Laptops

Best Laptops For Engineering Students: Reviewed & Compared

Studying engineering can be tough at the best of times. Lots of theory, practical tests, projects, and classroom material to get through during your course, making sure you have a laptop that can handle the workload, could be vital in your end result. We have reviewed and compared all of the best laptops on the market for engineering students.

We have condensed thousands of laptop choices into just 7. We are going to review these 7 in-depth and include our process through a buyer's guide. Alternatively, if you have a budget but do not want to do the research, you can pick any laptop on this list, knowing full well that it will perform incredibly.

Image

Product Name

Processor

RAM/GPU

Screen Size

Storage

Battery

Check Price

Microsoft Surface Book 2  13.5' (Intel Core...

Intel i7 8th gen

8-16 GB DDR4 /

GTX 1050 2gb ram

15”

1tb

17

CUK MSI GL75 Gamer Notebook (Intel i7-9750H,...

Intel i7 9th gen

32 GB DDR4 / RTX 2060 4gb ram

17”

1tb

8+

Lenovo Flex 14 2-in-1 Convertible Laptop, 14...

Intel i3/i5/R5 9th gen

4/8/12 GB DDR4

14”

128/256gb SSD

10+

Apple MacBook Pro (13-Inch, 8GB RAM, 256GB...

Intel i3/i5/i7/i9

8/16/32 GB DDR4

15”

Up to 4TB SSD

10+

Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop PC,...

Intel i7

16 GB DDR4

15”

256gb SSD

5+

HP Spectre x360 2019 13T Gemcut Laptop...

Intel i7 8th gen

16 GB DDR4

13”

512gb SSD

8+


Why Engineering Students Need a High-Quality Laptop

When it comes to the requirements needed from a laptop by an engineering student, it can vary depending on the course.  For those using high-demand software that requires enormous processing power, you are going to have to spend a little bit more due to the components needed to keep up. 

You aren’t going to get away with buying a budget laptop, like the ones we suggested in this article. That being said, even if you do not need that kind of processing power, it is always nice to have that power, even if you don’t need it.

Having higher processing power makes every single task your computer carries out smoother. That means transferring files, converting file types, web browsing, gaming, and even emails all work faster and better when your laptop has more juice.


How To Choose The Right Laptop For Engineering

Field of Study

To begin with, work out if your field of study has any demanding software you will need to run. Is it going to require you to send vast numbers of files or convert large files of pictures?

When you know this, you will have your base level of system requirements. Next, work out if you yourself have any demands. If you are a gamer or music producer, your base level of system requirements might already be higher than your course demands.

Gaming, for example, will require a graphics card that performs on a level that is much higher than most commercial software demands.

Enter your text here...

Laptop Specs & Features

Operating Systems

Choosing which operating system you prefer is usually a matter of preference. If you have always used an Apple product, you will find it easier to stick to the same operating system. The only exception is if you are using software that is exclusive to either Mac OS or Windows.

Processor (CPU)

The processor is the heart, soul, and brain of your machine. The "Flux Capacitor" if you will. This tiny chip processes millions of complicated decisions and equations every second. These calculations are the only reason your laptop can do anything at all.

This means that the stronger the processor, the more calculations your computer can make, and the quicker everything works. CPU’s are one of the most incredible creations of the computing world. When it comes to CPU’s, it is easy to get bamboozled by the technical jargon. Unless you are a computer nerd (like me), you will only need to focus on 2 or 3 specs.

The first of the three is clock speed. Measured in GHz (Gigahertz), the clock speed is the number of processes your CPU can perform in one second, one GHz being 1,000,000 processes per second. The second is the number of cores.

One of the most critical innovations in the computing world was the invention of the multi-core processor. These processors essentially have two brains working at once.

So, if you have a single-core processor with a clock speed of 3.0 GHz, you will be getting 3,000,000 processes a second. A dual-core processor, working at 2.5 GHz, will give you 5,000,000 processes a second.

