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Author Topic: The Law School Laptop  (Read 35899 times)

Pearl

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Re: The Law School Laptop
« Reply #200 on: February 21, 2008, 06:03:50 PM »
My MacBook was just delivered yesterday... and I LOVE IT! 

For the record $1,499 (no shipping, no sales tax) at amazon.com.  That made is cheaper than using my student discount.  I got the black one :)

I took it and had the invisibleShield put on it too. It looks good. 

What's that?

orangegrl911

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Re: The Law School Laptop
« Reply #201 on: February 21, 2008, 07:06:20 PM »
i havent looked at the past messages, so this might be redundant...

but i happen to work for the Information Technology department at UCLA Law right now, and MACs aren't really compatible with their exam software (ExamSoft), and if you have a MAC you should download BootCamp so you have dual OS's.  The IT dept. here also really are unable to assist students with MACs because we are on a Microsoft server and trained accordingly.  I agree, MACs are amazing - great battery life, faster, more safe from viruses, etc (btw i really want the MacBook Air!) but I would contact the IT department of the prospective law school you will be attending and ask them about what they suggest. The IT department at your law school can help you a lot with computer problems and it's helpful to know what they think you should get. :)

It is never a good sign when a tech worker begins calling Apple computers MACs. Jesus. Maybe if your department realized they weren't dealing with a Media Access Control (MAC) address then they might be able to help the students.


yeah that's exactly why we can't help students, because i capitalized a few extra letters. good one.

Ender Wiggin

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Re: The Law School Laptop
« Reply #202 on: February 21, 2008, 08:10:36 PM »
Would anyone like  to Opine on whether the Asus eee + a desktop would fit a law students needs?

I'm not familiar with the Asus eee, but I just googled it and it looks like it does run Windows.  Is that right?  If so, I'd suggest you steer clear of it.  Most law school exams are done on laptops using special testing software that ONLY works on Windows computers (and sometimes OS X or dual-booting Macs).  If this were the case at your school, you'd either have to rent/borrow a strange computer for your exams, or handwrite them.  Which would suck.

Did you mean to say doesn't run Windows?

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Majmun

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Re: The Law School Laptop
« Reply #203 on: February 22, 2008, 09:05:18 AM »
Would anyone like  to Opine on whether the Asus eee + a desktop would fit a law students needs?

I'm not familiar with the Asus eee, but I just googled it and it looks like it does run Windows.  Is that right?  If so, I'd suggest you steer clear of it.  Most law school exams are done on laptops using special testing software that ONLY works on Windows computers (and sometimes OS X or dual-booting Macs).  If this were the case at your school, you'd either have to rent/borrow a strange computer for your exams, or handwrite them.  Which would suck.

Did you mean to say doesn't run Windows?


yeah that's what he meant, it's linux based.   They did just release a version that runs Windows XP

Majmun

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Re: The Law School Laptop
« Reply #204 on: February 22, 2008, 09:12:37 AM »
My MacBook was just delivered yesterday... and I LOVE IT! 

For the record $1,499 (no shipping, no sales tax) at amazon.com.  That made is cheaper than using my student discount.  I got the black one :)

I took it and had the invisibleShield put on it too. It looks good. 

What's that?


It's a polyurethane film that prevents scratching of electronics with screens.  It's mostly out west right now from what I gather. 

Vicki11NYR

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Re: The Law School Laptop
« Reply #205 on: February 22, 2008, 09:18:43 AM »
There was an article on AOL News today about the best laptops under $500.00, and I figured I share it with everyone:

http://www.switched.com/2008/02/19/laptops-under-500/

Granted, I would recommend spending more, but for those on a tight budget, I hope it might be helpful (and maybe some you who are more computer savvy can let the rest of us know if these are even worth considering).
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alexb240

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Re: The Law School Laptop
« Reply #206 on: February 22, 2008, 09:53:46 AM »
I'm also doing some research on a laptop for law school (I don't think my 5 yr old Compaq Presario 2100 is going to make it!) and thought I'd offer my thoughts.

