Whether laptop, notebook or netbook, every computer science student thinks about getting a portable computer during their studies. As a prospective computer science student, you are probably asking yourself the same question. In this article, we will tell you how to find the best laptops for studying computer science majors students in 2021. We try to give you all the information you need to make an informed decision.
Do You Need a Laptop To Study Computer Science?
You need a computer or a laptop to study computer science. Because during your studies you will have to do a lot digitally. Be it writing a term paper in Word or practicing a programming language.
Best Laptops to Buy for Computer Science Majors in 2021
So if you already have a computer you don’t necessarily have to get a laptop as a student. If you are more interested in a Laptops, then you will find a good article here:
New XPS 13
About this item
- 10th Generation Intel Core i7-1065G7 Processor (8MB Cache, up to 3.9 GHz)
- Memory 16GB 3733MHz LPDDR4x Memory Onboard
- Hard Drive 512GB PCIe NVMe x4 Solid State Drive Onboard with Windows 10 Pro 64-bit English
- Display 13.4″ 16:10 FHD+ WLED Touch Display (1920 x 1200) with Intel Iris Plus Graphics
- Warranty ProSupport: Next Business Day Onsite, 1 Year
Lenovo Yoga C930
About this item
- Premium craftsmanship and style – Crafted from premium aluminum with high-precision drills and polished twice for luxurious tactility. 360° flip-and-fold design; Rotating sound bar with Dolby Atmos speaker system
- 13.9″ Full HD touch screen – 1920 x 1080 resolution, IPS technology, LED backlight, Built for Windows Ink; Integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620
- 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8550U processor – Ultra-low-voltage, Quad-core, eight-way processing, Intel Turbo Boost technology; 12GB DDR4 2400 MHz memory; 512GB PCIe solid-state drive (SSD)
- Two Thunderbolt 3 ports for connecting advanced monitors and external drives; Built-in HD webcam with stereo microphone; Microphone-in/headphone-out combo jack
- Weighs 3 lbs. and is 0.6″ thin overall; Four-cell lithium-polymer battery. Windows 10 operating system; One-month trial of Microsoft Office 365
HP Envy 13 Laptop
About this item
- READY WHENEVER INSPIRATION STRIKES: Create anytime, anywhere with a battery that lasts as long as your day does. Advanced privacy features let you keep your creations secure until you’re ready to share them
- SUPER FAST PROCESSOR AND GRAPHICS: Experience power and responsive performance to boost your productivity. Enjoy immersive entertainment and game, stream, and create content with accelerated performance. Intel Iris Plus Graphics ultra-high resolutions accelerated speeds and support for 4K streaming to enhance your productivity and entertainment. 10th Generation Intel Core i7-1065G7 Processor, Quad-Core, 1.3 GHz base frequency, up to 3.9 GHz with Intel Turbo Boost Technology
- HIGHER BANDWITH MEMORY & FAST BOOTUP WITH SOLID-STATE DRIVE: With higher bandwidth, you get more of a boost in performance for improved multitasking and get up to 15x faster performance than a traditional hard drive. 8 GB DDR4-3200 SDRAM (not upgradable) and 256 GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
- CRYSTAL CLEAR DISPLAY: Intuitive touchscreen technology and the crystal-clear visuals of vibrant Full HD. 13.3-inch diagonal Full HD, IPS, BrightView, micro-edge, WLED-backlit, multitouch-enabled, edge-to-edge glass touchscreen monitor (1920 x 1080)
- LONG BATTERY LIFE, LIGHTWEIGHT, & ULTRA-PORTABLE: Go from 0 to 50% charge in approximately 30 minutes with HP Fast Charge. Up to 15 hours and 15 minutes (mixed usage), up to 13 hours and 30 minutes (video playback), up to 9 hours (wireless streaming), 2.88 pounds, 12.07 inches (W) x 7.66 inches (D) x 0.67 inches (H)
- BACKLIT KEYBOARD: Control your privacy, security and multimedia with the touch of a button. With all your hotkeys in one area, seamlessly navigate with no distractions. Full-size island-style backlit natural silver keyboard
- OPERATING SYSTEM & WARRANTY: Do great things confidently with the familiar feel of Windows – only better. Windows 10 Home and 1-year limited hardware warranty
Acer Predator Helios 300
About this item
- 10th Generation Intel Core i7-10750H 6-Core Processor (Up to 5.0 GHz) with Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
- Overclockable NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 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 2933MHz Dual-Channel Memory, 512GB NVMe SSD (2 x M.2 slots | 1 Slot open for easy upgrades) & 1 – Available Hard Drive Bay
- 4-Zone RGB Backlit Keyboard | Wireless: Killer Double Shot Pro Wireless-AX 1650i 802. 11ax Wi-Fi 6 | LAN: Killer Ethernet E2600 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet LAN | DTS X: Ultra-Audio | 4th Gen All-Metal AeroBlade 3D Fan
- Connectivity technology: Bluetooth
Asus TUF FX505DT
About this item
- Quad-core AMD Ryzen 7 R7-3750H Processor
- 15.6” FHD (1920×1080) IPS-Type display, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 4GB Graphics
- 256GB NVMe SSD | 8GB DDR4 RAM | Windows 10 Home
- RGB Backlit keyboard, Gigabit Wave 2 Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac), Network LAN: 10/100/1000
- 2 x USB 3.1, 1 x USB 2.0, 1 x HDMI, 1 x RJ45, 1 x Microphone/Combo Jack
You don’t necessarily have to buy one, but you should consider whether it makes sense. Many take their laptop with them to the lecture. Of course this has advantages. You can take notes and don’t have to worry about not being able to read them afterwards.
