Netbook vs laptop

(Study Tips, Dealing With Stress, Maintaining a Social Life, Financial Aid, Internships, Bar Exam, Careers in Law . . . )
pizzaface
Posts: 30
Joined: Wed Aug 05, 2009 12:24 pm

Netbook vs laptop

Postby pizzaface » Wed Mar 03, 2010 7:35 am

Ideally I'd like to get a netbook for school but I'm a bit worried that the smaller keyboard could prove to be a hindrance to my typing speed on exams. Any thoughts or suggestions from people who have netbooks? Would it be practical to bring a full-sized external keyboard for an exam?

Thanks!

270910
Posts: 2437
Joined: Thu May 21, 2009 9:51 pm

Re: Netbook vs laptop

Postby 270910 » Wed Mar 03, 2010 8:06 am

I know people with netbooks they use for law school who love them. Not for everyone though. You'll probably use it to take notes in class and for exams, so it winds up being hours tapping away at the keyboard. Some netbooks have keyboards that are really close to full sized, others are like 80% the size and trickier to use. But maybe you have small hands?

I'd say at the end of the day, how much you like typing on your laptop's keyboard is up there with stability in terms of importance when picking a computer for law school. I'd definitely not recommend getting a netbook until you've spent some time trying one... maybe go to a computer store and just type for a few minutes (not a few seconds) and see how you like it?

Connelly
Posts: 164
Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2007 2:10 pm

Re: Netbook vs laptop

Postby Connelly » Wed Mar 03, 2010 10:20 am

We've had CALI winners type their exams on 10" Acers, so it's possible. Definitely try the keyboard (or one of the same size) out before getting one. As mentioned, there are some that are full-size. I believe the 11.6" Acer has a full-size keyboard.

jetlagz28
Posts: 191
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2009 11:56 pm

Re: Netbook vs laptop

Postby jetlagz28 » Wed Mar 03, 2010 10:27 am

Why not both?...

A netbook is cheap, portable and convenient for daily use. You can throw it in your bag with your books, get great battery life and increase usable desk space in class. However, I would HATE to have to do research/test/papers on the thing.

A laptop is still portable, you can use it for exams, home and personal use and to do legal research and writing.

You can get both for a combined total of less than $1000.

User avatar
StoneontaState
Posts: 52
Joined: Sat Dec 26, 2009 10:11 am

Re: Netbook vs laptop

Postby StoneontaState » Wed Mar 03, 2010 3:46 pm

It depends if you have a a regular laptop/desktop as well. With a netbook, you do get the luxury of ultra-portability but they have 1/4 the RAM of a laptop, not as much hard drive space, and do not come equipped with optical disk drives (for CD-ROMs or DVDs). If you do already own a laptop/desktop then a netbook would be a wise choice so you can use it to carry around and then use your laptop/desktop for CD-ROMS and other stuff like storing music. If you don't, then you have to consider sacrificing your use of an optical drive and probably will need an external hard drive. Keyboard wise, everytime you get a new computer it takes time to adjust to the keyboard.

Most netbooks are 10", but if you don't mind 3 extra inches you can get a 13" laptop that will have optical drive/big hard drive.

tsub
Posts: 78
Joined: Tue Oct 20, 2009 11:36 am

Re: Netbook vs laptop

Postby tsub » Wed Mar 03, 2010 3:59 pm

I just bought a 13.4 inch MSI Ultra Slim Laptop (It's an MSI X340-218US) and I absolutely love it!

It's about an inch and a half at the thickest point, weighs 3.2 pounds with the battery, and has a great screen and 8 hours of battery life. I got it on sale from TigerDirect for $450. Although it's not a true Netbook, it's way smaller than a regular laptop but way more powerful than a Netbook.

I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a new laptop.

User avatar
hoopsguy6
Posts: 212
Joined: Tue Aug 04, 2009 7:46 pm

Re: Netbook vs laptop

Postby hoopsguy6 » Wed Mar 03, 2010 4:04 pm

There are plenty of larger netbooks with great keyboards. The Lenovo Thinkpad x100e probably has the best keyboard in the 11-12" range.

User avatar
napolnic
Posts: 375
Joined: Tue Nov 18, 2008 1:17 pm

Re: Netbook vs laptop

Postby napolnic » Wed Mar 03, 2010 6:11 pm

I have a desktop and use a samsung netbook for notetaking. The keyboard is almost full sized and I didn't even notice a difference when typing exams.

