Best Laptops For Data Science in 2020 [Students & Professionals]

If you’re on a mission of hunting the best laptop for Data Science and Analysis, then you must need to go through our editor’s picks in 2020. If you’re a professional, then you must know what data science is and the processes involved in it. Moreover, for the novices, Data science is a field of IT which uses scientific methods, algorithms, processes and systems to gather knowledge and insights from unstructured and structured data. You must have heard of Data mining and Big data while surfing the Internet. These are the most popular and celebrated branches of Data Science.

Best-laptop-for-data-science

Things you need to know before making a purchase decision!

It’s utmost challenging for professionals to choose the right laptop for data science and machine learning, so here we’re helping a bit by making an extensive list of top 10 best laptops for data science students and professionals in 2020. But before you go through the list and make a final purchase decision on it, you should know these things before --

Processor clock speed

cpu

Data science demands complex calculations and intensive data operations; also, it needs to run some significant software which needs power-packed performance from your processor. Why you must focus on the processor clock speed and not the core because the python coding and significant data operations is a single core workload, a high clock-speed aid you get your things done faster and better.

RAM

1_unnamed-file.RAM

If you’re a beginner data scientist or studying the data science from your school, then 8 GB of RAM size serve your needs for the time being. Still, we always suggest higher RAM as it gives you the freedom to store large datasets on the RAM and perform multiple operations on them.

Storage

1_SSD-HDD

As you already know, data science deals with the tons of data; you require a fast, lightweight and ample data storage. We usually recommend an ultra-fast SSDs to data science professionals, but it ultimately depends upon your budget. You are ready to go with SATA II or SATA III HDD, as it also gives you speed and performance in a budget laptop package.

Display Card

Display-card

The display card is not a necessary component for a laptop that will be used for data science learning and professional work. Still, we suggest it accordingly your budget. 4 GB Display card perform the best along with higher clock-speed processor and larger RAM.

10 Best Laptops For Data Science Students And Professionals

1) Lenovo Ideapad L340

Lenovo has given the best hardware within budget with their Ideapad series. Lenovo L340 is power-packed hardware capable of quality performance for professionals in the chassis of traditional Ideapad with FHD IPS Display, supercool keyboard with blue backlight, privacy shutter for the webcam.

It comes with 9th generation Intel Core i5-9300H coffee lake architecture processor. You get the clock speed of 2.4GHz and turbo boosts up to 4 GHz. 8GB SODIMM DDR4 RAM suffices all your needs. Data Science Professional demands ultrafast storage for faster data operations, Lenovo L340 has got the 512GB NVMe SSD to check this last box.

3_Lenovo-Ideapad-L340

Lenovo Ideapad L340 always be true to its on-paper configurations and will give you an all-round best performance whether you’re gaming on it for hours or analysing big data bucket. Also, it won’t affect your pocket much to get it on your lap; hence we have kept it in the first place in our list.

Pros:

  • Powerful Processor
  • Maximized visuals with up to 72% colour gamut
  • Amazing island-style chiclet backlit keyboard
  • Cooling technology

Cons:

  • No Touchscreen

2) Acer Aspire 5

Acer has started initially making Aspire series laptops aiming the household and small business users. Recently, they are making significant changes in their Aspire flagship laptops and making them more performance-centric and targeting a large pool of audience. If you’re aspiring the data science course, then this aspire’nt will help you achieve your goals. Acer Aspire 5 comes with 8th generation Intel Core i7 processor with clock speed 1.8 GHz and turbo boost up to 4.60 GHz.

It is coupled with 8GB DDR4 RAM and NVIDIA GeForce MX250 2 GB display card to ensure the smooth running of all your data operations. Ultrafast PCIe NVMe 512GB SSD won’t let you lag in data operations.

Acer-Aspire-5-for-data-science

You won’t need to search and purchase any ports adapter if you choose to go with this slim laptop; you will have plenty of ports including 1 USB 3.1 Type C Gen 1 port, 2 USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports (One with Power-off Charging), 1 USB 2.0 Port & 1 HDMI Port with HDCP support. Overall, You will be betting on the worthy successor in the Lenovo Ideapad series.

