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The best laptops for engineering students are powerful machines that can handle the software and possibly hardware activities supporting the intensive coursework and studies required. The best laptops for engineering students would be powerful enough to do the work in light blazing speed, have enough battery fluid to last through the day and more, lightweight enough to be carried around college in a bag or with hands, and aesthetic enough to be called an engineer’s gadget.
How many laptops do you think fulfill the above descriptions? Many? Few? None? Or one?
Well, before now it was quite difficult to find a laptop that would fit all the requirements stated and still come at a good price, especially for a student’s budget. Thankfully, manufacturers have expended enough on R&D that the advances in CPU and GPU technology have brought about powerful, long-lasting yet aesthetically pleasing laptop machines. Laptops that can easily tackle engineering projects and computations. Laptops that are actually specially built for the purpose of real computational work.
In addition, you will find that the best engineering laptops can also double as the best gaming laptops. This is because modern games have similar requirements as modern engineering applications in terms of CPUs, GPUs, and memory.
Read on to find our list of the 6 best laptop for engineering students. A list of the A-list.
1. Dell XPS 15
The Dell XPS series is widely regarded as a powerful machine, although its sleek and stylish design may tell you a different story. However, this is the laptop that engineering students would dream of. Power, capacity, and style. It can juggle multiple tasks with ease. It also comes optionally with Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Ti GPU which supports the PC with more power for intensive CAD designs and additional gaming (as students).
When you add the excellent speakers and the immersive display plus the great battery (something Dell is respected for), you can decide to stop reading here and go no further than number one. The battery on the 4K version of the Dell XPS 15 lasts eight hours, the 3.5K OLED lasts seven hours, while the FHD version lasts even longer.
2. MacBook Pro 2021
Since you decided that you want something more than the Dell XPS 15, the MacBook Pro 2021 is what you term “beauty and beast.” Thanks to the M1 Max chip which is integrated into the 16-inch Mac, the laptop is able to deliver excellent performance. The display (though thin bezels) is a rival to the Dell XPS and a refresh rate of 120hz is something every engineering student looks for these days which is standard on the Mac.
The MacBook Pro has lived up to its name in the past, but it is going above and beyond in this new version as it packs HDMI display port and an SD memory slot. Everything about the Mac Pro has been reimagined and redesigned. The absence of a touchscreen may be a concern still.
3. Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio
The Surface Laptop was released in 2021 amidst euphoria. The laptop was Microsoft’s flagship for Windows 11, and has been advertised as the go-to laptop for productivity, entertainment, and creativity – all three things an engineering student does on a daily basis.
The laptop comes with an Intel 11th Gen CPU and 16 GB RAM which is more than enough for many engineering software. With an option for the discrete Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti GPU, this is a great choice for heavy-duty computation and CAD work plus gaming when you’re back in the dorm with your mates.
While we still prefer the Dell XPS in terms of pure performance, it is hard to beat this laptop in other aspects including the impressive sliding hinged display, ability to be used as a tablet when needed, and the addition of a $129 Surface Slim Pen 2 stylus which turns the display into a drawing board for the creatives.
4. Dell XPS 17
The Dell XPS 17 is a big screen that is excellent for heavy-duty computational and design activities. Configured with a GeForce RTX 3050 graphics card and Core i7 CPU, this laptop handles the heaviest data and software easily and without a glitch. Although it is bigger than its 15-inch sibling described above, it remains a slim laptop that you can be carried around the campus.
The beautiful 17-inch thin-bezelled display is definitely one of the attractions of the laptop. Add to that the option to customize the laptop as Dell always does, this can be the best machine you have ever purchased. It would cost more, but you can increase the RAM from a base of 16GB to 64GB and up to 2 TB of storage space starting from a base of 512Gb.
5. 13-inch MacBook Pro 2020
Thanks to the M1 chip produced by Apple, the 2020 13inch MacBook Pro is another top laptop for engineering students and grads. This machine will last 16 hours on a single charge. You can finish your complex programming structures and jump right into your favorite gaming titles, then cool off with a 90-minute movie. It’s the epitome of student life.
The laptop’s retina display is colorful and bright for any visual activity on the PC. Your photos and videos will look stunning and sharp, making this 13-inch MacBook Pro one of the best laptops for photo and video editing. It is available in 256GB up to 2TB versions in terms of storage space as well as 8GB up to 16GB RAM.
6. HP Spectre x360 2021
HP Spectre x360 2021 is a 2-in-1 laptop that has been reimagined for a modern engineering student. It uses 11th Gen Intel Core i5/i7 and is available in RAM options from 8GB to 16GB. You can also get it in FHD display of 4K while the storage space is available from 512GB to 2TB, giving you several options depending on your preference.
The laptop is especially recommended for engineering students who are into programming thanks to its super sleek, modern features including an incredible battery life of 12 hours, slim design, and portability. It also sits on your lap immaculately.
Things to consider when choosing the best engineering laptops
There are several things you need to ponder before buying any laptop online. There are even more things to consider if you want to buy the very best engineering laptop for you. It’s not just about Intel Core i5 and RAM size. Here are important considerations you should make.
Engineering students need a computer that is powerful enough to handle college-level assignments and practice. For this reason, it is recommended that you factor in the processing power of the laptop you are buying. You should look at minimum RAM of 8G and CPU rating of Intel Core i5 or AMD Ryzen 5. This is the minimum you should look at; anything below may be subpar. As a matter of fact, you should spend more if you have the capacity as it will pay dividend in the long term.
The best laptops for engineering students are laptops that would be designed as high-end PCs and they would most likely come with top-of-the-range visual quality. These laptops would have discrete graphics cards that would enable them process super-large files such as CAD programs. The benefit is that you can work fast on your laptop and can see every detail of your work in crisp pictures. As a side note, if you decide to game in your free time, you have a machine that is able to take on most modern gaming titles as well. You should lookout for a laptop that comes loaded with a discrete Nvidia or AMD graphics card.
3. Operating System
The major operating systems are Windows, Chrome OS, and macOS. Laptops with ChromeOS are generally referred to as Chromebooks, and only Apple manufactures MacOS laptops – MacBook. Windows is the most commonly used OS. Chrome OS is generally not recommended for heavy duties, while MacOS isn’t compatible with certain software programs. In this sense, Windows is naturally the go-to platform if you will be doing heavy tasks and using several programs that may not be available on Mac. Windows may not necessarily be the perfect fit either which is the reason why many engineering students eventually install Linux OS on their laptops.
It is safe to say that you can pick up any modern gaming PC and it would suffice for an engineering student. Nonetheless, you should look at our list of things to consider above before you pay for such a PC because many laptops are now tagged gaming and do not feature a discrete Nvidia or AMD graphics card or any similar chip.
In that case, we have listed some of the best laptops for engineering students here for you. Feel free to comment or email us if you want further details on your purchase decision.