Best Law School Laptop for the Money

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op-ti
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby op-ti » Mon Aug 02, 2010 5:04 pm

ResolutePear wrote:
The T-Series are tanks next to anything except Toughbooks. But that's outside of the scope of this thread.

Lenovo does make an All-in-One; I've always hated all-in-one's though because of that difficulty of upgrading or fixing.

I'd probably check out newegg.


Thank you for your suggestion!

I've been to that site. But all this while, I've been looking for all-in-one's. Will switch up and simply stick with getting the big bulky PC with the CPU.

What laptop do most law students go for anyway?

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ResolutePear
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby ResolutePear » Mon Aug 02, 2010 5:06 pm

laureng05 wrote:So i think i may go with this computer: http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Toshiba+-+Portege+Laptop+/+Intel%26%23174%3B+Core%26%23153%3B+i3+Processor+/+13.3%22+Display+/+4GB+Memory+/+500GB+Hard+Drive+-+Blue/1007392.p?id=1218207656035&skuId=1007392&st=1007392&cp=1&lp=1

It's the toshiba portege laptop Laptop / Intel® Core™ i3 Processor / 13.3" Display / 4GB Memory / 500GB Hard Drive. Does this look like a good laptop? Basically, portability is very important to me, i want a light and thin machine. I have a fairly nice desktop so this doesn't need to be the most powerful laptop, but i'd like it to be more than decent. thoughts?


If you refuse to go with a Thinkpad or a Macbook, you're going to buy what "feels" best for you.

It's not a bad thing, but outside of the specs(Anything with more than 2GB of memory should be good enough) - you're the ultimate factor in the purchase. In my opinion, the reason why this doesn't apply to Thinkpads and Macbooks is because Thinkpads and Macbooks are industry standards in their respective industries(business and multimedia). Think: government(Thinkpads) and studios like Pixar/Universal(Macbook)

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Duralex
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby Duralex » Mon Aug 02, 2010 5:07 pm

Macbooks, Thinkpads are good choices. Dells, HPs not so much. As mentioned the T-series have a good reputation, but if you have a particular model in mind people can take a closer look and point out any drawbacks.

op-ti
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby op-ti » Mon Aug 02, 2010 5:09 pm

Duralex wrote:
op-ti wrote:

Haven't decided which one, but nothing fancy.

The bit about the PC...what is a minitower? Is that the same as a CPU?

What would you recommend for a desktop then? I want a good desktop. I'm not a gamer or anything...

Apologies for my lack of education on this matter.


The CPU, properly speaking, is the central processor chip. More casually, yeah, it refers to the whole "box" of computer guts (i.e. as separate from the monitor etc.) So, yes, I'm saying you want a separate CPU--and also you want one that has a "minitower" case, so you can add stuff to it easily (like RAM and hard drives) to make it last.


Like this one:

--ImageRemoved--

I can't believe I'm linking this.....butWalmart has the Lenovo K300 minitower above for $479 (LinkRemoved). It's $607 at Amazon.

This is a dual core 2.9ghz CPU, 6GB RAM, 640GB HDD, Windows 7 64bit. Check prices through your school if they have a direct Lenovo hookup, but that is rather cheap.


Ah! This makes sense. Thank you for this!

I will look into this. I don't necessarily want a Lenevo PC...just thought they would be the best in the market-but I'm clearly mistaken.

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ResolutePear
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby ResolutePear » Mon Aug 02, 2010 5:11 pm

op-ti wrote:
ResolutePear wrote:
The T-Series are tanks next to anything except Toughbooks. But that's outside of the scope of this thread.

Lenovo does make an All-in-One; I've always hated all-in-one's though because of that difficulty of upgrading or fixing.

I'd probably check out newegg.


Thank you for your suggestion!

I've been to that site. But all this while, I've been looking for all-in-one's. Will switch up and simply stick with getting the big bulky PC with the CPU.

What laptop do most law students go for anyway?


From what I've heard, Macbooks - though it might be exaggerated since the source is biased.

If you look at my other posts earlier in this thread, I advocate Thinkpads. You won't go wrong.

Outside from that; HP, Dell, Apple, Toshiba base-components are made from the same manufacturer: Foxconn.

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ResolutePear
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby ResolutePear » Mon Aug 02, 2010 5:16 pm

op-ti wrote:
Duralex wrote:
op-ti wrote:

Haven't decided which one, but nothing fancy.

The bit about the PC...what is a minitower? Is that the same as a CPU?

