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Best Laptop for Engineering Students | Engineering Notebooks 2017 (May 2017)

best engineering laptops for studentsThe best laptop for engineering students is nothing more than a tool to help you in your endeavors.

Whether you are just starting an engineering major or you have ten years of experience in engineering your computer will be an extremely important tool. There is no question about that.

It doesn’t matter if you are software engineer need a programming laptop, a mechanical engineer wanting to work on CAD, or an electrical engineer who wants to make diagrams, these laptops are suitable for all.

An engineering laptop for a student is not a workstation laptop. Most of the time engineering students often get confused whether to get a normal laptop or a workstation laptop.

The thing is, if you are a student, you wouldn’t ever have the need to work a on workstation grade laptop (unless if you if it your hobby to go above and beyond). In most cases, a conventional laptop would suffice. Plus, a proper workstation laptop is expensive for many students to afford.

Best Laptop for Engineering Students

Here are a few laptops with reviews for how they stack up for engineering in a variety of price ranges and styles.

Budget Models

This is for an average engineering student who would spent most of the time researching or writing reports. You can use some engineering software, but in the end you may have to rely on your lab computers.

These many not be the best laptop for engineering students in terms of hardware, but for the price, nothing beats them.

Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575-33BM

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This Acer comes in at a nice budget price currently running for around $350 we have a machine that squeaks by with just enough to suit any beginning engineer.

Coming in an obsidian black design that resembles graphite or some rare mineral, the look is sharp. With a 15.6 inch screen and a 1920 x 1080 widescreen display you shouldn’t have too much trouble visualizing complex mechanics.

The processor is a Intel i3 7100-U, a seventh generation packing 2.4 ghz on a 3 mb cache gives you pretty good speed and power for the price.

4 gigabytes of DDR4 RAM is adequate speed for most applications. So store all the applications in the world on this 1 terabyte hard drive, it’s a mechanical drive so you don’t get the speed but who needs speed when you have hundreds of movies?

The connectivity is pretty good with a high speed 802.11ac Wi Fi, a LAN port, a 3.1 C USB port, two 3.0’s and a 2.0 to boot.

The only negative is a Intel HD 620 graphics card, not horrible but you will be limited on top end programs. At 5.3 pounds with a 12 hour battery life this is a great budget machine.

Specs at a glance: 15.6″ FHD, Intel i3-7100U, Integrated graphics, 4 GB DDR4 RAM, 1 TB HDD, 12 hrs battery (rated)

Pros

  • FHD resolution is a huge plus for this ultra budget laptop
  • Offers a whopping 12 hours battery (rated)

Cons

  • Lacking in graphics power
  • The RAM is in adequate for intense work

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Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575G-57D4

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This budget laptop for engineering students will run you a bit more right around the mid $500 range but Acer added a bunch of nice upgrades. Sticking with the obsidian black design this model also has a 15.6 inch screen with a 1920 x 1080 widescreen display sound familiar.

The central feature of this laptop is the dedicated NVIDIA GeForce 940 MX graphic card. You can not only enjoy light gaming, but also use some of the simulation software. With 2 gigabytes of dedicated DDR5 RAM you should have enough juice to run most engineering applications

The Intel i5 7200-U processor has a speed of upto 3.1 GHz which is just in within the perfect range for the rest of the hardware. 8 gigabytes of DDR4 RAM is also a great addition.

Rounding out the speed force we have a 256 gigabyte solid state drive for that is ten times faster than a mechanical drive speed with enough space for most people.

Acer returns with superior connectivity including Bluetooth a 3.1 USB port, two 3.0’s and a 2.0, along with a gigabit LAN port, and 802.11ac wireless card. There’s even a backlit keyboard this model has just about everything you could want packaging great value under $600 bucks.

