Computers for Law School 2011

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Redamon1
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby Redamon1 » Mon Apr 09, 2012 3:45 pm

What's the best price you've been able to find and where? I'm looking at 1,198, including 3 year next day warrantee, via their website

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laxbrah420
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby laxbrah420 » Mon Apr 09, 2012 3:48 pm

Redamon1 wrote:What's the best price you've been able to find and where? I'm looking at 1,198, including 3 year next day warrantee, via their website

just looked at wholesale --it's $1182 with that warranty ($995 without the warranty). lenovo loves selling their shit themselves...you're not gonna find it any cheaper than that

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zeth006
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby zeth006 » Mon Apr 09, 2012 5:04 pm

Funny how the PC market's changed. Wasn't too long ago laptops were too expensive for most to get. Last year, it was all about the $500 thin and light battery life-saving Asuses and $1,000 Macbook Pros.


Now we're going on and on about ultrabooks.

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anjmissy
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby anjmissy » Mon Apr 09, 2012 5:04 pm

laxbrah420 wrote:
Redamon1 wrote:What's the best price you've been able to find and where? I'm looking at 1,198, including 3 year next day warrantee, via their website

just looked at wholesale --it's $1182 with that warranty ($995 without the warranty). lenovo loves selling their shit themselves...you're not gonna find it any cheaper than that


+1, I'm hoping that by time I purchase it, mid to late july, a hundred or two will be trimmed from the price

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hyakku
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby hyakku » Mon Apr 09, 2012 8:29 pm

kalvano wrote: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.


Thanks, this is the type of answer I was looking for. The reason I'm asking is because I intend to have Windows 8 installed on all my PCs by fall, and AFAIK Windows 8 differs between Tablets and PCs only in that one runs ARM and the other runs x86, but there are already tablets with x86 processors better than most laptops (with much shittier battery life than an ARM tablet, but better than most laptops by far) at the same price point that I can grab a docking station for which would have a full keyboard and mouse, a file system, etc. My bad if I was unclear and made it seem as though I want to use the Ipad for taking exams, i guess I'll have to find out the deal about Windows 8 first; if it's going to be a problem in general for LS I won't install it on a laptop or my desktop. Anyone running the beta have any issues yet? Thanks again for the help.

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


Eh, to each his own, but on average I find that I type between 100-120 WPM on a desktop and 75-85 on the ipad, and I've found for most things this is sufficient. I wouldn't be taking exams on it and I doubt any professor teaches material that requires a rate of 75 WPM, but I could be wrong. As for how I look using it had to laugh at that, being a serious computer nerd I used to be adamant about how people looked using certain devices, now it just sounds hilarious to me to think about how someone looks using something (outside of something like Vandersexxx technology) but we'll have to agree to disagree here.

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kalvano
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby kalvano » Mon Apr 09, 2012 9:28 pm

Windows 8 should have a "run as" mode where you can run things in simulated Windows 7.

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Redamon1
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby Redamon1 » Tue Apr 10, 2012 6:01 pm

thegrayman wrote:
Redamon1 wrote:I've been following this thread for a while, but things are now getting real. I need to head to the store in the next couple of weeks and buy the laptop that will follow me through law school.

I'm just curious about whether there have been recent updates in hardware, software or durability that have surfaced in the last few months.

The ideal candidate for me would be an Ultrabook (or something equivalent that is super light but not so tiny it'll kill my eyes) that is fast (SSD preferred?), durable and has good battery life. I can sacrifice on looks and size of internal hard drive to get a better price. I don't really care if it's a PC or Mac. Cheaper is better. From my research I'm down to these 3:

* Lenovo U300s seems to be getting good reviews and is on sale on their website. Seems to be around $1000 depending on the specs.

* Asus Zenbook but people complain about the trackpad a lot. $1150

* MacBook Air 11 or 13 inch - $1200 - 1300

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!


