Best Laptop For Data Science

Data Science can be easily explained as being the future of artificial intelligence. It’s a powerful tool that can vastly change the course of the future, and businesses can massively benefit from it. If you’re a data scientist, you’ll know how important it is to get the right laptop for your tasks, but where do you even start with looking?

The wrong laptop for a data scientist could easily result in copious amounts of time being lost on waiting for a mediocre laptop to process information. You need the best of the best to ensure you’re getting optimum use of your time. 

Thankfully, you don’t need to look far for a high quality laptop that will meet the specifications needed for data science. Below we’ve listed our picks for the best laptops for data science, so you don’t have to mine through all of the information out there to find out for yourself.

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Best Laptop For Data Science - Reviews

The Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop is a complete beast of a laptop that’s incredibly affordable for a laptop of this caliber. Though it says it’s a gaming laptop, it’s also very efficient for data scientists due to its performance.

This is a highly revered laptop that is a favourite among gamers for good reason. It’s even one of the best selling laptops on Amazon. The laptop comes with a 15.6 inch 144hz IPD screen that is pretty accurate in color quality and viewing angles. You could easily get better visual quality with another laptop, but you’ll have to pay more and honestly, this is more than sufficient for a data scientist. It also comes with a 256GB M.2 Sata SSD, which can be replaced with NVMe if you need it to be even faster. There’s even room for extra storage with the 2.5-inch empty slot, and it comes with a decent amount of RAM, 16GB DDR4 to be exact. You can upgrade this to 32GB if need be.

It comes with an Intel Core i7-8750H processor which allows the machine to run quickly and efficiently for optimal performance. It’s also got a decent graphics card, a GeForce GTX 1060 that has 6GB VRAM. As far as graphics cards go this is a fairly modern graphics card and it’s quite a rarity in a laptop at this budget. It can last up to 4 hours when you aren’t doing any heavy tasks or playing games, and 1.5-2 hours battery when you’re doing more heavy tasks. 

If you’re doing something that requires good value for money with a good performance that will allow you to do your job efficiently, this baby is yours for the taking.

Pros

  • Good quality performance
  • Affordable for what it offers
  • GTX 1060 for a laptop at this price range is quite rare and a massive selling point

Cons

  • Not the best battery life

This is an incredibly powerful machine for data science and gaming alike. Even more impressive is that all of this is that the machine is also pretty lightweight so it’s quite portable.  It’s quite affordable too for everything it offers, which is quite a lot. 

With this laptop comes a 15.6 inch screen with a 144Hz IPS Panel. It has fantastic accuracy with colors and has 17% Adobe RGB and 99% SRGB, which allows you to enjoy things like video games and movies in great visual quality. It comes with 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD and 16GB DDR4 memory. This is a good level of memory to have to complete any data science related task and even additional space. 

It has a fantastic CPU, with an Intel Core i7-8750H processor that’s singlehandedly one of the best options on the market at the moment. Even cooler is the laptop’s thermal throttling. No pun intended! The thermal throttling system ensures the machine is kept cool to avoid overheating even during the most arduous of tasks. This will allow you to use the machine for longer periods of time, ideal for the data scientist. It’s got an incredible GeFore GTX 1070 graphics card that has 8GB GDDR5 VRAM. The graphics card can also be overclocked for better performance. 

It weighs incredibly little as only 4.6lbs and is very easy to travel with for that reason, which is perfect for the data scientist that’s maybe freelance or travels to and from the office. It also has a keyboard and trackpad that is located at the bottom. The issues you may find with this are that there’s only about 2-3 hours of battery life, and the RGB backlit on it isn’t super bright which could be an issue for some.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • High quality thermal system to keep the machine cool for longer running time
  • Easy to carry around as it’s lightweight

Cons

  • RGB backlight not super well let
  • Only 2-3 hours of battery

MSI laptops are a big seller in the gaming industry. They’re usually aimed at content creators and for things like photo and video editing but they’re still a great fit for data scientists. 

