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Best Laptops for Computer Science Students [2020 Review]

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The laptop industry has undergone so many changes over the past decade. There’s bound to be more confusion in the laptop aisle now more than ever. Unfortunately, while the laptop changes are for the better, it might be confusing. This is true especially if you’re looking for a laptop for a niche profession.

Today’s laptops encompass everything from feather weight laptop, business laptop, ultra portable laptop that barely weighs anything (less than 2 pounds of weight) to lap-crushing gaming laptops that weigh as much as 10 pounds of weight. But we’re not dealing with those today. In this article, we take a look at the uncharted waters that is the best laptops for computer science students or computer science majors.

Best Laptops for Computer Science Students and Majors

Brand
Best Overall
ASUS VivoBook S
Best Macbook
MacBook Pro 13″
Best Hybrid
Microsoft Surface Pro 7
Product
ASUS VivoBook S Ultra Thin and Portable Laptop,...
Apple MacBook Pro (13-Inch, 8GB RAM, 256GB...
Microsoft Surface Pro 7 – 12.3" Touch-Screen -...
Processor
4 GHz Intel Core i5
2.3GHz quad-core Intel Core i5, Turbo Boost up to 3.8GHz, with 128MB of eDRAM
10th Gen Intel Core i7, i5 and i3
RAM
8 GB
8GB
8GB
Rating
Best Overall
Brand
ASUS VivoBook S
Product
ASUS VivoBook S Ultra Thin and Portable Laptop,...
Processor
4 GHz Intel Core i5
RAM
8 GB
Rating
Price
Best Macbook
Brand
MacBook Pro 13″
Product
Apple MacBook Pro (13-Inch, 8GB RAM, 256GB...
Processor
2.3GHz quad-core Intel Core i5, Turbo Boost up to 3.8GHz, with 128MB of eDRAM
RAM
8GB
Rating
Price
Best Hybrid
Brand
Microsoft Surface Pro 7
Product
Microsoft Surface Pro 7 – 12.3" Touch-Screen -...
Processor
10th Gen Intel Core i7, i5 and i3
RAM
8GB
Rating
Price

With new computer technology playing a vital and ever-growing role in respect to modern life, computer skills like computer science degrees are in high demand. Many different new industries and multinational companies need computer science students to handle their IT.

New companies such as financial organizations, management consultancy firms, software houses, communications companies, and data warehouses require computer science students.

IT consultants, for instance, advise new clients on the planning, design, installation, and usage of information technology systems to meet the client’s business objectives.

As a result, laptops for computer students need the very best in technology to complete these development tasks.

Computer science focuses on understanding, designing, and developing programs and computers. That means students will be dealing with a course full of learning almost all forms of programming language: Python, JavaScript, PHP, Java, Ruby, C++, jquery, and the likes. To be fair to both worlds, I’ll answer this question in two parts. There are two Windows 10 options and a non-Windows 10 choice as well.

  1. ASUS VivoBook S
  2. Apple MacBook Pro 13″
  3. Microsoft Surface Pro 7
  4. Acer Predator Helios 300
  5. ASUS VivoBook S
  6. Dell Inspiron 15 5000
  7. Acer Aspire E 15

These are our top laptop choices to handle computer science tasks such as development (such as web, games, systems, products, programs, and software) and run programs such as MATLAB, NetBeans, and Eclipse. Read on and find out which of these laptops best suits computer science, students or majors. 

1. Best Laptop for Computer Science Students / Majors – ASUS VivoBook S

ASUS VivoBook S Ultra Thin and Portable Laptop,...

The ASUS VivoBook S laptop is without a doubt among the most portable, not heavy, affordable and powerful 14-inch laptops in the market today. Despite the sleek and light weight build, this laptop fits an 8th Gen Core i5 processor that gives this powerful laptop the performance edge over other laptops in its class with performance cons along with storage 256GB.

With this 8th Intel Core processor, this laptop has muscle and is more than capable of both work and play, especially when you factor in the price.

At 14.2 x 9.6 x 0.7 inches and 3.7 pounds, this laptop joins the ranks of the best laptop in terms of design in the market today. This means you can load this laptop into your backpack, carry it on your back and forget it’s even there.

