Law School Discussion

Tablet PC or Notebook?

Tablet PC or Notebook?
« on: July 19, 2008, 08:59:04 PM »
I'm going to be entering as a 1L this August and I have a question.

I've been looking into what to get for a laptop.  I've been partial to a tablet pc, but I don't know really how useful it would be.  Has anyone been using a tablet in school?  What are your feelings?  I know that for the same price as a reasonable tablet pc I can get a really nice, fast notebook.  What do you guys recommend?

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Re: Tablet PC or Notebook?
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2008, 06:15:28 AM »
You definitely do not NEED one. That said, it may come in handy from time to time. I think it depends whether or not you're particularly attached to having hard copies of handouts, notes, etc.

Last semester, the text to one of my classes was in pre-publication stage, so the prof made it available to us in pdf form. Having the tablet, I was able to mark up and highlight the pdf, all with out printing out the text, saving me almost $100, which was cool. Also, I find it convenient to be able to annotate Lexis/WL print-outs right on the computer. Finally, sometimes it is useful to be able to quickly draw a graph in your notes, although I guess you could just as soon bring along an extra notebook for those rare instances.

One other thing -- Microsoft OneNote on a tablet is an awesome way to organize your notes. I totally recommend it, even if you don't have a tablet PC, as you can cut and paste things anywhere, and save notes in pages and tabs, just like an actual notebook.

HTH. Good luck this coming year.


Re: Tablet PC or Notebook?
« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2008, 07:22:18 AM »
Is HP the only company that produces the Tablet PC's?

Re: Tablet PC or Notebook?
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2008, 07:50:00 AM »
No, there are several makers.  Toshiba, Dell, Lenovo and Fujitsu all make tablets, however, most of these are aimed at business clients, so you won't find them in the Home Office section of their websites.  Personally I've been looking into a Dell XT.  Dude, what do you have? I've read that the capacitive screen of the Dell makes it awesome to use with or without a stylus, that and the multitouch capabilities are what have put it ahead in my book. 

Re: Tablet PC or Notebook?
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2008, 04:53:01 PM »
I would recommend against the Tablet PC.  Apart from the whole drawing graphs thing, I don't think it would help in the long run.  You will, most likely, be typing your exams, so if you're not a fast typist you will want to get used to typing and improve your typing prior to exam time. 

Also, you can get an attachment for your laptop which allows you to draw and such (like a tablet would allow you to).  Check this link and or around $130 you can get an attachment that allows you to write or draw on your laptop.

Re: Tablet PC or Notebook?
« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2008, 08:39:06 PM »
Well my whole thinking in getting a tablet (by the way, it will be a notebook tablet, not a slate tablet, so I will do most of my inputing through the keyboard) was to be able to draw when I needed to.  It would have been great to have the option to draw as well as write (especially since I minored in Chemistry:)), but I don't know how much diagraming or drawing I will be doing in law school.  Also I have heard about the ability to take notes in the margins of PDF files, which would be nice, but again I don't know how often readings will be in PDF or even electronical so I'm still not sure if it'll be worth it.

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Re: Tablet PC or Notebook?
« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2008, 10:26:06 AM »
I have a tablet pc and i cant imagine life without it. I had one throughout law school. Though I rarely used the pen to draw. Once in a blue moon. But the pen does come in handy as a mouse because i absolutely abhor the touch pad.  And I don't want to carry a mouse around.

My first tablet was a Toshiba. I hate them. Do not buy them. They do not stand by their warranties. And if you have a problem, you better pony up even more moey on top of the thousands already paid. Horrible customer service. Now I am on my second tablet. It is a HP. ten times better service and quality. They are always have special offers to cut down the price. Also, I got 2 year extended warranty. And Hp's warranties cover everything.

Re: Tablet PC or Notebook?
« Reply #7 on: July 27, 2008, 10:37:08 AM »
I've had two Lenovo (ok, one IBM and one Lenovo) tablets and I loved them both. I'm not sure how useful they would be for law school, however, as I'm a 1L-to-be too. I only ever used my tablet as a second notebook and I knew I couldn't use it as my primary, so I went with a regular notebook for 1L. Screen was just too small for me.

That said, I put in the word over and over to the Thinkpad engineers that I wanted a 15 inch tablet and that, if they made it, I'd buy it. They were convinced I was a minority but said a 14 inch was in the works.

Re: Tablet PC or Notebook?
« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2008, 06:16:46 AM »
Whatever you get make sure it's bulletproof.  Nothing can ruin a semester like a broken laptop.