Seems like you've done your homework. My only input would be this:

- Mac's are always legit, the majority of your class with likely have a Mac of some sort
-Lenovo's are equally legit IMO (I have a Lenovo T420). I see the major selling points of the Lenovo as:
1. the keyboard is awesome, I love it. You'll be doing more typing than you can possibly comprehend, so whatever you pick make sure you like the keyboard
2. battery life is awesome, Lenovo has optimized battery settings (some software program, you can probably get the equivalent on any computer) which are clutch if you're like me and you don't want to have to plug in during class. If you turn off the wifi and keep the brightness low, the thing will last forever. Also you can get a larger battery that will snap right in (sticks out more obviously).
3. the screen is awesome. It's a funny thing to care about, but I love that when my screen goes off (to save battery power), my computer doesn't turn into a mirror like most other computers. It saves the awkwardness of making eye contact with the person behind you via your screen :)

Netbooks are trouble for an exam. For day-to-day they are super useful, but trying to knock out an exam on one would be a pain in the ass I would imagine. The only people at my school who use netbooks swap them out for laptops during exam periods.


Ok, so I've narrowed this down to either (1) MacBook Air 13 inch or (2) Lenovo U300s. The Lenovo is about 150 dollars cheaper, warrantees included (if I get a refurbished Mac), so not a significant difference.

I've been agonizing about a consideration that I discovered just recently. I'm tempted by the Mac because of the OS (though I've never used Windows 7), proven durability and customer service. But those are just slight preferences and I think they may be outweighed by the benefit of having OneNote on the Lenovo. It seems law students swear by it and find the Mac alternatives like Growly Notes or Curio to be subpar. The main complaint with those Mac alternatives is that they don't seem to allow for as many levels of subsections/headings. I don't mind paying for the software (I know GrowlyNotes is free but it's not a deciding factor). And I'm going to be using this software so much that I don't want to deal with Parallels or other ways to run Windows on Mac.

If OneNote is THAT much better, I'll just get a PC. I've reviewed the threads and links below, which were helpful, but wonder if folks here have thoughts on this question. Is this a silly deciding factor and are the functionalities of OneNote that much better than the rest? Thanks for all the input!

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=176942&p=5394890#p5394890

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=122639&p=5396522#p5396522

http://onsoftware.en.softonic.com/5-mac ... t_comments (see comments section)

http://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/37840/growly-notes
Last edited by Redamon1 on Wed Apr 11, 2012 7:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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ResolutePear
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby ResolutePear » Tue Apr 10, 2012 6:25 pm

I'm using a Hackintosh (Poor/Smart man's mac).

I use Circus Ponies.

I miss nothing.

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bk1
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby bk1 » Tue Apr 10, 2012 6:32 pm

I think the love of OneNote is overblown. I use it. It's link/page features are nice but if you don't use them (and it's not that easy if you're used to taking notes another way) then there isn't much benefit to it.

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hyakku
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby hyakku » Wed Apr 11, 2012 10:18 am

bk1 wrote:I think the love of OneNote is overblown. I use it. It's link/page features are nice but if you don't use them (and it's not that easy if you're used to taking notes another way) then there isn't much benefit to it.


I've got to agree with this, although I'm a 0L but have extensive experience with various note taking and word processing applications because of my major and job here at school. To be honest, and I'm sure this is just my ignorance of other fields, but law students are the first people I've ever heard of really "swearing" by OneNote. Again, maybe I haven't given it enough of a chance, but it seems like learning a new interface just to marginally organize notes better seemed less efficient than the decade of Word shortcuts, tricks and tweaks most are already familiar with. Could someone maybe explain the appeal, I'm genuinely curious?

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bk1
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby bk1 » Wed Apr 11, 2012 7:35 pm

hyakku wrote:I've got to agree with this, although I'm a 0L but have extensive experience with various note taking and word processing applications because of my major and job here at school. To be honest, and I'm sure this is just my ignorance of other fields, but law students are the first people I've ever heard of really "swearing" by OneNote. Again, maybe I haven't given it enough of a chance, but it seems like learning a new interface just to marginally organize notes better seemed less efficient than the decade of Word shortcuts, tricks and tweaks most are already familiar with. Could someone maybe explain the appeal, I'm genuinely curious?


sundance's use of OneNote is probably the most ideal (see viewtopic.php?f=3&t=176942#p5159338). But as I said above, I don't think it's all that useful. During exams you don't have a ton of time to flip through your outline so super impressive linking with subpages isn't going to do you any good, imo.

