Laptops

Best Laptops For Data Science: Reviewed, Rated & Compared

In a world where decisions are increasingly data-driven, and data collection is becoming more automated, a powerful laptop is one of the keys to successful data science and any data science team.

Whether it's collating reports or running models to map the next trend, when data is being processed and time is of the essence, the right processing power and software compatibility can mean the difference between being first to market or publication and being a distant second. We’ve talked about the pros and cons of laptops before, but this article will help anyone working in data science to make the right choice on the laptop for them.

Image

Model

Operating System

Processor

RAM

Graphics

/GPU

Screen Size

Check Price

New Apple MacBook Pro (16-Inch, 16GB RAM, 1TB...

iOS

2.3GHz 8-core 9th-generation Intel Core i9 processor with Turbo Boost up to 4.8GHz

16GB

AMD Radeon Pro 5500M Graphics with GDDR6 memory

16”

Asus ROG Strix G (2019) Gaming Laptop,...

Windows 10 Home

4.5 GHz Intel Core i7

16 GB DDR4

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650

15.6”

MSI GF63 THIN 9RCX-818 15.6' Gaming Laptop,...

Windows 10

2.6 GHz Intel Core i7

8 SO-DIMM

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti

15.6”

Dell G5 15 Gaming Laptop (Windows 10 Home,...

Windows 10 Home

4.5 GHz Intel Core i7 Family

16 GB DDR4

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti

15.6”

Asus Vivobook S15 S512 Thin and Light 15.6”...

Windows 10 Home

4.6 GHz Intel Core i7

8 GB DDR4

Intel UHD Graphics 620

15.6”

Razer Blade 15 Gaming Laptop 2019: Intel Core...

Windows 10

4.6 GHz Core i7 Family

16 GB DDR4

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060

15.6”

Lenovo Business 330S Laptop - Linux Mint...

Linux

4 GHz Intel Core i7

20 GB DDR4

Intel UHD 620

14”


Why Data Scientists Need Highly Sophisticated Laptops

Data mining has grown in its scale and methodology, so the availability of data is at an all-time high, and the flow of data can be obtained and analyzed in real-time. Processing and analytics tools tend to require a more reliable computer than the average user as there are many calls to databases, reporting services, and other applications going on in the background.


Laptop Specs For Data Science: Buyer’s Guide

Processing Power/Clock Speed

Processing power (or CPU) is a measure of how well your computer is able to manipulate data and its efficiency in running operations. Clock speed also is an indicator of the computer’s capability to deal with many processes and is measured in GHz.

For data science where you will need to run many processes at one time on a given data set, something around 2.5 GHz will make sure that the computer does not slow down your ability to process the data.

RAM (recommended minimum is 16GB)

RAM (or Random-Access Memory) is used by the computer to allow quick access to information without going through a file sequentially.

The higher RAM available within a PC, the more data that can be quickly accessed, so for data science, 16GB or more is recommended to ensure that any information needed can be accessed quickly and without interruption.

Graphics Card/GPU

The graphics card on your computer will be what is able to help render graphics and visualize the information being displayed. For data science, you will not need a particularly high-end graphics card, but NVIDIA has many offerings that would fit any budget that work well and allow for proper workflow in data science.

Processor

Your processor (or CPU/Central Processing Unit) is the nervous system of the computer and drives the connections between programs and data.

Once the program loads its instructions into the processor, the processor then decodes and creates the output of those instructions for the user. Data science requires many different programs and data types, so a newer processor like an i7, 7th generation would be ideal.

Storage Space

Nothing stops your ability to work like not having any space to store your data or install a new program. Storage space has become more readily available at lower prices now, and the typical hard disk drive (HDD) works for general storage.

When you need to load programs or access data quickly, a solid-state drive (SSD) is a better option as it has a quicker read/write speed and offers a faster connection due to how it accesses data vs. an HDD. For more information on the difference in HDDs, see this article from TechGearoid.

