The Ideal Law School Laptop

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ubermensch
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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby ubermensch » Tue Jun 23, 2009 1:50 pm

Hey laptop gurus, I have a few quick questions.

I'm about to order a custom t400 from lenovo, but I'm a little short on disposable income at the moment. What can/can't I upgrade later?

Specifically, can I upgrade to the 9-cell battery and add more ram later? What about the video card?

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vut
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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby vut » Tue Jun 23, 2009 2:11 pm

ubermensch wrote:I'm about to order a custom t400 from lenovo, but I'm a little short on disposable income at the moment. What can/can't I upgrade later?

Specifically, can I upgrade to the 9-cell battery and add more ram later? What about the video card?


Buying just the bare minimum is probably a good choice. One thing you cannot upgrade by yourself is the processor, so you have to consider what you want to get.

Can upgrade:
- Memory (RAM).
- Hard drive.
- Battery.
- Operating system.
- Optical drive.

Cannot upgrade:
- Processor (by yourself).
- Graphics card.

By the way, has anyone noticed the new T400s (not T400) model? It's ridiculously sexy. And expensive.
Last edited by vut on Tue Jun 23, 2009 2:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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ubermensch
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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby ubermensch » Tue Jun 23, 2009 2:13 pm

Thanks vut!

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singularity
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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby singularity » Tue Jun 23, 2009 2:23 pm

LawandOrder wrote:
If I compare the macbook air to the desktop I just built for roughly the same price ~$1500, I got 3x as much ram (DDR3), quad core, ~8x HD space, 22" monitor, and GTX 260 graphics. For the same price, the Mac users get portability and.... ???



What a great way to make friends and build your biceps!

Image

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coolkatz321
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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby coolkatz321 » Tue Jun 23, 2009 6:19 pm

ubermensch wrote:Hey laptop gurus, I have a few quick questions.

I'm about to order a custom t400 from lenovo, but I'm a little short on disposable income at the moment. What can/can't I upgrade later?

Specifically, can I upgrade to the 9-cell battery and add more ram later? What about the video card?


1. Make sure you do it through Lenovo's CPP program-- the password is 'familyandfriends'
http://www.lenovo.com/cpp
2. Get an LED screen, and you won't need the bigger battery--mine is getting about 8.5 hours on a single charge thanks to the very low voltage that it uses.

JJim1919
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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby JJim1919 » Tue Jun 23, 2009 6:24 pm

I'm sure this has already been discussed, but if someone could please summarize it, what do you think of using a mac for law school?

I have always used windows, but I have really become sick of PCs. Assuming your exam software supports macs, are there any other drawbacks?

In my undergrad the mac to pc ratio was like 7:3 in favor of macs. It seems like it wont be this way in law school?

Thanks guys.

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hoffb86
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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby hoffb86 » Tue Jun 23, 2009 6:28 pm

JJim1919 wrote:I'm sure this has already been discussed, but if someone could please summarize it, what do you think of using a mac for law school?

I have always used windows, but I have really become sick of PCs. Assuming your exam software supports macs, are there any other drawbacks?

In my undergrad the mac to pc ratio was like 7:3 in favor of macs. It seems like it wont be this way in law school?

Thanks guys.


I just got a mac, my exam software will work on it, and the "worst case scenario" would be that I will have to put windows and microsoft office for windows on it through bootcamp. Another drawback to the mac is that people claim one-note is an awesome piece of software for note-taking, etc. But, I know mac has similar software you can get, so I dont think this is a huge issue.

This was my first mac, I just got it like two days ago, and so far, I absolutely love it. i already can feel a difference in ease of use, construction, etc. to many other laptops I've had (although, I think Lenovo is a "tough" and solid laptop, and really like them as far as PCs go).

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ubermensch
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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby ubermensch » Tue Jun 23, 2009 7:45 pm

coolkatz321 wrote:
ubermensch wrote:Hey laptop gurus, I have a few quick questions.

I'm about to order a custom t400 from lenovo, but I'm a little short on disposable income at the moment. What can/can't I upgrade later?

Specifically, can I upgrade to the 9-cell battery and add more ram later? What about the video card?


1. Make sure you do it through Lenovo's CPP program-- the password is 'familyandfriends'
http://www.lenovo.com/cpp
2. Get an LED screen, and you won't need the bigger battery--mine is getting about 8.5 hours on a single charge thanks to the very low voltage that it uses.


Love you.

