The Ideal Law School Laptop

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enygma
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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby enygma » Thu Jul 16, 2009 6:55 pm

Inygma wrote:
superflush wrote:
Inygma wrote:Without sifting through 50 pages, has there been a verdict on smartbooks (the tiny laptop looking guys that weigh like 5 lbs)


Do you really mean smartbook, or do you mean netbook??


Oops, ya, netbook!


i'm not sure how i feel about your username

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sheltron5000
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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby sheltron5000 » Fri Jul 17, 2009 1:23 am

I'm gonna go back to my mini 9, which I still love. If you hate the SOUND of computers, this is the netbook for you: totally passive cooling, and the build quality is great. Plus, the RAM and SSD are super easy to upgrade (litterally less than 30 sec. for both).

They've discontinued this in the mini category but it's available with a newer chipset as the Vostro A90. I highly recommend it. It's been virtually my only computer for almost the last six months. I'm getting a 13" macbook pro to go with it for exams and bigger writing/research projects, but for notes and such it's really all I need.

For everyone thinking about going this route: you will get used to the screen. You do stuff like closing unused toolbars, autohiding the taskbar, etc. but there is plenty of screen. It does take getting used to, but you can definitely get used to it. And you'll be grateful that you don't have to look around that massive screen to see the professor, I love that I can sit across from someone in a coffee shop with my netbook in front of me, and it doesn't get in the way, ever.

That being said, the keyboard is rough. I'm more than used to it, totally touch typing, very low error rate, and it really only took a few days to get used to, but it has ruined me for other keyboards, and you get finger strain, and wrist strain WAY faster than with a larger keyboard. Good enough for note taking, yes, but for long papers or exams, no. Other netbooks definitely have better keyboards, as do the dell mini 10 and 12, But I don't think it's bad enough to make me choose a different netbook, they're all not so great, and eventually you'll get used to all of them.

Did I mention it's considered the most hackintoshable netbook?

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Lee Kitty Oswald
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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby Lee Kitty Oswald » Fri Jul 17, 2009 2:17 am

Anyone have a laptop with a solid state drive?

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Foozle
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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby Foozle » Fri Jul 17, 2009 9:44 am

Apparently this weekend Dell's got a deal where if you buy certain desktops or laptops, you can get a netbook (Mini 10) for $149.


Lee Kitty Oswald wrote:Anyone have a laptop with a solid state drive?

That just seems unnecessarily expensive.

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UNC2009
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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby UNC2009 » Fri Jul 17, 2009 11:28 am

Lee Kitty Oswald wrote:Anyone have a laptop with a solid state drive?


My lenovo x300 has a 64 GB SSD. I know it's small, but this laptop is solely for law school. My home desktop has all my music, etc, and I run photoshop on my 17" HP Pavilion. So for me, the 3 lb. x300 with 64 GB is fine.

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enygma
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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby enygma » Fri Jul 17, 2009 12:37 pm

Lee Kitty Oswald wrote:Anyone have a laptop with a solid state drive?


yes. i love it. computer boots in ~12 seconds. applications like firefox load instantly. vmware also seems to run noticeably faster.

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superflush
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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby superflush » Fri Jul 17, 2009 2:49 pm

sheltron5000 wrote:I'm gonna go back to my mini 9, which I still love. If you hate the SOUND of computers, this is the netbook for you: totally passive cooling, and the build quality is great. Plus, the RAM and SSD are super easy to upgrade (litterally less than 30 sec. for both).


But the sound part is only true if you have SSD, right

Inygma
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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby Inygma » Fri Jul 17, 2009 5:30 pm

webster021 wrote:After all my asking about macs and law school I've decided to go all PC and the laptop at home/netbook in class/out and about route (crazy, huh? but together they cost about as much as a mac anyway and I don't want to be lugging a 6 lb laptop everywhere with me especially considering the weight of our books). It just seemed like I'd have to buy a lot of stuff to make the mac work and with my school's environment/support systems, PC just seems like it'll be less hassle. I still appreciate all of your advice, though!

Inygma--I'm shopping for netbooks now and have checked out the one you mentioned. It does seem like one of the best out there, but you should be aware that there are HA-P (the one you cite) and HA-V versions of this netbook. From what I can tell, the differences are as follows: HA-P has a glossy screen, 1.3MP webcam, 6 cell battery with 10.5 hour battery life, and it comes with a sleeve. The HA-V version has a matte screen, 6 cell battery with 8.5 hour battery life, a .3 MP camera, and does not come with a sleeve.

