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Best Laptop for Computer Science | Updated (April 2017)

best laptop for computer scienceBefore understanding what comprises the best laptop for computer science, it is important to know the demands of the field. When we talk about computer science as a profession, it is a discipline that involves understanding and design of computers and computational processes.

Computer science is the study of the theory, experimentation, and engineering that form the basis for the design and use of computers. – Wikipedia

Computer science is not just limited to programming. In fact, it goes far beyond that such as computer graphics and visualization and artificial intelligence. Software engineering, computer networking, database systems, computer graphics and operating systems are some of the areas that a computer science professional could pursue.

Given such a diverse work functions, a laptop for computer science would have to be top notch. However, in the end, it all depends about your extent of work.

Summary

Product
Price Scale
Screen Size
Processor
RAM
Graphics
Storage

HP ZBook 15

9/1015.6" IPS FHDIntel Core i7-4810MQ16 GB LPDDR3NVIDIA Quadro K610M256 GB SSD

Dell Precision M5510

10/1015.6" IPS FHDIntel Core i7-6820HK32 GB DDR 3NVIDIA Quadro M1000M512 SSD

Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575-33BM

2/1015.6" FHDIntel Core i3-7100U4 GB DDR 4Intel Integrated1 TB HDD 5400 RPM

2016 New Edition Dell Inspiron

2/1015.6" HDIntel Core i3-5015U4 GB DDR 3Intel Integrated1 TB HDD 5400 RPM

Lenovo Ideapad 510 80SV0058US

6/1015.6" IPS FHDIntel Core i7-7500U12 GB DDR 3NVIDIA GeForce 940MX256 GB SSD

Lenovo Flex 3

4/1015.6″ FHDIntel Core i7-6500U8 GB DDR3NVIDIA GeForce 940M1 TB HDD 5400 RPM

Dell Inspiron i5578-0050GRY

4.5/1015.6″ FHD IPS TouchIntel Core i5-7200u8GB DDR4Intel Integrated256 GB SSD

Dell Inspiron i7559-2512BLK

5.5/1015.6" FHDIntel Core i7-6700HQ8 GB DDR3 NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
1 TB HDD + 8 GB SSD

ASUS ZenBook Flip UX360CA-DBM2T

5.5/1013.3-Inch touch IPS FHDIntel Core M 6th Generation8GB DDR4Intel Integrated512 GB SSD

A Versatile Laptop for a Diverse Field

It should be understandable from the definition alone that computer science is a vast field. It deals with less demanding tasks such as simple programming all the way to simulation.

A field like this needs a very powerful laptop. The best laptop for computer science is a workstation laptop. However, not everybody has the luxury to invest in such expensive machines.

The type of laptop that you choose depends on a lot on your demands and complexity of the work that you do. If you are involved with designing, simulation, artificial intelligence, then any casual laptop won’t do.

On the other hand, if your work deals only with stuff like the programming and coding aspect, then you any casual laptop would be perfect.

Select Your Best Laptop for Computer Science

The definition of the best laptop for computer science depends a lot on your needs and the complexity of the project you are working on. For some of you, the budget range would suffice; whereas; for others, only a high-performance laptop would make sense.

Workstation Laptop for Computer Science

Obviously, for most of you out there, the best laptop for computer science would be workstation laptops. After all, there is nothing more powerful than these machines.

Even though they are profoundly expensive, if you work on cutting edge computer science projects, then these are merely your tools of the trade.

Here are some of the top rated workstation grade laptop for computer science.

A Few Great Workstation Laptops

HP ZBook

HP Zbook 15 G2

Specs at a glance: 15.6 inch FHD, Intel Core i7-4810MQ, NVIDIA Quadro K610M, 16 GB RAM, 256 GB HDD

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Dell precission

Dell Precision M5510

Specs at a glance: 15.6 inch FHD, Intel Core i7-6820HK, NVIDIA Quadro M1000M, 32 GB RAM, 512 GB HDD

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What are Quadro Graphics Cards?

Nvidia’s Quadro and AMD’s FirePro are graphics card that are intended to be used specifically for workstation and professional environments. They are not built for gaming, but for demanding simulations tasks.

