10 Best Laptops For Engineering Students & Engineers – 2022 (Ultimate Guide)

Whether you are into electrical , mechanical , computer , civil , software , chemical , aeronautical or even an aerospace engineering , you’re probably thinking that most laptops you came across online won’t be able to handle the software you’ll encounter in the worksplace or even in engineering school.

I had the exact same thinking.

When I started engineering school, I was afraid I would wind up with a laptop that could not even launch the engineering software my classes will require.

Somehow, I was convinced that unless I spent all my money on a laptop with the latest Intel chip and the latest NVIDIA GPU on it, I wasn’t going to be okay.

Well…the truth is….

I didn’t have to spend that much ! 

And even today in my worksplace, I still did not need to spend that much.

Wait doesn’t that depend?

Yes you are right. The software you need to run, therefore your computer’s hardware (and therefore how much money you’ll have to spend) will depend on what exactly you are doing.

If you are an electrical (or a computer engineer), you’ll only be running programming languages such as C++ and circuit simulators (like SPICE) for which laptops under 500$ should handle with no hiccups. 

However…

If you are a mechanical/civil engineer you’ll have to use CAD  and CAE software at some point in which case you MIGHT need a laptop with a dedicated GPU (~700$). 

Why did I emphasize MIGHT?

As a student, rather than a daily dose of 3D engineering software, you’ll be mostly exposed to very challenging math and engineering classes that MIGHT keep you staring at a solution to a problem you couldn’t solve for hours.

Getting past those classes is FAR more important than having a laptop that can run “hardcore 3D engineering software and projects” that in a reality you will only encounter in what 2 or 3 classes at the most?

And if you are a 2D engineer, you will probably NEVER have to worry for such things.

What you should be doing here is…

Getting yourself a laptop that you can use anytime and anywhere so that you don’t end up wasting time playing around with your phone. 

What kind of laptops do you recommend then?

If your school has lifted all restrictions due to COVID-19 and you’re going to classes like the good ol’ days then I’d recommend you get a MODERN portable, lightweight laptop with a long battery life.

What about power for the engineering stuff?

We’ll get to the hardware you need but basically any laptop with ANY modern CPU will handle virtually ALL programming IDEs, CirtCuit Simulators and 2D CAD software.  

And if you are a 3D engineer, you also have the option to use the school labs for the assingments in a few classes.

However…

If you don’t want to use the school lab’s or you CAN’T use them due to COVID-restrictions, then you’re just going to need ANY modern laptop with ANY dedicated GPU, even those entry level gaming-laptops will do.*

Wait…What about those workstation laptops for engineers I’ve read on some sites?

So you were about to fall into the trap that you actually need a 7lb +1500$ workstation laptop to get through engineering school huh?

The truth is…

Unless you are a working engineer(and one who uses CAD or CAE software), you don’t need it.

If you are an engineer working for a company and you are part of a team that designs/models complex objects like cars, pipelines and the mechanics of product with thousands of parts then yes YOU WILL FIND a workstation laptop useful. If not, you will also be okay with a mid-range laptop with a dedicated GPU.

*You can check the last section of this post where I go through the curriculum of every engineering field: which includes classes taken, every software used and the kind of projects you’ll be doing with 3D software (AutoCAD, Revit, SolidWorks,etc).


Recommended Hardware for Engineering Students & Engineers

I know most of you just wanna be told what to buy so I’ll try to summarize to summarize the kind of hardware you should be after here (you can check details/sources in the last section of this post).

For laptop buying purposes let’s divide engineers into 3D and 2D engineers.

If you are a 3D engineer(civil, mechanical, aeronautical) then you are a 3D Engineer and may have to pay attention to graphics cards and processors.

If you are a 2D engineering (electrical , computer, chemical, software,industrial, etc) you settle for pretty much any modern laptop that can run the full version of Windows 10. 

CPU
2D engineer: Any CPU released within the past five years. Programming languages and 2D CAD design software do not need a great CPU.
                       Ex: Any equal or higher than Intel Core i3 from the 8th-11th gen or AMD Ryzen 3 chip from the 3rd-5th.

3D engineer:  I would stronlgy recommend you get one of the latest Core i5/Ryzen 5 CPUs* from the 8th-11th (regardless of their label U or H). 

*Here’s one a little secret: if you can’t afford a laptop with a dedicated GPU, you can still run 3D engineering software and finish your projects just fine PROVIDED you have a modern CPU, it’s not going to be pretty but doable. This only applies to engineering students though, if you are an actual engineer is not going to be pretty because the size of your projects are going to be a LOT bigger and too heavy for a CPU w/o a dedicated GPU.

GPU
2D engineer:
You don’t need to worry about GPUs. In fact, you can skimp it over or completely ignore it  (the CPU will do all the work).

3D engineer:  If you’re a student with no access to computer labs. Then any dedicated GPU with at least 2GB vRAM will do. Ex: MX450,1050GTX,1050Ti or 1650GTX.
                       If you’re a working engineer, you want a dedicated GPU with at least 6GB vRAM.

Only professional engineers should consider workstation cards (even then it might only be useful in every special situations).

RAM
8GB:  for all engineers. You’ll be able to run ANY engineering design program with other programs running in the background, your music playlist and even a browse the web with dozens of tabs open and still get no lag. 
16GB:This is really only useful for 3D professional engineers working with CAD software.

Storage

The key of to success in engineering school is TIME management. You don’t want to waste time waiting for things to load up or waste time doing nothing while commuting or just simply goofing around campus because you’ve got no battery.
SSD vs HDD: An SSD will help in all of these three instances. SSDs will make everything load up in seconds which includes booting up your machine in less than 10 seconds, makes battery last longer and they also make computers thinner/lighter. 

Display

Size:

If you are still taking classes remotely, then you want at least a 15” laptop, preferebly a 17” laptop. Basically as big as possible so you can enough screen space for video playback, pdf files, programs all open next to each other.

If you’re commuting to college, you want something portable. You’re going to have to really dig down to find a Light 13”-15” laptop. You don’t want a 11” laptop unless you’ve got a good set of eye balls or you have something bigger at home.

Resolution: basically works like having extra screen space. Higher resolution displays can scale down the size of objects so that they can be easily be distinguished without giving eye strains. So the biggest the resolution, the more stuff you can fit it into a display. It’d be nice to get a 4k display but they’re so expensive it’s not worth the cost, 1080p are okay. Do NOT get HD, HD+ display, you’ll feel like you’re running Windows 98.

*If you are still not convinced with my recommendations, you can always check the last section for more details.

Top 10 Best Laptops For Engineering Students & Engineers

In this list I’ll try to make it easy by labeling which laptops are for which type of engineer.

