For nursing school, a good laptop isn’t just a way to take notes, write your papers and do homework – it’s essential to just about everything you do.
In fact, you’re required to have one by most nursing schools.
Best Laptop for Nursing Students: Our Top Picks
You download books, tons of patient data, get your class notes, assignments, do research, charting, send emails to your professors, watch instructional videos – I mean, you name it and you’re probably doing it on your laptop.
And if you’re not tech-savvy, trying to find that perfect laptop can be like trying to learn the Latin term for your right ear (it’s auris dextra BTW).
But don’t worry – we’ve done all the hard work for you. We’ve scoured the interwebs to find you the best laptops for nursing students – rated by nursing students – and tech geeks alike.
We read all the product reviews, comments, and chats to find the ultimate list of laptops that will get you through nursing school, clinical, and beyond.
So here you go The Best Laptops For Nursing Students.
Best Laptops For Nursing Students
HP Pavilion x360 14″ FHD Touchscreen 2-in-1 Convertible Laptop
This may just be the best computer for nursing students.
Coming in at the top of the list is the HP Pavilion 2-in-1 Convertible Laptop. If you want the best all-around computer for nursing school, look no further.
Not only does this laptop come in at a very affordable price – it has a touchscreen that folds back on itself so it becomes a tablet giving you the best of both worlds. It’s fast, has a ton of storage, a webcam, and a fingerprint reader – a security feature that we like.
It will store every textbook, patient record, video, and more without sacrificing any performance. It’s light so it won’t add a lot of weight to your backpack, very intuitive, and easy to use.
Plus, battery life is one of the best in class. If you need a laptop that’s also a tablet and does all the things – this is the laptop for you.
Cons: the screen is only 14”, so if you want something with a larger screen, try the Dell Inspirion 17.
Apple MacBook Air
Gotta have one for all the Apple fans out there and this MacBook Air is just for you. If you like the Apple interface with the added processing speed and super lightweight take a bite out of this laptop.
It’s powerful with lots of storage, easy to use and the compact size doesn’t take up a lot of space.
One of the things we like about this laptop is how quickly it starts up – because when you’re ready to work you’re ready to work. That goes double for trying to start up your laptop before class starts.
While this screen is smaller with the compact size, it’s hi-def with a very beautiful resolution. The FaceTime HD camera also makes sure anything you do remotely goes off without a hitch.
Cons: not everyone’s an Apple fan, so if you’re a Microsoft user, try the ASUS ZenBook 15.
ASUS ZenBook 13 Ultra-Slim Laptop
If you’ve never heard of the ASUS brand – this would be a good one to check out. The ASUS ZenBook is one of the slimmest, lightest laptops out there weighing in at less than 2.5 pounds.
That’ll allow you to carry at least one more textbook in your backpack (with the 5 others).
But don’t let the diminutive, sleek size fool you – this little guy is a workhorse. Power, speed, and enough memory for all your Netflix seasons.
The screen is really clear and hi-def which makes it really good when you’re looking at photos or diagrams for a clinical. A lot of nursing students own this one and all had rave reviews for it.
Cons: it is a thin laptop, so if you’d prefer something a bit more substantial, try the 2021 HP 14″ HD Laptop Business and Student Model.
Dell Inspiron 17
You know we had to have a Dell in here. The Dell Inspirion 17 Laptop is an absolute winner – especially with the generous 17”-screen. There’s a reason Dell’s laptops are so popular – they give you some of the best all-around performance of any brand.
It has the latest generation processor that’s fast, fast, fast, with more memory than you’ll ever need (so why don’t you download some more music), a brilliant display, and some of the best connectivity available – great for when you’re working in the library or coffee shop.
Even though it’s full-sized; it doesn’t feel like it makes this guy really easy to carry – even in a purse or bookbag if you don’t want to carry it in its own case. Even with the slim design, you’ve still got all the ports, USB connections, and HD card slots.
Cons: this is a refurbished model (done by Dell) so if that bothers you and you’d rather go with a brand new model, try the ASUS UltraSlim 13.
ASUS ZenBook 15
This is another good laptop for nursing students. Another offering from ASUS, the ZenBook 15 is the UltraSlim 13’s bigger, badder brother.
This is the Cadillac of ASUS laptops giving the completely awesome 15” NanoEdge Display that goes all the way to the edge to give you one of the best displays available.
It has upgraded power, speed, and awesome performance. It was built to be a MacBook Killer – so you know this bad boy has the performance to spare.
