The Ideal Law School Laptop

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356a
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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby 356a » Fri Jul 03, 2009 3:11 am

dbt wrote:
lucydog wrote:
Kohinoor wrote:Image


At 11.6 pounds it probably weighs more some people's desktops. lol


It's funny that you brought that up. I was actually seriously looking at the m15x. Significant problem seems to be battery life, but I'm wondering if using "study" settings might make it last the day (or at least in classes without power plugs) without a problem.

And this brings me to another concern I've had. In determining whether to get a Mac or PC, I've found some really great PCs that I would like (and have been leaning towards those as they're cheaper and seem to offer as much if not more) but always run into the problem of comparing their battery longevity specs with Macs. Owners of Macs, do you find their battery-life approximations to be accurate, or as some articles online have suggested, do you think that they might just turn on the computer and let it sit with the dimmest lights, doing nothing to achieve higher results than PC competitors?


walt mossberg at wsj.com is a big mac fan and tests all the hardware. battery life is as stated. the new macbook pro's have 7 hour lives - fantastic.
Last edited by 356a on Fri Jul 03, 2009 11:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

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dbt
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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby dbt » Fri Jul 03, 2009 3:14 am

That is pretty crazy stuff and (maybe unfortunately) is one of the most important factors for me. Macs are tough competitors.

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Metternich
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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby Metternich » Fri Jul 03, 2009 1:29 pm

Have those of you who have purchased the T400 noticed the much decried keyboard flex issue? I've seen a litany of conflicting information about it; some sources say the original problem -- to the extent that it ever existed -- has been solved, while others say that not only has it been a big problem since the model's introduction, it continues to be one at present. What has been your experience?

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dbt
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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby dbt » Fri Jul 03, 2009 1:47 pm

Metternich wrote:Have those of you who have purchased the T400 noticed the much decried keyboard flex issue? I've seen a litany of conflicting information about it; some sources say the original problem -- to the extent that it ever existed -- has been solved, while others say that not only has it been a big problem since the model's introduction, it continues to be one at present. What has been your experience?


I don't own one so can't speak from direct experience, but this relatively recent review discusses Lenovo's supposed correction of the problem.

http://www.notebookreview.com/default.asp?newsID=4946

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Metternich
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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby Metternich » Fri Jul 03, 2009 2:12 pm

dbt wrote:
Metternich wrote:Have those of you who have purchased the T400 noticed the much decried keyboard flex issue? I've seen a litany of conflicting information about it; some sources say the original problem -- to the extent that it ever existed -- has been solved, while others say that not only has it been a big problem since the model's introduction, it continues to be one at present. What has been your experience?


I don't own one so can't speak from direct experience, but this relatively recent review discusses Lenovo's supposed correction of the problem.

http://www.notebookreview.com/default.asp?newsID=4946


That's actually one of the sources I had in mind. The review claims the problem has been solved, but some of the comments maintain otherwise. The problem really seems to be somewhat subjective and dependent upon some combination of luck of the draw, typing pressure, and a nerdish intolerance of imperfection.

bigben
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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby bigben » Fri Jul 03, 2009 2:22 pm

Metternich wrote:
dbt wrote:
Metternich wrote:Have those of you who have purchased the T400 noticed the much decried keyboard flex issue? I've seen a litany of conflicting information about it; some sources say the original problem -- to the extent that it ever existed -- has been solved, while others say that not only has it been a big problem since the model's introduction, it continues to be one at present. What has been your experience?


I don't own one so can't speak from direct experience, but this relatively recent review discusses Lenovo's supposed correction of the problem.

http://www.notebookreview.com/default.asp?newsID=4946


That's actually one of the sources I had in mind. The review claims the problem has been solved, but some of the comments maintain otherwise. The problem really seems to be somewhat subjective and dependent upon some combination of luck of the draw, typing pressure, and a nerdish intolerance of imperfection.


Yeah, I have an early T400, and the keyboard is fine. Even if it does have more flex than some other thinkpad, it is still a better keyboard than any other brand out there. I don't understand what these people are doing that causes them to notice or care about this. Surely not typing like a normal person.

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vut
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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby vut » Fri Jul 03, 2009 2:26 pm

Metternich wrote:Have those of you who have purchased the T400 noticed the much decried keyboard flex issue? I've seen a litany of conflicting information about it; some sources say the original problem -- to the extent that it ever existed -- has been solved, while others say that not only has it been a big problem since the model's introduction, it continues to be one at present. What has been your experience?


I have the T400 and the keyboard flex is an exaggeration. It does flex if you press down really really hard -- like when you're performing a stress test, rather than simulating regular usage.

