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page title icon Best Laptops for Medical Students: 9 Laptops for Med School

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| Updated on December 12, 2022

Are you a medical student who needs a laptop? You’ll need a workhorse for your studies! Check out the best laptops for medical students here!

So you’ve made it to med school, but now you need a new laptop! You can’t just pick up the first portable device you see. You’ll need something better for your online classes.

I’ve compiled this collection of laptops for medical school to help you find a decent laptop before classes start. I’ve put options for all budgets here too.

Let’s get started!

The 9 Best Laptops for Medical Students

The 10 Best Laptops for Medical Students
Image feature: LG; Dell

Here are my picks for the best laptops for med students!

1) Best Overall – LG Gram 14290Q

LG Gram 14290Q

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FEATURES:

  • 12th-gen Intel core i7 chip
  • Intel Iris XE graphics
  • 8GB of RAM
  • 14-inch touchscreen display
  • 1TB SSD storage

The best laptop for medical school is the LG Gram 14290Q! This laptop’s impressive features seem at odds with its sleek and lightweight design, but LG’s made it work.

An LG Gram will make moving around med school a breeze because it’s a light laptop with good power inside its slim chassis. I’m a big fan of Gram’s aspect ratio.

16:10 is the perfect aspect ratio for productivity, so you’ll easily be able to sit down and begin working anywhere. I’m used to slightly larger laptops, but I liked the Gram’s 14-inch display.

It’s equipped with a micro SD card reader, which is decent for space. I would’ve preferred a full-sized card reader for backward compatibility, but this is alright.

Unfortunately, you’ll have to spend a little extra if you want the LG stylus, which you might need for anatomy classes. You can get the Gram here.

Sale
LG gram (2022) 14T90Q 2-in-1 Tablet...
  • 14" WUXGA IPS Touch Display With DCI-P3 99%. A screen that can make your visions...
  • Intel Evo Platform Powered by 12th Gen Intel Core i7 Processor and Iris Xe...
  • 16GB LPDDR5 RAM. 16GB of memory to a substantial clock speed of 5200 Mhz,...

PROS

  • Great battery life
  • Very lightweight laptop
  • Responsive touchscreen

CONS

  • Some users report overheating issues
  • LG stylus not included

2) Best Value – Dell Inspiron 7000

Dell Inspiron 7000

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FEATURES:

  • 11th-gen Intel core i7 chip
  • Intel Iris graphics
  • 32GB of RAM
  • 17-inch touchscreen display
  • 1TB SSD storage capacity

Next up is the Inspiron 7000, a powerful laptop for medical students stuffed with great specs. I’ll start with the CPU, which is a quad-core i7 chip.

This CPU, paired with the RAM, will make your studies a breeze as you load and switch between tabs on the fly. You no longer have to be afraid of your laptop stuttering to a halt!

You’ve also got a decent selection of USB ports for more flexibility, with 1 HDMI port and a full-sized SD card reader. Plus, the USB C port in the Inspiron can be used for charging.

So you’ve got more charging options if needed, but I doubt you’ll need to plug this in more than once a day. The Inspiron’s got an incredible battery life of over 10 hours!

As a 2-in-1 laptop, the Inspiron can pull double duty as a tablet if needed, but it’s pretty bulky in tablet mode. You can get it here.

Sale
Newest Dell Inspiron 7000 2-in-1...
  • 【Processor】 11th Generation Intel Core i7-1165G7 Processor (12MB Cache, up...
  • 【Display】17.0-inch QHD+ (2560 x 1600) Truelife Touch Narrow Border IPS...
  • 【RAM and Storage】RAM is 32 GB high-bandwidth RAM to smoothly run multiple...

PROS

  • Very large and clear display
  • Full-size backlit keyboard for more comfort
  • Tons of RAM

CONS

  • Only 1 USB Type-C port
  • Still bulky as a tablet

3) Best Budget – Asus Vivobook S15

Asus Vivobook S15

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FEATURES:

  • 11th-gen Intel core i5 chip
  • Intel Iris graphics
  • 8GB of RAM
  • 15-inch display
  • Operating system – Windows 10

Finally, a non-touchscreen! The Vivobook S15 is a value offering perfect for medical students on a budget.

While I call this a “budget laptop,” that doesn’t mean it’s cheap. Despite being offered for such a low price, it’s got some features that punch above its price point.