On opening the case, you are greeted by a 15.6 inch Full HD (1920 x 1080) resolution display. The laptop screen is covered with an anti-glare coating that takes care of glare of the screen using the laptop under direct sunlight and brightly lit rooms that can make looking at the screen hard.

Display size15.6-inch Full HD
Resolution1920 x 1080 pixels
Processor8th Generation Intel i5-8550U
RAM Memory8GB DDR4 RAM
Graphics CardIntel Graphics
Storage (SSD)Storage 256GB SSD NVME
Battery life5 Hours of Battery Life

Moving on, the port selection on this laptop is decent. It is capable of satisfying most budget computer science student needs – included is an HDMI port, two USB 2.0 ports for slow peripheral connections, a USB 3.0 port (Type A), a USB 3.1 port (Type C), a full-size SD-Card reader and a headphone/ microphone combo jack.

Any computer science student might also enjoy the robust intel HD wireless connectivity via an integrated 802.11ac module, along with a reliable Bluetooth 4.2 connection. There is no Thunderbolt 3 port on this laptop but it’s understandable at this price point. Any cs student really gets what they pay for with this machine. For a high-end laptops port system, look for sub $1500 laptops or an entry-level gaming laptop.

Performance

The performance of this laptop is impressive and any computer science student will get a lot of productivity work done without major performance cons. Nothing sounds its thunder like an 8th Gen Core i5 8250U, at least 8GB DDR4 RAM memory, and Intel HD graphics card. With these three components, those tasks that made your former computer quiver now look like an old hag with this laptop.

With that processor and enough RAM, this laptop can easily handle movie streaming, video rendering, video editing, moderate gaming, word processing, and spreadsheets with aplomb.

Any computer science student looking to handle some programming assignments or software with heavy graphics, the ASUS VivoBook S laptop should take care of it.

For this laptop, you get a storage 256GB SSD. Storage 256GB SSD might not sound like much, but you can always boost it with extra hard disk storage. Unless you’re a high-demand user, this NVME SSD storage 256GB is good enough.

The operating system is installed on the storage 256GB SSD which means the laptop can load software and boot up in seconds, that’s often the case with SSD.

Pros

  • Sleek attractive design
  • Impressive 1080p display
  • Great SSD Storage
  • Reasonably priced

Cons

  • Not great battery life
  • Lacks futuristic Thunderbolt 3

Verdict

The ASUS VivoBook S fits the bill as a midrange laptop for users looking to stay productive on the move. It packs all the right components in a sleek and light weight body making it the perfect laptop for students on a budget that’s not heavy. You get a great backlit keyboard, great performance and some gaming laptop capacity thanks to a powerful 8th Gen Core i5 processor and graphic card.

For the most part, the Asus VivoBook S510UA is an ideal travel companion for students, professionals, and everyone in-between. It easily makes it to the top of our best laptops for computer science students list.

ASUS VivoBook S Ultra Thin and Portable Laptop,...
  • Powerful and efficient 8th Generation Intel Core i5-8250U Processor 1.8 GHz (Turbo up to 4.0 GHz)
  • High performance 256GB SSD and 8GB DDR4 RAM
  • Slim 14.2" wide, 0.7" thin; 0.3" ASUS Nano Edge bezel with 80% screen-to-body ratio

2. Best Apple Laptop for Computer Science Students/Majors – Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch

Apple MacBook Pro (13-Inch, 8GB RAM, 256GB...

A lot has changed since the first generation MacBook days. There’s a vast difference between the first MacBook and the modern ones today. There’s a world of difference between MacBooks and other brands of laptops. That’s all because of the marvel of engineering that has gone into MacBooks, case in point the Apple MacBook Pro we recommend for computer science students.

The MacBook Pro 2018 is heavily specced and packs enough horsepower to muscle through multitasking tasks, and day-to-day performance. I’m talking about content creation and running programs. Out of this whole list of laptops, it easily takes the lead as an aesthetically fit machine with performance perks.

Speaking of design and aesthetics, you’ll not find a better-crafted machine in the industry. Built with an aluminum body, the MacBook Pro 2018 is a sleek, diminutive and light weight machine, which is better than a heavy one. It’s nothing like the Dell XPS 13 or the Dell XPS 15 but at 3 pounds, it does seem to keep mobility in mind and fits into small enclosures, better than the Dell XPS. If anything, I would go as far as saying the MacBook Pro is an ideal travel companion.