It is important to bear in mind, however, that multi-core CPUs are not always the best option. Some software, including CAD and AutoCAD, will only run off one core. In this case, a 3Ghz single-core processor will perform better than a dual-core 2.5ghz processor. Again it comes down to your individual needs.

Finally, if you want to get a little bit more technical, we have threading. Processors that have multiple threads gain an incredible ability. They can essentially create a virtual core. This means that a dual-core processor with the right threading abilities can create an additional 2 cores virtually, boosting the processor up to a quad-core.

When it comes to CPU’s, there has been a bit of a technology arms race between Intel and AMD. Thanks to this, they are the only CPU’s you will be able to find on the market. Both make incredible components.

Intel tends to be more expensive due to its brand name and quality; their processor line is as follows from slowest to fastest. AMD is cheaper and is tailored more towards those who know computers a little bit better.

Intel Cores From Slowest to Fastest:
  • M3
  • M5
  • i3
  • i5
  • i7
  • i9
AMD Cores from Slowest to Fastest
  • E2
  • A6
  • A9
  • A10
  • A12
  • FX

Simply Put – The more cores, threads, and clock speed, the better usually, unless you use single-core software. In this case, focus on high clock speed single-core CPUs.

Memory/Ram

During each session spent at your computer, the processor creates lots of temporary data to help it run quickly. This data needs to be accessed as quickly as possible. Think of it as a stored cheat sheet to your computer's processes.

Every time your computer makes a decision, it stores the process it underwent to get the answer. The next time it needs to make the same decisions,  it already has a head start. Without that stored temporary data, your computer will still run, but it is going to take more time thinking about every question.

This is where RAM comes in. RAM is your computer's short term memory; it holds the cheat sheet that your computer uses when it needs to process huge numbers of complex processes. When playing games or using demanding software, without good RAM, you are likely to see some slow-down, or in the worst case, you will not be able to do anything.

With RAM, there are two things to look for.

The first is the size of RAM. Ranging from 4gb-64gb, obviously, the more, the better. 8gb will allow you to do most things, but if you want to game or use high-end software, 16gb should be your minimum. 16gb is the sweet spot, one that you will only have to increase upon if you demand a lot from your laptop.

The second thing is the type of RAM. I won’t bore you with the nerdy computer science, but you should at least be looking for DDR3, preferable DDR4. These are the best.

Simply Put – RAM is like a high-speed delivery driver; it holds crucial information and delivers it, lightning-fast to where it needs to go. The more ram you have, the better, just make sure it is DDR3 or DDR4.

Monitor/Display Panel

The quality and size of your display are going to depend on what you use your laptop for. If you need it to display large images in great detail, you are going to need to spend a little extra to get that quality. For everyone else, you can save money by opting for full HD displays instead of 4k. For most applications, you will not notice the difference.

If you need your laptop to be portable, you might want to look for a smaller screen, 11” or 13” screens are usually what we suggest for portability. You can carry a 15” laptop around, but it can be quite cumbersome. 17” laptops are purely designed as workstations; I would not advise a 17” laptop if you regularly shove your laptop into your backpack.

The last thing to bear in mind with your monitor is the battery draw. A 4k screen, while impressive to look at, draws a lot of power. This means your battery life is going to be much lower on models with a high-quality 4k screen.

Simply Put – Figure out how big your screen needs to be, then figure out whether you prefer quality or battery life. This should help you decide what kind of screen you want.

Storage Drives

Storage drives come in two forms.

HDD

A Hard Disk Drive or HDD is the standard when it comes to storage. Relatively cheap with the ability to store vast amounts of data, they have been used for years in laptops and computers alike.

Made from a metal platter with a special coating, when the disk spins, your computer can read what is on the disk and access what is stored inside. Due to their low cost, they rarely come with under 500gb of storage. Although SSD's are a lot faster, having an HDD on your laptop will allow you to increase your potential storage massively.

