Having easy access to the internet is essential for nursing students who need to check emails from their professors, complete research papers, take notes, and study for exams.

While a laptop is essential for any nursing student, one of the other items that can make student life easier is a tablet.

To help make life easier, I’ve researched some of the best tablets for nursing students.

*Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. If you click and make a purchase, I may receive a commission. For more info, please see my disclaimer. 

My Top Pick

After hours of research and testing, I think the Microsoft Surface Pro is the best tablet for nursing school. The key to this decision is that you get the power of having an actual computer in the form factor that gets you just about every benefit you expect from a tablet.

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Microsoft Surface Pro 7
A true 2-in-1 that functions really well as a laptop and as a tablet. This is the only tablet on this list I think you could get away with only buying it. All the others like the iPads and the Android tables you would need to buy a laptop also.

If you’re an Apple/Mac person and you could never see yourself with a windows product, or you’re only interested in Apple products, then I would recommend getting the standard iPad.

It has just enough performance and features most students will need, such as taking notes, making flashcards, and of course, the occasional watching Netflix and scrolling through social media feeds.

You get all of this at a price that’s more affordable than either the iPad Air or the iPad Mini (I pretty much never recommend the iPad Mini).

Apple iPad: 10.2-inches
This iPad has the features and performance most pre-health students are going to need.

With all that said, if you want the absolute best iPad experience money can buy, then the iPad Pro would be your best option. But once again, you would most likely do just fine (and save yourself some money) with the standard iPad since nursing students will not need the power and performance in the iPad Pro.

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Apple iPad Pro: 11-inches
The absolute best iPad experience around, but at a premium price.

Best Budget Tablet for Nursing Students

Pretty much all the budget tablets I’ve tested and reviewed I’ve felt haven’t been worth it. There’s something wrong with the hardware, or it has such low specs that using it would be frustrating.

I still think you should save up to get at a minimum, the regular iPad. But if there’s a compelling reason why you need a tablet, but the standard iPad is out of your price range, then and only then would I recommend you look at the iPad Mini.

iPad Mini
A good option for a cash strapped nursing student. If you have a large phone like the bigger iPhone or one of the bigger Android tablets the screen size won't be that much bigger compared to your phone.

RECOMMENDED CONFIGURATION: 256gb storage

Best Tablets for Nursing Students

1. Microsoft Surface Pro 7

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Microsoft Surface Pro 7
  • Next-gen, best-in-class laptop with the versatility of a studio and tablet, so you can type, touch, draw, write, work, and play more naturally
  • Faster than Surface Pro 6, with a 10th Gen Intel Core Processor – redefining what’s possible in a thin and light computer. Wireless : Wi-Fi 6: 802.11ax compatible. Bluetooth Wireless 5.0...
  • More ways to connect, with both USB-C and USB-A ports for connecting to displays, docking stations and more, as well as accessory charging

The Surface Pro 7 is my top pick of the best laptop for nursing school. It’s a beautifully designed and well-made laptop.

It gives you the best of both worlds. It’s a laptop and a tablet, all in one powerful device. The stunning 12.3″ PixelSense display delivers studio-quality color accuracy that will make watching Netflix or YouTube enjoyable.

If you’re going to take notes, the optional Surface Pen offers 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity for a natural writing experience. The Surface Pro Signature Type Cover has been engineered to provide greater comfort and quicker typing.

2. Apple iPad Mini

iPad Mini
  • 8.3-inch Liquid Retina display with True Tone and wide color
  • A15 Bionic chip with Neural Engine
  • Touch ID for secure authentication and Apple Pay

Bigger doesn’t always mean better, but the Apple iPad Mini is the exception.

With its 8.3-inch Liquid Retina display, you’ll enjoy the same immersive experience as the larger iPad Pro models, but in a form that’s small enough to fit easily in your hand. It’s powerful, too.

Featuring Apple’s A15 Bionic chip for a seamless experience surfing the internet, playing a game, or taking notes. The mini also has a 12MP camera with a flash that helps you turn your images into stunning digital memories.

The added Touch ID sensor makes it simple and secure to unlock your device and make purchases without entering your password.

