5 Best Laptops for PhD Students for Scientific Research

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What are the best laptops for PhD students for scientific research work? You will need a lot of determination and dedication to complete your Ph.D.  and go ahead with your scientific research work.

In addition to that, you will also need proper guidance, and tools, especially a laptop.

Amongst other tools and technologies, a laptop will significantly help a Ph. D students for scientific research work with its features and assist them in realizing their potential to achieve their goals easily and efficiently.

Typically, a Ph.D. student has to face daunting challenges and perform complex tasks all through the year during the entire duration of their course to complete their program.

In such a situation, a laptop will prove to be one of the most fundamental needs.

Typically, the workload of a Ph.D. student involves in-depth research and a lot of typing.

The laptop will significantly reduce their manual workload when they spend hours and hours in checking and rechecking their projects, researching and consolidating data from different sources, as well as analyzing them critically to obtain some meaningful information.

It is important to make sure that the laptop has all the features to support all these needs as well as help in multitasking, which is a very common thing for a Ph.D. student to do.

Therefore, the laptop needs to be powerful, have a good processing speed, a lot of RAM and storage capacity.

Apart from that, some of the necessary features to look for in a laptop for Ph. D. students for scientific research work include screen size and its resolution along with the refresh rate as well as the aspect and contrast ratio, its performance and compatibility, connectivity and battery life, and, of course, the price and your budget.

With so many things to consider and so many variants to choose from, purchasing a laptop that is the right one for Ph. D, students for scientific research work is a pretty complicated task.

Without thorough research and a proper guideline to follow, it will be difficult, or rather impossible, to pinpoint the most suitable laptop for Ph. D. students for scientific research work.

Here is a list of the top five laptops recommended for Ph. D. students for scientific research work along with all the necessary features, pros and cons that you should consider before buying your laptop.

Laptops for PhD Students – Price (Top Picks)

Laptop: A Perfect Ally of the Ph. D. Students

A laptop is a small and portable device but with its powerful specs it can be the perfect ally for Ph. D. students for scientific research work.

It will help them to make the best use of the available time and resources, and even maximize it according to their needs.

With very little manual labor, this innovative and useful piece of technology will help the doctorate students to handle all of their computing tasks most efficiently, prepare their complex project most effortlessly after thorough research and compilation of data, and even meet the strict deadlines.

Use of laptops, as lots of students admit, helps in boosting their enthusiasm to learn, stay more focused with their jobs in hand, and to be more engaged and attentive in their classes.

It helps them to organize their jobs and course schedule, but most importantly, it helps them to research and access various sources for vital information and data for their job, anytime and from anywhere.

They just need to type in the keyword and within a second, they are flooded with the relevant info. They can even multi-task when they use a laptop.

Several studies have also pointed out that computer-assisted learning is more promising and productive than regular classes and lectures.

This is due to the large number of educational software that are available to them to use and hone their skills and develop new ones.

Apart from the above, a myriad of benefits can be enjoyed by the Ph.D. students from a laptop.

Mobility and portability are some of the most significant benefits of using a laptop. The light weight and compact design of it allows carrying it anywhere in a backpack.

With just a simple wi-fi set up, a laptop will allow easy and faster accessibility and connectivity.

This will not only help in your research work but also in attending online classes or being a part of a group discussion with other students.

The laptop will also allow offline operation and complete your research paper on time. It will be easier than ever to write as well as edit your papers.

You will not have to start from scratch to make amendments in your work or rectify any significant mistakes pointed out by the rectification and editing tools of the laptop.

You can even sync your laptop with other devices such as your smart phone so that you are never behind your mates, even if you are not with your laptop at any specific point of time.

Minimum & Recommended System Requirements for PhD Students for Scientific Research Work

The laptop of the Ph. D. students for scientific research work should follow the minimum computer configuration which will support the basic work.

It must come with an Intel Core i5 processor of the 6th generation or newer or any AMD equivalent, 8 GB of RAM, 500 GB of internal storage, a 13 inches screen, and a powerful Nvidia or AMD graphics chip, preferably dedicated.

