Best Laptops

Best Laptops for Computer Science Students? Buyer’s Guide (2020 edition)

You could be from any major, without a decent (or should I say good) laptop, you may face many problems while graduating in college. Am I right? If you are more engineering minded you should certainly get one of the best laptops for computer science students. The best laptops of them all.

If you have landed on this site to find your next good laptop, then I’m going to help you in this process.

I have already shared many top rated laptops for engineering students in Mechanical and Civil majors on my site but today I’m going to share my thoughts on some of the Best Laptops for Computer Science Students.

I’ll keep in mind about the system requirements of some popular software a CS student may use such as  MATLAB, NetBeans, and Eclipse.

I’ll be listing both affordable and premium laptops with their Pros and Cons, do make sure to read it before a laptop for yourself.

Let’s get started.

Best Laptops For Computer Science Students in 2020

No.NameStorageRAM 
1Apple MacBook Pro
512GB SSD
8GB Check Price
2HP Pavilion
1TB HDD
8GB Check Price
3Acer Predator Helios 300 (2018) (Editor's Choice)
256GB SSD
16GB Check Price
4Asus ZenBook 13
512GB SSD
8GB Check Price
5ASUS FX504
256GB SSD
8GB Check Price
6ASUS VivoBook S
256GB SSD
8GB Check Price
7Dell Inspiron 15
1TB SSD
16GB Check Price
8Acer Aspire E 15
256GB SSD
8GB Check Price
9Microsoft Surface Pro
256GB SSD
8GB Check Price
10Dell XPS 15
256GB SSD
8GB Check Price

 1. MacBook Pro 13″: most reliable laptop for CS students

MacBook Pro 13 inch best apple laptop for cs students

Unlike the previous MacBook Pro which was launched in 2016, MacBook Pro 2018 comes with a promise to deliver some serious performance to you. It has been upgraded for multitasking more than anything, so if you’re into running multiple things all at once, it won’t say no at all.

This is one of the good laptops for computer science students who are looking for a very reliable machine. Let’s dig deeper about this laptop.

Design-wise, don’t expect any appreciable upgrade from this model. Like its predecessor, the laptop bears a 13-inch sleek display and an aluminum body, which kind of feels very comforting to the touch. However, apart from this, there’s nothing to cherish. Of course, for a mundane user, it could work, but if you’re looking for portability and mobility, you’d preferably choose a laptop like Dell XPS 13. This is because it is lighter (2.7 lbs) than MacBook Pro 2018 (3 lbs).

The display is appreciably better with warmer colors, thanks to the True Tone. But that setting can be turned off at will. Overall, it’s 2560x 1600 pixels lets you see true colors beyond perfection.

What really makes it take an edge is its speed that it owes to all its specifications. For example, it comes with an 8th gen Intel Core i5 coupled with Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655, that together can create a machine suitable for running possibly everything all at once (Except heavy gaming). This is backed up by a RAM of 8GB (DDR3. You know how they are), and a storage of 512GB SSD.

If you’ve been using an older MacBook Pro model, then congratulations because 2018’s upgrade has a Touch Bar that actually works quite fine. Other than this, the keyboard is a lot quieter, dust-proof, and softer. What else could you want?

While that could bring a smile on your face, the ports would cause a frown because this model has only Thunderbolt 3 ports and not the usual USB ports you’re looking for. But the good news is that the Thunderbolt work faster than you think.

The battery life is above average, it can last little over 6 hours. It is not as appreciable as that of its competitors like MateBook X Pro or Surface Book 2.

Pros
  • Blazing fast performance.
  • Faster SSD.
  • Lightweight.
Cons
  • Sluggish graphics.
Specs Recap:
  • Screen Size: 13.4 Inches.
  • Storage: 512GB SSD.
  • RAM: 8GB DDR3 RAM.
  • Processor: 8th Gen Intel Core i5.
  • Graphics card: Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655.
  • Operating System: Mac OS X – High Sierra.
  • Weight: 3 lbs.

Check Price on Amazon

 2. HP Pavilion: Best gaming laptop for CS students

HP Pavilion best HP laptop for computer science students

HP is famous for its Pavilion Gaming series. It is because they’ve come up with power-packed machines over the years. The 2018 HP Pavilion is here to offer you a serious performance at an affordable price of just $800. This is an affordable and a good laptop for computer science majors for sure.

