All modern laptops can handle all the software you’ll use during law school. So while you are searching for the best laptops for law school students in 2021 understand this. Even though multitasking between apps like Zoom, MS Office, PDF readers, and web browsing may be an issue, as long as you have an 8GB RAM, you should be okay.
So what are the specs you have to look out for when shopping for the best laptops for law school students in 2021?
When it comes to CPUs, the AMD or Intel does not really matter. You just have to ensure that you have at least 3.5 GHz. You don’t need to overspend on the CPU. This is because more power means more energy which implies less battery life also. Core i3 or Core i5 with the U label from the 7th, 8th, 10th, and 11th generation are all okay.
If you are using the full version of Windows 10 Home then 4GB RAM is not enough. However, it is enough for Chrome OS/OSX/Windows 10 S. You have to go for 8GB RAM if you want to avoid zero lag no matter how much you overload your computer when multitasking.
Most schools will recommend 256GB, but you have to understand that laptops with 256GB can be more than $600. So I’d recommend you overlook storage space except you have the budget for it. The lowest amount you’ll find is 128GB and this is enough for 1000s of PDFs/100s of recorded lectures. If you ever run out of space you can always use the cloud/USB drive. Just ensure you get a Solid State Drive – no matter what type on your machine. With this, your software and boot up your machine within seconds.
Any display size is fine, what matters more is the resolution. Get preferably 1080p, FHD. If it’s not out of your budget you can go for an HD+ or even an HD display.
The truth is, the operating system you get does really matter. This is because you can’t get a laptop with Chrome OS/Windows 10S because the software you use in taking exams – ExamSoft, Exemplify, can’t run on those yet.
You don’t really need to bother about Wi-Fi cards. As long as your laptop is the recent model, then it’ll come with one of the latest protocols and network cards in it. 802.11 AC/802.11ax.
If you are buying an older model, ensure that you check that the “AC” label is in it. If not, it may slow down your work quite a bit if you’re using range WiFi.
Since you’ll be lugging your laptop everywhere note that anything over 3lb will start taking a toll on your body.
Most affordable laptops under $500 have 3.5lb to 5lb. However, there are some that have less than that.
You have a lot of typing to do on your laptop as a law student. As such you must go for a laptop that has a great keyboard. It must be one that can allow you to type quickly and accurately.
Backlit – A keyboard backlit will be a nice bonus feature, especially for late-night studying. It also comes in handy when the lectures are given with all the lights turned off.
Best Laptops For Law School Students In 2021
Microsoft Surface – Best Overall
Microsoft Surface Pro 7 – 12.3” Touch-Screen – 10th Gen Intel Core i5 – 8GB Memory – 128GB SSD (Latest Model) – Platinum with Black Type Cover
The best laptops for law school students in 2021 have the Microsoft Surface standing at the top of the list. This laptop has become one of the most popular touch-screen laptops. It is designed with a kickstand and an adaptable keyboard which makes for easy conversion to a tablet. Even though this laptop can function as a tablet, it still has all the perks and power of a quality laptop.
The Microsoft Surface is designed as a great, versatile unit with plenty of easy-access ports. Additionally, it comes with a super lightweight design which is ideal for carrying around without compromising on functionality. This device is also easy to use and has a scalable memory option of 8GB RAM/128 GB to 16GB RAM/512 GB. You can use this device with a stylus pen if you’d like to handwrite notes, or with any kind of attachable keyboard.
With this device, you can hook up a mouse, use the touchscreen, or use a touchpad on an attached keyboard. This machine has tons of integrations to connect display systems and allows accessory charging. It is also equipped with Bluetooth 5.0.
- 3 Inch screen
- Made by Microsoft
- Up to 128 GB of memory
- 8×2.68×9.21” screen
- Has an Intel Chipset
- Average battery life of 10.5 hours
- Good screen resolution (at 2736×1824)
- Operates on PC and uses Windows 10 Home
- Webcam perfect for remote classes
- Muted colors
- Activates Microsoft 365 and other Microsoft Office products.
- Mostly works with Microsoft 365 and other Microsoft Office products.
Acer Swift 3 – Most Budget Friendly
Acer Swift 3 – Thin & Light Laptop, 14” Full HD IPS, AMD Ryzen 7 4700U Octa-Core with Radeon Graphics, 8GB LPDDR4, 512GB NVMe SSD, Wi-Fi 6 Backlit KB, Fingerprint Reader, Alexa Built-in, SF314-42-R9YN
The Acer Swift 3 is one of the most budget-friendly laptops you can find as a law student in 2021. Law school itself is already expensive, as such if you are trying to pinch pennies without cutting corners, you may find this laptop very useful. This device is crafted with a large screen (14”) and all of the basic functions you need in a notebook laptop.
The Acer Swift 3 laptop runs a Windows 10 Home and has 8GB of computer memory. It is a highly functional device that makes it easy for you to facilitate your studies. You can buy this laptop on its own or with an external USB dock. Having all the ports is another plus for the Acer Swift 3 laptop. With this laptop, you enjoy a backlit keyboard which is a convenient feature for dimly lit classrooms. It also comes with a fingerprint reader for privacy and security. You can plug in external devices and displays with handy USB ports and HDMI ports.
