Best Laptop for Data Science – 2020 Guide

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Data science is a hot topic and it is an area where you can benefit from a good laptop. Running data models and artificial intelligence techniques require a lot of computation power. It fact, it requires so much that a laptop is not the best workstation. If you are looking to maximize your performance then you are better off with a desktop computer or some online platform like Google or Amazon AI.

In this guide we are exploring the best laptop options for data science. We also dive into some of the things you should be looking for when doing your research.

We also have a guide on other programming laptops if you are interested in that.

Best Laptops for Data Science

Based on our research, our pick as the best laptop for data science is the HP Omen.

1. Best laptop for data science: HP Omen

Image of HP Omen, best laptop for data science

The reason why we have picked HP omen the best laptop for data science is because of the incredible parts that it offers in conjunction with a really good price. It is very hard to find a laptop that offers the same deal that HP is doing with its Omen line.

To start with, one of the most important parts in any laptop is the CPU. For data science you need a CPU that is good at crunching numbers and doing multiple things at once. The Omen comes with the Intel Core i7-9750H, which is one of the best CPUs out there. Of course, you can get better CPUs on a desktop machine, which is one of the reasons why a desktop would give you a lot better performance. But if you want to go for a laptop then this is the CPU you should be looking for.

The GPU is another component that is important for data science. This laptop comes with the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q. This is one of the best GPUs for laptops. It is not a full RTX 2080 card, but rather the laptop model of it. It is a smaller so that it will fit in a laptop. For things such as data science and AI, a GPU is important.

Another great thing about this machine is that it has a 256 GB SSD coupled with a 1 TB HDD. The SSD is kind of on the small side, but the 1 TB HDD is a great choice because you can use it to store all your data sets on it. Reading from the HDD will be slower though, but this saves quite a bit on the overall cost of the laptop. You can always upgrade to a larger SSD at a later point if you want.

The only down side of this laptop is the design. It is a gaming laptop, and it really looks like one too. If you are okay with that, then this is the best laptop for data science in our opinion.

There are also other great features such as 16 GB of RAM, and a 17 inch screen with a 144 Hz refresh. rate.

See the HP Omen (#ad) on Amazon.

2. Best looking laptop: Razer Blade Pro

Image of Razer Blade Pro

The Razer Blade Pro is one of the best looking laptops on the market. Not only does this laptop look great, but it is also built for being able to be upgraded. This is a huge benefit if you want to keep the laptop for a long time. The laptop supports easy upgrade of both the SSD that is has and the RAM. Speaking of SSD, this laptop comes with a 512 GB SSD which should be enough for most people. You might want to pick up an external hard drive as well to keep your data sets, as they can be several hundred gigabytes.

As far as RAM goes it has 16 GB of DDR4. The speed of the RAM is 2666 MHz. 16 GB is the minimum you should get for data science, unless you are looking for a more budget friendly laptop. Mid-range laptops usually come with only 8 GB, but luckily you can upgrade most of them yourself pretty easily.

The GPU in the model that we have selected is the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Max-q. The laptop also comes with the RTX 2060 and RTX 2080 Max-q, but we feel that this model is the best bang for your buck.

This laptop also has 16 GB of RAM and a 512 GB SSD. These are features that we would expect from a laptop of this class. It also has the Intel i7-9750H CPU which we have come to expect from the high-end laptops.

If you are looking for one of the best looking and most powerful laptops for data science, then the Razer Blade Pro is a great choice.

See the Razer Blade Pro 17 (#ad) on Amazon.

3. Great data science laptop: MSI GS65 Stealth-432

Image of MSI GS65 Stealth-432

The MSI GS65 Stealth-432 is a laptop that is great for data science. Although a little on the expensive side, this laptop offers some of the best parts in the industry. On the product page you can also chose between a lot of different configurations to make it fit in your budget.

The model that we think is the best comes with the Intel Core i7-9750 CPU. The CPU is one of the most important components in a laptop for data science. This CPU has 6 cores which is good for software that is able to take advantage of parallel programming. As you will be writing your own code, having access to many cores is a good thing.

This is also one of the better gaming laptops because of the screen. This laptop has a full HD 15.6 inch display, with a whopping 240 Hz refresh rate. Refresh rate is one of the most important with a screen when it comes to gaming. It is basically how often the screen can redraw an image. As long as you have the parts to power the image generation then that is the most important.

This laptop comes with the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Max-q GPU. It is one of the best GPUs on the market. You have the option of a few more options on the product page, but we think this is the best spec combination

There is also 32 GB of RAM. This is a great amount for data science, but you can also upgrade any of the other laptops to this amount if you want at a later point.

