If you’re ready to start your residency and need advice on the best laptops for medical residency to buy, this guide will point you in the right direction.

We’ve recommended laptops with very good internals, without skimping on portability and performance. Our picks for the best laptops for residency are well-suited for writing EMR notes, surfing the web, studying, and reading ebooks.

These are the best laptops for residency money can buy.

Best Laptops for Medical Residency at a Glance

No. Item  
1 Apple MacBook Pro (M1, 2020) (Editors’ Choice) Check Price on Amazon
2 Dell XPS 13 (2020) Check Price on Amazon
3 Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Check Price on Amazon
4 Acer Aspire 5    Check Price on Amazon
5 Dell Inspiron 15 5000   Check Price on Amazon
6 Acer Swift 5 Check Price on Amazon
7 Apple MacBook Air (M1, 2020) Check Price on Amazon
8 Dell XPS 15 (2020) Check Price on Amazon
9 Asus ZenBook 14 Check Price on Amazon

 

 

1. Apple MacBook Pro (M1, 2020) (Editors’ Choice)

best laptops for residency

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If you’re already invested in the Apple ecosystem, the MacBook Pro is your best bet.

The MacBook Pro is a perfect fit for residents who need a high-end, ultra-powerful laptop capable of taking on both simple and processor-intensive computing tasks.

The laptop’s display is excellent and crisp.

Aside from handling your day-to-day computing tasks, the laptop is also suitable for gaming.

Audio on the MacBook Pro is unsurprisingly outstanding. The speakers offer the same amazing sound quality as the MacBook Air. This is good news for anyone who digs good sound.

The MacBook Pros’ RAM uses more power than the previous models.

Apple isn’t skimping on the battery with the MacBook Pro. Apple has added a battery strong enough to power the MacBook Pro.  You should get more than 10 hours out of the MacBook Pro without having to visit a wall plug.

The MacBook Pro has a super-responsive touchpad. Apple nailed the touchpad. It remains one of the best touchpads on the market.

Keyboard is decent. The butterfly-style keys have been tweaked and are quieter, thanks to a silicon element beneath each keycap – so no more clacky sounds.

If budget is no issue, the MacBook Pro is worth considering and it is the best laptop for residency.

PROS

  • Enhanced processing speed
  • Ample storage
  • Better display
  • Very portable
  • Outstanding speakers
  • Impressive battery life
  • Excellent keyboard

CONS

  • Limited number of ports

Apple MacBook Pro (M1, 2020) Key Specifications

Display: 13-inch Retina display, 2560 x 1600 pixels
CPU: Apple M1 Chip (8-core)
GPU: Integrated 8-core GPU
RAM: 8GB – 16GB unified memory
Storage: 256GB – 2TB SSD
Size: 11.97 x 8.36 x 0.61 inches (304 x 212.3 x 15.5 mm)
Weight: 3.0 pounds (1.36kg)

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2. Dell XPS 13 (2020)

best laptops for residency

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The Dell XPS 13 is sleek, professional, portable and has excellent keyboard and battery life.

With a Full HD InfinityEdge touchscreen display, the laptop’s screen flaunts incredible bright and stunning colours which make for an awesome viewing experience.

Memory options range between 8 to 32GB of RAM, and storage goes from 256GB to 2TB SSD. You won’t have problems combining more than one task with the Dell XPS 13.

The Dell XPS 13 weights 2.7 pounds (1.23 kg) and has a 11.9 x 7.8 x 0.3-inch (302.3 x 198.1 x 7.6 mm) footprint.

As for ports, you’ll find two Thunderbolt 3 USB-C ports, one USB-C 3.1 port, a 3.5mm headphone jack and a microSD card slot.

The Dell XPS 13’s predecessor which is shipped with Kaby Lake R Core i7-8550U is fast, but the new Dell XPS 13 which has a 10th Gen Intel Core i7-1065G7 processor  is faster and more efficient.

As far as battery performance goes, you get approximately 12 hours of use on the 4K model and 21 hours with a Full HD display, depending of course on usage.

The Dell XPS 13 is highly recommended and remains one of the best laptops for residency.

