Best Laptop for Computer Science Students

student laptop buying tips

You need to understand and write lots of codes, create program, design applications, and work on various technologies as a computer science student. You need to learn JavaScript, Python , Java, Ruby , PHP, C++, JQuery, and more from a number of programming languages. Networking, database management etc. must also be taught. So, for you, a laptop is a must.

It is safe to assume, however, that you do not need a high-end computer. You don’t need loads of laptop graphics features. You don’t need a high-definition display either. So, for a computer science undergraduate, what are the features that are vital in a laptop? In the purchasing guide, let us talk.

Laptop buying guide for a student of computer science

Here are the features for your computer science academic program that you need to look for when purchasing a laptop. If you have a plan of writing Essay on your college, we would like to recommend you for Custom Essay Meister.


For virtually anything you do with your laptop, RAM is the limiting factor. It is one of the most important variables to remember when purchasing a laptop. You would need to write the major program as a computer science student. You will also need virtual machines and heavy IDEs to run as well. Such a program takes up tremendous memory space.

If you ever need to run these at the same time, you’d probably feel the need for endless RAM. So, if you are buying it for easy coding, make sure to get a laptop with at least 4 GB RAM. You need at least 8 GB of RAM if you ever need to run IDEs, such as Visual Studio, Eclipse, Xcode, etc. A 16 GB can be a really good bet if you still need to run Virtual Machines. Going for upgradeable RAM is also a smart idea.


The Resolution

You certainly need a display that hurts less than some in your eyes. As a student of computer science, you can definitely look at the laptop for much of the day. You need to do a lot of coding and master a variety of languages for programming.

So, you’re probably going to gaze for a long time at the phone. So, there’s a high-resolution monitor you like. So a good one to go for is an HD+ or FHD resolution.

Scale of Screen

You can need to use a split-screen to simultaneously display bits of code and follow the logic of the code. But you will need to have a large monitor along with the resolution. Since a bigger one will make it less portable, you can go for a 13 “screen.

Keyboard Keyboard

What a keyboard there is! Have you said so? Oh, a lousy keyboard is a trifle for a beginner. Laptop reviews are out there shouting about the issues of a crappy keyboard. If you miss the keyboard, you will suffer a great deal, even if any other spec is excellent.

Since you have to type in every single code, the keyboard is critical. So, don’t go for a messy keyboard; your productivity might just be fucked up. Get a keyboard that only has the fundamental alphanumeric keys. In less time , this will help you get acquainted with the keys and improve your productivity.


You need to choose SSD over HDD when choosing the hard disc. SSDs are a lot quicker than HDDs. So, you should potentially go for a 256 GB SSD if you are thinking of having a 1 TB HDD.

It will do a much better job of loading & running applications & IDEs. You can never put the extra space to good use if you buy a 1 TB HDD, but you still get stuck when simultaneously running apps and IDEs.


The new architecture comes with modern processors. It may be the architecture of the 6th , 7th or 8th centuries. A Core i3 processor is enough for basic coding / programming. You can need to run IDEs / Virtual Machines, such as Eclipse / Java / XCode etc., however. So, the best bet for you is a core i5 processor.

Life of the battery

It’s really important here. There needs to be a decent battery life for the laptop. Otherwise, keeping up with the burden of coding and learning programming languages will become impossible for you. To maintain the rigours of your academic programme, the laptop needs to deliver at least 8 hours of battery life,


Chances are, you don’t need a GPU. It’s for high-end gaming only.


As long as the device meets the specifications for the lowest possible budget, brands don’t matter. It is a good idea, however, to stick to famous labels.

To select the right laptop for computer science, here are some hand-picked versions for you. So, go ahead and get them checked out.

Best Laptop for Computer Science Students

Apple MacBook Air

Apple’s MacBook Air can just win the challenge hands down when it comes to portability. However, when choosing from an assortment of gleaming laptops, it is not just its portability that should attract your senses.

It’s the features and the price that make it a persuasive purchase for any computer science student. Light weight, superfast response, no process lag, and long battery life are the essence of the laptop.


In terms of performance for an undergraduate in computer science, the Intel core i5 processor, 128 GB SSD and 8 GB RAM are quite a power-packed combo. With a 256 GB SSD, though sticking to 8 GB RAM, you can go one step higher.

However, if you need to use third-party software, it might be a safer option to go for 16 GB RAM. So, you have the option to upgrade your memory and storage to 1 TB SSD and 16 GB RAM from 128 GB SSD and 8 GB RAM.

Since upgrading MacBooks is difficult, make sure you get everything you need when making the purchase. Nonetheless, the combination of a 256 GB SSD and 8 GB RAM will provide enough juice for a computer science student.

The model boasts the new SSD software, which will improve your job as a computer science undergraduate. So, it’s no longer a problem to look up codes, load simulations and boot up time.

