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Best laptops for Architecture students (Top 5)

You want a laptop that will serve your architecture purpose as a student, but not only that. You need something to serve you in your career later on.

You have to first understand that there are a lot of wrong claims out there, and people recommending harmful options to you that will just waste your money and won't do what you want.

I know its extremely difficult to decide on a laptop these days, as the number of laptops out there is insane. To make sure you get a good laptop takes hours of research, and that will only work-out if you already have a good understanding of computer specs.

However, don't worry I'm a tech geek and I have done hours of research to make sure I find exactly what you need. It's extremely important for all architecture students to have a good laptop to be able to apply all their study materials on.

I know how frustrating it is to learn something new on 3ds max, or AutoCAD and not have a way to practice it. When you have a very good laptop that runs smoothly it pushes your grades higher and makes you fall in love with the process of designing things.

Without a good Desktop computer or laptop, it will be very hard to excel using these necessary programs. Unless of course, your university provides you with very good computers you can use already, you definitely need a good laptop. And these are the best laptops for AutoCAD, Revit, and many others.

What makes a laptop a good option compared to a desktop computer for architects?

Laptops versus Desktop computers, what is better
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Well, first of all, I'd like to clarify the fact that a desktop computer will always be faster than a laptop at the same price. They are usually much cheaper for the same specs and run much better. You can build a beast of a desktop pc for the price you would buy a good laptop.

But you probably didn't come here to hear about desktop computers, I was just putting it out there. Laptops are extremely efficient these days, and are an amazing tool to have as you can take them with you everywhere, and apply your studies where and when is most convenient to you!

In my opinion, having a good laptop is definitely an amazing choice, it allows you to have fewer excuses and it makes sure that you always have your weapon or secret tool as an architect.

Whether you are at a Coffee shop and decide you want to do some work, or whether you like taking your work with you to different places and hate working in the same place, Laptops are an amazing option.

Another amazing thing is they don't eat up too much electricity as desktop computers. They are made to be extremely efficient at using electricity to make use of the longest battery life possible.

A good laptop will be something you will use until the rest of your life and will never regret buying it.

Mobile workstation laptop or laptop or gaming laptop?

Workstation laptop which is better suited for heavy engineering tasks
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There are many options out there when it comes to laptops. There are high-end laptops in all three categories.

So first let's start with the common myth that Gaming laptops are a good option for AutoCAD Software. They are most definitely not. Look for your self on Autocad recommended Gpu's here

You see most gaming laptops are best suited for gaming. Games usually benefit from having a High-clock speed CPU (High GHz), they also prefer having High-Speed GPUs too. That is very good for games, usually, games do not use many cores, and they rarely benefit from having many cores.

When you are looking at most engineering, architect, video editing, rendering, 3d Modeling, and many others, these things usually love having multiple CPU Cores and Multiple GPU Cores. The speed isn't most important in these as they use all cores, so the main importance is the count of cores.

Workstation laptops usually have many more CPU cores and have many more GPU Cores using Quadro GPUs rather than the GTX you will find in most gaming laptops. They are also built of CPUs and GPUs that handle extreme conditions really well, meaning if you are rendering a project at full CPU and GPU load for an hour it will handle that really well without overheating.

What happens with Gaming laptops is they usually also don't have very powerful CPUs, their main focus is usually on HIGH-Speed GPUs. They also usually cut out on durability and longevity and quality, to achieve the best specs for the lowest price. Something you don't want when you are pushing your pc to its limits every day as an Architect.

Going for a workstation is definitely going to be the best choice for you and will give you the longest longevity out of all other laptop types, they are extremely robust, are built to last, and will not overheat. They are usually pretty bulky making them easily upgradable, and making them very efficient at cooling.

Normal laptops no matter how expensive they are, are usually geared towards being more portable, and handling daily needs like streaming videos, browsing the web, and some light games, and light video editing. More then that and you will be toasting the CPU and the laptop as a whole. They aren't built for doing Heavy rendering and programs like what you would use as an architectural student.

You can always go for one of them, but don't blame me when they overheat and crash while rendering, and probably break down very fast and then you will need a whole new laptop.

