Top 5 Best Laptops For Nursing Students 2021:
- Dell XPS13 XPS13-9343 13.3-inch Ultrabook Computer
- New Apple MacBook Pro
- Lenovo IdeaPad 3 14″ Laptop, 14.0″ FHD
- ASUS 10.1” Transformer Mini T103HA-D4-GR
- ASUS Chromebook-Laptop- 11.6″
College years just have to be one of the most rewarding periods in a person’s life – especially if you are studying something as noble as nursing.
You finally get the opportunity to branch out, live life on your own terms, meet tons of new people, and at the same time, master one of the most gratifying professions in the world.
However, we have to point out that we are living in a digital age. A great deal of productivity and fun you will be able to squeeze out of your college years will befall on the shoulders of your personal laptop.
In other circumstances, we would advise to simply buy the device with the highest specs on the market. But, student life usually mandates a healthy dose of rationing and, believe us, you will face quite a lot of expenses further down the road.
So, let us take a look at some of the most popular and the most capable devices that don’t cost a fortune and try to find the best laptop for nursing students the money can currently buy.
Related: The Best Tablets For Nursing School
5 Best Laptops For Nursing Students In 2021: Detailed Reviews
1. Dell XPS13 XPS13-9343 13.3-inch Ultrabook Computer – Best device overall
In the world of tech, it was never easy to find the perfect balance between performance, price, and quality – some of these things have to be left out in the grand scheme of things.
But, we must admit that Dell XPS13 probably comes as close to this status as it gets. Sure, there are some drawbacks. We encountered a couple of instances when 4GB of RAM struggled to carry the burden of Windows 10. Also, the webcam could be improved in some of the future iterations.
Still, keeping in mind that you are buying a device whose main task is to run web apps, Netflix, productivity apps, and World of Tanks, we have to admit that we haven’t experienced any hiccups along the way.
The Intel Core i5 processor performed more than admirably, and the backlit 13.3” Full HD display (1080p) offered nothing but joy. But that’s not all.
Most of the budget and mid-range laptops feature pretty poor craftsmanship and build quality. Not this one, though. Everything feels rock-solid and well-made. The bezels are incredibly thin and dimensions compact, which has its effect on the size and the overall portability.
And don’t let get us started about the design. The aluminum finish is simply great.
So, there you have it – a slightly underpowered but still awesome device that can easily tackle all of your student’s needs.
- Excellent build quality
- Rock-solid specs
- Smooth casual performance
- Premium design
- Needs more RAM
2. New Apple MacBook Pro – Best Premium Laptop for Nursing Students
Apple products have always been known for their smooth performance and excellent optimization. This 13-inch MacBook Pro is no exception. But, as you probably already know, the Apple branding on the backside of your screen usually comes with a hefty price tag. Once again, this unit is no exception.
So, we can say that this otherwise excellent device may prove to be too much for an average nursing student. Also, taking into consideration the investment you are asked to make, we can’t say we are entirely pleased with the 512 storage option. Sure, most things these days are either on the cloud or watched by streaming, but we would like to get at least a 1TB hard drive in this package.
From this point, though, everything runs smooth as butter.
Apple has long since cracked the formula with Retina displays. The iteration we got here looks beautiful and causes no eye strain whatsoever. Pretty capable Intel Iris Plus graphic card helps this story a lot. Everything we ran through the device, ranging from casual games to TV shows, simply looked beautiful.
In terms of sheer performance, there is not that much to be said. The Apple configurations are capable of running even on modest specs. This one has a whole 8GB of RAM at its disposal. Throw into equation punchy Intel i5 processor, and you will get a force to be reckoned with.
- Polished OS
- Strong specs
- Beautiful display
- Apple ecosystem
- Lackluster storage
- Quality comes at a price
3. Lenovo IdeaPad 3 14″ Laptop, 14.0″ FHD – Best Affordable Laptop for Students
There are a lot of good things to be said about Chinese manufacturers as of lately. Take, for instance, Lenovo. As soon as the company made a presence on the USA soil, it was clear that the laptop market will never be the same.
Offering solid specs in incredibly affordable price ranges, the Beijing giant easily carved its way to the top of the sales charts. Lenovo IdeaPad 3 14’’ simply continues this story of success.
What do we have inside?
Well, a reasonably powerful AMD Ryzen 5 3500U, acceptable Radeon graphic card, a bunch of ports at each side of the device (the basics like HDMI are covered), and 8GB of RAM. Now, all these things look solid on the paper, and they will be more than able to provide you with smooth casual performance.
