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Laptop upgrade for law school

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Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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Anonymous
a b D Laptop
May 8, 2010 5:23:35 AM

1_What is your budget?

~$1500 is the max, preferably below that

2_What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?

15" would be ideal

3_What screen resolution do you want?

1080p

4_Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?

This will be my full-time computer, but I don't need a full-on gaming machine, my 6 year old laptop has enough juice to do most everything I want to right now.

5_How much battery life do you need?

4+ hours

6_Do you want to play games with your laptop? If so then please list the games that you want to with the settings that you want for these games. (Low,Medium or High)?

Starcraft 2, low settings are fine


7_What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo / Video editing,watching movies, Etc.)

Doing lots of law school research/document writing, watching video

8_How much storage (H.D.D Capacity) do you need?

100GB+

9_If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.

Dell.com

10_How long do you want to keep your laptop?

3+ years

11_What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?

DVD writer

12_Please tell us about the brands that you prefer to buy from them and the brands that you don't like and explain the reasons.

I've had my dell for 6 years with only a hard drive failure, so I'm partial to dell

13_What country do you live in?

USA USA USA


14_Please tell us any additional information if needed.

I am going to be using this as my only computer during law school. My dell is 6 years old and still runs well, but I will be taking exams on my computer so I can't afford to have my laptop crash and hang at random, as my dell sometimes does. I want a rock-solid reliable machine, preferably with 4GB+ of RAM.

Some manner of support for dual monitors would be nice. I also need an HDMI port because I like to hook up my laptop to TV for watching downloaded video. Thanks to anyone for their suggestions.
May 8, 2010 9:01:54 AM

I wouldn't get a dell. Up until this year, all i've ever bought was dell. However, numerous magazines and websites express dell as incompetent and unreliable.

I would consider a macbook pro. 10 hour battery life, rock solid OS. Some say the mac has superior software. If you're iffy about a mac, dont forget that all macs since windows xp have included bootcamp. bootcamp A program that lets you install and run windows natively, choosing the os you want at bootup. Essentially, it turns a mac into a pc.

If you absolutely want a PC, Lenovo has been ranked somewhere between first and third overall. their machines have some of the lowest failure rates according to a couple sources (forgot whcih ones.)

If you want something with the craftmanship of a Mac, but with versatility, power, and Windows, consider a HP Envy 14.
HP recently announced they are refreshing the ENVY product line, are introducing a 14 inch model in addition to the 15, and are introducing a 17 incher (the 13 inch is disappearing.

With an optional battery slice (somewhere extra, sometimes included) you can get up to 18 hours battery life (according to hp currently with the 13 inch). i've heard the 14 incher will have around 14 hrs of battery life with the slice.

The ENVYs focus on power and gaming. the new ones will easily play starcraft, can drive multiple displays, and the upcoming envy has eyefinity, so you can drive 3 displays.

If i were to buy a laptop for your needs today, i would buy a Macbook Pro or an hp envy.

If you're buying an envy, wait til the refresh. The new ones are coming out in the middle of june (i belive the 19th). The 17 inch is coming out in a couple weeks.



Alternatives to the above: If you absolutely have to have dell, i've heard the studio xps has a beautiful hi-res screen option.

Sony Vaio: the Z and Y series are AWESOME. Theyd be my third runner up.

Toshiba and Samsung are tied for fourth in my book. Samsung has a great selection of feature-rich notebooks, including blu-ray players, full number pads, and nice screens being standard on some models. These models are normally under 1000 dollars.
Toshiba: Oh man, where do i start? Toshiba is up-and-coming. Their m500 is awesome. If you were to take dell in it's prime, give it modern-day technology, and rebrand it, you'd have toshiba. Their notebooks are highly customizable, and some of their full power notebooks have up to 8 hour battery life without skimping out on power.


I'm currently in the market for buying a laptop too, so you're challenge is mine as well. In some ways, choosing a laptop has been the hardest decision i've ever made. i've been reading, surfing, asking, visiting multiple mom and pop computer stores and retailers/etailers, so you can trust the information i've given you. These truely are the best choices. If you seek more information, or want me to help customize one for you, i'd be more than happy to. =)
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May 8, 2010 5:24:27 PM

I have a Dell Latitude E6500. This is a business-class machine, built with similar hardware/case/keyboard/screen quality to the macbook pro, and costing about the same. It would fit in your budget just fine, and is available with battery configurations to get extra battery life.

Frankly I think you could get a perfectly good laptop for about half of your budget, use it 3 years, then upgrade to a whole new one.

Toshiba, ASUS and Dell are all rated pretty highly so you could just pick the one that you like.
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