Best laptop for Law Students – Despite being sleek and portable, each of the 12 reviewed gadgets caters to a different clientele, especially when usability and budget are concerned.
If you seek our expert recommendations before making the purchase, we would suggest in favor of the HP Spectre x360 15t, precisely for the excellent processing conglomerate, which in turn helps hone your all-round abilities.
If you are planning to save some money and avoid overspending on irrelevant features, the Acer Swift 3 is one of the better bets.
For battery seekers, nothing comes even close to the LG Gram 15. Then again, for Chromebook lovers, the PixelBook Go from Google is the best gadget to invest in.
If you prefer the macOS over Windows and Chrome OS, consider the MacBook Pro 16 or MacBook Air as per budget and requirements.
That would be all from me regarding the best laptops for law school and lawyers. Make sure that you go through each laptop I’ve mentioned above and then make your decision as per your will and wish.
If you are interested, then you may also check Best Laptops for Teachers.
It packs a crisp 14-inch display in a trim aluminum chassis with ultra-thin screen bezels and a hinge that provides a subtle but appreciated lift to the keyboard. Inside, it supplies a 10th Generation Intel Core i7 “Ice Lake” processor, 8GB of RAM, integrated Intel Iris Plus graphics, and a 512GB solid-state drive.
Getting this component mix in an all-metal ultraportable for less than is a steal, and I haven’t even mentioned the ZenBook’s all-day battery life. And yet we can’t offer a full-throated recommendation for the model UX425JA despite its appeal. How is this so? Timing, they say, is everything.
The latest update to the Dell XPS 13 brings Intel’s cutting-edge 10th Generation processors to this venerable ultraportable laptop. (It’s in the form of the chips dubbed “Comet Lake,” distinct from the 10th Gen “Ice Lake” processors in the also-new Dell XPS 13 2-in-1.)
The rest of the machine, from its exterior styling to its crisp 4K display, is so good that Dell decided to leave it mostly untouched from its previous incarnations. In fact, its predecessor achieved a rare five-star rating when we reviewed it in January. This one, which starts at and is as tested (fitted out with a six-core Comet Lake chip), now co-stars with the Razer Blade Stealth 13 as one of the two best ultraportable laptops you can buy.
The Pavilion line has always represented HP’s consumer mid-range marque, and this 15-incher slots right in; it’s a not-quite-ultrabook laptop that truly has a lot going for it. The model we have here is absolutely bursting with high-spec hardware, from 16GB RAM to a speedy 512GB SSD, from a touch-screen 15.3-inch FHD display to a 4th-gen AMD Ryzen 7 processor.
For the most part it absolutely rocks those components, getting results which, while not quite reaching as high as the lofty mark set by the top end of Intel’s 11th-gen mobile processors, are truly creditable.
Opening up the plastic laptop shell reveals a bright, white, perfectly spaced keyboard on top of a polished blue keyboard tray. In a departure from the solid matte blue found on the outside, the HP Stream has a glossy, gradient woodgrain pattern on its keyboard tray, adding more pizazz to its design.
And that surprisingly not-tacky white keyboard? It’s the electronic equivalent of a writing with a silky, smooth, gel ink pen. In addition to its low price and stellar design, it has a long-lasting battery — better than 8 hours in our video rundown test — and includes a year of Microsoft Office 365 and 1TB of OneDrive online storage .
Few PC makers do fun, gadgety features on their laptops quite like Asus. For example, for some time now Asus has added extra displays to models such as the ROG Zephyrus G14, with its optional 1,215-mini LED array on the top diagonal half its lid for displaying GIFs or photos, or the Zephyrus Duo 15, with its tilting 14-inch touchscreen that sits between the keyboard and main 15.6-inch display.
Those are gaming laptops, but you’ll also find dual screens on productivity laptops such as the VivoBook S15 S532, which has the second-gen ScreenPad, a touchpad that controls your cursor but is also a 5.6-inch touchscreen.
Best laptop for Law Students – BUYER’S GUIDE
Probably the most important component since modern laptops have by default all of the above. There a few perks on investing on a good display. Try to get all three or as many of the following features as you can:
Don’t discount screen size. Smaller may mean more portable and more battery, but there are many times when you’ll be glad you have a 13”-15″ laptop and have plenty of room for slides and pdfs open at the same time without having to squint at the screen.
More important than screen size in achieving this side by side multitasking is resolution. Even if you get an 11” laptop, the resolution will make it possible to fit in two windows simultaneously and actually have the proper size to become useful. 1080p Resolution is perfect for this.
