Best Law School Laptop for the Money

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beach_terror
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby beach_terror » Wed Aug 04, 2010 8:24 am

IIRC, Lenovo was in 4th on the component failure chart. If you're an above average user, components will not magically fail. Like I said a few pages ago, component failure after 3+ years is usually the culmination of the user's ignorance and misuse. If it works for the first few months, then your HD won't randomly fail and your mobo won't wake up one day and decide to fry. However, after 3 years of people leaving a running laptop on their bed, clogging the fan ducts, everyone acts like its a surprise when a component shits the bed.

This is supported by pretty much every company using the same components in their laptops. Component failure charts always make me lol. Usually the difference between comapnies is +/- 3%, and the people that treat them like a message from the gods usually can't even tell you what each component does in a computer.

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Sogui
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby Sogui » Wed Aug 04, 2010 10:25 am

So what does cause laptops to fail in such a way that can't be attributed to ignorance or stupidity, i.e. what would justify a premium on a laptop brand besides the hardware specs?

I'm narrowing down my choices, I'm opting for a 15.6" screen and I've got it down to:

Dell Inspiron 15R, $586 after tax. Comes with MS office, i3 intel processor, 4gb of ram, 320gb HD, and all the other stuff you expect in a laptop.

Toshiba Satellite L505...., $539 after tax. No office but I can get it from my UG for +$41.65. Total comes to $582. Slower processor, smaller HD, but otherwise pretty similar.

Lenovo Thinkpad, $713.37 after tax. i3 processor, 2gb ram, 250gb hard drive, no webcam or office, so add office to the total for $750.

Going to check Bestbuy before I make a decision, but I'm leaning towards the Dell still. It's pretty much faster than the Toshiba along every metric and I don't have to deal with buying office from my UG. But the Toshiba has the advantage of being from a "better" brand and has a plethora of supportive customer reviews on Tigerdirect. Whereas with the Dell I only know the components and the price and have to make a leap of faith.

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ResolutePear
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby ResolutePear » Wed Aug 04, 2010 12:36 pm

beach_terror wrote:IIRC, Lenovo was in 4th on the component failure chart. If you're an above average user, components will not magically fail. Like I said a few pages ago, component failure after 3+ years is usually the culmination of the user's ignorance and misuse. If it works for the first few months, then your HD won't randomly fail and your mobo won't wake up one day and decide to fry. However, after 3 years of people leaving a running laptop on their bed, clogging the fan ducts, everyone acts like its a surprise when a component shits the bed.

This is supported by pretty much every company using the same components in their laptops. Component failure charts always make me lol. Usually the difference between comapnies is +/- 3%, and the people that treat them like a message from the gods usually can't even tell you what each component does in a computer.


Correct. Again, you're paying a premium for the build quality - not the components; and that chart is non representative since lenovo sells other laptops than Thinkpads. Thinkpads are held at a higher standard than other laptops because of their intended use, mission critical applications. What is a mission critical application? Meeting presentations, emergency field work, etc.. Anything that can't have a failed laptop in the equation.

Sure, component failures will happen and that's out of the realm of their power - but they understand this and they back it up with a 4-hour or next business day response depending on the warranty. It costs more, but it's an option to other manufacturers who you'll wait 2 weeks for a laptop to arrive at your door; probably still broken.

I've had people with the regular warranty call IBM/Lenovo tech support on Wednesday and get their laptop back by Friday morning.

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Duralex
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby Duralex » Wed Aug 04, 2010 1:08 pm

Going to check Bestbuy before I make a decision, but I'm leaning towards the Dell still.

Don't do that.

Dell is crap these days. I see a lot of broken or glitchy Dell and HP laptops.

The most expensive laptop I've ever bought was a 17" Dell XPS Gen 2. (Over $2K at the time.) It was also the worst laptop I've ever bought. It needed fan replacements, HDD replacements, power supply replacement, GPU replacement and still cannot run at load for more than 30 minutes without whitescreening due to poor heat dissipation. The plastic bezel at the top of the keyboard has actually warped from the heat, and the stickers on the bottom have all turned white.

Their lightweight laptops and netbooks are some of the flimsiest machines out there. The reason why Dell needs to use Service Tags is because they constantly re-source crappy generic parts from whoever's cheaper this month. So from run to run of any given model, there's little uniformity beyond the specified chipsets, and memory/HDD/CPU specs.

Dude, don't buy a Dell.

