With the release of cheap but decent Windows 8.1 laptops like the well-reviewed HP Stream or the Asus X205 I am using, is there any reason for a lawyer to consider a Chromebook? As a Chromebook user (we have three in the family including my wonderful Acer C720p with touch screen), I would say yes.
Performace is zippier on my Chromebook than on the Asus X205, and the Chromebook is more secure and easier to maintain. However, the Asus arguably meshes better with my regular Windows-based workflow.
Which to choose for a lawyers cheap portable device?
The wonderful How-To Geek site has plenty of guidance. This post outlines the pros and cons of picking a Chromebook or a cheap Windows machine. As you will read, although Windows is nice to have on a cheap portable laptop, a Chromebook may still be the better choice. If you really really need Windows with you at all times, you need to spend more than $200 to get a suitable laptop, How-To Geek concludes.
If you decide to go with a cheap windows laptop like the HP Stream, buy it directly from the Microsoft Store. You will get the Signature Edition free of bloatware and trialware that would only slow the machine down and take up precious storage space.