Best Laptops for Computer Science Students 2020

Every college student needs a great laptop to get through school. If you’re a computer science student, you’re going to need a laptop with some advanced features for your coursework. As a computer science student, you’ll be doing most of your work on your device, so it’s important that your laptop is one that you can trust. 

But what really makes the ‘best laptop’? Is it something that has a long battery life, or one that has a solid keyboard? Well, let’s take a look at some of the options that are currently out there.

Best Laptops for Computer Science Students

A laptop is a major investment, so it’s important to make sure that the one you choose gives you real value for money. With so many different laptops on the market, it can be difficult to find one that is the right fit for your needs. We’ve rounded up some of the best laptops on the market for computer science students. 

Apple MacBook Pro

New Apple MacBook Pro (13-inch, 8GB RAM, 128GB Storage) - Silver
  • Quad-core 8th-Generation Intel Core i5 Processor
  • Brilliant Retina Display with True Tone technology
  • Touch Bar and Touch ID
  • Intel Iris Plus Graphics 645
  • Ultrafast SSD

It’s hard to go wrong with the classic MacBook Pro if you’re a computer science student. The most recent version of the MacBook Pro has an eight-core processor for plenty of power, as well as 8 GB of RAM and up to 8TB SSD of storage space. It comes in 16 and 13-inch display options, and has AMD Radeon Pro 5000M series graphics.

It has the sleek design that MacBooks are known for, and although it isn’t the lightest laptop on the market, it is very sturdy. MacBooks are great for any computer science student who also does visual and creative work, as you’ll have access to their full suite of creative software programs. The battery life on the MacBook is reliable as well, although it does wear down over time.

Overall, a Macbook is probably the best option for the majority of people. It’s great for casual use as well as programming, they have good warranties so you don’t need to worry about them breaking & you can easily install Linux on it if you wish.

Acer Predator Helios 300

Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop, Intel Core i7-9750H, GeForce GTX 1660 Ti, 15.6" Full HD 144Hz Display, 3ms Response Time, 16GB DDR4, 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD, RGB Backlit Keyboard, PH315-52-710B
  • 9th Generation Intel Core i7-9750H 6-Core Processor (Upto 4. 5 gramHz) with Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Graphics with 6 GB of dedicated GDDR6 VRAM
  • 15. 6" Full HD (1920 x 1080) Widescreen LED-backlit IPS display (144Hz Refresh Rate, 3ms Overdrive Response Time, 300nit Brightness & 72% NTSC)
  • 16 GB DDR4 2666MHz Memory, 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD (2 x PCIe M. 2 Slots | 1 Slot Open for Easy Upgrades) & 1 - Available Hard Drive Bay
  • Backlit Keyboard | LAN: Killer Gaming Network E2500 | Wireless: Killer DoubleShot Pro Wireless-AX 1650 WiFi 6 802. 11ac | 4th Gen All-Metal AeroBlade 3D Fan

This laptop is very popular among serious gamers, but many of its features make it a good choice for computer science students too. It has a large 15.6 inch screen with a powerful Intel six-core processor. If you need a laptop with reliable graphics, this one is a great choice, with a Nvidia GTX 1060 6GB graphics card. It has an excellent range of ports, so you can connect your laptop to several other devices.

The keyboard is extremely responsive – something that’s essential for gamers and is also very helpful for coding and other intensive activities. Although it’s large, it is very light and easy to carry around.

One potential downside to this laptop is the battery life – it doesn’t last as long as many other high-end laptops. However, for most people this won’t be an issue as the majority of the time you’ll be using it plugged in. The Predator Helios provides another awesome option for computer science students.

Microsoft Surface Pro 7

Microsoft Surface Pro 7 – 12.3" Touch-Screen - 10th Gen Intel Core i5 - 8GB Memory - 128GB SSD (Latest Model) – Platinum with Black Type Cover
  • Next-gen, best-in-class laptop with the versatility of a studio and tablet, so you can type, touch, draw, write, work, and play more naturally
  • Faster than surface pro 6, with a 10th gen intel core processor – redefining what’s possible in a thin and light computer.
  • More ways to connect, with both USB-c and USB-a ports for connecting to displays, docking stations and more, as well as accessory charging. Bluetooth: Bluetooth 5.0
  • Standout design that won’t weigh you down — ultra-slim and light surface pro 7 starts at just 1.70 pounds
  • All day battery life up to 10.5 hours, Plus the ability to go from empty to full faster — about 80 percent in just over an hour

The Microsoft Surface Pro is known for its sleek design, but it also offers great performance that make it a good option for computer science students. It has a two-in-one design that can function as a tablet or a traditional laptop computer, and it has a responsive touch screen that’s excellent for casual reading and scrolling.

The compatible Surface Pen is a very helpful tool that you can use for writing and drawing on the tablet. It has a full 16 GB of RAM memory and a full terabyte of storage. The sleek design makes it very portable, and despite its compact size, it has approximately six to eight hours of battery life. 

