By Nootan Kumar | Last updated August 15, 2018
Best Laptops For Computer Science Majors

I hope you’ll agree with me when I say: An engineer life is not possible without a good laptop… or is it?

Well, there is only a problem, finding the best laptops for computer science majors is not an easy job.

That’s why to simplify this process I met my friend Ranjeev. He is a final year CS student in Indian Institute of Technology Delhi when I am writing this post.

He also made some mistakes before buying his laptop in his first year.

I asked some questions to students along with Ranjeev, to know exactly what they want in a laptop?

We asked some questions like:

  • Which software mostly they use? 
  • What are the minimum requirements of the software?
  • Which OS is the most convenient according to them?
  • Where they mostly use the laptops?
  • What is the ideal screen size according to their need?
  • How much battery-backup do they want?
  • Are they play games on notebooks? If yes then how much time they spend to play games?
  • Does a laptop’s weight important for them?

Finally, we came up with some interesting information through our research, and I am sure this will help you to choose the best laptop for computer science majors.

Best Laptops For Computer Science Majors

Before choosing the laptop, there are some important features like Processor, ram, graphics cards, battery life, screen resolution and size, compatibility etc that should be kept in mind.

For those who already know how much “horsepower” they need or simply don’t have enough time to read the whole article. They can go through our handpicked recommendation for the best laptops first. However, you can jump to our buyer’s guide section any time by sidebar navigation or link below the article.

So, without further ado, let’s get started.

Top Rated Laptops For Computer Science Majors

Click on the Laptop’s name, to know more.

Name
Processor
Memory
Storage
Graphics

(Editor’s Choice)

Intel i7-7700HQ 

16GB DDR4

256 GB SSD

GeForce GTX 1060-6GB

Intel Core i5 7200U

8GB DDR4

1TB

Intel HD Graphics 620

(Premium Choice)

Dual-core Intel Core i5

8 GB LPDDR3

256GB SSD

Intel Iris Graphics 550

Dual-Core i7-7500U

16GB DDR4

1TB SSD

 AMD Radeon R7-4GB

i7 7700HQ | GTX 1060 6GB | 16GB | 15.6″ 1080P IPS Touch | 6h 40min Wi-Fi browsing | 256 GB SSD

This powerful beast is the perfect replacement for your desktop. It offers a powerful high-performance CPU and GPU with commendable battery life, that can handle any complex process and high-end games. Acer Predator Helios 300 is a great choice for those peoples that want steady workflow without any interruption.

Processor

Perfect! Intel i7-7700HQ processor mostly found in the high-performance laptops. And it can handle any type of work, I have a similar processor, and never find any problem till yet.

RAM

16GB DDR4 memory is enough for a heavy user.

Storage

The laptop comes with 256GB of SSD, that is good and enough for storing your windows, Linux, and your project’s files, and your software will perform well. But there is no HDD preinstalled. However, you can get Seagate Firecuda 2 TB SSHD, that you have to install by yourself. Once you have completed this, you will get the high-performance speedy storage of 2.25 TB.

Graphics

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060-6GB is perfect for high-end gamers, you can play any game on the highest setting with amazing performance.

Battery

One of the few laptops that provides great performance while maintaining the good battery life.

Weight

Comparatively heavy with size comes with 5.95lbs/2.69kg, but it is a powerful desktop in the compact body, so it worth it.

Pros
  • Powerful Intel Core i7 7700HQ processor
  • 6 GB Nvidia GTX 1060 VR Ready graphics card, ideal for high-end gaming
  • 16 GB DDR4 provides the best performance
  • 15.6 inch full HD touchscreen, ensure the best viewing experience
  • PredatorSnese allows you to control system temperature, gaming feature along with CPU and system fan speed
  • USB Type-C supported along with USB 3.0 and USB 2.0
  • Windows 10 64-bit
  • Good battery life
  • Red backlit keyboard
  • Sturdy and reliable design with metal chassis
Cons
  • Weighted due to solid construction
  • Only 256 SSD inbuilt, however, you can upgrade

i5 7200U | HD620 | 8GB | 15.6″ 720P HD Touch | 7h 30min Wi-Fi browsing | 1TB HDD

The HP Pavilion 15-CC510NR is the best entry-level laptop for computer science majors that is suitable for performing most of the task, and also allows you to play light games. The price is really good when we compare to its rivals, it provides more features than the higher price range laptops don’t have.

Processor

Intel Core i5 7200U is the best option in the mid-range processor for the laptops, that can perform most of the task easily. 

RAM

8GB DDR4, in this price range the memory is good and upgradable too if you ever need to in the future. However, you need to disassemble the whole laptop motherboard for changing the RAM.

Storage

1TB storage is sufficient for all your needs. Unfortunately, there is no SSD. But you can replace your HDD with SSD any time in the future.

Graphics

With the inbuilt Intel HD Graphics 620, you can play some older games without a problem.

Battery

Good, 7h 30min – when considering the price and other features the battery backup is really good.

Weight

Normal, 4 lbs/1.81 kg is the normal weight for any 15.6″ laptops.