Specs at a glance: 15.6″ FHD, Intel i3-7100U, Integrated graphics, 4 GB DDR4 RAM, 1 TB HDD, 12 hrs battery (rated)

Pros

  • Great value for money
  • Dedicated Graphics card
  • SSD drive and 12 hours battery life

Cons

  • Storage capacity is a bit lacking
  • Thicker and heavier than standard

best laptop for engineering students

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Mid Range

The best laptop for engineering students in this range ensure that you can last throughout your entire engineering period with ease. They are future proof and can be used for vast array of software and applications.

ASUS F556UA-UH71

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This ASUS is actually less than the last one currently in the low $600 range. It’s design is kind of a blend of two tone thought. Outside it has a nice metallic shine and from the inside it is equally as elegant.

The highlight of this model is an Intel i7 7500-U processor running from 2.7 to 3.5 ghz this is great speed and power to go along with 8 gigabytes of DDR4 RAM.

The connectivity is good with a 802.11ac Wi FI and three USB ports one each of the 3.1, 3.0 and 2.0 variety. The hard drive makes the classic bulk for agility trade as a 1 terabyte mechanical hard drive.

Engineers will enjoy the blue light vision mode for less eye harm during prolonged assignments. The graphic card is only integrated though so you might experience slow down on high tier programs and this machine isn’t for games. A good computer though the Acer has a bit more value.

Specs at a glance: 15.6″ FHD, Intel i7-7500U, Integrated graphics, 8 GB DDR4 RAM, 1 TB HDD

Pros

  • Core i7 processor at a very reasonable price
  • Slim and elegant

Cons

  • Lack of dedicated graphics card
  • No SSD

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Acer Aspire E5-575G-75MD

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Another Acer machine speeds in with all of the goodies we are used to. This one however packs a bit more punch with it’s Intel i7 7500-U processor delivering efficiency with up to 3.5 ghz speed.

The Nvidia GeForce 940 MX with 2 gigabytes of dedicated DDR5 RAM returns to max out its potential for around $700 dollars. With 8 gigabytes of DDR4 RAM the speed is all here for any complex simulations or graphical engineering.

Acer brings back the full house of connectivity four USB ports 802.11ac Wi Fi and LAN. We’ve already heard all of this before in the Acer above though so I will wrap this up quick. For a bit more money we are getting a nice power leap for the price so the only question is can you afford it.

Specs at a glance: 15.6″ FHD, Intel i7-7500U, NVIDIA GTX 940M, 8 GB DDR4 RAM, 256 GB SSD

Pros

  • Core i7 processor at a reasonable price
  • Dedicated graphics card
  • SSD storage
  • Long 12 hours (rated) battery life

Cons

  • Thicker and heavier than standard laptop

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Multimedia

These laptops for engineers offer Quad Core Intel processors. Meaning, they are powerhouses. They do not necessarily have to offer a dedicated graphics card, but most of the best laptop for engineering students in this category do offer mid range graphics cards.

Lenovo Ideapad 700 80RU00N3US

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With this model, Lenovo has combined the element of elegance with that of an optimal hardware. The laptop is sleek, slender and offers a beautiful scsreen.

At 15.6 inches with a 1920 x 1080 maximum resolution this screen kicks the visible up a notch with it’s IPS display.

Multitasking high end applications should be a breeze for the Intel i7 6700HQ processor at 2.6 ghz this CPU prioritizes performance over battery efficiency. The speed continues with 16 gigabytes of DDR4 RAM and a 128 gigabyte SSD but you get the substance too with a tag-along 1 terabyte mechanical hard drive.

The star of this model with the 4 core processor is a GeForce GTX 950 graphics card with 4 gigabytes of dedicated DDR5 RAM. With all the standard connectivity and great power the only issues are it’s mid $900 price and low 4 hour battery life.

If you are looking for the best laptop for engineering students, than you might be just in luck with this machine.

Specs at a glance: 15.6″ FHD IPS, Intel i7-6700HQ, NVIDIA GTX 950M, 16 GB DDR4 RAM, 128GB SSD + 1 TB HDD

Pros

  • Quad core i7
  • Less than an inch thick
  • SSD for speed and HDD for capacity
  • Mid range graphics card

Cons

  • Thicker and heavier than standard laptop

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Dell XPS9560-5000SLV-PUS

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Currently around $1,500 dollars this laptop has a lot to prove to come out a winner.