Battery Life

You never know when or where you're going to have to give a presentation or work on data, but the flexibility of a laptop comes with the cost of requiring a portable power source. Thankfully, battery life has come a long way and depending on the model of laptop, you can even purchase extra battery packs to swap in and out.

Battery life is also heavily impacted by the programs and settings running on the laptop, so be sure to check your settings if your battery gets low.

Portability/Weight

Laptops are a great tool on the go and can allow you to quickly set up and get working in almost any condition. For those traveling, an important thing to consider is the overall weight of a laptop and how well it fits into bags or storage spaces. There are a variety of offerings ranging from lightweight to bulky behemoths depending on the hardware inside.

Extra Features (Updated OS)

There are many options that can be included with your laptop purchase. The most common is the latest version of whatever operating system (OS) that your particular model runs.

There are also options on some models for different display outputs and USB connections, both type, and number. Pay close attention to what extra features are offered and consider a different bundle depending on your needs.

Warranty

Electronics are meant to make our lives easier, but even the best electronic is susceptible to errors, crashes, or environmental damage. Look for laptops with a full warranty and options to extend or get additional coverage through the retailer of choice. Most manufacturer warranties are limited to hardware failures that are in no part caused by the user.


7 Best Laptops For Data Science Reviewed

1. New Apple MacBook Pro

On Sale Today
New Apple MacBook Pro (16-Inch, 16GB RAM, 1TB...
  • Ninth-generation 8-Core Intel Core i9...
  • Stunning 16-inch Retina Display with True...
  • Touch Bar and Touch ID
  • Amd Radeon Pro 5500M Graphics with GDDR6...

Our Top Pick!

Operating System

iOS

Processor

2.3GHz 8-core 9th-generation Intel Core i9 processor with Turbo Boost up to 4.8GHz

RAM

16GB

Graphics/GPU

AMD Radeon Pro 5500M Graphics with GDDR6 memory

Screen Size

16”

Battery Life

Up to 11 hours

Everyone knows Apple for their sleek uniform design and family of products connected through iOS, so it should come as no real surprise that their New Apple MacBook Pro is our top pick for the best laptop for data science.

Connecting everything is a 9th generation 8-core Intel i9 processor offering some of the highest computer processing power in a prebuilt laptop. To take advantage of the Retina Display, there is an AMD Radeon Pro 5500M Graphics card with GDDR6 memory to make sure that even challenging visual renderings can be accomplished with ease.

With a 16” display, there is plenty of space to work with multiple windows side by side for easy comparison or data entry.

The real star of this model is the 1TB SSD, which should more than exceed the needs of storage and quick access. Combined with the other components, the 1TB SSD means that programs will have easy and quick access to any source of data stored on the laptop and be able to quickly read and write back for seamless data entry or processing.

This kind of memory does come at a premium price, but if you are the type to keep local copies of databases for reporting or archive projects locally, you will find it simple to find and access all of your information. An external backup is still a good idea even with 1TB local storage, so be sure to look into options.

If you are someone who has an iPhone, iPad, or any other iDevice, you will find it quick and easy to share data and access files across the various devices thanks to the common iOS running all of the devices. This laptop is a very welcome addition to any data scientist's toolkit, but even more so for those already in iFamily.

Good
  • Massive internal SSD
  • Great graphics card and display
  • Strong processor
  • Easy integration with other iOS devices
  • Lightweight (4.3 lbs./2.0 kg)
Bad
  • On the higher end of most budgets
  • Does not work as efficiently with non-iOS devices

2. ASUS ROG Strix G

Asus ROG Strix G (2019) Gaming Laptop,...
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 4GB GDDR5 (base: 1395...
  • Latest 9th Gen Intel Core i7-9750h Hexa-Core...
  • 15.6” Full HD 1920x1080 IPS Type Display
  • 16GB DDR4 2666MHz RAM | 1TB PCIe SSD |...

