best-laptops-for-nursing-school

Best Laptop for Nursing Students

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What is the best laptop for nursing students? In my opinion, the Macbook Air is the best laptop you can get as a nursing student. It provides you with solid performance, reliability, portability and good battery life.

Although the Macbook Air is my top choice, there are still several other great laptops that nursing students can get. Today I’ll be going through all of my pick’s for nursing school laptops.

It’s about that time again. Whether you’re a high school graduate or maybe ending your first year in college just getting accepted into nursing school, it’s about the time to start looking at college stuff.

Laptops are almost necessary for college, let alone nursing programs. You’ll be expected to take notes, complete assignments, and even take tests at home. So, you’ll need the best laptop you can get to get you through school.

What is in the Best Laptop for Nursing Students?

The best laptop for nursing school consists of several features that can be different for everyone. Although, there are some that we recommend more than others (or maybe don’t recommend).

Powerful, fast, and reliable are all features that come to mind when you think “college laptop” or “nursing school laptop”. They are very important, but should not be completely focused on. What I mean by that is; you want a laptop that is powerful, fast and reliable, but you also want a laptop that is price effective for the value you are looking for.

A great laptop for me combines all of that while still maintaining it’s main function. Being used as a powerful study aid and to last you long enough to get through college (at least).

True Cost of the Best Laptop

When I say “price effective” I don’t mean cheap and I don’t necessarily mean affordable (it definitely can be affordable). I mean that you need to find the best value in your specific price bracket. Now obviously college students are not known as being the most wealthy of groups. But having a budget and with some help from parents or loans you can find a great laptop for nursing school.

When buying, you should follow the basic rule of thumb. The value of any good (laptop, accessory, clothing) is related to the literal value it has to you (the consumer) versus the value (or price) the supplier of the good determines.

I personally find great value in higher-end laptops due to the fact that they typically are powerful, fast and reliable.

*Also, quick tip: if you are expecting to pay a certain amount of money, expect to pay a few hundred dollars more. If you’re looking at laptops in the $1000 price range, expect to pay somewhere between $1200-1300.

Okay, so all that price talk might get a bit confusing. And, quite honestly if you really want to find the laptop that is the best for you. You really shouldn’t look at the price until the end. BUT, let’s be realistic, unless you have a bottomless wallet (which most of us do not!). You will be looking at the price so let’s get into what features you need in a laptop for nursing school.

What is the Best Laptop for Nursing Students?

The best laptop for nursing students is the MacBook Air. The MacBook Air is a well-rounded, reliable laptop that provides nursing students with everything they need for school. I’ll go more in-depth later on, but it is my top pick (with the MacBook Pro as a close second).

I put a few other laptops on the list, including some Windows devices, in-case you didn’t want to use Apple’s ecosystem. There are some more and more popular Windows laptops out there.

4. Lenovo Yoga Series

lenovo-yoga-c940

The Lenovo Yoga C940 (which is now part of the Yoga 7i / 9i series) is easily one of my favorite laptops. This is a thin, powerful and lightweight Windows laptop. It boasts an Intel Core I7 processor, up to 16GB of RAM and a 512 GB Solid State Drive (SSD).

It is a 360 degree touch-screen device (the only one on the list) that will flip all the way around to convert to a tablet. The Yoga C940 has a great battery life that should last you all day easily. One of my favorite features is the built-in Dolby Atmos speaker system that sounds great.

It fits all of the criteria of a great laptop and can often be found on sale. Because of these reasons, it makes it a great choice as one of the best laptops for nursing school.

Another great Lenovo option is the Lenovo Flex Series, which is usually found for under $500.

3. Microsoft Surface Laptop (13-inch)

microsoft-surface-laptop
Sale
Microsoft Surface Laptop 5 (2022), 13.5″ Touch Screen, Thin & Lightweight, Long Battery Life, Fast Intel i5 Processor for Multi-Tasking, 8GB RAM, 256GB Storage with Windows 11, Platinum
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Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 13.5″ Touch-Screen Intel Core i5-8GB Memory – 256GB Solid State Drive (PKX-00003) Matte Black (Renewed)
  • Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 features 10th generation Intel Core i5 processor, 13.5-inch PixelSense Touchscreen Display (2256 x 1504) resolution
  • 256GB Solid State Drive, 8GB RAM
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13.5″ Touchscreen (11th Gen Intel Core i7-1135G7 for Multi-Tasking, 16GB DDR4 RAM, 256GB NVMe SSD) Ultra-Thin and Light, Long Battery Life, Windows 10 Pro, Black (Renewed)
  • Screen: 13.5” PixelSense Display Resolution: 2256 x 1504 (201 PPI) Aspect ratio: 3:2 Surface Pen5 enabled Touch: 10 point multi-touch
  • Quad Core 11th Gen Intel Core i7-1185G7 processor, 16GB LPDDR4x RAM