Display size13.3-inch
Resolution2560 x 1600 pixels
Processor8th Gen i5
RAM MemoryRAM 8GB
Storage (SSD)512GB SSD
Battery life14 hours of Battery Life

The 13.3-inch display is notably better with vibrant color gamut, thanks to True Tone ( a new technology for displays). The 13.3-inch display features Retina Display technology that’s a pioneer in offering vivid color gamut and crystal clear images. With a 2560 x 1600 resolution screen and 13.3-inch of screen size, you get to enjoy the very best viewing experience.

13.3-inch Display and screen size aside, what really separates the Apple MacBook Pro from the rest of the lot is its features and specifications. It brags of premium components such as an 8th Generation Intel i5 processor, coupled with RAM 8GB and storage 512GB SSD or Solid-state drive which run better than 256GB storage SSD.

Thanks to the RAM 8GB memory and the storage 512GB SSD, this portable machine is capable of handling most everyday productivity tasks and some professional software like MATLAB.

In terms of power and connectivity, the ports are few and far between compared to the competition. That’s allowing the miniature design the portable MacBook Pro takes. It features a Thunderbolt 3 ports and no other ports. Other portable laptops offer more port system options and features which is a choice that might not sit well with some buyers.

I must admit that this is an issue of personal opinion and preference though. If you love a healthy port system, with the MacBook Pro you will have to get used to using adapters and dongles.

Pros

  • Impressive Laptop Design
  • Excellent touchpad
  • Powerful CPU
  • Plenty of storage (512GB SSD)
  • Great keyboard for comfort
  • Hey Siri functionality
  • Great battery life that last hours

Cons

  • No option for a discrete graphics card
  • Using ports will require dongles
  • High starting price

Overall, the Apple MacBook Pro is a great everyday ultra portable for the self-employed frequent traveler but best of all for the college students looking for a computer science future.

This portable laptop should serve as a fine platform for light-to-moderate video and photo editing in between. It’s Achilles’ heel remains to be its price tag, but if you can afford to pay the whole amount, this portable laptop will serve you well throughout campus.

Apple MacBook Pro (13-Inch, 8GB RAM, 256GB...
  • Quad-core 8th-Generation Intel Core i5 Processor
  • Brilliant Retina Display with True Tone technology
  • Touch Bar and Touch ID

3. Best Hybrid Laptop for Computer Science Students: Microsoft Surface Pro 7

Microsoft Surface Pro 7 – 12.3' Touch-Screen -...

A new version of the Microsoft Surface Pro 6, the Surface Pro 7 is a befitting option for computer science students craving the convenience of a hybrid laptop. With sturdy Intel 10th Gen performance, a USB-C port, sharp display, and a design to die for, this machine will significantly boost your academic productivity while also allowing for a generous dose of entertainment.

We noticed that the battery’s performance is a slide step back. However, this should not be a problem if you don’t plan on subjecting the laptop to hardcore gaming or extreme video streaming. Even if doesn’t compare to gaming laptops, you can still get a long battery life on basic and mid-range tasks like browsing, coding, writing essays, and reading.

The sharp display, impressive Type Cover keyboard, and plausible performance give it an edge over other convertibles in this price range. While we cannot say that Microsoft reinvented the wheel with this machine, it is arguably the most solid detachable in the market for computer science students.

Although its bezels are chunkier than those of competitors such as the Dell XPS or Surface Pro X, this laptop is still light enough for computer students who move around a lot. The 12,3-inch 2736 x 1824 display has rich colors and satisfying brightness for web browsing, reading, watching tutorials, or doing some creative work like graphic design.

While only 395 nits of brightness are behind the Microsoft Surface Pro 6 display, it’s way better than that of an average laptop.

In terms of audio, you will get an okay performance when listening to music or watching movies on YouTube or Netflix. However, if you are looking for a truly immersive experience, you might have to invest in external speakers. This is because the Surface Pro 7’s speakers have a dull volume with no low ends.

