Best Laptop for Computer Science Students (Majors-2020)
Today I will discuss what are the Best Laptop for Computer Science Students/majors? I want to say at the beginning of this article that whatever Laptop you want is always going to be on the situation or opinionated to your certain case.
May be throughout your Computer Science Course you want to create Video Games, therefore, you need well ventilated high-spec Laptop that has a good GPU or maybe you want to do iOS Development in that case you need a MacBook.
However, throughout this article, we will discuss quite a bit of knowledge that I search on a Computer Science Degree and that will help you grasp a better understanding of what Laptop is Best for you.
If you are just starting with Programming or you want to build something Revolutionary by coding, A Laptop is what you need to program all your ideas into reality. So, let’s begin with some basic understanding of laptops for Computer Science Students.
List of Best Laptop for Computer Science Students (On the Basis of Programming)
|Product Image||Product Name||Remarks||Button|
|MacBook Pro 16||Best For iOS Development||View on Amazon|
|Dell XPS 15||Best For Game Development & Linux Programming||View on Amazon|
|Microsoft Surface Pro 6||Best For Windows Platform Development||View on Amazon|
|Acer Aspire E 15||Best Budget Laptop for Programming||View on Amazon|
|ASUS ZenBook 13 Ultra Slim Laptop||Best Laptop for Overall Development (Gaming/ Windows/ Linux)||View on Amazon|
|Google Pixelbook||Best ChromeBook for Android Development||View on Amazon|
Detailed Analysis of Best Laptop for Computer Science Students
MacBook Pro 16 – Best Laptop for iOS Development
Best for iOS Development and Programmers. The MacBook Pro 16 meets almost 100% of the needs discussed in this guide below. You can enjoy the coding on 16-inches Retina Display even a tiny code are visible without staring.
It has a 16 GB of RAM with Up to 8-core processor to power through intensive workloads. It can easily run and debug the code much faster than any other Operating System or Laptop. It will make your work faster and save time.
It will give you a long working hour with powerful 11 hours of battery life with a single full charge. If you are more into iOS Development then you should have to get this MacBook as it is recommended by most of the well know Computer Science Engineers and Programmers.
Other than the keyboard which is a slight miss. The keyboard is a little bit uncomfortable with a journey being a bit short. It usually comes up with 512 GB Hard Drive but you can upgrade it to 8TB SSD Storage which is more than enough for a Programmer.
Coming on the Graphics, it has inbuilt AMD Radeon Pro 5000M Series graphics card for Fast rendering and seamless playback. If you are fond of listening to music while doing your work or project then it will give you the best user experience with Six Speaker Sound System and Studio Quality Mics for dramatic sound and Super clean Recording.
This is one of the Best Laptop for Computer Science Students under Budget. If you can afford it – Get it. It is my number one pick.
|Display||16.0-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit display with IPS technology; 3072×1920 native resolution at 226 pixels per inch with support for millions of colors|
|Processor||2.6GHz 6-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 4.5GHz, with 12MB shared L3 cache|
|Graphics and Video Support||AMD Radeon Pro 5300M with 4GB of GDDR6 memory and automatic graphics switching, Intel UHD Graphics 630|
|Charging and Expansion||Four Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports with support for: Charging, DisplayPort, Thunderbolt (up to 40 Gbps), USB 3.1 Gen 2 (up to 10 Gbps)|
|Wireless||Wi-Fi, 802.11ac Wi-Fi wireless networking; IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n compatible, Bluetooth 5.0 wireless technology|
|Weight||4.3 pounds (2.0 kg)|
Dell XPS 15 – Best for Game Development & Linux Programming
Best for Game Developers and one of the best Laptops for LINUX Programming under budget. The Dell XPS 15 has all the necessary things that a programmer wants in a Laptop for coding.
The Carbon Fibre Design and Bezel-Less Infinity Touch Screen Display even though it has a 15-inch screen, it still fairly light-weight and small in size. The Large Screen allows you to fit as much code as possible in the single Line.
The Dell XPS 15 is powered by an Intel Core i7 Processor with 32 Gigabytes of RAM and an NVIDIA GTX 1050TI. This Laptop offers excellent performance and can store large coding repositories efficiently.
With its 6 Core Processor, you get an increased performance even with multiple coding applications running together. The Combination of a powerful processor and plenty of RAM is more than enough to run IDE’s and VM’s.
When it comes to the Display you have a 15.6-inch 4K Ultra HD Display, It means that as a programmer you will get a bright screen and has a great viewing angle with High-color accuracy and reproduction – in short, a nice beautiful display.
Unfortunately, such high-resolution displays do eat the battery much faster but still, this Laptop is considered above average with a battery life of 8-9 hours with one single charge. Every Programmer is concerned about the Keyboard and The Dell XPS 15 will not disappoint. It has the right amount of key spacing and key travel. This allows you to type much faster and for longer durations.
