The Best Laptop for Computer Science Students and Pros in 2021 (Reviews)

best laptop for computer science students

Looking for the Best Laptop for Computer Science Students in 2021?

Stop searching; this is the right guide for you!

In this review, You’ll find below the winners of the test, complete with reviews, technicals specs, and pros & cons. 

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No Time to Waste? Here’s My #1 Favorite!

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Choosing the best laptops for computer science students is a wise choice for any students who are concerned about their high academic costs. It’s an extra benefit, especially for those seeking a college degree in a field like a computer science. Over the last decade, the laptop market has seen a lot of changes. More than ever, there will be more uncertainty in the laptop aisle. Unfortunately, while the laptop modifications are beneficial, they may be perplexing. This is especially true if you’re searching for a laptop for a specialized field such as computer science.

The Best Laptop for Computer Science Students – Comparison Table

When I need more options than the best choice, I usually like to have a comparison table of several products.

See how these 5 great laptops for computer science students compare on key features:

Table could not be displayed.

The Best Laptop for Computer Science Students – Product Reviews

Best Laptop for Computer Science Majors: ASUS VivoBook 15

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Without any doubt, the ASUS VivoBook 15 thin and light laptop is one of the most portable, light, cheap, and powerful 14-inch laptops on the market today. With dimensions of 14.2 x 9.6 x 0.7 inches and a weight of 3.7 pounds, this laptop joins the ranks of the greatest laptops on the market today in terms of design. This means you can stuff this laptop into your bag, wear it on your back, and completely forget about it.

The anti-glare coating on the 15.6-inch laptop screen protects the screen from glare when used in direct sunlight or highly lit environments, which can make viewing the screen difficult. It has an HDMI port, two USB 2.0 ports for sluggish peripheral connections, a USB 3.0 port (Type A), a USB 3.1 port (Type C), a full-size SD-Card reader, and a headphone/mic combination connector to meet the most affordable computer science student demands.

A robust intel HD wireless connectivity via an inbuilt 802.11ac module, as well as a dependable Bluetooth 4.2 connection, may be appealing to any computer science student. Finally, with its 8th Gen Core i5 8250U processor and 8GB RAM, this laptop is capable of streaming movies, rendering videos, editing videos, moderate gaming, word processing, and spreadsheets which makes it one of the best laptops for computer science.

Asus VivoBook 15 Review

PROS

CONS

  • Visually attractive design.
  • A stunning 1080p display.
  • Excellent SSD storage.
  • The pricing is reasonable.
  • Battery life isn’t fantastic.
  • Thunderbolt 3 isn’t as futuristic as it might be.

Best Apple Laptop for Computer Science Students: Apple MacBook Air

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The Apple Macbook Air is a laptop featuring an Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 128GB hard drive. It includes a bigger trackpad that allows you to work more comfortably on any surface, allowing you to be creative at any time and from any place. The battery life is up to 18 hours, so you may operate without the need for a plug-in all day.

This best laptop for computer science also includes the most recent macOS Mojave, which has Dark Mode to avoid interfering with your sleep pattern. Additionally, new apps such as the Slitherlink puzzle game and the Digital Touch sketchpad app are available, as well as useful iOS-style motions embedded directly into your fingertips. This is one of the most cost-effective laptops on the market. If you’re a college student, this might be the laptop you’re looking for. 

Apple MacBook Air Review

PROS

CONS

  • Excellent build quality
  • Amazing design
  • Large trackpad
  • Lack of ports
  • Battery life is average

Best Hybrid Laptop for Computer Science Students: Microsoft Surface Pro 7

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When it comes to detachable 2-in-1 laptops, Microsoft’s Surface Pro range of convertible PCs is one of the most popular options among the best laptops for computer science. The only problem that most users appeared to have with the earlier gadgets was that they had poor battery life. Even yet, most computer science students are undoubtedly aware that packing excellent batteries into such a tiny and elegant design is challenging. However, Microsoft appears to have stunned many by tossing that rationale out the window with the new Surface Pro 7.