The general performance is impressive. Thanks to the 10th Intel Core i5-1035G4 CPU and 8GB of RAM and the integrated Intel Iris Plus graphics, you can comfortably use the powerful laptop to multitask without affecting its performance. This includes opening multiple browser tabs, running mid-range software, streaming low-resolution videos, and using word processors like Google Docs.

The performance is further boosted by the 256GB SSD. With SSD You can quickly transfer larger amounts of files and still enjoy fast, stable speeds. Although we cannot categorize the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 with high-end, fast gaming models, the integrated Intel Iris Plus graphics can handle mid-range titles and some creative tasks.

With integrated Intel Iris Plus graphics, you can use this machine for your school projects like web or mobile app development without experiencing any significant graphical hiccups.

For computer science students who type most of the time, The Surface Pro 7 Type Cover offers speedy typing for quickly completing class projects, taking notes, or browsing the web. The keys have deep travel with satisfying springy feedback.

There is also a 4-inch wide touchpad to add a bit of sauce to your typing experience. You will get a lot of real estate for moving your fingers. The wrist rests are soft and ergonomic to allow for a speedy and comfortable typing.

The battery is a bit of a letdown and might not excite computer science students who hate carrying their chargers around. However, assuming that you will not be actively using your laptop throughout the school-day, the battery might last long enough.

Display Size12.3-inch Display
Resolution2736 x 1824 pixels
ProcessorIntel Core i5-1035G4
RAM Memory  8GB
Graphics CardIntel Iris Plus Graphics
Storage (SSD)256GB SSD
Battery life7 hours

Pros

  • Sleek design
  • Comfortable keyboard for speedy typing
  • Great integrated Intel Iris Plus graphics
  • Impressive overall performance
  • Sharp display
  • Comes with a USB-C port

Cons

  • Underwhelming audio performance
  • Average battery life
Sale
Microsoft Surface Pro 7 – 12.3" Touch-Screen -...
  • Next-gen, best-in-class laptop with the versatility of a studio and tablet, so you can type, touch,...
  • Faster than Surface Pro 6, with a 10th Gen Intel Core Processor – redefining what’s possible in...
  • More ways to connect, with both USB-C and USB-A ports for connecting to displays, docking stations...

4. Acer Predator Helios 300 Laptop

Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop PC, 15.6'...

The Acer Predator Helios 300 laptop received accolades for its perfect balance of gaming performance with an Nvidia Geforce and price point. But the same reasons that made this laptop a sensation are the same that make it great as a laptop for computer science students.

With an 8th Gen Core i7 processor, Nvidia Geforce 1060 dedicated graphics card, 256GB SSD of storage, 16GB DDR4 RAM and 144Hz screen, Acer’s Predator Helios 300 laptop easily justify its popularity. And this laptop does so proudly in its black and edged out chassis.

Compared to the Apple MacBook Pro, the Predator Helios laptop is neither heavily specced nor expensive, even with the Intel Core i7 and 16GB DDR4. With the GeForce GTX, it’s a decently configured laptop capable of gaming and handling graphics-intensive tasks. Of course, that means there aren’t as many perks as on the MacBook Pro, but cutbacks and corners are expected for budget best laptops for computer science.

Display size15.6-inch Full HD, IPS w/ 144Hz refresh rate
Resolution1920 x 1080 pixels
ProcessorIntel Core i7 8750H
RAM Memory16GB DDR4 RAM
Graphics CardNvidia GeForce GTX 1060 6GB dedicated graphics card
Storage256GB SSD NVMe of storage
Battery life3 hours and 45 minutes of battery life

Sitting at 10.5 x 15.3 x 1.1 inches and 5.51 pounds, the Predator Helios is decently sized. Its design has nothing amazing and so it hardly stands out. It, however, sticks to the gamer aesthetic which is metal chassis in a gun-metal finish with hints of red accents and tapered edges. It might not scream gamer but it might attract some attention when placed alongside other mainstream laptops.

Carrying the Helios is also easy because it’s lighter than it looks. It fits into a backpack and won’t break your back on your daily commute to college.

