If I understand it right (I proably don't) centrino chips are Pentium 4 m processors with Wifi built in, so I wont need to buy a separate wifi card that would usually fit into a pcmia slot on my laptop.
I will still need to get a wifi base unit if I want to connect my laptop to my home network for surfing without wires etc.
Also I believe centrino chips use less power
Just looking for confirmation on my ignorance of this matter, haven't really got a direct question sorry.
However, the processor is in fact not a Pentium 4 M, but a new processor called just Pentium M.
For a laptop to sport the Centrino label, it needs 3 things (1) a Pentium M processor; (2) Intel 855 chipset; (3) Intel's own wireless LAN mini-PCI card.
The processor is the most important (and the 855 chipset naturally comes with it). It is no longer a rehash of the desktop processor, but a new design which gives it high efficiency in terms of productivity and power management, even at a lower clock speed (at the moment up to 1.6GHz I think) than Pentium 4 M.
Some manufacturers have made laptops with their own (and not Intel's) wireless card, and as a result cannot call the laptops Centrino, but still use the Pentium M processor and 855 chipset. These laptops are just as good, and so don't limit your choice to "true" Centrino models. The thing to look for is really the Pentium M processor.