10 Best Laptops for Computer Science

Best Laptops for Computer Science

The best laptop for computer science is the Apple MacBook Pro. Its specs are built for coding, programming, and developing. 

Finding a laptop that one can depend on is crucial for computer science students as their learning curve can be quirky and complex at times.

Good hand-held computers are available in the market. It is easy to spot a laptop that has attractive physical features and has proven durability and efficiency. 

However, choosing portables should not only be based on what you want but rather what is appropriate for you, your work, and most especially, your educational needs. 

Each laptop model is designed to meet particular demands. Some units are workable for documents, video editing, and gaming. 

Though coding is possible for any type of laptop, deciding to purchase something that is not highly advised for your niche would raise a few conflicts and system issues later on. 

Top 10 Best Laptops for Computer Science

Apple MacBook Pro

Hailed as the best laptop for computer science students, the Apple MacBook Pro is the prime device of its kind. The brand is widely known to be the producer of leading hardware with high-value functionality. 

The Apple MacBook Pro is fit for the fortes of computer science — particularly the few ones that require an exceptional system to accomplish projects that include programming, designing, and developing software.

Some of its features include:

  • RAM: 16GB
  • Processor: 2.6GHz Intel Core i7 Processor
  • Display: 15-inch Retina Display
  • Storage: 256GB SSD
  • GPU: Radeon Pro 560X, Intel UHD Graphics 360

With a heavy-duty 16GB RAM and 2.6GHz 6-core i7 hexacore processor, the new MacBook Pro is the best Apple MacBook model created and developed. 

The Apple MacBook Pro is also built with a 256GB SSD which allows you to work with any complex programs or extreme coding. For students who would like to save their codes securely, the unit has an encrypted storage capability and enclaves a coprocessor through the T2 chip feature.

However, if you are completing a program for Windows, the Apple MacBook Pro might not be ideal to use. 

It can cause you to spend your time in mind-numbing work since you have to run a code afterward that is not likely compatible with what the Apple MacBook is made for. The purpose of acquiring the model will be defeated. 

Asus Zenbook 13 Ultra-Slim Laptop

Most students are looking for affordable yet premium-made laptops. The Asus Zenbook 13 Ultra-Slim Laptop is the perfect candidate for money-saving options. 

But although this specific Asus model costs less than its competitors, it already has everything that a computer science professional needs. 

Its features include:

  • RAM: 8GB LPDDR3 
  • Processor: 3.9 GHz 8th Gen Intel Core 15-8265U
  • Display: 13.3” Full HD Wideview
  • Storage: 512GB PCIe SSD
  • GPU: Intel HD Graphics 620

The specs of the Asus Zenbook 13 can provide you with the power to run any learning tool or software that you need to scan for a subject requirement. It comes with an Intel Core i5-8265U processor along with 512GB PCIe SSD, 8GB LPDDR3 RAM, and Intel 620 GPU. 

Its battery life can offer you a maximum of 11 hours of heavy usage, which means you can bring this model wirelessly anywhere even in places that have no plugs and charging destinations.

The Asus Zenbook 13 has a 13.3-inch IPS display with smaller bezels on the sides and its top surface that contribute to the laptop’s overall premium and aesthetic look — not to mention the entire panel is blindingly glossy. 

With much of its interesting highlights, the Asus Zenbook 13 is also roughly honest with their speaker quality. If you are planning to hit your favorite playlist in between your breaks, the Asus Zenbook 13 Ultra-Slim laptop is not the most advisable option. 

Dell XPS 9570 Laptop

Since the technology era dominated, Dell is one of the brands that was recognized as the developers of high-end and premium personal computers. 

Today, Dell produced another unit that will align with their impressive XPS line-up, the Dell XPS 9570. Compact with GPU GeForce GTX 1050Ti, 512GB SSD, 16GB RAM, an 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8750H CPU, anyone who has been looking for a tool upgrade will be down for this new powerful laptop in the market.

Some of the features of this laptop are the following:          

  • RAM: 16GB
  • Processor: 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8750 CPU
  • Display: 15.6” FHD
  • Storage: 5122GB SSD
  • GPU: GeForce GTX 1050Ti

The Dell XPS 9570 flaunts its surge of elegance evidently in its display features. The laptop is finished with a superb 4k display, complemented with a 4.0 oriented modern and industrial design, and sleek bezels. 

