Best Laptops for Computer Science or software engineering Students
If you are a computer science student or a software engineer, this article is for you. Let me tell you something essential you should look at before buying any laptop. To begin with, first look for the hard drive, as a hard drive is one of the critical parts of any computer or a storage machine that must be considered before having that device. It is not just about storage, but also about the speed of the hard drive. Hard drive stores data permanently on it and makes sure when the next time you come, you find your data exactly where you dropped it last time. For programmers, storage is not the main reason, but speed is.
Modern and advanced devices have SSD (Solid State Drive) instead of an old-fashioned hard drive. Before SSD, hard drives were fragile, and you would take excellent care of them. Otherwise, they would easily crash or damage with a small accident, like bumping into something or your laptop fall, and it gets a jerk. SSD consists of chips instead of the reader head-on discs, and also SSD lacks the motor, so it consumes less energy and increases your laptop’s battery life.
Performance-wise, an SSD (solid-state drive) is much faster and quicker than a standard hard drive. SSD is more immediate and temporary at accessing stored information. Therefore, for a computer science student or a software engineer, there should be at least 256GB of Solid State Drive. Keeping in mind the size and heavy to load features of tools nowadays, Best Laptops For Computer Science Or Software Engineering Students, it is very crucial to have a solid-state drive so you can have better speed and little risk of losing your data. Secondly,
Random Access Memory (RAM), the most crucial and essential element you should be looking at while having a laptop, especially for programming purposes. When your machine is working on any program, it first looks into RAM because recent running programs are loaded to RAM. This is because RAM is accessible faster than other memory, which is permanent storage or the hard drive of your device.
Random Access Memory plays a vital role because all the apps use this short memory to store operating instructions. When the processor asks for data, your machine’s second priority is your RAM after it looks into registers. The RAM lets you run plenty of different programs at the same time. So, whenever you go for buying a laptop, it should have at least 8GB or 16GB of RAM. Because if you want to execute your program smoothly and without any delays, then you should consider a 16GB of RAM for your laptop.
A regular user runs a bunch of programs on its machine, and 8GB of RAM is adequate with a little slowdown. A coder, though, he is going to run all of those standard programs plus many additional ones. For example, they will run an integrated development environment. Then they will run applications they are developing itself, which also uses extra RAM. Keep in mind, coders need more RAM than regular users.
Modern operating systems do indeed make excellent use of less RAM by compressing data in memory and use fast SSDs to swap to. But it is still better to get a 16GB of RAM or higher. Last but not least, the CPU (Central Processing Unit), or the brain of your laptop, is among the contributing factors in the fast execution of programs. The CPU handles every aspect of functioning that your laptop engages in. It does a logical calculation part in your instructions and also is responsible for switching, which is the base of multi-tasking in advanced computers. Remember this. If you do not have a good CPU, then all other components are almost useless because the CPU is the brain of any computer and utilizes all other parts according to its capacity and efficiency. The strength of a CPU is measured in GHz.
Older processors might have the highest feeding GHz than a newer processor, but that does not mean that the older one has a better performance. The higher number, of course, offer more speed and better performance. Also, keep in mind that programming typically requires more burst CPU power rather than sustained, like video editing. A CPU like the i7 9750 with a low base clock, but a high blast is a perfect balance. Most people will also talk about GPU, but it is a specialized case, in my opinion.
One of the questions some students ask is, which operating system would be suitable for them? If you know the logical answer to that, then skip this paragraph, but if you don’t, let me demystify it for you. The more specific and to the point answer to this question is that you must go for the same operating system you are working with the services compatible OS. If you are working on remote servers and mostly have to deal with private servers, Linux is a good option for you. If you are planning to develop native apps for IOS or IPad, then, of course, you want to make for coding, as the languages that are used to create these apps only run on the Mac operating system.
Some other things that do not affect the performance of your device, but still have importance. A great display and a comfortable keyboard are some of the critical parts your laptop should have if you are a real programmer, as you will be staring at a tiny code the whole day and typing for hours and more. For display, you need a crystal clear and full bright display that shows the most amount of code possible without needing to squint. As a coder, you need to jump from one line of code to another bar to debug your code, so it is very comfortable and relaxing if you have a large and sharp display screen.
You want to avoid clicking and scrolling as much as possible. So more amount of code you see on your screen, the better it is. Also, pay close attention to the aspect ratio, displays with aspect ratio like three by 2 in the surface lineup or even those with 16 by 10, like apple range, will allow you to see more code than the standard 16 by nine that most Netflix viewer or content traders prefer. One of the interesting note is, the same size of the display screen shows more lines of code on Mac OS and fewer lines on other operating systems.
The keyboard is essential, as you want it to be very comfortable for long sessions of typing. Also, make sure that the keyboard is backlit if you plan to use it at night. An excellent trackpad is nice to have for most coders. It is widespread, though, for the coders to carry an extremely accurate mouse around with them. Coders need to make the most of their time, and even if they have a good trackpad, they love to keep mice with them. Now that being said, if you do not want to carry a mouse, ensure you get a laptop with top trackpads like one from the surface or MacBook pro range.
