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Hardware and Software Recommendations - 2021


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My computer recommendation(s)

I've been reviewing new computer hardware lately and specifically the new Apple M1 Macbook Pro 14".

Earlier this year I tried a new Macbook Air, which was disappointing. It felt sluggish, had slow read and write speeds on the SSD, and generally felt underpowered.

The new Macbook Pros, with the M1 Pro processors, have checked all the boxes for me. There are a ton of reviews online so, I'll skip all the details and benchmarks, and give my personal recommendation for both 14" & 16" versions. However, if you need a one computer solution, you may want the 16" to take to hearings if you need alot of screen space.  and data and search quickly.

I ran a speed comparison test between my desktop computer and my Macbook Pro. The test consisted of running on OCR test on Adobe Acrobat CC with a 40 MB ERE file.  The Macbook Pro was able to OCR the ERE file 37% faster than the full-size desktop (I7-8700K Processor with 32 GB of RAM). This incredible results demonstates the the new Macbook Pro's are the "real deal"!

You can order a new M1 Macbook Pro directly from Apple HERE.... I get no affiliate fees 😉

I also use a Dell XPS 9500 with 32 GB of RAM. This Windows 11 machine has been very reliable for last 13 months that I've beeen using it as my sole office computer. It is able to live broadcast Zoom meeting while recording with appreciable slowdown in functionality. The only downsides of the XPS 15 are that it is a battery hog. You can only expect 3-4 hours of of battery with medium usage. Also, the XPS 15 gets warm and the fans spin up if under load. On the other hand, the MacBook Pro will always be silent (which is important at a hearing) and has a battery that will get you through a full day of hearings without needing to plugin to an outlet.

 

Top Computer Choice: Apple M1 Pro 14" base model ($1,999)

2nd Choice: Dell XPS 15 9500 or 9510 (~$1,999 for non-4K model)

 

Other software I use:

Adobe Acrobat CC - Editing PDF forms, OCR, sending documents for e-sign ($15 or get full creative suite for $54/month)

Ringcentral - for phone, fax, call routing etc. ($45 month)

Canva - for creating graphics, ads, etc. ($15 month)

Microsoft Office - For Word, Excel, Outlook ($99 per year)

DropBox - Integrates with Dibcase and great for managing your storage across devices (~$15 per month)

Keeper Password Manager ($35 per year)

Zoom - for videoconferencing ($15 per month)

Calend.ly - for embedded calendar software ($12 per month)

Chrome - for calendar and Dibcase (free)

 

 

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