But, keep in mind that we are talking about the lower end of the tech spectrum here. Sometimes, the lower specs coming from more reliable manufacturers will be able to run the OS faster.
Still, even in spite of this gimmicky set-up, we have to admit that IdeaPad 3 14” is well-made and even better designed. The absence of thick bezels is always something to look forward to in this market segment.
So, is this laptop perfect? Far from it. Does it provide bang for your buck? More than enough.
- Great design
- Solid specs
- Reasonable performance
- Price-value ratio
- Good build quality
- Sluggish CPU
4. ASUS 10.1” Transformer Mini T103HA-D4-GR – Best Affordable Transformer for Students
Over the last couple of years, Microsoft tried to turn Windows into an OS that will be able to work on screens of different sizes and chipsets of different architectures. Although some of these efforts were failures (Windows 10 Mobile?), it is hard to deny that their latest flagship product has a pretty competent tablet mode.
Asus 10” Transformer seems to be poised to squeeze every ounce of that versatility and offer a seamless transition from laptop to tablet modes.
To get this versatile two-platform performance, though, you need rock-solid tablet specs. Asus 10” Transformer does not disappoint in this regard. You get the latest Intel Atom Quad Core x5-Z8350 Processor coupled with 4GB, 128 GB of storage, and crystal clear 10-inch display.
Also, the stylus you can find in the box will definitely make some of your college projects a lot easier.
But, even though these specs will run your device in the tablet mode without any hiccups, you need to be aware that they may struggle with some more demanding software packs like, for instance, Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom.
The other thing we would like to point out is that the Windows apps you will mostly rely on in the tablet mode are often sluggish and feel incomplete.
So, on the one hand, you get the convenience of a detachable touchscreen and on the other slightly underpowered specs and weak ecosystem.
- Good design
- Solid specs (in tablet mode)
- Detachable touchscreen
- The inclusion of a stylus
- Some apps will struggle
- Poor ecosystem
5. ASUS Chromebook-Laptop- 11.6″ – Best Affordable Chromebook
And finally, we have one incredibly handsome product prepared in Google’s kitchen and brought to you by Taiwan giant Asus. Sounds good if you ask us.
Well, we are happy to report that the product mostly lives up to these expectations. The problem is that Google Chromebooks usually feature an entirely opposite set of issues than Microsoft Transformers.
For instance, unlike Microsoft’s store, the Google market features virtually any app that can cross your mind. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said about the robust software platforms like editing tools, etc. You will mostly be sentenced to their lite mobile versions.
The other thing we are not very excited about is the 32GB of available storage. In this day and age, that has become to little even by mobile phone standards.
But, if you can live with these limitations, you will get a device that looks good, runs smoothly, and performs all the essential day-to-day tasks with ease and grace. That’s what you get when you run the optimized version of Android through the Intel Celeron N3060 Processor and 4GB of RAM.
The display does not lag behind. With 11.6-inches HD (1366×768) anti-glare screen graced with a 180-degree hinge, you will miss very little action.
And there you have it – a lot of room for improvement in some of the future affordable iterations but still the essential choice for students who can’t live outside a rich Android environment.
- Polished Android experience
- Good specs
- Works like a charm
- Excellent, versatile screen
- Limited storage
- Lacks serious productivity tools
Things You Should Consider To Find The Best Laptop For Nursing Students
These are the top five affordable devices currently sitting on the market. Which one of them is the best laptop for nursing students? Well, that’s hard to answer.
You see, different people have different needs, and the ginormous selection of affordable, but still capable devices is not making this riddle any easier. In any case, the choice of your ideal laptop will largely depend on your personal preferences.
So, before presenting the three units we see the fittest, we will cover some of the most popular features you can find on the market and put a spotlight on the specs you should prioritize to get the best possible performance.
1. The Manufacturer And The Native Ecosystem
Here, things get really personal. The laptop market has become very competitive the last couple of years, with the eco-systems usually associated with the mobile market becoming serious competitors. Here is the short breakdown of some three major players:
- Microsoft Windows – Microsoft Windows can be best described as your go-to OS of the previous past decades. The ecosystem is versatile, features tremendous third-party support, and runs on virtually anything. On the other hand, the user experience tends to be a bit sluggish, and your user experience can vary from update to update. So productivity is excellent. The Microsoft app ecosystem? Unfinished at best.
- Apple iOS – Apple’s products are the evil twin of windows-based devices. They are highly polished and known for the incredible level of optimization (the same manufacturer is pushing both software and hardware). However, this versatility comes at a price, and Apple, as a brand, has a reputation of not being the most affordable option on the market.