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dood
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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby dood » Tue Jun 23, 2009 8:51 pm

...
Last edited by dood on Tue Jun 29, 2010 1:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

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superflush
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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby superflush » Tue Jun 23, 2009 9:10 pm

vut wrote:By the way, has anyone noticed the new T400s (not T400) model? It's ridiculously sexy. And expensive.


Here's the news on the T400s
http://www.engadget.com/2009/06/23/leno ... pad-t400s/

bigben
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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby bigben » Tue Jun 23, 2009 10:07 pm

dood wrote:
ubermensch wrote:
coolkatz321 wrote:
ubermensch wrote:Hey laptop gurus, I have a few quick questions.

I'm about to order a custom t400 from lenovo, but I'm a little short on disposable income at the moment. What can/can't I upgrade later?

Specifically, can I upgrade to the 9-cell battery and add more ram later? What about the video card?


1. Make sure you do it through Lenovo's CPP program-- the password is 'familyandfriends'
http://www.lenovo.com/cpp
2. Get an LED screen, and you won't need the bigger battery--mine is getting about 8.5 hours on a single charge thanks to the very low voltage that it uses.


Love you.



The T400 I ordered on 5/28 is now selling for $100 less (exact same configuration).

FYI - the LED screen only comes as WXGA, not WXGA+. The "+" means you get the 1440×900 standard max on laptop (versus 1280×800 max for regular WXGA) and support for up to 1680X1050 on second monitor. Which means you can fit more stuff on your screen, but text is smaller. WXGA+ is essential for people who like to have 2 windows open at a time, side-by-side. On the other hand, if you have trouble reading smaller font, the WXGA resolution may be better for you. Lastly, if you have a 22" or larger secondary monitor (as I do), and plan on connecting your laptop to this either as the primary or extended desktop, you should go with the WXGA+, as the lower resolution of standard WXGA makes things look retarded big on the larger screens.



HEADS UP--they honor price reductions...don't remember what they call it exactly, but I bought a T400 before the first ever shipment last year, mine came in the very first shipment. I think it was around 3 weeks later, the price dropped something like 250. I called in and they refunded the difference. The price drop was mind-blowing since it was hands down the best deal on the market even at the first price. You better act quickly though.

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Lizface killah
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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby Lizface killah » Wed Jun 24, 2009 12:26 pm

Maybe someone more technically proficient can answer this for me. Why do Solid State Drive options always seem to have fewer Gigabytes. Is there any reason that it's not insane to choose a 64GB SSD over 160 GB regular hard drive? (Those are the most basic options for each on the lenovo site). Is that even comparable?


I'm laptop shopping and I want a small, light lap top (<5 lbs, <15" screen) with an LED screen and SSD.

sullidop
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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby sullidop » Wed Jun 24, 2009 12:37 pm

Lizface killah wrote:Maybe someone more technically proficient can answer this for me. Why do Solid State Drive options always seem to have fewer Gigabytes. Is there any reason that it's not insane to choose a 64GB SSD over 160 GB regular hard drive? (Those are the most basic options for each on the lenovo site). Is that even comparable?


I'm laptop shopping and I want a small, light lap top (<5 lbs, <15" screen) with an LED screen and SSD.


Memory in SSDs are just more expensive. To make them large enough to compete with the 300+GB HDDs the memory compression tech would probably cost as much as the rest of the computer. The only reason I can think of to get a SSD is for the power saving, shock resistence, and speed. Will these things make a difference to the casual or academic user? Probably not.

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Lizface killah
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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby Lizface killah » Wed Jun 24, 2009 12:38 pm

sullidop wrote:
Lizface killah wrote:Maybe someone more technically proficient can answer this for me. Why do Solid State Drive options always seem to have fewer Gigabytes. Is there any reason that it's not insane to choose a 64GB SSD over 160 GB regular hard drive? (Those are the most basic options for each on the lenovo site). Is that even comparable?


I'm laptop shopping and I want a small, light lap top (<5 lbs, <15" screen) with an LED screen and SSD.


Memory in SSDs are just more expensive. To make them large enough to compete with the 300+GB HDDs the memory compression tech would probably cost as much as the rest of the computer. The only reason I can think of to get a SSD is for the power saving, shock resistence, and speed. Will these things make a difference to the casual or academic user? Probably not.


I'm concerned about durability. I'll need this thing to last and not be destroyed by my clumsiness.

hieveryone
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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby hieveryone » Wed Jun 24, 2009 12:41 pm

Maybe someone more technically proficient can answer this for me. Why do Solid State Drive options always seem to have fewer Gigabytes. Is there any reason that it's not insane to choose a 64GB SSD over 160 GB regular hard drive? (Those are the most basic options for each on the lenovo site). Is that even comparable?