A clutter-free and simple butterfly mechanical keyboard that gives the keys more stability. This leads to greater reactivity of the user’s keys and convenience when keying in coding lines. LED keys are backlit individually; this is also a fantastic facility when used in low light.

This is as good as it gets for a computer science undergraduate, with a weight of 2.75 pounds and a battery life of 12 hours. This means that if it is fully charged, it is not only extremely portable, but can also go for 12 hours without charging.

This is important because you can have to do coding or feel like doing it almost anywhere, such as when commuting. Just take your MacBook Air out and start coding everywhere, literally.

Plan and View

With true tone technology, this laptop has a 13 inch screen with retina display resolution. The text appears bright and transparent due to the retinal display resolution. The True Tone technology changes the display to suit the setting and makes the resolution even better. When you need to work through several windows, this can truly be helpful.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon

This is one of the lightest, most desirable and most durable laptops available. Coupled with this, a decent battery life is easily one of the most sought after laptops for students of computer science.


You may fall for the appealing contours of the Carbon, but what makes it a great company for a CS student is its robust chassis reinforced with carbon fibre, extreme portability, strong battery life and efficient CPUs of the 8th Gen. Over 6 hours of battery life is provided.

The Carbon comes with a combination of 256 GB of SSD storage, 8 GB of memory and a 1.7 GHz i5 processor. Whether it’s in database operation or cached or uncached reads / write, it provides wonderful efficiency. It also has very low latency, which is the superbug that affects numerous laptops.

Without any difficulty, you can easily run several applications at a time. The PCIe NVMe Opal M.2 SSD has far more juice than the older models’ SATA SSD. Combine the speed and flexibility of Windows 10 with these specs and you get a great companion for your CS Major programme.

The keyboard is simple to type on, and there is a very good battery life for the model. No matter how you run it, you can get over 6 hours of battery power on a single charge. It only weighs 2.49 pounds, which is reasonably compact.

Plan and View

This laptop has a 14-inch screen with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 and an LCD monitor. An integrated graphics unit that accesses the main memory is the Intel UHD Graphics 620. This provides the text and semantics with ample clarity.

HP Envy 13

The HP Envy 13 is an attractive-looking laptop with a full HD monitor and a compact chassis. This laptop is distinguished by its ultra long battery life, portability, bright display and fast performance.


An enviable array of success metrics comes with the laptop. The base model can be very useful for any undergraduate student of CS Major with an Intel Core i5 processor, 8 GB of RAM, and 256 GB SSD storage. You can go for 16 GB of RAM and 512 GB of SSD storage if you want to shell out some more bucks.

However, with the i5 cpu, 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB of SSD storage, you can be very well off as an undergraduate student of CS. For a budget price of below $1000, that can give you a lightning output.

It also boasts an ultra long battery life in the base FHD model of around 14 hours. You can need to participate in long coding lines for hours as a CS Major student. This is where the laptop’s super long battery life benefits. This is the clincher for this laptop, in fact. The battery life comes down, however, if you go for the 4 K edition.

To type on, the keyboard is very convenient. There are generous sizes for the island-style keys, and there is enough room between them. This smoothly renders even an inexperienced form in his codes and does not get his keys incorrect.

The touchpad comes with drivers for accuracy. This makes it easy to use and handle. Windows 10 gestures like pinch-to-zoom etc on the touchpad can be conveniently performed.

On either side of the laptop, there are USB 3.1 Type-A ports. So, you can connect things like keyboards , mouse, etc. easily.

Show And Resolution

It has an integrated resolution of Intel UHD Graphics 620 and 1920 x 1080, which makes the display vibrant and vivid. You’d have no trouble viewing the coding lines and avoiding typos.

Asus ZenBook UX330

If you have a sleek design in mind, apart from the long battery life and portability, you can go with this Asus laptop. This may well be a persuasive purchase, combining all these characteristics with its longevity and sub-$1000 price. For quick carrying, it also comes with a neat black sleeve.


The Asus ZenBook UX330 is a sleek aluminum laptop with an Intel Core i5 processor, 8 GB of RAM, 256 GB of SSD, and integrated NVIDIA GeForce MX150 graphics. The configuration is appropriate for all the jobs that will need to be carried out by a CS Major student.

However, its longevity and long battery life are what make it particularly appealing. It can bring around 12 hours of outstanding battery life. Durability, portability, fast performance and long battery life are the most sought after attributes of a laptop intended for a student.

All these necessary parameters are ticked by this laptop. This can make it one of the laptops most sought after, especially if you look at the price tag below $1000.

It features an ergonomic and easy backlit keyboard with maximum 1.5-millimeter key movement. There is a rubber palm rest and an easy-to-work big touchpad where all Windows 10 gesture controls can be done easily. An integrated fingerprint sensor and Windows Hello are also included in the touchpad, which allows you to log in with just a single touch.

A variety of ports exist. There are two USB 3.0 ports and one USB 3.1 Form C port that you can get. So, it’s not an issue to connect your peripherals and external devices.

