Computing For Lawyers: Desktop Or Laptop?

You can’t run a law practice without a computer, but what kind of computer do you need? You can look at the system specs of attorney time and billing software but there is more to a system than the speed of the processor. One basic question is whether it is better to go with desktops or laptops.

One big benefit of using desktops is they are cheaper than equivalent laptops. The price difference isn’t as great as it was ten or so years ago but for a small, cash-strapped practice it might be large enough to decide the issue.

Desktops are less likely to get lost or stolen. No lawyer is accidentally going to leave his desktop computer in the coffee shop or have it ripped off his shoulder by a fleeing thief. A missing laptop is not only a capital loss, but a security risk since if the thief has the knowhow he can get into the law firm billing software or read sensitive documents on the machine if the account is not locked down with a strong password.

The obvious advantage of a laptop is portability. With so many documents going digital, an attorney is more likely to be in court carrying a laptop case than a briefcase. It offers flexibility, allowing lawyers to work from home or from other sites with ease. If you don’t like the smaller keyboard and display, a docking station at work means there is no work difference between laptops and desktops.

An interesting third option is the tablet. These computers aren’t powerful enough to run legal billing and accounting software by themselves, but they can act as portals to cloud versions of the software. Attorneys get full access to the firm’s billing or attorney practice management software from anywhere they can get an internet connection.

Experts say desktops are dying, but they’ve been saying that since the first laptops appeared 30 years ago. However laptops have become so powerful and fully-featured that they are no longer dumbed-down versions of desktop machines, and they are easily capable of running legal billing software or other applications.

The short answer is that either desktop or laptop is a fine choice for running your practice software, and tablets can provide valuable supplemental tools for attorneys who find themselves out of the office a lot. Contact Easy Soft to find out more about the systems requirements for running our software.