Best Laptops for Computer Science Students of 2017

For any computer science major, a powerful and reliable laptop for computer science course is necessary.

The field goes beyond just mere programming into other areas of technical knowhow such as computer graphics, computer networking, artificial intelligence, and database systems.

In short, you need to understand computers and their processes of computation.

To succeed in your studies as a computer science major, there is no way you can walk in your classroom every day with an unreliable laptop – or no laptop at all. And given that a laptop is a must-have, how exactly do you choose one?

Rank

Image

Product Name

Editor's Rating

Price

#1

Asus ZenBook laptop for computer science

Asus Zenbook

#2

Dell XPS 13

Dell XPS 13

#3

Apple MacBook Air

Apple MacBook Air

#4

Asus VivoBook E403SA

Asus VivoBook E403SA

#5

Acer Aspire E15 E5-575G-75MD

Acer Aspire E15 E5-575G-75MD

In this article, we will cover the best laptops for computer science students. We will also feature the specs of each product.

After reading the article, you will be able to find a laptop to suit your needs and you will not have to look anywhere else. Let us get right into it.

What is the Best Laptop for Computer Science?

1. Asus ZenBook

Asus ZenBook laptop for computer science

If you are looking for a good laptop for computer science that is slim and portable with longer battery life and can work with heavy IDEs such as Visual Studio, the Asus ZenBook is your best choice.

This laptop features:

  • A full High Definition 13.3-inch display
  • A 1920 x 1080 pixels screen resolution
  • A 8 GB DDR3 RAM
  • A 2.5GHz Core i5-7200U processor
  • A 256 GB Solid State Drive for storage
  • Intel HD Graphics card

You also get two USB 3.0 ports, connectivity with HDMI, 802.11 as wireless type, D-SUB, SD card reader and an average battery life of 12 hours. Moreover, you get a built-in finger print reader.

A combination of the processor, the RAM, and the storage allows for rapid start-ups and opening of application programs.

The keyboard boasts an ergonomic design and coupled with a long battery life, you can work comfortably for long hours. This machine can easily work with any heavy program.

Pros

  • Portable and thin
  • Long battery life
  • Works with heavy IDEs
  • Full HD resolution display
  • Finger print reader for easy login

Cons

  • The keyboard is not of high quality.
  • Lacks optical drive
  • It has only 2 USB ports

2. Dell XPS 13

Dell XPS 13

Dell XPS 13 is one of the best laptops for computer engineering students that easily support major developing environments such as Visual Studio and Android Emulators.

This laptop features:

  • A 8GB DDR3 RAM
  • A 3.5GHz Intel Core i7-7500u processor dual-core with a 4MB cache
  • A 256 GB SSD for storage
  • An Intel Iris Graphics GPU
  • A 13.3-inch Screen display for the touch and non-touch models
  • A screen resolution 1920X1080 full HD
  • Supports connectivity including 802.11a, 802.11ac, 802.11g, 802.11n wireless type and Bluetooth 4.1

With the Thunderbolt 3, this machine can become a full workstation that handles multiple monitors.

With this laptop, you cannot program iOS devices but you do get compatibility with Linux Systems. That notwithstanding, this machine can handle any coding and development related to computer science.

The touch screen model comes with an Infinity Edge Touchscreen display with 3200 x 1800-screen resolution that produces sharp pictures.

Pros

  • It has a 7th Generation Core i7 processor
  • Touchscreen capabilities available
  • Long battery life
  • It has a Thunderbolt 3 connectivity port
  • Compatibility with Linux Systems

Cons

  • Battery life is rivalled by MacBook Air
  • A rather small keyboard
  • Pricey due to the display
  • No optical drive

3. Apple MacBook Air

Apple MacBook Air

Apple MacBook Air is a very popular laptop among computer science students and professors alike. Although it is a UNIX-based machine, it can run Linux based programs.

A fun fact, it has preinstalled languages such as Python, Java, and C++, saving you the headache of finding IDEs to program Android and iOS applications.

This laptop features:

  • A 1.6 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor with a 3 MB cache
  • 8 GB-1600MHz LPDDR3 RAM
  • A 256 GB PCIe-based flash storage
  • A 13.3-inch screen display with a resolution of 1440 x 900 pixels
  • An Intel HD Graphics
  • A battery life of about 12 hours

This machine can run pretty much any software with ease and boasts of a very good performance. The SSD provides for fast booting of the machine and great performance with software as well.

Apple MacBook Air may seem pricey. But if you have the cash, get yourself one. And you’ll always be a happy person.