All are fittingly placed except for the unit’s webcam. There are testimonials where people complain about how such a feature is weirdly intact to the laptop.

Regardless of its minor webcam issue, the XPS 9560’s 4k, Ultra HD, and 1080p non-touchscreen will regain your trust as it displays a sharp and bright detail of beautiful matte 1920 x 1080. 

Those who have tried watching a movie through the XPS 9560 screen said that they forgot what the story was about — they only remembered how the elements of the screen made them excited. Getting the best of gaming and coding has never been this good.

Microsoft Surface Pro 6

The line-up for the Surface Pro 6 is a trusted option for detachable 2-in-1 laptops. The Surface Pro 6 provides convenience for people who wish to carry and work on a lightweight device but still delivering the best proficiency, unlike most tablets. 

The only downside of the previous models is their poor battery life which is somewhat understandable considering that they were made sleek and thin. 

Microsoft heard the cries and so the new Surface Pro 6 is about to change its less favorable history. 

The core features of the Microsoft Surface Pro 6 include:

  • RAM: 16 GB
  • Processor: 1.3 GHz Intel Core 17
  • Display: 12.3” PixelSense
  • Storage: 1TB
  • GPU: Intel UHD Graphics 620

Bring your coding and programming tasks to your travels with Surface Pro 6. The machine is specifically designed for flexible use, allowing students and professionals to work in a way that does not hinder them from fun outside screen time. 

The Surface Pro 6 is powerfully built with a high-performance processing command to handle multiple utilities and hefty programming software.

As promised, Microsoft launched the Surface Pro 6 with its impressive stellar battery life, ready for a sustained usage of about 8 hours. Now tasks and programming duties will be fulfilled even while outdoors. 

The Surface Pro 6 battery is 20% larger than the older models. Aside from such amazing highlights, the Surface Pro 6 is proud to introduce the laptop’s ergonomic keyboard and surface pen which has pressure modulation and controlled sensitivity — essentially a top-notch stylus.

HP Pavilion Gaming Laptop

Every science major needs an upscale system not only for programming but also for gaming. Not to distract you from all the coding, the HP Pavilion Gaming laptop simply introduces a diversion to your screen time, as everyone could use a break before getting back on track. 

HP’s Pavilion Gaming has been able to maintain its good reputation for developing power-packed machines through the years.

Its features include:

  • RAM: 8GB DDR4-2666 SDRAM (not upgradable)
  • Processor: 4GHz Intel 8th Gen i5+8300H
  • Display: 15.6” FHP IPS
  • Storage: 16GB Intel Optane Memory, 1TB HDD
  • GPU: NVIDIA GTX 1050Ti 4GB

With an affordable price of $800, you will get to enjoy the ultimate sufficiency brought by The 2018 HP Pavilion’s full performance-packed features. 

The stated specs assure an excellent and astounding capacity to carry out heavy tasking such as coding a program, running a computer software, and of course, playing large GB PC games. 

The HP Gaming Laptop is a beast you’d want to invite in your nook with its GTX 1050Ti 4GB GPU, 1TB HDD storage, Intel Core i5-8300H CPU, and 8GB DDR4 RAM.

HP ensures a fun and productive time by offering 9 hours of battery life for substantial usage. 

While you are getting the best of its features, bear in mind that the HP Pavilion is not heat-friendly as its entire composition is made of plastic and zero metal casing. Avoid running VB Studio, MATLAB, and similar software that will likely cause intensive heat to the system. 

Also, the HP Pavilion is not totally portable because it has a size of 15.6 inches with an estimated weight of 5 lbs. 

ASUS TUF FX505DT Gaming Laptop

The ASUS TUF is known for its affordable gaming laptops targeting users who are looking for budget-friendly units where they can play and work on heavy-duty software or programs. 

Although the ASUS TUF FX505DT does not have luxurious and posh features, the brand claims that they give more value to its internal perks. 

The ASUS FX505DT is recognized as one of the most outstanding AMD-powered laptops ever created, boasting of the following features: 

  • RAM: 16GB DDR4
  • Processor: 4 GHz AMD Ryzen 7 R7-3750H
  • Display: 15.6” 120Hz FHD IPS-Type
  • Storage: 256GB PCIe SSD + 1TB HDD
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660Ti

The RAM of ASUS  FX505DT is sufficient enough to smoothly run tools such as Intellij IDEA and PyCharm, but it can also expand up to 32GB. 

