Best Law School Laptop for the Money

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bigben
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Re: Best lawl skool Laptop for the Money

Postby bigben » Thu Apr 01, 2010 1:39 pm

Panther7 wrote:any thoughts on the Lenovo ThinkPad T410?

I'm leaning towards it, but i'm not sure if i should be dropping 1150.


You must be upgrading it a lot. It looks like the T400/T410 starts around 800.

bigben
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Re: Best lawl skool Laptop for the Money

Postby bigben » Thu Apr 01, 2010 1:47 pm

SSDs are awesome and they are the wave of the future, but if you are cost conscious at all then it would be foolish to get one right now. Especially if you're just running office and browsers and the usual things.

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GobiasIndustries
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Re: Best lawl skool Laptop for the Money

Postby GobiasIndustries » Thu Apr 01, 2010 2:33 pm

bigben wrote:SSDs are awesome and they are the wave of the future, but if you are cost conscious at all then it would be foolish to get one right now. Especially if you're just running office and browsers and the usual things.


Yup.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6820227476

Sorry to derail the "affordable computing" thread with the polar opposite thing; SSDs just present an interesting catch-22 for me.

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Panther7
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Re: Best lawl skool Laptop for the Money

Postby Panther7 » Thu Apr 01, 2010 3:13 pm

bigben wrote:
Panther7 wrote:any thoughts on the Lenovo ThinkPad T410?

I'm leaning towards it, but i'm not sure if i should be dropping 1150.


You must be upgrading it a lot. It looks like the T400/T410 starts around 800.


yeah, a little, i mean i wouldn't mind have a webcam and the 9-cell battery for more life. actually it's closer to 1050 with the integrated card, which is what i'd get.


anyone got a T410 that has an opinion?

Torvon
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Re: Best lawl skool Laptop for the Money

Postby Torvon » Thu Apr 01, 2010 4:49 pm

GobiasIndustries wrote:
bigben wrote:SSDs are awesome and they are the wave of the future, but if you are cost conscious at all then it would be foolish to get one right now. Especially if you're just running office and browsers and the usual things.


Yup.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6820227476

Sorry to derail the "affordable computing" thread with the polar opposite thing; SSDs just present an interesting catch-22 for me.


So another question about SSDs. How are the SSDs that come straight from the manufacturer compared to ones like you linked to on newegg? For example if I just have Dell or Apple throw a SSD in is it going to be good quality?

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Panther7
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Re: Best lawl skool Laptop for the Money

Postby Panther7 » Thu Apr 01, 2010 6:56 pm

Torvon wrote:
GobiasIndustries wrote:
bigben wrote:SSDs are awesome and they are the wave of the future, but if you are cost conscious at all then it would be foolish to get one right now. Especially if you're just running office and browsers and the usual things.


Yup.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6820227476

Sorry to derail the "affordable computing" thread with the polar opposite thing; SSDs just present an interesting catch-22 for me.


So another question about SSDs. How are the SSDs that come straight from the manufacturer compared to ones like you linked to on newegg? For example if I just have Dell or Apple throw a SSD in is it going to be good quality?


I don't think it really matters, what matters is who made the drive and how good it is. Newegg usually sells quality products and has amazing customer service.

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beach_terror
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Re: Best lawl skool Laptop for the Money

Postby beach_terror » Thu Apr 01, 2010 8:38 pm

Following the Newegg reviews, read them and understand any shortcomings the product could have. Do that, and you'll never go wrong.

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GobiasIndustries
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Re: Best lawl skool Laptop for the Money

Postby GobiasIndustries » Thu Apr 01, 2010 9:56 pm

Torvon wrote:
GobiasIndustries wrote:
bigben wrote:SSDs are awesome and they are the wave of the future, but if you are cost conscious at all then it would be foolish to get one right now. Especially if you're just running office and browsers and the usual things.


Yup.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6820227476

Sorry to derail the "affordable computing" thread with the polar opposite thing; SSDs just present an interesting catch-22 for me.


