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Best Laptops for Engineering Students to Consider in 2021

Have you recently enrolled in an engineering degree program but confused as to which laptop would help you manage the academic workload better? If in doubt, read on!

As a student, you need a laptop that caters to each of your several targeted requirements. Starting from having the requisite hardware to manage 3D designs and workstation-like tasks to featuring a beefed-up battery that can outlast an extended load-shedding period, an engineering-friendly laptop is the one with power, performance, and promise rolled into one.

But then, is it easy to identify the best engineering laptop when the market is brimming with insanely powerful options! Not exactly, as most high-end and even mid-range notebooks blur the lines between leisure and productivity, making it harder to select devices, only meant for engineering escapades.

Unslider’s Choice: Best Laptops for Engineering Students

TOP PICK
Asus Zenbook Pro Duo

Pressed for time! I hear you and this is the reason why I have picked the Asus ZenBook Pro Duo as the go-to laptop for most engineering students. I consider this the best laptop due to the dual screen support, high-speed RAM, and a wide-range of functional attributes.

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Convinced already! Let’s continue the actual discussion for now!

Laptops for engineering students should include support for MATLAB, AutoCAD, Catia, Solid Edge, and other resources. Plus, if you have a notebook that can manage each of the mentioned software solutions with ease, you can even deploy the same for other entry-level tasks like content creation, drafting presentations, listening to lectures, and more.

However, the only issue, as identified by the Unslider team, is the amassing tide of choices. As an engineering-friendly laptop costs a fortune, you wouldn’t want to invest in something irrelevant.

At Unslider, you get access to a detailed list of the 10 best laptops for engineering students. Plus, I have ensured that the team tests close to 50 laptops across diverse parameters, only to come up with a list of 10 relevant laptops.

Also, we have carefully identified the core competency of each machine, whilst creating the list according to the laptop prices. This form of segregation allows you to pick the best laptop for engineering at a preferred price point.

Comparison Table

Note: Pressed for time!  No worries as you need not go through the entire discussion with us having concocted a pretty detailed comparison table for you to look at. This table is expected to help you make informed decisions and pick the best engineering laptop according to your preferences or tasks at hand.

Asus Zenbook Pro Duo
Asus ZenBook Pro Duo
  • Intel i9,RTX 2060, 32GB RAM with Dual Screen display
  • Intuitive dual user interfaceTop-notch sunlight visibilityGPU with RTRT support
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 Acer Predator Helio 300
Acer Predator Helios 300
  • Intel core i7, GTX 1660Ti, 16GB RAM with Excellent thermal design
  • Zero throttling Durable High-speed RAM for seamless multitasking
  • CAD software solutions
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Acer Swift 5
Lenovo ThinkPad E15
  • Core i5, 512GB SSD with Anti-glare screen
  • Zero ocular straining Light and portable
  • App-centric processing power
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HP Spectre x360
HP Spectre x360
  • Intel i7, 512GB SSD, 32GB optane storage
  • Aesthetic chassisThunderbolt 3 ports for faster data transfer
  • Portable usage
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Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme
  • i7-9750H, GTX 1650, 32GB RAM with Rugged chassis
  • Long-lasting battery Sizable chunk of RAM
  • Electrical and Civil engineering students
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Dell XPS 15 7590
Dell XPS 15 7590
  • 256GB storage, GTX 1650, i7 processor with 4K screen
  • Best viewing experience Massive processing power USB Type-C TB3 port for faster data transfer
  • Computer and electrical software modules
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Acer Aspire E15
Acer Aspire E15
  • 8GB of RAM, MX150 GPU & 15-hour battery backup
  • One of the more affordable laptops Can manage complex software solutions
  • Budget-centric individuals
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Razer Blade 15
Razer Blade 15
  • RTX 2060, 16 GB RAM, Hard drive bay
  • Upgradable storage One of better looking laptops
  • Most high-end engineering software solutions, including Catia
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Apple Macbook Pro
Apple MacBook Pro
  • 9th generation intel i7, retina display, Thunderbolt 3 ports
  • Portable Best laptop in terms of processing power Intuitive operating system
  • Users who aren’t looking for a gaming laptop
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Microsoft Surface Pro 7
Microsoft Surface Pro 7
  • 128GB SSD, PixelSense display, Detachable
  • Portable laptop Zer-noise hardware
  • Tablet-seekers
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Minimum Specifications Lists

NoteEach of the 10 enlisted notebooks adheres to Unslider’s minimum spec guarantee. 

We understand that a good laptop for an engineering student needs to strike the perfect balance between pricing and power. However, here are the minimum specifications that you need to look at before purchasing laptops for engineering.

  • Processor: Core i5
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 256GB SSD
  • Display: 14-inch FHD
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050
  • Battery: Up to 8 Hours

I have selected the best 10 laptops for engineering students with these minimum specifications in mind.

10 Best Laptops for Engineering Students Enlisted

In the subsequent sections, I have enlisted 10 of the best laptops for an engineering student by comparing more than 50 products across diverse parameters. I am sure that upon taking a look at these 10 options, you wouldn’t need to search any further.

