Best Laptop for Lawyers [2021 Reviewed]

An Overview of the Best Laptops for Lawyers

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We understand that you may be in a rush and would not like to read the entire buying guide, which is why we’d like you to know that we have chosen the Acer Aspire 5 as the best laptop for lawyers due to it’s affordability and stellar price to performance ratio!

Introduction

Lawyers are tasked with representing clients in legal proceedings, as well as discussing important matters with them based on their area of expertise. Practicing law is no joke! and like most other professionals, lawyers have also benefited from automation and the use of technology to streamline their jobs. Therefore, as a professional practicing law in the modern era, having a good laptop is a must!

Besides everyday use scenarios such as emails, word processing, presentations etc, Lawyers also use a lot of proprietary software, which means that choosing a suitable laptop is not as easy as it may have seemed.

When discussing the necessary features for choosing the best laptop for lawyers, there are a few things that come to mind. The first one on the list is performance. Luckily, most modern laptops are quite capable of running law based software so this is not something that will majorly affect your purchase decision.

The bulk of the dedicated software that lawyers use falls under the category of Document Management Systems (DMS) or Case management systems such as MyCase or Abacus Law. For running these, you will be fine with a basic i5 processor along with a standard 8 GB of RAM.

You wouldn’t need an external GPU either since the aforementioned programs aren’t graphically intensive. However, if you want to futureproof your laptop or have an alternative use case, then you should definitely go with something that has more higher-end specs.

One thing that you must consider is the amount of storage on your machine. It’s common to buy a laptop with very little storage and have regrets later on. You will probably have a bunch of case files, as well as cybersecurity systems such as firewalls and antivirus that may take up more space. We would recommend getting a minimum of 256 GB of storage, and scaling that up to 1 TB depending on usage. For most people 512 GB is going to be the sweet spot, so we would recommend going for that. Furthermore, having expandable storage through extra open bays or the USB ports is also a great bonus.

The last factor that we would want to discuss is the build quality of the laptop. Lawyers are likely to take their laptops everywhere in different kinds of environments, which is why having something that is built well and is durable would be a big lifesaver. You also want something that is lightweight so portability isn’t an issue.

Top 3 Laptops for Lawyers [Reviewed]

Lenovo ThinkPad E595

The first entry on this list is the Lenovo ThinkPad E595. ThinkPads are known to be one of the most reliable machines out there. Their sturdy design means that they can survive even the most brutal scenarios. Moreover, having a simple upgrade and repair design ensures that your laptop will last much longer than normal. As Lawyers, having a reliable machine can be a really great asset, and since the ThinkPad is made to last a really long time, we think it should definitely be considered by everyone.

The processor on this unit is by Ryzen. The company has really upped its game in the last few years and their processors are now as good as Intel, if not better. As a matter of fact, Ryzen processors compete with or even outperform their Intel counterparts. The exact processor on this device is the 3.70 GHz Ryzen 3500U, a Quad-Core processor, with Up to 3.70 GHz clock speeds. This model doesn’t have a dedicated GPU, but you are provided the built-in Vega 8 graphics, which should be more than sufficient for any kind of Case Management Software or DMS you are planning to run. It’s also great for more power-intensive tasks such as video editing and light gaming. 

Moreover, you get 8 GB of RAM and a 256 GB M.2 SSD which provide really high read and write speeds for a much snappier experience. The best part about all this is that the RAM is upgradeable to a total of 32 GB, while an additional SATA slot is also provided for future storage expandability. The upgrades are pretty easy to do, which makes the over all experience much better. It also ensures, that you are less likely to run out of storage, and even if you do, a quick storage upgrade would fix the issue. Furthermore, your laptop will be much more future proof, and can easily last you for another 5 years!

