Back then, mechanical engineering was about studying the objects and systems in motion. These days, it’s not JUST limited to studies, but it also involves making complex designs, machines, equipment, etc., that are highly efficient. A laptop that can run CAD (computer-aided design) and manufacturing softwares can be helpful, and that’s why a lot of colleges and universities require mechanical engineering students to carry a good-quality laptop.
Having a laptop can save costs involved in preparing a physical design, provide real-world simulation for the design, save huge time, and also allow you to perform investigations that are not possible in the real world or are risky. That’s why we think that having a laptop is really important for mechanical engineering students.
Besides, you won’t just use your laptop for 3D modeling, designing, or manufacturing machines, equipment, robots, etc. Still, you’ll also be using it for a lot of other mechanical engineering fields such as Finite element analysis [FEA], Computational fluid dynamics [CFD], etc. So it doesn’t matter what field of mechanics you want to major in, having a reliable laptop can be really helpful.
Needless to say, there are a variety of laptop brands and factors to concentrate on. To minimize your efforts in making an informed decision, we have enlisted a minimum and recommended laptop specifications. So, let’s have a look at them!
- Minimum & Recommended System Requirements
- How Did we CHOOSE?
- Best Laptops for Mechanical Engineering Students in 2021
- 1. Best Overall: Acer Predator Helios 300
- 2. Best Runner Up: HP Spectre x360
- 3. Best with Dual Storage: Dell G5 15
- 4. Best 17-inch Machine: Asus VivoBook Pro
- 5. Best Under Budget: Acer Aspire 7
- 6. Best with Intel i5: Dell Inspiron 15 7567
- 7. Best Thin & Light Laptop: Dell XPS 13 9360
- 8. Best with GTX 960M: Lenovo Y700
- 9. Cheap Yet Best: HP Pavilion 15
Minimum & Recommended System Requirements
|Minimum System Requirements||Recommended System Requirements|
|CPU||8th Gen Intel Core i5||9th Gen Intel Core i7|
|Storage||256GB SSD||512GB SSD|
|Display||13.3-inch FHD (1920 x 1080)||15.6-inch FHD IPS (1920 x 1080)|
|Graphics||2GB NVIDIA GeForce MX350||4GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050|
|Battery||Up to 3 hours||Up to 6 hours|
How Did we CHOOSE?
- We visited around 43 worldwide university websites, checked for the minimum required specifications.
- We interviewed 39 mechanical engineers who work in known companies and asked them for things to focus on when buying a laptop for the relevant needs!
- We asked the college professors at known universities!
- Checked the minimum system requirements of popularly used CAD & CAM software like Fusion 360, SolidWorks, AutoCAD, Blender, REVIT, Creo, TinkerCAD, etc., and made sure that models we’ve chosen have resources above the minimum required.
- We surveyed 1432 students and asked them with were they happy with their current laptops and also asked for things that could’ve made them even happy.
- We consulted the business consultation division at Freedom 251 with around 82 laptop suggestions and asked them to narrow it to the 9 best models in terms of performance, durability, support, and even budget.
Now that you understand how laptops can be helpful for engineering students, especially for mechanical engineers, you surely must be looking for the best-rated models that’ll help you through the course and even after completing it. That’s why we’ve listed out the 9 best models for you to consider in 2021.
Best Laptops for Mechanical Engineering Students in 2021
|Acer Predator Helios 300|
|HP Spectre x360|
|Dell G5 15|
|Asus VivoBook Pro|
|Acer Aspire 7|
|Dell Inspiron 15 7567|
|Dell XPS 13 9360|
|HP Pavilion 15|
If you’ve not jumped to this list directly, you must have gone through the part where we explained the steps we followed to filter out the 9 best laptops out of 82 different suggestions. If you’ve read it, you must be interested in checking out the models we chose and reading reviews about them! So, shall we begin?
1. Best Overall: Acer Predator Helios 300
The Predator Helios 300 is probably the only laptop from Acer that we have mentioned over and again for every other purpose. Overall, no matter what purpose you wish to use it for, you can smoothly play games, run high-end software and other applications.
