Computers for Law School 2011

(Study Tips, Dealing With Stress, Maintaining a Social Life, Financial Aid, Internships, Bar Exam, Careers in Law . . . )
User avatar
ResolutePear
Posts: 8614
Joined: Fri Jul 02, 2010 10:07 pm

Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby ResolutePear » Sun Jul 24, 2011 4:18 pm

bb8900 wrote:
ResolutePear wrote:
bb8900 wrote:
zeth006 wrote: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.


It's not a dead format, and test-taking software can change within 3 years to require an optical disk. No guarantees either way, though.

User avatar
zeth006
Posts: 1167
Joined: Tue May 12, 2009 2:54 am

Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby zeth006 » Sun Jul 24, 2011 4:20 pm

bb8900 wrote:
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.



Search on Amazon for external optical drives if you need one.

$40 gets you a USB Toshiba DVD drive which will probably end up gathering dust bunnies. Plus let's not forget that OS updates are completely purchasable through iTunes.

http://www.amazon.com/Toshiba-Portable- ... 723&sr=1-4


Honestly, I've used my DVD drive on my notebook only twice since I bought it a year ago, and that was just to do a couple of OS reinstalls. I could've done those reinstalls with a USB drive anyway.

It's a worthy tradeoff IMO. A really thin notebook like the Air leaves you with a lighter backpack or the possibility of carrying extra books.

rcweedman
Posts: 50
Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2010 1:09 am

Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby rcweedman » Sun Jul 24, 2011 7:56 pm

computer noob here
I want to be able to connect 1 or 2 monitors to a new pc laptop. I'm considering buying HP or Thinkpad T series. Will I be able to use the laptop screen while I have other monitors connected?

Lets say I have 2 monitors but the laptop only has 1 hdmi and 1 vga. Can I just connect 1 to the hdmi and the other to the vga? Is there a different or better way to do it?

User avatar
typ3
Posts: 1362
Joined: Sun Feb 28, 2010 12:04 am

Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby typ3 » Sun Jul 24, 2011 10:17 pm

I know the T series can do 3 monitors out of the box with the nvs4200. Not sure if you go with the intel 3000 card tho.

albanach
Posts: 1011
Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2008 10:05 pm

Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby albanach » Sun Jul 24, 2011 10:20 pm

rcweedman wrote:computer noob here
I want to be able to connect 1 or 2 monitors to a new pc laptop. I'm considering buying HP or Thinkpad T series. Will I be able to use the laptop screen while I have other monitors connected?

Lets say I have 2 monitors but the laptop only has 1 hdmi and 1 vga. Can I just connect 1 to the hdmi and the other to the vga? Is there a different or better way to do it?


Typically you will be able to use an external monitor as an extension of your desktop, using the laptop display and an external monitor.

To use two external monitors, you normally require what's called discreet graphics, that is a separate graphics card rather than one that's built into the chipset along with the CPU. If your laptop comes with Intel graphics, it's less likely that you'll be able to do that. If its graphics are from Nvidia or ATI it is more likely.

Either way, I'd check with the manufacturer before purchase to ensure you are not disappointed.

rcweedman
Posts: 50
Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2010 1:09 am

Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby rcweedman » Sun Jul 24, 2011 10:30 pm

cool thanks
Last edited by rcweedman on Tue Aug 16, 2011 7:03 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
zeth006
Posts: 1167
Joined: Tue May 12, 2009 2:54 am

Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby zeth006 » Mon Jul 25, 2011 1:11 am

Speaking of computers, June 27th is when Blizzard is holding a press report and releasing more info on D3. We won't hear anything until August 1st.

Sandrew
Posts: 87
Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2011 6:01 pm

Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby Sandrew » Mon Jul 25, 2011 11:14 am

Thanks for this thread. I'm mulling a few different Macs to use as a dedicated law school laptop, and I could use some wise counsel (or a least someone to tell me I'm not crazy).