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Metternich
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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby Metternich » Fri Jul 03, 2009 3:04 pm

^Thanks for the comments. It's easy -- even for someone like me, who doesn't really care for computers -- to get wrapped up in the minutiae of all of the features, options, and pros/cons related to each model. As a consequence, I'm on the fence between a fairly rudimentary T400 and an SSD-equipped X200s. Though the X200/s is appreciably lighter, I'm not in love with spending more than $1000; the T400 is considerably less than that; and I'm not entirely convinced the SSD option is worth it. That the keyboard "problem" with the T400 is seemingly a non-issue might just be the tiebreaker. :idea:

particleman
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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby particleman » Sat Jul 04, 2009 8:59 am

NaijaGirl wrote:For anyone who is thinking of getting a mac and is worried about software, etc., this website has a lot of helpful tips and reviews: http://maclawstudents.com/blog/


I've been considering the switch to a Mac but am concerned about software compatibility, especially regarding final exams. I know that at my school you need to boot into Windows so that you can run the ExamSoft program. Does this mean that any resources you want to have available (notes, outlines) need to be prepared in Windows as well? Or are you not allowed to bring notes/outlines into a test at all, in which case this becomes a moot point? Or are you only allowed to bring in paper copies of outlines? Does ExamSoft lock out all other programs or only certain restricted programs/internet access?

Apologies for the rapid-fire questions :)

particleman
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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby particleman » Sat Jul 04, 2009 9:08 am

patentlaw wrote:
hoffb86 wrote:Friends and family discount from Lenovo was a great deal too! Look for that in this thread, its been posted a couple times.


There's another Lenovo deal going on right now, coupon code USPNOTEBOOKS

see: http://www.techdealdigger.com/pr/cheap-lenovo-thinkpad-t400s-141-laptop-with-core-2-duo-sp9400-vistaxp-pro-2gb-ddr3-120gb-hdd-dvd-burner-deals/1856

I haven't done a price comparison between the two deals, but it may be worth speccing out the two to see which one is the better deal (I would imagine the friends and family one, but you never know).


I haven't been here for the entire discussion, but what makes the Lenovo so attractive? I've been looking at Macs, Dells, and HP's, and it seems like you can get a laptop with better specs for less.

This Dell for example:
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp ... 8090589096

Is there a general quality issue that I'm unaware of?

patentlaw
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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby patentlaw » Sat Jul 04, 2009 10:52 am

particleman wrote:
patentlaw wrote:
hoffb86 wrote:Friends and family discount from Lenovo was a great deal too! Look for that in this thread, its been posted a couple times.


There's another Lenovo deal going on right now, coupon code USPNOTEBOOKS

see: http://www.techdealdigger.com/pr/cheap-lenovo-thinkpad-t400s-141-laptop-with-core-2-duo-sp9400-vistaxp-pro-2gb-ddr3-120gb-hdd-dvd-burner-deals/1856

I haven't done a price comparison between the two deals, but it may be worth speccing out the two to see which one is the better deal (I would imagine the friends and family one, but you never know).


I haven't been here for the entire discussion, but what makes the Lenovo so attractive? I've been looking at Macs, Dells, and HP's, and it seems like you can get a laptop with better specs for less.

This Dell for example:
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp ... 8090589096

Is there a general quality issue that I'm unaware of?


I think the business oriented Lenovo lines (like the T series) are built more solidly and generally use better components than other lines. I used to work in the laptop design department (hardware not artistic design) for a large competitor (one of the ones you named). All of the engineers in my group used Thinkpads at home even though they could get the home brand at cost.

elex360
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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby elex360 » Sat Jul 04, 2009 1:10 pm

particleman wrote:
NaijaGirl wrote:For anyone who is thinking of getting a mac and is worried about software, etc., this website has a lot of helpful tips and reviews: http://maclawstudents.com/blog/


I've been considering the switch to a Mac but am concerned about software compatibility, especially regarding final exams. I know that at my school you need to boot into Windows so that you can run the ExamSoft program. Does this mean that any resources you want to have available (notes, outlines) need to be prepared in Windows as well? Or are you not allowed to bring notes/outlines into a test at all, in which case this becomes a moot point? Or are you only allowed to bring in paper copies of outlines? Does ExamSoft lock out all other programs or only certain restricted programs/internet access?

Apologies for the rapid-fire questions :)


As someone else mentioned use OneNote. My wife showed me that program not too long ago and I must admit it's a really awesome program. Unfortunately, there is not a version of OneNote that I'm aware of for the Mac. When I use it, I run Parallels and basically just run OneNote within OSX. In regards to law exams, I'm not sure how those are setup and if you can use your notes at all.

