12 Best Laptops for Law School in 2017

College isn’t cheap, and certain types of schools can break the bank. Law school would be one of those, and before you ever enroll, you’ll want to think about anything you will need to prepare yourself for college life. A computer is practically mandatory, and finding the best laptop for law school is no easy feat unless you know where to start.

College isn’t cheap, and certain types of schools can break the bank. Law school would be one of those, and before you ever enroll, you’ll want to think about anything you will need to prepare yourself for college life. A computer is practically mandatory, and finding the best laptop for law school is no easy feat unless you know where to start.

Top 12 Laptops for Law Schools Ultimate Table

DesignNameRAMStorage CapacityRating (1-5)
  1. Apple MacBook Air MMGG2LL/A 13.3-Inch Laptop 8GB 256GB 4.6
  2. Acer Aspire V 15 Nitro Black Edition 16GB 256GB + 1TB 4.5
  3. VAIO S Laptop 8GB 256GB 4.3
  4. LG gram 15Z970 i7 15.6″ Touchscreen Laptop 4.3 512GB 4.2
  5. New Apple MacBook Pro MF839LL/A 13.3-Inch Laptop 8GB 128GB 4.2
6. HP ENVY 13-ab016nr Notebook 8GB 256GB 4.2
7. Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575G-57D4 15.6-Inches Full HD Notebook 8GB 256GB 4.2
8. ASUS ZenBook UX330UA-AH54 13.3-inch Ultra-Slim Laptop 8GB 256GB 4.1
  9. Dell Inspiron 5000 Touchscreen 17.3″ FHD Laptop 16GB 1TB 4.0
  10. Lenovo Flex 4 – 2-in-1 Laptop/Tablet 15.6″ Full HD Touchscreen Display 8GB 256GB 4.0
  11. Dell Inspiron 15 5000 15.6″ FHD Touchscreen Laptop 8GB 1TB 4.0
  12. ASUS P-Series P2540UA-AB51 business standard Laptop 8GB 256GB 3.9

Laptop Buying Guide for Law School

When heading off to law school, there are a lot of things you’ll need to have covered before you set foot in a classroom. A laptop will not be one of them if you follow a few simple rules.

What School Will You Attend?

We aren’t being nosey, but you need to consider the law school you will attend before considering any laptop. That’s because some law schools have their own requirements listed on their websites, although they are not set in stone. It varies from school to school as once may only require a laptop to have 4GB of RAM while another name “recommend” 8GB.

The main things to pay attention to are the words recommend and required. If it’s the latter, you have to hit that number, or you may not be able to run specific programs or take a particular course. If you are going to use Windows, you may want to buy a machine with a TPM chip. This means it has a “trusted platform module” chip so you can encrypt your hard drive to certain standards. Duke and some other school may require that, so check into the law schools’ requirements first.

Horsepower

As always, this area comes down to two main components with the processor and memory. As you won’t be running high-end graphics programs like Adobe, you can get by with an Intel Core i5 here, but the Core i7 processor is always the best way to go. There are equivalents from AMD and others, but for our purposes, we stuck with machines that mainly use the Intel Core processors. They are number one for a reason.

With memory, otherwise known as RAM, it is always a good idea to roll with the current standard. At the moment, that is between 4GB and 8GB depending on which way the wind is blowing. We feel that 8GB is what you should aim for at a minimum, and it’s a number you will see more often than not when checking a law school’s recommended requirements.

Software

All the laptops on our list will run either Windows or the latest version of the Mac OS. While all schools (that we know of) allow you to use any operating system you like, you will want to make sure it’s up to date. Some programs you’ll need to run may not be compatible with older software, and you also have to consider the school’s network. You want a laptop with dual-band Wi-Fi, and you will definitely want some good anti-virus software.

Some schools will require your anti-virus software be up to date or that you run a specific one. Considering the types of material you may be dealing with in your courses, it’s understandable – especially on a campus’s network. Other things to consider on the software side of things are any applications you may need like Microsoft Office, Apple Pages, LibreOffice or just programs to deal with .pdf files. Think about your needs and look at the system requirements of your potential laptop to makes sure it can handle the program.

Top 5 Best Laptop for Law School Reviews

1. Apple MacBook Air MMGG2LL/A 13.3” Laptop

It doesn’t matter what kind of school you plan to attend; it’s nice to keep things light when you are on the go. If you are in the market for a slim laptop with plenty of style, you will be hard pressed to pass up the latest version of the Apple MacBook Air. This 13.3” beauty weighs in at a little under 3 pounds and is only 0.68” thick. It certainly will not take up much space in your bag.

