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If you’re a biology major student, listen up!
Don’t make the same mistake as me when I first entered college – I picked the wrong type of laptop for biology school!
To prevent you from making the same mistake, I will discuss the best laptops for biology in the market today and explain why I picked them.
So, without further ado, let’s get started!
What are the Best Laptops for Biology Majors?
As a biology major, you will need a laptop that is powerful and versatile enough to handle the demands of your courses.
I recommend these best laptops for biology majors offer great performance and features, as well as durability and value.
To learn more about each of them, read my reviews below!
The Apple M2 MacBook Air (2022) is one of the best laptops for biology majors. That’s because it’s extremely reliable, lightweight, and fast.
It runs on the new 2nd generation M2 Apple silicon chip and is super efficient.
If you’re already in the Apple ecosystem, then this laptop makes a lot of sense. You’ll be able to snap quick pictures of slides that professors glaze over and AirDrop them to your MacBook with ease.
Moreover, if your professors or lecturers use Apple too, there’s always the added benefit where they will AirDrop you their special lecture notes that they forgot to send out to everyone beforehand.
The inbuilt webcam is good too. You can attend your Zoom/Teams/FaceTime calls without looking like a potato. It has a 1080p camera for that.
The display is also really true to its color. This is great if you’re looking at colored pictures of microscopic slides.
Stains can be really difficult to tell apart if you’re using a lousier display. Also, it helps to see beautifully-colored lecture slides to aid your learning.
I’ve seen many of my friends use this laptop and easily breeze through college life because of its dependability.
Apple’s laptops just work really well!
- 13.3-inch LED-backlit Retina HD Display at 2560×1600 native resolution
- Touch ID Sensor
- Intel Iris XE Graphics
- Ports (USB Type C)
- M2 Apple Silicon Chip
- MagSafe 2.0 Charging Port
- Long battery life (14 hours+)
- Backlit keyboard (Magic)
- Not a lot of color options
- More expensive than other laptops on this list
The Apple M2 MacBook Air is hands-down the best laptop for biology majors. It’s lightweight, fast, and has a long-lasting battery.
Plus, it’s extremely reliable – which is important for students who need their laptops to last them through all four years of college!
However, it is more expensive than other laptops on this list.
I’d definitely go for this as the best laptop if I had to start college over again!
The ASUS Zenbook S 13 OLED is the best laptop for biology majors that will give you an amazing studying and working experience!
Whether you’re doing bioinformatics, doing lab research, or just writing up reports for your next assignment, this laptop is a handy one that biology majors will benefit well from!
This laptop is one of the few on this list that comes with an OLED display, which makes it great for visualizing beautiful graphs for bioinformatics, or just for color-accurate diagrams in biological e-textbooks and PDFs.
In fact, it offers true-to-life colors, and because it’s an HDR panel, you’ll be able to see more details in both the dark and bright areas of your biological figures.
Its weight and battery life are great too!
It weighs only 2.2 pounds (1kg) and its battery lasts for approximately 12 hours, so you’ll be carrying it around campus easily.
What I like about it is its ASUS 3D Noise Reduction (3DNR) Technology that reduces noise on your webcam, so you’ll easily have those hybrid lessons
You’ll also look better in online lessons and not look like you’re filmed on a cassette tape!
- AMD Ryzen™ 7 6800U
- AMD Radeon Graphics
- 16GB LPDDR5 6400 MHz memory (RAM)
- OLED display
- WiFi 6E
- 14.9mm thickness
- ASUS ErgoSense keyboard and touchpad
- Fingerprint login
- ASUS NumberPad 2.0
- Magnesium-aluminum alloy body
- Not as cheap
- Not the best processor (not intel core)
The ASUS Zenbook S 13 OLED is best for those who want the lightest 13.3″ laptop on the market.
The only downside of this laptop is its price tag, but if you’re looking for the best of the best, the ASUS Zenbook S 13 OLED is definitely it!
I really liked that it has a great battery life despite its thin and light frame.
The added fingerprint login also prevents others from accessing your files if someone gains access to your laptop.
The new M1 series MacBook Pro is one of the best laptops for biology majors because of its sheer computing power.
I actually use this as my daily driver:
It has a really powerful processor, the Apple M1 Bionic chip, and it comes with an impressive amount of storage. You can get up to 512GB of PCIe-based flash storage.
