Best laptop for data science of 2018 & Buying Guide

Since the creation of the computer, it has undergone continuous improvements in its design and functions. Modern laptops and smartphones were nothing more than fantasy for most of the people only a few years ago. Science has always amazed people with its new inventions. People always want more and more perfection in their handheld machine, and the manufacturers always try to fulfill the needs and demands of those customers. Data scientists need a secured laptop that can be a wonderful partner for their day to day work. There are many laptops in the market, but if you have decided to choose the best laptop for data science do not rush into the market to purchase the first machine you see. You need to be patient and research thoroughly as not every laptop will fulfill the requirement of a data scientist.

Here are few best and trendy laptops I have selected for the review:

Ranking

Image

Product

Our Score

Price

Top Pick

ASUS C201

99/100

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#2

Microsoft Surface Book

98/100

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#3

Lenovo N22

96/100

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#4

HP ENVY 13-ab016nr

95/100

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#5

Lenovo Flex 4

94/100

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Buyer’s guide:

If you are going to purchase a laptop, you should be aware of the minimum requirement that is necessary for your work to get done. You should never make the purchase decision blindly. Identify the nature of the work you are going to take from the laptop, look for it in the market, and pick the best among all. Here are some questions that will help you in right purchasing.

1. Which Operating system is best for data scientist laptop?

Windows operating systems are not used in MacBooks. MacBook has its own operating system that is more secure, and security is the top priority for data scientists. Moreover, the most used language by a data scientist is Python that is comparatively easy on the Macs while difficult to work with on a PC. Hence Mac is somewhat safer and easier operating system for a data scientist. However, if you are using windows, you may install a LINUX DISTRO, and while you are installing, the hard drive can be encrypted. Some may prefer windows as they think none of the operating systems is the best. Every laptop will have its own advantages and disadvantages. So it depends on the usage of the scientist.

2. What should be the ideal memory(RAM) for the best data science laptop?

Larger memory aids data analysis and data processing. Hence, it depends upon the extent of usage. If your tasks are not very heavy, then you can compromise on low memory. However, it should never be less than 4GB to obtain satisfactory performance. If you want more professionalism and effectiveness in your work and cannot compromise on your work, in that case, options are bit expensive. As you have to invest more in your laptop, you should go for a PC that has 16GB memory to provide smoothness in its functioning.  But on average, the RAM can be between 4GB to 16GB. It is always recommended to have maximum RAM, as almost every tool for the computation needs to utilize it.

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3. What are some ideal tools your laptops should support significantly well?

Here are some tools or software that your laptop should support well so all your work can get done with more ease.

  • MS OFFICE
  • SUBLIME TEXT
  • TERMINATOR: if you are using Linux
  • FILEZILLA
  • GIT and GITHUB
  • Tableau
  • PUTTY: if you are using windows

4. What should be the processor requirements for the best laptop for data science?

Using latest processors for the fastest performance is something that every laptop user wants. It’s not exclusive for data scientist only, but also for regular users who always want to upgrade their machine with faster processors. Though all your analytical and designing work can be performed in the core-two-duo or dual core laptops, but prefer having a laptop that is Core i5 or Core i7. Core i7 laptops are great as they will provide you with the fastest performance and you can complete your projects even earlier.

5. Shall I go for the cheap laptop that supports all the data science tools?

It certainly can be used. Being a data scientist does not mean that you will have a high-end laptop or a MacBook for your work. It depends upon your work schedule. Moreover, sometimes we are luxury oriented, and we go for expensive laptops. If you are content and have a constrained budget, you can go for an affordable laptop that has both decent hardware and software. There are many laptops on the market that range from 150$ to 450$ and give you great durability and performance as well.

6. Which is preferable – Solid state drive or SATA hard disk?

Though both are used for storing data and have a minor difference, an SSD is more suitable AND preferable if your budget allows as it is expensive than typical HDD. SSD is like an ordinary USB memory card stick.  The SSD will not have any moving parts. SSD is a faster and modern choice for your laptop. The HDD was first used in 1956 in IBM laptop, so it is an ancient technology. It works relatively slower than SSD and is not being used in modern laptops.

7. Why being a data scientist should I have NVIDIA GPU on my PC?

NVIDIA GPU is a graphic processing unit that works with the central processing unit or CPU to enhance the functionality of the computer. Being a data scientist, it will help in engineering-based problems, in deep learning, and in analytical tasks. A GPU may have thousands of cores that will enable all the necessary apps to run more smoothly.  A GPU user may feel a dramatic change in their work.

