Thinkpad v. Mac for law school

(Study Tips, Dealing With Stress, Maintaining a Social Life, Financial Aid, Internships, Bar Exam, Careers in Law . . . )
User avatar
rowlf
Posts: 167
Joined: Mon Aug 10, 2009 3:55 pm

Thinkpad v. Mac for law school

Postby rowlf » Wed Aug 04, 2010 1:40 am

I'm going to buy a new computer for law school. I want a computer that will perform well and last about four years. I am deciding between getting a Lenovo Thinkpad (X201 series) or a Mac Book Pro (13"). Both seem like hardy, quality computers, but I can only buy one.

I would particularly like to hear reviews and thoughts from TLSers who use Thinkpads and people who made the same choice and why they came down the way they did. I would love to hear from people who have used both an IBM Thinkpad and a Lenovo Thinkpad and hear their views on any important contrasts. Have Thinkpads become worse since Lenovo acquired the brand? I'd also like to know a bit more about any particular software and experience features of the Thinkpad. I've seen them in action (I know a few people with Thinkpads), but a little more explication would be helpful(and that goes for Macs, too!).

For Mac users: Are there any issues of compatibility in terms of law school exam-taking software and Macs? What is this feature I hear of that allows you to use OneNote on a Mac, and how does it influence said compatibility if I use it? For those of you who transitioned from a PC to a Mac for law school, what was the adjustment period like, how long was it? Was it worth it? Is Circus Ponies Notebook actually any good? How compatible is it with Office stuff? What difficulties might I face, in terms of sharing data between platforms, given that I have a PC netbook and a non-iphone smartphone? The big drawback of Mac for me is it seems a rather closed, inflexible software world, and I like the flexibility and openness that PCs offer.

I am hoping to make a decision soon so quick responses would be appreciated. Thanks so much!

User avatar
Thomas Jefferson
Posts: 385
Joined: Sun Feb 21, 2010 6:32 pm

Re: Thinkpad v. Mac for law school

Postby Thomas Jefferson » Wed Aug 04, 2010 1:43 am

TL;DR but no one should ever buy a Mac.

User avatar
Emma.
Posts: 2401
Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2008 7:57 pm

Re: Thinkpad v. Mac for law school

Postby Emma. » Wed Aug 04, 2010 1:44 am

Thomas Jefferson wrote:TL;DR but no one should ever buy a Mac.

:roll:

User avatar
traehekat
Posts: 3195
Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2009 4:00 pm

Re: Thinkpad v. Mac for law school

Postby traehekat » Wed Aug 04, 2010 1:58 am

Thomas Jefferson wrote:TL;DR but no one should ever buy a Mac.


This.

In all honesty, as far as what you will need for law school, it probably doesn't matter. Both would be sufficient. Just saying though, one may be "sufficient" for $800 less...

EDIT: By the way, there are a trillion threads on this, use the search function.

mattpen
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2010 2:26 am

Re: Thinkpad v. Mac for law school

Postby mattpen » Wed Aug 04, 2010 2:12 am

I'd go for the mac, make sure you get the education pricing and right now if you get a laptop you get a free iPod Touch. Can't beat that

User avatar
Thomas Jefferson
Posts: 385
Joined: Sun Feb 21, 2010 6:32 pm

Re: Thinkpad v. Mac for law school

Postby Thomas Jefferson » Wed Aug 04, 2010 2:16 am

mattpen wrote:I'd go for the mac, make sure you get the education pricing and right now if you get a laptop you get a free iPod Touch. Can't beat that


Except with the Windows or Linux PC with the same or better specs that costs less

JOThompson
Posts: 1311
Joined: Sun Aug 02, 2009 3:16 am

Re: Thinkpad v. Mac for law school

Postby JOThompson » Wed Aug 04, 2010 2:19 am

Thomas Jefferson wrote:TL;DR but no one should ever buy a Mac.

+1

I opted for the Thinkpad. Strutting around with a fashionable computer is *not* worth the compatibility tradeoff. Yeah, you can run Windows via bootcamp or parallels, but it's not worth the effort IMO.

User avatar
tintin
Posts: 952
Joined: Tue Oct 21, 2008 12:26 am

Re: Thinkpad v. Mac for law school

Postby tintin » Wed Aug 04, 2010 2:24 am

mac no question

User avatar
usuaggie
Posts: 585
Joined: Thu Dec 10, 2009 8:43 pm

Re: Thinkpad v. Mac for law school

Postby usuaggie » Wed Aug 04, 2010 2:32 am

Thomas Jefferson wrote:
mattpen wrote:I'd go for the mac, make sure you get the education pricing and right now if you get a laptop you get a free iPod Touch. Can't beat that


Except with the Windows or Linux PC with the same or better specs that costs less



I don't know what you guys are paying for your PCs, but my mac was pretty cheap and came with a free iPod. The recommended mac at my school is the same price as the 5 recommended PCs, but with a 13 inch screen vs a 15/17 inch.


