Choosing a powerful laptop for engineering students can be challenging and time-tasking. Aspiring engineers at studies need powerful computers that can handle the demanding software and engines used to develop their projects.
However, students usually have a limited budget that can make springing for laptops more difficult. Don’t worry, we wrote a detailed buying guide and reviewed the best laptops for engineering students on the market.
In this article, we’ll explain the best specs and key features to consider when shopping for the best engineering laptops. It’s no secret that many students look to buy a computer that will serve them throughout all years of studies, and sometimes even longer. In this article, you’ll find a laptop that will match all your demands, without breaking the bank.
How to Shop for The Best Laptops for Engineering Students
Let’s accept one thing – engineering laptops are different than ordinary laptops. They’re not sub-$500 machines used to browse Facebook, Twitter, and Amazon. They are supposed to do much more than write essays in Microsoft Office Word and make presentations in Canva and PowerPoint.
Engineering laptops have more processing power and more memory and storage. It’s often welcome for a laptop to have a dedicated video card if applications have intense GUI or need heavier graphic processing.
Applications used at engineering universities such as the Adobe bundle, CATIA for mechanical engineers, or IDEs for software engineers are more power-hungry than day-to-day apps we use on regular laptops.
That’s why we’ll look into the key features to consider when it comes to getting the best laptops for engineering students.
The processor you’ll use in your laptop solely depends on the type of your studies.
- If you’re a software engineer, mechanical, graphical, or civil engineer who utilizes 3D applications, it’s recommended to use at least Intel i5 or AMD Ryzen 5 processors.
- If you work in a simpler field like 2D development even an i3 chip would suffice.
Of course, for optimal performance, you should get an i7 or i9 Intel processor or AMD Ryzen 7 or 9, depending on which architecture you prefer.
The days where students used 4GB RAM laptops are over, as nowadays this RAM barely amounts to anything. The 8GB of RAM is a bare minimum for more power-hungry applications.
DDR4 types of RAM are the fastest and most popular, and for the best performance, you should get a laptop that can host up to 16GB of RAM. It helps to render to execute faster, while also helping chunky programs compile.
Solid-state Drive (SSD)
Even the most budget-friendly laptops for engineers should be equipped with SSD with good transfer and access speeds. Solid-state drives are important when it comes to faster reading and writing of files on your operating system while bettering the file rendering in 3D engines. It’s also a good thing to consider a hard-drive bundled together with the SSD for more storage.
The integrated graphics have been greatly improved over the last few years, to the point many laptops can play games on them and execute 3D applications. However, for more durability, it’s best to consider laptops that are equipped with Nvidia’s or AMD’s Vega dedicated graphics.
This is particularly for civil and mechanical engineers working on 3D applications but also software engineers working on game development. Apps that can benefit from dedicated graphics include MATLAB, CAD package, CATIA, Unity, Solid Works, and others.
Screen is also an important component of a good laptop for engineering students. We know that choosing a smaller screen makes the laptop more portable, but it’s not a good idea for developers who want to see what they’re doing.
For graphic rendering, it’d be best to use a vibrant display with a good brightness ratio. When it comes to brightness, choose a laptop that has at least 300 nits, with 500 nits being perfect for every application.
The perfect laptop for engineering students can have all the features we displayed. But, that’d make it ridiculously expensive for the wallet of a student. That’s why finding the perfect balance is ideal when you want a laptop that will serve you for at least four years.
Best Laptops For Engineering Students in 2022
Now that we detailed all the key features to consider when choosing a laptop that will guide you through the studies, let’s take a look at reviews of the 10 best laptops for engineering students. We listed models perfect for any application, as well as those that are more budget-friendly.
Keep in mind that some models may lack a feature that some other model has, so it’s important to look for what you need to use for the particular engineering major.
10. ASUS ZenBook 14 Laptop
|Display||14-inch FullHD IPS display|
|Processor||AMD Ryzen 5 4500U processor|
|Graphics Card||NVIDIA GeForce MX350|
|Storage||256GB NVMe SSD|
|RAM||8GB 3200 MHz DDR4|
If you’re looking for a powerful and relatively budget-friendly option, ASUS Zenbook 14 is the best option. We don’t know from where to start, whether it is its stylish and solid Light Gray case, the portability at only 2.65 lbs, or bright, vibrant, and matte screen with the IPS panel. The 14-inch screen diagonal sorts it into the laptop with smaller screens, but sufficiently large to support large-scale programming and program switching.
When it comes to the full scope of performance, it’s worth noting that AMD Ryzen 5 4500U processor is quite powerful and 8GB of RAM gives it enough power to run multiple applications. Other features include a super-fast 256GB NVMe SSD and a discrete NVIDIA GeForce MX350 graphics card. Perhaps, it won’t run the newest titles if you’re a gamer, but it’ll serve great when it comes to 3D applications and some moderate gaming. The battery life is also long, so you can work on the go too.
- Stylish, lightweight, and portable
- Comes with swift performance and storage
- Hosts a dedicated graphics card
- Ideal for 3D applications and other demanding programs
- Long battery life
- The memory is not expandable
- There’s no space for another SSD or hard-drive.
