are normally quiet becuase P-M proceesor (Centrino) consumer less power, generate less heat and require less fan action
there are a lot of great deals in PC World, but, you CANNOT find noisy level in shop becuase (1) shoper is a lot noisy than home, so all sound nice in shop (2) you cannot test laptop for long time in shop, fan only kick in when you use long time
In conclusion, do not get laptop with Pentium 4 processor because they are not meant for laptop.
True, but in my branch the demo machines are on all the time, so fans are active where applicable. Thus it is possible to compare machines even if ambient noise in shop distorts perception when compared to use in the quieter home environment.
Going on from TomJerry's post, I recently set up a new Sony Laptop (using the latest centrino processor) for a friend and it was almost silent, I was amazed at how quiet the machine was even after extended use... Nice machine, lovely screen but I was a bit surprised there wasn't a dedicated graphics card in a £900 computer... Didn't try any games but it ran DVD's no problem.
This might be heresy but Apple's laptops are very quiet. BIg range offers a choice of entry-level iBooks up to storming PowerBooks. For a grand I'd suggest a 14" iBook with the Ram upped to 768MB (they ship with a fairly measly 256MB) and the optical drive specced up to the Superdrive (ie a DVD burner).