PROS

  • Excellent performance 
  • Cutting-edge 4k display
  • Slim & lightweight
  • Excellent keyboard
  • Outstanding battery life

CONS

  • Port selection could be better

Dell XPS 13 Key Specifications

Display: 13.3-inch display, FHD+ (1920 x 1200)
CPU: 10th Gen Intel Core i7-1065G7 processor 
GPU: Intel Iris Plus Graphics (i7)
OS: Windows 10 Pro, Windows 10 Home (64-bit)
RAM: 16GB
Storage: 512GB SSD
Ports: Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C), USB-C 3.1, microSD card reader, headset jack
Size: 11.9 x 7.8 x 0.3 inches (302.3 x 198.1 x 7.6 mm)
Weight: 2.7 pounds (1.23 kg)

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3. Microsoft Surface Pro 7

best laptops for residency

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The Microsoft Surface Pro 7 is a decent 2-in-1 laptop with pretty good specs. It is well-suited for note taking. The Pro 7 can serve as a laptop and tablet.

Its touchscreen display is as impressive as what the previous models produced by the Redmond manufacturer parade.

The Microsoft Surface Pro 7 now has a USB-C port, which is a good addition, nonetheless, it is not Thunderbolt 3. There is a USB-A port on the Pro 7.

With regard to CPU, three models are available: Core i3, i5, and i7. The Core i7 variant has a faster processing speed than the Core i3 and i5 models.

The base configuration (that is Core i3), comes with 4GB of RAM and 128GB SSD. If you prefer more RAM, you could go for the 8GB (Core i5) or 16GB (Core i7) model.

For more storage options, pick up the Core i5 version (256GB) or the Core i7 (256GB/512GB/1TB). Remember, you’ll pay more to get the models with more storage and RAM combinations.

Face recognition via Windows Hello works great.

Overall, the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 remains one of the best laptops for residency.

PROS

  • Excellent display
  • Good design
  • Improved processing power
  • USB-A and USB-C ports

CONS

  • Almost the same as the Pro 6
  • Battery life could be better
  • Bezels are rather thick

Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Key Specifications  

Display: 12.3-inch display, 2736 x 1824 pixels
Chipset: Intel Core i3, i5, or i7
OS: Windows 10 Home
RAM: Up to 16GB LPDDR4x (non-upgradable)
Storage: Up to 1TB SSD
Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6: 802.11ax
Size: 11.5 x 7.9 x 0.33 inches (292 x 201 x 8.5 mm)
Weight: Core i3 and i5: 1.7 pounds (775 g); Core i7: 1.74 pounds (790g)
Battery: 5702 mAh

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4. Acer Aspire 5

best laptops for residency

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Another decent laptop for residency worth mentioning is the Acer Aspire 5.

The Acer Aspire 5 delivers excellent performance at a reasonable price. It has everything you’d expect from a good laptop.

Port selection is generous, and you shouldn’t have a problem. And the connections are typical of a contemporary laptop: one USB 3.1 (Type-C) Gen 1 port, two USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports (one with power-off charging), one USB 2.0 Port and one HDMI Port with HDCP Support.

The beefy Aspire 5, sporting dimensions of 14.31 x 9.86 x 0.71 inches and weighing 3.97 pounds, is portable. You won’t have problems hauling the Aspire 5 in your backpack, going to and from work.

Battery life is great, just like you’d expect from a good laptop and the cell lasts up to 8 hours without a problem.

A minor gripe with the Aspire 5 is the lack of an SD card slot.

Overall, you’ll be hard-pressed to be disappointed with the Acer Aspire 5’s performance. It is a strong buy and one of the best laptops for residency.

PROS

  • Excellent performance
  • Good port selection
  • Lightweight
  • Good battery life
  • Good keyboard

CONS

  • No SD card slot

Acer Aspire 5 Key Specifications

Display: 15.6-inch, IPS Full HD (1920 x 1080)
CPU: 10th Gen Intel Core i5
GPU: NVIDIA GeForce MX350
RAM: 8GB
Storage: 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD
Size: 14.31 x 9.86 x 0.71 inches (363.5 x 250.4 x 18 mm)
Weight: 3.97 pounds (1.8 kg)
OS: Windows 10 Home

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5. Dell Inspiron 15 5000

best laptops for residency

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Dominating the front the Dell Inspiron 15 5000 is a 15.6-inch Full HD panel.

