Stepping into a college or high school needs a transformation from notebooks to laptops, homeworks to projects and assignments. Similarly in the current pandemic situation most of the academias are relying and shifted to mostly on online classes and Zoom meetings. However for students of the Engineering field, a nice laptop with suitable features is extremely important, so that you can have a solid grip on the learning process even at the comfort zone of your home. Therefore we have curated the best laptop for engineering students for the year 2021.
These laptops include Chromebooks, Notebooks and Macbook as well. Each one of them is highly recommended for students who have already stepped up the ladder and to those who have just got an admission in a high school. In this guide we have laptops for mechanical engineering, computer, Civil, Aerospace, Chemical and laptop for Software Engineering students. Whatsmore is, if you are struggling with your limited budget, we also have a section for budget laptops for engineering students. Then what are you waiting for? Having questions regarding the scope of these laptops for students, then read the FAQs given below which will help you to make a concrete and futuristic decision.
Frequently Asked Questions About The Best Laptop For Engineering Students
What is the best configuration for a laptop for Chemical Engineering?
For a course study of Chemical Engineering you will come across mostly to the softwares like, MATLAB, MS Office, Mathworks Simulink, SuperPro Designer, DWSIM, COMSOL Multiphysics, OpenFOAM and many more like that. For these softwares, you need Intel i5 or AMD Ryzen 5, 4GB minimum and 8GB RAM is recommended with Windows OS or MAC. Whereas for softwares like, Aspen Plus, Aspen HYSYS, gPROMS, Fluent, PolyFlow, Flow-3D etc you need at least 8GB RAM, though 16GB RAM with i7 processor is the most recommended for the smooth performance.
What is the best configuration for a laptop for Civil Engineering?
There are a number of softwares keep coming once you opt for a Civil Engineering field of study as a major. If talking about the popular 3D CAD or Autodesk Civil 3D, you need a processor with up to 3.0GHz processing speed, 8GB to 16GB RAM, a discrete graphics card with up to 2GB VRAM (1GB VRAM at least) which must support DirectX 11 and OpenGL with Windows or MacOS. For ETABS you need Intel i5 or i7, 8GB RAM (4GB RAM minimum), a video card with DirectX 11 at least and with Windows OS. A similar configuration is recommended also for softwares like Revit, STAAD Pro, 3Ds MAX, Solid Works, CATIA, Sketchup, 3D or 2D rendering etc. As for the hard drive, you need to have at least 256GB local storage in the form of an SSD (HDD is not recommended) for all the applications or softwares to perform optimally.
What is the best configuration for a laptop for Software Engineering?
Whether its Software engineering or computer engineering, a laptop must be capable of handling applications or software with Scripting languages and coding like, Python, PHP, CSS, C++, Java script, HTML, Ruby, Objective -c, C++, Haskell. These are more RAM intensive applications than CPU centric. However for the best programming and coding experience you need 8GB RAM (at least 4GB RAM) , 4 core processor, 256GB SSD or more, since the field for software engineering also have to deal with graphics, it would be better to have discrete video card otherwise for budget laptops you can do work with integrated graphic card as well.
What is the best configuration for a laptop for Aerospace Engineering?
Aerospace Engineering is mostly condensed with 3D modeling softwares including CAD, Auto Desk, CATIA, Solid Works, Solid Edge, CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamic), ADS (Aircraft Design Software), OpenVSP and many others in similar spectrum. All these applications and softwares require at least a 4 core processor (6cores are recommended) with i5 or i7 or AMD equivalent, minimum 4GB RAM but 8GB to 16GB RAM is the most ideal, 500GB to 1TB SSD and of course a dedicated graphics card for sure.
What is the better choice among desktops or laptops for engineering students?
