Struggling with selecting the ideal laptop for your computer science studies?

In this blog, we reveal the best laptops for computer science majors, tailored to meet the diverse and demanding needs of students in this field. From models that excel in coding and software development to those capable of handling complex simulations and data analysis, we include a range of laptops that balance performance, portability, and battery life. We also consider alternative options for various budgets and the specific requirements of computer science coursework.

With over 15 years of experience in educational technology and computer science, we’ve helped numerous students, from beginners to advanced learners, find laptops that support their academic journey. Our selection of the best laptops for computer science majors is grounded in comprehensive testing and real-world academic use, ensuring our recommendations are practical and effective.

These laptops aren’t just about processing power; they excel in offering a combination of fast CPUs, sufficient RAM, and robust storage, along with features conducive to programming and development tasks. We’ve evaluated them for their overall performance, durability, and compatibility with essential software and tools used in computer science, finding them ideal for students who need a reliable, high-performing laptop that can keep up with the rigors of their coursework.

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Let’s delve into the best laptops suitable for their specific needs in 2023.

Best Laptops for Computer Science Major 2024

Apple MacBook Pro (13-Inch, 8GB RAM, & 256 GB Storage)

The MacBook Pro is always a next-gen series of laptops, the epitome of perfection. No doubt it is among the best computer engineering laptops of 2024. Originally released in July 2019, the Apple MacBook Pro 1.4GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 features high power and capability.

Benefits for CS Students

Configured with a 1.4GHz quad-core (8th-generation) Intel Core i5 processor, the 13-inch model suffices for a CS student’s needs. Tasks like compiling code, encoding video, running 3D apps, and many more are much faster than the previous models, making it the overall best Mac laptop for CS.

  • This one comes in a Space Gray hue and a sleek shape, making it look astonishing. The 13-inch size of this laptop makes it compact and easily portable. Starting from the processor to the memory, graphics, and storage, everything makes this specific model the first choice of any CS student or professional.
  • There is a 720p FaceTime HD camera for magnificent pictures during video conference calls. Another highlight is the Intel Iris Plus Graphics 645, which accelerates graphics tasks with uninterrupted speed. Moreover, it has up to 10 hours of battery life, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and two Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports.
  • It has a spectacular retina display with true-tone technology. For increased productivity, the touch bar is integrated with touch ID.

Also, running multiple pro apps won’t be a problem with the ultra-fast 128GB SSD and the 8GB of 2133MHz LPDDR3 onboard memory.

What We Like

  • With this best Apple laptop for a computer science student, you can solve the toughest computing tricks at a faster speed.
  • On unpacking the box, you’ll get your MacBook Pro, a 61W USB-C adapter, and a USB-C charge cable.
What We Don’t Like
  • The only con is that it is in a higher range than the other models on the list.
  • Also, if the budget is not what you are bothered about, there are the latest refurbished models that you can check out as well.

Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Platinum (PUV-00001)

Microsoft has launched its PUV-00001 for all those individuals who take computing seriously. The best aspects of its design are convenience and portability. With a built-in kickstand and removable type cover, this one is versatile enough to be used both as a studio and a tablet.

Benefits for CS Students

This one comes in a solid platinum hue, and the keypad is designed in a matte red shade. The manufacturing brand claims that the overall experience of typing, touching, writing, and drawing is seamless. All these features make it a good laptop for computer science students.

  • This one lets you enjoy coding and computing like never before thanks to its 8 GB of RAM, which is expandable to 256 GB. Multitasking across Microsoft 365 apps and other apps seems effortless with this one handy. As a revamped model of the Surface Pro 6, this one is faster, more versatile, and lightweight (approximately 1.70 pounds).
  • The 12.3″ touchscreen display of this laptop makes it ideal to compute and carry. The Surface Pen allows you to write and draw naturally on the screen, which is the main highlight of this Microsoft brainchild. The screen adjusts to the lighting conditions automatically, which is an additional feature.

The options for connectivity between USB-C and USB-A let you use it conveniently according to your needs. Secondly, this one can be easily connected to multiple displays, docking stations, and more gadgets. Charging your phone and accessories seamlessly is something you can be assured of.

What We Like

  • Dynamic display, sleek design, keyboard and trackpad, built-in kickstand and removable type cover, speedy performance—these are the pros, making it perhaps the best portable and convertible laptop for CS.

What We Don’t Like
  • However, it has an average battery life as compared to some other models.