I believe Best Buy now allows you to return laptops without a restocking fee. If you are interested in a Mac, i'd say go there, test em out, purchase it is of you like it, but if you aren't truly satisfied, return it (that is of course if there is no return fee). For me, my Macbook pro is the best purchase I made.

elex360
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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby elex360 » Sat Jul 04, 2009 1:12 pm

Someone asked about battery life. IMO it's about the same as a PC. If you have a ton of stuff open, my battery life drops dramatically; however, if I have minimal programs open, it lasts about what was advertised. My screen isn't too bright or too dim either though. The mac pretty much adjusts it's brightness depending on the light i'm around.

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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby elex360 » Sat Jul 04, 2009 1:22 pm

djshack wrote:You're severely understating (if not insulting) Windows 7. While it is "built off of" Vista (as Vista was "built off of" XP), it's the greatest and most major Windows upgrade since 3.1 to 95. I have a brand-new top of the line ThinkPad T400, and Windows 7 hauls major ass in comparison to Vista (and Vista runs fine). There are also new features (such as the taskbar) that make it incredibly better than Vista.


I'm sorry if I gave that impression. I was just trying to explain that 7 should work if Vista meets all their needs in school now. Windows 7 IMO is a really nice OS. The first beta test that I ran of it did have some problems (computer still crashed consistently, received errors when trying to open things like the Control Panel, etc.); however, with the release candidate, I have not had one issue (as you would hope to expect). The Dell desktop that I run it on runs a lot faster than Vista did too on the same machine. I will definitely be picking this OS up for my desktop when it comes out (especially given how cheap the upgrade is). On my macbook pro though, I'll probably just stick with XP via parallels.

- Patrick

356a
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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby 356a » Sat Jul 04, 2009 1:41 pm

djshack wrote:
elex360 wrote:Windows 7 is really nice too. I haven't had many problems running the release candidate version that I have on my desktop. 7 is built off of Vista from my understanding. In a way it's like adding a service pack, so if Vista works well for law as another user indicated, I would imagine 7 would be fine too.

If you do get a mac, you can also run win7 too through bootcamp or a virtual program. Although I will say that my mac ran rather hot when running win7 through it.

- Patrick

You're severely understating (if not insulting) Windows 7. While it is "built off of" Vista (as Vista was "built off of" XP), it's the greatest and most major Windows upgrade since 3.1 to 95. I have a brand-new top of the line ThinkPad T400, and Windows 7 hauls major ass in comparison to Vista (and Vista runs fine). There are also new features (such as the taskbar) that make it incredibly better than Vista.


The buzz on 7 is quite good.

It is not however the "greatest and most major windows upgrade sine 3.1 to 95." It is a rewrite and tweak of Vista, in part to rebrand to get away from Vista's bad reputation and issues with lack of device drivers, bloat, etc.

And actually Vista was a pretty complete new program as longhorn, the internal codename, never panned out and had to be rewritten into Vista.

But XP was actually a major major upgrade as Windows and NT were finally consolidated and XP came out of NT and all the security features of that. Before that, Windows was just a shell on the old DOS.

But your point is valid - 7 cures a lot of the ills that the original Vista had.

But OSX is still a better OS for the consumer IMHO. Well, both are great, but supporting OSX is much simpler for sure, and there never has been any viruses on OSX.

elex360
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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby elex360 » Sat Jul 04, 2009 2:56 pm

Being someone relatively new to OSX (first mac bought in April '09), I totally agree that it is easy to use and especially transition to. With that said, I can't believe the speed of OSX compared to Windows. I've shown my friends how I can open Word and PDF files in a second or two and they are even amazed. I still love many aspects of Windows, but having a 3 month old computer with no slow downs and no viruses is definitely a plus!

- Patrick

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tome
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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby tome » Sat Jul 04, 2009 2:57 pm

particleman wrote:
NaijaGirl wrote:For anyone who is thinking of getting a mac and is worried about software, etc., this website has a lot of helpful tips and reviews: http://maclawstudents.com/blog/


I've been considering the switch to a Mac but am concerned about software compatibility, especially regarding final exams. I know that at my school you need to boot into Windows so that you can run the ExamSoft program. Does this mean that any resources you want to have available (notes, outlines) need to be prepared in Windows as well? Or are you not allowed to bring notes/outlines into a test at all, in which case this becomes a moot point? Or are you only allowed to bring in paper copies of outlines? Does ExamSoft lock out all other programs or only certain restricted programs/internet access?

