Best Law School Laptop for the Money

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examplepdf
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby examplepdf » Wed Jun 02, 2010 11:02 am

I heard you can sometimes get some kind of advance $ on your loans to buy stuff like a new laptop before classes start. I'm definitely going to have to have a new laptop from Day 1 (my battery is 100% broken and I swear the thing weighs 20lbs) but I don't have enough on my credit card to get a decent one.

Anyone have experience with this?

(Btw I check out this thread whenever I see it pop up and it's been a good resource; some of it's over my head but just wanted to say thx to some of the contributors who know a lot more than I do.)

missinglink
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby missinglink » Wed Jun 02, 2010 11:07 am

I know a lot of people who use Macs are always on the lookout for a good OneNote replacement. I've just started to use a trial version of Curio (http://www.zengobi.com/products/curio/), and so far I'm very impressed.

Unlike a lot of other Mac-based note taking software, it allows you to put things anywhere on a note page, to link to other files, to draw images. In other words, it allows you to move beyond the constraints of the the spiral-bound notebook concept.

It also has some useful organization tools, especially if you're a visual person. E.g. mind mapping.

It also works with EverNote, if you use that.

Anyways, I just thought I would point it out to those looking for something to do what OneNote does. I've seen people mention Circus Ponies before, but haven't heard much about this program.

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JollyGreenGiant
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby JollyGreenGiant » Wed Jun 02, 2010 1:02 pm

Any word on the Mac back-to-school discount? Or does that not come 'til much later in the summer?

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Mr. Matlock
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby Mr. Matlock » Wed Jun 02, 2010 1:06 pm

JollyGreenGiant wrote:Any word on the Mac back-to-school discount? Or does that not come 'til much later in the summer?

It started last week and runs through September 7th.

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shepdawg
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby shepdawg » Fri Jun 04, 2010 3:42 pm

You can get the Dell Adamo for $999 now. Not bad. http://www.techbargains.com/jump.cfm?cl ... rg=dacwaq1

burvowski
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby burvowski » Fri Jun 04, 2010 5:28 pm


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dut99002
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby dut99002 » Fri Jun 04, 2010 6:07 pm

For those on more of a budget and interested in Lenovo, here's a good deal:

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Lenovo+-+Th ... 8183109339

Lenovo - ThinkPad Edge Laptop with Intel® Core™ i3 Processor - Midnight Black

Intel® Core™ i3-330M processor
Features 3MB L3 cache and 2.13GHz processor speed.
4GB DDR3 RAM
500GB hard drive
DVD-RW drive
backlit keyboard
Windows 7 Professional 64 bit

$680.

PSHelpPlz
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby PSHelpPlz » Sat Jun 05, 2010 12:27 am

Lenovo ThnkPad T410

Intel Core i5-520M
Windows 7 Pro 64
14.1" WXGA+ TFT/LED Backlight
4 GB
Built-in webcam
500 GB 7200rpm HD
9 cell 2.8Ah Li-Ion Battery
3 year basic + accident warranty on the laptop & battery


$1272.74


Suck it, Apple.

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beach_terror
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby beach_terror » Sat Jun 05, 2010 12:30 am

PSHelpPlz wrote:Lenovo ThnkPad T410

Suck it, Apple.


+1, haha.

burvowski
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby burvowski » Sat Jun 05, 2010 3:18 pm

No offense but thinking you're sticking it a company because you're buying another product kind of makes you look silly and immature. Somehow I have the feeling Apple doesn't read these forums. Do you do it with every purchase? Suck it, Ford! Suck it, Yoplait! Suck it, Pepsi! Suck it, Goodyear! Suck it, Barnes & Noble! Suck it, Continental! Must get tedious...

Read the link I posted earlier about brand-name loyalty, it's just self-psychological justification.

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Bustang
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby Bustang » Sat Jun 05, 2010 4:28 pm

lol at the people who think they need i5/i7s to take notes in class.

missinglink
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby missinglink » Sat Jun 05, 2010 4:30 pm

The i5 or i7 is for playing games while you're supposed to be taking notes in class. :)

Or maybe not. For me anyways, I might prefer the better processor for editing large RAW files and batch photo processing.

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beach_terror
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby beach_terror » Sat Jun 05, 2010 7:00 pm

burvowski wrote:No offense but thinking you're sticking it a company because you're buying another product kind of makes you look silly and immature. Somehow I have the feeling Apple doesn't read these forums. Do you do it with every purchase? Suck it, Ford! Suck it, Yoplait! Suck it, Pepsi! Suck it, Goodyear! Suck it, Barnes & Noble! Suck it, Continental! Must get tedious...