The Microsoft Surface Laptop (13-inch) is another touch-screen Windows laptop. This model does not flip around like the Yoga C940. But, does still have a touch-screen that is compatible with the Surface Pen and Surface Mouse.

The Surface Laptop is a lightweight, portable and decently powerful device. Making it a great choice for anyone in nursing school. It has an Intel I7 processor, 16GB of RAM, 512 GB Solid State Drive (SSD) and great battery life.

A very popular laptop among students for several reasons making it a solid choice.

The below model is a Surface Pro which is similar to the Surface Laptop. However, it has a detachable keyboard because it is natively a tablet. This keyboard can either be a pro or con depending on use case and user.

microsoft-surface-pro-with-keyboard

2. Apple MacBook Pro

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Sale
Apple 2023 MacBook Pro Laptop M2 Pro chip with 10‑core CPU and 16‑core GPU: 14.2-inch Liquid Retina XDR Display, 16GB Unified Memory, 512GB SSD Storage. Works with iPhone/iPad; Space Gray
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  • UP TO 18 HOURS OF BATTERY LIFE — Go all day thanks to the power-efficient design of the M2 Pro or M2 Max chip. And the MacBook Pro laptop delivers exceptional performance whether it’s running on battery or plugged in.
2022 Apple MacBook Pro Laptop with Apple M2 chip (13-inch, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD) (QWERTY English) Space Gray (Renewed)
  • SUPERCHARGED BY M2 The 13-inch MacBook Pro laptop is a portable powerhouse. Get more done faster with a next-generation 8-core CPU, 10-core GPU and up to 24GB of unified memory.
  • UP TO 20 HOURS OF BATTERY LIFE Go all day and into the night, thanks to the power-efficient performance of the Apple M2 chip.
Sale
Apple MacBook Pro MNQF2LL/A Intel i5-6287U X2 2.9GHz 8GB 512GB, Space Gray (Renewed)
  • Renewed products look and work like new. These pre-owned products have been inspected and tested by Amazon-qualified suppliers, which typically perform a full diagnostic test, replacement of any defective parts, and a thorough cleaning process. Packaging and accessories may be generic. All products on Amazon Renewed come with a minimum 90-day supplier-backed warranty.

My number 2 choice for the best laptop for nursing students is the Apple MacBook Pro (in any size, as there are a lot of options nowadays). This is the first Apple computer on our list and a little hint, it won’t be the last. This MacBook Pro comes with up to a Intel Core i7 processor, 16 GB of RAM, 1 TB of Solid State Storage, an extremely long battery life and most importantly MacOS. Now, I don’t think most nursing student will need a 16-inch MacBook Pro. However, the 13-inch Pro is a great option!

I wrote a very detailed guide on why you should buy a MacBook for nursing school, but I will sum it up for those who have not read it. The biggest pro to Apple computers, besides their exceptional build quality, is their operating system. This MacOS is very powerful, reliable and is free to update for as long as you have your computer.

They are also proned to getting “less viruses” than Windows computers, keeping you safe.

UPDATE: The new 13-inch MacBook Pro has just come out, in time for back-to-school! This 13-inch Mac is excellent for nursing students. It boasts an improved battery life, processor and overall features compared to last year’s model.

MacBook Pro Accessories

1. Apple MacBook Air

apple-macbook-air
Sale
Apple 2022 MacBook Air Laptop with M2 chip: 13.6-inch Liquid Retina Display, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD Storage, Backlit Keyboard, 1080p FaceTime HD Camera. Works with iPhone and iPad; Midnight
  • STRIKINGLY THIN DESIGN — The redesigned MacBook Air is more portable than ever and weighs just 2.7 pounds. It’s the incredibly capable laptop that lets you work, play or create just about anything — anywhere.
  • SUPERCHARGED BY M2 — Get more done faster with a next-generation 8-core CPU, up to 10-core GPU and up to 24GB of unified memory.

