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Computer science student codes using a Surface laptop

March 6, 2023

The best Surface laptop features for computer science students

Don’t sacrifice functionality and processing power when choosing a laptop for your computer science coursework. Learn about the features that benefit computer science students the most, and find the best Surface device for your studies.

What to look for in a laptop for computer science students

Computer science students spend hours using their laptops in class and at home, which makes the features of their devices crucial for their academic success. Whether you’re purchasing your own laptop or buying one for the computer science student in your life, understanding the features of a great laptop can help you make the right decision.


For students on a budget, plenty of laptops have great features and performance at an affordable price. When looking for a new laptop or 2-in-1 device, consider finding a balance between the features you want and how much it’ll cost you. The Surface Laptop Go 2, for example, is a sleek, powerful laptop that starts at $499.99.

Operating system

Many computer science courses use software and programs designed for the Windows operating system. You won’t have to worry about buying the latest, greatest software to run your class programs because the best Surface laptops for computer science students already come equipped with Windows 11. Windows 11 can help you excel in your studies using its organized interface, strong security features, and easy-to-use productivity tools.


For computer science students, the processor should be one of the most important factors when choosing a laptop. If you buy the Surface Laptop 5, you’ll have a laptop that’s built on the Intel® EvoTM platform. You’ll have the choice between a 12th Gen Intel® CoreTM i5 or i7 processor. Both choices are powerful, workhorse processors that can handle multiple apps at once. The i7 processer comes with more threads, but if you’re on a budget, the i5 model can still help you excel as a computer science student. 


Along with the processor, Random Access Memory (RAM) helps your laptop run multiple programs quickly. The more RAM a device has, the faster it will run. Choose a laptop with at least 16 GB, like the Surface Laptop Studio, to avoid a computer that slows you down. The latest and best Surface Laptops for computer science students can be configured to have at least 16 GB of RAM.


Choose a laptop with enough storage for all of your files and programs. For smaller and more affordable laptops, you may only have 256 GB of storage. More expensive laptops can have as much as 2 TB of storage. Then, there are some laptops that meet you in the middle. For example, the Surface Laptop 5 has models that come with up to 32 GB of built-in storage plus optional removable SSD storage up to 1 TB. Your storage needs will vary based on how you use your computer, but remember you can always access online cloud storage for extra space.


Computer science students might need to connect their laptops to a monitor, TV, or external hard drive. Windows 11 and Surface Laptops give you the power and ability to connect up to two external monitors. Even if your laptop has only one USB port, the Surface Dock 2 allows you to connect to multiple monitors, your charger, and other devices.


From the classroom to the library to study rooms, computer science students should choose a device that’s portable and flexible. Avoid laptops that weigh more than a couple of pounds, as they’ll likely be a hassle to carry around all day. If you have online classes or club meetings, make sure to buy a device with a good built-in webcam.

How to choose a laptop for a computer science student

Computer science students need laptops that can handle their high workloads, from programming to data analysis. To choose one that works for you, decide what features matter the most for you and factor in how much money you’re able to invest in your device. Surface laptops deliver powerful processors and flexible forms at a price you can afford. Compare all Surface devices or take our helpful quiz to help you choose the laptop that will make your computer science classes a breeze.

Products featured in this article

Windows 11 bloom

Surface Laptop Go 2

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Windows 11

Windows 11 bloom

Surface Laptop 5

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Surface Laptop Studio

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Surface Pro Series

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Windows 11 bloom

Surface Dock 2