I don't know how much you've researched upgrading the laptop to Win 7, but please do a thorough job of that. I was going to upgrade my XP HP laptop to Win 7 because I needed it to test some things on Win 7. It turns out that the vendors are not providing updated drivers for the older laptops for Win 7. So, you might find that something no longer works properly and there's no solution for it.
After a lot of consideration about which direction to take on these dual-monitors, I've decided to not spend any money on a new computer.
1. I won't be using a dual-monitor set-up.
Instead, I'm going have two separate computers, each with its own display.
That way a CPU does not get stressed trying to handle two monitors.
2. One of the two computers would be my laptop.
I'm not going to up-grade the laptop to Win7; it'll stay with Vista.
Microsoft has a test, which I ran, that they say checks Win7's compatibility with existing hardware/software.The test reported that a upgrade to Win7 would not know what to do with the laptop's built-in wireless-device or the HP-Deskjet printer.
So I'm not going to spend money on a upgrade that cannot use my wireless-device or my printer.
3. The other computer will be my old E-machines and I'll put a light Linux operating-system on it.
Eventually, I'd put Fldigi on it to do digital-modes.
I'd put a new monitor here.
4. This way, the left-over cash that I have goes towards getting a portable HF set-up…something I don't have right now.
It ultimately came down to this…I'd be a lot happier having portable capability rather than having a new computer.
I'd like to again thank those who provided replies; the replies weighed heavily in my deciding what direction to take.
73 Jerry KM3K