What would you recommend for a desktop then? I want a good desktop. I'm not a gamer or anything...

Apologies for my lack of education on this matter.


The CPU, properly speaking, is the central processor chip. More casually, yeah, it refers to the whole "box" of computer guts (i.e. as separate from the monitor etc.) So, yes, I'm saying you want a separate CPU--and also you want one that has a "minitower" case, so you can add stuff to it easily (like RAM and hard drives) to make it last.


Like this one:


I can't believe I'm linking this.....butWalmart has the Lenovo K300 minitower above for $479 (LinkRemoved). It's $607 at Amazon.

This is a dual core 2.9ghz CPU, 6GB RAM, 640GB HDD, Windows 7 64bit. Check prices through your school if they have a direct Lenovo hookup, but that is rather cheap.


Ah! This makes sense. Thank you for this!

I will look into this. I don't necessarily want a Lenevo PC...just thought they would be the best in the market-but I'm clearly mistaken.


Nah, Desktops are a different game. The best desktop is going to be the one you built yourself.. otherwise, it's a buyers market. Desktops have gotten a lot more reliable after the turn of the century and continue to get more reliable.

Personally, I'd try to find a manufacturer that doesn't stick me with a call center in India for support.

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Duralex
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby Duralex » Mon Aug 02, 2010 5:31 pm

Who doesn't, these days? I don't get the sense in this case that a homebuilt machine is a real option.

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blurbz
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby blurbz » Mon Aug 02, 2010 5:36 pm

Just got my Thinkpad X201 and I am absolutely in love with it.

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ResolutePear
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby ResolutePear » Mon Aug 02, 2010 5:48 pm

Duralex wrote:Who doesn't, these days? I don't get the sense in this case that a homebuilt machine is a real option.


While on that tone, lets all agree that we don't understand why people fix their own cars. I mean, hey - they don't know how to and shouldn't bother learning.

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Duralex
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby Duralex » Mon Aug 02, 2010 6:10 pm

Someone who is about to start law school and has implied that they aren't into computers is perhaps not the best candidate for a crash course in homebuilding.

Of course, I agree with you that everyone can and should in theory. Today's PCs are very modular. In practice, 1L is not the time to learn.

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cranberry
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby cranberry » Mon Aug 02, 2010 7:06 pm

Pulled the trigger... 14" Thinkpad Edge. 8)

farewelltoarms
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby farewelltoarms » Mon Aug 02, 2010 8:13 pm

Duralex wrote:Someone who is about to start law school and has implied that they aren't into computers is perhaps not the best candidate for a crash course in homebuilding.

Of course, I agree with you that everyone can and should in theory. Today's PCs are very modular. In practice, 1L is not the time to learn.


It takes like one weekend to learn how to build a computer, and I'm sure nearly anyone, 1L or not, can spare a weekend or so of researching. I just recently built my first ever computer earlier this week, and the experience really wasn't as daunting or difficult as I expected it to be. Even if the person doesn't want to play games on it, the chances of getting a lemon or computer parts which mysteriously expire a month after the warranty ends is rather high. Building it yourself bypasses these possible hazards, and ensures that you will have a computer that suits your needs. For a non-gamer, a person will not need over 2GB of ram, nor would they need anything over a dual core processor. I imagine most people like to watch movies on their computer (downloaded or otherwise) and for that you would need a separate video card, something which most manufacturers eschew in favor of a shitty integrated card.

All in all, I would recommend anyone in the market for a desktop build it themselves, and save a few hundred dollars in the process. The analogy about the car is good in spirit, but building a car is infinitely more difficult than building a computer. And if you fuck up a car, your life is in peril. A computer, not so much.

hawkeye22
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby hawkeye22 » Mon Aug 02, 2010 8:27 pm

farewelltoarms wrote:
Duralex wrote:Someone who is about to start law school and has implied that they aren't into computers is perhaps not the best candidate for a crash course in homebuilding.

Of course, I agree with you that everyone can and should in theory. Today's PCs are very modular. In practice, 1L is not the time to learn.


It takes like one weekend to learn how to build a computer, and I'm sure nearly anyone, 1L or not, can spare a weekend or so of researching. I just recently built my first ever computer earlier this week, and the experience really wasn't as daunting or difficult as I expected it to be. Even if the person doesn't want to play games on it, the chances of getting a lemon or computer parts which mysteriously expire a month after the warranty ends is rather high. Building it yourself bypasses these possible hazards, and ensures that you will have a computer that suits your needs. For a non-gamer, a person will not need over 2GB of ram, nor would they need anything over a dual core processor. I imagine most people like to watch movies on their computer (downloaded or otherwise) and for that you would need a separate video card, something which most manufacturers eschew in favor of a shitty integrated card.

