6 Best Laptops for Data Science in 2024 – Power and Performance for Your Data Journey

6 best laptops for data science in 2024, including top picks like the MacBook Pro M3, Dell XPS 17, and Lenovo Legion Pro 5i.

Data science is one of the fastest-growing and most in-demand fields today. To excel in it, you need a machine that can effortlessly handle complex algorithms, large datasets, and intricate visualizations. Let’s dive into the top laptop picks for data scientists in 2024, covering a range of needs and budgets.

Best Laptops for Data Science in 2024

1. Best Overall: Apple MacBook Pro M3 (2023) — $1,743

Ideal for: Data scientists who prioritize raw power, portability, and the streamlined macOS experience.

Specs: Apple M-series chips (M2 Pro or Max), stunning Liquid Retina XDR display, up to 96GB RAM, exceptional battery life.

Pros: Incredible performance, best-in-class battery life, macOS’s streamlined environment, excellent build quality.

Cons: High price point, limited software compatibility compared to Windows.

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Apple MacBook Pro M3 vs. Dell XPS 15 2024: A Detailed Comparison for Data Science

1. Overview:

Apple MacBook Pro M3: Apple’s upcoming model in the MacBook Pro collection with the M3 chip. It brings substantial performance, battery life, and efficiency enhancements targeted to (power-hungry) workloads such as data science.

Dell XPS 15 2024: Dell’s flagship laptop, popular for its powerful performance in a portable frame The 2024 version comes pre-loaded with the most up-to-date Intel or AMD processors, designed for professionals who are in search of supreme computational capability.

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2. Performance:


MacBook Pro M3 with 10-core CPU, 16-core GPU Apple M3 Chip. The M3 is for high performance machine learning models, huge datasets, and parallel computing tasks.

Dell XPS 15 2024: Up to Intel 14th Gen i9 ‘Arrow Cove’ CPU or AMD Ryzen 9 7940HS; Tiger Lake chipsets for an updated version with Arc graphics. Both solutions come with a strong multicore performance and allow for the fast procession of raw data to insights.


MacBook Pro M3 – Up to 64GB of unified memory. That unified architecture also delivers superior response times, and reduced latency – useful when it comes time to managing large sets of data or running a plethora of virtual machines (VMs).

Dell XPS 15 2024: Configurable up to DDR5 RAM of 64GB In addition to the powerful Intel Core hardware, the device also features high-speed DDR5 memory to cope with large-scale data operations and memory-intensive tasks.

3. Graphics:

M3 MacBook Pro: 16-core GPU in M3 provides great graphical performance, specially tuned to tasks such as data visualization or driving life out of GPU-accelerated libraries like TensorFlow and PyTorch.

Dell XPS 15 2024: Every single deep learning and heavy graphical computation workloads will get done very efficiently with this laptop that comes with an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4060 GPU.

4. Storage:

MacBook Pro M3: Up to 8TB of SSD done. Having that high-speed SSD is going to be able to get your data off of the storage much, much quicker because when you are working with these very large datasets the ability to have rapid and responsive data retrieval as well as storage is very important.

Dell XPS 15 2024: Under the hood, you can also get up to an 8TB SSD. Thanks to its PCIe 4.0 SSD, read/write speeds are insane as well – so data can be processed more quickly.

5. Display:

MacBook Pro M3 has 14.2-inch Liquid Retina XDR display with a resolution of 3024 x 1964 pixels. With a 6k resolution, peak brightness of 1600 nits, and high contrast ratio this gives it the resolution that is perfect for displaying very detailed data.

Dell XPS 15 2024: has a 15.6-inch OLED display (with touch model) at 4K resolution (3840 x 2400 pixels) OLED technology – With colors that are stark and dark blacks, visuals are clearer than before.

6. Battery Life:

MacBook Pro M3: 20 hours of battery life and they say it’s all thanks to the M3’s energy efficiency. This is much needed for longer on-the-go data anaylasis.

Dell XPS 15 2024 with up to 12 hours of battery life. It is still pretty substantial and should get you through a day of work and then some, albeit just barely.

7. Operating System:

MacBook Pro M3 – macOS Sonoma, the popular operating system known for its reliability and flawless compatibility with R, Python, and Jupyter Notebooks (data science must-haves)

Dell XPS 15 2024: Pretty secure, runs Windows 11 with good compatibility to lots of data science software as well as enterprise environment. It also work with WSL 2 to run Linux tools

8. Portability:

MacBook Pro M3: Lighter (about 3.5 lbs/1.6 kg) + slim = streamlined portability

Dell XPS 15 2024: Slightly beefier at 4 pounds (1.8 kg) but still reasonable for its class.

