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Best Laptops for Computer Science – A Programmer’s Choice

Computer Science is one of the most trending, exciting, and rewarding disciplines. And in the recent past, many have opted for Computer Science as their major. As a CS student and programmer, you have to grasp a keen understanding of programming languages and this can only be done with practice. And to practice, you must own a laptop where you can easily program. This is where our selections for the best laptops for Computer Science come in.

CS students get a lot of programming assignments and they have to complete projects as well. Assignments aren’t usually that complex but of course, projects do require a certain amount of complexity. So it’s a must to have a machine capable of running and maintaining a small to medium-scale project smoothly and efficiently.

Best Laptops for Computer Science

Different programming languages have different Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) for developing code in them. For instance, Visual Studio is popular for C/C++, Netbeans, and Eclipse for Java and Spyder for Python. IDEs usually have a lot of functionality in them for example Intellij even highlights typos in the code and comments.

Therefore, a laptop with a suitable amount of RAM, storage, and processing capability is required to ace through the CS degree program. Also, CS students don’t really require GPUs mostly unless they kick off to Deep Learning very early. Also, your laptop should have a good resolution to avoid eye problems and a nice keyboard (obviously!).

Read More: 21 Best Laptops for Programming Students in 2020

The best laptop for CS is MacBook Air. It offers great functionality and high performance, both more than sufficient for a CS major. And it comes with many programming languages natively installed.

So, to avoid all the fuss, here are some of the best laptops for Computer Science majors.

Laptop NameStore
HP ENVY 13Amazon
Asus TUF 2019Amazon
ASUS ZenBook 13Amazon
MacBook AirAmazon
Dell XPS 13Amazon
Acer Aspire 5 2020Amazon
Asus VivoBook SAmazon
Microsoft Surface Pro 6Amazon
Dell Inspiron 15 5000Amazon
Acer Aspire E 15Amazon
HP Pavilion 2019Amazon
Acer Predator Helios 300Amazon
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3Amazon

13 Best Laptops for Computer Science

  1. HP ENVY 13
  2. Asus TUF 2019
  3. ASUS ZenBook 13
  4. MacBook Air
  5. Dell XPS 13
  6. Acer Aspire 5 2020
  7. Asus VivoBook S
  8. Microsoft Surface Pro 6
  9. Dell Inspiron 15 5000
  10. Acer Aspire E 15
  11. HP Pavilion 2019
  12. Acer Predator Helios 300
  13. Microsoft Surface Laptop 3

1. HP ENVY 13

Best Laptops for Computer Science: HP Envy 13

HP Envy 13 comes with a 1.8 GHz Intel Core i7 processor 16GB of DDR4 SDRAM, and a 512GB of SSD storage. It even includes an Nvidia GeForce MX250 GPU. It has a good high 4k resolution and boasts a 13.3 inches diagonal display.

This laptop is quite suitable for those who do not like to carry a heavy laptop all the time. It weighs about 2.8lbs and is slim enough to be easily incorporated in your bag pack. It is all metal and so is long-lasting and durable with a sleek design for better portability for those always moving here and there and back again.

The 4K display screen is responsive to touch. It offers a healthy amount of resolution so as to avoid eye strain. Eye strain may easily occur because a CS major has to stare at the screen almost all the time. The screen also has a Corning Gorilla Glass NBT that makes it more resistant to daily wear and tear.

Read More: Best Laptops with CD/DVD Drive to Buy in 2020

One downside is that the keyboard does not have a numeric keypad. But this is a matter of opinion only. Many people never really use that part anyways. Otherwise, the keyboard is backlit. The key travel is not much but sufficient at 1.2mm.

ProsCons
Fantastic keyboardNot the best trackpad
Good battery lifeCan get very hot
Light, portable and compact

Specifications

ProcessorIntel Core i7-8565U
Memory16GB DDR4
Storage512GB SSD
GraphicsNVIDIA GeForce MX250
Resolution3840 x 2160

2. Asus TUF 2019

Best Laptops for Computer Science: Asus TUF 2019

Asus TUF FX505DT is one of the best gaming laptops for those on a budget. It comes with the powerful AMD Ryzen 7 3750H processor, 16GB of DDR4 RAM, 1TB of HDD storage, 256GB PCIe SSD, Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti, and Windows 10 Home.