Read the link I posted earlier about brand-name loyalty, it's just self-psychological justification.


Personally, I like sticking it to the Mac hipster-fanboys... who I loathe for the most part. I have no problem with Apple, other than their machines are way overpriced.

burvowski
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby burvowski » Sat Jun 05, 2010 7:48 pm

yeah that's pretty sound logic

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T14_Scholly
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby T14_Scholly » Sat Jun 05, 2010 8:22 pm

I'm looking at this laptop as one that has decent gaming capability but still a good general-purpose school laptop. It has a GeForce GT 320M graphics card, but the downside is that it has an Intel Pentium T4500 processor.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6834220735

Would it be better to go with a laptop that has a Core i3 and an Intel GMA graphics card? My price range is about $600-$700.

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Chupavida
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby Chupavida » Sat Jun 05, 2010 10:39 pm

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Last edited by Chupavida on Tue Jul 19, 2011 10:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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shepdawg
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby shepdawg » Sat Jun 05, 2010 11:09 pm

15 inch seems too big. I want 13 or 14, Less than 5 lbs, and about an inch thick.

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James Bond
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby James Bond » Sat Jun 05, 2010 11:47 pm

shepdawg wrote:15 inch seems too big. I want 13 or 14, Less than 5 lbs, and about an inch thick.


That's what she said

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Mr. Matlock
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby Mr. Matlock » Sun Jun 06, 2010 12:10 am

James Bond wrote:
shepdawg wrote:15 inch seems too big. I want 13 or 14, Less than 5 lbs, and about an inch thick.


That's what she said

Hmmmmm..... all this time I was under the impression it was girth that was more important to women.

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James Bond
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby James Bond » Sun Jun 06, 2010 12:15 am

Mr. Matlock wrote:
James Bond wrote:
shepdawg wrote:15 inch seems too big. I want 13 or 14, Less than 5 lbs, and about an inch thick.


That's what she said

Hmmmmm..... all this time I was under the impression it was girth that was more important to women.


I didn't say she was right. It's just what she said.

That and I think it's a combination of both that's important. No one wants a pencil dick or a chode.

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T14_Scholly
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby T14_Scholly » Sun Jun 06, 2010 2:14 am

Chupavida wrote:Spend $150 more and get:

http://www.amazon.com/ASUS-K52JR-X4-15- ... 69&sr=1-50

i5, and an ATI 5470 Graphics Engine with 1GB DDR3 Dedicated VRAM + a blu-ray drive.

imo.

Edit: price range fail. But really, this $850 option is pretty damn solid, assuming you can turn an extra trick or something to extend your budget a bit.


Thanks for the tip. I think an extra $150 or so would be worth it. Question: how does the 5470 compare to the GeForce 310M?

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Chupavida
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby Chupavida » Sun Jun 06, 2010 3:30 am

.
Last edited by Chupavida on Tue Jul 19, 2011 10:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

placencia
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby placencia » Sun Jun 06, 2010 6:21 pm

I've been doing a lot of research on this topic recently, and what it seems to come down to is a couple of factors for me. Keep in mind I am pretty tech friendly, but I am not a computer nerd by any stretch of the imagination. There are probably a lot of people who know a whole lot more than I do about the topic, but I am posting this for people out there who are like me, and don't know all the ins and outs and would like help with a "buying guide", so to speak, that may address multiple concerns. If I make any technical errors, someone with more knowledge please feel free to correct me. Also, I hate Macs for a variety of reasons I don't need to get into, so everything I am discussing eliminates the Mac option from the equation.

1) Battery life - it isn't essential that the computer have an amazingly long battery life, but anything less than 4 hours gives me pause. The big thing you have to realize is that you must sacrifice both computing power and screen size to get longer battery life, and for me that's not worth it. There are new chips out that get extended battery life (Consumer Ultra Low Voltage or CULV), but in general the better the processor, the more power you're going to use.

2) Processor speed/computing power - These don't always go exactly hand in hand, because a combination of a lot of factors can adjust how much power and computing performance you can get from a given chipset, including the type of hard drive you have, graphics card options, preloaded software levels, and other things. There are a heck of a lot of chips out there, and it can become very confusing to decide the difference between an Intel Core 2 Duo, an Athlon Phenom II X4, or an Intel Core i5, and how the Bus, Cache, and other things come into play. Instead of explaining more, here's a good comparison page for you that just ranks them based on a number of factors. This is tailored for laptop processors, which are often different from desktops. http://www.notebookcheck.net/Mobile-Processors-Benchmarklist.2436.0.html The real help for this page is to allow you to compare computer prices you find from various models when they have different chips. Assuming you see two roughly equally priced models, this can give you somewhat of an idea of the better chip.

