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Looking for laptop ASAP - big keys, big screen, law school

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Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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December 23, 2012 5:22:35 AM

Looking to buy a laptop no later than December 24th, and would like to have a solid idea in the next 12 hours of what I am geting. So it needs to be something I could pick up at Best Buy, Microcenter, Fry's, etc. Not enough time to order it from Newegg.

I am looking for a laptop primarily for the purpose of note taking and, more importantly, exam taking in law school. A law school exam basically entails typing as much as you possibly can in 2 hours or so, usually open-book/notes, so I would like to be able to have my OneNote/Word outlines/WestLaw/LexisNexis on the left side of my screen while I type into Word or exam software on the right side. I have heard Westlaw and LexisNexis are fairly demanding on the processor.

When not using it for class, it will probably not be heavy games as I have a desktop PC at home, but easily syncing up to that would be ideal. I would like to be able to watch HD movies/youtube when I want, and ability to play flash games (ie. kongregate.com) would be preferable.

1. What is your budget?
Willing to spend up to $1500-$1800, but I don't need flash, just something quality.

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?
Bigger the better really. I have very big hands and am a very big guy in general. Big screen to have 2 documents side by side is important.

3. What screen resolution do you want?
1920x1080/1200 i guess? I've never had a laptop before, so if that is unreasonable or would have other significant downsides let me know...

4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?
Need to take it to class.

5. How much battery life do you need?
Absolutely needs to last more than 2 hours, preferably 5 or more, the longer the better!

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)?
Flash games, i.e. kongregate.com would be great. Real games would be a plus but not necessary.

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.)
Westlaw/LexisNexis

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?
Whatever...

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.
bestbuy, walmart, microcenter, fry's, etc...

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop?
at least 4 years.

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?
DVD and Blueray reader please. No need to write.

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.
Heard good things about Lenovo reliability.

13. What country do you live in?
USA

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.
I rent my palms below the keyboard when I type. Once I used a laptop where this made me click off of where I was typing all the time. UNACCEPTABLE. I can afford no distractions/lost speed when taking exams. Also need to be able to maneuvre to cut/paste quickly while writing exams.

Priorities are:
#1: Easy to type FAST for long periods of time. Typing speed is far and away most important.
#2: Screen that can have two word docs side by side
#3: Battery life

And must be able to find it somewhere in-store by the 24th.

If I NEED to bring an external keyboard/mouse I will, but I want the best keyboard I can get so hopefully I don't need to deal with lugging around an external keyboard!

Thank you,
Zach
December 23, 2012 9:14:18 AM

Check out Asus N55SL. I've typed on it and the keyboard is actually pretty good.
Here's a pic from the keyboard specifically:

http://www.notebookcheck.net/typo3temp/pics/5ddbd84e67....

As you can see, numpad keys are made smaller and so is the Enter key to make other keys bigger. The whole keyboard design is unique and kinda more refined, at least in my opinion.
Regarding the screen size, 15 inch is just enough, if you want more room you have to buy a laptop with higher resolution (e.g. FullHD) not necessarily a bigger screen in size. More pixels means more room. Don't worry I too do a lot of Office works which needs two documents side by side most of the time, and even my 15.6" display with HD resolution is very well capable of that.
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