Laptop vs desktops is a debate without an end. Whether it’s for a student, gamer or a business user, both of them have an upper hand on each other in different perspectives. However for students belong to any field, desktops are extremely powerful, upgradable and have better cooling mechanisms compared to laptops, although at the cost of being expensive. Whereas, for the major section for a student is the portability, in this laptops are immensely popular. For a home or office ground, desktops or PC is a reliable choice, but for a student who has to go from one classroom to another, a laptop is the perfect choice instead of an old method of carrying a notebook.
Not an Engineering student? Checkout these best Laptops for all Students
List: Best Laptop For Engineering Students
- MSI Creator 15 – laptop for college and gaming
- Apple Macbook Air – Best Macbook for Engineering students
- Asus Zenbook 14 – Best laptop for software engineers
- Lenovo Legion 5 – Best laptop for Civil Engineers
- Dell Inspiron 15 5502 – Best laptop for Chemical Engineering students
- HP Pavilion – Best laptop for Engineering students under 1000
- Acer Nitro 5 – Best laptop for Aerospace Engineering students
- Lenovo Ideapad L340 – Best laptop for Engineering students on budget
- Acer Aspire 5 – Best laptop for students under 700
- Asus Vivobook – Best affordable laptop for Engineering students
1. MSI Creator 15 – Best gaming laptop for engineering students
Screen/ resolution: 15.6” UHD/4k (3840×2160) | Processor name: Intel i7-10875H | GPU: Nvidia Geforce RTX 2070 Super | RAM: 32GB | Storage/ Hard drive: 1TB NVMe SSD | Operating system: Windows 10 Pro
For the one time investment in the laptop for studies, MSI Creator 15 is although an expensive pick but has all the great features any field of student may require. It has a 10th generation Intel i7-10875H 8 core processor with 16 threads, 16MB Cache and a boost clock up to 5.10GHz. It consists of Nvidia Geforce RTX 2070 Super with 8GB GDDR6 memory, it supports DirectX 12, OpenGL 4.6 which has up to 1770MHz boost clock. It has 32GB massive RAM and 1TB SSD which is upgradable.
MSI Creator 15 is a powerful laptop for both gaming and studies, if one belongs to the creative field of studies like graphic designing, software or web designing, editing videos and photos, this is a perfect laptop to spend on. It’s a 4k laptop for students, you can do all the CPU intensive tasks and work on heavy softwares and applications without any sort of lag. From a basic level of CAD/CAM to a professional level of 3D acceleration, this laptop is capable of doing all.
Not only this, but MSI Creator is an incredibly fast and smooth performer at gaming too. You can play games which requires real time ray tracing and virtual reality games too. The good part is, it has an effective cooling mechanism as well, so if your concern lies for heating of the hardware, then we must tell you this laptop bears fans which results in an optimal heat dissipation system every time. Further, as for battery life, this laptop for students accommodates you up to 6 hours.
2. Apple Macbook Air M1 – Best Apple laptop for high school students
Screen/ resolution: 13.3” QHD (2560*1600) | Processor name: Apple M1 Chip | GPU: Apple 8 core GPU | RAM: 8GB unified memory | Storage/ Hard drive: 256GB / 512GB SSD | Operating system: MacOS
In late 2020, Apple nailed the incredibly fast and powerful performance we haven’t yet found in any Intel or AMD chip. This Macbook Air contains M1 chip and an Apple GPU based on the 8 core processor, enables the power efficiency with high efficiency performance even for the single threaded tasks. It’s a 5nm processor with 16 core Neural engine and has 16x faster machine learning and AI technology like no other.
We have brought in this Macbook with the inspiring and unbelievably fast performance regarding the highly professional applications run with multi thread CPU. If you aim to step into a professionally high demanding field of study and want to make a one time investment, the Apple Macbook Air is worth buying and indeed something you must consider if you don’t want yourself to get frequent bumps in the performances by softwares which requires concentrated CPU processing.