Acer Aspire E 15, E5-576-392H

Ensuring reliable performance, this one is among the best budget laptops one can opt for. The simple design of this one suggests that it has a robust build. The solid black hue and the brand logo are all about simplicity.

Benefits for CS Students

An Intel Core i3 8130U processor from the 8th generation powers this one. The processor speed of 2.2 GHz has a maximum turbo speed of 3.40 GHz. Superfast computing, coding, and multitasking are the main attractions of this model as the best budget laptop for computer science majors.

  • This Acer laptop with a 15.6-inch Full HD widescreen is designed with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels.
  • The LED-lit display projects videos and movies crystal clear. This one, with a 2800 mAh 6-cell lithium-ion battery, offers a battery life of up to 13.5 hours.
  • This one has a standard memory of 6 GB and a maximum memory of 16 GB. The memory technology is DDR3L SDRAM, which is more advanced than Acer’s previous models. There are two memory slots, one memory card reader, and a slot for an SD card, like most average laptops.

The 1 TB (5400 RPM) hard drive capacity with a serial ATA interface ensures expandable memory. Built-in activities like a front camera with a 1280 x 720 resolution, a digital microphone port, sneakers, speakers, an HDMI port, and four USB ports are some of the basic features of this Acer gadget.

What We Like

  • Compact design, black colour, robustly built 8th Generation Intel Core i3 8130U Processor, 13.5 hours of battery life, 2.2 GHz processor speed, and economical pricing are some of its pros.
  • This one comes from among the best economic range of high-performance laptops. 

What We Don’t Like

  • Yet, individuals looking for attractive designs will find this one featureless.

2019 Newest HP Pavilion Business Flagship Laptop Gold

To strike a balance between fine aesthetics and powerful performance, this HP Pavilion laptop can be a great option. Mainly, this exclusive model from the HP Business Flagship series of laptops is designed for professionals. It makes the most inexpensive laptop for computer science majors.

Benefits for CS Students

The computing needs of a CS student will be fulfilled with this HP Pavilion laptop. Its 8th Generation Intel Core i5 Quad-Core processor is dedicated to superfast computing and backed by a maximum turbo speed of 3.4 GHz. For seamless multitasking, the 12 GB of DDR4 RAM is sufficient.

  • This one comes with a higher bandwidth, which makes everything from multitasking to playing games enjoyable. You get a performance boost instantly when you switch it on, as the brand claims.
  • The best part of this laptop is its massive storage option, which has plenty of room leftover even after you store a lot.
  • The hard drive storage of 1 TB lets you grow your collection of movies, songs, games, assignments, and pictures. Also, the 15.6-inch screen with 1366×76 resolution renders a quality display.

For cable-free networking, this one is designed with Wireless-AC (802.11ac) technology. No need to worry about fast wired connectivity, as this model has a Gigabit Ethernet connectivity option too. You can also transfer files from multiple formats with the advanced digital media card reader.

What We Like

  • There are multiple pros, like superfast computing, seamless multitasking, higher bandwidth, huge storage space, cable-free networking, and many more.
  • Hence, you can consider this one as a portable laptop with higher processing power or the overall best Windows laptop for CS.

What We Don’t Like

  • However, this laptop comes with the Windows 10 operating system, which many individuals consider a con.

Dell XPS 13 7390 Laptop

From the house of Dell, this one is designed with advanced features to suit the computing needs of professionals. The manufacturing brand claims this exclusive model is stunning inside and out. So, let’s check out whether it makes one of the best laptops for computer science students in 2023 or not.

Benefits for CS Students

Kudos to the 10th Generation Intel Core i7-10710U Processor, which lets you multitask without a single interruption. No chances to slow down or hang as the device is backed by a powerful 1TB M.2 PCIe NVMe solid-state drive storage system.

  • This model features an intelligent design with its ultimate infinity-edge HD display technology. This technology enables its 13.3″ screen in an 11-inch form factor with an 80.7% screen-to-body ratio, which is brilliant. Every color in its screen is vibrant, featuring a 100% sRGB color spectrum and a 1500:1 contrast ratio.
  • The best aspect of this laptop is its display, which is anti-reflective combined with superior 400-nit brightness.
  • You can freely work on this one during your outdoor entertainment. As the IPS panel allows a wider viewing angle, you don’t have to miss a single thing while sharing your screen with others.
  • This iconic model features an aesthetically rich design owing to its surface, which is cut from a single block of aluminum. Secondly, this one offers seamless PC and smartphone integration and both iOS and Android operating systems.

The safety measurement is also high with a fingerprint reader.