I’ll start with the laptops with just enough power to get you through engineering school and wrap it up with the heaviest & most powerful laptops (which only professional 3D/CAD engineers should consider buying).

Note:

 Best for your degree
  May need another computer for CAD software, read the description carefully.


1. Lenovo Ideapad 3

Best Budget Laptop For Engineering

  AMD Ryzen 5 5600H

  8GB RAM DDR4

   GeForce GTX 1650 

  256 PCIe SSD

  15” FHD 1080p IPS

  4.96lbs

  5 hours

  Electrical , Computer , Chemical , Software
  Civil, Mechanical , Aerospace & Aeronautical Engineers

This is not the lightweight portable with a long battery life laptop I was preaching about.

I bet this is the kind of laptop you were after.

It’s not a heavy and expensive workstation but it has the hardware and power to run ANY 3D engineering CAD software and any 3D project you come across so you never have to leave your dorm room to reach out for the LAB. 

If you are a 2D engineer, however, I would skip to the next model, this one has too much power and will only be useful to you if you are a gamer too.

 Performance

 As of 2022, this laptop costs around 650$, and gets you nothing less than the latest highi performance “H” AMD Ryzen 5 processor released (5th gen) and the popular almost mid-range GPU: 1650GTX, which has been selling like hotcakes for about a year now.

What do you mean by almost mid-range GPU?

The MX150, MX250, MX350/450 940M ,1050/1050Ti and Radon PRO 5XX GPUs are all “entry level” GPUs, they’re all significantly weaker than the 1650GTX.

The 1650GTX is superseed by the 1660Ti,2060RTX,3060RTX, which are all mid-range to high tier GPUs. 

Despite not being a high-tier or a full mid-range GPU, it is very popular among gamers because you can play most games at very high settings and it’s also useful for any 3D creative workflow professional, this includes,  adasa

This is used by gamers looking to play games at high settings and has enough power to tolerate bigger models and even large models with most CAD software. So obviously, it’s useful for ANY type of engineering model and software at school and might even be useful for most professional engineers that don’t have to model something super complicated.

Who needs this performance?

Only 3D engineering students and some engineering professionals (working with small/medium sized models) should grab this one.
If you are a 2D engineer you’re probably just wasting money here unless you need this much power for gaming.

The only real issue that I have with this laptop is that it’s heavy but that’s very difficult to avoid if you’re paying 650$. There are some laptops that are lighter and still have the same power but they are very very expensive. We’ll get to those soon.

If you find this particular model out of stock check out these two. Some have weaker GPUs but like I said, they will be fine too.

Amazon Link CPU GPU Display Price* Alt. Link
Acer Aspire 5 i5 1053G1 MX350 60Hz 649$ Aspire
ASUS ZenBook R5 4500U MX350 60Hz 699$ ZenBook
ASUS VivoBook R5 3500U 1050GTX 60Hz 650$ VivoBook
HP Pavilion R5 3550H 1050GTX 60Hz 665$ Pavilion
HP Pavilion  i5 9300H 1650GTX 60Hz 686$ Pavilion
HP Pavilion Gaming i5 9300H 1050 3GB 60Hz  716$ Pavilion
Acer Nitro i5 9300H 1650GTX 60Hz 700$ Nitro
ASUS TUF R5 3550H 1650GTX 120Hz 737$ TUF
ASUS TUF R5 3550H 1650GTX 60Hz 750$ TUF
Lenovo 3 i5 10300H 1650GTX 120Hz 769$ IdeaPad
Dell G3 i5 10300H 1650GTX 60Hz 750$ Dell G3
Lenovo L340 i5 9300H 1650GTX 60Hz 628$ L340
HP Pavilion R5 4600H 1650GTX 60Hz 659$ Pavilion
MSI GF63 Thin 9SCX i5 9300H 1650GTX 60Hz 699$ MSI GF63

*Price will change depending on the time of the year. Use the alternative link if the price seems more expensive than the one listed here.

You should only grab the first two laptops if everything else is out of stock , the MX350 has only about 1/3 of the 1650’s power

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2. Surface Pro 8

Best Portable Laptop for Engineering 

  Intel® Evo Platform Core™ i5

  8GB-16GB RAM

  Intel Xe Graphics

  128GB-1TB PCIe NVMe SSD

  13” IPS ‎2880 x 1920

  1.96lbs 

  +10 hours

Okay I know what you are thinking now.

“The Surface Pro , Come on, Ok this guy is crazy”…**clicks BACK BUTTON**.

But why don’t you  open another tab, do yourself a favor and check what engineering students are saying on reddit first. You will find hundreds praising how awesome and cool the Surface Pro has been for them. In fact, if you find ONE post on reddit of an engineering student complaining about the Surface Pro, post the link in the comments and we’ll give you a 100$ Amazon Gift card.

 Performance

You can’t be fooled by the fact that it has detachable keyboard and behaves almost like a tablet.

The Surface Pro is a very versatile device you can customize RAM size and CPU power to your liking.

The newer models can be configured to have a 10th or 11th gen core i5/ core i7 or the latest Intel Evo Core processors for CPU

RAM can also be configured anything from 4GB to 32GB as welll as storage size 128GB-1TB.

The truth is even the lowest (and therefore the cheapest) configuration can run 99% of the engineering software you’ll come across. 

 Display & Design

However, that’s not what made this laptop popular among STEM students. It was actually its form factor/battery life and portability above everything else and the fact that the Surface Pro can turn into a tablet and when you pair it up with a stylus( kind of like how the iPad Pro works) it can replace all of your school supplies:  notebooks, textbooks, pens, erasers, highlighters, etc.

This is because not only does it have the same precise and realistic note taking feature of the iPad Pro but unlike the iPad Pro, it has a very integrated and seamless workflow with OneNote.

What’s OneNote? A software to keep notes, assignments and text files neatly organized and easily accessible for you to write on.

But I don’t like tablets with styluses…I’m old fashioned.

You don’t have to use it for that though. You can just use it as a full blown super lightweight laptop which you can turn into a tablet for reading when you’re lying down or when you’re commuting. 

3D engineering:

The truth is that although the Surface Pro does not come with a dedicated GPU, it can run 3D models in CAD software with a decent framerates in viewport. However, if you ever step into models that are bigger than (~300) parts you will lag. You can offset this lag by getting best CPU available on the Surface Pro.

 Electrical , Computer , Chemical , Software
  Civil, Mechanical , Aerospace & Aeronautical Engineers*

*ANSYS/SolidWorks/Civil 3D/Revit projects and assignments can run on the Surface Pro provided that they’re undergraduate level .
*CREO, CATIA projects will need the SurfaceBook 3.

