Table of Content
- Best Laptops For Computer Science Comparison
- Best Laptops for Computer Science Review
- Consider Before Buying Best Laptop for Computer Science
- What laptop should I buy for computer science?
- How much RAM do I need for computer science?
- Is MacBook Air suitable for CS students?
- Is 4GB RAM enough for computer science?
- How much memory should we choose as computer science students?
- Is a dedicated graphics card needed for CS?
- Is computer science a boring career?
- Is Computer science a stressful job?
- Does computer science have a future?
- The Final Verdict
As you study computer science, a laptop will be essential. Apart from software, and web development, you need to store a lot of documents and software. That also calls for a machine that can handle intensive tasks. If you are into gaming, the same laptop needs some of your favorite games.
That is why you need the 10 best laptops for computer science guide to help you kick start your journey. You will be researching a lot as you try to understand the hard languages displayed on the screen. That means you need a laptop that will withstand the learning curve.
Related Post: Best Laptop For Data Science
Best Laptops For Computer Science Comparison
|Laptop Name||Editor's Score||Processor||Price|
|1. MSI GF65 Thin||10/10||2.6-4.5 GHz|
|2. HP-Spectre x360||9.9/10||1.8-2.3 GHz|
|3. Apple MacBook Air (2020)||9.5/10||Core i3|
|4. Samsung Galaxy Book Ion 15.6”||9.5/10||1.8 GHz|
|5. Acer Predator Helios 300||9/10||2.6-4.5 GHz|
|6. ASUS Chromebook Flip C302||8/10||2.2 GHz|
|7. Dell Inspiron 17 3000||8.5/10||1.3-3.9 GHz|
|8. OEM Lenovo ThinkPad T590||8/10||1.8-4.6 GHz|
|9. Microsoft Surface 3||9/10||2.3 GHz|
|10. Omen by HP 17″ (2019)||8.5/10||2.6-4.5 GHz|
Best Laptops for Computer Science Review
1. MSI GF65 Thin
“Robust machine for your computer science projects”
- 15. 6" FHD (19201080), IPS-Level 120Hz...
- Core i7-9750H 2. 6 - 4. 5GHz Intel 9560...
- 512GB m. 2 SATA SSD 8GB (8G 1) DDR4...
- USB 3. 2 Gen1 Type C 2 USB 3. 2 Gen1 2...
- Win 10 Multi-language Speakers 2W 2 3...
If you are in the $1000 budget range, then getting the MSI GF65 will suit all your computer science classwork in the learning corridors. There is space for all your files and the apps to be built. You may get loud fan noises when using it heavily, but the ventilation is also superb.
The Intel-Core i7 processor will handle anything you throw on it with ease. All the intensive tasks will find a better clock speed, adjusted from 2.6 to 4.5 GHz. So, whether you are researching an assignment or working on a C# project, this laptop will transit everything smoothly.
Having an 8 GB DDR4 RAM is quite commendable. There is also an extra slot if you need to expand it. The storage here is 512 GB, and that’s enough even to have two operating systems. In case you need more storage, there is an extra M.2 slot for another SSD.
Being a gaming-specific machine, you expect it to be heavy. This one is 4.1 pounds, and the mass could be more if the Thin 9SD-252 had a metal chassis. It’s plasticized, however, and that makes the laptop look cheaper but not extra weight. It looks smooth, but the keyboard area looks charred with a texture that enables an extended stay.
You get about seven hours from the battery before recharging. If you make good use of the dragon control center, there are ways to maximize the cooling system and battery life. The dragon icon is also there to guide you through while you are still new to the machine.
There is elegance in the quality of light and color displayed on the screen. It’s 15.6 inches with extra-thin bezels on the sides. The top and bottom parts are quite thick, which is understandable for screen protection and the MSI label. The resolution is 1920 x 1080 pixels, but you will get blurry images.
This is due to the outdated NVIDIA graphics drivers. Once you update the machine, the result is crisp images with reputable color contrast. As a computer science student, you will need the GTX 1660Ti functioning as it should. It’s vital, especially when you are testing programs with an API.
The I/O inputs consist of two 3.1 Gen 2 USB-A ports. There are also two ports for the USB-C, and they are all on the same side. On the other side, there is one HDMI port for connecting to a second screen. The rest of the side parts are filled with ventilation spaces for the hot air as you work, though.
More ventilation extends to the bottom area, and the laptop is elevated to pave the way for the cooling system. For a faster connection to the internet, there are two 802.11 ac Wi-Fi cards. One of the significant issues you will have to deal with here is the loud fan noise. You can, however, customize the speed using the dragon controller.
