The iPad is the most popular consumer tablet out there. So, it comes as no one’s surprise that medical students, and future doctors, tend to have an iPad when pursuing an education in the field. But the question: is iPad necessary for medical students? Or can you go without it?

Most medical students have an iPad because it fulfills all of their needs. From note-taking, book reading, content consumption, the need for portability, and excellent battery life, the iPad caters to all those particular aspects, iPad isn’t mandatory, but it’s a really helpful device for students.

In this article, we’ll go over the exact reasons why a medical student opts for an iPad compared to any other device and why you should probably get one too. 

Related: Best Tablets For Students

Does A Medical Student Need An iPad?

iPad is a device that is helpful in many ways. You really can’t go through medical school without taking notes, reading books, going through content, and having a portable device that lasts you through the day with no issues whatsoever. iPads can help will all of that and more.

To further drive this point home, I’ve asked a few of my friends who are aspiring doctors / are doctors who also use iPads. Here’s their collective opinion of why the iPad is an excellent choice for a medical student.

Note Taking

is ipad necessary for medical student

First things first, even the base model iPad lets you take notes. And Apple’s ecosystem, alongside some really great applications, has led the tablet to dominate the note-taking space. From Notability, Goodnotes 5, and OneNote to Apple’s own Notes applications, there are a plethora of utilities available that let you go transcribe medical books with relative ease.

It also comes in handy that you can search in your notes, which saves a lot of time and you get access to the information quickly.

Related: Best Tablets For Note-Taking With Stylus

Reading Books

You can’t go through medical school without reading (and cramming) tons of books. Long gone are the days when physical copies were the norm. Now, with the iPad’s beautifully designed Files application, or access to Adobe Acrobat and their very own Books app, all your study material and coursework can neatly be assembled into one place. 


The fact that you can attach a Magic Keyboard to your iPad(Of course, there are cheaper alternatives for iPad Magic Keyboard) and conveniently turn it into a laptop is great. But, the option of removing the Magic Keyboard and just using it as a normal tablet grant you a lot of versatility. If you are in a class where you don’t need to take notes but instead need to read a book, no worries, the keyboard won’t be getting in your way.

Battery Life

The iPad lasts longer than most other tablets and laptops. When going through a hectic class schedule, the last thing on your mind is charging your device. In those instances, you really want your device to pull through the entire day without needing to be charged. And thankfully, the iPad delivers in that aspect. You can get up to 10 hours of use time from your iPad—basically entire day without charging it.

Student Discounts

Unbeknownst to many, Apple actually offers student discounts on select products. So, unlike other tablets, which are priced the same for everyone, the iPad (and other Apple products), does have a special discount if you are a medical student.

This has led to more students going for the Apple route instead of opting for another device. 

The Ecosystem

With so many students using an iPad for the aforementioned reasons, there’s an ecosystem of applications that Apple certainly takes advantage of. From being able to AirDrop books/images and notes to all your peers having the same device really makes a difference and adds into the overall draw of owning an iPad as a medical student.

Student discounts and mainly the ecosystem are the reasons why medical students choose iPad instead of Android tablets. Life is difficult already for students. No reason to make it more difficult.

How Much iPad Storage Do I Need For Medical School?

How Much iPad Storage Do I Need For Medical School?

The iPad comes with a few storage options. And depending on your usage, you can opt for a particular model. From our estimate, here’s what a medical student typically uses their iPad for:

ActivitiesStorage Space
Books5 GB
Notes1-2 GB
Movies (Can’t study all day, can we)7-8 GB
Photos 10 GB
Games and other Applications10-15 GB
Total50-60 GB

Related: How Much Storage Do You Need For iPad?

Taking a look at the table above, we’d estimate that a medical student needs about 50-60 GBs to store everything they need on their iPad. Since storage space expands over time, we recommend purchasing the 128 GB model or 256GB for a medical student. Only iPad Pro offers 128GB models now.

