Updated on: April 27, 2021

If you’re looking to buy the best laptop for bioinformatics, this guide will help you make the right choice.

Identifying, storing, analyzing and distributing biological data of bioinformatics requires a laptop with the right display, storage, RAM, and processors. Choosing the right laptop for this purpose can be daunting.

To help bioinformatics students and practicing professionals in the industry make a good choice, we’ve made the best selections from the slew of laptops available on the market.

So, whether you’re using Bowtie, Biopython, EMBOSS, BioPerl, Scipy, Astropy, Bioconductor, the Geneious bioinformatics software for sequence data analysis, or even MATLAB, our top picks can handle the processing requirements of these software.

From Dell to Lenovo, we look at the best laptops for bioinformatics students and professionals in greater depth.

Best Laptops for Bioinformatics at a Glance

No. Item  
1 Dell XPS 15 (2020) (Editors’ Choice) Check Price on Amazon
2 Asus VivoBook S15 Check Price on Amazon
3 HP Envy 13 Check Price on Amazon
4 Lenovo ThinkPad E15 Check Price on Amazon
5 Acer Aspire 5 Check Price on Amazon
6 Apple MacBook Pro (M1, 2020) Check Price on Amazon
7 HP Spectre x360 Check Price on Amazon
8 Dell XPS 13 (2020) Check Price on Amazon
9 Microsoft Surface Book 2 Check Price on Amazon
10 Apple MacBook Air (M1, 2020) Check Price on Amazon

 

1. Dell XPS 15 (2020) (Editors’ Choice)

best laptop for bioinformatics

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Our Editors’ Choice for the best laptop for bioinformatics is the Dell XPS 15. The Dell XPS 15 sports a similar design as the Dell XPS 13, however, it is larger.

It is portable and lightweight. You won’t have problems hauling the Dell XPS 15 (13.57 x 9.06 x 0.71 inches, 4.5 pounds) in your backpack on the subway, going to and from work.

The Dell XPS 15 pairs an Intel Core i7 processor with 512GB of storage and 16GB of RAM. There are Core i5 and i9 variants as well. With the Core i7 and Core i9 variants, you can run Bowtie, Biopython, EMBOSS, BioPerl, Scipy, and more without problems.

Despite its size, you get an assortment of ports: two Thunderbolt 3 and one USB-C 3.1 ports. Furthermore, there is a full size SD card reader and headphone/microphone jack.

As far as battery performance goes, the Dell XPS 15 can last through most of a normal workday on a charge.

Overall, the Dell XPS 15 is strongly recommended as best laptop for bioinformatics.

Related: Best Laptops for Biomedical Engineering Students

PROS                                                  

  • Portable
  • Fast processors
  • Thin design
  • Excellent display

CONS

  • No USB-A port

Dell XPS 15 (2020) Key Specifications

Display: 15.6-inch 4K Ultra HD, 3840 x 2160 pixels 
CPU: Intel Core i7 10th Gen
GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650Ti
OS: Windows 10 Home
RAM: 16GB
Storage: 512GB PCIe SSD 
Size: 13.57 x 9.06 x 0.71 inches (34.7 x 23.0 x 1.8 cm)
Weight: 4.5 pounds (2.05 kg)
Battery: 86Wh

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2. Asus VivoBook S15

best laptops for bioinformatics

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The Asus VivoBook S15 is an affordable laptop with specs of a premium laptop. It has a sleek, stylish, and slim design with a decent display.

Speaking of display, the VivoBook S15 boasts a 15.6-inch screen with thin bezels and a full HD (1920 x 1080) resolution.

Tucked inside the laptop are an Intel Core i7 processor, Intel UHD graphics card, 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage. The base model ships with an Intel Core i5 processor, and 8GB of RAM.

Next, there is a cooling system, which keeps the internals (the GPU and CPU, specifically) cool.

Elsewhere, the Asus VivoBook S15’s performance is very impressive, given its price.

Port selection is decent. The left edge holds a USB Type-A 3.1 (Gen 1) port, a USB Type-C 3.1 (Gen 1) port, an HDMI connection, an audio jack, and a power plug. The right side holds the rest of the goodies like, two USB Type-A 2.0 ports as well as a microSD card reader. You won’t find a Thunderbolt 3 port on the VivoBook S15.

The VivoBook S15 has a touchpad made of glass. This surface facilitates easy gliding. The touchpad has a multi-touch gesture support which works at all times.

Keyboard works very well, with decent travel. The Enter key has a yellow outline.

