Law School Discussion

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

OingoBoingo

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Re: Buying a Notebook Computer for Law School? The Q and A thread
« Reply #90 on: March 06, 2006, 01:23:07 PM »
I'm leaning towards a Sager NP5720-V.  I've heard they're pretty competitive vs. Alienware and their cases are a little bit less flashy (I'd feel wierd in class with a neon blue notebook). WUXGA 17 inch screen combined with the geforce GO 7800 = super clarity. Of course, it costs a pretty penny, but I think it'll be a good investment since more real estate = more flexibility. Weight is negligible, as I said earlier: I carry around a wireless keyboard and mouse with everything anyway.  The way I look at it is, it's just one more thing to keep me in shape. Like the walks to and from the law library.

And give you scoliosis.   ;)

LOL!!!!!

My Thinkpad X41 Tablet arrived today, at least according to FedEx. I'll have to post my impressions, including those related to weight in the next few days.

Oingo.

OingoBoingo

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Re: Buying a Notebook Computer for Law School? The Q and A thread
« Reply #91 on: March 06, 2006, 01:36:19 PM »
I didn't buy the X4 base. This week I'm going to use our home network to get at my wife's DVD/CD-RW drive. I'm looking at gettng a sub-$100 external CD-RW drive in the near future. The X4 just wasn't worth it, price wise, for me. It's funny 'cause the sales dude at the Leveno 1-800 number pretty much told me what I had already figured out. I wonder if most people don't bother?

Oingo.

check01

Re: Buying a Notebook Computer for Law School? The Q and A thread
« Reply #92 on: March 06, 2006, 01:37:53 PM »
RAM is usually installed via a user access panel that can be removed without voiding the warranty on lots of laptop computers. At least that's how it is on my computer. Almost everything else will have to be installed by removing the keyboard, which will void your warranty.

This is right, I've never seen a laptop that doesn't have an easy-access panel for adding RAM. It's certainly easier than adding it to a desktop machine. It definitely won't void the warranty.

However, with regard to the extended batteries, I would definitely stick with the brand-name battery that matches your machine. Shouldn't be too hard to find on eBay no matter what kind of laptop you have. If you stick on an off-brand battery and it fries your machine, that may well give them reason to void the warranty.

Zoli

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Re: Buying a Notebook Computer for Law School? The Q and A thread
« Reply #93 on: March 06, 2006, 01:39:59 PM »
hey mugatu, to hell with all this notebook stuff, I think i'm gonna go the old-fashioned route.  Construction paper, and crayons, the best part is that I won't have to pay for it, i'll just ask my nephew for some.  Also, if I lose my work or it's stolen, it won't be too hard to find it.  Come on guys, you have to start thinking out of the box.

upNdown

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Re: Buying a Notebook Computer for Law School? The Q and A thread
« Reply #94 on: March 06, 2006, 03:08:59 PM »
I'm seeing a lot of love for small notebooks here. Anyone thinking of going large? I work with computer 24/7 and I can't deny that the smaller the screen, the more my eyes hurt.  I'm also a big guy (6'1" 235 lbs) so the weight isn't an issue.

I understand your point, but do you really want to haul a 7 lb. monster to and from class?  I know I am not physically fit enough to do that for long hours.  I already have a good desktop which I built 3 months ago, if I buy a laptop, I will buy the ultra lightweight ones for easy mobility.

Not only that, but how will it fit in the classroom.  Some of these schools have tables/desks that are fairly shallow.  Is you're big-scree laptop going to be hanging off the table and into your lap?  Might look kind of goofy too.  People might start calling you "Big 17" or "Widescreen."

pass36

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Re: Buying a Notebook Computer for Law School? The Q and A thread
« Reply #95 on: March 06, 2006, 03:42:03 PM »
I'm seeing a lot of love for small notebooks here. Anyone thinking of going large? I work with computer 24/7 and I can't deny that the smaller the screen, the more my eyes hurt.  I'm also a big guy (6'1" 235 lbs) so the weight isn't an issue.

I understand your point, but do you really want to haul a 7 lb. monster to and from class?  I know I am not physically fit enough to do that for long hours.  I already have a good desktop which I built 3 months ago, if I buy a laptop, I will buy the ultra lightweight ones for easy mobility.