The laptop offers more than enough features for a Computer Science student. 16GB RAM is quite sufficient for all the tasks that one might expect to go through during the major. All the memory-eating software like Visual Studio and Intellij IDEA can run smoothly and without getting stuck while running heavy applications.

The laptop comes with an RGB lit keyboard for RGB lovers. I don’t think that it makes much of a difference for programming, but for those who enjoy colors, it will offer a great experience. The keyboard features a 1.8mm key travel, isolated arrow keys, and a broader space bar. Although good for keyboarding, three of the arrow keys break the symmetry by coming outward than the rest of the keys. But that’s a matter of opinion.

Read More: Is a Gaming Laptop Worth Buying in 2020?

The display of this laptop is a great 15. inch HD (1920×1080) 120Hz IPS type display, but the battery life is not that good and it has a plastic body. But that’s how you cut the price. It does not offer the full specs of other Asus products that are a lot more expensive. It comes under the best laptops for Computer Science as it allows you video gaming on the side as well.

ProsCons
Stays cool and quietPoor battery life
Sharp displaySpeakers not that great
High-speed performance

Specifications

ProcessorAMD Ryzen 7 3750H
Memory16GB DDR4
Storage1TB HDD and 256GB PCIe SSD
GraphicsNvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti
Resolution1920×1080

3. ASUS ZenBook 13

Best Laptops for Computer Science: Asus ZenBook 13

This laptop boasts a slim and compact design for greater portability. It also resembles the MacBook Air discussed later. ASUS ZenBook 13 UX331FA-AS51 comes with an Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of DDR3 RAM, 512GB of SSD storage, Intel UHD graphics, and Windows 10.

The laptop has a great battery life and is designed with a 50Wh lithium-polymer battery that allows it to charge up to 60% in only 49 minutes. It has a very thin bezel and 13.3 inches full HD NanoEdge display. It allows all the latest features of functionality of Windows 10 like Windows Ink, Cortana, Continuum mode, and Windows Hello.

The keyboard is backlit but the keyboarding experience won’t be as good as that with MacBook Air of course. The weight is less than 2.5lbs. So yeah, it’s quite suitable for those who don’t wanna carry a heavy laptop all the time.

It is one of the best laptops for Computer Science as it has all the necessary features that may be required. Its strong processor, 8GB RAM, SSD, and the crisp display makes it a good buy. If only the keyboard was excellent as well.

ProsCons
A good replacement for MacBook
for Windows lovers
The trackpad is too sensitive
Solid built qualityWebcam not so great
Nice and crisp resolution

Specifications

ProcessorIntel Core i5
Memory8GB DDR3
Storage512GB SSD
GraphicsIntel UHD graphics
Resolution1920 x 1080

4. MacBook Air (2017)

Best Laptops for Computer Science: MacBook Air 2017

MacBook Air is the most popular among Computer Scientists. It comes with tones of features and we all know it’s not about the features if you love Apple.

It comes with a powerful Intel Core i5 processor that will take care of all your multitasking, 8GB of DDR3 RAM, 256GB fast SSD storage, Intel HD graphics, and one of the best keyboards.

MacBook allows you access to all three of the operating systems namely-Linux, Windows, and OSX. This has many perks. For instance, it comes with many programming languages natively installed like C, C++, Java, and Python. So, you won’t have to install an IDE for them if you like.

Also, if you want to run some applications like Visual Studio, you can simply dual boot to Windows and hence can enjoy many different functionalities. The keyboard is one the best of its kind but has less key travel. Keyboarding almost makes zero noise and the keys are very responsive.

It also offers a great battery life but the resolution is not ideal but still very good. It offers a very slim design and is lightweight. So, you can take it anywhere and it won’t even occupy much space in your bag pack.

