If you are looking for the best laptop for computer science, then you have come to the right place. We have spent hours researching and testing some of the highly rated and popular laptops for computer science students. We know that as an IT student, you cannot get by without a good laptop.
While the primary task of your laptop would likely be coding, you will also have to learn programming languages, submit assignments, create projects, and even play games in your free time. We have considered these factors as we decided on the ten laptops on this roundup.
Before you read through the list we have provided, there are a few things that you have to keep in mind. First, your laptop must have an excellent processor that would provide enough power as you code. You will need plenty of memory; at least 8GB of RAM. You should also think about the storage capacity; the best options come with SSDs. You would need a laptop with an excellent keyboard; after all, coding requires plenty of typing. Lastly, as you’d be spending hours staring at a screen, you’ll need a keyboard that is easy on the eyes.
With all these in mind, find the best laptops for computer science majors in the list below.
Review of the Best Laptop for Computer Science
HP Envy 13 – Best Overall Laptop for computer science
The HP Envy line is renowned for its elegant aesthetics, and this new model lives up to this reputation. When it comes to looks, you would be hard-pressed to find a more attractive unit. It looks more expensive than its price and can rival even more expensive units.
Away from the looks, this model is quite portable. It weighs 2.8 pounds and has a height of just 0.6”. Thus, it comes in really handy for any IT student that likes to travel lightly.
The display is a 4K high-resolution screen that gives you sharp and bright colors. It is a touchscreen that feels very responsive and makes using the laptop much easier; especially if you are into drawing on the screen.
Performance-wise, it is powerful in its own right. It comes with a Core i7 processor, 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD memory. Therefore, performance is a breeze. From writing code to opening Chrome tabs to running your favourite software, you will definitely enjoy using this laptop.
It is also quite secure as it features a fingerprint sensor and a webcam kill switch.
Combine all the features above and you get one of the best laptops for computer science majors right now.
- Beautiful appearance
- Powerful performance
- Portable and lightweight
- Poor battery especially at 4K resolution
HP Spectre x360 (2019) – Best Premium Windows Laptop for Computer Science
The Spectre line has always been an incredible line of laptops from HP. Each Spectre produced has, at the time of production, brought stunning performance. Well, the x360 (2019) is not just one of the most beautiful laptops on the market at the moment, but it takes almost everything else to another level.
It comes with a sleek profile and gem cut design that will certainly turn heads wherever you carry it to.
Aside from aesthetics, it features a powerful interior. It has HP’s Whiskey Lake processors and lengthy battery life (over 13 hours); which ensures that you are buying one of the best laptops in the world regardless of what you want to use it for.
While many other models on the market have removed the useful USB Type-A port, HP has left this in this unit. Along with this port, it also offers a mic jack, a pair of Thunderbolt 3 ports, and a microSD card slot.
The display is simply stunning. The x360 comes with two options: a 1080p or a 4K OLED touchscreen. Regardless of the configuration you choose, you will not have any complaints. It is bright and easy to see, even outdoors. The touchscreen also responds swiftly to touch.
Performance-wise, this model does a pretty good job carrying out everyday tasks. The 8GB RAM allows you to throw tasks at it and it handles them like the pro that it is. Unless you are doing really heavy tasks, this laptop breezes through whatever is thrown at it.
The keyboard here is great, with the Chiclet-style keys well-spaced and offering pretty good travel. It is backlit and has large attractive fonts.
All these features make this model a contender for the best computer for IT students right now.
- Stunning design
- Incredible battery life
- Bright screen
- Great keyboard
- Too warm for some
MacBook Pro 13” – Best Apple Laptop
If you prefer MacOS, then you’ll feel right at home with the 13” MacBook. It is an excellent laptop that offers some serious computing power. While previous models had plenty of flaws, most of the issues have been phased out with this model.
Design-wise, it comes with the standard premium appearance and feels that is common to Apple products. It comes with a 13” display, housed in a sleek aluminium chassis. Overall, the design is cool, while not as mind-blowing as the Spectre reviewed above. The MacBook weighs about 3 lbs, which is portable enough for everyday use.