Plus, I have connected with close to 300 students and 100+ faculty members across 15 reputed universities to vindicate each of the mentioned selections. Each laptop for engineering students, recommended by the Unslider team is thoroughly tested for a wide range of applications with ChemCad, Civil 3D, Catia, MATLAB, being a few to name.

1.  Asus ZenBook Pro Duo– Best Overall laptop for Engineering Students

   Key Hardware Specs

  • Intel Core i9 processor
  • 32GB RAM
  • 1TB SSD
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060
  • 15.6-inch 4K screen
  • Battery lasts up to 5.5 Hours

Review

If budget isn’t a restriction, you can blindly put your faith in the ZenBook Pro Duo. Firstly, the ZenBook Pro Duo is one of the best laptops for engineering students who are in the final year or looking to take their skills to the next level.

Be it the dual-display setup or the top-shelf processing conglomerate, this laptop is a holistic option for every student or even engineering professionals. Plus, the functional resources are strictly top-shelf, courtesy of the interactive screen pad, efficient keyboard, and the intuitive Windows 10 Pro OS.

Design and Display

As far as the design is concerned, this aluminum-clad notebook does make a few heads roll. Also, the ErgoLift design, clubbed with the inclusion of a detachable palm rest, adds to the credibility of this laptop for an engineering student.

The display, however, requires a more celebrated discussion, owing to the availability of a primary, 15.6-inch 4K panel. The OLED panel is glossy and comes with touch support. However, it is the 14-inch matte 4K panel that makes the Asus ZenBook Pro Duo one of the more functional gadgets on the list.

The secondary, 14-inch screen doubles down as a trackpad, app switcher, designing hub, or continuation to the 15.6-inch primary panel. Plus, Asus also throws in an active pen for stylus-based usage followed by other innovative, design-centric attributes.

Internals

Coming to the memory support, the ZenBook Pro Duo is loaded with 32GB RAM. The high-speed RAM module is good enough for managing a wide range of engineering tasks and processes with ease. Plus, managing electrical simulations using SPICE or basic computer programming is not every challenge for this best laptop for engineering students.

Therefore, if you are more interested in complex MATLAB simulations, CAD processes, or BIM applications using resources like CATIA, MAYA, and more, the Asus ZenBook Pro Duo, with 32GB RAM, is worth investing in.

As far as the storage support is concerned, you get access to a 1TB NVMe SSD, which is sizable enough for most engineering processes and leisure indulgences.

Productivity

The Asus ZenBook Pro Duo is one of the more productive laptops on the market, as it features a powerful i9 processor. The Intel Core i9-9980HK is a top-of-the-line, unlocked chipset, capable of handling every engineering application with ease.

Plus, there is the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 graphics card added into the mix that can help you manage 3D rendering, modeling, and other graphics-intensive processes with precision. The high-end GPU with Real-time Ray Tracing properties works closely with the octa-core processor, thereby allowing you to manage most engineering processes and workstation-like applications without breaking a sweat.

The Asus ZenBook Pro Duo also flaunts other innovative specs, including an integrated IR webcam, backlit keyboard, and an excellent connectivity suite, comprising Thunderbolt 3 and Type-C ports. Engineering students can reach out to online resources with ease, courtesy of the Wi-Fi 6 support.

The battery life isn’t top-shelf and you can expect something in the 5.5-hour range. Plus, at 5.51 pounds, the Asus ZenBook Pro Duo is quite heavy but certainly worth purchasing, if you are more of a desktop user.

Also read: Asus Zenbook Pro Duo Review.

Pros


  • Ultra-fast processor
  • RT-20 series graphics card with AI- capabilities
  • OLED panel with excellent sunlight visibility
  • Functional Screenpad Plus as the secondary display
  • ErgoLift design for better air circulation

Cons


  • Not the best battery around
  • Pricey
  • SSD module isn’t upgradeable
  • Usage patterns can be overwhelming for the first-time user

2. Acer Predator Helio 300– Best for Engineering Software

    Key Hardware Specs

  • Processor: Intel Core i5-10210U
  • Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 256GB SSD
  • Display: 15.6-inch Full HD (1920×1080)
  • OS: Windows 10
  • Battery Life: Up to 9.5-Hours
  • Highlights: Color Intelligent Screen

Review

The Acer Predator Helios 300 is the more balanced laptop for engineering students, capable of managing every demanding application with ease. What works perfectly for the students is the excellent keyboard on offer. Plus, this laptop also features an exciting array of connectivity-specific attributes, including high-speed data transfer ports, and Wi-Fi 6 support.

Coming to the engineering software solutions, I tested the likes of LabVIEW, SPICE, and CAD electrical and experienced zero lags or stutters.

Design and Display

The Acer Predator Helios 300 isn’t a pretty-looking laptop but it certainly gets the job done. At 5.07 pounds, this notebook qualifies as one of the more rugged notebooks in the market. Plus, the durable chassis ensures that an engineering student can carry the same around, without having to worry about the occasional bumps.