Although this Macbook can be used for gaming too but we really don’t expect a professional with a high level of condensity of loads of work to play games on this laptop. There are plenty of other options if you intend to do so. Back to the features, it includes advanced security features, FaceTime HD camera, Touch ID, Force touch trackpad with pinch, swipe and zoom properties. In short, things are not at all ordinary, rather you are getting a performance of just another level.
3. Asus Zenbook 14 – Best laptop for creative students
Screen/ resolution: 14” FHD (1920*1080) | Processor name: Intel i7-1165G7 | GPU: Nvidia Geforce MX450 | RAM: 16GB | Storage/ Hard drive: 512GB SSD | Operating system: Windows 10 Pro
Things get under control when your important applications are just a touch away, resulting in fast and optimal performance without rummaging for them. Most overwhelming part of Asus Zenbook 14 is its 11th generation Intel i7- 1165G7 4 core processor with 8 threads, 12MB Cache and a boost clock up to 4.7GHz. It has a discrete graphics card called Nvidia Geforce MX450 with 2GB VRAM, it has a boost frequency up to 1580MHz.
Asus Zenbook 14 is absolutely a luxury for students who are more into the creative world and ready to jot down their ideas on the notebook. For all sorts of heavy applications and softwares for real time content generating, Asus Zenbook is ready to tackle all. It has a screenPad 2.0 which provides easy access to multiple applications although it takes time to learn all the hidden features and might be confusing for many of the students.
It is thin and very light in weight, its build is super attractive with matte finish and aluminum casing. It has 400cd/m2 brightness level, FHD screen with screen to body ratio, provides maximum space to dive into the creativity. You can do your editing work, intense numerical computation, 3D modeling, coding, programming and everything in between your course of study without any type of stuttering.
4. Lenovo Legion 5 – Best laptop for Civil Engineering students
Screen/ resolution: 15.6” FHD (1920*1080) | Processor name: AMD Ryzen 7 4800H | GPU: Nvidia Geforce RTX 2060 | RAM: 16GB | Storage/ Hard drive: 512GB SSD | Operating system: Windows 10 Home
Lenovo Legion is one of the best laptops for engineering students who also wants a solid gaming experience as well. It is equipped with AMD Ryzen 7 4800H 4th generation processor with 8 cores, 16 threads, 8MB Cache, 2.9GHz base clock and 4.2GHz boost clock. Further, the configuration is offering Nvidia geforce RTX 2060 dedicated graphics card with 6GB GDDR6 memory, with up to 1680MHz boost clock.
Lenovo Legion 5 is not only capable of handling heavy CAD/CAM softwares, but also able to put the next gear for impressive gaming for AAA titles. You can have virtual reality games and also real time ray tracing with high frame rates. It is a 144Hz gaming laptop, so the popular games are just a candy for it to deal with. It supports DLSS 2.0, DirectX 12 and OpenGL 4.6, therefore any sort of 3D acceleration in an engineering course of study is smoothly handled.
As for build, we were expecting something concentrated with RGB because of being a gaming laptop, instead the overall build is nearly a simplified version, usually found in any ordinary laptop. It is quite heavy to carry around all day in a school, the battery is also not so great if you mostly work online. In short, we might say this is a heavy brick although with fast processing speed. You can even check Lenovo Legion 5 with same specs but with a video card GTX 1660 Ti instead.
5. Dell Inspiron 15 5502 – Best laptop for Chemical Engineering
Screen/ resolution: 15.6” FHD (1920*1080) | Processor name: Intel i7-1165G7 | GPU: Nvidia Geforce MX330 | RAM: 8GB | Storage/ Hard drive: 512GB SSD | Operating system: Windows 10 Home
Dell Inspiron 15 5502 is the latest model we have come across with nicely packed yet sufficient features and gorgeous looks though, to complete what a student really expects for. Here it has an 11th generation Intel i7-1165G7 4 core processor with 8 threads, 12MB Cache and a boost frequency up to 4.7GHz. It has a Nvidia Geforce MX330 2GB GDDR5 dedicated video card, 8GB RAM and a dual slot SSD.