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3. Surface Laptop Studio

Best Portable Laptop For CAD Engineers

  11th Core i5 / Core i7

  16GB-32GB RAM

  NVIDIA GTX 3050Ti/ Intel Xe Graphics

  256GB-2TB NVMe PCIe SSD

  14.4”  2400 x 1600

  3.83lb – 4lbs

  8 hours

  Electrical , Computer , Chemical , Software
  Civil, Mechanical , Aerospace & Aeronautical Engineers

The Surface Laptop Studio behaves pretty much like the Surface Pro, you get all the note-taking features with a stylus , the tablet mode,etc. However, you can choose to have a DEDICATED GPU on it.

So it is far more ideal for those 3D engineering students that want something ultra portable and do not want to rely on the computer labs in school.

 Performance

It’s not just the dedicated GPU. The Surface Laptop Studio has way more CPU power and you can customize yours to have an even better dedicated GPU than the 1650GTX: the 3050Ti which is miles ahead of the 1650GTX.

If you’re an engineering student though, the 3050Ti is going to be overkill for what you’re doing. However, provided you take good care of it, you can use it after graduation for real world projects in 3D.

If you can’t afford the Surface Laptop Studio with the dedicated GPU, you can go for the Surface Book 3 or even it’s older versions. Like I said, as long as you have ANY dedicated GPU, you will have no issues running 3D simulation software and the note-taking functionality of the older models is just as good as the newest ones.

 Display & Design

It has a bigger display than the Surface Pro (almost 15”) as well as the high resolution of the Surface Pro which is twice the resolution of 99% of gaming laptops. This means you’ll have an incredible amount of working space area with the Surface Book or the Surface Laptop Studio compared with the Pro. The downside being is that itll be slightly more heavier and bigger.

Also keep in mind that both the Surface Pro, the Surface Book and the Surface Laptop Studio can be turned into a full blown desktop set up by using a docking station. You may find this useful if you’re put back into quarantine mode due to a new variant.

In fact, with the docking station, you can even throw in a dual screen set up (two monitors on top of the Surface Device’s display)  to have the ultimate productivity environment back home.


4. Dell XPS 13 9360

Best Windows UltraBook For Engineers

  Core i5 11th 1135G7

  8GB RAM DDR3

  ‎Intel Integrated Graphics

  256GB SSD M.2

  13” full HD 1080p IPS

  2.6lb

  10 hours

 Electrical , Computer , Chemical , Software Engineers
  Civil, Mechanical , Aerospace & Aeronautical Engineers*

If you don’t want a convertible laptop but you also want to follow my advice of getting something ultra portable, then you should be looking at “ULTRABOOKS” when you shop online.

The Dell XPS is one of those models. Ultrabooks have a clear focus on portability and battery life. There are several variations and versions of the Dell XPS you can choose depending on your budget.

 Performance

CPU wise you can get anything from a Core i3 processor to a Core i7 CPU. For engineering school purposes, as long as these CPUs are from the 8th,9th,10th and even better the 11th generation, they will all handle engineering software and if you get a Core i5 CPU you can even throw in small 3D models in AutoCAD/SolidWorks even with the lack of a dedicated GPU, that is, provided you get at least 8GB of RAM.

If you really want smooth performance with these small scale models and with larger models in pretty much every 3D design software, you should consider buying the DELL XPS 15. The latest XPS 15 can be pretty expensive though and unnecessarily too powerful for engineering school, it may be wiser to look for older models of the Dell XPS 15 , they still have decent dedicated GPUs that will give you the exact same performance for the 3D projects you’ll see in engineering school.

* Solidworks will run just fine on the Dell XPS 13 as long as your projects remain very basic (undergraduate level) , in other words, low number of parts despite not having a dedicated GPU. 

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5. ASUS ZenBook 13

Budget UltraBook for Engineering Students

  Intel Core i5-1135G7

  8GB RAM DDR3

  Intel Iris Plus Graphics 

  256GB-512GB PCIe NVMe SSD

  13” full HD IPS

  2.45lb

  11 hours

 

 Electrical , Computer , Chemical , Software
  Civil, Mechanical , Aerospace & Aeronautical Engineers*

Unfortunately, ultrabooks, like several versions of the Dell XPS 13, can be very expensive 

The ASUS ZenBook is a “budget” ultrabook and the cost has been pretty consistent over the years.

 Performance

Despite being cheaper than most ultrabooks, it always comes with the latest Core i5 CPU in it as well as the usual 8GB and 256GB RAM and SSD.  So it should perform just as good as any other ultrabook like the Dell XPS 13 and likewise it lacks a dedicated GPU.

There’s a version of the ASUS ZenBook with a dedicated GPU however and it is much much cheaper than the Dell XPS 15, this is because it has the weakest “recent” dedicated GPU available on laptops: MX450. Which by the way, should be enough for 3D engineering students. 

If you are a 2D engineer, even if you find the ASUS ZenBook with the dedicated GPU very affordable, you should still choose the one featured here because one: you don’t need a dGPU and two you will get a lot more battery life (~10 hours vs 4 hours) with just the regular ASUS ZenBook.

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6. MacBook Pro

Best MacBook For Engineering Students

  M1 Pro Chip 8-10 Cores

  8GB-64GB RAM DDR4

   Pro Chip 14-32 Cores

  512GB-2TB SSD

  14” / 16” 3456 by 2234 resolution w/ 120Hz

  4.7lbs

  10 hours

 Electrical & Chemical & Software and Computer Engineers
  Mechanical, Civil, AeroSpace, Aeronautical

There’s a huge misconception about Apple computers for engineering. Despite what you’ve read  online, the MacBooks are NOT BAD for engineering.

There will be some compatibility issues with some software(MatLaB has now a version for Macs and Java along with all programming environments languages are readily available in all Macs through the terminal). But that doesn’t stop engineering students from buying one.

Even if you end up with a software that doesn’t have a Mac Version (some circuit design programs are only available on Windows), you can always install Windows on your Mac using BootCamp and have both MAC OSX and WINDOWS 10 readily available on your mac. This should eliminate any compatibility issues and the switch between these two Operating systems is now quicker than ever with the latest SSDs which are faster than ever.

If you’ve been to campus before, this is universally known and that’s why you’ll see a lot of engineering students with that shiny apple in an auditorium. I myself did fine with a MacBook Air during my last two years.

I personally did not have to use BOOTCAMP that much (except for cirtcuit design courses) . I spent most of the time using OSX writing and testing code through the terminal.