Plus, the thermal design also steals the limelight as the Predator Helios 300 doesn’t fall prey to throttling effects. The aesthetic venting, followed by the inclusion of the AeroBlade 3D heat-dissipating fan, is one of the better structural marvels that Acer takes pride in.

The 15.6-inch display is also worth applauding. Engineering students can therefore dig into leisure streaming and other activities, courtesy of the 1080p screen and the power-efficient LED-backlit technology.

Internals

Acer incorporates 16GB of system memory, which is good enough for most engineering software solutions. Plus, if you are planning a project or two, the 2666MHz clock speed of the RAM module allows you to seamlessly manage multi-tab browsing.

However, I was slightly disappointed by the 256GB SSD module. Then again, you can always upgrade the ineffectual built-in storage support with the two PCIe M.2 memory slots in play. Regardless, the storage drive still loads the Windows 10 OS in virtually no time.

Productivity

As far as the gadget performance is concerned, the Predator Helios 300 features an i7-9750H chipset. This SoC takes productivity to a whole new level by allowing you to reach turbo clock speeds of up to 4.5GHz. The hexa-core mobile SoC handles multi-core processes like CAD processing with ease, whilst making it possible for you to handle single-core tasks like audio processing with perfection.

There is also a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti graphics card into the mix, based on the Turing architecture. Therefore, engineering tasks involving 3D rendering and other graphics-intensive indulgences can be taken care of without any trouble whatsoever.

The cumulative performances of the GPU and the processor are perfect for almost every engineering task.

Coming to the additional specs, this notebook brings forth an HD webcam, stereo speakers, integrated microphones, and reliable yet functional backlit keyboard. As is the case with any high-end notebook, the battery life isn’t world-class at 6 hours.

Overall, if you are looking for an efficient laptop for engineering students at a decent price, the Predator Helios 300 is a pretty good option.

Pros


  • High-speed RAM
  • Doubles down as a mid-range gaming laptop
  • Perfect for every B.Tech stream
  • Upgradeable storage
  • The keyboard boasts excellent travel

Cons


  • Low internal storage space
  • Heavier than usual

3. Lenovo ThinkPad E15: Best for professional engineers

    Key Hardware Specs

  • Intel Core i5
  • 16GB RAM
  • 512GB SSD
  • Intel UHD 620
  • 15.6-inch Full HD screen
  • Battery lasts up to 7 hours

Review

The Lenovo ThinkPad E15 is one of the better laptops for engineering students, courtesy of a portable form factor and an excellent battery life. The best thing about this laptop is the wide range of compatible models, associated with this brand.

However, the version that is being reviewed boasts a pretty competitive specs sheet led by a standard webcam with a privacy shutter and a decent set of ports, including Type-C, USB 2.0, HDMI, and more.

Design and Display

The Lenovo ThinkPad E15 is a rugged notebook, best suited for engineering students who aren’t always careful with gadget handling. At 4.3 pounds, the thickness and heft are manageable. Plus, the overall design adheres to the basic engineering standards with Lenovo giving ample headspace to the trackpad and associated keyboard.

The 15.6-inch 1080p display is good enough for most engineering students. Plus, Lenovo brings in a TN panel to keep the automatic refresh rates higher than usual. What works perfectly for the engineering students is the inclusion of an anti-glare panel. This attribute keeps ocular strains to a minimum and allows engineering students to toil relentlessly, regardless of the tasks at hand.

Internals

As far as the memory support is concerned, the Lenovo ThinkPad E15 features 16GB RAM. The existing chunk of system memory is capable of driving a majority of engineering processes, without breaking a sweat.

The storage support for the reviewed model is tagged at 512GB, which is more than adequate for an engineering student and even a mid-level professional.

Needless to say, the existing memory configuration is actually perfect for electrical engineering students, who are more inclined towards using the like of Multism, ETAP, MATLAB, and other relevant resources.

Productivity

The existing Intel i5 processor ensures decent processing power. Clubbed with 16GB RAM, the octa-threaded chipset is fast and power-efficient, at the same time. The 10th generation Intel Core i5-10210U mobile SoC ensures that zero throttling.

However, we wouldn’t recommend this machine for CAD users owing to the unavailability of a dedicated graphics card. The existing model flaunts the UHD 620 graphics card, which works in tandem with the 10th generation Intel core processor and is best suited for electrical and programming streams.

In addition to these primary attributes, the Lenovo ThinkPad E15 also boasts a 7-hour battery life followed by the revolutionary TPM 2.0 security chipset to the engineers to safeguard their systems. Plus, the ThinkShutter privacy support associated with the webcam makes it one of the better laptops for video conferencing and online classes.