And we have to mention the TrackPad Screen. It’s a little secondary screen on your trackpad. Results are mixed on it, but some people liked being able to have two screens going at once – and if you don’t want to use it you don’t have to.
Even with all that power, it still gets an amazing 7 – 9 hours of battery life.
It’s also one of the most durable laptops out there and has been tested to military-grade standards – so that’s nice if you’re not always as careful as you need to be with your stuff (guilty). Another nice feature is the slight lift to the keyboard – an ergonomic feature that you’ll appreciate after hours spent writing a term paper.
Cons: it called the Cadillac of ASUS for a reason – it’s a bit pricey, so if you want a more affordable laptop, try the Jumper Laptop 13.3”.
Best Affordable Laptops For Nursing School
Hey, almost everyone who goes through nursing school is looking to save a buck – you know you and just about every other nursing student. That’s why we found the best budget-friendly options that don’t sacrifice performance so you can have your laptop without having to live off ramen noodles and plain yogurt.
Jumper Laptop 13.3”
You may not have heard of the Jumper name, but this little guy comes in at a most budget-friendly price and has top reviews. But just because it’s the most affordable doesn’t mean that it doesn’t perform.
You still get the fast performance and a decent amount of memory – more than you’ll probably need unless you’re just downloading every movie and all the music.
The tradeoff for the small screen is this laptop is just about the easiest one to carry around, so if you’re always on the go and need one that you can just throw in a bag, this one’s perfect.
Cons: If you prefer a laptop that’s bigger, try the Acer Aspire 5.
2021 HP 14″ HD Laptop Business and Student Model
Hewlett Packard always makes a reliable computer and this laptop is no exception.
You get the minimum 8GB of RAM required by most nursing schools, lots of memory, and extras like Bluetooth connectivity and an HDMI cable – great for plugging in your music or a show (I know, not for school). But it has all-around solid performance and a very affordable price.
The battery life is solid at around an average of 8 hours – plenty to get your work in.
Cons: has an average weight, so if you prefer an ultralight laptop, try the MacBook Air.
Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop
The Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop is at the higher end of our budget line, but boy do you get a lot more. The 15” screen is big, bright and Hi-Def.
You get upgraded performance, lots of memory and speed without blowing your budget. That’s why this is one of the most popular “affordable” laptop models out there. It’s slim and lightweight which makes it easy to carry and as an added bonus, the speakers have really nice sound.
This is one that will do more than just your schoolwork – it can pull double duty as your home computer as well.
Cons: it’s at the higher end of the budget line, so if you’re looking to save max dollars, try the Lenovo Idea Pad 3.
Lenovo IdeaPad 3
Another solid budget option that gets the job done is the Lenovo IdeaPad 3. It isn’t going to wow you with super speed or a Hi-Def display, but it’ll do all the things you need in nursing school. Think of this laptop as the reliable sedan to a Ferrari.
Performance, memory, and speed are more than enough for schoolwork (minimum 8GB) and it has a little dash of style too with a brushed metal look. It’s a very capable choice for those not wanting to spend a ton of money on their school computer.
Cons: it doesn’t have the latest generation USB-C port – not entirely necessary, but if you want one try the
Dell Latitude E7470 14” Laptop
Another great Dell, the Latitude 14” Laptop has more than decent performance with a nice, 14” HD screen – plus an unbeatable price. It’s a trim, sleek 3.5 pounds so it won’t weigh you down.
Performance-wise, it’s not blazingly fast, but it puts in a solid performance with plenty of memory and speed for nursing school-type work. One thing – the keyboard isn’t backlit, so if that’s a feature you need, this one doesn’t have it.
But for all of the basics – and a sweet price – this one still comes out on top.
Cons: If you prefer a bigger screen, try the 2021 HP 14″ HD Laptop Business and Student Model.
Best Laptop For Nursing School: What You Need To Know?
Depending on what kind of nursing program you’re in, you may have different device requirements. For example, if you’re going to be working with a lot of video and audio files, you need to make sure you’ve got the processor speed and RAM to handle it.
We’ve got a couple of considerations to keep in mind when shopping for your nursing school laptop:
When talking about the device requirements, what we mean here are processor speed, RAM, memory, USB ports, connectivity, etc.
Really, if you’re just using your laptop for nursing school, just about any laptop – especially the ones on our list – will have every piece of hardware and software to get you all the way to graduation.
