Best Law School Laptop for the Money

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Tangerine Gleam
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby Tangerine Gleam » Wed Jun 16, 2010 1:29 pm

Danke!

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Chupavida
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby Chupavida » Wed Jun 16, 2010 1:29 pm

.
Last edited by Chupavida on Tue Jul 19, 2011 10:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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kalvano
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby kalvano » Wed Jun 16, 2010 1:42 pm

Tangerine Gleam wrote:What's the best free virus protection software for PC's? My new laptop should be arriving today but I don't think I can afford another Kapersky subscription right now.



AVG combined with Microsoft Security Essentials, and perhaps Avast Free Edition if you're really paranoid.

All three together take up about 1/2 of 1% of available resources.

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sundance95
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby sundance95 » Wed Jun 16, 2010 1:44 pm

If anyone is interested in actual statistical analysis rather than anecdotal evidence, I strongly recommend reading this white paper (--LinkRemoved--) by Squaretrade, a leading laptop warranty provider who conducted a rigorous study on laptop reliability by brand.

Or, if that sounds hard, look at the pretty picture:

--ImageRemoved--

Gizmodo did a nice summary here: http://gizmodo.com/5406415/laptop-reliability-study-asus-and-toshiba-come-out-on-top.

Asus comes out best, and they offer two years part and labor malfunction warranty and one year accidental damage warranty standard, while all other manufacturers offer only one year parts and labor for malfunctions.

I work as paralegal at a firm that had a Dell acct, rep, whole nine yards. Dells suck and, in our experience, their service sucked too (several times they tried to replace lemons with refurb rather than new laptops). When I brought this study to the firm's attention we switched to Asus and have been extremely pleased with their service, and we don't even have an account with them; we purchase them retail. Highly recommended.

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kalvano
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby kalvano » Wed Jun 16, 2010 1:47 pm

How much of that is due to numbers, though? Lenovo and Dell have a ton more laptops floating around.

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sundance95
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby sundance95 » Wed Jun 16, 2010 1:49 pm

One further note from the Squaretrade study: it appears to make more sense from a cost/reliability ratio standpoint to purchase basic laptops instead of expensive premium ones:

Image

The difference in failure rate is only about .5% over 3 years, while the cost savings is certainly more than .5%. Of course, if one want all the capabilities of a premium laptop then that would affect one's decision, but if you are in the market for a basic get-my-work-done law school laptop, no need to drop big bucks. You'd be better off spending that money on a back up service.

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sundance95
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby sundance95 » Wed Jun 16, 2010 1:52 pm

kalvano wrote:How much of that is due to numbers, though? Lenovo and Dell have a ton more laptops floating around.


Good question, but one controlled for in the study.

1) That graph shows failure rates, not absolute number of failures.

2) The study is a longitudinal study of a statistically significant number of laptops (I think its around one or two thousand), not the US laptop market in general.

EDIT: Just wanted to add that the methodology is explained in depth in the linked study if you want a more comprehensive explanation than that.

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nathan.
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby nathan. » Wed Jun 16, 2010 3:52 pm

Torvon wrote:What do you guys prefer for screens on Macs? High-res Glossy or Anti-Glare? Any good information available to help me make an informed deicision or is this just something I'll have to go to the closest Apple Store and decide based on personal preference?


most people go with the matte anti-glare, but I like my high-res glossy. def good for watching tv shows.

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Rocketman11
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

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missinglink
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby missinglink » Thu Jun 17, 2010 1:33 am

Torvon wrote:What do you guys prefer for screens on Macs? High-res Glossy or Anti-Glare? Any good information available to help me make an informed deicision or is this just something I'll have to go to the closest Apple Store and decide based on personal preference?

I prefer the anti-glare (matte) screens. Pretty much all laptops seem to come in glossy these days, so it's getting harder and harder to find non-glossy screens.

Some people prefer them as they tend to produce richer colors and deeper blacks. Looking at them side by side, it noticeable. But personally, I can't get by the glare on glossy screens. And since the light in classrooms tends to be on the harsher side, I could imagine it becoming an issue for me.