The only negative to the Surface Pro is the keyboard, which is pretty flimsy in comparison to some of the better made laptops here. However, that’s the compromise that you make if you want one of the most portable laptops out there.

Asus VivoBook S

ASUS VivoBook S Ultra Thin and Portable Laptop, Intel Core i5-8250U processor, 8GB DDR4 RAM, 256GB SSD, 15.6” FHD WideView Display, ASUS NanoEdge Bezel, S510UA-DS51
  • Powerful and efficient 8th Generation Intel Core i5-8250U Processor 1.8 GHz (Turbo up to 4.0 GHz)
  • 15.6" FHD (1920 x 1080) Wide View color-rich display.Wireless Data Network 802.11AC Bluetooth 4.1 Battery:3 Cells 42 Whrs Battery
  • High performance 256GB SSD and 8GB DDR4 RAM
  • Slim 14.2" wide, 0.7" thin; 0.3" ASUS Nano Edge bezel with 80% screen-to-body ratio
  • Comprehensive connections including USB 3.1 Type-C (Gen 1), USB 3.0, USB 2.0, and HDMI; Dual band 802.11ac Wi-Fi

This is another lightweight laptop option that is great for a busy computer science student who’s always on the go. One fun aspect of this laptop is the exterior design – it’s available in several different colors and is a great way to show off your style without sacrificing functionality. The laptop weighs about three pounds, but the efficient design has a full 14 inch screen. One of the unique features of this laptop is the ergonomic hinge, which keeps the screen and keyboard positioned at a comfortable angle. It has a 4GHz Intel Core i7-8550U processor, so despite its small size, it packs plenty of power.

This is laptop is also incredibly affordable, so it’s great for a college student on a budget. There are a few downsides – there is only 8GB of RAM, and the battery only lasts for a few hours before needing to be recharged. However, for the price, this laptop provides excellent value for money. 

Dell Inspiron 15

2019 Dell Inspiron 15 6" HD Touchscreen Flagship Premium Laptop Computer, 8th Gen Intel Core i3-8145U Up to 3.1GHz, 8GB DDR4 RAM, 128GB SSD, HDMI, USB 3.0, Bluetooth, WiFi, Windows 10 Home
  • 15. 6" LED backlit Touchscreen with Truelife HD. Lets you enjoy your favorite movies, shows and games in stunning 1366 x 768 resolution
  • Powered by 8th Gen Intel Core i3-8145U mobile processor. Smart dual-core processing performance for HD-quality computing
  • 8GB DDR4 SDRAM, 128GB Solid State Drive, No Optical Drive
  • Integrated Intel HD Graphics 620, HDMI port, Integrated Bluetooth 4. 0, Stereo speakers + MaxxAudio, Built-in SD media Reader, HD webcam, 802. 11bgn WiFi, 2 x USB 3. 0, 1 x USB 2. 0, 1x Headphone output/Microphone input combo
  • Windows 10 Home in S mode; Weighs 4. 41 lbs. and measures 0. 8" thin; Color: Black

This utilitarian laptop from Dell is a great option for computer science students. It is very durable and sturdy, so you can count on long-lasting performance. It has a full terabyte of storage and 16 GB of RAM, as well as a powerful Intel Core i7-7500U processor and reliable AMD Radeon R7 graphics card. Plenty of port options provide many different options for connectivity, with three different USB ports, an HDMI port, and a headphone jack.

The keyboard has backlit keys, which look very stylish and are great for working in low lighting. There is also a handy touchscreen function, which makes it easy to scroll through on-screen content. This laptop is fairly heavy, at just over 5 pounds, so it’s not the most portable option available. 

Computer Science Laptop – What to Consider Before Buying

Since computer science work can be very demanding, it’s important that your laptop has the right features to handle it. It’s important that the screen has a very high resolution, so that you can clearly see all of the details without straining your eyes. Processing power is another important feature to look at – without a fast core processor, it’s going to be difficult for your computer to keep up with all of the work you’re doing. 

Memory and storage space are two other important features. You will need enough RAM space to have several programs open at one time without the computer overloading. Ideally, you’ll need at least 8 GB, but if you’re also going to be using your laptop for gaming, you might want over 10 GB. SSD storage is also extremely helpful for anyone studying computer science, because it makes it much easier to back up your files.

Finally, you’ll want to consider the design of the laptop. Many powerful computer science laptops are quite large, but it should still be light and compact enough that you can carry it to class with you. 


Overall, there are quite a few different options out there if you’re going to be purchasing a new laptop. For many students, a Windows laptop will offer something more cost effective if you’re looking for more power. However, if you’re a student, you’ll likely not need this, which is why I recommend a Macbook instead. Or if you want even more power, you might want to get a desktop.

Any of the options listed will be a good choice to see you through your studying experience. If you have any suggestions or comments, feel free to leave them in the comments below!

About Sarah White

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