Medical and nursing schools are hard, and it is even harder without a decent laptop to aid you along the way.
Choosing a laptop these days can be quite a daunting task with all the IT-related terminologies flying around. That’s why we have decided to write an article on the best laptops for nursing students in 2020 to help you with purchase.
We won’t go into too much detail, but just enough for you to understand the general aspect of a laptop. There will also be a FAQ section at the end, so keep reading and don’t miss out folks.
- What Nursing Students Consider When Buying A Laptop
- Our Pick Of The Best Laptop For Nursing Students To Use
- Bottom line
What Nursing Students Consider When Buying A Laptop
There are quite a few things that, as a nursing student, you need to consider before purchasing your laptop. These include your intended usage for the laptop and how it will affect the decision to buy one with suitable hardware.
Let’s face it, who would buy a laptop just for studying? That would never be the case unless your parents are getting you one.
You will have other hobbies such as gaming, video binge-watching, artworks, and so on. That’s why you need to think about what sort of processor, RAM, and graphics card you might need. We will talk more about this during the reviews below, so read on, folks.
If you are going to be in your first year of college or university, you probably aren’t aware of running-around part of the higher-education.
No jokes, you literally have to run around a lot. Relocating from one tutorial class to another lecture and vice versa would be your cardio. Not only that, nursing students often find themselves having to constantly run to the coffee shop or library for a group project and similar academic things.
That’s why you might want a thin and light laptop to ease the burden of your shoulders.
Another thing you need to be aware of is the constant fight for a power outlet in the library. Everyone needs to charge multiple gadgets, and the queue is pretty much the same as the check-in queue at the airport.
So, you would need a laptop with better battery capacity if you foresee yourself as the type of folk that prefers studying in the library or basically anywhere but your home.
The operating system does not really play much of a vital role when it comes to performance. However, do consult your academic advisor on the course material. There might be some sort of software included in your curriculum that only runs in a specific OS.
This could be optional or compulsory, depending on your curriculum. Regardless if you could get more features for the same price, why not?
Indeed, an integrated webcam would be more convenient if you suddenly find yourself in a situation needing it.
Apart from those mentioned above, other related aspects which might be worth considering would be screen size, display type, fingerprint reader technology, nano display tech, and more.
They are always a plus but not necessarily compulsory. As such, they would help if you have two different laptops that both meet your primary requirements at the same price. These small bonuses would decide which laptop you should purchase.
Our Pick Of The Best Laptop For Nursing Students To Use
Just some quick words before the review, we have tested all these laptops and are giving a fair and general view on its performance and other related areas.
However, you should consult your course advisor or curriculum plan just in case there is some sort of specific project or class that requires a particular type of laptop.
Other than that, without further ado, let the review begins.
#1: Apple Macbook Air MQD32LL/A – Best overall
An apple product right off the bat? We do realize we might sound like we are one of the Apple fanatics, but it really is a result of fair comparison and evaluation.
This is the part where we are going to justify our choices with logic based on the aspect mentioned previously. The Mac MQD32LL/A has a 1.8GHz Intel Core and an i5 dual-core processor. What do all these mean?
Think of it this way, people who do a lot of coding would ideally want a laptop with a 2.5GHz and i7 core but could still put up with an i5 dual-core and only 1.5GHz. So, do nursing students do coding? Nup and chances are your course material won’t have anything that requires an i7 core processor anyway.
A laptop with an i5 core isn’t ideal for coding, but it is definitely extremely decent for everything else. That includes running whatever medical apps you might need while opening loads of other PDF materials plus music.
Additionally, it comes with 8GB of RAM, so there won’t be any issue with you opening tons of applications at the same time.
Other than that, we found that the 13.3” 1440×900 display is actually quite adequate for reading. As a nursing student, you need to brace yourself for a ton of reading and getting a mini laptop to do so is a fool-proof to guarantee a visit to the optometrist. Get the MQD32LL/A if you aren’t looking forward to the demise of your eyesight.
So, what’s the trade-off? It is iOS, that’s what. It is decent in some ways, but very limited in terms of what you can do compared to Windows. Well, if you aren’t one of the tech-savvy folks, this wouldn’t concern you.
- Very decent quality hardware with an acceptable price
- Great display spec
- I5 dual-core processor
- Thin and Lightweight
- 12 hours of battery
- iOS – might experience a limitation in customization.
#2: ASUS VivoBook – F510UA – AH55 – best affordable laptop
If you are on a budget and the Macbook unfortunate, fell out of your spending zone, go for the ASUS VivoBook. The hardware is mostly similar to the Macbook above, with only a few differences.
The F510UA – AH55 also has a core i5 processor, so don’t worry about it freezing from running several applications at the same time. However, the difference here is that it is a 1.6GHz processor. Hence, do expect the processing speed to be slightly slower than the Macbook, but the difference shouldn’t be noticeable.
Now, onto the features that make this laptop stand out. Firstly, it is more affordable than the Macbook, but the quality seems to be quite decent. It can load up the Window 10 in precisely 10 seconds (quite a coincidence).
Secondly, it has a fingerprint sensor, which is quite neat for unlocking your PC. For readers who aren’t aware yet, the latest laptop models these days have a finger sensor. It is always a welcome to experience modernistic features like this.
The 128GB SSD and 8GB DDR4 Ram do what they do. The laptop was able to handle multiple applications opened at once without slowing down. So, the performance is up there on top of the ladder but just not on par with the Mac.
- Very affordable
- Good durability
- Very portable (less than 4 pounds and very thin)
- I5 core processor
- 1.6 GHz
- Nanoedge display and finger sensor.
