Computers for Law School 2011

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geoduck
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby geoduck » Wed Jun 08, 2011 5:44 pm

timmna wrote:
geoduck wrote:Ignoring the advice to go cheap, here's what I think about that exact lineup.

The T420S is a 14" model right? With the 1600X900 screen? That's a nice screen. You'll only get 1440X900 (15") or 1280X800 (17") with the MBP. That said, the touchpad on the MBP is simply amazing and will ruin all other touchpads for you. Both keyboards are pretty comfy and quick, so not a worry either way.

Powerwise, the MBPs are quad-core for the 15s and dual-core for the 13s. The T420S seems right between the two models in performances. Any of the three should blow through whatever your law school needs are. The T420S uses the integrated graphics as does the MBP13. The MBP15 has a separate video card, so there's that.

Expandabilitywise, the MBPs have the amazing but not yet much use Thunderbolt. The T420S has the less amazing USB 3.0, but there are actually peripherals for that at the moment. You probably won't really need either thanks to DropBox and (if you get the MBP) iCloud. The Lenovo also wastes space with a VGA port, two PCI express ports, and an expresscard port. The Lenovo has a 4-in-1 card reader while the MBP has an SD card reader. This is close to a draw. The Lenovo has more, but most of it is rubbish. Thunderbolt vs USB 3.0 is a battle of toddlers. I would choose the MBP for this because the Lenovo has no firewire and the MBP has Firewire 800, but that's because I have external FW800 drives already.

Both laptops have HD webcams. The Lenovo has the fingerprint reader, so it gets a nod in security. Importantly, the MBP has significantly higher battery life than the Lenovo. 7 true hours on the MBPs vs a rated 5.5 and more like 3 hours on the T420S. Also the MBPs are lighter, which is a minor concern.

I'd personally choose the MBP because I like OSX better. I'm about to get a T420 regular because of UMN, however, and am not all that saddened as it is the one I would choose if I were forced to go Windows.


Thanks for all of your advice. Very helpful. I was leaning toward MBP, and I actually did consider weight an issue because I'm a fairly small person. I thought I read that the Thinkpad was 4 lbs, whereas I know the MBPs more than that so that gave me pause. Battery power's also a good issue to bring up. I saw that the Thinkpad had another battery you could add to extend life, but I'd rather not have to bother. Anyway, I'm officially leaning toward MBP. Now, if only the back to school promo would start...


MBP 15": 5.6lbs
MBP 13": 4.5lbs
T420S: 3.68lbs + (depending on config)

So I was thinking of the T420 standard when I said it was lighter. Oops :oops:

albanach
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby albanach » Wed Jun 08, 2011 6:48 pm

geoduck wrote:MBP 15": 5.6lbs
MBP 13": 4.5lbs
T420S: 3.68lbs + (depending on config)

So I was thinking of the T420 standard when I said it was lighter. Oops :oops:


It's worth bearing in mind that the MacBook Air should be updated to new processors this summer.

The 13" model weighs 2.9lbs and the 11" weighs 2.3lbs for folk where weight is a concern.

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geoduck
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby geoduck » Wed Jun 08, 2011 7:32 pm

albanach wrote:
geoduck wrote:MBP 15": 5.6lbs
MBP 13": 4.5lbs
T420S: 3.68lbs + (depending on config)

So I was thinking of the T420 standard when I said it was lighter. Oops :oops:


It's worth bearing in mind that the MacBook Air should be updated to new processors this summer.

The 13" model weighs 2.9lbs and the 11" weighs 2.3lbs for folk where weight is a concern.


It's very worth bearing in mind. I'd be probably buying exactly that if I weren't forced into the T420.

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Naked Dude
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby Naked Dude » Wed Jun 08, 2011 10:22 pm

As far as battery life goes, I'm getting about 5/5.5 hours after calibrating on the new 15" MBP (medium brightness, automatic graphics switching and all that, mostly just running 20 (seriously) tabs in chrome, adium, sparrow, itunes, twitter and evernote, and word when i need to write something, and. Less if I'm watching a movie/TV show or something like that. Not 7 hours, but no complaints.

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Naked Dude
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby Naked Dude » Wed Jun 08, 2011 10:33 pm

geoduck wrote:
bk1 wrote:
geoduck wrote:Not everyone's down for netbook/underpowered crap that runs slower than my 1st gen iPad.


