Computers for Law School 2011

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K1988
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Computers for Law School 2011

Postby K1988 » Thu Mar 03, 2011 3:52 pm

What are people's thoughts on the best computers to bring? Mac vs PC? I had a Mac through college, but it just died and I have no idea what to get.

Anyone have recommendations?

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typ3
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby typ3 » Thu Mar 03, 2011 4:02 pm

K1988 wrote:What are people's thoughts on the best computers to bring? Mac vs PC? I had a Mac through college, but it just died and I have no idea what to get.

Anyone have recommendations?


I would get a PC unless you want to run Mac with bootcamp.

Some exam software is incompatible with the mac os, however if you want to stay with mac check in with the school you're going to.

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zeth006
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby zeth006 » Thu Mar 03, 2011 4:53 pm

Most exam software is Mac-friendly these days. I'd say more than half of the student body at my school uses macs.

frijoles99
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby frijoles99 » Thu Mar 03, 2011 7:11 pm

I thought long and hard about this question. There are a number of factors to take into account when looking into a computer specifically for law school. Price, form factor, battery life, performance and storage capacity, and reliability.
So on the subject of Apple computers.
I know for a fact that if you purchase an apple computer you must purchase at minimum a macbook pro. Apple spends nothing on reliability when it comes to their macbook line I had a girlfriend who had 16 repairs done at the apple store and their resposne was "it was within spec". I fixed computers as a job and that was not"within spec" anyway they give her a new macbook and it breaks on the spot. What this means you are stuck easily spending 1300+ for a macbook pro minimum. In my opinion there are easily equivalent and better PC options available for about half the price. The only reason to get a macbook pro is if you genuinely love the operating system and are capable enough to figure out for yourself how to get the software to work with your apple computers.
Moving onto PC's

Reliablity- This is foremost in any purchase. You do not want your computer breaking mid-test.
In the world of PC's Dell, HP and acer in my opinion are bargain basement brand names. Quality is lacking and in many circumstances they don't know how to build a complete machine. According to certain reliability tests IBM/lenovo and Asus have both developed a reputation for reliability and quality. IBM/lenovo has set the bar for business computers while Asus made its name building the most reliable motherboards on the planet. I have repaired computers and both of these required the least amount of repair.

Form Factor-
I believe the 13.3 in. screen is the perfect form factor screensize. It has just enough real estate to do dual screened comfortably. It doesn't feel tiny compared to the 9-11 in. screens you get in "netbooks". In addition you get an added bonus that most laptops with 13.3 in. screens are built with battery life in mind. This screen size equally allows for a full keyboard too. Something important when you are writing very long papers or quickly for tests. You could certainly get a 15 in. screen or a 14 in. screen , but I feel that the gain in real estate is not worth the cost in weight, battery life, or performance it will add. Usually you can target between 3 and 4.2 lb for the weight of your laptop.

Battery life-
No one really appreciates battery life until they are desperatley searching around the room for that one vacant plug. These days you don't have to think about battery life in terms of 3-5 hours. Many 13.3 in. laptops have ulv processors and power settings that sip power without much decrease in performance. If you are looking at the right computers you can expect between 7 to 12 hours of battery performance. This is one of the most importance aspects of your laptop as a law school student. Battery life will be more important than performance. Word processing is not cpu intensive, thus it will be more important to pay attention to power consumption.

Performance-
Intel just announced its sexy new sandy bridge chipsets that can melt your face off with their performance. OH MANN I CAN RUN WORD FASTER AND CHECK OUT THIS EXCEL DOCUMENT!!!!!! I am trying to say for law school bleeding edge performance is not that important. Even cheap Intel Atom processors will get the job done easily for law school. And actually higher performance CPU's will only drain battery life. If you want a Core I processor try the core I3 but the culv core2 duo su7300 processor is more than enough for most people. The key here once again is battery life. having all day battery can come in damn handy when you just have to get something done.

Price-
If you are buying a macbook you need to spend 1300+ for a useable macbook pro.
If you are buying a PC with the specs stated previously you can be flexible between 400 to 800 depending on your personal preferences.

Recommendations-
I suggest these computers based on the previous information. You do not have to get these, but use these as jumping off points for your own research into what you want.Feel free to PM me with any questions.

In the interest of disclosure I do own this computer.
http://www.amazon.com/UL30A-X5K-Light-1 ... 081&sr=8-1

This is a similar competing model
http://www.amazon.com/Acer-TimelineX-AS ... 58&sr=1-10

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bk1
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby bk1 » Thu Mar 03, 2011 7:13 pm

This topic has never ever been discussed many times before.