First is the fingerprint sensor, which is great if you want to keep your files secure. Then there’s the keyboard!

It’s comfortable, has a good travel distance, and is backlit if you need to use it in dimmer conditions. The display isn’t a touchscreen but bright and roomy, so you can multitask if needed.

The S15 is speedy, charges quickly, and is reliable enough for a full day of classes or studying. You can get one here.

Sale
ASUS VivoBook S15 S533 Thin and Light...
  • Aspect Ratio:16:9
  • 15.6 inch Full HD NanoEdge bezel display with stunning 86% screen-to-body ratio
  • Latest 11th generation Intel Core i5-1135G7 Quad Core Processor (8M Cache, up to...

PROS

  • Thin and lightweight design with an aluminum chassis
  • Well-spaced backlit keyboard
  • Very long battery life

CONS

  • Only one configuration
  • This model lacks ErgoLift hinges

4) Acer Aspire 5

Acer Aspire 5

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FEATURES:

  • 11th-gen Intel core i7 chip
  • Intel Iris graphics
  • 16GB of RAM
  • 17.3-inch IPS display
  • 512GB SSD

Acer makes laptops for all budgets, and any device from their lineup would be perfect for a medical student. However, I’ve picked the Aspire 5 because it’s an absolute workhorse.

In a nutshell, the Aspire series is filled with productivity machines. The Aspire 5 is built for working through your assignments and not much else.

That’s not a point against it; this speedy laptop was a joy to test! Despite packing a smaller battery, I got a very good battery life of over 10 hours from this laptop.

As if having so much battery power in its chassis wasn’t enough, the Aspire 5’s also got a killer CPU and RAM combo!

A beefy Intel core i7 chip and 16GB of RAM are practically overkill, but you’ll be glad for the extra power. You can get this excellent laptop here.

Sale
Acer Aspire 5 A517-52-75N6 Laptop |...
  • Get high performance, responsiveness and long battery life with the Intel Core...
  • 17.3" Full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS Widescreen LED-backlit Display | Intel Iris Xe...
  • 16GB DDR4 Memory (Expandable to 24GB) and 512GB NVMe SSD

PROS

  • Strong hinges and an all-metal chassis
  • Desktop-replacement display
  • Excellent selection of USB ports

CONS

  • Ugly prominent bezels
  • The hinge is too tight sometimes

5) Dell Vostro 5620

Dell Vostro 5620

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FEATURES:

  • 12th-gen Intel core i7 chip
  • Windows 11 Pro operating system
  • Intel Iris graphics
  • 1TB storage capacity
  • 16-inch 16:10 display

Coming in next is a bona fide business laptop from Dell. It’s the second Dell laptop I’ve featured here for medical students, but that’s because these laptops are consistently good.

The Vostro is a great laptop for crunching through spreadsheets and other work, but I wish it had more USB-Type C ports. However, I have no other major gripes with this laptop’s internals.

If you’ve got online classes and need a great microphone, the Vostro’s got you. A pair of dual-array mics will give you the clear audio quality you need!

The webcam also has a physical privacy shutter in case you’re more privacy-minded, which is a good plus. However, the real star here is the RAM.

A whopping 32GB will help get you through any task, but beware of the Vostro’s battery life! You can pick one up here.

2022 Newest Dell Vostro 5620 Business...
  • 【High Speed RAM And Enormous Space】32GB high-bandwidth RAM to smoothly run...
  • 【Processor】12th Gen Intel Core i7-1260P Processor (12 Cores, 16 Threads,...
  • 【Display】16.0-inch 16:10 FHD (1920 x 1080) Anti-Glare Non-Touch 250nits WVA...

PROS

  • Fairly light for its size
  • The webcam has a privacy shutter
  • Massive amount of RAM

CONS

  • Terrible RJ45 cable
  • Heats up under load

6) Microsoft Surface Pro 9

Microsoft Surface Pro 9

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FEATURES:

  • 12th-gen Intel core i5 chip
  • Intel Iris graphics
  • 8GB of RAM
  • 13-inch display
  • 256GB storage capacity

My next laptop that’s great for medical school is the Microsoft Surface Pro 9. Strictly speaking, this is a tablet, but it’s a perfectly competent laptop once you add a keyboard!

The display is small at 13 inches, but the Surface makes up for it with its top-notch clarity and HD webcam. You know what to expect if you’ve used older Surface Pro models.