Starting fast we have a Intel i5 7300HQ quad core running up to 3.5 ghz passing the first checkpoint. Speed kill with 8 gigabytes of DDR4 RAM and a 256 gigabyte SSD.

That’s all fun and games but the real stunner is the 15.6 inch 4K ultra HD touch display with a maximum resolution of 3840 x 2160. Expect superb visuals and amazing detail for all your engineering duties making precision king.

A backlit keyboard and superior connectivity including two 3.0 USB ports and an almighty Thunderbolt port which is 8 times faster.

Backing everything up is a Nvidia GTX 1050 graphics card for high speed simulations or gaming.

At a super light 4 pounds with a sturdy aluminum frame and gorilla glass construction this model has everything you need though the value is just cutting by the finish line.

Specs at a glance: 15.6″ 4K touch, Intel i5-7300HQ, NVIDIA GTX 1050M, 8 GB DDR4 RAM, 256 GB

Pros

  • One of the slimmest multimedia laptop in the market (less than 0.7 inch thick)
  • 4K infinity display is a sight to behold
  • Powerful NVIDIA GTX 1050 graphics

Cons

  • Lack of 16 GB of RAM
  • Expensive machine

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Performance

These are basically powerhouse. They are alternatives to the Apple Macbook Pro. If you serious about your work and yo want to make a strong statement, then nothing beats these laptops.

Dell XPS9560-7001SLV-PUS

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We start off with another Dell and another obscene price tag currently around $1,800 dollars can we deliver two in a row?

The speed steps up with a Intel i7 7700HQ quad core maxing out at 3.8 ghz. We kick up the RAM to 16 gigs and also the SSD to 512 gigabytes for some pretty absurd speeds. Then the Nvidia GTX 1050 makes a comeback to ensure the 4K ultra HD touch display doesn’t go to waste.

Everything else is basically a clone of the last model so for three hundred more we are getting some nice upgrades. Once again the value is barely there on these high end Dell’s but you are getting a powerful, durable, and capable workstation.

Specs at a glance: 15.6″ 4K touch, Intel i7-7700HQ, NVIDIA GTX 1050M, 16 GB DDR4 RAM, 512 GB

Pros

  • Latest generation quad core i7 processor and graphics
  • Large 512 GB of SSD
  • 4K infinity edge to edge display
  • Only about 0.7 inches thick

Cons

  • Expensive machine

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2017 Newest HP Pavilion 17t Touch

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If you are looking for a quad core i7 processor in a none gaming laptop, then this is the best engineer laptop for you.

This is our first 17 inch laptop in this list. This HP delivers a great value for around $1,200 bucks. The design is a elegant silver and black with metallic premium finish. The Intel i7 7700HQ quad core returns at a much cheaper price.

The speed follows in 16 gigabytes of DDR4 RAM and a 128 gigabyte SSD accompanied by your big boy 1 terabyte mechanical drive. Your stable of impressive cards is rounded out by a Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 with 4 gigs of dedicated DDR5 RAM.

You might miss the Thunderbolt port with only two USB 3.1’s and a 2.0. You will also miss the display as this one is a full HD IPS antiglare screen with backlit keyboard but the resolution tops out at 1920 x 1080. This machine screams value at a nice price though it is a bit heavy at 6.07 pounds.

Compared to the Dell XPS laptop above, this laptop is much cheaper and offer the same core hardware. However, the screen is not 4K and it is not as slim and portable.

Specs at a glance: 17.3″ FHD Touch, Intel i7-7700HQ, NVIDIA GTX 1050M, 16 GB DDR4 RAM, 1 TB + 128

Pros

  • Quad core i7 processor for cheap w/ 16 GB of RAM
  • Large and comfortable screen
  • The HDD run at 7200 RPM (instead of conventional 5400 rpm)

Cons

  • Large and bulky
  • The resolution is only FHD

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Gaming

All work and no play make you a dull person. This statement hold the most sense when you are engineering.