SSD

In the computing world, we are always trying to make things faster. The SSD is the new kid on the block. Using interconnected flash memory chips instead of a disk, SSD’s perform at a speed that makes HDD’s look a little bit obsolete.

They are, however, significantly more expensive. To have an SSD that holds more than 500gb, you are looking at a serious expense. SSD's are vital when it comes to gaming, high-demand software, and photo and video editing.

Simply Put - If you do not need to store huge amounts of data and files, a smaller SSD is going to be the best bet. If you need to store lots of files and want to keep the price low, go for an HDD. Luckily, lots of laptops now come with a mix a both, which means you can have your large storage covered by your HDD and keep your important quick-to-boot stuff on your SSD.

Keyboard Typing Experience

Everybody has a different typing style, different size hands, fingers and arms, and different levels of flexibility. All this equates to a typing profile. This means it is hard to recommend a keyboard to someone because they probably have a particular style of typing. 

There are some aspects to keyboard design that can vary in quality. The resistance of the keys, the style of keyboard, and the “throw,” which is the distance between keys can all be studied.

Mechanical keyboards produce a satisfying click and bounce back, and notebooks generally come with dampened keys, to make them more suitable for office use. If you know what kind of keyboard you like, make sure the laptop you are looking at covers all the bases.

Graphics Card

A good graphics card will allow you to run games, watch high-quality videos, edit high-resolution pictures, and make your 3D models look incredible. Graphics cards are what make it possible for your computer to render images so that your screen can understand.

It takes data coming from the processor and transforms it into the images you see on the screen. The better the graphics card, the smoother and higher quality these images will be. For those who only browse the internet and create documents, graphics cards are relatively unimportant.

The main thing you will have to decide is whether to go with a laptop with an integrated graphics card or a discrete graphic card. Integrated graphics cards are great for everyday tasks, but if you are going to be doing anything demanding, we suggest looking for a laptop with a discrete card.

Nvidia has one of the best lines of GPUs, with AMD close behind. If you are looking at a laptop with a discrete graphics card, we suggest choosing one that uses these two brands.

Simply Put - If you are using high demand software or are branching out into gaming or video editing, you are going to have to spend a little bit extra on your graphics card.

Connectivity

The components your computer uses to connect, like its ports and its Wi-Fi and Bluetooth ability, can be massively important in your everyday usage. Finding a laptop with a strong Wi-Fi card will mean that you do not have to worry about your internet dropping off randomly, it also gives you a longer range that you can work in from the router.

Port-wise, you need to think about what you are going to be plugging into your laptop. Laptops with lots of ports make it easier to have lots of peripherals plugged in. If you do not need lots of ports, you may be able to reduce the profile of your laptop by choosing one with less of the ports you don’t need.

Battery Life

Battery life is as important as you need it to be. If you plan on using your laptop without it being plugged in on a regular basis, you will want to look at a unit with good battery life. As a rule of thumb, though, the better the laptop performance, the lower the battery life. If you want good performance and good battery life, you will be looking at a much higher price tag.

Portability

This is similar to battery life, and a portable laptop usually costs more, or sacrifices power. Creating components that take up less space and weigh more while performing well costs a lot more at the manufacturing level.

Price & Warranty

Price is one of the most critical factors on this list. Even so, the cost of your unit should not be what you use to decide. You can get great laptops for a reasonable price and bad laptops at a ridiculous price. The best way to use price as a factor is by setting a budget. If you have 1000$ to spend, you should aim to get as much as you can for that money.

We always advise stretching as far as possible, as you future proof yourself more. Sure, you might save 200$ going for a laptop with an older component set, but your laptop will age quicker than a newer model. Ultimately this means you will have to replace it sooner.

When it comes to a warranty, not all brands are equal. Do some research on the customer service reputation of any laptop that you buy. If they have excellent customer service and offer a good price warranty extension, BUY IT. I can’t tell you the number of times I have regretted not doing so.