Pros

  • Sizable RAM
  • Power-efficient processor
  • Portable
  • Comes with a dedicated pointer that sticks to the keyboard
  • Perfect machine for chemical, electrical, and computer-focused engineering students

Cons

  • Lacks dedicated graphics card
  • Not the most aesthetic option around

4. HP Spectre x360- Best Hybrid for engineering students

    Key Hardware Specs

  •  10th generation Intel core i7 processor
  • 8GB RAM
  • 512GB SSD + 32GB optane storage
  • Intel Iris integrated graphics
  • 13.3-inch 1080p touch screen
  • Battery lasts up to 10 hours

Review

The HP Spectre x360 isn’t your regular hybrid but a compact laptop for engineering students who prefer portable yet functional computing resources. While we shall take a closer look at the primary specifications and structural attributes later in this discussion, the HP Spectre x360 is best characterized by Wi-Fi 6 and other reliable connectivity-centric specs.

Design and Display

The HP Spectre x360 flaunts a metallic chassis and weighs a mere 2.87 pounds. The 13-inch variant is therefore easy to carry around and ensures multi-mode operability. This 2-in-1 also comes equipped with a Full HD display, with the touch screen exhibiting an overall resolution of 1920×1080 pixels.

As far as an engineering student is concerned, the design and display work in tandem to make the gadget more resourceful, in terms of content creation and attending online classes.

Internals

The HP Spectre x360 also brings in 8GB of low-power DDR4 RAM. The existing chunk is more than enough for basic to mid-range software solutions, courtesy of the excellent clock speed of up to 3200MHz.

I was also impressed with the dual storage module, comprising the standard 512GB SSD unit and a fast yet functional 32GB optane memory module. Plus, the storage drives, regardless of the one you choose, are good enough for booting up the Windows 10 OS in virtually no time.

Productivity

Performances are top-notch, courtesy of the 10th gen Intel Core i7-1065G7 processor. Even in absence of a dedicated GPU, the graphics-optimized processor is more than capable of handling basic designing, electrical software solutions, and applications concerning chemical engineering like ASSETT, Aspen HYSYS, and more with ease.

Despite featuring the Iris Plus integrated graphics co-processor, the Spectre x360 is still capable of churning out exceptional processing performances. In addition to the mentioned specs, the Spectre x360 also boasts other reliable specs, including two Thunderbolt 3 ports, a fingerprint scanner for added security, and a 10-hour battery backup.

Overall, if portability is what you seek, the Spectre x360 from HP is one of the better options to invest in.

Pros


  • Future-proof processor
  • Durable chassis
  • Multi-mode operability
  • High-speed data transfer speeds courtesy of TB 3 ports
  • High-speed optane memory

Cons


  • Lacks dedicated graphics card
  • Lacks a dedicated optical drive

5. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme- Best in terms of Durability

    Key Hardware Specs

  • Intel Core i7-9750H
  • 32GB RAM
  • 1TB SSD
  • 15.6-inch 1080p screen
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650
  • Battery lasts up to 15 Hours

Review

As an engineering student, you can never go wrong with the ThinkPad X1 Extreme. This extremely durable and functional laptop from Lenovo offers the best of both worlds to the engineering students, i.e. power and portability.

Plus, this is one of the few gadgets in the market to showcase a diversified array of USB ports, including Thunderbolt 3, HDMI, USB 3.1, HDMI, and more. Also, much like any other ThinkPad series, the X1 Extreme also boasts a durable keyboard with an integrated pointer, right at the center.

Design and Display

In terms of design, this laptop for an engineering student is more of a rugged entity. However, the durability doesn’t come at the expense of heft as the device weighs a mere 3.76 pounds. The portable laptop flaunts a typical, run-of-the-mill layout with the black layering adding to its credibility.

Display-wise, I was more than impressed by the 15.6-inch 1080p screen. The existing Full HD display also features anti-glare support and takes visual and color reproduction to a new level, courtesy of the Dolby Vision technology.

If benefits for the engineering students are to be enumerated, the display feels good enough for most mechanical and electrical engineering software solutions. Plus, if you are also interested in leisure and entertainment, the FHD screen takes good care of the streaming quality.

Internals

If you are a student in the final year of your engineering coursework, you are expected to handle a wide range of software solutions and projects with precision. This is where the 32GB RAM associated with the ThinkPad X1 Extreme can come in handy.

Plus, multiple simulations, handled simultaneously over SPICE and MATLAB hardly slow down this insanely loaded machine, courtesy of the dual-socketed RAM module. You also get a 1TB SSD storage module to manage the resources, eBooks, online lectures, and other engineering tools. Plus, the solid-state drive also allows you to boot up the Windows 10 Pro OS in almost no time.

Productivity

For those interested in learning more about the performance of this laptop, the Intel i7-9750H chipset is quite a remarkable inclusion, boasting a turbo clock speed of up to 4.5GHz. The hexa-core chipset is perfectly complemented by the GTX 1650 Max-Q graphics card, which is good enough for most graphic-intensive applications that you might have to use as an engineering student.

In addition to these attributes, the X1 Extreme also features a sizable battery module, capable of churning out close to 15 hours at one go. However, I would personally recommend you to not use this laptop for gaming, as it is much better equipped for handling academic and professional tasks.

