Windows 7 – should law firms upgrade?

In my opinion, Windows 7 Professional is a significant upgrade over XP Professional in a law firm work environment. Windows 7 seems to run smoother, is more secure, and is more fun to use, even when running productivity applications. Hillsboro Law Group PC has upgraded all of its workstations to Windows 7 in 2010, at a fairly reasonable cost. We have purchased a mixture of Dell, Acer, and HP desktops, spending $450-$700 per desktop. For law firms considering upgrading their computers, I currently recommend the Acer Veriton VX275, now available from Buy.com for the ridiculously low price of $525 including shipping.

64-bit Windows 7 has worked very well in our law firm, although some older printers may not be compatible. Our primary applications include Time Matters 10, WordPerfect X4, Firefox, and Outlook 2007, all of which work well in Windows 7.

To fully enjoy the new features in Windows 7, a large LCD panel is essential. One feature I have learned to pay attention to when buying LCDs is the monitor stand. Buying a cheap Hanns G or Acer LCD may seem like a good deal, until you need to place a space hogging, tacky plastic monitor stand under the LCD to raise it to eye level. The Dell P2210 is worth paying extra for, as it comes with an awesome stand, can tilt, swivel, and move up and down, and four USB ports are built into the monitor. Buy.com usually sells the P2210 at a lower price than Dell. Another option great option is to buy cheap LCD panels, but upgrade the stand with a Ergotron Neo-Flex LCD Stand.

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