Pros
  • Very affordable
  • Good Intel Core i5 processor
  • Best battery life
  • 15.6″ touchscreen
  • Windows 10
  • 1 TB HDD
  • Dual audio speaker with B&O PLAY
  • Slim and lightweight design, easy to carry
Cons
  • No SSD provided
  • Only 8 GB of RAM provided. However, upgradeable
  • No dedicated graphics
  • Only HD resolution screen
  • No inbuilt DVDRW

Dual core i5 | Iris 550 | 8GB | 13.3″ Ratina | 6h Wi-Fi browsing | 256 GB SSD

The MacBook Pro 13 is one of the most efficient machines which can perform computer science task without any problem. This unit comes with high-speed SSD drive and 13.3″ sharp retina display, that is the perfect combination of the portability and performance.

Processor

Dual-core Intel Core i5 processor comes with an automatic frequency shifting, that normally works on the 1.2 GHz and whenever load increase it will automatically switch on the turbo mode (3.1GHz) without affecting your workflow. Apple did the great job in hardware utilization of the MacBook.

RAM

8GB ram is slightly low when compared to the other laptops.

Storage

256GB SSD works well with OS X and provides great performance.

Graphics

Intel Iris Graphics 550 is not too good but you can play some low graphics game without hassle.

Battery

One of the few laptops that able to maintain the battery life with the high performance.

Weight

Lightweight compact body design (3 lbs/1.3 kg).

Pros
  • Good Intel Core i5 processor
  • 13.3″ Retina ultra sharp display
  • Good RAM when considering the OS
  • Reliable and slim design
  • Lightweight easy to carry
  • Good battery life
  • Great OSX provide great performance
  • USB Type-C supported
Cons
  • Only 256 GB SSD provided
  • Somewhat costly

i7 7500U | Radeon R7 4GB | 16GB | 15.6″ 1080P IPS Touch | 5h  Wi-Fi browsing | 1 TB SSD

Dell Inspiron 15 comes with 1TB SSD that can provide faster performance and 4 GB Radeon graphics allow you to play most of the games easily. It is also a considerable option for CS students, that can bear the heavy task load easily.

Processor

Good! it is the latest version which comes with a Dual-Core i7-7500U, this 7th generation release is quite efficient, so there will be no compromise in the performance even when you work with your complex projects.

RAM

16GB DDR4 memory is perfect for all of the tasks.

Storage

1TB SSD is a solid implementation, that provides wonderful performance with high storage capacity.

Graphics

AMD Radeon R7-4GB graphics is a good option for playing most of the high graphics games.

Battery

Ok, about 5-hour battery life is not bad when considering the size and AMD graphics. and in the 21st century, you can find many plugs in public if whenever you are traveling.

Weight

Almost ok, 5.12lbs/2.32 is not too heavy when considering the size, and performance.

Extra

Backlit Keyboard allows you to work in the night without slowing down your speed and making any typing error.

Pros
  • Good performance Intel Core i7 7500 U processor
  • Dedicated AMD Radeon R7 4GB graphics card
  • Full HD 16.6″ IPS touchscreen
  • Backlit Keyboard
  • Stereo MaxxAudioR Pro sound
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 1TB Solid State Drive
Cons
  • Average battery life
  • Somewhat heavy
  • No USB Type-C

Best Laptops For Computer Science Majors – Buyer’s Guide

As we said in the starting, we asked some questions and according to our research and survey. We converted this information into a buyer’s guide.

Below are some important points that are based on our survey, so that will help you to pick a good laptop for you.

So, what are the key points that should be considered before purchasing the best laptop for computer science students?

Which processor is good for CS students?

As a computer science student, probably you do coding in several languages like Java, Python, PHP, Ruby, Prolog, Haskell, C, C++, Objective – C and many more.

Here, the interesting fact is that in these cases you don’t have to stretch your budget for high-end processors, a 2-core processor is sufficient for this load.

But when we asked the students, they state that.

They can bear the loading time of software (Normally, some programming software takes some time during launching approx 5 seconds) but don’t want interruption between the work.

What does this mean? A standard processor can work for you but it may slow down or even hang your computer during work. And you definitely don’t want that; a powerful processor increases the productivity and makes you a better programmer.

For best performance, you have to choose a laptop with an at least i5 processor or if you don’t have the budget issue then we recommend i7 processor.

How much RAM is sufficient for CS students?

According to our research, most of the students are using the laptop that has 8 GB of RAM.

But this is not the actual scenario, because most of them want to upgrade the memory size. And, some of them want but they can’t upgrade due to the laptop motherboard restriction. I mean the motherboard of the laptop doesn’t allow memory more than 8GB.

So, finally, I recommend a laptop with 12 GB of RAM, however, you can go with 8 GB of ram but make sure that is upgradable in the future.

The more ram allows you to multitask faster, and freedom to open multiple application at the same time. But it doesn’t mean that the more RAM speeds up your computer like a rocket. If you don’t do multitask or use few of the application then 8 GB Ram is perfect.

