11 Best Laptops for Engineering Students To Buy in 2020

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Are you looking to get a good laptop for your engineering needs? It doesn’t matter which engineering domain you are pursuing, be it civil, mechanical, computer, a powerful machine that can handle the demanding applications without any lags is essential. To help you find a suitable laptop, we tested 85 computing devices from different brands and after a huge analysis, here are the 11 best options.

You must make selections based on highly specific preferences, particular engineering domain, and the demanding application programs that are often relied upon, either as a student or a professional.

The laptops we’ve listed won’t just help you through college but can be considered as future-proof entities. It means that you’ll be able to use them even after your studies, to handle diverse professional requirements, job applications, thesis work, and more.

Furthermore, unlike a multi-dimensional professional, an engineering student or professional has highly curated requirements to deal with. These include accommodation for CAD tools, MATLAB, SketchUp, coding platforms, machine learning interface, accounting resources, and whatnot. However, rarely would you come across notebooks that offer resources for handling each of the mentioned requirements while making room for leisure indulgences.

However, as a general ballpark, the laptops mentioned are powerful enough and feature the best graphics, to start. These machines, therefore, should be able to handle all the complex applications and computational tasks that grad schools, colleges, or even professional work requires, while still being flexible enough to let you enjoy a bit of entertainment after hours of toil.

Nonetheless, requirements still vary with usage as a computer science engineer will want a snappier processor with Virtualization support as compared to the massive chunk of system memory preferred by mechanical and civil engineers. Besides, faster storage, a sizable display, and longish battery life are some of the other attributes to consider.

Minimum & Recommended System Requirements

The exacting demands of a student can, in some cases, make the hunt for the perfect laptop somewhat easier, as it narrows your options in an increasingly crowded market.

Sheila, Engineering Student at Harvard

The concept of minimum system requirements is subject to debate as specifications vary, according to the domain. Regardless, our experts have listed a tentative conglomerate of specifications that can handle demanding tasks with ease.

For better processing performances, both at the academic and professional level, you must opt for a machine featuring a specs sheet equal to or better than the recommended one.

 Minimum System RequirementsRecommended System Requirements
CPU10th Gen Intel Core i59th Gen Intel Core i7
RAM8GB16GB
Storage512GB SSD1TB SSD
Display14-inch FHD IPS (1920 x 1080)15.6-inch FHD IPS (1920 x 1080)
GPU2GB NVIDIA GeForce MX3504GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 or better
BatteryUp to 5 hoursUp to 8 hours

11 Best Laptops for Engineering in 2020

ImageNameFeaturesCheck Price
Razer Blade 15

  • CPU: 2.6GHz Intel Core i7-10750H

  • RAM: 16GB

  • Storage: 512GB SSD

  • GPU: 6GB NVIDIA RTX 2060

  • Display: 15.6-inch FHD IPS (1920 x 1080)

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Acer Predator Helios 300

  • CPU: 2.6GHz Intel Core i7-10750H

  • RAM: 16GB

  • Storage: 512GB SSD

  • GPU: 6GB NVIDIA RTX 2060

  • Display: 15.6-inch FHD IPS (1920 x 1080)

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Dell XPS 15 9500

  • CPU: 2.6GHz Intel Core i7-10750H

  • RAM: 16GB

  • Storage: 1TB SSD

  • GPU: 4GB NVIDIA GTX 1650 Ti

  • Display: 15.6-inch UHD+ IPS Touch (3840 x 2400)

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Apple MacBook Pro

  • CPU: 2.6GHz Intel Core i7-9750H

  • RAM: 16GB

  • Storage: 512GB SSD

  • GPU: 4GB AMD Radeon Pro 5300M

  • Display: 15.6-inch Retina IPS (3072 x 1920)

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HP Spectre x360

  • CPU: 2.6GHz Intel Core i7-9750H

  • RAM: 16GB

  • Storage: 1TB SSD

  • GPU: 4GB NVIDIA GTX 1650

  • Display: 15.6-inch 4K UHD IPS Touch (3840 x 2160)

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MSI Prestige 14

  • CPU: 1.8GHz Intel Core i7-10510U

  • RAM: 16GB

  • Storage: 512GB SSD

  • GPU: 4GB NVIDIA GTX 1650 Max-Q

  • Display: 14-inch Retina IPS (3840 x 2160)

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Asus VivoBook K571

  • CPU: 2.6GHz Intel Core i7-9750H

  • RAM: 16GB

  • Storage: 256GB SSD + 1TB HDD

  • GPU: 4GB NVIDIA GTX 1650

  • Display: 15.6-inch FHD IPS (1920 x 1080)