The screen is quite beautiful as the 2560 x 1600 pixels offer truer color rendition than many other models on the market.
The main appeal, especially for computer science students, is the speed and performance. It features an 8th generation Intel Core i5 processor. Since this processor is also coupled with Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655, it creates a powerful laptop that can carry out whatever is thrown at it. It also features 8GB of RAM and up to 512 SSD storage.
The keyboard feels good to touch. It is softer, quieter, and offers better travel than previous models.
As with most MacBooks, ports are an issue. It comes with Thunderbolt 3 ports instead of the typical USB ports.
All the above features make it one of the best laptops for computer science students.
- Fast performance
- Great SSD performance and capacity
- Nice design
- Not for heavy gaming
- Only Thunderbolt ports
Dell Inspiron 15 – Best Value laptop for computer science
Dell is popular for the impressive performance and durability of its laptops. The Dell Inspiron 15 continues this tradition. It is a mid-range model that comes with features that rival top-end models from other brands.
It might be a relatively affordable model, but the beautiful aluminium chassis and the 4K display makes you wonder why in the world it costs so little. Like these weren’t surprising enough, it also comes with a dedicated graphics card.
As a computer science student, you will appreciate the speed and power of this model. It features 1TB SSD, 15 GB of RAM and a 7th gen Intel Core. Therefore, you can run different programs simultaneously without breaking a sweat.
If you love playing games, you will find the AMD Radeon R7M445 Graphic card handy.
From playing games to debugging your code or developing your project on Visual Studio, you can rest assured of incredible performance.
The downside of this laptop is the battery life and portability. It comes with a DVD drive which makes it rather clunky. Additionally, it lasts for just 4.5 hours on heavy use.
However, considering the price point, you should be satisfied with the overall performance.
- Beautiful 4K display
- Durable build
- Appealing aluminium body
- Relatively cheap
- Stiff keyboard
- Poor battery life
ASUS ViviBook S – Best ASUS Laptop for Computer Science
The ASUS VivoBook S is one of the most portable and affordable laptops you can buy. It is portable and comes with a lightweight build. Despite this, it houses powerful components that give it more computing power than others in its class.
The 14.2 x 9.6 x 0.7 “dimension and 3.7 lbs weight allows you to put it in your backpack and carry it around easily.
The Full HD resolution display features an anti-glare coating that allows you to use it outdoors and in brightly lit rooms.
There are several ports on this laptop. There is an HDMI port, a pair of USB 2.0 ports, USB 3.0 port, Type C port, mic jack, and a MicroSD card reader. Therefore, as a computer student, you will have enough ports to connect your other devices.
Performance-wise, IT students will have a great time using it. The 8th Gen Core i5 processor, 8GB RAM, and Intel graphics card mean that you have plenty of computing power to carry out your tasks.
From programming to running graphics-heavy software, you will find this unit up to the task.
- Attractive build
- Nice display
- Affordably priced
- No Thunderbolt port
- Average battery
Microsoft Surface Pro 6 – Best Hybrid Laptop for IT Students
Sometimes, you need to work on the go, and that is exactly what the Microsoft Surface Pro 6 offers you.
It is an ultra-slim laptop and is one of the most stunning and elegant on this list. A 2-in-1 laptop, it is detachable and can be used as a tablet.
Despite the extreme portability, it is rich in features and strong in performance. It is powered by an Intel Core i7 processor and has integrated Intel UHD 620 graphics chip.
The 8GB RAM, quad-core processor and 256 SSD on this baby lend it plenty of power to carry out your tasks.
Weighing just 1.73 pounds, it is very easy to carry around.
Apart from portability, this model offers one of the best screens you will find on the market today. The screen boasts of 2736 x 1824 resolution, which results in stunning and bright images. The 408 nits brightness also means that you can use it outdoors conveniently.
One downside of the unit is that it doesn’t ship with a keyboard. You will have to buy the keyboard separately.