Plus, with 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD storage, you’ll instantly feel that anything is possible. 

Such features are mostly overlooked by some students because their decision-making can sometimes be blinded by the physical aspects of high-end laptops.    

Similar to other brands, the ASUS FX505FDT also has shortcomings. 

Its battery life can only guarantee a 5-hour usage, so you have to budget your time wisely when doing your programming tasks in places without charging docks. 

Furthermore, the SUS FX505DT is made of plastic, which means heavy software that can trigger extreme heat to the system is not encouraged. 

HP ENVY 13” Thin Laptop w/ Fingerprint Reader

The ENVY 13 by HP comes with a 4K high-resolution touch screen, a 512GB SSD with NVIDIA GeForce MX250 Graphics Card, and an Intel Core i7-8565U processor. 

The brand is popularly known as a producer of an elegant and sophisticated line-up of HP laptops. The HP Envy 13 is an additional collection that will contribute to its unwavering reputation of plain aesthetics.

Some features of this laptop include:

  • CPU: 1.8 GHz Intel Core i7-8565U
  • Display: 13.3-inch 4K Touchscreen
  • Storage: 512GB SSD
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce MX250 Graphics

The Envy 13 weighs 2.8 lbs. with a width of 0.6 inches. Its physical features defeat other portable laptops when it comes to providing easy and handy devices for students who are always on the go. 

Users will also be amazed by the vibrant and sharp colors oozing out from Envy 13’s 4k high-resolution. Designed with a responsive and touch-sensitive screen, the experience when using drawing apps such as Sketch and Snip is incomparable.

If you do not prefer tablet pens, you could also use wireframing tools to design the UI or UX of the application you developed. 

The great combination of the features such as 512GB SSD, 16GB SDRAM, and an i7-8565U processor can transform your working performance in a blaze. 

Even if you are opening multiple tabs while compiling code or debugging, you will feel at ease knowing the system can withstand all the deployed operations.

Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop PC

A powerful and high-end laptop can only be a distant dream for most computer science students. Because of its price, it is sought that owning one is quite impossible — until now.

The Acer Predator Helios 300 will make you think otherwise. Its features are highly remarkable even though it has a price similar to a mid-range laptop.

Some features you can enjoy include:

  • RAM: 16GB DDR4
  • Processor: 4.5 GHz Intel i7-9750H
  • Display: 15.6” Full HD 144Hz 3ms
  • Storage: 256GB PCIe NVMe SSD 
  • GPU: GTX 1660 Ti 6GB

The Helios 300 is composed of a metal back panel and keyboard, while the screen bezel, bottom surface, and palm-rest area are made of plastic. The unit can protect your lap from the burning heat — even though it has a plastic material. 

This is because it is designed to be a high-performing laptop. For streaming to playing graphical-themed games, the Helios 300 offers a total of 300 units for its screen that makes it visible regardless of the available light in the room.

Programming and other tasks of computer science majors can sometimes demand many hours of coding. But the screen of the Helios 300 will protect your eyes from heavy lighting which could trigger soreness when overly exposed. 

The rest of the systems like GPU are also dependable when pulling an all-nighter task. Throw any complex settings and find no performance problems.

Flagship Dell Inspiron 15

If you have been looking for a Dell line-up that is not too expensive nor overly underrated, the Flagship Dell Inspiron 15 is the puzzle piece that will complete your overall screen time experience. 

Its cost goes along with mid-range laptops in the market but other models are nowhere close when it comes to high-end-like performance and a stunning aluminum body with an exquisite 4K display.

The Dell Inspiron 15 is an all-in-one unit perfect for those geeks who want a large performance-packed tool.

It has the following features: 

  • RAM: 16GB DDR4
  • Processor: 2.7 GHz Intel Dual-Core i7-7500U
  • Display: 15.6” Touch FHD
  • Storage: 1TB SSD 4GB
  • GPU: AMD Radeon R7 M445

Users deemed that the Flagship Dell Inspiron 15 is a laptop that screams “high-end”. 

Aside from its student-friendly price, computer science scholars would find themselves in awe the moment they discover the full potential of Dell Inspiron 15 when it comes to providing a solid-state drive system brought by 1TB SSD, 7th Generation Intel Core i7-7500U Processor, 16GB DD4 RAM, and 1TB SSD. 

Indeed, a steal for a laptop that has a low price-point.

