Law School Discussion

Buying a Notebook Computer for Law School? The Q and A thread

Re: Buying a Notebook Computer for Law School? The Q and A thread
« Reply #130 on: March 14, 2006, 08:55:14 PM »
You have to remeber that Centrino is not a processor.  Its intel's approved branding if a laptop meets certain requirements, ie., has a Pentium-M (PM) processor and intel pro wireless adaptor and a certain chipset.  That said, what your really comparing is a pentium-M to a possible Pentium-4 M (P4M).  Pentium-4M are really meant for desktop replacement laptops that are bigger and have "better" ventilation than the smaller lightweight laptops.   PM's are supposed to operate at lower voltages thereby reducing heat and extending battery life.  PM is supposed to perform about 1.5 times faster than the regular Pentium 4.  So if you are comparing a 1.5GHz PM to a 1.5 GHz P4M, the former is supposed to be faster than the latter.  A 1.5GHz PM should be comparable to a 2.3GHz P4M.

Either way, I'd go for the Pentium-M (Centrino branded) laptops.  Those offer the best balance of speed, battery power and weight.

Just my opinion.

OingoBoingo

  • ****
  • 517
  • Simply the best band from the 80's
    • View Profile
Re: Buying a Notebook Computer for Law School? The Q and A thread
« Reply #131 on: March 14, 2006, 09:19:16 PM »
Thanks. I'd definitly get another Toshiba.Not to mention many are coming WITH OneNote already. I don't see myself using the tablet function, but I think those laptops are the coooolest:)

I was told not to get a Centrino processor by a friend who considers himself very tech savy...but I have no reason other than him not to want one. He said it would be way to slow?

Do you (or anyone else) think that you'll use OneNote or just go by hand? I type very quickly...so I'd prefer it..but I'm going to try to read/brief/study note take on paper. Thanks again.

Xmaize,

I bought the X41 because of its extra functionality with Onenote. I anticipate writing over typing as I type much faster than I write. The recognition software is OK for small sentances but I imagine it would be a pain for long paragraphs (correcting the software would take time of which I would not have in class).

The thing that is neat about the tablet mode is that you can much more naturally surf through what you have recorded earlier. Small corrections, cut and pasting text - all these things can be done with the digital pen. I can sorta "curl up" with the laptop on a chair and save my upper back. You really can operate the machine with just the pen alone. I can't begin to tell you just how killer this feature is.

Before you make a purchase research, heck even try one of the Toshiba or Leveno(IBM) notebooks. If you need an "Entertainment powerhouse" type of machine then hey, it isn't for you. If you want something that does the basics, really really well then you should definently give this genre a try.

My two cents,

Oingo

Re: Buying a Notebook Computer for Law School? The Q and A thread
« Reply #132 on: March 14, 2006, 10:10:05 PM »
This is kind of off topic, but the discussion of Windows vs. Mac a while back on the thread made me think of it.  Does anyone know what the prospects of being able to use GNU/Linux at law school are?  Has anyone done it?  Do any of the law schools outright support using it?  I'd *really* prefer not to have to used a closed source operating system, to the point it would influence my decision about where to go.

pass36

  • ****
  • 551
  • But it looks good on you!
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Buying a Notebook Computer for Law School? The Q and A thread
« Reply #133 on: March 14, 2006, 11:58:16 PM »
One Note Question - Somebody told me that you can record lectures on One Note and time link your notes to the recording?  T/F?  That sounds pretty cool.

Typhoon Longwang

  • ****
  • 719
  • I have the power to stop an LSAT!
    • View Profile
Re: Buying a Notebook Computer for Law School? The Q and A thread
« Reply #134 on: March 15, 2006, 02:25:32 AM »
Before you go out and buy One Note or spend any additional money on it...check with the school you attend - some of them are giving it away for free.

Typhoon Longwang

  • ****
  • 719
  • I have the power to stop an LSAT!
    • View Profile
Re: Buying a Notebook Computer for Law School? The Q and A thread
« Reply #135 on: March 15, 2006, 10:30:30 AM »
I've searched all over the internet and I can't find an answer, so I'm back here. 

I've decide that I'm going with the thinkpads.  I had one before my crappy Dell and I loved it.  They are sturdy, well-designed, and I don't think I can live without my eraser-head touchstick.  I really like the Z60t, but it doesn't have a Core Duo option yet.  The T-Series has a Core Duo option, but, as a line, they are more expensive, have some features I don't need that seem mainly designed for larger companies, and don't offer a widescreen.  I've heard that the Z60s are capable of recieving a Core Duo proccessor, and the internet only says that one should be out in "early 2006."  One messageboard said May, but God knows where they got their info.  Given that I expect a rush of oreders if/when Lenovo adds the Core Duo to the Z60, waiting until after May might prevent the laptop from even getting to me by the time class starts (some people who ordered the regular Z60t at Christmas waitied two months or more). 