That is hyperbolic.


To be fair, my 1st gen iPad is fairly snappy.


After years of getting the bare minimum, I have no complaints about my new MBP. I don't think it's overkill. I'm not a power user but I'm not a grandma either. I'm impatient and I love how this handles everything I can possibly throw at it for my needs without slowing or crashing. I also like to mess around with more pro type programs like photoshop. Far from necessary, but also I like having the options.

Also...future-proofing. Although you don't need to go too overboard for this.

It comes down to what you value. Yes, unless you NEED Pro Tools or CS5 or the like to earn your living, a MacBook Pro is probably overkill for you. You can spend less money on other things. What I dislike is people saying what you "only" need for law school. How do you know what someone does on the side for money or just as a hobby that they might need a powerful computer for?

Anyway, again, it's what you value. No one "needs" automatic transmission or power windows or air conditioning in their car, but a lot of people find it more comfortable. No one "needs" to buy clothes from a place more expensive than Wal-Mart. You can survive on C-rations and dog food, but many people like to shop at Whole Foods or Trader Joe's. People exceed the bare minimum they need in many facets of life, but people are for some reason more vehement to decry this in computer purchases. If you're cool with going out for drinks and making fewer discretionary purchases to pay for a more powerful computer, go ahead and do it.

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Naked Dude
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby Naked Dude » Wed Jun 08, 2011 10:43 pm

timmna wrote:
bk1 wrote:
timmna wrote:So I'm considering a MacBook Pro vs a Thinkpad T420S. Any thoughts?


You prefer OSX or Windows? You prefer Apple or Lenovo aesthetics? But the real kicker: are you doing anything on these machines to justify paying so much for a laptop when you could get something for far cheaper that would work just as well for what law students need?


I was looking for some advice outside of my own preferences, which can honestly go either way on both issues. I switched from a mac workplace to a pc workplace, and I found both very workable. I have no justification, other than I'd like a quality laptop, I like both of these models in particular, and these two were also the computers recommended by my school.


I don't about you, but I LIVE on my computer. My junior and senior years of college, I had ONE physical, paper notebook (thanks to a luddite professor, not my choice). 15-20 hours or so of class, taking notes. I have Kindle for the computer so I read on that when I can. Facebook, RSS feeds, netflix streaming/hulu, writing papers, writing emails and taking care of things for clubs I was in, applying for jobs and internships, TLS.

There are things I don't like to skimp on (like toilet paper), because to me, it's just not worth it. If I spend hours and hours doing work and general life stuff on my computer, the screen must be big enough for me to multi-task. It has to have a comfortable keyboard (I've shared my feelings on keyboard design on multiple occasions). It doesn't have to be designed by Jony Ive, but it has to not be hideous (if I'm going to stare at the damn things for hours a day).

The build quality has to be good to. I don't like flimsy feeling, poorly constructed computers. It's why I work better with a nice-ish fountain pen and a black n red as opposed to a bic and a torn spiral notebook--feeling like I'm using shitty materials demotivates me.

Just remember that you're going to live on this thing, and do all sorts of important work on it for hours a day for the next few years. Be comfortable.

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Naked Dude
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby Naked Dude » Wed Jun 08, 2011 10:45 pm

timmna wrote:
geoduck wrote:Ignoring the advice to go cheap, here's what I think about that exact lineup.

The T420S is a 14" model right? With the 1600X900 screen? That's a nice screen. You'll only get 1440X900 (15") or 1280X800 (17") with the MBP. That said, the touchpad on the MBP is simply amazing and will ruin all other touchpads for you. Both keyboards are pretty comfy and quick, so not a worry either way.

Powerwise, the MBPs are quad-core for the 15s and dual-core for the 13s. The T420S seems right between the two models in performances. Any of the three should blow through whatever your law school needs are. The T420S uses the integrated graphics as does the MBP13. The MBP15 has a separate video card, so there's that.

Expandabilitywise, the MBPs have the amazing but not yet much use Thunderbolt. The T420S has the less amazing USB 3.0, but there are actually peripherals for that at the moment. You probably won't really need either thanks to DropBox and (if you get the MBP) iCloud. The Lenovo also wastes space with a VGA port, two PCI express ports, and an expresscard port. The Lenovo has a 4-in-1 card reader while the MBP has an SD card reader. This is close to a draw. The Lenovo has more, but most of it is rubbish. Thunderbolt vs USB 3.0 is a battle of toddlers. I would choose the MBP for this because the Lenovo has no firewire and the MBP has Firewire 800, but that's because I have external FW800 drives already.

