Whatever engineering course you’re studying—mechanical, software, civil, or even aerospace engineering you need a laptop capable of running all the software engineers to use during their studies or at work. Most laptops out there aren’t made for heavy work, and you don’t want to end up with a bad laptop, so let’s dig into best laptops for engineering students.
The laptop suitable for you depends on your field of study, because the software you’ll use may be different from each other.
If you’re a civil/mechanical engineer, AutoCAD and CAE may be used, and you’ll need a powerful laptop for that —one above $500.
But if you’re studying computer/electrical engineering, then you can use a laptop below $500. They can handle it well without lagging.
Only programming languages like C++ and circuit simulators are used in this case. Big machines aren’t really needed in this case.
A portable laptop with a normal battery ( 2-3 hrs) can take you through your work for some time. The problem here is, some content on this issue on websites doesn’t address weight when talking about these laptops. And you don’t want to be stuck with a $1000 ten-pound laptop.
Recommended Hardware Requirements
For all AutoCAD, 2D, programming, and all engineers, you shouldn’t settle for less than 8GB of memory. Having good RAM will reduce lagging when browsing tabs or apps are opened.
If on a budget and you are only doing 2D work, you can get a core i3 or AMD processor. But it’s most advisable to get a minimum of Intel Core i5 and Ryzen 5 processors.
For fast and maximum productivity, you’ll need a laptop that loads in less than a second. And nearly all 2021 laptops come with an SSD.
A 2GB graphics card will be a good way to start. In fact, any graphics card released in between the last 3 years, would work fine for 3D engineers. For professional engineers, it’s suggested to check for workstation cards. It’s very vital.
1080p is the limit. You’ll get a nice working area, and get this resolution will work perfectly with any software. 4k resolution displays aren’t needed and expensive as hell.
As a student, you’ll want a laptop that you can put in your bag and haul around. 5lbs should be the maximum you should choose. Anything above that will be difficult to carry around.
10 Best Laptops For Engineering Students
Acer Nitro 5
The first laptop on the best laptops for engineering students list is the Nitro 5. Clad in black plastic with a rear panel that it’s in red. There are two USB 3.2 TypeA ports on the left flank, an audio jack, an Ethernet port, and a lock slot. The type-A port joins an HDMI video output at the right. The laptop also comes with a Wi-fi 6, that’s why it’s top on the list.
Let’s dive into the main gist of this machine. It comes with the AMD Ryzen 5 4600H with a processing speed of 3GHZ. This cool combination is great for 3D engineering students if, on a budget, 2D engineering students can also get this machine.
The downside here is that it’s a little heavy. Not more than 5lbs but 4.5lbs. So if you don’t mind carrying 4.5lbs everywhere, then this device is perfect for you.
Surface Pro 7
The Surface Pro 7 has a sleek and ultra-thin design. The laptop uses an Intel Chip that is more featured and traditional for a Windows PC. You can get a feel of a laptop and tablet with the Surface Pro, with an adjustable hinge, which allows you to recline the device through 165 degrees. It can be very great for sketching or taking notes.
Its keyboard is detachable and attaches easily to the bottom of the device magnetically. The keyboard has a great travel with a comfortable typing experience. It comes with a backlight and adjustable brightness. The keyboard can also be angled for a comfortable typing experience by folding the top of the keyboard against the screen.
The processor ranges from m3 core to Intel Core i7. Depending on the model you buy, all the laptops run 99% of the engineering software you’ll come to find. The RAM also ranges from 4GB RAM and 16GB RAM. As I said earlier, you shouldn’t settle for laptops less than 8GB. So when buying, check for the processor.
Surface Book 3
This laptop is very seductive, but that’s actually not Microsoft’s purpose—it has enough power to accentuate its build. No matter what model you buy, you get a 10th-generation intel chip, ranging from a Core i5 Intel chip and i7. The two models are very great for any engineering software.
The screen is magnificent—its 3:2 ratio feels very perfect, and the 3000×2000 pixel resolution gives plenty of brightness and a satisfying tablet experience. The Surface Book 3 features the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 graphics card that’s used in most powerful machines—It offers a Razer Blade Stealth.
The processor comes with a CPU with a clock speed of 5GHZ, which is literally one of the highest clock speed you can have.
Dell XPS 13 9360
Over the years, the XPS 13 has been one the best due to its premium design, long battery life, and very lightweight. The ultra-thin laptop’s lid and bottom surface are made from aluminum, finely coated in any color you want ( silver, rose gold, or white). The decks and palm rest are very comfortable to touch made with soft cotton fiber.
The screen is an InfinityEdge display, with a bezel at the side and top and the web camera just below the 15inch screen. The Dell XPS 13 gives a very great travel of 1.22millimeters, so the laptop gives a very good typing experience. The 4.1 x 2.3-inch touchpad has a slate-black surface that’s very smooth, and the friction keeps your finger static.
