There are few things in this world that are as hard as being an engineering student. As a candidate in one of the most competitive fields in the world, not to mention its academic rigor and high standards, you will have your work cut out for you if you come out on top.
One thing that can make these tough years a bit easier would be having a good laptop by your side. This laptop can be your centralized workstation where you complete and store assignments among the myriad other tasks you will be assigned.
Laptops for computer engineering students generally have different specs from those that regular students would use especially if they plan on working with CAD. Since students are generally on a tight budget, the cost can be a major factor here too. Given the complex requirements that their laptops have to adhere to, engineering students can often struggle to find something that is worth their while.
We have compiled a list of 8 laptops that we feel are perfect for engineering students, At the end of this post, We will discuss minimum requirements. If you are unaware of what specs to look for, this section should be of interest to you.
8 BEST LAPTOPS FOR ENGINEERING STUDENTS
ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo UX581 15.6” 4K UHD NanoEdge Bezel Touch, Intel Core i7-9750H, 16GB RAM, 1TB PCIe SSD, GeForce RTX 2060, Innovative Screenpad Plus, Windows 10 Pro, Celestial Blue, UX581GV-XB74T
Dell XPS 15 7590 Laptop 15.6 inch, 4K UHD OLED InfinityEdge, 9th Gen Intel Core i7-9750H, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 4GB GDDR5, 256GB SSD, 16GB RAM, Windows 10 Home, XPS7590-7572SLV-PUS, 15-15.99 inches
ASUS – ROG Zephyrus G14 14″ Gaming Laptop – AMD Ryzen 9 – 16GB Memory – NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 – 1TB SSD – Moonlight White
HP Spectre x360-15t Quad Core(8th Gen Intel i7-8550U, 16GB RAM, 512G PCIe NVMe SSD, 4K IPS micro-edge Corning Gorilla, Windows 10)Bang & Olufsen 15.6″ 2-in-1 Convertible Dark Ash + HP Warranty
Lenovo Flex 5 14″ 2-in-1 Laptop, 14.0″ FHD (1920 x 1080) Touch Display, AMD Ryzen 5 4500U Processor, 16GB DDR4, 256GB SSD, AMD Radeon Graphics, Digital Pen Included, Win 10, 81X20005US, Graphite Grey
Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop, 15.6″ Full HD IPS, Intel i7 CPU, 16GB DDR4 RAM, 256GB SSD, GeForce GTX 1060-6GB, VR Ready, Red Backlit KB, Metal Chassis, Windows 10 64-bit, G3-571-77QK
- 8 BEST LAPTOPS FOR ENGINEERING STUDENTS
- What Specs To Look for (Minimum Requirements)
1. Asus ZenBook Pro Duo UX581
Every once in a while a new piece of tech comes along that looks like the future. The Asus ZenBook Pro Duo is one such item. The dual-screen display might sound like a gimmick, but it’s actually a great way to multitask. You also get a unique feature in the ScreenPad which can be turned into a trackpad for the mouse, a number pad as well as a few other useful things.
This is a very pricey laptop that’ll cost you $2,499, but in exchange for that, you get the latest generation i9 processor as well as a dedicated Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 GPU which can run any graphics-heavy programs you need to operate. Some complain that this laptop can be a bit inconvenient to use due to the lack of a built-in wrist rest, but the attachable rest works just fine and can be added if required.
Both screens are phenomenal, with the 15.6 inch OLED offering 4K resolution and the 14-inch second screen is a great way to focus on multiple projects at once. Really the only complaint we have has to do with the battery life which is a tradeoff we’re willing to make considering this laptop is so powerful. This product is for the serious engineering student, someone that considers their laptop an investment into the future.
- Second screen
- Realistic colors on OLED
- Efficient ScreenPad
- Top notch specs
- Battery life could be better
2. Dell XPS 15 7590
Dell is widely known for making excellent workhorse laptops that are capable of handling very high-level tasks smoothly. The XPS 15 has long been Dell’s flagship, and the latest version of this laptop certainly doesn’t disappoint. The previous model of this laptop had a very awkwardly placed webcam, but thankfully Dell has seen the error of its ways and has brought back the camera where it belongs.
The 4K OLED screen provides brilliant results, and what’s even better is that this laptop isn’t as much of a battery hog as the Asus ZenBook Pro Duo, which makes it great for people that need to work for long periods on the go. Coming in at 4.4lbs, this laptop won’t be a hulking beast that you need to drag around either, and the fact that you get specs as top notch as this in such a lightweight package is certainly a major plus point for engineering students.
All in all, the only reason we decided to bump this down a place in our rankings is that the Asus ZenBook Pro Duo provides something far too unique to ignore. If a dual-screen setup is not what you require, the XPS 15 from Dell can work perfectly and it doesn’t have the battery issues of the ZenBook either. That said, you will occasionally face overheating problems with certain tasks so you should be careful lest you damage this product.
