Best Laptop for Computer Science Majors – So here we come to the end of an exhaustive list of 11 best laptops that have been narrowed down upon after intensive research for you guys. To choose the best laptop for computer science students would be to analyze what you’re looking to prioritize based on your usage requirements. And then choose a laptop that matches the specifications of your usage.
When you’re a computer science student, you can’t just go for any old laptop. You need to make sure that the specifications will match your requirements – you need something that’s fast and provides an impeccable performance.
Sometimes you might not even have time to recharge it, so get a very portable laptop with a long battery life too. A good school will have you on the computer coding for about 4 hours a day away from lectures (homeworks, projects, etc).
Again, nothing you do is going to be super hardware intensive. So if you’re not looking forward to use your laptop for anything else (gaming, 3D design) a cheaper laptop is always a better option.
1.Apple MacBook Air
There is only one exterior difference between the new one and the last model: Apple swapped out some of the buttons on the function row for more useful ones. Now, you get a button for Spotlight search (which, on macOS Big Sur, finally can do Google searches), Do Not Disturb, and Dictation. If, like me, you haven’t used Dictation much before this, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how good it is.
The other differences are all on the inside. There’s no fan anymore, for one thing, just an aluminum heat spreader. But even when pushing this machine to its absolute limit, I never felt it get more than a little warm. Apple knows what the thermal ceiling for this system is, and it keeps the MacBook well within it.
2.Dell XPS 15
One year after Dell significantly redesigned the XPS 15 , this exquisite desktop replacement laptop remains as excellent as ever. It’s a no-brainer for those who prioritize thoughtful yet bold styling in a 15.6-inch notebook that’s as compact as possible while still offering more powerful components than many competitors.
The refreshed XPS 15 model 9510 reviewed here adds an optional OLED display, a new “Tiger Lake-H” Intel Core i7 processor, and Nvidia GeForce RTX 3000 series graphics, though it’s otherwise unchanged from 2020’s major overhaul.
3.Acer Predator Helios
The only difference is an upgrade to Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 30 Series “Ampere” graphics, but that’s an important change since it markedly improves gaming performance. Everything we liked about the previous Predator Helios 300 applies to this one, as does our recommendation to stick with the base model: Its features and price make more sense at , and its RTX 3060 will perform almost as well as our test unit’s RTX 3070.
(Besides, the base model has twice the storage.) If you’d prefer something more portable with better battery life, Acer’s 14-inch Predator Triton 300 SE is a top choice, but this year’s Predator Helios 300 once again nabs an Editors’ Choice award among midrange 15.6-inch gaming rigs.
The Asus ZenBook 14 is a sleek and surprisingly affordable ultraportable. It packs a crisp 14-inch display in a trim aluminum chassis with ultra-thin screen bezels and a hinge that provides a subtle but appreciated lift to the keyboard. Inside, it supplies a 10th Generation Intel Core i7 “Ice Lake” processor, 8GB of RAM, integrated Intel Iris Plus graphics, and a 512GB solid-state drive.
Getting this component mix in an all-metal ultraportable for less than is a steal, and I haven’t even mentioned the ZenBook’s all-day battery life. And yet we can’t offer a full-throated recommendation for the model UX425JA despite its appeal. How is this so? Timing, they say, is everything.
Traditionally, the Envy line has been HP’s midrange option; it’s a rung above the budget Pavilion, but a rung below the flagship Spectre. This model, which starts at , really blurs the latter line. It’s easily the best laptop under that you can buy right now. Not only does the 2020 Envy x360 look as nice and perform as well as last year’s Spectre x360 , but using it also feels quite similar to using HP’s Elite Dragonfly, one of the best business notebooks on the market.
A big part of that is its processor. The new Envy can come with a few different AMD Ryzen 4000 chips. My $799 review unit has the Ryzen 5-4500U, along with 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. (It’s also equipped with Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0.)
Best Laptop for Computer Science Majors- BUYER’S GUIDE
If you are a student then you may find that a matte display is a better option for you. You will be less likely to strain your eyes with this option. With that being said, you should still try to make sure that you get full HD resolution. This will help to stop your eyes from getting super tired, and it will make the screen much easier to read for you.
You should always prioritize getting a good display if you are getting a laptop for computer science. You may even wish to prioritize it slightly more than the CPU or the battery, though this depends on the exact tasks that you are going to be using the laptop to do.
Getting a larger screen is certainly beneficial, but it isn’t a must have. Larger screens can even make a laptop less portable, which can be a bit cumbersome as you are walking to your classes.
Smaller laptops are ideal because they are more portable, but anything too small may end up hurting your eyes. 13 inches is usually the best for portability, and you should try to avoid 17 inches unless carrying a hefty laptop is not an issue for you.
It is vital that you choose a laptop with a fantastic CPU performance if you are studying computer science. Try to get a laptop with an Intel Core i7 or an Intel Core i5 processor. Some AMD Ryzen processors are also a good choice.