Instead of going through all that, just make sure to invest a little money into a good mobile workstation laptop that will easily last you 5 years +, and will be future proof, and is made for the purpose you are using it for.

If you are looking for inexpensive laptops for students, for general tasks, web-browsing, and some light games and maybe video editing look here. Best Inexpensive laptops for students

How much should you spend to get a good architecture laptop?

How much money for a good architecture laptop
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The more the better. A laptop is one of those things that you can't go wrong with investing more money in. It will serve you in the long run

As an architect, laptops are always evolving at an incredible speed, and so are software for architects. So if you get a laptop that barely gets the job done, wait another two years and it will probably be out of date.

Cheaping out on your architecture is a very bad idea. What happens when you do this, is it may seem like a good idea at first.

Look

If I told you to run 100% as fast as you can all the time what is going to happen?

You will get overworked, and will slowly break down and have many problems and aches. I know we are talking about computers here, and not living humans, but its the same concept.

What will happen if you get a budget laptop is that your architecture laptop is going to be running at 100% CPU, 100% RAM, 100% GPU at all times.

This will kill your laptop faster than you can imagine, it will increase the wear on tear on the laptop 10 times more and will definitely result in shortening its life.

Overheating electrical components all the time, makes them expand and shrink all the time, this takes a big toll on tiny components like the CPU. I'm not saying that your laptop will break in a month, No if you are lucky it will last you much more than that.

Just invest as much as you possibly can, Because what that does is it gives your laptop a break and keeps it running well until you finish university and start working. This means you won't have to be buying a new laptop.

This also means your laptop will be future-proof. You definitely want something future proof.

I will be including the best laptops you can get as an architecture student, il include one budget option. But, if you can afford a better one don't hesitate it will definitely be worth it.

What do you need to know when getting an Architecture laptop?

Many laptops to pick from
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To make it simple, architecture laptops need a very strong processor(CPU), RAM, and they definitely need a dedicated Quadro graphics card.

I will try to explain to you all the basics as well as I can.


The CPU (Brainz of your laptop)

The CPU is the component in your pc that does all the maths. It does any process you try to do and is like a mad scientist solving equations in your pc.

Anything that needs to be calculated, and all orders and all the information goes through the CPU. Okay, now what you need to know is every CPU has "cores". Cores are basically like multiple CPUs in one CPU if that makes sense. So a CPU with 8 Cores is like having a human being with 8 brains.

When Rendering and doing complex things most programs will benefit from having more cores.

If your program or software is good at using cores every extra core = more speed and better processing. 10 cores = 10 x speed, 6 cores = 6x speed. Usually, you want a CPU That is fast and also has a lot of cores. This way if you are doing tasks that don't require many cores it will be fast.

And when using tasks that make use of a lot of cores it will be fast due to the fact you have many cores. So basically I recommend getting an i7, an i5 could work, but I recommend you stay away from it.

You could definitely go for a 6 Core i5 too if you're on a budget.

Your even better choice is definitely going to be an i9 as it has the most cores. However, be aware that they can be very expensive.

Not all i7s are Equal!!

I7s have been released since 2008!

This means that you should be careful, Always look at what generation the Cpu is. The higher the Generation the better. The highest generation CPU's are usually the most efficient and fastest. There are also High-performance CPU's and Entry-level CPUs in every generation, so be aware if you are getting a used laptop!

This same rule of thumb applies to all CPU series, whether it's an i3 or i5 or i7 or an i9. They have many different consumer purposes and come as many different variants. "Don't judge a book by its cover"

Xeon?

Xeon processors are made for your needs and are built to be used intensively for long times without any problems. They also tend to have many cores which are a definite + for you.

Highly recommended when it comes to your needs as for 3Ds Max, AutoCad, Revit, and many other architectural software.

AMD?

There are also AMD CPUs which are very good for Desktop computers, however AMD's Laptop chips arent as efficient as Intel ones yet. Meaning you won't get a good battery life, and there aren't as many laptops that use them.


GPU (Your Video Processor)

Your GPU is like your cameraman. Anything you see in front of your eyes is mostly done by the graphics card. As 3D Design programs have a lot of visual processes and complexity, having a good graphics card is definitely a must for smooth playback when using these programs.