3) Size/weight - Remember that you are going to be lugging this thing to every class and getting it out in every meeting and study group for three years, and it needs to stand up to that. Durability is especially an issue, though, because laptops in general aren't famed for lasting. Software failures are a problem as well, and certain manufacturers are famous for their poor quality. I'll be honest, you'd never catch me buying a Dell or an HP, there are just too many horror stories. Lenovo, Acer, and Sony are pretty solid, but it's all personal preference at a certain point. I have met people who recommend the 10 inch netbook size and around that, but be aware that when you go tiny, it's almost impossible to get a powerful computer. The good news is that lugging it around is a snap, and you can pop it out in class and carry them anywhere without being inconvenienced. Anything above 15" for me is just too much, as you are hitting the 8 pound range for weight, and yeah, you may have crystal clear movies, but you're going to spend most of your time taking notes and reviewing them if you are doing law school right, and it's not worth the tradeoff.

4) Price - Probably the biggest factor, the $600-700 range is about the sweet spot. There are a ton of options out there in this range, and you don't need to spend more to get a pretty solid computer. Alienware (now made by Dell) even makes an 11 inch ultrapowerful gaming laptop for about 800 bucks now. I can't see spending a boatload of money on a new computer when it's just not necessary. At the $600+ range, you can get a pretty serviceable laptop to be your everyday computer, not just a portable.

Okay, so after looking at all those things, there are a few models I think are pretty solid.

Lenovo Thinkpad Edge 14 - This computer is priced in the $650-$800 range, depending on the options (more RAM, larger/faster HD, Windows 7 Personal/Professional Editions), and it really seems to provide great bang for your buck. The battery life is average compared to others in its class, about 4:42, and it uses the Pentium i3 330M, a pretty good processor, to give you some of the best results I have seen at that price point. At 14 inches, it's not too big, and it weighs around 5 pounds. This is the best option in my mind so far. It is very competitively priced, has enough computing power to watch movies and multitask and generally be my sole computer, has pretty good battery life, and is well designed and comfortable to use, according to all the reviews. It's also small enough to carry around without being an inconvenience.

Lenovo G550 - A little cheaper at around $550, heavier at around 5 pounds, 9 ounces, less computing power than the Edge14, but still serviceable, very durable (one of the toughest I have seen on the market)

Acer Aspire Timeline 1810TZ - About the same price as the G550, but the big thing here is battery life. You get 8+ hours, but the tradeoff is that the computing power is much less. Graphics are pretty slow compared to others, and the screen size is small, 11", but the benefit is that it's only 3 pounds.

HP G62t - Regarded by a few sites I have seen as the best value for under $600, there isn't a lot bad about this model. It uses the i3 330M as well with a 15" screen, and is only about 5.4 pounds. The HD on this runs at 7200 RPM (many in this class run at 5400 RPM, and basically the faster it goes, the quicker you can access files, programs, etc.). Battery life is right around 4 hours. Graphics are pretty much the same as the Thinkpad Edge. The main reason I am not a fan of this one is just because it's HP, and I haven't heard great things.

Anyway, in the next few weeks I'll probably be making my decision on what to buy. I dunno if any of that helped you guys out.

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Mr. Matlock
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby Mr. Matlock » Sun Jun 06, 2010 6:29 pm

placencia wrote:I've been doing a lot of research on this topic recently, and what it seems to come down to is a couple of factors for me. Keep in mind I am pretty tech friendly, but I am not a computer nerd by any stretch of the imagination. There are probably a lot of people who know a whole lot more than I do about the topic, but I am posting this for people out there who are like me, and don't know all the ins and outs and would like help with a "buying guide", so to speak, that may address multiple concerns. If I make any technical errors, someone with more knowledge please feel free to correct me. Also, I hate Macs for a variety of reasons I don't need to get into, so everything I am discussing eliminates the Mac option from the equation.

1) Battery life - it isn't essential that the computer have an amazingly long battery life, but anything less than 4 hours gives me pause. The big thing you have to realize is that you must sacrifice both computing power and screen size to get longer battery life, and for me that's not worth it. There are new chips out that get extended battery life (Consumer Ultra Low Voltage or CULV), but in general the better the processor, the more power you're going to use.

