Nowadays, every other week many new laptops are released and their specs also lap over each other. So, in such an evolving time, one can easily make a mistake on this costly asset. Certainly, the best laptop for engineering students is the one that’s both powerful and flexible to handle all your work. Also, it should come with the best graphics, in order to run multiple applications and accomplish a computational task that engineers require. Strict your demands in the crowded market, it will narrow options, this way you will make a hunt for the perfect laptop.
Which laptop is best for engineering? Which laptop is best for Mechanical engineering? Which laptop is best for Civil engineering? These are some confusing questions that are faced by every student whenever they opt for a laptop. Thus, finding the best laptop becomes hard, especially when you need power and flexibility to go parallel. Fortunately, we have made it easier for you by putting together 10 best laptops which will fulfill all your needs whether you are a student or a professional engineer.
Best Laptop for Engineering Students 2020
- Asus ZenBook Pro Duo – Best Dual Screen
- Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 – Best Portable
- Dell Precision 5510 – Best Budget
- MSI WS65 – Best Workstation
- Alienware M17 – Best Value
- Apple MacBook Air – Best Lightweight
- Gigabyte AERO 15 – Best 4K Laptop
- Lenovo ThinkPad P52 – Best Keyboard
- Acer Aspire E 15 – Best Cheap
- Lenovo ThinkPad E580 – Best RTX Laptop
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Our Top 3 Picks
1. ZenBook Pro Duo
Display: 15.6 (3840×2160)
2. Surface Laptop 3
Display: 15 (2496×1664)
3. Dell 5510
Display: 15.6 (1920×1080)
Difference between Engineering & Gaming Laptops
Both engineering and gaming laptops are very powerful and will give you many advantages. Although they are a bit expensive, they will prove to be very useful in the long run. A good engineering laptop will enable you to do your work efficiently. Also, it will analyze your work to the fundamental details. Similarly, gaming laptops can be used for engineering purposes, but they are designed for a completely different job. So, let’s go to the details of the major difference between these two different types of laptops.
Graphics Processing Unit
Engineering laptops have very strong GPUs. As engineers view and work with objects in more detail so stronger GPU will let you do that. Plus, it will enable you to use CAD applications and programs very easily and with more precision.
On the other hand, gaming laptops have also stronger GPUs but they are more concerned with speed rather than precision. Instead of details, they display frames which are more advantageous in gaming.
However, if you already own a gaming laptop, you can use it for engineering purposes by simply updating GPU. The recommended GPU for engineering purposes is Nvidia Quadro. As gaming laptops have strong hardware so this new GPU will work well and your gaming laptop will become a multipurpose machine that can do anything.
The other difference is resolution, as engineers are working on virtual objects so engineering laptops have higher resolution. On the other hand, modern gaming and business laptops come with higher resolution so if you are still in college and not using CAD applications on a daily basis, these laptops will be more than enough.
Let’s cut to the chase, the main difference is GPU and resolution. Now the resolution may vary but you always need a higher one. So whenever choosing an engineering laptop, your top priority should be GPU and make sure that it is a powerful one.
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Best Laptop for Engineering 2020
1. Asus ZenBook Pro Duo – Best Dual Screen
Do you want a laptop with dual-screen functionality for outstanding multitasking? Let’s dive straight into Asus ZenBook Pro Due which is the best laptop for engineers. Thanks to the stylish and innovative design, it looks amazing on the desk. With 5.5 pounds weight, portability is in the mid-range but at the same time, the notebook is very durable due to the sturdy aluminum build material. More, the keyboard is pretty springy that avoids bottoming out, and the responsive touchpad converts to a digital Num pad. On top of that, for convenient sign in it has a built-in IR camera for facial recognition.
The 15.6 inches 4K OLED display of ZenBook Pro Duo offers sharp images. The 4k ScreenPad Plus is an additional pleasure, allowing you to have multi-window experience. Plus, both the screens are sensitive to touch that can detect even faint touches. Happily, the manufacturer has included ASUS Pen for natural writing which is made up of aluminum. On top of that, the Intel Core i9 processor, 32GB of RAM and Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 GPU will run engineering applications like CAD very smoothly. More, 1TB SSD storage capacity makes it the best laptop for engineering students in 2020.