However, a word of warning Is: going for the normal Graphics cards are not recommended by most Architectural software. Basically, there are Nvidia Geforce graphics cards(GTX), and there are Quadro graphics cards. (Both are by Nvidia)

Quadro or GTX for architects
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They (AutoCAD's company themselves) recommend you go for Nvidia Quadro graphics cards. As they are fully supported and will work best with your software as an architect. So definitely go for Nvidia Quadro. Normal graphics cards may work but I will mostly be including Nvidia Quadro's range because nothing will work better than it for your goals.

Remember how more CPU Cores are important for your needs?

The same with Graphics cards. The more Cuda Cores the better for rendering and they are extremely good for complex double-precision computations, like those found in scientific and arithmetic calculations.

Geforce graphics cards have faster clock speeds but that's not important for Rendering, and Video rendering. For your software, you need More Cuda Cores.

If you want to play games and other stuff on it, you will need a Geforce graphics card. But don't worry the Quadro will still work for most games, just won't be geared for it. So it depends on your priorities.

However, if you are looking for the best performance possible and are serious about your architecture software you definitely need to go with Quadro graphics cards.

Nvidia Quadros are also built to give you maximum durability and extreme longevity and are a very good option for prolonged Daily strenuous use.

GDDR RAM?

Looking at Graphics RAM, the more you have the better. Architectural, engineering, architectonic, and construction programs generally use a lot of it.


RAM ( Your projects table)

The best way to explain RAM is how many things your CPU can chuck on the table while its processing things. Let's say you are making a very big school project, you will need a big table to work on, a tiny table just won't work.

Having a small space will make having a powerful CPU useless. Because it doesn't have any space to put its processing and information at.

It's like saying you as a bodybuilder Powerful CPU own a GYM, You need RAM (The ram acts as a Rack to put your weights you aren't using on) to Put your weights on, otherwise, you don't have anywhere to put your weights and you end up carrying stuff instead.

This is a very simplistic way of explaining it, but it generally works like that.

The recommended is going for 16GBs. However, don't worry about getting an 8GB Ram option, if you have trouble you can usually upgrade ram easily. All you have to do is insert a stick into your laptop.


STORAGE ( How much space you have on your PC)

As an architect using programs like 3DS Max, AutoCAD, Revit, ArchiCAD, Rhino3D, Solidworks you are gonna want fast storage. You can go for an HDD, but that will make everything take 2 hours to load, and any big projects will take a long time to load.

Definitely try to go for an SSD, as this way your programs will boot up as fast as possible and your projects will open up in seconds.

Heres what you should know.

Speed: Nvme2.0 SSD > SSD> eMMc Flash Storage > HDD


These specs will be your main concerns as an architecture student or architect.

Especially given the fact that most students/ architects will be using the following programs usually:

  • AutoCAD, Revit, Vectorworks, ArchiCAD, and Chief architect for CAD Work.
  • 3Ds Max, Cinema 4D, SketchUp, Blender, and Rhino for 3D Modeling.
  • Corona Reader, Lumion, and Vray for Rendering Images
  • Photoshop, Illustrator, Indesign, and others for Graphical work and Image editing.

If you take all of that into consideration then you are setting yourself for a Future-proof, fast and powerful tool and laptop.


And finally which Operating System

Windows

Generally, the most popular choice for architects, as most architecture programs are built for windows and won't work well with MacOS. Another + for Windows is usually you get higher specs for less price, meaning if you want the best you can get out of your money you should definitely go for windows.

MacOS

As an Architect, I would recommend not going with MacOS, however, if you insist there are many workarounds to get popular architecture programs working on MacOS. But keep in mind you will usually get higher specs for your money with Windows.

They are also pretty hard to upgrade, and usually, aren't as easily upgraded as Windowso.o laptops.

They sure look nice. I can't deny that they look outstanding and amazing.


Another thing to look out for is battery life.

What's the use of having a laptop if it only lasts 2 hours and you have to charge it again! There is no general rule of thumb here. You know better about how many hours of battery life you need than I do.


How did I pick these architectural laptops?