9. Acer Aspire 7 Laptop
|Display||15.6-inch Full HD IPS display|
|Processor||AMD Ryzen 5 3550H|
|Graphics Card||NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650|
|Storage||512GB NVMe SSD|
Acer Aspire 7 laptop, like other Acer’s mid-range laptops, has a great and durable build, with a strong plastic chassis and hinges. It uses a 15.6-inch screen which is ideal for engineering students, boasting the 1920x1080 Widescreen resolution with LED display and IPS panel, allowing great viewing angles for students working in 3D applications.
Performance-wise, it’s packed with AMD Ryzen 5 3550H quad-core processor which can operate at up to 3.7GHz, which is great for intense apps. Additionally, there’s 8GB of RAM and 512GB NVMe SSD. What’s great about this laptop is also that it comes with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 with 4GB of discrete memory.
- Robust and durable-looking
- Bright display with vibrant colors
- The strong performance with strong discrete graphics.
- Plenty of storage on SSD.
- Battery life starts decaying quickly.
- The speakers can’t output loud sounds.
8. MSI Creator 15M A10SE-421
|Display||15.6-inch 144Hz Refresh Rate Full HD IPS display|
|Model||Creator 15M A10SE-421|
|Processor||Intel 6-Core i7-10750H|
|Graphics Card||NVIDIA GeForce RTX2070 8G GDDR6|
|Storage||512GB NVMe SSD|
|RAM||16GB (8G*2) 2666MHz DDR4|
This model has everything. It’s great both for designers and software engineers. However you put it, you won’t have difficulties using it, especially if you work on power-intense 3D apps and do a lot of rendering. It comes with a 15.6-inch Full HD display with an IPS panel with great viewing angles. The colors are bright, vibrant, and accurate, which is important when designing 3D shapes.
The laptop runs 10th Gen Intel 6-Core i7-10750H out of the box and 16GB of RAM, so you’ll agree that it’s more powerful than other laptops. Lastly, it comes with the high-end NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 which is a gaming giant, but also useful for GUI-demanding apps.
- Incredibly durable and robust design
- Top-notch performance for both gaming and engineering programs.
- Vibrant, bright, and stellar display
- Relatively lightweight for the components it hosts.
- A bit shorter battery life due to powerful GPU
7. Microsoft Surface Laptop 3: Touchscreen
|Display||13.3-inch Touchscreen Full HD display|
|Processor||Intel Quad-core i5-1035G7|
When it comes to robust, sleek, and ultrabook-like designs, you should check Microsoft Surface Laptop 3. The best part is, it’s not even that expensive if you want to cash a little more than $1,000 for a laptop. It weighs 3.4 pounds which is quite lightweight so it’s portable and easy to take to lectures.
It looks elegant and sophisticated, with a 13-inch Touchscreen display and great resolution. Thanks to the 10th Gen Intel quad-core i5 processor and 8GB of RAM, it runs fast and stellar. If you want power-intensive apps to run, and some extra computing, 11 hours of battery life will ensure that you can work without hiccups. Finally, it comes with a 256GB SSD, so quick reading and writing of files are guaranteed.
- Touchscreen Display
- Ultra-thin platinum design
- 11 hours battery life
- Occasional screen flickering
- There are heating problems with power-intensive apps
6. HP Spectre x360
|Display||15.6-inch 4K IPS WLED backlit Display|
|Model||Spectre x360 15t Max-Q Pro McAfee|
|Processor||Intel Core i7 8750H|
|Graphics Card||NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050Ti with Max Q design|
|Storage||1TB PCI NVMe SSD|
Running with Windows 10 Professional out of the box, HP Spectre x360 boasts some amazing features. Aside from the x360 convertible and elegant design, this laptop is equipped with a 15.6 4K display with an anti-glare and IPS panel for great viewing angle.
Performance-wise, HP Spectre x360 is one of the best laptops for engineering students thanks to the Intel Core i7 8th generation and 16GB of RAM for intense apps. It also comes with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti, which is great for GUI-demanding apps and moderate gaming. It also has a long battery and comes with a 3 years warranty.
- Superb and future-proof design
- Powerful components, including the 16GB of RAM and amazing 1TB SSD
- Great screen capabilities and 4K resolution
- 3 years warranty
- The graphics card is a little outdated
5. Apple MacBook Pro
|Display||13.3-inch Full HD display|
|Processor||Intel Quad-core i5|
Apple’s MacBook Pro isn’t everyone’s first thought when it comes to getting a laptop for engineering, mostly because of its skyrocketed price. Nevertheless, it’s an investment well worth it, if you’re looking for a powerful notebook that can handle the programs you’re using while being intuitive in the process.
It ships with a wonderful Retina display that is easy on the eyes, accompanied by the True Tone technology and Magic Keyboard. It also comes with Touch Bar and Touch ID features, the signature of Apple. It also sports an Intel Core i5 processor of 10th generation with up to 3.8GHz in the Turbo Boost Mode. Also, there’s a fast SSD and 16GB of RAM. The SSD sports 1TB which is great, as you won’t need another storage device. It also has a great battery life and is incredibly portable.