User avatar
chicagolaw2013
Posts: 584
Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2009 5:16 pm

Re: Netbook vs laptop

Postby chicagolaw2013 » Fri Mar 05, 2010 8:41 pm

tsub wrote:I just bought a 13.4 inch MSI Ultra Slim Laptop (It's an MSI X340-218US) and I absolutely love it!

It's about an inch and a half at the thickest point, weighs 3.2 pounds with the battery, and has a great screen and 8 hours of battery life. I got it on sale from TigerDirect for $450. Although it's not a true Netbook, it's way smaller than a regular laptop but way more powerful than a Netbook.

I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a new laptop.


In the market for a new laptop before fall, since mine is a heavy POS. This sounds very appealing to my budget. What are the specs on the one you got?

User avatar
macattaq
Posts: 441
Joined: Fri Mar 20, 2009 1:46 pm

Re: Netbook vs laptop

Postby macattaq » Fri Mar 05, 2010 8:46 pm

Search forum. Use it. It reveals all. Like threads discussing laptops v. netbooks. Or threads discussing the merits of PC or Mac. You can thank me later.

tsub
Posts: 78
Joined: Tue Oct 20, 2009 11:36 am

Re: Netbook vs laptop

Postby tsub » Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:32 pm

chicagolaw2013 wrote:
tsub wrote:I just bought a 13.4 inch MSI Ultra Slim Laptop (It's an MSI X340-218US) and I absolutely love it!

It's about an inch and a half at the thickest point, weighs 3.2 pounds with the battery, and has a great screen and 8 hours of battery life. I got it on sale from TigerDirect for $450. Although it's not a true Netbook, it's way smaller than a regular laptop but way more powerful than a Netbook.

I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a new laptop.


In the market for a new laptop before fall, since mine is a heavy POS. This sounds very appealing to my budget. What are the specs on the one you got?


Intel Core 2 Solo ULV 1.4 Ghz
2GB RAM
320 GB HDD
13.4" WXGA screen
Wireless B/G/N Adaptor
Windows 7 Home Premium
Bluetooth
8 Cell battery

Here's a link
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications ... ER-_-Deals

User avatar
chicagolaw2013
Posts: 584
Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2009 5:16 pm

Re: Netbook vs laptop

Postby chicagolaw2013 » Fri Mar 05, 2010 11:55 pm

tsub wrote:
chicagolaw2013 wrote:
tsub wrote:I just bought a 13.4 inch MSI Ultra Slim Laptop (It's an MSI X340-218US) and I absolutely love it!

It's about an inch and a half at the thickest point, weighs 3.2 pounds with the battery, and has a great screen and 8 hours of battery life. I got it on sale from TigerDirect for $450. Although it's not a true Netbook, it's way smaller than a regular laptop but way more powerful than a Netbook.

I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a new laptop.


In the market for a new laptop before fall, since mine is a heavy POS. This sounds very appealing to my budget. What are the specs on the one you got?


Intel Core 2 Solo ULV 1.4 Ghz
2GB RAM
320 GB HDD
13.4" WXGA screen
Wireless B/G/N Adaptor
Windows 7 Home Premium
Bluetooth
8 Cell battery

Here's a link
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications ... ER-_-Deals


Thanks tsub! :)

pizzaface
Posts: 30
Joined: Wed Aug 05, 2009 12:24 pm

Re: Netbook vs laptop

Postby pizzaface » Sat Mar 06, 2010 12:28 am

tsub wrote:
chicagolaw2013 wrote:
tsub wrote:I just bought a 13.4 inch MSI Ultra Slim Laptop (It's an MSI X340-218US) and I absolutely love it!

It's about an inch and a half at the thickest point, weighs 3.2 pounds with the battery, and has a great screen and 8 hours of battery life. I got it on sale from TigerDirect for $450. Although it's not a true Netbook, it's way smaller than a regular laptop but way more powerful than a Netbook.

I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a new laptop.


In the market for a new laptop before fall, since mine is a heavy POS. This sounds very appealing to my budget. What are the specs on the one you got?