You got to have a way of venting your stress out and there is not better way to do so then to get yourself a gaming laptop.

These could well be the best laptop for engineering students. They are expensive, but if I had the money, I would definitely invest in these instead of any other. You should too, if you do not mind the loud looks.

ROG Strix GL502VM 15.6″ G-SYNC VR Ready

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Here comes the gorgeous design with a streamlined silver and orange appeal the hyper cooling system is great for prolonged intense sessions. You won’t stress your intel i7 7700HQ processor with the Nvidia GTX 1060 graphics card with 6 gigabytes of dedicated DDR5 RAM.

Add that on to the 16 gigabytes of DDR5 RAM and 128 gig SSD and we have a true road runner, oh yea there’s a terabyte hard drive too. Three 3.0 USB ports along with an HDMI and a extra display port allow you to connect as many monitors as you need for the split screening you’ll want to experiment with on this powerful machine.

Though the resolution maxes out at 1920 x 1080 for around $1,400 you can’t do much better for high performance gaming and engineering.

Specs at a glance: 15.6 FHD VR Ready G-Sync, Intel Quad Core i7-7700HQ, GTX 1060M, 16GB DDR4 RAM, 1 TB HDD + 128 SSD

Pros

  • Laptop designed for hardcore enthusiasts, programmers and developers
  • Offer the latest hardware including 7th generation Intel Core i7 processor
  • Has a very sleek form factor despite being a high-end gaming laptop

Cons

  • The battery life is a huge concern for a laptop of this kind
  • For many casual programmers, this would be an overkill. This is an expensive laptop after all.

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Acer Aspire VX 15 VX5-591G-75RM Gaming Laptop

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Our final machine and of course it’s an Acer that comes in just under one grand. The value is as striking as the design a red on black sinister sharp look that demands attention.

The 15.6 inch 1920 x 1080 full HD IPS display runs fast on our good ole intel i7 7700HQ processor(fours a charm right?). High performance follows with the Nvidia GTX 1050 Ti graphics card rocking 5 gigabytes of dedicated GDDR5 RAM. This goes perfectly with the 16 gigabytes of DDR4 RAM and 256 gigabyte SSD.

A frigid cooling system matches a cool red backlit keyboard and a multitude of connectivity. Two USB 3.0s, one 2.0, HDMI, LAN, Wi Fi, and 4.0 Bluetooth round out this value laden engineer who likes to game 5.51 pound super computer.

Specs at a glance: 15.6 inch FHD IPS, Intel Quad Core i7-7700HQ, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti, 16 GB DDR4 RAM, 256 GB SSD

Pros

  • Offers the latest generation Quad Core processor
  • A large RAM and latest NVIDIA graphics card
  • Offered at a very reasonable price

Cons

  • Does not offer 4K resolution
  • Storage is fast but lacking in capacity (can be upgraded)

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FAQ

What if you ARE an engineer already?

Well, if that is the case, then you should without any doubt be looking at workstation grade laptops. I have listed a few below:

There is no denying that the true definition of an engineering laptop is a workstation laptop.

Therefore, if you are a true engineer then you should seriously consider getting a workstation laptop. And by ‘true engineer’ I do not mean someone who has a degree on paper. I mean if you are really involved in hardcore CAD/simulation work, then there is nothing better than a workstation laptop.

A Few Great Workstation Laptops

HP ZBook

HP Zbook 15 G2

Specs at a glance: 15.6 inch FHD, Intel Core i7-4810MQ, NVIDIA Quadro K610M, 16 GB RAM, 256 GB HDD

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Dell precission

Dell Precision M5510

Specs at a glance: 15.6 inch FHD, Intel Core i7-6820HK, NVIDIA Quadro M1000M, 32 GB RAM, 512 GB HDD

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What are Quadro Graphics Cards (Workstation Graphic Cards)?

