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How much do you use your laptop during classes?

Discussion in 'Dental' started by PhoebeAZ, Jul 26, 2011.

  1. PhoebeAZ

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    I'm trying to decide on a new computer for school and I've narrowed it down to a few choices. One of the main deciding factors will be battery life. So how much does everyone use their computer for notetaking during classes? Will I need my battery to last a couple hours or would it be better to get a battery that lasts around 8 hours? I'd appreciate any advice from NYU students, especially.

    I'd also appreciate input on these models if anyone has experience with these brands:
    Lenovo ThinkPad T420s
    AsusU41JF-A1
    Apple Macbook Pro 13" (anyone notice if this overheats a lot with the new processor and OS, my sister has the 15" and it gets way too hot for me to use)
    Toshiba Portege R835-P50X
    Sony VaioVPC-Z116GXS

    I currently have a ThinkPad and I have experience with Macs, I don't know anything about Asus, Sony, or Toshiba so if anyone can tell me how reliable they are that would be great!
     
    #1 PhoebeAZ, Jul 26, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2011
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  3. CleverThought

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    I'm still in undergrad, but I use my laptop for most every class. I have a Toshiba and I love it, it has never given me any problems. Mine has a 9 hour battery life (longer or shorter depending on what I am doing)
     
  4. DrDientes

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    I use it all the time so do most of my classmates in dental school. Go with whatever gives you the longest battery life. I am happy with my 13" macbook
     
  5. Scoopie12

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    I rarely took mine to class. There was about 10 people at most who used their laptop on a daily basis in every class. They would just follow powerpoints on their laptop and some would type some notes on the bottom notes section.

    The most laptops that were ever in class was during sporting events actually such as conference basketball tournaments :laugh:. Also saw a lot during one class in particular where peeps just played board games online against each other.

    I used my 6 year old laptop and it was fine for me because I never used mine the whole class day. A good part of the day if your in lab you won't use it there either unless your in a Histology lab.

    To be honest, i'd say just follow what you did in undergrad. If you liked using a laptop then do that. If not, I wouldn't say change your whole world. And FWIW, most of the class had Apple laptops but any will do that has Office.
     
  6. immike1234

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    I recently bought the Macbook Pro 13" Core i5 just a few weeks ago.
    When I used the laptop in bed, it would get really hot. Apple suggests that you do not use the laptop on any soft material since the vents will get blocked and the laptop will get hot overtime.

    To be honest, after using my laptop at my desk, I haven't had a single use with heat. Actually, I can't feel any heat from the laptop even after using it for an entire day.

    My advice: If you're going to use the Macbook Pro for school work and use it at a desk, you'll be fine. If you're going to use the laptop to game, you're going to find that your laptop will get rather hot, and if you like using your laptop in bed, then you're going to want to buy another laptop.
     
  7. peanutb123

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    I highly suggest you buy a laptop where you can have direct access to the cooling fan in the back. So you do not have to dig trough your key board. and you can unhook like 4 screws and clean the fan. The air can wont be able to blow away hair and accumulated dust. Cleaning it once every year will help the laptop cool and retain battery life. You can find this info in the user maintenance guide which is available for free on your manufactures website.
     
  8. newyorkblork

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    To preface, I am an NYU student beginning 2nd year, Summer Session.

    In first year, it wasn't bad because I never really took notes, and if I did, I could get a seat along the wall and plug in. Beginning second year, there are just about no outlets and it is constantly a problem. You will want a machine with 6+ hours of battery life. The more the better. There are days where I have to rush to the outlet during our 5-10 minute breaks just to get a bit of a charge before heading back to my seat (outlets are in the back and I can't focus back there), turn the brightness all the way down and depower the wireless, and turn off the screen every 14 second interval I got.

    If you're not a gamer and don't really desire a high-power computer I would actually strongly suggest a tablet or a netbook. The size and weight of a laptop (mine is 7 pounds) can actually be quite significant in the morning, especially if you pack notes or a small book for the commute and other downtimes, lunch, and a thermos (to save the 12-18ish dollars you would otherwise spend on food and coffee), and in the evening after a very long day. If you are also the type to pack your scrubs instead of just wear them around, that is additional weight as well.

    If I had 550$ I would definitely invest in a tablet, and I might end up doing it anyway because the laptop weight and battery life are becoming such a pain (and to be more honest with myself, I'm a huge sucker for shiny gadgets and like justifying their purchase). As far as netbooks go, I feel silly spending 300$ on a gimpy laptop when I already have a laptop, so I'll probably avoid doing that.
     
  9. PhoebeAZ

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    I've done that with my thinkpad before and it really does help keep it cool. That's why getting a mac kind of worries me, it looks like you can't really do anything yourself. I'm going to look at the mac today, but since I use my laptop on my bed a lot, it might be out of the running.
     
  10. iamjackbauer

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    i use my laptop every day in dental school. but i did the same in undergrad. i can type 100x faster than i can write, so it makes sense for me. i also like being able to annotate the images on the slides, or insert pictures of my own from e-books as the lecture goes on. my school has power outlets at every desk, so battery life isn't really an issue, but having a laptop with good battery life is definitely awesome. i am definitely a PC person, but i really like my macbook pro for school.
     
  11. MowgliR

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    Which program do you use to take notes? The main reason I take notes on my computer is to sync with my audio recordings. I like MS OneNote, but after I switched to mac I was not able to use that program without having to go through Parallels.
     
  12. ramseszerg

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    I like to print 2 slides per page.. will it be way too much paper to carry around? (If I print double sided)
     
  13. newyorkblork

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    Not really. Some of the lecturers enjoy giving 46-72 slide lectures, so at a minimum, assume 12 pages, then multiply by 3 or 4 for the number of lectures you have in a day. 48 pages. Multiply that by 3 and you still only have 150 pages for a (very) high estimate.

    If you compare that to a 7 pound laptop with a 1 pound battery charger, you still come out okay... I think. Maybe I'm underestimating 150 pages :laugh:
     
  14. SoulPower

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    You'd be swimming in papers by the end of week I'd think.
     
  15. newyorkblork

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    Absolutely. I take my notes on computer and then take 'study notes' again on paper, and I'm still swimming in paper.

    But some people do the "I have huge alphabetized binders full of my very neat notes from last year's classes" thing, so more power to you if you know how to organize that many papers. I'm very bad with paper.
     
  16. ramseszerg

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    Thanks.. do iPad or tablet PC's really enable you to draw figures and graphs and and formulas and arrows and stuff on the slides? Or will it take too long to switch back and forth with text/select the tool you need to draw?
     

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