 Performance

SoC CPU Cores GPU Cores RAM
M1 Pro 2 Efficiency cores & 6 Performance cores 14 16-32 GB
M1 Pro 2 Efficiency cores & 8 Performance cores 14 16-32 GB
M1 Pro 2 Efficiency cores & 8 Performance cores 16 16-32 GB
M1 Max 2 Efficiency cores & 8 Performance cores 24 32-64 GB
M1 Max 2 Efficiency cores & 8 Performance cores 32 32-64 GB

3D engineers: To keep it short and simple, virtuall all MacBooks with the M1 Pro chips (the ones up in the table) have both enough CPU and GPU power for the most hardcore 3D design projects you will encounter in school.

If you are a professional engineer then you should grab the model with the 24-32 GPU cores because it will handle much bigger models (although high tier gaming laptops/workstation laptops will perform better with designs in the 500-1000 parts as in SolidWorks).

2D engineers:

All MacBook Pros with the M1 Pro Chip have way too much power for 2D CAD design software. Unless you want to game with high graphics with your MacBook, you’d just be wasting money. You would be much better off with the Apple MacBook Air with the M1 Chip which was released last year, it’ll give you FAR more battery life, it’s more portable and cheaper too.


If you want to get to details, the CPUs in all the configurations have more or less the same performance as the  Intel Core i7-1185G7 and Ryzen 7 5800U.  The real difference comes in GPU performance, those chips with 14-16 GPU cores behave more or less like the  GeForce GTX 1650 which is again perfect for engineering students (like the first laptop on our list). Those chips with 24-32 GPU cores step into what’s considered a mid-range GPU from NVIDIA like the 3060RTX, again, probably useful for about 90% of professional engineers.


 Display & Design

So if they have the same computing power as cheaper gaming laptops, why some engineers buy them? Well some obviously buy them for aesthetic purposes but many of these engineers buy them because they’re heavy programmers and MacBooks Pros have the best OS designed for programmers. Another reason is its physical design, they’re very sturdy/rocksolid and can take several drops before something goes wrong, they’re the most resistant laptops to physical damage too. They are known to last up to 15 years with an average of 8 years.

MacSafe: the magnet-like power cord connector is back, this makes it super useful if you are working in the library and dramatically increases its lifespan. Why? Because there are always a lot of dudes walking around the halls looking for a set and they sometimes will trip over charger cables that left on the floor especially during finals. When that happens, most laptops will come out of the table flying 3 meters across and hitting the floor super hard. You will never have to worry about this with MacBooks.

  Cost

The problem is cost, they are super and ridiculously expensive especially if you want the latest models.

If you still want a MacBook but can’t afford the newest models, consider refurbished older models . No they aren’t defective by any means. I wouldn’t even call refurbished MacBooks “used” because they look and feel like new and will last just as long.

They should at least  last you all those 4-5 years in school and you might even get a chance to resell it once you’re out of school. 

If you are a 3D engineer and you don’t mind refurbished MacBooks, you should look after MacBooks with dedicated GPUs only, past models had AMD Radeon GPUs so whatever you buy make sure it says Radeon on the GPU description.

  Engineering Software

Electrical, Computer, Chemical and Software Engineering:

For any software that’s not compatible with OSX you can even use Parallels (this is a program that will run Windows simultanously).  You don’t necessarily have to BootCamp because the software you’ll encounter is not very hardware demanding. Cirtcuit simulators and certain programming enviroments like Visual Studio will not even use 10% of the resources of any modern CPU.

Mechanical, Civil, Aerospace, Aeronautical Engineering:

SolidWorks,CATIA,ANSYS,Revit, Civil 3D are not available on a Mac, so you will have to BOOTCAMP into Windows 10. You can’t really use Parallels because these software are very resource intensive so they will need your laptop to behave like a normal windows machine.

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7. Lenovo IdeaPad 3

Best Cheap Laptop For Engineering Students

  AMD Ryzen 3 5300U

  4GB RAM

  ‎Integrated AMD Radeon Graphics

  256GB SSD NVMe PCIe

  14” FHD 

  3.3 lbs

  10 hours

 

 Electrical & Chemical & Software and Computer Engineers
  Mechanical, Civil, AeroSpace, Aeronautical

This is the cheapest laptop on this list, it’s going to be useful if you are a 2D engineer and if you are a 3D engineer you can use it too as long as you use another computer for your 3D CAD projects.

 Performance

The NEW Ryzen chips aren’t actually worse than the Intel chips, they’re most of time either equal in power or faster.  They’re the ideal choice for those on a budget because they always sell for significantly less money than their Intel counterparts (usually the difference between Core i3 vs Ryzen 3  is 50-100$).

The only real downside with budget laptops for engineering is RAM. As of 2022, the cheapest and best deals only have 4GB RAM.

4GB isn’t actually bad if you’re a 2D engineer, you will only start having some issues when you have several applications open simultanously. No windows laptop has 4GB soldered into their motherboard though which means you can easily upgraded for 20 bucks (you can just take it to the IT department in your school and I bet they will do in 5 min for you free of charge).

Once you get 8GB, you can go nuts when multitasking: 50 web browsing tabs open, MatLab, Skype, iTunes, youTube and compiling code can all be done with no sweat simultanously. 

Another great thing about this and a few other budget laptops is that they already come with an SSD and you don’t have to pay any extra money for future upgrades.

No dedicated GPU:

Budget laptops under 500 and 600 dollars ALL lack a dedicated GPU which really limits their usage to non 3D CAD software. If you are a 3D engineer, you can still use it to run 3D models but you’ll have to deal with some lag when using viewport and rotating your maps/models to edit them. This will happen regardless of how much RAM you add to your machine.

Now when you shop for budget laptops you have to be very careful because some of these do not come withi the full version of Windows 10. If they’re below 500$, make sure to double check they don’t have Windows 10 in S mode which is not useful for engineering purposes as you won’t be able to install third party software and you will only be limited to apps from the windows app store.

Link CPU RAM OS Price Alt. Link
ASUS ImagineBook Core M3-8100Y 4GB Windows 10S 349$ ImagineBook
Acer Aspire 5 Ryzen 3 3200U 4GB Windows 10S 349$ Aspire
Acer Aspire 5 Core i3 1005G1 4GB Windows 10S 399$ Aspire
ASUS VivoBook 15  Ryzen 3 3200U 8GB Windows 10 HOME 450$ VivoBook
HP 15.6″ Core i3 1005G1 4GB Windows 10 HOME 424$ HP Laptop
Lenovo IdeaPad 3  Ryzen 3 3200U 4-8GB Windows 10 HOME 359-449$ Ideapad 3

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8. Lenovo ThinkPad E15

Best Lenovo Laptop For Engineering Students

  6-Core Ryzen 5-5650U

  8-32GB RAM DDR4

   Radeon Graphics

  256-2TB PCie NVMe SSD

  14″ Full HD (1920×1080) IPS 

  2.8lbs

  10 hours

 Electrical & Chemical & Software and Computer Engineers
  Mechanical, Civil, AeroSpace, Aeronautical

Any list of engineering laptops that doesn’t have a Lenovo ThinkPad can’t be taken seriously.