Nevertheless, once acquired, the keyboard is a thing of beauty and convenience. Writing code is so easy on the 1.3mm key travel keyboard.
Battery life is also a big advantage of this laptop. It offers you more than 7 hours of runtime.
- Elegant design
- Fast performance
- Great battery life
- Comfortable keyboard
- No USB Type-C Thunderbolt port
Acer Predator Helios 300 – Best Gaming laptop for computer science
While this laptop is hugely popular on lists for the best gaming laptops, the same reasons why it is so good as a gaming laptop makes it one of the best laptops for computer science.
It features an 8th generation Intel Core i7, Nvidia Geoforce 1060 dedicated graphics card, and 16GB RAM. These specifications make it one of the most powerful laptops for virtually anything you desire.
Furthermore, despite the impressive specs, it is not as expensive as some models with lower specifications.
At 10.5 x 15.3 x 1.1” and 5.51 pounds, it isn’t as small or lightweight as others on this roundup. Nevertheless, it is still portable enough to be carried around in your backpack.
It doesn’t come with the sleek design of the Macbook or Spectre. Instead, it sports a gamer design with its red accents and tapered edges.
This model comes with several ports including a pair of 2.0 USB ports, a USB 3.0 port, HDMI port, USB 3.1 port, and an SD card reader.
One other reason why this model is so highly rated is the display. It comes with a Full HD resolution with a 144Hz refresh rate.
While it might be a gaming laptop, the keyboard feels so great (unlike many gaming laptops). Since you will likely spend plenty of time coding, you will love the bounce, travel, and responsiveness that comes with this keyboard.
- Excellent keyboard
- Nice screen
- Great value for price
- Poor battery life
- Noisy fan
Acer Aspire E15– Best Budget Laptop
The Acer Aspire E15 appears in many lists as one of the most affordable and impressive laptops you can buy today.
It comes at a very affordable price, but do not let this fool you: it offers stunning performance. While it will not be the top choice for gaming or for highly demanding applications, it is fine enough to get you through basic and mid-end applications.
It is a highly practical laptop that comes with a good display, very comfortable keyboard, and excellent value for money.
It comes in a rather simple, clunky design that doesn’t particularly stand out. However, this type of design tends to grow on you.
It comes with an 8th gen Intel Core i3 processor which will handle everyday assignments. This processor is augmented by 8 GB RAM and a 1 TB HDD.
The laptop has decent battery life as well since it can last for a little over 8 hours.
As you code, you’ll likely enjoy using the keyboard. Although the 1.1 mm key travel is short of the recommended 1.5mm key travel, it is still rather comfortable to use.
Overall, it is a very affordable laptop that offers a great set of features that will appeal to anyone studying computer science.
- Solid performance
- Plenty of ports
- Decent battery life
- Plenty of bloatware
HP Pavilion (2019) – Best Budget HP laptop for computer science
The HP Pavilion is similar to the Acer Aspire 15 reviewed above. Like the Aspire, it punches above its weight despite its relatively low price. The model is targeted at students, and many computer science students choose it as their companion.
It features a low toned design that doesn’t scream premium. The matte finish on the case is good for hiding fingerprints while the plastic body feels like aluminium to give it a more sophisticated appearance.
It weighs 4.23 pounds, which is manageable for students on the move. Furthermore, the 14.24 x 9.51 x 0.7” dimensions mean it is slimmer than most options in its class.
The display is a 768p resolution, which is a tad disappointing but not very surprising.
It features a rather basic port system, although it has a USB Type-C port included.
Performance is where this laptop really shines. It has an Intel Core i5-8250U processor with 12GB of RAM and 1TB HDD. Therefore, it is certainly powerful enough to take on most tasks easily.
Overall, it is arguably the best computer for IT students looking for a simple laptop with more than decent performance.
- Nice battery life
- Solid performance
- Simple design
- Plenty of bloatware
- A tad bulky
Dell XPS 9570 – Best Premium Windows 10 Ultrabook
The last, but certainly not the least on this roundup is this incredible machine from Dell. The XPS 9570 is the Dell’s response to Apple’s MacBook, and it matches and even surpasses some of the MacBook’s features.