Firstly, the MSI P65 comes with a 15.6 inch full HD Display screen. This has limited bezels and has one of the best displays on the market right now with a high SRGB rating. It comes with a decent sized SSD, 512GB SSD and 32GB DDR4 to be exact. Again, this has a premium Intel Core i7-8750H processor, so it can run things incredibly fast and efficiently. It comes with a GTX 1070 8GB GPU that’s stupidly fast and works well as a gaming laptop, even though it’s not necessarily designed for that purpose. 

The laptop also comes with a fingerprint reader that’s located in the top corner of the trackpad, so it adds that extra layer of security and also allows you to make online payments faster. It’s very lightweight, again weighing in at only 4.1lbs (1.8 kg) which is fairly rare for a laptop this high tech. Sadly, it only has about 2-3 hours of battery life while doing data science related tasks, but it can likely last about 5 hours while you’re browsing the web. It’s not impressive or unique as far as battery is concerned, but it does the job.

Pros

  • Fast processor
  • Lightweight considering the power of this laptop
  • Comes in two sleek looking color options

Cons

  • More expensive than some of the others on this list

This is definitely a good choice for those data scientists on a budget. Despite this, it comes with some great specifications.

Including an i7 Generation Intel Core i5-7300HQ Quad Core Processor with 6MB Cache, the laptop runs with good power. Furthermore, it refreshes quickly with no additional bloatware so it works well for data scientists. It has an anti glare TN screen so it’s easy to view and doesn’t strain the eyes too much. It has a good graphics card, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 to be exact. It can handle video games quite decently too, and has a full HD display.It has a 15.6 inch screen which is more than enough for data science, and you could always hook it up to an extra monitor if you need extra screen space. It also has a webcam if you need to video chat for business or with family and friends. It has HDMI port and 3 USB 3.0 ports, but it is missing a USB-C port and a DisplayPort. You’ll also need to get an external DVD drive if you need that. It comes with a decent 256GB SSD, so it’s pretty fast. It also has a good battery life of 7 hours and 38 minutes, ideal for a commute and a lot of travel. 

It has a design quite pleasing to the eye, black overall with red accents and logo. It looks quite sleek and sturdy, without being too over the top. It’s incredibly competitively priced too, and is decently lightweight allowing you to carry it around easily without any extra strain carrying it.

Pros

  • Good looking design
  • Competitive pricing
  • Good for gaming
  • Fantastic battery life

Cons

  • No USB-C
  • Not much storage space

This laptop looks great and is lightweight, having a whole host of brilliant features and more than capable of handling a large amount of high end tasks such as those required for data science. 

Right off the bat, this laptop boasts an Intel Core i7-7700HQ quad-core 2.8GHz processor that makes this a really powerful machine. It’s easy to type on, and has bright backlighting that can be adjusted to three different variations. It’s also upgradeable in the internal components, and you can also upgrade the screen. It has a decently sized 15.6 full HD screen that’s anti-glare and rich in color. It’s got a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 4GB graphics card, so it has a really good display. It also has 16GB DDR4 Ram and 256GB M.2 SATA3 SSD + 1TB HDD which is pretty impressive as far as storage is concerned. 

The laptop cools really easily owing to the Dual-fan thermal design and has very little noise pollution despite the fans. It even has extra air intakes on the bottom of the laptop which aids the thermals. This laptop is more than sufficient for a data scientist.

Pros

  • High performance
  • Lots of storage
  • Sleek design

Cons

  • Somewhat expensive

Best Laptop For Data Science - Buyers Guide

What is Data Science?

If you’re looking at this article, the chances are you already know what data science is. If you don’t, however, to put it simply data science is a field that uses computerized data and statistics to comprehend and analyze deep and complex analytical problems. It uses things like machine learning and algorithms. It’s widely used by a lot of modern businesses, but most businesses don’t know how to properly structure the information. Data scientists need to be able to use a variety of software that allows them to properly integrate data and be efficient. Programming languages such as Python is a tool used by data science, as are databases and spreadsheets that are used to analyze data. 