As a computer science student, this is a fast laptop that will not be slow on anything you do. The MSI GF65 offers ample storage, and it’s the fast SSD type. While it may feel cheap with fan noise, it’s a laptop that will provide you value in the $1000 price range.
2. HP-Spectre x360
“Slim laptop with a touch”
- NEWEST 8th Generation Intel Core...
- 16 GB DDR4-2400 SDRAM (2 x 8 GB), 512 GB...
- 15.6" diagonal 4K IPS eDP micro-edge...
- Intel 802.11b/g/n/ac (2x2) Wi-Fi and...
- 1 Thunderbolt 3 (Data Transfer up to 40...
If you want something lightweight for all your computing tasks, then the HP Spectre x360 offers you that chance. While it doesn’t have a decent speed as advertised, you will enjoy the quality on the screen and the slimness offered by the dark-ash-colored machine with gold-plated edges.
The processor is from Intel, and it’s in the 8th generation. However, the i7-8565U processor does not achieve the 4.6 GHz speed in the description. Instead, you get a figure between 1.8 and 2.3 GHz of speed. That may seem like a major flaw, but the RAM in possession is 16 GB, and it’s an SDRAM.
So, the clock speed may be low but there is enough main memory to hold the tasks as you execute. Like in the above review, you have 512 GB of SSD to store every program you need on the computer for the studies and projects. The room for expanding the storage is versatile because the slot is PCIe, NVMe, and M.2 compatible.
The Spectre x360 is one of the lightest laptops you will possess. It’s slimmer than a MacBook and only 20.3 ounces. Therefore, the rush to class or a meeting with potential clients will not be lagged by a heavy laptop. The slimness on the gem-cut machine also permits you to carry other vitals in the same bag.
It also has one of the best battery lives you will ever hear from a laptop. Delivering 17 hours makes it comparable to a mobile phone. This implies you can cover a whole day’s work without minding where the charger is. You may get fewer hours if you are testing programs and compilers but nothing below 10 hours.
It’s touch-enabled, and there is a stylus included in the package. That eases your demonstration and annotation work, especially when you are presenting your next project. The display on the 15.6-inch screen is also in the 4K level, with pixels going up to 3840 x 2160 pixels.
To reach such heights in the display realm, the NVIDIA GeForce MX150 graphics card plays a vital role in making sure the images are better with the right color contrast. When you combine all those qualities with an IPS screen from HP, the view is just unbeatable.
The ports are fast, but you get limited options. There is one Thunderbolt 3 that achieves 40Gbps and USB-C with a 5Gbps speed. The other port is a USB-A, and it’s in the Gen 1 3.1 category. These are fast ports, but you may need a hub if you have more connections to deal with.
The other side possesses an HDMI port, and that’s useful if you will need a second screen as you code and research. You also get a double 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi specification, which combines with Bluetooth 4.2 to fulfill your wireless needs. Since this is an expensive laptop, we expect the Bluetooth to reach 5.0 at least.
The HP Spectre x360 will suit those who need a light laptop but a robust one too. You may be disappointed by the frequency, but all the other features outdo that. It also offers one of the longest battery lives laptops can offer.
3. Apple MacBook Air (2020)
“For those building macOS projects”
- Stunning 13.3-inch Retina display with...
- Backlit Magic Keyboard and Touch ID
- Tenth-generation Intel Core i3 processor
- Intel Iris Plus Graphics
- Fast SSD storage
If your projects are not centered on Windows or Linux, then having a MacBook can give you a chance to explore the Apple world. The MacBook Air is not as robust as the Pro version, but it has the speeds you require and expect from an Apple machine. The resolution is also the right one for the color contrast you need.
There is a minimum difference in speeds between the i3 and i5, so having this machine will still keep things fast. The MacBook Air has an Intel i3 processor, and it’s a 10th Gen Intel Core. It’s coupled with an 8 GB RAM within the acceptable range in the current generation of computers.
To make the files and programs appear on your screen as fast as they should, there is a 256 GB SSD on the laptop. It may not be much, but you have space to store all the essentials you need to complete your coursework. It may be hard to upgrade this MacBook’s storage, but you can use the Thunderbolt 3 ports to connect the externals.
MacBooks are some of the most effortless machines to carry around. This one is only 2.8 pounds, and the razor-shape helps in fitting it in tight spaces. Since it doesn’t have a dozen ports, your journey will always be comfortable if you don’t have much to attach to it. Most of the front space is maximized to make the laptop look larger.