All in all, I would recommend anyone in the market for a desktop build it themselves, and save a few hundred dollars in the process. The analogy about the car is good in spirit, but building a car is infinitely more difficult than building a computer. And if you fuck up a car, your life is in peril. A computer, not so much.


I agree with you in almost every respect, but building a computer is no longer cheaper than buying one direct from Dell or something. Though if you build one you will probably opt for decent components that often get neglected by major PC vendors (heatsink, fan, power supply, etc.)

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ResolutePear
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby ResolutePear » Mon Aug 02, 2010 8:43 pm

hawkeye22 wrote:
farewelltoarms wrote:
Duralex wrote:Someone who is about to start law school and has implied that they aren't into computers is perhaps not the best candidate for a crash course in homebuilding.

Of course, I agree with you that everyone can and should in theory. Today's PCs are very modular. In practice, 1L is not the time to learn.


It takes like one weekend to learn how to build a computer, and I'm sure nearly anyone, 1L or not, can spare a weekend or so of researching. I just recently built my first ever computer earlier this week, and the experience really wasn't as daunting or difficult as I expected it to be. Even if the person doesn't want to play games on it, the chances of getting a lemon or computer parts which mysteriously expire a month after the warranty ends is rather high. Building it yourself bypasses these possible hazards, and ensures that you will have a computer that suits your needs. For a non-gamer, a person will not need over 2GB of ram, nor would they need anything over a dual core processor. I imagine most people like to watch movies on their computer (downloaded or otherwise) and for that you would need a separate video card, something which most manufacturers eschew in favor of a shitty integrated card.

All in all, I would recommend anyone in the market for a desktop build it themselves, and save a few hundred dollars in the process. The analogy about the car is good in spirit, but building a car is infinitely more difficult than building a computer. And if you fuck up a car, your life is in peril. A computer, not so much.


I agree with you in almost every respect, but building a computer is no longer cheaper than buying one direct from Dell or something. Though if you build one you will probably opt for decent components that often get neglected by major PC vendors (heatsink, fan, power supply, etc.)


Agreed on all fronts. For a non-gaming computer, it'll usually be cheaper to go with a prebuilt - in return you're giving up reliability. For a gaming computer, you can almost always configure a computer cheaper when you build it yourself because of stuff like crossfire and SLI which manufactures charge an arm and leg for since it's "exotic".

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Duralex
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby Duralex » Mon Aug 02, 2010 9:48 pm

The issue isn't assembling it, although figuring out all the different standards and specifications can be confusing for the uninitiated, so much as knowing what to do if something goes wrong--either with putting it together, installing the OS, or with the stability of the system. It could be a real drag for someone without troubleshooting experience to have a homebuilt system go south on them a month into the first semester. That's why I hesitate to suggest it to someone for the first time, weeks away from the start of the school year.

Yes, when it comes to gaming machines it's especially silly to buy a complete system.

Pulled the trigger... 14" Thinkpad Edge.

Enjoy!
Last edited by Duralex on Mon Aug 02, 2010 9:51 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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beach_terror
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby beach_terror » Mon Aug 02, 2010 9:50 pm

cranberry wrote:Pulled the trigger... 14" Thinkpad Edge. 8)


Really like mine, so good choice!! If you just got the stock 2gb of ram, you can order an extra 2gb stick on newegg for like 45$. See my post a few pages back on that if you want more info.

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cranberry
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby cranberry » Mon Aug 02, 2010 10:43 pm

Thanks guys! I went for 4gb of ram. I also got 500gb hard drive, at 5400rpm I think, and the i5 processor. $$$ better be awesome. I read your post about the ram but I'm not too confident in my abilities to do something like that. Maybe I should try but... oh well.

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beach_terror
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby beach_terror » Mon Aug 02, 2010 10:53 pm

My post only applied to people that got 2gb as the ram option. If you got 4gb, more than likely you have 2x2gb sticks, so you don't have an extra ram slot anyway. You sound good to go with those specs, let me know how you like it! I really love the chiclet style keyboard, and it was the one thing I was nervous about when I was purchasing it.