They’re one of the most popular brands among professional engineers so it is natural that students may also be drawn or curious about these.  There are several reasons:

  • Many engineering departments have been recommending Lenovo models for the past few years. That’s mainly because they have much better (if not the best) customer support among windows laptop brands
  • That and the fact, that theese are build like tanks. They can be said to be just as long lasting as MacBooks.
  • Unlike the MacBooks or other gaming laptops, they have a WIDE variety of ports. These will have every port you’ll ever need (including the old fashioned Ethernet Port).  Electrical & computer engineering folks who want to toy around with external devices & circuitry like the guy on this article’s featured image will find it super useful. 
  • They’re also known for their awesome keyboards and trackpads.
  • They’re more linux compatible than the average windows laptop. This is useful for engineering students that want to really dig down into programming.

This is all true for the Lenovo ThinkPads though, not every Lenovo laptop.

  • Of course the wide range of connectivity and the fact that they are build like tanks come with the issue of not being as portable as MacBook Pros, they’re usually as tad heavier and some thinkpads can weight as much as 5-6lbs.

 Performance

ThinkPad Models vary in sizes and performances. They can have AMD Ryzen 5/7 chips or Intel Core i3/i5/i7 chips. RAM/SSD sizes can also be choosen to have anywhere from 8GB to 64GB for RAM and 256GB-4TB for storage.

GPUS:

As of 2022, NONE of the ThinkPads have a dedicated GPU. However, if you choose a thinkpad with a high-tier CPU (Core i7/Ryzen 7/Ryzen 5/Core i5) along with 8GB RAM, you should be able to handle the type of 3D projects you’ll be given during engineering school.

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From here on, we will only talk about workstation laptops. These are the laptops you were probably recommended by most sites but they’re actually useful for very few working engineers. Yes, even among professional engineers, these may not be that useful unless they have very specific projects.

If you are an engineering student, you will not find any of these laptops useful and you’d just be wasting money.    


9. WS66 11UK Mobile Workstation

Best WorkStation Laptop For Engineers

  Core i9-11900H

  32GB RAM DDR4 (Up to 64GB)

   NVIDIA Quadro RTX A3000

  1TB NVMe SSD

  15” full HD IPS

  4.63lbs

  3 hours

 
This laptop is what probably came to mind when you where shopping for engineering laptops. I bet this and the latest gaming laptops with the latest CPUs & GPUs right?

I’d be very happy if you bought one of these because these are expensive which means I might get a nice comission if you buy one through the link. But I’ll be honest and tell you, only engineers in a very specific niche might need one of these.

What kind of instances would this laptop become useful?

  • I would say if you are working with software like SolidWorks, CATIA, CREO and ANSYS AND you are working with very huge projects say in the 1000-5000 parts range, then you will find these useful:
    • Because these laptops have drivers especifically designed to deal with the very precise calculations 3D CAD simulations require (less # of errors means faster processing). 
    • It is with more complex models where the differences between workstation GPUs and gaming GPUs are more obvious: less crashes, less laggy performance , less glitches, less chances of incorrect shadding,etc.
  • So it really depends on your specific type of work, it’s really hard to tell if it’s going to be more useful to you than gaming GPUs. I myself have used 2060RTX/3060RTX GPUs without any problems. If you’ve been fine before with a gaming GPU, chances are you’ll be fine with another one as well. 
  • If you’ve been having some lag with say a gaming GPU with 8GB of vRAM, then you will definitely be better off with either a similar workstation GPU with the same amount of vRAM OR even better a workstation GPU with more vRAM. 
  • Workstation GPUs with the same amount of vRAM as gaming GPUs will only perform slightly faster and be more stable. However, workstation GPUs with more vRAM will be several times faster if you’re dealing with really large complex models (all things being equal more vRAM always  wins!).

 Hardware

Just because a laptop has a workstation card doesn’t mean it’ll blow any other gaming laptop out of the water.

You have to be very careful when buying workstation gpus. Some like the P520, M1200,P1000 have #cores and clock speeds similar to entry level gaming cards, in other words, they’re pretty weak! and they can be very very expensive only to handle handle small-medium sized models.

RTX A3000:

If you’re going to get a workstation GPU, you might as well get something that’s better than your average gaming GPU. The latest workstation GPUs are the RTX AX00 series, these are equally powerful as the latest gaming RTX GPUs. On laptops, they will perform exactly the same as gaming GPUs because they have the same amount of vRAM (although as noted before, they’ll have less errors and artifacting depending on how big your models are).

As of January 2022, there aren’t many RTX A3000 models to choose from. There’s only a handful and out of these only MSI has the best deal, if you find yourself low on RAM or Storage you can always upgrade this model later, it’s going to be a lot easier than upgrading your average laptop because workstation laptops are bigger and have way more space to work with.

Buy Now


10.MSI WE76 Mobile Workstation

The Best Workstation Laptop For Engineering

  Core i9-11980HK

  32GB DDR4 (MAX 32GB)

   Nvidia Quadro RTX A5000 16GB vRAM

  1TB NVMe SSD

  17.3″ FHD (1920*1080), IPS 144Hz

  6.39lbs

  2 hours

 

As of 2022, this laptop has the most powerful hardware and the latest GPU/CPUs available for workstation laptops. There’s the updated version of the Xeon CPU too but although they have more cores they have less clock speeds which doesn’t make them better for rendering than the latest Core i9/Ryzen 9 CPUs released.

 Hardware

What really makes this laptop the most powerful for engineering is the workstation GPU. The RTX A5000 is the best GPU available (on laptops) and it performs just as well as the RTX 3080 found on laptops. Unfortuantely, for laptops, it only has 8GB vRAM (as opposed to 16GB found on desktops). Nevertheless, being a workstation GPU, it will slightly outperform and unlock new features as we previously discussed.

Now because these laptops have the latest workstation GPU on them, prices may vary significantly. If you do some research though, you’ll find out that the only real difference between these models will be how much RAM they have and how much storage they have. That’s not a good reason to increase the price by 500 or 1000 dollars though. 