9. Price:

MacBook Pro M3 Price: $2,499 – Top package could cost up to $6,000.”

Dell XPS 15 2024: from $1,899, with some configurations topping out at about $4,500.

2. Best 17-Inch: Dell XPS 17 — $2,018

Ideal for: Data scientists who need a large, high-resolution display and top-end Windows performance.

Specs: Powerful Intel Core processors, NVIDIA GeForce graphics, stunning 4K screen options, robust build quality.

Pros: Excellent performance for demanding tasks, beautiful display, wide software compatibility, customizable configurations.

Cons: Can get expensive, large size limits portability.

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Apple MacBook Pro M3 vs. Dell XPS 17: A Comparison for Data Science

1. Performance:

MacBook Pro M3:

CPU and GPU: Apple 10-core CPU and 16-core GPU chip with a high-efficiency data processor – M3.

Up to 64GB of unified memory, delivering an increase is speed and efficiency, especially over large datasets RAM

Dell XPS 17:

CPU: Up to Intel 14th Gen i9 or AMD Ryzen 9 7940HS (A Powerful Ultra-low Power Monster with High Multi-Core Count)

Ram: DDR5 64GB, perfect for heavy computational operations.

2. Graphics:

MacBook Pro M3: 16-core, integrated GPU – should be able to do some data visualization and GPU-accelerated computations.

Dell XPS 17 : With NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4060 GPU, this model offers deep learning and graphic-intensive distrubuted task operations.

3. Storage:

In the MacBook Pro M3, it comes with an 8TB SSD that delivers fast data access and storage.

Dell XPS 17: Again, up to an 8TB SSD but this uses PCIe 4.0 speeds for faster data processing.

4. Display:

There is one thing we know for sure, however: at 14.2 inches and 3024 x 1964 resolution, the Liquid Retina XDR of the MacBook Pro M3 is a killer display that would be perfect for intricate visualizations.

Dell XPS 17 has New 16:10 FHD+ Display with 1920 x 1200 resolution, With more room for work or entertainment on the UHD+, you can have multiple applications running simultaneously.

5. Battery Life:

MacBook Pro M3: approx. 20 hours, ideal for long working hours.

Dell XPS 17: Up to 11 hours — for a full workday.

6. Operating System:

MacBook Pro M3 – macOS Sonoma: Stable, well-integrated with datascience tools.

Dell XPS 17: Windows 11, most software is compatible, WSL2 supported.

7. Portability:

Style) MacBook Pro M3 (the lightest model, relatively lightweight with a weight of about 3.5 pounds/1.6 kgfromJson the computer.

Dell XPS 17: A little heavier at around 5.5 pounds (2.5 kg) but also bigger for more screen estate.

8. Price:

M3 MacBook Pro – $2,499 (max-end: $6,000)

Dell XPS 17$2,299+ $5,000 (Top configurations)

3. Best on a Budget: Lenovo Legion Pro 5i — $1,712

Ideal for: Data scientists and students on a budget who need powerful hardware and the ability to handle the occasional gaming session.

Specs: Intel Core i7 or AMD Ryzen processors, NVIDIA GeForce RTX graphics, fast refresh rate displays, ample RAM and storage options.

Pros: Great price-to-performance ratio, powerful for both data science and gaming, good selection of ports.

Cons: Some build quality compromises compared to higher-end laptops, battery life might be shorter under heavy workloads.

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Apple MacBook Pro M3 vs. Lenovo Legion Pro 5i: A Comparison for Data Science

1. Performance:

MacBook Pro M3:

Apple M3 10-core processor, 16-core GPU, designed for high-efficiency data & machine learning applications

RAM: Unified memory: up to 64GB ensuring large data set support and faster speeds just like big icloud images.

Lenovo Legion Pro 5i:

CPU: Intel Core i7-13700HX (Multiple Cores and More performance for Data Science.)

RAM: 32GB of DDR5 RAM (ideal for computational tasks, but below the maximum capacity of the MacBook Pro M3)

2. Graphics:

M3 – Up to 16-core GPU, ideal for data visualization and GPU-accelerated computations.

Lenovo Legion Pro 5i: Employing the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4070 GPU, this powerhouse provides robust output for deep learning or applications that have heavy graphics requirements.