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beachbum
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby beachbum » Thu Mar 03, 2011 7:21 pm

Lenovo is refreshing their Thinkpad line of laptops at the end of the month, and they have some pretty awesome deals on the current models. My Dell is nearing the end of its life (after 4 years), so I went ahead and bought a Thinkpad T410 yesterday. It came with the Intel i7 chip (overkill, but who am I to judge?), and I configured it with the 1440x900 screen, Windows Pro 64, a 128 GB SSD, an improved WiFi chip, and a 9-cell battery.

I also received a 10% discount code through their mailing list, which was very helpful.

missinglink
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby missinglink » Thu Mar 03, 2011 7:22 pm

Lenovo X201.

Nice keyboard; 6-10 hours of battery life depending on which battery pack you have; durable; light (around 3 lbs with or so I think).

I could go on and on. It's really a great piece of equipment. I also threw in an SSD drive, so it's really fast to boot up.

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MBZags
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby MBZags » Thu Mar 03, 2011 10:34 pm

frijoles99 wrote:
Price-
If you are buying a macbook you need to spend 1300+ for a useable macbook pro.


No, you don't.

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Drake014
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby Drake014 » Thu Mar 03, 2011 10:35 pm

bk1 wrote:This topic has never ever been discussed many times before.


You have to admit, unlike most other topics that have been repeated a million times this one actually does need to be updated every 3 months or so.

09042014
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby 09042014 » Thu Mar 03, 2011 11:09 pm

frijoles99 wrote:I thought long and hard about this question. There are a number of factors to take into account when looking into a computer specifically for law school. Price, form factor, battery life, performance and storage capacity, and reliability.
So on the subject of Apple computers.
I know for a fact that if you purchase an apple computer you must purchase at minimum a macbook pro. Apple spends nothing on reliability when it comes to their macbook line I had a girlfriend who had 16 repairs done at the apple store and their resposne was "it was within spec". I fixed computers as a job and that was not"within spec" anyway they give her a new macbook and it breaks on the spot. What this means you are stuck easily spending 1300+ for a macbook pro minimum. In my opinion there are easily equivalent and better PC options available for about half the price. The only reason to get a macbook pro is if you genuinely love the operating system and are capable enough to figure out for yourself how to get the software to work with your apple computers.
Moving onto PC's

Reliablity- This is foremost in any purchase. You do not want your computer breaking mid-test.
In the world of PC's Dell, HP and acer in my opinion are bargain basement brand names. Quality is lacking and in many circumstances they don't know how to build a complete machine. According to certain reliability tests IBM/lenovo and Asus have both developed a reputation for reliability and quality. IBM/lenovo has set the bar for business computers while Asus made its name building the most reliable motherboards on the planet. I have repaired computers and both of these required the least amount of repair.

Form Factor-
I believe the 13.3 in. screen is the perfect form factor screensize. It has just enough real estate to do dual screened comfortably. It doesn't feel tiny compared to the 9-11 in. screens you get in "netbooks". In addition you get an added bonus that most laptops with 13.3 in. screens are built with battery life in mind. This screen size equally allows for a full keyboard too. Something important when you are writing very long papers or quickly for tests. You could certainly get a 15 in. screen or a 14 in. screen , but I feel that the gain in real estate is not worth the cost in weight, battery life, or performance it will add. Usually you can target between 3 and 4.2 lb for the weight of your laptop.

Battery life-
No one really appreciates battery life until they are desperatley searching around the room for that one vacant plug. These days you don't have to think about battery life in terms of 3-5 hours. Many 13.3 in. laptops have ulv processors and power settings that sip power without much decrease in performance. If you are looking at the right computers you can expect between 7 to 12 hours of battery performance. This is one of the most importance aspects of your laptop as a law school student. Battery life will be more important than performance. Word processing is not cpu intensive, thus it will be more important to pay attention to power consumption.

Performance-
Intel just announced its sexy new sandy bridge chipsets that can melt your face off with their performance. OH MANN I CAN RUN WORD FASTER AND CHECK OUT THIS EXCEL DOCUMENT!!!!!! I am trying to say for law school bleeding edge performance is not that important. Even cheap Intel Atom processors will get the job done easily for law school. And actually higher performance CPU's will only drain battery life. If you want a Core I processor try the core I3 but the culv core2 duo su7300 processor is more than enough for most people. The key here once again is battery life. having all day battery can come in damn handy when you just have to get something done.