Apologies for the rapid-fire questions :)



Yes. I proctored a bunch of exams for a couple of law schools, and that is exactly what examsoft does. Mac students at the schools with examsoft used exam4, but, as you say, this is a moot point. The other school used some other program that was compatible with both... can't remember the name.

elex360
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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby elex360 » Sat Jul 04, 2009 2:58 pm

Not to mention the fact that you can just close a macbook pro without having to shut it down ... thus leaving your system in an almost instant on setting ... that is totally cool! Unlike my old Dell laptop, which would still run very hot doing the same thing in Windows and it would not boot right up in a second or two once I reopened the laptop.

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tome
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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby tome » Sat Jul 04, 2009 3:18 pm

I finally got my Acer 13.3" Timeline --LinkRemoved--

So far it is everything I was hoping for. The only thing that could bring it down would be if it does not hold up very well. But at $600, you could easily just afford to buy a new one every couple of years, ha.

I know people here are pretty big fans of the T400, but if anyone is just looking for a laptop that gets 8+ (actually, on the lowest settings it gets significantly more than 8 ) hours of battery life, weighs 3.5 pounds, and has a stellar keyboard, get one of these. What you give up is a lot of power. The processor in this thing is the same 1.3 GHz as my 5 year old Toshiba Tecra M2--although the Timeline is faster overall because it has 4GB memory, which 5yo laptops do not have. I guess if the new Lenovo S12 is a netbook that is kind of like a laptop, this is a laptop which is kind of like a netbook--which is all I think I will really need for law school.

There are also 14 and 15 inch versions, and $900 models that have Core 2 Duo processors (though, even these are still only 1.4GHz ULV)--if you are into that sort of thing.

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djshack
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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby djshack » Sat Jul 04, 2009 5:03 pm

elex360 wrote:Not to mention the fact that you can just close a macbook pro without having to shut it down ... thus leaving your system in an almost instant on setting ... that is totally cool! Unlike my old Dell laptop, which would still run very hot doing the same thing in Windows and it would not boot right up in a second or two once I reopened the laptop.


My T400 sleeps JUST fine. You do need to make sure you turn on the option to have it do so, but with it on, it works perfectly (especially with the Lenovo "instant resume" feature). And Windows 7 also handles sleeping/waking much better and quicker than Vista.

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sentinal5656
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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby sentinal5656 » Sat Jul 04, 2009 7:07 pm

FINALLY!

Lenovo is offerign Free Windows 7 upgrade!!! :)

That is what i was waiting for!!! woohooo

Now time to configure and order my laptop!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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sentinal5656
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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby sentinal5656 » Sat Jul 04, 2009 7:33 pm

Hey guys,

I need help deciding on the warranty. Lenovo comes with the 1 yr depot warranty. I feel like I should extend it however, parts don't typically break down beyond a year if they are defective. The only warranty I see fit, is the accidental, but it costs a ton.... Is it worth it? It would definitely give me some peace of mind...

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coolkatz321
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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby coolkatz321 » Sat Jul 04, 2009 9:03 pm

vut wrote:
Metternich wrote:Have those of you who have purchased the T400 noticed the much decried keyboard flex issue? I've seen a litany of conflicting information about it; some sources say the original problem -- to the extent that it ever existed -- has been solved, while others say that not only has it been a big problem since the model's introduction, it continues to be one at present. What has been your experience?


I have the T400 and the keyboard flex is an exaggeration. It does flex if you press down really really hard -- like when you're performing a stress test, rather than simulating regular usage.


I actually had the flex problem, called Lenovo (they use IBM for support, which is great), and they sent me a new keyboard to install. The newest keyboards have reinforced bottoms and hardly any flex, and they work great.

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vut
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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby vut » Sat Jul 04, 2009 11:42 pm

djshack wrote:
elex360 wrote:Not to mention the fact that you can just close a macbook pro without having to shut it down ... thus leaving your system in an almost instant on setting ... that is totally cool! Unlike my old Dell laptop, which would still run very hot doing the same thing in Windows and it would not boot right up in a second or two once I reopened the laptop.


My T400 sleeps JUST fine. You do need to make sure you turn on the option to have it do so, but with it on, it works perfectly (especially with the Lenovo "instant resume" feature). And Windows 7 also handles sleeping/waking much better and quicker than Vista.


Plus, how the heck can you compare an old Dell to a powerful machine like the MacBook Pro? If you want a fair comparison, use machines of similar hardware specifications. I also own a T400 and a MacBook, neither one of which gives me problems.

particleman
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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby particleman » Sun Jul 05, 2009 9:11 pm

particleman wrote:Hey all, I'm considering switching to Mac and have been looking at the Mac Book Pro 13" and 15". I currently have a 15" screen laptop so I'm wondering if a 13" is too small. Anyone out there have a 13" screen and feel like it's not big enough? Anyone with a 15" think their laptop is too heavy?


bump - was hoping to get some more opinions on this :)




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