See this Metafilter thread for plenty more:"Window to Dell Decline (LinkRemoved)"

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ResolutePear
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby ResolutePear » Wed Aug 04, 2010 1:46 pm

Duralex wrote:
Going to check Bestbuy before I make a decision, but I'm leaning towards the Dell still.

Don't do that.

Dell is crap these days. I see a lot of broken or glitchy Dell and HP laptops.

The most expensive laptop I've ever bought was a 17" Dell XPS Gen 2. (Over $2K at the time.) It was also the worst laptop I've ever bought. It needed fan replacements, HDD replacements, power supply replacement, GPU replacement and still cannot run at load for more than 30 minutes without whitescreening due to poor heat dissipation. The plastic bezel at the top of the keyboard has actually warped from the heat, and the stickers on the bottom have all turned white.

Their lightweight laptops and netbooks are some of the flimsiest machines out there. The reason why Dell needs to use Service Tags is because they constantly re-source crappy generic parts from whoever's cheaper this month. So from run to run of any given model, there's little uniformity beyond the specified chipsets, and memory/HDD/CPU specs.

Dude, don't buy a Dell.

See this Metafilter thread for plenty more:"Window to Dell Decline (LinkRemoved)"


Dell, Apple, and HP get their products built by the same company, foxconn.. the same company that has their employees committing suicide from the crazy workload and hours they're put under. The pay isn't great, either. How good do you think quality assurance is? If you have to get one, get a refurb since a us tech will of most likely inspected the machine.. though that's a slim chance since some refurbs are actually new units they're overstocked on and cant sell below list otherwise.

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Duralex
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby Duralex » Wed Aug 04, 2010 2:00 pm

Foxconn assembles many of the systems for major manufacturers, but they do not make all the components. And of course, different brands set different QA standards.

Don't believe me about who makes the components? Crack open a few systems and look at the names stamped on the various bits and pieces--like the RAM for instance. Or little things like the USB bus controllers. Dell is the modern Packard Bell: the 'parts bin grab-bag' brand. There's much less uniformity over the lifespan of a particular model with them. Thus the nearly infinite hardware revisions and the need for service tags.

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Sogui
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby Sogui » Wed Aug 04, 2010 2:08 pm

Yea I'm getting mixed messages on failure rates.

Don't get a Dell... the parts will fail.

Don't call out Lenovo's failure rates, all parts come from the same sources anyway.

For Dell: I can the following for $580 after tax and shipping-

SYSTEM COLOR New 2010 Intel® Core™ i3-350M 2.26Gh (4 Threads, 3M Cache)
PROCESSOR Inspiron 15R
MEMORY 4GB Shared Dual Channel DDR3
HARD DRIVE 320GB 5400rpm
VIDEO CARD Intel® HD Graphics
BATTERY OPTIONS Lithium Ion Battery (6-Cell) – Up to 4 hours, 2 minutes of battery life*
DISPLAY AND CAMERA 15.6" High Definition (720p) LED Display with TrueLife™
SOUND OPTIONS HD Audio 2.0 Support SRS™ Premium Sound
INTERNAL OPTICAL DRIVE 8X CD/DVD Burner (Dual Layer DVD+/-R Drive) - w/ Roxio Burn 1.0
WIRELESS CARDS Dell Wireless DW1501, 802.11 g/n 1x1 Half Mini Card
INTEGRATED WEBCAM Integrated 1.3M Pixel Webcam
Network Card Integrated 10/100 Network Card
Adobe Reader Adobe® Acrobat® Reader 9.0
OFFICE SOFTWARE Microsoft® Office Home and Student 2010
OFFICE SOFTWARE Microsoft® Office Starter 2010
DATASAFE ONLINE BACKUP Dell Online Backup 2GB for 1 year

I've seen nothing else come close in this price range, I could take a performance hit for Toshiba, or maybe I'll get lucky at Best Buy and can avoid shipping charges.

savagecheater
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby savagecheater » Wed Aug 04, 2010 2:18 pm

Posting on a 5 year-old Inspiron that has officially outlasted both of my dad's Thinkpads.

Not saying that the Thinkpad is a bad machine (in fact my dad likes them), but I don't understand all the Dell hate.

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Duralex
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby Duralex » Wed Aug 04, 2010 2:23 pm

The Lenovo failure rates have been inching up over the last few years, but I'd expect that's not easily generalized to all of the ThinkPad lines, and as mentioned that doesn't tell the whole story. There's more to quality than failure rates/MTBF.

