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 » Mon May 10, 2010 12:52 am

It's only a 1.3 pound difference. But if you'd rather pay more for the 13'', and then extra for an external drive, then more power to you.

Also, FWIW, the Edge has received pretty bad reviews. I originally wanted one, but now I'm definitely not getting one. It shouldn't even be a Thinkpad. It has pretty shoddy construction in comparison. See the CNET video review for more on that, though.

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kalvano
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby kalvano » Mon May 10, 2010 1:04 am

When you're well on your way to having both knees replaced, you'd be surprised at how important 1.3 pounds is.

How shoddy is shoddy? I mean, compared to a Toughbook it's shoddy, or compared to a regular laptop it's shoddy?

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zeth006
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby zeth006 » Mon May 10, 2010 2:42 am

Each to his own, no? Personally I didn't see much of a difference between 14" screens and 13" screens. Of course, no woman ever complained about an extra inch in the bedroom. :lol:

barkingbug
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby barkingbug » Mon May 10, 2010 9:01 am

beach_terror wrote:It's only a 1.3 pound difference. But if you'd rather pay more for the 13'', and then extra for an external drive, then more power to you.

Also, FWIW, the Edge has received pretty bad reviews. I originally wanted one, but now I'm definitely not getting one. It shouldn't even be a Thinkpad. It has pretty shoddy construction in comparison. See the CNET video review for more on that, though.

The edge has received very good reviews. Wired gave it 9 out of 10. I have scanned the first half dozen reviews that popped up on a search from reputable sources - all were "very good," including CNET. "Very Good" is not quite the same as "pretty bad." I am sure you uncles Frank and Walter hated it though - thanks for sharing.
Last edited by barkingbug on Mon May 10, 2010 10:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

burvowski
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby burvowski » Mon May 10, 2010 9:51 am

You guys are going to be shuttling your laptop back and forth between your home, law school, and the library. You're not going to be using it in war-zones in the former Baltic states and while interviewing indigenous tribes in the Amazon. Whatever laptop you buy will be fine, I can assure you.

barkingbug
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby barkingbug » Mon May 10, 2010 10:22 am



Damn, a new Edge was exactly the model I was thinking of. A 13" model with the Intel. What's up with all the AMD processors, by the way? No thanks.

$799 currently, with Bluetooth, Core2Duo, Windows 7 Pro, Trackpoint and all. Only weighs 3.6 pounds.






Edit - also, is the lack of an optical drive that big a deal? I've heard you can simply turn in your exams on thumb drives.


Or, for $135 less, you can get the 14-inch model with an i3 and an optical drive...

bmav26
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby bmav26 » Mon May 10, 2010 10:31 am

maybe the wrong forum for this question, but:

is it worth buying the apple protection plan if purchasing a macbook? thanks.

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Matthies
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby Matthies » Mon May 10, 2010 10:37 am

bmav26 wrote:maybe the wrong forum for this question, but:

is it worth buying the apple protection plan if purchasing a macbook? thanks.


I got the Apple plan on my ihone and some ipods, and have had to use it a few times, so I got it on my MBP just in case. Its nice to have I think in case anything goes wrong.

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Matthies
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby Matthies » Mon May 10, 2010 10:40 am

Also if you're going to have a homeowners or renters insurance check with your insurer, most have computer damage policies that cover drops, spills, ect in addition to it getting stolen for a few extra dollars a month. Just make sure you have a rider that covers the value of all your computers, because I had so many I had to increase that over the base coveragI think the base was like 5k so for most people that shouled be fine).

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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby missinglink » Mon May 10, 2010 10:54 am

bmav26 wrote:maybe the wrong forum for this question, but:

is it worth buying the apple protection plan if purchasing a macbook? thanks.

Yes. A thousand times, yes.

The failure rate over a three year period, even with 'good' laptop companies, is around 15%. I've owned an iBook from 2002, and now a Macbook Pro from 2006, both purchased with Applecare.

The iBook was a bit of a lemon. It had to be sent in for three logic board replacements. The repair costs out of pocket would have been nearly the total cost of the laptop - for each repair incident.

The Macbook Pro has had it's optical drive replaced, and something related to the battery fixed under Applecare.