But if you do, you create an insane potential for yourself to be distracted. I don’t know any laptop owner who hasn’t been distracted at least once by it. If only because he wanted to google some topic immediately instead of waiting until after the lecture. In most cases, pen and paper are the better choices.
These don’t distract you and you can make drawings for them. Should you still decide to buy a laptop, you can read the rest of the article on what to look out for.
In contrast to many other advisors who just throw some laptops in front of your nose, I would like to proceed differently here. First of all, we will find out what your requirements are for the laptop.
A proper requirements analysis will show you exactly what kind of laptop you need for studying computer science. And finally we are computer scientists. We research and plan first before making a decision.
Requirements for the laptop
How much power do you need This question primarily relates to the use of development environments, emulators, VMs and games. While the former tend to require a good CPU, games need a good graphics card, i.e. a good GPU.
So the first decision you should make is whether you want to play on the laptop too. Because every somewhat complex and modern game needs a graphics card to run smoothly. But a graphics card increases the price and weight of the laptop while reducing battery life. So I can only advise against using a graphics card for your laptop for computer science studies.
Consider getting a separate desktop computer for gaming. If you still want to play on the go, you can still access services likeFall back on parsec .
As a first step, you should consider whether you want to play with the laptop. Because laptops with good gaming performance almost always have at least one of the following disadvantages:
• Low battery life
• High weight
• High price
That’s why I don’t recommend a gaming laptop to you. If you enjoy playing new PC games, you should purchase a laptop in addition to a gaming computer. Gaming laptops only make sense if you often play from different angles. For example, if you commute between your hometown and university town.
But here, too, you have to think carefully about the whole thing, because the disadvantages mentioned above quickly turn the laptop into ballast for your wallet and backpack.
The advantage of non-gaming laptops is that they don’t require a separate graphics card. The integrated graphics unit of the CPU is usually sufficient here. This translates into a lower price, better battery life, and lower weight. There are gamer laptops with good battery life and low weight, but they are very fast in the $2,500 + range.
It looks different if you want to program on the laptop. This will often be the case with computer science students. Here, too, you have to differentiate based on a few factors.
You hardly need any effort to learn only the basics of programming. Every laptop that can run Word can also run a C compiler and a reasonably sensible editor in parallel without any major loss of performance. For the requirements of the degree, I would say that the performance of almost every laptop that is commercially available today is sufficient.
It looks different when you pursue your own projects. You might want to use development environments here. These development environments usually have low minimum system requirements, but they need a lot of power to run really smoothly.
Multitasking and research
Modern browsers are extremely complex. You can process a wide variety of websites, media and scripts. That takes performance, and not too tightly. In particular, multimedia content that is processed by the browser requires a lot of memory.
In order for the browser to offer you a good user experience, it has to hold all of this content in memory. As a result, the RAM consumption of a browser can quickly grow to several gigabytes.
So if you are a user who often has a lot of tabs open at the same time, you should definitely pay attention to a large amount of RAM. Because if editors, development environments and open documentation are added to the browser, the memory can quickly run out.
Hardware of the laptop
I want to keep this article as general as possible so that it doesn’t lose its validity in one or two years. Nevertheless, here is some advice on CPU selection in 2021: At least a Ryzen 3600 or an i7.