I mean it might be a little nice if you're making outlines from scratch since each topic will have its own separate page and easy to find, but I don't make outlines from scratch (I use old ones from upperclassmen) and would seriously recommend avoid making them from scratch if at all possible.

LockBox
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby LockBox » Mon Apr 16, 2012 7:25 pm

Two questions for you seasoned laptop computer types out there:

Lenovo currently has a sale going on for their i5 ultrabookish (no solid state hard drive, but 500gb, 8gb ram, 14" screen in the ultrabook style case) for around $770. Seems like a good deal, but it's not solid state. Is it advisable to wait till closer to 1L/wait for a deal on an ultra with SSD? http://shop.lenovo.com/SEUILibrary/cont ... ction=init

There are several versions of windows 7 (home, home premium, business etc.) - which version has onenote and would be preferable for the average law student?

Thanks in advance.

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howell
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby howell » Mon Apr 16, 2012 10:53 pm

hyakku wrote:
bk1 wrote:I think the love of OneNote is overblown. I use it. It's link/page features are nice but if you don't use them (and it's not that easy if you're used to taking notes another way) then there isn't much benefit to it.


I've got to agree with this, although I'm a 0L but have extensive experience with various note taking and word processing applications because of my major and job here at school. To be honest, and I'm sure this is just my ignorance of other fields, but law students are the first people I've ever heard of really "swearing" by OneNote. Again, maybe I haven't given it enough of a chance, but it seems like learning a new interface just to marginally organize notes better seemed less efficient than the decade of Word shortcuts, tricks and tweaks most are already familiar with. Could someone maybe explain the appeal, I'm genuinely curious?


To me, the appeal is not that it does fancy things, but rather that it does very simple things that all note-taking software should do out of the box. For one, outlining is brain-dead easy, which it seems to be in other applications, but not all. What keeps me coming back is the organization. I use a different notebook for each semester and a different section group for each class/activity. Then there are different sections for each part of a class/activity (e.g., administrative, class notes, outlines, papers, etc.) and different pages under that. I haven't come across other note-taking software that gives me four levels of organization in a given unit. I am more than open to any application that will do that, but that's why I quickly dropped Evernote back in the day (maybe Evernote's better now). I am more of a hierarchy guy than a search guy when it comes to law school files, and so this is valuable to me. However, the search feature of OneNote is really great too.

For those that use the tagging, linking (I've used that some, and it has been pretty helpful), and other features, I can imagine there isn't that much that compares, but I really don't think a lot of those features are necessary/helpful for law school.

And paired with some sore of file syncing software (I've been using Windows Live Mesh, and it's worked flawlessly with OneNote files), it has nearly all of the "cloud" advantages of apps like Evernote.

It doesn't do anything really amazing, but it does the basics very well. I haven't found other software that is so easy to use and provides the features I need. I would hope it's out there, and I have no problem if it is.

The biggest problem to me is when you have to use exam software that locks your computer down. Besides bringing in another device (which would likely be against the exam rules), you're ultimately stuck with a paper version of everything for the actual exam. That's not a big deal to me, because the difficult part (to me) is keeping track of everything during the semester so I can make the outline come exam time.

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kalvano
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby kalvano » Mon Apr 16, 2012 10:54 pm

LockBox wrote:There are several versions of windows 7 (home, home premium, business etc.) - which version has onenote and would be preferable for the average law student?



OneNote is part of Office, not a part of Windows.

LockBox
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby LockBox » Tue Apr 17, 2012 2:27 pm

kalvano wrote:
LockBox wrote:There are several versions of windows 7 (home, home premium, business etc.) - which version has onenote and would be preferable for the average law student?



OneNote is part of Office, not a part of Windows.


I know but am under the impression windows home 7 premium only has a limited version of office (word and excel only). I just found out that I can buy office professional plus from my work for only $10, however.

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kalvano
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby kalvano » Tue Apr 17, 2012 3:07 pm

LockBox wrote:
kalvano wrote:
LockBox wrote:There are several versions of windows 7 (home, home premium, business etc.) - which version has onenote and would be preferable for the average law student?



OneNote is part of Office, not a part of Windows.