As far as macs go, even the 13.3" macbook pro will be roughly 5lbs. I think it's slightly under.
The macbook air is much thinner and lighter, but it doesn't have an optical drive. I'm a mac user and was looking heavily at the macs but came to the conclusion that I wanted a pc to minimize compatibility issues.

I myself bought a x301 with 64 gb ssd and I think it's perfect. There's not a whole lot of space on the hard drive--after getting rid of the back-up partition by burning it on dvd's and getting rid of some extra software, you're looking at about 35 gb of space to use. Which is more than I'll ever fill, since this is my work laptop, and I doubt I'll ever need more than 2 gb for documents. If you need more space spring for the 128 gb, or install a bigger ssd yourself.


But the build quality is superb and it's VERY light. my old 13.3 macbook feels likea brick compared to this thing.
Look online for deals and check out lenovo outlet for the occasional x301.

However, ssd is still a new technology and as such--it's super expensive. It's probably not worth it to most people.
The extra reliability is worth it to me though. (In terms of shock resistance.)

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enygma
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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby enygma » Wed Jun 24, 2009 1:08 pm

Lizface killah wrote:
sullidop wrote:
Lizface killah wrote:Maybe someone more technically proficient can answer this for me. Why do Solid State Drive options always seem to have fewer Gigabytes. Is there any reason that it's not insane to choose a 64GB SSD over 160 GB regular hard drive? (Those are the most basic options for each on the lenovo site). Is that even comparable?


I'm laptop shopping and I want a small, light lap top (<5 lbs, <15" screen) with an LED screen and SSD.


Memory in SSDs are just more expensive. To make them large enough to compete with the 300+GB HDDs the memory compression tech would probably cost as much as the rest of the computer. The only reason I can think of to get a SSD is for the power saving, shock resistence, and speed. Will these things make a difference to the casual or academic user? Probably not.


I'm concerned about durability. I'll need this thing to last and not be destroyed by my clumsiness.


well, SSDs are far more durable. There aren't any moving parts to get messed up. That's not to say that there's a good chance that a regular HDD will go bad over the course of three years, but a SSD will be more durable. Is it worth the extra money? maybe, maybe not. I thought $350 was worth it for the speed, battery life and peace of mind. also i can now put the old 250 gigger in my ps3.

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LawandOrder
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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby LawandOrder » Wed Jun 24, 2009 2:01 pm

Lizface killah wrote:Maybe someone more technically proficient can answer this for me. Why do Solid State Drive options always seem to have fewer Gigabytes. Is there any reason that it's not insane to choose a 64GB SSD over 160 GB regular hard drive? (Those are the most basic options for each on the lenovo site). Is that even comparable?


I'm laptop shopping and I want a small, light lap top (<5 lbs, <15" screen) with an LED screen and SSD.


You probably won't need a Solid State Drive if you're just going to be using it for law school related activities. Take the capacity and enjoy. Their main advantage is speed of access and for documents and what not it isn't worth the price.

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Lizface killah
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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby Lizface killah » Wed Jun 24, 2009 2:03 pm

enygma wrote:well, SSDs are far more durable. There aren't any moving parts to get messed up. That's not to say that there's a good chance that a regular HDD will go bad over the course of three years, but a SSD will be more durable. Is it worth the extra money? maybe, maybe not. I thought $350 was worth it for the speed, battery life and peace of mind. also i can now put the old 250 gigger in my ps3.


Out of curiousity, what did you end up getting?

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hoffb86
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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby hoffb86 » Wed Jun 24, 2009 2:11 pm

Liz, I wouldn't get an SSD, I don't think it is worth the ridiculously high costs for often less disk space (unless you REALLY spend the $$). I just dont see the need for law school use.

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enygma
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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby enygma » Wed Jun 24, 2009 2:19 pm

Lizface killah wrote:
enygma wrote:well, SSDs are far more durable. There aren't any moving parts to get messed up. That's not to say that there's a good chance that a regular HDD will go bad over the course of three years, but a SSD will be more durable. Is it worth the extra money? maybe, maybe not. I thought $350 was worth it for the speed, battery life and peace of mind. also i can now put the old 250 gigger in my ps3.


