Help Me Decide On A Laptop

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JoeMo
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Help Me Decide On A Laptop

Postby JoeMo » Sun Apr 22, 2012 11:22 pm

First, I'd like to say that I'm fully behind the idea of stickying a laptop thread. I just spent time looking for one because I knew I'd seen them recently and couldn't find any of the large threads except for the one-offs people have created asking for advice. The search function brings back the old stuff like from 2009.

Now, I'm a Mac owner and really never saw myself having anything but a Mac. However, I'm highly considering buying this laptop Toshiba Ultrabook

The biggest reason is that it's obviously cheaper. I also am in desperate need of a better laptop. Plus I always find that sometimes it can get annoying when you have to work in groups if one person is using a Mac because the formatting changes subtly when converting documents from Mac to Windows. Also, I really think I want to use OneNote and that's obviously not available on Mac. I tried something similar for Mac recently but it doesn't seem to work as well or be as intuitive.

The reviews seem ok except for the fact that the processor is i3. I suspect that other than browsing and schoolwork research and writing papers and such I won't be using it for anything else. Would you recommend this, why or why not?

Thanks in advance.

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LawyerBrah
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Re: Help Me Decide On A Laptop

Postby LawyerBrah » Sun Apr 22, 2012 11:43 pm

Personally, I would just buy a macbook. I recently made the switch from Windows to MAC and i've been very pleased. I've had toshiba before and wasn't really happy with their quality or support. Had a lot of problems with them. If you do decide to get a Windows laptop i'd probably get a dell or an ASUS.

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breadbucket
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Re: Help Me Decide On A Laptop

Postby breadbucket » Sun Apr 22, 2012 11:46 pm

LawyerBrah wrote:If you do decide to get a Windows laptop i'd probably get a dell or an ASUS.

Excellent117
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Re: Help Me Decide On A Laptop

Postby Excellent117 » Mon Apr 23, 2012 12:15 am

I love my ASUS Zenbook, I highly recommend it

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JCFindley
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Re: Help Me Decide On A Laptop

Postby JCFindley » Mon Apr 23, 2012 12:18 am

breadbucket wrote:
LawyerBrah wrote:If you do decide to get a Windows laptop i'd probably get a dell or an ASUS.


Gotta agree with this. IMHO the Asus is the best laptop going right now.

To be honest, for writing papers, using power point and surfing the net the one you are looking at should work fine as well. Actually, I have one of those mini's for that and it works very well for those uses. If you are going to game or edit images or something else then you need a lot more power.....

Artistry
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Re: Help Me Decide On A Laptop

Postby Artistry » Mon Apr 23, 2012 12:59 am

Toshiba's are fragile pieces of crap. They will literally break down on you after 2-3 years, if not sooner.

Not worth the money, imho. You can do better elsewhere.

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MrSparkle
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Re: Help Me Decide On A Laptop

Postby MrSparkle » Mon Apr 23, 2012 1:06 am

Cheap laptops tend to be just that: cheap. Toshiba doesn't have a good reliability reputation, same for Dell. Asus I personally had one that came defective, though I hear that is the exception rather than the rule, and it's probably the best budget laptop now.

Business class notebooks are way better than these "consumer" class notebooks. Thus the reason why Apple (used to) have macbook and macbook "pro." Materials and build-quality are better. Go with business class, you'll be much happier even though the price is higher. Dell and HP both have business class laptops that are probably $1000+, but for various reasons, I don't like them.

For PC, I highly recommend Lenovo Thinkpads. Thinkpads used to be made by IBM, but they sold their computer division to Chinese company Lenovo. These were the only laptops certified for use in space (you know, in case you start rocketing off mid-exam session). However, the quality doesn't seem to have dropped. The keyboard is extremely reliable and not too springy or cheap-feeling. The components tend to be top-notch, not re-branded cheap components like Dell does. Thinkpads AFAIK all come with sealed spill-resistent keyboards (drains out the bottom) and with the smaller models, the battery lasts forever (When my X201 was new 1.5 years ago, I'd get 7-8 hours with wifi on, 14/15 screen brightness). Lenovo has periodic discounts, you can get one for ~$1000.

Now, the debate between Windows vs. OSX is a whole other story...law schools seem to be becoming more Apple-friendly (in terms of the exam software AFAIK) so it probably doesn't matter.

P.S. As far as my experience goes, I used to work IT for a 500-client department, and we used a mix of Dell and Lenovo laptops.