This is the best laptop for engineering students under 1000. Have more than enough capability to handle CAD/CAM softwares like MATLAB, CATIA, Solid Works and every application dedicated to 3D acceleration and modeling. You can even have Illustrator, Photoshop, Adobe Premier Pro and all that handy applications to run for intense editing work. Further, might not be great for gaming, since it has an entry level video card which supports OpenGL 4.6 and DirectX 12 requirement that is helpful for accelerating but not for gaming.
Talking about its build, it is 2.6 pounds light in weight and is thin profile, easily slips into your backpack. Made up of aluminum casing with a glossy texture at the touch. The lid is having a sensor which within a blink of an eye turns on the screen instantly even if the laptop is completely shut off so that within no time you can make your important notes. Despite, the quality of the built-in camera is not very appealing, it produces dim images, however it’s not something to break the deal at this cost.
6. HP Pavilion – Best laptop for Engineering students under 800
Screen/ resolution: 15.6” FHD (1920*1080) | Processor name: AMD Ryzen 5 4600H | GPU: Nvidia Geforce GTX 1650 | RAM: 8GB | Storage/ Hard drive: 256GB SSD | Operating system: Windows 10 Home
HP Pavilion is a sophisticated laptop for engineering students, well served and well equipped with authentic hardware to push the limits in all grounds. Its configuration is based on 4th generation AMD Ryzen 5 4600H 6 core processor with 12 threads, 8MB Cache, 3.0GHz base and 4.0GHz boost frequency. It has an Nvidia Geforce GTX 1650 4GB GDDR5 dedicated graphics card with up to 1665MHz boost clock.
This laptop meets all the necessary hardware requirements for the field of engineering. It has been tested with a number of softwares followed by CAD/ AutoCAD/ CAM, Revit, STAAD Pro, CATIA, Sketchup, 3D and 2D modeling and much more like that. The performance it delivers is super smooth and the processing is quite appreciated. If you are a graphic designer or intend to do some professional level of editing, then HP Pavilion is also capable of rendering the same professional work you aim to generate.
Whereas for gaming, this laptop for students has great scope for eSports as well. The GTX 1650 is although does not support virtual reality technology neither have real time ray tracing but still able to bring a decent amount of frame rates for AAA game titles. However talking about its build, it has a micro edge display which enables maximum area to explore, it’s a 4.4 pounds heavy laptop, has LED backlit keyboard and a front camera.
7. Acer Nitro 5 – Best laptop for Aerospace Engineering
Screen/ resolution: 15.6” FHD (1920*1080) | Processor name: Intel i5-10300H | GPU: Nvidia Geforce GTX 1650 Ti | RAM: 8GB | Storage/ Hard drive: 256GB SSD (2x PCIe M.2 slots) | Operating system: Windows 10 Home
Acer Nitro 5 being a best laptop for engineering students is extremely suitable to handle heavy multitasking including gaming. It contains 10th generation Intel i5-10300H 4 core processor with 8 threads, 8MB Cache, 2.50GHz base frequency and 4.0GHz boost frequency. It has an Nvidia Geforce GTX 1650 Ti dedicated graphics card with 4GB GDDR6 memory, having 1665MHz boost clock.
Whether you are a civil engineer, architect, web designer, programmer alongside passionate for gaming too, this is a powerful laptop with fast processing, capable to render real time performance like a pro. It supports refresh rate up to 144Hz, which means this gaming laptop is sufficient enough to generate high frame rates single handedly for popular game titles. This machine does become hot very quickly, but as it becomes hot the Acer CoolBoost Technology takes action within no time and produces effective heat dissipation which is quite appreciable.
As for online classes, this is not an ideal pick because of the absence of built-in webcam. The good part is, it has dual stereo speakers which support DTS X Ultra technology, producing high definition 3D Spatial sound. It has no RGB keyboard, instead has bright red LED backlit keys. Overall Acer Nitro 5 is a great laptop for students under $800, with more than enough potential to offer.