3. Storage:

Coming at the MacBook Pro M3: 8TB SSD fast and whooping storage space.

Lenovo Legion Pro 5i: This will get you up to 2TB SSD, at fast PCIe 4.0 speeds but this is fewer in storage than the MacBook Pro M3 has to offer.

4. Display:

MacBook Pro M3 – 14.2-inch Liquid Retina XDR display with 3024 x 1964 resolution for a great representation of data on screen.

Lenovo Legion Pro 5i: A larger 16-inch WQXGA (2560 x 1600) display with good color accuracy and resolution.

5. Battery Life:

A Configurable M3 MacBook Pro: 20 hours of battery life for longer workdays

Lenovo Legion Pro 5i: 8 hours, that’s much lower but it’s fine to work moderately or for less than elsewhere.

6. Operating System:

MacBook Pro M3 – macOS Sonoma ( fast, CRISP and very well integrated with data science tools)

Lenovo Legion Pro 5i: Endless support to countless data science software, enterprise environments with Windows 11.

7. Portability:

MacBook Pro M3: Weighs about 3.5 pounds (1.6 kg), highly portable

Lenovo Legion 5i Pro: Weighs nearly 5.07 lbs/2.3 kg – more at the edge of portability territory, Novo Legion Pro 5i: weighs close to 5.5 lbs /2.5 kg – even less portable, but still reasonable for a product of this kind

8. Price:

MacBook Pro M3 – $2,499 for the entry-level model, up to $6,000 or so for a higher-end model

Lenovo Legion Pro 5i: Costs a whopping $1,712 providing an affordable solution for performance oriented models.

4. Best Budget Mac: Apple MacBook Air 13″ (2024) — $1,148

Ideal for: Students or professionals who want Apple performance and portability at a more accessible price point.

Specs: Apple M-series chips (M1 or M2), slim and lightweight design, great battery life, Retina display.

Pros: Fast and efficient M-series chip, excellent portability, long battery life, fanless design (silent operation).

Cons: Limited ports, RAM not upgradeable, smaller screen size.

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Apple MacBook Air 13″ (2024) vs. Lenovo Legion Pro 5i: A Comparison for Data Science

1۔ Performance:

MacBook Air 13″ (2024):

CPU: Apple M3 (8-core CPU, 10-core GPU) for a balance of performance and power-saving tasks.

There exists up to a 24GB unified memory, which should be enough for even small datasets and less intense tasks compared to the higher-end models RAM

Lenovo Legion Pro 5i:

Processor: Intel Core i7-13700HX, which is strong in multi-core performance and thus suitable for more demanding data science applications.

Greater RAM capacity for large dataset & memory-bound computing: Up to 32GB of DDR5 RAM, up from max 16GB.

2. Graphics:

MacBook Air 13″ (2024): Integrated 10-core GPU – competent for data visualization, relaxed gaming and light GPU workloads.

Credit: Lenovo Lenovo Legion Pro 5i (NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4070): The model with the very best raw performance meant for deep learning and graphics-heavy workloads.

3. Storage:

MacBook Air 13″ (2024): Up to 2TB SSD for fast reading and writing of data, but with a lower capacity than higher-end machines.

Lenovo Legion Pro 5i: It can cope with up to 2TB SSD which supports fast PCIe 4.0 speeds, leaving no worries about storing a large amount of data set.

4. Display:

Apple MacBook Air 13-inch (2024): 13.6-inch Liquid Retina Display (2560 x 1664), perfect for high quality visualization and easy to carry because of its smaller display size.

Lenovo Legion Pro 5i: 16-inch WQXGA (2560 x 1600) display, offers a larger screen for tackling complex work with bright color accuracy

5. Battery Life:

MacBook Air 13″ (2024): 18 hours, perfect for working longer on the road.

Lenovo Legion Pro 5i: Up to 8 hours, which is a bit less but good enough for quick worklevard.

6. Operating System:

MacBook Air 13″ (2024)Runs macOS Sonoma, renowned for its stability and compatibility with data science tools

Lenovo Legion Pro 5i: Windows 11 having a wide compatibility across data science software and enterprise environments.

7. Portability:

MacBook Air 13″ (2024): Weight: approximately 2.7 lbs (1.22 kg), super portable and easy to bring along for a ride.

Lenovo Legion Pro 5i: The heaviest of the bunch and weighs about 5.5 pounds (2.5 kg), a little weight but still not bad for something packing this much firepower in your hands.

