Best Laptops For Engineering Students – Perfect Tools For Future Engineers
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Wanna find information on the best laptops for engineering students? Congratulations! You are in the right place. Many engineering students desire to find a tool that can assist them with their study at school.
However, they don’t have the budget to spend on fancy desktops. So, what should they do now?
Is that your case? Are you on the same boat with them? If yes, then lucky for you because we are here to help! In this guide, you will get our recommendations on some of the best laptop options for your engineering needs and how to pick the one that suits you best. Without further ado, let’s begin.
6 Best Laptops For Engineering Students
Acer Predator Helios 300 PH315-52-78VL
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Acer’s Predator Helios 300 is usually praised as a popular, powerful, yet affordable laptop for engineering students. With the price of 1600$, PH315-52-78VL model can be considered as a mid-range engineering applications oriented laptop.
The latest model of the Predator series is armed with a 9th-Gen Intel Core i7 processor, a 256GB solid-state drive, and 16GB of RAM. NVIDIA’s GTX 1660 Ti graphics card is there to complement the 15.6-inch full HD screen. This power-packed laptop will ensure that any game or program you are running won’t lag.
Moreover, Predator Helios 300 is designed with plenty of space for custom upgrades. You can extend the RAM from 16GB to 32GB or hard drive to 2TB.
In terms of appearance, Predator Helios 300 isn’t the lightest, nor the thinnest laptop around at 5.3 pounds weight and 0.9 inches thick. However, it has a superb build quality with a sturdy main deck and a backlit keyboard.
A respectable number of ports can be found on this model of Predator 300. You can connect almost anything from your SD card, flash drives, to your microphone/ headphone, smartphone, etc.
The main drawback of PH315-52-78VL stems from battery life. For such a powerful machine, its average battery life is just around 5 hours. Therefore, if you have to work long sessions, a charger is necessary.
- Runs well at high graphic
- Plenty of space for upgrades
- Excellent build quality with unique design
- High price
- Limited battery life
- Heavy to carry around
Acer Predator Helios 300 PH315-52-78VL is a compelling product within the mid-range gaming laptop. It offers a perfect balance of strong performance and high frame rate graphics, enough to handle most engineering works and most games. If you have the fund to spare then this powerful device is for you.
Acer Aspire 5 A515-54G-5928
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Acer Aspire 5 is an all-round laptop-meaning a budget laptop with reliable system performance and good components.
You only have to pay around $800 for an Intel Core i5 (8th gen) processor, coupled with 8GB of RAM and 512GB SSD storage. At this price, the notebook also has an NVIDIA GeForce MX250 graphics card and a 15.6-inch full HD IPS display. Pretty cool, right?
If you wish to buy a laptop with the ability to cope with heavy-duty engineering programs and not cost a fortune, then Acer Aspire 5 is for you. The battery life is pretty impressive at an average of 8 hours for web browsing and video playback. This model also allows you to play a few games, though not at the highest settings.
While it is indeed premium treatment at a low cost, you should be prepared for some cost-cutting measures like plastic-dominated design and uneven keyboard feedback. So if you intend to buy this one, make sure not to drop it more than three times.
- Impressive battery life
- Storage can be upgrade
- Uneven keyboard feedback
- No card readers
If your budget is tight but you still want to enjoy a decent performance then this is your best friend. It has enough hardware to run 3D programs, while not being too expensive like the previous laptop. Most of all, its battery life is nothing short of amazing.
Alternative post: Top 3 Best Laptops 2020 under $300 / $500 / $1000
Microsoft Surface Book SX3-00001
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For the record, the laptop we are introducing to you now is unlike the previous two in many ways. And no, not just the fact that it comes from Microsoft rather than Acer.
Microsoft Surface Book is, in fact, a 2-in-1 laptop. Alongside the classic laptop form, it can convert into a tablet form. This way, you can have a hybrid device, saving both money and time.
The Microsoft Surface Book series has been praised for its powerful hardware, NVIDIA graphics, and its all-metal build. It has many versions that range from $500 to more than $3000. But the one we think suits you best costs $820.
This version comes with most of our recommended features: 256GB of storage, 8GB of RAM, an Intel Core i5 CPU, and of course, dedicated NVIDIA GPU. It was endorsed with a futuristic design which you can detach the screen from the base. Along with the included surface pen, you will have a 13.5-inch tablet.
Overall, the Surface Book is a solid device that can satisfy your needs in engineering study. Despite setbacks like battery time unmatched performance or the lack of USB type C port, it is still an excellent option.
- Futuristic design
- Touch pen included
- No USB C type port
If you want something a bit more than a conventional laptop with cool design while still being moderately powerful, Microsoft Surface Book is what you need. You can get two devices while only have to pay for one. It will certainly enhance your experience.
Apple MacBook Pro 2019
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Getting a MacBook for engineering? We bet you’ve never thought about that. Since we have aroused your curiosity, let us tell you: MacBook is a good enough laptop for an engineering major.
A Retina display, Touch Bar, Touch ID (for fingerprint signing in), and Intel Iris Plus graphics are things that all MacBooks share. However, the MacBook we are mentioning here is MacBook Pro 2019, featuring a 13-inch screen, 256GB SSD, 8th Core i5 core and 8GB RAM.
This configuration should be sufficient for most of your engineering applications. Compared to Windows laptops, OS X’s performance is not far behind, as Apple knows how to optimize its devices.