Price-
If you are buying a macbook you need to spend 1300+ for a useable macbook pro.
If you are buying a PC with the specs stated previously you can be flexible between 400 to 800 depending on your personal preferences.

Recommendations-
I suggest these computers based on the previous information. You do not have to get these, but use these as jumping off points for your own research into what you want.Feel free to PM me with any questions.

In the interest of disclosure I do own this computer.
http://www.amazon.com/UL30A-X5K-Light-1 ... 081&sr=8-1

This is a similar competing model
http://www.amazon.com/Acer-TimelineX-AS ... 58&sr=1-10


TITCR

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MrPapagiorgio
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby MrPapagiorgio » Thu Mar 03, 2011 11:13 pm

Drake014 wrote:
bk1 wrote:This topic has never ever been discussed many times before.


You have to admit, unlike most other topics that have been repeated a million times this one actually does need to be updated every 3 months or so.

Maybe not every 3 months, but it does have to be updated and is worth starting a new thread. If you were looking at threads from 2008, you would probably read about how exam software isn't compatible with macs. Recently, much of the software used in law school is mac-compatible. This isn't a static topic like "zomg what should I wear to ASW?!?!"

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Gatriel
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby Gatriel » Fri Mar 04, 2011 2:41 am

Buy a Mac. 2/3rds of our school has Macs. ExamSoft works better on Macs than it does on PCs, AND the computers are more durable than their PC counterparts.

There is a reason people buy Macs in droves, and not because it is a "fashion statement." In lawl school you live off of your computer. Your outlines are on the computer, your notes, calendar, your entire life is on your computer. You don't want one where you have to worry about viruses, malware, crappy construction etc. Do yourself a favor. . . . buy a mac.

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LAWYER2
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby LAWYER2 » Fri Mar 04, 2011 2:45 am

beachbum wrote:Lenovo is refreshing their Thinkpad line of laptops at the end of the month, and they have some pretty awesome deals on the current models. My Dell is nearing the end of its life (after 4 years), so I went ahead and bought a Thinkpad T410 yesterday. It came with the Intel i7 chip (overkill, but who am I to judge?), and I configured it with the 1440x900 screen, Windows Pro 64, a 128 GB SSD, an improved WiFi chip, and a 9-cell battery.

I also received a 10% discount code through their mailing list, which was very helpful.



How much did that T410 set you back? Can't go wrong with a ThinkPad EVER!

09042014
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby 09042014 » Fri Mar 04, 2011 2:59 am

Gatriel wrote:Buy a Mac. 2/3rds of our school has Macs. ExamSoft works better on Macs than it does on PCs, AND the computers are more durable than their PC counterparts.

There is a reason people buy Macs in droves, and not because it is a "fashion statement." In lawl school you live off of your computer. Your outlines are on the computer, your notes, calendar, your entire life is on your computer. You don't want one where you have to worry about viruses, malware, crappy construction etc. Do yourself a favor. . . . buy a mac.


Macs are a fashion statement. You can get a Lenovo or Asus that have similar to slightly better failure rates, for 2/3 of the price.

Sure a 1000 dollar mac destroys a 400 HP, but a 1000 PC is better than a Mac almost every time.

A 600 dollars ASUS is TCR.

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Reinhardt
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby Reinhardt » Fri Mar 04, 2011 3:01 am

I tried to buy a Thinkpad, but when Lenovo cancelled my order after 5 weeks of silence, I went to my school's computer store and bought a Macbook Pro. I've been taking notes in paper notebooks...so the Macbook might've been overkill in retrospect, but I like it. This is coming from someone who never thought he'd own one.

I would never buy a Mac desktop, but Jobs and Co. make a solid laptop.

ns77770
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby ns77770 » Fri Mar 04, 2011 3:03 am

I have a Macbook Pro and plan on using Bootcamp just in case I need something that will only work on windows, and I'm pretty sure Onenote is not made fo Macs. Also, any thoughts on the advantages of Onenote v Word?

Hey-O
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby Hey-O » Fri Mar 04, 2011 3:04 am

bk1 wrote:This topic has never ever been discussed many times before.


Computers change every year. This something that needs to be brought up frequently.

09042014
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby 09042014 » Fri Mar 04, 2011 3:08 am

ns77770 wrote:I have a Macbook Pro and plan on using Bootcamp just in case I need something that will only work on windows, and I'm pretty sure Onenote is not made fo Macs. Also, any thoughts on the advantages of Onenote v Word?


One note is nice but having to reboot to use it sounds retarded. Maybe you can get WINE running on it and use it without having to reboot.