Best Gaming Laptop for Data Science

Operating System

Windows 10 Home

Processor

4.5 GHz Intel Core i7

RAM

16 GB DDR4

Graphics/GPU

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650

Screen Size

15.6”

Battery Life

5-7 Hours

"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy." Even the hardest working data scientist needs a hobby, and for those who like to spend some screen time away from the spreadsheets, the ASUS ROG Strix G saves the day for gamers.

This model comes with Windows 10 Home installed, so compatibility with typical data analytic or processing software, as well as gaming services like Steam, are a given. For those that like to play resource-intensive games or have a lot of data to process, this model comes with the Rog intelligent cooling thermal system, including two 12V fans with adjustable modes.

Similar to the New Apple MacBook Pro, this model also has a 1TB SSD to make reading and writing data and loading data for games as fast as possible.

Those that use this for work and may find it easier than others to fill that memory but setting up an external hard drive to store any extra files and also to make a backup is a recommended practice no matter how much you can store locally.

With most modern game services, you also have the option of installing games at any time, so with a reasonable internet connection and the SSD, you can reinstall quickly.

The 9th generation Intel Core i70-9750h processor is on the faster end of the currently available processors, so no matter if it's Steam or Excel, you should have no problem running other programs side by side.

Since this is also a PC, you do have the ability to replace parts to upgrade or in case of failure on your own without specialized tools, though you will still need a basic understanding of how to swap parts safely.

Good
  • Large SSD
  • High-end processor
  • Advanced cooling system
  • Able to swap parts if needed
Bad
  • 1080p screen

3. MSI GF63 THIN 9RCX-818

MSI GF63 THIN 9RCX-818 15.6" Gaming Laptop,...
  • Display: 15. 6" Fhd (1920*1080), IPS-Level...
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX1050ti 4G GDDR5
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-9750h 2. 6 - 4. 5GHz
  • Memory: 8GB (8G*1) DDR4 2666MHz 2 Sockets;...

Best Cheap Laptop for Data Science

Operating System

Windows 10

Processor

2.6 GHz Intel Core i7

RAM

8 SO-DIMM

Graphics/GPU

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti

Screen Size

15.6”

Battery Life

7 hours

Prebuilt PCs are a difficult area to balance between price and power, but the MSI GF63 THIN 9RCX-818 was designed to be budget friendly and still pack a processing punch. This particular build can generally be found under $900, so if you are looking to upgrade any specific part, there is some room in the budget compared to most prebuilt options.

When it comes to pulling data, running simulations, or analytics, the Intel Core i7 should have no issue keeping up with the resource needs. The graphics card installed in this machine should allow for easy visualization of data but may not keep up if you want to use this for graphically intense processes like video rendering or high resolution or framerate gaming.

This is a great laptop for those who might want to have a dedicated machine for work that does not have personal or hobby software on it. It is a cheap lightweight solution with a battery life that, when managed properly, can allow for up to 7 hours of use.

The advantage of having a dedicated machine for work is that storage space can be reserved solely for your necessary programs, and you do not have to worry about interference with another process that may have been left running in the background.

If you are looking to outfit a number of people, this option is great for budgets and for consistency across what needs to be installed. With Windows 10 coming preinstalled, compatibility with data analysis and visualization software is no issue.

Good
  • Budget friendly
  • Windows 10 preinstalled
  • Lightweight
  • Good battery life
Bad
  • Not suited for those looking for dual purpose machines

4. Dell G5 G5591-767BLK-PUS

Dell G5 15 Gaming Laptop (Windows 10 Home,...
  • Lead the pack with an elegant sleek design...
  • An innovative Dual-fan cooling System with an...
  • 15. 6-Inch FHD (1920 x 1080) Anti-Glare LED...
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 with 4GB GDDR5...

Best Dell Laptop for Data Science

Operating System

Windows 10 Home

Processor

4.5 GHz Intel Core i7 Family

RAM

16 GB DDR4

Graphics/GPU

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti

Screen Size

15.6”

Battery Life

Not Specified

There's a reason why even after the catchphrase, "Dude, you're getting a Dell" has passed into obscurity that people still rely on the Dell name when shopping for a PC. Dell historically has put quality builds together from parts to enclosures that last for years on end without breaking the bank.