The looks of this model are demanding, edgy, and completely overhauled. With only 5.2 lbs (“only” for a laptop like this), you get a comfortable keyboard and track. The display is phenomenal. You’ll get an extremely well perception of the colors from a normal range.

Since this laptop is built for gaming and heavy tasking like running computer science software, it has commendable specs. With a whopping 1TB HDD storage, you get an 8GB DDR4 RAM with a CPU of Intel Core i5-8300H. That’s not all, the GTX 1050Ti 4GB GPU is here to take your gaming experience to the next level with its amazing performance.

Because of its weight (5lbs) and size (15.6-inches), the HP Pavilion is not very portable as you’d imagine. Who’d want to take a machine this heavy, anyway? But that does not mean you cannot at all. Of course, depending on your means and needs, you can carry it with you (not for long). This laptop bag can help you If you want to travel with this beast.

The keyboard comes with green peripheries and, as I said, it is quite softer for a gaming laptop. The ports you’ll get on this laptop are two USB 3.1 and an HDMI.

The battery life of this HP Pavilion is commendable. HP claims to offer around 9 hours of mixed use and according to Erik, you can even more than that If you don’t push too much.

Pros
  • Suitable for both multi-tasking and gaming.
  • Battery life is very good.
Cons
  • Quite heavy.
Specs Recap:
  • Screen Size: 15.6 Inches.
  • Storage: 1TB HDD.
  • RAM: 8GB DDR4 RAM.
  • Processor: Intel Core i5-8300H.
  • Graphics card: GeForce GTX 1050Ti 4GB.
  • Operating System: Windows 10
  • Weight: 5.2 lbs.

Check Price on Amazon

 3. Acer Predator Helios 300: High-end laptop for CS students

Acer Predator Helios 300 2018 best Acer laptop for cs

For any computer science student, owning a powerful laptop with high-end specs could be a dream because of its escalated price. However, laptops like Acer Predator Helios 300 (2018) is changing scenarios by adding more options to choose from.

This means that the laptop in question is a powerhouse and it, fortunately, comes with a lesser price tag. Though it costs $150 compared to its 2017 Acer is offering more features in this upgrade.

With a 15.6-inch 144Hz screen and 1.05-inch chassis, the display of the laptop is enough to wow you, especially after considering its specs-price ratio. 144Hz has been the standard refresh rate for many high-end gaming laptops and this one has it intact. You could have a phenomenal visual and graphics experience and that’s the promise.

Design-wise, it hasn’t changed much from its previous model. You are getting the same high-quality build on this machine just like its previous model and I have to say it does justify its price.

What could you expect from a mid-range gaming laptop? Mediocre specs, right? Well, Acer Predator Helios 300 is going to surprise you with its above-average GPU and CPU performance. We are talking about GTX 1060 6GB GPU and a powerful Intel 6-Core i7-8750H CPU. Coupled these specs with 16GB DDR4 RAM and 256GB PCIe NVMe SSD, and what you get is a machine well capable of running high-end games and software.

The NVMe SSD You’ll be getting on this machine is quite faster than most of the laptops with SATA SSD. It won’t disappoint you with this performance for sure.

Portability and gaming laptops don’t go well with each other. This is true for this model as well. It boasts some 5.5 lbs (2.5 kg) weight, which is just enough to carry it for shorter distances, but not for long. For anyone who has a habit or a routine of sitting in one place and not traveling around for long, the laptop could be the right one

Call it a design fault or a low-end price case, there are certain things like the keyboard and the touchpad that would keep you hanging for long when it comes to typing. The keyboard is although backlit, it is not friendly at all. The keys are not very tactile in my opinion.

Apart from these, there are good features as well such as the over-efficient cooling system, and the freedom it gives you to overclock the GPU to its max power.

Although Acer says the laptop manages to run for some 7 hours on high-end gaming, it is far from the truth. You could only get around 5 hours of working on standard usage. So, if you work for more hours, you should think about buying another laptop.

Overall, I have to say This is definitely the Best Laptop for computer science students in terms of value for money. I would suggest you go for this one without thinking too much. You’ll not regret it.

