The advancement of computing technology has led to laptops becoming invaluable tools, regardless of the profession you work in. For lawyers, they are even more important because of the records and documentation they must work with every day – which makes it important to select the best laptop for the job.
When you are on the hunt for a good laptop to use in your law firm or small law practice, there are many options to choose from – and that can make it hard to know where to start. It is still important to make the right investment though – and avoid making an under or over investment.
This review should give you some hardware to begin looking to if you might not know where to begin, as well as some features you should search for the next time you look for a good machine.
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HP Flagship laptop
8th Gen Intel Core i5-8265U
Dell XPS 13 7390 laptop
10th Gen Intel Core i7-10710U
Microsoft Surface laptop
Intel Core i7
512 GB/1 TB
Google Pixelbook Go M3
Intel Core m3/i7
Apple MacBook Pro
9th Gen Intel Core i7
Best laptops for lawyers – Reviews
HP Flagship 17.3-inch laptop – best value for money
This is among the more recent laptops, as it is a development of the 2020 advancements in the computing world. Its large 17.3-inch screen will also be a great option for any lawyer as well.
- Uses an 8th Generation Intel Core i5-8265U processor to provide maximum efficiency
- Display screen of 17.3 inches with a graphics card (Intel HD Graphics 620)
- RAM of 16 GB, while the hard drive storage is 512 GB
- Three USB ports (one USB Type-C, one USB 2.0 Type-A, one USB 3.0 Type-A)
- Limited warranty of 1 year
- Ethernet of 10/100/1000 Mbps
The laptop’s monitor is glossy and bright, while also being big enough to allow you to see the most of its vivid color scheme as possible. It also has a WLED backlight in order to brighten the screen when you are in dimly lit surroundings, and has a maximum resolution of 1600×900.
Its processing power will not disappoint you either, thanks to the use of a 7th Gen Intel Core (i5-7200U). The i5 status means that it comes in a dual core structure that processes information 4 ways, which allows it to process data as quickly and efficiently as possible. This is further aided by the RAM, which you can select according to what fits your needs. The DDR4 is of three storage levels – 8 GB, 16 GB, and 32 GB, while the HD ranges from 1 TB, 512 GB, 256 GB, and 128 GB. You might worry that this compromises the battery power, but that is not the case here – it has a battery life of 6 hours, which is more than enough when you need to get work done.
- Includes HDMI output
- Widescreen display with very vivid colors
- Excellent wireless connectivity
- It has many ports that you can use to connect various devices
- Lacks touch screen functionality
- Lacks a HD webcam
If you are a frequent user of computers that come with a large screen, then this is a great option for you. Its speed, large memory, and processor will allow you to work at an unstoppable rate, while remaining comfortable as you view your work.
Dell XPS 13 7390 laptop – our choice
This laptop is the result of taking the Dell XPS 13 and giving it the latest updates, especially in its processor. It is also enviable in its crisp display and beautiful, ultra-slim design, making it one of the most ultraportable laptops you will find in the market today.
- Uses an Infinity Edge display, 13.3 inches, and a screen-to-body ratio of 80%
- Constructed purely from aluminum
- Screen contrast ratio of 1500:1 and 100% on the RGB scale, which allows for vibrant display
- Micro SD card reader
- Includes Gore Thermal Insulation, which gives it thermal conductivity levels that are lower than air
- Waves MaxxAudio Pro to enhance the sound quality, even at high volume
In terms of its build, it takes a unique approach through using a single block of aluminum to construct the chassis. This is different from other Dell XPS flagship models which come in a 2-in-1 conventional design or the conventional clamshell format, and helps it to stay durable for much longer than usual. Other than that, the use of a single block in its construction also allows it to stay as lightweight as possible, rather than sacrificing a significant penalty with the size and weight.
The design is very stylish as well, as it comes with 3 color scheme choices – you can choose a black carbon-fiber interior with a Platinum silver exterior, or an Arctic White interior with a Rose Gold or Frost exterior. The design enhancement also extends to the interior, which uses a 6-core i7-10710U CPU, a 13.3—inch touch screen, SSD capacity of 512 GB, and a RAM of 16 GB. All this is a very good value that comes at an attractive price, in contrast to most Dell XPS laptops that are very expensive.