Pros


  • Massive storage support
  • A sizable chunk of RAM to avoid system slowdowns
  • High-speed internet access courtesy of Wi-Fi 6 support
  • 4GB graphics memory for managing texture intensive CAD processes
  • Fantastic battery life

Cons


  • Average audio quality
  • Basic design

6. Dell XPS 15 7590- Best in terms of Versatility

Key Hardware Specs

  • Intel Core i7 processor
  • 16GB RAM
  • 256GB solid-state drive
  • GTX 1650
  • 15.6-inch 4K screen
  • Battery lasts up to 8 Hours

Review

The new and improved Dell XPS 15 7590 is a highly versatile laptop for engineering students to rely on. What works well for the students and professionals is the responsive user interface followed by a diversified connectivity suite.

Plus, this is one of the few gadgets in the market to feature a fingerprint scanner, helping students secure their work and resources in this keenly contested arena.

Design and Display

In terms of design, the Dell XPS 15 7590 resembles any Dell Inspiron model, courtesy of the metal-clad chassis and the durable layout. Plus, this meticulously crafted Dell Inspiron lookalike is also loaded with several structural features, including an efficient thermal setup, integrated fingerprint scanner, and whatnot.

The 15.6-inch 4K panel feels overkill to an engineering student but ensures better streaming quality provided they have plans of indulging in leisure. However, I feel in love with the anti-reflective panel, which ensures better sunlight visibility for students who prefer taking their laptops out in the open.

In addition to that, the Infinity Edge paneling furthers the credibility of the display; thereby making room for a wider screen real-estate. This means you can view the software and even leisure projections sans the restrictive bezels, hindering your vision.

Internals

Next up is the 16GB RAM. The Dell XPS 15 7590 follows the Dell Inspiron suit and offers a dual-socketed RAM module. Plus, you can upgrade the memory if you want to carry this laptop through the academic years, right into the professional domain.

There is also a 256GB solid-state drive in the picture. Despite the speed of file and program retrievals, I wasn’t particularly impressed with the size of the storage drive. Still, loading the Windows 10 OS didn’t feel like a stretch.

Productivity

The 9th generation Intel Core i7 processor is a reliable inclusion. The hexa-core architecture allows you to handle diverse applications and programming tasks with ease. This means you can use this laptop for every engineering stream, without experiencing slowdowns.

I also liked the GTX 1650 graphics card, which covers you for basic mid-range gaming and a host of graphics-intensive CAD processes, synonymous with mechanical and other engineering streams.

Overall, the performances exhibited by the Dell XPS 15 7590 are top-notch. Also, the Thunderbolt 3 and Wi-Fi 6 support further the potency and credibility of this laptop for an engineering student

Pros


  • Premium construction that is durable enough
  • Upgradeable system memory
  • Supports ultra-fast data transfer
  • Graphics card supports mid-range,            recreational gaming
  • The screen flaunts excellent sunlight          visibility

Cons


  • Battery life could have been better
  • Middling storage space

7. Acer Aspire E 15- Best budget variant for an Engineering student

Key Hardware Specs

  • 8th gen Intel Core i5 processor
  • 8GB of RAM
  • 256GB SSD
  • GeForce MX150 graphics card
  • 15.6-inch 1080p screen
  • Battery lasts up to 15 Hours

Review

For engineering students seeking more budget-centric laptops, the Aspire E 15 comes forth as a credible addition to the list. While there are quite a few things going right for this laptop, Acer Aspire E 15 makes a lasting impression when the affordable price point is concerned.

Despite the budget tag, the specifications hardly get trimmed with Acer making room for a diverse connectivity suite, beefed-up battery, and other functional resources in an HD webcam, backlit keyboard, stereo speakers, and more.

Design and Display

Coming to the design, the Aspire E 15 is one of the better-looking laptops on the list. However, it is still heavier as compared to the ThinkPads and the Dell Inspiron notebooks at 5.27 pounds. Acer promises excellent manufacturing durability and lives up to the same, sans doubts.

The 15.6-inch display, however, can make a few heads roll owing to the FHD resolution, IPS paneling, and widescreen viewing experience. This means every engineering software interface looks adequately bright, if and when viewed on the interface of the Acer Aspire E 15.

Internals

Acer makes room for an 8GB RAM module, which is good enough for most mid-range mechanical, chemical, and electrical engineering applications. The dual-channel system memory, however, adds to the speed and credibility of the multitasking processes.

Storage support feels slightly stretched as you only get a 256GB solid-state drive to work with.

Productivity

The Aspire E 15 houses the Intel Core i5-8250U processor, right out of the box. Despite being a low-power chipset, it gets the job done and allows students to use the quad-core architecture to their advantage for running most apps like SPICE, MATLAB, and more without a lot of trouble.

