Best Law School Laptop for the Money

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ArthurEdens
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby ArthurEdens » Thu May 27, 2010 2:06 pm

I bought a Lenovo G460 (i5 core, 4gb RAM, 320gb HD, 14in screen, some sort of mobile NVidia GeForce card), HDMI out) for $699 + tax. So far I love it except for the touchpad, which is nicely constructed but doesn't work very well. I'll be using a mouse instead.

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Duralex
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby Duralex » Thu May 27, 2010 2:09 pm

A lot of people do like CircusPonies. Evernote can also be useful, especially for "junk drawer" style notes and clippings for cross platform use (as it all syncs through their website by default.) As I've mentioned elsewhere, DevonThink is also great, and the OmniGroup's applications are very nice for school as well (OmniOutliner, OmniFocus, OmniGraffle most prominently.)

Here's a suggestion for OneNote users: get a hosted Sharepoint/Exchange account for personal use. You might as well get used to using document management now, and a searchable, indexed database and versioning system (plus storage in the cloud) could be very convenient for LS. I'm not current on the offerings for hosted Microsoft services, but last I checked Intermedia had a cheap monthly Exchange offering that came with free Sharepoint (w/user and size limits, but that won't matter.)

Note that if you go this way you want to choose a large, reliable player that won't go under and prepay generously to avoid any interruptions (and lack of access) due to any unforeseen billing problems (such as a lost or expired card, etc.)

Wikipedia has a decent intro to Sharepoint: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_SharePoint

( OS X / Linux / OSS people -- you may want to check out KnowledgeTree, a DMS that can be run on a typical LAMP webhost account, and offers web-based, WebDAV and MS Office integration. )

I probably need to make mention of this in the helpful things or geek stuff thread, but I thought I'd mention it here as for some people it might be best to focus on applications and not on hardware.

I hesitate to suggest it, but it might be possible to make it through LS with a computer-on-a-stick (i.e. using a VM that launches from a USB key on a lab computer. LS's have computer labs, right?) PuppyLinux will load from inside XP even on 6 year old Dell Optiplex boxes. Not sure about test-taking, though.

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Matthies
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby Matthies » Thu May 27, 2010 4:33 pm

Duralex wrote:A lot of people do like CircusPonies. Evernote can also be useful, especially for "junk drawer" style notes and clippings for cross platform use (as it all syncs through their website by default.) As I've mentioned elsewhere, DevonThink is also great, and the OmniGroup's applications are very nice for school as well (OmniOutliner, OmniFocus, OmniGraffle most prominently.)

Here's a suggestion for OneNote users: get a hosted Sharepoint/Exchange account for personal use. You might as well get used to using document management now, and a searchable, indexed database and versioning system (plus storage in the cloud) could be very convenient for LS. I'm not current on the offerings for hosted Microsoft services, but last I checked Intermedia had a cheap monthly Exchange offering that came with free Sharepoint (w/user and size limits, but that won't matter.)

Note that if you go this way you want to choose a large, reliable player that won't go under and prepay generously to avoid any interruptions (and lack of access) due to any unforeseen billing problems (such as a lost or expired card, etc.)

Wikipedia has a decent intro to Sharepoint: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_SharePoint

( OS X / Linux / OSS people -- you may want to check out KnowledgeTree, a DMS that can be run on a typical LAMP webhost account, and offers web-based, WebDAV and MS Office integration. )

I probably need to make mention of this in the helpful things or geek stuff thread, but I thought I'd mention it here as for some people it might be best to focus on applications and not on hardware.

I hesitate to suggest it, but it might be possible to make it through LS with a computer-on-a-stick (i.e. using a VM that launches from a USB key on a lab computer. LS's have computer labs, right?) PuppyLinux will load from inside XP even on 6 year old Dell Optiplex boxes. Not sure about test-taking, though.



I *think* OnenOte 2010 is going to allow you to use cloud computing on OFiice Live for free, so you may be able to use OneNote 2010 in a browser, not sure, I thought I read that someplace on the office 2010 webpage

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kalvano
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby kalvano » Thu May 27, 2010 4:55 pm

So I take it I will be in the minority taking notes by hand?

