Buying a new computer for law school--mac or no?

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.

Is a mac worth it?

A mac is worth it
78
56%
A mac is not worth it
61
44%
 
Total votes: 139

Geneva
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Buying a new computer for law school--mac or no?

Postby Geneva » Sat May 05, 2012 6:41 pm

I need to buy a new computer for law school and I am the opposite of tech savvy--do you think getting a mac book is worth it (mainly for the lightness and increased protection against viruses)? I have heard macs are idiot proof, a definite selling point here.

What program would you recommend using to tab stuff, and do you have any recommendations on how to increase my typing speed before school starts? I am a slow typist and heard that this could hurt me on law school exams. Thanks!

fakehunter
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Re: Buying a new computer for law school--mac or no?

Postby fakehunter » Sat May 05, 2012 7:23 pm

I'm a 0L so I can't actually help, but I've asked law students at the school I will be attending this same question and the response was universally - if you want a Mac, get a Mac. I've heard there's a little hassle when downloading the exam software, but nothing that can't be taken care of.

That being said, it probably matters depending on what school you'll be attending, so I would ask current students there because they'd probably know best.

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roaringeagle
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Re: Buying a new computer for law school--mac or no?

Postby roaringeagle » Sat May 05, 2012 7:38 pm

Yo Mavis Beacon is good but it can be buggy-it doesn't always work on widescreens which is fucked up because widescreens are where it's at nowadays . I recommend Typing Instructor Platinum. It is similar to Mavis Beacon but without the error messages.

09042014
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Re: Buying a new computer for law school--mac or no?

Postby 09042014 » Sat May 05, 2012 8:01 pm

For the price no, absolutely not. Windows with the free MS Security Essentials is more than fine.

And nobody who gets into law school is too stupid to use a PC. And you'll have us one for work in corporate america eventually anyway.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6834220899

That ASUS is lighter than a macbookpro 13". The mac has a better processor but the ASus has a better graphics chip. Overall, you aren't going to notice a real difference in word processing, web surfing or anything really.

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cinephile
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Re: Buying a new computer for law school--mac or no?

Postby cinephile » Sat May 05, 2012 8:47 pm

I also use an ASUS. It's worked fine for over 3 years, no issues with viruses or anything else. And I only paid $400 for it.

sequins
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Re: Buying a new computer for law school--mac or no?

Postby sequins » Sat May 05, 2012 8:55 pm

I always find it kinda amusing that for these things the poll votes, (and indeed, seeing what actual law students use) are overwhelmingly for macs, yet the people who actually comment are vehemently against it - usually the same people who advocate using linux or something like that. I recommend a mac - generally the people who are actually very vocal about these issues, especially on an 'online forum' tend to be nerdy/computer enthusiasts which you are probably not. Macs are more expensive yes, but the people who post up a link of 'specs' of bargain basement asus models or even worse tell you to install linux on it just don't get it. For the average person macs are just more user friendly and far better engineered/built. The classic example I use is the android/iphone difference. Android phones can do the same things but...say to take a picture, or check an email - it takes 2-3 more clicks than for an iphone - or a few more seconds of searching just because it is not designed to be as intuitive. This may not seem like much, but it makes a world of difference in actual convenience and user-friendliness.
Mac os is more user friendly, far more reliable and thought out than the Asus models, and more efficient.
They over heat less, break down less often and are just designed better. Case in point - the magsafe charger that pops out if someone trips on the wire - seems like a simple difference - but invaluable if the person next to you squeezes out of their seat in the middle of the final, trips on your cable, and sends your computer flying. There's a reason why in every instance 'once you go mac, you never go back' You can't even just compare hardware specs cuz macs run more smoothly on less, and the actual hardware tends to be higher quality so breaks down a lot less often.

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cinephile
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Re: Buying a new computer for law school--mac or no?