8. Price:

MacBook Air 13″ (2024) $1,148 This topic is great for budget oriented perspective since, MacBooks are considered the best laptops for data Science students and practioners.

Lenovo Legion Pro 5i: $1,712 – a more budget-friendly high-performance package.

5. Best Portable: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 11 — $1,699

Ideal for: Data scientists constantly on the move. Its long battery life, lightweight design, and legendary Thinkpad durability are perfect for those with a mobile work style.

Specs: Intel Core i5/i7 processors, up to 32GB RAM, FHD+ or OLED display options, excellent keyboard, MIL-STD durability.

Pros: Extremely lightweight, fantastic battery life, durable construction, comfortable keyboard.

Cons: Expensive, screen size might feel limited to some.

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Apple MacBook Air 13″ (2024) vs. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 11: A Comparison for Data Science

1. Performance:

MacBook Air 13″ (2024):

Processor: Apple M3 chip with 8-core CPU and 10-core GPU to run less processor-intensive tasks efficiently

RAM: 24GB Unified memory; good enough for smaller datasets, less demanding tasks.

Product Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 11

CPU: Intel Core i7-1365U is a great performer for data science and multitasking.

Processor: Up to 10th-generation 1.33 GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processorRAM: Up to 32GB LPDDR5 RAM suitable for dealing with big datasets and memory-intensified computations

2. Graphics:

MacBook Air 13″ (2024): Integrated 10-core GPU, useful for data visualization and light hardware-accelerated tasks.

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 11 features Integrated Intel Iris Xe Graphics, which is decent but not as powerful as dedicated GPUs, good enough for most data science tasks.

3. Storage:

MacBook Air 13″ (2024): Very fast data access up to 2TB SSD, less storage than more expensiveModels.

Pro Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 11 Top: 2TB SSD-offers more than enough storage space for large data pools; the loading times are cut short by the fast pace of PCIe.

4. Display:

13-Inch MacBook Air (2024): 13.6-inch Liquid Retina Display, 2560 x1664 Resolution, Designed for crystal clear looks and portability

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 11: New 14-inch 4K UHD (3840 x 2400) display option in addition to an optional larger screen for more detailed data visualizations.

5. Battery Life:

MacBook Air 13″ (2024): Up to 18 hours, fantastic for mobile working.

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 11 manages up to 15 hours, which should get you through most workdays.

6. Operating System:

MacBook Air 13″ (2024): macOS Sonoma, reliable and great usage of data science tools.

System: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 11 w/ Windows 11 Pro (Highest Compatibility, works well with all data science software and can be used in enterprise environments as well)

7. Portability:

MacBook Air 13 “(2024): Slightly more compact and lightweight, it weighs about 2.7 pounds (1.22 kg), with fairly portable portability.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 11 – About 2.5 pounds – VERY portable (Slightly lighter than the MacBook Air)

8. Price:

MacBook Air 13″ (2024) – It comes with a price tag of $1,148, priced reasonably and ideal for both students studying data science and a professional.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 11 – available for $1,699 with excellent performance and the bells and whistles expected from a premium business laptop at a budget price.

6. Best Mobile Workstation: HP ZBook Fury G9 — $1,727

Ideal for: Power users who need as much processing capability as they can get in a (somewhat) portable form. If you work with truly massive datasets or extremely complex computations, and price isn’t a major concern, this is the ultimate beast.

Specs: High-end Intel Xeon or Core i9 processors, professional-grade NVIDIA RTX, DreamColor display options, extreme configurability for RAM and storage.

Pros: Unmatched power, built for the most intensive workloads, configurable to the extreme.

Cons: Very expensive, bulky and heavy, battery life limited under load.

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Apple MacBook Air 13″ (2024) vs. HP ZBook Fury G9: A Comparison for Data Science

1. Performance:

MacBook Air 13″ (2024):

CPU: Apple M3 (dual) with eight-core CPU and 10-core GPU for mid-level computational tasks

Expandable storage: 24GB RAM for handling small datasets and less intensive workloads.

HP ZBook Fury G9:

CPU: Up to an Intel Core i9-12950HX provides robust multi-core for demanding data science.

RAM : Up to 128GB DDR5 RAM, great for large datasets and memory-bound workloads.

2. Graphics:

MacBook Air 13″ (2024): Integrated 10-core GPU, useful for handling and plotting data from data visualization and running some lightly GPU-accelerated tasks.