What I'm considering
    Option A: Wait and see. Can I ride out law school (or part of it) on my 5+ year-old MacBook Pro (additional specs below)? For what, specifically, does a law student need a laptop? Internet, note-taking, and exams... anything else? What programs will I need to run? I imagine MS Office is highly recommended, particularly for Word. But could I get by using OpenOffice? If not, is any particular Office version likely to run more smoothly on this machine (e.g. Office for Mac 2008 or 2011; or, if I bootcamp into Windows, Office 2007 or 2010)? Or will any of these versions of Office choke this computer?

    Option B: MacBook Air 13''. Since the SSD is so small, I'd forget about running bootcamp, which means I'd buy the latest version of Office for Mac (at a nice discount thanks to school).

    Option C: MacBook Pro 15''. This would probably out-do my existing desktop, which is less than a year old. Seems like overkill for me.

Since the best answers to such inquiries almost always begin with "it depends what you want to use it for," I figure I should provide more context on my current setup and use.

My current setup
    Desktop: Mid 2010 iMac 27'' (processor: 3.2GHz dual-core i3 550, RAM: 4GB 1333MHz DDR3, graphics: ATI 5750 1GB). Besides ordinary internet/iTunes usage, I use this desktop primarily for digital photography and media storage (running OS X 10.7) and gaming (running a 64bit Windows 7 bootcamp partition).

    Laptop: Early 2006 MacBook Pro 15'' (processor: 2.0GHz dual-core Core Duo T2500, RAM: 2GB 667MHz DDR2, graphics: ATI 1600 256MB). While I once used this as a desktop replacement (gaming from an XP bootcamp partition), I now use it almost exclusively for internet browsing and occasionally for photo editing (e.g. while traveling). I'm running OS X 10.5.8.

    Home Theater: Split duties between a Playstation 3 for blue-ray, games, and displaying digital stills on my TV; and a Mid 2002 iMac G4 17'' (800MHz G4) for iTunes and, effectively, as a digital photo frame (95% of the time it sits in my bookshelf displaying medium-res pics). I'm not much of a collector of digital video, so I use my cable box for DVR duties and such. I run music through my home stereo over AirTunes using any iTunes-capable device.

    Other computers/considerations: My wife has a late 2008 MacBook (base model) that she uses for internet, iTunes, Skype, photos, and little else. I've been using my employer-provided laptop for all my MS Office needs for the past 7 years. Consequently, I don't yet have Office installed on any of the above machines (either on OS X or Windows partitions). Whatever I decide on the laptop front, I think I'll be installing Office 2010 on my Windows 7 partition on my desktop, since my wife recently got a new job and no longer has a work-issued laptop.

Thanks!

User avatar
Perch
Posts: 517
Joined: Wed Jun 30, 2010 12:36 pm

Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby Perch » Mon Jul 25, 2011 12:10 pm

Like sanderew, I have a 2006 MacBook pro , 15". I'd like to go smaller for school, though stick with a Mac, so it will come down to 13" MacBook pro or air. Love the look and feel of the air, though kind of think the pro might be more comfortable for longer typing come exam time. Also, specs of the pro make it more worth it in my opinion, but I can't decide between the i5 and i7 for the pro 13" for a difference of $300...any thoughts?

User avatar
joemoviebuff
Posts: 788
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 12:51 am

Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby joemoviebuff » Mon Jul 25, 2011 12:27 pm

Perch wrote:Like sanderew, I have a 2006 MacBook pro , 15". I'd like to go smaller for school, though stick with a Mac, so it will come down to 13" MacBook pro or air. Love the look and feel of the air, though kind of think the pro might be more comfortable for longer typing come exam time. Also, specs of the pro make it more worth it in my opinion, but I can't decide between the i5 and i7 for the pro 13" for a difference of $300...any thoughts?


FWIW, when I bought my 13 Pro at the Apple store, the guy helping me actually said he always tries to talk customers out of the high end 13. He said it's just not worth the extra 300. The i5 is fine, and you can manually upgrade the hard drive for much, much cheaper.