Pros:

  • Adequate Graphics Performance
  • Ultrafast SSD with fast Data Transfer Rate
  • Backlit Keyboard
  • All-day battery life

Cons:

  • Speakers can be improved
  • The cooling system can be improved

3) Acer Predator Helios 300

Acer laptops used to be known for their regular day-to-day and common business purpose usage, not anymore. Acer created ample noise about their new predator series in an International market. Acer predator helios 300 is designed for heavy usage.

It comes with powerful hardware inside and overhauled design outside, which is a preferred choice for most of the data scientist professionals. We will quickly run through its configuration -- 9th Generation Intel Core i7 processor with a clock speed up to 4.5 GHz, 16 GB DDR4 RAM, NVIDIA GTX 1660 Ti 6GB DDR6 Display card, PCIe NVMe 256GB Ultrafast SSD with two slots open for an upgrade, 15.6 Inches FHD Widescreen IPS Display, Backlit keyboard.

Acer-Predator-Helios-300

One extra HDD and you’re all set to achieve your dreams. You will get plenty of choices when it comes to ports. Also, It has a 4th Gen All Metal AeroBlade 3D Fan for faster cooling. If you’re a Data scientist student with a hardcore passion for gaming, then this will be the best package for you.

Pros:

  • Fast processing speed
  • Adequate graphics performance
  • FHD LED Backlit IPS Display with 300 nits brightness
  • Comfortable Backlit Keyboard

Cons:

  • Shorter battery life
  • No SD card reader

4) ASUS VivoBook Pro 17

ASUS notebooks are known for their multipurpose usage. Recently, ASUS has created much buzz by entering into the gaming and high-performance laptops segment. ASUS VivoBook Pro 17 is for the data science professionals who have a lot to demand from the personal notebook.

It comes with 8th generation Intel Core i7 processor with clock speed 1.8 GHz and turbo boost up to 4.6 GHz. This powerful processor coupled with the 16 GB DDR4 SODIMM RAM and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 4GB Dedicated graphics card to take care of your visual graphics needs and faster, smoother data analysis.

Asus-VivoBook

17.3 inches FHD Wideview display will provide you with bright colours (72% NTSC colour gamut). You will never run out of storage while processing large datasets as ASUS VivoBook Pro 17 comes with 256GB M.2 SSD to load your OS faster and 1 TB HDD for ample data storage. One thing you will love for sure is that fast charging that is up to 60% in just 49 minutes. ASUS has taken care of your wireless Internet needs by adding dual-band 2X2 Wi-Fi 5 in this machine. You can pleasantly invest in this machine if you need one of the best laptops for data science.

Pros:

  • Fast processing
  • Better Graphics Performance
  • Immersive SonicMaster Sound
  • Ergonomic backlit keyboard

Cons:

  • Comparatively low battery life than the rivals
  • Touchpad position

5) Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon

Lenovo ThinkPad series is my personal favourite as I’m not into gaming. Still, I’m more into the multi-tasking and always expecting the speed, performance and quality from my personal computer. If you also have the same thought process as me, then you will surely love this extraordinary machine.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon comes with the most popular sturdy chassis on the outside and powerful hardware on the inside. It comes with 8th generation Intel Core i7 processor with a turbo clock speed up to 4.6 GHz, 16 GB LPDDR3 RAM, PCIe NVMe 512 GB SSD, and 14” Full HD LED Touchscreen Display with a native resolution of 1920X1080.

Lenovo-ThinkPad-X1

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon is endeared to the most of IT professionals, as a data scientist you will also can’t resist your love for its beautiful island-style backlit keyboard with utmost comfort and key travel distance. Everything you receive in the 0.6 inches slim body which is ultra-portable. Hence, Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon is one of the most celebrated devices out there in the market. Some laptops come with an Identity and pro statement just like this one, and if you’re working on it keeping on your lap while travelling, then you will be regarded as respectful IT professional.

Pros:

  • Efficient and fast processing
  • Thin and powerful machine
  • Great portability
  • Decent display

Cons:

  • Speakers can be improved
  • Short battery life on the high-res model

6) Dell XPS 15 9570

What will you do if your trustworthy brand assembles the best hardware in the astonishing body and provides you with the all-round package at the fair price in the International market? You will go for it, Right? Dell XPS 15 is quite a similar story here. Dell has managed to come up with the best hardware configuration at the fair price for the people who are unable to bear the price burden of apple and other superior laptops in the segment.