NVIDIA Quadro or AMD Firepro graphics cards are not our average gaming graphics card. These are designed for 3D, computer-aided design (CAD), computer-generated imagery (CGI), digital content creation (DCC) applications, and a vast array of engineering software.

They are not as great for gaming and they can be expensive, but they can give you a better edge on your work.

Are Workstation Laptops an Overkill for Engineer?

I have not included workstation laptops in the list of best laptop for engineering student. Why? because they really are an overkill for an average engineering student.

If you are making money from your engineering efforts, then it is understandable to invest in a machine like this. However, for college work, there is little reason why such power should be considered.

Should you get a desktop instead?

A desktop won’t cut it for a profession that often calls for problem solving on the move. You need a laptop so you can handle any deadline anywhere. An effective lasting workstation for engineering needs almost as much power as one for professional gaming. It’s important to find a machine with all the speed, power, connectivity, and graphics that you can afford.

Although if you do feel like you won’t be moving about too much then even a desktop can suffice. However, most of the engineering students would prefer a laptop.

Should you consider Ultrabooks?

For those of you who don’t know, Ultrabooks are a breed of laptops that thin and elegant. They come in premium and budget range. Most of the Ultrabooks offers 13.3 inch screen sizes with a decent resolution.

If you do not mind the small screens, then you can get pretty nice deals for Ultrabooks. Their biggest advantage is that they highly portable.

What kind of hardware do you need?

A proper laptop for engineering student is a laptop that is an all rounder laptop. It needs to be the jack of all trades because you never know when a certain component will come in handy. Some say you do need a graphics card. Well, although that is true in most cases, you will find it uses when working on CAD or 3D software. Therefore, it is advisable to have this component as well.

CPU

Engineering programs can be very taxing on your computers performance so it’s important to have a good cpu. Your cpu is important for everything from boot times, to the speed you can generate your work.

Every second counts when you have a heavy workload so you want a cpu that can match whatever is required efficiently so you aren’t left dealing with a crash when the clock is ticking. Multiple core will also help with multitasking so you can run graphically heavy software or simulation programs like ANSYS.

RAM

The worst thing that can happen to any technology is when it moves slow. When you are working on something powered by electricity moving at the speed of light a snails pace kinda defeats the purpose.

An engineer will want to have a computer with enough RAM. Random access memory works hand in hand with your processor to perform tasks quickly. You will want at least 6 gigabytes but 8 is preferred and 12 or 16 will definitely produce a noticeable difference.

Connectivity

In this day and age speed and efficiency are nothing without the utility that your connections will provide. You need a machine that can at the very least connect to Wi-Fi for basic internet. Bluetooth is also really nice for connecting all of your other devices without plugging in.

When you do need to plug in you want multiple USB ports preferably of the high speed 3.0 variety along with a good LAN connection. An optical drive can sometimes be necessary for running programs on cd’s or dvd’s but the industry is steadily moving away from that being a necessity.

When given a choice between an optical drive or a slim profile, go for the slim profile. You will find that useful in the long run in place like a big campus.

Screen

One of the most important things to take into account for the best laptop for engineering student is the quality of your screen. You want to get a screen that’s large enough for you to see thing in intricate detail.

Around 14 inches might be the minimum but the size won’t matter as much as long as you have a nice resolution. 1366 x 768 is pushing it so I would recommend at least 1920 x 1080 but the higher the better.

If you work outside a matte screen will also be worth looking into over a glossy one that can lead to intense glare. When it comes to screen size we walk a tight rope between size and portability. An engineers laptop must be vivid as a sunset, yet agile as a panther for one who seeks to rule the concrete jungle.

A few more things to consider for the best laptop for engineering students.

  • Dedicated Graphics Card: This will help for rendering quickly in applications like MATLAB and CAD
  • Sturdy Design: You want a laptop that can travel well without worrying about excessive force or accidents ruining all of your work.
  • Operating System: Both Mac and Windows can work for engineering, but while Mac’s are versatile, efficient, and easy to use once you get used to them. Windows will work with a much larger variety of applications and have a lower price point so they are recommended for any beginner.