From what I read in skimming the previous twenty pages, a lot of people are praising the Lenovo Thinkpad. I asked a friend of mine who works in IT support for a law school, and she had an interesting take. She feels that the Thinkpad has gone downhill since Lenovo split with IBM -- the parts are not of exceptional quality anymore. According to her, IT forums and mailing lists now have a lot of posts about students bringing in Lenovos with weird problems. She couldn't get more specific then that, but I thought it was an interesting take. Indeed, if you browse "Lenovo Reviews" on Google you'll find that they're surprisingly mixed (in my opinion) for a brand that's supposed to have a niche market and be excellent at what it does. Now, this obviously doesn't prove anything, but I think it's interesting food for thought. She made sure to stress that if I went with a Lenovo I'd probably be okay, but that she thinks the company's rep is... perhaps a bit inflated.

Interestingly, she also had positive things to say about Dell. If Lenovo's reputation is a bit better than she feels their products merit, then she thinks Dell's is worse than it deserves (again, this is all according to one person). She said that over the past few years Dell has greatly improved its notebook components' quality. She also said something that I thought was very interesting -- she had extremely high regard for Dell customer support. Even though it can be frustrating to talk to someone reading off a script, Dell warranties cover a broader range of possible computer mishaps than any other comparable warranty. According to her, if you spill something on your Dell, you're likely to be able to get necessary replacements/repairs (if you have complete care), whereas Apple (again, according to her) is unlikely to cover something like that with the Macbook. She had specifically high praise for the Latitude, and said she would try and find out more about what people are saying about the XPS M1330. When I googled for XPS reviews, they also came back mixed, but she noted that that may be in part because so many people buy Dells.

She also had really high praise for Macbook, which is what she herself uses. She said there are really only two big sticking points against a law school Mac. The first is that it might prove difficult or complicated to get Macs to run Examsoft or to do certain network things like wireless printing or VPN. The second is that most LS IT people know much, much more about PCs and are thus more likely to be able to help with a PC notebook problem. She said that I should inquire at the school about Mac support and the like, as it will dramatically vary. She also greatly preferred the Macbook over the Air, because the Macbook has a CD drive, ethernet port, more USB ports, more Firewire ports, etc -- and she said the difference in weight is not that tremendous.

So, I thought I'd share all this with you guys. To my immense frustration, it seems as though each notebook I've been looking at has both its adherents and its detractors. This is all just one person's opinion, so you can obviously take it or leave it. Right now I'm probably leaning toward a Macbook, but I am going to inquire further at various ASWs or through email.

CLS2009Student

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Re: The Law School Laptop
« Reply #207 on: February 22, 2008, 10:02:58 AM »
I'm also doing some research on a laptop for law school (I don't think my 5 yr old Compaq Presario 2100 is going to make it!) and thought I'd offer my thoughts.

From what I read in skimming the previous twenty pages, a lot of people are praising the Lenovo Thinkpad. I asked a friend of mine who works in IT support for a law school, and she had an interesting take. She feels that the Thinkpad has gone downhill since Lenovo split with IBM -- the parts are not of exceptional quality anymore. According to her, IT forums and mailing lists now have a lot of posts about students bringing in Lenovos with weird problems. She couldn't get more specific then that, but I thought it was an interesting take. Indeed, if you browse "Lenovo Reviews" on Google you'll find that they're surprisingly mixed (in my opinion) for a brand that's supposed to have a niche market and be excellent at what it does. Now, this obviously doesn't prove anything, but I think it's interesting food for thought. She made sure to stress that if I went with a Lenovo I'd probably be okay, but that she thinks the company's rep is... perhaps a bit inflated.

Interestingly, she also had positive things to say about Dell. If Lenovo's reputation is a bit better than she feels their products merit, then she thinks Dell's is worse than it deserves (again, this is all according to one person). She said that over the past few years Dell has greatly improved its notebook components' quality. She also said something that I thought was very interesting -- she had extremely high regard for Dell customer support. Even though it can be frustrating to talk to someone reading off a script, Dell warranties cover a broader range of possible computer mishaps than any other comparable warranty. According to her, if you spill something on your Dell, you're likely to be able to get necessary replacements/repairs (if you have complete care), whereas Apple (again, according to her) is unlikely to cover something like that with the Macbook. She had specifically high praise for the Latitude, and said she would try and find out more about what people are saying about the XPS M1330. When I googled for XPS reviews, they also came back mixed, but she noted that that may be in part because so many people buy Dells.