These are graphics designed for computer-aided design (CAD), computer-generated imagery (CGI), digital content creation (DCC) applications.

In terms of gaming, the GTX or the Radeon will always out perform their workstation grade counterparts. But, if your primary requirement is to have a workstation, then you can most certainly game too with these graphics card.

Budget Laptops for Computer Science

Look most of you must be thinking, these laptops cannot possibly for computer science. To an extent you are right. These are not laptop for computer science PROFESSIONALS. However, if you are just starting out your courses and want something on which you can code comfortably, they are amazing,

Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575-33BM

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Just to let you know that this laptop has been the Best Seller on Amazon for quite some time. It is one of the those phenomenal budget laptops that surface once in a while on the market.

This classy and attractive laptop by Acer has a 7th generation Intel Core i3 processor inside that guarantees a relatively fast and uninterrupted performance. This is obviously not the most powerful processor out there, but for the price you can’t ask for more.

It has a 15.6-inch widescreen with full HD display and the ColorBlast technology that ensures the best quality of images is displayed. The screen resolution is 1920 x 1080 pixels. Again, this is one of the biggest advantages of this otherwise very cheap laptop. The laptop offers ample storage space of 1 TB and 4 GB dual channel memory.

In terms of connectivity, Acer offers a wide variety of ports which make it easy to extend the connection to other multimedia devices. There is Bluetooth along with Wifi. Then there is one USB type C ports, 2 for type 3 ports and one for type 2. HDMI Port is also provided for interfacing with display devices.

Specs at a glance: 15.6 inch FHD, Intel Core i3-7100U, Integrated Graphics, 4 GB DDR3 RAM, 1 TB HDD

Pros

  • Latest 7th generation Intel Core i3 processor
  • Amazing value for budget oriented
  • Long 12 hours of rated battery life

Cons

  • Thicker than standard
  • Will suffer from lag or heavier operations

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Dell Inspiron Premium High-Performance Laptop

dell laptop for computer science

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If you are looking for an even cheaper laptop than the Acer laptop above, then you are in luck with this.

Of course, there are much cheaper laptops out there; however, we do not recommend anything lower than a Core i3 processor. This is to ensure a smooth performance at least with the low level tasks.

Dell introduces this laptop with Intel Core i3 processor with speed up to 2.1 GHz. It has a 15.6-inch wide screen with HD and backlit display. There is nothing too fancy about this laptop. The only fantastic aspect of this laptop is that it manages to fit a suitable Core i3 processor at a very cheap price tag.

The screen resolution is 1366 x 768 pixels, which is average for such laptops. This is basically a laptop that is designed for basic programming and coding. The laptop’s connectivity has a wide variety of ports. There is one for Bluetooth, microphone/headphone, HDMI, and display.

The laptop offers 4 GB of RAM (expandable up to 8 GB) and 1 TB of HDD. If you are looking for the best computer science laptop for students on a low budget, then you can consider this.

The lithium battery installed inside works for good 8 hours without needing another charge. This is essential for those who are on the go.

Specs at a glance: 15.6 inch HD, Intel Core i3-5015U, Integrated Graphics, 4 GB DDR3 RAM, 1 TB HDD

Pros

  • Slim and sleek; measures only at 0.9 inches in thickness
  • Up to 8 hours of battery time

Cons

  • Only HD resolution means you cannot multitask efficiently
  • 5th generation processor is two generations older.

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Mid-Range Laptops for Computer Science

The best laptop for computer science below are for those who have become quite comfortable with the subject matter. They are not at an advanced level yet, but they are on their way.

You can perform projects with sizeable development complexity with these laptops without any issues.

Lenovo Ideapad 510 80SV0058US

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This laptop can definitely handle almost everything that you throw at it. Is this the laptop for computer science? Again, that depends on your needs.

There are far more powerful and expensive laptops available in the market. However, this laptop isn’t too bad for most average professionals out there.

Powered by latest 7th generation processors, Lenovo Ideapad is sure to give you the performance you need for work and entertainment both. This laptop is the definition of a mid range laptop for computer science.

The laptop has several models; this particular model comes with Intel Core i7-7500U processor. For those of you who know their processors, you will be quick to point out this is a dual core processor, not a quad-core. The quad core variant of the i7 processors for laptops end with MQ or HQ.