Both laptops have HD webcams. The Lenovo has the fingerprint reader, so it gets a nod in security. Importantly, the MBP has significantly higher battery life than the Lenovo. 7 true hours on the MBPs vs a rated 5.5 and more like 3 hours on the T420S. Also the MBPs are lighter, which is a minor concern.

I'd personally choose the MBP because I like OSX better. I'm about to get a T420 regular because of UMN, however, and am not all that saddened as it is the one I would choose if I were forced to go Windows.


Thanks for all of your advice. Very helpful. I was leaning toward MBP, and I actually did consider weight an issue because I'm a fairly small person. I thought I read that the Thinkpad was 4 lbs, whereas I know the MBPs more than that so that gave me pause. Battery power's also a good issue to bring up. I saw that the Thinkpad had another battery you could add to extend life, but I'd rather not have to bother. Anyway, I'm officially leaning toward MBP. Now, if only the back to school promo would start...


If you live near an Apple Store (or a Best Buy even), or a university bookstore that has a technology department, go pick up a MacBook and get a feel for the weight.

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geoduck
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby geoduck » Thu Jun 09, 2011 1:03 pm

Naked Dude wrote:As far as battery life goes, I'm getting about 5/5.5 hours after calibrating on the new 15" MBP (medium brightness, automatic graphics switching and all that, mostly just running 20 (seriously) tabs in chrome, adium, sparrow, itunes, twitter and evernote, and word when i need to write something, and. Less if I'm watching a movie/TV show or something like that. Not 7 hours, but no complaints.


That sounds about right, especially with running music and using the actual discrete graphics at times and extensive multi-tasking. I'd take a 7 hour rating (for kid-gloves use) with 5.5 hours of full use over a 5.5 hour rating and 3 hours of full use.

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Dany
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby Dany » Mon Jun 13, 2011 12:33 pm

I always see people complaining about off-center keyboards ITT but I usually ignore it because I'd never used one. I am using one now and wtf... it is so weird and difficult to type on. Do not like!

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Naked Dude
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby Naked Dude » Mon Jun 13, 2011 12:38 pm

Dany wrote:I always see people complaining about off-center keyboards ITT but I usually ignore it because I'd never used one. I am using one now and wtf... it is so weird and difficult to type on. Do not like!


I'm glad someone agrees! I had half a mind to write to HP and Toshiba and tell them that, while I liked some of their models, I would be buying from someone else for this reason. I for one would be in favor of removing the needless extra row of page up/down, etc on HP's and integrating them into keyboard shortcuts. There are so many extraneous keys that are used so infrequently or that could, with little user confusion or loss of convenience, become a combination of keys as opposed to a standalone key. Really bothers me actually. Very user unfriendly.

23402385985
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby 23402385985 » Mon Jun 13, 2011 2:24 pm

Mac Rumors reporting that the Back to School sale will happen Wednesday (along with the MBA refresh).

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Dany
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby Dany » Mon Jun 13, 2011 3:28 pm

Naked Dude wrote:
Dany wrote:I always see people complaining about off-center keyboards ITT but I usually ignore it because I'd never used one. I am using one now and wtf... it is so weird and difficult to type on. Do not like!

I'm glad someone agrees! I had half a mind to write to HP and Toshiba and tell them that, while I liked some of their models, I would be buying from someone else for this reason. I for one would be in favor of removing the needless extra row of page up/down, etc on HP's and integrating them into keyboard shortcuts. There are so many extraneous keys that are used so infrequently or that could, with little user confusion or loss of convenience, become a combination of keys as opposed to a standalone key. Really bothers me actually. Very user unfriendly.

Yep, this is a Toshiba. I would never buy one solely for this reason.

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kazu
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby kazu » Mon Jun 13, 2011 4:04 pm

Does anyone have any suggestions on external keyboards, ergonomic mouses etc? Until now I've always just made do with the laptop keyboard & mousepad, but I've noticed during the past year that my hands/wrists seem to cramp up more quickly when I'm on the computer for a long-ish period of time, so I figure I'm going to need to buy these things for law school... but I have no clue where to start looking.