Ambigious mystery laptop choice, question mark on best laptops for architects
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I have picked all these laptops based on my knowledge and extensive hours of research.

I know exactly what makes a laptop good for you as an architect, and while picking these I made sure they all have extremely positive reviews and have no common problems.

Il be listing mainly Rugged workstation laptops, they aren't the thinnest laptops in the world, but they will give you the best performance you want and won't overheat. The thinner laptops usually won't give out as much performance as workstation laptops which are built for heavy processing and usage.

Many others have listed laptops that won't perform for you as an architect, some laptops may look cool, and are slim and have good aesthetics, but they usually won't perform best for you as an architect. Those are for Casual users doing some casual stuff, not students like yourself who will be using it as your main powerhouse for studies and projects.

They are built for sustained usage.

Here is the summary of your best 5 laptops as an Architecture student.

  • Number 1: HP ZBook 17 G5 (Best all-Around laptop)
  • Number 2: Lenovo Think pad P72 ( Best Performance )
  • Number 3: HP ZBook Studio x360 G5 (Best slim and stylish Option)
  • Number 4: Dell Precision 3530 ( Best Mid-Range option )
  • Number 5: Dell G3 Gaming ( Budget option)

1. HP ZBook 17 G5

Best High-end architectural Laptop

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PROCESSOR: Intel Core i9-8950HK 2.9 Ghz or Xeon or I7| GRAPHICS:  NVIDIA Quadro P2000 or P600 or others |RAM: 32 GB or 16GB | Storage: 512 GB SSD or 256 GB or 1TB| Display:4K UHD Display or 1920x1080 IPS| OS: Windows 10 Professional |

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The HP Zen book 17 G5 is an expensive workstation laptop with mind-blowing performance and an extremely vibrant beautiful 4K Display.

If you want something future-proof and the best of the line, and you want it to also look stylish then this is going to be your best option.

The ZBook 17 G5 is a very big laptop, with a chunky skeleton which feels like a piece of gold in your hands. It's a beast in every aspect and will blow out anyone's mind.

Performance

This beast won't even take a breathe while chugging down the heaviest workloads, it will withstand anything you throw at it. Your 3D design and AutoCAD programs will work like a breeze on this thing, as the Processor is a Xeon, i9 or i7, and the Graphics card is a Quadro P2000 Graphics card which are built for longevity, and for using at full load without any issues.

A whopping 16GB or 32 GB RAM depending on which one you go for, are both going to be plentiful and will eat up anything with ease.

Any type of 3D-Rendering, Photoshop, Video editing, All engineering software, architectural software will all work perfectly with this beast.

Most importantly with this laptop, is it's built with performance as the number 1 priority. If you want to get the best you possibly can out of a laptop this is definitely going to be one of the best choices you can go for.

Looks

Using this laptop will let other students grow envious when they see you use it. It has Aggresive looking edges on the back corners of the laptop which provide some style. And it looks very beastly, as its extremely big.

The only ugly thing about this laptop is the big bezels on the sides of the screen, but if you are looking for performance you shouldn't be worrying about that. This laptop is bigger than its rivals, and it weighs a lot. But its a sacrifice you will have to go for if you really want something that can perform.

Size

This is going to be very bulky, but I would say it's pretty pleasing to look at. Going for one of those slim laptops is going to be a bad idea as an Architecture student because all your programs and software use up a ton of CPU power and GPU power, and you need a workstation laptop that is built to be used aggressively and will last you forever.

If you use these programs on slim style laptops, you will be running into problems sooner or later, as they are built for general use, and aren't built with your purposes in mind.

Ports and others

It has every modern connection you can ask for, and 5 USB Ports making it extremely future proof and convenient. It also has a Blue-Ray CD/DVD drive option which is becoming increasingly uncommon these days, it also has a Smart card reader, SD card slot, and three USB3.0 plugs. It also has a lock slot and an RJ45 Ethernet input.

And don't worry it has Thunderbolt 3 ports, a headphone jack, HDMI, and a mini display port.

Durability

As long as you keep this beast in a case you can be pretty sure that it won't break when you drop it. It's built like a tank and will withstand a few drops, but when you are getting a beast like this you should take care of it.