You might have an issue of portability as well. If you are a student and code in the library, or if you are an economy worker, coding in a coffee shop, or you are working in an open-plan corporate environment, you are going to need a laptop that is lightweight, portable, and has healthy battery life. Coders are always on the go, and anything more massive than 4 pounds is going to be real tension in your backpack.
Coders generally use a webcam, as software development usually is very collaborative. You will likely be working with a team of software developers and other partners. You will probably be doing frequent video conferences. Having a webcam that stares up your noise or low quality will not be excellent for other team members.
So without further ado, let us check out our top laptops for students of computer science and software engineering.
This guide is going to be super thorough and enough for the vast majority of software developers. But software development can be too specialized, and you may have particular needs that require specific hardware. For example, you need a laptop with a ridiculous amount of RAM. Because you plan to develop advanced multi-color stimulations on your extensive data set, for better performance,
you need to keep in memory. You will know what specialized hardware you need. If you do not know, then you do not need it. Some of the below-given laptops are recommended laptops that will do the job just fine for you, but remember, no computer is perfect.
Other than the keyboard, MacBook pro 16 almost fulfills a hundred percent of the needs discussed above. With travel being a bit short, the keyboard is a little uncomfortable, but if you can afford it, pick it, as it is highly recommended for students of computer science and software engineers.
16-inch MacBook Pro specs and performance:
Price: From $2,399.
CPU: 9th gen Core i7, 9th Gen Core i9.
RAM: 16GB (up to 64GB)
Storage: 512GB to 8TB.
GPU: AMD Radeon Pro 5300M (4GB), Radeon Pro 5500M (up to 8GB)
Display: 16 inches (2072 x 1920 pixels)
Battery: 100-watt-hour up to 11 hours.
Size: 14.1 x 9.7 x 0.64 inches.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 extreme gen2 15” laptop:
This is the second most recommended laptop. I recommend to my students and all people out there reading me if they are programmers. It has a better keyboard than the MacBook Pro and also lighter than that. But the screen is a 16 by nine layout smaller than the MacBook Pro is. And it is known that Windows generally shows fewer lines of code. So that is negative. The MacBook Pro battery is more significant. And that is being said. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 extreme gen2 15” is still a quality powerful computer with an excellent 4k screen.
CPU: 9th-generation Intel Core i7-9850H processor with vPro (2.6GHz, up to 4.6GHz with Turbo Boost, 6 Cores, 12MB Cache)
GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 graphics.
RAM: 32GB DDR4 2666MHz (2 x 16GB)
Storage: 1TB PCIe SSD.
Display: 15.6-inch, 3840×2160 resolution IPS display with Dolby Vision HDR.
Surface Book 2 15”: it has a better keyboard than the MacBook pro with a similar weight. It has a three by two aspect ratio of the screen so you will see a decent amount of code. The CPU is behind the screen. So the keyboard deck will not get hot when under the load. Which makes it a super comfortable laptop to use. Best Laptops For Computer Science Or Software Engineering Students
Aero 17 HDR (intel 9th generation):
It has a great screen display, comfortable keyboard, and robust components, very small and light for a 17-inch laptop. This is a perfect coding laptop if you only need a little bit of portability. However, it is not the recommended one if you travel with your computer each day as it can be a real weight in your backpack. It also does not support USB c charging. So you will have to carry.
Dell XPS 15:
This laptop is pretty good, but to be honest, its chassis has not been updated in many years. It is a bit heavy and bulky for what it is by today’s standards, although it is very well made. Best Laptops For Computer Science Students
Dell XPS 15 2020 specs (as reviewed)
Processor: Intel Core i7-10875H.
Storage: 512GB PCIe 3 x4 SSD.
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Ti 4GB GDDR6.
Display: 15.6-inch touchscreen (3840 x 2400)
Ports: two USB-C Thunderbolt 3. One USB-C 3.1, one SD card reader v6.0, one 3.5mm audio jack. One wedge-shaped lock slot. Best Gaming Laptop Under 2000$
HP spectra X-360 15 inch:
Decent amount of power. Very comfortable keyboard and okay screen. Although it is a bit dimmer than its competitors. But it is okay. It is also a bit heavier than some of the Apple laptops. Best Laptops For Computer Science Students
Here are the HP Spectre x360 15 configurations sent to TechRadar for review:
CPU: 1.8GHz Intel Core i7-8550U (quad-core, 8MB Cache, up to 4.0GHz with Turbo Boost)
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce MX150 (2GB GDDR5 RAM); Intel UHD Graphics 620.
RAM: 16GB DDR4.
Screen: 15.6-inch 4K UHD (3,840 x 2,160) IPS WLED backlit
The list mentioned above is a self-experience based list, and machines have been prioritizing after hours of research and self-assumptions. Make sure you have the right device as a computer science student. Get yourself a machine that suits your requirements.
Not any laptop with some high specification. For example. If you are a video editor, then you probably need a computer with a high-resolution screen display. And not large storage or RAM of 32GB. Make your decisions based on your needs very smartly because you aren’t going to get a laptop every month or two.
As mentioned above. You need that much to understand what type of machine you need while you go to the market. Make your priority list and then visit the market. And remember one last thing, never compromise performance for design and build-quality as you are a computer science student, not a writer or a musician or a medical student. Who would need a laptop for writing and editing some research papers and nothing more?