- Lightweight and portable
- High quality OLED
- Long lasting battery
- High processing power
- Can sometimes overheat
3. Asus Zephyrus G14
We are usually wary of playing favorites when it comes to brands which are why we rarely ever have a brand making more than one appearance in our top three, but Asus has really been bringing it lately and the Zephyrus G14 is just too good of a laptop to ignore. The eleven-hour battery life is more than enough to ensure that you can get your work done in time, and thanks to the AMD Ryzen 9 processor you will have no trouble getting things done quickly.
This laptop also has a pretty old-school aesthetic which certainly isn’t a bad thing, and we appreciate the fact that Asus has placed so much emphasis on making this machine as lightweight and portable as possible. All of these benefits come at a fairly reasonable price point as well which further justifies our decision to have Asus dominate our higher rankings!
The laptop does have a few flaws, though. The 16:9 aspect ratio might be good for gaming, but it can be a nuisance for people that are trying to get work done. Also, long work sessions are facilitated by the battery but they are often hampered by an overheating issue that can be made more frustrating by the noise of the fans which can get a little too loud when the machine starts getting hot.
- Great battery life
- AMD Ryzen 9 processor
- Easy to carry around
- Surprisingly affordable
- Odd aspect ratio
- Issues with overheating and fan noise
4. Macbook Pro 16
There was a time when Macbooks reigned supreme, but the once widely beloved laptop has seen somewhat of a fall from grace as products from competitors start to surpass it in terms of quality. The 16-inch screen alone makes it worthy of a spot in this list though, as does the phenomenal eleven-hour battery life. This is one of the few laptops that won’t overheat either thanks to the excellent thermals that Apple has added to the mix.
The keyboard in particular is something that we feel like everyone would love. The keys are quite soft and don’t require a lot of effort to press down which makes long work spells much easier to get through. We would have loved to rank the Macbook Pro higher, but it just doesn’t give engineering students enough value for money in our opinion.
For one thing, it’s a bit too heavy, especially when compared to laptops made by other companies. The screen also doesn’t offer 4K resolution which we feel is quite underwhelming when you take into consideration how much you are going to be paying for the laptop. Still, it offers enough advantages that it can be a decent purchase for those that can afford it.
- 16 inch screen
- No chance of overheating
- Excellent keyboard
- Too heavy
- Underwhelming screen quality
5. HP Spectre x360 15T
HP produces a lot of great products, so it was inevitable that we would have a couple of products from this company on our list. The first thing that might stand out about this laptop is the fact that it looks amazing. The design might not be a huge factor for engineering students, but it doesn’t hurt to have a laptop that looks this beautiful. For all its aesthetic advantages, this laptop doesn’t skimp out on durability either. Students are often in a rush to get to places and having a durable laptop is great if you are clumsy and tend to drop things when you’re in a hurry.
The 4K OLED screen also has touch capabilities which are fairly useful, and engineering students can obtain a lot of value from a six-core processor as well as the NVIDIA graphics card that makes loading CAD programs a breeze.
That said, the battery life can be a bit of an issue with this laptop, especially for students that need to do lots of work remotely. The touchpad is a bit fidgety as well since the lack of friction makes it so that you wouldn’t have quite as much control over your cursor as you would like. These drawbacks should be taken into consideration, with the battery issue, in particular, being a major contributor to this laptop failing to rank higher on this list.
- Premium aesthetic and design
- Touch screen
- Good performance
- Battery doesn’t last long
- Mediocre touchpad
6. Lenovo Flex 5
If you are looking for a laptop that is impressively affordable whilst still providing top-notch quality, Lenovo has got you covered with the Flex 5. Part of the great value this laptop can provide comes from the battery life which is some of the best that you might find in the industry at present. You also get a nifty tablet mode with this laptop with the screen facilitating touch-based interfacing that can be great for an engineer that wants a more intuitive way to interact with the programs that they might be using.
A number of flaws get in the way of this laptop being ranked higher up on our list. This laptop is marketed as an ultraportable machine, but we felt that it was too heavy to justify this label. Such a flaw can be overlooked if other things are built to higher standards, but the screen on this laptop turned out to be a pretty huge disappointment.
While the screen does provide a reasonably high resolution, it is frustratingly dim. A lot of the work that you might do as an engineering student will be done at night when you don’t have classes. This would be impossible due to the shallow nature of the screen, so you should only prefer this if you want something cheap that has a few high-quality features.
- Highly affordable
- Superior battery longevity
- Touch compatibility in screen
- Very heavy
- Display lacks brightness
7. Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop
Acer offers a number of great laptops, and this model has become pretty popular among gamers. A common trend that you might start seeing is that laptops that are suitable for gamers can work great for engineering students too since they fulfill a lot of the same functions. The 240Hz screen stands out quite a bit with this product, offering seamless performance with a smooth 60fps output. You might even be pleasantly surprised by how affordable this laptop is since anything that comes in at $1,100 will be well in the price range of a student like you if you have the right kind of budget in mind.
