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

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When it comes to discussing tech stuff like 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 in an effort to just make your decision easier. Purchasing your laptop is a huge investment and requires a lot of consideration when deciding to take the plunge, which is why we’ve done the majority of the legwork for you in researching and interviewing medical students to see what the best laptop for medical school is for them.

Related: The 9 Best Backpacks for Medical School

In a hurry? Here are our top 3 picks:

Preview
Best Budget
Dell Touchscreen 2-in-1 Inspiron 5000 Backlit...
Best Overall
Apple 13" MacBook Air Core i5 CPU, 8GB RAM (2017...
Best PC
Acer Aspire R 15 2-in-1 Laptop, 15.6" Full HD...
Model
Dell Touchscreen 2-in-1 Inspiron 5000 Backlit...
Apple 13" MacBook Air Core i5 CPU, 8GB RAM (2017...
Acer Aspire R 15 2-in-1 Laptop, 15.6" Full HD...
Price
$814.95
$668.32
$1,499.77
Prime?
-
-
Best Budget
Preview
Dell Touchscreen 2-in-1 Inspiron 5000 Backlit...
Model
Dell Touchscreen 2-in-1 Inspiron 5000 Backlit...
Price
$814.95
Prime?
-
Buy Now
Best Overall
Preview
Apple 13" MacBook Air Core i5 CPU, 8GB RAM (2017...
Model
Apple 13" MacBook Air Core i5 CPU, 8GB RAM (2017...
Price
$668.32
Prime?
Buy Now
Best PC
Preview
Acer Aspire R 15 2-in-1 Laptop, 15.6" Full HD...
Model
Acer Aspire R 15 2-in-1 Laptop, 15.6" Full HD...
Price
$1,499.77
Prime?
-
Buy Now

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 girl, as I like the integration among all my devices. This used to be an age-old debate that we have finally dispelled on our best laptops for nursing students as well. 

Best Apple Laptop for Medical School

Apple 13″ MacBook Air

The Apple MacBook Air makes the top of our list of the best laptops for medical school. In fact, Apple’s MacBooks take the top 2 spots in our list of the best laptops for medical school. Gone are the days where MacBooks did not meet the requirements to attend college or graduate programs. 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.

The Apple MacBook Air meets the general requirements that medical schools have on equipment. It has an Intel Core i5 Dual Core processor, meaning it’s got the power needed to download software quickly without crashing. It has 8GB of RAM, which ensures that you have the storage space for these programs and software that you’ll have to download onto your laptop for medical school. 128 GB SSD flash drive means that it exceeds the 120 GB required minimum for quick and efficient application use.

Screen size of 13 inches means you will be able to view virtual slides for your courses as well as be able to open multiple docs at the same time. This makes the top of our list of the best laptops for medical school because it’s a computer that you will be able to use for your own personal use as well as for school. It comes at a loftier price than some of the listed PCs, but can be an investment if you plan on using the computer over the course of the next few years.

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.

Specs:

  • 1.8GHz Intel Core i5 Dual Core Processor
  • 8GB RAM
  • 128 GB SSD
  • Mac OS operating system

Sale
Apple 13" MacBook Air Core i5 CPU, 8GB RAM (2017...
  • 1.8 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 Processor
  • Intel HD Graphics 6000
  • Fast SSD Storage

Best Displaying Apple Laptop for Medical School

2. Apple 13″ MacBook Pro, Retina

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 your own personal projects and general entertainment. The Retina display sets it apart from the Apple MacBook Air, because its high pixel density allows for amazing visual and graphic experience. This is certainly a laptop that you can enjoy for storing your photos as well as watching high resolution videos.

Keep in mind, however, that a retina-level display is definitely not required for medical school, but rather provides a more enjoyable user experience. You do have a life outside of medical school, so having a laptop that allows you to edit photos, watch HD movies, download software, as well as integrate with your iPhone and iPad is all a huge plus. I purchased this computer last year for both work as well as personal use and love not having to switch between my old work PC and my own personal Mac.

This MacBook Pro meets all the basic requirements of medical school and then some. It is most certainly not the cheapest laptop for medical school on our list, but it comes with the most bells-and-whistles and provides the greatest amount of user experience.