You can learn more about this amazing laptop in this review by Matthew Moniz.

Pros
  • Best value for money gaming laptops at this price.
  • High refreshing rate display (144Hz).
Cons
  • Battery life should have been better.
  • A better design would have been appreciated.
Specs Recap:
  • Screen Size: 15.6 Inches.
  • Storage: 256GB SSD.
  • RAM: 16GB DDR4 RAM.
  • Processor: Intel 6-Core i7-8750H.
  • Graphics card: GeForce GTX 1060 6GB.
  • Operating System: Windows 10
  • Weight: 5.5 lbs.

Check Price on Amazon

 4. Asus ZenBook 13: Good value for money laptop for CS students

Asus ZenBook 13 best laptop for cs students at a reasonable price

This is the latest version of Asus ZenBook 13 which comes at a very reasonable price and offers good value for money.

The laptop comes with the same 13.3-inch IPS display but compared to it’s earlier model, the display has very small bezels at the top and side which makes the laptop very attractive.

The build quality of the laptop isn’t up to the standard of laptops such as  Surface Pro or MacBook Pro but it is decent for its pricing in my opinion. Also, the ZenBook weighs only 2.5 lbs (1.1 kg) which is pretty lightweight and the second lightest laptop on this list after Microsoft Surface Pro.

If you are planning to bring your laptop to school/ college, then this might be the perfect choice for you. You won’t even need a bag to carry this laptop.

When it comes to storage, you’ll be getting 512GB PCIe SSD and 8GB DDR3 memory which is good enough to run multiple applications at once without any issues. The CPU under the hood is Intel Core i5-8265U which is slightly better than Intel Core i5-8250U which was offered on the previous model of the laptop.

There is no dedicated graphics card offered on this machine but it is expected considering its price point. If you want a laptop with a dedicated GPU, I would suggest you look for other options from this list.

Here’s the kicker:

As a student, you would need laptop with good battery life and that’s where the Asus ZenBook 13 comes to play. According to Josh, you can expect 9 hours of battery life by lowering the brightness  which is a pretty sweet deal in my opinion.

Check out this video to learn more:

Pros
  • Great value for its pricing.
  • Extremly lightweight at just 2.5 lbs.
Cons
  • The inclusion of dedicated GPU would have been appreciated.
Specs Recap:
  • Screen Size: 13.3 Inches.
  • Storage: 512GB SSD.
  • RAM: 8GB DDR3.
  • Processor: Intel Core i5-8265U.
  • Graphics card: Intel HD Graphics 620.
  • Operating System: Windows 10 Home.
  • Weight: 2.5 lbs.

Check Price on Amazon

 5. ASUS FX504

ASUS FX504 best laptop for computer science

 

The ASUS FX504 also comes with a 15.6-inch IPS display which has quite large bezels compared to the above Asus ZenBook. The body of the laptop is mostly made out of plastic which is very rigid but the top panel flexes a lot which might concern some people.

The FX504 comes with 8GB DDR4 RAM and 256GB SSD which is pretty decent in my opinion. The processor inside the machine is quite powerful i.e Intel Core i7-8750H. It has 6 cores and 12 thread which does a pretty fine job at handling any type of process.

The GPU offered on this machine is GTX 1050Ti which is decent for its pricing and it can help you play games at decent frame rates. Even If you aren’t a gamer, this graphics card will surely help you run any graphics demanding applications at ease.

The port selection of this laptop could have been better in my opinion. On the right side, you will find an Ethernet port, HDMI, 1 USB 2.0 and 2 USB 3.0. On the right side, there is only a Kensington lock. There is no SD card reader or USB Type-C on this machine which might make customers unhappy.

You’ll find only a red-backlit feature on this keyboard. There is no RGB backlit feature offered on this laptop. This is another con people might see on this laptop.

The battery life on this laptop is quite poor compared to its competitors. It can last only a little over 2-3 hours even while using for doing any small tasks like browsing or watching movies. This might not be your right choice if you are looking for a laptop with good battery life.

