIDIA(R) GeForce(R) Go 7400
* Intel(R) PRO/Wireless 3945ABG Network w/Bluetooth
* FREE Upgrade to 15.4" WXGA BrightView Widescreen!!
Upgrade to Genuine Windows XP Media Center!! - (I've read that MCE can be "hacked" to give the same features as XP Pro... Add Pro if you need it though..It's only $55 for PRO.)
* Microsoft(R) Works/Money
* HP Mobile Remote Control, $13 extra
* 12 Cell Lithium Ion Battery
* HP IMPRINT Finish + Microphone + Webcam
* System Recovery DVD w/Windows XP Media Center
* No TV Tuner w/remote control
* HP PhotoSmart Premier
* HP QuickPlay
* 1 Expansion Port 3 connector
* 1 ExpressCard/54 Slot (also supports ExpressCard/34)
* 2 USB 2.0 ports
* 1 Consumer IR (Remote Receiver)
* S-video TV-out port
* Built-in Altec Lansing stereo speakers
* Touch Pad with dedicated vertical and horizontal Scroll Up/Down pad
* 101 key compatible
* "90W AC Adapter