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Best Laptops for Engineering Students 2020 | Luigi's Product Reviews

engineering student working on laptop
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So you are looking for a good laptop for engineering, but you are lost and want to make sure you make the right decision that will serve you the upcoming years without any regrets and problems.

Don't worry I got your back, that's exactly what I'm born for. I'm a Tech Geek who has done hours and hours of research, so be sure that you will be getting your best options possible.

If you don't want to worry about buying another laptop after university, we recommend you invest a little more to make sure you won't need to buy another laptop for your job after college.

So first let us start with the most basic main question here.

Prefer watching a video about the Best engineering laptops? Click below!

Are laptops required for engineering students?

Aside from normal usage as a student, as a mechanical engineer, you'll be expected to use CFD and CAD programs which are pretty high-load programs that will require a good laptop. It might not be necessary to do these on your laptop though, however, it will always be convenient and potentially quicker depending on how good your university's computers are.

So if your university has really good computers and you are very close to your university, you can probably skip on it or won't have to get the best specs possible, because you can just use the ones in your university. But usually, its something that will help you immensely to keep on track with your studying and applying everything.

The extra mobility of a laptop means you can always have your projects with you to show your professors and ask questions, and it also means that if you ever get bored of studying at home you can always study in a coffee shop, library, outside in the park, and many others you name it.

So to be on the safe side I would definitely recommend you get a good laptop, The processor and ram tend to be more important than the graphics card on these laptops unless of course, you like playing video games. You will generally need an I7 with at least 8GBs of Memory.

I will definitely recommend you don't cheap out when buying one of these because they are gonna make you hate your life if you do. I will try to offer options for most budget ranges.

What laptops are best for engineering students?

Architectural engineer showing autocad design on laptop
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Okay, so you have two main options here. Mac OS laptops or Windows 10 laptops.

The reason I would recommend windows 10 options is because you get more specs in a lower price. The Mac OS laptops, however, usually last longer and are better built. They are also less likely to get viruses than windows 10 laptops.

Other than that its gonna depend heavily on your work environment and what software you are using, and how much you are willing to spend of course.

Okay so first il tell you about Processors (CPUs)

This will be the most important thing to look out for on your laptop. You have two routes to take.

AMD CPU's

  1. They are cheaper
  2. Recently have become very powerful
  3. Work well with other AMD Components ( Sync up well with AMD Graphics cards, but also works with Nvidia), Remember they don't have integrated graphics.

INTEL CPU's

  1. A little more expensive price to performance ratio.
  2. Work better without GPUs, they tend to have good built-in Graphics.
  3. Intel builds better processors for Laptops, AMD still haven't gotten as efficient as intel's processors in laptops.

Recently AMD Have caught up very well with Intel's CPUs and are a pretty good option. Their only downside is they still haven't caught up with Intel's efficiency in laptops.

But, if you aren't going for a laptop with a Dedicated graphics card then you should definitely go with Intel CPUs as they have built-in graphics, unlike the AMD CPUs. As the Graphics card is generally not needed for engineering unless you want to play some games, I would usually recommend INTEL Laptops as the best option for Engineers.

In INTEL CPUs you generally want an i5 or higher. Because you will need the extra cores they provide.

RAM

The rule of thumb here is the more the better.

You usually wanna aim for 8GB, But for Hungry programs, you want to aim at 16GB as that is more future proof and will serve you better.

Storage

You can get an SSD or HDD, If you need a lot of storage and don't care much about how fast your programs load and how fast your pc boots and everything feels, then an HDD will be good for you. But I definitely recommend an SSD as it will save your time immensely and will work much better for you, and is less likely to have issues than an HDD.

You will generally want 256 GBs or Higher as CAD Files can be pretty big and take up quite a lot of space.

GPU

It is not needed but is a good extra for gaming, and a boost in the rendering speed.

So if you want to play games make sure you get one that comes with a Dedicated Graphics card.

Battery Life

The higher the better, but this is something you know better, it depends on how long you are willing to use it as a student in college. But it will generally save you the worry of having to always think about where your charger is at, and if you forgot it at home.