ProsCons
Light and portableMight take a while to get used to it
if you are a Windows user
Many programming languages
natively installed
Amazing keyboard

Specifications

ProcessorIntel Core i5
Memory8GB DDR3
Storage256GB SSD
GraphicsIntel HD graphics
Resolution1440×900

5. Dell XPS 13

Dell XPS 13 9360 not only incorporates compact design and great features, but it also comes with a lot of ports, unlike other compact designs. Its full HD 1920×1080 display touch screen offers wide viewing angles. The bottom of the laptop and the lid are made of aluminum and the sides, deck, and the back hinge of carbon fiber.

The 13.3 inches screen has almost no bezel on the sides and the laptop is quite lightweight. It comes with an Intel Core i5 processor 8th Gen, 8GB of DDR3 RAM, 128GB M.2 SSD, and Windows 10 Home 64 bit.

It features Intel HD 620 graphics, and the aluminium built makes it durable and long-lasting. The keyboard is backlit but offers only 1.2mm key travel. But still functions well and is quite suitable for coding.

The higher models that feature the Core i7 processor get more expensive. And you can get all your work done just fine with the Core i5 processor. And the 8GB RAM is quite sufficient for all the programming related work that you might be doing.

ProsCons
Good performance and good batteryLess key travel
Great built qualityAdaptive Brightness feature enabled
by default is not good
Comfortable keyboard

Specifications

ProcessorIntel Core i5
Memory8GB DDR3
Storage128GB M.2 SSD
GraphicsIntel HD 620 Graphics
Resolution1920×1080

6. Acer Aspire 5 2020

Best Laptops for Computer Science: Acer Aspire 5 2020

Acer Aspire 5 2020 is the laptop for you if you are on a budget. It offers all the core functionality and good performance, all at a less price making it suitable for many college students. The 8GB of RAM and the dual drive for storage make this laptop a great choice.

It features an Intel Core i3 processor, 8GB of DDR4 RAM, 128GB PCIe NVMe SSD, Intel HD graphics, Windows 10, and good battery life. The dual hard drives provide you with both speed and space. The bottom of the chassis can be removed to get access to the motherboard and hence this laptop can be easily upgraded.

The backlit keyboard is very responsive and supports a large palm rest and so is the touchpad. Its full HD 1920 x 1080 pixel widescreen display complements the sleek and stylish design that makes it all the more attractive.

If you are one of those who would start installing tones of heavy video games when free, then this one is not for you. But for a CS student, it will provide all the functionality and features needed throughout the program and will prove to be a good choice at a good price.

ProsCons
Built with quality materialsFan gets loud under heavy load
Dual drives supportKeyboard smaller than standard size
Sharp screen

Specifications

ProcessorIntel Core i3
Memory8GB DDR4
Storage128GB PCIe NVMe SSD
GraphicsIntel HD Graphics
Resolution1920 x 1080

7. Asus VivoBook S

The 0.7 inches thin ASUS VivoBook S offers an aluminum built that makes it durable and sturdy, long-lasting, and resistant to normal routine damages. Its 8th Gen Intel Core i7 processor and the SSD storage makes it faster and better in performance. It is only 3.2lbs in weight. This allows it to be portable and yet not that heavy.

This laptop features an Intel Core i7-8550U powerful quad-core processor, 8GB of RAM, 256GB of fast SSD storage, NanoEdge display, fingerprint sensor, Windows 10 Home, and an Nvidia GeForce MX150 GPU (not that you would need one for CS).

The 14-inch wide-view display offers 176 degrees of viewing and a thin bezel allowing 77% screen to body ratio. It contains more than sufficient technology for you to get through all the CS-related activities. It has a backlit keyboard that features Asus ErgoLift design. This design lifts the keyboard a little bit off the laptop when it is opened.

The main downside of this laptop is that it has poor battery life. It lasts about 2 hours under heavy loads. And for those who do not like to cling to a charging point, this one despite all the features may not click.