However, for more advanced research jobs as well as to connect to the network of the college campus you will need a system that comes with the recommended system configurations mentioned below.

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This will also ensure that your system will be future ready and can cope with any changes made in your curriculum by your college which cannot be ruled out entirely.

Minimum system requirements: Intel Core M3 6Y30 or higher processor| 4 GB of RAM or higher |32 GB eMMC or a higher SSD storage | Integrated Intel HD 515 or higher graphics | 12.3 inches screen or larger | 1600 x 900 pixels screen resolution or better

Recommended system requirements: 7th generation Intel Quad Core i7 or higher processor| 16 GB of RAM | 256 GB SSD or larger | Dedicated Nvidia GeForce MX 150 graphics card or higher | 14 inches screen or bigger | 1920 x 1080 pixels or higher screen resolution

5 Best Laptops for PhD Students for Scientific Research:

1. Razer Blade ‎RZ09 – Best Overall 

Razer Blade ‎RZ09

Bottom Line: This is the best overall system in comparison to the other laptops in this list that the Ph. D. students can use it comfortably for their scientific research work. The newer Intel i7 processor, the dedicated graphics chip, the good quality full HD screen, and the RAM and SSD all enhances its capabilities. 

Key Features

  • Screen: 15.6 inches
  • Storage: 256 GB PCIe SSD
  • RAM: 16 GB DDR4 SDRAM
  • Processor: 10th generation Intel Core i7 10750H
  • OS: Windows 10
  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti

Pros 

  • The system is light in weight and very portable.
  • The processor in this system is powerful with 6 cores.
  • The Chroma lighting makes it look more impressive.

Cons

  • There is no optical drive in the system.
  • The keyboard does not have a separate numeric keypad.
  • The speakers of the system could have been better.

This is the laptop for the gamers and also for the Ph.D. students for their scientific research work.

The 10th generation Intel Core i7 processor comes with 6 cores that provides a lot of power with its maximum Turbo speed of 5.0 GHz to the supercharged Nvidia GeForce GTX dedicated graphics card of the system which is very powerful by itself.

This helps in producing images of exquisite quality at a great speed to enable you to play some of the most popular games of today on this slim and lightweight machine.

The full HD screen comes with all the necessary features to accommodate more frames at an incredible refresh rate of 144 Hz.

The unibody CNC aluminum frame makes this laptop most durable and the sleek and most compact design assures the smallest footprint possible.

The single-zone Razer Chroma RGB backlights of the keyboard enhances the appeal of the unit with a lot of color options.

The dual channel memory of the system is expandable and has a bandwidth of 2933 MHz and the PCIe SSD ensures both optimal performance and personalization.

The large number and variety of ports included in the unit makes it ready to connect a variety of external devices and peripherals to it.

The list of ports and slots includes USB Type A and USB Type C ports as well as an HDMI port. It also comes with Gigabit Ethernet and Thunderbolt 3 ports.

In addition to that, the system also comes with wi-fi 6 and Bluetooth connectivity to ensure a stable and strong connection. All these provide amazing power and portability to the system. Check out Razer Blade RZ09 Laptop Review.

2. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon – Runner Up

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon

Bottom Line: In this list of laptops for Ph. D. students for scientific research work, this is the runner up in terms of performance. The 10th generation Intel Core i7 processor and the fairly large SSD storage expedites its process. The security features and the privacy shutter are also good features included in it.

Key Features 

  • Screen: 14 inches
  • Storage: 1 TB PCIe NVMe SSD
  • RAM: 16 GB DDR3
  • Processor: 10th generation Intel Quad Core i7 10510U
  • OS: Windows 10 Pro 64 bits
  • GPU: Intel UHD Graphics 620

Pros

  • The system comes with a backlit keyboard for easy typing in the dark.
  • There is a fingerprint reader in the system that allows faster and safer login.
  • The integrated 720p infrared webcam comes with Think Shutter privacy cover.