I'm not sure if I'll get a Macbook Pro again, but if I did, I would certainly get some sort of extended warranty. The decision about whether to get another Macbook would be easier if Microsoft would man up and release OneNote in OSX. Between having to run that natively, and other productivity programs, I would probably be running Windows 7 in BootCamp on a Macbook more than running OSX. Might as well get a PC at that point.

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beach_terror
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby beach_terror » Mon May 10, 2010 10:57 am

barkingbug wrote:
beach_terror wrote:It's only a 1.3 pound difference. But if you'd rather pay more for the 13'', and then extra for an external drive, then more power to you.

Also, FWIW, the Edge has received pretty bad reviews. I originally wanted one, but now I'm definitely not getting one. It shouldn't even be a Thinkpad. It has pretty shoddy construction in comparison. See the CNET video review for more on that, though.

The edge has received very good reviews. Wired gave it 9 out of 10. I have scanned the first half dozen reviews that popped up on a search from reputable sources - all were "very good," including CNET. "Very Good" is not quite the same as "pretty bad." I am sure you uncles Frank and Walter hated it though - thanks for sharing.


Woah there slugger. My take on the Edge has been entirely through professional reviews and personal research. The shoddy construction I am referring to is in the build quality (absence of the Thinkpad durability perks that make them, Thinkpads).

To quote some reviews: "The only features it shares with the ThinkPad notebooks is the recognizable touchpad with pointing stick controls and the logo on the palmrest." -notebookreview

"Although it offers a fairly well-rounded package, a steep price for the Intel-equipped model, no option for discrete graphics and missing essentials like an optical drive leave it feeling incomplete." -digitaltrends

I can't find the review, but there's also one out there comparing the durability perks of the 400 series to the Edge. The edge uses a different hinge system, which is not nearly as durable as the real Thinkpad line. Long story short: The Edge is a step down in the quality the Thinkpad line is associated with, they should have just called it a Lenovo Edge, or an Ideapad.

EDIT: Actually, didn't need to find it in a review. It's on the Lenovo site. The Thinkpad Edge does not have 1) Rollcage Technology or 2) Harddrive impact protection. Also, it doesn't have the backup/recovery tools commonly associated with Thinkpads.

Finally, to answer Kalvano's question... Its build is probably the same as an Acer/Dell/ASUS/anything else, but definitely worse than the standard Thinkpad.

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zeth006
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby zeth006 » Mon May 10, 2010 11:24 am

missinglink wrote:
bmav26 wrote:maybe the wrong forum for this question, but:

is it worth buying the apple protection plan if purchasing a macbook? thanks.

Yes. A thousand times, yes.

The failure rate over a three year period, even with 'good' laptop companies, is around 15%. I've owned an iBook from 2002, and now a Macbook Pro from 2006, both purchased with Applecare.

The iBook was a bit of a lemon. It had to be sent in for three logic board replacements. The repair costs out of pocket would have been nearly the total cost of the laptop - for each repair incident.

The Macbook Pro has had it's optical drive replaced, and something related to the battery fixed under Applecare.

I'm not sure if I'll get a Macbook Pro again, but if I did, I would certainly get some sort of extended warranty. The decision about whether to get another Macbook would be easier if Microsoft would man up and release OneNote in OSX. Between having to run that natively, and other productivity programs, I would probably be running Windows 7 in BootCamp on a Macbook more than running OSX. Might as well get a PC at that point.



If Microsoft would just release OneNote for OSX, life would be so much easier for us Apple users! It won't be available on Office 2011. :x

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zeth006
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby zeth006 » Mon May 10, 2010 12:38 pm

beach_terror wrote:
barkingbug wrote:
beach_terror wrote:It's only a 1.3 pound difference. But if you'd rather pay more for the 13'', and then extra for an external drive, then more power to you.

Also, FWIW, the Edge has received pretty bad reviews. I originally wanted one, but now I'm definitely not getting one. It shouldn't even be a Thinkpad. It has pretty shoddy construction in comparison. See the CNET video review for more on that, though.

The edge has received very good reviews. Wired gave it 9 out of 10. I have scanned the first half dozen reviews that popped up on a search from reputable sources - all were "very good," including CNET. "Very Good" is not quite the same as "pretty bad." I am sure you uncles Frank and Walter hated it though - thanks for sharing.


