You’re a computer science student or major. As such, you need a reliable laptop that you can rely on. But with so many laptops on the market today, which laptop is best for computer science?
Whether you’re coding for systems, complex programs, or games, these five computer science major laptops are our favourite choices to handle any CS task. Now, different laptops are better for different situations. Continue reading to find out which computer science laptop is best for your specific needs.
1. Apple MacBook Pro 13″
Our number one favourite laptop for computer science majors and students is the Apple MacBook Pro. For the Apple-lovers out there, you know just how good MacBooks can be. Well the 13-inch Macbook Pro is a little gem and perhaps the best MacBook Pro for computer science.
Although this is the priciest laptop for CS major in this review, we still feel it offers value for money. After all, the premium laptop should last you throughout your entire computer science course and beyond.
As you’ll be staring at the laptop for long hours, you need a beautiful display that’ll allow you to see every piece of code. Fortunately, the MacBook Pro has a beautiful display that has 500 nits of brightness. In fact, we will go as far as saying this laptop has one of the best displays of any laptop for CS.
For those who like to code while on-the-go, you’ll appreciate the battery life on this model. You’ll be able to get nine or ten hours of consistent use before the laptop gives up.
When looking for the best laptop for computer science engineering students, you need a powerful processor when compiling large amounts of code, and the MacBook Pro certainly delivers. It has a 1.4GHz i5 quad-core processor, 128GB of storage, and 8GB of RAM. We would prefer a bit more storage, but that’s nothing an extra drive can’t take care of.
Before we move on, we need to talk about the Touch ID feature. Basically, this feature allows you to unlock your laptop without having to type in your password every time.
In summary, the Apple MacBook Pro is our best laptop for computer science students. It is a premium, lightweight laptop for computer science students who want a piece of kit they can depend on during long days of coding.
2. ASUS VivoBook S
If you want a more affordable laptop for computer science students, the ASUS VivoBook S is a good choice. It is one of the most portable and affordable 14” laptops for sale today. It weighs 3.2lb and measures 12.8 x 8.9 x 0.7”, which means it can be held in your backpack between classes.
You would think the lightweight build would mean this isn’t a powerful laptop, but that’s not the case. The VivoBook has an 8th Gen Corei7 processor that can handle multiple tasks at once. It also comes with Nvidia GeForce MX150 graphics card and 8GB DDR4 memory. These three pieces of hardware allow the laptop to easily handle processing, spreadsheets, video editing, Netflix streaming, and coding software.
The display is great on this best laptop for cse student too. It isn’t quite 4K, but the 14” Full HD (1920 x 1080) resolution display is more than enough for a clear display. Furthermore, it has as anti-glare screen that makes it slightly easier to use outdoors.
It also has Bluetooth 4.2, HDMI port, two USB 2.0 ports, USB 3.1 port (Type C), USB 3.0 port (Type A), SD-Card reader, and jack for your headphone/microphone. The only downside is the lack of Thunderbolt 3 port.
Overall, the ASUS VivoBook S is a mid-range laptop that allows for work on-the-move. Despite its lightweight and fair price, the laptop has powerful components for multiple applications, like coding and gaming.
3. Microsoft Surface Pro 6
With a design that is almost as attractive as the Apple MacBook Pro, the Microsoft Surface Pro range is one of the most popular laptops on the market. If you want a laptop that looks the part, you won’t go wrong with any of the Surface range. This is our best 2-in-1 laptop for computer science students. In fact, it is one of the top laptop/tablet machines in the industry.
Compared with the MacBook with similar dimensions, this laptop is roughly 100g heavier. It has dimensions of 12.7 x 9.1 x 1.9” and a weight of 1.96lb. On this lightweight frame you will find one of the best displays, which has a 2736 x 1824 resolution. It has a brightness level of 408 nits, which means the Surface Pro can be used in well-lit rooms and outdoors. The screen is also touchscreen and comes with a stylus pen.
However, if you would rather type, you will have to purchase the keyboard separately. They make up for it with a detachable keyboard that is easy to type on thanks to the cushy typecover. Users will also appreciate the glass touchpad which is responsive and accurate to movement.
So it looks good, but how does it perform under the hood? The laptop has an 8th-generation, quad-core i5-8250U processor, 128GB Solid-state drive, and 8GB memory. This high-end specification allows the laptop to handle multiple tasks at once, so you code while having your YouTube videos or music in the background.