DISPLAY

A display is not something to sweat on, any display will usually work. Some things to consider are :

IPS Displays Have Wide viewing angles and accurate colors

1080P Is generally more than enough, but if you would like a luxury viewing experience you could go for a 4k But you will be paying a lot for that.

Anti-Glare is another good extra making sure you don't strain your eyes with long hours of use

You might like to have a touch feature for using a drawing tool or for extra usability, that's up to you.

So basically those are the specs you will want to keep in mind while searching for your best options for your engineering projects. I understand that finding a good laptop for engineering is a very overwhelming experience, but by following the tips above, your life will become easier.

And be sure that all the options I will provide you with are all amazing, and each has its Pros and Cons.

So Wether you are looking for a laptop for mechatronic engineering, chemical engineering, architectural engineering, mechanical engineering, or any other type of engineering you will find exactly what you need here as a student.

University student studying on the laptop taking notes
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Don't worry I know you college students don't have too much money left for a budget, as you had to pay for your education, books, you name it.

So Heres a summary of the best laptops in this list.

  1. HP Spectre x360 15T (Best overall future-proof laptop)
  2. Microsoft Surface Pro 6 (Best 2-In-1 Laptop Option with an amazing pen)
  3. Dell G3 15 ( Best laptop that doubles as a gaming pc)
  4. Dell XPS 15 ( All-around Laptop)
  5. Asus Vivobook S15 ( Best budget option)

The Best Laptops for Engineering students


1.HP Spectre x360 15T

Best overall legendary future-proof laptop

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PROCESSOR: 9th Generation Intel i7 9750H Hexacore (2.6 Ghz Up to 4.5GHZ) |GRAPHICS: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 (4GB) |RAM: 16GB RAM | Storage: 1TB or 512GB NVMe SSD + 64GB Neopack Flashdrive | Display: 4K ULTRA HD IPS Display | OS: Windows 10 Pro| Battery-Life: 15 Hours Built to last you the whole day

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Pros

  • Blazing speed NVMe 2.0 SSD which is 17x faster than a regular HDD
  • Amazing Display with Ultra HD and Extremely thin Bezels
  • Full Touch Display with an accurate stylus pen
  • All-day battery ( 15 hours)
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee by HP
  • Full HD IR Camera, and amazing Mic
  • 9th Gen CPU Up to 4.5Ghz
  • Amazing Graphics card
  • Beautiful design
  • Bang & Olufsen quad speakers with HP audio boost
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • Fingerprint Reader
  • 2666 MHz Ram Speed

Cons

  • The trackpad is a little awkwardly positioned.

This is the best laptop you can possibly buy, it is beastly in every way possible. If you want a Future-Proof best available laptop that will handle anything you need for another 5 years+ this is your best bet.

It may look a little expensive, but trust me I would buy this laptop every time. It is worth every penny, has every feature you could possibly want, and even has a 4k Display which is IPS, And is a touch screen with an amazing stylus pen.

The IPS Panel Display means extremely accurate colors and wide viewing angles, and the 4K Display means luxurious vivid and sharp display quality, thus the name "ULTRA HD"

Usually laptops don't have good built-in speakers, however, this laptop is definitely an exception, as it has Quad speakers from Bang & Olufsen. Even the mic on this laptop is beastly and with a full HD IR Camera.

This HP Spectre x360 15T is, undoubtedly, one of the best laptops that have ever been built. A powerhouse machine with divine aesthetics, a sleek sturdy design. The price for this thing is a steal for all the features you get on it.

From the first moment you lay your hands on this laptop you will never want to use anything else other than this laptop.

Somehow they managed to stuff all these features in while making sure it is also 2-in-1 and has an accurate stylus. And it can outperform any Mac laptop which are usually much more expensive if you wanted these features.

So to be completely honest there is no way you are ever going to find anything even close to the performance of these at this price. It is impossible

If you need to run CAD or similar software (which is easily the most hardware intensive software you would need as an engineering student), this will handle it amazingly well.