Pro-Tip
If you decide to go the iPad route, make sure to get the Apple Pencil and the Magic Keyboard(if you go with the iPad Pro) to make sure you’re utilizing your iPad to its fullest capability.

3. Apple iPad

Apple iPad: 10.2-inches
  • Gorgeous 10.2-inch Retina display with True Tone
  • A13 Bionic chip with Neural Engine
  • 8MP Wide back camera, 12MP Ultra Wide front camera with Center Stage

The Apple iPad is the model that started it all—featuring a 10.2-inch Retina display with True Tone for an excellent viewing experience.

The iPad is available in four configurations: a standard model with 64 GB of internal storage, a higher-end model with 256 GB of storage, and cellular-enabled versions of both of these.

It features Apple’s A13 Bionic chip, which might not mean a lot to you. Still, all you need to know is you won’t have any issues with surfing the web, watching videos, or taking notes. This is the iPad version I typically recommend for most college students.

4. Apple iPad Air

Apple iPad Air
  • Stunning 10.9-inch Liquid Retina display with True Tone and P3 wide color
  • A14 Bionic chip with Neural Engine
  • Touch ID for secure authentication and Apple Pay

This is the iPad model I typically don’t recommend, not because it’s not good but because it sits awkwardly between the iPad and the iPad Pro with its price range.

Depending on the configuration, the iPad Air could cost close to what the iPad Pro costs. If that’s the case, you would be better off just getting the higher-end Pro model or saving yourself money and going with the regular iPad.

With that said, it’s still not a bad iPad. It features a 10.9-inch liquid Retina display, so you’ll be getting those crisp pictures regardless of what you’re doing. It pairs well with the Apple Pencil, so you can expect your note-taking experience to be unmatched (except with pen and paper, of course).

5. Apple iPad Pro

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Apple iPad Pro: 11-inches
  • Apple M1 chip for next-level performance
  • Stunning 11-inch Liquid Retina display with ProMotion, True Tone, and P3 wide color
  • TrueDepth camera system featuring Ultra Wide front camera with Center Stage

The iPad Pro is the top of the line iPad. The Pro Model is the iPad you get as a college student if you want the absolute best iPad experience and have the disposable income to spare because this model will not be cheap.

The iPad Pro features the powerful Apple M1 chip with next-level performance and all-day battery life. This iPad Pro also has a stunning Liquid Retina display with ProMotion, True Tone, and P3 wide color.

Plus, a TrueDepth camera system featuring the ultra-wide front camera with Center Stage (the camera can track you). Available in 11-inch or 12.9-inch sizes, iPad Pro delivers epic performance in a light and portable design.

Older Generation Tablets

These are older generation tablets I’ve reviewed in the past. I’ve left them on this list since many of them are still really good options you can get at a discount compared to the current generation tablets. Check them out, especially if you’re a nursing student on a budget.

6. Microsoft Surface Pro 6

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Microsoft  Surface Pro 6 (Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 128GB)
  • A best in class laptop with the versatility of a studio and tablet
  • More power now with the new 8th Generation Intel Core processor
  • Ultra slim and light, starting at just 1.7 pounds. Sensors : Ambient light sensor, Accelerometer, Gyroscope
Weight3.5lbs
Dimensions11.5 x 7.9 x 0.3 inches
OSWindows 10 Home
Screen Size12.3 inches
Resolution2736 x 1824 pixels
CPU8th Gen Intel Core i5 or i7
RAM8GB or 16GB
StorageSSD 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB
MicroSD SlotYes
Battery13.5 hours of video playback
Front Camera5 MP
Rear Camera8 MP

Microsoft has pretty much always been synonymous with computers, and their Surface line of tablets/computer hybrids has now vaulted them to the top of the world of tablets.

The Surface Tablet we’re reviewing is one of their newest ones, and it’s the Microsft Surface Pro 6.

The Surface Pro is not just a tablet, it also doubles as a laptop. Switching from tablet to laptop mode is easy with the built-in kickstand and type cover.