Armed with 8th Gen Intel quad Core i7-8550U CPU, the Dell Inspiron 15 5000 also comes equipped with Intel UHD Graphics 620, along with 16GB of RAM and 512GB of SSD storage.

Put all of the features together and you get a knockout laptop ideal for residency.

So if you’re a resident who needs a laptop with decent battery life, good processor, graphics, a functional design and want it in a reasonably lightweight machine, the Dell Inspiron 15 5000 hits all of those.

With the 42Wh battery, you should get around nine hours per charge.

The Dell Inspiron 15 5000 is absolutely worth owning.

PROS     

  • Commendable Build quality
  • Great performance
  • Superfast processor
  • Dedicated AMD GPU

CONS

  • Display  isn’t particularly impressive

Dell Inspiron 15 5000 Key Specifications

Display: 15.6-inch FHD, 1920 x 1080 pixels
CPU: 8th Gen Intel quad Core i7-8550U
GPU: Intel UHD Graphics 620
RAM: 16GB
Storage: 512GB SSD
Size: 14.9 x 10.16 x 0.89 inches (378.46 x 258.06 x 22.61 mm)
Weight: 4.85 pounds (2.20 kg)
OS: Windows 10
Battery: 42 Wh

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6. Acer Swift 5

best laptops for residency

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The Acer Swift 5 packs a 14-inch (1920 x 1080) IPS touchscreen display, a 10th-gen Intel Core i5 or Core i7 CPU, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB or 512GB storage.

As for graphics, there are two variants: an Intel UHD Graphics 620 and Intel Iris Plus. The base model ships with the Intel UHD Graphics and Core i5 CPU.

For day-to-day computing tasks of a resident, the Acer Swift 5 gets the job done without issues.

The Swift 5 is pretty much lightweight at 0.98kg. For comparison, the HP Envy 13 (1.27kg), Asus VivoBook S15 (1.80kg) and Lenovo ThinkPad E15 (1.9kg) weigh more than the Swift 5.

You won’t have problems connecting peripherals to the Swift 5 as there are lots of  ports on offer here. There are two USB-A port on each side of the laptop. Additionally, the laptop boasts a USB-C Thunderbolt 3 port, an HDMI port, a charging port, and a headphone jack.

Outside of that, the laptop has a fingerprint reader which works great. Just know: you have to press moderately hard to get your fingerprint registered.

The Swift 5’s battery life won’t win awards. In short, its battery life is just average. So, do not expect it to last you through an entire workday.

Overall, put portability, decent performance, and affordability, and you get a good laptop for handling everyday computing tasks of a resident with aplomb.

It is a good buy, and one of the best laptops for residency. Highly recommended.

PROS

  • Very simple design
  • Lightweight
  • Good keyboard
  • Decent performance
  • Ample port selection

CONS

  • Average battery life

Acer Swift 5 Key Specifications

Display: 14-inch, IPS touchscreen, Full HD (1920 x 1080)
CPU: 10th-gen Intel Core i5 or Intel Core i7
GPU: Intel UHD Graphics 620 or Intel Iris Plus
RAM: 8GB
Storage: 256GB or 512GB
Size: 12.9 x 9.0 x 0.6 inches (330.2 x 230.4 x 15.4 mm)
Weight: 2.18 pounds (0.98 kg)
OS: Windows 10 Home
Battery: 45 Wh

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7. Apple MacBook Air (M1, 2020)

best laptops for residency

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Apple has made the new MacBook Air a lot better than previous models with improved internals, storage, and keyboard. The laptop touts a decent 2560 x 1600-pixel Retina display.

Made of aluminum and powered by macOS Catalina operating system and Apple’s M1 chipset, the 2020 MacBook Air can handle typical day-to-day computing tasks effortlessly.

With the 2020 MacBook Air, you get up 16GB of RAM. The entry-level configuration ships with 8GB of RAM, 256GB storage, Apple’s M1 chip, and an 8-core GPU.

In terms of weight, the MacBook Air is pretty much lightweight. No problems hauling the MacBook Air (11.9 x 8.36 x 0.63 inches, 2.8 pounds) in the backpack going to and from school or work.

Gold, Silver, and Space Gray are the three beautiful colour versions of the MacBook Air. Your choice comes down to personal preference.