Postby cinephile » Sat May 05, 2012 9:02 pm

Dude, vehemently against? I just prefer to use the $1000 I saved on new clothes rather than a more expensive laptop. And I had a mac as my first laptop in college. It was fine, but really no different than any other laptop. It's just a computer.

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chuckbass
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Re: Buying a new computer for law school--mac or no?

Postby chuckbass » Sat May 05, 2012 9:03 pm

A lot of it comes down to taste, but from experience I would definitely say that a mac is worth the extra few $100. The biggest thing for me that I notice when using other people's laptops is that nothing works better than the mac's trackpad. Literally every other laptop becomes super frustrating to use because no one has come close to replicating the mac's trackpad. Otherwise they look and feel better than pcs, and OSX is more stable.

newbruin45
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Re: Buying a new computer for law school--mac or no?

Postby newbruin45 » Sat May 05, 2012 9:22 pm

If examsoft crashes on a PC you have to reboot the computer and you'll lose at least 5 minutes on your exam (even though they give you paper to hand write ... its not a great situation). On a mac you just need to restart the program, takes more like 1 minute. Also, every time I've seen someone's computer crash during a final it's been a PC. 5 minutes on the exam can be the difference between an A- and a B+ or occasionally a A and a B+ if your professor doesn't give out A-s. That could easily make the difference between biglaw and no job. So yes, a mac is worth it in my opinion.

09042014
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Re: Buying a new computer for law school--mac or no?

Postby 09042014 » Sat May 05, 2012 10:56 pm

sequins wrote:I always find it kinda amusing that for these things the poll votes, (and indeed, seeing what actual law students use) are overwhelmingly for macs, yet the people who actually comment are vehemently against it - usually the same people who advocate using linux or something like that. I recommend a mac - generally the people who are actually very vocal about these issues, especially on an 'online forum' tend to be nerdy/computer enthusiasts which you are probably not. Macs are more expensive yes, but the people who post up a link of 'specs' of bargain basement asus models or even worse tell you to install linux on it just don't get it. For the average person macs are just more user friendly and far better engineered/built. The classic example I use is the android/iphone difference. Android phones can do the same things but...say to take a picture, or check an email - it takes 2-3 more clicks than for an iphone - or a few more seconds of searching just because it is not designed to be as intuitive. This may not seem like much, but it makes a world of difference in actual convenience and user-friendliness.
Mac os is more user friendly, far more reliable and thought out than the Asus models, and more efficient.
They over heat less, break down less often and are just designed better. Case in point - the magsafe charger that pops out if someone trips on the wire - seems like a simple difference - but invaluable if the person next to you squeezes out of their seat in the middle of the final, trips on your cable, and sends your computer flying. There's a reason why in every instance 'once you go mac, you never go back' You can't even just compare hardware specs cuz macs run more smoothly on less, and the actual hardware tends to be higher quality so breaks down a lot less often.


Look at this mac fan boy. What a bitch.

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Systematic1
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Re: Buying a new computer for law school--mac or no?

Postby Systematic1 » Sat May 05, 2012 11:29 pm

Desert Fox wrote:Look at this mac fan boy. What a bitch.

+1

Geneva
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Re: Buying a new computer for law school--mac or no?

Postby Geneva » Sun May 06, 2012 2:34 am

Thanks everyone! Does anyone have advice on how to best improve typing speed before law school? I know this sounds like a ridiculous question, but I can actually write by hand faster than I type and I never learned to type the right way (e.g. my typing in the dark=total disaster, laden with typos). I want to get at least somewhat up to speed before law school starts, and unlearn my bad habits (using the wrong fingers, etc.). Thanks so much!

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dextermorgan
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Re: Buying a new computer for law school--mac or no?

Postby dextermorgan » Sun May 06, 2012 10:29 am

Geneva wrote:Thanks everyone! Does anyone have advice on how to best improve typing speed before law school? I know this sounds like a ridiculous question, but I can actually write by hand faster than I type and I never learned to type the right way (e.g. my typing in the dark=total disaster, laden with typos). I want to get at least somewhat up to speed before law school starts, and unlearn my bad habits (using the wrong fingers, etc.). Thanks so much!

http://www.typeracer.com

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: Buying a new computer for law school--mac or no?