Remember, this is an Apple product. And Apple has always been known for its design, portability, and its stellar efficiency. Even better, if you are a user of other Apple products, you can sync them with this MacBook.
It is worth noting that many users have reported compatibility issues as some engineering programs are not available on macOS. If you want to use them, you will have to install a second operating system like Windows in order to run these applications.
As usual, Apple products are not exactly affordable, the same as that of MacBook Pro 2019, which is sold at nearly $1500. Therefore, you might want to consider carefully.
- Longer battery life than most Windows laptops
- Apple-guaranteed hardware and design
- Sync with other Apple products
- Compatibility issues
While not exactly budget friendly, MacBook Pro is still a good pick if you are a fan of Apple in general. This laptop is especially suitable for programming students, the reason for that will be explained in later parts.
Asus ZenBook 13 Ultra Slim
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As reflected in the name, Asus ZenBook 13 Ultra Slim is indeed, ultralight and ultra-portable. It’s feather-light comparing with other laptops at only 2.5 pounds. Asus ZenBook’s all-metal, compact chassis makes it one of the most beautiful designed laptops.
About performance, this laptop includes Core i5. While it’s not Core i7, it’s still fast as hell while giving you way more battery life than higher-end processors.
The ZenBook also comes with 512GB SSD and 8GB of RAM, ensuring a record boot time and multitasking friendly. Unfortunately, the machine is only equipped with Intel HD GPU, but that’s understandable for the price of $770. You will have to pay an extra $200 to upgrade to NVIDIA GeForce graphics.
The keyboard does not come with a number pad. Instead, it’s integrated into the touchpad. Coming to the display, the ZenBook 13’s 13.3-inch glossy panel is colorful but might be too dim.
In case you are worried about lacking the ports you need for the sake of thinness, Asus ZenBook 13 still has them all: USB Ports (even the C type), HDMI, mini VGA, and SD Card Reader.
- Good battery life
- All-metal chassis
- No dedicated GPU
- No number pad
If you like a light and easy to carry laptop then Asus ZenBook 13 Ultra Slim will fit your need. At a soft price, you will have yourself a good companion for the way.
Related Post: Best Laptop under 1000 dollars
Some Tips To Find The Best Laptops For Engineering Students
Not only will you need a laptop for regular school work such as reports, research, presentations, but also for much more demanding tasks. We are talking about technological and creative tasks like computer-aided design. This kind of design needs complex applications that can only run on powerful enough computers.
In order to help you, we have made a list of criterias for the best laptops for engineering students.
Many engineering programs such as AutoCad, Pro Engineer, Solidworks, Catia need some time before presenting us with virtual workspaces for our work.
Because of this, your laptop requires a fast CPU to open and run programs in the minimum amount of time.
Imagine waiting for a designing program to boot while you only have two hours until the deadline. That would be a disaster! So to avoid this, we suggest buying a laptop with Intel Core i5 or higher. If you don’t like Intel then AMD Ryzen Chips will work as well.
For a CPU to work smoothly, RAM or random access memory plays a crucial role. The more RAM your processor has access to, the more temporary memory your laptop has to juggle data.
Therefore, your laptop should aim for 8GB RAM. Though upgrading to 12 GB or 16 GB RAM is also prefered. This will prevent any lag situation with your software and allow you to work on several windows at once.
You’ll need adequate memory and storage for everything, from your favorite songs, pictures, your games, to your study materials and draftings in those designing software. Your laptop should have at least 500GB of storage, but you can go for 1TB or more for the best value.
Engineering students rely on many graphically intensive programs, which require exhaustive processing for the 3D environment and video rendering.
This means a laptop with a dedicated graphics card works better with these programs than ones with an in-built adapter powered by the processor.
A 2GB DDR3 graphics card should be enough for your needs. However, if you happen to be a gamer as well, then we would advise a DDR5 video card like the NVidia GTX series.
For most engineering students, a standard 13- or 14-inch display is already fine and enough to display what needs to be displayed. A larger screen is also advisable, as it might have more options and a bigger area for displaying your works.
On the other hand, a high resolution is what you should focus on. the higher screen resolution means more area for multiple windows.
1920×1080 pixels is the most recommended due to its 1080p true HD quality. Most laptops nowadays come in 3k or 4k quality, so that would be a piece of cake for you.
Frequently asked questions
Aside from the recommendations above, we have some other suggestions for you.
Laptop or Desktop?
While desktop computers can be much more powerful, laptop computers are recommended for one reason: portability. With a laptop, you can work anywhere, anytime, especially when you have to work on the field.
HDD or SSD?
SSD drives are faster, more efficient, more durable, and use less energy than the traditional hard disk drives.
However, SSD drives come at an increased cost. HDDs are cheaper and have more storage space. Which storage drive will work best for you depends much on your needs and your fund.
Which operating system to pick?
Before choosing, you have to consider the applications that you will have to use. Remember only a few engineering software is fully supported on a Mac.
Meanwhile, virtually every engineering application will be compatible with a Windows machine.
However, If you are dealing with a lot of programming, then a Mac has an advantage over Windows laptops since you will also have easy access to Linux applications and software without the need to install Linux on your Mac.
Wouldn’t it be nice to find a laptop that could help you to graduate, and also a good investment for the future? While it’s not an easy task, it is important to remember that you don’t need to spend too much money for a well-functional laptop. To do so, you only have to know the requirements of your major.
We hope our guide has somewhat answered some of your questions regarding the best laptops for engineering students. In the meantime, good luck finding the best partner for your journey at university. See you again!