When we talk about the storage, this totally depends on your needs.

Nowadays, most of the laptops come with 1TB of storage capacity, and this is sufficient in most of the cases. But if you tend to storage more videos then you can also go with above. But personally, I recommend at least 1TB storage should be in a laptop for a CS student.

Wait, the most important thing we didn’t tell you yet. which technology of the hard disk should you choose for a laptop?

You probably know about the SSD hard drives, they are a lot faster, reliable and lighter than the traditional, and they consume the less power. This is the most important factor of the hard drive when we are talking about laptops because your laptop battery will love them.

I recommend that choose the laptop which is having SSD. However, if your budget is low then you can pick a laptop with at least 250 GB SSD. Because the OS will be installed in the SSD drive, so you will not feel any performance issue.

Again, the main point is that you can pick a laptop that offers 1 TB of storage with the 250 GB of SSD, in which SSD capacity you should not change. And if you can afford whole SSD storage then that will be the best.

If you can afford a MacBook (Which is the viable option) then, this point is not for you.

For the CS students, the laptop should compatible to run some Linux distro: Ubuntu, Fedora, Mint, Arch, Debian and so on. Though, this is not the big deal, because most of the laptops work efficiently and flawlessly with the Linux.

In general, still many people are comfortable with the windows, and you might need a dual boot setup environment. Then in this scenario, you should pick a laptop with 500 GB of SSD storage or at least 250GB + 1TB can work.

graphics card

This is not the most crucial requirement but it also matters if you also play games on your notebook.

First of all, we have to know which types of gamer are you? I mean, how much time do you spend to play games on the laptop and which types of games do you like (ultra-high graphics or light)?

If you always be excited to try the newly launched games, you should definitely pick the laptop with graphics cards like GTX 1080M, 1070M, 1060M. But if you are a casual gamer then Nvidia GTX 960M, 970M or 1050M will work fine.

And as a concern of memory of the graphics card, 2 GB is ideal for 960 M and 1060M in normal cases, but for the heavy gamers 4GB memory is strongly recommended, that will allow you to play High-quality games like Monster Hunter World, Far Cry, Fallout, Vampire etc.

Lightweight laptops are mostly liked by the students because they can use them on campus between lectures without hassle. And sometimes many peoples buy anyone laptop because that comes with the lightweight. Personally, I think this is not the most important reason to buy any laptop, because lightweight laptops having some downsides too.

Most of the slim laptop can’t be upgraded, if you will ever want to do that.

Moreover, due to their compact construction, they always suffer from the restrictive airflow, that makes them difficult to clean (Laptop should be clean at least one time in a year, which improve the life and performance and reduce the heating problem).

If you don’t know, I have also worked as a professional computer engineer, meantime I repaired the hundreds of laptops. And this is my personal experience. Most of the slim laptop is suffers from the heating problem after a long time.

So, please think before buying any slim laptop, if you really need the lightweight laptop then go for it, otherwise, avoid them.

laptop battery

Everyone wants the longest battery life of the laptops, and why not. Long battery backup allows you to work with freedom. And, you don’t need to take the “black brick” along with you everywhere. 

However, nowadays laptop chargers are being compressed by the manufacturer. But still, you have to take them with you if you want to charge

OK, then what does it mean of best battery life?

The best battery can juice up your laptop whole day. Whether you are working in the computer lab of the university or in a coffee shop, you don’t need to worry about the charging points.

But technically how can we judge the battery life of any laptop?

Manufacturers provide the battery run-time value according to their test. And they test the laptop with backup while browsing the internet over the Wireless connectivity, but they reduce the brightness level of the screen to show the better backup rating of the battery.

While, practically when we use our laptop, we approximately set the brightness level at least 40 to 80 percent or even on 100 percent (in bright sunlight). That’s why the value that is provided by the manufacturer for the battery run-time differ from the real life.

But how much difference is that?

You can get some idea with the following table that how much difference can be between the manufacturer rating and practically in the life.

 
Battery run-time cheat-sheet

Test

Result

Practically Backup

Our Grade

Manufacturers Specs 

6h

4h 30min

Average

Wi-Fi benchmark 

3h

2h 30min

Bad

Wi-Fi benchmark 

7h 45min

6h 40min

OK

Wi-Fi benchmark 

11h 25min

10h

Best

Conclusion

Finally, I want to say that don’t stress out about your laptop – just make sure that matches your needs and style of usage.

If you’re always on the go, don’t buy a big heavy laptop like 17″. And on the other hand, if you are looking for the powerful gaming rig into the compact body, don’t think about the small laptops like 13″ or 14″.

By the way, thank you for giving your time for reading this article. I hope you have got your best laptop. And if you have any suggestion or feedback, Please comment below.

Navigate to our Best Laptops For CS Majors

nootan kumar

ABOUT NOOTAN KUMAR

Nootan Kumar is a 24-years-old Blogger from India. He is a Cisco certified network engineer and currently doing the job in a reputed company. He is very enthusiastic about Computer gadgets and technology. Read more about him

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