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Lenovo IdeaPad L340

  • CPU: 2.4GHz Intel Core i5-9300H

  • RAM: 8GB

  • Storage: 512GB SSD

  • GPU: 4GB NVIDIA GTX 1650

  • Display: 15.6-inch FHD IPS (1920 x 1080)

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Acer Aspire 7

  • CPU: 2.1GHz AMD Ryzen 5 3550H

  • RAM: 8GB

  • Storage: 512GB SSD

  • GPU: 4GB NVIDIA GTX 1650

  • Display: 15.6-inch FHD IPS (1920 x 1080)

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Surface Book 2

  • CPU: 1.9GHz Intel Core i7-8650U

  • RAM: 16GB

  • Storage: 512GB SSD

  • GPU: 2GB NVIDIA GTX 1050

  • Display: 13.5-inch PixelSense Touch (3000 x 2000)

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Acer Aspire 5

  • CPU: 1GHz Intel Core i5-1035G1

  • RAM: 8GB

  • Storage: 512GB SSD

  • GPU: 2GB NVIDIA MX350

  • Display: 15.6-inch FHD IPS (1920 x 1080)

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Choosing the right laptop need not be a tricky process if you have the requirements ascertained, beforehand. Irrespective of the engineering domain you opt for, nothing works better in a laptop than a multi-core processor with a higher clock speed. Besides, you also need to look for a mid-range or top-notch graphics card, to accommodate graphic-centric tasks, related to mechanical and civil engineering.

Not just that, you should consider machines with sizable RAM units, faster and expansive storage drives for accommodating projects, apps, and other resources, and at least 5+ hours of autonomy. Keeping each of these factors in mind along with the portability quotient and affordability, our experts have tested at least 85 machines, just to concoct a list of 11 best options for the job.

Every gadget in the list strikes the perfect balance between power, productivity, and pricing whilst offering ample leisure opportunities:

1. Best Overall: Razer Blade 15

  • 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

Do not let the gamer-friendly specifications of the Razer Blade 15 make you doubt its efficacy as a resourceful engineering notebook. To be precise, this is one of the best gadgets to consider for your diverse requirements, either as a student or a professional.

Razer stacks in a future-proof 10th gen Intel i7 processor, The i7-10750H chipset in this machine can turbo clock at speeds of up to 5GHz. Not only that, the innovative Hexa-core processor is a good fit for engineering domains like mechanical, electrical, electronics, and civil, courtesy of Hyper-threading, Virtualization, and Turbo Boost support.

What makes this a sought-after processor is a cohesive compatibility in regard to handling CAD tools like AutoCAD, FEA software, VBA software for MS Excel usage, MATLAB for simulations, and other academic and professional resources. Supporting the CPU is the RTX 2060 GPU, bolstered further by 6GB of integrated VRAM. The dedicated graphics-card allows engineers to be a bit more expressive when texture-based tasks, gaming indulgences, and Ray-Tracing activities like Minecraft RTX and advanced rendering are concerned.

When it comes to system memory, Razer introduces the ultrafast, 16GB RAM module, capable of processing data and files at 2933MHz. The upgradeable memory module is perfectly complemented by the 512GB solid-state drive, which helps load the demanding applications and the Windows 10 OS, in a heartbeat. What stands out though is the availability of 4 PCIe memory upgrading slots for the more expressive users.

The gamer-friendly, the 15.6-inch display promises way more than expected, owing to the 100 percent sRGB color gamut for better color accuracy and a cumulative resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels for exceptional viewing angles. Besides, the 144Hz refresh rate is quite a handy gaming resource.

Razer also brings a backlit keyboard into the mix, boasting of an intuitive layout for the engineering professionals to create relevant content with ease. Other resourceful specs include a precision touchpad, advanced webcam for attending online classes (remote sessions), high-fidelity speakers for an immersive leisure experience, and a bloatware-free UI for seamless navigation.

If you have a thing for aesthetics, the anodized aluminum chassis associated with the Blade 5 is worth taking a look at. Besides, the cooling technology is in sync with the latest standards and despite the accommodated hardware, the gadget weighs a mere 4.70 pounds. Specs showcasing connectivity are intuitively introduced with the machine featuring Thunderbolt 3 with charging support USB 3.2, HDMI, Gig Ethernet, and Wi-Fi 6 compatibility.

The existing battery offers a steady, 6-hour backup, which is decent enough considering the feature-packed specs sheet. Therefore, for the given price, the Blade 15 from Razer is probably the complete laptop in the retail arena for students, best characterized by the productivity-focused attributes.

