Computers for Law School 2011

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Naked Dude
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby Naked Dude » Sat Jul 23, 2011 1:23 am

ResolutePear wrote:
Naked Dude wrote:
ResolutePear wrote:I'd recommend a laptop/desktop combo when possible.

I'd also recommend a quality built computer - boutiques like ibuypower push out some of the best stuff aside from building it yourself - which to be honest.. if you can get into law school, you can build your own computer. Might take you a day or two if you don't know anything about it, but being able to learn about computer components and basic diagnostics helps A LOT in life.


Why do you recommend a laptop/desktop combo? And as a corollary to that how about a desktop replacement laptop/light laptop?


You'll use your laptop less and extend the life of it - as good quality desktops can take the abuse of never shutting off and other things such as constant typing and liquid spills(just replace the keyboard).

The reason why I recommend you build your own computer comes from the fact that you can custom tailor your computer to however you would like to use it. For instance, I have a 3-4 screen combo now and although I understand that not everybody is a poweruser - even having a 2-monitor combo with a good keyboard and mouse makes for a more productive environment imo.

If you have a hard-on for laptops though, then sure - a desktop replacement would work, but you should understand that there is a premium on price, maintenance, and other intangibles for the tradeoff of mobility. You're also locked into using the manufacturer for replacement parts.

At the end of the day, it's all preferences and price points.


Yeah thing is I already have, not a desktop replacement, but a 15". If I were to go the desktop/laptop route, I would never have gotten this computer-I probably would've done a decent desktop and something like a Samsung 9.

I'm very strongly considering adding a second. I don't think it's gratuitous for my purposes. I'm far from a power user but I use the hell out of my computers. What I'm trying to figure out is whether to add a desktop or a light notebook if I got a second. The Samsung 9 is sexy, but I'm leaning desktop. Most likely a PC desktop since I've already paid the Apple tax once. My greatest fear is putting my school laptop through the ringer (which I do) and having it crap out on me during exam season.

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ResolutePear
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby ResolutePear » Sat Jul 23, 2011 10:05 am

Naked Dude wrote:
ResolutePear wrote:
Naked Dude wrote:
ResolutePear wrote:I'd recommend a laptop/desktop combo when possible.

I'd also recommend a quality built computer - boutiques like ibuypower push out some of the best stuff aside from building it yourself - which to be honest.. if you can get into law school, you can build your own computer. Might take you a day or two if you don't know anything about it, but being able to learn about computer components and basic diagnostics helps A LOT in life.


Why do you recommend a laptop/desktop combo? And as a corollary to that how about a desktop replacement laptop/light laptop?


You'll use your laptop less and extend the life of it - as good quality desktops can take the abuse of never shutting off and other things such as constant typing and liquid spills(just replace the keyboard).

The reason why I recommend you build your own computer comes from the fact that you can custom tailor your computer to however you would like to use it. For instance, I have a 3-4 screen combo now and although I understand that not everybody is a poweruser - even having a 2-monitor combo with a good keyboard and mouse makes for a more productive environment imo.

If you have a hard-on for laptops though, then sure - a desktop replacement would work, but you should understand that there is a premium on price, maintenance, and other intangibles for the tradeoff of mobility. You're also locked into using the manufacturer for replacement parts.

At the end of the day, it's all preferences and price points.


Yeah thing is I already have, not a desktop replacement, but a 15". If I were to go the desktop/laptop route, I would never have gotten this computer-I probably would've done a decent desktop and something like a Samsung 9.

I'm very strongly considering adding a second. I don't think it's gratuitous for my purposes. I'm far from a power user but I use the hell out of my computers. What I'm trying to figure out is whether to add a desktop or a light notebook if I got a second. The Samsung 9 is sexy, but I'm leaning desktop. Most likely a PC desktop since I've already paid the Apple tax once. My greatest fear is putting my school laptop through the ringer (which I do) and having it crap out on me during exam season.


