Computers for Law School 2011

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anjmissy
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby anjmissy » Sun Apr 08, 2012 8:32 pm

bk1 wrote:
Redamon1 wrote:Others I should consider? Any thoughts or updates I should be aware of? I've excluded netbooks from the list because I got the impression that they wouldn't be powerful enough for law school + everyday stuff. But I'd love to be proven wrong because they are way cheaper!


I like my U300s but it's expensive and the resolution sucks. The HP Folio 13 (which got good reviews) is currently $800 at B&H. (LinkRemoved)

I think resolution is another thing to consider. At 1366x768 (the resolution of the U300s and Folio 13) things get a little cramped when you try to put windows side by side. If you had a larger resolution (e.g. 1920x1200 or even 1600x900) it gets a lot more comfortable. However having shitty resolution is one of the primary ways that laptop manufacturers keep their costs down so it's not really possible to get something that is both cheap and high resolution. ASUS's Zenbooks have higher resolution but worse trackpad/keyboard compared to the U300s but the latter has crappy resolution. I personally think that the most important things are trackpad/keyboard/screen, as well as price. I'd probably sacrifice resolution for better trackpad/keyboard since those are more important for things like cranking out a 3 hour exam, but ideally I'd try to get an ultrabook with at least 1600x900 that had a good trackpad/keyboard as well.


future u300s owner here..the folio is nice but uglyyyy..style matters

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Redamon1
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby Redamon1 » Sun Apr 08, 2012 8:41 pm

Thanks for all the great advice! Lenovo looks promising. What are the differences between the U300 and the T420? Is it that the U series is a bit more stylish and less durable? Is the T more tested/reliable? If so, I think I might go for the T even though the looks aren't on its side. A stylish computer would be my preference but at the end of the day, I think I want a computer that works and won't crash on me mid-semester.

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bk1
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby bk1 » Sun Apr 08, 2012 9:04 pm

Redamon1 wrote:Thanks for all the great advice! Lenovo looks promising. What are the differences between the U300 and the T420? Is it that the U series is a bit more stylish and less durable? Is the T more tested/reliable? If so, I think I might go for the T even though the looks aren't on its side. A stylish computer would be my preference but at the end of the day, I think I want a computer that works and won't crash on me mid-semester.


The T420 is bigger/heavier. Has a 14" screen not 13". Has a DVD drive. Has a HDD not SSD. Has less battery life. That's probably it.

Generally the ThinkPad line is more reliable than the IdeaPad line but the U300s is a high end IdeaPad and has the quality/reliability you'd expect from a ThinkPad (though obviously the U300s hasn't been around for that long so it's not truly possible to get at reliability but I don't think that will be an issue for it).

jediknight2424
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby jediknight2424 » Sun Apr 08, 2012 9:30 pm

Im looking for a laptop with a great keyboard (prob my first priority) and i hear thinkpad is the best. My price range is around 500 though.. any suggestions on models i should look into?

FloridaCoastalorbust
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby FloridaCoastalorbust » Sun Apr 08, 2012 10:13 pm

jediknight2424 wrote:Im looking for a laptop with a great keyboard (prob my first priority) and i hear thinkpad is the best. My price range is around 500 though.. any suggestions on models i should look into?


T410 at tigerdirect for $600. Upgrade the ram on your own. Love it. Keyboard and battery are insane

jediknight2424
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby jediknight2424 » Sun Apr 08, 2012 10:29 pm

FloridaCoastalorbust wrote:
jediknight2424 wrote:Im looking for a laptop with a great keyboard (prob my first priority) and i hear thinkpad is the best. My price range is around 500 though.. any suggestions on models i should look into?


T410 at tigerdirect for $600. Upgrade the ram on your own. Love it. Keyboard and battery are insane
low


Thanks for the tip. Would it be better to go low-end t-series or just go with the thinkpad edge? I'm on the lenovo website right now and its looking pretty solid.

FloridaCoastalorbust
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby FloridaCoastalorbust » Sun Apr 08, 2012 10:39 pm

jediknight2424 wrote:
FloridaCoastalorbust wrote:
jediknight2424 wrote:Im looking for a laptop with a great keyboard (prob my first priority) and i hear thinkpad is the best. My price range is around 500 though.. any suggestions on models i should look into?


T410 at tigerdirect for $600. Upgrade the ram on your own. Love it. Keyboard and battery are insane
low


Thanks for the tip. Would it be better to go low-end t-series or just go with the thinkpad edge? I'm on the lenovo website right now and its looking pretty solid.


IMO "low-end", like T410, are still far superior for what's needed for law school. The extra $$ for the higher end isn't justified for me. I was primarily concerned with dual core, solid keyboard, and stacked battery. I opted for the lower price because they both matched my needs.