When it comes to power, the MacBook Air is a little light under the hood compared to some of the other picks on our best laptop for law school list. It’s far from underpowered with 8GB of RAM and an Intel Core i5 processor but is step down from the i7 chip and 16GB of RAM – something you’ll more often than not. There is something to be said for performance, however, and Apple’s machines are geared not to crash and be more resistant to viruses and malware than their PC-based counterparts are.

Other features of interest on this laptop include an LED-backlit widescreen display, a 256GB solid-state drive, lightning ports, and a battery rated at around 12 hours. We found that number to be fairly accurate, so this is one laptop that can get you through a day depending on your usage.

2. Acer Aspire V 15 Nitro Edition Laptop

Acer produces laptops that cover everything from the business class to laptops built for students or the home. We aren’t sure where the Nitro Edition V 15 falls, but it is a powerful PC that has plenty of storage. It has the popular 256GB solid state drive which provides quick access to files and speedy boot times but also has a 1TB HDD as well.

Storage aside, this laptop will run circles around some of the others thanks to the 7th generation Intel i7-7700H processor which is clocked at up to 3.8GHz. When you factor in 16GB of DDR4 RAM, you will never have to worry about multitasking or coming across an application you can’t run during law school. It should still be powerful enough by the time you graduate. When you do want to take a break from studying, we feel you will appreciate what this one can do in the media department.

While the display is only a Full HD panel measuring 15.6-inches, there is a GeForce GTX 1060 with 6GB of dedicated VRAM under the hood. That ensures you can play high-end games or enjoy a quality flick with stereo sound courtesy of their TrueHarmony sound system. This one has all the bells & whistles including a fingerprint reader and is our top choice for a Window-based laptop.

3. VAIO S Laptop with Full HD Display and Windows 10

Sony may not be in charge of the VAIO lineup anymore, but nobody is complaining about the new management. The new VAIO laptops have quickly become favorites due to a combination of performance and price. They are easy on the eyes as well if you appreciate sleek notebooks that are thin and light.

This particular laptop comes in four different configurations starting with an i5-6200U powered machine with 128GB of storage and going up to a laptop with the i7-6500U with a 256GB SSD. You’ll get an option of Windows 10 Home or Pro as well, although we advise you to go with the latter unless your law school suggests otherwise. All models come with 8GB of RAM and 13.3” displays carrying a resolution of 1,920 x 1,080.

Another advantage with the VAIO S is its durability. The laptop has been put through the wringer with a series of drop, bend and twist tests to ensure it can take some punishment. The connectivity options are strong as well with not two but three USB 3.0 ports, HDMI out, an SD card reader, VGA, and LAN ports.

4. LG Gram 15.6” Touchscreen Laptop

LG isn’t as well-known in the PC world as some of our other manufacturers, but the Gram is one of their best laptops to date. It’s a thin machine with a large 15.6” IPD display sporting a resolution of 1,920 x 1,080. It’s of the touchscreen variety and has super slim bezels compared to other laptops in this range.

The LG Gram lives up to its namesake clocking in at under 2.5 pounds despite the big touchscreen display and a substantial 60Wh battery. The model we chose has the Intel i7 processor along with 16GB of RAM and a 512GB solid state drive although there is a non-touchscreen model with an i5 processor if you need to save a few bucks and don’t need this much power. Both models have all the bells & whistles you would expect including USB 3.0 ports, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

When it comes to the size, the LG Gram is on par with the MacBook Air as it’s just as light but larger and with more power. This one runs Windows 10 out of the box and has a comfortable ergonomic keyboard with backlighting.

5. MacBook Pro MF839LL/A Retina Display Laptop

Bringing up the rear on our best laptop for law school list is Apple’s big boy, the Apple MacBook Pro. This is the 13.3” model which sports the beautiful Retina display. The panel has an eye-popping resolution of 2,560 x 1,600 which puts it above and beyond many of our choices. It’s quite powerful as well, but that power does come at a price when coupled with the display.

While this MacBook Pro is on the low end of the spectrum with an Intel Core i5 and 8GB of RAM, it has more than enough power to get the job done. The Force Touch trackpad and keyboard work well together and suit the small body style while the OS is listed as El Capitan but can be upgraded to Sierra when it arrives at your doorstep. All the ports you could ever want are present although there are no optical drives, which is par for the course these days.

As mentioned that Retina display comes at a cost as the battery life on the Pro model MacBooks is not the best. The smaller models tend to get more battery life, and this one is listed at around 9 hours depending on what you have running and the brightness of the display. The mileage may vary in that department, but it is a solid all-around laptop for students in law school nonetheless.