The device features an 8th generation Intel Core i7, with 8GB RAM for speedy use.
That’s not all, it also comes with a 256GB PCle SSD that allows you to store files and documents without stress. In a test, the Dell XPS converted a 4K video to 1080p using the video transcoder in 20 minutes. All tasks, both single-threaded and the counterparts, the laptop work very fast and smooth.
Asus Zenbook 13
A 13.3-inch display lightweight classy laptop gives your table a perfect footprint and still leaves space for your coffee. The device provides a 12-hour battery life while using the internet, but the least you can get out of it is 10 hours, depending on what you’re doing.
Featuring an Intel 11 generation core processor and Iris Xe graphics which is very great for the smooth performance of any engineering software you want to run. The battery lasted for 12 hours and 20 minutes on the video streaming test. The keyboard is very springy and comfortable. There’s plenty of space on the concave keys with generous spacing.
It’s very easy to surpass 70 words per minute on this device. The backlight of the keyboard makes it’s more comfortable and easy to type in the dark. The laptop doesn’t give off a lot of heat due to the technology present in the fan.
If you have enough money to spend on a laptop, then the Macbook Pro should be the first thing on your mind. It features power and endurance. This device can carry a lot of workload without lagging an inch. It features the latest m1 chip that beats most Windows laptops hands down in both processing and battery life.
While using the laptop, juggling various apps was very sleek, and engineering software all ran perfectly. The device scores 5,945 in the Geekbench 5.1 on the multicore portion surpassing the Dell XPS 13 and Asus Zenbook 13.
In a Handbrake video editing test in which 4k video is converted to 1080p, it took only 7 minutes and 46 seconds to complete while it took 20 minutes and less for the other counterparts to complete the task.
We thought the Butterfly Keyboard was the real deal until the Pro 13 came with the Magic keyboard.
It is very smooth to type on, and you can easily surpass the 72 words per minute range in minutes with fewer errors. The keyboard is soft, and it feels like a pillow. The touchpad is also very smooth and responsive, with pinching, zooming, and various gestures very smooth.
Lenovo Ideapad 3
The IdeaPad 3 is with a 14inch display at a 1920×1080 pixel resolution. The display gives a bright and very crisp feel. The display of this device makes it perfect for running engineering software because it gives a wider field of view, making work easier and less complicated.
The laptop runs on a 10th gen Intel Core i3 processor that can run heavy software easily with no stress. The Graphics are very great, used for high-end image and video editing. It also comes with 4GB RAM and 128GB SSD that allows you to store files and documents without any need for external storage.
Lenovo Thinkpad E15
This 6.1 workstation gives a very smooth and sleek working experience. Its dark finishes give it a very clean matte look, and the small logo on its front adds to its beauty. You can highly secure your laptop with the Hello facial recognition and the fingerprint scanner.
Your files will be secured, and file theft will be reduced a lot. Adding to the security, the laptop houses the TPM 2.0 chip for encryption of files. You also get the smart card reader, which may be an additional feature to your device. The device gives a smooth typing experience; bouncing between the keys is very easy, and it has very low travel.
The keys are bouncy, and it gives a nice clicky experience without being noisy. The Intel Core i9 processor coupled with NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000 Max Q graphics card and 32GB RAM will carry out all engineering work that you want to do seamlessly.
ASUS ProArt StudioBook Pro 17
This isn’t the device for the faint-hearted. This workstation is very fast with a powerful graphics card that makes it suitable for most engineering work. The laptop passes all the organic benchmark and real-world usage without breaking a sweat.
It excels in both performance and design very well. The StudioBook features a 17inch display giving a great viewing experience. With the 60Hz refresh rate, all engineering software can run smoothly without any glitches.
The 16:10 ratio is an added advantage for design work because of its great viewing angles. In real-world tests, the laptop converted a 4k file to 1080p in the three minutes in Premiere Pro. After the MacBook Pro, this device is next. AutoCAD software loads very smoothly in seconds.
MSI WS66 10TMT-207
This is the last laptop from the best laptops for engineering students list. The sleek and metal rectangular laptop gives me the vibe of a retro sports car. This device comes with the 1080p model and not in the 4k model. But the display is very clean, and you might not worry about if it 4k or not.
It has a good peak brightness and a refresh rate of 60Hz. The keyboard has good feedback with clean font styles. The only downside to the keys is that it has shallow and feedback compared to its counterparts. The MSI WS66 10TMT is a good workstation with long battery life, clean graphics, and fast performance.
It comes with features like an IR camera, fingerprint scanner, notebook, and a good selection of ports.
Even though it’s a bit expensive, the device is worth its price, and you’ll definitely enjoy your money’s worth.
Best Laptops For Engineering Students – Final Words
Now when we covered the best laptops for engineering students, you have a more clear picture of which one to pick. Pick carefully and think about the laptop’s CPU & GPU power.