Going towards the ports for secondary connections, you will find a Thunderbolt 3 port, a USB 3.1 Type-A Gen 2 port and an audio jack on the right side. While on the left side an HDMI 2.0 port and USB Type-A ports are located. However, the powerful configurations and two 4k touchscreens come at the price of shorter battery life. On average, it can last up to 4 hours, still acceptable to be honest. Thus, if powerful performance, great display and multitasking are your top priorities, ASUS Pro Due is definitely for you.
2. Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 – Best Portable
Surface Laptop 3 is a great notebook that comes with a colorful display and offers powerhouse performance in a superslim chassis. The minimalist design for a larger laptop is truly courageous. This includes Surface Laptop 3 in the list of most portable 15 inches laptops. Speaking of which, it’s 3.4 pounds in weight and 0.6-inch thin. More, the flat, Chiclet-style keyboard offers a productive typing experience. Likewise, the spacious and responsive touchpad is as good as one can expect from Microsoft.
The best laptop for engineering students outfits 15 inches touchscreen display. Also, with 2496 x 1664 resolution images are sharp and detailed. Besides, the screen is plenty bright emitting up to 380 nits. Additionally, by providing an AMD Ryzen 7 processor integrated with Vega 9 graphics and 16GB of RAM, the notebook is powerful enough to do intensive tasks smoothly. It’s 512GB SSD is not only acceptable for its storage capacity but speedy as well as having a transfer rate of 282 megabytes per second.
Since Surface Laptop 3 has a slim chassis so you should not expect a wide range of ports from it. Happily, with it, a USB-C has finally arrived at the Surface Laptops. On the left side, you will see a USB-C port, a USB 3.1 Type-A port and an audio jack. Whereas on the right side only a Surface connect sits for charging the notebook. In addition, the hidden speakers beneath the keyboard generate excellent audio with clear vocals. On top of that, over 11 hours of battery life is enough for a long work session. Thus, if you are in search of the best engineers’ laptop with maximum portability, you should go for Microsoft Surface Laptop 3.
3. Dell Precision 5510 – Best Budget
Bright and gorgeous display, dedicated graphics card and an amazing chassis make Precision M5510 the best laptop for engineering students. Lid and bottom are made of silver aluminum, the deck is of carbon-fiber in order to give it a soft-touch finish. 15.6 inches Screen is surrounded by so slim bezels that they are almost unnoticeable. Although the keyboard is a bit shallow but soft-touch deck makes it comfortable. Also, 61 grams of actuation force makes it delightful and clicky. Similarly, the touchpad is reliable and responds quickly and precisely to the operating system gestures. However, with 7.42 pounds weight and 3.42-inch thickness, it isn’t much portable.
High resolution, bright backlight and virtually invisible bezels, the display of Precision M5510 is just unbelievable. As engineers are seeing things very closely, so with FHD resolution pictures will be clear, sharp and won’t miss any details. Plus, Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB DDR4 RAM and Nvidia Quadro M1000M GPU with 2GB of graphics memory will accomplish your intensive tasks in no time with high precision. On top of that, the mechanical 500GB HDD is more than enough to store all your data.
If you are thinking about the latest ports, Dell Precision has covered that as well. So, the left side is home to a USB 3.0 port, an HDMI port, a combo headphone/mic jack and a Thunderbolt 3 port. On the other hand the right side houses another USB 3.0 port, an SD card reader and a security lock slot. As we have already mentioned that the bezels are very thin, due to this the webcam is awkwardly placed at the bottom bezel. In addition, over 5 hours of battery life is acceptable for such a powerful machine but won’t give you an unplugged long day working. Hence, if you the best laptop for engineers at a reasonable price, go for the Dell Precision 5510.
4. MSI WS65 – Best Workstation
The MSI WS65 is one of the true desktop substitutions that you can find in the market. Rocked with a powerful processor and GPU, it is the best laptop for civil engineering students. The durable slim chassis is made up of aluminum. You may think that such a powerful laptop will be heavy, surprisingly it’s very lightweight. Since it weighs only 4.14 pounds and measures 0.7-inch thin. The interior has its own charm featuring a white backlit keyboard and a spacious touchpad.
The Full HD display on 15.6 inches screen offers sharp and crisp images. Also, if you are not happy with this resolution, then go for the 4k variant that best depicts your creation. The best laptop for engineers in 2020 comes with the Intel Core i9 processor, 32GB of RAM and Nvidia Quadro RTX 3000 graphics card. With such a powerful combo of hardware, the use of CAD applications won’t be an issue at all. In addition, the 1TB SSD provides enormous storage capacity.