It has Military-Grade tested for durability, meaning it is built to last.

Display and keyboard

The display is a marvelous 17Inch 4K display. It has very sharp colors and they are very rich and vibrant. With this beautiful display its the closest you will get to a theatre-like experience. The keyboard doesn't have very far Key travel, which is up to personal opinion. Some people love the feel of low travel in keys, and others hate it.

Speakers

The Volume and speakers in this thing are monstrous. They are made with Bang & Olufsen, and they sound crisp and clean, and they will easily fill up a room with their loudness.

Warranty

It also comes with a 3-Year warranty with on-site repair services. This is definitely the most future proof laptop you can possibly get, which also is built extremely well, and built to last.

Verdict

It's a big investment, but its something you won't ever have to worry about again, and you will even be using this beast when you start working with a company. You invest upwards of $40,000 On education, why not invest some in your main tool, and weapon as an architect?

2. Lenovo Think pad P72

Best specs for the price

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PROCESSOR: Intel Core i7-8750 Hexa-Core or many other options| GRAPHICS:  NVIDIA Quadro P2000 or others |RAM: 32 GB or 16GB | Storage: 512 GB SSD |Display:4K UHD Display or 1920x1080 IPS | OS: Windows 10 Professional |

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This is what you go for if you want the best specs possible for your money. It has a classic laptop look, with a soft black touch to it, but it's not the most modern-looking device.

So, If you care mainly about performance, and want to get the best performance possible for your money then this will be your definite choice.

This laptop also comes with a lot of options with ranging prices, and don't worry any laptop you pick under this name will be packed with specs, and amazing upgradability.

What Lenovo does right with their laptops, is they are extremely user upgradable and are built to last you forever. Get one of these and you will never look back again.

I could tell you lies, and just throw in any laptops in this list which look pleasing, but that's not what I'm doing because I want to make sure you pick something that will serve you extremely well and will last you the longest time possible.

Performance

Some of the reasons why the ThinkPad P72 is big are its amazing hardware upgradability options. You can get up to 128 GB of RAM, you can top it off with the Beefiest Nvidia Quadro Graphics cards. This is the easiest laptop to upgrade in the future, and will certainly last you the longest out of all options here.

If you want something you can use for a good 10 years +, this is your option.

Size and Durability

Given this is also a workstation laptop, means it will also be pretty bulky and big, but all that means it will keep cool and will deliver amazing performance at all times. It also built for maximum durability and will prove its sturdiness. You can also throw it at a teacher you hate, it will certainly do some damage. Just joking...

Ports

It has all the latest connectivity options, so don't worry about that. Its slimmer and smaller than the last laptop, the HP Zbook. so it's a little easier to carry around, and its also lighter.

Display and keyboard

The Display is a 4K Display, so it will be very colorful, and vibrant.

Typing on Lenovo's ThinkPad laptops is a blessing. They are very nice to type on and give you a realistic typing experience that feels very nice. If you are someone who types a lot, I recommend this because the keyboard is gonna be the nicest keyboard you have ever seen on a laptop.

Battery-life

The Battery-life is not the best in the world, but these workstation laptops suck a lot of power to deliver your performance. It will last around 5 hours of continuous use.

Verdict

It is also VR-Certified, meaning if you have ever been interested in buying yourself a VR Rig, this will do exactly what you need without any problems.

The Xeon Processor is built to last and has more than enough cores and speed for anything you need.

If you like playing games, don't worry, the specs of these laptops will definitely push out most games with ease.

If you prefer a smaller laptop which is more portable, you should check out the 15-Inch P52, the younger brother of the P72. The performance is near, and you will get a smaller laptop if you need that.

3. HP ZBook Studio x360 G5

Best 2-in-1 Architecture laptop for students

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PROCESSOR: Intel Core i7-8750 Hexa-Core or other options| GRAPHICS:  Intel GMA 3150 |RAM:16GB | Storage: 512 GB SSD |Display:4K UHD Display or 1920x1080 IPS | OS: Windows 10 Professional |

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This powerhouse has many epic features. It has an amazing display, 2-in-1 capabilities and astounding battery life, and a comfortable keyboard.

