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Author Topic: Non-Tablet Laptop for Law School  (Read 1527 times)

The Spanish Teacher

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Non-Tablet Laptop for Law School
« on: April 04, 2006, 02:26:15 PM »
Although there is a fantastic thread on laptops and the people posting there are quite knowledgable on IT matters, the focus of the thread seems to have shifted to Tablet PC's.  I was hoping to get a discussion going on other laptops as I'm not particularly interested in Tablet PC's.

I was thinking about Dell's D410 or X1 - although I have heard terrible things about Dell's quality and customer service. I've also read great things about Lenovo/IBM Thinkpads - particularly the T series. I want something small that won't be a pain to carry around everyday.  ANd I want something that will hold up three years of being lugged around all the time. Any thoughts?

What are other people thinking about laptops (other than tablets)?
Attending GULC in Fall '06

MusicMan

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Re: Non-Tablet Laptop for Law School
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2006, 02:33:35 PM »
I have a thinkpad right now.  It's an older model, probably a 1999, and has been reliable and durable.  I would highly recommend IBM!

The Spanish Teacher

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Re: Non-Tablet Laptop for Law School
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2006, 02:55:32 PM »
i've heard the X1's keyboard is pretty cramped. i'll have to check it out before i committ to it. as for dells -  fortunately gulc has some one on site to take care of them (at least that's what i think i read - i may have to put in a call to their IT dept. to make sure).

as for thinkpads - i've heard nothing but positive things about them. 

i would love to stay under $2000 with an extended battery, extra RAM and a tiny computer. thoughts?
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4DClaw

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Re: Non-Tablet Laptop for Law School
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2006, 03:19:40 PM »
I'm seriously considering the Sony Vaio VGN-TX. 2.76 pounds, with built-in DVD R/W drive and 60gb hard drive. A bit pricey, but I figure that if I have to lug this thing around, I'll be happy to have it as light as possible.
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OingoBoingo

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Re: Non-Tablet Laptop for Law School
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2006, 03:19:55 PM »
Look at the Thinkpad X60. It is very light yet powerful. I'm no Vista junkie but I'd wager that it will run Vista with the nifty glass feature. Just make sure to get at least 1 GB of RAM. The T60 ain't bad either - slightly better performance with not too much additional weight. It MAY be harder with these two to stay under $2000.

Just FYI - Vista will work on the majority of the late model (read Centrino) XP laptops out there - some things, like the glass feature, will have to be disabled on some models.

Oingo
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onepoint

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Re: Non-Tablet Laptop for Law School
« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2006, 03:24:53 PM »
i use an ibm thinkpad x40 and i'm very happy with it.

the thinkpads have top-notch keyboards.  in fact, i like this keyboard so much that i bought a lenovo thinkplus keyboard for my desktop, which uses the same mechanics of the thinkpad keyboards.

the laptop is a 12" ultraportable without an optical drive, however that hasn't been much of a bother as i use a flash/thumb drive for just about everything that would normally be handled with an optical drive (file transfers, software loading, etc.).

the x41 came out after my x40, and the x60-series is now out, which contains a new intel mobile cpu.

i picked up my laptop with 512ram, 20gig hd (a bit on the small side, but i only use it for school), wireless, and an extra battery for under 1500/shipped.  they'll be even cheaper now that the x60's are out.

again, highly recommended.. so much, actually, that fellow classmates have been considering them after seeing and "playing with" mine.
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OingoBoingo

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Re: Non-Tablet Laptop for Law School
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2006, 04:35:42 PM »
Just FYI - Vista will work on the majority of the late model (read Centrino) XP laptops out there - some things, like the glass feature, will have to be disabled on some models.

Without the glass feature, why bother?  (Imagine a smiley here.)

Seriously, though, my husband's testing apps on Vista now and is getting conflicting stories on what hardware (video card) and RAM requirements will actually be - he's heard as high as 512 mb video RAM to run the rolodex/glass thingie at a healthy clip (and that's what the testing machines are running.)

Also, when I called Dell to ask about setups (especially docks/port replicators) the guy could not tell me whether any of their current laptops will comfortably run Vista.

I know it's not going to be out until next year and probably won't be stable for months, but I like the screenshots I've seen and some of the things I've read so I do plan to use it and I assume it'll be well before I graduate.

(And by the way, I'm also a fan of IBMs and our old (ca. 2000) Thinkpad in particular.  If it had a better screen resolution I think I'd be happy to use it in school, at least for a little while.)

Thanks for the info. 512MB video RAM to run Glass? Well that's just SICK. How is it that Mac OS-X looks so pretty with less? I digress :) I remember when 512 KB was adequate for most takes....512MB? sheesh.

I think your point about "working the bugs out" is well taken. I waited for service pack 1 before upgrading to XP. I suspect that I will purchase another computer sometime after law school - hopefully Vista SP2 will be out by then :)

Oingo
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The Spanish Teacher

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Re: Non-Tablet Laptop for Law School
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2006, 04:44:49 PM »
the vaio tx series looks sick! anybody have any experience with those little things? my concern, besides the price tag, would be how durable it will be?  would that little computer stand up to three years of law school?
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4DClaw

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Re: Non-Tablet Laptop for Law School
« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2006, 04:52:59 PM »
I've read good reviews of the TX online, but I haven't tried one out yet. I would think that it would be pretty durable, provided that you have a good carrying case. Regardless, I'm getting the best three-year warranty available, just in case.

the vaio tx series looks sick! anybody have any experience with those little things? my concern, besides the price tag, would be how durable it will be?  would that little computer stand up to three years of law school?
Georgetown

Tiwaz

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Re: Non-Tablet Laptop for Law School
« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2006, 11:39:42 AM »
Man, some of the Sony Vaios look totally awesome.  They're rather pricey, though, and I don't know if I can justify spending that much on a second computer.  I currently own a fairly nice desktop, so it's not as if I'll need my laptop to run the latest games or lots of multimedia.  On the other hand, I'm used to a fairly high level of performance from my computers (I'm a geek, I admit it), so I don't know how I feel about three years of sluggish performance and an inferiority complex stemming from my budget laptop.  ::)