Home Tech What to Look for in a Laptop for a Computer Science Degree

What to Look for in a Laptop for a Computer Science Degree

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With computer technology, or what was once called IT or information technology, even being taught in primary schools, it seems that in 2022, one of the most profitable and worthwhile degrees to pursue is one relating to computer science.

Indeed, this area is expanding rapidly and those who have undertaken a computer science degree in the last 5 years, have seen their employment prospects grow as this area is continuing to expand and offer more jobs for those who are knowledgeable about this topic. Many economists predict that the field of computer science will grow to twice its size in the next 5 years, making this a worthwhile area to invest your studies in.

However, the keyword is a computer, meaning that to pass this degree or to understand the coding and programming that goes into basic computer programs, you will need to have a computer by your side to help you complete all of the coursework. This can be daunting as there are so many different options of computers and laptops available. So, which one is the most suitable to complete this degree?

Luckily, there is no hard and fast answer, but there are some key things that you should keep an eye out for when choosing which computer to work with during this degree course.

RAM

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The first thing to look at is the RAM or the rapid access memory of the computer. Ideally, you want the RAM to be 8GB or more if possible but be aware that most computers that offer more than 8GB of storage will cost more money. If you are looking for a budget-friendly option, you can, of course, buy an 8 GB RAM computer and upgrade the RAM – just be sure that you know what you’re doing.

There are many Laptops for Computer Science Students available from Lenovo, which can offer the correct balance between being budget-friendly and upgradeable. So, this brand is well worth exploring.

Portable

Many people assume that to undertake a computer science degree you need something a bit more high-end than a simple laptop, but this is not the case. To complete your studies correctly, it is ideal to move away from the traditional PC or desktop and move into laptop or Chromebook territory. This will allow you to take your code with you wherever you go, which is going to be a lot easier than lugging a PC around in your backpack.

Just make sure that whichever laptop you purchase is portable, as the average laptop ranges from 1-2 kg in weight. This may not sound heavy, but if you do not have the appropriate bag or carry equipment to move it around, it can put excessive strain on your back or arms. So, always be sure to have a suitable backpack to hand.

Storage

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Now onto the storage itself. With a computer science degree, there is going to be a lot of coding and a little running of programs. There may even be lots of apps and other things to download which will take up a lot of memory space. You’ll ideally want a laptop that has storage that is over 500GB. You can, of course, also invest in a USB to help store some of the information, but most students prefer to have all this storage available on their initial computer. So, once again, you may have to look at higher-end laptops if you want more storage space. Also, if you are planning to upgrade the storage itself, you will need to ensure that the RAM can handle the extra storage without the battery overheating.

Battery

Speaking of batteries, you will also need to ensure that your laptop has good battery life. This can be tricky, with some of the laptops that are aimed at computer science students having a higher resolution that is needed for this degree. Higher-resolution computers tend to have shorter battery life.

Ideally, you will be looking to purchase a laptop that has between 5 to 14 hours of battery life without it needing to be charged. As before, if you are making any modifications to the device, you will need to ensure that the battery can handle the upgrade and that the RAM will not be affected.

Budget

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Many students look to purchase the best machine that they can buy, and this can cause issues with their budget. As mentioned at the start of this article, there is no hard and fast rule as to which device is the best suited for a computer science degree and most students simply opt for the best that they can afford which is perfectly fine. Do not break your budget by buying a computer that you cannot afford and if you are truly stuck, ask your lecturers or professors about which budget laptops would be the most suitable for completing the course.

Things to Consider

When it comes to purchasing a laptop computer to complete a computer science degree, the core things you need to consider are the price and how often you are going to be using it, which should be ideally every day. If you are on a tight budget, it can be tempting to opt for a second-hand machine which should be fine provided that it can handle any upgrades that you need to make.

It’s also worth noting that in the first 2 years of the computer science degree, a standard laptop should be acceptable. However, many students by the third year want to upgrade to a more powerful machine, so it is not worth spending an excessive amount of money on a computer or laptop in the first year of a computer science degree, as it’s highly likely that when it comes to putting your dissertation together, you’re going to upgrade anyway.

Once again, if you want uncertain about which computer would be best for the type of code that you want to use during your computer science degree, please talk to your lecturers or professors for their advice.