It’s, however, still small with everything tightly packed in a way it doesn’t tell. The battery life is also a decent 11 hours after a full charge. Since it uses the Thunderbolt ports to juice up, charging this laptop will not be a problem if you need it done fast.
The Retina display on the MacBook Air delivers visuals that only other laptops can emulate. The resolution stands at 2560 x 1600 pixels, which you can translate to 4 million pixels. That makes the screen have vivid pictures as you continue to work on your long-term C++ projects and presentations.
Intel also hosts the graphics card here, and it’s the Intel Iris ruling on the Air model. If not better than what you get in NVIDIA types, it does the same job, and the results are simply excellent. According to Apple, there are 48% more colors, bringing every color combination to clarity, hence the True-Tone technology description.
This laptop has two thunderbolt ports only, and that is what you will use to connect to other devices or charge the machine. That’s both good and bad, with the prior pointing to better connection and speeds. The latter goes to the need for a hub if you have peripherals still in the USB-A category.
The touchpad is larger on the machine, but it’s still the force touch type. All the gestures are incorporated, though, which is quite okay. As you continue to work, one of the things you will notice is the machine heating. You may feel it on the keyboard as you type. The issue is that the current MacBook Air has no heat sink pipe connected to the CPU for cooling.
So, the processor depends on lowering the speed and the fan breeze to cool down. Back to the positive side, there is a fingerprint sensor to keep your files safe.
If you are working on macOS projects, then this is the laptop for you. The MacBook Air is an improvement of the previous Apple models, which means there is more to offer. However, you may want to expand the storage, and working with it for long will need cooler surfaces and places.
4. Samsung Galaxy Book Ion 15.6”
“Faster connection and brilliant displays”
- QLED DISPLAY - Stream, browse, and...
- POWERHOUSE PROCESSOR - Enjoy minimal...
- LONG-LASTING BATTERY - Work and stream...
- WIRELESS POWERSHARE - Keep the charging...
- ELEVATED EXPERIENCE - The Galaxy Book...
The Samsung Galaxy Book Ion brings in the screen experience you get from the Samsung QLED TVs. There is also ample memory space, and if you like the keyboard with a number pad, this one has it. There is also a fingerprint sensor on the machine that aims to reach the MacBook standards if not to outdo them.
Having an Intel-Core processor is one of the best things that happened to this machine. The i7-10510U, however, has a drawback of having depreciated clock speed. This is a laptop with high-end specs, but the frequency is only 1.8 GHz. Unfortunately, the Galaxy Book has no way to crank that up.
You also get 8 GB of RAM, which you can upgrade after carefully following the steps from a few YouTube videos. On the other hand, most of the tasks will still complete with ease if you are not overloading the machine. The hard disk space is 512 GB, and it’s an NVMe SSD. If you manage to access the laptop’s internals, there is an extra slot for expansion.
In terms of weight, some would like to compare the Samsung model with the MacBook Air. This one is, however, heavier since it has 4.22 pounds on it. It’s more silver-colored than white, and the screen size and keyboard make it look bigger. On the other hand, if you require a large screen for your computer science projects, you have the right laptop.
One of the admirable things coming from the Galaxy Book Ion is battery life. You may get lesser hours depending on the work to be done, but it’s bound to stay on for the next 21 hours. If you happen to forget your charger, then it will never be a problem for the day if the laptop is fully charged.
Samsung decided to surprise their fans with a TV display on the laptop. The screen is 15.6 inches with 1920 x 1080 pixels, and it’s the QLED type. The color presentation on the screen is Quantum meaning the contrast and transition are as smooth as possible. In bright-daylight, you can still work on the laptop, thanks to the 600 nits of brightness.
You may have seen NVIDIA specification for the graphics card on the description, but that’s not what Samsung Galaxy Book uses. It has the Intel UHD, which works fine for your projects, and it complements the screen quality. It’s also worth noting here that as you elevate the screen, the keys, too, do the same to give you the desired key-height as you type.
There are a couple of ports on this laptop that you will find useful. There are two USB-A 3.1 ports, one Thunderbolt 3, HDMI (support 4K at 60 Hz), and an SD slot that permits up to 512 GB. On the keyboard, there is a fingerprint sensor to help you lock your files securely.
That implies Windows will give you an option to login using either the password or the sensor. To ensure you don’t have trouble connecting to the internet, this laptop has the Gig+ specification. It achieves three times the speed of the internet connection you get from the 802.11 ac standards.
