Law School Discussion

What to really look for?


What to really look for?
« on: July 26, 2004, 09:28:54 PM »
If my school doesn't have requirements for a laptop what all should I be looking for?  I don't want to spend an arm and a leg, but also want to make sure I find something that will work well for me in these 3 yrs.  What do I need in terms of:

Operating System

Anything else I should look for?


Re: What to really look for?
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2004, 09:33:43 PM »
Well since you're going to be using it for schoolwork I don't see any reason to spend more than around $1000 if you're not gonna play games on the thing.

I'd say 1.8 Ghz processor, 512 MB RAM, maybe 40 GB hard drive, that should be your basics, tack on whatever else you like, but like I said if its gonna be mainly for work, you don't need much.


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Re: What to really look for?
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2004, 07:37:00 AM »
Best Buy has Compaq Laptops that go on sale all the time.  My model, the Compaq Presario 2596us came with all the toys, wireless internet, 2.8ghz processor, 512mb ram, 64mb video card, 40gb hard drive, cdrw/dvd drive, etc, and was only $699.  Compaq might not be a Dell, but its also better than Acer or Averatec too...

As for what you need here:

Operating System - Windows XP, home edition is fine.
Memory - 256MB RAM is fine.
Speed - Pentium M 1.2Ghz+ would be ideal, but expensive. If you go Celeron, I would say 2.2Ghz would be fine.
Disk - I would say 40GB is plenty of room.
Other - Wireless Internet is definitely something to get too in my opinion. Also, a CDRW drive would be a smart option too.



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Re: What to really look for?
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2004, 07:18:34 PM »
Here's what my school recommends.

DePaul College of Law does not require laptops for classes. Students, however, are strongly encouraged to purchase their own laptops. Students with laptops:
     •  Can use the extensive wireless or wired network throughout the college to connect to the internet
     •   Can, if desired, use their laptop with Softest, the computer-based exam program. This feature is optional. Please note that Apple computers are not supported by Softest
Student Laptop Minimum Requirements *
     Minimum required
Processor **
 Intel Pentium III
 Intel Pentium 4 or M Centrino
Processor Speed
 1.0 GHz
 2.0 GHz or faster
  14.1" or bigger XGA TFT
RAM (Computer memory)
 256MB or higher
Hard Disk Drive
 20GB or more
Optical Drive
 CD-RW or CD-RW/DVD Combo
Floppy Disk Drive
 Optional 3.5"
 Use USB flashDrive instead
Ethernet Connection
 10BaseT Built-in
 10/100BaseT Built-in
PC Card Slot
Wireless Card ***
 802.11b card
 802.11a/g Combo
 56K Modem Built-in
 Lithium Battery
 8-cell   Ion Battery
Ethernet Cable ****
 3-foot RG-45 CAT 5
 7-foot RG-45 CAT 5e or 6
Software and Applications
     Minimum Required
Operating System
   MS Windows 98 Se, Me,
2000, XP Home,
XP Professional
 MS Windows XP Professional SP1
MS Office Suite
 XP, 2000
Corel WordPerfect Suite
 Versions 8, 10, 11
 Version 11
Anti-Virus Program
  Norton or McAfee
For more information check our technical web page at

Or send email to Ali Belkairous at
* Both Windows-based PCs and Apple computers are used at the College of Law. If you are planning, or already possess, an Apple computer, ensure it is WIFI-compliant. Important. Apple computers cannot be used with Softest, the computer-based exam application. If you are planning to take exams on your laptop then purchasing an Apple computer is not option

** If you select a laptop with AMD technology, make sure it is equivalent in features to the Pentium’s 4 or M.

*** Your laptop can have an integrated wireless card. If not, you will need to purchase a wireless card that will use the PC card slot on the laptop. Make sure the card is WIFI-compliant. It supports 128-bit encryption and uses the 802.11b or 802.11g protocol. Although, the college wireless network uses the 802.11b protocol, if possible, select an 802.11a/g combo wireless card. This will allow you to use your laptop wirelessly almost anywhere there is a wireless network.

**** The Ethernet cable can be used as an alternative to the wireless to connect to the network. Several active network ports are located throughout the college for that purpose.


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Re: What to really look for?
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2004, 07:19:42 PM »
The first numbers are mins and the 2nd are recommended.


Re: What to really look for?
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2004, 12:24:32 AM »
Thank you everyone!  I am pretty clueless on the computer that will meet all my needs so I appreciate your help.  I'm pretty sure I'm getting the mid-range Dell Inspiron and it looks as if it meets most all those requirements so I'm hopeful it will do the job. 

Now onto deciding all the extra goodies to add with it and the carrying case......