Cons 

  • The display of the system does not come with a touchscreen feature.
  • There is no numeric keypad in the system.
  • There is no optical drive in the system.

It is the specs of the laptop that makes it a good technological ally for the Ph.D. students to help them in their scientific research work.

The 10th generation Intel core i7 processor with 8 MB cache is powerful and the four cores of it can operate at a speed of 1.80 GHz up to 4.90 GHz.

The UHD display exhibits images at 3840 x 2160 pixels or 4K resolution and 500-nits brightness, thanks to the Intel UHD Graphics 620.

The images are crisp and clear on this IPS panel and glossy screen that also comes with Dolby Vision HDR 400.

The performance of the system is enhanced by the 2133 MHz bandwidth of the DDR3 RAM and the speed is expedited by the PCIe NVMe SSD storage.

The 64-bit architecture of the Windows 10 Professional operating system also plays its part in keeping the performance of the system up.

The backlit keyboard ensures higher accuracy when you need to type on it in darker settings.

As for the privacy of the user and security of the system, there is a 720p HD IR camera with Think Shutter that adds to your privacy.

The d-TPM 2.0 chip, the fingerprint reader, and the Kensington lock slot prevents unauthorized access to the system and the data stored in it.

The ports and slots in this light weight laptop are varied and many.

It includes two USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports with one of them always on, two USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type C ports, an Intel Thunderbolt 3 port, one HDMI 1.4 port, and a headphone/microphone combo jack.

The system also allows Intel dual band 9560 wi-fi connectivity of 802.11 AC standard along with Bluetooth 5.0 technology. Check out Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Review.

3. Samsung Chromebook Pro – Value for Money

Samsung Chromebook Pro

Bottom Line: A higher value for money will be offered by this laptop to the Ph. D. students for scientific research work with its strong and durable 2-in-1 versatile design, a good and responsive touchscreen, a fairly long battery life, and multi-window usability, in spite of its comparatively lower hardware specs. 

Key Features 

  • Screen: 12.3 inches
  • Storage: 32 GB eMMC
  • RAM: 4 GB DDR3 SDRAM
  • Processor: Intel Core M3 6Y30
  • OS: Chrome OS
  • GPU: Integrated Intel HD Graphics 515

Pros 

  • The battery life of the laptop is pretty long and lasts for about 9 hours.
  • The system comes with an integrated pen to help in easy use.
  • The QHD display comes with a touchscreen feature.

Cons 

  • The RAM is very low and is not upgradable.
  • There is no number keypad.
  • The graphics card is not discrete in this laptop.

This is an all-in-one tablet and laptop that comes with an integrated pen that will help in drawing and writing on the touchscreen directly.

The system is light in weight and compact in design that makes it a portable device.

The screen comes with a QHD feature that delivers images at 3:2 aspect ratio and 2400 x 1600 pixels.

The Intel core processor will allow you to experiment more and the integrated graphics card produces better images at a much faster rate.

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The specs and configuration of the 2-in-1 laptop will allow you to access over two million Android apps from the Google store.

These specs allow better and smoother multitasking along with a better multi-window user experience as well for Ph.D. students and scientific research.

This laptop will not stop you working on it when there is no internet access because you can use your documents and apps offline.

Therefore, the system will not allow you to restrict your work in your school, home, or in your office, if there is no internet access. You can work comfortably while you are traveling as well.

The metal design not only adds to the durability aspect of the laptop but also gives it a more stylish look in comparison to any typical Chromebook.

The screen of the Samsung Chromebook Pro can rotate up to 360 degrees making it more versatile allowing you to use it just like any standalone tablet.

The built-in pen will allow you to write and draw with greater precision.

4. LG Gram 15Z970 – Lightweight and Portable

LG Gram 15Z970
 

Bottom Line: This is one good laptop that the Ph. D. students would love to use it for their scientific research work not only for its useful features but also because it is quite lightweight and portable. It weighs less than 2.5 pounds in spite of a fairly large touchscreen and a powerful battery in its 7” thin chassis.