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Sun May 06, 2012 11:25 am

If you're going to get a normal sized, full-featured laptop I don't think Macs are generally worth the price, unless you really prefer using them. You can get a Macbook Pro equivalent PC for much less. If you're looking to get a really slim laptop, though, I think the Macbook Air is still a good bet, relatively speaking. Last I checked, similarly sized and spec'ed PCs were not running much cheaper.

sequins
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Re: Buying a new computer for law school--mac or no?

Postby sequins » Sun May 06, 2012 6:26 pm

dixiecupdrinking wrote:If you're going to get a normal sized, full-featured laptop I don't think Macs are generally worth the price, unless you really prefer using them. You can get a Macbook Pro equivalent PC for much less. If you're looking to get a really slim laptop, though, I think the Macbook Air is still a good bet, relatively speaking. Last I checked, similarly sized and spec'ed PCs were not running much cheaper.


Well what I meant was you can't get a 'macbook pro equivalent pc' for less -> similar size and spec maybe, but the quality of the components, and the actual usage will differ. That's like saying a hyundai and an audi are the same thing since they have similar spec 'v6' engine. The latter will drive smoother, and far more engineering went into it.

You'd have to get business class windows laptops to get the same quality - such as the Thinkpad T-series or W-series and they're pretty much the same price as equivalent macs.

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: Buying a new computer for law school--mac or no?

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Sun May 06, 2012 6:57 pm

sequins wrote:
dixiecupdrinking wrote:If you're going to get a normal sized, full-featured laptop I don't think Macs are generally worth the price, unless you really prefer using them. You can get a Macbook Pro equivalent PC for much less. If you're looking to get a really slim laptop, though, I think the Macbook Air is still a good bet, relatively speaking. Last I checked, similarly sized and spec'ed PCs were not running much cheaper.


Well what I meant was you can't get a 'macbook pro equivalent pc' for less -> similar size and spec maybe, but the quality of the components, and the actual usage will differ. That's like saying a hyundai and an audi are the same thing since they have similar spec 'v6' engine. The latter will drive smoother, and far more engineering went into it.

You'd have to get business class windows laptops to get the same quality - such as the Thinkpad T-series or W-series and they're pretty much the same price as equivalent macs.

Would you advise someone to buy an Audi with their student loan money?

I own a Mac and prefer Apple but for a 1L who is agnostic about the decision, it's probably not worth the extra money unless you are going the ultrathin route.

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soj
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Re: Buying a new computer for law school--mac or no?

Postby soj » Sun May 06, 2012 7:07 pm

If you want tot pay Apple prices for a computer, get a slim Thinkpad. Better computer and lighter than the MB, too.

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kapital98
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Re: Buying a new computer for law school--mac or no?

Postby kapital98 » Sun May 06, 2012 7:36 pm

OneNote is vastly superior to any other note taking software for law school. AND, it's only available on PC.

/thread

DoctorShawHi
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Re: Buying a new computer for law school--mac or no?

Postby DoctorShawHi » Sun May 06, 2012 7:42 pm

cinephile wrote:I also use an ASUS. It's worked fine for over 3 years, no issues with viruses or anything else. And I only paid $400 for it.


We have the same computer!

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Mike12188
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Re: Buying a new computer for law school--mac or no?

Postby Mike12188 » Sun May 06, 2012 7:46 pm

kapital98 wrote:OneNote is vastly superior to any other note taking software for law school. AND, it's only available on PC.

/thread


Parallels/VMWare/Bootcamp
/thread

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Mike12188
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Re: Buying a new computer for law school--mac or no?

