Best Laptops for Data Science

If you’re a student or work in data science, it can be hard to find a laptop that ticks all the boxes for the features you need whilst still being at a reasonable price point. 

We know you’ve got better things to do with your time than scouring the internet, so we’ve created this ultimate guide to find you the best laptops for data science.

The article includes reviews of our top five recommendations, a buyer's guide to help you find out everything you need to know before purchasing a laptop for data science, and also a frequently asked questions section that previous customers have had. 

On a time crunch?

If you haven’t got the time to stick around to read the whole thing then we totally understand, we’ve jumped ahead already and brought you the top choice for the best laptop for data science.

Our top choice is the ASUS CUK ROG Strix G15 15 inch Gaming Laptop and here’s a quick overview of why we think it’s a great choice for data scientists. 

  • Powerful processor
  • Fast storage unit
  • Good GPU
  • Large SSD
  • 3-year warranty 
  • Sleek design
  • Easy to type keyboard

OUR TOP PICK

CUK ROG Strix G15 by ASUS 15 inch Gaming Laptop (Intel Core i7, 32GB RAM, 512GB NVMe SSD, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 6GB, 15.6' FHD 144Hz, Windows 10 Home) Gamer Notebook Computer

The Asus ROG Strix G15 incorporates an Intel Core i7-10750H Six-Core Processor that’ll be able to run all software and applications smoothly.

The i7 processor will also permit you to use Linux as an alternative operating system alongside the original one. 

The processor is supported by 32GB RAM so you’ll be able to manage all your applications running at once without your laptop slowing down. You’ve even got a solid 512GB SSD to keep all your workload stored safely on one system.  

The keyboard features a swish RGB lit keyboard that has curved keycaps along with an easily functioned touchpad which is centrally placed within the design.

You’ve got a selection of connectivity ports built-in to the sides and back of the laptop to try and maximize your working area around your laptop. 

The Strix G5 offers up a 6GB NVIDIA GeForce RTX GPU so you’ll be able to train your deep learning models faster than ever.  

You’ll secure yourself a 15.6” full HD display for great visuals and making it a whole lot easier when you start ssh’ing to other systems.

The design of the laptop does not come with a webcam built-in, which doesn’t bother us but if you need a webcam for conference calling or personal calls then you could always buy a plug-in one that would be of a higher quality anyway. 

There is the option to upgrade to the 32GB RAM, which is recommended if you use your laptop for both personal and professional use.

The Strix G15 is a lot heavier than your average laptop due to its premium power so you’ll want to consider getting a backpack to transfer it to and from work.  

The laptop has ROG intelligent cooling capabilities, so performance is boosted by metal enhancements but noise levels are kept to a minimum with the ventilated exterior, and the laptop is kept cool.

So it’s great for data scientists who will be running programs all day and are often concerned about their laptops overheating.  

As the laptop is so powerful, the battery life will suffer eventually, especially if you are running numerous programs at once.

However, it is hard to come across a laptop powerful enough for data scientists that has a better than average battery life as well, unless you want to pay completely over the odds. 

Pros

  • Powerful processor
  • Fast storage unit
  • Good GPU
  • Large SSD
  • 3-year warranty 
  • Sleek design
  • Easy to type keyboard

Cons

  • So powerful that it runs the battery down

EDITORS CHOICE

Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop, 15.6' Full HD IPS Display, AMD Ryzen 7 3700U, RX Vega 10 Graphics, 8GB DDR4, 512GB SSD, Backlit Keyboard, Windows 10 Home, A515-43-R6DE

The Acer Aspire series is normally targeted for general household use or average business use, but recently Acer has been branching out into more performance focussed and powerful laptops that would suit a wider audience.

If you’re looking to get a laptop for the industry of data science, the Aspire 5 Slim will be a happy medium of power and general usage without having to opt for a fully-fledged gaming or heavy-duty laptop.  

The Aspire 5 Slim comes with AMD Ryzen 7 3700U dual-core processor, 8GB RAM, and also 512GB NVMe SSD to help all your software and applications run quickly and simultaneously.

However, if the memory is not big enough for your liking you can always easily upgrade to whatever you find you’ll need.

You’ll even get an AMD Radeon RX Vega 10 integrated, which will take the strain off your memory when you’re running huge programs with lots of data. 

The laptop is lightweight and easily portable, so you’ll be able to take it to and from work every day without any bother.

The design has a premium classic look which is great if some of the more out-there designs of gaming computers are not for you.  

The Aspire 5 Slim comes with a large full HD IPS display which has bright and colorful visuals (maybe more for personal use) and also comes with a full-sized keyboard that has a good punch to the keys so is comfortable for typing for long periods. 

