Monday, March 03, 2008

Advice about Laptops

I'm in the market for a new laptop. I've had HPs for my whole computing life, and I really like my HP notebook that I have now. I've had it for 2 and a half years, and sadly it's getting slow on me.

What are current specifications for laptops? Like RAM and memory. I researched these things last time I bought a laptop, but I have no idea now.

  • I need it to be light
  • I've settled on a 14'' or fewer screen
  • Word and OneNote
  • Preferably, NO AOL applications. They're too hard to get rid of and useless for me.
  • Also, I'd rather have Windows XP, but everyone is selling computers with Vista. Is it worth it to find one with XP? I have Vista on this machine and I don't like it, but that may be because this computer is slower. I might like it on a faster machine.
Virus protection is provided for free by the school, so these are my main concerns. Any advice?


Craig said...


I found your site randomly after searching Google, and came by this post. I'm a computer engineer from Boston, so I hate when people get bad advice about what kind of laptops to buy. If you are a software novice, the easiest (and by far the cheapest) thing to do would be to get a Dell. They buy hardware in such high volume that you can't get their kind of quality for a lower price no matter where you go. If you think you can handle a bit of software configuration, I'd recommend getting a Macbook, and setting it up with Windows. They have a nice little program called "Bootcamp" that allows you to run Windows on their framework. They're great machines with very high quality hardware, and they look really sexy too. Here are hardware specs you should shoot for:

2.0GHz Dual Core
2GB of RAM
> 100GB hard drive

This should put you around $800-$1000 at dell and probably somewhere around $1300 from Apple. Anyway, if you have any questions just email me:

Phaedrus said...

Once you go mac, you don't go back

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I third the Mac recommendation. It takes a little getting used to, but once you get it, you'll never want to use another computer.

Silly Little Law Student said...

Get a mac :)

Devin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tara said...

I say Mac as well. I'm a 1L and I love Macs. With the newer ones, you can run exam software and whatnot on it as well. The functionality is great, and you can get an appt at the genius bar whenever you have a question for free. They even pulled up old pictures from a trip to Japan and burned them for me before it needed to be sent off for a minor repair.

Guy Fawkes said...

I am partial to my Macbook, but I'm not a "Mac worshipper" like a lot of people I know. In my opinion, get a Macbook, then let me show you some of the little tricks I've picked up (or the things silly little law student told me).

Anonymous said...

Get a Dell. My firm uses Dell for its 1200 or 1300 attorneys. If it's good enough for us, it's good enough for you.

Macs are for tech dorks and the random idiot who will just have to switch over to Dell, HP, Sony, IBM, Toshiba, or Gateway when he or she somehow scams a job at a real law firm.

Anonymous said...

Like I said before, I hate when people get bad advice... Your firm uses Dell because its easy to use and cost effective. Calling Apple users idiots is just a testament to how dumb you are. Perhaps people that use Apple don't like the simplistic functionality, poor asthetics, and lower quality hardware that Dell offers.

Again, if you aren't affraid of a bit of software configuration and an awesome learning experience, get a Macbook. If you want to get a Dell get one for a better reason then some ass hole said only idiots use Apple.

Anonymous said...

"If its good enough for us, its good enough for you."

YAY! ATL-style comments! The egomaniacs are here!

Anonymous said...

"Your firm uses Dell because its easy to use and cost effective."

Those seem to be 2 very strong reasons in favor of getting a Dell. Easy to use and cost-effective.

As for lower quality hardware, I think you should know that most computer manufacturers get their parts from the same place. They assemble it at their own locations, slap their brand label on it, and voila. Apple. Dell Sony. Gateway. Whatever.

Whatever Sharon decides upon eventually, I think she should know that most big law firms do use Dell. Some use Compaq. Some use HP. Some use IBM. I don't know of any that use Macs.

Maybe Macs are better functionality-wise or in terms of "software configuration." (Aside: I can see how the comment "tech dorks" applies here). However, the reality is that law firms don't use them, and if you are going to end up in that world, it may be a good idea to make sure your computer is compatible. At the very least, maybe it might be nice to get used to the computer that you will be using very soon.