sundance95 wrote:Can I get a TL;DR version of what the consensus is re best laptop PCs for law school? I know there are threads on the topic but given the fast rate of change in the laptop market I'm interested in the latest perspective.
Depends largely on what is important to you.
On the bright side, a lot of the basic stuff is getting easier. As the process of general technical improvement has raised the entry level quite a bit over the last few years.
- Processor speed - not a big factor, most apps you will use are not processor intensive
- RAM - if you like to run many apps at once, RAM shortages can be a nuisance (4GB should help avoid this for most)
- Storage space - used to be a big factor, but the dropping cost have brought more space to most systems
- Screen - size, resolution, quality, take a look see what you like
- Battery life - If you plan to spend most of your time next to power sources, it may not matter, if you like to set up shop on the fly then it could well be worth while to splurge for a system stronger in this area
- ergonomics - Pay attention to how the keyboard feels as you pound out a few pages, this is a factory that many overlook
- design/fit and finish - this is something that matters to me. I have a strong dislike for pop out CD trays, rough edges on the outside edges of a system that can get caught going into or out of a bag
- OS - Mostly a personal preference, make sure your choice meets requirements that you have (for most law schools this means Windows or Mac). I prefer Mac or Linux for my systems (I am a big command line geek, and I do not care for the default windows shell)
Any time that you are considering getting a new system, it is a good time to stop and think about your backup your strategy. Even the best system has the chance of failing, but you will likely find such a process much less stressful if you have a means of recovering a recent set of your working documents.
size - personal preference, for laptops I prefer smaller systems. I travel frequently and space is a limiting factor, I am using a 12" laptop, although I am jealous of the 11" MacBook Air, primarily because of the TSA not requiring these laptops to be removed from your bag when going through security.