So another question about SSDs. How are the SSDs that come straight from the manufacturer compared to ones like you linked to on newegg? For example if I just have Dell or Apple throw a SSD in is it going to be good quality?


Generally, they'll be cheaper on Newegg because you have to do the install yourself, but it's pretty easy. For example, I think Apple uses Samsung SSDs in their MBPs, which aren't too great, but they charge more than some of the premium brands on Newegg for them. I'd say if you want to go SSD, make sure you can upgrade your laptop and just get whatever cheapest stock HD comes with it.

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kalvano
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Re: Best lawl skool Laptop for the Money

Postby kalvano » Thu Apr 01, 2010 11:35 pm

There are only a very few companies that make SSD's, so whether it's a boutique computer maker or a high-volume maker, they generally source them from the same companies.

It's like LCD or plasma TV glass.

09042014
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Re: Best lawl skool Laptop for the Money

Postby 09042014 » Fri Apr 02, 2010 12:44 am

SSD discussion has no place on a thread about cheap laptops. Exciting technology, but not cheap enough yet.

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kalvano
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Re: Best lawl skool Laptop for the Money

Postby kalvano » Fri Apr 02, 2010 12:46 am

I'm probably going by tomorrow to check out the Toshiba Netbook with a full-size keyboard.


Will report back.

bigben
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Re: Best lawl skool Laptop for the Money

Postby bigben » Fri Apr 02, 2010 1:00 am

Panther7 wrote:
bigben wrote:
Panther7 wrote:any thoughts on the Lenovo ThinkPad T410?

I'm leaning towards it, but i'm not sure if i should be dropping 1150.


You must be upgrading it a lot. It looks like the T400/T410 starts around 800.


yeah, a little, i mean i wouldn't mind have a webcam and the 9-cell battery for more life. actually it's closer to 1050 with the integrated card, which is what i'd get.


anyone got a T410 that has an opinion?


FWIW, I have a T400 which is essentially the same product. The 410 is the newer version with a few minor updates to the build and the more current components.

It's an outstanding laptop, as you can easily see by looking at any expert review (e.g. http://www.notebookreview.com/default.a ... nkpad+t410). My T400 has functioned perfectly for 2 years, no complaints. Really great battery life and a very nice keyboard, which is important for law school.

When I was shopping I didn't find anything that came close to matching the value of the T400. I'd be surprised if anything beats it now. There are cheaper laptops out there of course but they probably don't match up in power. Regardless, thinkpad has a superior build quality and that is something you don't want to skimp on because you are going to be lugging it around everyday, and you will want a nice keyboard when typing fast. I'd say buy it, and you probably don't have to upgrade it much from the base model.

Look for discounts - there used to be a password that allowed you to log on to the contractor's purchase program. That program offered incredibly deep discounts but it doesn't seem to work any more. See if you can find something like that, and try asking about a discount for students.

scizo409
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Re: Best lawl skool Laptop for the Money

Postby scizo409 » Fri Apr 02, 2010 1:19 am

You need a laptop that (a) has word to take notes and write papers and (b) has wireless internet. That is all. Some people worry about batteries but unless your school was built in the dark ages there should be plugs readily available wherever you are sitting. The internet is especially important because you will need it for something to do in class once you are a 2L and realize class is bullshit.

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creamedcats
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Re: Best lawl skool Laptop for the Money

Postby creamedcats » Tue Apr 06, 2010 1:37 am

Fair point, but also:

Desert Fox wrote:Apple discussion has no place on a thread about cheap laptops. Exciting user experience, but not cheap enough yet.

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zeth006
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby zeth006 » Tue Apr 06, 2010 2:02 am

SSD prices are still too darn high. It'll be a while before we see them come stock with your usual run-of-the-mill notebook at BestBuy.


And yes, the Lenovo T4xx series notebooks tend to get tons of praise at notebookreview forums, which says a lot.