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hyakku
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby hyakku » Mon Apr 09, 2012 1:53 am

Got a question that I've been reading through the thread to try to get an answer for but haven't found yet. I'll keep looking in the morning but maybe someone can answer as I'm sure it's been asked. Anyway, I know I'll need a PC for Law school as materials come for x86 processors, but are these for tests alone, notes, or both? I can't tell (I'm assuming a combination of both), but the reason I ask is because I currently have a desktop (custom built, nothing too fancy but more than enough for law school for the next decade), sold my laptop, and use an ipad primarily for notes and writing papers under ten pages [I realize this sounds pretty crazy, but I've been a Windows user all my life and building PCs since I was younger and can say without bias that I can take timed tests and write papers with about 85% efficiency from my laptop or desktop usage; something I think is worth sacrificing for the other benefits tablets have].

I was considering grabbing a Windows 8 Tablet later in the fall and keeping it docked at home as kind of a second desktop/entertainment device and realized that instead of buying another laptop (I've really grown to dislike them; not enough power in most to do anything substantial IMO, but too much to do what general people need them for and still not nearly as efficient as they should be), I'd prefer to just use a Windows 8 Tablet docked to a keyboard for taking tests or whenever the "software" is needed, and continue taking notes on my iPad as I've found a pretty solid way to organize my research and thoughts before synthesizing it on a desktop. My question is whether anyone knows whether most LS stuff on CD is web based using the CD as just the registration, or if they are built around the x86 architecture. If so, I'm pretty certain any ARM devices won't work with LS software unless MS has replaced x86 compatibility for ARM devices in Windows 8 (which I don't think has happened), and so I may just reconsider buying a windows 8 tablet at all and get a used laptop of CL for this purpose. I'll definitely be keeping my desktop either way if that would make a difference.

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kalvano
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby kalvano » Mon Apr 09, 2012 2:32 am

If your school uses Examsoft, a tablet (of any kind) won't work. Not only do you need to download and run a program that takes over your computer, it needs to access answer files in a traditional file structure as well.

Further, I can't imagine the nightmare of trying to type an exam answer on a tablet keyboard, even an attached one, unless it's full size. You say you operate at 85% efficiency...that 15% can easily mean the difference between an A and a B.

071816
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby 071816 » Mon Apr 09, 2012 2:38 am

Yea typing an exam on a tablet would be a huge clusterfuck.

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bk1
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby bk1 » Mon Apr 09, 2012 2:40 am

kalvano wrote:You say you operate at 85% efficiency...that 15% can easily mean the difference between an A and a B.


Agreed. No reason to handicap yourself on exam day.

bartleby
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby bartleby » Mon Apr 09, 2012 4:40 am

also, and no offense to the people that take notes with their ipads in class - you look like a dipshit.

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loblaw016
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby loblaw016 » Mon Apr 09, 2012 8:07 am

what about this?


--ImageRemoved--

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Scotusnerd
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby Scotusnerd » Mon Apr 09, 2012 8:12 am

That looks like a disaster in durability waiting to happen, loblaw016.

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loblaw016
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby loblaw016 » Mon Apr 09, 2012 8:14 am

Scotusnerd wrote:That looks like a disaster in durability waiting to happen, loblaw016.


lol it's an expensive disaster, but i thought it might be a good compromise

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Kess
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby Kess » Mon Apr 09, 2012 9:36 am

So upon someone's earlier recommendation, I went to best buy to play around with the Toshiba Portege Z830 and it's a good looking thing for sure, trackpad seems nice. The reviews seem okayish, price is reasonable, and I am not a gamer so that eliminates a few issues. As much as I like the portability factor, it just feels so fragile. I want a portable laptop, but not one that will poop out by one touch the wrong way by a casebook.

Should I reconsider getting this ultrabook and opt for something more sturdy? If so, suggestions would be helpful and I'd prefer not to spend over $800...

bartleby
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby bartleby » Mon Apr 09, 2012 9:47 am

Kess wrote:So upon someone's earlier recommendation, I went to best buy to play around with the Toshiba Portege Z830 and it's a good looking thing for sure, trackpad seems nice. The reviews seem okayish, price is reasonable, and I am not a gamer so that eliminates a few issues. As much as I like the portability factor, it just feels so fragile. I want a portable laptop, but not one that will poop out by one touch the wrong way by a casebook.

Should I reconsider getting this ultrabook and opt for something more sturdy? If so, suggestions would be helpful and I'd prefer not to spend over $800...


I'm a big subscriber to getting a cheap/good deal laptop. I prefer under $500 after taxes. Investing in a "sturdier" laptop that is $1000-$1500 makes no sense to me unless you are really tech savvy or must have the latest thing.