Although it’s not very lightweight, its battery can last longer and withstand higher computing demands than an M2 MacBook Air. That’s because the Pros have cooling fans that the Airs do not.
If you plan on performing some heavy computing of rendering complex protein structures, or some high-throughput bioinformatics, you’ll want to consider this machine!
Plus, MacOS is a Unix-based system and is great for performing commands for bioinformatics or biomedical data science.
If you’re into data science for biology, you need to get this! I use this as it meets the computing demands I need for my work today!
- Extremely efficient and powerful M1 Apple Silicon chip
- Up to 512GB PCIe-based flash storage
- 16GB of memory
- 14″ Retina HD laptop screen display
- Touch ID (Fingerprint sensor)
- Extremely good for multitasking and performing heavy computing
- Backlit keyboard
- Good battery life of 17 hours
- Not very portable
- Much more expensive than an M2 MacBook Air
The new M1 series MacBook Pro 14″ is undoubtedly the best laptop for biology majors who need a powerful laptop for their studies.
It’s more expensive than an M2 MacBook Air, but it has a better processor and more storage.
I personally recommend getting this if you don’t mind the weight!
I personally use this 🙂
The Dell XPS 13 is another great choice for biology majors.
It’s a Windows laptop that’s comparable to the MacBook Air in terms of specs and features.
It has a really powerful Intel Core i7-1250U processor up to 4.7GHz, 10 cores, and an impressive storage capacity.
You can get up to 512GB for your memory and 16 GB, LPDDR5 random access memory (RAM).
It’s also super lightweight, coming in at only around 2.5 pounds!
So, it’s perfect for students who have to lug their laptops around all day. If you’re taking this to your lab, it won’t require much space, so you’ll have no worries about the small desk space you have.
The Dell XPS 13 comes with a really great 13.4″ screen too. This means that you’ll be able to see slides and pictures clearly during lectures. And, if you need to do any work on PyMol or other biological computing programs, the screen will be large enough for you to do so without any issues.
- Lightweight and portable at around 2.5 pounds
- Super powerful Intel Core i7-1250U processor up to 4.7GHz with Turbo Boost technology, 10 cores
- Decent amount of storage (512GB)
- Great screen size (13.4 inches)
- Decent battery life (12hrs)
- Windows operating system can be difficult to use for some people
- Not as fast as an M2 MacBook Air (2022)
- Shorter battery life of about 12 hours
The Dell XPS 13 is a great choice for biology majors. It’s lightweight and portable, making it perfect for students who have to lug their laptops around all day.
Plus, it has a really powerful Intel Core i7-1250U processor, so it can handle any computing tasks that you throw at it – including PyMol and other biology programs.
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 series took a while for Microsoft to master but this laptop is now a beast when it comes to performance and portability for students!
It’s now one of the no-brainer best laptops for biology majors!
I’d recommend getting the 13.5” version as it’s lighter and takes up less space in your backpack going around campus.
It has a great camera which is suitable for video conferencing, and it works in low light.
It comes preset with Windows 11, which is clearly a step up from the clunky-looking Windows 10 laptops out there!
It features Windows Hello face sign-in and Instant On so you won’t take forever to unlock your laptop and not compromise on security.
Although it may lack a good display and a good camera, its processors pack a punch, especially with the AMD Ryzen™ graphics card.
- AMD Ryzen™ 5 4680U Mobile Processor with Radeon™ Graphics Microsoft Surface® Edition (6 cores)
- 512 GB SSD memory
- 8GB, 16GB or 32GB LPDDR4x RAM
- Relatively lightweight at about 2.84 lbs (1.3 kg)
- 720p camera
- 19-hour battery life
- Backlit keyboard
- Omnisonic Speakers with Dolby Atmos®7
- Lower quality webcam compared to other laptops in this list
- Heavier weight
The Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 is a great choice for biology majors who want a powerful laptop that is also relatively lightweight.
It’s not as portable as some of the other laptops on this list, but it’s still a great choice for biology students.
I personally recommend getting this Microsoft Surface Laptop if you’re looking for a powerful yet cheap laptop.
Why Do Biology Majors Need A Good Laptop?
Biology majors need a good laptop because they often have to deal with large amounts of data.
They also need a laptop that can handle heavy computing, such as rendering complex protein structures or high-throughput bioinformatics.
