Chromebooks are affordable devices that come with their own benefits and disadvantages.
These devices might also be better than laptops and tablets in some situations at a law firm or law school.
But, this begs the question, are Chromebooks good for lawyers? In this article, we list the reasons why they are and aren’t. This article also touches on whether Chromebooks are good for law school.
Advantages Of Using A Chromebook For Law
If you are a practising lawyer, paralegal, etc. on a tight budget or a law student who can’t afford a laptop. Chromebooks are the next best option.
You will get similar functionality to laptops at a far less price tag than buying a laptop. Most Chromebooks cost between USD200-500 depending on the specifications and brand.
Samsung, Acer, ASUS, and Google make great Chromebooks that have solid construction.
Chromebooks are powered by either AMD or Intel processors with 2-8GB of RAM. The more expensive the Chromebook the better specifications it will have.
Although compared to laptops the performance might not be great. Chromebooks are perfect for office, document tasks, and school work.
You won’t run into any issues running such light programs or tasks. In getting a Chromebook with the best performance.
Long Battery Life
Because of the low power consumption Chromebooks easily last 8 hours or more on average.
Most fall in the range of 8-9 hours and the top percentile lasts more than 11 hours on average under consistent use.
This makes Chromebooks a great option if you travel a lot for work or a student who doesn’t have access to power outlets in school.
Low power consumption hardware and lightweight software result in higher than the average battery life of Chromebooks compared to laptops.
Chromebooks run on ChromeOS which is a Linux-based operating system. It’s lighter, faster, and simpler than Windows with the added benefit of being resistant to virus attacks.
The possibility of malware or virus infecting a Chromebook is low – almost zero. The ChromeOS also allows you to run android apps and you have access to the Google Play Store.
After all, ChromeOS was made by Google. However, some Chromebooks don’t support Android apps.
You have to check first before downloading the android app or find a roundabout way to get the app to run.
Lighter and Portable
The biggest benefit of owning a Chromebook is its portability and being lightweight. These devices easily slip into your bag making it easy to carry them anywhere with you.
If you meet clients somewhere other than your office having a lightweight device that acts as a laptop is helpful.
As a student, moving from one class to another becomes easier because the device doesn’t weigh a lot. In some cases, you might even forget it’s there because of its lightweight and portability.
The ease at which you can just pick it up and carry the Chromebook with you wherever you go is one of the reasons why it’s popular.
Disadvantages Of Using A Chromebook
Most of the functions of a Chromebook depend on the internet to function. Google docs which are what’s used on a Chromebook instead of Microsoft Office require an internet connection to work.
You can do a few things without an internet connection on a Chromebook but with limited functionality.
A working internet connection is required to fully utilize the functions of a Chromebook and if you aren’t going to have that most of the time. Then owning a Chromebook might not be a good option.
ChromeOS is a great operating software but it has limitations. Most software is compatible with Windows and Mac, not ChromeOS.
You have to check the system requirements first to see its compatibility with ChromeOS. Furthermore, you can’t play games because it doesn’t support them and hardware is not great for running them.
Always check if the ChromeOS supports the major apps or programs you are using or plan to use before getting a Chromebook.
Low Storage Capacity
Chromebooks have low storage spaces. You are looking at 32GB – 64GB on average. The only advantage is the fast boot-up speeds.
Aside from that, you have to manage local disk space or you will run out quickly. Some Chromebooks have 256GB or more but they are quite expensive and are in the USD400-800 range.
And at that budget, you can get a laptop. The best alternative is to get a Chromebook that has SD card storage taking microSD cards of up to 256GB or more.
You can also take advantage of cloud services if you find yourself running out of local storage.
Are Chromebooks Good For Law School?
Yes, Chromebooks are great for law school if you are on a tight budget and have access to an internet connection 80-90 percent of the time.
They are portable and lightweight making them easy to carry to group meetings and classes.
Are Chromebooks Good For Lawyers?
Looking at the advantages and disadvantages, Chromebooks aren’t great for lawyers. You will be far better off with a laptop for work than a Chromebook.
Why? Because Chromebooks get more expensive with better performance and hardware.
And for that same price tag, you can get a decent laptop for law without the disadvantages.
Higher that i.e., USD400 or above. Chromebooks aren’t worth getting anymore.