Woah there slugger. My take on the Edge has been entirely through professional reviews and personal research. The shoddy construction I am referring to is in the build quality (absence of the Thinkpad durability perks that make them, Thinkpads).

To quote some reviews: "The only features it shares with the ThinkPad notebooks is the recognizable touchpad with pointing stick controls and the logo on the palmrest." -notebookreview

"Although it offers a fairly well-rounded package, a steep price for the Intel-equipped model, no option for discrete graphics and missing essentials like an optical drive leave it feeling incomplete." -digitaltrends

I can't find the review, but there's also one out there comparing the durability perks of the 400 series to the Edge. The edge uses a different hinge system, which is not nearly as durable as the real Thinkpad line. Long story short: The Edge is a step down in the quality the Thinkpad line is associated with, they should have just called it a Lenovo Edge, or an Ideapad.

EDIT: Actually, didn't need to find it in a review. It's on the Lenovo site. The Thinkpad Edge does not have 1) Rollcage Technology or 2) Harddrive impact protection. Also, it doesn't have the backup/recovery tools commonly associated with Thinkpads.

Finally, to answer Kalvano's question... Its build is probably the same as an Acer/Dell/ASUS/anything else, but definitely worse than the standard Thinkpad.



Well TBF, Acer/Dell/Asus these days make separate notebook lines for budget-conscious consumers and the premium segment buyers. Not all notebooks from these companies have cruddy build construction. But still...even Dell's Inspirons as of late are better than those from the earlier 2000s by leaps and bounds. The spine construction doesn't feel like it'll break after 6 months of use. I would venture to say that a couple of my Apple switcher friends ditched Dell precisely because their $600-800 Inspirons from 2002-2003 developed cracked or in some cases, shattered spines.


But the new Inspiron doesn't come close to comparing with the pricier Adamo. Hold and compare the two and you will feel the difference. One is made almost entirely of plastic and the other from aluminum.


That said, you get what you pay for. You really can't buy a Lenovo Edge and realistically expect it to have the toughness of a Lenovo T410; some compromises are made when the price is lowered. Manufacturing the Edge 13 and 14 lines to have the same levels of structural rigidity as the T410s would not only depress margins on the Edge but it would also cannibalize the T410 segment. The same goes for the inclusion of rollcage technology.


Now I'm not saying you shouldn't buy the Edge. It gets decent reviews in its own price segment. But my take is that you should either plan to spend $600-800 for an Edge or just toss in about $300-400 more for the T410. It's your call. You go with the Edge and save money but make sure not to drop it if ever, or pay a few hundred more for peace of mind. Your typical closet millionaire next door neighbor may not drive a Ferrari or a Lexus. But he'll most definitely be driving at least a used car brand that's known for lasting hundreds of thousands of miles. The fact that you chose to go with Lenovo is a good first step. The next one is asking yourself whether it's worth it to break the $1,000 price barrier. I opted to go with the MBP 13 partly because of the reputation for build construction.

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beach_terror
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby beach_terror » Mon May 10, 2010 1:11 pm

zeth006 wrote:
beach_terror wrote:
barkingbug wrote:
beach_terror wrote:It's only a 1.3 pound difference. But if you'd rather pay more for the 13'', and then extra for an external drive, then more power to you.

That said, you get what you pay for. You really can't buy a Lenovo Edge and realistically expect it to have the toughness of a Lenovo T410; some compromises are made when the price is lowered. Manufacturing the Edge 13 and 14 lines to have the same levels of structural rigidity as the T410s would not only depress margins on the Edge but it would also cannibalize the T410 segment. The same goes for the inclusion of rollcage technology.


Now I'm not saying you shouldn't buy the Edge. It gets decent reviews in its own price segment. But my take is that you should either plan to spend $600-800 for an Edge or just toss in about $300-400 more for the T410. It's your call. You go with the Edge and save money but make sure not to drop it if ever, or pay a few hundred more for peace of mind. Your typical closet millionaire next door neighbor may not drive a Ferrari or a Lexus. But he'll most definitely be driving at least a used car brand that's known for lasting hundreds of thousands of miles. The fact that you chose to go with Lenovo is a good first step. The next one is asking yourself whether it's worth it to break the $1,000 price barrier.