It features a vibrant and sharp 15.6-inch full HD IPS display for immersive picture quality on your screens. Powering the machine is the latest 10th Gen H-series i7 processor. You can achieve remarkable processing speed and even boost it up to 5GHz.
On the RAM and storage front, it has 16GB DDR4 RAM, which you can find in most of the high-end laptops nowadays. So, enjoy all your software and play high-end games with the utmost speed. The existing 512GB SSD storage capacity, will help you store an incredible amount of storage. So, speaking about the battery life. It can work up to 5 hours in a single charge, which is a good number to go for.
Furthermore, for handling GPU-intensive tasks such as video editing, photo editing, and even graphic designing, it features an incredible studio-grade GPU, the NVIDIA RTX 2060, one of the best in the business. This laptop comes pre-installed with Windows 10 64 bit with all the updated features from Microsoft.
As far as the connectivity is concerned, Acer stacks in ample ports including USB 3.2 Type C Gen 2, USB 3.2 Gen 1 and Gen 2 ports. It also features HDMI 2.0 and Mini DisplayPort.
- Affordable and powerful laptop
- Top-notch design and sturdy build
- Excellent 10th Gen H-series processor
- Excellent RAM and storage capacity
- Great cooling mechanism
- Battery life is good
- Bulky and heavy machine
2. Best Runner Up: HP Spectre x360
HP’s sought-after Spectre x360 is probably the best laptop a mechanical engineer can buy, considering the ease of usage, relentless processing performances, and excellent autonomy. Besides, having a convertible like the Spectre x360 makes it easier to carry your work and designs around.
At the core, HP features a 9th gen H-series i7 processor that is one of the best resources for initiating several mechanical-aligned tasks like FEA, CFD, and more. The Intel Core i7-9750H CPU carries enough processing firepower to run several CAD-centric processes and applications with minimal discomfort. Then again, if you are interested in 2D designs and modeling via AutoCAD, Fusion 360, or SketchUp, the existing mobile SoC with a turbo clock speed of 4.5GHz is expected to suffice.
For 3D indulgences, complex scenes, and intricate models and designs, the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 GPU is one of the best bets for the given price point. This graphics card exhibits the Turing architecture and comes equipped with 1280 CUDA cores for facilitating better models, meshes, and CAD-centric renders. When it comes to memory allocation, the 16GB RAM is a resourceful addition, as it works in cohesion with the chipset, for processing textures, files, and designs.
Despite the Spectre x360 stacking in a decent chunk of dual-socketed and upgradeable system memory, we weren’t impressed with the middling processing speeds of 2400MHz. However, only hardcore CAD-professionals would notice the difference during disk caching and temporary file management. Storage-wise, the 512GB SSD is a decent inclusion for students.
This 2-in-1 offers Windows 10 Pro as the go-to operating platform, which is best known for its compatibility with several CAD applications like Fusion 360, AutoCAD, and more. However, the 15.6-inch display with a touch screen support makes the operating platform come to life, courtesy of the overall resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels.
In addition to the color accuracy and brilliant viewing angles, the 4K Ultra HD screen is also known for the stylus compatibility, micro-edge paneling, and the coverage of the durable Corning Gorilla Glass for keeping out scratches and blemishes. Professionals can also reap the benefits offered by the backlit keyboard, Bang and Olufsen speakers, TrueVision 1080p webcam (recommended for online classes), and the dual microphone array. As far as structural innovation is concerned, the metal-clad Spectre x360 flaunts a gem-cut layout.
The 4.79-pound convertible is still on the heavier side for single-handed usage but doesn’t compromise on the connectivity suite. This means HP stacks in all the relevant specs for connecting data drives and external devices along, including Type-C, USB 3.1, HDMI 2.0, Thunderbolt 3, Wi-Fi 6, and even the SD card reader.