Postby Mike12188 » Sun May 06, 2012 7:54 pm

dixiecupdrinking wrote:
I own a Mac and prefer Apple but for a 1L who is agnostic about the decision, it's probably not worth the extra money unless you are going the ultrathin route.


+1
If you aren't downloading sketchy torrents which I assume most people stop when they get to LS, you won't have to worry about viruses which has forced me to completely format harddrives on my PC in the past. I have a Macbook Pro and love it but a middle of the line PC will suffice.

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laxbrah420
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Re: Buying a new computer for law school--mac or no?

Postby laxbrah420 » Sun May 06, 2012 7:56 pm

Mike12188 wrote:
dixiecupdrinking wrote:
I own a Mac and prefer Apple but for a 1L who is agnostic about the decision, it's probably not worth the extra money unless you are going the ultrathin route.


+1
If you aren't downloading sketchy torrents which I assume most people stop when they get to LS, you won't have to worry about viruses which has forced me to completely format harddrives on my PC in the past. I have a Macbook Pro and love it but a middle of the line PC will suffice.

Mike12188 wrote:
kapital98 wrote:OneNote is vastly superior to any other note taking software for law school. AND, it's only available on PC.

/thread


Parallels/VMWare/Bootcamp
/thread

If you think that formatting a harddrive is a big deal and running vmware is acceptable, why not just run windows on your pc in a VM sandbox?

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Mike12188
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Re: Buying a new computer for law school--mac or no?

Postby Mike12188 » Sun May 06, 2012 8:08 pm

laxbrah420 wrote:If you think that formatting a harddrive is a big deal and running vmware is acceptable, why not just run windows on your pc in a VM sandbox?


I've actually never used vmware and have no idea what you're talking about :lol:. I was just pointing out that OneNote is not only able to run on a PC and bootcamp/parallels are very simple and easy to run. I'm pretty indifferent to either OS, got a mac a few years ago because I was sick of viruses for obvious reasons. But like I said if you're not downloading shady link there really isn't that much of a threat.

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laxbrah420
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Re: Buying a new computer for law school--mac or no?

Postby laxbrah420 » Sun May 06, 2012 8:13 pm

Mike12188 wrote:
laxbrah420 wrote:If you think that formatting a harddrive is a big deal and running vmware is acceptable, why not just run windows on your pc in a VM sandbox?


I've actually never used vmware and have no idea what you're talking about :lol:. I was just pointing out that OneNote is not only able to run on a PC and bootcamp/parallels are very simple and easy to run. I'm pretty indifferent to either OS, got a mac a few years ago because I was sick of viruses for obvious reasons. But like I said if you're not downloading shady link there really isn't that much of a threat.

instead of downloading shit to your actual computer, you can do shady shit in a virtual machine. setup a base image (w/ your favorite browser, vlc, java, reader etc..) and if it gets slow because it's bogged down with viruses, delete that shiz and just go back to the base image.

presidentk1
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Re: Buying a new computer for law school--mac or no?

Postby presidentk1 » Sun May 06, 2012 8:43 pm

macs are totally overpriced and not only is there no benefit to using one but there are actually many disadvantages.

some of these disadvantages are general computing issues, others are law-student specific, such as with exam4

the mac version of exam4 lacks some of the features available on the windows version

I would highly suggest you look into getting a lenovo, and buy one after they release their products with the new ivy bridge chips from intel
besides the fact that lenovo's prices are cheaper from the start, they give students BIG discounts and you can even negotiate the price lower after all that

take this for example:

macbook pro vs. lenovo w520

for $2200+tax you get the mac with a 2720qm i7 processor, 4gb of ram, 1440x900 display,

for $1100, i got the lenovo with a 2760qm processor, 16gb of ram, and a fullHD 1920x1080 display, i was even able to use some of my WHOPPING $1100 IN SAVINGS to buy a solid state drive (SSD), which solves one of the biggest computer bottlenecks.

there is nothing to justify paying literally DOUBLE for a mac that has worse components and isnt even fully compatible with the software you may have to use in law school




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