I haven't had any problems with my mac in its first year. I love it. I probably will never buy another PC. I've had 4 dells and all were built really cheap compared to this mac. same goes for my girlfriend's HP laptop.

User avatar
General Tso
Posts: 2289
Joined: Sun Dec 07, 2008 6:51 pm

Re: Thinkpad v. Mac for law school

Postby General Tso » Wed Aug 04, 2010 3:24 am

JOThompson wrote:
Thomas Jefferson wrote:TL;DR but no one should ever buy a Mac.

+1

I opted for the Thinkpad. Strutting around with a fashionable computer is *not* worth the compatibility tradeoff. Yeah, you can run Windows via bootcamp or parallels, but it's not worth the effort IMO.


who struts around with a Macbook? they are beyond mainstream at this point...

User avatar
happy187
Posts: 135
Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 1:43 pm

Re: Thinkpad v. Mac for law school

Postby happy187 » Wed Aug 04, 2010 10:57 am

I picked up an IBM Thinkpad T42 with extended battery for 250 on craigslist. it will do everything I need to for law school. email, one note, ms office suite, and adobe pro. I don't see the point in spending a lot of money on a laptop for law school. If I was going to grad school for graphic design, maybe. But, I just need something that will have a decent battery and make it 4 years (going PT). After that I will invest in a Macbook, I have an iMac at home and love it.

User avatar
romothesavior
Posts: 14772
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 4:29 pm

Re: Thinkpad v. Mac for law school

Postby romothesavior » Wed Aug 04, 2010 11:04 am

Thomas Jefferson wrote:TL;DR but no one should ever buy a Mac.

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

Re: Thinkpad v. Mac for law school

Postby 270910 » Wed Aug 04, 2010 11:13 am

traehekat wrote:In all honesty, as far as what you will need for law school, it probably doesn't matter. Both would be sufficient. Just saying though, one may be "sufficient" for $800 less...

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

Re: Thinkpad v. Mac for law school

Postby 270910 » Wed Aug 04, 2010 11:14 am

happy187 wrote:I picked up an IBM Thinkpad T42 with extended battery for 250 on craigslist. it will do everything I need to for law school. email, one note, ms office suite, and adobe pro. I don't see the point in spending a lot of money on a laptop for law school. If I was going to grad school for graphic design, maybe. But, I just need something that will have a decent battery and make it 4 years (going PT). After that I will invest in a Macbook, I have an iMac at home and love it.


This will sound smart until your computer crashes and you freak out about lost notes / inability to take an exam. I mean, it might not happen to you - but it happened to many people I know with older computers, and it sucked.

stinger35
Posts: 615
Joined: Thu Jan 07, 2010 2:37 pm

Re: Thinkpad v. Mac for law school

Postby stinger35 » Wed Aug 04, 2010 11:15 am

TL;DR as well

HOWEVER

I would venture that this is almost a universal fact: Anyone who recommends buying a PC over a Mac, has NEVER owned a mac

User avatar
romothesavior
Posts: 14772
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 4:29 pm

Re: Thinkpad v. Mac for law school

Postby romothesavior » Wed Aug 04, 2010 11:15 am

stinger35 wrote:TL;DR as well

HOWEVER

I would venture that this is almost a universal fact: Anyone who recommends buying a PC over a Mac, has NEVER owned a mac


Never owned one, but I used one on a pretty much weekly basis for the past three years, so I've used them enough to know I hate them.

User avatar
irie
Posts: 325
Joined: Sun May 31, 2009 9:50 pm

Re: Thinkpad v. Mac for law school

Postby irie » Wed Aug 04, 2010 11:17 am

I got a 13" Thinkpad Edge with the 15% student discount from Lenovo's website. It is the one with intel processor, although there is a cheaper one with AMD that will probably still be more than enough for law school. I don't plan to install any media, games, and whatnots on this as I have a separate desktop. This is strictly for law school and it will easily last me three years. It's light, thin, and runs brilliantly. Best of all, it cost me under $600.

I like macs, they are sleek, pretty, reliable, and made by the most innovative company in the world. But I would never own one. PCs have suited me just fine all my life, and PCs are what big businesses will use forever. Corporate America will never switch to macs, Thinkpads are the laptops of choice by most large law firms, banks, and fortune 500 companies. Since those are all in my future, I'd much rather be comfortable and proficient with PCs, and windows-related software.

just my 2 cents.

edit: as a disclaimer, before the mac trolls chime in, I worked for my college newspaper for 3 years and was on a mac 12-20 hours a week. it's a great computer for anything media related, and it's easy to use. however, that certainly doesn't justify spending an additional $1000. yes, PCs are inherently more likely to crash, but if you haven't figured out how to back up your files on to external sources by now then maybe you deserve whats coming to you. go to newegg, spend $60 on a HD, set it to auto-backup certain directories once a day/week/month, and allocate 5 seconds each night to saving that day's work. it's really not as big a pain in the arse as some people like to boast. furthermore, windows 7 pro (or enterprise) allows you to back up to your school's domain, which makes things even easier. if neither of these options are viable, go buy a $12 flash disk and save the important stuff there, or email files to yourself, store on google docs, the options are endless.
Last edited by irie on Wed Aug 04, 2010 11:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

