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Engineers must have a laptop capable of handling intensive tasks and lightweight for carrying around. Student laptops should be lightweight, portable, and have long battery life because this is an essential requirement.
The performance requirement gets added to the basic requirements for engineering students. Engineers studying in streams like Civil, Aeronautical, and Mechanical need 3D modeling software to do their work.
Students in streams like Electrical, Computer, and Software Engineering spent most of their time coding. Hence, the laptop specifications will vary depending on the kind of engineering, though portability and good battery life are considered standard requirements.
Keeping this in mind, we have compiled the best 10 laptops for engineers based on a well-researched ranking. According to what you need in a laptop for your engineering degree, the list comprises ten laptops in various budget segments and specifications.
- Best engineering laptops
- Laptops for Engineering Students Buying Guide
- Frequently Asked Questions
- How We Picked/Tested?
Best engineering laptops
1. Apple MacBook Pro 16 (2021 model)
Storage: 512GB or 1TB SSD
Display: 16.2-inch (diagonal) mini-LED backlit display
GPU: Apple 16-core GPU
- Great performance
- Long battery life
- Huge SSD storage
You might prefer using a MacBook for your engineering tasks since Apple products are among the most coveted. MacBook Pro 16 is among the top-performing and latest laptops from Apple.
It has compelling hardware, making it one of the best laptops in its category. In terms of memory, storage, the Apple MacBook Pro 16 comes in multiple variants. This laptop offers Apple’s M1 Pro chipset, supporting multiple cores.
Further, it features a retina display with a resolution of 3456x2234p on a sizable 16-inch screen. There is a maximum brightness of 500-nits on this display, allowing it to be used in sunlight.
This display offers excellent color accuracy with a wide P3 gamut. You will find no other laptop capable of providing such a superior editing environment as this one.
Additionally, 16GB of memory along with a 1TB SSD will allow you to store a large amount of data. Besides the 1080p webcam, the laptop has a built-in face detection feature for an improved overall camera.
You will be able to use the built-in camera for video conferencing and various other similar tasks. When it comes to applications, it is capable of handling high-end software with no lag, which is also beneficial for computer science students.
2. Asus ZenBook 15
Storage: 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD
Display: 15.6 inch wide-view 4K UHD 4-way NanoEdge bezel
GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Max-Q discrete graphics
- Good for multitasking
- Audio quality needs improvement
On our list of the best laptops for engineering students, the next one is the Asus ZenBook 15. The laptop is potent and comes with a durable build quality. With thin bezels, it still maintains a reasonable size and portability.
There is also a second display included which is capable of boosting productivity significantly. In addition to this, there is also a 15.6-inch display integrated into the laptop for better visuals. Full HD resolution and IPS technology provide this display with crisp and clear visual output.
SSD storage of 512GB and 16GB RAM makes this laptop fast and powerful. This laptop runs on a Core i7-10510U chip, which is a 10th generation processor. For high performance, it offers six cores and 12 threads.
With this processor, this device can reach a maximum clock speed of 5.0GHz, which is extremely fast. Moreover, it has a touchscreen and is 100% sRGB-compliant. It additionally features Geforce GTX 1650 Ti that offers decent graphical performance. The laptop has a touch screen display as well as a secondary display.
3. Razer Blade 14
Storage: 1TB SSD
Display: 14 QHD 165Hz
GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080
- Customizable RGB keys
- Ultra-clear display
- Sleek design
- Battery life is just okay
The journey from home and college will be something you’ll be doing a lot as a student. Therefore, you should choose a laptop that is lightweight and portable for convenient traveling. Due to this, I would recommend you try Razer Blade 14, which is lightweight and portable.
With a screen size of 14 inches, the Razer Blade 14 features a bright and clear display with a resolution of 2K. The resolution of the display is 2560×1440, which is a considerable amount. This display also offers a 165Hz refresh rate, ensuring a smooth and precise experience.
With 100% color gamut, this ISP-type display reproduces colors very well. With 16GB RAM and 1TB SSD, this system is fast and powerful. When it comes to the Razer Blade 14’s performance, it uses Ryzen 9 5900X processor for enhanced processing.
There are eight cores in this processor and 16 threads that will help you enjoy multitasking. A 3.7GHz base clock speed is possible, but the boosted clock speed is 4.8GHz.