6 Best Laptops For Engineering Students Reviewed

1. Microsoft Surface Book 2

On Sale Today
Microsoft Surface Book 2 13.5" (Intel Core...
  • Microsoft Surface Book 2 Features a 8th...
  • Enhanced Graphics performance with NVIDIA...
  • The fastest Surface Book yet, with 2x more...
  • Vibrant PixelSense Display: Now available...

Best laptop for mechanical engineering students

Processor

Intel i7 8th gen

RAM/GPU

8-16 GB DDR4 / GTX 1050 2gb ram

Screen Size

15”

Storage

1tb

Battery Life

17

Warranty

12 Months

The Microsoft Surface Book 2 is perhaps the biggest Macbook Pro killer to have entered the market. Although it has a decent price tag, the value per penny is simply unrivaled.

Finished in a gorgeous brushed aluminum style, the understated design choice ticks all the right boxes; it looks great, is extremely lightweight, and feels really well made. The bright backlit keyboard has an immensely satisfying feel to it with great feedback and a well-designed layout.

The display is one of the sharpest on the market; the 3:2 aspect makes every color pop perfectly, while the blacks remain dark. It does this by using an Intel i7 Processor, backed with 16gb ram and a 1TB HDD.

If you want to save a little bit of money, you can opt for the 8gb of ram and the i5 processor, but we suggest going the whole hog. The price saving doesn’t warrant the performance drop, and with a laptop this beautiful, you want every bit of juice you can squeeze from the processor.

With 16gb Ram and the strong i7 processor, this laptop is the best laptop for mechanical and engineering students. It can handle CAD, AutoCAD, video and image rendering, and 3D Modelling with ease. If you are looking at a laptop that covers every aspect of engineering, Microsoft has you covered.

Even though the screen is one of the most gorgeous displays we have ever seen, thanks to the GTX 1050 graphics card with 2gb internal ram, the surface book 2 can still give you up to 17 hours of video playback, which is insane. With a range of ports, including USB-c, USB 3.0, and HDMI, there really isn’t much this laptop won't be able to do.

All in all, this is a top of the range premium laptop, with a top of the range premium price tag. We can honestly say, however, that it is worth every dollar. If you want a laptop that can handle anything you can throw at it, and look good doing so, Surface Book 2 is where we would spend our money.

Also Recommended: 5 Best Laptops for Mechanical Engineering Students

Good
  • Amazing battery life
  • Extremely powerful
  • Very lightweight
  • Innovative Cooling
Bad
  • Expensive
  • Track Pad Is Tiny

2. MSI GL75 Gamer Notebook

CUK MSI GL75 Gamer Notebook (Intel i7-9750H,...
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-9750H Six Core...
  • RAM: 32GB DDR4 2666MHz | Hard Drive: 512GB...
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 6GB GDDR6 |...
  • Wireless: 802.11 AC Wireless with Bluetooth |...

Best laptop for civil engineering students

Processor

Intel i7 9th gen

RAM/GPU

32 GB DDR4 / RTX 2060 4gb ram

Screen Size

17”

Storage

1tb

Battery Life

8+

Warranty

12 Months

MSI has long been known for its powerful gaming rigs. Gaming nowadays requires a ridiculous amount of power. Coincidentally, this means that gaming laptops are often being purchased for engineering work, due to their high quality high powered components. This is what makes this gaming laptop the best laptop for civil engineering students.

Enter the MSI GL75!

Boasting a 9th gen i5 9750H processer, one of the fastest on the market with a 4.5ghz clock-speed, the GL75 isn’t here to mess around. Backing this high powered CPU is 32GB of DDR4 ram and a 512gb NVMe SSD.

These components, when paired with Nvidias newest generation of ray tracing graphics cards, like the RTX 2060 in this model, results in a laptop that is a beast.