Show and Resolution

With a glossy screen, it has a 13.3 inch display. Compared to many laptops in this range, however, the display seems to be somewhat dim. It has a monitor that is bezel-free. In your coding lines, though, it is enough to make out the typos.

Dell XPS 13

An excellent 4k monitor, outstanding performance, lightweight and super slim; these are some of the adjectives that define the Dell XPS 13 laptop perfectly.


A Core i7 cpu, 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB of SSD storage are supported for this model. For programming, including those in IDEs like Visual Studio, this spec is just perfect. A combination of a core i7 processor, 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB of SSD storage will provide you with superlative performance.

This is a fantastic laptop with great results. What makes this an adorable piece of laptop is that even with a 4k screen, the battery of this ultra-portable notebook will last for around 8 hours. So, it kind of ends the customers’ long wait for a 4k monitor laptop and long battery life.

In low light, the keyboard is backlit, making it easy to type on. Compared to many other laptops, the keys provide a softer landing. It has a Precision touchpad for which all Windows 10 movements are very easy to work with and execute.

It has three USB 3.0 ports on it. So, it is not an issue to connect peripherals.

Show and Resolution

A clincher for this system is the monitor. It has an Infinity Edge 4 K UHD display on a stunning 13.3-inch bezel-free screen.

Buying a laptop for your Computer Science undergraduate course

You need to consider the CS program, applications and the lessons you need to experience in order to purchase a laptop for the undergraduate course in computer science. This will provide you with a clear idea of what kind of laptop you need to buy.
You need to hunt for your departmental feedback about the configuration even after getting a detailed understanding about the possible configuration. Specific criteria can apply to your department. Therefore, bear that in mind.

Here is a countdown of aspects of the laptop that you need to remember based on your Department of Computer Science ‘s unique specifications.

The lab

All reputed schools that conduct CS Major program offer amazing 24/7 laboratories. Does your school offer 24/7 laboratory facilities, too? If so, is there a point in investing nearly a thousand bucks on a laptop? This you need to ask. You can work as much as you like in a 24/7 laboratory, and that could include working on your homework projects, watching YouTube videos, etc.

It might also be a safer idea to be entrenched in the school laboratory for hours as you can concentrate on your job. This will save some money for you as well. Yet, do you have it inside you to spend the whole day in a laboratory? In addition, as a computer science undergraduate student, you need to have the means to code anywhere, anywhere. This is what makes a laptop necessary.

Software and Operating System

In your department, this is one of the basic questions to ask. Is there any unique OS used or suggested by them? Microsoft may be used and recommended by some colleges, while some others may favor Linux. If you need to use some particular compiler, code editor or IDE, you need to check with the department.

The idea is to verify its compatibility with the preferred OS. Nevertheless, you do not need to search this feature anymore if you have chosen to go for a MacBook. It is possible to run MacBooks on both Windows and Linux. For these computers, dual booting is simply the icing on the cake. It is safe to assume, however, that almost all computer science software runs without any trouble on any modern laptop.


Do not live under the misconception that in your final senior year of the semester you need to do some intense programming. The next Windows or Firefox you are not going to compile. Anything that will take time to run will not be compiled by you. And though, as part of independent research, you need to compile heavy coding, it can be a one-off matter. You can do this very well in the lab at the institute.

Don’t fall for a laptop with free software. For several brands or models, having a batch of extra native apps is a USP. However, you need to know whether your school is going to have them or not before considering them. In most cases, after enrollment, schools include all the software needed.

Does the school allow the laboratory to be accessed remotely?

Does the school allow students to use their laptops or desktops to connect to and use the school’s laboratory computers remotely? If it does, it means that to run heavy applications that would not otherwise run on your desktop or laptop, you do not need a heavy setup on your laptop.

How are the department’s classes held?

To decide whether you need to take the laptop all the way to school just to attend classes or not, this is important. Classes are taught in the old fashioned way in most places. So, it is more relaxed and appropriate for a pen and paper. However, you might need to carry the laptop to the school based on your specialty for the 2nd or 3rd year.

So, be certain of that. You can, however, be given tasks to finish within laboratory hours. If the laboratory is not permitted to be used after set hours, the job will be in absolute chaos. This is the moment when you feel the need for a good laptop.


It does not need to be your first choice to buy a laptop for your CS Major program. If the school requires access to the lab 24/7, and you can go for any laptop if you don’t need to take the laptop to school. However, at any point in time, for a student like you who loves to code, you might need to get the coding lines correct.

So, when buying a laptop, portability and reliability along with decent performance and long battery life must be in your scheme of things. A 4 K resolution, a bezel-less monitor or slim design is often a nice add on if you can invest any more. So, the one that meets all of your needs and matches your budget will be your best laptop for computer science education.

Jennifer Thomas
Jennifer Thomas is the Co-founder and Chief Business Development Officer at Cybers Guards. Prior to that, She was responsible for leading its Cyber Security Practice and Cyber Security Operations Center, which provided managed security services.