What is the best laptop for nursing students? Our number pick is the Apple MacBook Air. The MacBook Air is even more portable than the MacBook Pro, features more battery life and is even thinner. It does however have less powerful components, but it will handle any nursing school work with absolutely no problem.

Along with the MacBook Pro, the MacBook Air is built exceptionally well. The MacBook Air is a prime example of a great laptop. It will last you throughout nursing school and handle anything you throw at it. It can also sync up with an Apple Watch, iPhone and other Apple devices to create an awesome experience.

The MacBook Air is the best laptop for nursing students because it provides so many features at a relatively decent price.

It is a phenomenal choice for any nursing student looking for the best laptop for nursing school. We even found some budget MacBook Pro and MacBook Air options for as little as $400. Refurbished Apple laptops are great choices because they provide excellent value.

MacBook Air Accessories

Budget Laptops for Nursing School

If you’re on a budget, then I would highly recommend going one of two ways: older or cheaper new. If you want to go with a little older, then you get can a used MacBook Air for a great price. But, if you must have a new device, then I’d go with something like the Lenovo Flex.

Both options will offer you decent performance for what you’ll need it for in nursing school. However, I’m a big fan of nursing students getting Macbooks for several reasons. Why should you get a Macbook for nursing school? I’m glad you asked, I recently wrote an article describing all of my thoughts!

What Features to Look For in a Nursing School Laptop?

The best laptop for nursing students has to have several features. It needs to be fast, easy-to-use, powerful and last throughout school. It can be difficult to find a laptop in your budget with all these qualities. However, there are a few that might not break the bank!

Touch Screens

Alright, so I’ve been thinking a lot about how to phrase touch screens because I don’t really have anything great to say about them. Touch screens have been around for a while now. Honestly manufacturer’s just slap them onto laptops to claim that they have them.

These screens basically allow you to use your finger instead of a mouse, which inherently just makes your screen dirty and proves to be even worse on your posture.

Realistically I don’t know many people, if anyone who routinely rely’s on a touch screen laptop as their daily driver for nursing school. These touch screens are just another point of error for the laptop and run background tasks that can make your computer run slower.

Most laptops now will have them, but I try to stay away from them (hint: get a Apple/MacBook). Personally, there is only one real choice for a touch screen laptop, but you’ll have to keep reading to find out!

My saying is: If you want a touch screen laptop, buy a tablet.

Battery Life

Next on our feature list is battery life. Now for a laptop battery life is usually very important for nursing students. The main reason being that you need to take your laptop to class, the library or maybe a friends place to study and you will forget your charger. I promise you.

Having a laptop that will last you through all those long nursing lectures and still make it to the library for a last minute study session is crucial. It is also helpful when you need to keep your backpack as lightweight as possible and you don’t need a chunky charger taking up space.

Longevity

For a product to be called “the best laptop for nursing students”, it needs to be able to last throughout nursing school. This should be number 1 or 2 on your list of top qualities.

When I was working at Best Buy we used to throw around the phrase “this computer will last longer than this one”. While that might be a simplified version of saying “that computer sucks, buy this one”, it comes down to several features of the computer.

Firstly, the operating system that the computer uses can determine the “lifespan” of the computer. Lifespan meaning how long the computer lasts before it makes you want to rip your hair out. How long do you need your laptop to last? Throughout nursing school.

Finding a laptop that will last through nursing school should not be too difficult. Typically nursing school is anywhere from 3-5 years and a good laptop should last you that long.

Mac OS vs Windows

MacOS vs Windows is a common debate among us techies, but in reality MacOS will typically last longer than Windows. This is due to several factors including the way the operating systems run (we outline these a bit more here).

There are other factors that contribute to a computer’s lifespan besides the operating system. These include who manufactures the computer, what parts are used, how fast the components used are, and what you’re going to be using it for.

When looking for what laptop to buy for nursing school, you should consider this when choosing between Windows vs Mac.

Example

For example, if two people are using the same computer, but for different tasks their results are going to be completely different. If Person A is using the MacBook Air for word processing, surfing the web and nursing school work, they can realistically expect the computer to last them for 5-7 years.