However, you need to be careful about multitasking while using demanding simulation apps like these as only a few processes can eat through the existing RAM allotment. Plus, the GeForce MX150 GPU is a basic yet reliable GPU to work with, which allows Acer Aspire E 15 to manage basic CAD applications and renders without promising way too much.

Overall, the performances are pretty commendable considering the affordability on display. Plus, the Aspire E 15 also promises 15 hours of unhindered battery life followed by the inclusion of Type-C, HDMI, and other reliable connectivity-centric specs.

Lastly, there is an ultra-fast DVD drive to make use of, allowing individuals to revert to the traditional ways of learning, provided all USB ports are booked.

Pros

  • High-speed processor
  • Upgradeable RAM
  • Keyboard offers ample key travel for content creators
  • Sharp display
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Lacks Wi-Fi 6
  • Might run hot
  • Restricted SSD space

8. Razer Blade 15: Best for Content Creation

    Key Hardware Specs

  • Intel i7-9750H
  • 16GB RAM
  • 512GB SSD
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060
  • 15.6-inch Full HD screen
  • Battery lasts up to 6 hours

Review

For individuals with a penchant for gaming and content creation, there cannot be a better laptop than the Razer Blade 15. This notebook houses every gamer-friendly attribute there is followed by a lot of processing firepower for managing engineering software solutions with ease.

What enthralls most engineering students is the availability of Biometric security support, capable of protecting data and resources against online and offline threats. Plus, this laptop for engineering students boasts an extensive connectivity suite, comprising Thunderbolt 3, Wi-Fi 6, and other resources.

Design and Display

The Razer Blade 15 is one of the more aesthetic laptops on the list, courtesy of metallic undertones, cleaner lines, and an efficient thermal design. Plus, Razer doesn’t stick to the standard run-of-the-mill layout and instead focuses on aluminum unibody and an embedded logo.

As far as the display is concerned, the 15.6-inch 1080p screen offers an immersive experience. However, I was most impressed by the excellent 144Hz refresh rate, which is a great asset for gamers, video editors, and computer engineering students who are more inclined towards designing graphics-centric applications.

Plus, the 100 percent sRGB color gamut also makes an impression for students who are more inclined towards experiencing content at the highest possible visual clarity.

Internals

System speeds are top-notch, courtesy of the 16GB, dual-channel RAM module. The allocated system memory is more than adequate for every engineering application and the concerned memory obligations.

As far as the storage support is concerned, there is a 512GB solid-state drive to rely on. If this seems slightly restrictive, you can always upgrade the same via the integrated, 2.5”, SATA hard drive bay.

Productivity

The Razer Blade 15 makes room for an ultra-fast i7-9750H chipset, capable of running both mid-range and demanding applications without any trouble, whatsoever. Unlike a comparable AMD Ryzen variant, this processor doesn’t heat up way too much and even supports extensive multitasking.

Lending support to the hexa-core processor is the RTX 2060 graphics card. As it is an RT 20-series GPU, you can expect AI and RTRT support with the same. Plus, if you are an advanced CAD professional, this laptop can also be an extremely useful addition.

Apart from the mentioned attributes, the Razer Blade 15 also promises a Bloatware-free version of the Windows 10 OS followed by a reasonably crafted backlit keyboard, factory calibrated screen, and a decent-enough battery life that goes well beyond the 6-hour mark.

Pros


  • High-end processing conglomerate for better throughput
  • Integrated biometric security
  • Efficient cooling setup
  • Enviable aesthetics
  • 16 GB RAM is good enough for most software solutions

Cons


  • Expensive for a student
  • Shallow keyboard

9. Apple MacBook Pro- Best User-Interface

    Key Hardware Specs

  • 9th gen i7 processor
  • 16 GB RAM
  • 512GB solid-state drive
  • AMD Radeon Pro 5300M graphics card
  • 16-inch Retina display
  • Battery lasts up to 11 hours

Review

The MacBook Pro is arguably the best laptop for a student if the user interface and ease of operability are some of your priorities. Despite being less affordable, investing in the MacBook Pro is justified, courtesy of the floating Touch Bar, integrated touch ID, and enviable acoustics, led by the six-speaker setup.

Design and Display

The MacBook Pro flaunts a premium yet standard design, characterized by a metal-clad chassis and an overall heft of 4.3 pounds. While Apple hardly deviates from its standard design, the layout is still pretty innovative and worth applauding.

The screen, on the other hand, isn’t the usual FHD panel but a more vibrant retina display. Also, the 16-inch screen assumes an overall resolution of 3072×1920, making it one of the brightest laptops for engineering students.

Internals

The MacBook Pro 16 stacks in 16 GB RAM, which is a reliable multitasking resource. The high-bandwidth RAM ensures that renders, simulations, and models, pertaining to specific software solutions are managed without issues.

Coming to the storage, there is a 512GB SSD unit to work with. The quality and speed of the SSD storage unit allow the macOS to manage dual boot and single BIOS setup with ease.