Pros
  • 10th gen, future-proof processor
  • GPU with RT cores
  • Brilliant aesthetics
  • Thunderbolt 3 support
  • Wi-Fi 6 for faster internet connections
  • Ultrafast RAM
  • Upgradeable storage support
Cons
  • Shallow keyboard
  • Noisier fans

2. Best For Mechanical Engineers: Acer Predator Helios 300

Acer’s Predator Helios 300 is a compact, feature-packed, and affordable laptop for diverse engineering purposes including mechanical, civil, and gaming.

  • 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

Under the hood, the Predator Helios 300 is powered by the Intel Core i7-10750H chipset. Besides rendering the gadget future-proof, this processor is also capable of handling immediate, demanding processing requirements with ease. Loaded with virtualization and Hyper-threading support, this CPU can manage coding, CAD tasks, and other activities with surgical precision. 

Not just that, this processor turbo clocks at up to 5GHz, if and when necessary. Complementing the same is NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 GPU, which can be overclocked with ease, for attending to demanding games like Control, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Overwatch, and more. The existing graphics processing unit works in tandem with 6GB VRAM that takes care of real-time 3D modeling and graphics-intensive architectural.

As far as multitasking requirements are concerned, you get access to 16GB of high-speed RAM. Moreover, the dual-channel unit is upgradeable, if and when necessary, and perfectly complemented by a 512GB solid-state drive with NVMe support (found in the fastest SSD laptops.) Then again, you can always upgrade the available storage capacity courtesy of the existing slot and a dedicated hard drive bay.

Next in line is the exceptional, 15.6-inch display, boasting of LED-backlit support, and an overall resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. Besides, if you are into civil and mechanical studies with a penchant for entertainment, the 72 percent NTSC color gamut is expected to come in handy. Gamers, however, can rejoice at the 144Hz refresh rate and the overdrive response time of 3ms.

Productivity-wise, the Acer Predator Helios 300 is feature-packed, boasting of a 4-zone backlit keyboard, HD webcam, amplified speakers, and innovative cooling technology, presided over by the AeroBlade 3D air dissipation technology. In terms of structural heft, this gadget is tagged at 5.07 pounds, which is respectable enough considering the insanely powerful hardware.

Acer also accommodates a decent collection of ports with the highlights being USB Type-C, USB 3.2 Gen 2, Gig Ethernet, HDMI 2.0, and other legacy peripherals. Not to mention the Wi-Fi 6 support from Killer that helps engineering students establish fast and stable internet connections. The battery, on the other hand, is more than resourceful, with Acer offering almost 6 hours of extended backup.

Overall, if your existing computing device is acting out or slowly becoming incapable of handling your diverse engineering tasks and assignments, the Acer Predator Helios 300 is the perfect laptop to invest in.

Pros
  • 10th gen chipset
  • Stellar display
  • Upgradeable storage
  • Wi-Fi 6
  • High-end GPU
  • Fast RAM
Cons
  • Middling battery backup
  • Lacks Thunderbolt 3

3. Best For Computer Engineers: Dell XPS 15 9500

  • CPU: 2.6GHz Intel Core i7-10750H
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Storage: 1TB SSD
  • Display: 15.6-inch UHD+ IPS Touch (3840 x 2400)
  • GPU: 4GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti
  • Battery: Up to 12.5 hours

Engineering students and professionals reliant on aesthetics and longish battery life can opt for the XPS 15 9500 from Dell, as the go-to workstation.

When processing power is concerned, you get access to an Intel Core i7-10750H chipset that is capable of clocking at speeds of 5GHz. The single and multi-core processing prowess of this CPU allows you to handle every academic task, demanding applications, CAD tasks, 3D modeling on Blender, Cinema 4D, Finite Element Analysis, and engineering-centric activities with surgical precision.

As far as the graphics support is concerned, you get NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti GPU, working in tandem with the 10th gen processor. The best thing about the dedicated graphics card is its ability to handle a majority of high-end games at 1080p presets whilst accommodating 3D sculpting and rendering activities for the more expressive students.

Dell understands the multitasking preferences of students and supplies 16GB of DDR4 RAM for a more cohesive coverage. Assisting the ultrafast system memory is the 1TB, NVMe-compatible storage drive. The existing solid-state drive readily houses the most demanding application programs, files, data sets, and the pre-existing Windows 10 Pro OS.

The XPS 15 9500 takes visuals to a whole new level courtesy of the UHD+ panel, exhibiting a cumulative display resolution of 3840 x 2400 pixels. The VESA-certified screen also flaunts the 100 percent aRGB color gamut, which adds to the color accuracy and quality of the viewing angles. The visual innovation is bolstered further by the edge-to-edge paneling, anti-reflective support for better sunlight visibility, and the existence of the 94-percent DCI-P3 color palette.