As far as gadget autonomy is concerned, HP allows for at least 15 hours of battery backup. This attribute ensures that the aspiring mechanical engineers can push through a few additional CAD processing hours, in case of an electrical outage. Overall, the HP Spectre x360 is one of the best assets for your engineering indulgences, especially if you are invested in demanding CAD applications.
- High-end processor
- Stellar touch panel
- Wi-Fi 6 support
- Thunderbolt 3 support
- Enthralling aesthetics
- On the heavier side
- Shallow key travel
3. Best with Dual Storage: Dell G5 15
The Dell G5 15 is one of the best notebooks for mechanical engineers and students. It runs on the 9th Gen Intel Core i7 processor. It provides a sense of stabilization and incredible speed to the system. With the incredible 15.6-inch FHD screen that flaunts Anti-Glare LED backlight narrow border IPS technology, you can experience the best, most vibrant colors on the screen. Every engineer loves playing games, and this could be one of the best laptops for gamers.
This laptop has probably the best combination of RAM and storage capacity. It has 16GB RAM and 256GB SSD + 1TB SATA HDD. Well, you would not need more than this to enjoy uninterrupted speed and storage for all the files and game data. Furthermore, it comes with the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 graphics card, which is much better than the NVIDIA GTX 1060 and gives an incredible picture quality.
The most significant part of this laptop has to be its intelligent cooling system. An innovative Dual-fan Cooling System with an advanced thermal design ensures that your system stays cool as the action heats up. But a major disadvantage may make things worse since it is super heavy. It will not be possible for anyone to carry it around since it weighs a massive 3.79 pounds even though the overall design is sturdy and powerful.
Yet again the battery life isn’t what you would love. It lasts up to a maximum of 5 hours and on heavy usage, it can go further down. For connections, it has 1x USB Type-C (with Thunderbolt 3), 3x USB-A 3.1, DisplayPort, HDMI 2.0, Gigabit Ethernet, 3.5mm audio jack, Memory card reader (SD, SDHC, SDXC).
- Powerful 9th Gen i7 processor
- Stunning graphics card
- Dual storage configuration
- Dual-fan cooling system
- Superb design and durable quality
- Still heavy
4. Best 17-inch Machine: Asus VivoBook Pro
The Asus Vivobook Pro is another great addition to the ASUS VivoBook lineup. It has been equipped with an incredible 8th generation Intel Core i7 processor that provides incredible speed and accuracy, much better than the previous versions.
If you have been looking for a larger screen than usual, well, this laptop has an amazing 17.3-inch full HD panel with 72% NTSC to provide you with exclusive picture quality.
With 16GB DDR4 RAM, you can achieve unmeasurable speed to your system, and you can expand it to up to 32GB for better performance. The incredible combination of 256GB SSD and 1TB HDD storage is sufficient to meet all your needs to store data and files. The design of this laptop is truly incredible. Even though the weight is pretty average, you can take this laptop around with you while traveling. Also, the keyboard has been given a backlit ergonomic design for viewing at night time.
Furthermore, the stunning NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 graphics card with an incredible storage space of 4GB gives a rich color and HD quality performance to some high-end games. The battery capacity is about 8 hours for normal usage. Since you will be using it for most games and college work, it is bound to work really good and sufficient.
Dual-coil, front-mounted stereo speakers deliver the loudest, clearest audio possible for your experience. In connectivity options, it has USB 3.0, USB 2.0, HDMI, LAN, and SD card ports for hassle-free compatibility with a wide range of peripherals, displays, and projectors.
- Slim and Stylish design
- Huge and Widescreen display
- Comfortable Keyboard and stunning graphics
- Average battery life
- Upgradable RAM
- Noisy fan
- No fingerprint reader included
5. Best Under Budget: Acer Aspire 7
The Acer Aspire 7 is probably another affordable range of laptops introduced by Acer for college and grad school students involved in the mechanical field. With the latest Ryzen 5 3550H processor you can achieve the best performance and even further boost it to 3.7GHz for better results. It features a 15.6-inch full HD IPS screen display to provide true colors and crisp brightness on your screens.