Microsoft has kept its signature touchscreen easy to use and, unfortunately, light on ports, but this tablet laptop is still wonderfully fast!

Just be prepared to pay extra for the keyboard and stylus.

To keep its profile slim, the Pro 9 lacks a headphone jack and an HDMI port, so you’ll need a dongle if you want to give a presentation. You can get the Microsoft Surface Pro 9 here.

Sale
Microsoft Surface Pro 9 (2022), 13"...
  • Built on the Intel Evo platform with 12th Gen Intel Core processors.[2]
  • Up to 15.5hours of battery life.[4]
  • Adjust the angle with built-in Kickstand.

PROS

  • Charges quickly
  • U-series Intel core chip gives a longer battery life
  • Sharper and crisper display

CONS

  • Keyboard and stylus not included
  • Poor USB port selection

7) Apple Macbook Air

Apple Macbook Air

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FEATURES:

  • Apple M2 CPU
  • Apple M2 GPU
  • 8GB of RAM
  • 13.6-inch Liquid Retina display
  • 256GB Storage

Even outside medical school, the Macbook Air is popular among college students. And why wouldn’t it be?

Its lightweight design, sleek looks, and complete out-of-the-box functionality are everything you could ever need in one slim package.

While I love the design and looks of this Macbook, I don’t quite love its USB port selection. I like using headphones with my laptop, but the Macbook Air lacks a headphone jack.

That’s not a dealbreaker for some users since Macbooks have the best speakers on a laptop, but you can’t exactly blast music in a study hall.

Still, this lightweight device is great for productivity and will provide smooth performance thanks to its M2 chip. You can get one here.

Apple 2022 MacBook Air Laptop with M2...
  • STRIKINGLY THIN DESIGN — The redesigned MacBook Air is more portable than ever...
  • SUPERCHARGED BY M2 — Get more done faster with a next-generation 8-core CPU,...
  • UP TO 18 HOURS OF BATTERY LIFE — Go all day and into the night, thanks to the...

PROS

  • Incredibly long battery life
  • Excellent speakers
  • A large and responsive touchpad

CONS

  • The webcam notch is distracting
  • Small stock storage

8) Apple Macbook Pro

Apple Macbook Pro

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FEATURES:

  • Apple M1 CPU
  • M1 Pro GPU
  • 16GB of RAM
  • 14.2-inch Liquid Retina XDR display
  • 1TB SSD

I’m following up with another Apple Macbook. This time it’s the Pro version, which is a little larger but pricier.

If you’re a med school student who needs a little more power daily, then the Macbook Pro is your laptop. It’s gorgeous, powerful, and fast!

I wish it had a USB-A port for better compatibility with other devices. There’s also the price. While the Apple Macbook Pro has branding and power, it’s fairly expensive.

You can get a Macbook Pro here.

Sale
Apple 2021 MacBook Pro (14-inch, M1 Pro...
  • Apple M1 Pro or M1 Max chip for a massive leap in CPU, GPU, and machine learning...
  • Up to 10-core CPU delivers up to 3.7x faster performance to fly through pro...
  • Up to 32-core GPU with up to 13x faster performance for graphics-intensive apps...

PROS

  • Clearer webcam
  • It has an SD card reader and headphone jack
  • Handy MagSafe charging

CONS

  • Very expensive

9) Lenovo Ideapad 3

Lenovo Ideapad 3

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FEATURES:

  • 11th-gen Intel core i5
  • Intel Iris XE graphics
  • 12GB of RAM
  • 512GB SSD
  • 15.6-inch FHD display

I’m capping off my list with another budget device, the Ideapad 3. Lenovo makes laptops for all budgets, so if you’re trying to save money on your medical school gear, the Ideapad 3 can help.

With a neat quad-core processor and 512GB of storage, the Ideapad 3 will help you zip through your assignments faster than ever!

This portable laptop is great for medical students because it’s light and no-nonsense. It’s built for work, study, and relaxing whenever you have downtime.

It’s not a desktop replacement device, but the Ideapad 3 is a great entry laptop for medical students. You can get it here.

Lenovo IdeaPad 3 15ITL6 82H800KAUS 15.6"...
  • Intel Core i5 2.40 GHz processor provides great performance, immersive...
  • With 12 GB DDR4 SDRAM memory, you can multitask seamlessly between various...
  • 15.6" display with 1920 x 1080 resolution showcases movies, games and photos...

