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Author Topic: Best Laptop for Law School?  (Read 29936 times)

bruin

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Re: Best Laptop for Law School?
« Reply #140 on: May 05, 2005, 07:49:50 PM »
MAC POWERBOOK!

Is it true that you can't use Macs at a lot of law schools?  I heard something about an exam software that requires a PC... does anyone know anything?

Well, I know that it's actually encouraged in PITT...they even have a special Pitt discount at the Apple store!

Apple does that for all Colleges/Universities.
Attending UVa
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http://www.lawschoolnumbers.com/display.php?cycle=0405&user=bruin04
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jomolungma

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Re: Best Laptop for Law School?
« Reply #141 on: May 05, 2005, 09:02:43 PM »
After weeks of thinking about this, I think I'm on the verge of getting a ThinkPad X41.  I realize it doesn't come with an optical drive and the screen is smallish, but this is what I figure - for the cost of a decent T42/43 I can get an X41 with the X4 base and optical drive.  The combined weight is still less than the T-series.  While in class do I really need a larger screen than 12"?  I don't think so.  The keyboard is 97% size of the T-series and with the X4 dock, when I'm home I'll just plug in a nice flat panel and a good keyboard/mouse combo so that I can work in comfort.  My transport weight to class everyday will be very low and how often do I need an optical drive in class?  If I do, for some reason, I'll have the X4 I can turn to, or buy a powered USB combo drive.

My only reservation right now is that if I bring the computer to the library, where I don't have the convenience of plugging in to a flat panel and keyboard, will I enjoy using it or be frustrated and/or physically pained to use it.  I'm still thinking about that one, but with everything on the web these days I can foresee my library time being minimal versus the amount of time I would spend in my home office doing school work.  Any one have input on library time versus home study time?  How much time are folks spending in the library these days?

A.

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Re: Best Laptop for Law School?
« Reply #142 on: May 05, 2005, 09:13:18 PM »
I placed my order for an IBM X41 (just released a few weeks ago) a couple of days ago:

1.5 ghz processor

40 GB HD

512 MB RAM

fingerprint reader (just sounds cool)

all the standard stuff

Price: about $1800 with my university's discount

Bought separately:

IBM USB multiburner drive (very small and slim, but pricey: $350 with my student discount) (http://www-131.ibm.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?catalogId=-840&langId=-1&partNumber=22P9163&storeId=10000001)

512 MB RAM (about $100 from crucial.com)

19" Dell LCD monitor ($300 with coupon)

(http://reviews.cnet.com/Dell_UltraSharp_1905FP/4505-3174_7-31232074.html?tag=topprods)

There are a number of small improvements in the X41 over the X40, with not much of a difference in price with the same system configurations. I initially wanted a 60 GB HD, but decided to go with the 40 because the DVD burner would allow me to store lots of unused files. I originally configured the computer last week, when IBM still owned the division. Lenovo apparently took over this week, and some things changed. Notably, you cannot have more than 512 MB RAM factory installed.

For me, it was basically between the X41 and the Dell 700m. Since I knew I would primarily be using the computer for taking notes and writing e-mails, the keyboard was my primary concern. I tried out a friend's 700m and was quite annoyed by the placement of the period key (right below, instead of slightly below and to the left of, the "L" key) and disappointed by the overall feel of the keyboard and build of the system. The 700m does have a great display, however...

I decided against the docking station since I could get the DVD burner for the price of the docking station and CDRW drive. I don't mind plugging in a couple of cords when I get home.

The Dell monitor is a great deal...but the offer ended yesterday.

I will post my impressions when it arrives in a few weeks.

A_Sauce

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Re: Best Laptop for Law School?
« Reply #143 on: May 05, 2005, 11:42:54 PM »
Just purchased a pimped out 700M with the $750 off coupon :D

Dell Inspiron 700M

Intel Pentium M Processor 755(2 GHz/400MHz FSB)
Memory 1GB DDR SDRAM 2 Dimms
Hard Drive 60 GB Hard Drive 60GB
Operating System Microsoft Windows XP Professional
CD ROM/DVD ROM 24X CD Burner/DVD Combo Drive 2
Wireless Networking Card Intel® PRO/Wireless 2915 Internal Wireless (802.11 a/b/g, 54Mbps)
Primary Battery 65 WHr 8-cell Lithium Ion Primary Battery 8BAT
Limited Warranty, Services and Support SAVE $60 instantly with the 3yr Plus Solution Package 
Floppy Drive and Other Home Setup Accessories External USB Floppy Drive USBFD

$1791 after taxes
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Ragnar Danneskjold

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Re: Best Laptop for Law School?
« Reply #144 on: May 06, 2005, 01:15:27 AM »
I currently have a 12in. Ibook that i used throughout college. I love it and wish that i could get a new one for law school, or a powerbook. Nothing beats a PB. Anyway, Santa Clara recommends not getting a Mac, so i will go with their rec. and get a pc. It will probably be a cheap ol dell cause i plan on chucking it as soon as the three years are over and getting whatever new, fancy, uber-computer that Apple will have out by then.:D I think i'll go with the Inspiron 9300 17in. I know, i know, the weight, but i'm a big guy, so i can take it.