And given all its amazing specs, and even the amazing dedicated GPU means this can handle any video games you would want to play when you're bored easily. It can eat up most trending multiplayer games, however, please remember not to play your games on 4k resolution, because that would need a supercomputer, turn your resolution down to 1080p if you are playing intense games.

It can even run most AAA Games at respectable settings. So don't have any doubt that this is a beast.

This laptop runs for at least 7 hours nonstop in a movie test, so expect an amazing battery, it won't last you 15 hours using intensive software, but it will easily last more than 7 hours. More than any laptop with these amazing specs.

There are also a number of apps that come pre-installed in the Spectre to make your life easier. It gives you access to thermal profile information, lets you adjust the performance when doing heavy tasks, or when just doing simple tasks like browsing the web. HP's Audio control feature allows some fine-tuning of the microphone and speakers, through a 10-band equalizer (EQ) and given the Bang & Olufsen with it means that you can enjoy your music better than ever before. Making it an amazing choice for sound engineers too.

The HP Pen that it comes with is another epic feature, It's extremely accurate and comfortable to use, and feels premium.

The HP Spectre x360 15T Is an excellent laptop for anyone that can pay the price. Its value is way higher than its price.



2. Microsoft Surface Pro 6

(Best 2-In-1 Laptop Option)

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PROCESSOR: 8th Generation Intel i7-8650U Hexacore (1.9Ghz Up to 4.5GHZ) or i5 |GRAPHICS: INTEL UHD 620|RAM: 16GB or 8GB | Storage: 512GB or 256GB | Display: 12.3 Inch Pixel Sense Display 2736 x 1824 | OS: Windows 10| Battery-Life: 13.5

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Pros

  • Very good touch screen
  • Comes with an accurate pen
  • Works as a tablet or a laptop
  • Very stylish and sleek design
  • Pixel sense Display
  • Ultra light-weight
  • Multiple color options
  • Beautiful Screen

Cons

  • Buying the keyboard cover and pen is seperate and adds to the price

The Surface Pro is one of the best made windows 10 tablets going right now. Given the fact it's now using 8th Generation processors means its extremely efficient and the battery will last very long.

This laptop is Silent in your daily use, boasting a new thermal design for a fanless i5 which helps to maintain the performance when its pushed.

It is claimed to last 13.5 hours however tests have shown it will last around 9 hours which is honestly not bad and is more than anyone would use it in one go. Meaning it should last your day's work without needing to bring your charger. The i7 will last a little less than the i5 version but not much only 1-hour difference or so.

They managed to update all the internals of this tablet, the only place its lacking, is the fact that it still uses old ports. Meaning don't expect USB-C or Thunderbolt 3 connectivity, as it doesn't have them.

As suspicious as it may sound, but the Keyboard cover gives you the best typing experience on any detachable or convertible laptop, and it's pretty necessary to buy if you want it to function as a laptop. It detaches and attaches with a magnetic snap, meaning if you ever decide you don't need the full thing and just want the tablet you can enjoy having a tablet without a heavy keyboard weighing you down.

The surface Pen is definitely one of the best styluses you can find in its price range, and it attaches magnetically to the side of the laptop. But also remember that this you will also have to buy alone, as it does not ship with the laptop.

It uses Windows Hello IR Facial-recognition meaning you can log in to your computer with ease, and don't have to worry about forgetting your password. Also, the front and rear cameras are really good for a tablet and will cover your needs.

So if you are looking for a laptop that detaches and turns into a tablet, then this is definitely your best choice and is yet to be beaten by other companies.

So really the only problem with this is the fact it doesn't have USB-C or Thunderbolt 3 connectivity. Other than that its an amazing choice.

And if your job or degree requires you to draw a lot you will definitely love the fact that in tablet mode it's just like drawing on a piece of paper.



