Best Laptops for Engineering Students [December 2020]

by CT | Last Updated: December 7, 2020

laptops for engineering students

Not all-powerful laptops can be considered the best laptops for engineering students since power is not all you need. Of course, you want something powerful enough to manage all sorts of complicated applications and computational tasks, but that’s not the only thing to look for.

You also need something with excellent graphics that will fulfill CID, simulation, and CAM software requirements.

Since every engineering student needs a laptop catered explicitly to his/her needs, there is no definite answer to what is the best laptop for engineering students.

Perhaps you want a different operating system, or you want something that will do the task but is cheap? Or are you looking for an all-out machine?

Regardless of what you are looking for, I will give you a head start on your laptop research below.

The Best Laptops for Engineering Students in 2021

All the products mentioned in the below are carefully picked. All of them belong to the best laptop brands in the market. They will not only help you throughout your college studies, but will last long enough to get you through a few years after your degree is complete.

#1. ASUS ZenBook 15.6-Inch UHD 4K Laptop

ASUS UX534FTC-AS77 ZenBook 15 Laptop, 15.6” UHD...
  • 15.6 inch wide-view 4K UHD 4-way NanoEdge bezel...
  • Innovative ScreenPad: 5.65-inch interactive...
  • Latest 10th generation Intel Core i7-10510U Quad...
  • Fast storage and memory featuring 512GB PCIe NVMe...
  • Works with Amazon Alexa Voice Service that helps...

ASUS is known for making laptops specifically for users that run power hogging applications. The Asus Zenbook is a fantastic do-it-all machine that ticks quite a few productivity boxes.

Features

It comes with the latest 10th generation Intel Core i7-10510U Quad-Core Processor topped with the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Max-Q discrete graphics. In terms of storage, it sports 512 GB PCIe NVMe SSD and 16 GB RAM.

Moving on to other productivity-enhancing features, one of the laptop’s key elements is its 5.65-inch Innovative ScreenPad, which is basically an interactive touchscreen trackpad that adapts to the user’s needs by providing smart control multi-tasking options. Apart from this, it comes with a built-in IR camera for facial recognition and has extensive connectivity options that include HDMI, USB Type C, Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax), Bluetooth 5.0, and an SD card reader.

The computer has been specially optimized by working closely with several third-party developers. It can run all sorts of applications including Spotify and Evernote. The laptop can also run the video-editing software developer tool Corel with the help of the adaptive trackpad.

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#2. Lenovo Legion Y540 15.6” FHD Laptop

Best Overall for Engineering Students

2019 Lenovo Legion Y540 15.6" FHD Gaming Laptop...
  • Powered by latest 9th Generation Intel Hexa-Core...
  • 15. 6” FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS anti-glare display:...
  • 24GB DDR4 2400 SDRAM Memory for full-power...
  • 802. 11 AC (2 x 2) + Bluetooth 4. 1; 3 x USB 3. 1...
  • Windows 10 Home; White-backlit Keyboard; Up to 5...

If slightly bulky laptops don’t bother you, then as an engineering student, this machine is the right choice for you. Lenovo Legion series has been a fan-favorite when it comes to gaming and power-intensive tasks. These machines are specifically built for gamers, engineers, and designers who use complicated and machine-intensive software.

The laptop in question comes with a 9th Generation Intel Hexa-Core i7-9750H Processor complimented by NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 4GB GDDR5 dedicated graphics. It is built around a 15. 6-inch IPS anti-glare display with 1920 x 1080 resolution, wide viewing angles, a high dynamic range, and impressive clarity. The keyboard is equipped with an energy-efficient LED backlight as well.

As far as the memory specifications are concerned, it packs a 24 GB DDR4 2400 SDRAM and 1 TB HDD + 512 GB PCIe SSD. For connectivity purposes, it comes with 3 USB 3. 1 Gen 1 ports, a Mini DisplayPort 1.4, an HDMI 2.0 port, an RJ45 Ethernet, a Kensington Wedge Lock slot, a USB 3. 1 Gen 2 Type-C port, 3. 5mm microphone/headphone combo, and a NOVO hole. Overall, this is one of the most recommended laptops for students.

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#3. HP Pavilion Gaming 15-Inch Laptop with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050

Sale
HP Pavilion Gaming 15-Inch Micro-EDGE Laptop,...
  • Fast and easy multitasking: experience high-grade...
  • Advanced thermal Management: optimized thermal...
  • Bios recovery and protection: automatically checks...
  • Fast Processor: 9th Generation intel(r) core(tm)...
  • Realistic graphics: nvidia(r) geforce(r) GTX 1050...

