Computers for Law School 2011

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maf70
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby maf70 » Thu Aug 25, 2011 12:05 pm

Im looking at the T420s on Barnes and Noble. What's the difference between the i5-2520 processor and the i5-2540 processor...and does the difference justify the price differential of ~$80? Also, what kind of warranty would you guys recommend if I'm going to be lugging around a $900+ laptop around every day?

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zeth006
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby zeth006 » Thu Aug 25, 2011 1:05 pm

maf70 wrote:Im looking at the T420s on Barnes and Noble. What's the difference between the i5-2520 processor and the i5-2540 processor...and does the difference justify the price differential of ~$80? Also, what kind of warranty would you guys recommend if I'm going to be lugging around a $900+ laptop around every day?


No warranty, or Square Trade. Some dude who works for Lenovo tells me that even though Lenovo's own warranty support is awesome, they're switching to a new servicing company that charges lower rates. I wouldn't bank on the new company being as great.

maf70
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby maf70 » Thu Aug 25, 2011 5:06 pm

zeth006 wrote:
maf70 wrote:Im looking at the T420s on Barnes and Noble. What's the difference between the i5-2520 processor and the i5-2540 processor...and does the difference justify the price differential of ~$80? Also, what kind of warranty would you guys recommend if I'm going to be lugging around a $900+ laptop around every day?


No warranty, or Square Trade. Some dude who works for Lenovo tells me that even though Lenovo's own warranty support is awesome, they're switching to a new servicing company that charges lower rates. I wouldn't bank on the new company being as great.


Thanks. Anyone have any idea about the processor?

albanach
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby albanach » Thu Aug 25, 2011 5:39 pm

zeth006 wrote:
maf70 wrote:Im looking at the T420s on Barnes and Noble. What's the difference between the i5-2520 processor and the i5-2540 processor...and does the difference justify the price differential of ~$80? Also, what kind of warranty would you guys recommend if I'm going to be lugging around a $900+ laptop around every day?


No warranty, or Square Trade. Some dude who works for Lenovo tells me that even though Lenovo's own warranty support is awesome, they're switching to a new servicing company that charges lower rates. I wouldn't bank on the new company being as great.


I disagree. I'd purchase the three year Lenovo warranty with accidental damage cover.

If your laptop is damaged you'll have an engineer on site the next day and the vast majority of issues repaired very quickly.

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zeth006
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby zeth006 » Fri Aug 26, 2011 2:14 am

albanach wrote:
zeth006 wrote:
maf70 wrote:Im looking at the T420s on Barnes and Noble. What's the difference between the i5-2520 processor and the i5-2540 processor...and does the difference justify the price differential of ~$80? Also, what kind of warranty would you guys recommend if I'm going to be lugging around a $900+ laptop around every day?


No warranty, or Square Trade. Some dude who works for Lenovo tells me that even though Lenovo's own warranty support is awesome, they're switching to a new servicing company that charges lower rates. I wouldn't bank on the new company being as great.


I disagree. I'd purchase the three year Lenovo warranty with accidental damage cover.

If your laptop is damaged you'll have an engineer on site the next day and the vast majority of issues repaired very quickly.


Having an on-site engineer sounds awesome on paper and all, but from what I hear, Dell's on-site engineers aren't always all that great. Too many horror stories of screws not being placed in correctly or the LCD panel connectors getting damaged from the guy not knowing what he was doing. Not to say this will necessarily be the same with Lenovo, but on-site doesn't always translate into reliable. In fact, on-site normally just means "on time" and "you can watch someone touch your computer."

And again, if the Lenovo technician is right in his thinking, things could change next year.

albanach
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby albanach » Fri Aug 26, 2011 8:53 am

zeth006 wrote:Having an on-site engineer sounds awesome on paper and all, but from what I hear, Dell's on-site engineers aren't always all that great. Too many horror stories of screws not being placed in correctly or the LCD panel connectors getting damaged from the guy not knowing what he was doing. Not to say this will necessarily be the same with Lenovo, but on-site doesn't always translate into reliable. In fact, on-site normally just means "on time" and "you can watch someone touch your computer."

And again, if the Lenovo technician is right in his thinking, things could change next year.


Perhaps you've had a different experience, but I've had nothing but good service from Dell's business level support and their on-site technicians.

The good thing about business class laptops is their basic structure changes infrequently and there's a lot of them around. Any technician should be quite familiar with them and with the most common repairs.

Of course you rarely hear about good support experiences since they're somewhat boring :)

I'd still much rather have a tech who can probably fix my laptop turn up tomorrow, than have to wait on a container from SquareTrade, return the laptop and wait for their repair/decision.