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ResolutePear
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby ResolutePear » Mon Jun 13, 2011 4:09 pm

kazu wrote:Does anyone have any suggestions on external keyboards, ergonomic mouses etc? Until now I've always just made do with the laptop keyboard & mousepad, but I've noticed during the past year that my hands/wrists seem to cramp up more quickly when I'm on the computer for a long-ish period of time, so I figure I'm going to need to buy these things for law school... but I have no clue where to start looking.


daskeyboard, regular if you don't mind noise.. silent if you do + logitech G9x.

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bk1
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby bk1 » Mon Jun 13, 2011 4:12 pm

kazu wrote:Does anyone have any suggestions on external keyboards, ergonomic mouses etc? Until now I've always just made do with the laptop keyboard & mousepad, but I've noticed during the past year that my hands/wrists seem to cramp up more quickly when I'm on the computer for a long-ish period of time, so I figure I'm going to need to buy these things for law school... but I have no clue where to start looking.


I'm a big fan of the old Microsoft ergo keyboards, mainly because the split in the middle was much larger than the current ergo keyboards. This is the one I'm talking about: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002VR ... P8JDE9NWKM I've been using this model since I was a kid and absolutely have loved it. Only recently have I started to use a regular keyboard because I felt I was going to be using a laptop keyboard anyways so I may as well be used to it when I'm on my desktop.

My father has been using the newer Microsoft one and keeps recommending it to me, he loves the mouse, but I'm not really a fan. http://www.amazon.com/Microsoft-Natural ... 800&sr=1-4 for the wireless M/KB combo or you can go cheaper and get just the wired keyboard: http://www.amazon.com/Microsoft-Natural ... 800&sr=1-1

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beach_terror
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby beach_terror » Mon Jun 13, 2011 4:15 pm

ResolutePear wrote:
kazu wrote:Does anyone have any suggestions on external keyboards, ergonomic mouses etc? Until now I've always just made do with the laptop keyboard & mousepad, but I've noticed during the past year that my hands/wrists seem to cramp up more quickly when I'm on the computer for a long-ish period of time, so I figure I'm going to need to buy these things for law school... but I have no clue where to start looking.


daskeyboard, regular if you don't mind noise.. silent if you do + logitech G9x.

G9x is a fucking mini mouse. Be a man, get a 518.

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ResolutePear
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby ResolutePear » Mon Jun 13, 2011 4:15 pm

bk1 wrote:
kazu wrote:Does anyone have any suggestions on external keyboards, ergonomic mouses etc? Until now I've always just made do with the laptop keyboard & mousepad, but I've noticed during the past year that my hands/wrists seem to cramp up more quickly when I'm on the computer for a long-ish period of time, so I figure I'm going to need to buy these things for law school... but I have no clue where to start looking.


I'm a big fan of the old Microsoft ergo keyboards, mainly because the split in the middle was much larger than the current ergo keyboards. This is the one I'm talking about: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002VR ... P8JDE9NWKM

My father has been using the newer Microsoft one and keeps recommending it to me, he loves the mouse, but I'm not really a fan. http://www.amazon.com/Microsoft-Natural ... 800&sr=1-4 for the wireless M/KB combo or you can go cheaper and get just the wired keyboard: http://www.amazon.com/Microsoft-Natural ... 800&sr=1-1


I think you have to look for equipment made for hardcore computer users(gaming, data entry, programming, etc.) because those are the people that will fatigue first before any normal computer users.

Also, switch keys are horrible when you need to type 20 pages. Quiet, though.

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bk1
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby bk1 » Mon Jun 13, 2011 4:17 pm

ResolutePear wrote:I think you have to look for equipment made for hardcore computer users(gaming, data entry, programming, etc.) because those are the people that will fatigue first before any normal computer users.

Also, switch keys are horrible when you need to type 20 pages. Quiet, though.


Gamers don't use a keyboard normally though so that is a moot point. And, in my experience, programmers tend to just use normal keyboards and be just fine spending lots of time on it. Ergo keyboards are fairly niche.