So if you want the best workstation GPU available on laptops, I’d recommend you settle with the cheapest model you find with an RTX A5000 and then do the necessary upgrades, if you need them, yourself. You’ll be saving your company thousands of dollars especially if you are in charge of buying more than one.


How to Buy The Best Laptop for Engineering Students 

The section can be a bit too long. I only advice you to go through it if you aren’t really happy withi my recommendations. If you are about to pull the trigger on some other expensive laptop not recommended here then be sure to at least read the first 3 sections before that.

The Engineering Department

The first and most important thing to do is to check your department’s site for:

Computer Labs

All engineering programs have computer labs which, if COVID restrictions have been lifted, should be available 24/7 for all engineering students.

It doesn’t matter what your project or assignment is , these computers will handle them. In fact, a lot of times these are used by the same faculty teaching you how to use computer software for engineering. 

This is really the reason why you should think twice before spending 3000 dollars on a laptop you may not even bring to school

You definitely want one though. Even the poorest engineering student doesn’t spend all day in the lab to work through every single one of his assignments even those from the liberal arts department.

Remote Access

Most departments are now offering “remote access”. This has become even more mainstream with the health crisis that’s been goign on.

Remote access means you can access their powerful computers through your computer using an internet connection.

In other words, you can run all the heavy CAD software even if you have a slow and cheap old laptop. You will need a pretty good internet connection. Designing and working through 3D models requires A LOT of precision so if you don’t have a good internet connection there will be a slight delay between what you click on and what you see on the screen. You may also have to wait some time for the screen to refresh sometimes. As long as you are not using a dial-up internet connection, you should be fine though.

The Engineering Curriculum

Now, let us check what a typical curriculum looks like and what that means for the hardware that you will need.

picked the mechanical curriculum because it is has the widest variety of software (they use the most hardware demanding software too ).  . Alternatively, you can check what your curriculum may look like from these links:

Aerospace & Aeronautical
Chemical
Civil
Electrical
Computer
Software
Mechanical

Note: I highlighted the classes that will require a software in orange.

Freshman Year
Fall Semester

 

Chemistry I

Calculus I

Social Science Core Class

English Core Class

Linear Algebra

Spring Semester

 

Physics I

Calculus II

Introduction to Programming

Engineering Graphics

English Core Class II

Sophomore Year
Fall Semester

 

Physics II

Calculus III

Creative Decisions and Design

Engineering Materials

Statics

Spring Semester

 

Circuits and Electronics

Differential Equations

Computing Techniques

Dynamics of Rigid Bodies

Social Science Elective

Junior Year
Fall Semester

 

Instrument & Electronics Lab

Mechanics of Deformable Bodies

Thermodynamics

Fluid Mechanics

Economics

Humanities Elective

Spring Semester

 

System Dynamics

Heat Transfer

Experimental Methods Lab

Engineering Economics

Statistics and Applications

Social Science Elective

Senior Year
Fall Semester

 

Machine Design

Design, Materials and Manufacture

ME Systems Lab

Elective

Elective

Spring Semester

 

Senior Design Project

ME Elective

Humanities

Free Elective

Free Elective

Free Elective

Those classes highlited in orange are the ones that MIGHT need you to use a software for a few assignments. 
These are the most common software used in each of these classes.

Course Software
Introduction to Computing MatLab
Engineering Graphics CAD Software (Ex: AutoCAD)
Calculus III MatLab
Creative Decisions and Design Optional 3D design software
Circuits and Electronics LabView
Computing Techniques MatLab
Instrument & Electronics Lab Mobile Studio / DAQ Board
Experimental Methods Lab: C++, Matlab, Excel

If you do a quick search around their sites, you’ll noticed that all of these software do not need you to get a special laptop. In fact, you’ll find out that the laptop you’re using right now has actually more power than what’s required. Except for the 3D CAD software though, AutoCAD requires at least a 2GB vRAM GPU although like i’ve mentioned several times if models/objects remain small it can run on a modern laptop without one.

Other engineering fields

Anyways, you can repeat this process for any other engineering field by checking your department’s website downloading their curriculum and their pdf files which contains the entire course descriptions.

If you do that, you’ll find out these are the most hardware demanding software for your field.

Major Software
Electrical & Computer CAD Electrical, SPICE, LabView
Chemical MatLab, Excel, MathCad, ChemCad 
Aeronautical & Aerospace CATIA,  SolidWorks, ANSYS, MatLab
Civil Civil 3D, Revit
Mechanical SolidWorks, Inventor, ANSYS, MatLab

Software Requirements

And these are the hardware requirements for each of these.

Software Requirements  Comments
MatLab & Mathcad 4GB RAM There’s a requirement for a dedicated GPU if you run very computing intensive simulations but such projects are mostly done by grad students or for research purposes.
Mobile Studio / LabView 1GB RAM You might need an adapter if your laptops does not have a serial port. This is only important for connecting with data acquisition systems.

You’ll be using this software mostly during labs, so no need to worry about hardware unless you don’t finish your lab during class time.

C++ and other programming languages Any Laptop Literally any laptop even one made 10 years ago will do.
Excel 2GB RAM More RAM is needed if you are going to run large amounts of data such as in statistical simulations. Engineers dealing with excel (especially chemical engineers) should get 8GB RAM. 
ASPEN, ChemCAD, Electrical CAD

 

8GB RAM As long as you are dealing with 2D. There’s no need for a GPU or even a good CPU. 
3D CAD (Revit, Civil 3D, SolidWorks, Inventor, CATIA) Modern CPU w/ at least 3.5GHz

8GB RAM

any 2GB vRAM dedicated GPU

For those two engineering classes, these specs are good enough.
CAE ( ANSYS ) i5 or i7 processor
8GB RAM
1GB vRAM
Same as above. I would leave the rendering to a desktop or to the computer lab if you’re going to do that very often.

 

So now you can see by yourself you do not need a expensive gaming or workstation laptop.

If you do a quick browsing to all the engineering deparment’s you’ve applied to, you’ll notice that t they all have the same hardware requirements we just went through. 

Recommended Specs

Weight

I want to start with weight because for me it was paramount to keep up with all my engineering classes and be able to pass.

Getting something as light is possible is far more important than getting something that has powerful hardware for the simple reason that you will be more likely to bring it with you everywhere and you’ll find space and time (and enough battery) to work on your assignments virtually anywhere.

3 pounds:  Keeping it around 3 pounds is the sweet spot for that. Laptops this lightweigiht can fit in anywhere and are easily carried by one hand. Unfortunately, these 3lb laptops can be expensive with prices ranging from 800-1000$. These are so small and lightweight you can even practice problems on the go.

4 pounds: I have had laptops around 4lbs and they are OKAY… they’re still portable enough to take them out in the subway/train and program/type reports.  