Dell sweetens the pot further for the degree students with a Corning Gorilla Glass 6 protective covering, thereby rendering the display, completely damage resistant. In terms of productivity, the XPS 15 is anything but mediocre, courtesy of the backlit keyboard, sizable touchpad, 3D surround audio support, and an advanced thermal layout with dual pipes to rely on.

This notebook weighs close to 4.5 pounds and stacks in a decent set of ports, including two Thunderbolt 3 units with charging support, USB Type-C 3.1, and other nifty enhancements. Furthermore, this meticulously crafted notebook also boasts of excellent connectivity-focused specs in addition to a ground-breaking battery module, capable of churning out a dependable backup of up to 12.5 hours.

Nevertheless, even this exceptionally designed laptop has its share of inadequacies but the perks on offer easily outweigh the transient restrictions.

Pros
  • Powerful and future-proof processor
  • Stellar display
  • The screen is protected by Gorilla Glass 6 
  • Dual Thunderbolt 3 ports
  • Sizable storage space
  • EyeSafe anti-glare technology
Cons
  • Pricey
  • Heftier for our liking

4. Best with MacOS: Apple MacBook Pro

  • CPU: 2.6GHz Intel Core i7-9750H
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Storage: 512GB SSD
  • Display: 16-inch Retina IPS (3072 x 1920)
  • GPU: 4GB AMD Radeon Pro 5300M
  • Battery: Up to 11 hours

As an engineering student or a high-level professional, you should always persist with the MacBook Pro 16, provided the budget permits the purchase. Quite fittingly, this is one of the best gadgets in the retail space, powered by a path-breaking processor, innovative productivity-specs, and other atypical resources for more cohesive domain coverage.

The Intel Core i7-9750H chipset makes an appearance, featuring a turbo clock speed of up to 4.5GHz. Next in line are the hexa-core architecture and the elusive Hyper-threading support, allowing the CPU to take care of every engineering specialization and the associated applications with ease. Graphics-intensive tasks are perfectly managed by the professional-grade AMD Radeon Pro 5300M GPU and 4GB of high-speed VRAM.

Apple also stacks in 16GB of the system memory which doesn’t slow down the device despite opening more than 30 tabs or indulging in other multitasking tasks. Storage-wise, the 512GB solid-state drive is quite a commendable addition, considering the storage requirements of an engineering student. As far as the OS is concerned, you get macOS Catalina, straight out of the closet.

When it comes to the display, only a few gadgets can match up to the visual experience offered by the 16-inch retina display. Besides, you also get a dedicated P3-color gamut followed by true-to-life color accuracy and an overall resolution of 3072 x 1920 pixels.

Apple stacks in a host of productivity and content-centric specs, including a magic keyboard with 1mm key travel, 6-speaker setup, vibrant webcam, force-canceling woofers, studio-grade microphones, and the secured Touch ID support. Furthermore, the responsive Touch Bar and the resourceful Force Trackpad are some of the most vital inclusions for a student seeking a seamless navigation system.

The MacBook Pro 16 weighs a mere 4.3 pounds, which further amplifies the portability-quotient. However, it is the Thunderbolt 3 port arrangement that stands out, followed by the T2 Security chip for secured boot-ups and a USB charging support.

In terms of autonomy, the existing battery unit offers an 11-hour of steady backup, in ideal conditions. Overall, for the given price, nothing matches the productivity and resourcefulness exhibited by the Apple MacBook Pro 16, especially when engineering relevance is concerned.

Then again, if you have a restricted budget, the MacBook Pro 13 is also a reliable machine to purchase, featuring an 8th gen i5 processor, 256GB solid-state drive, integrated graphics module, 8GB RAM, and two Thunderbolt 3 slots instead of four. Although the alternative flaunts a 13.3-inch display, the overall resolution of 2560 x 1600 pixels and the True Tone Display technology doesn’t downgrade the visual clarity and color accuracy.

Pros
  • Powerful 9th gen processor
  • Professional GPU with ultrafast VRAM
  • Long-lasting battery
  • Four Thunderbolt 3 ports
  • Light and portable
  • Magic Keyboard
Cons
  • Lacks Wi-Fi 6
  • Predictable design

5. Best 2-in-1 Convertible: HP Spectre x360 15t

  • CPU: 2.6GHz Intel Core i7-9750H
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Storage: 1TB SSD
  • Display: 15.6-inch 4K UHD IPS Touch (3840 x 2160)
  • GPU: 4GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650
  • Battery: Up to 15 hours

Engineering students can work well around convertibles and the HP Spectre x360 offers the perfect ambiance to the concerned clientele towards being more productive.