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ResolutePear
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby ResolutePear » Mon Jun 13, 2011 4:18 pm

beach_terror wrote:
ResolutePear wrote:
kazu wrote:Does anyone have any suggestions on external keyboards, ergonomic mouses etc? Until now I've always just made do with the laptop keyboard & mousepad, but I've noticed during the past year that my hands/wrists seem to cramp up more quickly when I'm on the computer for a long-ish period of time, so I figure I'm going to need to buy these things for law school... but I have no clue where to start looking.


daskeyboard, regular if you don't mind noise.. silent if you do + logitech G9x.

G9x is a fucking mini mouse. Be a man, get a 518.


It's a regular sized mouse. I use the monster grip on it, too.

Besides, the 518 doesn't have weights. Makes a huge difference :lol:

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ResolutePear
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby ResolutePear » Mon Jun 13, 2011 4:19 pm

bk1 wrote:
ResolutePear wrote:I think you have to look for equipment made for hardcore computer users(gaming, data entry, programming, etc.) because those are the people that will fatigue first before any normal computer users.

Also, switch keys are horrible when you need to type 20 pages. Quiet, though.


Gamers don't use a keyboard normally though so that is a moot point. And, in my experience, programmers tend to just use normal keyboards and be just fine spending lots of time on it. Ergo keyboards are fairly niche.


I put data entry in there to wipe out all arguments against it. lulz.

Also, maybe FPS people don't use the keyboards the same way.. but RPG players do. They type books worth of chat on it.

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beach_terror
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby beach_terror » Mon Jun 13, 2011 4:24 pm

ResolutePear wrote:
beach_terror wrote:
ResolutePear wrote:
kazu wrote:Does anyone have any suggestions on external keyboards, ergonomic mouses etc? Until now I've always just made do with the laptop keyboard & mousepad, but I've noticed during the past year that my hands/wrists seem to cramp up more quickly when I'm on the computer for a long-ish period of time, so I figure I'm going to need to buy these things for law school... but I have no clue where to start looking.


daskeyboard, regular if you don't mind noise.. silent if you do + logitech G9x.

G9x is a fucking mini mouse. Be a man, get a 518.


It's a regular sized mouse. I use the monster grip on it, too.

Besides, the 518 doesn't have weights. Makes a huge difference :lol:

Weights are overrated. MX510 and MX518 are whats up. Also, a few Razer mice are pretty on point. I like my DeathAdder, but they're nothing compared to the OG Logitech gaming mice. Razer keyboards, on the other hand, are fucking great.

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ResolutePear
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby ResolutePear » Mon Jun 13, 2011 4:26 pm

beach_terror wrote:
ResolutePear wrote:
beach_terror wrote:
ResolutePear wrote:
daskeyboard, regular if you don't mind noise.. silent if you do + logitech G9x.

G9x is a fucking mini mouse. Be a man, get a 518.


It's a regular sized mouse. I use the monster grip on it, too.

Besides, the 518 doesn't have weights. Makes a huge difference :lol:

Weights are overrated. MX510 and MX518 are whats up. Also, a few Razer mice are pretty on point. I like my DeathAdder, but they're nothing compared to the OG Logitech gaming mice. Razer keyboards, on the other hand, are fucking great.


Personally, I like to feel like not dragging a fluffy cloud across my desk.

Instead, dragging DEATH across my desk is cool.

True story.

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beach_terror
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby beach_terror » Mon Jun 13, 2011 4:27 pm

ResolutePear wrote:
Personally, I like to feel like not dragging a fluffy cloud across my desk.

Instead, dragging DEATH across my desk is cool.

True story.

But clouds are funner than DEATH. And easier to aim. 8)

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crysmissmichelle
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby crysmissmichelle » Mon Jun 13, 2011 7:46 pm

Okay, I know that there is a different debate going on, lol, but can I get an opinion on a configuration/price??

Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E420

6GB/500GB
i5 Processor
Windows 7 Professional (my school requests it)
Microsoft Office 2010
3yr On-site Warranty (not including accidental drop/water damage)
Bluetooth included

$915 after all discounts.

ColomboHeat
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby ColomboHeat » Mon Jun 13, 2011 9:17 pm

that price seems extremely high. just by searching for "Thinkpad E420" in google I see various deals and posted prices for hundreds less.

i.e. first result = http://www.mydealspy.com/deals.php?deal=257581 you could argue that yours is a little more optioned-out, but it seems like you are getting robbed for the options you chose.

where are you looking at buying from?




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