3.Dell G3 15

( Best laptop that doubles as a gaming pc)

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PROCESSOR:9th Generation Intel Core i7-9750H ( 2.2GHz Up To 4.1GHz w/ Turbo Boost) |GRAPHICS: Nvidia GTX 1660Ti(6GB GDDR6)|RAM: 8GB | Storage: 256GB M.2 NVMe SSD and 1TB 5.400-RPM HDD | Display: 15.6-Inch, 1920 x 1080 Full HD IPS Display or 17 Inch| OS: Windows 10| Battery-Life: 13.5

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Pros

  • 9th Generation I7 Processor
  • Doesn't scream out Gamer aesthetics, looks neat
  • An advanced thermal design ensures that your system stays cool as the action heats up
  • Upgradable memory
  • NVME SSD
  • Quick-Charge Feature
  • Has many different options for different budget ranges, all of them are good
  • Good price to performance
  • Longer than average battery life

Cons

  • Comes with a lot of bloatware (unneeded programs), but that can be easily uninstalled
  • Display is a little dull

It has amazing specs that definitely match its price, its not overpriced like most other gaming laptops you can find. And dell managed to keep a classy look without it screaming out gamer, meaning its neat and classy and will work fine for college or university, and even at work.

However usually when you get amazing specs at such a low price there is usually a trade-off, and that is definitely the fact that it has a bland dull display. So if it's very important for you to have a vivid display sadly this won't be the best choice for you.

Where this definitely shines is how clean and classy it looks, it's not made of the most premium materials, however, its definitely more stylish than most other options out there.

If you love playing games in your spare time, then this is definitely your best choice. It can play any AAA game pretty easily with the right settings, meaning you can play whatever you want without any worries.

Given the fact it's built as a gaming pc means it has amazing cooling which will pay its dues when you are using heavy load programs on your laptop, it will not overheat even if you try to make it.

If you are investing to buy an amazing laptop like this for your engineering programs I would definitely recommend that you buy an extra 8 Gbs of Ram making it a whooping 16GB ram laptop that will eat up anything you throw at it without any second thoughts.

The keyboard caps feel a little cheap, however, that does not reflect the overall typing feel. The switches aren't extremely deep, but they are clicky, responsive and they feel nice to type on. The touchpad uses windows precision drivers and is pretty accurate, even during complex multi-finger actions.

Dell's Speakers are loud. Their sound is crisp and clean, meaning you can easily have fun listening to music while studying or working on your projects.

The Dell G3 15 is also future proof, it's easily upgradable. You can increase the Ram and the SSD Storage. And hey, it also has a 720P webcam too, meaning you can enjoy video chatting on it too.

The Dell G3 15 also comes with a 1-Year warranty meaning you don't have to worry. If this doesn't fit your budget feel free to go for any of the Dell G3 Versions with different specs, as they are all really good, just make sure you get extra ram if you decide to go for any of the 4GB models, you generally want to try to go for 8GB or more.


4. Dell XPS 15

( Best All-around Laptop)

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PROCESSOR:8th Generation Intel Core i7-8750H Up to 4.1 Ghz or 9th Gen i7-9750H |GRAPHICS: Nvidia GTX 1050Ti(6GB GDDR6) Or GTX 1650 4GB|RAM: 16GB | Storage: 512GB M.2 NVMe SSD | Display: 4K Touch Screen, ULTRA HD IPS Display| OS: Windows 10| Battery-Life: 13.5

🛒Check price on Amazon

Pros

  • Extremely Attractive 4k Display with Ultra-thin Bezel
  • Known as one of the best laptops for college students in 2019 by many
  • OLED Display4
  • Many options for all price points from budget I7 Options to a Core i9 Processor with many customizable options
  • 8 Hour battery life
  • Extremely powerful processors
  • Dedicated GPU, all while keeping sleek design and light-weight
  • The lightweight design means its less easily damaged by drops
  • Plenty of Ram
  • Carbon Fiber keyboard dock
  • Offers many port types including an SD card reader

Cons

  • No cons.

Okay, let's give this laptop the credit it deserves the 4K Display uses a Rich OLED panel, Meaning it boasts dramatic, lively colors with rich, and detailed contrast. You are going to fall in love with its display at first sight.

The display's color reproduction abilities are outstanding, it reproduces 239% of the sRGB gamut, while other premium laptops average 128%, and the MacBook Pro has 114%, however, in number one the HP Spectre has 258% and is the only one to beat it.

