10 Best Laptops for AutoCAD in 2021 [Highly Compatible Models]

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As a mechanical engineer, product designer, or construction planner, you must have come across the top-of-the-line CAD software, AutoCAD. Although it is one of the oldest tools for handling computer-aided designs, its efficacy when it comes to 3D modeling, 2D or even basic drawing, drafting, annotations, lighting, edge-shaping, and almost every form of interface customization is unmatched.

If you are looking to purchase a laptop for working with AutoCAD, it is advisable to weigh in all the software requirements, usage of computing resources, and nature of the initiated processes, from the processor perspective.

AutoCAD isn’t just limited to creating 2D and 3D formats, drawings, and models for products and software applications. Instead, it also assists with photorealistic and Mental Ray rendering, 3D navigation, 2D regeneration, and even object storing in databases.

Professional designers often need other software units to work in cohesion with AutoCAD. Although it supports rendering and basic levels of simulations, top-level professionals who are into production management, designing mechanical parts, prototyping, envisioning bigger infrastructure projects, forecasting project outcomes, wireframing, and more usually resort to VRay, Blender, and Maya for rendering, SolidWorks for advanced 3D modeling, and even KeyShot for high-end simulations.

Moreover, when it comes to choosing the perfect AutoCAD laptop/workstation, take into consideration the CPU, especially the number of cores and the clock speed. Next in line is the RAM that offers the requisite breathing space to your applications while allowing them to run in cohesion.

While GPU with sizeable VRAM is necessary, this component comes into the picture only when you are invested in large-scale 3D, Photorealistic, and Mental Ray Rendering (which requires a VRAM having to store multiple textures during the drawing and drafting stage.) Apart from that, a laptop with SSD storage is desirable, followed by a vibrant and sizeable display.

AutoCAD is a professional design, drawing, and drafting tool for architecture professionals, city planners, and engineers, comes with a lot of potentials and therefore, besides the mentioned specs, you also need to take the battery, keyboard, cooling, and other features into account, before zeroing in on the product.

While the minimum and recommended system requirements proposed by Autodesk i.e. the AutoCAD publisher might be different, our experts have listed feature preferences, to ensure optimal performance levels at the best possible configuration.

 Minimum System RequirementsRecommended System Requirements
CPU7th Gen Intel Core i59th Gen Intel Core i7
RAM8GB16GB
Storage256GB SSD512GB SSD or more
Display15.6-inch HD (1366 x 768)15.6-inch FHD IPS (1920 x 1080)
Graphics2GB NVIDIA GeForce MX3504GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650
BatteryUp to 4 hoursUp to 7 hours

10 Best Laptop Recommendations for AutoCAD in 2021

Every individual uses the existing AutoCAD features based on the skill sets, professional hierarchy, and even the organizational or personal requirements. Our experts have, therefore, handpicked 10 of the best laptops in the market that come with all the requirements AutoCAD requires. These computers will allow you to do other productivity tasks using diverse modeling, rendering, and simulation.

Before reading on, we must note that we have extensively used each one of the laptops below and eventually listed them based on relevance, functionality, productivity, and budget.

  • CPU: 2.6GHz Intel Core i7-10750H
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Storage: 1TB SSD
  • Display: 15.6-inch FHD (1920 x 1080)
  • GPU: 8GB NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070
  • Battery: Up to 3 hours

Indeed, top-level professionals, architects, infrastructure planners, and mechanical designers require every possible computing resource to get the most out of running AutoCAD. However, if you want an all-encompassing device for the same, without compromising on portability, the ASUS ROG Strix G15 is the perfect PC to invest in.

CPU

Asus brings forth an Intel Core i7-10750H processor which is extremely capable when it comes to handling the most CPU-intensive 2D and 3D modeling tasks. The Hexa-Core architecture and turbo clock speed of up to 5GHz make sure that the ROG Strix G15 can handle some of the more basic drawing, drafting, database storage, data extraction, 2D annotation, and object layering with ease.

GPU

When it comes to the GPU, you get the insanely powerful NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070, which allows you to handle photorealistic and 3D rendering with comparative ease. The real-time and advanced Ray-Tracing capabilities of the GPU coupled with Intel’s Hyper-threading technology allow you to tap into Mental Ray rendering, sans issues. The graphics processing unit comes integrated with 8GB VRAM, which can effectively store and process high-end graphics textures with ease.