I think we're in agreement . Also, its about 30$ difference between a T410i and a Lenovo Edge 13. For me, I'd rather have 1.3 pounds and a 14" screen with a solid build than not have it. However, everyone doesn't have the same priorities. My original statement still stands, the Edge is not in the same family as the other Thinkpad models.

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zeth006
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby zeth006 » Mon May 10, 2010 1:41 pm

I'm looking at the T410i right now. It's not a bad deal at all for what you're paying.

Some options I'd personally upgrade:

OS: Win7 64-bit(Free) - Might as well? You won't face too many software incompatibilities especially if whatever you were using before runs on Win7.

RAM

Display: Great if you like having a lot of windows open. Strictly optional.

WiFi: This is just my thing. More range the higher up you go from what I hear.

missinglink
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby missinglink » Mon May 10, 2010 2:35 pm

Funny, I'm also looking at the T410i through my school's Lenovo program.

I'm trying to figure out what the 'i' designation means, especially in relation to the 's' designation or the plain old 410. Having been with Macs for the better part of a decade, the model naming conventions of PC manufacturers have me a bit confused.

And to think, I used to be technically savvy enough to have built several of my own desktop computers in high school.

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Matthies
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby Matthies » Mon May 10, 2010 3:05 pm

zeth006 wrote:But the new Inspiron doesn't come close to comparing with the pricier Adamo. Hold and compare the two and you will feel the difference. One is made almost entirely of plastic and the other from aluminum.




My Adamo, in style, build quality, weight, size and just plan coolness blows my MBP away, unfortunetly so did the price of it compared to the mac. I'm a sucker for pretty flashy things though :cry:

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zeth006
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby zeth006 » Mon May 10, 2010 3:05 pm

missinglink wrote:Funny, I'm also looking at the T410i through my school's Lenovo program.

I'm trying to figure out what the 'i' designation means, especially in relation to the 's' designation or the plain old 410. Having been with Macs for the better part of a decade, the model naming conventions of PC manufacturers have me a bit confused.

And to think, I used to be technically savvy enough to have built several of my own desktop computers in high school.


i=Budget-oriented, comes with an i3.

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zeth006
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby zeth006 » Mon May 10, 2010 3:06 pm

Matthies wrote:
zeth006 wrote:But the new Inspiron doesn't come close to comparing with the pricier Adamo. Hold and compare the two and you will feel the difference. One is made almost entirely of plastic and the other from aluminum.




My Adamo, in style, build quality, weight, size and just plan coolness blows my MBP away, unfortunetly so did the price of it compared to the mac. I'm a sucker for pretty flashy things though :cry:


For sure. If the Onyx hadn't been so darn expensive, I would've opted for it instead. The MBP 13 for me was the less expensive shiny shiny.

jecclesdrennan
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby jecclesdrennan » Mon May 10, 2010 5:37 pm

So I know this post is slightly off topic in that it isn't about "budget PC's" which seams to be a recurring theme.

My question is, if you had $2000 to spend on a laptop, would a tablet PC be beneficial in law school? Not an Ipad. Something like a Levono X201 tablet. I don't know a lot about OneNote but it seams that a tablet would be quite handy.

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Matthies
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby Matthies » Mon May 10, 2010 6:41 pm

jecclesdrennan wrote:So I know this post is slightly off topic in that it isn't about "budget PC's" which seams to be a recurring theme.

My question is, if you had $2000 to spend on a laptop, would a tablet PC be beneficial in law school? Not an Ipad. Something like a Levono X201 tablet. I don't know a lot about OneNote but it seams that a tablet would be quite handy.


In all my years in law school (and I think I probably hold the record for the person actually enrolled the longest on TLS in law school at 5 years) I have seen exactly 2 people with tablets in my classes, and yet never saw them use them for anything other than typing on. But if you think you'll actually use it, maybe then it right for you. I've just never seen anyone actually use the tablet function (inside or outside of law school).