Dell-XPS-15-9570-8th-Generation

XPS series had created much noise when it was launched. Till today, it is one of the popular devices from Dell. XPS 15 comes with 8th generation Intel Core i7 processor with a clock speed range from 2.2 GHz up to 4.1 GHz, 16 GB DDR4 RAM, 512 GB Ultrafast SSD, Dedicated NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050Ti 4GB Display card to provide you clean visuals on 15.6” display with 100% Adobe RGB colour with a native resolution of 3840X2160 pixels.

You will feel the performance quality, dazzling visuals, speed and comfort while working on this beautiful notebook. You will also get plenty of choices when it comes to ports as Dell has considered and managed to provide multiple ports to avoid the need of any external ports adapter. Dell XPS 15 is a decent package for not just students but for IT professionals who demands performance, quality and speed from their personal computer.

Pros:

  • Incredible performance
  • Near-perfect display
  • Worth the price paid
  • Attractive design

Cons:

  • Limited battery life
  • Awkward camera placement

7) HP Zbook 15V G5

HP has garnered a different fan-base and brand loyalty by producing highly durable, performance-centric devices. HP Zbook 15V is one of their ambitious products which is aligning the different use-case altogether. If you’re an IT professional working day-in-day-out on your personal computer and your work incurs almost all the CPU intensive tasks, then this must be the decent pick for you. HP Zbook comes with 8th generation Intel Core i7 processor with a clock speed up to 4.1 GHz with 9MB Cache and 32 GB DDR4 RAM for faster data operations.

Newest-HP-Zbook-15V-G5

You will get all the essentials required for high-performance data analysis, and it will run all the software smoothly. HP Zbook has 2 TB PCIe NVMe SSD for faster data transfer which will ease your job and gives you a premium feel. Zbook comes with 15.6” FHD Touchscreen display and NVIDIA Quadro P600 4GB DDR5 Video RAM to handle HQ graphics. You are getting plenty of ports choices with HP Zbook, and Windows 10 Professional is coming out of the box. Overall HP Zbook 15V G5 is a premium workstation laptop included in our editor’s pick.

Pros:

  • Hexacore horsepower
  • Two Thunderbolt 3 ports
  • Stylish design & Sturdy built
  • Snappy keyboard

Cons:

  • Big and heavy
  • The privacy screen is too dark

8) New Apple MacBook Pro (13-inch)

Apple MacBook Pro is always able to find the soft spot in all techie’s hearts. Apple always strives to provide the best machinery without harming an environment and global ecosystem. If you’re an aspirant pursuing a course in Data science and analysis or doing an entry-level job, then this machine must be on your wishlist. Apple hardware never leaves any flaws while designing, and they also managed to provide the best hardware configuration by assembling it in the tiny chassis of MacBook Pro.

New-Apple-MacBook-for-Data-Science-Students

Apple MacBook Pro comes with 8th generation quad-core Intel Core i5 processor with a clock speed of 2.4 GHz and Turbo boost up to 4.1 GHz and 128 GB of eDRAM. Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655 won’t let you lag in the display performance. Retina Display and ToucBar with fingerprint are the most popular features of Apple MBP. Most of the scholars will ignore the port options and go for it because of its hefty features and performance as compared to all other competitor devices.

You will receive an identical opinion from an expert on the MacBook Pro 13 inch. If you can spend almost double the amount, then you can go for MacBook Pro 15 inch, but this is also no match for any windows based competitor. You can bet on it for sure, and it will adequately suffice all your needs provided you need to spend some extra bucks to purchase external ports adapter for the connectivity.