Personally I think I might go with the V version, solely for the matte screen. Haven't decided which laptop I'm going to get though, but lenovo t400 seems to be popular around here and I've also heard good things about the Toshiba Satellites and the Dell studio 15.


Ya there is actually 3 versions, the third is HA-B, which is the worst of the three.

I ordered my HA-P yesterday and ordered a 2GB ram stick also. I thought P had a matte screen also, but I could be mistaken. Anyway, I checked out reviews and everyone said the P version was worth the extra money, so I went with it.

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sheltron5000
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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby sheltron5000 » Fri Jul 17, 2009 8:38 pm

superflush wrote:
sheltron5000 wrote:I'm gonna go back to my mini 9, which I still love. If you hate the SOUND of computers, this is the netbook for you: totally passive cooling, and the build quality is great. Plus, the RAM and SSD are super easy to upgrade (litterally less than 30 sec. for both).


But the sound part is only true if you have SSD, right


the mini 9 doesn't have a HDD option, they are ALL SSD, the only moving parts are the hinge and keys/buttons (the minum size is now 16GB, it was 4GB when I bought mine, I upgraded to 8GB, the bare minimum for livability).

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lucydog
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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby lucydog » Sat Jul 18, 2009 2:10 am

Got my Thinkpad X200 a couple of days ago from tigerdirect.com and thought I would give my first impressions.


Performance:
My system came with Intel P8400, 4GB Ram, 160GB 7200RPM HDD 16mb cache.

Everything is very snappy, and I have no stutter streaming HD content on hulu (X200 is not built for gaming). This computer could handle multiple office programs with one hand behind its back. Both Vista and Win7 are extremely responsive with multiple applications open. The only thing that has disappointed me so far is that the hard-drive has a 1.5 transfer rate instead of 3.0, but I am not sure if this is actually a bottle neck or not. Wireless range is good.

Windows Performance Scores: Windows 7 RC (7100) x64
CPU: 5.9
RAM: 5.9
Graphics: 4.1
Gaming Graphics: 4.9
HDD: 5.2

Windows 7 RC upgrade:
My laptop came with Vista Business, but but the first thing I did was grab my USB drive and install Win7 RC x64. The install off of the USB stick was fast and painless. Lenovo has a website set up with all of their BETA Win7 drivers on there and I got mostly everything to work. The ThinkVantage Access Connections software was a little buggy and would post an error on start-up, so I uninstalled it and just decided to use windows connectivity with no difference in speed or wireless signal strength. All of the Fn buttons, active shock protection, fingerprint, camera, OSD, power management work. Intel has their beta AMT drivers up if anyone uses this function. I expect a an easy upgrade when 7 is released in October.

Screen:
I have heard bad stuff about the brightness on the X200 screen, which is not LED, but I think that it is rather bright and thin. There are 15 different screen brightness settings, and even on the lowest setting it is still very usable. Resolution is 1280x800 and works well with the 12 inch format. The screen actually folds down to an 180 angle which is nice when using the laptop outside to get the perfect angle. The screen is secured by a latch and makes a satisfying clicking noise when closed.

Keyboard:
Full size and lives up to the Thinkpad reputation. It is the best feeling keyboard that I have ever used on a laptop. No noticeable flex. All the keys have a very solid feel when they are used. The keyboard also has spill protection where liquid is supposed to drain out of holes in the bottom of the laptop (I have not tested this).

Battery:
I haven't really used it that much to get a good feel of the battery yet, but I think about 5 hours on the six cell would be a good estimate. The six cell battery is flush with the back of the laptop and does not stick out of the end. The only negative with the battery is that it wiggles a little.

Heat and Noise:
Very cool and quiet.

Other:
The system has already survived its first drop. Build quality is high with minimal flex on the screen, and none around the palm rest. So far I haven't really missed not having a trackpad, but it does take longer to move across the screen with the little red dot. Has a little night light on the top of the screen that shines on the keyboard. 1.5MP Camera, nothing special.

Pro's:
-light and portable
- 5+ hours battery
-speedy processor
-nice keyboard
-quiet and cool

Cons:
-No DVD drive or trackpad

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worldtraveler
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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby worldtraveler » Sat Jul 18, 2009 7:00 am

coolkatz321 wrote:
worldtraveler wrote:I'm thinking about going with 2 laptops. I have a 17" Sony Vaio that I love, but it unfortunately doesn't work with wireless internet anymore. Yeah, I dunno. It's also a bit big to lug to class everyday.

I'm thinking about getting a 10" netbook to take to class, and then using the Vaio for exams and at home.