IPS displays just don’t give you pretty colors and awesome color accuracy, they also give you the best viewing angles by this I mean you can flip back and forth your laptop screen and the image won’t be distorted.
I’ve sat in so many lectures watching the kids in front of me fiddle and fiddle and fiddle with their screen angles trying to avoid the glare from overhead lights–and watching the perfect reflections in their super-shiny screens as they pick at the keys–while I was happy with my matte-screened machine.
If you value your eyes I suggest you go for a matte display instead of a glossy finish. unless of course there’s no overhead lights wherever you are working at.
Sooner or later you’ll get a paper or an assignment that’ll just make you go crazy. You’ll need to collect data from multiple sources while simultaneously reading them. This is where an external display comes in handy.
You can attached this baby to your laptop back home and wonder how you ever functioned without all the extra screen size.
The bigger the screen, the better. Good places to look for great deals on external monitor are BestBuy, CostCo and if you don’t like getting out of your house and you are a student from overseas Amazon followed by NewEggs are good places to start.
Here’s a nice model the website owner uses:
In my days, all you needed to know about storage was how much data they could. This was measured in gigabytes. Although we did have Solid State Drives(I’ll talk about them soon), the market was still flooded with “Hard Disk Drives”, the old fashioned and slow storage found inside most laptops today and the one you are probably acquianted with.
Today, just for about any type of work, storage drives have way too much capacity (1TB-2TB!) and even the cheap machines offer you with 1TB= 1000GB. This is enough to store a lifetime of files including photos, videos, pdfs,etc. For Law School, you’re only going to use 200GB at the most (even that’s pushing it x2 fold!).
Today the current trend is getting a Solid State Drive, these new devices, can read and write data up x17 times faster than HDDs. This means booting up your machine in seconds (I’ve used a stopwatch – it was literally 6 seconds) and launch software/look up a document for a specific word instantly.
- More battery life: they don’t have any moving parts, not much energy consumption
- Less prone to hardware failure: when you drop your laptop, there’s a 90% chance your data will still be safe and sound
- Less Heat
- Less Noise
Solid State Drives (SSD)
You’ll find them listed as “SSD”. It doesn’t matter what type of SSDs you get (there are two: PCIe NVMe vs M.2 SATA III), they’re both several times faster than HDDs. The only downside is that getting a decent capacity on them (512GB) can be quite expensive. Luckily, you are a law student, even 128GB will suffice.
Using the Cloud vs Back Up
Even with the most ruggerized solid state drive on your laptop, you should always back up your files. By this I mean, you should put all your important files either in cloud services like OneDrive, Drive, DropBox or your own’s school’s network servers (some actually let you back up your data using blackboard or whatever).
OneNote & OneDrive (One Love!)
Out of the services mentioned, OneDrive gives you the option to sync your notes from your class to the cloud continuosly as you type them. That is, if you use, OneNote, which you should also really consider for note taking.
If you aren’t using OneNote, please work on your papers using Google Docs…you don’t want to lose an entire paper and show up with the old my dog ate my laptop excuse and the teacher going: “Don’t worry Joe, It’s just your entire grade”.
External Hard Drive
An external back up can be handy but I mean what kind of lawyer needs a complete back up. I mean can you work with a new computer or a factory reset to yours after copying back all the important files you had on them? If the answer is yes, then, you don’t necessarily need a complete back up and rely on software to do it.
Just copy & paste your entire library of stuff into a gigantic USB Drive and the Cloud (never have irreplaceable stuff in just one location).
Whatever you copy into those locations
You may also want to consider an external hard drive with back-up software (or use the built-in backup software of your operating system) to minimize your problems, should your computer fail, but don’t rely solely on a local back-up system that can be damaged or stolen along with your computer. Online backup services such as Mozy are another possibility, though typically unnecessary. Flash drives can be used to keep instant back-ups of crucial data. But remember: Never have irreplaceable content in just one location!
What kind of stuff should I back up?
Whatever you back up you should be able to throw your computer off a bridge, lose no data and be back up and running in less than an hour with a different computer. If you have a desktop back at the dorm, this is much easier to do! Stick your back up USB in it or log into the cloud and stay indoors for the next few weeks until you can afford a new laptop!
You should get at least 8GB RAM.
4GB: Most cheap laptops come with 4GB RAM and Windows itself takes around 2GB, your web browser and MS Office and any other software you particularly like to run will quickly consume the remaining 2GB.
8GB: Will let you to do throw in some pretty insame multitasking. Even if you have to get a low-end processor in exchange for 8GB RAM, go get it. It’ll have more of an impact since processors are too fast today.