Check out this video to learn more:

Pros
  • Decent build except the top panel.
  • Good performance at this price range.
Cons
  • No USB Type-C
Specs Recap:
  • Screen Size: 15.6 Inches.
  • Storage: 256GB SSD.
  • RAM: 8GB DDR4.
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-8750H.
  • Graphics card: GTX 1050 Ti.
  • Operating System: Windows 10 Home.
  • Weight: 5.1 lbs.

Check Price on Amazon

 

 6. ASUS VivoBook S: Strong high-end Laptop for CS students

ASUS VivoBook S

Hello, colors! This is the first thing you’ll say when you meet eye-to-eye with the new edition of the Acer VivoBook S. The laptop looks stunning and it’ll amaze you with its attractive design. But we’re talking about performance here, right?

Well, in that department, this laptop rests in the middle of high-end laptops and slouch ones. This is not all, though.

Let’s explore it further.

Design-wise, the laptop speaks of its maker’s dedication towards creating a funky looking machine. The 14-inch display has fewer bezels at two sides which makes the display very attractive and it is more than enough for normal graphics. But more than anything, what captures the attention and is smartly included is the ErgoLift hinge. It emerges once you open the laptop and tilts the keyboard for about 3-degrees.

As I said and probably by now you’ve noticed it, this laptop is not a high-end performing machine. Still, it is not a slouch because it comes with a storage of 256GB SSD, 8GB DDR4 RAM, Intel Core i7-8550U CPU, and GeForce GTX MX 150 (don’t frown at it, please).

Until now in this list, if any laptop is super portable, it is Asus Vivo Book S. It is only 3.2 lbs (1.4 kg) and is quite thinner, thanks to its bezels. Basically, this laptop has been designed for students like you and thus, you could expect easy portability.

Yes, it has a backlit keyboard, and yes, the keyboard is something to drool over. When it comes to ports seletion, there is a slew of them found on either side. You get three USB-A ports, an HDMI, one USB-C, and a microSD card slot.

The battery life is just decent, not surprising enough. Of course, for any model like this, you cannot expect a battery containing limitless juice. You can expect 5-6 hours of mixed-use and around 2 hours while loading any heavy programs.

In the end, I just want to say that this is surely one of the best laptops for computer science majors you can get right now.

Pros
  • Attactive design and display.
  • Lightweight and portable.
Cons
  • The inclusion of GTX 1050 would have been appreciated.
Specs Recap:
  • Screen Size: 14 Inches.
  • Storage: 256GB SSD.
  • RAM: 8GB DDR4 RAM.
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-8550U
  • Graphics card: GTX MX 150.
  • Operating System: Windows 10 home.
  • Weight: 3.2 lbs.

Check Price on Amazon

 7. Dell Inspiron 15: Best all-in-one laptop from DellDell Inspiron 15 best laptop for computer science students

This is an all-in-one laptop from the Dell family. The Dell Inspiron 15 has what it takes to ooze out a responsive performance smooth enough to let you run video and audio with plenty of background apps.

Let’s talk about this machine in detail.

A sturdy design packed with a beautiful 15.6′ HD display, it will never give you the feeling of a low-end laptop. It has rounded edges and what really makes it eye-catching is its subtleties. Although you would like them, you might hate the thick bezels around the screen and all.

Performance of this laptop highly depends on its specs and for someone like you, they could be just fine. Storage space of 1TB SSD is given with 16GB DDR4 RAM, which is more than enough for multitasking. A laptop with 1TB of Solid State Drive (SSD) at this price is quite outstanding and it is very hard to find.

The performance is backed by a CPU of Intel Core i7-7500U and a GPU of AMD Radeon R7. For any laptop, you know its CPU and GPU combined makes the larger chunk of performance and this laptop with the proposed specs will help you run software of all kinds with ease.

I think the laptop could have been a little lighter than 5.1 lbs (2.3 kg). But this weight can only be attributed to the DVD drive the laptop has. So, if I were to rate it from 0 to 10 in terms of portability, I’ll like to give it a 6. Carrying 5 lbs around could be a little drag you know.

What I really like about this backlit keyboard of this laptop is its easiness when it comes to typing. But there’s more to it than just this. You get a Webcam with dual microphones and Waves MaxxAudio – something which is known for oozing out a crystal clear audio. That’s the sole reason why I mentioned its audio in the first place.