1. Does anyone know when Lenovo is supposed to release a Core Duo Z60?

2. If they don't release one by May, should I suck it up and sacrifice the widescreen for a Core Duo proccessor, or just get the fastest Pentium M that the Z60 offers and pray that my 2,000 investment doesn't become instantly obsolete?

(As stated before, I will use this almost exclusively for office/school stuff.  It will be my primary computer, but I don't play games, watch DVDs, burn CDs, or do any type of programming.  I mess around in Photoshop occaisionally, but that's easily the biggest and most memory-consuming program I use.  To give you some idea of how little power I need, my home computer (on which I am typing) is a 333 MHz PIII Desktop, with 192 MB Ram and a whopping 8 GB hard drive.  It has been my home computer since 1998.  I'd like to have a laptop that lasts just as long.)

Wait.  Wait until May and reassess.  Buy by the end of June, at the latest.  If the Z series Duo comes out the supply lines probably won't get tangled like some early Duo offerings (but Lenovo seems to be doing well with its Duo roll out compared to Sony, Toshiba, etc.).  You could call and check with a Lenovo sales rep to find out about potential release timeframe.  You're computer will be obsolete within 6 months, no matter what you do...there's always something better on the horizon.  If you go with the Pentium Ms you know you're getting a deal (and they do beat the Duo in a couple of processor-intensive tasks but the Duos win most other tasks hands down).  Whatever you do, call Lenovo and ask for the 5% student discount.  Check with the school you attend about laptop deals they or the mother-University might have arranged.  Frankly, if you're happy with a 333 MHz PIII you're going to be happy with a top of the line Pentium M...it doesn't sound like you need the Duo's big guns.

I think you'll find most laptops won't make it 8 years if 3 of the years are spent being carried everywhere.  The Thinkpad is your best bet for that kind of longevity but it isn't assured.  Get a good warranty with accident coverage if you want to be absolutely sure it lasts through law school.

Officer Rod Farva

  • ****
  • 713
  • FARVA #1
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Buying a Notebook Computer for Law School? The Q and A thread
« Reply #136 on: March 15, 2006, 04:33:24 PM »
Some good news (sort of). My mom works for the Red Cross and they are doing some pretty broad tablet testing there to see if they want to pick up on the technology. Looks like I'll be trying a tablet soon enough.

They couldn't have timed the next generation X series any worse, imo. I want one now, dammit. Of course, I'm sure the current processor will be more than ample for ls needs. What can I say, I'm a gadget junkie.




jashdey

Re: Buying a Notebook Computer for Law School? The Q and A thread
« Reply #137 on: March 15, 2006, 04:44:55 PM »
I'm going to be getting a T series Thinkpad.  I currently have a Dell D600 which has been having issues and won't make it the next 3 years.  I'm a little bummed in that I didn't buy a Thinkpad at the time I bought the Dell, but I was trying to be frugal (ha).

I have a friend who is quite familiar with the Thinkpads and he recommended either the T or X series - he said the Z series are significantly bigger than the other ones and is really meant as a desktop replacement versus something to haul around every day.  He also said to ignore the R series completely as it was quite a bit thicker and wasn't as good a machine overall.

Although I like the thought of a light and small machine, the X series is *so* much more expensive and I'm also worried about having a smaller keyboard.  I can type fine on my current laptop (14"), but it seems it'd be rather cramped in such a smaller footprint.

I likely won't be placing an order until May, so we'll see what's available then.  I didn't know they offered a 5% student discount - what sort of proof do you have to provide to them?

Typhoon Longwang

  • ****
  • 719
  • I have the power to stop an LSAT!
    • View Profile
Re: Buying a Notebook Computer for Law School? The Q and A thread
« Reply #138 on: March 15, 2006, 05:01:48 PM »
I likely won't be placing an order until May, so we'll see what's available then.  I didn't know they offered a 5% student discount - what sort of proof do you have to provide to them?

I'm not sure what kind of documentation they require...I was just chatting with the rep and mentioned I was getting it for law school in the fall and he asked where I was looking at going and he offered me the discount.  I'm sure if you ask they'll tell you what you need to supply, but I doubt it's too onerous.  The nice thing was that the discount also applied to accesories (like an extra battery) and the warranty.

Re: Buying a Notebook Computer for Law School? The Q and A thread
« Reply #139 on: March 15, 2006, 05:50:49 PM »
I've had a Dell (Inspiron 600M, it's discontinued now) for close to 3 years now.
I spent a lot at the time for it... but it's still going strong..  Pentium M, Centrino Technology, 512MB...
My screen has issues however.. I'm thinking of getting the IBM/Lenovo Z60M - something more durable for law school.

As for Dell's service.  I don't have many complaints, but be prepared for a long wait in order to actually talk to someone!