How does the port section look like? Well, if you’re anything like me, you’ll appreciate the number of ports available. There are two 2.0 USB ports, a headphone jack, a USB 3.0 port, USB 3.1 port, a single HDMI port, and an Ethernet port. Despite having one USB 3.0 port only, you get an SD card reader as well, which comes in pretty handy if you’re using this for your amateur photography.

Moving on, the display is one of the other highlights of the Acer Predator Helios 300. Along with the GeForce GTX, and the Intel Core i7 CPU, it packs a Full HD (1920 x 1080) resolution screen size built on an In-Plane Switching (IPS) panel and 144Hz refresh rate. That means the viewing angles are great and color reproduction even better.

Keyboard and Touchpad

Apart from the display, the keyboard and touchpad also make this laptop stand out. What we loved is that although one might say it’s a gaming laptop its keyboard isn’t gaming. The keyboard is not only comfortable, but it comes with good enough bounce, sufficient travel, great responsiveness, and accuracy. The touchpad is also very responsive and as a result enough for productivity tasks.

Pros

  • Great performer/ Lots of power
  • Affordable price tag
  • 144Hz refresh rate
  • Decent battery life

Cons

  • Loud fan
  • Gets too hot
  • Middling sound

All in all, it’s hard to complain much about the Acer Predator Helios 300. Of course, we would have loved a bigger battery life that lasts longer than 3 hours, but then that would make this best laptop a lot heavier and bulkier. So, it works just fine the way it is and should be a student’s prized possession.

For the top-notch CPU with an Intel Core i7 processor, dedicated GPU, and affordable price tag, the Predator Helios 300 receives our stamp of approval as a good laptop. It’s perfectly capable of serving cs students with aplomb.

Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop PC, 15.6"...
  • 8th Generation Intel Core i7-8750H 6-Core Processor (Up to 4.1GHz) with Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Overclockable Graphics with 6 GB of dedicated GDDR5 VRAM
  • 15.6" Full HD (1920 x 1080) widescreen LED-backlit IPS display (144Hz Refresh Rate, 300nit...

5. Dell Inspiron 15 5000

2018 Dell Inspiron 15 5000 15.6 inch Full HD...

The Dell Inspiron range has historically been pitched at users who are more interested in substance over style. And that’s what you get with the Dell Inspiron 15 5000. While this laptop is not exactly hideous, it doesn’t have visually arresting appeal as other slimmer notebooks and ultrabooks in the high-end market.

That’s not to say you won’t like its design. You will. But just not as much as you would a high-end notebook. From a budget user’s perspective, it is a well-rounded machine with great build quality, a comfortable and colorful soft-touch design and remarkable performance. For that alone, it fits the bill as a students laptop.

A strong performance combined with great build quality and affordable price are the reasons the Dell Inspiron 15 5000 makes our best laptop for computer science students list. Among the upsides to this unit is a Full HD (1920 x 1080) screen size, 8th Intel Quad Core i5-8250U CPU Processor, 8GB DDR4 RAM memory, 1TB HDD of storage (sadly not a 1TB SSD) backlit keyboard, and a healthy port system.

Display size15.6-inch
Resolution1920 x 1080 pixels
CPU Processor8th Intel Core i5-8250U CPU processor
RAM Memory8GB DDR4 RAM
Graphics CardIntel Integrated Graphics 620
Storage1TB HDD
Battery life5 hours of Battery Life

Sitting at 14.96 x 10.15 x 0.89 inches and 2.65 pounds, the Dell Inspiron 15 is averagely sized. For the most part, it’s a laptop that shouldn’t be much trouble carrying around your commute to campus or work.

The display is good at Full HD but the viewing angles aren’t great and the colors are a bit washed out. However, that’s to be expected for the price, and again this is one of the best laptop for budget users.

Also, the display may be a little lackluster but compared to the competition in this price range, it’s slightly less lackluster.

Keyboard

Moving on, the keyboard has a number pad which is boon for productivity. Also, it is a bit cramped up but overall good for the price. Individual keys give the satisfying clicky sound while typing which is great. The trackpad is also sensitive, accurate and well tuned. But it occasionally misses a few swipes, therefore, hook a mouse up when you need to spuriously click things.

As for the ports, the Inspiron 15 5000 laptop comes with a pretty standard selection. There is a power port, SD card, a single USB, Ethernet, and HDMI slots on the left, plus two more USB ports and a headphone jack on the right.