I'd recommend a desktop unless you use your laptop 100% of the time at school. The idea is that you extend your laptop's life by using it less. Otherwise, a backup laptop would be good. Sounds like a broken record, but a T-series Thinkpad will take tons of abuse without giving out.

merc280
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby merc280 » Sat Jul 23, 2011 10:46 am

would it be on the safe side to replace the hard drive a month before finals to lessen the chance it breaks down during exams?

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bigjinjapan
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby bigjinjapan » Sat Jul 23, 2011 11:58 am

ResolutePear wrote:I'd recommend a laptop/desktop combo when possible.

I'd also recommend a quality built computer - boutiques like ibuypower push out some of the best stuff aside from building it yourself - which to be honest.. if you can get into law school, you can build your own computer. Might take you a day or two if you don't know anything about it, but being able to learn about computer components and basic diagnostics helps A LOT in life.


Agree with this 100%. If you have more than rudimentary computer needs, having multiple, purpose-built systems is the way to go. I have a 3-PC strategy myself: a laptop for everyday computing/school, a custom-built desktop for gaming and intensive computing apps, and a custom-built HTPC for my home theatre.

As far as building your own system goes: beyond basic compatibility it's just a matter of plugging everything in and hitting the power button. And you will learn a lot about doing your own troubleshooting in the process. Pick a configuration that fits your budget and have at it. Here's an article with some recommended configurations to get started:

http://www.anandtech.com/show/4456/sand ... yers-guide

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coldshoulder
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby coldshoulder » Sat Jul 23, 2011 12:28 pm

bigjinjapan wrote:
ResolutePear wrote:I'd recommend a laptop/desktop combo when possible.

I'd also recommend a quality built computer - boutiques like ibuypower push out some of the best stuff aside from building it yourself - which to be honest.. if you can get into law school, you can build your own computer. Might take you a day or two if you don't know anything about it, but being able to learn about computer components and basic diagnostics helps A LOT in life.


Agree with this 100%. If you have more than rudimentary computer needs, having multiple, purpose-built systems is the way to go. I have a 3-PC strategy myself: a laptop for everyday computing/school, a custom-built desktop for gaming and intensive computing apps, and a custom-built HTPC for my home theatre.

As far as building your own system goes: beyond basic compatibility it's just a matter of plugging everything in and hitting the power button. And you will learn a lot about doing your own troubleshooting in the process. Pick a configuration that fits your budget and have at it. Here's an article with some recommended configurations to get started:

http://www.anandtech.com/show/4456/sand ... yers-guide


I'm definitely thinking of going this route in about 6 months, minus the home theater pc (my xbox seems to do just fine for all my needs there).
I'll be running my new 13" Macbook Pro as my laptop for anything on the go, and be building a computer with my brother who just finished building his (kid is a brilliant computer science geek).
Essentially waiting til the next round of all the big MMO's come out to build the desktop (GW2, The Old Republic, etc.).

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ResolutePear
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby ResolutePear » Sat Jul 23, 2011 2:15 pm

merc280 wrote:would it be on the safe side to replace the hard drive a month before finals to lessen the chance it breaks down during exams?


Nah, not really.

missinglink
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby missinglink » Sat Jul 23, 2011 5:56 pm

environmentallaw wrote:Any opinions on whether AppleCare is worth the cost?

On every laptop I've purchased from Apple, the AppleCare has come through in a big way. Laptops are prone to higher rates of failure, especially one's that move around a lot. I think it's a good investment.

albanach
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby albanach » Sat Jul 23, 2011 10:26 pm

missinglink wrote:
environmentallaw wrote:Any opinions on whether AppleCare is worth the cost?

On every laptop I've purchased from Apple, the AppleCare has come through in a big way. Laptops are prone to higher rates of failure, especially one's that move around a lot. I think it's a good investment.


AppleCare has a very good reputation. Two downsides are that laptops appear to be return to base for warranty service, and the lack of accidental damage cover. That's not to say you shouldn't get it, just it could be even better.