The keyboard on the GL75 is one of the nicest we have ever typed on, and this is due to MSI’s collaboration with Steel Series, who are masters of the competitive esports keyboard world. The RGB mechanical keyboard feels like it dances under your fingers; it really has to be experienced to explain.

With this much power comes heat, luckily MSI know how to handle their thermals, with 7 heat pipes pulling hot air away from your components, you don’t have to worry about throttling here.

When it comes to ports, you get an HDMI, a mini DisplayPort, 4 USB 3.0’s, and a USB-C.

The only downside to this laptop is the weight. The beautifully designed GL75 is a gorgeous looking machine, but it is huge. If you only work from one desk or you don’t mind carrying a large backpack around, this is by no means a deal-breaker. Just don’t expect the same kind of portability you get from say, the Surface Book.

There are not many laptops in existence that offer the kind of power the GL75 does, and even fewer that can begin to compete with its price tag. If you need a laptop that is impossible to overload, one that can handle every task you throw at it, laugh, and ask for more, the GL75 is our suggestion.

Good
  • Industry-Leading Power
  • Gorgeous Design
  • Massive Screen
  • Innovative Cooling
Bad
  • Poor Battery Life
  • Heavy

3. Lenovo Flex 14

Lenovo Flex 14 2-in-1 Convertible Laptop, 14...
  • With a 1920 x 1080 Full HD touch screen...
  • Comprehensive, built-in, ongoing protection...
  • Convenient true block privacy shutter allows...
  • With the included active Pen, you can draw or...

Best laptop for computer engineering students

Processor

Intel i3/i5/R5 9th gen

RAM/GPU

4/8/12 GB DDR4

Screen Size

14”

Storage

128/256gb SSD

Battery Life

10+

Warranty

12 Months

Lenovo is another powerhouse brand when it comes to high-performance computing. The Flex 14 is an example of why they have such a good reputation.

With a 14” 1080p HD touchscreen, which can display crisp high definition images bright enough for most lighting conditions, while maintaining a health 10-hour battery life, this is a laptop that is great for portability. It is one of the best laptops for computer engineering students because you can throw it in your bag and take it with you easily.

With a range of different set up’s, you have a high level of choice over the power of your machine. At the bottom end, a capable intel i3 processor paired with 4gb of ram and a 128gb SSD gives you a fantastic portable laptop at a really attractive price tag.

If you want a bit more power, you can scale up to an i5 with 8gb of ram, allowing you to squeeze more juice out of your Flex. If you want a competent machine, upgrade to the AMD R5 processor, supported by a 256gb SSD and 12gb of ram, this makes your portable laptop into a portable powerhouse.

Each variant has a range of ports, with 2 USB slots, a USB-C port, and an HDMI slot, you should have enough ports for 90% of tasks.

Another high selling point is the quick charge functionality the battery comes with. In one hour, you should be able to charge your laptop up to 80%+—all while remaining one of the lightest laptops on the market.

The keyboard is also great, with an easy to learn layout and a great trackpad, it is easy to adapt too. The feedback is excellent, too, making it easy to stay accurate, even with the flex’s small stature.

In conclusion, there isn’t much that the Flex 14 does wrong. It is lightweight, looks great, and has an attractive price-tag to match. You aren’t getting the same level of power as our first two options, but it is still a more than capable machine, especially if you upgrade the spec.

Also Recommended: 5 Best Lenovo Laptops for Students

Good
  • Thin & Lightweight
  • Great Price Tag
  • Good Battery Life
  • Great Keyboard
Bad
  • No Discrete Graphics

4. Apple MacBook Pro

On Sale Today
Apple MacBook Pro (13-Inch, 8GB RAM, 256GB...
  • 2.4 GHz 8th-Generation quad-core Intel Core...
  • Brilliant Retina Display with True Tone...
  • Touch Bar and Touch ID
  • Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655

Best Apple laptop for computer engineering students

Processor

Intel i3/i5/i7/i9

RAM/GPU

8/16/32 GB DDR4

Screen Size

15”

Storage

Up to 4TB SSD

Battery Life

10+

Warranty

12 Months

If you like to run with the Apple crowd, and who could blame you, then you might be wondering what the best Apple laptop for engineering students is. Well, for several years now, Apple has really only had one front runner in its product range.

