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Author Topic: Buying a Notebook Computer for Law School? The Q and A thread  (Read 64092 times)

pass36

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Buying a Notebook Computer for Law School? The Q and A thread
« on: February 28, 2006, 04:12:51 AM »
There is probably a topic like this already, but I couldn't find it in this board.

I am looking at the Gateway CX200 -- some of the tablet stuff looks cool -- but I am concerned about it only coming with Windows XP Tablet PC, which I don't know anything about, and about the less robust wireless capabilities (not Centrino).  Anyone have an opinion?

Several people seem to have had bad experiences with Dells.

One good bit of advice I did see was that a lot of notebooks come with a three year service / support option, and if you could manage to hold off buying one until July it would have the coverage through when you took the bar exam, just in case something tragic happened your third year...

kuokuo

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Re: Buying a Notebook Computer for Law School? The Q and A thread
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2006, 07:08:09 AM »
Actually, I think the Gateway CX200 does use centrino technology.  Personally, centrino is not something to get really excited about.  In general, I've noticed computers with centrino tech provide above average battery life, but not much way in other advantages.

However, I personally love the intel laptop processors (pentium m, celeron m, and intel core duos).  They are extremely efficient and megahertz for megahertz much better than intel's pentium 4 offerings.  It always annoyed me that intel went to a less efficient pentium 4 architecture just to try and win the MHz race.  MHz is NOT the only factor in performance...Sorry...a bit off subject.

Anyway, I've had good experiences with Dell.  But, in the end, the laptops at each price point should have similar quality.  Basically, the majority of computer companies (dell, gateway, etc.) use the same handful of Taiwanese/Chinese laptop  manufacturers (Quanta, Compal, etc.) to make notebooks for them. SO yup. Dells and Gateways are coming out of the same factories...

When it comes to warranties, I'd be wary.  They are definitely NOT what they used to be.  Companies have really been skimping on this end in order to save on costs.  I'd thoroughly research each company, however.  This is where they differentiate. 

I once bought a sony laptop for 1600.  I treated it like my baby, but after a few months the screen got screwy.  I sent it back to Sony and they wanted 2200 to fix it!
They said I had damaged it, but, like I said, I treated it like my baby.  In the end, I just went out and bought a dell...   





     

   

bsrlegal

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Re: Buying a Notebook Computer for Law School? The Q and A thread
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2006, 08:06:08 AM »
My experience with Dells is limited to its desktops, which were o.k.  I will say based on friends and relatives who have made recent Dell purchases, customer service is where they struggle.  Dell's profits are with the business segment and not the personal segment, so they have no incentive to provide high quality service and thus outsource their tech support to India and such.

My plan is to go with Lenovo/IBM and their Z60.  Yes, it costs more, but tech support is provided exclusively in Atlanta, GA, and PC Mag and other reviews list IBM support as the best outside of Apple.  The general maxim holds true: you get what you pay for.
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Hobert

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Re: Buying a Notebook Computer for Law School? The Q and A thread
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2006, 08:37:46 AM »
I second the Thinkpad choice. If I can't use a Mac for law school, a T or X Series will be my choice.
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jvan2619

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Re: Buying a Notebook Computer for Law School? The Q and A thread
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2006, 08:39:37 AM »
I have had bad experiences with Dells - had two different notebooks - BUT I must say that I think downloading Kazza music program was what killed one of them :)

It is so funny that you mention the Gateway CX200 because that is the one that I am really leaning towards at this time.  I love the additional functionality it offers and the price is very reasonable.  My husband was looking at it last night and had the same concern you did about Windows XP Tablet.  Anyone know about this?  With that said, I believe it is going to be the same as your standard Windows XP but with the character recognition for tablet writing - but that is just a guess.  Also, it comes with OneNote which I really want to try and use.  

Thoughts?

kuokuo

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Re: Buying a Notebook Computer for Law School? The Q and A thread
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2006, 08:43:41 AM »
I don't have any off hand knowledge of Win XP tablet, but I'm 99% sure it'll have all the features of at least Win XP Home...

I have a few friends working at Microsoft, I'll see if they know anything...

I am also very impressed with Thinkpads and Lenovo...and as the poster said above...you certainly do get what u pay for in the computer industry...

queencruella

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Re: Buying a Notebook Computer for Law School? The Q and A thread
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2006, 08:51:55 AM »
Thinkpads have excellent support and are generally very reliable.  I think Dell's laptop quality is improving, however.

Keep in mind that depending on where you live, some warranties may not be available. When I was looking to buy my laptop, few companies would offer all-inclusive coverage in Florida because we have so many lightning storms. It's really not that hard to troubleshoot your laptop yourself and do minor fixes on your own. 

upNdown

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Re: Buying a Notebook Computer for Law School? The Q and A thread
« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2006, 09:58:45 AM »
In general, I've noticed computers with centrino tech provide above average battery life, but not much way in other advantages.

   

OK, but what else does your typical law school student need?  Word processing and surfing websies like westlaw or lexus nexus - that's about it as far as I can tell.  And I'm not 100% certain, but I'd be willing to bet you could pull a processor out of a gambeoy advance or whatever the cool handheld video game is these days and it would handle those tasks just fine. 

Anyway, that's why I chose Pentium M (Centrino) - they generally give significantly better battery life.   I'm sure any notebook will give me the minimal processing power I need; when I want to edit video footage and burn it to DVD, I'll use my desktop.  But for the laptop, I'm looking for the longest battery life in the lightest package for the cheapest price. 
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upNdown

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Re: Buying a Notebook Computer for Law School? The Q and A thread
« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2006, 10:00:42 AM »
double post
GPA - 2.095 (It was a long time ago and I wasn't trying.)
LSAT - 161

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aufhebung

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Re: Buying a Notebook Computer for Law School? The Q and A thread
« Reply #9 on: February 28, 2006, 10:06:02 AM »
I've been batting my eyelashes at the Thinkpad x41 tablet... I like the idea of an ultralight computer with a screen that I can rotate 90 degrees to make it look like the page I'm trying to read.

Has anyone had any experience with tablets?