If you want a laptop with the best screen and improved keyboard experience, then the Samsung Galaxy Book Ion will suit all your computer science work. You may find it tricky to upgrade it due to the chassis’ fragile nature. There are, however, YouTube videos to guide you through since there is room for expansion.
5. Acer Predator Helios 300
“For the gaming computer science member”
- 9th Generation Intel Core i7 9750H 6...
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Graphics with...
- 15.6 inches Full HD (1920 x 1080)...
- 16GB DDR4 2666MHz Memory, 256GB PCIe...
- Backlit Keyboard; LAN: Killer Ethernet...
Getting a laptop in the gaming niche for your computer projects always seems like the best move. There is more power for the games that your programs and huge projects can harness. That is why the Acer Predator joins the 10 best laptops for computer science list. You may have to deal with the power surge, but it’s due to how this beast performs.
There will be nothing slow for the Intel i7-9750H processor that boosts its speed from 2.6 to 4.5 GHz. In the gaming category, machines are fast, and this one proves that. So, if you want something like this to test and work on major programs, then the Acer Predator will serve you to the fullest.
The RAM in store is 16 GB in the DDR4 category, and there is an extra slot for expansion. It’s a decent 512 GB SSD for the storage. It also gives way to more storage via the empty PCIe M.2 slot. Using this machine with anticipation to upgrade it is the best move since the additions only need you to open the small back plate.
The Predator 300 is not one of the light laptops that you can carry around at will. The metal chassis houses more room for expansion and cooling and that contributes to 5.07 pounds of weight. Further, it’s a laptop with a widescreen. You can see the matte and shiny dark mixture from the looks, although the prior is more dominant.
Since it’s a machine that you can use for all the intensive and straightforward tasks, the battery life is not the best. The maximum time you can use this laptop before the next recharge is six hours. Now, if you are throwing some heavy software and games, that will depreciate to less than four hours.
The 15.6-inch screen on the laptop has 1920 x 1080 pixels, but the refresh rate is what you will enjoy more. The Helios model has 144 Hz on the screen, meaning you don’t get blurriness no matter what you are doing. The bezels are also relatively thin, and that maximizes your viewing area to what we expect in 2020 and beyond.
NVIDIA reigns in the graphics section, and this laptop has the GeForce 1660Ti that helps render the clear images you see on the screen. Having such specs implies that this machine will serve you well when presenting and working on intensive programs and assignments.
To take control of how the computer performs, you can use the Predator Sense software. It allows you to set up the CPU, GPU, and other essentials like the fan speed. Speaking of the fan, this Acer model has the 4th Gen Aero blade fan that helps in dissipating heat. Apart from the ability to adjust the speed, the blades on it have the maximizing air-flow design.
For the I/O, there are great connections from Thunderbolt to USB-A 3.1 Gen 1 and 2. There is also an Ethernet port and HDMI too. The keyboard on this laptop is backlit, and that’s a good sign for those working in dark environments. While we may not advocate the audio experience, especially when the fan is at its peak, it still performs.
One more thing, you will enjoy faster internet connection speeds, not to mention that machine is also VR-ready.
If you are a computer science student or expert who is also into gaming, The Predator Helios 300 will do you a favor when you own it. It will handle the given tasks with ease, and after a long day of working, you can enjoy a game as you cool down. We also like the fact that it’s easy to upgrade the machine.
6. ASUS Chromebook Flip C302
“For Android development and presentation”
- The flexible 360 Degree hinge and 12.5...
- Intel Core Processor with 64GB storage...
- Extremely lightweight at 2.65 pounds...
- Starts up in seconds and lasts all day,...
- Make sure latest chrome version is upto...
Purchasing the ASUS Chromebook means that you precisely need a computer with Chrome OS for your projects. The Flip C302 model comes with the Google operating system, and it has portability features that allow you to use it as a laptop or tablet. That is why it has the 2-in-1 phrase in its name.
You don’t get much of the internals’ high-end specs, but the C302 gives you what you pay for. The Intel Core m3 processor is responsible for executing everything, and it will function as appropriate if not overloaded. You may not dare to do so unless under pressure since the RAM is only 4GB.
There is also a beg for more storage since you only get 64 GB here. Therefore, this is a machine for those who don’t have much apart from the programs you need to get work done. In case you need more storage, there is a micro SD slot that permits up to 512 GB with the right SD Card.
Have you ever used a laptop that weighs next to nothing? Then welcome to the ASUS Chromebook that weighs 2.65 pounds only. Most laptops are within the 3-pound range, but this model is surprisingly light. It also has a nice aluminum coating that makes it look like a MacBook.