- The chassis is slim and very lightweight
- Very powerful working efficiency due to its CPU
- Excellent quality of its design and build
- Brilliant display
- Supports Wi-Fi 6
- The fans produce noise occasionally
- Keyboard is slightly uncomfortable (especially for people with large hands)
As this packs the latest Intel generation (10th Gen) of CPUs (which now feature a 6-core design), we easily consider the Dell XPS 13 as among the most powerful laptops you can buy today.
Microsoft Surface 3 laptop – best in battery life
If you are searching for a business tech laptop that you can carry around easily, then you might want to consider the Microsoft Surface 3 laptop, due to its noticeably light weight, as well as its powerful mechanism.
- Very elegant and clean design, with a weight of 2.79 lbs.
- Variety of color combinations available – Platinum, Cobalt Blue, Matte Black, Sandstone
- Includes USB-A and USB-C ports to connect to various devices
- Boosts in performance and speed, along with the latest processor
- 11.5 hours battery life
- 13.5-inch display screen
You can easily see the Microsoft Surface laptop as Microsoft’s answer to the Apple MacBook, as it focuses on portability and comfort – however, it lacks some of the features you would expect in a high-end Windows notebooks, like the watchband-style 360-degree hinges and webcam privacy shutters. This is fine though if you are looking to experience Windows mobile as it was intended by Microsoft in the first place.
The touch screen is among the innovations of the Microsoft PixelSense system, through its 2256×1504 display resolution and a 3:2 aspect ratio that makes it well-suited to word processing and web surfing.
The laptop uses an SSD of 256 GB capacity and a memory of 16 GB, in addition to a 10th Generation Intel Core i7-1065G7 in a 4-core design. Note that you can also expand the SSD to 1 TB or 512 GB, although you will need to do this when you are purchasing the laptop, not later. It also offers Iris Plus integrated graphics, which means that its display quality is very high.
- Both its touchpad and keyboard are very comfortable to use
- Very long battery life
- Excellent quality in its display
- There are many design options you can pick
- Does not have many ports
- Lacks a fingerprint reader
Thanks to its solid battery life and very satisfying keyboard, this laptop model is excellent at getting the basics right, and is an excellent portable choice.
Google Pixelbook Go M3 – best Chromebook option
This is a good shot when it comes to Google Chromebooks, because it is a far cry from the haphazard approach that Google takes with its computing products. The only disadvantage here is the non-removable screen, though this might not be a major deal breaker if that is not your priority.
- Battery life of up to 12 hours
- Lightweight and very portable due to its slim design
- Includes an in-built antivirus and a Titan C security chip to protect your data
- 13.3 HD touchscreen display
- Very comfortable keyboard
The laptop is not the flashiest laptop ever, but instead takes a more ‘basic’ approach through its minimal branding, ridged pattern on its underside, and the metallic body. In fact, its appearance is quite reminiscent of a MacBook, so you are assured of its durability and slimness.
Its main selling point is its keyboard, as it has a supremely smooth feel and plenty of room between the keys. They are also quiet as you tap away, making the experience of using it very smooth and comfortable – even when you are typing at full speed.
In terms of its performance, you will get various versions of the laptop depending on what you are willing to spend. If your budget is tight, you will get 64 GB SSD, 8 GB RAM, and an Intel Core m3, while the highest spending will get you a 4K display, 256 GB SSD, 16 GB RAMM, and Intel Core i7. Considering you are spending a lot of money, this may seem like a bad bargain compared to the other options on this list – but whatever you choose, it will still serve you well.
- The design is portable
- Excellent battery life
- Impressive speakers and sound quality
- Very bright and vivid display
- Lacks a fingerprint scanner
- Quite expensive
There is plenty you should enjoy about this laptop, because it might be the first Chromebook we see that actually stands a chance for the future. It has a very good design, and is very enjoyable to use, especially if you are a fan of Chrome OS laptops.
Apple MacBook Pro – best business laptop
This machine is very stylish and powerful, and will appeal greatly to the crowd that prefers MacBook laptops to Windows workstations – as long as you are willing to spend a premium on it.