Key Features 

  • Screen: 15.6 inches
  • Storage: 512 GB SSD
  • RAM: 16 GB DDR3 SDRAM
  • Processor: 7th generation Intel Core i7 7500 U
  • OS: Windows 10
  • GPU: Integrated Intel HD Graphics 620

Pros 

  • The system screen comes with an ultra-thin bezel providing more viewing space.
  • The backlit keyboard comes with a separate numeric keypad.
  • The cooling system of the device ensures a better thermal management.

Cons 

  • The trackpad position is a bit odd for which the palm may occasionally brush against it while typing.
  • The speakers could have been better as the sound is barely audible.
  • The camera is located at the bottom of the screen and therefore the full face may not be visible.

The features of this touchscreen laptop make it a suitable device for Ph.D. students and for scientific research work.

It is light in weight, weighing under 2.5 pounds, and is therefore more portable.

The 15-hour long life of the 60-watt-hour battery will provide you with enough power on the go when other laptops will quit easily.

The 15.6-inch full HD IPS display comes with a slim bezel to provide a higher body to screen ratio.

There are several ports and inputs in the system that allow enough connectivity, including a USB Type C port.

The ports guarantee data transfer at high speed as well as video output, high-power charging, and connecting easily to HD displays with the HDMI port.

The backlit keyboard allows typing comfortably in low-lit situations such as a coffee shop or in your bedroom when others are sleeping.

The keyboard is ergonomically designed and you can even adjust the brightness of the backlights.

The Windows 10 Home operating system comes with all its beneficial operating and security features to allow you to navigate the system easily and safely.

The RAM and SSD storage allows enough storage space and faster accessibility of the stored files and booting up of the system.

Though the 1-watt dual array of stereo speakers built in the system is not powerful enough, it is well compensated with the built-in DTS Headphone jack with X processing feature.

It produces surround sound with an 11.1 channel effect for a thrilling audio experience without the need of any elaborate and expensive speaker system.

5. Huawei MateBook X Pro – Amazing Visual Experience

Huawei MateBook X Pro
 

Bottom Line: The Ph. D. students will like the amazing visuals when they do their scientific research work on this laptop. This 3K touchscreen comes with a better aspect, contrast and body to screen ratio. The high resolution of it with 260 pixels per inch support ensures vivid images with more details and colors. 

Key Features 

  • Screen: 13.9 inches
  • Storage: 512 GB SSD
  • RAM: 16 GB
  • Processor: 8th generation Intel Core i7 8550U
  • OS: Windows 10 Home
  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce MX150

Pros 

  • The laptop comes with an all-day battery life of 12 hours.
  • The pop-up camera on the keyboard ensures more privacy.
  • The system allows a faster, safer, and user-friendly log in with the one-touch power button.

Cons 

  • The webcam of the laptop lacks in quality and performance.
  • The touchpad rattles a bit too much in spite of being a Precision touchpad.
  • The fan noise is quite loud and can be heard always.

This device is slim in design and light in weight which makes this notebook a portable device for Ph.D. students and scientific research.

It comes with a screen that has the thinnest of bezel all around to provide a staggering 91% body to screen ratio.

The 3K touchscreen delivers images at 3:2 aspect ratio with more details and vivid colors.

The 3,000 x 2,000 resolution, the 1500: 1 contrast ratio, the 260 PPI images, and the 2nd generation Dolby Atmos feature of the speakers all ensure a better viewing and more immersive audio experience. You can see all HD contents with more vivid details.

It is a perfect device to work with in school, in your office, at home or on the go. It is powerful both from outside and inside.

The 8th generation processor, the Windows 10 Home operating system, the RAM and SSD storage all make this device infallible and will never slow it or you down.

The one-touch power button not only allows easy switching on of the device but also assures a complete identity authentication using the Windows Hello feature in it. It allows safer access to the system in just 7.8 seconds.