If you are looking for the best laptop for an engineering student but don’t want to go all out when it comes to budget, this one might be the best choice for you. It has been constructed to provide a fast and easy multi-tasking experience. It is loaded with a 9th Generation Intel(r) Core(TM) i5-9300h Processor in combination with NVIDIA(r) GeForce(r) GTX 1050 graphics. The pascal graphics architecture combined with the processor’s turbo boost provides enough computing power to handle all complex software, including CAD and CAM easily.

This gaming laptop is built around a 15.6-inch FHD IPS Anti-Glare micro-edge WLED-backlit Display with 1080p resolution and 60Hz refresh rate. The processor is topped with 8 GB DDR4-2400 SDRAM, which is upgradable. The available onboard storage is a 256 GB PCIe(r) NVMe(TM) M.2 Solid State Drive. One of the best parts of this laptop is the high battery life it offers. Usually, most gaming laptops top at 6 to 7 hours of battery life, but the HP Pavilion Gaming 15-Inch Laptop provides as much as 10 hours of constant usage.

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#4. Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop

Sale
Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop, Intel Core...
  • 9th Generation Intel Core i7-9750H 6-Core...
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Graphics with 6 GB of...
  • 15. 6" Full HD (1920 x 1080) Widescreen...
  • 16 GB DDR4 2666MHz Memory, 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD (2...
  • Backlit Keyboard | LAN: Killer Gaming Network...

Acer’s Predator line laptops are one of the best gaming laptops on the market. They can be claimed to be on par with desktop computers. The Acer Predator was launched earlier this year and is a beast of a machine. The computer comes with the 9th Generation Intel Core i7-9750H 6-Core Processor at the help. The processor operates in combination with the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Graphics with 6 GB of dedicated GDDR6 VRAM, 16 GB of DDR4 2666MHz memory, and 512 GB PCIe NVMe SSD storage. It has an option to increase the storage space as it comes with two empty slots for PCIe and one slot for an easy upgrade.

The laptop is rather useful for students who design software and simulation software, as it is equipped with a display featuring a 144 Hz refresh rate. The laptop sports a 15.6-inch Widescreen LED-backlit IPS display with 1080 x 1920 resolution, 3ms Overdrive Response Time, 300nit Brightness & 72% NTSC. Apart from this, it sports a Backlit Keyboard and support for Killer DoubleShot Pro Wireless-AX 1650 Wi-Fi 6 802. 11ac. As far as the cooling system is concerned, the Acer Predator Helios 300 comes with a 4th generation All-Metal AeroBlade 3D Fan.

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#5. Apple MacBook Air 13-inch – Space Gray

2020 Apple MacBook Air with Apple M1 Chip...
  • Apple-designed M1 chip for a giant leap in CPU,...
  • Go longer than ever with up to 18 hours of battery...
  • 8-core CPU delivers up to 3.5x faster performance...
  • Up to eight GPU cores with up to 5x faster...
  • 16-core Neural Engine for advanced machine...

When it comes to using laptops for heavy processing tasks, how can MacBooks be left behind? Most iPhone users, in their attempt to stay inside the ecosystem, prefer the MacOS. Thankfully, the laptops are very much capable of handling heavy-duty tasks. In fact, many engineers and designers prefer MacBooks over other laptops. They are not only capable of handling power hogs but are also sleek and portable. This Apple MacBook Air comes with the Dual-core 8th-Generation Intel Core i5 Processor topped with Intel UHD Graphics 617 and Fast SSD Storage that runs in combination with 8 GB RAM.

Like other MacBooks, the 13-inch MacBook Air comes with Apple’s proprietary Retina Display with True Tone technology with 1600 x 2560 pixels resolution that provides an immersive experience, a wide color gamut, and a high dynamic range. The light and sleek laptop is equipped with a dual speaker, a fingerprint sensor, Apple pay, and password-protected documents.

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#6. LG Gram 17” 10th Gen Laptop with Thunderbolt 3

Sale
LG Gram Laptop 17Inch IPS WQXGA 2560 x 1600 Intel...
  • 17” WQXGA (2560 x 1600) IPS LCD Screen
  • Windows 10 Home (64 bit)
  • Intel 10th Generation i7-1065G7 CPU To Iris Plus...
  • 16 GB DDR4 RAM and 1 TB M 2 NMVe SSD (512 GB x2)
  • 80WH Lithium Battery (up to 17 hours)

For engineering students who don’t have a budget restriction, this is the best laptop by far. It looks a lot like the HP Zenbook and has a similar form factor, which means it is relatively easy to travel with. It weighs 3 pounds and is designed to deliver convenience on the go. The computer is powered by the latest Intel 10th Generation i7-1065G7 CPU With Iris Plus graphics under the hood. The processor is capable of powering high-level 4K content production, quick application of video filters, high-resolution photo editing and 1080p gaming.