23402385985
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby 23402385985 » Sat Jul 23, 2011 10:29 pm

albanach wrote:
missinglink wrote:
environmentallaw wrote:Any opinions on whether AppleCare is worth the cost?

On every laptop I've purchased from Apple, the AppleCare has come through in a big way. Laptops are prone to higher rates of failure, especially one's that move around a lot. I think it's a good investment.


AppleCare has a very good reputation. Two downsides are that laptops appear to be return to base for warranty service, and the lack of accidental damage cover. That's not to say you shouldn't get it, just it could be even better.


IMO, with AppleCare, it's a good idea to have a back-up laptop JUST in case.

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JaLeCa
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby JaLeCa » Sat Jul 23, 2011 10:36 pm

So Question, I was going to scrap my Toshiba and get a Mac. I was thinking about the Macbook Air but someone from my school said something about CALI lessons and our school not supporting the online version. Is there another way around this, or should I go for the Mbpro?

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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby 23402385985 » Sat Jul 23, 2011 10:40 pm

JaLeCa wrote:So Question, I was going to scrap my Toshiba and get a Mac. I was thinking about the Macbook Air but someone from my school said something about CALI lessons and our school not supporting the online version. Is there another way around this, or should I go for the Mbpro?


I would go with the MBP. You can customize it yourself and fix more shit yourself. The Air is nice and all, but I hate not being able to open the computer up to fix things or add ram, etc.

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JaLeCa
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby JaLeCa » Sat Jul 23, 2011 10:43 pm

joncrooshal wrote:
JaLeCa wrote:So Question, I was going to scrap my Toshiba and get a Mac. I was thinking about the Macbook Air but someone from my school said something about CALI lessons and our school not supporting the online version. Is there another way around this, or should I go for the Mbpro?


I would go with the MBP. You can customize it yourself and fix more shit yourself. The Air is nice and all, but I hate not being able to open the computer up to fix things or add ram, etc.


Yeah, I was leaning towards it. Thanks!

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Dany
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby Dany » Sat Jul 23, 2011 10:45 pm

I got Applecare because it was recommended to me, and because I could envision situations in which I'd think "goddamnit why didn't I just get Applecare" but couldn't think of ones where I'd be upset at myself for buying it.

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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby 23402385985 » Sat Jul 23, 2011 11:13 pm

JaLeCa wrote:
joncrooshal wrote:
JaLeCa wrote:So Question, I was going to scrap my Toshiba and get a Mac. I was thinking about the Macbook Air but someone from my school said something about CALI lessons and our school not supporting the online version. Is there another way around this, or should I go for the Mbpro?


I would go with the MBP. You can customize it yourself and fix more shit yourself. The Air is nice and all, but I hate not being able to open the computer up to fix things or add ram, etc.


Yeah, I was leaning towards it. Thanks!


Go with the i7 13", by the way. The 15 is just too fucking big and there is no reason to get it, really, for a law student unless you're going to be gaming all the time.

Get it with 4gbs and get the ram upgrade through Newegg. I went with 8GBs of G.Skill ram and it's been fantastic.

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Perch
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby Perch » Sat Jul 23, 2011 11:29 pm

joncrooshal wrote:
JaLeCa wrote:
joncrooshal wrote:
JaLeCa wrote:So Question, I was going to scrap my Toshiba and get a Mac. I was thinking about the Macbook Air but someone from my school said something about CALI lessons and our school not supporting the online version. Is there another way around this, or should I go for the Mbpro?


I would go with the MBP. You can customize it yourself and fix more shit yourself. The Air is nice and all, but I hate not being able to open the computer up to fix things or add ram, etc.


Yeah, I was leaning towards it. Thanks!


Go with the i7 13", by the way. The 15 is just too fucking big and there is no reason to get it, really, for a law student unless you're going to be gaming all the time.

Get it with 4gbs and get the ram upgrade through Newegg. I went with 8GBs of G.Skill ram and it's been fantastic.