The laptop comes with the Windows 10 Home operating system, so you’ll be able to install Linux Ubuntu so you’ll be able to dual boot both.

You’ll get a basic range of connectivity ports such as HDMI and USB for fast data transfer, however, there is no SD card slot.

There is also a backlit keyboard in the design so you can work in all environments. 

The Aspire Slim 5 has a battery life of over 7 hours, so will last all day without you needing to plug it in again, an absolute must feature if you’re always on the move.

Pros

  • Good battery that lasts all-day
  • Good GPU
  • Backlit keyboard
  • Fast SSD
  • Quick Data transfer 
  • Easy to upgrade

Cons

  • NO SD card slot

BEST VALUE

Acer Nitro 5 Gaming Laptop, 9th Gen Intel Core i7-9750H, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060, 15.6' Full HD IPS 144Hz Display, 16GB DDR4, 256GB NVMe SSD, Wi-Fi 6, Waves MaxxAudio, Backlit Keyboard, AN515-54-728C

The Acer Nitro 5 is another laptop that is primarily used by avid gamers but is a really good laptop for those working with data science who need something powerful and fast regardless of how much they max out its potential. 

The laptop features a 9th Generation Intel Core i7-9750H 6-Core Processor, and has 16GB of memory and also 256GB of SSD, so there’s no doubt that all your workload and applications will be able to run efficiently.

You’ll even get the boost of help through the 6GB of GDDR6 VRAM which will help support your application’s functions and keep everything running as quickly as it can. 

The Nitro 5 comes available in 15.6" and also 17.3” so you can have a choice based on what works best for you.

The display is full HD IPS and LED-backlit so you’ll have bright visuals (you may not make the most of this feature unless you use it for personal use.) 

The laptop weighs in at under 5lbs so you won’t have any issues carrying it in a bag on your shoulders all day. The laptop has up to 8 hours of battery life, depending on what you’re running whilst using it.

There are lots of connectivity options to choose from so you’ll be able to quickly transfer data or keep an external hard drive plugged into your laptop for extra storage.  

The keyboard is very comfortable to type with and doesn’t have the feeling of typing on a MacBook.

However, due to the red color used on the keyboard and throughout the design, the keys can be hard to see sometimes as the red does not contrast enough against the black.

The keyboard is backlit, so it’s easier to see when it's dark but when it's full daylight outside it can be difficult to differentiate the letters. 

The laptop has Acer CoolBoost technology with twin fans and dual exhaust ports that will help your laptop stay cool and quiet whilst your laptop is enduring some heavy usage.  

Pros

  • Twin fans and dual exhaust ports to keep cool
  • Large display
  • Large SSD (which you can upgrade)
  • Only weighs 5lbs
  • Good battery life of 8 hours

Cons

  • The red writing on keyboard keys is hard to read

RUNNER UP

ASUS VivoBook Thin and Light Gaming Laptop, 15.6' Full HD, Intel Core i7-7700HQ Processor, 16GB DDR4 RAM, 256GB SSD+1TB HDD, GeForce GTX 1050 4GB, backlit Keys - M580VD-EB76

The ASUS VivoBook is one of the thinnest and lightest laptops on this list and the design and aesthetic can be compared to a MacBook.

It boasts a solid system built with a powerful 7th Generation Intel Core i7 processor, tons of storage (256GB SSD & 1TB HDD), ample RAM (16GB), and a dedicated GTX 1050 4GB graphics card.

The laptop was built for gamers but can be used by anyone who requires a system that can withstand incredible amounts of data software.  

The VivoBook doesn’t quite fit the stereotypical gamer laptop look and that's due to its modern, sleek, and simple design that skips out all the garish logos, colors, and LEDs.

The screen display is 15” and has full HD resolution so is great for watching movies in your downtime in between work.  

The keyboard does illuminate in dark environments which is handy if you’re working somewhere with poor lighting.

The keyboard is also comfortable and easy enough to use for anyone who works with numbers and intense typing situations. 

The ASUS Vivobook has ample connectivity ports built into its design including USB, HDMI, SD Card port, and also an RJ 45 port, ideal for both personal and professional use.

The battery life will only last 4-5 if you’re running lots of software on your laptop which is slightly disappointing since the ASUS VivoBook uses an up-to-date i7 processor. However, the graphics card requires more power to work efficiently.

Pros

  • Fast SSD
  • Lots of storage 
  • Sleek design
  • Has a USB-C and SD port
  • Large display 
  • Backlit keyboard for working in the evenings

Cons

  • Battery only lasts 4-5 hours
  • Touchpad can be difficult to navigate

RUNNER UP

New Dell XPS 17 9700 17 inch UHD Plus Laptop (Silver) Intel i9-10885H 10th Gen, 32GB DDR4 RAM, 1TB SSD, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 6GB GDDR6, Windows 10 Home, 17-30.99 inches

When it comes to a top of the range laptops for data science, the Dell XPS 17 really does blow everything else out of the park, however, this eye-popping price point deters will deter many especially when you consider you can get some of the great features on other laptops for over half the price. 