This particular capacity is reasonable and future-proof, and you won’t have to worry about storing anything anytime soon. 

Do MBBS Students Need Laptop or iPad?

ipad or laptop for med student? which to choose?

The iPad is a better pick for an MBBS student. But ultimately, this is entirely dependent on your use case and what you expect from your laptop. Before we get into the nitty-gritty, this table should help you to reach a decision:

Processing PowerLesserGreater
Battery LifeBetterWorse
Portability BetterWorse
Note TakingBetterNon-Existent (unless you opt for a laptop with a touchscreen + stylus support.) 
UIEasy-to-useRequires getting used to 
Allowed In Classes?YesYes
Longevity3-5 Years2-3 Years
Parental Controls?YesNo

As you can see from the table above, the iPad is a much better choice for most students when it comes to deciding between a laptop and an iPad. This is because, generally, students need a portable, quick device and don’t want an extreme amount of processing power.

Plus, iPads have no cooling fan, so they have a better audio profile. Compared to most laptops which end up roaring like a jet engine at the smallest of tasks, you’ll have a much more tolerable experience in class.

Regardless, for most students, the iPad is the best choice as it is comparatively inexpensive (especially the base model), is portable, has great battery life, lets you take notes, and has an ecosystem to match.

Which Is The Best iPad For a Medical Student?

Overall, iPad Pro is the best iPad. It has the best screen, storage options, processing power, and other features, like Face ID, that other models don’t offer.

iPad Pro is also a lot more expensive. I personally believe the best option based on value for money is the iPad Air for Med Students. It’s compatible with Magic Keyboard, and it’s compatible with Apple Pencil 2. It doesn’t have a 120Hz screen as iPad Pro(iPad Air has a 60Hz screen), but if you’re not an artist oriented on detail, you won’t need it. iPad Air has a laminated screen, just like the iPad Pro (the classic iPad has a non-laminated screen).

Based on these facts, we believe iPad Air is the best iPad for Medical Students from a value-for-money standpoint. Based on specifications, it’s definitely iPad Pro. But iPad Air is enough to do all the necessary school work and in my opinion iPad Pro is an overkill for a student(unless you are an artist)

You can get the iPad Air 64GB for 559 USD in the United States, and for 669 USD, you can get the 256GB model. If you want WiFi+Cellular, you will have to pay extra. iPad Air doesn’t offer a 128GB storage option.

Best For Medical Students
iPad Air
  • OS: iPadOS 16
  • CPU / GPU: M1
  • Storage: 64 / 256 GB
  • RAM: 8 GB
  • Camera: 12 MP Wide (Rear), 12 MP Ultrawide (Front)
  • Display: 10.9 inches
  • Resolution: 1540 x 2360 (~264 ppi)
  • Weight: 1.03 lbs
  • Port: USB-C
  • Battery: 10 Hours


The iPad is an excellent device for students, and it’s no surprise that medical students tend to use the iPad excessively. For most students:

  • Note-Taking (with Apple Pencil)
  • Note Organization
  • Price Competitive
  • Note-Sharing
  • Battery Life
  • Ecosystem
  • Portability
  • Longevity
  • Reading
  • Speed
  • Silent

turn the iPad into a must-have tablet for any student who wants to take their classes seriously and make their life for organized and initially better. iPads are designed to make our lives easier, and medical students know how to take advantage of that.

ernests embutnieks wolfoftablet
Founder & Chief Editor | +37122300405 | | + posts

I'm a writer and editor in iPads & Android Tablets, Windows Tablet section. I'm passionate about technology, especially about tablets. I'm on a mission to assist people in discovering their ideal tablets. In addition, I'm dedicated to producing helpful how-to guides and sharing top-notch tips and tricks. In my early carrier I founded and became and editor at worldoftablet and have been a guest author at many other tech blogs. In wolfoftablet I'm focusing on iPads, Tablets, Apple Pencil, Apps, Reviews, Buyers Guides and Tablet Accessories. In free time I like to play games on my PS5 or iOS.