Nevertheless, for the price, this is one of the fastest processors there is. This best laptop for computer science also boasts Nvidia GeForce 940 MX graphics card. Although this is just an entry level graphics card, projects that require some graphics power will find this perfect for their use.

One of the best features of this laptop is that it comes with a whopping 12 GB of DDR 4 RAM along with 256 GB of SSD. This configuration is essential for projects that are complex.

Furthermore, the backlit keyboard allows the user to work even in lowlight environments and dim lit rooms. HD webcam makes video calling much more impressive as the results are very clear.

This laptop comes with an optical drive. The overall power consumption of this laptop is light, and the battery goes up to 5 hours on video playing.

The Full HD display features IPS panel gives wide viewing angles and much better visuals than conventional TN screen.

Specs at a glance: 15.6 inch IPS FHD, Intel Core i7-7500U, Integrated Graphics, 12 GB DDR4 RAM, 256 GB SSD, optical drive

Pros

  • Thin, light and elegant
  • The hardware components hail from the latest generation
  • Capable of gaming at low level
  • Internal optical drive is a huge plus point

Cons

  • 256 GB, albeit SSD, could be lacking to some

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Lenovo Flex 3 Full HD Convertible Touchscreen Laptop

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Do not get put off the by “certified refurbished” label on this laptop as it offers an extraordinary value.

This is a hybrid laptop that has a wide 15.6 inch Touchscreen with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. Who doesn’t like the hybrid laptops? This laptop is a hinge rotate type hybrid laptop that has the perfect combination of hardware for moderately complex projects.

Inside is the Intel Core i7-6500U Dual Core processor that boasts up to a speed of 3.1 GHz. Couple this processor with 8 GB of RAM and you get a powerhouse for computer science. Moreover, NVIDIA GeForce 940M graphics card provide is essential for light game development.

For connectivity, all the main ports are provided like Bluetooth, HDMI, VGA and display. USB and internet ports are also given. The battery works for 6 hours without a recharge.

Specs at a glance: 15.6 inch FHD Touch, Intel Core i7-6500U, NVIDIA Geforce 940M, 8 GB DDR4 RAM, 1 TB HDD

Pros

  • Convertible design enables you to use it in various modes
  • Great hardware for the price

Cons

  • Has a certified refurbished label
  • Thick and heavy for a convertible laptop

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Dell Inspiron i5578-2451GRY FHD Laptop

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This stylish hybrid laptop by Dell has a 7th generation Intel Core i5 inside which has a speed up to 3.10 GHz. Although this is a not a Core i7 processor, it can still perform a multitude of tasks related to computer science.

The Intel Core i5-7200U is not the fastest processor around, it is one of the most decent ones. Plus, this processor is much cheaper than the high Core i7 processor.

It has a wide 15.6-inch screen with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and built-in IPS panel for wide viewing angles.

The laptop offers 8 GB DDR 4 RAM with 2400 MHz frequency. This can be expanded up to 16 GB if you wish. This notebook offers 1 TB of HDD as well.

The versatile laptop allows the user to bend it in different ways and modes, so to fulfill their usage requirements. This is a great laptop for coomputer science professionals. It is stylish and functional.

Specs at a glance: 15.6 inch IPS FHD Touch, Intel Core i5-7200U, 8 GB DDR4 RAM, 1 TB HDD

Pros

  • Convertible design enables you to use it in various modes
  • The screen is a beauty to behold

Cons

  • Lack of SSD disables it from being the best laptop for computer science.

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Dell Inspiron i7559-2512BLK FHD Laptop – Highly Recommended Best Laptop for Computer Science

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This machine is my recommendation as the best laptop for computer science. It has a remarkable value with an excellent high-performance hardware.

This laptop by Dell has Intel Quad Core i7-6700HQ processor that has hyper-threading enabled. This is one of the most powerful processors that you can get for a laptop.

Along with that, this laptop boasts Nvidia GeForce GTX 960M graphic card which allows for fantastic game development and an enjoyable gaming time as well. If you are computer science student who works with visuals, then this is the laptop for you.

This laptop also has a unique hard disk called Solid State Hybrid Drive or SSD. This hard drive has 1 TB of conventional HDD storage and 8 GB of SSD space.