You may confuse it with the Apple device until you see the shouting ASUS logo on the lid. Apart from the lightweight and the small look, the battery life is about 11 hours if you browse and watch videos. That’s the same range you will get as you work on your class or work projects.
The small 12.5-inch screen packs 1920 x 1080 pixels. You may be agitated by the little screen, but the images are bright and crisp to the core. In bright light conditions, the screen adjusts the brightness to a maximum of 300 nits. If you are in a dark area, then the backlit keyboard will help get the keys right.
The touch screen has glass protection that protects the actual screen, and it’s also fingerprint-proof. If you don’t like oily marks on the screen, this touch will not show them. The Chromebook flips to 360 degrees to allow the tablet mode. As you touch the ‘tablet,’ you get the experience rendered by Android tablets.
You can flip the screen depending on how you want to use the machine. Apart from tablet mode, you can also place it like a tent or 180 degrees flat on the table. Therefore, it makes a perfect match for those wanting a laptop that you can present in front of friends, class, or business prospects.
There are only two slots for any connections you might have. Being a computer science student, you may find that as a flaw. You can only use the USB-C and the SD ports, which calls for a hub if you have an external hard disk with USB-A.
The ASUS Chromebook will suit only those who need a laptop for developing mobile applications. Otherwise, you may have to change the operating system at some point. What you will enjoy here is the touch screen and the laptop’s ability to flip to 360 degrees.
7. Dell Inspiron 17 3000
“Fast laptop with ample storage”
- 【We have professional...
- 【Dell i7 laptop】: The Latest and...
- 【Dell 17 inch laptop】 : 17.3...
- 【External Ports and Slots】: 2 x USB...
- 【Operating System】 : Windows 10 Home...
If you are looking for a sturdy machine with all the fast storage you need for the files, then the Dell Inspiron 3000 should be your choice. Dell is known to produce durable computers, and this one is bound to stay with you for the whole course work.
The 10th Gen Intel Core i7-1065G7 enables quick responses from the hard disk to the screen with a base speed of 1.3 GHz. Since that is too low, you have the option to boost the frequency to 3.9 GHz. At such a clock speed, there will be nothing slow even when running the C++ compiler.
When you combine that with a 32 GB RAM, you get excessive power and cache for all the heavy tasks you are bound to complete. The storage is one terabyte, and it’s in the SSD category. You may not need an upgrade with such features for the next few years. If the need arises, the backplate makes it easy to access the hard disk and the RAM slots.
Dell rarely produces lightweight machines. The Inspiron 17 3000 model has 4.84 pounds on weight, and you may wonder where it comes from, considering the chassis is all plastic. You can, however, forgive that due to the ample storage and the large screen size. That makes everything on the laptop large since the size matches the lower keyboard part.
The manufacturer has not discussed the battery life here, but it will serve you for a few hours before requiring a recharge. Since you don’t get comprehensive features such as NVIDIA, the laptop can retain power between a minimum and moderate use.
This Dell has one of the largest screen sizes we are reviewing. It’s 17.3 inches, which makes the laptop somewhat buggy, although it is enjoyable, to say the least. The 1920 x 1080 pixels make the visuals clear. You don’t get blurred images despite the screen size.
There is no dedicated graphics card on this machine. It’s quite expensive, and we may expect an AMD or NVIDIA collaboration. On the other hand, the Intel Iris does a great job, and that’s what you get in the MacBook Air in the third position. Another thing we may wish for but it’s not present is a touch screen.
There are quite several ports that you can use for external connections. They include two USB 3.0, one USB 2.0, HDMI, and RJ-45 ports. Dell also offers a 16 GB multi-format micro SD card, and you can insert it in the provided slot. The keyboard is not backlit, but it offers a reputable typing experience.
Other specifications vital to your studies and work are the 2×2 Intel Wi-Fi 802.11 and Bluetooth 4.1 combo.
The Dell Inspiron will serve as a suitable laptop for all your assignments, classwork, and upcoming projects. Having more space means you can even choose to dual-boot if you need more than one operating system. The only thing we can call for from the expensive laptop has a backlit keyboard.
8. OEM Lenovo ThinkPad T590
“Comfortable typing experience”
- Processor: Intel Quad Core i7-8565U...
- Features: 16GB RAM, 256GB NVMe, Backlit...
- OS: Windows 10 Professional 64 bit;...
- Warranty: 3 Year Lenovo Warranty / 3...
- Memory Upgrade | * - View Product...