The Surface Pen on the tablet is also enjoyable to use, with regulated sensitivity and pressure modulation, providing a superior stylus experience. The newest model comes with a 1GHz Intel Core i5-1035G CPU, 16GB LPDDR3 RAM, and a 256GB SSD. Because of the device’s compactness, it only has a single USB 3.0 connector, as well as a small DisplayPort port and a microSD card reader.

Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Review

PROS

CONS

  • Portable and lightweight
  • Solid performance
  • Great battery life
  • Expensive
  • Keyboard is not very friendly

Best Dell Laptop for Computer Science Students: Dell XPS 13 9630

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The Dell XPS 13 is a premium lightweight laptop with a comparable form factor to the MacBook Air. The 10th generation CPU is used in this year’s model, which, like the M1 Chip/AMD Ryzen 7, is far too fast for coding. It also features a large trackpad, a fantastic keyboard, and is completely constructed of metal. The Dell XPS Series (as well as the Lenovo ThinkPad) are recognized for their near-perfect compatibility with most Linux distributions.

This implies that most Linux distributions will support all of a Dell/hardware, ThinkPad’s from the speakers to the touchscreen features. It’s unquestionably pricey, but the XPS 13 seems similarly pricey to the MacBook Pro it’s attempting to compete with. The Dell XPS 13 is an incredible beauty, which should come as no surprise to anyone.

This best laptop for computer science is not only light, weighing only 2.8 pounds (1.27 kilograms), but it is also incredibly thin, measuring just 0.58 inches (14.8mm) at its thickest point. As a result, the Dell XPS 13 is a breeze to slip into your bag and take anywhere.

Dell XPS 13 9630 Review

PROS

CONS

  • Lightweight and portable
  • Beautiful display
  • Audio quality isn’t great

Best Overall Laptop for Computer Science Students: Acer Predator Helios 300

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The responsibilities provided to you in certain academic assignments all revolve around developing an application with moderate to high graphical capabilities. If you’re going to run high-resolution apps, graphics card readers and driver-integrated laptops should be your first choice. Working on a laptop with less than 16GB of extra memory on the motherboard might be one of the reasons why your CPU is fighting tooth and nail to run a high-quality program.

Even if you’re going to create a gaming app, you’ll need at least 6GB of VRAM. That is now the minimum need for 4K gaming. It has a 144 Hz frame rate and a 3ms overdrive reaction time, ensuring a smooth experience when using high graphics programming programs. On your laptop, the high-speed overclocked GeForce RTX 3060 6GB ensures 1080p and 1440p video editing choices. 

Acer Predator Helios 300 Review

PROS

CONS

  • Acer Tune Harmony Technology amplifier
  • 16Gb DDR4 motherboard memory
  • Ultra HD audio speaker protection
  • Graphics configurations may malfunction

Lenovo Flex 5 14″ 2-in-1

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The Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 is a good laptop-tablet combination that works and plays well. It’s an excellent pick for commuting and traveling because of its lightweight form and extended battery life, but the display is of average quality, and certain design decisions, like the trackpad, are a touch uncomfortable. The Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 is a Windows 10 2-in-1 convertible notebook with pen capability that comes in 14- or 15-inch display sizes and Intel or AMD CPU options. Whichever choice you choose, you can expect reasonable performance and up to 12 hours of battery life.

The IdeaPad Flex 5 is available in two color options: fancy teal and business-like light grey, with the latter being our review model. The chassis is made up of a combination of metal and plastic with a matt finish that gives it a nice appearance and feels. While having a big display, it is just 358 x 238 x 17.9mm (or 20.35mm thick when folded up in tablet form), despite weighing in at 2kg.