ProsCons
Powerful feature setGets loud when gaming
Easy to carry aroundBattery life not good
ErgoLift design

Specifications

ProcessorIntel Core i7 processor
Memory8GB DDR4
Storage256GB SSD
GraphicsNvidia GeForce MX150
Resolution1920 x 1080

8. Microsoft Surface Pro 6

Best Laptops for Computer Science: Microsoft Surface Pro 6

Among the best laptops for Computer Science, this one has a laptop to tablet versatility that allows you to work or play games everywhere. It comes with an ultra-slim design starting at 1.7lbs that provides you with unmatched portability with long battery life. So, with this laptop and tablet combined, you can work anywhere anyhow.

The latest additions offer a powerful Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM, and 1TB of SSD storage. Because of its slim and sleek design, it comes with only 1 USB port, 1 SD card reader, and a DisplayPort. With these features, you can easily run heavy applications simultaneously to work efficiently and effectively.

The device offers a 12.3 inches display screen with 2736 x1824 resolution and Intel UHD Graphics 620. It’s one of the best choices for those who move around a lot as its very easy to carry around and work with. With the excellent battery life and powerful features, you can work easily on all your projects.

But if you’re thinking of running heavy games on this thin thing, you should know that it doesn’t have an excellent cooling system like other heavies and denser products. So, don’t let it heat up more than it should and you’ll be fine. Also, you’ll have to buy the keyboard and pen separately.

ProsCons
Excellent ResolutionKeyboard and pen are sold separately
High performance and great features A not that great cooling system
Light and portable

Specifications

ProcessorIntel Core i7 processor
Memory16GB
Storage1TB SSD
GraphicsIntel UHD Graphics
Resolution2736 x1824

9. Dell Inspiron 15 5000

This average-sized laptop is one of the best choices for those on a budget. If your priority is performance, features, and functionality and not the design and looks of the laptop, then this one is for you. It’s not that comparable in design with other laptops that have a cool design and are sleek and stylish, but it does offer excellent performance and which is the main thing we are after.

It is one of the best laptops for Computer Science because it offers great performance. It comes with an 8th Gen Intel Quad Core i5 processor, 8GB of DDR4 RAM, and 1TB of HDD storage. Now, it may have been a lot of alluring if it were an SSD storage instead of HDD, but still, it will work all the fine.

It offers a quality display with its 15.6 inches screen having Full HD 1920 x 1080 display. It also features Intel HD graphics and the screen is LED-backlit. The keyboard is also backlit and the keys make that familiar sound many of us are fond of. But for those who like their keys to make no noise, this may not do. The trackpad is also quite responsive and smooth.

ProsCons
Backlit keyboard and touchscreenNot the best design
Good performance and resolution Loose touchpad
m.2 SSD slot so SSD can be added

Specifications

ProcessorIntel Core i5
Memory8GB DDR4
Storage1TB HDD
GraphicsIntel HD
Resolution1920 x 1080

10. Acer Aspire E 15

One of the best laptops for Computer Science for those who miss some of the old features and were kinda used to them. For instance, a num pad on the keyboard which we may not use often but still like to see it there. And the DVD drive which has gone missing from the new high-end laptops for a long time.

It offers great performance at a reasonable price. Featuring a powerful and high performing 8th Gen Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, 256GB of SSD high-speed storage, Windows 10 Home, and Nvidia GeForce MX150, it will do well for all your work throughout your CS degree.

It comes with a 15.6 inches display having 920 x 1080 resolution and is LED lit. You can even play some heavy games on it but at low-medium settings and not at full settings. This laptop also offers a great battery life which is quite suitable and you won’t have to cling to the wall all the time.

Moreover, the keys on the keyboard are perfectly aligned and the spacing is also perfect. The stunning keys offer a great keyboarding experience. Overall, the laptop may be a little bulky but it does offer great performance and not the best design.

ProsCons
Great performanceNon-removable battery
Good keyboard and touchpadTouchpad and click buttons aren’t separate
Brings some old features to life

Specifications

ProcessorIntel Core i5
Memory8GB
Storage256GB SSD
GraphicsNvidia GeForce MX150
Resolution920 x 1080

11. HP Pavilion 2019

Best Laptops for Computer Science: HP Pavilion 2019

The HP Pavilion 2019 offers it’s users a good performance at a good price. It is quite suitable for those on a budget and especially students (unless they are millionaires!). Its material is plastic but it may look like metal. And it does not offer the best design like other high-end but expensive laptops.