See the MSI GS65 Stealth-432 (#ad) on Amazon.

4. Value for your money laptop: ROG Zephyrus M Thin

Image of ROG Zephyrus M Thin

The Zephyrus is one of the best bang for your buck deals. It offers really good parts for a really good price. If you are looking for a data science laptop that is not cheap, but still more budget friendly then this is a great option for you.

As with the other premium options, this laptop comes with the Intel Core i7-9750H CPU. For data science you need the best CPU you can get, and this is it for laptops. It has 6 cores and a clock speed of up to 4.5 GHz.

As with the MSI GS65 Stealth-430, the screen on this laptop has a 240 Hz refresh rate. This makes it one of the best screens on this list of gaming. As long as you have the parts to power the amount of images that need to be redrawn in the game you can take advantage of this, and this laptop certainly does.

There is an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Max-q graphics card in the laptop. This makes the laptop capable of playing most games on really high settings, and it can perform complex calculations and is suitable for things such as machine and deep learning. These are all qualities that are good in a laptop that is going to be used for data science.

There is also 16 GB of RAM which is good, and a 1 TB SSD. This laptop has everything that we are looking for in a data science laptop. It is one of the best options on this list.

See the ROG Zephyrus M Thin (#ad) on Amazon.

5. Budget data science laptop: MSI GF63 Thin

Image of MSI GF63 Thin

The best budget data science laptop in our opinion is the MSI GF63 Thin. The MSI brand has a lot of experience in making high end gaming laptop, and this laptop offers a lot of the same qualities that more expensive laptops have.

To start, the laptop still has the Intel Core i7-9750H CPU. The CPU is the most important part of any laptop, and for resource intensive tasks it is what drives most of the work. Having this CPU in this laptop is a really good deal. There are a few more configurations on the product page, but they come with a worse CPU.

The GPU in this laptop is one of the bigger money savers. It has an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti. That is still a good GPU, but it is not as good as the RTX graphics cards. It should still do a decent job ad data science tasks, and you can even play video games on a decent setting with it.

Another couple of areas where the laptop saves some budget is with the RAM and the SSD. Luckily these are both parts that you should be able to upgrade yourself, or have someone do it for you. It only has 8 GB of RAM which is a little on the low side. The SSD is also only 256 GB which is a little small for data science purposes. You can easily pick up an external hard drive and some more RAM to remedy these shortcomings.

See the MSI GF63 Thin (#ad) on Amazon.

What to look for in a laptop for data science

Data science is one of those professions that requires a pretty good computer. If you plan to work Here are some of the things to consider when researching a data science laptop.

GPU

Data scientists need an immaculate GPU in order to get some of the more complex things done effectively. You will have multiple demanding programs running on a consistent basis. If you are analyzing any a lot of information, you are going to need something that packs a lot of power. One of the latest dedicated GPUs is probably your best choice.

CPU

The central processing unit is also important to any data scientist. This will help your GPU run as efficiently as possible. Going for at least an i7 is a great way to start. The multiple cores will provide you with peak performance.

I recommend that you get the best CPU that fits in your budget. The CPU is the brain of the computer and one of the most important parts for data science.

RAM

RAM is the memory that holds information readily available for the CPU. The more you have the more it can hold. Each time it needs something that is not in RAM, the CPU needs to first load it from secondary memory which takes a long time comparably.

Getting at least 16 GB of RAM for data science is recommended. I also recommend that you get DDR4 RAM that is 2666 Mhz.

Screen

You will spend many long hours just staring away at your screen. You want a bright display that won’t strain your eyes during extended sessions. A 15-inch screen is excellent for a full-time data scientist. You can go a bit smaller if you only plan to dabble in data science as a side hustle. Make sure the monitor displays at an HD resolution.

If you are interested in gaming you might also want a screen with a really high refresh rates. Some of the laptops that we recommend have a 240 Hz refresh rate, which is as good as it gets for gaming.

Storage

There are two types of hard drives to consider as your storage solution. An HDD is the standard optical drive that has been used for years. They have larger storage capacity but perform much slower. An SSD massively improved load times and transfer speed. However, newer technology makes it more expensive to manufacture SSDs with ample storage. You should choose either a laptop with either a 1 TB HDD or a minimum of 256 GB SSD.

a 256 GB SSD is on the smaller side, so 512 GB would be a lot better.

Conclusion

Data science requires a lot of computation power. If you want to use a laptop as your workstation, then you should consider some of the options we have listed in this guide. They are some of the best options out there. If you want to research other laptops then keep the pointers from above in mind.

Last Updated: by Ole