The Lenovo ThinkPad has quite a large viewing area, and it has one of the best keyboards to work on as you type. It doesn’t have sophisticated features when it comes to storage and graphics. On the other hand, it’s fast enough to give you the pace that millennial laptops currently possess.
Working with the T590 gives you an Intel processor with four cores. It’s an i7-8565U, and the lowest frequency you get here is 1.8 GHz. Its clock speed can shoot to a maximum of 4.6 GHz, and if there is a need for main memory room, the processor has its own 8 MB cache. That tells you it’s quite a fast laptop.
Having 16 GB RAM in the DDR4 category makes things better. The only part you may want to upgrade later is the 256 GB SSD. Since the slots are NVMe-PCIe compatible, you have a variety of options to consider.
It’s not heavy, but it’s also not one of the light ones. We have already seen laptops lighter than 3.87 pounds, but this is a weight you can handle while on the move. The matte-designed laptop is wide with a full keyboard (numpad included), so expect that it could have been heavier.
This ThinkPad has one of the best battery lives you will ever experience. We have already seen more hours on some of the laptops above. However, this one has an average of 14 hours when running on low tasks. It also has one of the fast-charging capabilities as it reaches 80% within an hour’s charge.
You will be viewing all your assignments and programs via a 15.6-inch screen with 1920 x 1080 pixels. It’s an IPS display meaning that everything you project is clear and crisp. The bezels on the screen seem to be equally distributed, although the lower part is thicker to pave the way for the Lenovo logo.
This laptop does not contain a dedicated graphics card despite the high price. It comes with Intel UHD 620, which is quite common. It does its job, though, since there are minimal to no cases of blurriness.
The T590 model has a 720p webcam at the front screen, and it has a lid that covers the area. So, if you want to keep your webcam locked away from the view, this laptop has a way to out. There is also a fingerprint reader to keep your files secure from unauthorized access.
The keyboard is backlit which is okay for those working in dark environments. The keys are smooth, and there is a Numpad present. If you want a machine with fast I/O connections, then this should be your pick. It has two USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports, USB-C 3.1 Gen 1, USB-C 3.1 Gen 2and thunderbolt 3, which also functions as a PD and DP. More ports involve the RJ-45 and HDMI.
The T590 ThinkPad suits computer science experts who want to spend time on a durable machine. It’s a military-grade type with a keyboard that allows you to enjoy typing, not to mention its backlit. However, you may need more storage in the the future, and this laptop has all the ports you need to hook up an external one.
9. Microsoft Surface 3
“Compact and slim-fit”
- Clean, elegant design — thin and...
- Complement your style with rich color...
- Improved speed and performance to do...
- More ways to connect, with USB-C and...
- All-day power on the go, with up to 11....
This Microsoft Surface 3 may be identical to the 13.5-inch size, but everything here is bigger. If you want a laptop that you carry around as you move from one lecture room to the next, this model will not drag you due to weight and size. The only troubling thing is the few peripheral connections.
Microsoft decided to switch from Intel to AMD on this one. The prior is always better, but the AMD Ryzen 7 processor on this machine is not slow as many would put it. The clock speed is 2.3 GHz, and that can allow you to complete tasks without much waiting. Since it’s a high-end device, we realize that there may be a need for more frequency.
Kudos to Microsoft since they considered a large SSD on this model. It has 512 GB for all your files and heavy apps like Visual Studio. The major problem is that it’s not upgradable unless you utilize the micro SD card slot for more storage.
Microsoft laptops are made to be as thin as possible, and the Surface 3 is not different. The platinum-colored machine is 3.4 pounds, and the width when closed allows you to carry it using the small bags. It’s also easy to find a pouch that can fit the machine. The only thing you may want to prevent here is the scratches since it does have the Alcantara finishing.
Using it with a full charge will go on for the next 11 ½ hours. That’s the maximum you can get. However, since you are a computer science student who is bound to face a lot in your career, the hours given may reduce, but it doesn’t worsen. If you are working on light tasks, you may get close to 10 hours.
You can enjoy the touchscreen on this computer, but the lid does not flip to 180 or 360 degrees. The pixels on display make the laptop one of the best when it comes to visuals. 2496 x 1664 pixels on the screen allow the Surface 3 model to graduate to the 2K range.
Since we met the AMD in the processor, you will get the same thing on the graphics end. Here, Microsoft threw the AMD Radeon RX Vega 11, and it does a great job on the visuals. This laptop may not be good for the gaming computer science geeks due to the size, but the AMD specification on the graphics can support heavy gaming.