Intel Core 2 Solo ULV 1.4 Ghz
2GB RAM
320 GB HDD
13.4" WXGA screen
Wireless B/G/N Adaptor
Windows 7 Home Premium
Bluetooth
8 Cell battery

Here's a link
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications ... ER-_-Deals


Nice, looks like a pretty decent machine. I'm sorta town between something like that or a netbook with ION. I'm looking at the HP Mini 311:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6834157032

Atom 1.6 Ghz
1 GB RAM (expandable to 3)
160 GB HDD
Per the reviews I've read the keyboard seems to be good.
ION LE
$399 but I like that it comes with the ION (it's ION LE but apparently it's pretty easy to modify it to perform as a regular ION)

Decisions, decisions...

RickyMack
Posts: 74
Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2009 11:26 am

Re: Netbook vs laptop

Postby RickyMack » Sat Mar 06, 2010 8:12 pm

also you should check in with your schools as well. i forget which school i was looking at but they warned against purchasing a netbook cause they said they were having issues with users on win7 starter who could not connect to their wireless network.

i've also been pondering this question, my desktop died a couple years back (i suspect the mobo) and i've been lazy (very lazy) to repair it cause i have a fatty zalman fan on it that always manages to slice my hands up, so i've been stuck on my ancient vaio with a 13.3 screen. while it was lightweight i realized that i still didn't like carrying it around even though it was lighter than the desktop replacements some other kids were for some godforsaken reason bringing to campus.

it's just so hard to say no to the light weight and the 11 hour battery life some netbooks are bringing to the table.

User avatar
mikeytwoshoes
Posts: 1117
Joined: Thu Jun 26, 2008 11:45 pm

Re: Netbook vs laptop

Postby mikeytwoshoes » Sat Mar 06, 2010 11:03 pm

pizzaface wrote:Ideally I'd like to get a netbook for school but I'm a bit worried that the smaller keyboard could prove to be a hindrance to my typing speed on exams. Any thoughts or suggestions from people who have netbooks? Would it be practical to bring a full-sized external keyboard for an exam?

Thanks!

You're a big boy/girl now, buy a laptop.

It's classier and looks more professional. Also, I do not know any 2ls or 3Ls with netbooks.

User avatar
voice of reason
Posts: 264
Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2009 12:18 am

Re: Netbook vs laptop

Postby voice of reason » Sat Mar 06, 2010 11:30 pm

mikeytwoshoes wrote: It's classier and looks more professional. Also, I do not know any 2ls or 3Ls with netbooks.


For a student's computer I really can't think of a more irrelevant consideration than what "looks professional."

Buy what fits your budget, will let you work efficiently, and will make you happy. For me, that's a T- or X-series ThinkPad, which I guess is the ultimate in looking professional. But what I like about them is the great keyboards, solid build, and simple design. Plus I'm devoted to the trackpoint and the service plan where a technician shows up at my place the next day if it breaks.

On the other hand, if you boat gets floated by, say, a pink netbook with a smiley face graphic, go for it.

User avatar
mikeytwoshoes
Posts: 1117
Joined: Thu Jun 26, 2008 11:45 pm

Re: Netbook vs laptop

Postby mikeytwoshoes » Sat Mar 06, 2010 11:49 pm

voice of reason wrote:
mikeytwoshoes wrote: It's classier and looks more professional. Also, I do not know any 2ls or 3Ls with netbooks.


For a student's computer I really can't think of a more irrelevant consideration than what "looks professional."

On the other hand, if you boat gets floated by, say, a pink netbook with a smiley face graphic, go for it.

I don't know about you but we have speaker events, often involving influential practicing attorneys and judges. People take notes on their laptop or netbook, and then try to network with these speakers. When you have a state supreme court justice or a hiring partner, you probably shouldn't walk out from behind a hot pink netbook.

pizzaface
Posts: 30
Joined: Wed Aug 05, 2009 12:24 pm

Re: Netbook vs laptop

Postby pizzaface » Sun Mar 07, 2010 2:22 am

RickyMack wrote:while it was lightweight i realized that i still didn't like carrying it around even though it was lighter than the desktop replacements some other kids were for some godforsaken reason bringing to campus.

it's just so hard to say no to the light weight and the 11 hour battery life some netbooks are bringing to the table.


This is what I'm mainly concerned with. I have a nice desktop so the laptop I buy will be used exclusively for taking notes and exams. If a netbook is good enough for that (can still type reasonably quickly) I think that's where I'm leaning at this point. No sense in buying a more expensive machine to what, run 30 instances of onenote at a time?