RAM and Storage

While 8GB Video RAM might be overkill for most, it comes in handy if you are neck-deep into more advanced applications like SolidWorks and Ansys. Anything that concerns 3D mesh modeling and visualization might bring VRAM into the mix.

When it comes to RAM, you get 16GB of system memory, which is adequate for running multiple datasets and programs, simultaneously. When it comes to storage, there is a 1TB PCIe Solid State Drive to work with, allowing you to load files, application software, and the Windows 10 Home at a faster tick.

Display

Running AutoCAD on the Pantone-Certified 15.6-inch display feels like a charm. While the existing screen features 1920 x 1080 pixels, it is the 3ms overdrive response time that comes across as a valuable asset if you are handling multiple renders and basic simulations with ease. The IPS panel also exhibits around 100 percent sRGB color gamut followed by a screen-to-chassis ratio of almost 75 percent.

Display and Keyboard

The ASUS ROG Strix G15 Thin also comes equipped with a durable backlit keyboard, smoothest possible trackpad, powerful speakers, and other productivity specs like webcam and digital microphones. What stands out though is the innovative, low-noise cooling setup, featuring anti-dust technology and 17 percent better airflow as compared to similarly structured gadgets.

Ports

The G15 justifies its name with a sleek metallic chassis. At 5.28 pounds, this isn’t an insanely hefty gadget and can be carried around for ensuring productivity while traveling. When it comes to ports, you get Gen 1 Type-A, Gen-2 Type-A, Gen 2 Type-C with charging support, and other functional data and display-centric legacy ports. The existing battery, despite the beefed-up specs sheet, churns out a steady, 3-hour backup.

Overall, the ASUS ROG Strix G15 is one of the pricier and more powerful laptop computers for running AutoCAD. However, with a powerful GPU on-board, occasional gaming, and other forms of content creation are also possible to indulge in.

Pros
  • Exceedingly powerful H-series processor
  • Powerful GPU that supports Ray Tracing
  • Comes with a higher number of Tensor and CUDA cores
  • Brilliant and sharp display
  • Sizeable storage space
Cons
  • Sub-par battery life
  • CPU: 2.6GHz Intel Core i7-10750H
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Storage: 512GB SSD
  • Display: 15.6-inch FHD IPS (1920 x 1080)
  • GPU: 8GB NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070
  • Battery: Up to 6 hours

A good laptop for 2D and 3D CAD indulgences isn’t only about the specs-sheet but also takes portability and aesthetics into account. The MSI GL65 Leopard is one such high-end notebook that comes at a higher price point but lives up to the hype, courtesy of the firepower, and innovative design accents.

CPU and GPU

Powering the gadget is an Intel Core i7-10750H CPU that turbo clocks at 5GHz and features six-functional cores. The existing processing arrangement is capable of handling even some of the more intricate 2D and 3D modeling, drawing, designing, and prototyping with ease.

The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 GPU is also a powerful addition that comes loaded with 8GB VRAM. The existing combination allows you to work on more graphics-intensive 3D projects without worrying about performance issues.

RAM and Storage

When it comes to memory, this laptop for AutoCAD comes with 16GB of DDR4 dual-channel RAM. While the allocated RAM is adequate to handle larger files and data sets with ease for immediate CPU usage, storage-wise, you get a 512GB NVMe solid-state unit for amplifying the Windows 10 OS and file loading speeds.

Display

The 15.6-inch display is of immense help when mesh modeling and drawing are concerned. Besides offering a full HD panel with 1920 x 1080 pixels, MSI also offers anti-glare properties for minimizing the stress on your eyes. The response time of 3ms and a 144Hz screen refresh rate come in handy, especially for simulations, renders, and playing games like Fortnite, World of Warcraft, PUBG, LOL, Civ 6, and more.

Design and Keyboard

Other productivity specs include a backlit keyboard, silky smooth touchpad, integrated webcams, and a powerful set of speakers with audio boost and higher fidelity. What stands out though is the excellent choice of thermal hardware, featuring the Cooler Boost technology and the innovative Whirlwind fans.

Ports

When it comes to heft, this notebook weighs 9.13 pounds. However, despite being sleek, there is a shortage of ports with MSI featuring one Thunderbolt 3, three USB 3.1 Gen 3 ports, and other slots for legacy peripherals. There is a top-of-the-line battery in place, capable of lasting up to 6 hours on a single charge.