- Google Chrome OS – Google made quite a bang with its Android OS a decade ago, and there is no denying that this versatile operating system is taking over the mobile market. Now, it’s time for this software giant to repeat the success in the laptop market. Chromebook products made a very strong effort in this regard. However, they are still lacking the sheer productivity power as the two competitors we mentioned above. They are rocking very smooth UI, though.
On a side note, we have to point out that you can find a bunch of incredibly capable laptops powered by Linux. This OS is incredibly well-optimized, and, in most cases, it runs like a speeding bullet even on modest configurations. But, to use it, you need a fair share or technical prowess. Since you are studying something that’s as far from IT as it gets, we will leave them aside this time.
2. Minimum Specs
Talking about specs in this context is very hard because every OS has different requirements to run smoothly. But, we will do our best to give you a short breakdown of the components you should look for to get the optimal browsing, productivity, and casual gaming experience:
- Apple – As we already mentioned, Apple’s OS is very polished, so it will be able to put on a very decent performance even on the modest specs. Even so, you will need adequate horsepower to run this thing smoothly. The minimum specs you should look for are – Intel Core i3 or higher, 4GB of RAM, 160GB of internal storage and Mac OS 10.8 (Mountain Lion)
- Microsoft – The great thing about Microsoft Windows is that you can install this thing on your teapot, and you will get some degree of productivity. But, take the minimal specs you can find on the official Microsoft website with a grain of salt. For the optimal performance and low level of frustration, we recommend the following ingredients – Intel i5 Quad-Core processor, 8GB of RAM, 1TB HDD, up to 6 hours battery.
- Google – One of the best things about the laptop OS released by Google is that it’s based on Linux, which means you won’t need some monstrous specs to get smooth performance. So, here are the things you should look for – Intel quad-core Pentium N4200 CPU, 4GB of DDR4 RAM, and 64GB of storage.
3. Screen Size And Resolution
- Although we have pretty much covered most of the primary considerations you will need to go through, this one kinda stands on its own.
- Usually, the entry-level and mid-range laptops go anywhere between 11 and 15 inches, so feel free to situate yourself anywhere in this range. Keep in mind, though, that higher specs usually go hand in hand with a bigger screen. Also, if you are going to consume a lot of multimedia content, the bigger screen is your priority.
- When it comes to reading and browsing, pixel density and visibility of text should take the front seat. Reading small letters will require that your device scores the resolution of at least 1920 by 1080 or 2560 by 1600.
4. Tracking Pad
- Last but not least, let us quickly mention the tracking pad. Here the requirements are not that complicated – as long as the unit is responsive enough, you will have no problem using the laptop efficiently.
- But, be sure to get the trackpad that implements the scrolling feature. This may sound menial, but believe us – even the most menial projects will turn to hell if you need to scroll the pages manually.
5. Additional Features
- Here, we are going to mention some of the things that aren’t crucial for nursing students’ lives, but they definitely make it a lot easier. You know, stuff like a decent webcam, a bunch of different ports that will allow you to stream the videos to bigger screens (looking at you HDMI) and an optical drive that keeps your old discs alive and kicking.
Read More: The Best Laptop For Medical School
Final Thoughts And Recommendations
Finally, we are at the very end. That’s right. You will finally get to see which of the devices we covered above deserves to carry the title of the best laptop for nursing students. Well, at least in our opinion. The laptop market has become very diverse over the last couple of years, and exciting products can be found all across the price ladder.
Bottom line, what works for us may not necessarily work for you. So be sure to check the buying guide above.
With that issue off the table, here are our top three picks:
Best Laptop Overall: Dell XPS13 XPS13-9343 13.3-inch Ultrabook Computer
- The specs inside this laptop may look modest but only at first glance. Take a second look, and you will see that all of the components are top-tier. So, there should be no surprise that this beauty speeds like a bullet and can easily tackle all the activities you will have at the college. Of course, only as long as you stay away from AAA games. You will need to invest more for that.
Best Premium Laptop For Nursing Students: New Apple MacBook Pro
- Apple is an uncontested king of premium, well-optimized devices. This iteration of MacBook Pro is no exception. Sure, you will have to pay a considerable pile of money to get one in your dorm room. Still, if you can afford that, you will spend the rest of your college years in a smooth, reliable, and hiccup-free haven.
Best Budget Pick: Lenovo IdeaPad 3 14″ Laptop, 14.0″ FHD
- Much like many other East Asian manufacturers, Lenovo tries to find its place under the sun with price rather than monstrous specs. But, that doesn’t mean this device is underpowered or poorly made. On the contrary, the price-value works strongly to its advantage. If you are operating on a budget, we say this laptop is an ideal purchase for you.