But you're bound to find other notebooks that also have solid build construction for under $1,000. Two notebooks I've been eyeing for a while are the Sony Vaio Y and the Thinkpad Edge 13. Their ULV Core 2 processors and integrated graphics are nothing to jump up and down about. But all the blog and video reviews over the internet show they've both got solid build construction. Both weigh under pounds and fall into the 13.3" segment. If a 13.3" is big enough and the SU7300 processor fast enough for you, I'd recommend either.


But if you're a performance whore like I am, then you may want to wait until as late as July for probable release of ULV i-series notebook offerings. It DOES kind of suck that Intel's been facing a supply shortage of these puppies. But one other notebook I've been salivating over is the http://www.asus.com/product.aspx?P_ID=dh1loes9V1IGKwCA. For the past several days, Asus' facebook profile user has been conducting research on us consumers. The dude who runs the profile recently asked us whether we'd willingly pay $100 more to upgrade from an i3 to an i5. He got a 73 post discussion going.

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Panther7
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby Panther7 » Tue Apr 06, 2010 10:49 am

zeth006 wrote:SSD prices are still too darn high. It'll be a while before we see them come stock with your usual run-of-the-mill notebook at BestBuy.


And yes, the Lenovo T4xx series notebooks tend to get tons of praise at notebookreview forums, which says a lot.

But you're bound to find other notebooks that also have solid build construction for under $1,000. Two notebooks I've been eyeing for a while are the Sony Vaio Y and the Thinkpad Edge 13. Their ULV Core 2 processors and integrated graphics are nothing to jump up and down about. But all the blog and video reviews over the internet show they've both got solid build construction. Both weigh under pounds and fall into the 13.3" segment. If a 13.3" is big enough and the SU7300 processor fast enough for you, I'd recommend either.


But if you're a performance whore like I am, then you may want to wait until as late as July for probable release of ULV i-series notebook offerings. It DOES kind of suck that Intel's been facing a supply shortage of these puppies. But one other notebook I've been salivating over is the http://www.asus.com/product.aspx?P_ID=dh1loes9V1IGKwCA. For the past several days, Asus' facebook profile user has been conducting research on us consumers. The dude who runs the profile recently asked us whether we'd willingly pay $100 more to upgrade from an i3 to an i5. He got a 73 post discussion going.


asus keyboards suck.

HBK
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby HBK » Tue Apr 06, 2010 11:13 am

Any thoughts on MSI?

I saw this http://www.circuitcity.com/applications ... CatId=4385 and it looks pretty good.

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moandersen
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Re: Best lawl skool Laptop for the Money

Postby moandersen » Tue Apr 06, 2010 11:39 am

kalvano wrote:I'm probably going by tomorrow to check out the Toshiba Netbook with a full-size keyboard.


Will report back.


I would stay away from the toshibas. They arent a horrible brand, but there are better. Like other posters above, check out newegg and read the reviews. I originally was thinking netbook, but when I talked to a current law student, I was advised against it because the screen is so small that its hard to have multiple windows open at the same time - which is an excellent point considering when I sat on a class, many students had a couple windows open. Ill be looking at 14" laptops, which are more expensive (generally) than the 15" ones, but I think worth it. My 17", though still relatively new, will just be too big to lug to class. Right now my price range is from 800-1000. Im thinking of getting another dell.

tesseract0421
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby tesseract0421 » Tue Apr 06, 2010 11:55 am

Lenovo laptops are great...I've been using a T-series (currently a T61) for the past 5 years at work. I travel a lot for work, so I can honestly say Lenovos are very durable.

I happen to be working with some IT professionals on a project right now, and they say they've been having issues with the Dell Latitude E series (which replaced the D series this past year).

One thing I would recommend to everyone is to get a laptop with a trackpoint. It's hard to get used to at first, but once you learn it, it's much more efficient because you don't have to move your hands off the keyboard for the touchpad or a mouse. Just a thought...

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kalvano
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Re: Best lawl skool Laptop for the Money

Postby kalvano » Tue Apr 06, 2010 12:36 pm

moandersen wrote:
kalvano wrote:I'm probably going by tomorrow to check out the Toshiba Netbook with a full-size keyboard.


Will report back.