Out of curiousity, what did you end up getting?


i ended up getting a 13" macbook pro, then buying an aftermarket SSD and installing it myself. Honestly, i'm not sure i'd recommend it. Computers have always been my big weakness as far as spending goes, and I haven't had one for a year (long-ish story). I mean, i really love it. and to me it was worth the money because I have a use for the old hard drive and I don't need the capacity 250 gigs provides, and I really enjoy being able to boot up and start apps quickly. I'm not sure it'd be worth ~$350 for most people. On the other hand, if you've got the money...

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Lizface killah
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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby Lizface killah » Wed Jun 24, 2009 2:48 pm

enygma wrote:
Lizface killah wrote:
enygma wrote:well, SSDs are far more durable. There aren't any moving parts to get messed up. That's not to say that there's a good chance that a regular HDD will go bad over the course of three years, but a SSD will be more durable. Is it worth the extra money? maybe, maybe not. I thought $350 was worth it for the speed, battery life and peace of mind. also i can now put the old 250 gigger in my ps3.


Out of curiousity, what did you end up getting?


i ended up getting a 13" macbook pro, then buying an aftermarket SSD and installing it myself. Honestly, i'm not sure i'd recommend it. Computers have always been my big weakness as far as spending goes, and I haven't had one for a year (long-ish story). I mean, i really love it. and to me it was worth the money because I have a use for the old hard drive and I don't need the capacity 250 gigs provides, and I really enjoy being able to boot up and start apps quickly. I'm not sure it'd be worth ~$350 for most people. On the other hand, if you've got the money...


I'm thinking about it. If I trick out a Lenovo Thinkpad X200 with all of the goodies I want, it comes out to more than just adding a 128 SSD to the 13" macbook pro. I'm just worried that 128 GB is going to be too small and the 250 SSDs are crazy expensive.

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dood
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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby dood » Wed Jun 24, 2009 5:50 pm

...
Last edited by dood on Tue Jun 29, 2010 1:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

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coolkatz321
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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby coolkatz321 » Wed Jun 24, 2009 5:57 pm

Lizface killah wrote:
enygma wrote:
Lizface killah wrote:
enygma wrote:well, SSDs are far more durable. There aren't any moving parts to get messed up. That's not to say that there's a good chance that a regular HDD will go bad over the course of three years, but a SSD will be more durable. Is it worth the extra money? maybe, maybe not. I thought $350 was worth it for the speed, battery life and peace of mind. also i can now put the old 250 gigger in my ps3.


Out of curiousity, what did you end up getting?


i ended up getting a 13" macbook pro, then buying an aftermarket SSD and installing it myself. Honestly, i'm not sure i'd recommend it. Computers have always been my big weakness as far as spending goes, and I haven't had one for a year (long-ish story). I mean, i really love it. and to me it was worth the money because I have a use for the old hard drive and I don't need the capacity 250 gigs provides, and I really enjoy being able to boot up and start apps quickly. I'm not sure it'd be worth ~$350 for most people. On the other hand, if you've got the money...


I'm thinking about it. If I trick out a Lenovo Thinkpad X200 with all of the goodies I want, it comes out to more than just adding a 128 SSD to the 13" macbook pro. I'm just worried that 128 GB is going to be too small and the 250 SSDs are crazy expensive.


Have you heeded my advice about the CPP program?
http://www.lenovo.com/cpp - Password is 'familyandfriends'

Use the code USETSAVINGS for another 5% off

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ubermensch
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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby ubermensch » Wed Jun 24, 2009 7:34 pm

Just ordered my T400! w00t.

Now the wait begins... :|

EDIT: Does the reimbursement for price drop still apply if you used the cpp program?

hukhuk
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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby hukhuk » Thu Jun 25, 2009 12:49 am

SSD drives are fantastic technology and certainly one of the best and most noticeable upgrades to your computer (and of course provides safer storage than a spindle drive). however, it's a new technology and that brings several drawbacks such as high cost. additionally, certain kinks in SSD have yet to be worked out (i.e. file deletion problems).

I would wait for the second generation of SSD drives as well as the widespread implementation of the TRIM command (basically a command an OS sends to the drive that notifies it of free space so that the controller can do whatever it wants with it...all in all it's necessary for high storage efficiency and speed in a SSD). windows 7 is the only OS that sends the command to drives (if it's a spindle drive the command is ignored) for every file deletion. the SSD must also have an algorithm to utilize the TRIM command.

so...get a SSD, but wait for a 2nd generation. if you need an SSD now, stick with Intel X-25 or OCZ vertex series. And buy them yourself! It's cheaper, won't void the warranty on your laptop, and for most people it's a simple install.




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