Overall, if you are looking for a sleek and feathery notebook for running the AutoCAD on, without any speed or performance trade-offs, the MSI GL65 Leopard is the one to consider.

Pros
  • Feature-packed i7 processor
  • 240Hz screen refresh rate
  • GPU comes with Ray Tracing architecture
  • Ultra-fast NVMe-powered storage unit
  • Thunderbolt 3 support
  • Intuitive cooling technology
Cons
  • 512GB SSD is slightly restrictive
  • Heavy weight
  • Expensive
  • CPU: 2.6GHz Intel Core i7-10750H
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Storage: 512TB SSD
  • Display: 15.6-inch FHD (1920 x 1080)
  • GPU: 6GB NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060
  • Battery: Up to 3 hours

The new and improved Alienware M15 R3 is one of the more competent gaming laptops in the market that even doubles down as a handy productivity resource. While the gadget boasts of a pretty expansive specs sheet, it is the intuitive AlienFX UI and creative control center that justifies your inclination towards AutoCAD and 3ds Max for all your 2D and 3D drafting, rendering, and prototyping requirements.

CPU

At the onset, we have the Intel Core i7-10750H SoC, featuring partial overclocking and Hexa-Core architecture. With six cores to work with, any basic or even more complex AutoCAD application like 2D text customization, data pairing from spreadsheets, creating dynamic blocks for prototyping, and setting geographical locations is possible. Not just that, the Intel H-series chipset turbo clocks at up to 5.1GHz which helps the laptop sustain remarkable CPU-intensive performances for longer stretches.

GPU

The GeForce RTX 2060 GPU from NVIDIA is a resourceful addition for CAD specialists. Be it importing civil 3D models or envisioning Mental Ray rendering, the Ray Tracing compatibility of the concerned GPU takes care of every professional requirement. Moreover, if you are looking to process more complex textures during 3D drawing, modeling, or rendering, the 6GB VRAM integrated with this consumer-grade GPU comes in handy.

RAM and Storage

When it comes to RAM allocation, this CAD computer offers 16GB RAM which is needed if you have larger datasets, spreadsheets, 3D files, and prototypes to work with. Storage-centric requirements are handled by the 512GB PCIe SSD that comes equipped with fast data and file rendering speeds. In terms of OS, you get Windows 10 Home edition, right out of the box.

Display

The display on the Alienware M15 is enthralling and complements all your professional indulgences, courtesy of the 72 percent NTSC color gamut, and a decent response time of 25ms. The 15.6-inch screen exhibits a display resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels, which is a handy resource if you are looking to view the 2D and 3D drawings in the truest possible tone.

Design and Keyboard

DELL makes sure that there is no shortage of productivity-amplifying features, including a durable keyboard, boasting of the Per-Key RGB backlighting, anti-ghosting support, and a decent 1.7mm travel. There is a high-end precision touchpad at the helm, followed by a powerful webcam, bolstered further by the Tobii ‘Eye-tracking’ technology.

This innovative gaming notebook also flaunts excellent thermals with dual exhaust fans and a copper fin stack, leading the way. Despite packing some of the best internal hardware in the market, the Alienware M15 is still pretty light at 4.64 pounds.

Ports

In terms of ports, you get Thunderbolt 3, Mini DisplayPort, HDMI 2.0b with HDCP compatibility, and a few additional slots for legacy peripherals. In terms of connectivity, you get the Killer Wired and Wireless standards for making professional and leisure gaming indulgences, even more productive.

The existing 76Whr battery offers a 6-hour backup which readily justifies the claimed portability. Nevertheless, this notebook is quite impactful, if you are looking for something more reliable for 3D modeling, 2D designing, engineering drawing, and anything or everything associated with the entire AutoCAD professional suite.

Pros
  • Powerful processor with HyperThreading
  • Upgradeable system memory
  • Powerful GPU for AI-Assisted activities
  • Innovative cooling tech courtesy of Honeycomb structure
  • Durable backlit keyboard
Cons
  • Middling battery
  • No NVMe storage support
  • CPU: 2.6GHz Intel Core i7-10750H
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Storage: 512GB SSD
  • Display: 15.6-inch FHD IPS (1920 x 1080)
  • GPU: 6GB NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060
  • Battery: Up to 6 hours

For CAD professionals, it is important to strike the perfect balance between the featured CPU and the dedicated GPU. Acer Predator Helios 300 is one such notebook that brings a lot of processing power to the table, courtesy of a high-end CPU, and an exceptional gaming-focused GPU, that too at a great price point!