One caution about SquareTrade is that they will only spend up to the purchase price of the computer on repairs over the lifetime of the warranty. Consider a $700 laptop. Say your screen dies, it gets replaced at a cost to them of $500. Then your keyboard breaks, the repair cost is, decided by them, $250. Rather than spend $250 on the laptop repair, they will send you a check for $200 - purchase cost minus the screen repair cost.

maf70
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby maf70 » Fri Aug 26, 2011 7:53 pm

Just ordered the Lenovo T420s. The warranty was about the same as SquareTrade for onsite so I picked that up as well. Super stoked.

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zeth006
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby zeth006 » Fri Aug 26, 2011 9:16 pm

albanach wrote:
zeth006 wrote:Having an on-site engineer sounds awesome on paper and all, but from what I hear, Dell's on-site engineers aren't always all that great. Too many horror stories of screws not being placed in correctly or the LCD panel connectors getting damaged from the guy not knowing what he was doing. Not to say this will necessarily be the same with Lenovo, but on-site doesn't always translate into reliable. In fact, on-site normally just means "on time" and "you can watch someone touch your computer."

And again, if the Lenovo technician is right in his thinking, things could change next year.


Perhaps you've had a different experience, but I've had nothing but good service from Dell's business level support and their on-site technicians.

The good thing about business class laptops is their basic structure changes infrequently and there's a lot of them around. Any technician should be quite familiar with them and with the most common repairs.

Of course you rarely hear about good support experiences since they're somewhat boring :)

I'd still much rather have a tech who can probably fix my laptop turn up tomorrow, than have to wait on a container from SquareTrade, return the laptop and wait for their repair/decision.

One caution about SquareTrade is that they will only spend up to the purchase price of the computer on repairs over the lifetime of the warranty. Consider a $700 laptop. Say your screen dies, it gets replaced at a cost to them of $500. Then your keyboard breaks, the repair cost is, decided by them, $250. Rather than spend $250 on the laptop repair, they will send you a check for $200 - purchase cost minus the screen repair cost.


Dell's home service technicians and business technicians are completely different in terms of quality of service.

albanach
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby albanach » Fri Aug 26, 2011 9:38 pm

zeth006 wrote:Dell's home service technicians and business technicians are completely different in terms of quality of service.


This is why most schools will recommend a Latitude if they recommend a Dell. A business class laptop with business level support. I'd concur with that recommendation. Same goes for other manufacturers - get a ThinkPad not an IdeaPad if you're buying from Lenovo. I don't think I'd recommend HP since they might leave the business, but if that's where you're buying from get a Pro/Elite book, not a Pavilion etc etc.

Alternatively, self insure. Buy a sub $500 laptop and if it dies, replace it at your own cost. The problem with that strategy is that you can, I believe, only get a single loan increase for a computer. So a computer with a good warranty might make more sense than a cheap computer even though the cheap one is good enough and may well see you through three years of school.

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ResolutePear
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby ResolutePear » Fri Aug 26, 2011 10:30 pm

albanach wrote:
zeth006 wrote:Dell's home service technicians and business technicians are completely different in terms of quality of service.


This is why most schools will recommend a Latitude if they recommend a Dell. A business class laptop with business level support. I'd concur with that recommendation. Same goes for other manufacturers - get a ThinkPad not an IdeaPad if you're buying from Lenovo. I don't think I'd recommend HP since they might leave the business, but if that's where you're buying from get a Pro/Elite book, not a Pavilion etc etc.

Alternatively, self insure. Buy a sub $500 laptop and if it dies, replace it at your own cost. The problem with that strategy is that you can, I believe, only get a single loan increase for a computer. So a computer with a good warranty might make more sense than a cheap computer even though the cheap one is good enough and may well see you through three years of school.


Agreed. I tend to recommend thinkpads because they are more rugged than a Latitude, but less rugged than a Toughbook.

How rugged is a toughbook, you might ask?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aA1s9MH0odE

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ResolutePear
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby ResolutePear » Fri Aug 26, 2011 10:32 pm

While I'm showing videos.. here's how the keyboards work on the T-series:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1SWi6LlFGjk

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Knock
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby Knock » Mon Aug 29, 2011 11:06 am

So now that I have a new laptop, what are the first few things I should do?

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typ3
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby typ3 » Mon Aug 29, 2011 11:59 am

Install drop box and chrome/firefox

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haus
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby haus » Mon Aug 29, 2011 12:15 pm

Knock wrote:So now that I have a new laptop, what are the first few things I should do?


