Mac vs PC? Here are the Best Laptops for Medical School & Beyond

Written by: Adaora Ezike, MPH
Reviewed by: Kristine Thorndyke

When it comes to discussing tech stuff like the specs of the best laptop for medical school, we know that less can sometimes be more. We decided to only provide you with the 4 best laptops for medical school – a mix of Mac and PC options – in an effort to just make your decision easier.

1. Apple MacBook Air – Best Overall
2. Apple MacBook Pro – Best Splurge
2. Dell Inspiron 16 – Best PC
3. Acer Aspire 7 – Best Budget PC

4 Best Laptops for Medical School 2024

Apple MacBook Air

Nowadays, Macs are able to meet the software requirements in medical school, which means you can actually enjoy your laptop for both school as well as for your own personal enjoyment.

This dependable laptop is lightweight, fast, and has an 18-hour battery life – all important factors when considering a computer that you’ll need for the next four years.

It’s powered by the new M2 Apple silicon chip, making it even faster and more powerful than its M1 predecessor.

If an Apple laptop does not fit in your budget, be sure to check out our #3 and #4 best laptops for medical school, as they still meet the requirements for med school and come at a much more budget-friendly price.


  • Extremely lightweight – 2.7 pounds
  • 8-core CPU, 10-core GPU, 24GB unified memory
  • 13.6 inch retina display
  • 1-year limited warranty
Best Overall
Apple 2023 MacBook Air Laptop with M2 chip Apple 2023 MacBook Air Laptop with M2 chip

Enjoy up to 18 hours of battery life with this MacBook Air with M2 chip.

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Related: The 9 Best Backpacks for Medical School

Apple MacBook Pro

The Apple MacBook Pro is second among our list of the best laptops for medical school. Similar to the Apple MacBook Air, this is not a budget laptop and should be viewed as an investment for medical school… as well as a little splurge for yourself as well.

MacBook Pros have certainly upgraded over the years and its M2 chip can now be upgraded from M2 Pro to M2Max. Honestly, unless you are a gamer or intend on doing an extensive amount of work on demanding applications such as video editing, the M2 Pro chip is already more than enough and you can save your money.

Overall, the MacBook Pro comes at a much higher price point than the MacBook Air. This laptop is worth it for its super high processing power, making using multiple apps – even spreadsheets and documents – at the same time, faster.


  • Choice between 13, 14, or 15-inch display
  • M2 Pro or M2 Max chip options for super efficiency
  • 8GB RAM
  • Touch bar and Touch ID
Best Splurge
Apple 2023 MacBook Pro Laptop Apple 2023 MacBook Pro Laptop

Try to hang on while using this super powerful updated MacBook Pro configured with the M2 Pro or M2 Max chip.

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03/28/2024 06:49 am GMT

Dell Inspiron 16

It’s pretty clear at this point I’m a bit biased towards Apple products, but I understand that MacBooks are not always either in the budget or operate with the preferred system.

With a 12-generation i7 quad-core processor, you can rest assured that this computer has the power to launch multiple programs without crashing and causing any loss of important data. The Dell Inspiron 16 meets the basic requirements for medical school and then some – With a 16-inch HD screen and optional graphics card, you can get similar quality to the MacBook Pro without spending the extra thousand (plus) dollars.

If you’re a fan of the Inspiron 16 model – you can also consider their 2-in-1 option that allows you to enjoy it as both a tablet and laptop.


  • 12th Gen Intel Core i7 processor
  • 16GB memory
  • 512-1TB SSD
  • 16-inch display
Dell Inspiron 16 Dell Inspiron 16

A 16-inch performance PC with the option of a dedicated graphics card for beautiful display

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03/30/2024 08:26 am GMT

Acer Aspire 7

Acer comes just after Dell for the best laptop for medical school mostly because when comparing these two computers, they offer quite similar specs and options – mostly the ultimate decision comes down to preference between the two brands.

When it comes to laptops, the standard size is generally 12 to 13 inches, so we find that the Acer Aspire could seem a little bulky depending on how often you try to travel with your laptop. That said, the larger the screen size, the easier it may be to see large visual slides for your classes.

This laptop meets all the basic requirements you will have for medical school – and with its 12th Gen i7 intel core processor, it will certainly have the power to launch multiple applications without any unexpected crashes.

This makes it among the top laptops for students on a budget. You will get all the power and functionality you need from a laptop at a fraction of the price of a new MacBook Air or MacBook Pro.


  • 15.6″ Full HD Touchscreen
  • 12th Gen i7 Intel Core processor
  • Cooling fan keeps from overheating
  • 512 SSD
Best Budget PC
Acer Aspire 7 15.6" Slim Laptop Acer Aspire 7 15.6" Slim Laptop
Best Budget PC
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03/28/2024 08:19 pm GMT

Important Considerations for Choosing a Laptop for Med School

Mac or PC for Med School?

Schools have finally come around to supporting MacOSX as well as Windows operating systems. This means that deciding whether you want to purchase a Mac or a PC for medical school is a completely discretionary choice. I, personally, am an Apple fan, as I like the integration among all my devices. This used to be an age-old debate that seems to finally be put to bed.


We look for processors that are at least i5 or higher. We recommend this in an laptop for medical school because you will be required to download mountains of study materials. Having a lagging computer means this may lead to a crash in the equipment or a loss of files. Any computers i7 or higher aren’t required, but are pretty much the standard among high processing computers on the market today.


More than likely you will be downloading software onto your new laptop for medical school, which means you are going to need to have an adequate amount of storage for these softwares and operating systems. For a device that functions quickly, you should be getting a laptop with at least 6GB of RAM. What’s Ram? Read this. The SSD Flash Drive should have at least 120 GB of storage space, as this will help increase the speed of all the applications on your laptop.

Anything beyond these two key elements is simply based on personal preference or what you intend on doing on your laptop. High-quality display can be awesome if you like to watch movies or store photos on your computer. Similarly, size and weight can be a consideration if you want a computer that feels super mobile and sleek. Again, these are all based on personal preference are going to add to the cost of the laptop.

Still preparing for the MCAT? Here’s all you need! 

Further Laptop Recommendations

At the end of the day, each medical school is likely going to have their own preferences or specifications that they expect for laptops in their program. Be sure to scan your medical school’s website to see if they offer any advice on the specs of the laptops for their medical school. Here and here are a few examples of medical schools that have outlined what they expect for laptops on their websites.

Additionally, some med schools may provide iPads or other devices for their students. This should clearly be taken into consideration before buying something new – as the provided device may be able to meet a lot of your needs. And free is free!

 Don’t be afraid to call or email the program you are entering to gather specific details on the best laptop for their medical school.