The Dell XPS 15 offers a perfect balance between Performance, Quality, and Value. Plus, all the most important part 2 USB 3.0, 1 thunderbolt 3 USB Type-C, 1 HDMI, 3.5mm Jack, and an SD Card Slot. All in all, Dell XPS 15 is one of the Best Laptop for Computer Science Students/Majors.
|Series||XPS 15 7590|
|Screen Size||15.6 inches|
|Max Screen Resolution||4K UHD (3840 x 2160)|
|Memory Speed||2666 MHz|
|Graphics Co-processor||NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650|
|Graphics Card Ram Size||4 GB|
|Item Weight||5.5 pounds|
|Hard Drive Rotational Speed||7200 RPM|
|Number of USB 2.0 Ports||1|
|Number of USB 3.0 Ports||2|
Microsoft Surface Pro 6 – Best Laptop for Windows Platform Development
Best Laptop for Windows Platform Development. The Microsoft Surface Pro 6 has long been our favorite detachable 2 in 1 Laptop. The Laptop has Ultra-slim and light-weight, starting at just 1.70 pounds.
The battery can run over 13.5 hours with one single charge (50% Brightness). It’s not easy to squeeze a lot of juice out of such a thin design. The metal kickstand on the surface pro 6 remains easy to maneuver.
This 2 in 1 bounced around a bit as I typed but it felt sturdy and stable enough. My only real complaint about the design is the somewhat thick bezels around the display. It feels a bit less modern next to the Dell XPS 13.
For the affordable price you are taking home a device packing with 8th Generation Intel Core i7 Processor, 16 GB of RAM, and 512 GB of SSD storage. All in all, the Microsoft Surface Pro 6 has a significantly fast 8th generation Intel processor makes this the Windows 2 in 1 to beat.
So, if you are a Computer Science student and your majors are mostly about Programming than you should try this Microsoft Surface Pro 6.
|Brand Name||Microsoft Pro|
|Screen Size||12.3 inches|
|Max Screen Resolution||2736 x 1824|
|Laptop Weight||7.0 Ounces|
|Average Battery Life (in hours)||13.5 hours|
|Rear Webcam||8 MP|
Acer Aspire E 15 – Best Laptop for Programming
Best Budget Laptop for Programming. Every once in a while, a Laptop comes along that defines its low price. Punching well above its weight class the 15-inch machine has a sharp 1080p display, good performance, and a Wide Variety of Ports.
The Laptop Keyboard is comfortable. Its Battery life is decent (9.5 hours with single charge) and it stays cool under a heavy workload. It comes up with AMD Ryzen 7 3700U Processor which will give you the speed Up to 4.0GHz.
It has an 8 GB of RAM on the board. Although 8 GB RAM is not the best, it should be good enough to handle the most but not all of your tasks. One of the best things about this Laptop is 512 GB SSD. For the price, you are getting a good amount of storage coupled with the faster SSD Drive.
Despite a few notable Shortcomings a poor webcam, bulky design, and unwelcome bloatware. The Acer Aspire E 15 offers an excellent bang for your buck. All in all, Acer Aspire E 15 is a wonderful mix of fresh components simple design, and handy features that have disappeared from most other laptops.
Battery Life and Performance is great for its class. Accomplish more with a range of ports, including HDMI, USB 3.1 & USB 2.0, and Strengthen your wireless signal wherever you go using 2×2 802.11ac.
So, if you are on a budget then you should definitely get this Laptop for your CS Degree as it is marked as one of the best under budget Laptops for Computer Science Students.
|Screen Size||15.6 inches|
|Max Screen Resolution||1920 x 1080|
|Graphics Coprocessor||AMD Radeon RX Vega 10|
|Laptop Weight||5.48 Pounds|
|Number of USB 2.0 Ports||2|
|Number of USB 3.0 Ports||1|
|Average Battery Life (in hours)||5 hours|
ASUS ZenBook 13 Ultra-Slim Laptop – Best Laptop for Overall Development (Gaming/ Windows/ Linux)
ASUS ZenBook 13 Ultra-Slim Laptop has an 8th generation Intel Core i7 processor that runs on a turbocharged 12 Gigabytes RAM for Greater Productivity. Further on a 512 GB Flash-based SSD Hard Drives affords you enough space to pack a significant number of project videos and games on the drive.
From outside a slim sleek design morphs into a 14-inch FHD Display with a classic resolution of 1920×1080 pixels. ZenBook 13 goes the extra mile with its exclusive ErgoLift hinge, an engineering masterpiece designed to automatically tilt the keyboard to the most comfortable typing position. This makes is Asus series Ideal for Video game Developers and Programmers.
