Law school usually means it’s time to get a new computer- your one from undergrad is on its last legs and you can’t risk crashes and lost notes. Plus, I think we all can admit that buying a laptop is a lot of fun. Your financial aid package will generally have a laptop allowance where you can borrow up to $1,500 extra to get a computer, more than enough to get a great laptop for law school.
Consider it a nice present to yourself for getting into law school 🙂 Without further ado, here are the best laptops for law school:
MACBOOK AIR- $999.99 on Amazon
This one in more or less a no-brainer. You already have to carry a ton of books around, so why not reduce the strain by getting a computer that is slimmer than a notebook that weighs nothing? The MacBook Air is simply awesome. Sadly for me they didn’t have these yet my 1L year. By the time I was a 3L it seemed like every 1L had one, and I was super jealous. The only drawback is that the hard drive is little small, so you may need an external if this is going to be your only computer.
Mac products are going to last through the whole 3 years of law school. To me that alone makes them worth the extra price. It’s now 4 years from when I got my MacBook for law school, and my brother is still using the thing with zero problems (I would have thought the hard drive would go from all the bumping around on the bus to school with the computer turned on, but no, it still works fine).
Make sure to get a brand new one with the 4th-gen ‘Haswell’ chips (the one we linked to), because apparently the battery on these just lasts forever.
MACBOOK PRO- $1,094 on Amazon (13.3 inch version)
This computer requires no introduction. I did not hear anyone at law school complain about owning a MacBook Pro. I’m sure I’m not the only Macbook Pro owner who has silently pitied students lugging around huge PC laptops with those brick sized chargers. The MacBook Pro by comparison is sleek, easy to carry, and is still the best looking full-sized laptop out there.
Also, I have seen someone just drop one on to a polished stone floor and it was totally fine. You are going to be carrying this computer around constantly and bumping it. Even though it’s definitely durable enough to handle this, consider going with solid-state memory to make it totally bullet proof (this applies equally to any laptop you are going to be carrying around a lot).
If you really want to upstage everyone, you might have to get the latest Macbook Pro with Retina display (pictured at left). I haven’t gotten to see one myself, but I hear they are simply incredible.
SAMSUNG CHROMEBOOK- $266.00 on Amazon
Another option that I wish was around when I started law school. Here’s the idea: you get a really nice expensive laptop that you keep at home, and then carry the cheap, highly portable Samsung Chromebook to class and school for note taking. Note that this product only runs the new Google chrome OS, so you are going to have limited software capabilities. To me, this just makes it better for a law student, because you can keep the distractions off this laptop and just use it for class notes and work. Reviewers say to think of it as more a tablet then a computer. At $266.00, it’s not the end of the world if it’s stolen or damaged.