You can even use it in studio mode by lowering the kickstand to the ideal 15-degree angle, allowing you to write and draw with the Surface Pen (sold separately) easily.

The powerful 8th Generation Intel Core processor makes for quick work and provides a battery life that lasts all day, meaning you don’t need to stop and charge your tablet in between classes.

Windows 10 Home is already installed, so you can start using the Cortana intelligent assistant right away for all of your nursing tasks.

Any homework or presentations you need to complete will look flawless with the premiere Office 365 from Windows.

There’s also a Surface Arc Mouse (sold separately) for use in laptop mode that has a unique, lightweight, curved design that conforms to your hand and folds flat for easy storage.

Pros:

  • Doubles as a laptop
  • All-day battery life
  • Windows 10 Home and Office 365
  • Slim and light design

Cons:

  • Surface Arc Mouse Sold Separately
  • Surface Pen sold separately
  • Keyboard and mouse necessary for more traditional laptop applications
  • Microsoft store has limited apps

➡️ Check out the Microsoft Surface Pro 6 on Amazon.com.

Microsoft Surface Pro 6 Review

7. Microsoft Surface Go

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Microsoft Surface Go (Intel Pentium Gold, 8GB RAM, 128GB) (MCZ-00001)
  • High res 10 inch PixelSense: Display designed to be viewed, touched, and written on
  • Lightest surface yet, starting at 1.15 pounds. Touch: 10 point multi touch
  • All day battery life, with upto 9 hours of unplugged power. Ambient light sensor
Weight1.15 lbs
Dimensions9.7 x 6.9 x 0.3 inches
OSWindows 10 Home
Screen Size10 inches
Resolution1800 x 1200 pixels
CPUIntel Pentium Gold
RAM4 GB or 8 GB
Storage64 GB or 128 GB
MicroSD SlotYes
Battery9 hours
Front Camera5 MP
Rear Camera8 MP

At just 1.3 lbs, the Microsoft Surface Go is one of the most lightweight tablets you’ll find, perfect for nursing students that are always on the go.

It’s incredibly versatile, switching from tablet mode to laptop mode to studio mode in just a few simple steps.

The attached kickstand and Surface Signature Type Cover (not included) and Surface Mobile Mouse (not included) make using laptop mode a breeze.

When switching to studio mode, the Surface Pen (not included) lets you write and draw with precision and even has a rubber eraser on one end for when you make a mistake.

The powerful Intel processor gives you up to 9 hours of battery life, plenty of juice to get you through a long day of classes.

The easily accessible Microsoft Office apps like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and Outlook help you complete the required coursework quickly and efficiently.

There’s also 1TB of OneDrive cloud storage included so you can save all of your work for when you need to access it in the future.

Pros:

  • Lightweight at only 1.3 lbs
  • Tablet, laptop, and studio modes
  • 1TB of OneDrive cloud storage

Cons:

  • 9 hours of battery life means you may need to charge when working a long shift
  • Surface Mobile Mouse does not fold flat
  • Third-party apps like Google Drive cannot be downloaded to this device

➡️ The Surface Go is available on Amazon.com.

Microsoft Surface Go Video Review

8. Apple iPad Pro

Apple iPad Pro (12.9-inch, Wi-Fi, 64GB) - Space Gray (3rd Generation)
  • 12.9-inch edge-to-edge Liquid Retina display with ProMotion, True Tone, and wide color
  • A12X Bionic chip with Neural Engine
  • Face ID for secure authentication and Apple Pay
Weight1.4 lbs
Dimensions11.04 x 8.46 x 0.23 inches
OSiOS
Screen Size12.9 inches
ResolutionLiquid Retina Display
CPUA12 Bionic
RAM
Storage64 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB, 1 TB
MicroSD SlotNo
Battery10 hours
Front Camera7 MP
Rear Camera12 MP

The new Apple iPad Pro has been completely redesigned to deliver superior comfort and quality with every use. If you’re looking for a tablet with all the bells and whistles, you’ve found it.

Let’s start with the seamless exterior that includes curved corners. A 12.9-inch liquid retina display that delivers life-like color and quality from edge to edge. The ProMotion technology that responds to your touch, this tablet is the best thing to come from Apple since the iPad was first invented.