Lenovo Flex 5 Review

PROS

CONS

  • Solid build quality
  • Strong and long-lasting battery
  • Various ports are available
  • Display quality is not good
  • Slow to recharge

Dell Inspiron 15 5000

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The Dell Inspiron 15 5000 is a budget-friendly laptop with a stylish appearance. At the very least, its design will make you happy when you look at it from the outside. It has a cherry red metallic finish on the outside and a textured metallic lid with a gleaming Dell logo in the center. It has a 15.6-inch display with a 1920×1080 resolution.

It appears a little drab for such a huge screen of almost 15 inches, and it occasionally exposes that the screen is lacking in details. The screen, on the other hand, is bordered by a narrow bezel that looks fantastic. The laptop weighs 4.03 pounds, which indicates that it is slightly heavier than its competitors. You’ll get a gadget with the newest Intel Quad-Core i5-1035G1 Processor, which has a base clock speed of 1.00GHz, a 6MB cache, and a maximum turbo speed of 3.60GHz. Along with 16GB DDR4 RAM, the gadget includes a 256GB solid-state drive for file storage and quick data transfer.

Dell Inspiron 15 5000 Review

PROS

CONS

  • Outstanding Performance
  • Good battery life
  • Dynamic design
  • Amazing audio quality
  • Average display quality
  • Thunderbolt 3 is unavailable

Recommended Specs for Computer Science

As a computer science student, you require hardcore hardware so that you are lag-free while writing code. 

Display

Display

You’ll be able to use a split-screen and see more chunks of code at a time if you use FHD (1080p) or higher resolutions (to follow code logic). A matte or anti-glare screen is better for your eyes. However, these are difficult to come by; however, you may always get an accessory. 

RAM

As contemporary CPUs have much too much processing power, the biggest limiting factor for computer scientists and programmers is RAM.

For coding/school projects, 4GB is plenty, especially if you use Windows 10S/Chrome OS/OSX. With 4GB, X-Code will operate well. 

8GB will be impenetrable to latency. You can multitask while running hefty IDEs like Eclipse/Android Studio.

Only those currently in the field (running VMs for software/code testing) would find 16GB-32GB beneficial.

Storage

A solid-state drive (SSD) is the ideal piece of hardware for making things open and close quickly. It’s preferable to have applications and IDEs load and run immediately than to have hundreds of additional megabytes you’ll never use. Make sure you have a solid-state drive (SSD). You can find them on almost any laptop these days, but you never know.

How to choose the best laptop for computer science?

Buying a computer is a confusing exercise. Even if you know precisely what you want and what everything implies, finding it might be tough. Even visiting the manufacturer’s websites to try to purchase the model you desire is a task. When you’re looking for a new computer, there’s a section below that covers every key component you’ll need to know about.

Operating system

Ask them what OS they use and recommend. Some use Microsoft and some use Linux. Some schools are completely Microsoft-centric, while others focus on Linux from the start. 

Battery 

A good battery is very essential for CS students because they do all of their work on laptops. Most laptops consume a lot of battery. But if you have a good laptop with a good battery then you can do your work easily in-home and outside the home. So a good battery is very important when you go for buying a laptop.

Good CPU and RAM 

As a computer science student you’ll be limited to Java, Python, C++, and the like and not much more than that unless you specialize in other areas (Animation, 3D Modeling, Parallel Computing, etc.). So you just need a laptop with a heavy CPU and at least a ram of 16 Gb. This is because your coding assignments exceed more than 1000 lines which require a heavy CPU and RAM. 

SSD or HHD 

If you got money left, get SSD instead of HHD; it will increase the speed of the work you’re doing. SSD will load up files quickly and you will get a quick response to your work. SSD is better than HHD because it increases the flow of work. With an SSD, searching through all files to reuse a piece of code will be much faster. When I tried to accomplish this with an HDD back when I was still building Android apps in the same genre, it was just impossible. It will also greatly accelerate heavyweight IDEs by loading them much more quickly. It’s not required, but if you need to utilize huge applications like Microsoft Visual Studio (which you will), you’ll appreciate how nice it is to have things load up quickly.