One of the VivoBook 15’s selling points is its outstanding battery life. We’re looking at an all day battery life. You may get more battery life with the power-save mode.

The Asus VivoBook S15 is highly recommended as one of the best laptops for bioinformatics students and professionals.

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PROS

  • Excellent value for money
  • Sleek design
  • Good cooling feature
  • Decent port selection
  • Outstanding battery life

CONS

  • No Thunderbolt 3 port

Asus VivoBook S15 Key Specifications

Display: 15.6-inch, Full HD (1920 x 1080)
CPU: Intel Core i7
GPU: NVIDIA GeForce MX250, Intel UHD Graphics
RAM: 8GB, 16GB
Storage: 512GB
Size: 19.00 x 13.00 x 2.00 inches (482.6 x 330.2 x 50.8 mm)
Weight: 4 pounds (1.80 kg)
OS: Windows 10 Home
Battery: 50 Wh

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3. HP Envy 13

best laptops for bioinformatics

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The HP Envy 13 is one of the best laptops you can get for the money.

Entry level model ships with 8GB of RAM and 256GB NVMe solid-state drive, and a full HD (1920 x 1080) non-touch display.

A more expensive variant of the HP Envy 13 pairs an Intel Core i7-8565U processor with 16GB of RAM, 512GB SSD, and 4K (3840 x 2160) touchscreen. It is built on an NVIDIA GeForce MX250 graphics card.

The Envy 13 is portable at 1.27 kg and has a 12.01 x 8.30 x 0.57-inch footprint. So you won’t have problems lugging in your backpack to and from work or school.

With regard to performance, the Envy 13 can stand toe-to-toe with laptops such as the Dell XPS 13 and the Razer Blade Stealth which cost even more. You can perform tasks like web browsing, word processing, using spreadsheets, and more on the Envy 13 with ease.

That said, the Envy 13 isn’t made for heavy gaming and 3D rendering or video editing.

Next is the backlit keyboard which is responsive and quiet. The touchpad works smoothly, too. You may not fancy the arrangement of the cursor arrow keys.

Finally, battery life is good. You’ll get at least 11 hours of battery life. So it should get you through a workday.

PROS

  • Affordable
  • Excellent 4K touchscreen
  • Sleek design

CONS

  • No HDMI port
  • No Thunderbolt 3 port

HP Envy 13 Key Specifications

Display: 13.3-inch, Full HD (1920 x 1080)
CPU: Intel Core i7
GPU: NVIDIA GeForce MX250
RAM: 8GB, 16GB
Storage: 256GB, 512GB
Size: 12.01 x 8.30 x 0.57 inches (307 x 212 x 14.5 mm)
Weight: 2.82 pounds (1.27 kg)
OS: Windows 10 Home
Battery: 53.6 Wh

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4. Lenovo ThinkPad E15

best laptops for bioinformatics

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The Lenovo ThinkPad E15 is an affordable laptop with impressive specs. Its display features a Full HD (1920 x 1080) resolution.

As far as weight goes, the laptop is lightweight at 1.90kg. So you have a laptop that is light on your back and on your wallet.

The ThinkPad E15 is equipped with Intel Core i7-10510U CPU, 8GB of RAM and 256GB or 512GB of storage. These specs provide the power you need to run many programs without problems. There are models with Intel Core i3, or Core i5 processor.

For privacy, the laptop has a TPM chip, and a privacy shutter on the camera.

On another front, the ThinkPad E15 keyboard has keys with slightly long key travel, however, they provide quiet feedback. The touchpad supports multi-touch gestures.

For cooling, there are vents underneath.

Every port a good laptop should have is on the ThinkPad E15. You’ll find two USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports, a USB 2.0 port, one USB-C 3.1 Gen 2 port, an HDMI connection, a LAN, as well as a headphone/microphone combo jack.

You’re sure of a limited 1-year warranty when you buy the Lenovo ThinkPad E15.

The Lenovo ThinkPad E15 remains one of the best laptops for bioinformatics students and professionals.

PROS

  • Lightweight
  • Good keyboard
  • Ample port selection
  • Affordable

CONS

  • Battery life could be better

Lenovo ThinkPad E15 Key Specifications

Display: 15.6-inch, IPS, Full HD (1920 x 1080)
CPU: Intel Core i7
GPU: Intel UHD Graphics 175
RAM: 8GB
Storage: 256GB, 512GB
Size: 14.5 x 9.6 x 0.7 inches (371.2 x 245.8 x 17.9 mm)
Weight: 4.19 pounds (1.9 kg)
OS: Windows 10 Pro
Battery: 45 Wh

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5. Acer Aspire 5

best laptops for bioinformatics

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The Acer Aspire 5 delivers excellent performance at a reasonable price. It has everything you’d expect from a good laptop.