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James Bond
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby James Bond » Thu May 27, 2010 4:56 pm

kalvano wrote:So I take it I will be in the minority taking notes by hand?


What is this 1974? :wink:

burvowski
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby burvowski » Thu May 27, 2010 5:12 pm

kalvano wrote:So I take it I will be in the minority taking notes by hand?


negatory. i plan on only using my laptop before and after class to type up and index my notes but do all my in-class notetaking by hand. for me, that was the most effective method of learning the material in undergrad. this was reaffirmed for me after sitting in on a couple law classes and seeing most of the laptop users on facebook/gchat

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Duralex
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby Duralex » Thu May 27, 2010 5:13 pm

kalvano wrote:So I take it I will be in the minority taking notes by hand?


http://www.shorthandclasses.com/

I'd actually like to learn this at some point. I have no idea why. My scrawl is already pretty fast.

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kalvano
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby kalvano » Thu May 27, 2010 5:16 pm

burvowski wrote:
kalvano wrote:So I take it I will be in the minority taking notes by hand?


negatory. i plan on only using my laptop before and after class to type up and index my notes but do all my in-class notetaking by hand. for me, that was the most effective method of learning the material in undergrad. this was reaffirmed for me after sitting in on a couple law classes and seeing most of the laptop users on facebook/gchat



Yeah, that's basically it for me, too. The act of writing it down commits it better to memory.

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Duralex
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby Duralex » Thu May 27, 2010 5:17 pm

I tend to keep both DevonThink and a legal pad handy during lecture (referencing undergrad experiences.) I take notes in longhand that I'm not sure I want in my "real" notes--asides, transcribed back and forth exchanges, etc. I can always add them to the "real" notes later if they prove important.

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Matthies
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby Matthies » Thu May 27, 2010 5:19 pm

writing notes would mean I would have had to actaully pay attentention in class, that was not an option

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vlsorbust
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby vlsorbust » Thu May 27, 2010 10:56 pm

Matthies wrote:I *think* OnenOte 2010 is going to allow you to use cloud computing on OFiice Live for free, so you may be able to use OneNote 2010 in a browser, not sure, I thought I read that someplace on the office 2010 webpage


This is true. --LinkRemoved-- The article is a bit old (March 9) and I think that the OneNote web app is already out, but it's a worthwhile quick read anyway. Haven't tried this stuff out yet since I don't have 2010 my current laptop. The new laptop is currently being built. :D

Edit: Sorry for the writing skills fail above. Folks, it has been a long day at the office. (No pun intended)

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Duralex
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby Duralex » Fri May 28, 2010 11:33 am

Is that a Greg LeMonde tar? Nice.

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vlsorbust
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby vlsorbust » Fri May 28, 2010 4:31 pm

Duralex wrote:Is that a Greg LeMonde tar? Nice.

Nope, it's Mario Cipollini - best sprinter ever. But thank you for the props. :-)

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100Miles&Runnin'
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby 100Miles&Runnin' » Sun May 30, 2010 5:46 am

Are optical drives necessary for most schools? I've been looking at the HP Envy, but don't want to have to carry around an external CD drive.
Also, from skimming through this thread, it seems that most people think the T400, ASUS ULsomthing, or a MBP is the way to go. Or is there a model I'm missing?

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Duralex
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby Duralex » Sun May 30, 2010 8:15 am

You should have one, but you probably won't have to bring it with you most of the time. Those are the most recommended models here, but there are alternatives. (For instance Fujitsu's LifeBook and Panasonic's Toughbook both have small cult followings. Toshiba has lost a lot of market share, but the Satellite is still being made and they have traditionally been solid no-frills machines. I've mentioned FalconNW which is best known for gaming machines, as they also make very nice non-gaming laptops. )

Don't buy a HP laptop unless you are a masochist who enjoys watching your laptop go to pieces (literally) over a school year or two. HP is for monitors, printers and servers.

savesthedayajb
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby savesthedayajb » Tue Jun 01, 2010 8:35 pm

Core i7 1.6Ghz v. Core i5 2.5 Ghz?

forty-two
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby forty-two » Tue Jun 01, 2010 8:43 pm

I'm trying to decide between an mbp and a white macbook. I noticed that the edges of the mbp were kind of sharp, does this bother anyone? Do you just get used to it?