The display is 15.6 inches wide with built-in IPS panel for wide viewing angles. The screen resolution is 1920 x 1080 pixels. Backlit keyboard lets the user work late at night and in dim lit rooms. People were satisfied with most of the features except the audio system, which they found as lacking.

Specs at a glance: 15.6 inch IPS FHD Touch, Intel Core i7-6700HQ, 8 GB DDR3 RAM, 1 TB + 8 GB HSSD

Pros

  • A powerful Quad Core Intel Core i7 processor
  • HSSD offers the best of both a normal HDD and SSD
  • A fairly powerful graphics card makes it gaming grade

Cons

  • The RAM is a bit lacking

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Light Weight Premium Laptops for Computer Science

These are the best laptop for computer science professionals who appreciate mobility. These laptops are not meant to carry out incredibly complex projects; however, their mobility aspect gives them a huge edge over other laptops.

They are not only thin, but they also have some of the longest battery times.

Needless to say, these ultrabooks are made of premium quality and are supremely good looking.

ASUS Zen Book Flip UX360CA-DBM2T Laptop

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ASUS Zenbook is synonymous with premium Ultrabooks for Windows. These are some of the most elegant and classy laptops in the market. To many computer science professionals, looks don’t matter much. However, the mobility aspect cannot be denied.

This is a 13.3-inch laptop with an IPS FHD touchscreen. This ultrabook can turn itself to become a laptop. So this is a hybrid ultrabook. The screen size and the weight would allow you to work in the tablet mode with much ease.

This laptop has been manufactured with the 6th generation Intel Core M processor. The processing speed is not the best in the world, but that is a sacrifice that you should be willing to make for portability.

There certainly are Ultrabooks laptop that offers up to Intel Core i7-7500U. However, they are very expensive.

Ample storage is provided with 512 GB solid state drive and 8GB of RAM. Regarding connectivity, the following ports are available; there is ports for USB type C and 3, Bluetooth, HDMI, Wi-Fi and the usual microphone/headphone jack.

Cortana application allows the user to interact with the computer without having to use the mouse or any touch system; all he/she has to do is tell it to CORTANA.

Specs at a glance: 13.3 inch IPS FHD Touch, Intel Core M 6th Generation, 8 GB RAM, 512 GB SSD

Pros

  • Huge 512 GB of powerful SSD
  • Thin and light with a very long battery life
  • Processor and hardware designed to conserve battery

Cons

  • Not suitable for demanding operations
  • No graphics card

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Toshiba Satellite Fusion 15 2-in-1 Notebook

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What a beauty to behold. This is a hybrid Ultrabook by Toshiba. It has an awesome value for money and a very light weight profile. This laptop has a 15.6-inch widescreen display with full HD resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. The screen has built-in IPS panel that gives wide viewing angles and great colors.

On top of all that, the screen also supports ten-finger multi-touch which gives the user another dimension to interact with the machine. At the center of this laptop lies Intel Core i5-6500U dual-core processor that has a max speed of 2.8 GHz per core. Along with that, it has an 8 GB of RAM.

The only drawback for this otherwise great laptop is that it lacks an SSD. This laptop offers 1 TB of conventional HDD. A lot of storage means that large data files can easily be stored.

Specs at a glance: 15.6 inch IPS FHD Touch, Intel Core i5-6200U, 8 GB RAM, 1 TB HDD

Pros

  • 15.6 inch is comfortable to work on
  • Beautiful form factor with a fairly powerful hardware.

Cons

  • Lacks an SSD
  • Not as portable as 13.3 inch ultrabooks

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Specs to Look Out For

In any case, an average laptop for computer science should be able to meet the minimum professional demands. For instance, in place of the processor Intel Core i3 6th generation minimum is preferred. A dedicated NVIDIA or AMD graphics card is preferred along with at least 8GB of memory.

As far as the OS is concerned, you can work with any. However, as the professionals will tell you, their OS of choice is Linux. You need not worry about getting a laptop pre-installed with Linux as it is a free OS. You can download and dual boot your Windows laptops quickly. These are just some of the necessary requirements. Below is a list of all the laptops for anyone involved in the field of computer science.