The Dell G5 laptop is a worthy entry to the Dell family and is also the best Dell laptop for data science. Like many of the other options on the list, the Dell G5 comes with Windows 10 Home to cover general word processing, spreadsheet, and light database work.

The OS's compatibility with other programs needed for your data science endeavors is second to none, and support for troubleshooting any issues with the OS is abundant on the web.

The Dell G5 packs in a hefty 4.5 GHz Intel Core i7 processor capable of running several programs simultaneously backed with 16GB DDR4 RAM to make sure that everything is efficient and optimal.

With an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti, you will have no problems with data visualization and can still expect high quality for other video intense processes like gaming or streaming. The screen itself has a resolution of 1920 x 1080 and comes with an anti-glare LED backlight, making the Dell G5 an ideal laptop for working on the go in a variety of lighting conditions.

A dual-fan cooling system makes sure that the machine avoids overheating when in use for a long period of time or during intense processing periods.

Good
  • The Dell name carries a long history of quality
  • Anti-glare screen
  • Great processor and RAM
  • Capable of being a dual-purpose machine
Bad
  • Battery life will depend on how intense the programs running are
  • Unique design may not be for everyone

5. ASUS Vivobook S15 S512

Asus Vivobook S15 S512 Thin and Light 15.6”...
  • 15.6 inch Full HD 4 Way NanoEdge bezel...
  • Powerful Intel Core i7-8565u Processor (8M...
  • 8GB DDR4 RAM and 256GB PCIe NVMe SSD + 1TB...
  • Metal chassis and 18mm z-height

Best Laptop for Data Science Students

Operating System

Windows 10 Home

Processor

4.6 GHz Intel Core i7

RAM

8 GB DDR4

Graphics/GPU

Intel UHD Graphics 620

Screen Size

15.6”

Battery Life

8 Hours

Students need to be able to work whenever and wherever they have time with erratic schedules between work and school, so the lightweight and ergonomic design of the ASUS Vivobook S15 S512 is the top choice for students.

Whether it's entering data or hammering out the latest report, the ErgoLift keyboard design on the ASUS Vivobook is designed to reduce the strain of typing by improving the typing position generally found on laptops.

The keyboard is also backlit to minimize eye strain when working in poor lighting. The screen has a 178-degree viewing angle to allow optimal viewing at whatever position is comfortable for the user. This model boasts an 87% screen to body ratio to reduce wasted space in the screen installation and allow for a more compact system overall.

This machine packs a powerful processer inside a metal chassis to help stand up to being placed in and out of bags or facing conditions outside or in the lab. Despite having a metal chassis, the whole machine weighs in around 4 lbs, so it makes an ideal travel laptop.

The main body also contains a variety of connection ports, including a full-sized HDMI output, so no matter where you need to present, you will be ready to go with the ASUS Vivobook.

When you need to transfer files, the ultra-fast USB 3.1 connectors offer some of the highest transfer speeds available on a laptop, provided what you transfer from can match those speeds. Lightweight and easy to connect, the ASUS Vivobook is ideal for students no matter where or when they need to work.

Click here for more of the best laptops for college students. 

Good
  • Full HDMI output
  • Only about 4 lbs.
  • Metal chassis makes it durable
  • ErgoLift keyboard design to reduce strain
Bad
  • Less RAM than other offerings

6. Razer Blade 15

Razer Blade 15 Gaming Laptop 2019: Intel Core...
  • Perfect Display for Work or Play: An...
  • Zero Compromise Powerhouse: Built for gaming...
  • Futureproof Design: Supports SSD/HDD and...
  • Biometric Security: Supports Windows Hello...

Best Laptop for Data Science Machine Learning

Operating System

Windows 10

Processor

4.6 GHz Core i7 Family

RAM

16 GB DDR4

Graphics/GPU

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060

Screen Size

15.6”

Battery Life

5.5 Hours

While students may be able to fuel their learning with energy drinks and take out, machine learning prefers a strong processor and the ability to read and write data as fast as possible to form connections.

