Best laptops for computer science students

Best laptops for computer science students Books written by Uri J. Nachimson

The objective when buying the different components of a computer is to have value for money depending on the type of use you will make of it.
2022-10-09, by Uri J. Nachimson , Book author

#Laptops || #CS || #Reviews ||

Table of contents:

If you use your computer and peripherals on a daily basis, it is best to go for quality. Conversely, if your use is minimal, there is no need to invest in very expensive devices! Read more:

Battery life

Despite the fact that the personal computer market has made real strides when it comes to the issue of battery life with the introduction of lithium-ion batteries, one of the most obvious limitations of notebooks today is undoubtedly their autonomy. Obviously it all depends on the size of the monitor and the laptop board, but if you are used to using your laptop away from home and without the ability to connect to the mains, you should only consider those notebooks that guarantee a minimum of four hours of battery life. The operating system also makes a difference: MacBooks and Chromebooks get up to nine hours of battery life, so they are perfect in this respect.

Modern Ultrabooks with optimised processors also manage to give Windows notebooks a good autonomy (up to 13 hours): hopefully this will soon become the standard for all laptops!

The question of laptop size

As far as the weight of laptops is concerned, it has to be said that today's laptops are really light, so there are no major problems, as they all more or less hover between 1.5 kg and a maximum of 3.5 kg. A 13- or 14-inch notebook strikes a better balance between portability and ease of use, and you can even use it by resting it comfortably on your lap! 11- to 12-inch notebooks are a bit thinner and lighter, while 15-inch notebooks, which are the most popular format in the notebook market, can be a bit bulkier and heavier. It must be said, however, that the market currently offers laptops that weigh less than 2 kg, even with large screens. The 17 to 18 inch notebooks, on the other hand, are heavy computers with components designed for those who use high-resolution games, or advanced 3D graphics, and thus in fact envisage desktop, stationary use.

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Screen and graphics card

Speaking of screen, discerning users will obviously choose a PC also (or especially!) for its screen resolution! To do this, one must consider the number of pixels: this is undoubtedly a good strategy for choosing a good quality laptop. Most notebooks on the market come with a screen resolution of 1366 by 768 pixels.

Of course, for those on a budget, if price is not an issue, it is possible to opt for a laptop with a much higher number of pixels, 1600 by 900 pixels or even 1920 by 1080 pixels. In fact, the latter is an option that allows FullHD viewing, for true high-definition enthusiasts. In the area of high-end laptops, we also find the LED backlight option, the IPS anti-glare screen and very high resolutions (even 4K!).

As far as the graphics card is concerned, on the other hand, in most notebooks the graphics chip is integrated and operates effectively if you want to use it for basic functionality. All modern CPUs also integrate the graphics chip, as it has become more and more powerful over time (on some laptop models it can even handle some games). For this reason, in most cases, it is no longer essential to go for a specific, dedicated chip: a dedicated GPU significantly increases the power consumption, overheating and noise of the device. If, however, you are choosing a PC primarily for gaming, obviously the dedicated video chip becomes one of the priority features to consider.


We mentioned the CPU: this is a very uimportant aspect to keep an eye on! The least expensive laptops on the market feature Intel Atom and Intel Celeron processors, which are absolutely valid and efficient for surfing the Internet and managing documents with less power consumption, but are definitely not suitable for using games and more complex processing programmes. If you have a budget of no more than EUR 500 or 600, you can use an Intel i5 CPU, which allows you to dynamically increase its speed when you need more performance. If, on the other hand, you have a budget of more than 1,000 euros, you will find laptops with an Intel i7 processor, by far the best currently available on the market.

CS and Maths

In computer science, it is impossible to do without all kinds of calculations. Everything related to computers can be classified as applied mathematics to a greater or lesser extent. A good programmer or "computer scientist" will not leave math behind. At one point, solving problems, especially in the development of complex content, the lack of sufficient knowledge will become a huge problem.

Mathematicians engaged in an in-depth study of "discrete" will be successful if they change their specialization in favor of IT technologies. This is due to the fact that compnastics are predominantly in discrete mathematics. They go well beyond mathematics.

It is also recommended that you study:

  • combinatorics;
  • the fundamentals of logic;
  • probability theory;
  • graphs;
  • Cryptography (basics);
  • linear algebra.

The latter is particularly important for those who choose to concentrate on graphics and video and machine learning in the future. Mathematics for Computer Science is the main 'section'.

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Uri J. Nachimson

Uri J. Nachimson

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