She also had really high praise for Macbook, which is what she herself uses. She said there are really only two big sticking points against a law school Mac. The first is that it might prove difficult or complicated to get Macs to run Examsoft or to do certain network things like wireless printing or VPN. The second is that most LS IT people know much, much more about PCs and are thus more likely to be able to help with a PC notebook problem. She said that I should inquire at the school about Mac support and the like, as it will dramatically vary. She also greatly preferred the Macbook over the Air, because the Macbook has a CD drive, ethernet port, more USB ports, more Firewire ports, etc -- and she said the difference in weight is not that tremendous.

So, I thought I'd share all this with you guys. To my immense frustration, it seems as though each notebook I've been looking at has both its adherents and its detractors. This is all just one person's opinion, so you can obviously take it or leave it. Right now I'm probably leaning toward a Macbook, but I am going to inquire further at various ASWs or through email.

Thanks for sharing!  I'm going to have to disagree with your IT friend a bit.

When purchasing a Lenovo, I think you need to distinguish between the Lenovo 3000 series or whatever and the Thinkpad series.  I think the Thinkpads are great.  Most importantly, they are very durable and tend not to have hardware problems as often.  Many of my lawschool friends use them and they are all pleased.

As for Dell, I think they suck terribly.  I paid a LOT of extra money for their most upgraded warranty.  As you mention, this one in theory covers spills and stuff.  (I have yet to test this theory.)  But the computer has been of incredibly poor quality and components have broken multiples times.  Every single time I've called tech support, they've happily agreed to fix it after taking me through the script and then agreed to send a tech out.  (I paid extra for on-site, next-day service.)  The problem is that the tech NEVER comes the next day or even the day after.  They've not once met their service commitment.  When the tech does come, he fixes the original problem but then creates two more.  I'm talking some seriously stupid things, like forgetting to reconnect the ethernet card to the motherboard or putting screws in the wrong holes.  I know other people who haven't had serious problems with Dell, but I'd still steer clear.

alexb240

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Re: The Law School Laptop
« Reply #208 on: February 22, 2008, 10:15:27 AM »
Hmm. Yeah, I'm very skeptical about the Dell and I don't think that's an option that I'll be seriously considering unless I hear a lot of good things soon. It seems as though Dell is hit or miss, and when they miss it's really, really bad.

As for the Lenovo, she was referring to the Thinkpad -- specifically the X and T series. She's going to talk to her supervisor today to see what he thinks about Thinkpads. As I mentioned, she didn't urge me off of them per se; she simply noted that she's seen more problems with them since Lenovo split with IBM. She also noted that Tablet notebooks (of any brand, but including Lenovo's) seem to have far more problems than any other type or brand of notebook.

As I said, for the moment I'm leaning towards a Macbook. I've never used Mac, but I don't think the transition will be too bad and the schools I'm most interested in seem to have good Mac support. But it's something to ask around about via email or at ASWs.

ManTGeo

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Re: The Law School Laptop
« Reply #209 on: February 22, 2008, 10:17:42 AM »
As for Dell, I think they suck terribly.  I paid a LOT of extra money for their most upgraded warranty.  As you mention, this one in theory covers spills and stuff.  (I have yet to test this theory.)  But the computer has been of incredibly poor quality and components have broken multiples times.  Every single time I've called tech support, they've happily agreed to fix it after taking me through the script and then agreed to send a tech out.  (I paid extra for on-site, next-day service.)  The problem is that the tech NEVER comes the next day or even the day after.  They've not once met their service commitment.  When the tech does come, he fixes the original problem but then creates two more.  I'm talking some seriously stupid things, like forgetting to reconnect the ethernet card to the motherboard or putting screws in the wrong holes.  I know other people who haven't had serious problems with Dell, but I'd still steer clear.

+1

A fancy warranty is only as good as the company providing it.