Not only is it stunning, but it's also durable being made out of Corning Gorilla Glass 4. The touch capabilities are quick and accurate, and you should definitely invest in the optional pen so you can use it to its full potential, and to make sure you don't smudge the beautiful screen.

The audio on this laptop is loud enough to fill any small room and is crisp n clear.

Okay now, let's talk about its performance which is the main reason you are getting this laptop for your engineering purposes. The processors that come with this series of laptops are all outstanding and built to be very beastly. It will nail any program you will want to use on the head thanks to the perfect amount of ram, a dedicated GPU and a Killer CPU.

And as it also uses an M.2 SSD means its gonna be quick and responsive, so you can enjoy a snappy experience in action. All that while making sure its future proof for many years to come.

Given the amazing dedicated GPU, it comes with means even if you love playing video games you will be able to play most games without any problems.

You might be thinking that this is another expensive laptop, but trust me, get a good laptop that you won't need to replace in a year and you will be thanking me every day. It's an investment and is the main tool that will be pushing your creativity, and talents to its max. These days it's hard enough as it is, add in a cheap laptop and you are gonna get sick of your life with everything sticking and crashing.

Think of it as an investment to your future, the same way you pay dozens for education, your Main tool also deserves some attention. A shiny perfect tool will keep you interested and motivated all the time. If you get a bad tool it's going to do the jobs badly, and it will sooner or later break or make you sick.

Okay, back to the laptop. The battery life is outstanding, but don't forget the beastly OLED Display eats it up pretty well too, However, despite the fact that the display eats the battery up it still lasts a whopping 8 hours of continuous web surfing over wifi at a bright setting.

Heat is not a problem, it has pretty good cooling. And it has one of the best webcams you can find on a laptop. It has accurate and sharp colors.

Warranty: The Dell XPS15 usually comes with a 1-Year warranty, but you can pay more if you want extended warranties, and some providers may give more warranty than others.


5. Asus Vivobook S15

Best budget-option

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PROCESSOR:Intel i5-8265U with up to 3.9 Ghz or I7-8265U |GRAPHICS: Intel UHD Graphics 630 |RAM: 8 GB or 12GB | Storage: 512GB Flash Memory Solid-state | Display:15.6 Inches Full HD 1920 x 1080p| OS: Windows 10| Battery-Life: 8 Hours of Tested battery-life

🛒Check price on Amazon

Pros

  • Unique looks
  • Tracking pad doubles as a screen (ScreenPad 2.0)
  • Unique colors in design
  • Fast overall performances at the price
  • Good budget option, with many different changeable parts
  • Very light-weight
  • Super thin
  • Good speakers
  • Has an option with a dedicated GPU

Cons

  • Dull display

So for starters, Asus went with very unique coloring options, making the laptop look pretty nice and neat while being colorful.

The VivoBook is a very compact laptop. Not the lightest in its class, but 3.8 pounds is not bad at all, so given the fact it's very light-weight means you don't have to worry as much about dropping it and breaking it. Usually heavier laptops take more damage when dropped.

Sadly the VivoBook S15's Display is a little dull, however, the extra-thin bezels and crisp colors definitely make up for it. So the only downside on this beast is the display, it won't give you the most elaborate display. It covers 68% of the sRGB color gamut

Okay, now let's move on to the audio on this laptop. The dual speakers on the bottom edge of the VivoBook S15 have Clear and lively sound, even at the highest volumes. The instruments are nicely separated and it sounds pretty crisp for a laptop speaker. There was also nice energy to the sound.

The Keyboard is very well designed and well-spaced, making the experience of typing on it a very premium feeling. The typing experience will not disappoint and is a little stiff if you are into that. The touchpad is where this laptop shines the tracking is accurate and works amazingly well. Given the screen on the trackpad, it will give you a nice experience and means you can also enjoy drawing on your trackpad and it gives you the feel of using a phone.

It has an App navigator for notes apps and many other screen pad apps. Much like you would find on a phone. you can also control music features with it.

