8 Best Laptops for Computer Science Majors 2020

Finding best laptop for computer science majors can be tricky.  As CS students spend most of their time on their laptops, you are probably facing hardest laptop decision compared to all other departments.

As your choice will highly impact your life and study quality for the next couple of years, you should choose very carefully. Thus we candidly suggest you to read all reviews on this page. In fact, do not stop there, go to Amazon pages of each product we listed and read real customer reviews.

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Top 8 Best Laptops for CS Majors

Model CPU RAM Storage Display Battery Weight

MacBook Pro 13Macbook Pro 13"

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i5 upto 4.1 GHz
8 GB
256-512 GB
13" Retina 2560x1600
10 hrs
3 lbs.

Acer Aspire 5Acer Aspire 5

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i5-10210u
8 GB
256 GB
15.6" Backlit 1920x1080
9.5 hrs
3.97 lbs.+

Acer Spin 3Acer Spin 3 

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i7-8565u
16 GB
512 GB
14" Multi Touch 1920x1080
12 hrs
3.75 lbs.

Acer Predator Helios 3 Acer Predator Helios 300

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i7-9750H upto 4.5GHz
16 GB 2666MHz
512 GB
15.6" 1920x1080 (144Hz)
6 hrs
5.29 lbs.

MacBook Air 13Macbook Air 13"

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10th Gen i3
8 GB
256 GB
13" Retina 2560x1600
11 hrs
2.8 lbs.

Asus Zenbook 13 Asus Zenbook 13

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i7-8565u
16 GB
512 GB
13.3" Nano Edge 1920x1080
14 hrs
2.6 lbs.

Asus Vivobook S Asus Vivobook S

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i5 -8250u
8 GB
256 GB
15.6" 1920x1080
5 hrs
3.7 lbs.

Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon

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i7-10510u
16 GB
upto 2TB
14" FullHD or 4K
upto 18h
2.4 lbs.

1. Best MacBook for Computer Science Majors

MacBook Pro meets all the needs of a computer science student. Apple is known for its high quality of material and you will feel it on every touch. MacBook comes with an elegant aluminum body and a comfortable keyboard.

MacBook Pro’s 13” screen, compact style and 3 lbs. weight makes it a great travel companion and you can carry it around easily. It might be missing a graphics card or a beast CPU but in return, your back or neck will not hurt for carrying a laptop from classes to library, dorm or home.

But, make no mistake! This laptop is not all about stylish look and mobility. Even if it does not have a high-end CPU, RTX graphics card or a massive cooling system; it is strong enough to run most of the CS engineering programs. Performance-wise you will be good unless you want to play games or run graphics-based programs.

13.3-inch retina display at 2560×1600 pixels resolution is exceptional. This laptop offers top-level visual quality. Also, IPS panel has great advantages like wider angles and more accurate colors.  Your eyes will thank you for choosing Mac.

8th Gen Intel i5 CPU and 8GB RAM will let you multitask even with programs that require lots of computing power. 256GB-512GB SSD of MacBook Pro is essential for you. Any engineering student needs a 256GB+ SSD to work efficiently and MacBook has a great SSD.

One of the best features of this laptop is battery life. 10 hours of battery of MacBook almost has no match for such a small sized laptop. Thanks to this great battery, you will not have to look for plug sockets at classroom or a cafe.

2. Best Cheap Laptop for Computer Science Majors

Latest Acer Aspire 5 got everything a CS major needs. Aspire offers average specs for a relatively cheap price in its segment. It is equipped with Intel’s latest weapon 10th generation i5; this is really surprising for a laptop at this price range considering it is also strong in every other aspect.

It is a bit heavy (3.97lbs+) but the main reason for this is 15.6” display. If you have no problem with carrying it, this is not a downside but a preference. 15.6” screen size has its own perks. Full HD 1920 x 1080 is enough for a clear visual experience especially when it is combined with IPS screen Aspire 5 has.

Acer emphasis on wi-fi 6 technology they added on this laptop. It helps connectivity performance at device dense areas. As a college student you will use it where lots of other people are connected to same network with their laptops, smartphones and tablets. So Dual band wi-fi 6 (802.11ax) will prove useful.

Display size is not only upside that compensates heavy weight of Acer Aspire 5. It has up to 9.5 hours of battery life which is more than you needed for your daily schedule. As a computer science major, you will use battery draining programs and you cannot tolerate running out of power during a class. Aspire makes sure this never happens.

Acer also cared about practical features like keyboard backlit and fingerprint reader for this laptop. All these specs and features make Acer Aspire 5 a great budget laptop for computer science majors.

3. Best Touchscreen 2 in 1 Laptop for Computer Science Students

2 in 1 Laptops are getting more and more popular. Acer Spin 3 is one of the best examples of this trend. Moreover, it is an affordable one. If you are looking for a 2 in 1 laptop, this is the one.

It is equipped with a very strong 8th gen i7 CPU. When it is backed up with a 16 GB RAM, this device is almost at a level of professional engineering workstation. You can push it to limits with all kinds of engineering programs but it will not fall short unless you work on graphics-intensive programs. As it only has an integrated GPU, editing videos, playing games or designing one will be hard for Acer Spin 3. In that case, go for a laptop with good GPU.