While the MacBook Air has its charms, mainly its ridiculously lightweight and thin profile, it falls behind in the processing power department. If you only need a laptop for web browsing and word processing, then it is more than capable.

For engineering work, however, there is only one option. The MacBook Pro is Apple's most powerful laptop, boasting perhaps THE most beautiful screen on any laptop, the retina display needs to be experienced to understand. The Radeon Pro graphics that powers this gorgeous display boasts 4gb of onboard GDDR5 Ram, allowing the MacBook Pro to render 3D models in intricate detail.

One of the MacBook Pro’s biggest selling points is the level to which you can customize your component list. Processor wise you can choose from any of Intels chipset, with the top-level i9 processor possessing 8 cores and a clock speed of 2.4ghz, overclockable to an incredible 5.0 GHz when in “Turbo Boost” mode.

Next, you have to decide on how much RAM you want, with the options ranging from 8-32gB of DDR4  2400MHz high-performance flash memory. When you pair this with the ability to choose an SSD drive with up to 4TB storage that can read at 3.2gb/s, you really can tweak your system to your exact needs with the MacBook Pro.

Apple has always pushed the forefront of technology forward; this is evident in their decision to remove legacy ports from the new model. Instead, you get 4 Thunderbolt 3 Ports. These ports allow you to charge your device, power up to 2 5k monitors, and transfer data at 40 GB/s.

Our favorite thing about thunderbolt 3, though? It doesn’t matter which way you plug it in as it is reversible… we’re looking at you USB.

The butterfly keyboard on the MacBook is also proof of Apple's incredible innovation; typing on the MacBook Pro just feels amazing. The trackpad is also great, although the force touch mechanism takes some getting used too.

Lastly, if you love music, the MacBook Pro has you covered. It is easy to see that this laptop comes from a brand that owes its exponential growth to its roots in the music industry. The speakers on the MacBook Pro are by far the best we have encountered on a laptop.

All in all, the MacBook Pro, even at its base level, is impressive. What makes it more impressive is the ability to really tweak it to your exact specifications. Unfortunately, with that level of control, comes the cost.

Apple products are notoriously expensive, and the MacBook Pro is no different. However, even though you may be able to get a windows laptop with the same spec for less, it will never match the build quality and feel of a MacBook. Even diehard fans of Microsoft and their laptops cannot deny that there is something inherently sexy about a MacBook Pro.

Good
  • Thin & Lightweight
  • Best Laptop Screen
  • Best Laptop Speakers
  • Amazing Level Of Spec Control
Bad
  • Very Expensive

5. Acer Predator Helios 300

Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop PC,...
  • 9th Generation Intel Core i7 9750H 6 Core...
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Graphics with 6GB...
  • 15.6 inches Full HD (1920 x 1080) Widescreen...
  • 16GB DDR4 2666MHz Memory, 256GB PCIe NVMe SSD...

Best laptops for gaming and engineering students

Processor

Intel i7

RAM/GPU

16 GB DDR4

Screen Size

15”

Storage

256gb SSD

Battery Life

5+

Warranty

12 Months

Acer has been making laptops that impress us year after year, for several years now. Their attention to detail and responsiveness to user feedback places them at the forefront of high-end laptop design. The Predator Helios 300 is another example of this.

This 15.6-inch laptop is aimed at the gamers in the room, so if you are looking at the best laptops for engineering and gaming, I’m sure it is already on your radar. With a 9th gen i7 core supported by 16gb of ddr4 ram and a 256gb SSD, this laptop has the power to deal with today's demanding AAA+ games.