Image

This is how much the price for ram dropped. Not saying you should get a huge POS laptop but even midrange, "out-of-date" laptops will be perfectly functional and if they die in 3 years, you can get the $1500 laptop now for like $500. Unless we are talking Macs.

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Kess
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby Kess » Mon Apr 09, 2012 10:07 am

bartleby wrote: Investing in a "sturdier" laptop that is $1000-$1500 makes no sense to me unless you are really tech savvy or must have the latest thing.


No this is definitely not me. I could care less about trends... I like macs, but still prefer windows.

So, in your opinion, what laptop would constitute a good deal as of right now?

bartleby
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby bartleby » Mon Apr 09, 2012 10:21 am

Those ones that circulate on Slickdeals frontpage but make sure it is not a 15+ inch monster. I got a Dell that had okay specs for $350 a few weeks ago but returned it because I felt like I didn't really need it.

There's a sub-$500 laptop every single 2 weeks and most Slickdealers are uber nerds that know what they are talking about. When I got my laptop (the one I'm using now) - I upgraded my ram to 8gb (getting it off Amazon for $100) and didn't notice it was going "super fast" or anything. Someone told me I'd notice the difference if I was doing like graphics design. I don't know the first fucking thing about graphic designing.

Though I guess it is opening PDFs faster...

A lot of people will disagree with me but I think laptops in general just depreciate in value like crazy.

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laxbrah420
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby laxbrah420 » Mon Apr 09, 2012 10:41 am

i agree with that
shitty laptop, lasts (and works well) for 2 years, costs $500.
good laptop, lasts 3 years, costs $1000
best laptop, lasts 3.5-4 years, costs $2000

also, if you're buying anything that's not a shitlaptop right now, id have to say now is the probably the worst time you could do it since ivy bridge is coming out in 3 weeks. Apple, notoriously slow adopters, have announced it'll be ready for the iMacs in June

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Redamon1
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby Redamon1 » Mon Apr 09, 2012 11:04 am

laxbrah420 wrote:i agree with that
shitty laptop, lasts (and works well) for 2 years, costs $500.
good laptop, lasts 3 years, costs $1000
best laptop, lasts 3.5-4 years, costs $2000

also, if you're buying anything that's not a shitlaptop right now, id have to say now is the probably the worst time you could do it since ivy bridge is coming out in 3 weeks. Apple, notoriously slow adopters, have announced it'll be ready for the iMacs in June


What about the Ivy Bridge is worth waiting for?

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laxbrah420
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby laxbrah420 » Mon Apr 09, 2012 11:09 am

battery life, speed, and sandy bridge clear outs.

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bk1
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby bk1 » Mon Apr 09, 2012 11:20 am

Redamon1 wrote:What about the Ivy Bridge is worth waiting for?


For normal law student stuff? No.

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Redamon1
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby Redamon1 » Mon Apr 09, 2012 3:07 pm

anjmissy wrote:
bk1 wrote:
Redamon1 wrote:Others I should consider? Any thoughts or updates I should be aware of? I've excluded netbooks from the list because I got the impression that they wouldn't be powerful enough for law school + everyday stuff. But I'd love to be proven wrong because they are way cheaper!


I like my U300s but it's expensive and the resolution sucks. The HP Folio 13 (which got good reviews) is currently $800 at B&H. (LinkRemoved)

I think resolution is another thing to consider. At 1366x768 (the resolution of the U300s and Folio 13) things get a little cramped when you try to put windows side by side. If you had a larger resolution (e.g. 1920x1200 or even 1600x900) it gets a lot more comfortable. However having shitty resolution is one of the primary ways that laptop manufacturers keep their costs down so it's not really possible to get something that is both cheap and high resolution. ASUS's Zenbooks have higher resolution but worse trackpad/keyboard compared to the U300s but the latter has crappy resolution. I personally think that the most important things are trackpad/keyboard/screen, as well as price. I'd probably sacrifice resolution for better trackpad/keyboard since those are more important for things like cranking out a 3 hour exam, but ideally I'd try to get an ultrabook with at least 1600x900 that had a good trackpad/keyboard as well.


future u300s owner here..the folio is nice but uglyyyy..style matters


I'm likely going to go with the U300s as well. How's the battery? Unlike the Thinkpads, it doesn't look like I can customize it to include a longer battery...

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anjmissy
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby anjmissy » Mon Apr 09, 2012 3:21 pm

they advertise about 8 hours but engadget did and test and it was a little over 5 hours (but this is with a bunch of stuff running on the cpu)

here is the link for the review if anyone is interested

http://www.engadget.com/2011/11/13/leno ... 0s-review/




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