It has a very premium look and feel, and is your best lightweight option as an Architectural student. You can't get any other slim laptop that will perform well with 3d rendering other than this. And remember it will always be better to have a bigger workstation laptop. However, if you are not into that then this is going to be your alternative.

Hp have mastered making amazing 2-in-1 laptops like this. It is a beast, has a Xeon processor and comes with a Quadro P1000 GPU, And of course as usually there will be ones with different specs. It is amazing all around.

Given the fact it's a 2-in-1 laptop means you can fold it into Tent and tablet mode, which will be extremely convenient given the Touch pen that comes with it. The touch pen is extremely accurate and works really well.

Performance

Given its speedy processor, the Intel Xeon Processor, 32 GBS of Ram 1TB SSD and the Nvidia Quadro P1000GPU, expect it to eat up any tasks you throw at it without any problem. It is a hungry demon. It tops many performance tests in its range and is a very good option.

Battery life is where this thing is impressive. Surfing the web with a bright display, and wifi lasted a whopping 9 hours and 6 minutes. Defeating most other workstations which usually have pretty bad battery life due to their power-sucking components.

Display

It comes with a 4K Display that has extremely accurate colors which are very pleasing to look at, and are definitely a good option if you need a laptop with high color accuracy so you know exactly how things would look in real life. It has much more color accuracy than most 4k Displays out there.

It is also the king of brightness, meaning even if used in the daylight you won't have any problems, it has a very bright display.

The webcam is not the best. But where this thing surprises is that even though it's very slim, it doesn't get crazy hot, and It stays pretty cool for a slim laptop when doing pretty intense tasks.

At 4.9 pounds it's not as heavy as its competitors. Its a pretty lightweight option considering it is a workstation laptop that is built for use at its peak state at all times. It doesn't have as many ports as other massive workstation laptops do, however it has all the ones you need, with the latest of them.

Durability

It is Rated to endure MIL-ST-810G3 extreme tests. Which means you can feel free to drop it without crying that you broke your laptop. It should be able to withstand drops up to 2.5 feet, vibrations, high altitudes, low and high temperatures, dust, sand, humidity, and others.

It has a Military-grade durable design and is very good looking at the same time. The ZBook studio really doesn't have many cons if any.

Regarding its security, it has a fingerprint reader and an IR camera.

Keyboard and pen

The keyboard feels pretty nice, it doesn't have far key travel however it provides you with tactile feedback to let you know you clicking the keys and is pretty good overall for typing. The keys are also backlit white meaning you can easily use it in the dark.

The pen it comes with is really sensitive and is very accurate. If you want a touch screen that you can draw on, this is definitely a good option.

Audio

The four Bang & Olufsen speakers on the Hp Zbook Studio x360 have extremely accurate vocals, and epic sounds that will fill a medium-sized room without any problems. It sounds pretty outstanding for a laptop.

Verdict

It is an absolute powerhouse, it has all the features you would want in an everyday laptop while keeping all the features of a workstation laptop. Just keep in mind that It's not cheap to stuff all these amazing specs and features into such a tiny laptop, so don't expect cheap prices, it can be pretty pricey especially if you are going for the good specs.

The lower-end models of this laptop with lower specs will do fine for basic 3d modeling and stuff, but for complex projects you either want to go for a bigger workstation laptop that will be cheaper for the same specs, or you will have to invest a little more if you want a slim laptop that will shoot out the performance that you require.

4. Dell Precision 3530

Best Mid-Range option

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PROCESSOR: Intel Core i5-8400H Quad core| GRAPHICS:  NVIDIA Quadro P600|RAM: 8 GB Upgradable to 32 GB | Storage:256 GB SSD Upgradable |Display:Full HD 1920x1080 IPS | OS: Windows 10 |

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This is one amazing Dell laptop. It has a metallic structure making it pretty nice on the out, and the inside is pretty bland, as its geared more towards performing as a workstation laptop.

Discrete mouse buttons, as well as a fingerprint reader, are all pretty nice additions to this laptop. The bezels on the display are pretty slim and aren't the widest out there, they also leave enough room for the IR webcam in the top Bezel.

