Law Office Technology–Hold Out a Little Longer

IMG_4409I spend a lot of time thinking about office technology, and how the advances in computing will impact my ability to practice law more effectively. Though I am apparently in the popular minority when it comes to making active stylus support a mandatory consideration when it comes to tablets, the promise of being able to take notes on my computer by hand while talking to a client and having those notes being accessible at any time is something I have been wanting since the earliest Tablet PC days in the first part of this millennium.

When the first iPad came out, I was deeply disappointed that it did not support an active stylus because it appeared to be ideally suited for people who still rely greatly on handwriting for work: namely, attorneys and doctors.  It was about the size of a legal pad, and could easily fit in the crook of your arm.

Perhaps the heft of the original iPad made it, in actuality, prohibitive to be a killer note-taker (Microsoft’s original Surface Pro, weighing in at a couple of pounds, would tend to suggest that is the case), but the substantial strides in making computing thinner and lighter suggests that those constraints no longer apply.  Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3, for example, has been surprisingly popular (relatively speaking), and the 8″ mini tablets (like the Dell Venue 8 Pro) have been very intriguing as well.  (With the most recent stylus offered by Dell, my DV8P is a very nice note-taking productivity machine. Finally. For now. Until it stops working again.)

Which is perhaps why rumors abound that Apple is finally getting on the active stylus bandwagon.  I don’t expect Apple to suddenly make a tablet that also runs a full-blown OS X after spending a few years criticizing Microsoft for cramming two operating systems into one device, but it simply makes sense for an iPad “Pro” to at least offer the possibility of supporting an active stylus.

All this is to say, there are a lot of changes coming to computing this year, and I will be talking on this page about some of those changes from time to time. One thing appears to be certain: with so many changes in the pipeline, right now is probably not the best time to purchase computing equipment unless it’s on sale.