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Product review:

Here are the relevant products for the comprehensive review:


1. Microsoft Surface Book

This Microsoft Surface book has a fast Intel Core i5 processor with 8GB RAM, 128 GB storage capacity, and NVIDIA graphics. The book includes wide pixel sense touch screen of 13.5 inches.  The weight is light only 155.76 grams, and the product has a surface pen that comes included.  Windows 10 is preinstalled on this laptop.

Pros:

  • This laptop has a 6thgeneration Intel Core i7 Skylake.
  • The laptop has a 10 point multi-touch wide screen.
  • Detachable screen and the surface pen is some of the other impressive features of this surface book.

Cons:

  • The laptop has very limited storage option.

The laptop has appraisable and advanced features, and it can be a great choice for you, but the limited storage option and the reflective screen are some drawbacks. If your budget exceeds $1000, then you can shift your trend towards other products. However, considering its price, it’s still worth buying.

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2. HP ENVY 13-ab016nr Notebook

This 13.3 inch HP notebook comes loaded with features and is a compact product. It has 8GB RAM and 256GB solid state drive. This is a 7th generation Core i5 laptop having a dual-core processor up to 4.13GHz for fast performance.  The laptop is made up of metal, and the thin and lightweight structure makes it ideal for the traveling. The notebook supports Windows 10.

Pros:

  • This laptop has 14 hours battery time.
  • The built-in processors make your work get done effectively.
  • The display is impressive 2.07 million pixels to make pictures more clear and vibrant.

Cons:

  • The limited storage option is a major con living in this modern era.
  • The touch is not responsive at times.

The laptop has decent features and can be an effective laptop for data scientists, designers and much more. Though it has limited storage option, it can still be upgraded. Moreover, it’s a great choice if MacBook is not affordable for you. It comes with a decent look and reliable structure, which makes it look like an expensive MacBook.

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3. ASUS C201, Light Blue/Pearl White

This small 11.6-inch machine is compact and handy. It has decent and limited features. The RAM is only 4GB with a very limited storage option that is only 16GB SSD. The laptop will give you high and vivid image quality and has a trusted platform module that works efficiently in storing your sensitive information. It’s a decent machine and good for traveling purposes.

Pros:

  • You can travel with comfort due to a great battery life of this laptop.
  • The laptop is highly recommended who have a low budget but want decent features.
  • The Chromebook has thousands of apps and built-in security system, which is a very nice feature.
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Cons:

  • Low storage is a major drawback.
  • The Chromebook has a poor processor and a smaller screen

The Chromebook is an affordable and handy machine, and it’s extremely beneficial for students and for traveling purposes. It has a small storage capacity that a data scientist needs to determine before rushing to purchase it.  Keeping its price under consideration, it’s not a bad choice.

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4. Lenovo Flex 4, Windows 10

The laptop has a 360-degree flip and flop design and has a wide touch screen of 14 inches. The laptop has a 4Gb RAM, but it can be upgraded to an ideal extent of 16 GB. Moreover, it has 500GB HDD that is a sufficient storage option. It supports a 64-bit operating system with built in windows 10.

Pros:

  • The 360 flip and fold design of the laptop is an impressive feature.
  • This is a fast machine with an easily upgradable RAM.
  • It is great for the students, as it is less costly and has decent features.

Cons:

  • Poor graphics and the screen is not up to the mark,

It is a good choice for kids and students, but if you want performance, then you need to invest more in your machine. You should go for the better options. Though it has some negative aspects, still it’s unbeatable for the price range.

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5. Lenovo N22 Laptop

The notebook 11.6 inches has an anti-glare backlit display. Though the product possesses not very great features, it is amazing in this price range. The notebook has Intel Celeron N3050 1.6GHz processor that is expandable up to 2.16GHz. It comes with a 64-bit operating system with genuine Windows 10 installed. The laptop has only 64 GB of solid state drive storage.

Pros:

  • Highly affordable for most of the users.
  • Water resistant keyboard and sealed touchpad are some other good features,
  • Lightweight, compact and strong laptop.

Cons:

  • Low storage option.

The laptop is not expensive and is ideal for students, but not that great for data scientists as they need large space to store the important data. Comparing the price with its features, it’s really not a bad choice. However, investing more in your machine will certainly get you a better choice.

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Conclusion:

The article was written to make data scientists aware of the basic and ideal features of the best laptop for data science that will make their work more efficient. This guide was meant to help the users make the best choice. Reading the buyer guide will help you in making a perfect purchase.