It is one of the most beautiful laptops on the market today. It sports a modern look, with thin bezels and a truly beautiful 4K display. The resolution is sufficient and gives you enough screen estate to go through lines of code without having to scroll down often.
It is a lightweight machine that weighs just 2.9 pounds.
This model comes with an 8th gen Intel Core i7 and 16GB of RAM. It also features a bestial GeForce GTX 1050Ti graphics card. All these combine to give a truly powerful performance. You can easily run heavy software while doing a bunch of other stuff simultaneously.
The keyboard and trackpad are top-notch and feel great to use. You can type for hours without feeling cramps in your fingers.
Furthermore, this model offers you up to 10 hours of battery life.
- Great battery life
- Powerful performance
- Incredible screen
- Poor webcam placement
- Thicker than competitors
If you are a computer science student, choosing the best laptop can be somewhat of a hassle. The ten options above certainly aid to narrow your choices. To aid you even further, we have provided a consideration of some of the essential features that can help make a good buying choice.
Features to Consider when choosing a Laptop for computer science
This factor is arguably the most important consideration when choosing a laptop for computer science. Two things will affect the display: resolution and size.
As an IT student, you will be staring at the computer screen: a lot. Thus, you must take good care of your eyes and avoid straining them.
A good resolution is one way to avoid damaging your eyes.
Most of the cheap laptops on the market today features a 1366 x 768 resolution. This isn’t great for reading code. It means that you will have to scroll more often to see lines of code, which can make it difficult to understand the code.
Therefore, we recommend that you get a laptop that has at least 1920 x 1080 resolution. The models above are made with this resolution or even higher.
A large screen is great, although it isn’t as important as the resolution. It lets you fit more windows on the screen.
The downside of the large screen is that your laptop might lose portability. We recommend a 13” or 15” screen. Anything bigger would be hard to carry around, and smaller sizes might be hard on the eyes.
A lightweight laptop allows you to carry the laptop virtually everywhere you go. If you are in and out of lectures, you will find it a really useful feature.
Many of the high-end models in the review above are lightweight and powerful.
While your classroom might offer electrical outlets where you can charge as you work, it might not always be available.
Long battery life will allow you work almost anywhere. You won’t have to carry a charger around with you everywhere you go. This comes in very handy, especially during exam periods.
A good battery also means that you can code anywhere you are.
Therefore, it is important to have a laptop that comes with a decent battery life. Fortunately, most of the options reviewed above come with excellent battery life, with most offering over 6 hours of battery life.
Your laptop’s performance is important, especially if you are studying branches of computer science that deals with animations, emulations, and coding with databases.
While regular computers with 4GB RAM can carry out some tasks, we recommend that you buy a laptop with at least 8GB RAM. It would make your work much easier and faster.
If you would be doing other things, for example, gaming, then you’ll certainly need a laptop with lots of RAM and a powerful graphics card.
Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of laptop is great for a computer science student?
The best laptop is one that meets your needs. Therefore, you need to know what you would be using the laptop for. The laptop requirements for a coder is different from what an animator would need. Thus, go through the specifications of the laptop you desire to see whether it matches your usage needs.
Should I buy a gaming laptop?
Gaming laptops are very powerful and are useful even if you are not a gamer. They can deal with almost anything you throw at them. However, if you are more concerned about design value, then you might not need a gaming laptop.
SSD or HDD, which should you go for?
Well, if you are writing plenty of code and are into machine learning applications, then we recommend an SSD laptop. It is faster and usually more powerful.
Choosing a laptop as a computer student can be challenging since there are so many options on the market. However, knowing the key features to consider before making a buying choice can help you choose wisely.
Some of the things you should consider include the weight, the screen, performance, and battery life. Each of the ten products reviewed above is arguably the best laptop for computer science on the market right now. Carefully evaluate your needs and choose one that matches those needs.