What is the best laptop for Computer Science student? (2017 August)

Notebook for computer science studentsI have been a computer science student for about as long as I’ve been blogging about laptops – I’m close to finishing my 2nd year. In that time, I’ve seen what laptops suit this course the best. Sadly, I bought my laptop before the course started and in a way, I’ve made some mistakes in my judgment – but I’m here to make sure you don’t make them.

August 2017 update. I’ll go in-depth on what type of laptop you should be looking for and at the end, I’ll give a few of top-notch suggestions that I’d pick if I’d be buying a laptop today.

Without further ado, let’s dive in.

So what are we looking for?

Major requirement Powerful processor

As a computer science student, you’ll probably have to code in several languages:

  • Java
  • Some scripting language (PHP/Python/Ruby)
  • Some functional/logic language (Prolog/Haskell)
  • Likely some C/C++/Objective-C

In all of these cases, your laptop performance will not limit the execution of your code. Yes, it might take a second longer to compile or 5 seconds longer to start a Java server but that’s not a good enough reason to stretch your budget for a better processor.

Even though a basic mid-range 2 core processor should suffice when compiling your code. So why am I edging you towards a fast processor? There’s one important reason on why you should aim for a higher-end CPU if possible. Responsive and snappy workflow actually makes you a better and a happier programmer.

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