Helping attorneys pick out a laptop can be like helping a friend pick out an attorney. There are so many personal, professional, technical and compatibility variables to consider, that each time I do either it's a nail-biting experience. Well, yesterday I was copied on an email by my kickass training partner and fellow consultant, Allan Mackenzie, to an attorney whose Firm we are working with. They are a 6 person Firm about to upgrade all their PC's and one of the partners also wants a new laptop. She wants to know where to go after having done a little research ona Dell. I liked Allan's [probing] response so much that I thought it was worth sharing...
My usual response to this sort of inquiry is that "laptops are like cars: a lot of possibilities and a very personal thing!" I'd hate to recommend an SUV when you're really a Prius kind of person. But let's walk through it and decide what's best for you.
Usually after minimum "tech" needs, we wind up with weight and keyboard/screen size concerns and considerations.
For instance, I have "fat fingers" and "near middle aged eye-sight," as well as a "questionable back." Therefore weight vs. screen size were biggies in my consideration list.
If the laptop never leaves your desk, then really big screen and heavy weight will get you, actually, price reductions.
So, while I can glean a great deal from your interest in the Dell XPS 13 ultra book in its specifications, I'd like to take a step back and try to understand what you really want from the laptop.
- Do you intend to "go places" with this device, or will it always stay at home?
- What type of things do you intend to "do" with this machine. Just email and web surfing?
- Do you have a lot of media? use iTunes? Will you be loading many pictures and movies of a personal nature?
- Are you hoping it will be used as an "adjunct" machine in the office, or only as a "I'm away from from the office."
- Are you hoping to use this for, say SKYPE video calls to other parties?
- Are you replacing an existing laptop? If so what did you do with it, love about it, hate about it?. What model is it?
- Do you have a printer at home? What is the make and model?
- What special programs outside of Office will you be using? For example, do you need to run database queries in Summation?
- Will you be able to / want to add a second monitor?
These are great questions that get you thinking about just what needs need meeting. I got a MacBook Pro about a year ago and really wish I had thought twice about the CD Drive which I NEVER EVER use - having left that out would have netted me a MacBook Air at half the bulk (ha, and twice the price.)
Be sure to chime in with any tips or ideas you have because of your laptop-buying experiences.