I'm not looking for specific product recommendations, but ways to compare different laptops and judge the relative ease of running Second Life on them. And yes, it does have to be a laptop!
I'm still in a bit of a muddle about processors - here's what I've gathered so far:
An Intel i5 or i7 in the most recent generations (7 or 8) would be best, and the two-letter suffixes are better while the Y and M suffixes are the worst. So, for example, and i5 8500 HQ would be better than an i7 5420 U? (Made up processors but hopefully demos the formula.)
When it comes to clock speed (GHz), it would mostly depend on how many cores or threads the demands of Second Life can be split over. (Does anybody know this??) I normally slow my machine down by having a lot of Office-level programs open at once while working, which would make having more cores or threading ability a priority over clock speed. When SL is open, though, those programs aren't, so if the cores/threading factor is relevant to SL then it can use them all and the first prioritization stands (I can get away with a lower baseline clock speed if I still have a bunch of cores/threads). If Second Life needs to single-thread, though, then the opposite priority (high clock speed) would need to be accommodated too...
Getting a more recent generation processor would probably also reduce my need for high clock speed, if each clock cycle is more efficient in a newer model.
Is any of that kind of accurate?? I will confess, I'm not much of a technology person, but it's more that I don't bother looking at this stuff often than that I find it intimidating when I do.
As for the graphics card:
This will actually make a bigger difference to SL than my processor (although I still want a decent one of those!). However, there's some relation between the generation of the processor and graphics card performance?
Having a separate one will make more of a difference than having a flashier integrated one
NVIDIA will be better than AMD due to the latter's lack of interest in supporting SL's use of OpenGL. (Is this a blanket 'don't get AMD' or a 'use this as a decider at comparable price' difference though?)
Then comes the RAM: Anything below 8GB will be sacrificing performance. 6GB would be functional? (Although by current machine is 6GB and it has performance issues with SL, not sure what is at the root of them though. Hopefully improving all other specs would minimize the problem caused by a 6GB RAM? Or I can just find 8+GB affordably on my hunt.)
Haven't yet looked at screen resolutions etc. but feel that this is more fundamental stuff to understand first. (No?)
I don't play any computer games, and I would rather understand specifically what makes Second Life tick than just get something with the "gaming laptop" label, so any advice that helps me compare what's out there for myself would be very, very much appreciated!