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

Re: Thinkpad v. Mac for law school

Postby 270910 » Wed Aug 04, 2010 11:17 am

stinger35 wrote:I would venture that this is almost a universal fact: Anyone who recommends buying a PC over a Mac, has NEVER owned a mac


Own a mac and a PC. Love both. Recognize they have different pros and cons. Would never recommend anyone buy a mac under any circumstances because of the enormous price differential unless there was a very particular reason why they want or need a mac.

thechee
Posts: 174
Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2009 8:42 am

Re: Thinkpad v. Mac for law school

Postby thechee » Wed Aug 04, 2010 11:28 am

1. Go on the Apple Store using your education discount.
2. Order a MacBook for $949
3. Add the free iPod Touch
4. Sell the iPod Touch on eBay/Amazon (after commission and shipping you'll get back around $155)

Voila: new MacBook for under $800 (plus sales tax...)

User avatar
5ky
Posts: 6393
Joined: Mon Oct 05, 2009 4:10 pm

Re: Thinkpad v. Mac for law school

Postby 5ky » Wed Aug 04, 2010 11:36 am

thechee wrote:1. Go on the Apple Store using your education discount.
2. Order a MacBook for $949
3. Add the free iPod Touch
4. Sell the iPod Touch on eBay/Amazon (after commission and shipping you'll get back around $155)

Voila: new MacBook for under $800 (plus sales tax...)


Yeah, I'm seeing a lot of people in this thread make claims that a Mac will be 800-1000 dollars more expensive, and it just isn't true.

I have a ThinkPad and it is just not that much cheaper than a MacBook.

User avatar
blurbz
Posts: 1229
Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2009 10:43 pm

Re: Thinkpad v. Mac for law school

Postby blurbz » Wed Aug 04, 2010 11:43 am

I bought the x201 and got it earlier this week. I absolutely love it and highly, highly recommend it.

nukelaloosh
Posts: 54
Joined: Tue Jul 01, 2008 1:00 pm

Re: Thinkpad v. Mac for law school

Postby nukelaloosh » Wed Aug 04, 2010 12:01 pm

I just bought a Thinkpad to begin 1L and I had planned on getting a Mac. Here's why:

I love OS X and I own an Imac. However, I wanted to use Onenote for LS and I don't particularly enjoy using an emulator (I have VMWare Fusion on my Imac) while running Microsoft Office. Additionally, you have to add the cost of Win7 to the mac cost to use boot camp. Too expensive IMO. If you go to a LS that is Mac-friendly then you might be able to avoid that cost but you'll then have to look into additional software for notes/outlines if pages doesn't do it for you.

I was able to find a Thinkpad T400 on ebay for about 500 bucks. It is last year's model but still new. It is powerful enough (2.53 gHz core 2), came with Win 7 Pro and Office Enterprise edition installed, and runs cooler and quieter than comparable macbooks. The icing on the cake was the 3-year on-site warranty that the machine came with. Do a little hunting and you can find one that is comparable.

The only con on this machine is the weight. It might be 16oz heavier than the 13" macbook.

I am treating this as a business laptop. I wanted something with a great keyboard, a service plan and a capable OS (I like Win 7). If I were planning on editing photos, videos, watching a lot of videos or playing games, I would have ordered a different laptop.

Oh, I also hated the gloss screen on the MBP 13". The lenovo is matte.

User avatar
beach_terror
Posts: 7256
Joined: Tue Dec 01, 2009 10:01 pm

Re: Thinkpad v. Mac for law school

Postby beach_terror » Wed Aug 04, 2010 12:07 pm

Macs are overpriced with a dumb downed OS. If you're an idiot and have money you'd like to waste unnecessarily, then get a mac.

User avatar
5ky
Posts: 6393
Joined: Mon Oct 05, 2009 4:10 pm

Re: Thinkpad v. Mac for law school

Postby 5ky » Wed Aug 04, 2010 12:13 pm

.
Last edited by 5ky on Wed Jun 29, 2011 9:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
usuaggie
Posts: 585
Joined: Thu Dec 10, 2009 8:43 pm

Re: Thinkpad v. Mac for law school

Postby usuaggie » Wed Aug 04, 2010 1:39 pm

I don't get why people are saying macs are so much. you can get a macbook for less than $1000 and you don't have to buy anti virus. you can get a macbook for just about $1,1000. they work better. they are built better. they last longer. they have amazing monitors, they are fast, they work the way they are supposed to.




Return to “Forum for Law School Students”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: lovesthelaw, Yahoo [Bot] and 11 guests