The 17” laptop possesses an astonishing 32GB of memory, a 1TB hard drive, and has a dedicated GPU (GeForce RTX 2060) so will be able to withstand any software, data, or personal files that you throw at it.

The laptop runs on an Intel i7 (10th Gen) processor so will be able to keep up with your tasks no matter how fast you go.

The Dell XPS 17 runs on a Windows 10 operating system, so you’ll be able to dual boot Linux for a more seamless experience with using data science software.

Despite its large size, the XPS still manages to weigh under 5lbs due to it’s thin and sleek construction and won’t be weighing your bag down when you take it around with you.

For the price you pay, you’d want this laptop to last you all day and it certainly does that. The XPS 17 will last you over 12 hours even with constant use, so you won’t even have to take a charger with you once it is fully charged.

However, when you consider the price point of this laptop you don’t expect to find as many issues with it, albeit however small they are.

The webcam that comes integrated into the bezel of the laptop is handy but is not the quality you’d expect from such an expensive model.

You’d also think that if Dell were going to create a laptop as powerful as this, they’d try a little harder to have a better cooling and fan system because the one on the XPS does get rather hot and is loud.

The trackpad can be very hard to get used to and is a bit wobbly, which causes you to click and select things when you don’t want to. 

Pros

  • Large 4K display 
  • Attractive design
  • Great performance
  • Huge memory
  • Lots of storage
  • Lots of connectivity ports

Cons

  • Trackpad is wobbly
  • Expensive
  • Webcam is not great quality

Best Laptops for Data Science Buying Guide

Memory (RAM)

If you work in data science then you know that storing large data can eat up all your memory.

You’ll want to try and find a laptop with 16GB RAM or above, but 16GB should be efficient on its own. 

Do not go below 8GB otherwise, your computer will take too long to open applications and you won’t be able to get anything done.

A decent laptop that has got all the perks plus good memory space won’t come cheap, so you may have to sacrifice some features if you want to stay within a budget. 

Disk Space (SSD)

You will need ample space for all your storage, so you’ll need to go for a large SSD.

A 256GB SSD should be your minimum and if you plan on storing all your professional or personal work then you should look for a 512GB SSD. 

You could even try and find a laptop that has  1TB HDD built-in. 

CPU

Data science can require you to run some intense operations and applications so you’re going to need a processor that has a good clock speed and is extremely powerful.

Nowadays, you shouldn’t drop below an Intel Core i5 (8th Gen) processor, otherwise going for the current Intel Core i7 processor would be our recommendation.

However, don’t spend your budget on trying to get the best CPU, you should focus more on finding one with the maximum SSD and RAM.

GPU

If you work with deep learning then you’ll want to find a decent GPU.

NVIDIA, CUDA, or AMD GPUs tend to be the best for data science. 

Keyboard

If you plan on doing a lot of typing you’ll want to make sure your laptop keyboard is a decent size and comfortable enough on your hands for long periods.

If you’re someone who suffers from aches and problems in your hands and wrists, you could consider getting an external keyboard that is more ergonomic for your body.

If you’re someone who works through the night as well, you could try and find a backlit keyboard, this will help you see where you’re typing when you’re in a dark room and will save you having to have loads of harsh lighting on around you. 

Display Size

Display size is not the be-all and end-all when choosing a laptop for data science, 13 inches should be sufficient.

However, if you prefer to have something a bit larger opt for the 15 inches. 

Operating Systems

Most of the world’s fastest computers run on Linux. Linux has super powerful computing power so can withstand the large volumes of data that this industry requires you to use.

Linux has more software and usability than Windows. Whilst you can use any OS you want for data science, Linux does offer the most flexibility.

There are many data scientists who use Mac OS, which is why data science software companies are making their products more compatible with Macs. 

Battery

Regardless if you’re a student or a professional, you’ll want a laptop that has a good battery life so you don’t have to constantly carry around the charger with you or won't get caught short in the middle of some important work.

You should be looking at a minimum of 4-6 battery hours when choosing your next laptop.

The battery lives of laptops do tend to decrease as time goes on so it’s better to get the most out of your laptop whilst it's brand new. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Are gaming laptops good for data science?

Yes gaming laptops work extremely well for being used for data science as they have a lot of computing power and also have GPUs that are required for data science as well. 

What is an SSD in a laptop?

SSD stands for solid-state drive.

SSDs have replaced traditional hard drives by using flash-based memory and they speed your computer or laptop up significantly. 

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