CPU

The Intel Core i7-10750H is one of the best chipsets in the given price bracket, allowing the Predator Helios 300 to support basic data migration, data extraction, layout viewports, and even the more intricate processes like 2D regeneration and photorealistic rendering. With a turbo clock speed of up to 4.5GHz, this is a competent chipset that boasts of reliability and better performances.

GPU

When it comes to graphics support, you get the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060, based on the Turing architecture. Despite being hailed as the near-perfect gaming-centric GPU at 1080p, courtesy of 6GB Video RAM, this processing unit is a handy AutoCAD resource courtesy of additional CUDA cores, better clock speeds, external display pairing attributes, and class-leading cooling options.

RAM and Storage

The machine features a 16GB RAM that is quite sufficient for loading and working with several data sheets and interfaces at once. When it comes to storage, there is a sizeable 512GB NVMe SSD in place that supports faster Windows 10 OS and software loading.

Display

The 15.6-inch 1080p display comes with widescreen viewing capabilities that come in handy for a designer or professional CAD artist. The 300-nit screen brightness combined with a 72 percent NTSC color gamut further enhances the visual clarity making it highly suitable for watching movies. Most importantly, Acer flaunts a 3ms overdrive response time and 144Hz screen refresh rate features that are handy during simulations and rendering.

Design and Keyboard

The Predator Helios 300 also features a durable backlit keyboard, smooth touchpad, integrated webcam, and functional microphones. The acoustic setup is top-notch with Acer featuring powerful speakers that boast of True Harmony audio technology, MaxxAudio support, and other powerful enhancements.

What stands out is the advanced cooling tech, courtesy of the bigger 3D Fan setup from AeroBlade. Last but not least, if you are looking for some overclocking juice, the Predator Sense UI can be extremely useful and allows you to allocate resources based on the complexity of the tasks at hand.

Ports

This gadget weighs a significant 5.07 pounds and comes equipped with exceptional Killer E2500 Gig Ethernet and Killer AX1650 Wireless Wi-Fi 6 connectivity standards. When it comes to ports, Acer features USB Gen 2 Type-C, USB 3.1 Gen 1, and a few additional slots for USB transfers and connecting external displays. When it comes to battery backup, Acer offers 6 hours at one go.

Overall, the Predator Helios 300 from Acer is an exceptional mid-range device for professional CAD designers, provided you are willing to let go of ray tracing benefits.

Pros
  • Stellar display
  • Decent display with 144Hz refresh rate
  • Powerful processor with HyperThreading capabilities
  • Exceptional GPU based on Turing Architecture
  • Additional Hard drive bay for upgrading the existing storage
Cons
  • No Thunderbolt 3
  • Underwhelming battery
  • CPU: 2.6GHz Intel Core i7-10750H
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Storage: 512GB SSD
  • Display: 15.6-inch FHD IPS (1920 x 1080)
  • GPU: 6GB NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060
  • Battery: Up to 7 hours

It’s not necessary to purchase an AutoCAD workstation if you can get your hands on the insanely powerful Razer Blade 15. Despite being a gaming notebook, the Blade 15 doesn’t let its guard down even when intricate 2D and 3D drawing, basic simulations, and creations are concerned.

CPU and GPU

Razer features the insanely powerful Intel Core i7-10750H chipset, that turbo clocks at 5GHz. The existing SoC comes equipped with a 12MB cache that efficiently minimizes application access and process times. The existing RTX 2060 GPU from NVIDIA allows you to handle 3D modeling, scanning, navigation, and rendering with precision, making it one of the best graphics cards for AutoCAD. The existing GPU also features 6GB of Video RAM for deciphering intricate textures without hiccups.

RAM and Storage

When it comes to multitasking, Razer Blade 15 brings forth 16GB RAM, which effectively complements the existing CPU. When it comes to storage, you get a fast 512GB PCIe SSD module. For minimizing the AutoCAD loading times, it is advisable to install the same on the Solid-State drive, along with the Windows 10 OS.

Display

The 15.6-inch panel offers a decent screen real-estate to AutoCAD professionals. What stands out though is the Full HD display resolution followed by the thinnest possible bezels which significantly increase the screen-to-chassis ratio. If you are planning to use AutoCAD for product designing, shading, and lighting, the vibrant screen allows you to experience the truest textures and patterns, without resorting to external displays.