Is the i7 really going to be that much better than the i5?

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Naked Dude
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby Naked Dude » Sat Jul 23, 2011 11:31 pm

joncrooshal wrote:
JaLeCa wrote:
joncrooshal wrote:
JaLeCa wrote:So Question, I was going to scrap my Toshiba and get a Mac. I was thinking about the Macbook Air but someone from my school said something about CALI lessons and our school not supporting the online version. Is there another way around this, or should I go for the Mbpro?


I would go with the MBP. You can customize it yourself and fix more shit yourself. The Air is nice and all, but I hate not being able to open the computer up to fix things or add ram, etc.


Yeah, I was leaning towards it. Thanks!


Go with the i7 13", by the way. The 15 is just too fucking big and there is no reason to get it, really, for a law student unless you're going to be gaming all the time.

Get it with 4gbs and get the ram upgrade through Newegg. I went with 8GBs of G.Skill ram and it's been fantastic.


I dunno, I feel cramped on a 13". I'm also an epic multitasked so I need the real estate. My computer is overpowered for my needs, but I don't have much of a choice-I have the base 15" even though the specs on the 13" were more than adequate. I suppose I could have chosen a different brand but...didn't want to.

i7 might be a good move in terms of future proofing your investment, but if you're just taking notes and surfing the web and not say streaming HD movies and using Pro Tools I don't know if you need it.

die Zauberflote
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby die Zauberflote » Sun Jul 24, 2011 12:50 am

I'm a Mac guy, but I'm thinking about getting a Lenovo notebook: i7, SSD, 8gb ram. I'm really stressed that OneNote isn't on Mac. I don't want to run vm-ware or have to jump through any hoops...that just defeats the purpose of having a Mac. What should i do? Why is this stressing me out so much?

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typ3
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby typ3 » Sun Jul 24, 2011 1:01 am

die Zauberflote wrote:I'm a Mac guy, but I'm thinking about getting a Lenovo notebook: i7, SSD, 8gb ram. I'm really stressed that OneNote isn't on Mac. I don't want to run vm-ware or have to jump through any hoops...that just defeats the purpose of having a Mac. What should i do? Why is this stressing me out so much?


I just bought a T420S (still being shipped).

I was going to get a 15" MBP.

However, lenovo keyboard is superior to all other laptops IMO. I went with the cheaper option with the better keyboard to maximize exam performance and enjoyment while typing. I probably won't like my laptop during the summers and winter breaks when I want to play games etc but I have a year old Asus laptop for that anyway. I figure anything I buy now regardless of price will be obsolete or close to when I graduate.

I figure I can just get a new laptop in 3 years and write it off as a business expense or convince whatever firm that hires me that I will need a new one to do work from home on weekends. (Gotta love signing yourself up for slavery)

I am buying my SSD after market though since it saves about half on the upgrade. Also going to upgrade my ram I think from 6gb to 8 at some point. Whatever. I'm sure I would regret buying a MBP because I would want to play too many games / watch movies anyway, and I know I won't be fully satisfied with the thinkpad.

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bb8900
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby bb8900 » Sun Jul 24, 2011 3:35 am

One person touched on this, but just wanted to make sure. OS Lion should be compatible with Examsoft some time this semester?

Can anyone think of any other issues of a law student using OS Lion?

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bb8900
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby bb8900 » Sun Jul 24, 2011 4:31 am

Also, what would you get: MBP or MBA?

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zeth006
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby zeth006 » Sun Jul 24, 2011 4:45 am

bb8900 wrote:Also, what would you get: MBP or MBA?


Depends. Which versions of the MBP or MBA are you considering?

Apple's Website Prices

MBP 13: $1,199
MBP 15: $1,799

MBA 11: $999-$1,199
MBA 13: $1,299-$1,599

Me: For a pure school laptop I'd go for the MBA 13. Screen size and resolution are is just right, plus you get the awesome thin/light form factor and the speed of the SSD.