I would stop by an Apple store just to be certain. Just be aware that the matte screens will look much better than the glossy screens in the store, since the matte screen only coming in the hi-res configuration. The glossy hi-res screen Macs aren't stocked in the Apple store, so you'll be comparing a hi-res screen with a normal-res screen. But, to get a sense of glare vs no glare, it should be helpful.

Here are some online comparisons I found useful:

http://www.tomshardware.com/news/macboo ... ,7121.html

http://www.tested.com/news/glossy-vs-ma ... ebate/238/

http://www.anandtech.com/Gallery/Album/650

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Tangerine Gleam
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby Tangerine Gleam » Thu Jun 17, 2010 8:30 pm

Jesus christ, I think I got a lemon. My first 24 hours with the Asus UL80vt (which I ordered from Amazon) have been a nightmare.

After the initial start-up (which worked fine) the computer has failed to start up on three different occasions. It will automatically go to "Startup Repair" and sit attempting self-repairs for over 45 minutes each time. I have had to restore my system three times now (which it prompts me to do automatically)...this is the only way the computer will allow me to reach Windows successfully. Then everything will work fine until some bloatware anti-virus trial program will download some automatic updates and prompt me to restart...and it's these restarts which trip up the failure. Maybe that's it? I can't remember if this auto-update happened prior to every failed start-up, but either way that makes no sense, as it was a program that came pre-installed and operates without my prompting.

I literally made no change to the system other than the deletion of a few shortcuts (not programs, just shortcut icons) from my Desktop, but those come back upon restoration anyways. I have no idea why I am experiencing such dramatic system failures when I have essentially done nothing to the computer. After completing restore/repair, the report stated, "A patch was preventing the system from starting". I don't see how I could have gotten any sort of weird virus either...this computer basically started failing within a few hours and with almost no internet use.

Sorry, I know this thread isn't for bitching about tech problems, but if anyone has any insight, I'd love to hear. I e-mailed Asus tech support but no response yet. Not sure if I can return a laptop directly to Amazon after it's already been opened and used? Even if this can be fixed, I'm pretty pissed and my faith is a bit shaken. I probably can't get a refund, though -- if anything, I suppose I'll get a replacement.

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shepdawg
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby shepdawg » Thu Jun 17, 2010 8:43 pm

I purchased the Asus UL30VT-X1K from Amazon. They're having a sale on it now for $699. It's awesome.

It comes with a trial version for Office 2007, but no OneNote installed. MIcrosoft is now offering free upgrades from 2007 to 2010 versions of their Office products, but I can't figure out what the cheapest way to get Word, OneNote, and Outlook would be.

lonerightly
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby lonerightly » Thu Jun 17, 2010 9:45 pm

nevermind figured it out

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kalvano
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby kalvano » Thu Jun 17, 2010 10:42 pm

shepdawg wrote:but I can't figure out what the cheapest way to get Word, OneNote, and Outlook would be.



Torrents.

Just saying.

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ApexChaser
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby ApexChaser » Fri Jun 18, 2010 3:36 am

Tangerine Gleam wrote:Jesus christ, I think I got a lemon. My first 24 hours with the Asus UL80vt (which I ordered from Amazon) have been a nightmare.

After the initial start-up (which worked fine) the computer has failed to start up on three different occasions. It will automatically go to "Startup Repair" and sit attempting self-repairs for over 45 minutes each time. I have had to restore my system three times now (which it prompts me to do automatically)...this is the only way the computer will allow me to reach Windows successfully. Then everything will work fine until some bloatware anti-virus trial program will download some automatic updates and prompt me to restart...and it's these restarts which trip up the failure. Maybe that's it? I can't remember if this auto-update happened prior to every failed start-up, but either way that makes no sense, as it was a program that came pre-installed and operates without my prompting.

I literally made no change to the system other than the deletion of a few shortcuts (not programs, just shortcut icons) from my Desktop, but those come back upon restoration anyways. I have no idea why I am experiencing such dramatic system failures when I have essentially done nothing to the computer. After completing restore/repair, the report stated, "A patch was preventing the system from starting". I don't see how I could have gotten any sort of weird virus either...this computer basically started failing within a few hours and with almost no internet use.


None, or very little, connecting to the internet? Are you getting any "beeps" during startup?