Specs

  • Touch Bar
  • 5.0 GHz Intel Core i5 Dual Core Processor
  • 8GB RAM
  • 512 GB SSD

Apple MacBook Pro (13-Inch, 8GB RAM, 256GB...
  • 8th-generation quad-core Intel Core i5 Processor
  • Brilliant Retina Display with True Tone technology
  • Touch Bar and Touch ID

Best Budget-Friendly PC Laptop for Medical School

3. Dell Inspiron 13 5000 2-in-1

It’s pretty clear at this point I’m a bit biased towards Apple products, but I understand that MacBooks are not always in the budget for those who are about to embark on medical school. With the evolution of PCs, purchasing a budget laptop for medical school does not need to feel like a sacrifice. Our favorite among the PC laptops for medical school is the 2018 Dell Inspiron 13.

With an 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 13 meets the basic requirements for medical school and then some. With an HD screen, you can get similar quality to the MacBook Pro Retina without spending the extra thousand (plus) dollars.

Working with PCs also have the additional benefit of still providing USB outlets, which make for super easy storage of mobile files without having to worry about keeping track of multiple adapters. Similarly, an HDMI outlet on the Dell Inspiron means that you will always be able to stream whatever you want to watch from your laptop to your tv. This makes for a quick and convenient way to watch some Netflix on your tv if you don’t want to pay for cable or additional services. I know, I know, we’re talking about laptops for medical school not for tv streaming. But let’s be honest here, Game of Thrones can be educational, too!

The Dell Inspiron is also touch screen, a feature you still cannot get in a MacBook. By folding the laptop, you can convert it into a usable tablet and take advantage of this touch screen. Its operating system is Windows 10 Home, which meets the system requirements of medical school. This is the best budget-friendly laptop for medical school and if you purchase the Dell Inspiron, you can rest assured that you will have a durable laptop/tablet that meets the demand of med school and then some.

Specs:

  • Full HD Touchscreen
  • Intel Core i7 Quad-Core Processor
  • 8GB DDR4
  • 256 GB SSD

Dell Touchscreen 2-in-1 Inspiron 5000 Backlit...
  • 13.3 in Full HD IPS TrueLife LED-backlit...
  • Intel Core i7-8550U Quad-Core processor, can up to...
  • 2 x USB 3.1 (1 with PowerCharge), 1 x USB 2.0, 1 x...

Best Displaying PC Laptop for Medical School

4. Acer Aspire R 15 2-in-1 Laptop

Acer comes just after Dell for the best laptop for medical school mostly because when comparing these two computers, they offer almost the exact same specs, except Acer Aspire’s screen is about 2 inches bigger. As Dell Inspire comes in about $100 cheaper for about the same thing, it’s just a more attractive sell.

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 an i7 Dual-Core processor, it will certainly have the power to launch multiple applications without any unexpected crashes.

As with most PCs, you will not need to worry about purchasing any additional adapters or chargers and will also be able to utilize its USB port and HDMI outlet to store files and stream media onto a larger display. In addition to these features, the Acer Inspire comes with a 360 degree hinge that allows four different ways for you to utilize your laptop. It can fold as a tablet, be used as a regular laptop, be folded to display your data to the front, as well as be folded to set your computer down and look at it almost like a digital photo album. If this doesn’t make sense, you can see the different angles of folding on its dedicated Amazon page linked below.

This makes it among the best laptop for medical school 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.

Specs:

  • 15.6″ Full HD Touchscreen
  • 7th Gen Intel Core i7 Dual Core Processor
  • 12GB DDR4
  • 256 SSD

Acer Aspire R 15 2-in-1 Laptop, 15.6" Full HD...
  • 7th Generation Intel Core i7-7500U Processor (Up...
  • 15.6" Full HD (1920 x 1080) Multi-touch widescreen...
  • NVIDIA GeForce 940MX with 2GB of dedicated GDDR5...

Here are the 2 key considerations that determine our list of the best laptops for medical school:

Power:

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 are for gamers, which, depending on what you enjoy, may or may not be necessary for you.

Storage:

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.

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 has outlined what they expect for laptops on their websites. 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.

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

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