FWIW, You're getting advice from people on the ground here. I'm telling you that I've dealt with a lot of unhappy corporate Dell laptop users. I've owned a few examples of failure ridden Dell hardware myself. Still, you seem convinced that the Dell is the best value for you. So, OK! Buy it, and hopefully it works out well for you.
Last edited by Duralex on Wed Aug 04, 2010 2:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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bk1
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby bk1 » Wed Aug 04, 2010 2:25 pm

savagecheater wrote:Posting on a 5 year-old Inspiron that has officially outlasted both of my dad's Thinkpads.

Not saying that the Thinkpad is a bad machine (in fact my dad likes them), but I don't understand all the Dell hate.


Dell has been going down in quality over the past few years.

savagecheater
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby savagecheater » Wed Aug 04, 2010 2:27 pm

I bought the Latitude over the Thinkpad because there's a quite a bit of feedback indicating that the Thinkpad is too thin for the processors, and it's leading to some significant heat problems. Couple this with the fact that I want a dedicated GPU, which has been found to compound this, and my choice is pretty clear. The Thinkpad isolates heat, whereas the Latitude spreads it out, so less wear on the internal components. The Thinkpad may have a rollcage and a marginally stronger exterior, but I prefer the inside construction of the Latitude.

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ResolutePear
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby ResolutePear » Wed Aug 04, 2010 3:00 pm

savagecheater wrote:I bought the Latitude over the Thinkpad because there's a quite a bit of feedback indicating that the Thinkpad is too thin for the processors, and it's leading to some significant heat problems. Couple this with the fact that I want a dedicated GPU, which has been found to compound this, and my choice is pretty clear. The Thinkpad isolates heat, whereas the Latitude spreads it out, so less wear on the internal components. The Thinkpad may have a rollcage and a marginally stronger exterior, but I prefer the inside construction of the Latitude.


What you said makes no sense what-so-ever.

Different components are built to withstand different amounts of heat. You're not going to sit here and tell me that a stick of DDR2/3 or a hard drive is going to take the same heat that a CPU is going to.If anything, heat isolation is an advantage because the most important thing in your laptop is your HardDrive. Why in gods name would I want the CPU/GPU's heat smothering my HD? It's true they have heat dissipation problems, but it's grossly exaggerated and will almost never cause component failure sans leaving it smothering in a pile of quilts.

And.. the Thinkpad and Latitude are two different beasts. Both are made for business, but the exterior and QA is anything but "marginally" comparable to any Thinkpad but the entry-line.. even then.

I say congrats with your Dell, wish you the best with it, and god forbid you ever need Tech support.

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beach_terror
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby beach_terror » Wed Aug 04, 2010 3:04 pm

Don't get a Dell... the parts will fail.


RC fail or maybe you're just not technologically literate. Structural integrity and components are not the same. When I said dell's construction sucks I meant that hinges break often, accidental drops often end up breaking something inside, and if something heavy falls on it the LCD will crack. My UG bought the Latitude series from Dell, they are awful. But get one, because myself and the other people in the thread are clearly lying.

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ResolutePear
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby ResolutePear » Wed Aug 04, 2010 3:08 pm

beach_terror wrote:
Don't get a Dell... the parts will fail.


RC fail or maybe you're just not technologically literate. Structural integrity and components are not the same. When I said dell's construction sucks I meant that hinges break often, accidental drops often end up breaking something inside, and if something heavy falls on it the LCD will crack. My UG bought the Latitude series from Dell, they are awful. But get one, because myself and the other people in the thread are clearly lying.


Well, he did let me to get to another important point: laptop construction will cause components to fail just as bad as bad hinge design, etc.

But yes, we're all lying. In fact, I've never worked a day of my life in the I.T. industry doing equipment repairs and orders.

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Sogui
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby Sogui » Thu Aug 05, 2010 8:58 am

Not saying you're liars, in fact I'm giving you all more credit than people I've talked about this with face to face.

I've just heard way too many things about different brands being bad, there are people in IT who will tell you that Toshiba is a piece of crap and that they've had to fix more Toshiba's relative to any other brand, etc...

I understand the strength of Lenovo's comes from the construction, but I live across the street from my law school and can't imagine bringing my laptop anywhere else, maybe I'm just cocky in thinking I won't need a roll-cage for my laptop. But my inner-geek just loathes the thought of shelling out an extra $200 for the superior construction of inferior components.

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Duralex
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby Duralex » Thu Aug 05, 2010 9:40 am

That's cool. Look--you still have a better than even chance of coming out unscathed! :wink:

It's clear you want the Dell. Go buy it. I'm giving you permission. It's like buying a car sometimes--your "inner geek" has found the one that fits. And if you're going to baby it, you should be OK. (Hopefully.) Just don't blame us if it ends in tears!