Just like portability, plenty of ports on slim chassis is another surprise for you. On the left side, you will see two USB 3.2 Type-A ports, separate microphone and headphone jacks, a lock slot and an RJ45 port. Meanwhile, the right side houses a Thunderbolt 3 port, an HDMI 2.0 port, a USB 3.2 Type-A port and a mini DisplayPort. On top of that, up to 7 hours of battery life for a powerful workstation like MSI WS65 is remarkable.
5. Alienware M17 – Best Value
Lovely display and serious power for multitasking make Alienware M17 one of the best laptops for engineering students. Built with high-end material like magnesium alloy and steel enhances rigidity and tactile comfort respectively. Plus, the inclusion of copper in the thermal module keeps the system cool under pressure. In addition, at 6.2 pounds and 0.7-inch thickness, M17 is the lightest and thinnest notebook of Alienware. If you are looking for more luxury, open the laptop to see the interior beauty.
The colorful display on 17.3 inches screen with a resolution of 2540 x 1440 is astonishing. It offers sharp images without missing any details. Engineered with Intel Core i7 processor, Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 GPU and 16GB of RAM, it’s powerful enough to handle intensive tasks. In addition, the 512GB SSD is not just enormous, in fact, offers faster load time as well. Plus, the sound generated by the small speakers is clear and loud, on the off chance that you want to amuse yourself with music during your breaks.
Going towards keyboard and touchpad, the typing experience on M17 is nice due to 1.1mm of key travel. Though the keys are shallow, thanks to the 70 grams of actuation force that make up for the shallow keys. Similarly, the touchpad is precise and responds to operating system gestures quite well. Along with this, the wide range of ports is admirable. You will find a pair of USB 3.0 ports on either side, next to a headphone jack and Ethernet port. Whereas a mini DisplayPort, an HDMI 2.0 port and a Thunderbolt 3 port sit on the rear side. The only downside of M17 is the shorter battery life of up to 3 hours.
6. Apple MacBook Air – Best Lightweight
Comfortable keyboard, long battery and substantial performance, MacBook Air is offering all that you are looking for. Its Design is premium due to unibody aluminum chassis. Overall weight is just 2.75 pounds and thickness is 0.7-inch. So, field engineers and students will definitely appreciate the portability. More, the typing experience on Air’s keyboard is very pleasant, as keys offer 1.4mm key travel and require 72 grams pressure to actuate. Similarly, the trackpad lets you track accurately. What will please you the most is the touch ID sensor, just place your finger on that and your laptop will unlock.
13.3 inches retina display of MacBook Air offers four times more pixels compared to an HD display. So, images are taken to the next level of detail and realism. Along with this, the text appears so sharp like you are reading on a printed page. This best laptop for software engineering students is armed with Core i5 processor and 8GB of RAM, the machine lets you multitask smoothly. Also, Intel UHD 617 graphics are sufficient to run mid-range engineering applications. Plus, to store your data it comes with 128GB PCle SSD having a transfer rate of 212 megabytes per second. However, if it’s not sufficient for you, you can opt for 256GB SSD.
Going towards the secondary connections, a USB 3.0 port is present on either side, on the left side you will see an audio jack and Magsafe 2 charging connector. while a Thunderbolt 2.0 port and SDXC memory reader are located on the right side. What is more, the sweet-sounding speakers have a blasting volume along with clear vocals and full bass. Finally, up to 12 hours of battery life saves you from lugging your power cable everywhere you go. Hence, if you love Apple laptops but also want to save some bucks, go for MacBook Air.
7. Gigabyte AERO 15 – Best 4K
One of the best laptops for engineers, Aero 15 looks premium and provides solid performance. Build material is aluminum and solid hinges keep the laptop stable. The rest of the treats like per-key RGB backlit keyboard and fingerprint reader fixed in the touchpad are internal. So, Aero’s keyboard gives a strong tactile feel, as key travel is 1.6mm and requires solid 71 grams of actuation pressure. Along with this, the touchpad is responsive, accurate and provides a rugged feel to each click.