The Dell Inspiron 15 helps you balance your work and leisure hours. It runs efficiently when you are debugging a code on Eclipse software during the daytime. 

You can also enjoy playing Witcher 3 at night in high settings. Moreover, if there is an upcoming project at school you want to ace, the Dell Inspiron 15 will be your loyal sidekick to help you accomplish it via Microsoft Visual Studio.

Lenovo Yoga C930 2-in-1

Get comfortable using the Lenovo Yoga C930 2-in-1 laptop, featuring its quality display, good battery life, and delicate hinge. 

The Yoga C930 is the brand’s new ground for maintaining its reputation of high-powered units. 

Two of the intriguing features of the laptop cover the people’s fondness of enhancing privacy through a webcam cover and built-in slot stylus.

Other notable features include:

  • RAM: 16GB DDR4
  • CPU: 4GHz Intel i7
  • Display: 13.9” 4K UHD Touch-Screen 
  • Storage: ITB PCI-e SSD 
  • GPU: Intel HD Graphics 620  

While a computer science major uses laptops for debugging or programming software, the Lenovo Yoga C930 is also a portable tool for taking down notes whether for project documentation or class discussions. 

The Yoga C930 comes with a soundbar speaker that is built in a cylindrical surface with a few tiny holes that make its dual-speaker perfect for a good sound bite while doing tasks.

The Yoga C930’s excellent features, namely 256GB PCIe NVMe, Intel Core i7-8550U CPU, and 12GB RAM, allow you to open a maximum of 12 Chrome tabs while running MATLAB, and rolling up 1080p videos in a breeze. 

Lenovo made sure that their product will perform the expected sufficiency from a stellar reliable machine. 

Though if you are a gamer student, then the Yoga C930 might not be the ideal unit for you since it only has an Intel HD Graphics 620 GPU — not quite coherent, especially for modern gaming platforms.

Recommended System Requirements


The Central  Processing Unit or CPU is integral in choosing a laptop that will fit your needs. 

The recommended CPU for any personal computer is the Intel Core i7 and i5, especially if your programs and software specifically require intel-efficient systems. 

For AMD processors, one must aim for a Ryzen 5 and 7. 

Considering the complexity of a computer science major’s tasks, the processors must have adequate power for debugging or compiling codes while also handling demanding project designs.

Tech experts highly advise students and working professionals who are in the realm of computer science to purchase a laptop with a fast processor to avoid having issues moving forward. 

It’s better to prevent such conflicts beforehand than to deal with them in the middle of running software.


As much as possible, try to save some money and grab an SSD instead of an HDD. 

An SSD will keep your storage efficient and boost your workflow. If a laptop has a limited capacity to hold storage and you need to find a compilation of codes from a long time ago, then you’ll probably have difficulty recovering it. Or worse, the system deleted it automatically due to the lack of space.

The SSD is a lot swifter than HDD. SSD is not mandated, but if you are a computer science major, there is a big chance that you will be introduced to heavy and loaded programs such as Android Studio, Microsoft Visual Studio, and other similar software — and by then you will appreciate how fast a storage system should be.

Graphics Card

If your laptop is only for educational purposes, then having a prime graphics card is not really necessary. 

The AMD hardware and modern Intel of some laptop units arrive with integrated graphics that are more than enough for your programming needs. 

Gaming could be out of your concern, but there are available dedicated graphics cards if you want to have fun in between your breaks, or if you are simply trying out a game platform you developed.


The display is a system requirement that no computer science major should overlook. 

More than the storage and processing power, the display must be highly considered and sought out before buying any brand new laptop. 

The display is an important feature of any unit since you will spend more time facing the screen, and therefore you have to protect your eyes from radiation or the strong lights that can strain them.


As a student or a professional working in the computer industry, keeping a lot of software applications, documents and files is part of your activities on top of all the coding. 

In this case, you need sufficient RAM to multitask and pull-off any systems you need to run.


Laptops are constantly developing and emerging into greater devices in order to meet the needs of individuals, especially students who are under a computer science degree. 

Not only to improve programming and coding features, but the brands are producing more modern units that can align with the lifestyle of the young generation and the future social innovators.

Jonathan Holmes

Jonathan Holmes is a writer for HKS Siblab, an education and business blog. He has a MSc in Cyber Security & Digital Forensics from the University of Hertfordshire and has been working in the cyber security industry since 2010. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, playing guitar and spending time with his family.

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