Law School, MBP?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by sstern1, Jun 6, 2007.

  1. sstern1 macrumors member

    Jun 24, 2004
    So I'm headed to Law School in August and I'm trying to figure out my computer situation. Right now I've got a G4 PB and I know I want to upgrade, but to what?

    The pros of a MacBook are that it's smaller and maybe has better battery life? But the MBP is so enticing, especially now with the extended battery life/LED display. I'd like to do a dual boot so I can run XP. I'm also going to be working as a journalist on the computer so portability is a need. I will also have photoshop installed for basic graphic design stuff.

    I don't need to buy it until end of July, so I'll use the scholastic discount -- and maybe there will be some refubs available by then?

    This is a computer I'm going to be using 10 hours a day. Is the screen real estate/power worth it or am i kidding myself?
  2. stevehp macrumors 6502

    Sep 4, 2006
    It's not a house, it's a home.
    I was thinking high end macbook for you the whole time until you said 10 hours a day of use...In that case, if it was me, I'd go crazy with a 13 inch screen.
  3. munckee macrumors 65816

    Oct 27, 2005
    Sounds like a MB should do everything you need.
  4. FleurDuMal macrumors 68000


    May 31, 2006
    London Town
    Well, I've just graduated from Law School and I have to say the Macbook served me well in my last year (a damn sight better than the sodding Sony I had before which broke constantly).

    The major plus of the Macbook is portability and versatility. During revision, where you'd spend 14 hours a day in the library, I'd often keep my Macbook in my locker over night instead of taking it home with me. You'd be damned if you could fit a 17" (or even 15") MBP in that locker. And also, if you need to rush off somewhere suddenly, it was quite easy to tuck the 13" MB under your arm as well as carry a couple of books. The MBP might be a bit too big for that.

    On the downside, writing essays on such a small screen is no fun. Nor is reading huge articles on it. In law a lot of the reading is accessible online nowadays, which means a good screen to read off is essential. The glossy screen maybe nice when watching films or browsing the net, but when you're spending hours reading off it, the glare and your own reflecting in the screen can begin to p*ss you off a bit. The small screen space is partly dealt with by the Expose features of OSX, but it'd still be good for a bit of a bigger screen.

    I'm personally thinking of selling my MB and replacing it with the upgraded 17" MBP. Although I think that's more influenced by other things (gaming, photography, etc) than how good it was for studying.
  5. Igantius macrumors 65816

    Apr 29, 2007
    The MBP's battery life is better now and, in theory, the same as the MB.

    From what you've said, the MB will be able to meet your needs admirably. The MBP would be something of an overkill in my opinion, but if you're not going to be using an external monitor at all, I would consider one for the slightly larger screen.
  6. naturallight macrumors member

    Apr 15, 2007
    Yeah, I'm off to business school in the fall, and I'm also torn between the MB and the MBP. If the MB was lighter (3-4 lbs), I would get it in a sec. I don't understand what the MBP is only marginally heavier than the MB, even though it's much bigger in size.
  7. RichP macrumors 68000


    Jun 30, 2003
    Motor City
    Live it up and get a base-model MBP. Personally, I find matte screens better on the eyes, and the extra pixel real estate is always helpful. I honestly dont see the MB all that much more portable than the 15" MBP. It weighs essentially the same and isnt that much smaller.
  8. tsu macrumors newbie

    Mar 15, 2007
    I just finished my first year at law school and I would highly suggest a MBP over a MacBook for the screen real-estate. I had two NeoOffice documents open side-by-side during class: one for my class notes, and the other for my case briefs. It looks a lot more cramped with a MB; having those extra pixels really helped me out. And, it is a nice way to use a brilliant widescreen :D
  9. mags631 Guest

    Mar 6, 2007
    I'd get the best model you can afford to ensure that you are happy with it longer.
  10. ironjaw macrumors 6502

    May 23, 2006
    Cold Copenhagen
    I graduated from law school in the UK last year, and the iBook G4 12" served me well. I found myself carrying it in my Berghaus bag all the time - to and from classes and the library so it was a godsend that it was lighter.