Storage-wise, it comes with 16 GB DDR4 RAM and 1 TB M 2 NMVe SSD onboard memory. One of its key features is the support for Thunderbolt 3 that provides fast transfer speeds, charging, and display connection via one port. The port can offer 40 Gbps transfer speeds and 5k video. Furthermore, the device features a fingerprint sensor for quick login and a backlit keyboard. It is built around a 17-inch LCD panel with 2560 x 1600 resolution.

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#7. Acer Swift 3 Lightest Laptop

Best Budget Laptop for Engineering Students

Acer Swift 3 Thin & Light Laptop, 14" Full HD IPS,...
  • AMD Ryzen 7 4700U Octa-Core Mobile Processor (Up...
  • 14" Full HD Widescreen IPS LED-backlit display...
  • Intel wireless Wi-Fi 6 AX200 802.11ax | HD webcam...
  • 1 - USB Type-C port USB 3. 2 Gen 2 (up to 10 Gbps)...
  • Just 0.63" thin and 2.65 pounds and up to 11.5...

Last but not least is this reasonable yet powerful device dubbed the Acer Swift 3. It comes with the AMD Ryzen 7 4700U Octa-Core Mobile Processor. The graphics front is handled by Radeon Graphics, and the SoC is topped with 8 GB of LPDDR4 RAM and 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD storage. It features a 14-inch Full HD Widescreen IPS LED-backlit display with a 16:9 aspect ratio and 1080 x 1920 resolution. The laptop has not been termed as the lightest laptop. It weighs only 2.65 pounds and measures 0.63-inch in width.

The best feature of this device is its long battery life. i.e., approximately 11 hours. Furthermore, the computer comes with support for Wi-Fi 6 AX200 802.11ax and is equipped with a USB Type-C port USB 3.2 Gen 2, a USB 3.2 Gen 1 port (featuring power-off charging), a USB 2.0 port, and an HDMI port. Other features include a backlit keyboard and an HD Webcam that can shoot videos and images with 720p resolution. Under $700 budget, Acer Swift 3 is the most affordable choice for students.

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How to Choose the Right Laptop for Your Studies? The Ultimate Buying Guide for Engineering Students

When you go out to buy a laptop, you can just go out all on the budget and buy a high-end $2500 laptop. However, that is not what we want, do we?

Every student has different demands in terms of computing power, memory, display specifications. Thanks to the technological advancements and a large number of companies trying to make their mark on the market, there are many options you can buy from.

However, as an engineering student, some of the things you need to consider before buying a laptop are:

Processing power

Since you will be using the laptop to run a couple of complicated and power-intensive software such as CAD and CAM, it is necessary that you invest in a laptop that comes with a Core i5 equivalent or higher processor. Moreover, the laptop should have an Integrated Graphics Card for non-gamers. This is the minimum requirement if it comes with a gaming-grade GPU even better.

Storage configuration

When you are multi-tasking and using power hogging software, RAM plays a very important role. It helps in smoothly operating the functions you are working on. With improved graphics and software, a minimum of 16 GB of RAM is required. As far as onboard storage is concerned, you might want to get a laptop with a minimum of 512 GB of onboard memory. Moreover, since laptops are not something you change every year, it is advised that you get a laptop that has slots for memory expansion.

Display

The display is something that most students don’t fret on. However, when you are running simulations, designing stuff on CAD, or rendering, your first impression comes from the display. A weak display does not let you work with efficiency, especially if the color gamut is limited. Moreover, it is imperative that you go for a 13-inch or larger display. There is no point in investing in a notebook-sized laptop. If that is your plan, it’s better to go for an iPad Pro with the magic keyboard.

Battery Life

If you are someone who works on the desk or in the university lab near a socket, battery life should not be much of an issue for you. However, if you are on the go for a part of the day or if you travel a lot, look for a laptop with minimum 5 hours of battery life. The higher the better. In most cases, a 75 Wh to 80 Wh battery will provide the required battery life and playback time.

Conclusion

With so many options to choose from, buying a laptop can be very confusing. However, if you have your priorities straight, the task can be made easier by folds. This article details 7 best laptops for engineering students. However, if you are still skeptical about what you want and what kind of specifications would fulfill your requirement, the buying guide will help you a great deal.

You don’t have to go for high-end specifications. That would be an overkill. All you need is to invest in something that has a good processor, a reasonable memory configuration, a vibrant display and a good cooling system.