Productivity

Be it the dual boot setup or highly demanding engineering software solutions, the featured Intel Core i7 processor is certainly a reliable inclusion. Plus, there is an AMD Radeon Pro GPU assisting the chipset, making it easier to handle workstation-grade graphics-intensive tasks.

Plus, if you end up choosing the dual boot mode to get Windows 10 or Linux as the secondary OS, the MacBook Pro has enough resources to ensure seamless and lag-free computing.

In addition to the mentioned features, the Apple MacBook Pro also makes room for a reliable backlit keyboard with decent key travel and a sizable battery unit that can churn out close to 11 hours, on a single charge.

Lastly, if you are planning to purchase a laptop that can serve even after college, the MacBook Pro is a far better option, courtesy of the four Thunderbolt 3 ports. These units ensure faster data transfers, peripheral connections, and USB charging support, making it easier for the students to experience power and portability, all at once.

Pros


  • Premium build quality
  • High-speed RAM
  • One of the fastest storage modules
  • Workstation-grade graphics card
  • Secured touch ID
  • Four TB 3 ports

Cons


  • Lacks Wi-Fi 6 support
  • Basic and expected design


10. Microsoft Surface Pro 7: Best for Online Classes

Key Hardware Specs

  • Intel Core i5 processor
  • 8GB RAM
  • 128GB SSD
  • Intel Iris Plus graphics
  • 12.3-inch PixelSense Screen
  • Battery lasts up to 10.5 hours

Review

The Microsoft Surface Pro 7 is the last laptop on the list, best suited for engineering students seeking a silent machine for managing online classes. While the specs sheet is stacked with several top-shelf options, you are free to use the same as a tablet, in case globetrotting is one of your preferences.

Design and Display

The Surface Pro 7 from Microsoft is crafted with precision. This means you can expect a metal-clad chassis, with magnesium being the primary component. Plus, the innovative venting strategy makes it one of the calmest engineering laptops in the market.

Next in line is the multi-mode operability, allowing you to use this notebook even as a tablet. Plus, reviewed variant weighs close to 1.70 pounds, which is pretty manageable for such a small and portable device.

The display, on the other hand, might be slightly underwhelming for certain engineering students, owing to the smallish real estate. The 12.3-inch PixelSense screen is bright enough and even offers multi-touch support.

Internals

The Surface Pro 7 houses 8GB RAM and allows you to manage most basic and mid-level engineering software solutions with ease. Plus, there is a 128GB SSD storage space to store files, apps, and other resources.

While the memory allocation isn’t top-notch, the Surface Pro 7 still promises decent coverage for most apps and engineering materials.

Productivity

As far as the processing firepower is concerned, this variant houses the Intel i5 processor. The graphics optimized, 10th gen variant is exceedingly resourceful and allows you to handle most electrical and chemical engineering applications without breaking a sweat.

The performances exhibited by the processor and the Iris Plus graphics co-processor are decent enough considering the portable layout and functionality of this device.

In addition to these attributes, Microsoft also brings in a dual-camera setup, powerful speakers, a TPM chipset for added security, and an exceptional battery backup lasting up to 10.5 hours. Therefore, if online academic follow-ups and noise-free operations are some of your priorities, the Surface Pro 7 from Microsoft is worth investing in.

Plus, if you are still forced to run 3D models the Surface Pro 7 does all right, provided you are accustomed to viewport integration and the models are smaller in size

Pros


  • Good enough for every computer, chemical, and electrical engineering app
  • Perfect laptop to carry on trips
  • Can still manage basic 3D models
  • Long-lasting battery
  • Vibrant screen

Cons


  • Not meant for applications like Catia
  • No Thunderbolt 3 port

Buyers’ Guide: How to Find the Best Laptops for Engineering Students?

Purchasing the perfect laptop can be difficult if you are a student. In most cases, engineering students have a ballpark in mind while selecting a laptop. However, I feel, every student can zero in on the best possible machine, if he or she adheres perfectly to the buying guide.

In the subsequent sections, we shall take a look at the aspects that every student needs to keep in mind before making a purchase:

1. Stream

Your choice of laptop should depend on the engineering stream that you are pursuing. While a basic laptop with an i5 processor and 8GB RAM might be more than adequate for a freshman, you must ascertain the future and scope of academics before selecting one.

For instance, if you are a mechanical engineer, it is better to consider laptops with i7 processors and at least 16GB RAM. This way, you can easily manage 3D engineering requirements, regardless of the complexity at hand.

Similarly, engineering specializations like computer engineering, civil, chemical, Aerospace, and more are better managed if you have the right computing device on you.

2. Scenario

Your choice of laptop should also take the pandemic scenario into consideration. For instance, keeping the current scenario in mind, it is advisable to purchase a laptop that comes loaded with a reliable webcam, a decent set of speakers, and a portable chassis.

In addition to that, you should also keep a close eye on the battery life of the laptop as you wouldn’t want to run short of juice, right in the middle of a lecture.