When you pick up surface 3, the first question you will ask is where the ports are. It only has one USB-C and one USB-A. That can be sufficient for those who don’t need a computer to connect much. If you need to use a second screen, a hub will be necessary for extra ports case.
Another thing worth noting is that the Surface 3 tends to heat up when in heavy use. So, it’s better when you use it in colder environments. Coupling the machine with external fans is okay, but that will make the slim laptop buggy.
Getting Microsoft Surface 3 means that you want a light laptop with great visuals. It will offer you that, and there is ample storage too for the files. If you are working on it day in, day out, make sure you can counter the heating issues.
10. Omen by HP 17″ (2019)
“For the heavy machine users”
- Desktop-grade power in a portable laptop...
- Cutting-edge gaming performance: play...
- Omen command center: easily turn up your...
- Super Fast Processor: 9th Generation...
- Easy to upgrade Memory and storage: 16...
The last item on the list is a robust machine with all the specifications you can want in a computer science class or work. The Omen by HP is initially designed for the gamers, but taking it to your career will redefine everything. It’s quite heavy though, and the battery life is not the best.
The internals is composed of specs you’ll want for a fast machine. The Coffee Lake Intel i7 processor is in the 9th generation, and the maximum speed is 4.5 GHz, thanks to the Turbo Boost technology. It works hand in hand with the 16 GB DDR4 RAM, and the combination takes the rates to another level altogether.
The storage space is 512 GB. It’s also SSD, and when you get that together with an SDRAM, the delays will fall to zero here. You have room to store all the course work essentials, and it’s still upgradable since the slot supports most of the form factors.
Being a machine that also supports gaming, expect it to have all the weight. Most HPs are lightweight, but this gaming OMEN is more than 7 pounds. If you are stationed in one place most of the time, you will have no problem working on it. Carrying means bearing the weight, not forgetting that you cannot leave the charger behind.
The OMEN does not stay for long before needing some juice. On average use, you will get about five hours. If you are gaming, watching, surfing, and compiling a lengthy code, it will not stay for more than three hours. That is why you need to have the charger near you at all times.
This is another laptop with quite a widescreen. It’s 17.3 inches with 1920 x 1080 pixels for resolution. Smaller screens can appear brighter with a better color contrast with pixels in that range, but on this one, more is expected. It doesn’t appear blurry, though. The bezels are minimal to give a more screen-to-body ratio, hence a vast display area.
What you will enjoy here as you use the laptop is the latest NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 graphics card on it. It has an 8 GB cache, and it’s in the GDDR6 category. You may encounter no-detection issues from time to time, but that depends on where you got the machine.
If you want to upgrade this OMEN by HP, there is a single panel at the bottom that you can access to get the hard disk and the RAM. So, there is no need to open up the whole machine unless you want to clean it up. It’s also generous with fast ports. The Type-C port on the device achieves the Thunderbolt 3 speeds.
That is why you see the Thunderbolt specification on the machine. The rest include three USB-A 3.1 ports, RJ-45, HDMI, mini DP, and an SD card reading slot. If you ever encounter any issues with the machine, there is a one-year warranty covering the laptop. More to the specs involve an RGB backlit keyboard and VR Ready for the gamers.
If you want a machine that maximizes performance without caring about the battery life, then the OMEN by HP suits you better. It’s also easy to upgrade, and that is something you should consider as a computer science student. It’s also equipped with the right software to maximize performance as you continue to work on it.
Consider Before Buying Best Laptop for Computer Science
After reading the reviews above, you realize that every laptop can meet your demands. Since you will not pick anything that comes your way, a checklist becomes essential. What you will be doing on the machine mostly determines the specs you will want on a laptop.
It’s okay to have a beast in class, but you may not want to overdo your friends who tackle major issues in machine learning. As a computer science specialist, you will be dealing with MATLAB, C++, Python, C, Java, and other heavy programming languages.
While what you are making may appear different due to specialization, the following points will guide you towards the minimum requirements for smooth course learning.
The lowest processor you should consider before beginning your work is an i5. We have already reviewed laptops in the i7 range with the 9th and 10th generation’s specifications. Now, that applies to the Intel processors. If you happen to land on an AMD, consider the Ryzen 5 or 7 and nothing lower than that.
You will be compiling code all day, not to mention the enormous amounts of research you have to encounter. If you are a gamer, you will also find yourself having a good time on MineCraft or COD after the hard day’s work. Therefore, you should settle down on the fast processor with a decent clock speed.