Performance

Performance on the Dell Inspiron 15 5000 is remarkable thanks to the 8th Intel Core i5-8250U CPU processor which is a leg up against competition that relies on older chips or other CPU processors like the AMD Radeon Pro.

The machine runs through various tasks without breaking a sweat. This laptop comes with a chip that is a great choice for those who want fast laptop computing without sacrificing portability or battery life.

Thanks to it, the Inspiron can handle day-to-day tasks such as web browsing, work in Microsoft Office applications, and multimedia playback. Combined with the RAM 8GB memory and storage of 1TB mechanical hard drive (sadly not a 1TB SSD), it makes a good case as a laptop for cs students. Additionally, these laptops can handle 4K videos smoothly

Pros

  • Simple modest design
  • Plenty of ports
  • Full HD display
  • Great performance
  • Good battery life
  • Comfy soft-touch deck
  • Affordable price

Cons

  • Shallow keyboard

Verdict

There’s more to love about the Dell Inspiron 15 5000 than there is to dislike. This all-rounder laptop comes with the muscle to run through daily tasks such as web browsing, light work, and casual gaming. Its aesthetics are low toned but it makes up for that in performance.

The Dell Inspiron 15 5000 is a great laptop for budget users on the lookout for a productivity machine. Better yet, it is a great laptop for computer science students because of its performance perks and affordable price.

2018 Dell Inspiron 15 5000 15.6 inch Full HD...
  • 15.6" Touchscreen True-life LED-Backlit Full HD (1920 x 1080) Display; Intel Integrated 620 Graphics
  • 8th Gen Intel Quad Core i5-8250U Processor (1.6GHz, up to 3.4GHz, 6MB Cache), beating i7-7500U in...
  • 8 GB DDR4 SDRAM, 1TB SATA hard drive

6. Acer Aspire E 15 (E5-576-392H)

Acer Aspire E 15, 15.6' Full HD, 8th Gen Intel...

The Acer Aspire E 15 is a bargain laptop that delivers impressive daily productivity performance on a budget. It’s not one of the best laptop for you if you’re a gaming bug or work with high-demand applications.

On the contrary, if you appreciate a healthy port system, good battery life, 1080p display, a comfortable keyboard, and great value for money, the Acer Aspire fits the bill. It’s a laptop we easily recommend for computer science students and others.

Design-wise, the Acer Aspire E 15 is big, heavy and chunky. The chassis is made of soft plastic but it gives off a deceivingly premium look. It’s a simple subtle design with hardly anything standing out other than the Acer brand logo on the thick bottom bezel and the clamshell lid.

Display size15.6 inch Full HD
Resolution1920 x 1080 pixels
CPU Processor2.2 GHz 8th Gen Intel Core i3 8130U
RAM Memory8GB DDR4 RAM
Graphics CardIntel Integrated Graphics 620
Storage1TB HDD
Battery lifeAlmost 9 hours (8 hours 15 minutes)

At At 15 x 10.2 x 1.2 inches, the Acer Aspire E 15 has a larger footprint than the Acer Spin 3 (13.2 x 9.1 x 0.8 inches) and the Asus VivoBook Flip 14 (12.9 x 8.9 x 0.6 inches). The display is a non touch screen with Full HD (1920 x 1080), sharp images and average (227 nits) brightness.

Rater than featuring an AMD Radeon Pro, this laptop comes with an 8th Intel i3 8130U which is an excellent solution for day-to-day tasks computing tasks, web browsing, work in MS Office and other productivity software, or media playback. The CPU processor coupled with an RAM 8GB memory and 1TB mechanical hard drive storage makes the Aspire great at multitasking and storage for users with plenty of data and games to save. We only wish it was 1TB SSD.

As far as gaming is concerned, the Intel Core i3 8130U with its Intel UHD 620 graphics card is capable of running light games. Intel UHD 620 graphics can handle League of Legends or Minecraft which are not as intensive, and therefore play smoothly with this graphics card.

Finally, other than performance, the Intel UHD Graphics 620, the battery life, keyboard, and touchpad are aspects you’ll love too. The Acer Aspire E 15 lasts for a whopping 8 hours 15 minutes, almost 9 hours which is sufficient to take you through most of your class hours with amazing visuals at UHD 620.