14 inch display is more than enough but do not expect something spectacular from this 1920 x 1080 screen. As you will not focus on graphics on this device, there is no need to be discouraged because it’s good sides are plenty.

Another great feature it offers that you can take notes with stylus during classes. You can even take notes on PowerPoint presentations.

512GB NVMe SSD means you have lots of space and data travels super-fast on it, just like what a CS major needs. Acer Spin 3 is 3.7lbs which is acceptable considering its components. Battery life is 12 hours but some people report it lasts less than that. Even so, it has a fantastic battery life for a laptop.

Shortly, if you are into 2 in 1 laptops, this is one of the top choices out there.

4. Best High-End Laptop for Programming and Gaming

If you are a CS student and a gamer, Acer Predator Helios 300 is all you need. This guy is a beast in terms of performance. But the best thing about it is Predator Helios’s price. It is quite affordable for a laptop like this.

Acer Predator Helios 300 has too many features to talk about but let’s start with the main gun. Predator is equipped with an Intel i7 9750H which can boost up to 4.5 GHz. It is a killer CPU that capable of handling every game, program, multitask ever! This 9th generation 6-core CPU meets system requirements of even most CPU hungry games. Moreover, it is great for multitasking when coupled with its 16 GB 2666 MHz RAM.

As for GPU, Nvidia GTX 1660 Ti can handle most new games at medium-high settings. Acer is very serious about network quality on this model. It has Killer Wi-Fi 6 Ax1650 and bandwidth prioritization for best wireless experience. Also it comes with an Ethernet socket for gamers who want to play safe.

144 Hz screen refresh rate is pretty much standard for gamers in 2020. Most professional gamers and streamers say you should go for 144 Hz refresh rate and less than 5 ms response time. Helios got a 1920×1080 144 Hz3msIPS display which ticks every box on “display requirements for gaming list”. 144 Hz is also great for general use; you will notice the pleasure of your eyes once you start using it.

Helios offers 256-512 GB PCIe NVMe SSD which is top speed hardware you can get. It is as bulky as any 15.6” inch and 5.29 lbs gaming laptop can be but if you are a gamer you should just deal with it if you don’t want to rage for poor performance on games.

5. Best Programming Laptop under 1000

This laptop was under $1000 on the date we released this article. It offers Apple quality for a better price. MacBook Pro is superior to Air but its price is higher too. If you read our 1. choice MacBook Pro, most of the features apply for MacBook Air too.

To name some of the great features of MacBook Air;

  • Top-quality display ( 2560×1600, IPS Retina display screen)
  • 10th generation Intel CPU
  • 2.8 lbs. super light-weight
  • High-speed SSD
  • 2x Thunderbolt ports
  • Magic Keyboard and Touch ID
  • 11 hours battery life

6. Best Laptop for Coding on the go

Coding on the go? You can keep coding on the battlefield with this laptop. It has military-grade durability and up to 14 hours battery life. If these are not enough for you, let’s dig into detailed specs.

We are serious about military-grade durability. It meets MIL-STD-810G military standard, Zenbook 13 undergoes various vibration, shock and pressure tests. If you manage to break it anyhow, ASUS offers One-Year Accidental Damage Protection.

Real users say promised 14 hours battery life is not realistic but it can last 10 hours easily. Also, it is 2.6 lbs which is quite easy to carry.

Performance-wise Zenbook 13 will not disappoint you. It is well-equipped with Intel Core i7-8565U processor, 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD and 16GB RAM.

Its design is also handy and stylish with comfy keyboard, Numpad that can be activated with one touch and NanoEdge display with a 95% screen-to-body ratio.

It is definitely one of the best if not the best travel laptop on market.

Another ideal option for a computer science major is Asus Vivobook S. It is a laptop that has a great price for its specs.

It has an Intel i5 8250U which is a good CPU for a CS student. 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD will be handy for you. It may seem like Asus Vivobook S does not have anything special but it also has nothing missing. It is a good average laptop for a good price. Only problem is 4 to 5 hours of battery life.

Other than battery life, it also covers all basic design and utility features. Ergonomic backlit keyboard, lots of ports including USB-C, Fingerprint sensor, nice design and so on…

If you want powerhouse of business and engineering laptops, Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Extreme is just for you. This highly customizable laptop carries an Intel i7-10510U Processor in its cool carbon body. It can handle any program with ease.

14” IPS screen can be customizable up to 4K on order. If you like watching movies on your laptop, it might be the right laptop for you. You can also get a high-speed NVMe SSD up to 2TB. This amount of storage almost never depletes.

It is a premium laptop and Lenovo ThinkPad series widely known among the business world. It is sturdy and does the job. Give it a look.

As a conclusion, you can not go wrong with any option we suggested. If you are still looking for more options there are some good laptop recommendations here. The only thing you should be cautious about is choosing the laptop that comparatively suits you better. Weight, performance, style, battery life; which one is more important to you? Each person has different needs after all. Do not forget that you are a person before a CS major.

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