Apart from the compact Mate Dock 2.0, there are lots of ports in the system that include USB Type A port, USB Type C port, an HDMI port and a VGA port. Check out Huawei MateBook X Pro Review.

How to Choose Best Laptops for PhD Students for Scientific Research Work?

The laptops today come in all possible forms and sizes. A few of the laptops come packed with lots of features and high-performing hardware components that make them distinctive from the others, both in performance as well as in price.

Whether you buy an expensive laptop or an economical one for your scientific research and Ph.D. curriculum, there is no one-size-fits-all laptop for that matter.

You will need to look for a few specific specs in it when you choose such a laptop, though, your choice will depend primarily on your needs and budget.

Here are a few basic considerations that you should essentially make while choosing a laptop for Ph.D. students and scientific research.

Size

Size of a laptop refers to the size of the screen, primarily. The size really matters while choosing a laptop for Ph.D. students and for scientific research.

It should ideally be of the right size so that it fits all your needs as a student and ensure a performance level that will be high enough to suffice your research work effectively.

In order to choose the right size, you should first decide whether you need a laptop with a bigger screen, which will add on to the weight of it invariably, or a smaller screen to ensure it is light in weight, smaller in dimension, and easier to carry being more portable.

It is important to consider the size of the laptop right at the outset because this is something that cannot be upgraded later on.

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There are lots of laptops available today from different brands that are thinner and weigh between 3 to 5 pounds, and there are some that weigh even less, but are more expensive.

Most of these laptops come with screen sizes that range anywhere between 11.6 inches to 15.6 inches.

The bigger ones with a 17.3-inch screen will weigh much more but will typically come with features that may make it more useful for Ph.D. students and for scientific research work.

This is because these larger laptops will help in meeting all the challenges of graphics intensive and high-end computing tasks with its unlimited capacity provided by the high-end Intel Core CPU, good selection of ports, and other hardware components.

A laptop with 13.3-inch screen size is most convenient to own since it will be portable enough and will not be as uncomfortable to use as a laptop that comes with an 11.6-inch screen.

Screen quality

The quality of the screen of laptops may be different and the type you may choose will, once again, depend on your needs.

If you have to look at the screen for long hours at a stretch every day, you should choose a screen of good quality that will be softer and quite comfortable to the eye.

The display property of some screens is really beautiful and appealing with its high-resolution display panel. Most of the laptops today come with full HD display, which is a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels.

There are also screens available with resolutions higher than that such as 4K and Ultra High Definition or UHD displays.

The higher the resolution of the screen, the images will be clearer and sharper with more details accommodated on the screen.

The screens with low resolution will show far less content on the screen and may not suffice the needs of Ph.D. students and for scientific research work.

To put it simply, a display screen with full HD resolution will exhibit as many as 10 additional lines of text on a web page which a screen with lower resolution will not be able to do.

Even the videos and photos exhibited on a full HD screen will be sharper, more vivid and more detailed.

When the horizontal pixels are higher, the screen can even display two full-sized windows on the screen side by side. This will enhance your user experience.

It will be more useful and handier for Ph.D. students and for scientific research work if it is a full HD screen that also comes with a touchscreen feature.

This will ensure easier, better, and quicker navigation. It will make it easier for the students to take notes or draw on it directly, saving a lot of time and effort.

Keyboard

Typically, for Ph.D. students and for scientific research work there will be long typing sessions, both in school as well as at home. Therefore, you will need a solid and comfortable keyboard to type on.

It should be preferably of full size and also come with a separate numeric keypad. The layout should be spacious with properly spaced keys so that it is comfortable and easy to use, irrespective of the hand size.

The keys should be highly responsive to every click and come with a decent key travel, preferably 1.4 mm, and a high level of tactile feedback.

A keyboard with backlight, not necessarily multicolored RGB lighting as you see in a gaming laptop, will be more useful as that will allow you to type on it easily and accurately even in poorly lit settings.