So, what makes a good laptop for a data scientist? Let’s break down the data!

Screen Size

You need your computer screen to have plenty of room for you to be able to see everything that’s on the screen spread out in front of you. Bigger screens are beneficial for researching content and data, whilst for a data analyst a 15-inch laptop would be sufficient. If you’re only part time doing data science, you could get away with a smaller laptop like a Macbook Air or the Microsoft Surface Pro. 

Budget

As a rule, the better laptops for data science are the expensive ones - go figure! It mostly depends on your own requirements, but you’ll need something that’s in your budget with good performance and decent screen size. You can find cheaper models but they won’t always come with the additional features offered with a more expensive model. 

Storage Space

This is vital. When purchasing a new laptop, data scientist or not, ensuring that the laptop has plenty of space for what you’re intending to use it for is absolutely essential. There are two types of storage: an SSD drive or a HDD drive. The difference between these is easy:

HDD - the HDD drive contains mechanical parts, and they take a decent amount of time to perform an action.

SSD - a Solid State Drive doesn’t have moving parts like the HDD so it performs faster than a HDD drive. 

For data scientists, an SSD drive is particularly useful as you need something with a fast speed that you won’t be waiting around for all day. You shouldn’t have too many issues if the laptop has both storage types on there, but expect performance issues to some degree if you only have a HDD storage drive. 

CPU

The main laptops out there right now have either a Core i3, Core i5 or Core i& processor. For a data scientist, a laptop with an i7 processor is your best bet. Laptops with i7 processors are usually faster and more powerful. Whilst an i5 processor would still be efficient, it’s a lot harder to multi-task with heavier tasks such as 3D editing and designing on an i5 processor. 

GPU

A good quality graphics card is a big priority for a data scientist. You need to be able to see what you’re doing in the best possible quality. A GTX 960 graphics card should work sufficiently for data scientists. However, if you’re into other activities such as gaming that require a better GPU, you can always opt for a laptop with a more advanced graphic card.

OS

This largely comes down to personal preference. There are a few OS systems to choose from, such as WIndows OS, MacOS or Macbook Pro. You may be more used to one operating system and thus prefer to use it. A MacOS on a MacBook Air or MacBook Pro may provide a smoother performance and a more stable OS. Each has their own pros and cons, you will just have to choose what’s best for you.

Portability

One of the big benefits of a laptop rather than a desktop PC is the ability to move it around. If you’re working in an office or working from home, a desktop PC isn’t an issue, but if you need to travel around then a lightweight laptop that you can move around easily. 

RAM

The main thing we can say about RAM to start with is that the amount you are able to get depends on how much you’re willing to spend. If you want a higherRAM, you need to spend more money. The problem with budget computers with lower RAM so that you’ll lose vital Memory. It’s best if you can get a laptop that’s got a minimum of 8GB of RAM for data science. Big Data just keeps getting bigger so it’s worth getting a lot of RAM. This is slightly less important if you're based on the cloud or using clusters. 

Ability to Upgrade

Computer specifications are constantly changing, so CPUs, GPUs and various other factors will change as time passes. It’s worth considering a laptop where you can change processors as time goes on. 

Battery Life

If you need a laptop that’s portable and you can carry around for hours, you ideally need one that also has a good battery life. If you’re out and about you really don’t want to have to plug the charger for your laptop in every five minutes.

Gaming Laptops and Data Science

So you may be noticing that a lot of the selections we’ve made on this list are also gaming laptops. Why is that? Well, gaming laptops have powerful configurations and are optimised for peak performance. The only issue you tend to have with gaming laptops is they’re much bulkier so they can be a bit of a pain to carry around and their battery life isn’t usually as good.

Last update on 2020-10-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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