GPU 

Unless you want to game or develop games, you shouldn’t be concerned with visuals as a computer scientist. In other words, unless game development using Unity is a requirement, the average CS student won’t have to worry about it. If that’s the case, you’ll want something that isn’t integrated, such as a graphics card that is connected to the processor (these are much weaker and struggle with 3D views). Just keep in mind that 3D modeling, design, and animation are not part of a standard CS curriculum. If you want to accomplish that, you’ll need a GPU, as well as a quad-core. CPU from the most recent generation (7th or 8th) and as much RAM as you can buy (16-32GB).

These things are important when you’re buying a laptop for computer science.

Is an Apple Mac or a Windows Laptop Better for computer science?

Apple Mac or Windows ?

The advantage of the Mac is that it is a UNIX-based system, which is commonly used in computer science classes. The majority of development software is written for UNIX-based computers, which are the most popular in the business. Furthermore, users may install Windows on a Mac using Virtual Machine or Oracle (both free), and it will function as if it were a real Windows machine.

Macs are more reliable, with fewer unexpected shutdowns, a more user-friendly interface, and no forced system upgrades. However, despite all of these advantages, the expense of a Mac is a disadvantage. In general, the graphics card isn’t as excellent as one found on a Windows machine in the same price range, but it’s more than adequate for computer science classes. 

Because virtually everything is created with Windows in mind, most apps are compatible with Windows computers. For programmers, however, this is not the case, and UNIX systems are indisputably superior.


Frequently Asked Questions

Is it Possible to Run Windows Programs on a Macbook?

There are several ways to do this. The easiest and fastest is to install Windows and Mac on your system and run a dual operating system. The Apple Bootcamp utility in MAC allows you to do this easily. If you have little space in your disk, this solution is not optimal. If this is the case, you can run a virtual machine (VirtualBox for example) on your computer and easily run Windows programs.
It takes a little time to get the hang of it, but it is a very common solution.

I already own a computer, do I need to buy another one?

It will depend on the current features of your computer. An information program when coding in Python, Java or C++ can be resource intensive. If you already have a computer that meets the criteria listed below, you should have no problems.

SpecsMinimumRecommended
ScreenFull HD (1080 x 1920)Full HD (1080 x 1920) or more
CPU11th Generation Core i3 or equivalent AMD Ryzen 510th Generation Core i5 or equivalent AMD Ryzen 5,7 or more
GPUIntel UHD or equivalent AMD graphicsAMD OR NVIDIA gpu
Memory8GB16GB DDR4 or more
Storage128GB SSD256GB SSD or more
Battery Life5 Hour8 hours or more
Requirements for Computer Science

Do I need a dedicated graphics card?

A dedicated graphics card is not necessarily useful for computer science students in the sense that the resources used for calculations impact the processor more. However, if you like to play video games, it is better to get a computer that has one. I would advise you to choose a portable computer equipped with a dedicated NVIDIA or AMD Radeon graphics card.

Which laptop processor is good for computer science?

The 10th and 11th generation Intel i3 and i5 are very good choices if you have a large budget. If you are studying 3D modeling or parallel computing, you should at least choose an Intel Core i7 or AMD Ryzen 7. If you are studying machine learning, you should choose the latest Intel Core i7, i9, AMD Ryzen 7 or the Apple M1 chip.

Final Words

While shopping for laptops for computer science students, you’ll come across a variety of laptop models for sale. Always check into the memory configurations, display screen, hard drive storage, and battery life of the gadget before acquiring it to put yourself in the category of a savvy shopper. If you’re not sure what you’re looking for in a laptop, you might want to go with the descriptions we’ve provided above so that finding the perfect laptop is simple. 

Thank you very much for reading this article on the best laptop for computer science students.

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By ayed_amira

I'm a data scientist. Passionate about new technologies and programming I created this website mainly for people who want to learn more about data science and programming :)

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