MBP 13 or 15 only if you want the extra power. If money isn't an issue and you really really need the extra 2 inches of real estate, than MBP 15.

die Zauberflote
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby die Zauberflote » Sun Jul 24, 2011 1:41 pm

typ3 wrote:
die Zauberflote wrote:I'm a Mac guy, but I'm thinking about getting a Lenovo notebook: i7, SSD, 8gb ram. I'm really stressed that OneNote isn't on Mac. I don't want to run vm-ware or have to jump through any hoops...that just defeats the purpose of having a Mac. What should i do? Why is this stressing me out so much?


I just bought a T420S (still being shipped).


Why did you choose the t420s over the t420? My understanding that it is basically a trade-off between portability and battery life. I've tried to find a t420 or a t420s in a retail store so that I could compare the relative thinness, but stores in my area do not carry them. I don't know which one to pick.

Also, does installing aftermarket parts yourself effect the warranty? Have you considered the extra battery that goes in the optical bay? What options did you select? Which model has the superior keyboard that you referred to? Did you consider the x220 or any other models?

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bb8900
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby bb8900 » Sun Jul 24, 2011 2:45 pm

zeth006 wrote:
bb8900 wrote:Also, what would you get: MBP or MBA?


Depends. Which versions of the MBP or MBA are you considering?

Apple's Website Prices

MBP 13: $1,199
MBP 15: $1,799

MBA 11: $999-$1,199
MBA 13: $1,299-$1,599

Me: For a pure school laptop I'd go for the MBA 13. Screen size and resolution are is just right, plus you get the awesome thin/light form factor and the speed of the SSD.

MBP 13 or 15 only if you want the extra power. If money isn't an issue and you really really need the extra 2 inches of real estate, than MBP 15.


Yeah i should have specified. I am considering the 13" models for both MBA and MBP. The thing I am concerned about with MBA is the the 128GB drive. too small?

Also does not have an optical drive matter in law school?

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ResolutePear
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby ResolutePear » Sun Jul 24, 2011 2:47 pm

bb8900 wrote:
zeth006 wrote:
bb8900 wrote:Also, what would you get: MBP or MBA?


Depends. Which versions of the MBP or MBA are you considering?

Apple's Website Prices

MBP 13: $1,199
MBP 15: $1,799

MBA 11: $999-$1,199
MBA 13: $1,299-$1,599

Me: For a pure school laptop I'd go for the MBA 13. Screen size and resolution are is just right, plus you get the awesome thin/light form factor and the speed of the SSD.

MBP 13 or 15 only if you want the extra power. If money isn't an issue and you really really need the extra 2 inches of real estate, than MBP 15.


Yeah i should have specified. I am considering the 13" models for both MBA and MBP. The thing I am concerned about with MBA is the the 128GB drive. too small?

Also does not have an optical drive matter in law school?


Contact your school. Not having an optical drive is always a hassle, though.

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bb8900
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby bb8900 » Sun Jul 24, 2011 3:25 pm

ResolutePear wrote:
bb8900 wrote:
zeth006 wrote:
bb8900 wrote:Also, what would you get: MBP or MBA?


Depends. Which versions of the MBP or MBA are you considering?

Apple's Website Prices

MBP 13: $1,199
MBP 15: $1,799

MBA 11: $999-$1,199
MBA 13: $1,299-$1,599

Me: For a pure school laptop I'd go for the MBA 13. Screen size and resolution are is just right, plus you get the awesome thin/light form factor and the speed of the SSD.

MBP 13 or 15 only if you want the extra power. If money isn't an issue and you really really need the extra 2 inches of real estate, than MBP 15.


Yeah i should have specified. I am considering the 13" models for both MBA and MBP. The thing I am concerned about with MBA is the the 128GB drive. too small?

Also does not have an optical drive matter in law school?


Contact your school. Not having an optical drive is always a hassle, though.



Why? What do you need them for in law school? Besides personal stuff like watching movies?

Basically I am debating the light weight of the MBA vs the functionality of the MBP.




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