What We Like

  • Great design, high-end performance, superior display, seamless multitasking, and both iOS and Android smartphone integration are its pros.

What We Don’t Like

  • Though it is one of the best Computer Science laptops for mid-range, the display technology is not among the basic computing necessities of a CS student or professional.

Dell XPS 15 laptop 15.6″, 4K UHD InfinityEdge Touch

This Dell-designed laptop for CS is inexpensive, sleek, and attractive. Though this one is a 15.6-inch laptop, it has a compact shape compared to the other laptops of its dimension. It is one of the lightest 15-inch laptops, with a diameter of 11 to 17 mm.

Benefits for CS Students

This Dell laptop is configured with a 9th Generation Intel Core i7-9750h (12 MB Cache, 6 Core, up to 4.50 GHz) processor. Adding to it, the advanced Windows 10 OS allows the user to multitask without slowing down the device.

  • The 15.6-inch 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) display is one of the best aspects of this Dell laptop. The display is designed with Infinity-Edge anti-reflective technology along with touch IPS and 100% RGB 500-nits. Hence, one can watch crystal-clear images from a wide range of viewing angles. Watching movies, editing videos, and playing games are the tasks that become easier with this one.
  • The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 4GB GDDR5 video card and 512GB hard drive are some other features worth mentioning. Also, there is 1 HDMI v2.0 port, 1 Thunderbolt 3 with Power Delivery and DisplayPort, 2 USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports, and 1 universal audio jack in this high-end CS laptop.
  • The stereo speakers are designed with Waves MaxxAudio Pro technology that renders crystal-clear sound. Some other features are its backlit English keyboard with fingerprint reader and Bluetooth 5.0.

What We Like

  • Silver colour, robustly built, slim and lightweight, 15.6-inch 4K UHD display with anti-reflective technology, 512 GB hard drive, and beautiful audio are some of the pros of this Dell model.

What We Don’t Like

  • This one is definitely among the best mid-range laptops for computer science majors.

Comparison of Laptops for CS Students

Comparison ASUS 14″ ZWYING HP Stream 14″ HP 14″
Computer Memory Size 4 GB 8 GB 4 GB 4 GB
Connectivity Technology Ethernet
CPU Model Celeron N4020 Celeron Celeron N Celeron N4020
CPU Model Manufacturer Intel Intel Intel Intel
CPU Speed 1.10 GHz 2.0 GHz 1.10 GHz 1.10 GHz
Display Resolution Maximum 1366 x 768 pixels 1920*1080 pixels 1366 x 768 pixels 1366 x 768 megapixels
Screen Size 14 inches 15.6 inches 14 inches 14 inches
Display Technology LED
Graphics Coprocessor Intel UHD Graphics Integrated Graphics Card Intel UHD Graphics 600 Intel UHD Graphics 600 Intel
Hard Disk Description SSD SSD SSD
Hard Disk Size 128 GB 128 GB 64 GB 64 GB
Hardware Platform PC PC PC PC
Human Interface Input Microphone Microphone, Keyboard, and Mouse Keyboard Microphone
Item Dimensions 12.8 x 8.54 x 0.72 inches 6.69 x 4.8 x 1.06 inches 19 x 12 x 3 inches 12.76 x 8.86 x 0.71 inches
Item Weight 2.87 lbs 3.97 lbs 3.17 lbs 3.20 lbs
Operating System Windows 11 Windows 11 Pro Windows 10 S Windows 10 Home
Processor Count 2 4 2 2
Wireless Communication Standard Bluetooth Bluetooth Bluetooth Bluetooth, 802.11a
Wireless Communication Technology Bluetooth, Wi-Fi Wi-Fi Bluetooth Wi-Fi, Bluetooth

Buying Guide: Best Laptop for Computer Science Students

Now, when you know about the specifications of some of the best laptops in this category, it will be easier to pick the right one. Before you make a final decision, let’s answer some of the frequently asked questions about CS laptops.

FAQs: Best Laptops for Computer Science Major

How good of a laptop do I need for computer science?

For computer science, you’ll need a reasonably powerful laptop since you’ll be running various software and possibly doing some heavy computations or coding. Ideally, look for a laptop with a fast processor (preferably a recent-generation i5 or i7), at least 8GB of RAM (though 16GB is better), and a decent-sized SSD for quicker file access and system responsiveness.

What are the laptop requirements for computer science students in 2023?

