The life of an engineering student is already difficult enough between online assignments, overloaded schedules, internships, and projects. A slow, grumpy laptop does not make that any easier. In fact, it makes it much worse.
Nothing is more frustrating than trying to rotate your CAD drawing but being unable to because your old graphics card can’t keep up. It’s also quite annoying when you have no laptop and the computer lab is closed after class.
Luckily, there’s an easy solution to the above problems. You can simply get a new laptop. While picking one blind is never a good strategy, this guide will break down the best models for engineering students so you can discover which one’s for you.
- ASUS Vivobook K571 Laptop – The ASUS Vivobook K571 Laptop is a sleek model with a lot of power packed inside. It comes with a GTX1650 graphics card and an i7 chip that can handle all engineering work. There are also plenty of ports (HDMI, USB-C, and USB-A (3)) and it has an SD card reader. The 16 GB of RAM is more than enough internal memory.
- Asus TUF Gaming Laptop – Though it might seem odd to get a gaming laptop for engineering purposes, the Asus TUF is a great way to have your cake and eat it too. It has a dedicated graphics card on top of a 9th gen intel CPU. In addition, there are three USB-A ports, as well as a RGB keyboard that can be backlit in many different ways. The perfect hybrid machine for work and play.
- Dell Inspiron 15 7000 Series Gaming Edition 7567 – This incredible machine isn’t just sleek and attractive, it also allows you to both work and play games with ease. Featuring an ethernet slot on top of numerous ports, the Dell Inspiron also comes with a special cooling design that prevents it from overheating. The red backlit keyboard works well and the graphics are sharp and stunning.
Who Should Get This?
Engineering students depend on their laptops. Not only do the machines need to render drawings and run multiple RAM-hogging programs at once, they also need enough battery to last trips around campus. The below models side-step such problems and give you fantastic performance day-in and day-out.
However, the above attributes are not just for engineering students. Art and media students, who need to render or edit in 4k, can appreciate them as well. In addition, video game hobbyists will love the ability to run their games at peak performance. While the following recommendations are best-suited for engineering students, they’re a great fit for anyone who needs a high powered laptop each and every day.
Best Laptops for Engineering Students: What to Consider in 2020
There’s no getting around this one- you need to run Windows if you want to be an engineering student. Many industry-standard CAD programs are not available on Mac, and most workplaces use Windows computers as well. Unless you plan on buying a seperate copy of Windows and then running it in BootCamp or Parallels on Mac, you’ll struggle.
We all know you can’t just download more RAM, so it’s important to get as much as you can. Additionally, you’ll want a model i5 or i7 CPU, and a dedicated graphics card. While a solid SSD may hurt your budget a little, an HDD hard drive will have you clawing your eyes out waiting for your laptop to boot up.
Normally I would say to consider size and weight when getting a laptop. However, most powerful machines are quite large. Even so, the larger shells tend to come with many fun features, including fingerprint readers, webcams, 360-degree rotation modes, and stylus support. Features like these may not make or break a laptop, but if they interest you then there are definitely models available to fit your needs.
Best Laptops for Engineering Students: Our Picks for 2020
Powerhouse laptops aren’t exactly known for being slim, but despite a hefty 4.7lbs, this laptop is still the lightest on our list. It features sharp corners and looks great at home, in the classroom, workplace, or your desk. With a 9th generation i7 chip and a GTX1650 graphics card, it’s ready to take on anything you throw at it. To top it off, it has a 120Hz display, so both your work life and video games will be incredibly sharp.
- Light for a 15” laptop with a distinctly sleek design, unlike bulkier competitors
- Powerful desktop level GTX1650 graphics card combined with an i7 chip is more than capable of handing engineering work
- Doesn’t skimp on ports; you’ll find an HDMI, USB-C, USB-A (3), and SD card reader
- Combination of 256 GB SSD and 1TB HDD means you’ll boot up fast without sacrificing storage space
- 16GB of RAM
- Poor battery life, you’ll want to keep the charging cord with you
Like many gaming laptops, the Asus TUF is great for hard work as well. Although it features a more gaming inspired design with its larger arrow pad and angled edges, it will perfectly complement your work life. The 512GB SSD will have you up and running in no time, while the i7 processor and GTX1650 graphics card will keep you on your toes.
- Dedicated graphics card combined with recent 9th gen intel CPU means your computer will keep up with you through graduation and beyond
- Ports include three USB-A ports, an HDMI, and an ethernet slot
- Fun RGB keyboard can be backlit in any color
- Only 8GB of RAM. You’ll want to buy a second stick separately and install it yourself
Dell has made great computers for decades, and this one is no exception. It gets you the features you need at an affordable price point, and you won’t feel like you had to compromise. The base model runs an i5 with a GTX1050 graphics card, but you can upgrade this to a 1050Ti if you think you’ll need it. You’ll also get a terabyte of storage, which is more than enough for schoolwork and hobbies.
- Ports include 3 USB-A, SD reader, HDMI, and an ethernet slot in addition to standards such as charger and audio jack
- New cooling design prevents the laptop from overheating and burning your legs without excessively loud fans
- Red backlit keyboard shows your keys without becoming glaringly bright in a dark room
- Extremely bulky
- Only comes with 8GB of RAM
Useful Tips & Tricks
While it’s understandable to have a few late redbull-fuelled nights, constantly be throwing your laptop in your bag while you rush to class, and accidentally touching it with snack-covered hands, it’s important to keep your laptop clean. Cleaning it regularly will help it live a longer life, prevent gunk from getting in difficult places like the keyboard/fan, and make the screen more comfortable to view.
Make sure to only use screen cleaner or water on your laptop – never use windex or other multi surface cleaners, as they can easily cause damage. For advice on cleaning the actual body of your laptop, see this informative piece from CNET.
Your laptop will stand by you through all of your school years, and it can last longer if you treat it right. It’s important those four years are productive and efficient, not frustrating and laggy, and you can ensure the best outcome by picking the best laptop. We’ve made our recommendations – now try it out and tell us what you think!
What laptop do you use for school? What makes it your choice? Let us know in the comments below!
Chris is a lifelong tech enthusiast with a broad range of interests including coding, data analysis, traveling, and more. He used to work as a software programmer immersing himself in the world of codes, now he finds it more interesting talking to real people.