CPU

One of the most crucial components of a laptop is the CPU or Central Processing Unit. Most of the laptops today come with an Intel Core processor or an AMD processor.

There are several types of Intel Core processors namely, Core i3, Core i5, Core i7, and Core i9. Please note that, there is no Core i8 processor, since the makers skipped it for reasons known only to them.

There are also different generations of CPUs available, with the latest ones belonging to the 10th generation, with the variance in performance levels, especially while multitasking and performing multimedia jobs.

Most of the recent laptops are equipped with Intel i9 Core processors which makes them more powerful and efficient.

However, these laptops are justifiably more expensive options than the other counterparts.

Ideally, anything with an i3 or i5 processor will be good enough for Ph.D. students and for scientific research work.

RAM

Random-Access Memory or RAM usually houses the operating system, the data, as well as different applications in it.

You will get RAMs of different capacity and power from 4 GB to the higher ones of 32 GB and more.

Since, the old days are long past, today you will need more than just 4 GB of RAM in a laptop for Ph.D. students and for scientific research work.

Preferably the laptop should have 8 GB of RAM at least.

However, the larger the RAM size, the better will it be in running a number of applications on the device at the same time.

Higher amount of RAM is essential and especially useful when you have to do heavy editing tasks for your study or scientific research work on your system.

Battery life

Since you will be working on your laptop in school and even on the go, where finding an electrical outlet may be a problem, you will need a laptop with a high average battery life.

Typically, most of the modern laptops come with an average battery life in excess of six hours. Choosing one that is less than that will not suffice.

However, depending on the activities done on your laptop and the specific programs that you need to run for your scientific research work, you may need a laptop with longer battery life of more than 10 hours.

A few costlier models may even come with a battery life as high as 17 to 20 hours!

It is good to know at this point that proper handling, making some tweaks in screen resolution, and better charging practices can however help the battery last longer.

Connectivity options

You may need to connect a lot of external devices and peripherals to your laptop which includes anything from an external hard drive for your backup needs to an SD card.

Therefore, a laptop for Ph.D. students and for scientific research work should come with a better selection and larger number of ports.

It will be easier and more convenient for the device to meet all of your needs as and when it arises.

These ports will also enable you to transfer your files and different documents, even without the need of the internet.

FAQs:

Can I use a gaming laptop as a Ph. D student for scientific research?

Even if you are not much of a gamer, you can still opt for a gaming laptop for your Ph.D. course or scientific research. You will get a high level of performance because almost all gaming laptops come heavily equipped with high-end specs that will allow you to run anything on it that is needed by your curriculum. However, remember that this is not mandatory. It all depends on your budget, preferences, and needs.

Should I go for an SSD or an HDD storage for a laptop for scientific research?

Ideally, an SSD storage is preferred over an HDD storage if the laptop is used for heavy computing, which is very common for scientific research work and for the Ph.D. students. Though these types of storage drives do not come cheap, they are necessary for specs and feature rich laptops. These drives are lighter, faster, generate less heat than an HDD storage, and are less prone to damages and failures due to the lack of moving parts in it.

Is it necessary for a laptop for Ph. D students for scientific research to be bulky?

If you want a high level of performance, you will need high-end specs and a lot of features in the laptop, and there is no way it will not make the system heavy. However, this will be a worthy tradeoff even if it needs a little bit of effort to carry it with you. Moreover, buying a feature rich yet heavy laptop will also prove to be valuable when, as a student, you develop a new interest tomorrow in your course of study.

Is better thermal management necessary for a laptop for Ph. D students for scientific research work?

It is always required to have a good laptop with a good cooling system if you intend to put it under heavy use, and Ph.D. students and scientific researchers do exactly that. A lot of complex software and apps are needed to run on the laptop that should come with high-end specs. This generates a lot of heat within, when used for extended hours, which needs to be dissipated quickly and properly. A cooling pad, in addition to the internal cooling system of the laptop, will surely be helpful for that.