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5 Best Laptops for Nursing Students in 2021 – Top Picks & Reviews

Nursing students have to be very organized as they have a lot of things to keep in mind. They have to know their schedule well, be aware of the coursework they have to complete, and be highly focused and well-organized. So, they need a laptop that can keep up with their needs.

We all know that a laptop is one of the most useful tools for every student. It can help you in taking notes, and it will be valuable during your clinical rotations. This laptop should be light and portable so that you can take it with you wherever you go.

This article is designed to help you narrow down the best laptop for nursing students. It is based on research and personal experience. So here we go, follow me on the journey.

5 Best Laptops for Nursing Students Reviewed

When it comes to buying the best laptop for nursing school, you want to make sure you get the most bang for your buck. I'm going to help you achieve that by giving you a list of the best options to choose from.

Apple MacBook Air 2020

2020 Apple MacBook Air with Apple M1 Chip

This new MacBook Air 2020 is sleeker and lighter than ever with the sleek and slim MacBook Air design. The M1 chip in this device is Apple-designed and provides a giant leap in CPU, GPU, and machine learning performance, ensuring that you can take on any challenge.

It also has up to 18 hours of battery life, which is unheard of in the laptop world. The machine also has 8GB of unified memory and a large SSD storage that can open applications in an instant.

Apple has also made the MacBook Air 2020 a fanless design, which means there is no fan noise, but it also has not overheated, so it is powerful and cool. This laptop is designed to be portable, light, and quiet. It is definitely the best computer for nursing school, being user-friendly and has a beautiful retina display.

Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop

Acer Aspire 5 15.6 inches Slim Laptop

This product by Acer is made with superb ergonomics. With its thin-bezel design, the laptop can provide users with more space to work with. With its powerful AMD Ryzen 3 3200U Mobile Processor, the laptop is able to tackle any job. The AMD Ryzen 3 3200U Mobile Processor is capable of handling tasks with ease and offers great battery life.

The laptop features an AMD Ryzen 3 3200U mobile processor with a Radeon Vega 3 graphics card, which offers you desktop-class performance with up to 12 hours of battery life.

The laptop also offers a backlit keyboard and a range of ports that include HDMI, USB 3.1, and USB 2.0. With the many features that Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop offers, this machine is a great choice for people on the go.

Microsoft Surface Pro 7

Microsoft Surface Pro 7 – 12.3

The new Surface Pro 7 is the best of both worlds: it's a laptop and tablet combined. Created by Microsoft, this laptop is designed to be both mobile and powerful. This model is ultra-slim and light and starts at 1.70 pounds.

Pro 7 is just as powerful as a laptop, and its battery lasts up to 10.5 hours. You can go from empty to full in just over an hour, which is great if you're on the go. The laptop is designed to be versatile so that it can be used as a laptop, tablet, and studio.

Faster than its predecessor, the new model redefines what is possible in a thin and light computer. With its laptop-to-tablet versatility, the Surface Pro 7 adapts to the way you work and delivers more power than ever. It is a game-changing device that is perfect for any laptop user.

Microsoft Surface Laptop 3

Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 – 13.5

This laptop can be carried around with ease due to its light weight. It has a variety of colors that it is available in, and it will be able to handle whatever you throw at it.

The battery life is up to 11.5 hours, so you can have a long day without having to worry about running out of battery. The Surface Laptop 3 has USB-C and USB-A ports for connecting to displays and docking stations, as well as a variety of accessories.

It is up to two times faster than the Surface Laptop 2 and is capable of multitasking with ease. With a starting weight of just 2.79 pounds, it is easy to carry around, and it is also incredibly fast.

This is a PC with a great design, new features, and a faster processor. It is excellent for college students or anyone who wants a laptop that is durable and powerful.

ASUS ZenBook 14 Laptop

 ASUS ZenBook 14 Ultra-Slim 14” Laptop

It is a 14-inch laptop with a 400nits Full HD anti-glare display. This laptop is powered by the latest 10th generation Intel Core Processor. This model is designed with a thin and lightweight body that includes HDMI, Thunderbolt 3 USB-C, USB Type-A, and MicroSD card reader for unrivaled versatility.

The laptop is incredibly compact and has a long battery life; it lasts up to 22 hours. Incredible result! ZenBook 14 Laptop is the perfect option for those who are looking for something sleek and versatile.

The laptop's portability and ease of use are made possible by its powerful performance and effortless on-the-go lifestyle.

Buyer’s Guide

medical student in front of laptop

Nursing students need to be aware of the fact that their work is different from the work that they used to do. They are required to sit in front of a computer screen for hours and hours. As a result, it is very important to have a durable and strong laptop that can withstand the pressure of the work.

