The workload of a Computer Scientist is much more demanding than most users' computational needs, and there are a few things you should know if you plan to purchase a laptop for your use in the CS program.
While we do not recommend a specific make and model of laptop for Computer Science students, we do suggest the following guidelines:
Look for a system with
Avoid the M1 Macintosh.
New Macintosh models based on the M1 chipset are still a bit experimental and do not provide good support for virtualization or dual-booting a second operating system. This means that students with an M1 Mac will be unable to run necessary course software in some computer science courses.
Avoid Chromebooks, Ultrabooks, and other "tablet computers".
These seldom have the resource to run virtual machines and other important software. More importantly, they tend to have locked-down custom operating systems that prevent the installation of development software.