Talking about the ports, you’ll get two USB 3.0, one USB 2.0, an HDMI, and a microphone + headphone jack.

Don’t expect the battery life to be extraordinary, but also don’t call it mediocre because it boasts 42 WHR juice and is a 3-cell battery.

Pros
  • Sturdy build and design.
  • Offers touchscreen.
Cons
  • Heavy.
Specs Recap:
  • Screen Size: 15.6 Inches.
  • Storage: 1TB SSD.
  • RAM: 16GB DDR4 RAM.
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-7500U.
  • Graphics card: AMD Radeon R7.
  • Operating System: Windows 10 home.
  • Weight: 5.1 lbs.

Check Price on Amazon

 8. Acer Aspire E 15

Acer Aspire E 15 best laptop for computer science students

The Acer Aspire E 15 is one of my favorite laptops from recent times as it provides a great value for money and it costs just $600 for your pocket.

Note: I have written a separate post who are looking for budget laptops under $700. Do read it If you are interested.

Let’s see what this has to offer at this price.

If there’s one word that describes the design of this laptop, it is sturdy. There is not even a single instance where you’ll feel the case screech or. This is even true for the keyboard. While typing on it, you would feel the solidness of its make and form. The lid is matte and there’s a faux feel to the deck, which is very much welcomed.

Talking about its display, tests show that it earns 159% of the sRGB color gamut. The meaning of this is nothing but crystal clear display with popping colors. However, sometimes, they get a bit too popping. Overall, the 1080P resolution on its 15-inch screen looks extremely stunning.

I already said that the laptop stands suitable for light multitasking and that’s true if we look at its specifications: The CPU installed is Intel Core i5-8250U and the GPU complementing the graphics acceleration is GeForce MX150. The mixture we are talking about is just right for opening some 20 Chrome Tabs and playing a 1080p video in the background or, better yet, running MATLAB seamlessly.

Storage-wise, the laptop also does good by packing 256GB SSD and 8GB RAM.

Containing ports of every kind and a DVD has its toll on the size of the laptop and thus, the weight of it, which is 5.13 lbs. So, conclusively, it does not do very well in the portability department.

The keyboard offers no shallowness and there’s equally no flex. Thus, what you get is a typing experience similar to the high-end laptops. Coming towards the ports, you’ll get two USB 3.0 ports, VGA-out, HDMI, one USB 3.1, and Ethernet port. There’s even an SD card reader.

Carrying this laptop around becomes hassle-free because its battery offers juice for about 8 straight hours. That has been found out by passing the laptop through standard Laptop Battery Test.

Overall, I would say this is one of the top laptops for computer science students at a very low budget.

I would suggest you watch this detailed review by Tech Deals to know more about this amazing machine.

Pros
  • Value for money laptop.
  • Decent build.
  • Great battery life.
Cons
  • Again a heavy laptop.
Specs Recap:
  • Screen Size: 15.6 Inches.
  • Storage: 256GB SSD.
  • RAM: 8GB DDR3 RAM.
  • Processor: Intel Core i5-8250U.
  • Graphics card: GeForce MX150.
  • Operating System: Windows 10.
  • Weight: 5.3 lbs.

Check Price on Amazon

 9. Microsoft Surface Pro: Best 2-in-1 laptop for CS students

Microsoft surface pro best laptop for computer science students

The Microsoft Surface Pro is called the best 2-in-1 device that Microsoft has ever produced and why shouldn’t it be called that way? It offers so many features at a very reasonable price. Certainly a top pick when looking for the best laptop for computer science students.

Boasting an attractive resolution of 2736 x1824 resolution and a 12.3-inch screen, Surface Pro admittedly looks similar to that of Surface Pro 4. However, the touchscreen has been improved considerably. Apart from this, the edges are more rounded as compared to the Surface Pro 4. One more difference that speaks loudly is the improved hinge angle for better studio mode.

The laptop is covered with Alcantara fabric, which makes it a bit unfriendly to be placed on the lap.

With specs boasted by Microsoft Surface, you shouldn’t expect heavy performance from it as compared to a high-end laptop. However, it does top the list in 2-in-1s available out there. The model which I’m reviewing comes loaded with 256GB SSD and 8GB RAM. Moreover, it contains a GPU of Intel Iris and HD graphics with a 7th Gen Core i5 processor.

