HP nw8440 Mobile Work Station
Reviewed by Jeffrey Allen
Over the last several years, HP/Compaq has made a concerted effort to create hardware to enable mobile professionals. Like most computer manufacturers, HP jumped on the Intel Core Duo processor band wagon this year and has released several laptops using the Core Duo technology.
I had the opportunity to test drive one of the new HP computers recently, the nw8440. HP calls the nw8440 a “Mobile Work Station.” That name fits because the computer really does work as a desktop replacement with the added feature of mobility. Weighing in at 6.2 pounds, you will not likely get a hernia moving it around, but it certainly does not qualify as a lightweight. Someone looking for pure mobility would probably choose a smaller lighter machine; but for someone looking for a computer that would mostly serve as a desktop replacement and occasionally move around, this makes a good choice from a performance perspective.
The unit provided to me for review came fully tricked out with a 7200 RPM 100 GB hard disk, 2 GB of RAM, and an Intel Core Due T2600 processor running at 2.16 GHz. The high-end specs came with a high-end price tag of around $3600, almost twice the price of the base nw8440, which comes with 1 GB of RAM, a T2500 Core Duo processor running at 2 GHz, and an 80 GB 5400 RPM hard disk with a price tag of just under $2000. Both versions of the nw8440 included Windows XP Professional, a biometric fingerprint reader, Integrated Smart Card Reader and Embedded Security Chip (TPM 1.2), a DVD+/- RW drive, Integrated Intel® Pro Wireless 3945ABG (802.11a/b/g), 15.4-inch WSXGA+ WVA display, a full-sized keyboard; your choice of dual pointing devices (Touchpad and Pointstick, both with three pick buttons) or Touchpad only with two pick buttons; both with scroll zone and a three-year warranty.
To support mobile use, the computer includes an ambient light sensor that automatically adjusts display brightness and HP Fast Charge Technology, which charges the primary battery up to 90 percent in 90 minutes then charges a secondary battery up to 90 percent.
For connectivity and expandability, the computer comes with gigabit Ethernet built-in as well as a 56K V.92 modem. It also includes 1 Type I/II PC Card slot supports 32-bit CardBus and 16-bit cards, integrated Smart Card Reader, Secure Digital slot 3 USB 2.0, VGA, audio in/out, power connector, RJ-11, RJ-45, S-video TV out, 1394a, a docking connector, and an accessory battery connector.
Part of the cost of the system comes from the use of powerful ATI Mobility FireGL V5200 graphics. The computer designers at HP drew the nw8440 up as a high-end machine to fit the needs of those heavily into graphics. The graphics system is overkill for most law office uses. You can find other computers in the 8000 series that use less powerful graphics components at a reduced price.
The bottom line: As a desktop replacement, the nw8440 is a highly capable, although somewhat pricey choice. As a purely mobile unit it is a highly capable, but somewhat heavy and pricey choice. For most law office uses, I would opt for the base unit, upgrade the RAM to 2 GB and then consider upgrading the hard disk from a 5400 RPM to a 7200 RPM unit. I would avoid the price increase associated with going from the T2500 to the T2600 Core Duo processor.
Amicus Attorney Version 7
Reviewed by Alan Pearlman
This new version of Amicus Attorney ( www.amicusattorney.com) will allow you to move to new heights with office files. The program’s new version affords several good reasons to upgrade. First there is the great new interface, with faster navigation, new views, and its ability to resize what you want and need the most. Multiple files and contacts all open at the same time on your desktop, and you have increased customizing capabilities. It also has a new favorite’s module that helps you keep anything you use more frequently faster and easier to get to. The new e-mail management system allows you to harness 100 percent of the Outlook’s power as it is right inside your Amicus Communications Center, affording access to all your outlook mailboxes. There is an area for more and faster note taking with a sort of “magical” legal pad that gives you the power to use it in an instant and then later transfer what you need to the file.
Version 7 links dynamically to all of the applications in the Microsoft Office Suite. Word will now recognize the names of all your files and contacts as you type them and make it a breeze to save your documents from Word into Amicus. Finally, the product will run on the Microsoft SQL Database that allows you greater power and the ability to be more flexible building on the Microsoft .NET architecture. The Amicus version 7 has so many new features that you have try them out to see what I mean. If you don’t have case management in your office as yet, then this makes an excellent choice.
Amicus Attorney Standard costs $399 for the first copy and $299 for additional copies. The Premium Edition, which includes the Microsoft 2000 SQL edition and accommodates up to 15 users, costs $499 for the first copy and $399 for additional copies. The Standard and Premium versions do not include accounting software. You can acquire the Amicus accounting module for an additional $249 per copy. Amicus Accounting combines legal billing and accounting into a single program. You can use Amicus Accounting as a separate stand alone or integrated with Amicus Attorney 7.Amicus Small Firm is designed specifically to meet the needs of the solo practitioner and small firm market. This easy-to-use practice management and legal accounting package ensures legal professionals stay on top of their practice and keep control of their day—effortlessly. Amicus Small Firm Edition provides the Amicus 7 software for normal daily tasks (calendar, to-do lists, contact list, communications, time entries, etc.), organizing and storing them in an integrated system. The package also includes Amicus Accounting, to provide a complete solution for you and your staff. The Small Firm Version costs $499 for the first copy and $349 for additional copies.
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