I would first attempt to do a full recovery off the recovery disc if you have one. Judging from what you've said, I'm assuming you have been doing "Windows restore" thus far. After recovery, skip the internet connection bit during initial W7 setup. Check for a stable computer with absolutely nothing except initial windows setup.

Definitely check the conditions of warranty to see if the following will void it. Or if there are little assembly warranty stickers.

If you're still unstable, I'd try out a few things dependent on your personal preference. I would first play simple Nintendo by reseating the harddrive and RAM if they are easily accessible.

If you are still unstable, you could look into running Memtest86+ to see if it is a RAM issue. Or the much less scientific approach if you've got 2 sticks of RAM, run the system with only one installed and alternate to see if one stick leads to issues. I've had system errors due to a bad stick of RAM before.

Anything beyond that is really an Asus warranty job. Hope your laptop works out! It sucks when shiny new toys have problems.

Disclaimer: Not an EECS major. :P

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Duralex
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby Duralex » Fri Jun 18, 2010 11:30 am

Do not open the case to fiddle with the RAM and HDD. Try uninstalling the bloatware AV and then see if it runs OK after the "Startup Repair" (whatever that is.) If that fails, I'd contact Amazon directly and see if they will do an exchange for you w/o having to involve Asus.

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Tangerine Gleam
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby Tangerine Gleam » Fri Jun 18, 2010 1:29 pm

Thank you both for the advice, I really appreciate it. This thing is definitely f***ed -- it won't even start in safe mode, and the Asus tech support people can't solve it, either. We tried a system restore (following tech support's instructions) and I still hit the Blue Screen Of Death.

Just got my Amazon return authorization form printed out. I'm shipping this notebook back for good and hopefully getting a full refund...and then starting my laptop search all over again!

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ApexChaser
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby ApexChaser » Fri Jun 18, 2010 1:39 pm

Tangerine Gleam wrote:Just got my Amazon return authorization form printed out. I'm shipping this notebook back for good and hopefully getting a full refund...and then starting my laptop search all over again!


Hopefully this doesn't dissuade you from Asus overall; they're generally very solid machines. You just happen to be a lucky guy in this case. :P

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Cardboardbox
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby Cardboardbox » Fri Jun 18, 2010 1:44 pm

I'm thinking of picking up a Sony EB series (290x to be specific). I've never had or tried a sony before but my coworker keeps telling me it's a better buy and worth the premium I'd be paying for a comprable Dell. What do you guys think? All I know is that I had an HP for the last couple of years and while fun at first (it was a tablet/touch screen) it would overheat to the point of being unbearable and died a slow death. So, HP is def. out.

I'm heavily leaning towards ordering the Sony today unless there's something exceptionally better to spend my money on.

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Duralex
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby Duralex » Fri Jun 18, 2010 1:47 pm

Sonys are a mixed bag in my experience. Some VAIO models are nice, some are wonky. They tend towards non-standard components, and generally can't be worked on easily if something fails, if you care about that. There also used to be a fair amount of Sony lock-in effect: nonstandard connectors for PSUs and some peripherals, etc. Not sure if that's still true. From what I see on Sony's site that series looks nice enough. I'd configure it like this or better:

*
Intel® Core™ i5-520M processor (2.40GHz) with Turbo Boost up to 2.93GHz
*
Genuine Windows® 7 Professional 64-bit
*
Gunmetal Black
*
No Skin
*
320GB hard disk drive (7200rpm)
*
8GB (4GBx2) DDR3-SDRAM-1066
*
ATI Mobility Radeon™ HD 5470 GPU (512MB VRAM)
*
No Intel® Wireless Display Adapter
*
Blu-ray Disc™ player
*
No Fresh Start
*
Adobe Bundle
*
Microsoft® Office 2010 Starter
*
Norton Internet Security™ 2010 (30 Day Trial)


Comes out to around $1400 on Sony's site. Note that you can buy an Apple for that kind of money, but you probably already know that.

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Tangerine Gleam
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby Tangerine Gleam » Fri Jun 18, 2010 2:11 pm

ApexChaser wrote:
Tangerine Gleam wrote:Just got my Amazon return authorization form printed out. I'm shipping this notebook back for good and hopefully getting a full refund...and then starting my laptop search all over again!