Performance

With the Epic Intel Xeon Processor, the high ram, and the Nvidia Quadro p600 GPU, it blasts through the most demanding tasks very easily. They sail well over many other laptops in the price range. Their performance at Rendering, and any 3d modeling, AutoCad rendering, and all types of software you would want as an architect it will definitely satisfy your needs.

You will have no problems whatsoever with any of the common software that architects usually use. You can also play video games on it with no problems if you wish to do so, they will play many recent games.

Given its, a workstation laptop means it's built for excellent performance without overheating after long times working on full loads.

Weight

At 5.1 Pounds the Precision 3530 isn't the lightest of workstation laptops, however, its also not too bad, carrying it around will be a good workout.

Ports

The laptop has plenty of ports everywhere, the sides, and even the back. It has all types of ports you would want in a laptop, they even managed to stick a VGA Port on to it making it a good option to connect to old external monitors that don't have HDMI cables or maybe old projectors.

On the right, there is a security lock slot, a VGA, USB3.1, and an additional SIM card slot, and a headphone/microphone combo-jack. There are also plenty of other ports around it.

Security and Durability

The Precision 3530 looks like a bulky yet sleek tank, and it acts like it too. It passed 15 MIL-STD-810G Tests. That means that it can easily endure extreme humidity, extreme temperatures, sand and dust, mechanical shock, high altitudes, and vibration. All this makes it Military-grade durable.

Security is just what you need with a good accurate fingerprint scanner.

Display

The Precision 3530's display is a 15.6-inch 1920x1080 anti-glare display. It is decently bright, and colorful, and that's about it. It covers 117% of the sRGB color gamut, which isn't bad.

Brightness is also pretty good, not the brightest, but it's not on the weak side.

Keyboard and touchpad

the keyboard is extremely comfortable, the keys have deep travel, the keys are also backlit and they are immensely satisfying to type on. They make typing a pleasure if you like typing this is a very good option.

Workstation laptops usually have the Advantage of having pretty good keyboards that are made to last a long time, and will definitely take a beating.

Audio

The precision 3530's speakers are pretty loud and are definitely capable of blasting a medium-size conference room with sound. They lack a little bass, but that's okay as overall they have good sounds.

So although they are loud enough for anything you need, don't expect theatre-like sounds.

Battery Life

It lasted around 8 hours and 53 minutes of continuous web surfing with okay brightness and using wifi. Pretty impressive.

It comes with a 1-year warranty which is upgradable to a 5-year warranty.

Verdict

An overall beast with epic performance and good battery life. It is the ideal choice for engineering, architectural projects, video editing, and any type of rendering.

5. Dell G3 Gaming laptop

Budget-option

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PROCESSOR: i5-8300H | GRAPHICS:  Gtx 1050Ti|RAM: 8 GB Upgradable | Storage:1 TB HDD |Display:Full HD 1920x1080 IPS | OS: Windows 10 Home|

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Only get this if you can't afford anything at all. This should get you through studying and working on your projects as its a gaming laptop and should withstand some beating.

Note that this won't deliver the results you need. It Has a Not-bad CPU, and an okay graphics card, however, it won't be the fastest at rendering and handling your heavy applications. It sure is good, but for bigger projects you may find it lagging behind.

This is my recommendation if you only need a laptop for general purposes, and light 3d modeling and rendering in Maya, 3DS Max, or Revit. You will be using this laptop for general homework purposes and maybe some very small 3d projects and tinkering about, however that's about it.

I could lie at you and tell you this budget option will do everything you want it to as an architecture student, but it just won't.

It is your best bang for buck laptop at a low price and will definitely serve you well as a student in general. And can definitely dish out some great performance.

It has all the basics you need as a student and has a full HD screen. It will last well for standard use.

You could also play some modern video games, as its specs are geared towards gaming, however that won't stop it from working on small projects, and you might get away with bigger projects but the experience won't be the best. The most place where this would suffer is Rendering speed, as it doesn't have as many cores in the CPU or the GPU for rendering as the workstation laptops do.

I tried my best to explain all the details in the simplest ways possible to make sure you understand how computer specs work. This way people can't recommend you the wrong things.

If you really understand what I said well you could probably be picking your own specs from now on.

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