Be sure to patch the OS and any applications that you have installed.

Then uninstall any residual crapware that was installed by the vendor in effort to make a few extra bucks.

Devise (and implement) a plan to backup key information that is valuable to you so that should the laptop die, get stolen (or otherwise no longer available to you) that the loss of valuable information (such as your notes and research) is limited. Depending on the amount of data that you deem to be valuable, starting solutions could include a free dropbox account, or an external hard/thumb drive kept at home.

Enjoy the new computer.

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Paraflam
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby Paraflam » Wed Aug 31, 2011 5:08 pm

Windows users: What is a good free virus-protection/internet security program for Windows? I'm running Windows 7 with VMware solely to use MS Access so I don't want to spend money on Norton or whatever else is out there.

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beach_terror
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby beach_terror » Wed Aug 31, 2011 5:28 pm

Paraflam wrote:Windows users: What is a good free virus-protection/internet security program for Windows? I'm running Windows 7 with VMware solely to use MS Access so I don't want to spend money on Norton or whatever else is out there.

AVG

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haus
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby haus » Wed Aug 31, 2011 5:31 pm

Paraflam wrote:Windows users: What is a good free virus-protection/internet security program for Windows? I'm running Windows 7 with VMware solely to use MS Access so I don't want to spend money on Norton or whatever else is out there.


You may want to consider Microsoft's AV [security essentials], it is free...

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/security ... fault.aspx

I use ClamAv on some system (also free), but I only use it to scan specific files, or an occasional scan of disk (vice active scanning).

http://www.clamav.net/about/win32/
Last edited by haus on Wed Aug 31, 2011 10:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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bk1
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby bk1 » Wed Aug 31, 2011 5:45 pm

Paraflam wrote:Windows users: What is a good free virus-protection/internet security program for Windows? I'm running Windows 7 with VMware solely to use MS Access so I don't want to spend money on Norton or whatever else is out there.


I've used Avast and found it adequate. I would never get Norton considering having Norton on your computer is worse than having actual malware on your computer.

Currently I use Vipre and it's been excellent. It's not free but it's only like $30/year.

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kalvano
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby kalvano » Wed Aug 31, 2011 5:51 pm

Paraflam wrote:Windows users: What is a good free virus-protection/internet security program for Windows? I'm running Windows 7 with VMware solely to use MS Access so I don't want to spend money on Norton or whatever else is out there.



I like Avast, but AVG is fine too. The newest edition of AVG bogged down my computer though. It was irritating.

albanach
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby albanach » Wed Aug 31, 2011 9:41 pm

Paraflam wrote:Windows users: What is a good free virus-protection/internet security program for Windows? I'm running Windows 7 with VMware solely to use MS Access so I don't want to spend money on Norton or whatever else is out there.


I'd also go for Microsoft Security Essentials. It's free and integrates well with Windows, without slowing your computer to a snail's pace.

071816
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby 071816 » Fri Sep 02, 2011 3:35 am

albanach wrote:I'd also go for Microsoft Security Essentials. It's free and integrates well with Windows, without slowing your computer to a snail's pace.

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Nanosoft
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby Nanosoft » Fri Sep 02, 2011 4:40 pm

What are your guys thoughts on Avira?

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ResolutePear
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby ResolutePear » Fri Sep 02, 2011 4:44 pm

MSE or Norton Corporate - if you can find it.

071816
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby 071816 » Sat Sep 03, 2011 12:23 am

My school gives out Sophos for free. It seems to be fine also.

fingersxd
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby fingersxd » Sun Sep 04, 2011 7:01 pm

I'm looking at a T520 with these specs:

Intel Core i5-2520M Processor (2.50GHz, 3MB L3)
Genuine Windows 7 Professional 64
15.6" HD+ (1600 x 900) LED Backlit Anti-Glare Display, Mobile Broadband Ready
NVIDIA NVS 4200M Graphics with Optimus Technology, 1GB DDR3 Memory
4 GB DDR3 - 1333MHz (1 DIMM)
720p Camera
320 GB Hard Disk Drive, 7200rpm
DVD recordable multiburner
Express Card Slot & 4 in 1 Card Reader
6 cell Li-Ion Battery - 55+
Country Pack North America with Line cord & 90W AC adapter
Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6205 (2x2 AGN)
Integrated Mobile Broadband - Upgradable

With Lenovo's Labor Day sale I can get it for ~$970. Does that sound like too much?
...and I asked about student discounts, but no dice.




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