It’s one of the most secure tablets you’ll find, with the unique Face ID software that unlocks features like apps and the ability to pay with a simple glance. You’ll never have to worry about forgetting your password again.

The 12X Bionic chip is one the most innovative and fastest chip ever, so you can easily access the internet whenever and wherever you need it.

It’s easily switched from tablet mode to laptop mode with the Smart Keyboard Folio. You can also use it in studio mode with the Apple Pencil that responds to your touch with a simple tap, ensuring your workflow is never disturbed.

Pros:

  • 12.9″ Liquid Retina display
  • ProMotion technology responds to touch
  • Secure Face ID software

Cons:

  • No headphone jack included
  • Intermittent “unresponsive touch screen” issues have been reported
  • The screen can be fragile and it’s best to get a protective cover with it

➡️ The Apple iPad Pro is available on Amazon.com.

iPad Pro Video Review

9. Apple iPad Mini

2019 Apple iPad Mini (Wi-Fi, 64GB) - Space Gray
  • 7.9-inch Retina Display with True Tone and wide Color
  • A12 Bionic chip
  • Touch ID fingerprint sensor
Weight0.66 lbs
Dimensions8 x 5.3 x 0.24 inches
OSiOS
Screen Size7.9 inches
ResolutionRetina display
CPUA12 Bionic
RAM
Storage64 GB or 256 GB
MicroSD SlotNo
Battery10 hours
Front Camera7 MP
Rear Camera8 MP

This smaller version of the iPad Pro, the Apple iPad Mini, packs a powerful punch. The 7.9″ Retina Display brings color to life and makes the images pop off of the tablet.

The reliable A12 Bionic Chip can support even the biggest apps, ensuring you’re never missing out on the apps that you need most.

This is the perfect tablet to take to class with you, thanks to the uniquely-designed Apple Pencil that makes taking notes, drawing, and doodling an easy task.

With up to 10 hours of battery life and WiFi and LTE cellular data capabilities, you can take this mini device wherever you go and never have to worry about having access to the internet or your notes for class.

You can stream videos with superior sound delivered through the built-in stereo speakers. Take photos and record videos with the 8MP rear camera and 7MP FaceTime HD front-facing camera, which ensures your photos and videos are crisp and clear every time.

There’s even Touch ID fingerprint technology included, so your tablet remains secure at all times.

Pros:

  • Apple Pencil allows you to take notes easily
  • Up to 10 hours of battery life
  • 8MP rear camera and 7MP front camera

Cons:

  • Does not transition to laptop mode
  • Smaller screen display not ideal for lengthy tasks
  • The screen has a lower resolution than other Apple products

➡️ The Apple iPad Mini is available on Amazon.

Apple iPad Mini Video Review

10. Samsung Galaxy Tab S4

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Samsung Electronics SM-T830NZAAXAR Galaxy Tab S4 with S Pen, 10.5 Inch, Gray
  • DeX: Transform your tablet into a PC
  • S Pen included; Imagination unlocked; Wi-Fi: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac 2.4G+5GHz, VHT80 MU MIMO
  • With far field mics, your tablet listens and responds to your voice when your tablet is out of reach
Weight1.06 lbs
Dimensions9.8 x 6.5 x 0.3 inches
OSAndroid OS
Screen Size10.5 inches
Resolution2560 x 1600
CPU2.35 GHz 8032
RAM
Storage64 GB or 256 GB
MicroSD SlotYes
Battery15 hours
Front Camera8 MP
Rear Camera13 MP

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 offers a PC experience in tablet form. Transform your tablet into a laptop with a simple flip and glide with the unique DeX system.

You can type notes in class, watch helpful nursing videos, or search the internet with ease, thanks to the crystal clear display on the 10.5″ screen.

The keyboard works efficiently and allows you to access apps like PowerPoint and Excel so you can create and edit presentations in just a few quick steps.

When you aren’t working or studying, you can use your tablet for other things like watching videos, controlling your home devices, or even checking the weather forecast.