User avatar
Dany
Posts: 11580
Joined: Mon Sep 28, 2009 3:00 pm

Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby Dany » Mon Jul 25, 2011 12:30 pm

I can't imagine what I'd do on my computer as a law student that'd require more than the basic MBP. I've been loving it (had it about a month) and it's been really fast and great so far.

Disclaimer - don't know anything about computers.

User avatar
bb8900
Posts: 91
Joined: Mon May 17, 2010 11:33 pm

Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby bb8900 » Mon Jul 25, 2011 1:37 pm

Just called the law school I will be attending and apparently their wifi doesn't work with Lion. WTF?

How is this possible?

User avatar
bb8900
Posts: 91
Joined: Mon May 17, 2010 11:33 pm

Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby bb8900 » Mon Jul 25, 2011 1:39 pm

Perch wrote:Like sanderew, I have a 2006 MacBook pro , 15". I'd like to go smaller for school, though stick with a Mac, so it will come down to 13" MacBook pro or air. Love the look and feel of the air, though kind of think the pro might be more comfortable for longer typing come exam time. Also, specs of the pro make it more worth it in my opinion, but I can't decide between the i5 and i7 for the pro 13" for a difference of $300...any thoughts?



I am consistently debating the exact same thing. Can figure out which one to get.

I am leaning 13" pro since it just comes with everything, but Air seems so much cooler.

What note taking software are you going to be using since onenote isn't supported by macs?

BTW, anyone know if onenote will soon be supported by macs? I thought I heard 2011 was supposed to be the year it was to happen?

Sandro
Posts: 2526
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2009 12:12 am

Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby Sandro » Mon Jul 25, 2011 1:39 pm

Just ordered the Brother Wireless Duplexer for 99 from amazon, and a solar keyboard. lol.

ItsMyTimeBoston
Posts: 228
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 5:55 pm

Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby ItsMyTimeBoston » Mon Jul 25, 2011 2:26 pm

chenalex wrote:
ItsMyTimeBoston wrote:
chenalex wrote:
ItsMyTimeBoston wrote:I just got a fully loaded ThinkPad 420s. It rocks!



What's your definition of fully loaded?



Maybe it isn't quite fully loaded, but close:

INTCRI5-2540MPR(2.6GHZ)
2 x 4GBPC3-10600DDR3 1333SODMM
IT160GB SLDSTDRV,SRATA


Mine is almost identical except I have the 128Gb SSD instead of the 160GB. Did you upgrade the wireless card? I didn't and I'm kind of regretting my decision.


Yes, I updated the wireless card. I would have to look up the model I have, but it was the 2nd most expensive upgrade.

23402385985
Posts: 413
Joined: Fri Feb 04, 2011 2:44 pm

Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby 23402385985 » Mon Jul 25, 2011 3:40 pm

Perch wrote:Like sanderew, I have a 2006 MacBook pro , 15". I'd like to go smaller for school, though stick with a Mac, so it will come down to 13" MacBook pro or air. Love the look and feel of the air, though kind of think the pro might be more comfortable for longer typing come exam time. Also, specs of the pro make it more worth it in my opinion, but I can't decide between the i5 and i7 for the pro 13" for a difference of $300...any thoughts?


I have seen the Air get a little dinged up when in a backpack with books (even in a slip case). The metal cover has a tendency to bend pretty easily.

albanach
Posts: 1011
Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2008 10:05 pm

Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby albanach » Mon Jul 25, 2011 4:04 pm

Perch wrote:Like sanderew, I have a 2006 MacBook pro , 15". I'd like to go smaller for school, though stick with a Mac, so it will come down to 13" MacBook pro or air. Love the look and feel of the air, though kind of think the pro might be more comfortable for longer typing come exam time. Also, specs of the pro make it more worth it in my opinion, but I can't decide between the i5 and i7 for the pro 13" for a difference of $300...any thoughts?


Get an external keyboard for exam time? I'd check with your school, but Google shows lots of schools explicitly permitting this. I'd also recommend wired so there's no extra battery to worry about and no chance of wireless interference.

