Need help with finding the best laptop to take you through your Engineering degree?
If you’re enrolling in an Engineering course investing in a laptop is one of the most important decisions you’ll be making. Some of you will be upgrading from your current one and others will be fresh on the market. Depending on which course you’re aiming for, your needs will differ.
There are a ton of choices out there and new models are launched all the time so it can get very tricky trying to keep track of them all and then trudging through reviews! Worry not in this post we’ll help you figure out what your needs are and find your best match with our top 5 recommendations.
How Do I Know What I Need?
The best way to get an idea of what basic laptop specifications you will need, is by looking at what software(s) will be used during the course of your studies.
Lucky for you, we have already gone through your curriculum and checked out the different software that are being used in all the major Engineering fields and will map your needs to the optimal laptop specs right here.
First things first, will you be using 3D image rendering? The fields that require 3D image processing are usually using CAD/ CAE, so the choice of your laptop will have to take into account Graphics card and type of storage. These are definitely on the pricier side. So right off the bat if you’re aiming for engineering in Mechanical, Aeronautical, Mechatronics, Civil and even Architecture you will need a heavier-duty machine.
For those enrolling in Electrical, Electronics, Chemical, Computer, Software Engineering and related fields have more budget-friendly options available.
The Basics Most Engineers Need
Let’s look at what the basic and the most common specifications any Engineering student should look out for.
A Different Take: Hardware Specs by Software
As mentioned earlier, you could also guess at your requirements by checking the software you will be required to use during your studies. In the table below we’ve summarized the most commonly used programs and their hardware requirements by engineering field. Feel free to check your prospective university’s curriculum for any additional software that we haven’t mentioned here.
Our Top 5 Laptop Recommendations for Engineering Students
The easiest thing to do would be looking at gaming laptops since they do have some of the highest specs around but that would not be the wisest thing to do.
Why? Both the price and weight of these laptops can be a bit too much for students to handle. Though this list does take a little dip into the gaming territory we did balance it against the price!
Here are some tips to consider before going through the list and taking your pick:
- Since you will be studying engineering, rest assured your university will have well-equipped labs with powerful desktops. So before deciding on how much you want to spend, consider that you’ll be using labs and their equipment for the most part. Try to strike a good balance between what you need vs want from your laptop.
- You may want to note that, all if not most of these laptops come in a variety of configurations, so you can probably get a model for less or more based on your requirements.
- We strongly recommend shopping around for a mark-down, check the vendor’s website, Amazon, Best Buy and even Walmart! You won’t regret it. For your convenience, we have included links to each model below.
- For avid Mac fans you may be disappointed but you may eventually need to install Windows to support some programs, which will eat away at your storage. For this reason, we have included only Windows options.
1. HP SPECTRE x360 15T
This is a beautifully designed laptop and a powerhouse. Did we mention it’s also a 2-in-1 laptop-tablet hybrid? This has all the bells and whistles: 4K display, Gorilla glass, Bang & Olufsen speakers yet is only 0.76 inches thick. This is pricey but the specs thoroughly justify this. You can also look at other configurations.
2. DELL G3 15 GAMING LAPTOP
This is our little foray into gaming laptops but we’ve picked the most budget-friendly one. This isn’t a flashy one like most gaming laptops but definitely has everything you need for even CAD users. Here’s a link for a deal under $850!
3. LENOVO THINKPAD EXTREME GEN 2
This is the priciest choice on our list but like its name suggests it does offer extreme performance. This is widely popular and you may even find your professors using one of these. The build is phenomenal and will last you a long time.
4. ASUS ZENBOOK 13
The Asus Zenbook is the most portable one out of our picks. It edged out the much loved Microsoft Surface Book from our list, because it is far more affordable! It’s an extremely compact & sleek design; comparable to an A4 sheet page. It’s a standout beautiful design with two different sizes available and options of picking up one with a dedicated GPU as well. Depending on the configuration and size the price will vary.
5. ACER ASPIRE 5
Last but not least we have our budget pick that doesn’t lack for performance. The Acer Aspire 5 has all the basic necessities we discussed earlier for only $649! This model allows you to upgrade your RAM to 20GB, which you can buy for as little as $65.