It should add a few more minutes if you adjust the brightness level to 150 nits. Moving forward, the keyboard is spacious enough and hence comfortable to type on.

At 1.1 millimeters key travel, it comes a little short of our recommended 1.5mm minimum. The keys are nonetheless easy to make short and long typing bursts on. Meanwhile, the 4.1 x 3-inch touchpad is responsive thanks to the best Windows laptop 10 operating system. Making gestures such as pinch-to-zoom, three-finger swipe to open all tabs, and four-finger tap to open the Window’s Action Center is easy.

Pros

  • Simple design
  • Solid day-to-day performance
  • Healthy ports
  • Great UHD 620 Graphics
  • Strong battery life
  • Affordable price

Cons

  • Bulky design
  • System comes with Bloatware

Bottom line: the Acer Aspire E15 can handle everyday computing with flair. It offers a great feature set which gives it a solid performance. You get a Full Intel HD graphics display (sadly, not an Nvidia) all-day battery life, affordable price point and fast performance fit for students.

It’s also a first-class alternative for anyone studying computer science majors or simply just requires a budget laptop.

Acer Aspire E 15, 15.6" Full HD, 8th Gen Intel...
  • 8th Generation Intel Core i3 8130U Processor 2.2 GHz (Up to 3.2GHz)
  • 15.6 inches Full HD (1920 x 1080) widescreen LED lit Display
  • 6GB Dual Channel Memory, 1TB HDD and 8x DVD

7. HP Pavilion (2019 Newest HP Pavilion Business Flagship Laptop)

2019 Newest HP Pavilion Business Flagship Laptop...

Just like the Acer Aspire E15, the HP Pavilion is the manufacturer’s low-end offering for buyers on a budget. With this laptop, HP’s target audience is students and younger users and as such we recommend it among other contenders for one of the best laptop for computer science majors. Better yet for the official home or office setting.

As with the past predecessors of the HP Pavilion, the design is fairly downright subtle or just low toned. The case is all matte finish (which does a great job hiding fingerprints and grease) and the material used is plastic. But the aluminum-like plastic gives it a more premium feel that it easily passes as metallic.

Display size15.6 inch
Resolution1366 x 768 pixels
CPU Processor2.2 GHz 8th Gen Intel i5-8250U
Memory12GB DDR4 RAM
Graphics CardIntel Integrated 620 Graphics
Storage1TB HDD
Battery life8 hours 15 minutes

Along the Intel Integrated Graphics 620, the Pavilion comes with sharper edges and frames rather than curved ones, and in return, the design is cleaner and more professional. Granted, we’d have preferred another option, possibly an Nvidia. HP only offers a grey and silver color option for this laptop.

For students who often commute to school/campus, they’ll appreciate the HP Pavilion's 4.23-pound weight which is more or less manageable weight and not heavy for routine commutes. At 14.24 x 9.51 x 0.7 inches, the Pavilion is thinner than most best laptops in this category which then to be heavy.

It wins the belt challenge when compared to Acer Aspire E 15 E5-576-392H (15 x 10.2 x 1.2 inches) and the Dell Inspiron 15 5000 (14.96 x 10.15 x 0.89 inches and 2.65 pounds of weight). However, the Apple MacBook Pro takes the win with its 0.59 inches thickness (0.59 x 11.97 x 8.36 inches HWD, 3.02 pounds of weight).

HD Display

For the display, you get a 768p display (1366 x 768) which is average. The Apple MacBook Pro offers a brighter screen with deeper colors that pop, but you will have to part with a bit more change.

Moving on, the display isn’t touchscreen enabled but you can get a configuration with touch capabilities. You need a port system with at least a single futuristic port option so that your system remains valid for a few years into the future.

We appreciate the fact that despite a basic port system, HP included a USB Type-C port in this laptop. Other ports include an HDMI, LAN, a single USB 3.1 Type-C, and a 3.5 mm headphone jack on the left side. The right side comes with an SD card reader, cable lock, two USB 3.1 Type-A ports, and one power connector.