3. Software Choices

If you are planning to invest in a demanding notebook, it becomes all the more important to consider the types of software solutions that you might have to encounter during your academic coursework. For instance, if you are more inclined towards electrical engineering and computer science, the laptop should be powerful enough to handle LabVIEW, SPICE, and CAD electrical.

High-end civil engineering resources include Revit whereas if you are into aeronautical and aerospace engineering, it is important to invest in a laptop capable of handling MATLAB, ANSYS, CATIA, and more.

Your choice of laptop should therefore take the specs into account. For instance, most of the enlisted apps can be handled if you have an i7 H-series processor at your disposal. Plus, 16GB RAM also helps in this regard.

However, for electrical and computer engineering requirements, Intel i5 is the bare minimum followed by 256GB storage space and 8GB of high-speed RAM.

Plus, if you are looking to emphasize the system memory, it is important to check the minimum RAM requirement of the concerned applications before proceeding. For instance, MATLAB or even Mathcad requires at least 4GB to proceed whereas LabVIEW, C++, and even Excel require 2GB each.

Things get trickier for the likes of ASPEN, 3D CAD, CAE, and other modeling and rendering platforms, which need at least 8GB RAM and a minimum of an i5 processor to work sans lags. Therefore, if you want to run most of these software solutions on the PC, 16GB RAM seems like a prudent ballpark.

4. Display

For a student, gadget display shouldn’t be a deal-breaker. Plus, if you are planning to invest in a powerful machine, you can expect at least a 15.6-inch Full HD screen. However, for students, it is advisable to focus on anti-reflective panels and anti-glare displays, specifically to keep ocular strains to a minimum.

Also, as a student, the display size is also an important attribute to consider. Keeping the academic preferences in mind, we would recommend you to go for at least 14 inches, in case you are planning to get a fully functional laptop. For hybrids though, anything above the 12-inch mark seems like a good choice.

5. Form Factor

Most engineering students prefer standard clamshell laptops. However, in this discussion, I have willingly enlisted certain Hybrid notebooks, detachables, and even standard clamshell models with touch screen support. Still, the final choice is up to the engineers as they need to understand their preferences, workload, and traveling requirements, before taking a call.

6. Connectivity

Believe it when I say, connectivity happens to be a major deciding factor for engineering students, when it comes to picking up a laptop. However, the type of connectivity resources depends on the money you are willing to spare and the features you are aiming for. For instance, if you are in the final year and planning to get a laptop that allows you to pair high-speed external displays and data transfer devices with ease, opt for models with Thunderbolt 3 ports, HDMI, or Type-C slots.

Certain laptops also come with dedicated serial ports but they are mostly restricted to workstation-grade units. Plus, you can also look for DVD drives, Bluetooth support, and even elusive projector ports.

7. CPU

While we did talk about the CPU in a discussion concerning engineering software, it is necessary to choose one with the most promise, if you are looking at lot term solutions. For instance, if you are only looking to have the laptop for your engineering coursework, a basic Intel i5 or even i7 processor might be more than adequate.

8. RAM

Selecting an engineering laptop according to the RAM allotment is the best thing ever. Keeping an eye on the system memory allows you to pick a device that can handle multiple apps, software solutions, and multitasking processes with ease.

9. Storage Space

Engineering students need to manage several files, applications, and resources. This is why it becomes all the more important to select a laptop with sizable storage space, preferably 1TB SSD to manage diverse requirements without putting additional pressure on the system.

10. Operating System

While the operating system isn’t always a cause for concern for students, Windows 10 is more preferred owing to the highest possible compatible levels. In terms of the operating system, Windows 10 is one of the better resources as most engineering software solutions work seamlessly with this platform. However, if you are fine with the Apple ecosystem, macOS is also a pretty good option.

FAQs

Q1. How much should an engineering student spend on a laptop?

A1. While there isn’t any fixed price point that an engineering student should eye, the maximum spending limit should depend on the engineering specialization, skill level, and software usage of the individual. For instance, an electrical and computer engineering student should look for a mid-range machine whereas high-level mechanical and civil engineers are better off purchasing laptops well above the $1000 price point.

Q2. Do engineering students need a powerful laptop?

A2. Engineering students dependent on software solutions like Revit, CATIA, MATLAB, and more usually require powerful laptops, featuring intel i7 processors, 16GB RAM, and at least an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 graphics card.

Q3. Which laptop brand is best for engineering students?

A3. As per inferences, speculations, and extensive testing, the Acer is one of the better laptop brands for engineering students followed by Lenovo.

Q4. What kind of laptop do engineers use?

A4. While engineers usually prefer workstation-grade machines, high-end gaming laptops can also help the students, provided they have decent heat dissipating capabilities.

Final Verdict: Which is the best laptop for engineering?

As mentioned, I extensively reviewed 10 high-end machines to finally put up a list of laptops for engineering students to consider, during or even beyond the coursework. However, if you are still confused regarding the choices, I would recommend you to pick the ZenBook Pro Duo for more holistic coverage.

Budget seekers, however, can pick up the Acer Aspire E15 to manage most applications with considerable ease. 

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