This relative affordability is why we feel this laptop deserves a place on this list, especially since the keyboard has a great backlight which makes it great for all-nighters. Be careful while working on this laptop for extended periods of time, though. It might just overheat which is a complaint that we have seen from a lot of users.
One major drawback of this laptop is its somewhat mediocre CPU performance. This is to be expected since the laptop offers quite a lot for not a lot of money, so a compromise certainly had to be made somewhere or the other. The three storage drive compartments can be great if you want to bump up this spec, though, and it might help make up for any CPU shortcomings.
- Not overly expensive
- 240Hz display offers smooth performance
- Facilitates up to three storage drives
- Tends to overheat
- Somewhat lacking in CPU performance
8. HP Envy 17T
Sometimes you just want a basic laptop that has a no-muss, no-fuss approach to computing. The HP Envy 17T is a great example of how you can go about finding something like this. The display is crystal clear, and the specs are easy to work with as well as long as you don’t have anything major that you want to pursue that might require some extra processing power. The minimalist aesthetic implemented in this laptop’s design is great too, particularly for those that prefer not to get too fancy with how their laptops look but still want something that holds up aesthetically.
This is a reasonably affordable laptop which makes it a great option for students, but you will be missing out on a fair amount of processing power if this is the option you choose. Your savings will come at the expense of a lower than average battery life, as well as a bulky design that makes this laptop difficult to carry around. A lot of users have also expressed annoyance at the touchpad, with certain people claiming that it lacks enough sensitivity to be of use. These are all flaws that might be in the eye of the beholder though, and we found that this laptop was of a high enough quality to warrant a place on this list.
- Great display
- Decent specs
- Attractive design
- Poor battery life
- Frustrating touchpad
- Unnecessarily weighty
What Specs To Look for (Minimum Requirements)
Civil engineering laptops generally require the use of processor-heavy programs such as CAD software. Hence, you shouldn’t dip below an i5 processor or equivalent such as the AMD Ryzen 5. A number of tasks you’d need to complete might also be graphics-intensive, so if this is the case you might want to avoid integrated graphics cards. Get something with a dedicated graphics card instead to ensure seamless performance.
Solid-state drives are also crucial for maximum productivity. You’ll just save a lot of time if you have a solid-state hard drive since programs and tasks wouldn’t take very long to load. This coupled with a minimum of 8 gigabytes of RAM will help you complete your assignments without too many difficulties.
16 gigabytes of RAM will end up costing a bit more, but you should get it if you can afford it since it allows you to make full use of your processor if you are unable to purchase anything higher than an i5. Basically, extra RAM makes an i5 operate much faster without you having to fork over the cash for a far more expensive i7. The more RAM you get, the better!
Both size and resolution are quite significant here. Graphics intensive programs will require a minimum of 1080p in terms of resolution but don’t think that you can get by with a high-resolution screen if it’s too small. Anything smaller than a 15 inch will leave your neck aching for days, so try to adhere to this minimum screen size and keep in mind that your screen will look quite cluttered if you get anything below this. Even a 15-inch screen would be on the lower end of things. Those that can afford it should opt for a 17 inch as this can give you a clear view of everything you might be working on.
It’s quite rare for an engineering student to stay in one place for very long! There are classes that you have to go to, probably a part-time job as well as a bunch of other things that will keep you pretty mobile. Your laptop should offer enough portability for such a lifestyle. Anything that weighs more than 2 kilos, or 4.5lbs, will be far too heavy for you to lug around. Something between 1.5kg to 2kg should be perfect.
While it’s understandable that you would want to save as much money as possible due to your limited funds, lower-end laptops just wouldn’t have the specs to handle the tasks you need to perform. A budget of around $1000 would be just enough to cover something that would cover all of the specs we have mentioned above.
If this seems pricey to you, just remember that this laptop is an investment into your future. You won’t stop using it once you’re done with college, rather you’d probably need it more than ever once you start your first job. Spending this money early on can help you stay ahead of the pack and get a jumpstart in your career.
5. Extra Features
A few extra features definitely aren’t necessary for engineering students, but given the price, you’re paying they certainly don’t hurt. Touch ID is a great feature since it actually helps you improve efficiency, so not all of these extra features need to be unnecessary luxuries.
A matte finish is another extra feature that can be great specifically for engineering students since it can reduce the strain on your eyes. If your budget is too tight to afford a matte screen, low brightness can be a good alternative.
A number of the laptops in our list are ranked highly precisely because they have unique features that can benefit people studying engineering.
6. Battery Life
You never know where you are going to be when a deadline is fast approaching, so you need to buy a laptop that has enough battery life to cover a whole day’s work. This means around eight hours or so, and most batteries are capable of doing this. We felt like this was still worth mentioning because battery life can be severely shortened by the use of CAD-type software, so something with a higher than average battery life can prove useful.
This is a pretty basic element of your laptop, but finding something with a backlit keyboard can be great. You should try typing a few lines before you buy the laptop so that you can get a feel for the keys. Not all keyboards are meant for everyone, you need to find something that pertains to your preferences in this regard.