There’s only one question: Mac or Microsoft. We’re not even going to get into the middle of that argument, but both Mac and Microsoft operating systems are just fine. It really depends on your personal preference.
One note, however: Microsoft does have more software and more compatibility as it’s more widely used – so I guess put an extra tick mark in the Microsoft category.
You need a laptop that has enough memory and performance to handle the type of software you need to run on it.
Once again, most laptops today have more than enough power and performance to run just about any software you’ll need in nursing school unless you’re going to be doing graphic design work or high-level mathematical computations for programming.
How To Take Notes During Class
Simple: open a Word Document and start typing. But seriously, a lot of research has gone into taking notes on a computer for class. Some tips:
- Work on your typing skills
- Since typing is faster (for some people) try to type up as much as possible
- But also try to be selective about what you include in your notes
- Don’t forget to take handwritten notes too
Sorry gramps, we aren’t going to break out the CD-ROMs and play those darned video games. You aren’t going to run across many laptops these days that still include a CD-ROM drive.
In fact, I can’t even imagine a scenario in which you’re going to need one – but if you do, there are cheap external CD-ROM drives you can buy to hook up to your laptop.
A Good Laptop For Nursing Students – What To Look For
Ok, so you’re shopping for a laptop and you see RAM, memory, battery life, and all the things about it – and maybe you’re feeling a bit lost. Well, don’t worry. We’re going to hit all the shopping points you’ll need to cover to ensure you get the perfect laptop that’s right for you.
A laptop’s storage is what its drive does. These used to be spinning plates of metal that had a reader. Now, however, they’re smaller, solid-state devices.
What does this mean? That just means that they’re smaller, more compact but aren’t upgradable. But since most laptops have about 16 – 32 GB drives, there’s no way you’ll need more anyway.
For nursing school, you can even get away with an 8 GB drive that’ll still have more performance than you’ll need.
A good display is important really because, in nursing school, you’ll be looking at case photos, videos, diagrams, charts, etc. so there’s a lot of visual material to cover.
While it’s not exactly necessary to go with an HD display, an HD display will make images sharper and crisper, therefore easier to see.
If you’re not a computer geek, you may just think RAM is a truck or angry sheep with big horns. No, RAM stands for Random Access Memory. You can think of it as your computer’s brainpower that allows it to perform tasks.
The more RAM, the more things it can do at once. So if you like to have 30 windows open at the same time with 10 documents up while you’re surfing the internet – you want a lot of RAM. Otherwise, the basic options will be more than enough.
Unless you’re going to be keeping your laptop plugged in all the time – you need good battery life.
The latest generation batteries have gotten lighter, slimmer, and more powerful, so even the most bargain brand laptops will have enough juice to get you through a long class or clinical without pooping out on you.
Do I even have to say it? The last thing you need in nursing school is another heavy thing to throw into your backpack. You’ve already got giant tome-sized textbooks and a ton of gear, so getting a lighter laptop is only going to help save your back.
Best Computer For Nursing School: Tablet Or Laptop
Can I Use A Tablet In Nursing School?
Absolutely. Most modern tablets have the same computing power as a laptop. But typing on a tablet can get a little tricky.
One recommendation: get a 2-in-1 laptop that has a flippable touchscreen that turns it into a working laptop. That way you get the best of both.
Why Should You Still Get A Laptop?
There are several reasons to go with a laptop: the keyboard, larger display, more performance and the fact that you can use it as a home computer too.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Do Nursing Students Need Laptops?
Yes, in fact, most nursing schools require you to have a laptop as you’ll be using it for your coursework and clinical. Most nursing schools have minimum computing requirements (like 8GB RAM) so you should check with your school.
What Device Is Best For Nursing Majors?
The best device is the one that has good performance and fits your budget. Any of the laptops on our list have more than enough power, performance, memory, and speed to do everything you’ll need for nursing school.
You’re going to be using your laptop a lot in nursing school. So you need one that performs well, is easy to carry, and is easy on your budget. This little guy is going to be your constant companion, always at your side, so make sure you choose well.
We gave you 10 great choices at all price points that have enough performance to do what you need.
But if you still can’t make up your mind, just review our top 3 choices:
- HP Pavilion x360 14″ FHD Touchscreen 2-in-1 Convertible Laptop
- Apple MacBook Air
- Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop
No matter which laptop you choose on our list, it’s going to give you the performance to see you all the way to graduation (and download all your favorite playlists).