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cranberry
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby cranberry » Mon Aug 02, 2010 10:56 pm

I tried out a tiny Thinkpad at the computer store today that had a similar keyboard and it felt pretty good. I'm psyched! I used to use Lenovos at work and they were always solid; there seems to be a lot of Lenovo love on TLS.

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existenz
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby existenz » Mon Aug 02, 2010 11:35 pm

Question since I don't feel like digging through the past 40 pages: is a Netbook an okay option for running ExamSoft?

I have a friend who will be attending UCLA. She has a Mac laptop but I'm not sure if she's tech savvy enough to deal with BootCamp. I'm wondering if she should just get a $300 netbook for the tests and whether that would be sufficient.

03121202698008
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby 03121202698008 » Mon Aug 02, 2010 11:36 pm

existenz wrote:Question since I don't feel like digging through the past 40 pages: is a Netbook an okay option for running ExamSoft?

I have a friend who will be attending UCLA. She has a Mac laptop but I'm not sure if she's tech savvy enough to deal with BootCamp. I'm wondering if she should just get a $300 netbook for the tests and whether that would be sufficient.


Many schools have mac version of exam software that runs without bootcamp/windows. In fact, I'd be surprised if any didn't at this point.

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timshel
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby timshel » Mon Aug 02, 2010 11:48 pm

yo what you experts think about the Toshiba Satellite T135? I'm interested in the basics: web surfing and school work. I'm lookin to go and as portable as possible while still having a decent screen and keyboard. Also, I'm really lookin' to keep the price reasonable. I can get this one for under $500.

--LinkRemoved--

Anyone know of anything better? Or is this a decent pick-up?

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Luis Gomez
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby Luis Gomez » Tue Aug 03, 2010 12:21 am

timshel wrote:yo what you experts think about the Toshiba Satellite T135? I'm interested in the basics: web surfing and school work. I'm lookin to go and as portable as possible while still having a decent screen and keyboard. Also, I'm really lookin' to keep the price reasonable. I can get this one for under $500.

--LinkRemoved--

Anyone know of anything better? Or is this a decent pick-up?


On the same boat. Wondering if losing a pound is worth losing some processor speed.

Agent Bartowski
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby Agent Bartowski » Tue Aug 03, 2010 1:12 am

Just throwing it out there- My pavillion dv5000 is the best store bought computer i have ever owned and HP made it, and i bought it at circuit city. Everyone gets lucky sometimes. Five years of HEAVY use and it still plays Total War without a problem... :)


I myself am looking around for a netbook to save on space and weight. I cant say I have been blown away by anything yet. Anyone seen any passable 13" for less than $400 recently?

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Duralex
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby Duralex » Tue Aug 03, 2010 7:36 am

blowhard wrote:Many schools have mac version of exam software that runs without bootcamp/windows. In fact, I'd be surprised if any didn't at this point.


What? That's not accurate, if it's ExamSoft.

From the ExamSoft FAQ:

# I am an Apple Macintosh user, can I install SofTest on my Mac?

In order to use SofTest on your Apple Macbook or Macbook Pro, you must have:

* Mac OS X Snow Leopard (v. 10.6) or Mac OS X Leopard (v. 10.5) AND
* A valid copy of Windows XP, Vista or 7 installed using Apple's Bootcamp Assistant. Use of virtualization software like VMWare, Fusion, Parallels, etc is not allowed.

Important:

* Bootcamp Assistant is available in the Utilities folder on your Macintosh HD
* Microsoft Windows is not included with the Mac OS or SofTest, it needs to be purchased separately
* Older versions of Mac OS X will require an OS upgrade in order to use Bootcamp and SofTest. To check the version of your Mac OS, click the Apple icon on the top left of the screen and then About this Mac


ExamSoft/SofTest is Windows only. If your school uses it, as mine does, you need a PC or you need Bootcamp. As far as a netbook is concerned, here are the PC system requirements:

PC System Requirements:

* CPU = 1 GHz Pentium III or Industry Equivalent
* RAM = 1 GB
* Drives = 50 MB of free space
* Operating System = English 32-bit Versions of Windows XP, 32-bit and 64-bit Versions of Windows Vista and Windows 7. SofTest may not be used in virtual operating systems.
* Software = Internet Browser
* Internet Access for SofTest Installation, Exam Download and Upload
* Screen Resolution must be 1024x768 or higher


So you'll need a netbook with 1GB RAM or more and a decent screen.

I'd also consider whether writing exams on a netbook might put you at a slight disadvantage to those with a larger screen and normally spaced keyboard.




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