If you’re looking to buy the best laptops for computer science students but aren’t sure what to look for, we did the research and rounded up our top picks. A computer science major student needs a powerful device in which they can create their projects and run emulators and other programming software without any problem. Thus, looking for laptops that can run emulators and IDEs should be your priority.
You don’t need a high-end device, but more the power it holds, the better your performance will get. And with time when you proceed with your degree, you will need a device that can hold a solid amount of data. Thus, investing in the right device is important.
We chose powerful laptops for programming to handle any workload (and then some) while remaining lightweight and portable. Whether you need one with long battery life or prefer powerful graphics and video capabilities, there’s something on this list that will suit your needs.
Check out our list of 10 best laptops for computer science students below and choose the best one according to your needs!
10 Best Laptops For Computer Science Students
Acer Aspire S 13
A great laptop that’s light and portable, with a 13-inch display. If you’re buying a new computer for school work, you probably don’t want to spend too much money. That doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice quality, though.
The Acer Aspire S 13 is one of our favorite inexpensive computers, it has an aluminum body, solid performance, and long battery life at an affordable price. The laptop weighs just over 2 pounds, so it isn’t overly bulky, yet it still offers enough performance for most computer science majors.
It has 4GB of RAM and 128GB of solid-state storage, plenty of space to store your OS, and big assignments from classes like discrete math or algorithms. Moreover, battery life can last up to 10 hours on a single charge, depending on how you use it.
And if you need more power than what comes standard, several upgrade options are available (for example, 8GB of RAM and 256GB SSD). It is an amazing option to have in the laptops for students as if you want a better configuration, you can just upgrade by paying some extra money and don’t have to replace your device altogether.
While there are cheaper computers out there, they won’t offer as good value as what you get with the Acer Aspire S 13.
HP Pavilion x360
With an all-metal chassis, an IPS touchscreen display, and a price tag under $600, HP’s Pavilion x360 was our top pick among sub-$600 computers. We found it to be one of only two models with a touch screen.
It also impressed us with its responsive performance and flexible hinge, allowing it to function as a laptop and tablet. The 13.3-inch model has a 1,366×768 resolution screen, but there is also a 15.6-inch version with full HD (1,920×1,080) resolution. You can choose any one of them, but the pricing will vary with the size of the display.
The Pavilion x360 offers some nice extras, such as dual USB 3.0 ports and Bang & Olufsen speakers for audio output. This convertible laptop also features a battery life of 9 hours along with an Intel Core i5 processor and 8 GB RAM.
Overall, we think it’s one of the best computers for computer science majors because it provides excellent value in terms of performance and features at such an affordable price point. It also comes with a standard one-year warranty.
Asus ZenBook UX305
The Asus ZenBook UX305 offers a lightweight and durable computer that won’t break your wallet. It has an 8th-generation Core i5 processor, 256GB of storage, 8GB of RAM, and an incredible 14 hours of battery life while weighing less than 3 pounds.
It is not only portable but will provide you with a remarkable performance as it features a reliable storage capacity and impressive battery life. You can run most of your programs on this device without any lag, which comes in handy for Computer science students.
Plus, it comes with a USB-C port, so you can use modern peripherals (such as external hard drives) without needing to buy adapters. Add in some killer sound and great color options, and you have yourself one heck of a machine.
This is one of our favorite best laptops for computer science students on a budget. It’s also perfect if you want something that isn’t bulky or flashy but still gets work done. Thus, if you want performance and durability in a device, Asus Zenbook will not let you down.
Samsung ATIV Book 9 Pro
This laptop is a marvel. It’s one of our favorite Windows 8 laptops and one of our favorite portable machines, period. The Samsung ATIV Book 9 Pro boasts an incredibly bright and crisp display, a speedy Intel Core i5 processor, and an amazing keyboard for less than $1,000.
Book 9 is a favorite among computer-science majors because it can get work done without being so chunky or heavy that you can’t lug it around campus or study sessions in your dorm room. Plus, with a crisp display, this is a great outdoor laptop.
Plus, it has plenty of ports (including USB 3.0) and storage space (up to 512GB). And with its 12 hours of battery life, you don’t have to worry about carrying around a charger. This means you can use it for a decent amount of time and can load it without an emulator, IDE, codes, and programs without it lagging or slowing down, thanks to its storage capacity.
However, make sure you spring for at least 4GB of RAM if you want to do any serious programming on it; 2GB isn’t enough. Apart from that, it is an impressive device that works great for every kind of use.
Dell XPS 12
The Dell XPS 12 is one of our favorite computers with its innovative form factor, excellent battery life, and slim profile. It is a 2-in1 device that does not weigh much, making it travel-friendly and perfect for students.
It features a 1,920×1,080 display which isn’t quite as crisp as some of its competitors but still looks excellent thanks to its vivid colors and deep blacks. The computer also has a solid selection of ports, including two USB 3.0 ports and an SD card reader, plus it ships with 802.11ac wireless technology for fast wireless data transfers.
For most other tasks, though, it handled everything from using this laptop for web browsing to word processing smoothly and quickly. You can pick up a new XPS 12 for around $900 online, making it one of the more reasonable computers on our list.