Checkout: best gaming laptop under 500
8. Lenovo Ideapad L340 – Best budget laptop for Engineering students
Screen/ resolution: 15.6” FHD (1920*1080) | Processor name: Intel i5-9300HF | GPU: Nvidia Geforce GTX 1650 | RAM: 8GB | Storage/ Hard drive: 256GB SSD | Operating system: Windows 10 Home
Here we have an entry level budget gaming laptop in the name of Lenovo IdeaPad L340, the most finest piece of machine good for both gaming and fills the requirements of every course of study. It has 9th generation Intel i5-9300HF 4 core processor with 8 threads, 8MB Cache, 2.40GHz base and 4.10GHz boost frequency. It owns an Nvidia Geforce GTX 1650 4GB GDDR5 dedicated graphics card with up to 1665MHz boost clock.
For a student who has a limited budget to spend on his academic accessories, Lenovo IdeaPad L340 is well suitable for them. It will last up to two years of academics almost even more than that could be expected. This laptop is capable of doing all types of heavy processing required in Engineering courses of study. You can perform intense multitasking including gaming as well. For AAA game titles you can easily have decent frame rates on 1080p at low graphic settings.
Whereas looking at its physical appearance, Lenovo IdeaPad L340 seems very decent with sharp features yet attractive to hold at a presentation or a meeting. It has a built-in front camera with nice quality image, and also has a physical privacy shutter to lock out the world for good. You are not going to have RGB but have blue LED backlit keyboard instead, which is pretty cool and decent too for a classroom. Being a gaming laptop, one thing is a little disappointing and that is the insufficient battery life.
9. Acer Aspire 5 – Best laptop for Engineering students under 700
Screen/ resolution: 15.6” FHD (1920*1080) | Processor name: Intel i5-1135G7 | GPU: Intel Iris Xe Graphics | RAM: 8GB | Storage/ Hard drive: 256GB SSD | Operating system: Windows 10 Home
Based on the hardware features, Acer Aspire 5 is considerably good for students dealing with a budget constraint. This laptop is equally good for bloggers or writers and for office use as well. It consists of an 11th generation Intel i5-1135G7 4 core processor with 8 threads, 12MB Cache, 2.9GHz base and 4.20GHz boost frequency. It has an Intel Iris Xe Graphics integrated chip which is equivalent to GTX 1030 performance wise.
According to the configuration, for CAD/CAM, 3D modeling softwares and all the intense applications an Engineering student will come across are easily handled by this laptop without any difficulty. Despite, if you aim to edit videos or photos on this laptop, then the results are lower than sufficient level and might cause lag for applications like Adobe or Illustrator. It has an 720p built-in camera which is good for online classes or meetings held anywhere around the world.
Furthermore, this laptop for students is very less likely to be used for gaming, since the integrated graphics is extremely weak to match current gaming requirements if not casual gaming. As for its appearance, it has an aluminum chassis, although it is not very attractive but a fine texture suitable for students and everyday computing with serious aura. It has a backlit keyboard, quite silent, easy for comfortable typing. Overall, it’s a great pick for students and casual use with around 7 hours of battery life.
10. Asus Vivobook – Best notebook for Engineering students
Screen/ resolution: 15.6” touchscreen FHD (1920*1080) | Processor name: Intel i5-1035G1 | GPU: Intel UHD Graphics | RAM: 8GB | Storage/ Hard drive: 256GB SSD | Operating system: Windows 10 Home
Looking for a laptop for software Engineering but having a little amount to spend, then Asus Vivobook is a great laptop for students under 600 that is ample with sufficient features. It doest have a discrete video card but an Intel UHD Graphics with shared memory. It has 10th generation Intel i5-1035G1 4 core processor with 8 threads, 6MB Cache, 1.00GHz base and 3.60GHz boost frequency.
