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Laptop Recommendations

To: UK Law Incoming 1Ls
From: David Boyd, Computer Support Specialist
Date: May 8, 2013
Re: Laptop Recommendations

Most law students these days are coming into their first year at the college with a personal laptop in tow, so we have provided this note mainly as guidance for those purchasing new laptops.

You may purchase any laptop that you wish but we recommend Dell for several reasons:
  • In our experience, the Dell Inspiron & XPS (Windows) and Apple (OS X) lines of laptops tend to be among the most reliable/solid laptops available from any manufacturer. They lend themselves well to the day‐to‐day use and abuse of student life.
  • The College of Law's IT department is a certified Dell warranty repair center. This provides a convenient, no‐nonsense resource for students with Dell equipment to receive prompt warranty repair and parts replacement (on parts covered by warranty) at no cost and without ever having to pick up the phone.
  • We are able to provide hardware support to non‐Dell and out‐of‐warranty Dell laptops, but as we are not a retail shop we are unable to sell parts or equipment. We can, however, help you locate any parts you might need.
  • We would like to strongly urge you to purchase the Dell three-year warranty including accidental damage which covers things such as spilling your coffee into the keyboard during a study session.
  • Regardless of which manufacturer you choose, please make sure that you carefully read the warranty conditions and procedures for receiving warranty repairs. An example of what to watch out for is the occasional manufacturer that requires you to ship your laptop off for warranty work (at your cost) with no guarantee of prompt return.

When configuring and pricing a laptop, here are some specific minimum features to shoot for:
  • Memory: 2GB minimum, 3GB or more strongly recommended
  • 100 GB Hard Drive or better
  • Operating System: Windows 7 or Mac OS X 10.6.8 (Snow Leopard) or higher
  • Internal wireless network adapter (802.11 B/G/N)
  • DVD +/‐RW Combination Drive (you may not *need* the ability to write DVDs, but the price
  • difference is negligible).
  • 6 Cell Primary Battery
Optional but recommended items:
  • Extra AC Adapter w/Power Cord [highly recommended due to the number of occurrences we see of broken or lost adapters]
  • Upgrade to 9 Cell Primary Battery to add hours to your battery runtime going with a 9 Cell Primary Battery and springing for a 6 Cell Secondary Battery in your media bay has been known to give 8+ hours of battery runtime for Dell Latitudes.


Most new laptops currently available for purchase will easily meet or exceed these specifications. One cautionary note about "netbooks," like the Eee PC, HP Mini, Aspire ONE and other 9" and 10" laptops: these tend to be underpowered. Unless you know your needs will be accordingly modest, we advise you to go in a different direction. We know they're cheap, but remember that there's a reason for that.


We happily provide support for the Apple platform, but there are some important points you should consider before taking that route.
  • While the College of Law welcomes the use of Macintosh computers, some of the important online web‐based software packages employed by the University of Kentucky that are used for student access to financial and academic records are not compatible with Apple's Safari web browser. Mac users are encouraged to install an alternative browser such as Mozilla Firefox so as to be able to benefit from all of the features in these online resources.
  • To our knowledge, the nearest Apple store with a "Genius Bar" for in‐depth hardware diagnostics and warranty repair work is in Fayette Mall, which is roughly a twenty minute drive from campus.
  • One common misconception is that Macs are immune to viruses and malware this is not true, and recently we've begun seeing more malware target the Apple platform. As Apple's market share increases, so too will the amount of Mac‐compatible spyware.

UK currently offers the following packages at no cost to fully registered students. Please note that this offering is subject to change. Make sure you do not purchase something that you could receive for free:
  • Windows 7 Ultimate
  • Windows 7 Professional
  • Windows 8 Professional
  • Microsoft Office 2007, 2010, & 2013 for Windows
  • Microsoft Office 2011 for MAC OS X
  • Microsoft System Center Endpoint Anti‐Virus Protection 2012 from the university and other free anti‐virus and anti‐spyware options are available
We would be happy to answer any other IT questions you may have. Please feel free to email the IT Office at dl_law‐it@email.uky.edu or call 859.257.2367.

You may receive an amendment to increase your financial aid budget by the cost of your new laptop (up to a maximum of $1800), by emailing the laptop specifics and receipt of purchase to Interim Director of Admissions, Franklin Runge at franklin.runge@uky.edu.


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