How to choose the laptop for your nursing student life

Students and working professionals need a reliable laptop as they have to carry it while going to college or work. This makes it necessary for them to buy a notebook that is not only reliable but also portable. A laptop should be user-friendly and have enough RAM, processor speed, and hard disk memory.

  • Operating system

The OS or the operating system is one of the most important features to look for when buying a laptop. A student should look for a system that is user-friendly and easy to use.

When you buy a laptop, you must make sure that it comes with an operating system that you are comfortable with. Windows is the most commonly used operating system in the world. It is easy to use and is stable. You can also opt for other operating systems like Linux and Mac.

Windows is better for students as most of the learning software is based on it. Macs are better for professionals as they are better equipped for running professional software.

  • Software requirements

The laptop you are going to buy should have suitable software so that you can easily manage your academic tasks. It should have a word processor, spreadsheet, presentation software, and email software.

In some universities, the students need to manage their online assignments with the help of specific software.

  • Hardware

The laptop hardware is a crucial thing to consider when buying one. The processor is an important part of the laptop hardware. It controls the speed of the computer. A laptop with a good processor can handle multiple tasks in the background without affecting the performance in the foreground.


stethoscope lying in fron of laptop

Most of the students and professionals do not have CDs or DVDs, but they need to have it for their work. So, make sure that it is part of your machine. If you don't have one, you can buy external CD ROMs.

  • Weight

Students usually have to carry their laptops to college and back. So, it is necessary for them to buy a computer which is light in weight and can be easily carried in a backpack or briefcase.

The optimal weight for a laptop is approximately 4 pounds. If you carry your laptop to the college or office, it will be very helpful if it is less than 4 pounds. You can choose one from the latest line of MacBooks if you are a Mac user. If you are using Windows PC, you can purchase a laptop less than 4-5 pounds from the above-reviewed products.

  • Size

Though size does matter, it must still be compact enough. You may have to carry it along with your books and other stuff, so it should not be so big in size. The screen size of the laptop should be big enough to allow viewing of multiple open windows at the same time. It should be neither too big nor too small. Say, 13 inches is an ideal size.

If you are a nursing student, you will need to carry your laptop with you while you are doing clinical practice at hospitals or clinical labs. This is why it should be lightweight and have a sturdy built.

  • Resolution

Screen resolution is directly proportional to the screen size. If you have a large screen size, then you need a high resolution to get a clear picture. Screen resolution is measured in pixels.

It is recommended to opt for a laptop with a screen resolution of at least 1280x800 pixels. Such a resolution will make the screen look sharp and clear. A screen resolution higher than this will make the screen look good but will also make the laptop heavier.

If the screen resolution is low, it will be difficult to access high-quality images and videos. It will make the work difficult and tiresome.

  • Battery life

student learning with laptop

Battery life is another important factor to consider, as a student or working professional going to college or work will not be able to charge the laptop all the time. The battery should be good enough to run the laptop for at least 8 hours.

  • CPU (Central Processing Unit)

The most important component in a laptop is the CPU. It is the brain of the computer. The speed of the CPU usually varies with the processor speed. The speed is specified in megahertz (MHz). The faster the processor speed, the faster the operation of the laptop. In addition, a faster processor will be able to run different applications at a time.

The laptop needs to have a high-end processor to ensure that the laptop performs well. For example, the Intel Core i7 processor is beneficial because it is known for its processing speed and multitasking capabilities.

The Intel Core i7 processor is also known for being user-friendly and is helpful for running the latest version of Windows OS. You can also choose the laptop with an Intel Pentium Dual Core processor.

  • RAM

RAM is the short form of Random Access Memory. It stores all the information, including the operating system and software. It also helps in running the software programs. The better the RAM, the better performance the laptop will provide.

The memory of a laptop determines how fast you can run programs and how many programs you can open simultaneously. The amount of memory your laptop has will depend on your choice of the operating system. If you are using Windows, you must have at least 4GB of RAM. If you use Windows and Linux, you must have at least 8GB of RAM. Macs have enough memory.

  • Storage

If you are a nursing student and use your laptop for research and writing, storage capacity is a very important factor. There should be enough storage space to save all your assignments and the reference material you need for your study. So you should buy a laptop with a large hard disk storage capacity.

A typical laptop should have a minimum of 250 GB hard disk storage. It is also important to have a spare hard disk memory that can be used to store your extra files.

  • Processor speed

The processor speed of your laptop should be very high. It is important for your laptop to be fast so that you can save your work and do your assignments without any hassles. You should buy a laptop with a fast processor speed.