The display is another important aspect of a laptop. It’s the thing you stare at the most so you definitely want something that is pleasing on the eyes. With the ThinkPad, you get a 1080p IPS anti-glare panel. It’s not something that will blow you away, however, it’s perfect for basic use, more than enough for a lawyer. The size itself is 15.6 inches, which is right in the sweet spot of not being too small or too big. If it were a bit larger, then carrying it around everywhere would a hassle, and if it were a bit smaller then your multitasking experience would be hindered.

One of the only complaints we have is the lack of a backlit keyboard, even though the keyboard itself is amazing. However, since the display is really bright at 250 nits, you can use that light for illuminating the keys. The brightness also helps when using your device in unsuitable viewing conditions such as under direct sunlight or when you’re at a coffee shop.

Most modern laptop manufacturers have started to make their devices more sleek and portable. While this improves the general looks and feel of the product, you have to sacrifice many other important aspects. One of the most prevalent of these is the port selection. When you take a look at modern Ultrabooks, you can see that they have very few ports compared to devices from a few years back.

Luckily, Lenovo has made the right decision to keep as many ports as possible which greatly improves the productivity aspect of your laptop. The ThinkPad E595 has 3 USB-A ports, supporting either 3.1 Gen 1 or Gen 2, 1 USB-C Thunderbolt port, as well as HDMI, SD card slot, headphone, and microphone jack as well as ethernet. One major advantage of having a wide variety of ports is that you can add external storage devices, instead of upgrading the internal ones.

Other features include, a decent webcam, which is perfect for working remotely on days when you don’t feel like going into work. You also get the standard ThinkPad security features such as the Kensington® lock slot, which can be beneficial for a lawyer who has a lot of confidential data on this device.

The dimensions for the laptop are 14.50 x 9.90 x 0.80 inches, making the machine thin, but not flimsy. It weighs 3 lbs which is pretty lightweight for something so powerful. The manufacture claims the battery lasts for 13 hours, however, we found that it would last for around 6 to 8 hours, depending on your usage. It will comfortably last you through an entire day with moderate usage. To conclude, we think that this is one of the best laptops out there for Lawyers or anyone who just wants a practical and reliable machine that will last you for many years.

What We Liked
  • Amazing build quality
  • Excellent upgradeability
  • Good port selection
  • Secure ThinkPad exclusive features
What We Didn’t Like
  • No backlit keyboard

Acer Aspire 5

The next laptop on our list is the Acer Aspire 5. Acer has made great strides in the past few years, by providing amazing features for the price. The Aspire 5 in particular is one of their cheapest laptops, yet it’s the most popular. It’s highly regarded not just by customers, but also by reviewers. Acer has really shown with this laptop that you don’t need to spend a lot of money to get an amazing machine.

The processor it comes with is the Intel Core i5-10210U 1. 6 GHz, Turbo to 4.2 GHz, 4 Cores, 8 Threads, Intel UHD Graphics with shared graphics memory. Since this is an Intel Processor, most people are probably well aware of how it performs. This processor is a good competitor to the Ryzen 3500U found on the ThinkPad. That just shows the value of money you get with this laptop, as the Acer is significantly cheaper when compared to the ThinkPad.

For the storage, you get 256 GB of PCIe NVMe SSD. It’s not as fast as the one found on the ThinkPad, but it’s still fast enough that you won’t notice any major difference. Most people will likely be satisfied with 256 GB. But if you desire more, then luckily, Acer has given you the offer to upgrade the storage as there is an extra 7.5-inch bay, which allows you to add a hard drive. Paired with that is an 8GB DDR4 RAM stick, which, like the storage, is also upgradeable to a maximum of 20 GB. You probably won’t have to make this upgrade for now since the included RAM can easily handle all kinds of programs. But it’s still good to have the option to do so, in case programs get more memory intensive in the future. 

The display is a 15.6″ Full HD (1920 x 1080) widescreen LED-backlit IPS Display, which is right about what you would expect from a laptop in this price range, and it’s even comparable to the one found on the ThinkPad. It gets bright enough to use in any environment, such as under direct sunlight.