- Luxurious design
- Touch Bar and Touch ID features
- Robust and stellar performance
- 1TB SSD
- 11 hours battery life
- Expensive for some people’s pockets
- Some options use outdated CPU generation
4. Acer Aspire 5
|Display||15.6-inch widescreen LED backlit IPS display|
|Processor||10th Generation Intel Core i3-1005G1|
|Graphics Card||Intel UHD Graphics|
|Storage||128GB NVMe SSD|
If we told you there was a super-powerful laptop in the sub-$500 range that you could use to execute your engineering projects, would you believe us? That’s exactly what Acer Aspire 5 offers. Its silver design makes it look like it’s a premium laptop. Additionally, it comes with a 15.6 Full HD widescreen with LED and IPS panel.
It is also equipped with Intel Core i3-1005G1 CPU of 10th generation which can run up to 3.4GHz. Also, it comes with 4GB of RAM and 128GB SSD. Lastly, its battery life promises up to 8 hours of active work.
- Amazing design
- Great value for the price
- The strong processor in the i3 architecture
- Bright display with vivid colors.
- It only has 4GB of RAM so it’s only good for smaller projects.
3. ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 - VR Ready
|Display||13-inch 120Hz Refresh Rate Full HD display|
|Processor||AMD 8-Core Ryzen 9 4900HS|
|Graphics Card||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 Max-Q|
Nowadays, finding a super-powerful laptop that you can use for your engineering projects can be quite difficult, especially if you’re looking for an option that can come in handy for other hobbies like gaming.
ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 won’t break your bank, but it has everything you need to keep up with the latest demands of the tech industry.
Coming with a 14-inch Full HD display, it has a 120Hz refresh rate, and it’s VR-ready. Additionally, the screen is bright, vibrant, and precise. The stylish and futuristic chassis hosts an AMD Ryzen 9 4900HS processor with 8-cores and 16GB of RAM. If the storage worries you, it can support 1TB packed in an ultra-fast SSD.
When it comes to other features, it boasts NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 with 6GB VRAM which can run even the most demanding games and apps. Needless to say, it can easily run VR games. It’s also quite portable for a heavy-duty gaming laptop.
- Amazing design, chiclet keyboard, Dolby ATMOS audio, and much more.
- Great performance
- 120Hz refresh rate vibrant display
- Amazing portability for a gaming laptop
- It will occasionally run hot
2. Dell XPS 15 9500
|Display||15.6-inch UHD 500-Nits Touch display|
|Processor||10th Gen Intel 6-core i7-10750H|
|Graphics Card||NVIDIA GTX 1650 Ti|
|Storage||1TB PCIe SSD|
|Battery||86WHr 6-Cell Battery|
If you’re a high-end mechanical engineering student or study artificial intelligence engineering you need a super-powerful computer, one of which is the Dell XPS 15. It is equipped with a 10th Gen Intel Hexa-Core i7-10750H processor with a capability of up to 5.00 GHz and 32GB of RAM. It also comes with an ultra-fast 1TB SSD and NVIDIA Gtx 1650 Ti 4GB.
It also comes with a UHD+ display with 500 nit brightness, which is amazing for intense 3D applications that require your keen eye. The 15.6-inch screen is also responsive and accurate, as well as the colors. The battery can last for hours.
- Beautiful and robust design
- 1TB SSD and amazing 32GB RAM.
- Vibrant and stellar screen
- Long battery life
1. ASUS ZenBook 13
|Display||13.3-inch Full HD nano-edge display|
|Processor||10th Gen Intel Core i7-10510u|
|Graphics Card||NVIDIA GeForce MX250|
|Storage||512GB PCIe NVMe SSD|
Our first and winning option had to include it all, a sleek and thin design, amazing portability, and of course premium and stellar performance. The signature feature of Asus Zenbook 13 is the 5.65-inch touchscreen trackpad that you can customize to your needs. It has an app switcher which helps with navigation on the device.
It uses a 13.3-inch display with Full HD resolution and NanoEdge near bezel-less design screen. The colors are clear, vibrant, and precise, while the refresh rate and responsiveness of the screen are outstanding. It is equipped with Intel Core i7-10510u with up to 4.9GHz and 16GB of RAM. It also features a 512GB PCIe SSD which is more than enough to store your key programs.
There’s even room for gaming thanks to NVIDIA GeForce MX250. The laptop weighs only 2.83lbs, so it’s easy to take it to friends to study, or the library. At its best, it can squeeze up to 14 hours of battery life.
- Ergonomic and premium design
- Special touch screen touchpad for easier navigation
- Beautiful display
- High-end performances
- Superb battery life
- Not everyone is comfortable with a 13-inch display
With Asus ZenBook 13, we’re wrapping up the best laptops for engineering students roundup. We hope that our reviews helped you make your decision and getting yourself a model that will work the best for your engineering studies.
Remember to consult your professors about the programs you’ll use so that you can use models that are more specialized for certain tasks. Finally, if you didn’t find what you’re looking for among the laptops we reviewed, make sure to check other models on our site.