Now to the main reason your here; the performance of this laptop. I am very pleased with how well the VivoBook performs at its price. The CPU gives you a fast and snappy feeling, and it has a good 8GBs of ram which is really the minimum to what you need as an engineer.

I don't want to give you false promises this laptop isn't gonna go through heavy engineering software like a breeze, however, if you can't afford one of the higher-end laptops no matter how much you try this will be your best option. It's definitely faster than most laptops in its range.

Graphics: If you want to play games on the VivoBook S15 you are going to want to spend a little to get the version with a dedicated GPU. Because the CPU alone will definitely struggle to play modern games. If you just play casual games and don't mind playing them at lower settings then it will work out for you fine. Other than that Definitely invest a little extra for the Added GPU.

Battery life is not bad on this laptop. It lasts around 8 hours with continuous web surfing over Wi-fi. Definitely not bad, meaning it should last you a day at university without needing the charger.

The Webcam is a 720P one, don't expect much out of the webcam, it works fine but isn't high quality or anything, it captures lifeless noisy video. But it's fine for chatting with friends and family. Tho your phone will probably do a better job at that.

The laptop is very good heat-wise. It does not heat up even after prolonged heavy use. It does a great job of keeping itself cool.

And finally, Warranty: It usually ships with a one-year warranty as most laptops do.

So now that we are done with which choices are the best for your needs I'm gonna be giving you some tips to make sure you take good care of your laptop and prolong its life.

5 Hacks to Get the best out of your laptop and prolong its life!

Please treat your laptop with care, I know you are a student and have lots going on but respect your laptop!

So this is the most obvious one, but I can't stress it enough. You are researching spending all your time to find your self the right laptop, and are spending a ton of money on it. To make sure your investment isn't waste please take good care of your laptop ( Treat it like it's your baby) because it is..... Laptops are fragile and are not built to withstand many drops like phones. Most parts of the laptop are replaceable but they will cost a fortune to get them repaired, as its not an easy job. But, Luckily for you these days laptops don't have HDDs which are more susceptible to damage than the new SSDs, so that means that you hopefully won't ever go through losing all your projects and data.

Learn how to clean your laptop properly, there are plenty of videos that will show you how

Laptops are like vacuum-cleaners, they suck all the dust on your desk into them. Other then that laptop keyboards are shown by studies to be even dirtier than toilet seats. Eww! If you routinely clean your laptop properly every 6 months or so, you definitely prolong its life a tenfold. Dust will slowly make your laptop's inner components heat up, and if not addressed can later lead to problems. Just don't clean your laptop with window cleaners, Watch some proper videos on how to take care of it.

Keep the operating system nice and snappy

Download a good free antivirus, and definitely get a good clean up program. My recommendations are AVG-FREE as an Anti-Virus, and Advanced system care as a system clean up. Downloading the latest drivers and keeping it up to date will also help it running efficiently. And all that means is you are lightening the burden on your laptop components and keeping your CPU and Ram not carrying extra viruses and bloatware with them. Keep everything fine-Tuned and it will also extend your laptop's life.

Always get the latest drivers

Laptop manufacturers are always finding new, and more efficient drivers to make sure your laptop runs as efficiently as possible and will make sure you don't get any problems that will negatively affect the performance of the laptop.

Upgrade your laptop when needed

Don't hesitate to upgrade your Storage or ram, as most laptops have upgradable options for RAM, and Extra space with SSD Sticks that you just put in a slot. Usually, they are pretty simple to do, and just require that you take a cover off and pop something in and put it back together. If you don't have any expertise with mechanical aspects you can always take it to a professional who will do it without the risk of breaking anything. But these days they are built to be upgraded pretty simply, they will definitely give you an extra punch on your laptop.

I hope you all found what you needed, and if you did I wish you the best of luck and i hope nothing breaks down on you. I put tons of research to make sure I found you the best options, all the laptops are well-reviewed and are known to perform amazingly well.

If you found this valuable don't forget to share it with your fellow engineers, friends, and colleagues. Help them out!

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