Microsoft Surface wins the portability contest. It is super portable and lightweight. I mean carrying 1.7 lbs (0.8 kg) around and that too as slim (0.33-inches) as this device is not a drag, is it?

One of the biggest features of Microsoft has offered on this laptop is Surface Pen. It has been made more sensitive to pressure, which is a great thing for illustrators. So, if you’d like to do that along with completing your studies, it should work for you just fine.

For typing, the ergonomic keyboard has been styled to accommodate comfort and convenience. However, for connecting devices, there is only one USB 3.0 port, a mini DisplayPort, a microSDXC card reader, and a mic/headphone jack.

Microsoft has managed to make space for a 20% larger battery in this model than the previous ones. This means nothing but an improvement in the overall battery timing. As opposed to the claims made by the makers, though, it lasts between 6 to 7 hours.

Pros
  • Best lightweigt laptop on this list.
  • Touchscreen.
  • Decent performance.
Cons
  • Have to purchase typecover seapately.
Specs Recap:
  • Screen Size: 12.3 Inches.
  • Storage: 256GB SSD.
  • RAM: 8GB.
  • Processor: 7th Gen Intel Core i5.
  • Graphics card: Intel Iris and HD graphics.
  • Operating System: Windows 10 Professional.
  • Weight: 1.7 lbs.

Check Price on Amazon

 10. Dell XPS 15: Best high-resolution laptop for CS students

Dell XPS 15 best laptop for computer science students

Are you looking for a 4K experience in your quest to the best laptop for computer science students? If yes, then you’d surely love this beast from Dell.

Don’t worry about its performance because it is packed with high-end specifications. The Dell XPS 15 stands tall shoulder-to-shoulder with MacBook 15, but there are certain aspects where you’d want to choose the latter one. But if you’re only into windows laptops, then Dell XPS 15 could serve you well because in every aspect of it is revered as a polished form of its predecessor.

Aesthetic looks are what this laptop masters, unlike its previous version. It is built entirely with simplicity and you can see that in the form of rounded edges, silver aluminum lid, and an extremely thin bezel covering a 15-inch Ultra HD display in all neatness that you need. On the deck, you’re greeted by a fingerprint scanner very sensitive to the touch. Unlike most of the models, you’ll find a battery life on this machine.

The screen itself is a work of wonder. All the colors depicted by it would surely impress you and render a vivid performance to all the visual work you do on it.

The XPS 15 packs a real performance punch in the form of an Intel Core i5-7300HQ CPU and Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 GPU. This performance is given wings by its storage capacity, where you get a 256GB SSD storage capacity and an 8GB DDR4 RAM.

This laptop is built for portability and it can be accredited to its longer battery life and lightweight. It weighs only 4.4 lbs (2 kg). I know it isn’t a perfect portable machine but you can travel with it occasionally.

The ports of XPS 15 are mostly on the rear end of the chassis because of its slanted design. There are two USB 3.0 slots on either side, an HDMI and a Thunderbolt 3 port on the left side. You also get an SD card reader and Kensington lock slot on the right side.

Talking about the keyboard, it is extremely typing friendly, but the keys have a very small travel. That could let you experience slackness while typing, but you would get used to it eventually.

You can easily keep the laptop running for about 7 to 8 hours on normal use. Considering its specs, I think the laptop provides a decent battery life.

Pros
  • Beautiful display.
  • Solid performance.
Cons
  • Should’ve been more sturdier thn it is.
Specs Recap:
  • Screen Size: 15.6 Inches.
  • Storage: 256GB SSD.
  • RAM: 8GB DDR4 RAM.
  • Processor: Intel Core i5-7300HQ.
  • Graphics card: GTX 1050 4GB.
  • Operating System: Windows 10 home.
  • Weight: 1.7 lbs.

Check Price on Amazon

Final words on the best Laptops for Computer Science students

So This is it, guys. These are 10 Best Laptops for Computer science students which I have found after a lot of research. If you have found your next laptop from this list, I’ll be glad to hear that.

One Response

  1. hadi mohammed February 12, 2020

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