16GB and beyond: I shouldn’t even talk bout it in this post. It’s useless but I’m just mentioning because it seems some universities have the Old TI guy written their laptop recommendations with their “get as much as RAM as you can” which doesn’t hold true anymore, laptosp today can have up to 64GB, what kind of lawyer needs that? Perhaps if you want to video edit some evidence with Adobe Premiere and AE…
Picking up a processor for Law School is easy. Just avoid the most expensive and powerful ones? Why? They suck battery life. These are usually the Core i7 processor or Core i5 without the “U” label on it:
Core i7-7700HQ, Core i5-8300H,etc.
Also avoid any “old generation processor”
That is if the first number is less than a 6 run like Forrest Gump because these old bricks are too slow even for the current versions of MS Office and the now CPU/RAM intensive web browsing applications.
The best CPUs are anything with U label on it, which stands for ULV(Ultra Low Voltage) aka, I don’t suck energy, and I will not turn your laptop into a frying pan (they don’t generate too much heat)Ex: Core i3-7100U, Core i3-8130U, Core i5-8250U. Any AMD processor without the label “Ryzen” will do just fine as well
Finding the best keyboard is difficult, all the models shown above have great quality keyboards and in fact most laptops above 600$ do. If you are trying to cheap out on a laptop, then you really need to be cautious about keyboard quality.
You’re going ideally going to spend the next 3 years of your life working on this laptop nearly all day, no reason to settle for any bad keyboard or trackpad experience:
- Try them out at your local store and order a similar model online (with the specs you want).
- You want to type fast and easy on it (remember you’ll be taking exams on this machine)
- Avoid Bilingual Keyboards: these have weird set ups (only half a shift key and the enter key wiedly positioned)
- Read Reviews about the model you want, users always point out any faulty keyboards. If there isn’t majorly critiqued about them, they’re good to go.
But don’t forget to close attention to the built-in keyboard if you are all day every day on campus!
Obviously, you’d want the longest battery life you can afford. This section wasn’t just written to tell you that though, here are a few tips to get the longest batteries (if you can’t afford the ultrabooks):
- Core i3 processors give you the longest battery lives
- Low resolution displays (768p, 900p). 1080p are best but they suck more energy
- SSDs (swapping the hard-drive for an SSD or taking out completely will increae battery life)
- Again Avoid Core i7 and powerful Core i5 (quad cores)
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the most important laptop attribute for lawyers?
As per our recommendation, battery life is the most important attribute for a lawyer-friendly laptop. Attorneys need to carry their machine to court or client meetings, and being low on battery juice puts a bad impression and can even impair professional productivity. Therefore, a 10 to 12-hour ballpark is more than expected.
What kind of keyboard is preferred by students of law?
A law student needs to type a lot, especially during assignment completion or internship research work. While a backlit keyboard is necessary, key travel is the most underrated attribute that must be taken into account, followed by keystroke durability. A 1.4mm key travel is more like a bare minimum for students of law.
What kind of processor is preferred by lawyers and attorneys?
When it comes to processing power, U-series, Intel Core i5 processors should be sufficient for handling even some of the more demanding legal management software. Be it Clio, TimeSolv, or Legal Files, a good 8th gen chipset, if paired with 8GB RAM, can handle almost any software and associated program with ease and precision.
Why do law professionals prefer high-speed internet connections?
With most law practice, client management, and billing apps moving onto the cloud to minimize the reliance on on-premise, unsecured software, internet connectivity, and the quality thereof are some of the more important traits to be considered. Therefore, if you plan to purchase a laptop for your law practice, opt for a device that supports Wi-Fi 6 or at least Wi-Fi AC support with backward compatibility.
Why is Chromebook a decent enough choice for a law student?
Endpoint security and lack of on-premise software credibility force lawyers to go online with time, client, billing, and practice management. Therefore, Chromebooks are slowly getting the popularity they deserve, as these are primarily internet-bound gadgets with the Chrome OS at the helm. Moreover, a Chromebook is way cheaper than a standard laptop, which is one of the many reasons for persisting with the same.
What is the importance of display while selecting a good laptop for lawyer?
A display might not be the most important trait when it comes to selecting a lawyer-friendly laptop. While you can ignore the resolution, slimmer bezels, and even the viewing angles to a certain extent, anti-glare properties and decent sunlight visibility are some of the prior considerations.
Considering the fact that you are here to find the best lawyer laptop, I’m more than happy to help you. As a professional laptop expert, I’ve done thorough research in the market and have carved off a top-rated law school laptops.