Trying to find a good laptop for this project was a bit of a stretch. On one hand you want the slowest , least power hungry system while wanting the highest quality screen. After doing some looking online I settled on a Dell Inspiron 5000.
At $3,776 MSRP this laptop didn't come cheap. Much of that cost came from the impressive 15" screen. After scouring cragislist I found the perfect system for only $50. That's like a savings of $3,726 in only 8 years. The only issues were it has the 1440x1050 resolution monitor instead of the rarer 1600x1200 option and it would flicker lightly especially when looking at the color blue.
Pentium III 650MHz
440BX cheapest motherboard
128MB PC100 SDRAM
15" 1400x1050 LCD
ATI Rage Mobility 128 w/8MB SGRAM
20GB 4200rpm hard drive
8x/24x DVD/CDROM drive
Integrated floppy drive
A major bonus about his laptop was that is was the first Pentium III that used Intel SpeedStep
. While this might not sound like that big of a deal especially since almost every laptop now has this technology. It allowed me to manually under clock the CPU from 650 MHz to 500 MHz and reducing the CPU power usage from 9 Watts to just over 5 Watts. Since I don't plan on having an active cooling system every bit of power savings equals less heat to have to worry about.