HP houses the feature-packed Intel Core i7-9750H chipset that can turbo clock at 4.5GHz, if and when necessary. The existing CPU can therefore handle single and multi-threaded processes like spreadsheet management, 3D rendering, VBA coding, and more. Besides, you also get access to the GTX 1650 GPU from NVIDIA, working in tandem with 4GB Video RAM.

In terms of memory allocation, the Spectre x360 makes peace with a 16GB, dual-channel RAM module. At 2666MHz, this is one of the fastest RAM modules on the list, capable of retrieving data and files in a heartbeat. As far as storage support is concerned, the 1TB solid-state unit is quite an empowering addition. This SSD unit loads apps and the Windows 10 OS, at least 17 times faster than a standard hard disk drive.

HP x360 being a 4K laptop is a sight for sore eyes. While you appropriately get access to the touch screen, courtesy of this being a nifty convertible, it is the micro-edge panel and WLED-backlit technology that added to the functionality of the same. Not just that, the screen is protected by the Corning Gorilla Glass.

HP also brings in a sturdy backlit keyboard, perfectly complemented by the B&O speakers, TrueVision FHD webcam with IR support, handy microphones, fingerprint scanner, and a responsive trackpad. Besides, this structural marvel flaunts a gem-cut layout and weighs a respectable 4.81 pounds. As far as port arrangement goes, you get access to Thunderbolt 3, Type-C, and other legacy units.

As an engineering student, you can establish the fastest possible internet connections, courtesy of the Wi-Fi 6 2×2 support. This convertible brings forth a highly resourceful battery unit, offering almost 15 hours of autonomy. To sum it up, the Spectre x360 from HP is one of the more powerful 2-in-1 notebooks on the list that covers every engineering requirement without burning a hole in your pocket.

Pros
  • Brilliant display 
  • Comes with stylus support
  • Sizable storage support
  • Dual-channel RAM
  • Thunderbolt 3 support
  • Wi-Fi 6 support
Cons
  • Heavy convertible
  • Not meant for budget users

6. Best for Portability: MSI Prestige 14

  • CPU: 1.8GHz Intel Core i7-10510U
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Storage: 512GB SSD
  • Display: 14-inch Retina IPS (3840 x 2160)
  • GPU: 4GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Max-Q
  • Battery: Up to 10 hours

Have you ever considered getting yourself a workstation-like notebook that is both portable and feature-packed? If yes, the MSI Prestige 14 is the perfect gadget to consider, keeping the concerned requirements in mind.

MSI’s processing conglomerate is presided over by the Intel Core i7-10510U CPU, exhibiting a turbo clock speed of up to 4.9GHz. Besides, the processor also extends support to the diverse multi-threaded processes and applications, courtesy of the octa-threaded architecture. Intricate graphics centric processes are handled by the GeForce GTX 1650 Max-Q GPU, boasting of 4GB VRAM and a power-efficient design.

The Prestige 14 also makes room for a single-channel, 16GB RAM module. However, our experts weren’t exactly pleased by the slower processing speeds of up to 2133MHz. While professionals might find this processing speed to be slightly underwhelming, it is more than adequate for students.

As far as storage support is concerned, the 512GB solid-state drive is worth mentioning, courtesy of the NVMe-compatibility. Windows 10 Pro OS is on-board, featuring an intuitive user interface.

MSI shuns the conventional, 14-inch screen, boasting of an overall resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels. While the 4K panel exhibits thinner bezels, it is the 100 percent aRGB color gamut that steals the show, by lending exceptional levels of color accuracy to the concerned screen. Besides, this aesthetic and thin laptop also makes room for a white backlit keyboard, HD webcam, Pro speakers, and an elevated typing platform for excellent heat dissipation and content-creating experience.

Nonetheless, the Prestige 14 is one of the slimmest and lightest gadgets on the list, with the aluminum-clad chassis weighing a mere 2.64 pounds. The productivity doesn’t end there as MSI also accommodates two Thunderbolt 3 ports, USB 2.0 slots, and other slots for faster file transfers and creating external workflows.

Students and professionals can also benefit from the Wi-Fi 6 support. What stands out though is the excellent battery backup at almost 10 hours, which readily qualifies the MSI Prestige 14 as one of the more sought-after engineering notebooks in the retail space.

Pros
  • 10th gen processor
  • Excellent design
  • Wi-Fi 6 support
  • 2 Thunderbolt 3 ports
  • Long-lasting battery
  • Functional GPU with Max-Q layout
Cons
  • Might run hot on extensive usage
  • Attracts dirt

7. Best Value for Money: Asus VivoBook K571

  • CPU: 2.6GHz Intel Core i7-9750H
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Storage: 256GB SSD + 1TB HDD
  • Display: 15.6-inch FHD IPS (1920 x 1080)
  • GPU: 4GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650
  • Battery: Up to 5 hours

If you are more of a storage monger, the Asus VivoBook K571 is the perfect gadget to consider. Besides, the OEM takes gaming seriously and makes quite a few entertaining provisions for a standard engineering student or professional, for a decent enough price bracket.