- 14 Inch screen
- Made by Acer
- Up to 8GB of Memory
- 63” thin screen
- Thin and light
- Has up to 11.5 hours of battery power
- Large screen resolution of 1920 X 1080
- HD Webcam
- Shiny, stylish silver sleek design
- Can’t add memory to this laptop
- According to some users, the webcam and speakers are not of the best quality.
LG Gram Laptop – Best Battery Life
LG Gram Laptop – 15.6” Full HD IPS, Intel 10th Gen Core i5 (10210U CPU), 8GB DDR4 2666MHz RAM, 512GB NVMe TM SSD, Up to 21 Hours Battery, Intel UHD Graphics – 15Z995 – U.ARS6U1 (2020
Are you looking for a laptop that you can charge and use for a better part of the day without frequently plugging your charger in? Then the LG Gram is what you need. This laptop is not messing around as its battery can last up to 21 hours. This should be enough to get you through a few classes, a teacher meeting, a group study session, as well as a late-hour library time. Amazing tight?
The LG Gram Laptop is made popular by high-powered long-lasting features. It comes with a large screen, moderate internal storage, and runs on Windows 10 Home. This powerful device has Intel HD graphics, a backlit keyboard, and 3D audio rendering for high-quality sound. This laptop can also double up as a gaming laptop and streaming owing to its 10th Gen Intel CPU. This makes for great processing.
- 6-inc screen
- Made by LG
- Up to 8GB of memory
- Intel Chip
- High powered PC
- Screen resolution of 1920 X 1080 (standard)
- Good audio and graphics
- Limited internal memory
- A bit pricey
Lenovo Yoga – Best Value For Money
Lenovo Yoga 730 2-in-1 Laptop – Core i7-8550U, 15.6” 4K UHD Touchscreen, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD, NVIDIA GTX 1050 Graphics
The Lenovo Yoga gives you your money’s worth. Designed as a touch screen laptop with a generously sized screen and a hefty helping of RAM, you can count on this device to deliver at any time. Although a bit pricey, it could be the best laptop to get through all your years of law school and even more. This machine runs on Windows 10 and is crafted by a reputable manufacturer.
The Lenovo Yoga is a high-end laptop that comes with a built-in keyboard and touchpad. This device also works like a touchscreen, which means you can personalize the experience. With this device, you have a 16GB of internal RAM. This is quite sufficient for all of your important docs and files.
This amazing device runs on Windows 10 Home and the screen is quite gorgeous with 4K. There’s also 2GB of dedicated graphics storage and a fingerprint reader. You’ll also find a stellar processor with this highly fine-tuned device.
- 6-inch screen
- Made by Lenovo
- Up to 16GB of memory
- 512 GB hard drive
- Sophisticated graphics coprocessor
- A giant hard disk and internal storage
- Four processors
- Screen resolution of 3840×2160
- 11 hours of battery life
- Weighs 4.17 pounds
- A bit pricey
ASUS UX333FA-AB77 ZenBook – Easy to Carry
ASUS UX333FA-AB77 ZenBook 13 Ultra-Slim Laptop, 13.3” FHD WideView, 8th-Gen Intel Core i7-8565U CPU, 16GB RAM, 512GB PCIe SSD, Backlit KB, NumberPad, Military Grade, TPM, Windows 10 Pro, Royal Blue
Want a laptop you can easily pack up in your knapsack and be on the go? Then you should consider the ASUS ZenBook UX333FA-AB77. This is one high-end laptop that offers all the ease of use you can possibly imagine. This device runs on Windows 10 Pro and has a military-grade TPM. It also has a great processor, lots of RAM, and is ultra-slim”.
The ASUS ZenBook UX333FA-AB77 is a uniquely designed NanoEdge display with a full HD device. However, it has razor-thin bezels and gives you more screen view in less physical space for an immersive graphics experience. Apart from being super thin, it also only weighs 2.6 pounds and has a unique metallic finish.
This device has a one-tap login feature on the touchpad. This gives you quick access with total security. This keyboard is designed with ergonomics in mind and has an auto-tilt feature for custom typing positions. This is one reliable and durable laptop you will find in the market currently.
- 3-inch screen
- Made by ASUS
- Up to 16GB of memory
- Built with 8th Gen Intel Core i7
- Plenty of storage
- Easy to use
- Uses professional-grade software
- Comes with an ASUS protection warranty for one year
- All the relevant USB/HDMI ports are available for integrations and presentations.
- Extended battery life
- A bit expensive
How to Buy a Laptop for Law School
Buying a laptop for law school will need you to take into consideration what exactly you’ll encounter in law school. By this, we mean in terms of classes, exams, and the like. Most schools, come with their needs of computer systems/software which is best suited for their school program. So to some extent, your school’s program and its system requirements may form the basis of your choice of laptop.
Be it as it may, most of the laptops outlined here can pretty much cover for any of the basic needs of law school requirements.
Software & Classes
Here is a list of all of the software that law students usually come across (however you don’t necessarily have to use all of them):
- MS Office
- Video PlayBack
- One Note
- WestLaw and Lexis – Legal search engines (free software)
- EBB – The Electronic Bluebook (EBB) software used in many courses for final exams is available both for Windows and Macintosh. However it does not support Linux (even if you run Windows in a virtual machine)
- TextBooks on DVD
Understand however that none of this software requires anything extraordinary. It means all of them can be run on pretty much any laptop with Windows on it.
If you plan on buying a laptop for law school, it will be best to buy one after you have chosen a school. This will help you know what computer systems/software the school recommends/uses before you buy a laptop.