    If I was you I would get the lightest (read macbook) - you will appreciate the portability - especially since the MB is waay lighter then the iBook 12".
  11. klaxamazoo macrumors 6502

    Sep 8, 2006
    My sister was torn between the two last year. She decided on the MBP and is really glad she did. I'm sure that either computer will fulfill your needs, but the MBP with it's larger screen will make things easier.
  12. AaronM58 macrumors member


    May 22, 2007
    Lubbock, TX
    I'm in EXACTLY the same boat as you. I will be entering law school in the fall & have made up my mind that I will be switching to a Mac (Selling my 17" HP because it is not portable & I'm tired of the hassle of windows :mad: ) I've debated for months over the MB & MBP and have decided to go with the 15" low-end MBP. I think the extra screen real estate of the MBP will be worth it. Plus the new updates yesterday all but sealed it for me. I'd suggest you go with the MBP as well!!
  13. sstern1 thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 24, 2004
    Yea, sounds like the MBP is my best bet. And I can afford it with now that I get the educational discount! Does anyone know when refurbs might be showing up? I might be interested in saving a few more bucks.
  14. MikeT macrumors member

    Mar 10, 2005
    I'm a lawyer, and I'd recommend the MacBook Pro (or some other 15" notebook). I've been trying out a 13" MacBook for a couple days, and I'm not thrilled with it. The screen is too small for comfortably viewing documents side by side.
  15. sstern1 thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 24, 2004
    So do I buy today or wait until end of July/August? Any reasons not to wait?
  16. tim2006 macrumors 6502

    Jan 18, 2006
    I am a lawyer and used a 15 Powerbook and it worked great. I do not have the greatest eyes to start with and with all of the reading and writing, I would suggest the MBP now.
  17. shawnj macrumors newbie

    Jun 6, 2007
    I just finished my first year of law school.

    A couple observations.

    • The absolute first thing you should do is check with the registrar's office to see if you can use your MacBook Pro with the test-taking software. A lot of schools (including mine) forbid the use of MacBooks and MacBook Pros (despite the fact that you can install Windows). Check first because typing an exam vs. being forced to write an exam is a huge issue.

    • Second, when you look around the room at everyone else's HUGE Windows laptops, your 15 inch MacBook Pro will seem like a sub-notebook. I'm not joking. You can easily go with the 17 and it'll still look on the small side compared to what nearly all of your fellow students lug around on the Windows side.

    • The glossy screen issue is a matter of personal preference. Yes, there is some glare with the glossy screen, but you can actually see what's on the screen when the sun is shining on it, compared to matte-screens which become difficult to read. Glare is not an issue for me at all. I've had a PowerBook G4 and a MacBook Pro and I wouldn't trade my glossy screen for the world.
  18. Igantius macrumors 65816

    Apr 29, 2007
    Size isn't everything you know... I'm sstern1 is confident enough not to suffer from laptop envy :D
  19. brsboarder macrumors 6502a

    Feb 16, 2004
    besides the test taking thing, I recommend a macbook and then buying a real lcd monitor for 200-300 for when you do some real writing
  20. cookiejuice macrumors member

    Jun 6, 2007
    Same here

    I am going to law school as well in August..SWEET ..can't wait...anyway I went with theMBP could I deny battery performance increase haha.....quick question for those who have replied who have experienced law the glossy hard on the eyes for the large amount of reading/notes done on the computer? I ordered glossy but I am getting nervous. I am on my g/f macbook as we speak and reading all this glossy v matte opinions is making my eyes hurt haha!!! it is just in my head right?
  21. sstern1 thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 24, 2004
    I've heard the Matte is easier on the eyes. Although I never had much of a problem with my G4 PB.
  22. Genghis Khan macrumors 65816

    Genghis Khan

    Jun 3, 2007
    Melbourne, Australia
    i'd go with fleurdumal, as he seems to know what he's talking about

    i'm studying architecture and the macbook is all i need, the only programs i would want that don't run on it won't run on mbp either

    the only salient point is reading off of it....i have a fair bit of online reading for the theory part, and i can handle it okay...but that's a matter of opinion more than anything else

    i recommend macbook...because mbp is too big and expensive for no benefit to you while u study
  23. dswoodley macrumors 6502a

    Jul 18, 2002
    I heard from at least one friend starting law school, that the issue was one largely one of communication. The school didn't understand that windows runs natively. When then did realize the MBP was just as good windows machine as anything else, they were fine.
  24. shawnj macrumors newbie

    Jun 6, 2007
    Honestly, that's just ridiculous.

    If you own a MacBook Pro, you're going to have probably the smallest computer of any law student in the class. It's just that tiny compared to what everyone else is lugging around. It's 1 inch thin and sits narrower and shorter than anything else you'll see at school.

    I'd recommend the MacBook if price is an important issue though.
  25. Daveway macrumors 68040


    Jul 10, 2004
    New Orleans / Lafayette, La
    Again, you are giving a biased opinion because you yourself do not own a MBP. And that statement honestly does not make much sense.

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