User avatar
T14_Scholly
Posts: 416
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 8:46 pm

Re: Netbook vs laptop

Postby T14_Scholly » Sun Mar 07, 2010 2:44 am

OP - why do you need other people to tell you if a large keyboard is better than a small one for typing? You're retarded, and this is a retarded thread.

User avatar
RVP11
Posts: 2774
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2007 6:32 pm

Re: Netbook vs laptop

Postby RVP11 » Sun Mar 07, 2010 2:51 am

I have a 17" monitor behemoth.

On exam days, my monitor is easily big enough to display two Word documents simultaneously, so I can have both my exam and my outline open at the same time. Big advantage, and worth lugging around all semester.

LoriBelle
Posts: 106
Joined: Mon Dec 08, 2008 1:00 pm

Re: Netbook vs laptop

Postby LoriBelle » Mon Mar 08, 2010 1:49 pm

I have an 11.6" Acer netbook. It has a 100% full-sized keyboard, 2GB RAM, a 250GB hard drive, and an 8-hr. battery. I used it for everything all semester long, including exams. I am in the top 10% of my class, I won awards for my closed memo (which was composed entirely on my netbook), and I CALI'd Torts.

I am a small person with small hands, but even for an average-sized person, I think a netbook has several advantages.

1. It's light. Law books are heavy, and anything you can do to reduce the load is a good thing in my book. If you have one of those rolly bags, this isn't as much of a consideration.

2. It's cheap. My netbook cost me less than $400.

3. It sips power. If I set my screen to the lowest brightness and turn off the wireless and Bluetooth, I'm looking at 10 hours of battery life. With the brightness up and the wireless on, I'm looking at about 7-9 hours, depending on what I'm doing. I don't bother bringing my charger to school; just plug the thing in at night.

4. It goes wherever you go, with very little fuss. My netbook weighs less than 3 pounds. If you get a model with a long-life battery, you won't have to worry about chargers, cords, or anything else. Because it's little, it fits in your arms just like a textbook (only much thinner). Personally, I love the thing.

Disadvantages:

1. Inherent in the definition of a netbook is a low-power processor. Usually, there is also a lower-quality video card. This isn't a problem for most Office applications, but there will be no Warcraft or Sims or whatever on a netbook.

2. The keyboard is a little shallow on my netbook (it is one of those "chiclet" keyboards). This is a problem common to almost all laptops, and if you don't like it, you can always get a wireless keyboard/mouse combo for home use.

3. No CD/DVD drive. If you want music, internet radio, an external CD/DVD drive (purchased separately), or a USB connection from another music source are pretty much the only ways you can get it. Ditto the problem for DVD watching, though honestly, I don't know how the processor and video card would handle high-quality video (though YouTube runs fine).

If the intent for the product is multi-use (movie-watching, CD-burning, gaming), I totally understand why someone might want a full-sized notebook. But people don't need to be worried that a netbook can't meet their needs for law school itself.

pizzaface
Posts: 30
Joined: Wed Aug 05, 2009 12:24 pm

Re: Netbook vs laptop

Postby pizzaface » Tue Mar 09, 2010 3:23 am

LoriBelle wrote:I have an 11.6" Acer netbook. It has a 100% full-sized keyboard, 2GB RAM, a 250GB hard drive, and an 8-hr. battery. I used it for everything all semester long, including exams. I am in the top 10% of my class, I won awards for my closed memo (which was composed entirely on my netbook), and I CALI'd Torts.

I am a small person with small hands, but even for an average-sized person, I think a netbook has several advantages.

1. It's light. Law books are heavy, and anything you can do to reduce the load is a good thing in my book. If you have one of those rolly bags, this isn't as much of a consideration.

2. It's cheap. My netbook cost me less than $400.

3. It sips power. If I set my screen to the lowest brightness and turn off the wireless and Bluetooth, I'm looking at 10 hours of battery life. With the brightness up and the wireless on, I'm looking at about 7-9 hours, depending on what I'm doing. I don't bother bringing my charger to school; just plug the thing in at night.

4. It goes wherever you go, with very little fuss. My netbook weighs less than 3 pounds. If you get a model with a long-life battery, you won't have to worry about chargers, cords, or anything else. Because it's little, it fits in your arms just like a textbook (only much thinner). Personally, I love the thing.

