@MB - I think the HP is the way I'd have gone, but for different reasons. If you are only using it as a desktop, why not GET a desktop?
I don't have room in my home office for a desktop. I did look at some of those small desktops (HP and Dell), but they only had celeron processors and honestly, I didn't like the mechanical design. Laptop prices are essentially the same as desktops.
Martin...just another 2c worth. You don't mention battery life. which is one of the most crucial "need to knows" on a new laptop. You mentiioned a faster processor running hotter...but it will thus also consume more power....but you don't want it to slow you down if it's tooo slow.
And being a semi-geriatric I would consider screen size to be an important consideration, but your eyes might be better than mine.
I jsut saw you said it would likely never leave your desk and will use an external monitor, so maybe neither of the above will be a factor....but you are getting a laptop so you must foresee using it on the move sometime, right?
@apummer945 Question: it would be not make more sense to "redo XP inside" but leave it the outside ?
Unfortunately. It's not so easy to do that....
Actually I think that Windows 7 is about as close as you could get at least from a user interface view. Unfortunately the problem is that redoing the inside affects the ability of old drivers to operate which is the main compatibility issue that is of concern to me when I have a device where the manufacturer is out of business but it is still working and I would like to keep using it for as long as possible. Also this is something (a device programmer) that is not used as often as before so it is hard to justify a new one... I also have some old PCB design software that requires a parallel port dongle. I still need to figure out how to get the data transfered to the software I'm currently using...
So for now I stay with Windows XP on one computer (actually I just recently upgraded to that computer from one running Win 98)