Keyboard and Design

Razer continues to innovate by pairing the class-leading Backlit keyboard with Chroma compatibility. You also get a silky touchpad, powerful speakers, and a top-of-the-line webcam. Razer also brings home an advanced cooling tech that pairs perfectly with the aluminum unibody chassis.

Ports

At 4.69 pounds, this is one of the most compact professional gadgets on our list. The company keeps the thickness to a minimum at 0.78 inches but doesn’t compromise on the number of ports, thereby featuring Thunderbolt 3, Mini DisplayPort, HDMI, and additional legacy solutions. You also get a 7-hour battery backup, on moderate usage. To wrap things up, we can state that Razer Blade 15 is an efficient CAD-focused notebook that is best known for its brilliant design accents.

Pros
  • Brilliant keyboard
  • Vibrant display with a refresh rate of 144Hz
  • Upgradeable memory
  • Thunderbolt 3 for connecting external displays
  • Class-leading aesthetics
Cons
  • Noisy
  • CPU: 2.6GHz Intel Core i7-9750H
  • RAM: 32GB
  • Storage: 1TB SSD
  • Display: 15.6-inch FHD IPS (1920 x 1080)
  • GPU: 4GB NVIDIA Quadro T1000
  • Battery: Up to 7 Hours

In ThinkPad P53, Lenovo puts together a sturdy design for a portable cad/cam workstation. The 9th generation processor complements the NVIDIA GPU with ample operating and storage memory to make this laptop stand out as an excellent performer. It can breeze through applications like AutoCAD, Revit, SketchUp, 3Ds Max (formerly 3D Studio and 3D Studio Max), and Maya.

CPU and GPU

Civil engineers, architects, and designers will cruise through the designs and render 3D models quickly, credit to the hexa-core Intel Core i7-9750H that can clock at a maximum speed of 4.6GHz. The NVIDIA Quadro T1000 graphic processor comes with a dedicated VRAM of 4GB and shares loads of graphic processing.

RAM and Storage

Be it AutoCAD or MicroStation, P53 can handle technical drawings and render 3D models simultaneously, owing to the multitasking capacity of 32GB RAM and the faster data access speeds of the 1TB SSD. You can protect your confidential designs and documents with a fingerprint reader and the inbuilt security features of Windows 10 Pro.

Display

The 15.6-inch FHD screen is at its best in an indoor work environment. The display comes with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels that keeps the visuals crisp, goes easy on the eyes of 3D-modelers, and lets them keep their focus on the finer details. The portable workstation weighs 5.5 pounds and comes in its trademark black matte design.

Design and Keyboard

Lenovo sticks to its standard workstation design of a full-sized keypad with a dedicated numeric pad. Apart from the tightly packed arrow keys, the spacing remains ideal for long hours with a crisp key-response. The touchpad with the separate right-left-center click buttons makes the job a lot easier.

Ports

Sharing designs and presentations become easier with multiple avenues for external accessories as you get a HDMI port and three USB ports (2 Type-A, one Type-C). You get two thunderbolt ports for fast charging, an Ethernet port, a 3.5mm audio jack, a card reader, and a sim tray. Exploit fast connectivity with the latest WiFi 6, and Bluetooth 5.

Carry the power adaptors with you. Even with a larger three-cell 90Whr battery lasts only for 4 hours. Powerful hardware running designing applications drains your batteries much quicker than expected. If you are an architect or a mechanical engineer engaged in 3D modeling, Lenovo ThinkPad P53 would be your best workplace companion.

Pros
  • WiFi 6
  • Fingerprint Reader
  • Windows 10 Pro
  • Durable design
  • Hexa-core Processor
Cons
  • Dust Magnet
  • CPU: 2.6GHz Intel Core i7-10750H
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Storage: 512GB SSD
  • Display: 15.6-inch FHD IPS (1920 x 1080)
  • GPU: 4GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti
  • Battery: Up to 5 hours

The Dell G3 15 3500 is one of the better and more appropriate gaming notebooks, doubling down as a handy CAD-centric laptop.