The laptop boasts two USB-C Thunderbolt 3 ports on the left and a headphone jack on the right. How about the microSD card reader? Well, there isn’t one really.

We’d be lying if we said you’d be falling off your chair with excitement at the MacBook Air’s battery life. However, its battery life is just OK. In fact its battery life is a notable improvement over previous models. You should get at least 9 hours of productive work out of the laptop when it is not plugged in.

There’s no getting around the fact that the new MacBook Air still remains an excellent laptop given its decent specs.

So, if you’re looking for an affordable MacBook, then buy the Apple MacBook Air. It is one of the best laptops for residency.

PROS

  • Super fast processors
  • Improved keyboard
  • Lightweight
  • Excellent battery life

CONS

  • Limited number of ports
  • Webcam could be better

Apple MacBook Air (M1, 2020) Key Specifications

Display: 13.3-inch Retina Display, 2560 x 1600 pixels
CPU: Apple M1 chip with 8-core CPU
Graphics: Integrated 7-core – 8-core GPU
OS: macOS Catalina
RAM: 8GB – 16GB
Storage: 256GB – 2TB PCIe SSD
Size: 11.9 x 8.36 x 0.63 inches (304 x 212.4 x 16.1 mm)
Weight: 1.27kg (2.8 pounds)

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8. Dell XPS 15 (2020)

best laptops for residency

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The Dell XPS 15 sports a similar design as the Dell XPS 13, however, it is larger.

It is portable and lightweight. You won’t have problems hauling the Dell XPS 15 (13.57 x 9.06 x 0.71 inches, 4.5 pounds) in your backpack on the subway, going to and from school.

The Dell XPS 15 pairs an Intel Core i7 processor with 512GB of storage and 16GB of RAM. There are Core i5 and i9 variants as well. The Core i5 and i7 variants are pretty OK for residents.

Despite its size, you get an assortment of ports: two Thunderbolt 3 and one USB-C 3.1 ports. Furthermore, there is a full size SD card reader and headphone/microphone jack.

As far as battery performance goes, the Dell XPS 15 can last through most of a normal workday on a charge.

Given its impressive specs, the Dell XPS 15 remains one of the best laptops for residency.

PROS                                                  

  • Portable
  • Fast processors
  • Thin design
  • Excellent display

CONS

  • No USB-A port

Dell XPS 15 (2020) Key Specifications

Display: 15.6-inch 4K Ultra HD, 3840 x 2160 pixels
CPU: Intel Core i7 10th Gen
GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650Ti
OS: Windows 10 Home
RAM: 16GB
Storage: 512GB PCIe SSD
Size: 13.57 x 9.06 x 0.71 inches (34.7 x 23.0 x 1.8 cm)
Weight: 4.5 pounds (2.05 kg)
Battery: 86Wh

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Notable Mentions

The Asus ZenBook 14 is a good laptop for residency worth mentioning.

9. Asus ZenBook 14

best laptops for residency

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PROS

  • Brilliant Performance
  • Good battery life
  • First-rate speakers
  • Good display

CONS

  • Design could be better

Asus ZenBook 14 Key Specifications

Display: 14-inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels
CPU: 8th Gen Intel Core i5-8250U
GPU: Intel UHD Graphics 620
RAM: 8GB
Storage: 256GB
Size: 12.6 x 7.8 x 0.6 inches (320 x 198.12 x 15.24 mm)
Weight: 2.60 pounds (1.18 kg)
OS: Windows 10 Pro

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No. Item  
1 Apple MacBook Pro (M1, 2020) (Editors’ Choice) Check Price on Amazon
2 Dell XPS 13 (2020) Check Price on Amazon
3 Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Check Price on Amazon
4 Acer Aspire 5    Check Price on Amazon
5 Dell Inspiron 15 5000   Check Price on Amazon
6 Acer Swift 5 Check Price on Amazon
7 Apple MacBook Air (M1, 2020) Check Price on Amazon
8 Dell XPS 15 (2020) Check Price on Amazon
9 Asus ZenBook 14 Check Price on Amazon
 

 

Bottom Line

The laptops we’ve reviewed are perfect for handling the computing needs of every resident. These laptops are fast, reliable, portable, have decent battery life and provide the best bang for the buck.