User avatar
Naked Dude
Posts: 746
Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2011 3:09 pm

Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby Naked Dude » Mon Jul 25, 2011 4:19 pm

joncrooshal wrote:
Perch wrote:Like sanderew, I have a 2006 MacBook pro , 15". I'd like to go smaller for school, though stick with a Mac, so it will come down to 13" MacBook pro or air. Love the look and feel of the air, though kind of think the pro might be more comfortable for longer typing come exam time. Also, specs of the pro make it more worth it in my opinion, but I can't decide between the i5 and i7 for the pro 13" for a difference of $300...any thoughts?


I have seen the Air get a little dinged up when in a backpack with books (even in a slip case). The metal cover has a tendency to bend pretty easily.


Yeah. Most of the damage I've observed to my friend's 11" Air is cosmetic-scratches and some minor ding. If you're using a satchel like he is, with a couple of paperbacks or small notebooks, you don't really need a case. But if you're putting it in with gigantic casebooks you might want a small slipcover. Either way, this shouldn't be a dealbreaker. It's not as flimsy as it might look, but don't treat it like it's indestructible.

User avatar
Naked Dude
Posts: 746
Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2011 3:09 pm

Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby Naked Dude » Mon Jul 25, 2011 4:23 pm

albanach wrote:
Perch wrote:Like sanderew, I have a 2006 MacBook pro , 15". I'd like to go smaller for school, though stick with a Mac, so it will come down to 13" MacBook pro or air. Love the look and feel of the air, though kind of think the pro might be more comfortable for longer typing come exam time. Also, specs of the pro make it more worth it in my opinion, but I can't decide between the i5 and i7 for the pro 13" for a difference of $300...any thoughts?


Get an external keyboard for exam time? I'd check with your school, but Google shows lots of schools explicitly permitting this. I'd also recommend wired so there's no extra battery to worry about and no chance of wireless interference.


From the inordinate amount of time I've spent in the Apple Store at my local mall, aren't the 13" Pro and Air keyboards the same size? The one difference I can think of is that, since the Pro is a little thicker, it elevates your wrists more and might be more ergonomic or whatever, but like someone else said, you can either get an external keyboard or an ergonomic pad.

User avatar
Perch
Posts: 517
Joined: Wed Jun 30, 2010 12:36 pm

Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby Perch » Mon Jul 25, 2011 4:39 pm

Naked Dude wrote:
albanach wrote:
Perch wrote:Like sanderew, I have a 2006 MacBook pro , 15". I'd like to go smaller for school, though stick with a Mac, so it will come down to 13" MacBook pro or air. Love the look and feel of the air, though kind of think the pro might be more comfortable for longer typing come exam time. Also, specs of the pro make it more worth it in my opinion, but I can't decide between the i5 and i7 for the pro 13" for a difference of $300...any thoughts?


Get an external keyboard for exam time? I'd check with your school, but Google shows lots of schools explicitly permitting this. I'd also recommend wired so there's no extra battery to worry about and no chance of wireless interference.


From the inordinate amount of time I've spent in the Apple Store at my local mall, aren't the 13" Pro and Air keyboards the same size? The one difference I can think of is that, since the Pro is a little thicker, it elevates your wrists more and might be more ergonomic or whatever, but like someone else said, you can either get an external keyboard or an ergonomic pad.


yeah just from briefly playing with the air, the key stroke doesn't seem as crisp, which might be annoying

PS. am i a nerd? :D

User avatar
Naked Dude
Posts: 746
Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2011 3:09 pm

Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby Naked Dude » Mon Jul 25, 2011 6:11 pm

Perch wrote:
Naked Dude wrote:
albanach wrote:
Perch wrote:Like sanderew, I have a 2006 MacBook pro , 15". I'd like to go smaller for school, though stick with a Mac, so it will come down to 13" MacBook pro or air. Love the look and feel of the air, though kind of think the pro might be more comfortable for longer typing come exam time. Also, specs of the pro make it more worth it in my opinion, but I can't decide between the i5 and i7 for the pro 13" for a difference of $300...any thoughts?