CPU and GPU

When it comes to raw processing power, the Intel Core i7-10750H comes across as a pretty resourceful component. Be it designing structures or essential product parts, it is the Hexa-core processor with 12MB cache memory that makes an impression. Graphics-intensive tasks like the visualization of constructed parts in 3D make the best use of the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti GPU and the integrated 4GB VRAM.

RAM and Storage

Next in line are the 16GB built-in RAM and 512GB SSD that allow you to multitask with ease. When it comes to OS, Dell features Windows 10 Pro edition, right out of the box.

Display

The 15.6-inch display comes with anti-glare properties. This Dell laptop also features slimmer bezels and a display resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. When 3D modeling and other complex textures are concerned, this is a pretty well-saturated and vibrant platform to interact with.

Keyboard and Display

Other impactful specs include the WASD keyboard, a serviceable touchpad with a high-end palm rest that furnishes metallic accents, integrated Nahimic Speakers, and a professional webcam. Dell also provides a high-end cooling system and a pretty aesthetic thermal layout that keeps this laptop cool despite high-end professional resource demand.

Ports

The Dell G3 15 isn’t a light-weighted device and weighs 5.5 pounds. While the chunkiness hampers portability, productivity is taken care of by the intuitive arrangement of ports and connectivity standards. Dell comes equipped with USB 3.1, Thunderbolt 3, HDMI 2.0, USB 3.1 with charging support, SD card reader, and even a headphone jack. Apart from that, you also get Gig Ethernet and exceptional Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity standards on this device.

The featured battery offers a 5-hour backup, making the Dell G3 one of the more reliable laptops for professional designing, drawing, drafting, and CAD-specific tasks.

Pros
  • Powerful processor with Hexa-Core architecture
  • Class-leading GPU with 896 CUDA cores
  • Vibrant display
Cons
  • Predictable design
  • Heavier than expected
  • CPU: 2.4GHz Intel Core i5-9300H
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 512GB SSD
  • Display: 15.6-inch FHD IPS (1920 x 1080)
  • GPU: 4GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650
  • Battery: Up to 9 hours

Despite being a powerful gaming notebook, the Lenovo IdeaPad L340 can also make way for exceptional professional productivity, provided you are using the same for CAD-designing, drafting, and modeling.

CPU and GPU

The Intel Core i5-9300H chipset performs satisfactorily, courtesy of the 4 cores, 45W TDP, and a turbo clock speed of up to 4.1GHz. Besides assisting you with drafting, drawing, basic simulations, and rendering, the existing SoC also assists with SHF recognition. When it comes to more graphics-centric tasks involving 3D models and renders, the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 GPU with 4GB RAM can come across a useful resource.

RAM and Storage

The 8GB RAM in place allows you to work with sizeable spreadsheets and datasets besides indulging in productive multitasking. Storage-centric requirements are handled by the 512GB NVMe SSD that comes with ultra-fast ‘Read & Write’ capabilities. When it comes to the OS, you get Windows 10 OS.

Display

Lenovo comes forth with a brilliant 15.6-inch 1080p screen that offers exceptional viewing angles. The In-Plane switching technology makes the display vibrant and makes sure that all screen colors come to life, regardless of the task at hand.

Peripherals

Usability gets a massive boost with the integrated backlit keyboard that works in tandem with a responsive and smooth touchpad. When it comes to acoustics, you get powerful speakers with Dolby audio support.

Other productivity-enhancing specs include the HD webcam, serviceable microphones, and Lenovo’s proprietary Vantage ‘Eye Care’ mode for lowering emissions. Lenovo also boasts of innovative thermals and at 4.84 pounds, it is still quite portable for the given the under $1000 price point.

Ports

As far as the ports and connectivity specs are concerned, you get USB 3.1 Type-C, USB 3.0, HDMI 2.0, and a host of other functional slots followed by decent wireless and wired standards. The existing battery offers a 9-hour backup, thereby making the IdeaPad L340, one of the more powerful mid-range notebooks for the CAD professionals.

Pros
  • Reliable processor
  • Decent GPU with 4GB RAM
  • Ultra-fast SSD
  • Powerful battery
  • Anti-glare display
Cons
  • Restricted RAM can be an issue for top-level professionals
  • CPU: 2.4GHz Intel Core i5-9300H
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 512GB SSD
  • Display: 15.6-inch FHD IPS (1920 x 1080)
  • GPU: 4GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650
  • Battery: Up to 5 hours

An advanced modeling tool like AutoCAD deserves the best mid-range machine, and this is where the Asus TUF FX505GT comes into the mix. While the gadget isn’t as beefed up as HP and Lenovo’s CAD workstations, you still get ample firepower to run advanced professional tasks without hiccups.