Powering the same is an Intel Core i7-9750H processor, featuring hexa-core architecture. Moreover, the turbo clock speed of up to 4.5GHz ensures that the CPU is capable enough to handle single and multi-threaded applications with ease. Besides, programming, spreadsheet management, and other basic engineering-specific tasks are also taken care of by this 9th gen chipset.

Moving on, you get access to the mid-range NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 GPU with 4GB of Video RAM. Nonetheless, the existing graphics conglomerate allows you to play a majority of moderately demanding titles like Fortnite, PUBG, SIMS 4, LOL, Doom Eternal, and more at 1080p presets. However, the 16GB DDR4 RAM module is the most appropriate asset for engineering, allowing the student or professional in you to multitask with ease.

Besides, if you are into CAD modeling, spreadsheet management, and other storage-centric activities, the VivoBook K571 can be quite a handful, owing to the dual storage unit. This means Asus offers a 256GB, high-speed, NVMe-compatible module for storing demanding applications and the Windows 10 OS, followed by a 1TB hard drive for static projects and media.

The 15.6-inch display is nothing that our experts were expecting. However, Asus still throws in quite a few innovations in the form of a cumulative resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. Besides, the 120Hz refresh rate is a nifty gaming resource, best complemented by the NanoEdge bezels.

As far as productivity is concerned, you get access to an illuminated keyboard, responsive trackpad, robust speakers, dual display modes, and the innovative IceCool technology for keeping the palm rest at lower temperatures.

Then again, the VivoBook K571 also features an innovative thermal layout, bolstered by rear vent dissipative vents and the dual fan setup. Regardless of the innovative hardware, the laptop is still light enough at 4.70 pounds. Not to mention the port arrangement with Asus making way for USB Type-C, Type-A, HDMI, and other functional slots. Wireless connectivity is above-par, courtesy of the Wi-Fi 5 support.

However, you would need to cut a few battery-related corners as the featured unit is capable of lasting for up to 5 hours, on standard usage. To sum it up, the Asus VivoBook K571 is one of the more competent gadgets for engineering professionals provided you the middling battery isn’t a deal-breaker.

Pros
  • Fast processor
  • Dual storage support
  • Strategic cooling technology
  • Well-spaced keyboard
  • Mid-range GPU
Cons
  • Lacks Thunderbolt 3
  • Sub-par battery life

8. Best Under $900: Lenovo IdeaPad L340

  • 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 6.5 hours

The Lenovo IdeaPad L340 is the perfect engineering tool that strikes an excellent balance between affordability and productive efficiency.

At the core, Lenovo features the moderately powerful, quad-core, Intel Core i5-9300H processor. Therefore, if you are mainly into creating assignments, coding, or indulging in simulation tasks via MATLAB or FEA tools, this is quite a reasonable CPU to account for, courtesy of the excellent single-core clock speed of up to 4.1GHz.

Complementing the same is the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 GPU that can handle almost every graphics-centric process and gaming indulgence without breaking a sweat. In terms of system memory allocation, Lenovo offers 8GB out of the box, which is more than sufficient for an engineering student.

Storage-wise, you get a commendable, 512GB SSD unit, with NVMe-support. As far as the OS is concerned, Lenovo allows access to Windows 10, right out of the box.

Next in line is the brilliant, 15.6-inch 1080p screen, best characterized by smoother visual transitions and exceptional color accuracy. Besides, Lenovo offers the much-anticipated Vantage ‘Eye Care’ mode for engineering students who remain glued to the screens for hours together.

As far as productivity is concerned, there is a full-sized backlit keyboard to account for, followed by a nifty little webcam with a physical shutter. Besides, you also get hold of Dolby Audio speakers with Dopoundsy support followed by a functional UI with support for both gaming and working mode.

The gadget isn’t all that heavy and weighs a mere 4.84 pounds, whilst making arrangements for USB Type-A, USB 3.2 Gen 1, HDMI, and other functional slots for connecting data repositories and legacy peripherals.

Besides stacking in excellent wired and wireless connectivity specs, the IdeaPad also accommodates a dependable battery unit, capable of lasting up to 6.5 hours, on extended usage. Overall, this gadget from Lenovo is one of the few budget notebooks in the market that engineering students can purchase without thinking twice.