The port selection on this laptop is amazing as well, as you get 1 USB 3.1 (Type-C) port (Gen 1 up to 5 Gbps), 2 USB 3.1 Gen 1 Port (One with Power-off Charging), 1 USB 2.0 Port, 1 HDMI Port, and 1 Gigabit Ethernet LAN (RJ-45 port). This is right on-par with the ThinkPad, and the inclusion of the USB-C port on such an affordable device is appreciated. Although there is no Thunderbolt port which isn’t a really big issue considering the affordable price tag. There are many other features that this laptop has, which makes it a much better offer. Some of these include True Harmony Technology Two Built-in Stereo Speakers, Acer Purified Voice Technology with Two Built-in Microphones, Acer Fingerprint Reader supporting Windows Hello, a pretty nice Back-lit Keyboard, a decent HD Webcam (1280 x 720), and a pretty attractive and well-built design. These are a lot of features for the price, some of which, like the fingerprint scanner and backlit keyboard are ones that you don’t even find on much more expensive laptops.

The Acer Aspire 5 is 14.31 x 9.86 x 0.71 inches and weighs 3.97 pounds. It’s a pretty portable laptop, which could be a great plus point for anyone who travels a lot with their laptop. The battery life is rated at 9.5 hours, while in real-world usage it will provide you a respectable 6 to 8 hours, depending on your usage. This is also definitely an all-day laptop, which is amazing for those who don’t want to go on looking for a wall outlet in the middle of their workday.

What We Liked
  • Amazing price
  • Upgradeable RAM and storage
  • Finger Print scanner
  • Backlit keyboard
What We Didn’t Like
  • Not the fastest processor, but still good enough (incremental performance is extremely negligible)

HP Pavilion x360

The final laptop on our list is the HP Pavilion x360 14 Convertible. As the name suggests, this is a 2-in-1 device that can be used in various different orientations such as tablet mode, regular laptop mode, or even tent mode for media consumption. This can be a really tempting offer for Lawyers as this form factor allows you for easy data entry, which constitutes the bulk work for most lawyers. You can also purchase a stylus separately that would allow you to make signatures, take notes, or edit documents. Having a 2-in-1 device can be really fruitful for a lawyer that’s why we highly recommend that you take a look at the HP Pavilion x360.

The CPU on this laptop is very similar to the Acer Aspire. You get a 10th Generation Intel(R) Core (TM) i5-1035G1, Quad-Core, 1.0 GHz base frequency, up to 3.6 GHz with Intel Turbo Boost Technology, and built-in Intel Integrated Iris Plus Graphics. This is a bit more powerful than the i5 found in the Acer, although, the difference in performance isn’t that noticeable.

Along with that, you are provided with 8 GB of 3200 MHz DDR-4 RAM, which, unfortunately, isn’t upgradable. Luckily, 8 GB should be more than enough in handling the bulk of your task, but we would’ve still liked to see the option to upgrade since it makes your laptop future proof. On the other hand, the 512 GB PCIe(R) NVMe(TM) M.2 SSD, is upgradeable, but we doubt anyone would do that since 512 GB should be plentiful for most users.

The screen is a 14.0-inch diagonal HD, IPS, micro-edge, WLED-backlit, multitouch-enabled, edge-to-edge glass touch screen display; 80% screen to body ratio which is probably the best display on our list. One would expect a touch screen on a laptop with these many features to be unresponsive and jittery but, HP has managed to make the touch experience feel amazing. You get a smooth feeling touch, which gives you the feeling much more similar to an actual tablet or smartphone rather than a 2 in 1. Using a stylus further enhances the experience and also provides you added functionality. The one complaint that people had was that the visibility was difficult in harsh conditions, such as outdoor where there is a lot of direct sunlight. While the peak brightness is greater than that of the ThinkPad, at 265 nits, the surface itself is highly reflective which reduces the visibility. Otherwise, the quality is really good, and assuming like most lawyers, you do the bulk of your work indoors, this display should be perfect for you.