I would stay away from the toshibas. They arent a horrible brand, but there are better. Like other posters above, check out newegg and read the reviews. I originally was thinking netbook, but when I talked to a current law student, I was advised against it because the screen is so small that its hard to have multiple windows open at the same time - which is an excellent point considering when I sat on a class, many students had a couple windows open. Ill be looking at 14" laptops, which are more expensive (generally) than the 15" ones, but I think worth it. My 17", though still relatively new, will just be too big to lug to class. Right now my price range is from 800-1000. Im thinking of getting another dell.



I tried out the Toshiba, and it was nice. The full-size keyboard is a definite good thing.

But I don't like the smaller screen. I've got an old Apple 12" Powerbook that just needs a new battery, and I am thinking I will go that route.

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zeth006
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby zeth006 » Tue Apr 06, 2010 3:56 pm

Panther7 wrote:
zeth006 wrote:SSD prices are still too darn high. It'll be a while before we see them come stock with your usual run-of-the-mill notebook at BestBuy.


And yes, the Lenovo T4xx series notebooks tend to get tons of praise at notebookreview forums, which says a lot.

But you're bound to find other notebooks that also have solid build construction for under $1,000. Two notebooks I've been eyeing for a while are the Sony Vaio Y and the Thinkpad Edge 13. Their ULV Core 2 processors and integrated graphics are nothing to jump up and down about. But all the blog and video reviews over the internet show they've both got solid build construction. Both weigh under pounds and fall into the 13.3" segment. If a 13.3" is big enough and the SU7300 processor fast enough for you, I'd recommend either.


But if you're a performance whore like I am, then you may want to wait until as late as July for probable release of ULV i-series notebook offerings. It DOES kind of suck that Intel's been facing a supply shortage of these puppies. But one other notebook I've been salivating over is the http://www.asus.com/product.aspx?P_ID=dh1loes9V1IGKwCA. For the past several days, Asus' facebook profile user has been conducting research on us consumers. The dude who runs the profile recently asked us whether we'd willingly pay $100 more to upgrade from an i3 to an i5. He got a 73 post discussion going.


asus keyboards suck.


Really? I wouldn't be so quick to generalize. Asus uses different keyboards for different notebooks. The UL30VT as an example uses a chiclet KB while my G50VT uses your usual standard laptop keyboard.

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newyorker88
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby newyorker88 » Tue Apr 06, 2010 4:23 pm

I just bought an ASUS I like it so far.

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zeth006
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby zeth006 » Tue Apr 06, 2010 5:12 pm

newyorker88 wrote:I just bought an ASUS I like it so far.



Which one, if I may ask?

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newyorker88
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby newyorker88 » Tue Apr 06, 2010 8:06 pm

zeth006 wrote:
newyorker88 wrote:I just bought an ASUS I like it so far.



Which one, if I may ask?


K601

Harry Ballsogna
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby Harry Ballsogna » Wed Apr 07, 2010 7:34 am

creamedcats wrote:Here's what you do. Buy a cheap PC laptop, focusing on the processor and quality of the display/keyboard (quiet keys!) as your priorities, and then if you want, swap out the HD for an SSD. Or if you like Macs, buy the 13'' macbook for sub 1000.

You can get a good 14'' Lenovo for 600, and an absolute top-of-the-line SSD for 225 (and you don't NEED top of the line). Buy yourself a sweet backpack and throw a party with the money you save. Or buy a Mac and walk around kicking babies and stealing from the homeless, I'm sure that's fun too.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6834146725

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductLi ... rchInDesc=



I'm using the same SL410 Lenevo linked above right now (cheaper CPU). Typing on this keyboard is truly a pleasurable experience...it really does make a difference.

Overall, the build quality on this is fantastic for a ~$700 laptop. I can just feel that this is a solid piece of equipment when taking it in and out of the bag, opening it up, etc. To me this is the perfect laptop for LS. Its big enough to have a decent size screen and kick ass keyboard, but compact enough to easily transport.

I'll definitely be getting a fresh Lenevo for the start of school.




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