After the CPU, the next part is always about the RAM. The bigger the RAM, the faster your machine will be, and vice versa is also true. That said, it’s much better when you consider a device with a minimum of 8 GB. Browsers are taking all the RAM space these days, and you also have some powerful software packages to run.
That is why you need 8GB at least. At times, your budget may not allow for large main memory. If that’s the case, it’s advisable to pick a laptop that has room for upgrades. Later, when your pockets get deeper, you will have a chance to add another RAM stick.
We have reviewed laptops in the SSD category. Why? Because they are faster than HDDs. So, if you can afford the prior, your computer science learning days will be glorified. SSDs have minimum to no moving parts instead of HDDs, which possess the magnetic disks for storage.
With that, imagine when you are dealing with heavy packages such as the Android Studio or Netbeans. Having a faster disk will make all the difference as you fetch and display the files. Having a speedy disk is also essential when you are loading multiple files.
The Screen (Display)
While all the above points seem vital, you will be using the screen to see everything happening on the computer. For the first one or two years, you will be staring on the screen a lot, trying to identify the bugs, syntax, and semantic errors. So, having a screen that is easy on your eyes is a good investment.
With that, you have to look at the type of screen, pixels, and size, although the last part is a matter of preference. In types, the IPS and QLED will give you the best displays. The Retina display in MacBooks is also okay since it’s one of the best. When it comes to the pixels, we have mostly reviewed the 1920 x 1080 or the 1080p.
However, the lowest you should go for is 1440 x 900. As you consider something that will go easy on your eyes, a bigger screen between 14 and 15.6 inches will do a better job. On the other hand, it should complement the pixels deployed. If you like larger than what we are suggesting, go for the OMEN by HP laptop with 17.3 inches.
Frequently Asked Questions
What laptop should I buy for computer science?
MSI GF65 Thin 9SD-252 15.6” – Intel-Core i7-9750H, 8 GB DDR4, 512 GB
HP-Spectre x360 2-in-1 – Intel Core i7-8565U, 16 GB DDR4, 512 GB
Apple MacBook Air – Intel Core i3, 8 GB, 256 GB
Samsung Galaxy Book Ion – Intel-Core i7-10510U, 8 GB, 512 GB
Is Windows or Mac better for computer science?
Both operating systems have their advantages. Going for Mac is better since it’s a UNIX type, where computer science majors. Using Windows does not mean you are lost. Most of the software made is compatible with Windows since that’s where most programmers base the analogy.
How much RAM do I need for computer science?
The least amount of RAM you should consider is 8 GB and, of course, in the DDR4 category. Anything less than that will make things worse, especially when dealing with your project or something equally larger. For the most, anything above 32 GB right now is excessive, but the future is coming.
Is MacBook Air suitable for CS students?
MacBooks are always better when you are coding. Since they are UNIX-based, most developers consider them user-friendly.
The current MacBook Air tends to heat up often, though due to the absence of a heating sink between the CPU and the fan. So, compiling large pieces of code will have slower runtimes.
Is 4GB RAM enough for computer science?
No, it’s never enough. You will be involved in a lot of research, loading heavy applications like Eclipse, and watching YouTube videos on how to do stuff. If you happen to get a 4 GB RAM computer, it should have an extra slot or accommodate a single 8 GB stick.
How much memory should we choose as computer science students?
You will have large apps to install and files to keep from notes to videos and games (for the gamers). So, having 500 GB should be the least of your options. However, if you have most of the files stored in the cloud, you can go for the 256 GB option.
Is a dedicated graphics card needed for CS?
No, it’s not necessary, but it’s better when you have it. Programs are needing better UI visuals, and that calls for a better view. If you are a casual gamer, it will be advantageous to have NVIDIA or a high-end AMD on your laptop.
Is computer science a boring career?
It may have many boring notes and assignments, but the fruits are never dull. The vastness is so immense here such that you can only settle in only a few areas. Those already in the career know that there are many applications in this field.
Is Computer science a stressful job?
If you are not a passionate coder, this course will be the most boring thing. Most of the experts and engineers need a programming and coding background to pursue their work. However, if you are good at computers or mastering them, you are in a good position.
Does computer science have a future?
Yes, it has a future in both work and financial status. Those in AI will be reaping big in the next few years as a start. The roles of data scientists and software engineers show the best-case scenario in potential growth too.
The Final Verdict
Reaching this far show you need a good laptop for your computer science career. Now, it’s time to sit down with the requirements and the potential machines list. After that, get a computer that suits your budget and needs.
Apart from that, all the best!
Last update on 2021-01-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API