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hoopsguy6
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby hoopsguy6 » Thu Aug 05, 2010 9:48 am

I'm a big fan of the Toshiba Portege R705: http://www.engadget.com/2010/07/12/tosh ... 05-review/

3.2 lbs, 13.3" screen with optical drive. Sexy magnesium alloy body, pretty good specs, and only $800.

MSUPHL
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby MSUPHL » Thu Aug 05, 2010 12:58 pm

I am now looking to buy a laptop for law school. I am relatively computer illiterate. Want to spend as little as possible (500-700 range?) for a nice little laptop for only the basic things i will need for LS. If anyone has any direct links to where I can purchase such a device at a good deal, karma will be with you forever. I promise.

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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby MSUPHL » Thu Aug 05, 2010 1:10 pm


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Sogui
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby Sogui » Thu Aug 05, 2010 1:24 pm

MSUPHL wrote:I am now looking to buy a laptop for law school. I am relatively computer illiterate. Want to spend as little as possible (500-700 range?) for a nice little laptop for only the basic things i will need for LS. If anyone has any direct links to where I can purchase such a device at a good deal, karma will be with you forever. I promise.


http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications ... _T78-15631

Very hard to beat

MSUPHL
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby MSUPHL » Thu Aug 05, 2010 2:34 pm

Sogui wrote:
MSUPHL wrote:I am now looking to buy a laptop for law school. I am relatively computer illiterate. Want to spend as little as possible (500-700 range?) for a nice little laptop for only the basic things i will need for LS. If anyone has any direct links to where I can purchase such a device at a good deal, karma will be with you forever. I promise.


http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications ... _T78-15631

Very hard to beat


perhaps abit too heavy to shlep back and forth everday?

sdlaw
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby sdlaw » Thu Aug 05, 2010 2:57 pm

A lot of you guys have mentioned HP's as having bad build quality but I think some of you said the select editions actually had pretty good build quality... Is this still the case...I just don't want to have to read through 50 pages to rehash this out if it's already been covered.

I just bought an HP dv6t-select edition and want to make sure I don't need to return it. Specs below.

Will be installing Windows7 Enterprise and Windows Office Pro 2010... Anyone know anything about enterprise...should I go with Ultimate instead...Everything I've seen says it's the same thing but for corporate clients. Getting via a friend at microsoft and he runs enterprise but I can get anything.

Also anyone ever had/used lojack?

Thanks

HP Pavilion dv6t Select Edition customizable Notebook PC

* • Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
* • Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-720QM Quad Core processor (1.6GHz, 6MB L3 Cache) with Turbo Boost up to 2.8 GHz
* • FREE Upgrade to 6GB DDR3 System Memory (2 Dimm)
* • FREE Upgrade to 500GB 7200RPM SATA Hard Drive with HP ProtectSmart Hard Drive Protection
* • 1GB ATI Mobility Radeon(TM) HD 5650 Graphics [HDMI, VGA] - For Quad Core Processors
* • 15.6" diagonal High Definition LED HP Brightview Widescreen Display (1366x768)
* • No TouchScreen (includes HP TrueVision Webcam)
* • SuperMulti 8X DVD+/-R/RW with Double Layer Support
* • Intel Wireless-N Card with Bluetooth
* • Backlit Keyboard with Fingerprint Reader
* • 50% OFF! One 6 Cell (standard) and One 9 Cell (over-sized) Lithium Ion Battery
* • Microsoft(R) Office Starter 2010
* • FREE Upgrade to Norton Internet Security(TM) 2010 - 3 Year from 2 Year (activation required)
* • FREE Upgrade to Computrace LoJack for Laptops, Four Years from One Year
* • HP Home & Home Office Store in-box envelope

savagecheater
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby savagecheater » Thu Aug 05, 2010 4:24 pm

Really dumb question but I'll ask anyway -

I have a copy of Office 2007, with outlook/word/onenote already. No reason to buy office 2010 right?

burvowski
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby burvowski » Thu Aug 05, 2010 4:38 pm

savagecheater wrote:Really dumb question but I'll ask anyway -

I have a copy of Office 2007, with outlook/word/onenote already. No reason to buy office 2010 right?


just decide for yourself if the new features are worth the price
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_ ... provements

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cranberry
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby cranberry » Thu Aug 05, 2010 5:31 pm

Holy crap, my Thinkpad just shipped. I ordered it on Monday.




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