PROS

  • Performance punches above its price
  • Large touchscreen display
  • Good portability

CONS

  • No separate touchpad buttons
  • Plastic chassis

Why Should a Medical Student Get a Good Laptop?

That’s easy; your laptop’s performance directly impacts how quickly you can get things done! Having a speedier and more reliable device will be a great help in medical school.

It’s also generally useful for the basic learning process, whether you’re studying for your exams or creating presentations.

A smartphone won’t be enough for your academic needs, and a laptop offers more utility since it has more USB ports and is more comfortable to use for longer.

I haven’t even mentioned portability. You’ll be rushing between classrooms and clinics for the next few years, so you’d better get a laptop for medical school that can take the stress!

Things to Consider When Buying a Laptop for a Medical Student

All the laptops I’ve mentioned above are great, but here’s a guide for getting the best laptop for medical school. This guide also assumes you’re buying your laptop brand-new

Since the budget might weigh heavily on your mind, I’ve placed it first. However, the rest of these factors aren’t listed in order of importance.

Budget

Laptops have fortunately gotten more approachable, but you’ll still need to pay more for a better product. That hasn’t changed.

While it would be great to get a laptop at an affordable price, the best laptops are still pricier than their competition. That said, keep an eye out for sales!

I’d say $800-$1000 is the standard price for a good-quality laptop. Anything lower and you might get a lemon; anything higher and you’re probably paying for unnecessary features.

Storage Capacity and RAM

The best laptop for medical students should have at least 256GB of SSD storage. This should be a cinch since SSDs have become more widespread and affordable!

I wouldn’t go for anything with less than 512GB of storage since you don’t want to run out of space in the middle of the semester. However, the issue of storage isn’t cut-and-dry anymore.

You can compensate for your laptop’s storage space with Google Drive or OneDrive. Note that these programs are more useful with an internet connection!

RAM

This is discussed more below, but more RAM is always better. Since RAM generally dictates how quickly your laptop will run, more RAM means a speedier system.

If you’re on a very tight budget, you can get a laptop with 6 or 8GB of RAM, but I recommend moving up in price point and going for 16GB to be safe. You won’t regret having a faster device!

Display Size and Resolution

Before committing to a device, ensure it has a screen resolution of 1920×1080 or close to it. Look for models that say “Full HD display” or something similar.

I strongly recommend focusing on resolution over display size since a great laptop for medical school doesn’t need to be too large. A 14- or 15.6-inch display should be enough for comfort.

You’ll likely be forced to get more screens once you reach a certain year, so if I were you, I’d consider getting a second screen to go with your laptop.

This could either be an external monitor or another device like a tablet. Whichever you choose, it’ll be a big help for your studies and multitasking!

Brightness

I’d say eyestrain is more common thanks to all the screens I use, but you can avoid it by getting a bright laptop screen.

Aim for a laptop with a brightness of 200-350 nits. This range of brightness should be ideal for all conditions as long as you stay indoors.

Anything above 350 nits will be used outdoors on a sunny day, but using your laptop at maximum brightness will completely drain your battery!

CPU

Now it’s time to discuss your laptop’s brain and the main contributor to its speed: The CPU. If you’re on a very stringent budget, a newer Intel core i3 CPU is okay, but I recommend moving up.

Get a laptop with an 8th- or 9th-gen Intel Core i5 or i7 chip inside. Core count isn’t a dealbreaker but go for something with at least 4 cores or 6 if you can find it.

If you’re an AMD fan and unsure what the equivalent CPUs are, it’s the AMD Ryzen 5 or Ryzen 7 chips.

Since you can run more programs at once and maintain your speeds with a stronger CPU, it’s worth it when you’re reviewing for exams.

GPU

If you’re entering medical school, you won’t need a powerful graphics card. You’ll likely be fine if you find a laptop with “GPU: Intel HD graphics” listed.

That’s because your typical medical student won’t need a dedicated GPU unless you plan on editing videos on the side.

But for strictly med school, you won’t need anything like a gaming laptop. I recommend focusing exclusively on what you need and ignoring the extra bells and whistles.

Weight and Portability

A good laptop for medical students should be relatively light because they’ll bring it back and forth between the classroom, hospitals, and home.

I recommend getting a more portable laptop to make your life easier. It should be between 1.5-2.5Kg for your convenience; anything heavier will be harder to bring around!

It would be best if you also remembered that a laptop’s weight is directly impacted by the size of its display and the chassis’ materials. A larger and sturdier laptop will often be heavier.