But, Person B is using the same MacBook Air for high end video editing. Person B would most likely only expect the same computer to last 1-2 years at most because of the nature of the work they are doing.


So you can see how difficult it is to say “how long” a computer will last because it really isn’t an apples-to-apples comparison, everyone’s use case is different.

Portability

A nursing student should expect that their laptop will go with them pretty much everywhere. Now that so many lectures are online-based and notes are being posted to different discussion boards, it is more important than ever to carry your laptop with you wherever you go.

It’s pretty straightforward, but one of the most important features of a nursing school laptop is it’s ability to be carried around with you. A great laptop is one that is light enough (portable) to carry around in your book bag with all of your other heavy nursing books (trust me, I know) and not break your back.

Does an Expensive Laptop Mean it’s Fast?

Does expensive equal fast when it comes to laptops for nursing school? The simple answer is yes, but there is a more complicated answer.

Typically when it comes to laptops (or computers in general), they are one of those products that the more you spend generally the more you get. Where if you spend $5000 on one computer you will be getting a computer that lasts longer, is faster and is most likely more reliable than if you spent $500.

Now, with that said, when you start comparing MacBooks/Apple to Windows/Microsoft that ratio of expensive:fast starts to become strange. That is because Apple prices their computers based on the value that their operating system (MacOS) brings to users, so they tend to be more expensive.

For example, a Windows computer with an i5 Intel processor and 8gb of RAM might cost $800, that same computer with a similar processor from Apple might cost $1200. So where is your $400 going? I’ll let you read that one and then come back and make a decision if it’s worth it for you.

When you’re searching for a nursing school laptop, you need to remember that you won’t be using any crazy programs. The programs you typically use involve are low-usage and won’t require a ton of power. However, you do want your laptop to last you all the way through nursing school!

What Programs Do You Use in Nursing School?

The computer programs you most often use in nursing school are: Microsoft Word or Google Docs, Microsoft PowerPoint or Google Slides, and occasionally some testing programs.

In addition, you might use Quizlet.com or other study methods that come with your textbooks. Some nursing schools might use a clinical simulation program, but other than that, you won’t use very power hungry programs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I Need a Laptop for Nursing School?

Yes, you need a laptop for nursing school. Laptops are almost a requirement for any college student to have let alone nursing student.

You’ll have to use a laptop to write assignments, research topics, and possibly take at-home tests. You might even need to use a webcam for some classes.

Although a lot of students might ask, “what if my nursing school has a computer lab?“, you won’t always have access to it. And, there might be a time where you physically can’t get to that lab.

Can You Use an iPad/Tablet in Nursing School?

Yes, you can get through nursing school using an iPad or tablet. However, you most likely will need the keyboard attachment to type papers efficiently.

With today’s iPads you can easily do most things you could do on a regular computer. But, you will need a keyboard accessory, and mouse to efficiently complete nursing school tasks.

I would highly recommend using an iPad as an ancillary device to something like a Macbook. This way you can get the best of both worlds. I know cost might be a concern so in that case, you can find relatively decent priced used iPads.

Should I get a Chromebook for nursing school?

While Chromebooks are getting better and better, they still aren’t advised for nursing school. You won’t be able to complete some of the projects with one.

What laptop do you recommend for nursing students?

The Macbook Air is my top choice for nursing school and students.

Why you I need a laptop for nursing school?

Typically nursing students will need a laptop to write papers, take notes, and even take tests at home. Additionally, you might have to complete projects at home or via webcam.

Mac vs Windows for nursing school?

For nursing students, either Mac or Windows would be a fine choice. Mac computers tend to be more secure, however Windows has made some big strides in the recent years to improve all-around security and speed.

Choosing a laptop computer for nursing school can be a daunting task. But, we’re here to hopefully make it as easy as possible!

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, when it comes to the best laptop for nursing school, just consider the few things you need: portability, power, battery life and reliability. When you check all of those boxes you get the MacBook Pro Air.

While you might be looking for a more inexpensive laptop for nursing school, you can still find a reliable refurbished model.

There are a lot of laptops out there, and when it comes down to it, most of them should get you through nursing school. Find one in your budget that will last you a long time!

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Full Time Nurse

Striving to help nurses and nursing students succeed.

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