The RTX 3080 GPU in the laptop provides 8GB of video memory for GPU-intensive tasks. The laptop is great for data science students as they will benefit significantly from the laptop as it comes with several ports and connectivity options.
4. Lenovo Legion 5
RAM: 16GB DDR4
Storage: 512GB NVMe SSD
Display: 15.6 FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS
GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Ti
- Perfect for gaming
- Several USB ports
- Wi-Fi 6 supported
- FHD display
- No SD card slot
Although this laptop’s price is in the mid-range range, its specifications are much better than we could expect. There are several impressive hardware specifications on the laptop, enabling it to run 3D applications such as AutoCAD.
Further, there is a 15.6-inch IPS display on the Lenovo Legion 5. With a Full HD resolution, this display provides crisp and clear output. In addition to the high refresh rate, this display has a high sRGB color coverage, making it ideal for engineering students.
When it comes to memory, the Legion 5 offers 16GB RAM with 3200MHz frequency. It also has a fast SSD storage capacity of 512GB. The laptop delivers high-end performance with a Ryzen 7 5800H processor that contains eight cores and 16 threads.
Processors on the device clock in at 3.2GHz and can go as high as 4.4GHz. It also contains RTX 3050 Ti graphics cards that can offer up to 6GB of VRAM for high-end graphic tasks. This laptop is a good choice if you want a powerful laptop that can handle your engineering tasks.
5. Dell XPS 17 9710 (Latest Model)
RAM: 16GB DDR4 3200MHz
Storage: 512GB M.2 PCIe NVMe Solid State Drive
Display: 17.0 UHD+ (3840 x 2400) InfinityEdge Touch Anti-Reflecitve 500-Nit Display
GPU: NVIDIA RTX 3050 4GB GDDR6
- Remarkable 4-sided edge-to-edge display
- Eyesafe technology
- Immersive sound
Dell XPS 17 is an excellent option if you want a touchscreen ultrabook at a great price. The device has a high-end build quality, high-performance features, and a modern design.
A substantial 17-inch screen makes up the largest part of the XPS 17 9710 laptop’s display, which has a screen-to-body ratio of 93.7%. This large screen allows the laptop to have narrow bezels all around the display.
In terms of resolution, it has a 4k display panel with a resolution of 3840 x 2400 pixels. A peak brightness of 500 nits is also possible with this display.
Furthermore, Dell XPS 17 also features 16GB RAM and 512GB of fast SSD. It also includes a Core i7-11800H processor so that you can run multiple operations at once. The use of 16 threads and eight cores makes multitasking possible.
Dell has also included a powerful RTX 3050 GPU in its XPS 17 model for better visual display. In case you’re searching for a slim laptop with a large touchscreen, the Dell XPS 17 might be worth your consideration.
6. Asus ROG Zephyrus G14
Storage: 1TB PCIe NVMe SSD
Display: 14 144Hz IPS-Level Full HD (1920x1080) 100% sRGB Anti-Glare
GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Max-Q (6GB) GDDR6
- High-end graphics
- Anti-glare IPS display
- Fast processing
- High storage
- Dim brightness
Next on the list is the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 which is quite popular because of its high-end performance. This laptop is ideal for engineering students seeking a powerful and reasonably priced laptop.
In addition to its 14-inch display, the laptop also comes with a thin bezel, giving it a modern appearance. With a 144Hz refresh rate, this IPS display has an anti-glare and an anti-reflective coating.
Apart from covering 100% of the sRGB color space, you can use this display for coding, content creation, and other similar tasks. Further, the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 allows more storage and fast memory with 16GB RAM and a 1TB SSD.
It uses Ryzen 9 5900HS CPU, which is a powerful and well-managed processor that delivers immense power. The central processing unit of this computer clocks at 3.0GHz and has eight cores and 16 threads.
This processor is capable of reaching 4.6GHz, which is quite impressive. In addition to the powerful CPU, the laptop also supports a powerful GPU. RTX 3060 GPU and 6GB GDDR6 video RAM are present inside it, allowing it to handle graphically intensive tasks like AutoCAD.
7. HP Pavilion x360
RAM: 8 GB
Storage: 256 GB
Display: 14 Touchscreen Full HD IPS
GPU: Intel Iris Xe Graphics
- Long-lasting battery
- Crystal-clear visuals
- Backlit keyboard
- Convertible design
- Affordable price
- Low storage
When it comes to portability and usage, the HP Pavilion x360 is the ultimate choice. Due to its dual-purpose nature, you can either use it as a tablet or a touchscreen laptop. This device features a large screen and the latest hardware, as well as extended battery life.