I bet Word is okay, but I love having one note. Not sure if I'd dual boot just to have it though.

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fatduck
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby fatduck » Fri Mar 04, 2011 3:12 am

Desert Fox wrote:
ns77770 wrote:I have a Macbook Pro and plan on using Bootcamp just in case I need something that will only work on windows, and I'm pretty sure Onenote is not made fo Macs. Also, any thoughts on the advantages of Onenote v Word?


One note is nice but having to reboot to use it sounds retarded. Maybe you can get WINE running on it and use it without having to reboot.

I bet Word is okay, but I love having one note. Not sure if I'd dual boot just to have it though.

+1, Boot Camp sounds cool and all but rebooting into Windows fucking blows. Parallels/VMware is still pretty shitty, but better.

CrossOver (an emulator) can supposedly run Office 07, including OneNote, but I've never tried it myself. Not sure about Wine.

09042014
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby 09042014 » Fri Mar 04, 2011 3:13 am

fatduck wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
ns77770 wrote:I have a Macbook Pro and plan on using Bootcamp just in case I need something that will only work on windows, and I'm pretty sure Onenote is not made fo Macs. Also, any thoughts on the advantages of Onenote v Word?


One note is nice but having to reboot to use it sounds retarded. Maybe you can get WINE running on it and use it without having to reboot.

I bet Word is okay, but I love having one note. Not sure if I'd dual boot just to have it though.

+1, Boot Camp sounds cool and all but rebooting into Windows fucking blows. Parallels/VMware is still pretty shitty, but better.

CrossOver (an emulator) can supposedly run Office 07, including OneNote, but I've never tried it myself. Not sure about Wine.


An easier solution is to just boot into Windows 7 all the time.

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fatduck
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby fatduck » Fri Mar 04, 2011 3:14 am

Desert Fox wrote:
fatduck wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
ns77770 wrote:I have a Macbook Pro and plan on using Bootcamp just in case I need something that will only work on windows, and I'm pretty sure Onenote is not made fo Macs. Also, any thoughts on the advantages of Onenote v Word?


One note is nice but having to reboot to use it sounds retarded. Maybe you can get WINE running on it and use it without having to reboot.

I bet Word is okay, but I love having one note. Not sure if I'd dual boot just to have it though.

+1, Boot Camp sounds cool and all but rebooting into Windows fucking blows. Parallels/VMware is still pretty shitty, but better.

CrossOver (an emulator) can supposedly run Office 07, including OneNote, but I've never tried it myself. Not sure about Wine.


An easier solution is to just boot into Windows 7 all the time.

Kinda defeats the purpose of paying for an overpriced Mac, though :P

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Adjudicator
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby Adjudicator » Fri Mar 04, 2011 3:17 am

I'm trying to choose a small-ish, efficient laptop PC that will also play Diablo 3 fairly well when it comes out.

Any suggestions on what kind of GPU I'm going to need? I've heard Intel's new integrated graphics are much improved, but I'm still skeptical.

ns77770
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby ns77770 » Fri Mar 04, 2011 3:17 am

fatduck wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:An easier solution is to just boot into Windows 7 all the time.

Kinda defeats the purpose of paying for an overpriced Mac, though :P


yeah I'm thinking I'll make it so it boots into Windows 7 automatically and then if I wanna get back on OS X I'll reboot... And I got my overpriced Mac for free or else I would be pissed.

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fatduck
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby fatduck » Fri Mar 04, 2011 3:19 am

Adjudicator wrote:I'm trying to choose a small-ish, efficient laptop PC that will also play Diablo 3 fairly well when it comes out.

Any suggestions on what kind of GPU I'm going to need? I've heard Intel's new integrated graphics are much improved, but I'm still skeptical.

Depends how pretty you want D3 to look. I'd keep my expectations low with integrated gfx, though.

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Adjudicator
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby Adjudicator » Fri Mar 04, 2011 3:29 am

fatduck wrote:
Adjudicator wrote:I'm trying to choose a small-ish, efficient laptop PC that will also play Diablo 3 fairly well when it comes out.

Any suggestions on what kind of GPU I'm going to need? I've heard Intel's new integrated graphics are much improved, but I'm still skeptical.

Depends how pretty you want D3 to look. I'd keep my expectations low with integrated gfx, though.


Yeah, that's why I'm looking for one with a real GPU. But I haven't heard very good things about any of the common GPUs that you find in laptops, either. And I don't want to have to buy a big, heavy 17" laptop just to get a respectable GPU.

Such a quandary.




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