FYI for anybody who may not have yet bought their law school laptop...
Awhile back I posted about the Dell deals and how I was set on buying the Studio 15. I went to Best Buy to check it out and it was too big and bulky for my liking. So, after a week of sometimes frustrating research, I have finally decided to go with a Mac. Since it was a long process, I thought I'd post my findings and maybe someone will find it useful.
When the new Mac bundle was introduced, someone mentioned that they were disappointed in the lower processor and less RAM. By going to Apple's education site, I was able to get the same computer as the bundle except with 4 GB RAM (instead of 2) for less! The iPod Touch and printer deal are also available directly from Apple. You can actually upgrade the printer and fork out a few extra bucks if you want. The deal is $100 toward any printer from Apple when you buy a new computer (the printer deal expires July 20).
Sticking with a $100 printer, out the door, I can get basically the same deal as the school bundle, including 3 year Applecare. Before rebates, it's a little over $1600, but after rebates, it's $1282... so I'm saving money by going directly through Apple. There are a few things that the bundle offers that I'm not getting, but I felt it was worth the $217 less to forego these options:
Microsoft Office Mac 2008: I can get for $10 from the school. http://itc.virginia.edu/licenses/studentuse.html
Norton Anti-Virus 11: the Apple rep ADAMANTLY told me I would not need anti-virus on a Mac. If the school requires anti-virus or if I decide I do need it later, I can download it for free from UVA. http://www.itc.virginia.edu/central/dis ... OS&osID=10
14' Ethernet Cable, 10' USB Cable, Belkin 8-Outlet Surge Protector with 12' Power Cord, Notebook Security Cable, Starter Pack of Printer Paper: Shouldn't need the ethernet cable (does anybody know why we would need this cable?), already have a surge protector and power cord. I can get a USB cable for about $7 on Amazon (and you'll need this for the free printer that doesn't come with a USB cable). I am missing out on the security cable... could buy this for $20-$30 if I decide I want it, and a pack of printer paper is $5 or less.
Loaner laptop and UVA troubleshooting: I have an older laptop that will serve as a backup if my Mac goes down during finals. Also, someone (Gladiator?) earlier mentioned that the UVA computer support are a lot more accomodating than they sound for non-UVA bundled computers. They shouldn't have any problem with the knowhow since this computer is exactly the same as the bundle... except faster.
As I mentioned, there are a few things that I will miss out on from the bundle, but it was not worth the extra $ for me, and I wanted the 2 extra gig of memory.
EDIT: Ok, so it's not quite as good as I made it sound. I was citing the numbers from memory. It's $1611 before rebates and $1282 after rebates for the SAME computer as the bundle. It's $90 more if you want the 2 gig of memory ($1701 before rebates and $1372 after). Still, I'm going to get a faster computer for less than the bundle rather than pay more for extras I don't need.