The scalloped keys on the keyboards make typing and working with spreadsheets less draining. Lastly, a fingerprint reader adds a layer of security for your hard-work earned projects. It is powered by a high-capacity battery that won’t let you down. All in all, it is not only powerful but also durable and reliable.
Despite the few limitations, the Laptop is ideal for those who often work with numbers such as spreadsheets or type for a prolonged duration. So, for the Computer Science Students who are more into Game Development can have this Laptop to get better results.
|Series||Asus ZenBook 13|
|Screen Size||13.3 inches|
|Max Screen Resolution||1920 x 1080 pixels|
|Graphics Coprocessor||Intel HD Graphics 620|
|Laptop Weight||2.6 Pounds|
|Graphics Card Ram Size||16 GB|
|Number of USB 2.0 Ports||1|
|Number of USB 3.0 Ports||2|
Google Pixelbook – Best ChromeBook for Android Development
Best Chromebook for Android Development. Coming under in just $1550 the Google Pixel book is powerful enough to contend with the surfaces and the MacBook. This is the good choice to consider if you are an Android Developer looking for a Laptop with a Linux – Ubuntu Interface.
The Pixel book has been designed to compete with the bigger Laptops. While it still runs a Chrome OS, which supports Google Android Studio Development tools. It is also the closest Chromebook to a real Computer. With 512GB of Storage, 16 GB of RAM, an i7 processor, and a 512GB Solid-State Hard Drive (SSD), it is right up there with standard Windows Laptop.
One of the Benefits of using Google Pixel book for Programming is that you can Boot it up in Developer Mode and get the latest version of Ubuntu up & running in an hour. Ubuntu is a Super powerful Linux Style Operating System that is heavily supported by the Open-source Community. In Addition, you can also run Linux apps.
On the downside, you will find all the supported software which you will normally get with Windows or Mac Computer. If you are fond of using Microsoft Office or Apple Applications, then the Pixel book may not be good for you.
The battery lasts About 10 hours and takes about 2 hours to fully charge. The battery life of Pixel Book is not as good as some other Chromebook but still fully capable of handling a day’s work before charging for the night.
For Android Developers the Pixel Book is one of the Best Laptop for Programming and perfect for the students who want the familiar Chrome OS in a high-quality Laptop.
|Screen Size||12.3 inches|
|Max Screen Resolution||2400 x 1600|
|Operating System||Chrome OS|
|Laptop Weight||2.45 Pounds|
|Number of USB 3.0 Ports||2|
|Average Battery Life (in hours)||9 hours|
Things to Consider While Buying a Laptop for Computer Science Majors
Operating Systems & RAM
You may hear coder saying that they want to run Linux or Mac OS over Windows. If you don’t know what this is all about other than just a personal preference let me demystify it.
If you are planning to develop native apps for iOS or iPad then you want a MacBook as Xcode the language for developing these only run on Mac OS. You are going to want a minimum of 8GB of RAM but I will strongly recommend 16 GB.
Think about it like this – a normal user runs a bunch of programs on their machine and 8 GB RAM is fine with a little slowdown. A coder though is going to run all of those normal programs plus many additional ones. For example – you will run an integrated development environment that can easily use 5.7 GB of your RAM. You will then run the applications you are developing itself which also uses additional RAM.
Please note that modern OS does make excellent use of less RAM by compressing data in memory and use fast SSD’s to swap to. But it is still better to avoid this and go for 16 GB of RAM or higher.
You want to have enough CPU power but not too much. Let me explain, too much CPU Power may result in your keyboard deck getting too warm to the touch and becoming uncomfortable or the fans on your Laptop being obnoxiously loud out.
But you don’t want too little CPU Power that you are waiting too long for code to run as you want to avoid context switching. Context Switching is where are you thinking through a complex coding problem but because it takes too long for a Laptop to run a test of the code you switch to another application like browsing the web while you wait.
Then when you remember the test was complete you have to refresh your memory on the specifics of what you were testing. This can really slow down your productivity.
Also, keep in mind programming normally requires more burst CPU Power rather than sustained Like Video Editing. CPU like the i7 9750H with a low base clock but a high burst is a perfect balance. I am not going to cover the GPU Power here as it is more of a specialized case.
Great Display and Keyboard
As you will be staring at tiny code all day and typing for hours on it. For the Display, you want a crystal-clear bright display that shows the most amount of code possible without needing to squint.
You will often see coders working with external monitors turned vertically. As a coder, you frequently debug issues which means you jump from one line to another to fix a problem. You want to avoid scrolling and clicking as much as possible to do this as time is money. So, the more amount of code you see on the screen the better.
Look for a high-resolution display like a retina or 4K panel. The higher fidelity of these panels will make it easier to see code in small fonts and allow you to see more on the same size display.
