Would Ubuntu 12.10 on a Dell Inspiron e1405 (Intel Core Duo T2300 (1.66 GHz/2MB L2 Cache) be too slow? also, it only has 1GB RAM
closed as not constructive by Eric Carvalho, belacqua, qbi, hhlp, Seth Feb 7 at 2:10
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The easiest option would be to go onto the Ubuntu website and check the relevant release notes if you're keen on using Ubuntu (although keep in mind that older versions won't receive updates after a certain amount of time) here is a list of the official system requirements which you'd probably find relevant with your hardware:
However as the release notes only really give you an idea of the minimal requirements and don't give you a clear indication on how responsive the system is, I'd suggest you'd also give a look at other Ubuntu derivatives as Unity can be slightly less responsive on lower end systems. A good read if you're unsure is to give Marco Ceppi's answer on Ubuntu derivated operating systems a read as it's a great resource if you're unsure what to pick.
Alternatively if you want pure speed on your laptop, I'd suggest looking at questions such as the following:
Additionally if you like stability and regular updates for years to come I'd suggest sticking to a LTS release such as 12.04, as these versions will be updated the longest as explained in this question's answers.
As I'm guessing you're relatively new to the community and I may have bombarded you with information feel free to search the site for any terms you're not familiar with or alternatively just post a question in the comments below and I'll add the information you need to my answer.
You would probably find such a system to be too slow, but this is subjective. If you are concerned with speed I recommend lubuntu or xubuntu; they are the distributions designed to be fast on slower / older computers.