Summary:On the Mac side:
With the Education pricing here's what they start at
White MacBook: starts at $949.00
Unibody Macbook: starts at $1,249.00
15-inch MacBook Pro: starts at $1,899.00
17-inch: MacBook Pro: starts at $2,599.00
It is my understanding that the majority of the exam software can only be run on Windows, which in this case means Mac users will have to use Boot Camp and have aversion of Windows installed on their Mac to run the exam software. I am being told that not all law schools require you to be able to run Windows. (i.e. Boalt) it is advised that you check before you go through the trouble of doing the Boot Camp (if you didn't want to in the first place). VMware Fusion and Parallels Desktop are virtualization software products for Mac, although I'm pretty sure you can't use the exam software in this. They still might be helpful for other things though.
Microsoft Office OneNote is a part of Microsoft Office that is only available in the Windows version of Office. Many people say this is one of the best ways to take notes and do outlines. This cannot be run on Mac without VMware Fusion and Parallels Desktop. But if you are using one of these programs it can be.
This website may be helpful for those who are considering a Mac for law school:http://maclawstudents.com/
Also, Apple has had a promotion in the summer for several years, usually mid-June to mid-September where if you as a student buys a MacBook or MBP, you get $200 off an iPod (or free iPod). So, many may want to look out for this if they are buying in the summer. Also, the next version of the Mac OS, Snow Leopard (Mac OS X v10.6), should be out sometime in the summer.On the Windows side:
Lenovo ThinkPad T400 is a notebook thats been mentioned over and over again as a good option. In the ThinkPad T Series there is the T400 & T500, and there are several different models within, and are very customizable on Lenovo's website.
Toshiba Portege R500 has also been mentioned. I have one of the predecessors of this notebook. And while mine is outdated, the portability of this ultraportable is great.
Windows 7, which is said to be unbelievably better than Vista, is expected to be out by Christmas, and the Release Candidate trial is available legitimately online now.On the Netbook end of things
A lot of different netbook models have been mentioned. I just got my netbook a few days ago, a Samsung NC10, and really like it. Its served as a good upgrade from my 4yr old Toshiba Portege R200. Although eventually I hope I'll have MacBook or MacBook Pro.
The best advice I can give on the netbook end, is to try to see them instore somewhere before you order. Since the specs are virtually the same across the board, things like screen size and the keyboard are very important. When I tried out some of the keyboards, I liked the Samsungs better than competitors (I think the only one I didn't get a chance to try was MSI Wind). Be aware that some models don't come with bluetooth (which is a shame) and some make it so that upgrading your RAM voids the warranty (my Samsung has an easy access RAM slot and it only took my seconds to put new Crucial RAM in there). While netbooks are great, I don't know if anyone is recommending to use them full-time for law school. For most people, they serve as a companion device.
- If I mispoke about something, feel free to correct me. Or if you have better information about anything, such as virtualization, feel free to add it.