It runs on an 8GB DDR4 RAM, which is much faster than what you would see earlier in DDR3 RAM. The company has also brought great storage of 512GB SSD, piling all your documents and information together. Further, with the newly introduced dual digital microphone system with background noise reduction technology, you can enjoy calls and music with a clearer sound.
This laptop only has a battery capacity of 7 hours which is a great number depending on the usage of every user and will vary accordingly. The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 graphics card equipped with a 4GB video memory limit will enrich the amazing high-end video games graphics and movies on the go.
The connectivity front contains 1 x USB 2.0, 2 x USB 3.2, HDMI, and much more. The latest USB standard has a top speed of 5Gbps, delivering faster data transfer and streaming on Twitch.
- Superfast processor with Turbo boost
- Affordable and durable
- Portable and easy to use
- Multiple ports
- Perfect for beginners
- The battery could have been better
- Screen display issues
6. Best with Intel i5: Dell Inspiron 15 7567
The Dell Inspiron 15 7567 is one of the best options for mechanical engineers. It provides a powerful Quad-core i5 processor with a 2.5GHz base clocking speed that gives incredible processing power to your laptop at all times.
With the 15.6-inch Full HD Widescreen LED-Backlit Display, you can enjoy stunning picture quality and play high-end games with the best visual experience.
The design of the laptop is just incredible and looks robust. But it is super heavy and bulky. You cannot carry it around with you all the time, which can be a huge downside. The touchpad is highly interactive, and you can easily operate it using two, three, and even four fingers to move from one tab to another and zoom in or out easily. Once you get used to it, nothing can be better than this.
The laptop runs on 8GB RAM memory perfect for you to run as many applications as you need. Furthermore, this laptop has a storage of 256GB SSD which can be expanded to 1TB space very easily for extra storage space and fast speed. If you are worried about the system getting too hot during high usage, well that is taken care of. The design of the laptop has been made carefully so that the intelligent colling system will flow out all the heat from the laptop and keep the system cool.
The incredible NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti graphics card will provide you with stunning graphics and visual experience overall. Whether you are a gaming enthusiast or you want to use for presentation for your college, everything fits in perfectly.
Additionally, it has 3x USB Type-A 3.0 (3.1 Gen 1) USB port, 2-in-1 card reader, 1-year manufacturing warranty. The battery power is great as well and lasts up to 7 hours with a single charge.
- Budget-Friendly and highly durable
- Stunning design and stylish
- Intelligent cooling system
- Average Battery Life
- Interactive Touchpad
- Very heavy and bulky design
- Display not bright enough
7. Best Thin & Light Laptop: Dell XPS 13 9360
The Dell XPS 13 is an affordable range of laptops introduced by Dell for all the students. It may not be the first choice since the price isn’t too low, but if you are looking for a good product, this is the one to go for with an incredible i5 Quad-core processor 1.6GHz that can be boosted to 3.4GHz for incredible processing speed. It features a 13.3 Infinity Edge Touchscreen HD display so that you can enjoy the 2-in-1 functionality of both laptops and tablets in one machine.
On the memory and storage front, it is equipped with 8GB RAM and 128GB SSD storage capacity so that you can multiple files and data. It would have been great if the RAM would have been upgradable but unfortunately, it isn’t so. But the combination of both of the above suits perfectly for starters better than most of the machines you would find in this price range.
The all-aluminum unibody lends strength and durability, while a carbon-fiber base is tough and cool to the touch. Plus, the ultra-strong Corning Gorilla Glass 4 display features an anti-reflective and anti-smudge coating. Also, it is super lightweight, making it easy for you to carry it everywhere you wish to go. The Integrated Intel HD Graphics 620 gives a decent graphics experience but not the best.
On the connectivity front, it has 2 USB 3.0 – 1 w/PowerShare, 1 SD card reader (SD, SDHC, SDXC), 1 Headset jack, 1 Noble lock slot, 1 Thunderbolt 3 (2 lanes of PCI Express Gen 3) supports: Power in / charging, PowerShare, USB 3.1 Gen 2 (10Gbps), VGA, HDMI, Ethernet and USB-A via Dell Adapter (sold separately).