2) Processor speed/computing power - These don't always go exactly hand in hand, because a combination of a lot of factors can adjust how much power and computing performance you can get from a given chipset, including the type of hard drive you have, graphics card options, preloaded software levels, and other things. There are a heck of a lot of chips out there, and it can become very confusing to decide the difference between an Intel Core 2 Duo, an Athlon Phenom II X4, or an Intel Core i5, and how the Bus, Cache, and other things come into play. Instead of explaining more, here's a good comparison page for you that just ranks them based on a number of factors. This is tailored for laptop processors, which are often different from desktops. http://www.notebookcheck.net/Mobile-Processors-Benchmarklist.2436.0.html The real help for this page is to allow you to compare computer prices you find from various models when they have different chips. Assuming you see two roughly equally priced models, this can give you somewhat of an idea of the better chip.

3) Size/weight - Remember that you are going to be lugging this thing to every class and getting it out in every meeting and study group for three years, and it needs to stand up to that. Durability is especially an issue, though, because laptops in general aren't famed for lasting. Software failures are a problem as well, and certain manufacturers are famous for their poor quality. I'll be honest, you'd never catch me buying a Dell or an HP, there are just too many horror stories. Lenovo, Acer, and Sony are pretty solid, but it's all personal preference at a certain point. I have met people who recommend the 10 inch netbook size and around that, but be aware that when you go tiny, it's almost impossible to get a powerful computer. The good news is that lugging it around is a snap, and you can pop it out in class and carry them anywhere without being inconvenienced. Anything above 15" for me is just too much, as you are hitting the 8 pound range for weight, and yeah, you may have crystal clear movies, but you're going to spend most of your time taking notes and reviewing them if you are doing law school right, and it's not worth the tradeoff.

4) Price - Probably the biggest factor, the $600-700 range is about the sweet spot. There are a ton of options out there in this range, and you don't need to spend more to get a pretty solid computer. Alienware (now made by Dell) even makes an 11 inch ultrapowerful gaming laptop for about 800 bucks now. I can't see spending a boatload of money on a new computer when it's just not necessary. At the $600+ range, you can get a pretty serviceable laptop to be your everyday computer, not just a portable.

Okay, so after looking at all those things, there are a few models I think are pretty solid.

Lenovo Thinkpad Edge 14 - This computer is priced in the $650-$800 range, depending on the options (more RAM, larger/faster HD, Windows 7 Personal/Professional Editions), and it really seems to provide great bang for your buck. The battery life is average compared to others in its class, about 4:42, and it uses the Pentium i3 330M, a pretty good processor, to give you some of the best results I have seen at that price point. At 14 inches, it's not too big, and it weighs around 5 pounds. This is the best option in my mind so far. It is very competitively priced, has enough computing power to watch movies and multitask and generally be my sole computer, has pretty good battery life, and is well designed and comfortable to use, according to all the reviews. It's also small enough to carry around without being an inconvenience.

Lenovo G550 - A little cheaper at around $550, heavier at around 5 pounds, 9 ounces, less computing power than the Edge14, but still serviceable, very durable (one of the toughest I have seen on the market)

Acer Aspire Timeline 1810TZ - About the same price as the G550, but the big thing here is battery life. You get 8+ hours, but the tradeoff is that the computing power is much less. Graphics are pretty slow compared to others, and the screen size is small, 11", but the benefit is that it's only 3 pounds.

HP G62t - Regarded by a few sites I have seen as the best value for under $600, there isn't a lot bad about this model. It uses the i3 330M as well with a 15" screen, and is only about 5.4 pounds. The HD on this runs at 7200 RPM (many in this class run at 5400 RPM, and basically the faster it goes, the quicker you can access files, programs, etc.). Battery life is right around 4 hours. Graphics are pretty much the same as the Thinkpad Edge. The main reason I am not a fan of this one is just because it's HP, and I haven't heard great things.

Anyway, in the next few weeks I'll probably be making my decision on what to buy. I dunno if any of that helped you guys out.

Great post! This is actually one thread that I don't mind a wall of text from time to time.

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shepdawg
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby shepdawg » Sun Jun 06, 2010 9:23 pm

placencia wrote:
HP G62t - Regarded by a few sites I have seen as the best value for under $600, there isn't a lot bad about this model. It uses the i3 330M as well with a 15" screen, and is only about 5.4 pounds. The HD on this runs at 7200 RPM (many in this class run at 5400 RPM, and basically the faster it goes, the quicker you can access files, programs, etc.). Battery life is right around 4 hours. Graphics are pretty much the same as the Thinkpad Edge. The main reason I am not a fan of this one is just because it's HP, and I haven't heard great things.

Anyway, in the next few weeks I'll probably be making my decision on what to buy. I dunno if any of that helped you guys out.

Where can you get the g62t for under $600? Costco has it for $699




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