If you are already virtual, or nearly virtual, then you have come to realize the need for an ever-growing number of electronic gadgets to aid you in your practice. Maybe the gadget of choice is a laptop (single or the fantastic new dual screen ones), a netbook for when you’re on the go, an extra large sized HD monitor, webcams for video chats and presentations, an Iphone, MP3 player, Skype-ready headset for your new VOIP system, multi-page document scanners, GPS systems, the list can go on and on.
Whatever gadget(s) you use to aid in your practice, the sad truth is that each one of them will, one day, stop working. When that happens, what do you do, Mr. or Ms. Virtual Lawyer? Repair it, or replace?
With the cost of electronics continuing to drop, the temptation we all feel is to simply discard the older model (that’s now approaching “piece of junk” status in your mind), and get the newer, sleeker, fancier model with all the latest bells, whistles, bleeps, and blurts. Last week, for example, some of you may have read CrunchGear‘s article announcing that Best Buy would offer a $249 notebook computer this holiday season.
If you decide to repair, you will undoubtedly find – as I did recently – that fixing many gadgets costs as much or more than the gadget’s original price tag. In my case, for example, the quote for repairing two broken keys (don’t ask) on my most favorite laptop was 2/3 of the original price tag for the entire laptop.
And, yet, if you are concerned about environmentalism and being eco-friendly, then you may find yourself wanting to do the right thing, be less “disposable” in your mentality, and reduce your carbon footprint a little. That’s one of the reasons that I decided to go virtual in the first place.
Whatever choice you ultimately make will be informed by many factors, and whatever those factors are, your decisions with respect to your gadgets (the very infrastructure of your virtual practice), must be informed. Consumer Reports remains one of the most trusted (and trustworthy) publications on the market to aid consumers in a wide variety of purchases.
When it comes to electronics, Consumer Reports publishes the Electronics Buying Guide and the Winter 2010 (yep, that’s what I meant to type) edition is out. This edition will feature a “Repair or Replace Timelines” chart designed to educate you about which gadget you should consider repairing and which one you can replace.
Get this guide – because, like it or not, gone are the days when lawyers can afford to remain uninformed about electronics.
I have no connections to Consumer Reports of any kind, I seek none and, therefore, anticipate none, and I received no kickbacks, freebies, or benefits for making this recommendation. As a mere consumer, their advice simply can’t be surpassed.