Tuesday, May 06, 2008


As I am attending law school this fall, I need a laptop. Problem is...what type?
Here are the requirements:
Major Vendors (e.g., Dell, Toshiba, Lenovo )
The College of Law is primarily a PC environment, but most newer Apple laptops running Mac OS X 10.4 or better will work with the UC Law network, networked resources, and exam software.
Hard Drive
80 GB
1 GB XP / 2GB Vista
Intel Core 2.Duo 1.66 GHz
Optical Drive
Video RAM
256MB for Vista Aero interfaces; less for XP
14.1 Inch
Operating System
Windows XP Professional or Vista Business or Ultimate
Wireless Network Card
802.11b/g (integrated or external) with 128 bit encryption.

I've heard some ugly things about Vista...
Anyway, if any of you have recommendations on what I should go for, that would be very much appreciated. Cost and reliability are the biggest factors.


JorgenMan said...

I think HP and Dell tend to have the best prices, generally. I've had a little experience with Vista, and I'd try to stay away from it if you can. I know Dell still offers Windows XP on most of their business laptops and a couple of their home laptops. Not sure about HP.

Macs are nice, of course, but can be a bit pricey for what you get. Of course, you could always be adventurous and install Linux...

Cougarg said...

You get what you pay for with Macs. If you were to get a PC that matched all the specs of a Mac, you'd pay about the same. You'll get the high quality and stability that comes with the price as well. You can also run windows on Macs to get access to software that is not designed to be run on Macs, but you do have to get your hands on a Windows disc to install it.

Of course, you already know how I feel about Macs though. The thing is, do you need everything that a Mac will provide? I don't know. If you judge that a PC is the way to go for you, I would definitely stay away from Vista if at all possible. XP is much more stable and runs almost twice as fast as Vista.

I understand that the ThinkPads were great machines when they were made by IBM, but are not as great now that they are made by Lenovo.

Bottom line: In most cases, I am of the opinion that you get what you pay for with electronics. I would not bother looking at refurbished laptops. But if you can find maybe a slightly older model computer that was more expensive, but is now on sale because it is no longer on the cutting edge, that would be the thing to do to get quality and price to meet in the middle.

Brightonwoman said...

Yup, vista stinks.
That said, we got a nice little HP laptop at Sams Club for about $1000 (after tax). I don't know all the official specs (and we got it last summer, so I'm not even certain whether it'd still be there) but it's got very high audio/video and includes plugin speakers, webcam, and a separate (plug-in) laser mouse.
That said, of course, the downside is that it has vista.

I had a dell desktop in college and was very happy with it. You might call them or check out the website--they're always running a special of some kind--upgraded memory, free shipping, something...you can have them put XP instead of vista.

Tim said...

I think I'll go with a Dell. They're still selling XP. Now the only question is: 2 GB or 1 GB? It's only a $50 difference, but...

the masked mallard said...

I would go with the 2 GB if it's such a small difference in price. I got a laptop with 1 GB thinking my needs would not be all that demanding, but apparently I underestimated myself.