Also, pay close attention to the aspect ratio display with aspect ratios like 3×2 in the surface line-up or even those with 16×10 like apple range will allow you to see more code than the standard 16×9 that most Netflix viewers or content traders prefer.
Also, an interesting note Apple’s Mac OS and its included fonts by default allow you to comfortably see more lines of code than on a similar-sized screen on windows. Out of the box with pre-installed fonts, the displays on Mac OS are better for coding than windows on similar size displays.
The keyboard is extremely important; you want to be very comfortable for long sessions of typing this means deep travel. According to the rule, a 1.3mm key gap is perfect for typing.
Also, programmers use integrated development environments like IntelliJ or PHP stop. These frequently use the escape and function keys for important tasks. Most Laptops now set the functions keys to their secondary function like volume up and down.
Easy to Carry
Like you are a student coder using the Laptop in the Library, you want a laptop that is going to be portable, lightweight with strong battery life. Coders are frequently on the go, the lighter weight the Laptop, the better. Anything greater than 4.5lbs is going to feel heavy in your backpack.
Also, I will strongly advise you to look for a Laptop that charges through the USB. These chargers are far lighter weight than chargers used in gaming Laptops plus they are cheaper.
So, you can buy a couple to have at College and home, which means you may not have to carry the charger with you.
Students generally use these as software development is normally very collaborative. You will likely be working with a team or group for a project. In that you will probably be doing frequent Video Conferences. Having a webcam that stares up your nose or is extremely low quality will not be nice for other group members. Keep an eye on this while buying a Laptop.
For most coders, 512 GB should be fine if you know what kind of work you will be doing, try to find out what data you will be working for. Test statistics can be very big and you want to ensure you fit it in your Laptop’s drive or you have to carry an external drive everywhere you want to code which can be annoying.
Which Operating System Laptop you should buy as a Computer Science Student? (MAC OS Vs Windows OS)
UNIX Based Operating System
So most of the time on GitHub or any other website which gives you tutorials for programming, all those tutorials are most of the time are for UNIX Based Operating System.
So, if you are using a MacBook or if you have a Linux Based Operating System installed on your Laptop, then you can simply copy-paste those commands and you will be good to go. So that will get the job done very quickly.
But if you don’t have UNIX Based OS than you may face translating those commands in your Windows OS. Moreover, while Installing some of the Programming Environments such as you are using Python from Command Line on Windows then it will be a little bit difficult as compared to MAC OS.
So, what Happen in Windows you will first install Python using .exe and then you will add the Python Path to your terminal and that is actually to your Operating System. You have to go to Bin Folder of Python and copy-paste the variables path which takes a lot of your time.
If you want to become an iOS developer in the future then you should Definitely for MacBook because it is such a seamless experience in Mac OS when it is hardware provided by Apple, so they work pretty well.
Whereas, on the Windows computer, you need to download the Hackintosh. You can dual boot Hackintosh and Windows in the same Machine or you can install Hackintosh in the Virtual Machine on Windows. But let me clarify that you will not be able to get the same smooth user experience on Windows Computer as compare to MacBook.
Time-consuming to learn Machine Learning or Data Science
With Macbook it will be a little bit time-consuming process because that you are training the data sets. If you have a Windows Computer with NVIDIA Graphics Card 1060 or higher it will only take a maximum of 3 hours to do the same work.
On the other hand, the MacBook can take up to 8-10 hours. But you can leave it running for over-night and in the morning the work will be done. So that is not a big issue for MacBook.
What Laptop Should I buy for Computer Science Degree?
As I have described in this article, that it all depends on your Majors or nature of your degree. If you are more into iOS Development then you must go for MacBook Pro or MacBook Air. If you want to do the Game Development then you should prefer High-spec Gaming Laptop.
Do CSE Students need Laptop?
Yes, in Computer Science Degree most of the work is done through and on Computers and Laptops. So having a Laptop as a Computer Science Engineer is must.
What will be the Basic Requirement of Laptop for Computer Science Student?
The Laptop must have minimum 8 GB of RAM, Intel Core i5 Processor or AMD Ryzen 5 or faster, good battery life (up to 8 hours) and Light-weight, so that you can carry it without any issue.
I hope so after reading this article you will be able to choose the Best Laptop for your Computer Science Degree. If you have any questions or queries in your mind, please leave a comment below. If you think I need to add any other Laptop in this list, you can let me know I will do research on it and add it to the list of Best Laptop for Computer Science Students.
The Author “HARRY” is a Graduate of New York Institute of Technology in Computer Science. He is a passionate Blogger and shares his personal experience on Laptops to help others buying the Perfect Laptop as per their Need and Profession. He has been honored as a Succesful Blogger of the Year Award in 2020.