  • Keyboard

The touchscreen laptops are the most recommended ones. As a student, you will be doing a lot of writing on your laptop. You need a laptop with a good keyboard that is comfortable to use. The keys should be spaced properly, and the keyboard should have a non-glossy finish so that your fingers do not slip off the keys.

  • Price

The price of the laptop varies with the features and according to the requirement of the user. The price of the laptop ranges from $400 to $1500. When it comes to choosing a laptop for your nursing student’s life, it is important that you choose a laptop that is not only within your budget but is also of good quality. You need to check out the specifications of the laptop before you decide to buy it.

Laptop vs Tablet

man holding tablet in front of laptop

Laptops and tablets have gained immense popularity due to their portability and functionality in the present day scenario. The market houses both the devices, and the nurses have to choose the one which suits their needs best. There are a lot of factors to consider while choosing a laptop or a tablet, depending on your requirements. Let us look at some of these factors.

  • Functionality

The display size of the laptop is larger than that of a tablet. A tablet is more portable in nature. Laptops are also more powerful than tablets, and they offer more space. These devices are both portable, and both the devices offer amazing functionality. A laptop is a better choice if you want to use your device for a long period of time without requiring charging.

  • Price

The major factor that decides the fate of a device is the price. A tablet is definitely a lot cheaper than a laptop. However, laptops offer a lot more than just a tablet with just a low price.

  • Battery Life

These days, the battery life of the devices is an important factor to consider. The nurses need to travel a lot, and thus the battery life plays a major role. The tablet is powered by a battery, and it often does not last for even 6 hours. A laptop, on the other hand, has a battery life of 6-8 hours, which is a lot more than a tablet. You can work for hours without worrying about the battery getting drained.

Thus, a laptop is a better choice for the nursing student who needs more battery life.

  • Usability

Usability is the most important factor to consider while choosing a laptop or a tablet. A laptop comes with a keyboard and a mouse, and thus it is easy to use for the nurses. The tablet, on the other hand, has a touch screen, meaning you need to use your hands on the screen to click and drag the icon. This is not very convenient for a nurse.

If you are looking to do some serious tasks, then you should opt for a laptop.


nurse holding laptop

In this section, I have compiled some frequently asked questions about the best laptops for nursing students.

Is MacOS better than Windows?

It depends on what you need. There are no right or wrong answers to this question. You are the only one who can make the decision, considering your own priorities.

Apple's OS X is a solid piece of software, and it is highly regarded for its stability, reliability, and ease of use. On the other hand, Windows is still the most popular operating system, and it has a lot of applications, games, and accessories available. However, Apple is growing stronger in the market, and it has more and more applications available.

Is 256 GB laptop good?

For students, it is more than enough. For those who like to work with heavy software, it would be better to go for 512GB or more. 256 GB is also the recommended memory for most nursing students, but if you want to save some money, you can get a laptop with lower memory.

How much RAM does a nursing student need?

The minimum requirement for the RAM is 2GB. However, the more RAM that you have, the smoother the operating system will run. Therefore, I would recommend that you get the maximum RAM that you can afford. For example, if you are buying a Macbook Pro, you can get the 13-inch model that comes with 8GB RAM.

What type of computer do you need for nursing school?

The best laptop for nursing students is one that is lightweight, can run the majority of your course software, and has long battery life. A lightweight laptop will ensure that you are as mobile as possible and will reduce the amount of neck and shoulder pain that you might experience from carrying a heavy laptop.

By having a long battery life, you won't have to carry around spare batteries or a charging cable. Instead, you can simply plug the laptop in at the end of the day to charge it. For the most part, you'll want a laptop that is less than five years old since new models are often much faster, more efficient, and offer better features.

Is an iPad or MacBook better for nursing?

Any laptop/computer is better than nothing. It is the students’ responsibility to research what is compatible with their courses and programs.

The iPad is a very good tablet computer for nursing students because it is easy to use, very portable, and has many great apps. For example, there are also many medical apps for the iPad that you can use during clinicals. Nursing students who are iPad users usually love it because they can use it for watching videos, taking notes, and playing games during their break/lunch.

However, the iPad isn't a very powerful device. It is not as powerful as a laptop. So, if you are planning to use it to write notes or to do coursework, you may find it lacking.


The best laptops for nursing students can be very useful. They come with a lot of features that can help you with your day-to-day activities of studying. However, you should consider your needs as a nursing student before purchasing one.

The above-mentioned laptops are the best in their respective categories and will be a good choice if you are looking for a laptop for nursing students.

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