The 15.6 inches 4K OLED display offers sharp and detailed images. Certainly, the outstanding visual experience encourages you to pinpoint more possibilities. Besides, the notebook is equipped with the Intel Core i7 processor, 8GB of RAM, Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660Ti GPU and 256GB SSD for a powerhouse performance. By the way, these configurations are for the base model. However, if you seek something even powerful, you can get RTX series GPU and up to 1TB SSD for ultimate performance.
With 4.4 pounds weight and 0.8 inches thickness, you can easily carry Aero 15 in your backpack. Unlike other portable laptops, it prides itself on a good range of ports. The left side sports a USB Type-C/DP 1.4 port, an HDMI 2.0 port, a USB 3.1 port, an RJ45 port and an audio jack. While the right side houses a Thunderbolt 3 port, two USB 3.1 ports and an SD card slot. On top of that, over 8 hours of battery backup gives you a long working session.
8. Lenovo ThinkPad P52 – Best Keyboard
ThinkPad P52 gives you solid performance along with a colorful display in a portable kit. However, just like Dell Precision M5510, you should not expect an all-day-long battery life from it. The raven-black rectangular chassis gives it an eye-catching look. Plastic lid and magnesium base make it durable, as well as soft-touch surface on the lid makes it easier to grip. With 5.65 pounds weight and 1-inch thickness, it’s portable compared to 17 inches ThinkPad, but not as portable as other 15 inches workstations.
15.6 inches Full HD display of ThinkPad P52 provides razor-sharp images and a wide viewing angle. Moreover, this best laptop for mechanical engineering students comes with a built-in color calibrator which you can use to enhance display’s accuracy. Armed with the Intel Hexa-Core i7 processor and 32GB of RAM, performance is solid and speedy. In addition, Nvidia Quadro P1000 GPU can handle intensive productivity works or even 3D modeling. For storing your data, ThinkPad comes with 1TB SSD which can copy 4.97GB mixed-media files in just 11 seconds for a rate of 457 megabytes per second.
Ports offered for secondary connections are generous, but be prepared to reach to the back, where you have to lower the lid or turn the system to bring them in action. So, you will find an HDMI 2.0 port, a Thunderbolt 3 port, an Ethernet slot and 2 USB 3.0 ports on the backside. The right side is a home to a mini DisplayPort, another pair of USB 3.1 Type-A ports and an audio jack, while on the left side a USB 3.1 Type-A port and a 4-in-1 SD, SDXC, SDHC and MMC card slot are present. In addition, over 4 hours battery life is more than enough for such a powerful workstation.
ThinkPad P52’s keyboard is world-class as the keys offer 1.6mm key travel and require 71 grams of actuation pressure. Along with touchpad, it has a TrackPoint stick which offers extremely accurate navigation. But if you prefer touchpad, you will definitely appreciate it for its quick and accurate response. Also, the touchpad accepts multi-touch gestures like three-finger switch and pinch to zoom. Hence, if you are looking for the best engineering laptop, ThinkPad P50 will not disappoint you.
9. Acer Aspire E 15 – Best Cheap
With strong performance, excellent battery life and very affordable price, Aspire E 15 is the best laptop for computer engineering students. As it is a budget laptop, so quite clearly the build material is plastic. With 5.27 pounds weight and 1.2-inch thickness, it is not very easy to carry around. The keyboard is comfortable to type on but 1.1mm key travel is not satisfactory. On the bright side, its keys are well-spaced and require 72 grams of actuation force. Along with this E 15 touchpad is large and quickly responds to a series of operating system gestures.
15.6 inches Full HD display of Aspire E 15 is sharp but not vibrant. Equipped with Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and Nvidia GeForce MX150 having 2GB of discrete video memory, performance is outstanding. So, on the off chance, if you play games in your free time, you won’t be disappointed. Moreover, 256GB SSD is also acceptable for such a budget-friendly laptop. In addition, it’s speakers are loud enough to fill a large room with the refreshing sound of your favorite tracks.
Aspire E 15 has a standard set of ports for secondary connections. The right side houses a USB 2.0 port, 8X DVD-RW double layer-drive and an audio jack. The right side is home to an HDMI port, an Ethernet jack, a VGA port, a USB 3.1 Type-C port and two USB 2.0 ports. An SD card reader is located on the front left edge of the laptop which is a more convenient position. The best part of E 15 is the battery life which provides up to 15 hours uninterrupted backup. Hence, engineering students with a limited budget will be pleased by it the most.