- Uses a 9th generation Intel Core i7 processor, has 6 cores
- Ultrafast SSD and processing power
- It comes with 4 Thunderbolt 3 ports
- Includes an Intel UHD Graphics 630 card
- Touch ID and Touch Bar
- True Tone technology
From the external features, it looks similar to any Apple machine – it has a gigantic touchpad, a Touch Bar, Retina display, and sleek aluminum builds. It incorporates a very powerful processor – the 9th Gen Intel Core i7 CPU, as well as an AMD Radeon Pro Vega graphics card that will boost its video memory capacity.
The keyboard size has not changed from previous models, and the Touch Bar is a touch-sensitive display that has plenty of contextual controls that will change according to the app you are using at that moment.
- Beautiful display specs
- Excellent performance, even on a CPU-limited workflow
- Comes with 4 Thunderbolt-3 ports
- Accurate and oversize track pad
- Very expensive
- The bezels are too chunky
- Its key travel is short
- Lacks USB-A or video output ports
Thanks to its powerful CPU (Intel Core i9), this laptop is a very sleek 2019 version of the initial MacBook Pro. It is powerful enough to handle a variety of functions as well, which include data analysis and multimedia editing.
The laptops we do not recommend
ASUS Chromebook Flip laptop – the touchpad is uncomfortable to use
This laptop is beautiful to look at, and it has its own sense of elegance that you can easily get behind – this is also due to the slim bezels that surround its display. The keyboard is also great, although the build is not as durable as other Chromebooks. In fact, the laptop suffers severe levels of damage when you drop it, with the touchpad buttons breaking, and bending of the aluminum chassis, even with slight accidents.
It also does its best to promote good performance, although the RAM is smaller than the other picks in this list – 4 GB, and an Intel Core m3-8100Y CPU. Considering that this is a very expensive choice, it is not worth picking it if you are planning to do multimedia streaming alongside your work.
- The design and display is great
- Long battery life
- The touchpad is challenging to use
- Very pricey
- Very fragile build
Even though this laptop has a beautiful design and includes great specs, it loses marks because of the uncomfortable touchpad – and that is disappointing, considering how expensive it is.
What should you look for when buying a laptop for your law tasks?
Whether you want a tablet, desktop, or laptop only
If your plan is to own only one computer, it is best to get a tablet with a keyboard, or a laptop. Many lawyers prefer using a full-feature Windows table or laptop as their primary computer, while they might use other computing devices to handle everything else – so the choice is entirely up to you.
Regardless of what you decide to go with, resist the idea of getting a big, bulky laptop – instead, if you need an additional computer, get a desktop. If you want portability instead, choose a lightweight laptop – do not mix the two functionalities, or else it will become difficult for you to manage your files and documents on the go.
The price of the laptop is not really a major factor, but it can be a good guide to show you the models to look for. Many computers will have similar hardware that comes at similar price points as well, so make sure you are selecting what you actually require.
In addition to this, ensure that the model you are buying can last you for 3 to 4 years before you decide to upgrade it – in fact, aim to spend at least $1,000 on a very good laptop, as this will last for a long time and has enough specs to handle your tasks highly efficiently and without breaking down as often.
This might not be as essential for a desktop option, but it is very important for a laptop. The best laptops in the market will have a warranty of three or four years, and will even cover events such as accidental damage. This is because laptops are meant to be portable in the first place, and they might sometimes suffer accidents that render them out of commission – so you do not want to spend so much money in their repair in these cases.
The OS you want
The operating system that the computer uses will ultimately determine the experience you get, and there are 3 varieties:
Windows – the most common OS, and has the widest selection of apps while also being very easy to use.
MacOS – only available on Apple devices, which are quite expensive. It also lacks support for touchscreens.
Chrome OS – in order to use it, the device must be connected to the internet at all times. It is the most secure OS though, and does not take as much power as the other two options.
It is understandable that you might experience challenges when you are a lawyer and need to keep hundreds of records of your case files and important documents for a case, as the challenge is to remain as organized as possible. However, it is important to take advantage of the technological advancements that are currently in the industry, and buy a good machine that will serve you well for many years to come while remaining efficient enough to store what you need.