I know but am under the impression windows home 7 premium only has a limited version of office (word and excel only). I just found out that I can buy office professional plus from my work for only $10, however.



Office is completely separate from Windows 7. To my knowledge, no version of Windows comes with Office installed, aside from perhaps a limited trial version.

You purchase Office separately from Windows.

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gaud
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby gaud » Thu Apr 19, 2012 2:50 am

Can anyone guide me towards a nice laptop?

I don't want a Mac, 7+ battery life, +4GB RAM, etc..

I dunno, just a legit laptop for ~$1000.

Thinkpad? Sony?

Any advice is appreciated

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ResolutePear
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby ResolutePear » Thu Apr 19, 2012 9:23 am

gaud wrote:Can anyone guide me towards a nice laptop?

I don't want a Mac, 7+ battery life, +4GB RAM, etc..

I dunno, just a legit laptop for ~$1000.

Thinkpad? Sony?

Any advice is appreciated


Mac or Thinkpad.

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Oklahoma2014
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby Oklahoma2014 » Thu Apr 19, 2012 9:47 am

I subscribe to Best Buy's "deal of the day." If you are in the market for a laptop here is todays online deal:

$499

Asus Laptop Intel Core i5 Processor with 15.6" screen, 8GB DDR3 memory and 750GB Hard Drive
Features smart 4-way processing performance. Turbo Boost Technology delivers extra performance when you need it and increased energy efficiency when you don't.Read more.
Online only. Limited quantities. No rainchecks.
Offer valid only on Thursday, April 19, 2012.

FloridaCoastalorbust
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby FloridaCoastalorbust » Thu Apr 19, 2012 9:50 am

Oklahoma2014 wrote:I subscribe to Best Buy's "deal of the day." If you are in the market for a laptop here is todays online deal:

$499

Asus Laptop Intel Core i5 Processor with 15.6" screen, 8GB DDR3 memory and 750GB Hard Drive
Features smart 4-way processing performance. Turbo Boost Technology delivers extra performance when you need it and increased energy efficiency when you don't.Read more.
Online only. Limited quantities. No rainchecks.
Offer valid only on Thursday, April 19, 2012.


Damn. Someone buy this.

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Oklahoma2014
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby Oklahoma2014 » Thu Apr 19, 2012 9:57 am

If you can't buy today but plan to buy a laptop before law school I would highly recommend subscribing to Best Buy's deal of the day. They always have great 1 day deals.

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TheFutureLawyer
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby TheFutureLawyer » Thu Apr 19, 2012 10:12 am


jediknight2424
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby jediknight2424 » Thu Apr 19, 2012 2:46 pm

I'm getting the lenovo thinkpad edge e530, mainly because of the solid keyboard and warranty. Can someone help me with choosing specs? I'm pretty clueless with this stuff. I won't be playing games on it. I do plan on hooking it up to two external monitors-- not entirely sure what spec comes in play there.

processor
a) i3-2350 (2.3ghz) (default)
b) i5-22450 (2.5ghz) (+$50)
c) i52520 (2.5ghz) (+$100)

harddrive
a) 320g; 7200rpm (default)
b) 500g; 5400rpm (+$10)
c) 500g; 7200rpm (+$40)

power cord
a) 2 pin (default)
b) 3 pin (+$0)

lan adapter
thinkpad b/g/n (default)
thinkpad b/g/n wireless bt combo (+$20)
intel centrino wireless n-2230 (+$20)
thinkpad a/b/g/n wireless bt combo (+$40)

battery
a) 6-cell, 48wh (default)
b) 6-cell, 62wh (+$10)

total memory
a) 4g (default)
b) 6g (+$80)
c) 8g (+$160)

I have no idea how to install ram myself so if the price difference is not absurd I'd rather they install it. Thanks in advance for any advice!

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gaud
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby gaud » Thu Apr 19, 2012 2:55 pm

Now that I'm looking into a Thinkpad, I'd appreciate some help for him/her, too ^^^^^

Muchas Gracias

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bobbypin
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby bobbypin » Thu Apr 19, 2012 11:04 pm

What about using the Apple wireless keyboard to take notes on the iPad 2 and bringing a larger laptop only for exams?




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