CPU and GPU

It is the Intel Core i5-9300H processor that powers the gadget and allows it to make faster and more reliable design-centric calculations, courtesy of the turbo clock speed of up to 4.1GHz. The quad-core processor features a TDP of 45W and the TDP down of 35W, allowing you to change the operating modes, according to the complexity of tasks.

Software sets like AutoCAD require decent graphics-intensive computing resources to handle 3D modeling and other photorealistic tasks with ease. This is where the GTX 1650 GPU and 4GB of integrated VRAM come in handy.

RAM and Storage

Next in line is the 8GB RAM that can be upgraded, as per preferences. When it comes to storage, there is a 512GB SSD storage unit in place, with ultra-fast NVMe support that helps load the Windows 10 OS and the application software in the least possible time.

Display

The 15.6-inch display is bright and offers a decent screen real-estate for the professional to work. The slimmer bezels courtesy of the NanoEdge technology are the standout performers followed by the overall display resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels.

Peripherals

When it comes to productivity, Asus stacks in the Hyperstrike keyboard with enhanced keystroke durability. Other specs include a responsive touchpad, high-end speakers with DTS: X support and surround sound technology, and a professional webcam-microphone combo. Apart from these essential elements, Asus also boasts of the ADC technology for amplifying heat dissipation when demanding AutoCAD tasks are being initiated.

Ports

ThisMIL-STD-810G certified notebook is tested for drop durability and weighs 4.85 pounds. You also get a host of innovative ports, including USB 3.2 Gen 1, USB 2.0, RJ45 LAN, audio jack, HDMI 2.0, and a few more. When it comes to connectivity, the Asus TUF FX505GT supports Wi-Fi 5. Lastly, the battery on this mid-range notebook isn’t long-lasting and can only churn out 5 hours, upon moderate usage.

Overall, this is a powerful notebook that allows you to pursue AutoCAD, without exceeding the sub-$800 budget.

Pros
  • Durable chassis
  • Decent processor with low TDP
  • Excellent cooling technology
  • Excellent iGPU and Dedicated GPU performances
  • Sizeable storage space
Cons
  • Middling battery
  • CPU: 1GHz Intel Core i5-1035G1
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 512GB SSD
  • Display: 15.6-inch FHD IPS (1920 x 1080)
  • GPU: 2GB NVIDIA GeForce MX350
  • Battery: Up to 8 hours

Sleek, efficient, and portable notebooks catering to CAD-professionals are rare. However, the Acer Aspire 5 changes this perception by offering some of the best drawing, modeling, and rendering features, paired together in an aesthetic and light-weighted chassis at a cheap price level.

CPU and GPU

Powering the same is the Intel Core i5-1035G1 processor that is capable of handling professional and academic tasks such as web browsing, online schooling, accounting, and more. Despite the lower base clock speed, the existing chipset can turbo clock at 3.6GHz. This attribute allows the Aspire 5 to handle more intricate product designs, regeneration, modeling, and rendering requirements with precision.

When it comes to graphics-intensive tasks, AutoCAD can do just fine without a dedicated GPU. However, the GeForce MX350 graphics processing unit and 2GB of VRAM can come in handy during photorealistic rendering and 3D mesh modeling for light CAD work.

RAM and Storage

Acer Aspire 5 handles multitasking with efficiency courtesy of the 8GB RAM whereas file and Windows 10 OS loading speeds get a massive boost with the 512GB NVMe-powered solid-state storage drive.

Display

The 15.6-inch backlit panel is sharp and comes with exceptional levels of visual clarity. Moreover, the Widescreen viewing support helps the architects get the most out of the 2D and 3D models. What stands out is the overall display resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels that makes room for better color reproduction levels and sharp viewing angles.

Keyboard and Design

Acer features a standard backlit keyboard for improving gadget functionality followed by an HD webcam, integrated touchpad, serviceable microphones, and high-end stereo speakers featuring Acer’s ‘Purified Voice’ and True Harmony technology.