The secret weapon in the Predator Helios arsenal lies within the graphics card. Using Nvidia’s new GTX 1660ti, which has 6gb of onboard ram itself, you have some serious graphical firepower. But that isn’t the impressive part. At the top left of the keyboard is an irresistible looking button. Marked with the words “Turbo,” obviously, it is the first thing we pressed.

When you press this button, a sound not unlike a jet engine indicates that you have entered the overclock mode of the Helios. When pressed, your graphics card and processor go into overdrive, powered by the dual 59 bladed fans. When you do this, your Helios goes from extremely capable gaming laptop to unthrottled beast.

The dedicated PredatorSense software also has it’s own key, allowing you to customize the performance settings used by every process on the laptop.

The full-HD gaming display has a lightning-fast 144hz refresh rate too, and the images it produces are in the upper echelons of all of the laptops we have tested. The keyboard is comfortable, coming in either RGB or cool blue backlighting options.

We would have liked to see the option for a bigger SSD in the Helios, and the battery life is pretty dismal, but all in all, this is a beast of a laptop. If you are an engineering student with a passion for gaming, the Helios ticks all the right boxes.

Also Recommended: 5 Best 2-in-1 Gaming Laptops

Good
  • Turbo Button Is Brilliant
  • Powerful Performance
  • Amazing Screen
  • Great Price tag
Bad
  • Small SSD
  • Awful Battery Life

6. HP Spectre x360

HP Spectre x360 2019 13T Gemcut Laptop...
  • HP Spectre x360 13T Cutting Edge GEM CUT...
  • UNMATCHED AUDIO PERFORMANCE with QUAD Bang &...
  • SUPERIOR SPEED and NETWORKING: Fast Data...
  • IMPRESSIVE HD PANEL with HD Active Stylus Pen...

Best engineering laptop for students on a budget

Processor

Intel i7 8th gen

RAM/GPU

16 GB DDR4

Screen Size

13”

Storage

512gb SSD

Battery Life

8+

Warranty

12 Months

Unfortunately, some of us do not have the funds to purchase some of the more expensive laptops on this list, being students and all. Fortunately, we have you covered. The HP Spectre x360 is a laptop that performs well above its price tag. With more bite than bark, this laptop is an impressive underdog.

Using an 8th gen i7 16gb of ddr4 ram and a 512 GB SSD, the Spectre has nearly as much processing power as some of the other laptops on this list. It manages this extra power through a serious of unnoticeable cutbacks, like the use of an 8th gen i7 instead of a 9th gen.

It also has a smaller screen, at 13” it is the smallest on our list. Finally, you will not find a discrete graphics card in the Spectre. Instead, you get the Intel dedicated 620 UHD card.

The screen, although small, is absolutely stunning, colors are vibrant, and blacks are extremely dark. This is especially impressive, considering the screen is a touchscreen. With the micro-bezels and IPS response, the screen on the Spectre is perhaps its best quality.

Thanks to HP’s partnership with Bang & Olufsen, the speakers on the Spectre put out some really high quality sounds too, backed with a driver that can deliver some really serious bass. The keyboard is a little bit clickety clacky but provides nice feedback and an accurate response.

To sum it up, the Spectre x360 is a capable machine; for the price tag, you get a surprising amount of processing power, however, and the screen is sublime. If you are a little bit short of funds but want a laptop that looks like it should have cost a whole lot more, the Spectre is our suggestion for you.

Good
  • Excellent Price
  • Surprising Performance
  • Amazing Screen
Bad
  • Old Gen Processor
  • Intel Graphics

Essential Engineering Applications & Programs

Once you have purchased your laptop, you are going to have to download the essential applications and programs relevant to your field of study. Here are some of the programs that are used by engineering students and professionals around the world.

CAD/AutoCAD/ChemCAD

CAD or computer-aided design is the system used to design plans for a range of applications. From building designs to machinery to robotics, anything produced electronically has probably been designed via some form of CAD.