Disadvantages:

1. Inherent in the definition of a netbook is a low-power processor. Usually, there is also a lower-quality video card. This isn't a problem for most Office applications, but there will be no Warcraft or Sims or whatever on a netbook.

2. The keyboard is a little shallow on my netbook (it is one of those "chiclet" keyboards). This is a problem common to almost all laptops, and if you don't like it, you can always get a wireless keyboard/mouse combo for home use.

3. No CD/DVD drive. If you want music, internet radio, an external CD/DVD drive (purchased separately), or a USB connection from another music source are pretty much the only ways you can get it. Ditto the problem for DVD watching, though honestly, I don't know how the processor and video card would handle high-quality video (though YouTube runs fine).

If the intent for the product is multi-use (movie-watching, CD-burning, gaming), I totally understand why someone might want a full-sized notebook. But people don't need to be worried that a netbook can't meet their needs for law school itself.


Awesome, thanks a lot for the advice, this is exactly what I was looking for! Netbook it is (Def 11.6")

Zatarra
Posts: 64
Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2010 5:23 pm

Re: Netbook vs laptop

Postby Zatarra » Tue Mar 09, 2010 3:49 am

OP, seems to have reached a decision in favor of a netbook, so here are a few useful links for those shopping for netbooks/laptops (to reiterate, provided you don't mind a smaller screen and smallish keyboard [depending on model] a netbook should be just fine for note taking, reading pdfs, or web browsing).

Top Netbook Models:
http://www.laptopmag.com/review/laptops ... books.aspx
http://reviews.cnet.com/best-netbooks/


For others still on the fence:
If you're looking to do a bit more heavy computing (watch and HD video or two, heavy Hulu streaming, play a game, etc) you'll likely find a netbook will come up short as your sole device. CULV based units are a great compromise, like the aforementioned MSI unit. Look for dual core models if you're into multi-tasking.

For a thin and light that'll do more or less everything, save for running high-end games, check out the upcoming Sony Z series, though beware for some potential sticker shock -- it can range from ~1700 up to over ~4000 for a fully tricked out unit (though they are running a few student deals at the moment).
http://www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs/sto ... 1644570897

If you want to go Mac, I'd avoid the Air -- awful battery life, unreliable build quality, and can struggle with things the cheaper MacBook handles with aplomb (speaking from personal experience with an Air...). The MacBook and MacBook Pro 13" are more capable units, despite the bump in weight and thickness.

And last, for those perhaps heading into law school NEXT cycle, and who like to dream big, consider one of these for notetaking:
http://blogs.zdnet.com/igeneration/?p=4263

pizzaface
Posts: 30
Joined: Wed Aug 05, 2009 12:24 pm

Re: Netbook vs laptop

Postby pizzaface » Tue Mar 09, 2010 8:32 am

Zatarra wrote:For others still on the fence:
If you're looking to do a bit more heavy computing (watch and HD video or two, heavy Hulu streaming, play a game, etc) you'll likely find a netbook will come up short as your sole device. CULV based units are a great compromise, like the aforementioned MSI unit. Look for dual core models if you're into multi-tasking.


Another sort of compromise would be to invest in a netbook with nvidia ION...now that flash 10.x is out apparently they are even able to stream in HD since the flash video is now off-loaded to the GPU. They can be a little bit pricier but perhaps worth it.

LoriBelle
Posts: 106
Joined: Mon Dec 08, 2008 1:00 pm

Re: Netbook vs laptop

Postby LoriBelle » Tue Mar 09, 2010 12:29 pm

I'm the above-quoted netbook owner, and I just wanted to reiterate that potential netbook buyers need to WATCH OUT FOR THE SPECS on the netbook you buy. There are some really crappy cheap ones you would NOT be happy with in law school.

You want a 100% full-sized keyboard, 2GB RAM (if running Vista, Idk about Windows 7), and the extended-life battery. You are not going to get those things in an absolute bottom-of-the-line netbook. Be careful in your shopping. Other specs are kind of negotiable, I think, but the three I listed have been essential to my enjoyment of my netbook.

Also, Zatarra's right on two counts: video-intensive applications have a tough time, and the Sony Z series is awesome (but also uber-expensive).

Happy shopping!




Return to “Forum for Law School Students”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: dlaw7566, LandMermaid and 8 guests