Port selection is generous, and you shouldn’t have a problem. And the connections are typical of a contemporary laptop: one USB 3.1 (Type-C) Gen 1 port, two USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports (one with power-off charging), one USB 2.0 Port and one HDMI Port with HDCP Support.

The beefy Aspire 5, sporting dimensions of 14.31 x 9.86 x 0.71 inches and weighing 3.97 pounds, is portable. You won’t have problems hauling the Aspire 5 in your backpack, going to and from school or work.

Battery life is great, just like you’d expect from a good laptop and the cell lasts up to 8 hours without a problem.

Our biggest issue with the Aspire 5 is the lack of an SD card slot.

You’ll be hard-pressed to be disappointed with the Acer Aspire 5’s performance. Overall, it is a good buy, and one of the best laptops for bioinformatics students and professionals.

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PROS

  • Excellent performance
  • Good port selection
  • Lightweight
  • Good battery life
  • Good keyboard

CONS

  • No SD card slot

Acer Aspire 5 Key Specifications

Display: 15.6-inch, IPS Full HD (1920 x 1080)
CPU: 10th Gen Intel Core i5
GPU: NVIDIA GeForce MX350
RAM: 8GB
Storage: 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD
Size: 14.31 x 9.86 x 0.71 inches (363.5 x 250.4 x 18 mm)
Weight: 3.97 pounds (1.8 kg)
OS: Windows 10 Home

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6. Apple MacBook Pro (M1, 2020)

best laptops for bioinformatics

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If you are accustomed to using MacBooks, the MacBook Pro is for you. It is the best MacBook for getting the most out of the majority of programs used by bioinformatics students and practicing professionals.

In fact, nearly every professor uses a MacBook because it just works at all times.

The laptop’s display is excellent and crisp.

Aside from handling your day-to-day computing tasks, the laptop is also suitable for gaming.

Audio on the MacBook Pro is unsurprisingly outstanding. The speakers offer the same amazing sound quality as the MacBook Air. This is good news for anyone who digs good sound.

The MacBook Pros’ RAM uses more power than the previous models, however Apple isn’t skimping on the battery with the MacBook Pro. Apple has added a battery strong enough to power the MacBook Pro. You should get more than 10 hours out of the MacBook Pro without having to visit a wall plug.

The MacBook Pro has a super-responsive touchpad. Apple nailed the touchpad. It remains one of the best touchpads on the market. 

Keyboard is decent. The butterfly-style keys have been tweaked and are quieter, thanks to a silicon element beneath each keycap – so no more clacky sounds.

If budget is no issue, the MacBook Pro is worth considering and it remains one of the best laptops for bioinformatics.

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PROS

  • Enhanced processing speed
  • Ample storage
  • Better display
  • Very portable
  • Outstanding speakers
  • Impressive battery life
  • Excellent keyboard

CONS

  • Limited number of ports

Apple MacBook Pro (M1, 2020) Key Specifications

Display: 13-inch Retina display, 2560 x 1600 pixels
CPU: Apple M1 Chip (8-core)
GPU: Integrated 8-core GPU
RAM: 8GB – 16GB unified memory
Storage: 256GB – 2TB SSD
Size: 11.97 x 8.36 x 0.61 inches (304 x 212.3 x 15.5 mm)
Weight: 3.0 pounds (1.36kg)

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7. HP Spectre x360

best laptops for bioinformatics  Check Price on Amazon

The HP Spectre x360 is one of Hewlett-Packard’s best 2-in-1 laptops. Its specs and features are excellent and sure to handle all the computational needs of bioinformatics students and practicing professionals.

It comes equipped with an Intel Core i7-8565U CPU, a whopping 256GB of storage, and 8GB RAM. The Spectre x360’s impressive 61 Wh battery will carry you through 13 hours of moderate use without getting energy anxious.

The laptop isn’t quite as expensive as the Apple MacBook Air 2018, Dell XPS 13, and Apple MacBook which are also very good options for using programs like BioPerl, Scipy, Astropy, Bioconductor, and the Geneious bioinformatics software.

Like the Lenovo Yoga C930, the HP Spectre x360 is shipped with a stylus.