With regards to the pavilion x360 display, it features a 14-inch touchscreen display with HD resolution. With a hinge, you can rotate the display 360 degrees. This display is an IPS that can reach a maximum brightness of 250 nits.
HP Pavilion x360 opts for 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD in terms of memory and storage. It offers a Core i5-1135G7 processor that is powerful and efficient, with four cores and eight threads.
It supports Turbo Boost technology that can reach maximum clock speeds of 4.2GHz with 8MB of L3 cache. Moreover, the laptop has an integrated Iris Xe card that helps enjoy top-class visuals. It also supports a long-lasting battery that provides mixed-use backup for up to 8 hours and 30 minutes.
8. Acer Swift 3
RAM: 8GB LPDDR4X
Storage: 512GB NVMe SSD
Display: 14 Full HD widescreen LED-backlit 100% sRGB
GPU: AMD Radeon Graphics
- Biometric fingerprint reader
- Long lasting battery life
- Good performance
- Low brightness
Considering the display of the laptop, it has a 15.6-inch screen that delivers HD resolution. With a display this size and high resolution on a budget laptop, this is quite impressive.
Moreover, Acer Swift 3 provides decent color accuracy and a bright display, making them suitable for everyday use. There is 8GB RAM and 512GB SSD on this laptop, which should be enough for most tasks.
In terms of performance, the laptop includes a high-performing Ryzen 7 5700U processor. All tasks will run smoothly and without lag using this processor. With the boost mode, the clock can go up to 4.0GHz from its base speed of 2.1GHz.
As for graphics, AMD’s integrated graphics solution is used on the laptop. The Radeon RX Vega 8 GPU integrated into this CPU makes it better performing. So, it is an outstanding laptop option for engineering students who want a budget-friendly laptop for casual use.
9. Lenovo IdeaPad 3
RAM: 8GB DDR4
Storage: 256GB SSD
Display: 14-inch laptop has 4-side narrow bezels that let you see more of the FHD (1920 x 1080)
GPU: AMD Radeon 7 Graphics
- 4-side narrow bezels
- Optimal performance
- Runs quiet
- FHD screen
- Low build quality
Students with a $500 budget can get an affordable Lenovo IdeaPad 3 laptop. Although it is an inexpensive laptop, Lenovo IdeaPad 3 has excellent hardware. This laptop is capable of handling a reasonable amount of work, including coding, machine learning and other engineering tasks.
Despite its thin bezels, the laptop’s display measures 14 inches. This display panel has a 1920 x 1080-pixel resolution and uses an IPS display technology. This display is an excellent choice with a maximum brightness of 300 nits and 45% NTSC coverage.
This laptop features a Ryzen 5 5500U processor, supporting six cores and 12 threads. Further, 256GB SSD and 8GB RAM give this laptop excellent multitasking performance.
In boosted mode, the processor’s base clock speed improves to 4.0GHz. In terms of graphics performance, the laptop uses an integrated GPU. This laptop comes with an integrated Radeon Vega 7 GPU that can deliver reasonable performance when doing routine tasks.
As for connectivity, this machine also supports Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0. This laptop offers the most value for those looking to buy a laptop for around $500 without compromising quality.
10. Acer Swift X
RAM: 16GB LPDDR4X
Storage: 512GB NVMe SSD
Display: 14 Full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS Widescreen LED-backlit 100% sRGB
GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Ti (4GB GDDR6 VRAM)
- Fingerprint reader
- Long-lasting battery
- Full HD display
- Discrete graphics (RTX 3050/Ti)
- Display feels cramped for creative work
Acer Swift X is the final laptop in the list of best laptops for engineering students. Despite its reasonable price, it offers good specs and an attractive design. A laptop like this can do everything from taking notes to programming and editing heavy programs.
Despite its size, the Acer Swift X comes with a high resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. IPS panels provide sharp, accurate colors through LED backlighting. Panels of this type are guaranteed to have 100% sRGB coverage, which is a plus point for this price.
The system has 512GB SSD and 16GB RAM, which are ample for engineering applications. Further, the Ryzen 7 5800U provides the processing power of the Acer Swift X. The CPU consists of eight cores and 16 threads, which will help you run high-end applications.