HP has also introduced the HP ZBook Fury G9, with up to NVIDIA RTX A5500 or A3000 GPUs for excellent productivity on deep learning and graphics-heavy workloads.

3. Storage:

MacBook Air 13″ (2024): 2 TB SSD allowing data work on through with fast processing just that the space amount is less to some life.

HP ZBook Fury G9: 8TB SSD to support your workflow invariably of the enormous volume of projects with quicker data accessible.

4. Display:

MacBook Air 13″ (2024): A 13.6-inch Liquid Retina display at a 2560 x 1664 pixel resolution, providing excellent clarity for visuals and less weight to carry around.

HP ZBook Fury G9: 16-inch 3840 x 2160 pixels, which effectively increases the size of the display with higher resolution for seeing more data details.

5. Battery Life:

MacBook Air 13″ (20282): Up to 18 hours – great for all-day productivity on the go

HP ZBook Fury G9: Up to 10 hours with great battery life even with heavy workloads.

6. Operating System:

MacBook Air 13-Inch (Early 2024): macOS Sonoma offers remarkable stability and ability to fold gracefully into a torrent of data science utilities.

Windows 11 Pro – excellent compatibility with data science software and enterprise environments HP ZBook Fury G9

7. Portability:

MacBook Air 13″ (2024): Weighs almost 2.7 lbs, super-portable and light-weight.

HP ZBook Fury G9: 5.1 pounds (~2.3 kg), heavy but powerful

8. Price:

MacBook Air 13″ (2024): $1,005 – nice for student data scientists and new professionals due to its price tag.

HP ZBook Fury G9: $1,727 (sale priced), powerful, feature packed for much less

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FAQ: Finding Your Perfect Data Science Laptop

Which laptop is best for a data science course?

The Apple MacBook Pro remains a stellar choice due to its powerful M-series chips, long battery life, and overall user-friendliness. It’s a reliable companion for the demands of data science coursework.

Is 32GB RAM overkill for data science?

For most students and even many professionals, 16GB of RAM is a great starting point. However, if your projects involve exceptionally large datasets or highly complex machine learning models, 32GB can provide a performance boost and future-proof your machine.

What type of laptop does a data analyst need?

Here’s a quick spec breakdown for data analysts:

  • Processor: Intel Core i7 or higher (or Apple’s M-series chips)
  • RAM: 16GB minimum, 32GB recommended for larger datasets
  • Storage: 512GB SSD or more; a 1TB is ideal
  • Display: Prioritize screen resolution for clarity
  • Operating System: macOS or Windows, based on your preference

Is a powerful graphics card (GPU) necessary for data science?

While not always essential, a dedicated GPU can significantly accelerate certain tasks, particularly those involving deep learning or neural networks. If your work will heavily focus on these areas, consider a laptop with a capable graphics card.

Which is better for data science, Mac or Windows?

Both platforms are excellent for data science! Mac often benefits from a more streamlined user experience and compatibility with UNIX-based tools. Windows machines offer greater flexibility and a wider range of software options. Ultimately, the best choice comes down to personal preference.

My Closing Thoughts (6 Best Laptops for Data Science in 2024 )

If you are looking to excel in your career in data science then the right choice of laptop makes a very big difference. These are the best laptops in the world and each of them has something extra that provides an edge on that will make it extremely useful for your use case:

Apple MacBook Pro M3: Best laptop for those who are of Apple enthusiast, Not to mention its strong battery life, Super intuitive OSX integration and powerful with a single memory architecture.

Dell XPS 17: For professionals who want a bigger screen and powerful GPU, with the flexibility of Windows compatibility.

The Lenovo Legion Pro 5i: A sturdy option for people who need excellent performance on a budget, and the task ahead is beefy.

Apple MacBook Air 13″ (2024) A perfect laptop for the data scientist that has to work with less intensive tasks.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 11: Designed for professionals on the go, it ensures performance and product features at a high price.

HP ZBook Fury G9: Ideal for the most intensive workloads, providing a combo of extreme performance plus high RAM allotment and storage space for heavying mining demanding data science applications.

All of these laptops are great in their own way, so you’re sure to find a perfect fit for whatever you are looking for. Investing in a laptop that serves the best of your data science needs can make you output great and take up challenging tasks with a little sweat.

Ready to make your choice?

Choosing the best laptop is an investment in the next stairway of your future! Select the right tools and kickstart your journey of data science with the best resources at your disposal. Happy computing!

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