You could just buy a really powerful laptop and then one of these http://www.amazon.com/Wacom-CTL460-Bamb ... =pd_cp_e_1

Or one of those digital pens http://www.amazon.com/Dane-Electric-Zpe ... 101&sr=1-5

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zeth006
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby zeth006 » Mon May 10, 2010 7:22 pm

My bottom line criteria for a notebook for law school


1. Good keyboard. Not just ok. I should be able to type on it with minimum errors and close to 60WPM or better.

2. Light weight. I'm planning to brown bag most of my lunches and dinners and maybe eat out 1-2 meals a week as I did in univ. Under 5 pounds was my requirement

3. Thin. 1 inch or less. Related to #2. I should be able to carry it around without developing back problems. I'm hoping if i don't carry around too many books it can go inside alongside my other books.

4. Access to repair/warranty service with a better chance of not getting shafted like with Geek Squad

5. Strong, rigid build construction. Flex was a no-no and automatic groups for disqualification from my list.

5. Battery life. Not crucial, but important if I ever have to study where there are no plugs. Doubt I'll be in that situation as I don't plan to go to school in the boonies.

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Matthies
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby Matthies » Mon May 10, 2010 7:52 pm

zeth006 wrote:My bottom line criteria for a notebook for law school


1. Good keyboard. Not just ok. I should be able to type on it with minimum errors and close to 60WPM or better.

2. Light weight. I'm planning to brown bag most of my lunches and dinners and maybe eat out 1-2 meals a week as I did in univ. Under 5 pounds was my requirement

3. Thin. 1 inch or less. Related to #2. I should be able to carry it around without developing back problems. I'm hoping if i don't carry around too many books it can go inside alongside my other books.

4. Access to repair/warranty service with a better chance of not getting shafted like with Geek Squad

5. Strong, rigid build construction. Flex was a no-no and automatic groups for disqualification from my list.

5. Battery life. Not crucial, but important if I ever have to study where there are no plugs. Doubt I'll be in that situation as I don't plan to go to school in the boonies.


Keep your old laptop as a backup, sneding your main in for service in the middle of schools, sucks.

Aslo if you do it right you can eat luch for free everyday, at my school some group was allways having a presentation and free for for anyone who stoped byfrom12-1pm, pizza, burritos, salads.

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zeth006
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby zeth006 » Mon May 10, 2010 8:23 pm

Matthies wrote:
zeth006 wrote:My bottom line criteria for a notebook for law school


1. Good keyboard. Not just ok. I should be able to type on it with minimum errors and close to 60WPM or better.

2. Light weight. I'm planning to brown bag most of my lunches and dinners and maybe eat out 1-2 meals a week as I did in univ. Under 5 pounds was my requirement

3. Thin. 1 inch or less. Related to #2. I should be able to carry it around without developing back problems. I'm hoping if i don't carry around too many books it can go inside alongside my other books.

4. Access to repair/warranty service with a better chance of not getting shafted like with Geek Squad

5. Strong, rigid build construction. Flex was a no-no and automatic groups for disqualification from my list.

5. Battery life. Not crucial, but important if I ever have to study where there are no plugs. Doubt I'll be in that situation as I don't plan to go to school in the boonies.


Keep your old laptop as a backup, sneding your main in for service in the middle of schools, sucks.

Aslo if you do it right you can eat luch for free everyday, at my school some group was allways having a presentation and free for for anyone who stoped byfrom12-1pm, pizza, burritos, salads.


I've always been a sucker for freebies. Guess old habits die hard! I could always do with some free pizza and burritos.

JohnWild
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby JohnWild » Mon May 10, 2010 9:05 pm

zeth006 wrote:My bottom line criteria for a notebook for law school


1. Good keyboard. Not just ok. I should be able to type on it with minimum errors and close to 60WPM or better.

2. Light weight. I'm planning to brown bag most of my lunches and dinners and maybe eat out 1-2 meals a week as I did in univ. Under 5 pounds was my requirement

3. Thin. 1 inch or less. Related to #2. I should be able to carry it around without developing back problems. I'm hoping if i don't carry around too many books it can go inside alongside my other books.

4. Access to repair/warranty service with a better chance of not getting shafted like with Geek Squad

5. Strong, rigid build construction. Flex was a no-no and automatic groups for disqualification from my list.

5. Battery life. Not crucial, but important if I ever have to study where there are no plugs. Doubt I'll be in that situation as I don't plan to go to school in the boonies.


What are you looking at / end up choosing? These are almost my exact same qualifications for a potential laptop.




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