Every port you could reasonably expect is on this powerful laptop including USB-A and USB-C ports.

Poseidon Blue and Ash Silver are colour choices available in either 13-inch or 15-inch model.

The only minor drawback of the laptop is its average touchpad – it isn’t as good a touchpad as you’ll find on the MacBook Pro. That said, the overall impressive performance of the Spectre x360 overshadows this downside. 

If this does not give you pause, then the Spectre x360 is absolutely worth owning. It is still one of the best laptops for bioinformatics students and professionals.

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PROS

  • Good performance
  • Smart, stylish design
  • Very long battery life

CONS

  • Mediocre touchpad
  • Display could be better

HP Spectre x360 Key Specifications

Display: 13.3-inch 4K display, 1920 x 1080 pixels
CPU: 8th Gen Intel Core i5-8265U/Core i7-8565U
Operating System: Windows 10 Home
RAM: 8GB or 16GB
Storage: 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, or 2TB
Ports: Thunderbolt 3, USB Type-C, USB 3.1 Type-A, microSD slot, headphone jack
Size: 12.2 x 8.6 x 0.57 inches (309.9 x 218.4 x 14.5 mm)
Weight: 2.9 pounds (1.32 kg)

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8. Dell XPS 13 (2020)

best laptop for bioinformatics

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Like the Dell XPS 15, the Dell XPS 13 is one of the best laptops for bioinformatics deserving of note.

It is sleek, professional, portable and has excellent keyboard and battery life.

With a Full HD InfinityEdge touchscreen display, the laptop’s screen flaunts incredible bright and stunning colours which make for an awesome viewing experience.

Memory options range between 8 to 32GB of RAM, and storage goes from 256GB to 2TB SSD. You won’t have problems combining more than one task with the Dell XPS 13.

The Dell XPS 13 weights 2.7 pounds (1.23 kg) and has a 11.9 x 7.8 x 0.3-inch (302.3 x 198.1 x 7.6 mm) footprint.

As for ports, you’ll find two Thunderbolt 3 USB-C ports, one USB-C 3.1 port, a 3.5mm headphone jack and a microSD card slot.

The Dell XPS 13’s predecessor which is shipped with Kaby Lake R Core i7-8550U is fast, but the new Dell XPS 13 which has a 10th Gen Intel Core i7-1065G7 processor  is faster and more efficient.

As far as battery performance goes, you get approximately 12 hours of use on the 4K model and 21 hours with a Full HD display, depending of course on usage.

The Dell XPS 13 is highly recommended and remains one of the best laptops for bioinformatics students and practicing professionals.

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PROS

  • Excellent performance 
  • Cutting-edge 4k display
  • Slim & lightweight
  • Excellent keyboard
  • Outstanding battery life

CONS

  • Port selection could be better

Dell XPS 13 (2020) Key Specifications

Display: 13.3-inch display, FHD+ (1920 x 1200)
CPU: 10th Gen Intel Core i7-1065G7 processor 
GPU: Intel Iris Plus Graphics 
OS: Windows 10 Pro, Windows 10 Home (64-bit)
RAM: 16GB
Storage: 512GB SSD
Ports: Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C), USB-C 3.1, microSD card reader, headset jack
Size: 11.9 x 7.8 x 0.3 inches (302.3 x 198.1 x 7.6 mm)
Weight: 2.7 pounds (1.23 kg)

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9. Microsoft Surface Book 2

best laptops for bioinformatics

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The Microsoft Surface Book 2 is made of aluminium chassis, looks great and comes with a wealth of handy features. The laptop is detachable and comes with a Surface Pen. It is thin and light.

Armed with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 GPU, 16GB of RAM and 1TB of storage, the Microsoft Surface Book 2 stands toe-to-toe with the best laptops for bioinformatics on our list.

Of course, it ships with a powerful Intel Core i7 processor. With this, you won’t have problems running your programs. The Core i7 will make running EMBOSS, BioPerl, Scipy, Astropy, Bioconductor, the Geneious bioinformatics software for sequence data analysis, or even MATLAB, and the like unproblematic.

The Surface Book 2 has a good selection of ports for connecting to external displays using the DisplayPort standard, lightning-fast external drives, and pretty much any USB peripheral.

The ports on the 2-in-1 are: two USB 3.1 ports, one USB 3.1 Type-C port, two Surface Connect ports, an SD card reader, and a 3.5 mm headphone jack.