Not only that, but how will it fit in the classroom.  Some of these schools have tables/desks that are fairly shallow.  Is you're big-scree laptop going to be hanging off the table and into your lap?  Might look kind of goofy too.  People might start calling you "Big 17" or "Widescreen."

Yeah.  :D  Or, because the fan is so loud, they'll start calling you "Leaf blower."

I've seen a couple of people raise the keyboard size issue.  Typing on some small notebooks is difficult to the point where it might be tempting to go back to the yellow pad and pen approach.  That is worth some size issues. 

At the same time, when it comes to exams, I am wondering why people don't just bring a USB keyboard and mouse to the exam with them for maximum efficiency?  OK, you probably get some weird looks if it seems like you are carrying a whole desktop around in your Mt. Everest sized backpack, but if it helps you type a better exam and saves time, why not?

Tiwaz

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Re: Buying a Notebook Computer for Law School? The Q and A thread
« Reply #96 on: March 06, 2006, 03:57:53 PM »
I'm looking at the Dell XPS M140.  The 14" widescreen seems a good compromise on size and the weight (5.5lbs.) is quite reasonable.  You can also upgrade to a 9-cell battery for 7 hours of battery life, which just boggles the mind. :o 

I've had an HP laptop in the past, but found that some of the preinstalled software from HP caused serious stability issues.  I'm hoping Dell will be better in that regard.  I've heard their tech support leaves much to be desired, but I'm used to doing my own troubleshooting, so that would be OK if the overall reliability was better.  Any thoughts?

tobias

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Re: Buying a Notebook Computer for Law School? The Q and A thread
« Reply #97 on: March 06, 2006, 05:52:37 PM »
I'm looking at the Dell XPS M140.  The 14" widescreen seems a good compromise on size and the weight (5.5lbs.) is quite reasonable.  You can also upgrade to a 9-cell battery for 7 hours of battery life, which just boggles the mind. :o 

I've had an HP laptop in the past, but found that some of the preinstalled software from HP caused serious stability issues.  I'm hoping Dell will be better in that regard.  I've heard their tech support leaves much to be desired, but I'm used to doing my own troubleshooting, so that would be OK if the overall reliability was better.  Any thoughts?

I have found my dells to be decidedly unreliable in recent years but I guess it's possible I have just had bad luck?


Re: Buying a Notebook Computer for Law School? The Q and A thread
« Reply #98 on: March 06, 2006, 06:45:02 PM »
I'm seeing a lot of love for small notebooks here. Anyone thinking of going large? I work with computer 24/7 and I can't deny that the smaller the screen, the more my eyes hurt.  I'm also a big guy (6'1" 235 lbs) so the weight isn't an issue.

I understand your point, but do you really want to haul a 7 lb. monster to and from class?  I know I am not physically fit enough to do that for long hours.  I already have a good desktop which I built 3 months ago, if I buy a laptop, I will buy the ultra lightweight ones for easy mobility.

Not only that, but how will it fit in the classroom.  Some of these schools have tables/desks that are fairly shallow.  Is you're big-scree laptop going to be hanging off the table and into your lap?  Might look kind of goofy too.  People might start calling you "Big 17" or "Widescreen."

Yeah.  :D  Or, because the fan is so loud, they'll start calling you "Leaf blower."


Realistically, the size difference of a 14 or 15inch and a 17 inch isn't all that great, when it comes to desk space. plus, my note taking efficiency is MUCH greater with a real sized keyboard, so I won't mind any name calling. oh, and most 17 inchers don't make all that much fan noise. it's only those suped up one's with the desktop processors and the 40 minute battery life.

OingoBoingo

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Re: Buying a Notebook Computer for Law School? The Q and A thread
« Reply #99 on: March 06, 2006, 10:07:13 PM »
Well I have been playing with my new X41 this evening. First Impression?

1) It's tiny. Small. Waaaaaay small. and light. Even with the eight cell battery
2) The screen is a beautiful thing. Very legible.
3) Fingerprint reader works well. Usually can bootup the machine with one swipe.

The machine is shipped with alot of taskbar items - so much that in the next week or so I need to trim things down a bit. It is slow on bootup - it probably takes 1-2 mins instead of the 30secs or so I am used to with my desktop. I'll post more tommorow night as I learn more.

Oingo.