Pros

  • Thin and portable
  • Solid state storage
  • A very good battery life
  • Faster access to data
  • Thunderbolt 2 port for connecting to the latest devices

Cons

  • Outdated CPU compared to other rivals; 5th Generation processors
  • It lacks HD display
  • It has no touch screen

4. Asus VivoBook E403SA

Asus VivoBook E403SA

If you are looking for a low budget, Windows-based laptop for computer science majors with good performance and awesome features, try Asus VivoBook E403SA. What you get is a stylish, functional, and portable machine that has a superb aluminium finish.

Do not dare to underestimate the processor because it can run Visual Studio and other heavy code editors. This machine can also multitask.

The laptop features:

  • A 14-inch Screen display
  • A 1920 x 1080 Screen resolution with Full HD
  • A 4 GB DDR3 RAM
  • A 128 GB eMMC Flash storage
  • A 1.6 GHz Intel Quad-Core processor
  • An Intel HD Graphics
  • Wireless connectivity of 802.11ac

This laptop definitely supports the next-generation type of connectivity, the Bluetooth 4.0, USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports and a HDMI.

It comes with a preinstalled Windows 10 Signature edition. The storage capacity coupled with the memory provides for quick booting and incredible performance of various applications.

The processor is efficient in terms of power usage. You can thus work for long hours without worrying about a dying battery.

To avoid the embarrassment of a laptop with a noisy fan causing everyone at the library to keep looking at you, this laptop has a fanless design to control the noise. This design uses a passive way of heat release rather than a fan, and thus less noise.

Pros

  • Thin, light and portable
  • Fast boot up
  • A full sized keyboard
  • Battery life of up to 14 hours
  • A multi-gesture touchpad

Cons

  • Possibility of running out of storage
  • The eMMC is not a true SSD
  • Limited RAM makes it difficult to run some virtual machines or app development software
  • The speakers face upwards
  • The keyboard has no light

5. Acer Aspire E15 E5-575G-75MD

Acer Aspire E15 E5-575G-75MD

Here we have the best laptop for computer science majors that provides you with epic performance, colourful display, quality build and high-level specs to suit your needs. App development software, virtual machines, heavy IDEs, this machine will run them and not break a sweat.

You have the freedom to complete your daily task, thanks to a battery with longer life. It has a Windows 10 Home, which many students, by now, are quite familiar with.

This laptop features:

  • A 8GB DDR4 memory
  • A 256 GB Solid State Drive
  • NVIDIA GeForce
  • A 2.7 GHz Intel i7 7th generation processor
  • A 15.6-inch screen with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • A full HD and 802.11ac wireless type connectivity

This laptop provides you with excellent performance. The NVIDIA GeForce 940MX graphics with 2GB memory is designed to handle any demanding software.

The processor, an Intel Core i7, provides you with more power and coupled with a long battery life, you get to enhance your productivity for long. You simply get more work done easily.

During rest, you have built-in stereo speakers for music. And if you are a heavy gamer, the processor and the graphics have you covered.

Pros

  • Incredible components at a budget-like price
  • Speedy SSD allowing fast and smooth boot
  • Powerful graphics
  • Long battery life

Cons

  • It lacks wide viewing angle
  • The keyboard is slightly uncomfortable
  • The cooling system is not so well placed

A Buyer Guide of the Best Laptops for Computer Science Students

Here are a few important things to consider before buying a laptop for computer science.

1. Operating System

The operating system manages your computer’s hardware and software. When buying a laptop, you have a choice of three: Windows OS, MAC OS and Chrome OS. Choose an operating system you are comfortable with and suits your needs.

2. Screen size
computer screen size

This is usually based on the user’s preference. A heavy gamer, for example, would want a larger screen for the ultimate gaming experience. A gaming laptop should have screen of about 17 inches while a laptop for simple office work can have a screen of 15 inches.

3. The Central Processing Unit (CPU)

The Central Processing Unit is a very important factor to put into consideration. It is the most important component of a good laptop to buy. We call it the brain of the machine.

The CPU determines the price of the laptop as well as its capabilities. Simply put, a powerful processer can handle complex tasks with ease. This is because of the number of core in a processer that allows it to multitask as and when required.

4. Random Access Memory (RAM)

RAM is the primary memory of a computer from which the processer easily and quickly accesses instructions to process. A high capacity RAM allows smooth and faster running of applications.

5. Check the Hard Drive
computer's hard drive

The capacity of the hard drive determines how much information you can store. You can also choose between an optical drive and a solid-state drive depending on your budget and needs.

6. Graphics Card

This component is for image creation. Based on your needs for the laptop, you can choose an appropriate graphics card.