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Laptop Computer for Med School

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by OneDayDoc, Jul 17, 2006.

  1. OneDayDoc

    OneDayDoc Member
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    My old laptop is on its last legs and I'm trying to decide if I should get a new laptop that I could bring to med school classes next year (I'm applying now) or save money on a desktop. What is the prevalence of laptop use in med school classes is? Are they useful or is old fashioned pen and paper best? I know they are ubiquitous in law and biz school, but am not sure about us pre doc folks.
     
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  3. flipanova7

    flipanova7 Junior Member
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    They're mandatory at a lot of medical schools these days, take for example ours...

    We are being forced to lease (more like rent-to-own) IBM Lenovo Thinkpad T43's

    I like them, except I wish they would have opted for the models with the Core Duo processors.
     
  4. nosugrefneb

    nosugrefneb (benferguson)
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    I'd estimate that about half my class has laptops or tablets. Of these, maybe a third are Macs and the rest PCs. It may be more since there are inevitably some who have never brought theirs to school in favor of using them purely as desktop replacements.
     
  5. Army_Doc

    Army_Doc Member
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    I havn't started med school yet, but i had this same question a few months ago. I would suggest waiting at least for the new windows version to come out before buying a new computer. It might save you from a costly upgrade down the road.
    Plus if your future med school is anything like mine, scribe notes and powerpoint printouts are available for almost all classes, so a laptop in class may not be necessary. Some school do suggest laptops in class (some even require it), but in my case (NJMS), people i've spoken to say its not necessary. I what i'm getting at is to hold off on making an expensive purchase until you find about the schools you're applying to.

    Personally, I like to draw diagrams, etc, so a pen and paper would work fine for me in school.
     
  6. Assuming that you choose to go with a Windows-based machine, you should know that Vista is not currently scheduled to come out until January 2007 and, based on the number of times it has been pushed back already, it may be a couple more months than that. On the other hand, if you get a computer that can handle Vista, most schools sell Windows version upgrades for $20-40.
     
  7. nosugrefneb

    nosugrefneb (benferguson)
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    Yup.
    http://news.com.com/2061-10805_3-6092487.html
     
  8. Sust

    Sust Starving Card
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    I third that motion.
    The people I know who have been brave enough to run the Beta versions have called Windows Vista a "Windows XP plus SP3".
    There's not very much high praise for its innovation and I imagine it would bog down a lowly laptop thats already languishing under the bloat of Windows XP right now.

    If there was ANY reason to wait a little bit, it would be for the price cuts associated with the official Intel Core 2 Duo release. I dont think it will impact the laptop price front when July 24th comes around, but it will shakeup the desktop market.
     
  9. RachMD

    RachMD Junior Member
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    I will be starting med school in August and a laptop is required for class. I purchased a Thinkpad X41 by Lenovo. I LOVE it. The processor is a little slower than the other laptop models, but it has a long lasting battery (about 5 hours) and is super light. You can just jot down notes in powerpoint for lectures and don't have to worry about printing out slides. But, every school's requirements are different. Some private school "provide" a laptop (cost included in tuition) or have one particular model that the entire student body must use. Anyway, I would recommend the tablet and waiting a little while longer until you get further into the application process to make your purchase.
     
  10. medrad

    medrad Ubermensch!
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    If you are trying to decide between the two - wait until the last possible moment and get a laptop. You will not be saving *that* much money on a desktop.

    If you get a laptop now - make sure you get a core duo (get the 667MHz, not 533Mhz processor), upgrade your video card if possible, upgrade to the 7200rpm harddrive, and buy as much RAM as you can. This should make it last through med school. Also, do buy the RAM from a third-party vendor like newegg.com. You'll end up saving ~50% depending on how much you buy.

    As for vista - most new laptops now will run Vista - yes even the Dells with integrated graphics. A more important question is can they run the Aero glass interface - which will be sweet. Again, most decent laptops you buy today will, just remember to load the computer down with RAM if you end up getting a ****ty video card - some new graphic chipsets will utilize system memory if they need to.
     
  11. LucidSplash

    LucidSplash Bloody Plumber
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    Actually not just private. Maryland "provides" one that is built into our tuition.
     
  12. sentrosi

    sentrosi INTARWEB USER
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    Right. And I'm assuming there's a fair amount of diagramming need in med school.

    In any case, a tablet would let you do that. I don't think I'm getting a new computer though. I already have both a desktop and a laptop. The desktop is in good shape still because I took care of it and bought very close to top of the line when starting undergrad. My laptop is crappy, because I didn't want to spend much more since I already had the desktop.

    I am thinking about getting a PDA though. Not sure if that's useful or not.
     
  13. Army_Doc

    Army_Doc Member
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    Hmm, thanks for the heads up. I didn't know I could get an upgrade for 20-40 bucks.
     
  14. Check with your school. My undergrad institution got free full copies of windows, my grad school has $30 upgrades, my little brother has $20 upgrades, and my sister has $20 full versions. I would imagine whatever your school is, they offer some type of cheap student product.

    (An upgrade version requires that you have a previous version of Windows installed, which usually is whatever you have now. A full version means you can install with just that. If you're not a big computer person, it's not hard to find someone who can help you upgrade your operating system.)
     

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