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The Laptop Buying Guide for Lawyers

By Edward Tan, JD | Last updated on

With technology's evolution continuing to exceed Moore's law, it can be really tough to know which computer is right for your practice. Don't you wish there was some special laptop buying guide specifically for lawyers?

Well, fear not attorneys, you've come to the right place.

Selecting the proper hardware for all your lawyering needs can be daunting. After all, there are so many choices available today. However, as this guide will teach you, lawyers only need to worry about five things.

Processor and RAM

If you're planning to only use your laptop for work, than paying attention to graphic card specs is unnecessary. Processing power and RAM should be your primary concern.

While higher is usually considered better. For lawyers, mid-range processing power is where you want to be. Any Intel Core i3 or i5s (or AMD equivalent) should be more than enough. As for RAM, more is always better. The bare minimum though is 2GB, but 4GB is ideal.

Battery Life

Battery life is the main reason why you shouldn't go overboard with your processor. A powerful chip adds considerable heat and it can also drain your battery much faster. For lawyers, a long battery life is important. You never know when you'll be sans a power outlet.

CD/DVD/Blu-Ray Drive

Though most files nowadays are viewable online, there are still a lot of times that lawyers will need a disc drive of some sort. Case in point, e-discovery. How many times have you been handed CDs full of PDFs? Being without a device to play them is a headache you don't need.

Wireless Capabilities

Make sure you at least have a wireless card capable of utilizing 802.11n, g, b, and a standards. Don't worry about what those numbers and letters mean. Just know that 802.11n currently offers the fastest Internet speeds. Everything else is slower. Built-in Bluetooth is preferable, but you can also buy a cheap USB dongle if you're not sure about shelling out the extra cash.

Cost and Weight

If you learn nothing else from this laptop buying guide for lawyers, remember that a good work computer shouldn't be expensive. Get the lightest one you can because you may have to lug it around a lot. And don't worry too much about hard drive space. Most laptops have more than enough for most attorneys.

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