Pros
  • 9th gen processor
  • Powerful GPU with adaptive shading technology
  • Excellent keyboard
  • Amplified speakers
  • Anti-glare display
Cons
  • Not meant for top-level engineers
  • Middling battery life

9. Best Under Budget: Acer Aspire 7

  • CPU: 2.1GHz AMD Ryzen 5 3550H
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 512GB SSD
  • Display: 15.6-inch FHD IPS (1920 x 1080)
  • GPU: 4GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650
  • Battery: Up to 7 hours

If you are in the market for an AMD-powered professional machine that doubles down as a gaming station, nothing beats the efficacy and affordability exhibited by the Acer Aspire 7.

Acer shuns Intel for the AMD Ryzen 5 3550H chipset. Despite running hot at times, the featured processor can clock at boosted speeds of up to 3.7GHz. Simultaneous Multithreading is also supported, allowing the chipset to run multi-threaded applications and processes with ease. Graphics-support is rendered by the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 GPU that works in cohesion with 4GB VRAM, specifically for achieving exceptional gaming performances.

When it comes to the RAM support, you get access to an 8GB RAM, with a processing speed of 2666MHz. The ultra-fast chunk of system memory is subtly complemented by the 512GB solid-state drive. Acer stacks in the Windows 10 Home edition OS, which loads faster than usual, owing to the NVMe-compatible, dual-channel storage drive.

The 15.6-inch IPS panel exhibits a cumulative resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. What stands out though is Acer’s Color Intelligence technology, ensuring exceptional levels of color accuracy. Not just that, the featured display also flaunts narrow bezels and the innovative, Acer ExaColor technology, thereby making way for sharper viewing angles.

Despite the budget price tag, Acer accommodates a backlit keyboard, functional speakers, HD webcam, and a resourceful set of microphones. The gadget, however, runs a bit hot when the processing consortium is stretched up to the brink. However, the Aspire 7 is still portable enough, weighing close to 4.75 pounds and offering a steady battery backup of up to 7 hours.

In terms of connectivity, you get access to USB 3.2 Type-C, HDMI, Gig Ethernet, dual-band Wi-Fi 5, and other resourceful specs for accommodating USB charging, data transfer, and legacy connections. Overall, the Aspire 7 is one of the more affordable notebooks for engineering students, best characterized by a powerful processor, mid-range GPU, and an ultra-fast storage module.

Pros
  • Quad-core processor with SMT support
  • GPU based on Turing Architecture
  • Dual-channel storage module
  • Keyboard with decent travel
  • A decent battery module
Cons
  • Heavier for our liking
  • Might run hot at times

10. Best Battery Life: Microsoft Surface Book 2

  • CPU: 1.9GHz Intel Core i7-8650U
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Storage: 512GB SSD
  • Display: 13.5-inch PixelSense Touch (3000 x 2000)
  • GPU: 2GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050
  • Battery: Up to 17 hours

The Surface Book 2 from Microsoft is one of the most versatile gadgets on our list, boasting of a detachable layout and a pretty competent specs sheet.

For starters, you get access to the Intel Core i7-8650U processor, capable of reaching turbo clock speeds of up to 4.2GHz. As it is a sleek notebook, the low-power, U-series CPU makes an appearance, best known for lower TDP values. In terms of graphics support, you get access to the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 GPU and 2GB VRAM that work in cohesion for achieving close to 40 FPS for most titles at 1080p settings.

Besides, if you are into civil, mechanical, and other core engineering specialization, the discrete graphics card can be quite a handful, especially when it comes to running simulations, CAD apps, FEA tools, and more. When it comes to multitasking support, you get 16GB Low-power DDR3 RAM at the helm. Then again, the existing chunk of system memory processes data at a mere 1866MHz which is slightly underwhelming for professional usage.

As far as storage is concerned, the 512GB is more than adequate for students and loads the Windows 10 Pro 64-bit OS, in a heartbeat. Microsoft persists with a competent keyboard, dual camera support for tablet-mode usage, front-firing stereo speakers, dual mics, and the innovative TPM security chip for secure boot-ups.

When it comes to heft, Surface Book 2 weighs a mere 3.62 pounds. However, it is the port arrangement that steals the show with Microsoft accommodating USB Type-A, Type-C, Surface Connect ports, and other slots for improved functionality. In terms of connectivity, you get Wi-Fi AC and Bluetooth 4.1 support. However, it is the 17-hour battery backup that readily amplifies the portability quotient, associated with the sought-after Surface Book 2.

Pros
  • The processor generates minimal heat
  • Supports multi-mode usage
  • Dual-camera setup
  • Sizable storage support
  • Long-lasting battery
Cons
  • RAM is on the slower side
  • Lacks Wi-Fi 6 support

11. Cheapest Option: Acer Aspire 5

  • 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

The Acer Aspire 5 is the most affordable notebook on our list, boasting of an excellent display, 10th gen processor, and the latest connectivity standard.