+4 pounds:  These will start to take a toll on your body especially if you carry a lot of books withi you. It’s going be a pain to take them out when commuting. From 4lbs and up, even 1/2 pound can make a huge difference! Unfortunately, most of the laptops that have a dedicated GPU to run the heavy lifting 3D Cad software weigh at least 4lbs. This is why I strongly advice on using your computer labs, remote access or a desktop back home and instead get a 3-4lb laptop for everything else.

Display

If you’re still taking classes remotely , then you obviously want to the biggest display you can get your hands on and ignore weigh.

However, if you’re back on campus, keep the following in mind, especially if you’re going to buy a budget machine (premium laptops and laptops above 700$ have awesome displays so you can ignore this section if you’re buying one of those):

Resolution: as you probably high resolution means more pixels and more pixels means more details which means you can have icons/windows/objects reduced in size and these in turn gives us the illusion that we have a lot of extrar space. This means more space to follow the logic of what yo’re typing (code, reports, drawings etc) as you’ll be able to see more content without having to scroll up and down a lot.

Laptops displays have HD, HD+, FHD and 4k resolutions. 

  • You want at least a 1080P display. Any lower resolutions will make  programming , designing and any kind of work on your laptop unpleasant because windows and objects and fonts will be too big. This will limit how much you can multitask as you will not be able to fully the content of several windows open next to each other.
  • 4K resolutions will do wonders to your productivity especially if you pair it up with 15-17” display, however, they are so expensive! If you’re still staying at home, you can always use the external display you have though.

Size:  You must get at least 13”. 11” is going to strain your eyes. 15” is good only if you know you’re going to be drawing/drafting a lot (most people will be required to do so for 1 or 2 classes but some just want to sharpen up these skills on their own).

Connectivity

CD/DVD reader:. Nobody uses a CD/DVD reader in 2022 anymore. Only IT professionals find it useful. We all know you can install software through the internet and strean movies. 

Bluetooth: function is very very useful for engineering students, if you are working in a group project, tell your classmates to stop sending emails or snapchat files and teach them how to use the bluetooth function. All laptops today have this feature.

Serial port: This is only importat if you want to connect DAQ systems (Data Acquisition Systems) for circuit design. Your laptop will probably will not come with one and if you ever need this port for a project that involves circuitry/robotics programming, just get an adapter and you’ll be fine.

Projector port:  All laptops have an HDMI connection so you can connect yours to a projector/external display. However the ultraportable and thin laptops lack one so you may have to buy an adapter too.

Keyboard

Backlit feature:  This is mostly found on laptops above 700$ (ultrabooks). Its very useful for those all nighters and final exams.

Full Size Keyboard: . They’re super useful when you have to do a lot of data collection in excel, full sized keyboard have the numerical keypads which make data entry faster. If you get an ultrabook, you won’t get a full sized keyboard but if you ever need ont, just buy an external external numerical keypad.

CPU

If we are talking about engineering school, any modern processors from the Intel Core family or the Ryzen series will be okay for virtually all engineering students for one simple reason: all processors released within the past 3 years have multiple cores and have above 3.5GHz (the minimum for CAD software is 3) with the newest generations easily going past 4GHz (this was workstation CPU speeds 5 years ago).

CPU Base Turbo Cores
i3 1050G1  1.2GHz 3.4GHz 
i3 10100U  2.2GHz 3.4GHz  2
i5 8265U  1.6GHz 3.GHz  4
i5 10210U 1.6GHz 4.2GHz 4
i5 9300H 2.4GHz 4.1GHz 4
i5 10300H 2.5GHz 4.5 GHz 4
i5 11300H  3.1GHz 4.4GHz   4
i7 8550U 1.8GHz 4.0GHz 4
i7 9750H 2.6 GHz 4.5 GHz 6
i7 11800H 2.3GHz 4.6 GHz 8

 

AMD Ryzen 7 5800H 3.2 4.4 GHz 8
AMD Ryzen 7 4800H 2.9 4.2 GHz 8
AMD Ryzen 7 3700X 3.6 4.0 GHz 4
AMD Ryzen 5 5600H 3.3 4.2GHz 6
AMD Ryzen 5 4500U 2.3 4.0GHz 4
AMD Ryzen 3 3300U 2.1 3.5 4

*Although ryzen chips have lower clock speeds, they can be equal or faster than their Intel counterparts.

3D CAD Software

The recommended CPU power required for CAD software is 3GHz.As you can see virtually all processors have way more than that. 
I’d personally recommend getting a Core i5/Ryzen 5 of the latest generations (similar to those in blue) because the lack of a dedicated GPU can be offset by high processing CPU speeds.

2D CAD Software

If you don’t mind using the computer lab for those two or three projects (which will show up in your third year), then you can get pretty much any CPU your wallet can afford, even Core i3/Ryzen 3 from the 7th and 3rd generation will work wonders for all other mickey mouse software like SPICE, MatLAB, ChemCAD,etc. You’ve already seen the CPU requirements these have, they’re minimal.

Graphics Card (GPU)

 

Who needs a dedicated GPU?

GPU is only relevant if you want to run 3D CAD software with ZERO LAG. 

As you can plainly see in that video, any dGPU with 2GB vRAM can handle pretty moderate sized models.

Here you have the complete list of dGPUs witih 2GB vRAM. They will all work equally good despite having different number of GPU cores.

Name Cores vRAM Speed
MX150 384 2GB-4GB 1532
MX250 384 2GB-4GB 1582
MX 230 256 2-4GB 1519
MX 350 640 2-4GB 1354
MX 450 896 2-4GB 1580
1050 640 2GB-4GB 1493
1050 Ti 768 4GB 1620
1650 1024 4GB 1560

Luckily for you, as of 2022, laptops with those GPUs in green (4GB vRAM) are selling for about the same price as those in blue. Either way, any of them will be fine. All that matters for small models is having 2GB vRAM.

What about rendering?

Rendering is very hardware demanding but that’s only the case if we are talking about very large models or simulations. Small scale models, such as those encounter in those few classes in engineering school, isn’t very hardware demanding and most CPUs have 4 cores and +4GHz of speed which should be sufficient for any rendering to take no more than 30 min.

This is very different in the workplace where you have very complex models that would easily use 100% of the CPU’s clock speed and still take hours, these are the few instances where the GPU can help with the rendering and share the workload with the CPU. In such scenarios, you’d need to get the most expensive CPUs and GPUs available on desktops or laptops.

What about the “approved” Graphics Cards for 3D software?