What is saved on the graphics card can be packed on here. You can program with a poorer CPU, but development environments run much more smoothly in practice with a good processor.
However, since the hardware requirements are constantly changing, I recommend that you research yourself for a current CPU that works well with your most frequently used development environment.
Modern development environments require quite a bit of CPU power. While you only need a text editor and a compiler for simple C programs, you might want to use a development environment for larger projects. For autocompletion and syntax highlighting, such an IDE can use a lot of CPU resources.
While high-end CPUs are not necessary here, it should definitely be a mid-range CPU. For emulators and VMs, too, the requirements for CPUs increase significantly.
For example, for mobile development, I can only recommend you to use a CPU that is powerful enough to support the emulators of the corresponding environments properly.
An SSD is mandatory. There is absolutely no reason to do without an SSD these days. And with the falling prices, a 500GB SSD is quite conceivable. However, you don’t necessarily have to go for the most expensive or fastest SSD. The main advantage of an SSD is the fast access time.
Extremely good reading and writing skills are only important when you need to access very large files. When programming, however, there are rather many small files. Since more space is always a good thing, it is better to buy an SSD with poorer read and write types but higher storage space.
How portable can it be? Weight and size play a big role when choosing a laptop. The battery life should also be considered. The size is a matter of taste.
But remember that you have to carry the laptop with you. Do you always want to take a larger laptop bag with you? So consider your daily commute when making a decision. From my point of view, 15 inches (approx. 38 cm) is recommended for ergonomics. Small laptops are often tough on the eyes for long periods of work.
Of course, the resolution also plays a major role. And here it should definitely be Full HD with 1920 x 1080 pixels. A 2K display is also a big plus, but it is significantly more expensive.
In my experience, 7 hours for non-gaming laptops are a good average between price and performance. There are often sockets in lecture halls, but these are often quickly occupied or not accessible from your seat.
Seven hours of running time should also be sufficient for two or three lectures in a row. Since the laptop is for computer science studies, it should achieve these times even when stressed by development environments.
The battery life should be at least 5 hours, even for people who like to work at a fixed workplace. Because at some point there is always a situation in which you like to take the laptop with you and program it on the go.
Be it on the train, on the way to another lecture or when there is no power socket nearby in the lecture hall. For students who rarely come to charge, it is important that the laptop lasts for a full day of lectures.
This can be 8 hours or more. 8 hours is therefore a good value to aim for. When it comes to weight, it always depends on a way to university. The majority of all laptops can be found from 1 kg to 3 kg. Whereby 2 kg is very heavy when you are on the road a lot. 1.5 – 1.7 kg is a good average. The easier the better.
random access memory
The RAM is also particularly important. The more RAM you have installed, the better the operating system can manage open programs. Programmers often have many programs running at the same time.
For example, web browsers, which are not exactly known for their frugality in terms of memory. A development environment also takes up a lot of RAM. If then emulators or VMs are added, double-digit consumption is very fast.
That’s why I simply can’t recommend anything below 16 GB of RAM in 2021. The exception here is if you really only write very small C or C ++ programs for your studies and do not need a development environment.
Then 8 GB could be enough. But personally I wouldn’t go under 16GB anymore. However, you don’t necessarily have to look for a 16 GB laptop. It may also be cheaper to buy an 8 GB laptop that still has a free slot for the RAM. Then you can simply add another 8 GB. But make sure that this is if possible the same manufacturer of the already installed RAM.
For normal development, 8 GB should be the minimum. This is enough to run a web browser, the development environment and a few smaller programs in parallel.
However, do you plan to use an emulator such as For example, to work with the Android Emulator from Android Studio, I would recommend 16 GB. It can be done with 8 GB, but 16 GB is much more convenient.
What many do not know is that computers, especially laptops, are not only characterized by their screens and the typical hardware components. The build quality of the entire device and the quality of the components play just as much a role as their performance.
This ensures that your laptop for computer science studies does not fall apart too quickly with daily use and will last for many years.
As a student you will often have your laptop with you on the go. Be it on the train, bus or in a backpack.
In order for the laptop not to fall apart after a few weeks, the processing quality has to be high. Unfortunately, this is difficult to determine on the Internet.
Sometimes you can tell the quality of a laptop when you hold it in your hand. But not just because of that. Reviews on the Internet are very helpful in determining the quality of a laptop.