The only negative of this laptop is the lack of USB Type-C Thunderbolt Port, which is expected on such a high-end laptop. But if you can get past that, this is a great laptop for computer science majors and students. Alternatively, you can check out the Microsoft Surface X.
4. Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop
If you’re a student that enjoys PC gaming, the Acer Predator Helios 300 should be your first choice. It balances great gaming performance with a fair price for students who can’t drop four figures on a laptop.
There factors that make this laptop great for gaming also make it one of the best laptop for coding. It has an 8th-generation Core i7 processor, GeForce GTX 1060 card, and 144Hz screen. All of this is housed inside a black, modern chassis.
It hasn’t got such a high-end spec as the MacBook, which is fair considering the price. The main feature of this laptop is the ability to handle graphics-intensive tasks with ease.
At 5.51lb and 10.5 x 15.3 x 1.1”, the Predator Helios is far from the lightest laptop in this review. However, this larger size creates a laptop that stands out with a true gamer aesthetic. It’s hard not to love the smooth finish, cut edges, and red accents.
The Helios comes with two USB 2.0 ports, USB 3.0 port, USB 3.1 port, HDMI port, Ethernet port, headphone jack, and SD card reader.
Ideal for gaming, the Helios has a Full HD (1920 x 1080) resolution screen, IPS panel, and 144Hz refresh rate. This spec is ideal for gaming and other tasks that require a pleasant viewing experience.
The only downside is the fan that can be deemed too loud by some. We would also prefer a battery that lasts longer, but with such a high performance, it is hard to do everything.
5. HP Pavilion 15.6 Inch Touchscreen Laptop
Shopping on a budget when looking for good laptops for computer science? Then we would recommend the HP Pavilion, which is the manufacturer’s entry-level model. HP has designed this laptop specifically for students, which is why it’s such a great laptop for CS students.
Although an affordable option, we appreciate the aluminium-like plastic chassis, which gives a laptop a premium feel. The laptop has a clean build with many sharp edges, which results in a professional design suited for an academic environment.
The HP Pavilion measures 14.24 x 9.51 x 0.7” and weighs 4.23”, which means it is portable enough to carry around the campus. You only get a 1366 x 768 display, but that is to be expected on a laptop in this price range.
The HP Pavilion has a simple port system, which includes USB Type-C port, HDMI, LAN, USB 3.1 Type-C, and 3.5mm headphone jack – And that’s just on the left side! To the right of the laptop you will discover an SD card reader, two USB 3.1 Type-A ports, cable lock, and power connector.
The laptop boasts a Core i5-8250U processor, 12 GB of RAM, and 1TB of mechanical hard drive, which is impressive for such a budget laptop. The system is powerful enough to cope with basic talks and more demanding coding applications. In fact, you can stream music in the background while entering your lines of code.
To conclude, if you want a basic laptop that can handle your tasks, has a long battery life, and has a sleek design, the HP Pavilion is a worthy contender. This may be the best laptop for college computer science.
PC vs Apple for Computer Science
So, should you go for an Apple or PC for computer science?
Personally, if budget was no worry, we would go for the Apple MacBook Pro. It is a powerful machine that makes all-day coding a comfortable experience, and is one of the best computers for computer science. Remember, you’re going to be spending a lot of your time on your laptop, so make sure it is comfortable to use. The MacBook Pro also has a premium display, high-tech glass trackpad, and Thunderbolt 3 ports.
However, Apple laptops are typically more expensive than other laptops and PCs. If the MacBook is slightly out of your budget, then it can be a good idea to look at the Microsoft Surface range when looking for the best laptops for computer science majors and students.
Go to any developer conference and you will notice one thing – nearly everyone has a Mac! Now, this could just be excellent marketing on Apples part, but it may also be because Apple offers the best laptops for CS.
However, the results are not that simple. Windows is the most used operating system. This was shown in the Stack Overflow’s 2019 developer survey, where 45.3% of developers said they use Windows, compared to 29.2% confessing to use MacOS.
As the world becomes more technology focused, computer science skills are in high demand. In fact, the majority of companies need a computer scientist to handle their IT operations.
To really hone your skills and produce your best work, you need one of the best laptops for computer science students. Hopefully, the advice in this thread has helped you to find the most suitable and best computer science laptop for your needs.
To summarize our thoughts, the Apple MacBook Pro is the laptop we recommend the most. However, if the Apple is not in your budget, you can turn to the Asus VivoBook S. If you’re a student that loves gaming, then look no further than the Acer Predator Helios 300 Laptop.