As of 2023, here’s a general guideline for what a computer science student might need:

  • Processor: minimum of a quad-core processor, such as Intel’s i5 or i7 from recent generations or AMD’s Ryzen 5 or 7.
  • Memory (RAM): minimum of 8GB, though 16GB is recommended for smoother multitasking and running heavier applications.
  • Storage: A minimum of a 256GB SSD. A solid-state drive (SSD) is much faster than a traditional hard drive (HDD), so it’s recommended for quicker boot times and app launches.
  • Graphics: Integrated graphics are sufficient for most tasks. However, if you plan on doing graphical work, machine learning, or game development, consider a laptop with a dedicated graphics card.
  • Battery Life: Look for a laptop that offers at least 6–8 hours of battery life to ensure you can make it through long lectures or study sessions without needing a charge.
  • Operating System: Whether you choose Mac, Windows, or even Linux will depend on personal preference and the specific courses you’re taking. However, ensure the OS is compatible with the software you’ll be using.
  • Portability: A lightweight and slim profile can be beneficial if you’re moving between lectures or study groups.
  • Other Features: Ensure there are enough USB ports, possibly a USB-C or Thunderbolt port for faster data transfer and charging, and a decent webcam for any online courses or meetings.

Is Mac or Windows better for computer science?

The Mac vs. Windows debate largely comes down to personal preference, and both platforms have their advantages.

  • Mac (macOS): Many developers and computer science students appreciate the UNIX-based operating system, which can make certain types of programming more straightforward. Macs also offer a stable and sleek user experience. The hardware is generally of high quality, but it comes at a premium price.
  • Windows: With the introduction of the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL), you can now run a Linux distribution alongside your existing Windows installation. This gives computer science students flexibility in accessing a wide range of development tools. Windows laptops also come in a broader range of price points and configurations than Macs.

That said, some software tools and platforms might be exclusive to one OS or run better on one than the other. It’s essential to check the requirements for the specific software or tools you’ll be using in your courses.

Ultimately, both platforms can serve a computer science student well. It’s best to choose the one you’re most comfortable with and that aligns with your budget and software needs.

Is 8GB of RAM suitable for learning to program?

It is suitable for learning programming. To learn the basic programming concepts and apply them, you don’t need a powerful computer.

The experienced coders need much higher RAM and such needs also suffice within the 8GB RAM. Also, it depends on what other computing tasks you are performing on that device.

Are 13-inch laptops suitable for programming?

More than the display size, the resolution matters for the developers. A larger screen with a lower resolution is not a good option for programming, whereas a 13-inch screen with a full HD display with a high resolution makes a better choice.

Hence, 13-inch laptops are suitable for programming if they render a high-resolution, crystal-clear display.

How is battery backup good for CS students?

You will find laptops offering up to 16 GB of battery backup, which is always a brilliant option. However, a battery backup of up to 10 hours is good enough for CS students and professionals. Both the mid-range and the high-range of laptops with proper configuration usually offer higher battery backup and battery life than the others.

Is a dedicated graphics card needed for CS majors?

A dedicated graphics card is essential for specific tasks. For example, when somebody is working with graphics-intensive apps, a graphics card is needed. Otherwise, it is not compulsory for all CS majors. One can find graphics cards in the best Computer Science laptops for mid-range.

Is a 256-GB SSD better than a 1 TB hard drive?

One can consider SSDs as a secondary storage option. 1TB hard drive can store four times as much data as a 256 GB SSD. Hence, there can be no comparison between a 256-GB SSD and a 1TB hard drive. The only advantage of an SSD is that one can access online files easily from other devices, including PCs, laptops, smartphones, and tablets.

Is the Apple MacBook suitable for programming?

The MacBook Pro is one of the best laptops for programming. Many professionals rely on MacBooks when it comes to coding and programming, coding, and graphic design. For many CS students, the MacBook Pro is the ultimate choice for its exceptionally outstanding performance. Especially when you are writing iOS apps or macOS apps, this is the final option. Only the budget becomes a real concern before buying a MacBook Pro.


Above are some of the best laptops for computer science majors that will help you optimize your search. For many students and professionals looking for laptops in this category, the MacBook Pro is the ultimate choice.

Those looking for Windows OS can also consider the HP Pavilion Business Flagship Laptop or the Dell XPS laptops.

There is fierce competition among these three for the best laptop for computer science students in the mid-price range. If the budget is what you are concerned about, the Acer Aspire E 15, E5-576-392H from the list makes a suitable option.

If you are searching for the most stylish laptop in this category, the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Platinum makes a perfect choice. So, what are you waiting for? Go ahead and get the best laptop for CS students, keeping these options in mind.