Plus, good laptops like MacBooks use MacOS, a Unix-based system that’s great for performing commands for bioinformatics or biomedical data science.
So, if you’re a biology major, get a laptop that can handle all your computing needs!
How to Pick the Best Laptop for Biology Majors?
To find the best laptop for biology majors, we need to examine the reasons why they will work well for you, whether you’re already a biology student or simply are biology major students to be!
1. Lightweight and portable
This may seem like a no-brainer, but many people seem to miss this point. (maybe just me!)
Since you’ll be lugging your laptop around campus a lot, it’s important to get one that’s lightweight and easy to carry.
Most biology majors are also required to do field work, so a lightweight laptop that can withstand being jostled around is also a plus.
You don’t want a heavy gaming laptop that’s hard to bring to your lectures/tutorials. It’s just going to weigh you down.
2. High-Resolution Display
The best laptop for biology majors should have a high-resolution display so that you can see your work clearly.
This is important for two reasons:
First, when you’re working with numbers and data, you want to be able to see the details clearly so that you don’t make any mistakes.
If you decide to go into bioinformatics, you’ll need to see all the small numbers and code in your data science IDE without going blind.
I’ve seen my friends hunch over and squint their eyes at a small laptop…
Don’t settle for the worst, go for the best laptops, for your eyes and sanity’s sake!
Second, many biology classes require you to view and analyze microscopy images, so a high-res display is essential for that.
In biology class, you’ll also need to view lots of images in color and it definitely helps if you have a sharp display to pick out the details.
Plus, let’s be honest – it’s just really satisfying to see your work in crisp, clear detail. 😉
Most laptops nowadays come with at least 1080p resolution, but if you can afford it, go for one with a higher resolution like 1440p or even 1660p. You won’t regret it!
3. Have suitable RAM
The best laptop for biology majors should have decent RAM that can handle the type of work you’ll be doing.
For example, if you’re going to be using your laptop for writing papers and viewing lectures/tutorials, you will some decent RAM.
We somehow always end up with like, 100 tabs on our internet browsers (I’m kidding, not so much!) so you’ll need a laptop that can multitask well.
Most biology students will do fine with at least 16GB of RAM, but if you can afford it, go for 32GB or even 64GB.
It’s always better to have too much RAM than not enough.
Plus, extra RAM can come in handy if you ever decide to do some video editing or gaming on your laptop!
(Yes, it’s okay to relax a bit as a student – have fun in college!)
4. Long-lasting Battery Life
This is another important attribute to look for in a laptop for biology majors.
Since you’ll be using your laptop for long hours in class and at the library, it’s important to get one with a long-lasting battery.
There’s nothing worse than having your laptop die on you right when you need it the most.
5. Fast Computing Power (Good processor)
This is the last attribute on our list, but it’s definitely not the least important.
Laptops for biology majors should have a fast processor so that you can run all the programs you need without any lag.
This is especially important if you’re planning on doing bioinformatics or working with large data sets.
Programs that render 3D protein structures are one of the most computing-heavy ones. A fast processor will make your life so much easier!
Some biology programs like PyMol, SPSS, and RStudio are commonly used in biology. These will crash more often if you have a slow computer.
6. Decent Price Point
We know that as a student, you’re on a budget.
Laptops for biology majors don’t have to be super expensive, but it’s important to get one that’s decent quality and will last you a few years.
You don’t want to have to replace your laptop every year because it can’t handle the work you’re doing.
A laptop for biology majors should cost around $1000, give or take a few hundred dollars.
Of course, if you have the money to spend, you can always get a more high-end laptop.
But if you’re on a budget, don’t worry – there are plenty of great options out there!
There you have it, the best laptops for biology majors! I hope this list helped you narrow down your choices and find the perfect laptop for your needs.
As biology has many computer-heavy demands, you’ll need to find one that can work well for your needs, whether that be for computing, utility, or portability.
Just invest in the best laptop that will work well for the next few years of college 🙂
All the best for school and I hope you find the best laptops for biology in college!
Justin is the founder and author of Justjooz. He is a Nanyang Technological University (NTU) alumni and a former data analyst.
Now, Justin runs the Justjooz blog full-time, hoping to share his deep knowledge of business, tech, web3, and analytics with others.
To unwind, Justin enjoys gaming and reading.