To boost performance on this budget laptop, HP combined the CPU Intel Core i5-8250U processor, which is powerful enough, 12 GB RAM, and 1TB of one mechanical hard drive. The combination of features make sure the system is powerful enough for one general run to the mill tasks, and some demanding demanding applications.

The powerful laptop can easily handle movie streaming, web browsing, the best gaming, and office productivity such as word processing and spreadsheets.

Pros

  • Simple design
  • Powerful Processor
  • Solid day-to-day performance
  • Healthy ports
  • Strong battery life
  • Affordable price

Cons

  • Bulky design
  • System comes with Bloatware

To sum it all up, the HP Pavilion is no joke one powerful daily use laptop. It ticks all the right boxes for home/ office use and makes sense as one budget laptop for computer science majors. If you’re looking for one no-frills laptop with so-so looks, great performance on daily productivity tasks, long battery life, make sure you choose this one, the HP Pavilion takes the prize.

2019 Newest HP Pavilion Business Flagship Laptop...
  • Powerful Processor & Memory: 8th Generation Intel Core i5 Quad-Core processor with Maximum Turbo...
  • Stunning 15.6" LED backlighting Touchscreen offers high-definition graphics with up to 1366 x 768...
  • 12 GB DDR4 RAM options Designed to run more efficiently and more reliably at faster speeds, DDR4 is...
Display size15.6 inch
Resolution2736 x 1824 pixels
Processor1.3 GHz 8th Generation Intel Core i5-8400T
MemoryRAM 8GB LPDDR3 1866MHz
Graphics CardIntel Integrated 620 Graphics
Storage (SSD)128GB SSD NVME
Battery life8 hours 15 minutes

Bottom line: the Microsoft Surface Pro 6 is an all-rounder. It’s one good deal because it takes up one bit of everything and excels at it really well. I’m talking about great design, impressively bright display, good NVME SSD storage, good daily productivity/performance, high portability, a comfortable keyboard, and long battery life.

You get a few extras like the digital pen, which is the best, compared to the Microsoft Surface Pro 6, a touch screen display, and a healthy port system. If you benefit from all this put having one of the best 2-in-1 in your lap, then make sure you choose this laptop/tablet.

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Apple vs PC for Computer Science

Still confused on which to go for or which is best, an Apple laptop or a PC?

Woman sitting on her couch while using her MacBook Pro

If I was given a choice between the two, I’d definitely go for the best MacBook Pro 13-inch, or even a Macbook Air. It’s more premium, offers the best display, larger footprint (display and body in general), built-in keyboard, high-tech glass trackpad (those are few and far between), and an assortment of futuristic best ports such as Thunderbolt 3.

You would, however, have to shell out more cash compared to the Surface Pro 7 with Windows. This renders this laptop unaffordable for most students across the board. In the end, you do get what you pay for.

But that’s just the surface of it. I’m not a Mac OS lover, but let’s best think about it this way. Go to a tech conference or developer event and just look around.

You’ll notice a dazzling number of glowing Apple logos on those Macbook Pro and Macbook Air laptops. At Amazon AWS conferences, at game programmer conferences, at Node.js and Ruby on Rails best events and others. It’s about 98 percent Macbook Pro and Macbook Air high-end laptops.

Woman using her PC

The good large number of Apple products on these events is mind-boggling. And it just goes to say, a large number of developers use Macbook Pro laptop and Macbook Air laptops.

However, in Stack Overflow’s 2019 developer survey, Linus and Windows 10 topped the most used Operating System laptop platforms, followed by Docker, AWS, Android then MacOS. Even so, the 90,000 respondents questioned this year reported that Linux and Windows were the most common platforms they used.

When asked which Operating system professional developers used for their work or which is best, about half said they mainly use Windows 10, and the remainder were about evenly split between macOS and Linux.

  • Windows: 45.3%
  • MacOS:  29.2%
  • Linux-based: 25.3%
  • BSD: 0.1%

As a result, we’ve assembled a comprehensive list covering both (Windows and macOS) worlds in our review above.

A lover of MacBook Air and the Dell XPS line of laptops, Liam has been researching and writing as a guest blogger for numerous websites for over 10 years. Now, he blogs about tech trends, PCs, laptops, gadgets, and other emerging gadgets on FancyAppliance.com.