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Ronaldo
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby Ronaldo » Tue Jun 01, 2010 8:50 pm

forty-two wrote:I'm trying to decide between an mbp and a white macbook. I noticed that the edges of the mbp were kind of sharp, does this bother anyone? Do you just get used to it?



No, I did not notice until I read your post.

Buy the MBP, it is a great machine.

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100Miles&Runnin'
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby 100Miles&Runnin' » Tue Jun 01, 2010 9:10 pm

Anybody have any horror stories regarding BootCamp failing during an exam, or other bad time? I think I'm going to stick with Macs, but I've never used BootCamp, so it's making me think twice.

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Son of Cicero
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby Son of Cicero » Tue Jun 01, 2010 9:17 pm

Fuck Lenovo. I had to argue with them for about a week after they tried to claim their upgraded warranty didn't cover a couple of hardware issues which were clearly the result of "normal wear and tear" (this, according to Lenovo's printed materials, is all that is required for the purchaser to receive free repairs). For example, a mouse button that pops off after a year or so of daily non-intensive use and can't be snapped back into place without special tools (a common problem with some models, it seems) falls outside of the warranty.

Lenovo pretends to have some kind of one-way line of communication between the technicians who decide whether the warranty covers your problem and the support staff which handles calls from consumers, with the result being that you, the customer with a warranty issue, may only speak with ambassadors who claim total ignorance about the nature of your problem. If the built-in hardware diagnostic that boots before the operating system determines that you have physical problems with your hardware, including RAM and hard disk failures, you are not allowed to ask the technicians why, after you mailed them the computer, they chose instead to characterize this as a software issue, meaning your warranty doesn't apply. In short, there is no way to get an explanation for absurd determinations that your warranty offers you no protection. Just to illustrate the extent of Lenovo's crooked business practices, after speaking with several support staff members and their supervisor, NO ONE AT LENOVO COULD GIVE AN EXAMPLE OF A SINGLE PROBLEM THAT IS COVERED BY THE COMPANY'S WARRANTY.

burvowski
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby burvowski » Wed Jun 02, 2010 12:31 am

forty-two wrote:I'm trying to decide between an mbp and a white macbook. I noticed that the edges of the mbp were kind of sharp, does this bother anyone? Do you just get used to it?


if the edges are digging into your skin, you are not holding your hands properly over the keyboard

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James Bond
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby James Bond » Wed Jun 02, 2010 12:32 am

forty-two wrote:I'm trying to decide between an mbp and a white macbook. I noticed that the edges of the mbp were kind of sharp, does this bother anyone? Do you just get used to it?


Honestly I had to make this decision a few months ago and I went with the white macbook. At the time, I got the exact same machine as the 13" mpb but for something like $200 less. I upgraded my macbook as far as I could though.

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creamedcats
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby creamedcats » Wed Jun 02, 2010 4:04 am

Son of Cicero wrote:NO ONE AT LENOVO COULD GIVE AN EXAMPLE OF A SINGLE PROBLEM THAT IS COVERED BY THE COMPANY'S WARRANTY.


Anyone else have bad experiences with Lenovo? I really like the Thinkpad...

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Son of Cicero
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby Son of Cicero » Wed Jun 02, 2010 8:32 am

I liked my Thinkpad, too, despite (1) my having to send it in on two occasions to have the wonky clicker button fixed (which Lenovo is only willing to do for $150, even though I have 400 days left on an "upgraded, full wear-and-tear coverage" warranty which apparently only guarantees that I won't have to pay to have the letters on the keyboard repainted between now and July 2011), (2) the dead pixels on the LCD that started to appear about a month after I got the computer, and (3) the current RAM/harddrive problems. But the shady warranty BS knocks Lenovo off the list of companies I would recommend buying from.

JJWAL
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby JJWAL » Wed Jun 02, 2010 10:46 am

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Last edited by JJWAL on Tue Jan 08, 2013 12:10 am, edited 1 time in total.




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