perfect laptop for law school?

It’s pretty much a given that technology is constantly evolving. I know that as soon as I buy a laptop, a new line of laptops will arrive. They will be slimmer, faster, and prettier. So rather than chasing after perfection, I’ve opted to rank my priorities so that if it comes down to two laptops, I can just go through my checklist.

First, the keyboard must be comfortable. No ifs or buts. I’ve spent a few weekends visiting Best Buys and Micro Centers to test out keyboards. Top contenders for this factor are: Toshiba’s Satellite P and L series, Lenovo’s Thinkpad/Ideapad, and the Samsung series 7.

Second, I want a PC laptop. I’m not tech-savvy so I checked out different laptop forums and youtube videos that showed real-time performance of the second generation intel cores. I like what I’m seeing. Also, I’m definitely looking forward to using OneNote in law school, since I’ve regularly been using the program at my work. OneNote’s usability and practicality is comparable, in my opinion, to mac’s Preview program which allows you to easily edit pdf files. In college, I was a devoted mac user all four years. Still, whenever I had to write long reports or make a resume, I preferred using a PC computer. Part of the reason was that whenever I sent resumes or uploaded formatting-dense documents online, the formatting would be modified in order to make it compatible to mac’s version of Microsoft. Sure, I could have saved docs as pdf files to sidestep the formatting issue, but it’s the small things that get to a person.

Third, I’m over the whole tiny/nano/lightweight phase. I want the screen to be in the 15-16 in. range since this computer is going to serve as my main workhorse during law school and I want to comfortably view documents. While the reviews are pretty good for the ultrabooks that came out fairly recently, I’m willing to wait a few years until they become more established. I think it’s a bit of a risk to choose a laptop that hasn’t been tested for a few years, since if you come across a problem, you may have trouble finding someone who can fix it.

Fourth, I don’t want to go over $1000 (including a 3 year warranty).

For those who are considering a mac laptop for law school, I think it’s a fine option. I know current law students who swear by macs and have used them without troubles in law school. There’s a lot of options for laptops, so make sure you personalize your priorities instead of following the pack.

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