Unfortunately, one downside of this laptop is its battery life. It features approximately 5 hours of battery life which is disappointing. However, it comes with an Intel Core i7 processor, along with 8 GB RAM, which will work great for programming.
Lenovo ThinkPad Carbon X1 Touch Screen Laptop
Getting good grades in computer science classes is no easy feat. Students must keep up with rapid technological advances and learn how to apply them in real-world situations. They also take exams that often include multiple-choice questions about complex topics.
If you’re succeeding at computer science in college, you’ll need a machine that will help you get things done quickly and efficiently and one that can handle all those difficult exams, too.
The Lenovo ThinkPad Carbon X1 Touch Screen Laptop can do it all and then some; it has an Intel Core i7 processor with 16GB of RAM, a Full HD touch screen display, and a large SSD drive for working on fast-moving projects.
It also comes preloaded with Windows 10 Pro, which is a popular operating system among computer science majors. It’s pricey but worth every penny if you want to succeed in your computer science courses.
Thus, no matter if you are looking for a laptop for pentesting or CNC programming, Thinkpad Carbon X1 will not let you down. It will also provide you with a solid 14 hours of battery life. Thus you don’t have to worry about taking charging breaks while working with this one of the best laptops for computer science students.
Apple MacBook Air 13.3 Laptop
Apple’s powerful MacBook Air has become a legend in its own right. With its thin, lightweight design and easy-to-use user interface, it’s been favored by many of Apple’s fans, including computer science majors who want to get their hands on a high-end machine without breaking their bank accounts.
Mac computers are known for their intuitive design, making them one of our top choices for the best laptops for computer science students. And as one of Apple’s most affordable models with Intel Core processors and 4GB of RAM, it is worth every penny (and then some).
If you want something a little more powerful than your average Chromebook but don’t want to spend too much money or compromise performance, look no further than an Air. Even if you aren’t into coding, Apple’s apps will have plenty to offer: Pages for writing documents; Numbers for spreadsheets; Keynote for presentations; iMovie for editing videos; GarageBand for creating music, and the list goes on.
Moreover, you will get a remarkable battery life of around 17 hours. Thus, you can use this device for an entire day without a problem. It is also an upgradeable device; thus, if you need more storage capacity or RAM, you can pay extra money for that, which will make it a complete powerhouse.
Asus ZenBook UX305LA-DH71T 12.5 Touchscreen Ultrabook
This laptop is ideal for any computer science student because it is incredibly light and easy to carry around. It has a touchscreen that allows you to feel directly connected with your programs, but most importantly, it has everything you need to get started as a computer scientist.
The Asus ZenBook UX305LA-DH71T 12.5 Touchscreen Ultrabook features an Intel Core M 5Y70 1.1 GHz processor, 8 GB of RAM, 512 GB solid-state drive storage space, and 10-hour battery life, and Windows 8.1 (64 bit) operating system software. It works perfectly for programming, but you can also use it for other purposes as well.
If you want a laptop for adobe creative cloud or gaming, this is a great option to consider. This is certainly one of our top choices when searching for affordable computers yet capable of handling all your computer needs in college or at home.
Sony Vaio Fit 14P Laptop
If you’re a computer science major and want something powerful, look no further than Sony’s Vaio Fit 14P. As with any laptop from Sony, it comes with top-notch design and construction, making it great as a home computer or a lab.
It comes equipped with an Intel Core i5 2450M processor (clocked at 2.5GHz) and 6GB of RAM, which is more than enough for taking notes and making presentations. You can also do most of your entry-level programming on this device.
It also has 250GB of hard drive space and a slot for additional storage should you need to add anything more. Moreover, it features 4 hours of battery life which is disappointing. But if you are tight on budget and want a decent device so that you can get started it is a reliable option to consider.
Apple MacBook Pro 15.4 Retina Display Laptop
The Apple MacBook Pro is a powerful laptop packed with great features that are perfect for any computer science student. You can also choose from 17-inch and 13-inch options. With an Intel Core i7 2.6GHz processor, 16GB of RAM, and 2TB of storage space, you’ll be able to run your applications smoothly.
This computer also includes a gorgeous 2880 x 1800 Retina display that provides crisp text and images. The Apple MacBook Pro features two Thunderbolt 3 ports, four USB 3 ports, an SDXC card slot, an HDMI port, and more. You can easily connect multiple devices with this laptop which comes in handy during programming some high-end applications.
Don’t forget that Macs work perfectly with Apple software like Final Cut Pro X—which is available for a free download if you purchase directly from Apple’s website. Plus, if you are into IOS development, Apple MacBook Pro makes a perfect choice for you as one of the best laptops for computer science students.
If you’re looking to buy a new best laptop for computer science majors, there are some things you should look out for. One of your main concerns will likely be speed; computer science majors need to be able to code and have multiple windows open at once, so you should aim to find a fast processor.
Your second concern will probably be price, but that doesn’t mean quality has to take a backseat. Some of our favorite best laptops for computer sciences students are fairly budget-friendly. You need to know where to look.