CAD technicians, work in both 2 and 3 dimensions, or surface/solid modeling. Some examples of this are when an engineer creates a 3D model of a building before it is constructed, this allows people to take a virtual tour. Designs will be used to help figure out the costs of building something, as well as for programming robotics for manufacturing.

CAD programming can be quite demanding, but it only runs off one core. This means you will have to make sure your laptop has a strong clock speed per single core.

Check out our complete guide to the best laptops for AutoCAD.

ANSYS

ANSYS is one of the world's most complex and detailed prototype development systems. Founded in 1970, its primary use is to analyze the physics of the elements used for structural design. This includes:

  • Static or stationary movement
  • Dynamic movement
  • Thermal or heat transfers
  • Structural Mechanics
  •  Multiphysics
  •  Fluid Dynamics
  •  Explicit Dynamics
  •  Electromagnetics
  •  Hydrodynamics (AQWA)

People Also Ask (FAQs)

What are the minimum laptop requirements for college engineering students?

As an engineering student, you are likely to be using programs that demand a higher level of processing power than other types of students.

At a minimum, I would suggest an i5 processor or higher, 16gb of ram or higher, a discrete graphics card if possible, and some form of SSD to allow you to transfer files and boot programs quickly. The rest is down to personal choice.

Are gaming laptops good for engineering projects?

Gaming laptops are generally designed to have the best components currently available. AAA+ games require some of the highest levels of processing and graphics power of any applications. This usually means that gaming laptops are a great choice for any high-demand work, like engineering.

If you are into gaming, this is an added bonus, as spending lots of money on a study laptop is a chore, spending lots of money on a gaming laptop, is a joy. If you are an engineering student who enjoys gaming, I suggest you choose a laptop such as the Acer Helios 300.

Which is better to use for engineering students, desktop, laptop, or tablet?

A desktop is always going to be more powerful than a laptop, and a laptop is always going to be more powerful than a tablet. However, tablets and laptops are always more portable than a desktop. 

Deciding what is “best” is going to depend on your needs. If you need help deciding between a laptop and a desktop, this article on the 23 Pros and Cons of Laptops, and this one on the 14 Pros and Cons of Desktops, may help you with your decision.

What laptops do google engineers use?

Google actually allows its engineers to choose their laptop. They usually choose the laptop that suits their needs the most, many of them like the lightweight, sleek look of the MacBook Pro, some of them prefer beefier more powerful gaming laptops like the Helios Predator 300.

A technological leader, they know their needs better than anyone and choose a laptop based on their individual needs.

What type of maintenance is needed for these devices?

Always try and keep an eye on your laptop’s temperature; this is the easiest way for your laptop to damage itself. The laptops on here have high-end components inside, and they create a lot of heat in exchange for their processing power.

Although they have great cooling systems in place, over time, dust can clog the fans. Download a temperature monitor program and keep an eye on your CPU temperature.

Also, whenever moving your laptop around, try and put it into sleep mode. This prevents the components inside being damaged while in use in case you accidentally drop it.

Finally, make sure you install a good premium virus prevention software.

How long can I expect these laptops to last or need to be upgraded?

The laptops on this list are relatively high spec; this means that they have components that are up to date in the computing world. When you purchase a laptop that uses up to date components, you should be looking for around 2-3 years before you notice a performance drop and 3-4 years before you need to replace it.


Conclusion

Well done, if you have read this far. Hopefully, after reading this article, you have gained the knowledge needed to do your own research. Or perhaps, you have decided to buy one of the top-rated laptops on this list.

We spend lots of time reviewing these products to save you time and prevent you from purchasing some of the laptops on the market that aren’t up to scratch. If you have read this far and are still unsure about which laptop you want to purchase, we suggest the Microsoft Surface Book 2

This laptop is simply brilliant in every way and is suitable for pretty much every task you could throw at it. It is gorgeous, easy to use, and has a great price tag.


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