This is among the best laptops for Computer Science majors for its great performance. HP Pavilion 2019 comes with an Intel 8th Gen Core i5 processor with its powerful performance, 12GB of DDR4 RAM, 1TB of HDD storage, Windows 10, and Intel integrated graphics. It would have been better if the storage were fast SSD instead of HDD but still, it will work just fine.

It features a 15.6 inches LED-backlit screen with 1366 x 768 resolution. This laptop is not from the lightweight sleek and stylish ones, but the weight is still manageable. The great battery life, the old school numeric keypad and with great keys, and good performance make this laptop a great choice for CS students.

ProsCons
Great features at a good priceUSB ports aren’t 3.0
Modest design and good keyboardPlastic material
Light ad fast

Specifications

ProcessorIntel Core i5
Memory12GB DDR4
Storage1TB HDD
GraphicsIntel integrated graphics
Resolution1366 x 768

12. Acer Predator Helios 300

This laptop presents a gamer kind of style and design but unlike those elite gaming laptops. It comes with curved edges that make it stand out among any other laptops in its competition. The keyboard and palm-rest area and the back panel of its screen are metal but the bottom is made up of plastic.

It offers great features and great performance. With its powerful Intel Core i7 processor with 6 cores, 16GB of DDR4 RAM, 256GB PCIe NVMe SSD, Windows 10 Home 64 Bit, and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB GPU, it can take on anything. This means that you can also enjoy some high-end gaming with this laptop while at the same time, you get to run all the heavy applications that you may require for any project.

The display screen is 15.6 inches having a 1920 x 1080 resolution and is LED-backlit. It offers a 144Hz refresh rate and a 300nit brightness. It has a good cooling system that lets you use it for hours under heavy use. But, the downside is that the battery life is not that great. So, you won’t be able to enjoy it for hours and hours away from the charger.

The keyboard is backlit and also has that numeric pad we keep talking about.

ProsCons
Powerful GPUFans get loud under heavy load
Effective cooling systemCannot disable Optimus and enable GSync
Good for gaming as well

Specifications

ProcessorIntel Core i7
Memory16GB DDR4
Storage256GB PCIe NVMe SSD
GraphicsNvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti
Resolution1920 x 1080

13. Microsoft Surface Laptop 3

This laptop offers a sleek, elegant, and stylish design for those who not only want performance but are also after a stylish laptop. It comes in a few different colors all of which look amazing and the latest one is Platinum with Alcantara. The other colors include cobalt blue, sandstone, and matte black.

It comes with the powerful Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, 128GB of fast SSD storage, a touchscreen, and a very good keyboard that will offer you a comfortable keyboarding experience. The display screen is 13.5 inches and offers a high resolution of 1366×768.

With its fast SSD storage, high performing processor, and sufficient memory, you can take on any programming project that you might face during your CS degree. It is one of the best laptops for Computer Science because, other than its high performance and elegant design, it offers a great battery life. So, you can work outdoors and not worry about chargers and charging at all while you study and work.

The keyboard is backlit and offers comfortable keyboarding and it charges up to 80% in about an hour. But if you are a gamer, then you might wanna check out something more extreme from the list.

ProsCons
Excellent battery lifeShould have more RAM
Light and portableNot that many ports
Great keyboard and touchpad

Specifications

ProcessorIntel Core i5
Memory8GB
Storage128GB SSD
GraphicsIntel HD Graphics 615
Resolution1366×768

Final Words

Computer Science will require you to do some cool projects. And for that you’ll a powerful laptop but not an extreme one. So, don’t go for a wild high-end expensive one, instead buy the one that will work for you. These 13 best laptops for Computer Science include some budget options as well.

You should look for a comfy keyboard and a nice screen with at least 8GB of RAM. You don’t need a powerful GPU so no need to count that as essential. Cheers.

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