Hopefully this doesn't dissuade you from Asus overall; they're generally very solid machines. You just happen to be a lucky guy in this case. :P


I haven't totally given up on them...I might order another UL80vt actually but I'd like to "sleep on it" after this experience. Have you owned an Asus before?

Other than all of the horrible lemon problems, the machine itself seemed good (except for the abysmal touch pad). I might end up paying a bit more for a Lenovo T410...I have an older T60 now and it has always been an incredibly solid machine, I just need something more portable for class and travel. Either way, time for some more thinking!

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

Postby Mr. Matlock » Fri Jun 18, 2010 2:16 pm

Tangerine Gleam wrote:
ApexChaser wrote:
Tangerine Gleam wrote:Just got my Amazon return authorization form printed out. I'm shipping this notebook back for good and hopefully getting a full refund...and then starting my laptop search all over again!


Hopefully this doesn't dissuade you from Asus overall; they're generally very solid machines. You just happen to be a lucky guy in this case. :P


I haven't totally given up on them...I might order another UL80vt actually but I'd like to "sleep on it" after this experience. Have you owned an Asus before?

Other than all of the horrible lemon problems, the machine itself seemed good (except for the abysmal touch pad). I might end up paying a bit more for a Lenovo T410...I have an older T60 now and it has always been an incredibly solid machine, I just need something more portable for class and travel. Either way, time for some more thinking!

I think if anything, this story solidifies that I'll be buying my computer directly from either an Apple Store or Best Buy.

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sundance95
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby sundance95 » Fri Jun 18, 2010 2:18 pm

Tangerine Gleam wrote:I haven't totally given up on them...I might order another UL80vt actually but I'd like to "sleep on it" after this experience. Have you owned an Asus before?


Order another? If you were getting BSOD right out of the box then Asus should definitely replace it. Call them and don't get off the phone til they agree to do it. (In my experience with them, they are good about these types of things.) Hell, say you spilled water all over the damn thing if you have to, it has accidental damage protection for the first year. You definitely shouldn't have to purchase a second new laptop.

As far as Asus, my wife has a K40IJ-F1B that I am very jealous of-I have a Lenovo U350 provided by my office, which is great because it is really light and thin, but I prefer the very solid typing feel of the Asus and better processor. I think the K40IJ's are going for around $700 at buy.com.

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sundance95
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby sundance95 » Fri Jun 18, 2010 2:19 pm

Mr. Matlock wrote:I think if anything, this story solidifies that I'll be buying my computer directly from either an Apple Store or Best Buy.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anecdotal_evidence
Last edited by sundance95 on Fri Jun 18, 2010 2:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Cardboardbox
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby Cardboardbox » Fri Jun 18, 2010 2:19 pm

Duralex wrote:Sonys are a mixed bag in my experience. Some VAIO models are nice, some are wonky. They tend towards non-standard components, and generally can't be worked on easily if something fails, if you care about that. There also used to be a fair amount of Sony lock-in effect: nonstandard connectors for PSUs and some peripherals, etc. Not sure if that's still true. From what I see on Sony's site that series looks nice enough. I'd configure it like this or better:

*
Intel® Core™ i5-520M processor (2.40GHz) with Turbo Boost up to 2.93GHz
*
Genuine Windows® 7 Professional 64-bit
*
Gunmetal Black
*
No Skin
*
320GB hard disk drive (7200rpm)
*
8GB (4GBx2) DDR3-SDRAM-1066
*
ATI Mobility Radeon™ HD 5470 GPU (512MB VRAM)
*
No Intel® Wireless Display Adapter
*
Blu-ray Disc™ player
*
No Fresh Start
*
Adobe Bundle
*
Microsoft® Office 2010 Starter
*
Norton Internet Security™ 2010 (30 Day Trial)


Comes out to around $1400 on Sony's site. Note that you can buy an Apple for that kind of money, but you probably already know that.


I'm not incredibly tech savvy, that's the same spec I picked minus the ram, I just went with 4gb. What will be the major difference between the 4gb and 8gb exactly? I obviously don't plan on gaming on it, but for basic law school stuff, do you think it would even matter?




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