Artistry
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Re: Help Me Decide On A Laptop

Postby Artistry » Mon Apr 23, 2012 1:14 am

MrSparkle wrote:Cheap laptops tend to be just that: cheap. Toshiba doesn't have a good reliability reputation, same for Dell. Asus I personally had one that came defective, though I hear that is the exception rather than the rule, and it's probably the best budget laptop now.

Business class notebooks are way better than these "consumer" class notebooks. Thus the reason why Apple (used to) have macbook and macbook "pro." Materials and build-quality are better. Go with business class, you'll be much happier even though the price is higher. Dell and HP both have business class laptops that are probably $1000+, but for various reasons, I don't like them.

For PC, I highly recommend Lenovo Thinkpads. Thinkpads used to be made by IBM, but they sold their computer division to Chinese company Lenovo. These were the only laptops certified for use in space (you know, in case you start rocketing off mid-exam session). However, the quality doesn't seem to have dropped. The keyboard is extremely reliable and not too springy or cheap-feeling. The components tend to be top-notch, not re-branded cheap components like Dell does. Thinkpads AFAIK all come with sealed spill-resistent keyboards (drains out the bottom) and with the smaller models, the battery lasts forever (When my X201 was new 1.5 years ago, I'd get 7-8 hours with wifi on, 14/15 screen brightness). Lenovo has periodic discounts, you can get one for ~$1000.

Now, the debate between Windows vs. OSX is a whole other story...law schools seem to be becoming more Apple-friendly (in terms of the exam software AFAIK) so it probably doesn't matter.

Lenovo Thinkpad = good
Panasonic toughbook = great (they can take pretty much any abuse, and are extremely durable; too bad they're expensive...)

Also, you need not choose windows or OSX; use Linux/BSD. :)

I must note that I've not had any trouble with dell's in the past, but Lenovo Thinkpads/Panasonic Toughbooks are well known for their durability. Over their lifetime (so long as you take care of them), they're worth the investment.

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MrSparkle
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Re: Help Me Decide On A Laptop

Postby MrSparkle » Mon Apr 23, 2012 3:37 am

If Toughbooks weren't like 2+ grand I'd have thought about getting one haha.

Note about *nix, the exam software used in many law schools only runs on Windows and I believe more recently OSX (anyone confirm?).

This exam software AFAIK does NOT work in a simulated or virtualized environment, i.e. you can't use WINE/Virtualbox/Parallels/whatev. The exam software apparently detects this and refuses to run b/c of obvious exam security reasons.

So at the very least you'll have to dual-boot.

Artistry
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Re: Help Me Decide On A Laptop

Postby Artistry » Mon Apr 23, 2012 3:49 am

MrSparkle wrote:If Toughbooks weren't like 2+ grand I'd have thought about getting one haha.

Note about *nix, the exam software used in many law schools only runs on Windows and I believe more recently OSX (anyone confirm?).

This exam software AFAIK does NOT work in a simulated or virtualized environment, i.e. you can't use WINE/Virtualbox/Parallels/whatev. The exam software apparently detects this and refuses to run b/c of obvious exam security reasons.

So at the very least you'll have to dual-boot.

If a person partitions his hard drive to give, say, 50 GB to the linux partition, he should be in good shape. Most hard drives are some 400 GB minimum these days, so 50 GB isn't all that much in the greater scheme of things.

You can use Windows for specific software (test software, games, etc.) and then use linux to browse the web and type up notes/documents. That's how I've always done things while in undergrad; it's worked well for me.

As for me, I'm using a T43 IBM thinkpad and dual booting between XP and Debian at will. It's proven quite versatile for my purposes, even though the machine is roughly 10 years old (and on the verge of breaking down; I had to replace the heatsink/fan because it broke a few months ago). Because of this, I've no reason to believe that it can't work for other people, too.

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vpintz
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Re: Help Me Decide On A Laptop

Postby vpintz » Mon Apr 23, 2012 8:47 am

MrSparkle wrote:Note about *nix, the exam software used in many law schools only runs on Windows and I believe more recently OSX (anyone confirm?).

My lawl school's exam software does run on OSX. Just thought I'd pop in to say that.

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JoeMo
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Re: Help Me Decide On A Laptop

Postby JoeMo » Mon Apr 23, 2012 8:48 am

Thanks for the tips! I really appreciate it.




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