The port selection isn’t as good as the Acer or the ThinkPad, but it’s still not bad. You are provided with 2 USB-A (3.0) ports, one super-fast USB-C (3.1), 1 HDMI, an SD card reader, a headphone jack, and a power port for charging. Despite being slightly inferior to the previous options, the ports should be perfect for you. Furthermore, unlike the Acer Aspire, the USB-C on this device is equipped with Thunderbolt, which allows you to attach an external monitor or even charge just by using this technology. The x360 has various other features that make it better than a lot of its competitors. Some of them include Wi-Fi 6 connection, fingerprint reader for secure access, backlit keyboard for typing in, an above-average webcam, and even Amazon Alexa built-in. It should also be mentioned that the keyboard on this model is excellent. Since Lawyers have to do a lot of data handling, having a good keyboard can be the difference between them choosing a particular laptop or not, and luckily the Pavilion does not disappoint.

The dimensions of this device are 8.78 x 12.76 x 0.81 inches and it weighs 3.5 pounds, which is the perfect balance between light, yet sturdy. It’s also pretty much on-par in this category when compared to the other options. HP claims that the battery can easily last for about 8 hours to 10 hours, depending on your usage. Unfortunately, in actual usage and testing, you’ll find that it lasts closer to 4 hours. This might be a deal-breaker for a lot of consumers since you’ll have to be really conservative with your usage if you’re planning to make it through an entire day, and even then, it might be really low at the end of the day. Luckily the retail fast charger that is included in the box can top the battery up from 0 to 50 percent in just 30 minutes. Overall, we are pleased to say that this is an excellent laptop, especially for laptops. You should definitely consider it since you get some pretty solid features as well as the 2-in-1 form factor, that too for an attractive price point.

What We Liked
  • 2-in-1 design
  • Good display quality
  • 512 GB of upgradeable storage
  • Fast charging
What We Didn’t Like
  • Reflective screen
  • Non-upgradeable RAM
  • Sub-par battery life

Final Words

We reviewed some amazing and impressive laptops. We think that all three of them will make for viable devices no matter who you are. In the end, the only thing that would matter is which laptop you like better. However, we would like to give you our opinion on which laptop we think is the best out of the three. Hopefully, this will further help you in making a final decision. We will be keeping in mind that this laptop will be mostly used for tasks that a lawyer would perform like handling a lot of data or using a DMS. The next few paragraphs are dedicated to telling you about the individual selling points of these laptops and then we will pick our favorite from the bunch.

First comes the Lenovo ThinkPad E595. The main selling factor of this laptop is that it focuses a lot on productivity, that’s why it’s a popular choice amongst business personnel. It has some pretty useful features like its security, durability, and reliability that makes it a perfect choice for Lawyers.

The next laptop we reviewed was the Acer Aspire 5. It proved that you don’t have to spend a ton of money to have a really good laptop. You get pretty much the same performance as the others on this list, with pretty good additional features like a backlit keyboard and fingerprint scanner. While it might not be the flashiest laptop, it certainly gets the job done comfortably. If you don’t want to overspend on the laptop then this is the one for you.

The last device on the list is the HP Pavilion x360. The highlight is definitely the 2-in-1 design. You can use it in many different orientations. Having the ability to take notes and sign documents on your laptop is a great plus point, and is also the reason why many lawyers would want to go for this laptop. If this is something you like, then the Pavilion won’t disappoint you.

Our pick for the best laptop for lawyers has to definitely go to the Acer Aspire 5. Despite being much cheaper, it provides 90 percent of the experience of the more expensive laptops. You really don’t have to spend much more than this to get a good device. However, if you want the durability and repairability of the ThinkPad then you can go for that as well. Just be aware that the Acer is also pretty durable, so you won’t be missing out on much when going for that. As for the x360, we think that you should only go for it if you’re certain that you need the 2-in-1 design, otherwise it sacrifices a lot of other important things that the others don’t. Although, it’s still a pretty good laptop despite those shortcomings.