If you need solid proof evidence that these workstation GPUs are not very useful even if you are someone working for a company, watch that 30 min video. I’ll sumarize it here though:

  • Workstation GPUs are useful when you have to unlock very specific features that only work with the drivers behind these GPUs. 
  • They’re also useful when you are dealing with very very large and complex models, think of simulating a full blown vehicle or an object that has 3000 parts all interacting with each other. Gaming GPUs work fine here but workstation GPUs are better in processing these types of calculations and therefore produce less errors and artifacts.

Just ignore workstation GPUs for now, worry about those when you graduate.

RAM

For an engineering student, this is the piece of hardware that’s FAR FAR more important than CPU & GPU power.

4GB:  Consider the fact that Windows 10 Home takes 2GB. Other background processes take 1GB, then you have 1GB left for web browsing, discord, zoom, maybe some games, Adobe Creative Reader, Office and some engineering software or an IDE. The IDE itself can take as much as 2GB! Obviously, even if you are not using any CAD software, you will more than likely not be okay with just 4GB.

8GB : this much RAM will provide some headroom to do all the stuff just mentioned simultanously and you’ll still be left with plenty of RAM left. This is good as any spikes in memory will not go over 8GB RAM which means there won’t be any freezing/lag when you’re working.. This also makes the chances of the operating system crashing and losing your unsaved work less likely.

16GB: This is only useful if you’re gaming at the same time or working with super large models in CAD software. This may also be useful if you’re multitasking between very heavy duty software: AutoCAD + Revit at the same time, etc.

Storage

Size: The truth is, yes, CAD projects, especially those in 3D have output files that are huge (on average 500MB and worst case scenarios 1GB). However, you’re not be working with CAD files every day. You’ll only use your laptop for 3 or 4 projects at the most.

Size doesn’t really matter here unless you want to install one of the popular franchises like Fortnite. CAD software like Solidworks, AutoCAD only weigh a few gigabytes.

Type:

What matters here is that you get an SSD over an HDD. An SSD (Solid State Drive) has several advantages over an HDD:

  • Boot up your machine in less than 10 seconds
  • Opens up super heavy files several times faster
  • Launches heavy CAD software instantly
  • Saves battery life
  • Makes no noise
  • Finds files and text excerpts (or code) INSTANTLY

And more, but it will basically boost your productivity by cutting down the time it takes to load ANYTHING.

Operating System

Windows vs Mac

It doesn’t really matter these days. Yes, all engineering software has been written for Windows but more and more of these programs have now a Mac Version (MatLab and AutoCAD) and those that don’t (LabView, SPICE )can be run using Parallel’s or BootCamp.

It may wise to go for a Mac, if you want to be a really good programmer though but that’s another topic.

Comments?

If you have any questions, please let me know. It will help everyone to be better informed when shopping for laptops.

10 thoughts on “10 Best Laptops For Engineering Students & Engineers – 2022 (Ultimate Guide)

  • July 6, 2017 at 9:26 am
    Permalink

    good detailed information for laptop shopping. Thanks for your information
    Here i have a blog i started after purchasing a laptop after reading your guide Technology-tutor

    Reply
  • August 11, 2017 at 8:20 pm
    Permalink

    Would you recommend the Acer E15 as a suitable alternative to the E5?

    Reply
    • August 12, 2017 at 11:26 am
      Permalink

      That was a typo, I fixed it thanks. Yes, the Acer 15 is fine. Make sure it has a dedicated graphics card from 940MX onwards. I have that GPU myself on one of my laptops.

      Reply
  • August 19, 2017 at 1:15 pm
    Permalink

    what if I want to prepare for my professional career afterwards, should I go all out for laptop? Or desktop would be more preferable?

    Reply
    • August 19, 2017 at 5:14 pm
      Permalink

      Not every engineer out there uses heavy programs like AutoCad SolidWorks Catia, etc. And if your
      job requires you to do so, the company will provide you with computers far more powerful or even go as far as giving you money to buy your own set up. I know this from experience.

      But if you do want to become an expert with any of these programs and start practicing with CAD/CAE programs right now a desktop would be more preferable. A laptop is useful for the small projects you’ll have to do during engineering school.

      Reply
  • April 10, 2018 at 6:42 am
    Permalink

    What If I was going into mechanical engineering and was going to buy the new Razer blade stealth 8th gen i7 with 16gig ram and integrated hd 620 graphics, but I also bought the eGPU with a GTX 1070 that I can have in my dorm room that I can plug into the laptop and have a dedicated gpu? Would this work for heavier solid works projects or is it over kill?

    Reply
    • July 26, 2018 at 10:49 pm
      Permalink

      That’s not a bad idea at all ! if your choosing the razer blade for portability you are better off with the Surface Book 2 (unless you plan on gaming with the razer).

      GTX 1070 is overkill pretty much for anything….I dare to say even gaming.

      I doubt you’ll see “heavy solidwork projects” as an undergrad and even if you do, you’ll be better off heading to the lab. You don’t want to work on a huge project with thousands of parts on a 12” screen.

      Reply
  • August 8, 2018 at 6:23 pm
    Permalink

    This is a good advice, but i’m quite doubtful on my program. I am studying electrical engineering. In my autocad we were taught to make a 3d model. Btw, electronics is separate in my program. I was planning on getting laptops with gtx series because of the possibility of using autocad in my majors and the 3d model. But after reading your advice, i’m now thinking of getting ultrabooks with the mx150 and i5 8****u or i7 8****u other than the i5 8300h with gtx1050. The mx150 ones are quite light than the i5 8300h which has gaming in their name. Thinking of getting the dell g7 before but now thinking of inspiron 15 or asus s15.

    Reply
    • September 26, 2018 at 5:21 am
      Permalink

      AutoCAD is the weakest 3D modeling software out there, you could even get away with an integrated card. The MX150 is more than sufficient for undergrad courses and you can even use it after you graduate.

      As for me, I’m steering away from engineering and starting my phD in Physics this spring and I’m all for the surface Pro 4. You can use AutoCAD in it no problems plus you get to take notes (this is super useful for me) and share your notes/solutions on discord/whatsapp/web etc in a flash.

      If you have the cash get the surface pro, this is enough for an EE student (you get portability + power). If you can’t afford the Pro, definitely get the MX150 laptop if you are dealing with autocad in 3D.

      Reply
      • September 27, 2018 at 12:49 am
        Permalink

        Thanks for the reply. I took your advice. I aimed for something light. Surface devices are scarce in my market. I bought the hp envy 13, i5 8250u with mx150, 8gb ram. Just going to have a dongle with me when i’m in need of hdmi or vga port. I’d say the cad is not much important at the moment or will not. Currently dealing with matlab.

        Reply

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