Ports

From a structural point of view, Acer weighs less than 4 pounds and comes across as an extremely sleek notebook. Besides that, the company also accommodates a decent conglomerate of ports and connectivity options, including USB Type-C, USB 3.1 Gen 1, USB 2.0, HDMI, MU-MIMO Wireless standards, and Bluetooth 4.2. Acer also features other legacy ports and a powerful battery that offers a steady 8-hour backup.

Nevertheless, despite the sleekest possible form factor and a power-efficient CPU, the Acer Aspire 5 performs adequately when CAD-designs, drawing, and modeling are concerned.

Pros
  • Decent processing conglomerate
  • Adequate storage support
  • Powerful battery
  • Aesthetic design
  • Brilliant display with Acer’s Color Intelligence
Cons
  • No Thunderbolt 3
  • Low power processor with minimal capabilities

Frequently Asked Questions

Is AutoCAD a CPU or GPU-intensive process?

When it comes to processing, AutoCAD relies more on the CPU, courtesy of logic decoding, and calculations. Even 2D modeling or rendering can be initiated perfectly with the On-Chip, integrated GPU. Therefore, your laptop selection should take your preferences and AutoCAD preferences into account.

How much RAM is needed for optimal AutoCAD performances?

AutoCAD comes with diverse tool sets including Map 3D, Plant 3D, electrical, and architectural enhancements. As a general rule of thumb, 8GB is sufficient to run a single process with minimal multitasking. However, if you are a top-level professional, 16GB is a bare minimum that might even go up to 32GB in case of workstation-centric workloads.

What is the role of GPU in AutoCAD?

An integrated GPU, associated with most high-end processors is powerful enough to run 2D renders and modeling with ease. However, when 3D modeling, mesh modeling, photorealistic rendering, and mental ray rendering are concerned, it is advisable to get a Ray-tracing supported GPU i.e. hailing from the RTX 20-series for covering every graphics-intensive process.

Which CPU works best when it comes to advanced AutoCAD usage?

Although the latest Intel i7 processors hailing from the 9th and 10th generation are extremely competent, it wouldn’t be wrong to state that in terms of power and performance, the i9-10900K is one of the best chipsets in the market courtesy of a higher base clock speed of 3.7GHz and a massive turbo clock boosted speed of up to 5.3GHz. Besides that, the K-Suffix makes sure overclocking is possible which makes it efficient for CAD work.

What is CAD Workstation?

A workstation for CAD is an advanced machine with a powerful ECC or Error-Correcting Code compatible processor. Moreover, these gadgets feature workstation-grade GPUs that come with better graphics processing support. These machines come with a significant amount of RAM for handling multiple processes, tasks, and external displays with ease.

Verdict

AutoCAD is one interactive and functional tool that caters effectively to real-estate developers, production managers, architects, and other professionals, who need to draw, draft, and model 2D and 3D renders. However, not every computer can handle the high resource demand of AutoCAD. And that’s why our experts have recommended 10 of the best laptops for the job.

  • If you are looking for raw power while keeping the option of leisure gaming and entertainment open, we would advise you to go for the Alienware M15 R3.
  • If you are looking to set up a CAD workstation for high-end modeling, rendering, and simulation of AutoCAD and other demanding software units, our recommendation is to opt for the Lenovo ThinkPad P53.
  • Last but not least, if you are on a budget and still seeking portability, the Acer Aspire 5 is a worthy ally for AutoCAD architecture.

Which one are you getting?

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Written By
Ray Kinton

A veteran techie from the days of the ZX Spectrum 48K. Ray enjoys technology, entrepreneurship, travel, writing and photography, and always looking for ways to improve his skills. He has built many computers and enjoys tinkering with technology. Follow Ray on Twitter

6 thoughts on “10 Best Laptops for AutoCAD in 2021 [Highly Compatible Models]”

    • Yes, the IdeaPad Flex 5 is in compliance with the system requirements for AutoCAD. So, you should be able to run it without any major issues.

      Reply
  1. Can this laptop: Swift 3 SF314-42-R27B Notebook
    (R3-4300U/8GB/256GB/FHD/Touch/W10 Home) work with autocad 2018-2020?

    Reply
    • Abdullahi, yes, the Swift 3 SF314-42-R27B with Ryzen 7 can easily tackle AutoCAD. Whether Swift 3 can meet that purpose depends on the size of the drawing you want to work with. This laptop’s bottleneck is the 8GB RAM. If you’re only working with 2D drawings, you should be okay. If you’re into complex 3D drawings, you might run out of memory.

      Reply

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