The handy Google Assistant is there to answer any questions you may have, whether you’re up close or from a distance.

The far-field mics allow your tablet to listen and record your voice from a significant distance away, so you can move about the room completing other tasks while your Google Assistant does the research for you.

The up to 16 hours of battery life is an added bonus that ensures you’re never without a working tablet on even your busiest days.

Pros:

  • Crisp, clear 10.5″ screen display
  • Handy Google Assistant
  • Up to 16 hours of battery life

Cons:

  • No fingerprint reader
  • Some customers have complained the tablet can be a little awkward to hold
  • Some customers have complained of too much bundled apps and software that comes with the tablet

➡️ The Samsung Tab is available on Amazon.com.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 Review Video

11. Google Pixel Slate

Google Pixel Slate 12.3-Inch 2 in 1 Tablet Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 128GB, Aspect Ratio 3:2
  • Keyboard and pen/stylus are sold separately
  • Google pixel slate is made to deliver brilliant entertainment, portable performance and everything you love about google for how you live & work today
  • 12.3-inch molecular display with 6 million pixels brings your favorite movies and videos to life. Tuned to perfection, the dual front firing speakers deliver a premium audio experience
Weight1.59 lbs
Dimensions11.45 x 7.95 x 0.28 inches
OSChrome OS
Screen Size12.3 inches
Resolution3000 x 2000 pixels
CPUIntel Core i5
RAM8 GB
Storage128 GB
MicroSD SlotNo
Battery10 hours
Front Camera8 MP
Rear Camera8 MP

All the things about Google that you love come along with this beautifully-designed Google Pixel Slate.

The 12.3″ display delivers superior visuals, and the dual front-facing speakers deliver the best audio experience you’ll find on a tablet.

You can multitask like a pro with the ability to use split-screen, multi-window browsing, and apps that work together like Google Docs and Google Slides.

Busy nursing students need to perform several tasks at once, from taking notes to writing care plans. This tablet allows you to do all that and more in one compact, well-designed format.

You can switch from tablet mode to laptop mode in just a few simple steps, enabling you to have a PC at your fingertips with the convenience of a tablet.

The included stylus never needs charging, so you can write or draw on the generously sized screen at your convenience.

You’ll have access to all the excellent apps that Google is known for, like Chrome and Drive.

When you’re not using your tablet for school, you can use it to seamlessly stream videos with the 6 million pixel display that makes your favorite shows and movies seem like real life.

Pros:

  • Split-screen capability
  • Access to Google apps
  • Large 12.3″ display

Cons:

  • Battery drains quickly
  • No SIM card capability
  • More functional in laptop mode

The Google Pixel Slate is available on Amazon.com.

Google Pixel Slate Review Video

Frequently Asked Questions

Just in case you missed the summary table, here it is again. Below the table are frequently asked questions. If you have other questions, let me know in the comments below.

1. Should I Get a Laptop or a Tablet for Nursing School?

This is a common question. If your budget allows, you should get both a laptop and a tablet. The reason is that tablets and laptops have their strengths and weaknesses, and having both gives you a lot of versatility.

I’m realistic, so I understand most nursing students can’t afford both. So if you have to pick, you should definitely get a laptop. While a laptop can pretty much do everything a tablet can do, a tablet (or at least most tablets) can’t do everything a laptop can do.

The exception would be tablet/laptop hybrids like the Surface Pro, where you get the functionality of a laptop with the form factor of a tablet.

If you’re thinking about getting a laptop, but you’re unsure which one, check out my article on the best laptop computers for nursing school.

2. Which iPad is Best for Nursing Students?

The best iPad for nursing students is the standard iPad. The standard iPad has the right balance between performance and price. With a fresh redesign and the addition of the Apple Pencil, the iPad is better and faster than ever before.

Read the beginning part of the article for my complete take on the iPad.

It’s a Tough Decision

an apple ipad table for nursing school
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The life of a nursing student is a busy one. Having the ability to connect to the internet at any time to perform the tasks necessary to complete your coursework will make achieving your goals much easier.

All of these tablets can be a great asset to any nursing student.

If you have any questions, let us know in the comment section below.

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