Posted: Thu Jan 29, 2004 9:32 am Post subject: tablet pc for law student?
Hello all! I will be starting law school this fall and am considering a tablet pc for school, home and work. I need to upgrade my desktop at home anyway, so I was initially going to purchase a laptop (desktop replacement with an external monitor, keyboard and mouse and a docking station), but then I started being honest with myself about my typing speed! I thought that I would be able to take better notes (less typos!) with the tablet pc.
My question, of course, is WHICH ONE!? I've been considering the Acer 301 and the Toshiba M200. Any thoughts, suggestions or warnings?
Also, can the tablet pc truly function as a destop replacement, just like a regular notebook?
If your just getting into law school now is a good time to increase your typing speed. As a lawyer you'll be typing for the rest of your working career so get used to it.
Most lawschools have installed outlets in the desks so battery life is not as important as it used to be. Some schools have installed school wide wifi internet connections so whatever you get make sure it has wifi.
I agree that with the comment that as a lawyer you will need to know how to type well and fast. The ability to type is extremely important as a young associate you will generally not have first priority with any secretary for the transcription of your work.
With that said, I have been using the TC1K for years. I have an insurance defense practice and like the ability to disconnect the screen from the keyboard. I would suggest considering the HP TC1k - it is a great unit - although it is a bit slow for me know. Perhaps the TC11k might be an option to consider or even the new version
Posted: Wed Apr 06, 2005 12:03 pm Post subject: Update
I noticed that this thread was originally posted a few years ago, and didn't really answer the questioned posed.
I find myself in a similair position as the author, I am starting law school this Fall--although I haven't decided where yet, and am interested in upgrading my computer to a more powerful and mobile alternative.
I am a fan of technology, I like being just behind the curve of cutting edge. This isn't because of the "neato" factor, but because it can simplify and improve how I do even the smallest of tasks. The more time I spend retyping hand written notes, organizing files, or searching through hundreds of pages of medical records is time I can't spend doing more important things--meeting with clients, prepping for depos, researching on Westlaw--things tha require thought and creativity. Tasks that eat at my time and don't help progress a case are part of what I call "dead time", I try to find technological solutions to minimize this and keep me on top of tasks and as efficient as possible.
I work in a law office now, and am implementing a hardware and software upgrade for a system two generatuons behind. With this step we've also decided to convert to a "paperless" office. We're scanning and storing all are files on our network as PDFs and burning closed files to CDRs, instaead of paying for additional storage space for the paper files.
I've already been able to use search and find features on some of our files to find pertinent medical records instead of having to read over 300+ pages, saving hours of "dead time" I'd love to see a point were the Attorneys here stop carrying legal pads, case files, and statute or other reference materail and instead have it all on a Tablet PC.
This is my goal for my practice, upping productivity and communication via technology. With this in mind, I am looking at available technology to find the rigt fit for my computer upgrade in expectation of Law School.
I would greatly appreciate any advise more experienced mobile computer and Tablet users have as to the best hardware and software on the market.
--PS-- I apologize for the long post, just wanted to make myself clear.
Posted: Wed Apr 27, 2005 4:37 pm Post subject: tablet pcs as law student
I am presently a 1L law student getting ready to take her spring exams and I work in a law firm. I think it is extremely beneficial that all laywers be intimately familiar with a computer. It makes my life incredibly easier in that EVERYTHING I do is on the laptop that I carry around with me. I have a Toshiba Tecra M2 but I am in the process of getting a Toshiba Tecra Tablet PC because I have found with a year under my belt that having a touch screen with the ability to draw would be tremendously useful. I have sat n quite a few classes where my professor's have started drawing diagrams or flow charts and I for one cannot draw on paper let alone a computer with the mouse so often times I have to write it down on paper. That wouldn't be so bad if I had paper.
You shouldn't definetely buy a laptop and go all out because its better to have too much than not enough because it will just frustrate you.
Anyone going into lawschool should seriously consider the Toshiba R15 Tablet PC. It has full functionality, good battery life, a large screen so that when you type in class you can see what you type without having to squint to see it, plus the added bonus of 512mb ram a 60gig hd and wacom pen which is the best in the industry. Don't be fooled by the other Tablets out there, you will need an all in one solution, and a convertible is the answer.
I am finishing off my clerkship at the 4th Cir. in South Dakota and just sealed a position with a local lawfirm who will be providing me with an R15 unless there comes along a better option. None so far on the horizion. The 12 inch screens are really too small for what many law students will be doing, especially if you choose to write your Memo's and other articles by typing. When you proceed into the legal field you will easily be able to use OneNote with many templates that will make the practice alot easier. Many of the local lawyers use a PDA and the single most common complaint is the screen size. I have discussed the Tablets and many are very interested, and there are firms that have already adopted the Tablet use, (yes even in South Dakota) Also, note if you are a law student, save your receipt and take it to your financial aid or discuss your purchase prior with financial aid and seek the loans that they make specifically for gradute students who purchase a pc. Note even if you don't opt for a Tablet, they will loan money for destops as well as standard laptops. Hope this info is helpful.
I am starting my second year this fall. During the First year I used Toshiba M200. I cannot complain.
Generally, based on my experience I would recommend:
1. If you opt for a Tablet choose convertible. You will type way more than you'll draw or write. (Unless you are faster writer then typist, which I am not )
2. As a result you should go into stores, friends etc other places where you can get your hands on the laptop and make sure that the keyboard is comfortable to you personally. Most manufactures keep same keyboard accross models. In my experience IBM ThinkPad is way more comfortable then anything else out there.
3. Do choose a Tablet PC. Tablet is the future of laptops, dont save small now to lose big later. Your experience with Tablets may come very handy. Specifically now that Tablet prices are so close to the Laptops.
4. As a Law student you do not need a monster performer. Mostly you run Mail, Internet and NoteTaking/Word Processing software. The drawback of powerful processors is that they get hot and draw more battery.
5. Do choose the best screen you can afford. IBM X41 is not bad, Motion VA is excellent, Toshiba offers the best resolution. Do not listen to anyone, look for yourself. I found that my perception of the screen is different from my peers. Find the best Value/Performance option. Look for Wide View Angle, Indoor/Outdoor functionality, Resolution and lastly size.
6. Do upgrade memory to at least 1GB. Windows XP simply does not work.
7. Do not worry about harddrive speed/size etc. You'll have plenty of space with 40GB and 2sec startup delay will not make a difference IMHO.
8. You probably won't need the CD drive built in. I have never needed one in school. I have external at home and it does the job perfectly.
9. Last but not least. Watch out for the weight of the whole thing. You will be carrying VERY large books all day. ANYTHING that helps bringing the load down is Great!
Remember this is based on my own experience. Hope it helps. Good luck!
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