Your laptop needs to deal with especially demanding projects, so making sure that you have a powerful, fast processor is ideal. A processor made back in the early 2000’s certainly isn’t going to cut it, so you can’t borrow your grandma’s old PC for your studies!
There are three main choices: Linux, Windows, and MacOS Apple. As this is LinuxHint.com we will encourage you to go for Linux. That being said, if you are a student and your budget is tight as well as your schedule, the convenience of Windows or MacOS might be preferred as they are more “ready to go”.
Windows can be easily dual booted to Linux so you can get both experiences, and many companies hire programmers and developers and give them Apple computers, so that might prepare you well.
As a student, you are going to be saving a lot of things onto your computer. For this reason among others, you need to take some time to think about the storage space that your laptop has. You should really try to get an SSD instead of a HDD hard drive. You will likely have faster performance if your laptop has SSD.
SSD’s are usually much more durable and reliable in comparison to HDDs. If you are in the market for the best laptop for computer science students, then you need to make sure that you have plenty of storage, ideally and SSD. You can even opt for a dual storage system that incorporates an SSD and HDD.
Graphics are a good thing to consider if you want the best possible performance in your computer science laptop. It may not be essential to have the best possible graphics card if you are only using the laptop to do your assignments, but if you participate in extracurricular activities such as gaming, a powerful graphics card is essential.
If you are looking for a good graphics card, then you should think about getting a dedicated graphics card.
If you’re a student, the chances are that you are going to be carrying your laptop from your home on campus to your lectures to take notes. Sure, some classrooms have power outlets where you can plug your laptop into, but not all of them do so it’s best not to rely on them.
At an absolute minimum, you should be getting a laptop with six hours of battery life when not attached to a mains outlet. Usually lightweight laptops will have more battery life than high end gaming laptops do, so you should keep this in mind.
At a minimum, you should be looking for 8GB of RAM. You are going to be running a lot of code and a lot of different applications at once, so it’s important that your laptop is capable of multitasking. If you are able to, you should certainly try to get more RAM than this, but 8GB should be more than sufficient in most cases.
You should try to make sure that your laptop has a decent keyboard and mousepad. Afterall, you’re going to be using it on a regular basis, so a keyboard that’s a pain to use if going to be more trouble than it’s worth. Check for a keyboard that has ample spacing in between the keys. Backlit keyboards can also be helpful for those late night study sessions if you need them.
If you are using a laptop, you are probably going to need to access WiFi. You may also need extra HDMI ports. So, first of all, make sure that you have a HDMI port on your laptop, as this will allow you to connect the laptop to another screen, which can make things much easier to see.
It’s also worth checking if your laptop has USB slots you can use, just in case you need to carry a memory stick from one computer to your laptop.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I get a gaming laptop if I’m not much of a gamer?
You could opt for a gaming laptop even if you’re not a gamer solely for performance reasons since most gaming laptops are heavily equipped with solid specs to let you throw anything from your curriculum at it but if you’re keen on design value, then an outright gaming laptop might not suit you.
What kind of laptop do I need as a Computer Science student?
There is no one size that fits all when it comes to laptops. You need to zero in on a laptop after understanding your interests and usage needs. Go through the recommended specifications listed above to understand the purpose of different components of the machine.
Should I go for an SSD or HDD?
If you’re going to be compiling a lot of code and plan to use the laptop for machine learning applications like MATLAB in the future, then it’s best to go for SSD, in some cases a spec-rich laptop could lack an SSD, so make sure you pay attention to this aspect diligently. Still, confused? Read the detailed comparison about SSD vs HDD
I like a laptop which is performance and feature-rich but it’s bulky, is it a worthy tradeoff?
Many performance and feature-rich laptops are a tad too heavy for some to carry, including some laptops in this list, that’s one of the trade-offs of getting a spec rich laptop at an economical price point, if you are unable to afford a spec rich laptop packed in a small chassis and can muster enough strength to move around with a bulky laptop, then do it for the specs. As a computer science student, you don’t know what interest you might develop tomorrow and where your journey of coding will take you.
Do I need to get an external laptop cooling pad if I run heavy programs for extended hours?
Vet this list thoroughly and you’ll find laptops that have efficient cooling as a benchmark feature. So if you know that you’re going to be running heavy programs or gaming for extended hours.
As we all know, a college student pursuing a major or a degree in Computer Science cannot get by without a good laptop. Although most students’ primary criteria would be coding, learning programming languages, concepts, submitting assignments on time, doing projects, etc., the students could also do some extracurricular breathers such as occasional gaming.
Finding a laptop can seem easy at first, but with so many options in the market. It becomes a little difficult in finding the one that is tailored to your needs. The difficult task is not finding a good laptop but finding an appropriate one (the one which is neither overpowered nor underpowered.)