Get an external keyboard for exam time? I'd check with your school, but Google shows lots of schools explicitly permitting this. I'd also recommend wired so there's no extra battery to worry about and no chance of wireless interference.


From the inordinate amount of time I've spent in the Apple Store at my local mall, aren't the 13" Pro and Air keyboards the same size? The one difference I can think of is that, since the Pro is a little thicker, it elevates your wrists more and might be more ergonomic or whatever, but like someone else said, you can either get an external keyboard or an ergonomic pad.


yeah just from briefly playing with the air, the key stroke doesn't seem as crisp, which might be annoying

PS. am i a nerd? :D


Ha no. If it doesn't feel right, it doesn't feel right.

spets
Posts: 135
Joined: Thu Sep 03, 2009 1:44 pm

Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby spets » Mon Jul 25, 2011 10:03 pm

What do people think of the HP Pavilion - Intel B940?

I already have a desktop that I use for multimedia/entertainment purposes, so I figured I only need a laptop that can handle word processing and exam software.

albanach
Posts: 1011
Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2008 10:05 pm

Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby albanach » Mon Jul 25, 2011 10:25 pm

spets wrote:What do people think of the HP Pavilion - Intel B940?

I already have a desktop that I use for multimedia/entertainment purposes, so I figured I only need a laptop that can handle word processing and exam software.


The computer will handle word processing and exam software just fine.

That said, two pages back someone posted a thinkpad deal for $100 more. For that you would get a much better built computer, with a much better processor. The pentium in the laptop you link to has many advanced features disabled that could make the computer more responsive. It also has more limited graphics that could also slow things down if you decide to use the computer beyond the two tasks mentioned.

So, if you really must, it's cheap and will probably do. Still, for not much more you can do better.

User avatar
typ3
Posts: 1362
Joined: Sun Feb 28, 2010 12:04 am

Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby typ3 » Mon Jul 25, 2011 10:29 pm

albanach wrote:
spets wrote:What do people think of the HP Pavilion - Intel B940?

I already have a desktop that I use for multimedia/entertainment purposes, so I figured I only need a laptop that can handle word processing and exam software.


The computer will handle word processing and exam software just fine.

That said, two pages back someone posted a thinkpad deal for $100 more. For that you would get a much better built computer, with a much better processor. The pentium in the laptop you link to has many advanced features disabled that could make the computer more responsive. It also has more limited graphics that could also slow things down if you decide to use the computer beyond the two tasks mentioned.

So, if you really must, it's cheap and will probably do. Still, for not much more you can do better.


And you'd arguably get the best keyboard out there for a laptop.

spets
Posts: 135
Joined: Thu Sep 03, 2009 1:44 pm

Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby spets » Mon Jul 25, 2011 11:51 pm

albanach wrote:
spets wrote:What do people think of the HP Pavilion - Intel B940?

I already have a desktop that I use for multimedia/entertainment purposes, so I figured I only need a laptop that can handle word processing and exam software.


The computer will handle word processing and exam software just fine.

That said, two pages back someone posted a thinkpad deal for $100 more. For that you would get a much better built computer, with a much better processor. The pentium in the laptop you link to has many advanced features disabled that could make the computer more responsive. It also has more limited graphics that could also slow things down if you decide to use the computer beyond the two tasks mentioned.

So, if you really must, it's cheap and will probably do. Still, for not much more you can do better.


I definitely would have jumped on that Thinkpad E420, which had an i5 processor too - unfortunately, the deal looks to be dead. It's listed @ $699.99 and with the $100 student GC, it would still be $600 :?

That being said, I can still get a Thinkpad E420 but with an i3 (2.10 ghz) instead for $510 from Tigerdirect vs. the $350 budget HP. Would that $150 increase be worth it?




Return to “Forum for Law School Students”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Baller31, Bing [Bot], LandMermaid and 13 guests