Anyone see a problem with this plan?


Just out of curiosity, have you tried updating the drivers? Can't be too difficult...


I got it fixed. It was some kind of wiring issue, so it ended up rather complicated.

I think I'm still getting a second computer for law school. This one if just too big.

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superflush
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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby superflush » Sat Jul 18, 2009 2:41 pm

worldtraveler wrote:I got it fixed. It was some kind of wiring issue, so it ended up rather complicated.

I think I'm still getting a second computer for law school. This one if just too big.


Good deal. Or you looking for a netbook, or for a small MBP?

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sentinal5656
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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby sentinal5656 » Sun Jul 19, 2009 8:17 pm

I considered this thread heavily while laptop searching and I finally got my T400 today. It is awesome. 100% recommend this thing to everyone. :D

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pleasetryagain
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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby pleasetryagain » Sun Jul 19, 2009 8:30 pm

just came across this.. had to show some people.

Image

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GATORTIM
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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby GATORTIM » Sun Jul 19, 2009 8:56 pm

The Ideal Law School Laptop

--ImageRemoved--

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Lem37
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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby Lem37 » Sun Jul 19, 2009 11:31 pm

Image

Sigh. I don't expect anyone to get this. Also, there's Russian. But I loved this sequence.

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Lee Kitty Oswald
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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby Lee Kitty Oswald » Mon Jul 20, 2009 6:35 pm

Anyone have views on extended warranties? The Lenovo I'm looking at has a 1 year warranty included in price. However there are warranty options up to 3 years. Has anyone ever needed to use the extended warranty (and if so, to what degree) and do you think it's worth it? Thanks!

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Rsrcht
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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby Rsrcht » Mon Jul 20, 2009 6:47 pm

DCD wrote:just came across this.. had to show some people.

Image


I like how the mac guy is standing and the pc guy is in a wheelchair

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sheltron5000
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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby sheltron5000 » Mon Jul 20, 2009 10:34 pm

Just ordered my macbook. Excited :) Waiting :(

For everyone who's interested, on the 2.53GHz 13" macbook pro, the upgrade from 250GB to 320GB is actually worth paying for.

unaplgticmocker
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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby unaplgticmocker » Tue Jul 21, 2009 9:43 am

Is there a need for a cd/dvd drive for any of the software in law school? I'm looking to buy an Ideapad because it's nice and light, but doesn't have an optical drive. I don't want to invest in the external drive if I don't have to (I've got an old macbook that I watch movies on and use for everyday life, it's just too old to drag around to classes at this point). I only plan to use the Lenovo for notes and exams really, so is it worth the $200?

Bankhead
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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby Bankhead » Tue Jul 21, 2009 10:02 am

Just ordered my T400! Upgraded it with more ram, bluetooth, a bigger battery, LED screen, and some other stuff.

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hoffb86
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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby hoffb86 » Tue Jul 21, 2009 10:08 am

Ordered an external/secondary monitor for my macbook... 18.5" widescreen Samsung, really nice, only $75 after coupons from Staples.

(good lookin' out on that one Katz)

Does anyone have a great source for cheap/good cables? I need to find a Mini Display Port (mac) to DVI-D (monitor) cable, and have no idea where to look.

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coolkatz321
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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby coolkatz321 » Tue Jul 21, 2009 10:24 am

hoffb86 wrote:Ordered an external/secondary monitor for my macbook... 18.5" widescreen Samsung, really nice, only $75 after coupons from Staples.

(good lookin' out on that one Katz)

Does anyone have a great source for cheap/good cables? I need to find a Mini Display Port (mac) to DVI-D (monitor) cable, and have no idea where to look.


Can you define "cheap"? I found one for $8 or so, plus shipping

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dholyghozt
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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby dholyghozt » Tue Jul 21, 2009 10:28 am

stop by radioshack first sometimes they have cheap stuff...problem with buying the small stuff online is that shipping adds up...

i usually use newegg.com, tigerdirect.com, or buy.com and i use google shopping results for price comparison

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Lily
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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby Lily » Tue Jul 21, 2009 10:29 am

It appears a lot of people are getting a netbook AND something else. Is anyone JUST getting a netbook? A friend of mine recommends this:

Asus Eee PC Netbook

And the reviews seem great. I am concerned about the size of the keyboard, but a lot of those reviews mention that the keyboard size is quite comfortable.

Any thoughts on netbook only? Am I going to be pissed at myself when I'm squinting like crazy at a tiny screen?

Another friend recommends a vaio.




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