Pros:

  • TrueTone Display
  • T2 Security Chip and Always on Siri
  • Ambient Speakers
  • Stylish Aluminium finish body

Cons:

  • Mediocre Battery Life
  • No legacy ports
  • High price tag

9) Asus ROG Strix Scar II

Asus has recently created a buzz by bestowing the best laptops upon the techie world. ASUS ROG Strix Scar II is no exception for this. It comes with powerful gaming hardware and elegant design and able to create a different fan-base of our own. Powerful 8th generation Intel Core i7 hexacore processor gives you a clock speed of 2.2 GHz and Turbo Boost up to 4.1 GHz. 16 GB DDR4 RAM and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 8 GB DDR6 Display card helps you with ultimate graphics performance and 512 GB PCIe NVMe SSD won’t ask you to wait during data transfer and processing. 15.6” FHD Display is suitable for day-to-day work and gaming as well.

Asus-ROG-Strix-Scar-II

You won’t find any difficulty while playing games and working on the colossal bigdata. Everything mentioned above is compressed to fit in 1-inch chassis. Although it is a gaming laptop, the powerful hardware inside and the comfortable chassis and gaming optimized keyboard with RGB backlight will give you a premium feel working in dark mode. Overall ASUS Strix Scar II is an ultimate device made for the passionate data science professionals with a keen interest in playing HQ graphics games.

Pros:

  • Powerful Processor
  • Sharp and Clean Visuals
  • Cooling system
  • Gaming optimized RGB Backlit keyboard

Cons:

  • Audio can be improved
  • Wrongly placed webcam
  • Battery life

10) Microsoft Surface Laptop 2

Some of our skilled Data science professionals are not interested in any multi-media use. Still, they vigorously demand faster, better and quality performance while working and great portability while travelling around the world. Microsoft considered this use case and developed the best laptop to solve this problem statement -- Microsoft Surface Laptop 2. If you also belong to the same category, then you can rely on this device for all your needs. Surface Laptop 2 comes with an elegant, catchy design and powerful hardware inside to suffice all your needs.

Microsoft-Surface-Laptop-2

16 GB RAM with Intel UHD Graphics 620 to support ultimate graphics on the 13.5” PixelSense Display with a native resolution up to 2256X1504 pixels. This display supports SurfacePen and 10 finger multitouch which will ease your job if you’re unable to use the keyboard. The laptop has got all-day battery life which is quite good for the professionals and in power cutoff situations. It also comes with 1 USB 3.0 port, 3.5 mm headphone jack, Mini Displayport, 1 Surface Connect port for connectivity. Surface Laptop 2 has got 720p HD Camera, Stereo microphones and Omnisonic Speakers with Dolby Audio. Surface Laptop 2 undoubtedly one of the promising player in our list.

Pros:

  • Sleek laptop design
  • Quieter & Comfortable Keyboard
  • Competitive power level

Cons:

  • No Thunderbolt 3 port
  • Less choice of ports for connectivity

FAQs

How much RAM do you need for data science?

Data Science and Analysis involves the use of different heavy and RAM intensive software. You will require a minimum of 8 GB of RAM for it, but we always recommend higher RAM if your budget allows you to do so.

Which MacBook model best for data science?

As you all knew it better -- what kind of hardware and performance essential for the Data Science and Analysis, so we will always suggest going for Macbook Pro if you’re an Apple fanboy.

Do I need a good display card with a laptop?

You have to choose the recommended hardware configurations from the products; after that, you can go for a laptop with dedicated graphics or integrated graphics based on your budget and needs. An integrated graphics will suffice all your needs; you don’t need to look out for a laptop with the dedicated graphics.

Which the best laptop model for data science students?

As such, there is not a single device which we can regard as the best laptop model for data science students which will be the best fit for all the students out there. But you can pick anyone from our list based on your use-case.

Conclusion

Although we have advanced this much in the field of computer science, we are still far away from developing a single machine which will be sufficient for everyone’s requirements. Yet, we can say that this is the exhaustive list of best laptops for data science students and professionals in 2020 as we have considered 10 different use-cases based on the students and professionals surveys. Data science professionals require powerful hardware and ultra-portable device while some students may prefer a little heavy notebook to suffice their gaming needs as well.

Stefan Richard is one of the folks who can't have a life without technology, especially Microsoft products. He has more than 12+ experience in Information technology. He worked as IT trainer, network/system administrator and IT Infrastructure manager. Stefan is the co-founder of HecticGeek.

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