Thinner laptops also typically have fewer USB ports, so find a balance between your laptop’s connectivity and weight.

Build Quality

Building off what I mentioned earlier, you might want to invest in a sturdier laptop, especially if you’ve got butterfingers or heavy hands. Look for something with a tight hinge.

I also suggest getting a laptop with a metal chassis but remember that metal chassis tend to store more heat, so your laptop for medical school might get hot while you use it.

However, if you’re confident in keeping your laptop safe, spring for a plastic laptop. Plastic laptops have gotten sturdy recently too, plus they’re often cheaper.

Battery Life

Battery life is one of the main features that make laptops preferable to desktops, and it’s worth investing in a laptop for medical school with decent battery life.

A brand-new laptop should have a battery life that’ll last you the whole day or at least a few classes straight. 8-10 hours is my ideal length for battery life.

Your battery life will also change depending on what you’re doing. If you’re attending an online lecture while unplugged, it’ll drain faster than just reviewing PowerPoints.

Reduce your display’s brightness while it’s unplugged to stretch your battery life. This will keep your laptop from dying mid-class.

Operating System

Windows and macOS are the most dominant operating systems for consumer laptops, so the best laptops for medical students will typically use one of them.

I can’t recommend either operating system over the other since they’re both perfectly usable for all scenarios. However, you can speed up your own learning process by using an OS that you’re familiar with.

Unless you have the time to pick up a new OS on the go, I recommend sticking with the OS you’re used to. I’ve included a mix of Apple and Windows laptops here for a more even selection.

Some medical schools also have programs that run better on specific operating systems, so check your school’s programs first before choosing.

Quality-of-Life Features

The features I’ve mentioned above are more important and will directly impact the usability of your laptop. This section is dedicated more to convenient features; not world-changing, but nice to have.

You’ll study well into the night in med school, but you might need to turn the lights off at some point. Fortunately, you can get a laptop with a backlit keyboard!

This will help you study no matter the time. If you’re worried about your laptop’s security, I suggest getting a unit with a fingerprint sensor.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Learn a bit more about electronic device ownership for medical students here!

How Much RAM Do I Need for Medical School?

Believe me; there’s nothing worse than getting stuck on your everyday tasks because you don’t have enough RAM.

The best laptops for medical students should have 16GB of RAM. You won’t feel the difference during everyday use, but it’ll be worth it when you have multiple tabs open simultaneously.

I recommend getting more RAM because several modern programs like Adobe Acrobat use lots of RAM. It may not be noticeable initially, but it’ll be worth it once you have several files open.

What Type of Computer Is Used for Medical School?

If you’re a medical student wondering what you’ll need for medical school, it’s most likely a laptop. Other electronic devices like tablets can be used, but you can’t beat a laptop’s comfort.

More intensive work-related tasks like typing and studying are better on a laptop because of the screen size and added keyboard. Ensure that you’ve got a laptop with the operating system Windows or macOS, too!

I don’t recommend using Chromebooks or Windows in S mode because they may be unable to handle the programs you’ll need for your schoolwork and other tasks.

Do I Need Any Specific Software?

Your laptop for medical school should ideally have a few programs to make your life easier. Ensure that you have mobile devices installed with Microsoft Office if you have Windows.

I’d also suggest downloading a PDF reader, like Adobe Acrobat, for all the presentations and files you’ll be reading. If you have the budget, you can also get a tablet to complement your laptop.

Summary

Here’s a recap of my top 3 picks for laptops for medical school!

Best Budget – Asus Vivobook S15

This “cheap” laptop lasts the whole day on a single charge and is bright and easy to use. You’ll get your money’s worth!

Best Value – Dell Inspiron 7000

The Inspiron 7000 is a large convertible laptop that’s perfect whether you’re making presentations or making the most of your downtime.

Best Overall – LG Gram 14290Q

My top pick for the best laptop for medical students is the LG Gram 2-in-1 laptop. It’s flexible enough for all uses and has an amazing battery life!

Conclusion

As technology-integrated medical education has become more common, medical students have a greater need for laptops. Despite becoming more powerful, mobile phones won’t cut it!

There isn’t a “perfect laptop” for every scenario, but you can get close! Remember to consider your needs when looking for a laptop for med school.

Balance your needs with your budget to find the best laptop, and remember to be careful with your new laptop!

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