Oh, by the way, when is school starting for everyone? I've seen some people talking about end of august, but mine starts a couple of weeks earlier. I hope it ends earlier too dammit. ::)
I'm an NYC boy, 153/3.3

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Fork in the Road

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Re: Best Laptop for Law School?
« Reply #145 on: May 06, 2005, 11:17:31 AM »
What about Fujitsu?  I've read good things about the brand, but I've never met anyone with a Fujitsu.  I went through college with a Dell and I'm looking to break-up with that company...

jomolungma

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Re: Best Laptop for Law School?
« Reply #146 on: May 06, 2005, 02:52:26 PM »
Ok, after weeks of analysis I finally took the plunge - I just bought a ThinkPad T43.  Here are the specs:

IBM ThinkPad T43 2668-94U
Pentium M 760 2 GHz
XP Professional
RAM 512 MB (+512MB the IBM sales guy threw in free for a total of 1GB RAM)
HD 60 GB (7200RPM)
CD-RW / DVD
Mdm/Bluetooth/802.11b, 802.11a, 802.11g
Fingerprint Reader
15" TFT SXGA+ (1400 x 1050)
Upgraded warranty to 3-yr onsite repair + accidental damage coverage

Total Cost - $2655 after taxes and shipping (damn NY taxes!)

I realize this sounds expensive, but a couple of things.  First, the same setup without my SUNY Alumni discount would have been about $1K more.  Second, Pitt has a thing where they'll increase your student budget by up to $3K for the purchase of a computer system, so I'm going to take advantage of that.

It came down to the X41 vs. the T43 (and I'm not 100% sold on the T43. I'm definitely going to use my entire 30 day refund window to evaluate it).  The deciding factors for me were power over the long term, included features, overall cost and overall size/weight. 

I thought I'd want the smaller X41 but after you buy all of the items you'd need in addition to the notebook itself, the cost was actually right at, or higher, than the T43.  The specs on the T43 will be good enough, tech-wise, to be relative state-of-the-art for all 3 years of law school.  It has the ExpressCard slot for when those become popular, and the modular bay to expand.  The overall weight of the system is comparable to the total weight of an X41 solution if you carried the dock and drive with you everywhere.  However, the size of the screen was the kicker.  I can foresee myself wanting to have a note-taking program open and a browser open side by side.  I didn't think the X41 12" screen provided enough real estate or a high enough resolution to do that.  The 15" screen on the T43 will (I've tried it out at the store).

I realize there are other manufacturers out there (like Dell) that produce a similar system for less money.  However, I've been sold on IBM's (now Lenovo) quality and service for a while.  They make bomb-proof laptops and support them very well.  I was willing to shell out a little bit more dough to have some peace of mind.  The keyboard on the ThinkPad, for me, is second to none, the construction is solid, the layout simple, and the standard software utilities industry-leading.  As long as the darn thing makes it to my door in one piece I'll be a happy man.

Fork in the Road

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Re: Best Laptop for Law School?
« Reply #147 on: May 06, 2005, 03:07:44 PM »
Ok, after weeks of analysis I finally took the plunge - I just bought a ThinkPad T43.  Here are the specs:


Total Cost - $2655 after taxes and shipping (damn NY taxes!)


Ooh, state taxes, I hadn't thought about that... where's the best place to buy a laptop?  Is it just based on sales tax, or are there particular taxes levied on computer sales?  I could buy in MA before I move or in CA when I go to my parents.  CA has higher sales tax, I believe, so am I right to think I should avoid that?

Thoughts/advice welcome...

pointdexterish

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Re: Best Laptop for Law School?
« Reply #148 on: May 06, 2005, 03:30:07 PM »
If you don't want to spend much on a laptop and would prefer to get one That-Just-Works sit on your local Craig's List until a laptop pops up that you can get at a decent price.

It has worked for me for quite some time and it will work for you as well.

I have been using a P3-700 with only a bit of ram and a crappy 10Gb harddrive for years now.  How much did I pay for it?  $250.  How much longer will it last?  Until Microsoft updates Windows to require more ram than I can stuff into the thing.

XP runs fine, Word runs fine, Winamp runs fine.  Used laptops are a great deal.

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Re: Best Laptop for Law School?
« Reply #149 on: May 06, 2005, 04:15:02 PM »
Ok, after weeks of analysis I finally took the plunge - I just bought a ThinkPad T43.  Here are the specs:


Total Cost - $2655 after taxes and shipping (damn NY taxes!)


Ooh, state taxes, I hadn't thought about that... where's the best place to buy a laptop?  Is it just based on sales tax, or are there particular taxes levied on computer sales?  I could buy in MA before I move or in CA when I go to my parents.  CA has higher sales tax, I believe, so am I right to think I should avoid that?

Thoughts/advice welcome...

California also just added a $10 surcharge to every computer purchased in or shiped to CA... It's an environemental fee--but you still would have to pay someone to take it off your hands when you're done!

Basically, it's a $10 excise tax on computer buyers, so that may help tip the scales further in favor of buying in MA (or any other state, for that matter...)

PS Dell service gets off-shored to at least India, Manila, and Panama.  I just ask each time I call, and they tell me.  Out of those, I prefer getting the Spanish speakers, because I speak Spanish, and so I can explain that "my computer won't get past the blue start up screen when I turn my computer on" without having them get confused and think I'm refering to "the Blue Screen of Death..." (which only comes on AFTER you've gotten into windows...) 

Hooray for being bilingual!  I'd be frustrated to no end, otherwise...