The Razer Blade 15 can handle the processing needs of machine learning with a 9th Gen Intel Core i7 that works in tandem with the 512GB SSD and then output a gorgeous user interface for any program you want to either gather data with or test your machine learning against.

The Razer Blade 15 packs the most powerful graphics card on our list with an NVIDIDA GeForce RTX 2060 backing up a 144Hz display. So, when school is out for the machine learning, you can teach your favorite course on Fortnite or put together a stunning highlight reel of your work.

This machine is a jack of all trades and master of most, so no matter what you want to do alongside machine learning, the Razer Blade 15 makes the cut. Unlike other options on our list, the Razer Blade 15 is designed to futureproof and offers the ability to upgrade the HDD/SSD easily.

Or, if you need some graphics boosts, you can use the Razer Core X external GPU enclosure to connect another graphics card.

This machine is toward the higher end of the budget, but it does stand up to the most demanding processes without flinching while still staying true to the laptop model of portability at under .78" thick and a chassis constructed of aluminum to keep the weight down.

Also recommended: Best Laptops for Machine & Deep Learning

Good
  • Incredibly powerful
  • Fits needs for nearly any computer use
  • Able to upgrade parts down the road
  • Best display of any laptop on the list
Bad
  • Top of the budget

7. Lenovo Business 330S Laptop

Lenovo Business 330S Laptop - Linux Mint...
  • Intel Core i7-8550U (8M Cache, up to 4.00...
  • 14" FHD (1920x1080) Non-Touch Display - Intel...
  • Built in HD 720p Webcam with Microphone -...
  • I/O Ports: 2x USB 3.0, 1x USB Type-C 3.1,...

Best Linux Laptop for Data Science

Operating System

Linux

Processor

4 GHz Intel Core i7

RAM

20 GB DDR4

Graphics/GPU

Intel UHD 620

Screen Size

14”

Battery Life

4 Hours

If a customizable or flexible operating system is what you require, a Linux machine is a natural fit. For those who may not be running on the latest hardware, a Linux machine makes even more sense.

At its core, Linux is an open source operating system that allows the user access to the source code to make changes to optimize how programs utilize their processing power and interact with others on the machine.

Linux may not be the operating system for everyone, but for those comfortable with the operating system, the Lenovo Business 330S was made for data science.

The Business 330S is more of a muscle car than a luxury car, and with 20GB DDR4 RAM working with the 2TB SSD, you will be hard-pressed to stress out this machine with most processing, analytical or simulation tasks.

Unlike others on the list, this machine is designed to be powerful and is best used for a single purpose. It has the smallest screen size, and it's built-in webcam and mic should work well for presentations but were not built for more graphically demanding things like streaming.

This workhorse is most at home being set up to run heavy computing processes when plugged in and then picking it up and going off to present.

Like others, the battery life is dependent heavily on the processes running, but the Business 330S was built with a fast charging system to make the most of your available charging time. If you are on the go, this laptop will have no problem keeping up with minimal charging time during the day.

Good
  • Extremely powerful processor
  • Massive SSD
  • Fast charging system
Bad
  • Requires knowledge of Linux
  • Not the strongest graphics card

People Also Ask (FAQs)

How much RAM do I need for data science?

How much RAM you need will depend on the processing needs of your programs, but at least 8GB RAM should suffice.

Which processor is best for data science?

7th Gen Intel Core processors and later are ideal for data science due to their design, allowing for better speeds across multiple programs.

What are the system requirements for data science?

In general, for data science, you will want at least 8GB RAM, 256GB or more SSD/512GB or more HDD, and a mid-tier graphics card.

Are gaming laptops good for data science?

Some gaming laptops are good for data science as gaming laptops tend to have better processors and graphics cards.


Conclusion

Data science is a new and evolving field so be sure to keep up with latest trends and demands with a laptop that can go the distance. The New Apple MacBook Pro is top of our list for data science thanks to its top of the line parts and fantastic design.


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