- The sensor could be glitchy and need to update its driver
#3: Microsoft Surface Pro 5th Gen – best convertible laptop for nursing students
The thing with the top two laptops is that they might be light and thin to help with the portability, but that is not yet the highest extent of portability. Here is where the above products lose out to the Microsoft Surface Pro 5th Gen.
Let’s talk a little about its actual performance first before getting to the most notable features. Despite being almost a tablet-like, it is still a laptop with an i5 core processor and 8GB. By this point, you already know that means its performance would not lose out to the others on the list by a considerable margin.
Though the series include other versions with even more powerful processor if you want to use it for gaming too, nonetheless, this classic version is already enough for whatever medical apps that nursing students might need.
Now, onto the parts that we love the most about, it would be the different mode it has. The laptop mode would allow you to use it, just like any other ordinary laptops. However, you can also change it to tablet mode to look at the data on it while doing something else. Or the studio mode for writing down notes quickly during your lecture.
By the way, it does come with a pen specifically for the laptop. The only thing that we do not quite like about it is the low storage space. 256GB is enough for work but really not that much for entertainment purposes.
- Tablet – studio – laptop mode
- Touch screen
- Very portable
- I5 core processor
- 13.5 hours battery
- More powerful versions are available
- Limited storage
#4: LG 13Z980 – best battery life laptop
Perhaps you have a job or some sorts of special circumstances that require a laptop with better battery hours? And 12 ~ 13 hours wouldn’t cut it? You would love the LG 13Z980.
The hardware is basically the same as the others on this list, and you definitely do not need me to repeat it again. The laptop performs, and the spec is definitely enough for academic purposes.
The 13.3 inches LCD screen also looks quite classic with the white color outlook. We definitely felt a slight boost in motivation to study while holding and testing it.
However, the thing that surprised us the most was the battery capacity. The battery could last almost a day, which is pretty impressive given how high-performance it is. It is the most impressive out of all the laptops within a similar price bracket thus far.
There are also other neat features packed inside, such as the HD webcam and the touchpad support. The light on the keyboard certain comes in handy for folks who like working in the dark.
Regardless, the lack of ports could be quite inconvenient sometimes. There are only 2 USB ports, and we have seen tons of laptops, at a lower price, with 4 USB ports. It really baffles us how the manufacturer could fit so many smart features but not one more USB port.
- 5 hours of battery
- Decent performance with the i5 core processor
- HD cam
- A lot of smart features
- Light and thin for the portability
- Classy look
- Not enough USB port
#5: ASUS C302CA Chromebook – best lightweight laptop
Last but not least, allow us to introduce the ASUS C302CA, the best lightweight laptop. During our testing of all these laptops, we realized that there could be nursing students who injure their shoulders and would prefer the lightest laptop possible.
Weighing less than 3 pounds, the ASUS C302CA is probably even lighter than your medical textbook. It has a 12.5 inch HD screen, so there is no worry about not being able to read the words on the PDF file. Have to say though, the design of the keyboard is looking like a knock-off from the Apple Macbook, but we aren’t complaining.
The 360-degree flippable screen combined with the classy “Apple-ish” keyboard design does boost your creativity somehow.
While the hardware is definitely adequate enough for nursing students, it might not be enough for other purposes. Watching movies and listening to music on it wouldn’t be an issue, but it is definitely not ideal for gaming.
The reason is that the processor is only M3, so there will be a slight drop in FPS when you open too many applications or browsers. However, that means it just needs a little time to set up running because the 2.2 GHz processor speed will the app running smoothly once preps are done.
Another thing that could be considered either a pro and con, depending on the user, which is the Linux OS. The pro is that it is an open-source system, meaning feel free to customize as much as you want as long as you know what you are doing.
Otherwise, it would be a con if you are not familiar with the OS and can’t use it to its full potential.
- Less than 3 pounds in weight
- Flippable screen
- HD display
- 2 GHz processor
- Touch screen
- M3 core processor
Which one, MAC or PC, for nursing students?
There really is no definitive answer to this question. If you have used both OS, then you already know which you would personally prefer. Otherwise, if you don’t see yourself as a tech-savvy person and prefer user-friendly gadget, definitely go for a MAC.
However, if you would like something that is more universally used, then go for Windows. What we mean by that the majority of applications can be run on the Windows system. Although, the huge rise in popularity of the Apple products have encouraged software developers to also prepare a version for iOS.
Though, there is still some really good software (not related to nursing)that can only run on a MAC.
Do I need a laptop for nursing school?
Definitely yes, unless your school has a strict book-only policy. Most, if not all, universities and colleges these days are run through computers. You would probably find it extremely to access your course materials without a laptop.
Is getting a chromebook for nursing school a good idea?
I would say it is if you primarily have to read through medical material to get through to your exam. Some colleges do not design their course to involve with a lot of software application. In those cases, the chromebook is great especially if you do not intend to use the gadget for any other purposes.
SSD vs hard drives for nursing laptop?
Definitely SSD because it is more superior in almost every aspect. Most laptops these days are SD rather than HDD anyway.
Med school is already harder and don’t let choosing a laptop add more burden on you. Read through our simplified review on the best laptops for nursing students in 2019 if you can’t be bothered trying to understand IT things.
Though, we do recommend quickly scanning through to the buying guide to gain some understanding on laptop hardware work. That way, you will have a better picture of what sort of laptop you would need or want.
Anyways, thanks for reading folks, and as always, we will see you in the next article.