I converted to using Macs in 2006 after years of using PCs. I had some experience using Macs in law school, but the firm I was with chose the PC platform in the ‘90s. When I went solo in 2001, I continued with PCs, but the problems I had with adware, spyware, and the poor service from PC vendors drove me to make a change to Macs. I have not regretted the choice. The dependability and service I have had with Apple products is amazing.
I have had three iMacs since 2006. The one I replaced with the 2012 was the 2009 model. The reason I replaced it was that it was slowing down to the point of being frustrating, and, frankly, I was drawn to the new iMac because of the fusion drive. I purchased the 2012 27-inch iMac with the 3 TB fusion drive, 16 GB RAM, with a 2.9 Ghz Intel Core I5. This is not the fastest processor the iMac has, but I rarely need that kind of speed. I invested instead in the RAM and the fusion drive. The fusion drive is a combination of a 128 GB solid state drive (SSD) and a 3 TB hard drive. The operating system is kept on the SSD, and the operating system stores the applications you use the most on the SSD for quick access. For more information on what a fusion drive is and how it works, click here.
The iMac comes with four USB 3 ports, two Thunderbolt ports, one headphone port, one gigabit Ethernet, and an SD card port.
It is fast. Really fast. I timed the startup from the time I pressed the on button to when the computer was ready to go at 25 seconds, including inputting my password. Programs open quickly, almost instantly, and things just happen quickly. Some programs have their hiccups, like Microsoft Word (I have the 2011 version), but I think it is a software problem.
It works. It works quickly. It works without problems. It does not freeze. It handles everything (which is mostly word processing) I throw at it without a problem. And that is what I want in my computer. I don’t want to be thinking about the computer but rather about the work I do on the computer. The 2012 iMac passes with flying colors.
The only issue that some people might have with the iMac is that it does not have an optical drive to read CD/DVD. An external drive can be purchased from Apple for $79. The optical drive is probably moving toward extinction in the industry, but I purchased the external drive because of the necessity for creating CD/DVD for document production.
I pair the 27-inch iMac with another 27-inch monitor, which gives me tons of real estate to work on.
I usually keep my calendar and to do list on the monitor and work on the iMac screen, but it is nice when you need to have four documents/websites fully visible and work on a fifth.
I asked several attorneys using the 2012 iMac about their experiences, and the response was uniformly favorable. An attorney from Canada said the new iMac “was the best computer I ever had in my life.” Another attorney from France stated that she particularly appreciated the nonreflective nature of the new screen. An attorney in New Orleans commented favorably on its speed and responsiveness.
The iMac I purchased ran around $2,200, which is more expensive than a lot of computers out there. However, given the length of time I plan to use this computer, and the fact that the downtime will be minimal, it is a good investment for my practice.
For further information on using Macs in your law practice, I encourage you to join the Macs In Law Offices (MILO) listserv in Google Groups. Time and time again my questions are answered by one or many of the more than 3,000 lawyers on the list serve.