In addition to the RTX 3050 Ti GPU, the laptop comes with 4GB of dedicated video memory. Among the laptop’s connectivity options are Wi-Fi 6, HDMI, etc.
Besides, the laptop has an excellent battery life and fingerprint reader. The Acer Swift X is an excellent option to consider if you’re looking for a laptop under $1000 for your engineering tasks.
Laptops for Engineering Students Buying Guide
In this section, we have highlighted some of the most important aspects you need to know before buying an engineering laptop in 2022:
Processor & GPU
It takes at least four years to complete an engineering degree, one of the most time-consuming degrees. Your laptop will be in use for quite a while, at least four years. So, the laptop you plan on buying should be powerful enough to handle all those years of work.
An underpowered CPU can adversely affect the performance of a PC and is one of the most critical components. It’s best to get a CPU in at least the mid-range segment from Intel or AMD, i.e., a Core i5 or a Ryzen 5.
It is recommended to use a laptop with at least four to six cores for everyday use and eight for work requiring processing power. Students in the Civil, engineering will also have to do a lot of 3D modeling in their studies.
When it comes to 3D modeling, you need a dedicated GPU. Most CAD software demand GPU power other than processing power. Therefore, if you’re planning on working on many 3D and graphical projects, make sure your laptop has at least a 4GB GPU.
RAM & Storage
In addition to RAM and storage capacity, PCs must also have a large amount of RAM for everyday work or highly intensive tasks. When you study all day on the laptop, you should have at least 8GB of RAM.
Nevertheless, if you’re going to run big and heavy software simultaneously with other programs, you may need 16GB DDR4 RAM. When it comes to storage, the choice is largely yours. A quick SSD drive will always be preferable over any HDD storage.
Having a fast SSD for primary storage creates a smooth, lag-free experience. It should have a minimum storage capacity of 256GB. Try to have at least 512GB of it, if you can, so that you don’t run out of storage in the future.
Windows, macOS, and ChromeOS are the main OS versions found on laptops. ChromeOS should be overlooked for engineers who work in coding and 3D modeling since this Operating System is not suitable.
This is good for you when you only need to do normal Web browsing, streaming, light computing, etc. Therefore, we didn’t include any Chromebooks on our list. There are now only Windows and macOS left in the arena. I will not delve into the pros and cons of both OSes.
From the engineering students’ point of view, they used a lot of specialized software that they wrote themselves. macOS has less flexibility and security than Windows, which is why Windows is preferred. You should consult your faculty teacher for more specific advice on the OS.
Frequently Asked Questions
In general, 8GB is sufficient for engineering students to perform online tasks, browse the web, manage spreadsheets, and other moderately demanding tasks. Although, for students in civil, mechanical, and related engineering disciplines, 16GB is a decent amount considering the massive processing workload they will face.
H-series processors are mostly found in high-end gaming laptops. The H-series is an excellent, future-proof choice, but it may be overkill for basic tasks. CPUs from the 11th generation H-series should be your only choice if you plan to use the laptop as an engineering professional. U-series processors are usually sufficient for basic tasks unless you invest in gaming devices.
An engineering student would want to save money for the more critical specifications such as storage and RAM. Additionally, it’s best not to set up the device as a high-end gaming station with such an extensive engineering curriculum. A midrange GPU similar to GTX 1650 should suffice when it comes to leisure.
How We Picked/Tested?
In our review of engineering laptops, we used both real-world and synthetic tests for evaluation. In addition to the display’s brightness, we also consider the battery life and its speed.
Testing laptop displays with the K10 colorimeter can determine their color gamut, brightness, and pixel density. Additionally, we test the laptop’s performance using Geekbench and 3DMark. To check how well the computer performs in real life, we converted a 4K video to 1080p as a demo.
We have reached the end of our article on the best laptops for engineering students. Because there are so many different kinds of engineering, the laptop to recommend to students can’t be specific to one.
Due to this, we included a variety of laptops in the list. Depending on your major, you may require access to software like AutoCAD, MATLAB, Maya, or Solidworks, as well as simple tasks like taking notes through video conferencing.
We have taken into account the performance requirements and the portability and build quality of the laptop since you’ll be carrying it with you. Based on this list, engineers should choose the best laptops according to their study needs and usage requirements.