At the helm, you have the graphics-optimized Intel Core i5-1035G1 GPU, boasting quad cores, and a boosted clock speed of up to 3.6GHz. Despite being a mid-range processor, it allows the Aspire 5 to handle a majority of essential engineering tasks with ease. Nonetheless, you still get access to a dedicated graphics card with Acer making way for the GeForce MX350, clubbed with 2GB VRAM.

As far as system memory is concerned, the 8GB DDR4 RAM unit is more than adequate for a student, ably complemented by a faster processing speed and a supportive storage drive with 512GB worth of space. The NVMe compatible storage drive is a great place to start when faster app loading and Windows 10 Home OS boot-ups are concerned.

Acer persists with a standard, 15.6-inch 1080p screen, exhibiting the power-efficient LED-backlit technology. Also, the Aspire 5 flaunts a widescreen viewing experience followed by crisp and sharp visual output. Not just that, you also get access to the Color Intelligence enhancement on this notebook followed by the anti-glare, BlueLightShield property.

The Aspire 5 is loaded with several productivity-enhancing features, including the backlit keyboard with excellent key travel, TrueHarmony speakers, HD webcam, voice-purified microphones, and an enviously sleek chassis with an aluminum-clad flap. As far as the port arrangement goes, you get Type-C, HDMI, USB 3.1, and other functional slots. Furthermore, Acer also accommodates Wi-Fi 6 technology for establishing fast and stable internet connections.

The Aspire 5 is easily one of the lightest gadgets on our list at 3.97 pounds. However, the portability gets a significant boost with the existing battery offering almost 8 hours of single-charge autonomy. In conclusion, there isn’t any other notebook that offers such an extensive specs sheet for the given price bracket.

Pros
  • 10th gen processor
  • Comes with a dedicated GPU
  • Stellar display
  • A decent storage support
  • Wi-Fi 6 support
  • Reliable battery module
Cons
  • Not meat for power users
  • Lacks Thunderbolt 3 support

Frequently Asked Questions

How much RAM is required by an engineering student?

As a rule of thumb, 8GB is the bare minimum for engineering students, provided they are more into online tasks, browser usage, spreadsheet management, and other moderately demanding tasks. However, for civil, mechanical, and students from similar engineering domains, 16GB is a decent mark considering the massive processing workload that might require managing.

Do Engineering students require 10th gen H-series processors?

While 10th gen processors are decent, future-proof choices, the H-series can be overkill if you are into basic tasks. You must only consider a 10th gen H-series CPU if you want to use the laptop even as an engineering professional. In most cases, a U-series processor is more than adequate when basic processes are concerned.

Why a mid-range GPU is preferred by engineering students?

As an engineering student, you would want to save money for the more essential specifications like storage and RAM. Moreover, with such a vast engineering curriculum to account for, you shouldn’t prep the device as a high-end gaming station and for leisure indulgences, mid-range GPUs like the GTX 1650 might just be more than adequate.

Is MacBook good for engineering students and professionals?

If you are primarily interested in coding, the MacBook Pro is quite a reliable gadget to consider. Then again, students from the core engineering domains like Mechanical and Civil are better off using Windows-powered notebooks, precisely for the software-centric compatibility on offer. Besides, if you still want to opt for a MacBook, it is advisable to opt for dual boot support for getting app-support for Windows or even Linux OS.

Which are the more important yet underrated laptop traits preferred by engineering students?

As an engineering student, you might need to store massive volumes of data which calls for the inclusion of a sizable storage module, preferably dual-storage for keeping gadget prices in control. Besides, you also need to take a closer look at the keyboard travel considering the fact that engineering students and even professionals need to type a lot. Last but not least, students who prefer moving across the country for relevant indulgences must look to purchase light-weighted and autonomous gadgets, offering a decent battery backup.

Verdict

Engineers, be it students or professionals, need to rely on decent processing power and an adequate chunk of system memory to take care of the more demanding tasks. Moreover, as an aspiring engineer, you must also take your domain and specialization into account, before taking the plunge.

  • In case we were to recommend the perfect laptop for myriad engineering tasks, the Razer Blade 15 will be the first one of our choices, mainly due to the future-proof and highly resourceful specs sheet.
  • If you are more invested in aesthetics, the HP Spectre x360 is also a decent choice to make.
  • Apart from this convertible, you can also consider the Surface Book 2 as this detachable is way more mobile and can also be used as a tablet.
  • Last but not least, if you want a budget-centric device with minor trade-offs, the Acer Aspire 7 from Acer is the perfect laptop to invest in.

You can also use our Laptop picker to find laptops based on specs-input or read our buying guide to learn more about the factors you should consider when getting a machine.

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