10. Lenovo ThinkPad E580 – Best RTX Laptop
ThinkPad E580 is the best budget laptop for engineering students with an attractive design and comfortable keyboard. It is available in two colors, that is standard black and dark silver. The lid is made of aluminum and the rest body is good quality plastic. At 4.7 pounds weight and 0.8-inch thickness, the laptop is easy to carry around in your backpack. The typing experience on the world-class keyboard of E580 is just amazing, as key travel is 1.78mm and requires strong 72 grams of actuation pressure. Along with this both TrackPoint and touchpad are very precise in navigation. Right below the keyboard is the fingerprint reader, so you don’t need to type a password for Windows sign in.
The 15.6 inches screen with a resolution of 1366 x 768 is more than enough for productivity. Plus, with non-reflective display viewing angle is pretty decent. Configured with 2.5GHz Intel Core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM and Intel HD 620 Graphics performance is satisfactory. In addition, 500GB HDD with 7200 RPM is acceptable, considering both storage capacity and speed. Although it’s not a very powerful machine, but in such a price range don’t expect anything higher than the configuration being offered. However, E580 is one loud laptop so you will certainly appreciate it while giving a presentation in a large conference room.
The set of ports provided by E580 for secondary connections is standard. You will see an HDMI port, a USB Type-C port, an SD card reader, an Ethernet jack, two USB 3.1 Type-A ports, a USB 2.0 port and an audio jack. The built-in webcam is fairly bright and color accurate for making video calls. More, the laptop runs charmingly cool after streaming videos or doing work continuously. On top of that, over 8 hours of battery juice is enough to get you through a working day. Let’s conclude, ThinkPad E580 will serve engineering students in the best possible way at a very affordable price.
What is the Best Laptop for Engineering Students?
Engineers are divided into two categories that is 3D (civil, mechanical and aeronautical) engineers and 2D (software, chemical and computer) engineers. 3D engineers use CAD applications therefore they require high specs laptop, on the other hand for 2D engineers any modern laptop will do a pretty decent job. So, whatever type of engineer you are, consider the following factors in order to get such a laptop that will fulfill all your needs.
CPU is the most crucial part of an engineering laptop. Whenever you are going to run AutoCAD or other apps like it, your processor should be powerful, otherwise, it will take a lot of time to respond. So, to save yourself from this, don’t accept anything less than the 6th generation Intel Core i7 processor. On the other hand, for 2D engineers, anything above Core i3 will be work fine.
For intensive work environments like CAD and MATLAB, only a powerful CPU is not enough. Along with this, you will need a powerful graphics card in order to meet the video processing needs. So, for this, the graphics card should be at least 2GB DDR3. Yet, a high-end DDR5 graphics card like Nvidia GTX series is more appreciable in which case your productivity will be a lot better.
RAM makes sure that your laptop runs and store what the processor is actually trying to run. So, the recommended RAM for an engineering laptop is 8GB but if you go higher like 12GB or 16GB, you will definitely see the difference.
The two important things to consider in display are screen size and resolution.
Screen size is not important in engineering laptops, so 14 or 15 inches screen is a perfect size. Although bigger screen lets you view your work on a bigger display which looks great but it affects portability. As for engineers portability is very necessary so it will be better to stick to 15 inches or below.
Admitting that size is not important but the resolution is certainly crucial. Never accept anything below FHD (1920 x 1080) otherwise you won’t be able to reach your required productivity level. Plus, 2K or 4K display is more preferable if the budget is not a concern.
To store all your data like songs, games and programs like AutoCAD, Catia and ANSYS, you will need an adequate amount of storage capacity. Nowadays most modern laptops come with SSD which is more faster than a traditional hard drive. But for some users storage capacity like 128GB or 256GB is not enough. So, if you opt for an HDD then it should have 7200 RPM. More, a hybrid hard drive with 1TB HDD and 128GB SSD is more appreciable. Although storage capacity is not the must part of an engineering laptop, but the better it will be the more you will love it.
As engineers constantly move from one place to another and charging station is not available everywhere, so the battery life should be longer. Hence, the recommended battery life is 6 hours which is enough for a consecutive long working session.
In this article, the 10 best laptops for engineers have been revived. So, whatever type of engineer you are, you can choose the best laptop according to your needs by going through this article. Furthermore, for future queries, you can always visit again as we will be updating it with the time.