Since Software Engineering is more dependable on the processor and is not relying on the graphics card, all of the applications within this particular course of study can be handled very easily. It is also a better choice for elementary school students and for office use or for basic entertainment. However for Civil, Chemical and Aerospace Engineering fields of study this laptop is not recommended. Moreover, for graphic designers, artists, content creators, editors and gamers, Asus Vivobook is again not an eligible pick.
Asus Vivobook is a budget notebook for school or college going students, capable of doing intense computation and around the clock a nice source of entertainment or streaming. It has a built-in webcam which we have found quite good in terms of quality image compared to the laptops under 1000 or more. It has dual speakers which supports Asus SonicMaster Technology which is loud enough to watch movies or videos. Overall it’s a good start for a student when they feel the need to move from traditional pen & notebook companionship and to a screen.
Checkout: best laptops for video editing
How to choose the best Engineering laptop for students? Buyers Guide
Picking up the most suitable laptop is not as difficult as it might have seen to many of the students now. Your concentration should be on your major course of study in order to find out the features you will be required from the first year of the academic to the last. This is how your spending will be fully utilized and the needs will be covered even if you have a limited budget to spend.
Even if you are not bound to your budget, still overspending on a laptop which wouldn’t be going to use fully till the end of your graduation is not a wise decision at all. Therefore, you need to make a checklist of the probabilities you will be facing and for what else you might need a laptop for other than studies. It includes the chances of a basic level of editing, numerical computation, streaming at leisure and some gaming of course.
In case you are immune to gaming, then your focus should be completely given to the configuration you are compulsory to have in your laptop. Specifically the processor, the CPU of the laptop for Engineering is the vital component which is purely responsible for softwares followed by CAD/CAM and all the applications you are going to deal with including 2D to 3D acceleration.
Other than that, RAM is another basic element that needs your attention, the more the RAM the better your multitasking would be. Then there is the hard drive you are going to feel extreme need for. All of the documents, files, videos and pictures of all sorts are going to be rested there, for this as an Engineering student you are going to have loads of documents and notes to store.
Whereas, for 3D acceleration and professional level of CAD you must need a discrete graphics card. Although at the beginning, you might not feel the need to have a dedicated video card and can do much of your work on an integrated chip but once you start dealing with heavy softwares, a powerful graphics card seems very crucial for optimal and crash free outcomes.
To be precise, the safest and feasible configuration we would recommend for any of the Engineering fields is to have 4 core processors, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD and a discrete graphics card.
Putting aside these basic factors which is although have primary importance, other features you need to consider as well are as follows:
- Sufficient battery life; at least 6 hours of running
- It should be light in weight so you can carry it effortlessly
- Built-in front camera is necessary for online classes and Zoom, otherwise you have to spend separately on a webcam
- If you are picking a gaming laptop, make sure it has effective heat dissipation system because gaming laptops tend to get hot pretty soon
- Also, if you want to make your documents safe and sound, try to have a laptop with fingerprint reader or touch ID so that no one can access them in your absence or while you share your laptop with your classmates
Size of the laptop screen is also very important, because here we are more concentrated on laptops with discrete video cards, they tend to be heavy and are mostly 15.6 inches wide.
- For engineering students, getting a laptop with high resolution does not make any sense. A 1080p laptop is enough, hence getting a 1440 or 4k laptops fancy gamers only.
A laptop for an Engineering student has to be fast and meet the requirements of the softwares coming in your entire academic year. This field of study mostly deals with heavy amounts of data, loads of files and computations, thus a slow laptop with insufficient RAM and processing speed wouldn’t let you get your work done the way it is supposed to be.
Consequently, in the light of our experts’ knowledge, we have compiled ten best laptops for Engineering students. Each of them are highly capable of rendering the perfect level of results. Nevertheless if you find any difficulty or feel the need to get accommodation, feel free to leave a comment below.