- Excellent Touchscreen display
- Superb design and body strength
- Amazing battery life
- Powerful processor
- Lightweight and portable
- No expandable RA
- Not so impressive graphics
8. Best with GTX 960M: Lenovo Y700
The Lenovo Y700 is an amazing laptop for engineering, be it Civil, Computer Science, Electrical, or Mechanical. With an Intel Core i7 processor, enjoy the incredible speed of 2.6GHz that can be boosted to 3.5GHz for better processing on the system. It features a 15.6-inch Full HD Display With 1920 x 1080 resolution for amazing picture quality but has poor color accuracy than some of the high-performance laptops.
It runs on a powerful 16GB RAM for all gaming enthusiasts. You need not worry about your system slowing down instead would run faster than anticipated. To add more to this incredible machine, it has a 256GB SSD and 1TB HDD storage capacity to save all your files and data which would be just enough to suit all your college needs. Also, experience the true backlit keyboard for work during the night and gaming needs as well.
This Lenovo Ideapad has a discrete NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M graphics card for an immersive gaming experience and making sure you get all the visually stunning features. The JBL speakers and Dolby Home Theater, experience the world of immersive audio. It equips you with clearer, more realistic sounds, so you can enjoy every bit of it. The design looks classy and sturdy as well with an excellent cooling system.
In the connectivity options, it has 802.11ac Wireless LAN, Bluetooth 4.0, JBL Speakers 2 x 2W + 1 x Subwoofer 3W, 1 x HDMI 2 x USB 3.0 1 x USB 2.0, Windows 10 Home 64-Bit. Well, the battery power is not a great thing to feel great about, just 5 hours of power may not be the perfect option.
- Powerful processor
- Excellent RAM and storage
- Sturdy and durable design
- Amazing speakers and immersive audio
- Tons of connectivity options
- Poor battery life
- Heavy machine
9. Cheap Yet Best: HP Pavilion 15
The HP Pavilion 15 is the best laptop with the least price range and much better features. This is a special mention for everyone looking for an affordable option among all mentioned in the list. With an 8th generation i5 processor, this laptop does provide great speed and stable processing all throughout. With a 15.6-inch diagonal Full HD IPS anti-glare WLED-backlit display this laptop has a narrow bezel screen for a better and much wide-angle viewing experience.
This HP laptop features 8GB DDR4 RAM and a 1TB HDD storage module. It will provide a decent run to all the processes and provide enough space to store necessary files. You can easily run software like Adobe Photoshop, Premiere Pro, Illustrator, and more. No need to worry anymore about heating issues with this laptop. The cooling system underneath takes care of it at all times.
The NVIDIA Geforce GTX 1050 Ti graphics card is a great addition considering the price of this laptop, you get some amazing picture clarity and quality at the same time. Furthermore, for better viewing at night and during gaming session the green-colored backlit keyboard serves the purpose very well. The best part is that it is lightweight too along and can be carried around.
The battery capacity is 7 hours on a single charge which can help you go on at least half of the day or even more depending on your usage capacity. Additionally. it has a 1 x USB type C port, 3 x USB 3.1 port, and a card reader.
- Beautiful and stunning design
- User-friendly laptop
- Lightweight and portable
- Average battery life
- Excellent processor
- Not a great build quality
- Noisy fans during high usage
Well, these are some of the best laptops that we have reviewed and carefully curated just for your benefit. There might be 100’s of options available as well, but these are reviewed, checked, and verified perfectly making sure it meets all your needs.
Being an engineer you might be very well aware of the perfect specifications you may be looking for. But it is always better to go for the best option if budget is not an issue. Almost every brand has been mentioned in the list for your benefit.
If you aren’t willing to spend a lot of money on the laptop, we have mentioned the cheap ones too that you can surely afford and go for. If you are okay with adding more money, just for the best option that has the best feature without compromising on anything further.