If you are a heavy gamer, the Microsoft Surface Book 2 will serve you well, too. Microsoft was smart to put the Xbox Wireless radio which makes connecting Xbox One controllers seamless.

With regard to weight, the Surface Book lightweight at 4.2 pounds. For comparison’s sake, it is lighter than the Lenovo Legion Y7000 Gaming Laptop (9.15 pounds), 2019 HP Omen 17 (7.1 pounds), and the Dell G7 (5.5 pounds).

As for battery life, you’ll get around seven hours out of the laptop from a single charge, if not more.

The speakers are a bit of a letdown. The Surface Book 2’s speakers do not pump amazing sound as the MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and the Razer Blade Stealth.

All in all, the Surface Book 2 is one of the best laptops for bioinformatics.

PROS

  • Very powerful specs
  • Superb battery life
  • Good cooling feature
  • Quite lightweight

CONS

  • Pricey
  • Speakers aren’t the best

Microsoft Surface Book 2 Key Specifications

Display: 15-inch, 3240 x 2160 pixels
CPU: Intel Core i7-8650U
GPU: Intel UHD Graphics 620; Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060
RAM: 16GB LPDDR3
Storage: 1TB PCIe 3.0 SSD
Size: 13.5 x 9.87 x 0.568-0.90 (343 x 251 x 15-23 mm)
Weight: 4.2 pounds (1.9 kg)
OS: Windows 10 Pro

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10. Apple MacBook Air (M1, 2020)

best laptops for bioinformatics

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Apple has made the new MacBook Air a lot better than previous models with improved internals, storage, and keyboard. The laptop touts a decent 2560 x 1600-pixel Retina display.

Made of aluminum and powered by macOS Catalina operating system and Apple’s M1 chipset, the 2020 MacBook Air can handle typical day-to-day computing tasks effortlessly.

With the 2020 MacBook Air, you get up 16GB of RAM. The entry-level configuration ships with 8GB of RAM, 256GB storage, Apple’s M1 chip, and an 8-core GPU.

In terms of weight, the MacBook Air is pretty much lightweight. No problems hauling the MacBook Air (11.9 x 8.36 x 0.63 inches, 2.8 pounds) in the backpack going to and from school or work.

Gold, Silver, and Space Gray are the three beautiful colour versions of the MacBook Air. Your choice comes down to personal preference.

The laptop boasts two USB-C Thunderbolt 3 ports on the left and a headphone jack on the right. How about the microSD card reader? Well, there isn’t one really.

We’d be lying if we said you’d be falling off your chair with excitement at the MacBook Air’s battery life. However, its battery life is just OK. In fact its battery life is a notable improvement over previous models. You should get at least 9 hours of productive work out of the laptop when it is not plugged in.

There’s no getting around the fact that the new MacBook Air still remains an excellent laptop given its decent specs.

So, if you’re looking for an affordable MacBook, then buy the Apple MacBook Air. It is one of the best laptops for bioinformatics.

PROS

  • Super fast processors
  • Improved keyboard
  • Lightweight
  • Excellent battery life

CONS

  • Limited number of ports
  • Webcam could be better

Apple MacBook Air (M1, 2020) Key Specifications

Display: 13.3-inch Retina Display, 2560 x 1600 pixels
CPU: Apple M1 chip with 8-core CPU
Graphics: Integrated 7-core – 8-core GPU
OS: macOS Catalina
RAM: 8GB – 16GB
Storage: 256GB – 2TB PCIe SSD
Size: 11.9 x 8.36 x 0.63 inches (304 x 212.4 x 16.1 mm)
Weight: 1.27kg (2.8 pounds)

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No. Item  
1 Dell XPS 15 (2020) (Editors’ Choice) Check Price on Amazon
2 Asus VivoBook S15 Check Price on Amazon
3 HP Envy 13 Check Price on Amazon
4 Lenovo ThinkPad E15 Check Price on Amazon
5 Acer Aspire 5 Check Price on Amazon
6 Apple MacBook Pro (M1, 2020) Check Price on Amazon
7 HP Spectre x360 Check Price on Amazon
8 Dell XPS 13 (2020) Check Price on Amazon
9 Microsoft Surface Book 2 Check Price on Amazon
10 Apple MacBook Air (M1, 2020) Check Price on Amazon

 

Bottom Line

We’ve reviewed the best laptops for bioinformatics. These laptops are a great pick for bioinformatics students and practicing professionals who need robust, fast, and responsive laptops.

Our picks will provide the best bang for your buck and are worth considering.