Electrical engineering is a vast field that uses multitude of software depending upon the route you take.
If you go into designing, you are looking at software like AutoCAD, Rivet etc. If you are considering pursuing a career in transmission and protection, you are looking at software like ETAP.
You can also take the route of electronics and instrumentation whereby you will use ladder diagrams, SCADA simulations as well as software and languages like Matlab, Xilinx etc.
All these software require a tremendous amount of processing power and RAM depending upon the complexity of your projects.
Here we will look at the best laptops for electrical engineering students.
Comparison of Best Laptops or Electrical Engineering Students
What Separates Electrical Engineering Laptops from The rest of the Disciplines?
Electrical Engineering deals mostly with 2D objects. Single like diagrams, circuit diagrams, charts, schematics are all 2D drawings. Therefore, you don’t need a highly robust graphics card for such projects.
Other fields like mechanical and civil engineering deal with 3D designs and modeling.
For them, complex projects demand not just a powerful graphics card, they may also demand specialized cards such as the NVIDIA Quadro found in mobile workstations.
Learn more about the best laptops for mechanical engineering students.
List of Top Laptops for Electrical Engineering Students in 2019
We have selected the following as the best laptops for electrical engineering students from various price brackets. Some are for casual course work, others are fit enough for large scale research projects.
- Acer Aspire A515-54-51DJ – 15.6″ – Mid Range – Core i5
- Dell Inspiron 15 5570 – 15.6″ – Mid-High Range – Core i7 – Power Efficient
- Acer Aspire E5-576-392H – 15.6″ – Budget Option
- Acer Predator Helios PH315-51-78NP – 15.6″ – High Performance – Gaming Laptop
- Lenovo ThinkPad P52s – 15.6″ – Mobile Workstation
1. Acer Aspire A515-54-51DJ – 15.6″ – Mid Range – Core i5
This particular laptop offers an excellent Intel Core i5-8265U Quad Core power efficient processor. This is an all rounder processor. Meaning it offers a great performance at a fairly reasonable price tag.
It should be be noted here that the Core i5 processor of the 8th generation are far more superior to those of the previous generation.
Take for example the fact that previous generation variant i.e Core i5-7200U was only a dual core processor. The 8th generation counterpart, however, is a Quad core processor with 8 threads.
Processor is almost always a necessary aspect of anything remotely related to engineering work. You will soon find the limitation of weaker processor once your work gets more and more complex.
An i5 is a good balance between affordability and performance. It can surely save you from major frustrations that can come from slower processors like the Core i3 or Lower.
Beyond that, Acer Aspire E5-576G-5762 offers a good 8 GB of DDR4 RAM. This is quite reasonable for the level of work that you are expected to perform on a machine of this price category.
Furthermore, it ditches the HDD completely for a fair 256 GB of SSD. Generally at this price range there is a choice between a 256 GB SSD or a 1 TB HDD. Any pro worth his/her salt would choose SSD over HDD for the pure performance improvement that it grants.
Besides that, it also offers a dedicated GeForce MX150 graphics card. You must note that despite being a dedicated card, it is still a very entry level variant. Forget about gaming AAA titles on this.
However, this graphic card is excellent if you ever have to deal with low levels of 3D work in your electrical drawings.
All in all, we highly recommend this as one of the best laptops for electrical engineering students because it is reasonably priced and boasts a fair overall hardware.
2. Dell Inspiron 15 5570 – 15.6″ – Mid-High Range – Core i7 – Power Efficient
At the heart of this laptop lies a reasonably powerful Quad Core Intel Core i7-8550U processor. This is a power efficient Core i7 processor and slower compared to the high performance variant i.e the Hexa-Core Core i7-8750H.
This processor has its benefits and its drawbacks as compared to the high performance variant.
For starters, it consumes less power and therefore promises a longer battery life. Secondly, it costs less which makes it worth it for students on a limited budget.
The obvious drawback it has is a slower performance in comparison.It is okay if you are confused between the two processors. In the end, they both are highly adequate for engineering students. In fact, the slower Core i7-8550U is also featured in some of the high end mobile workstations such as the Lenovo ThinkPad p52S. All in all, this is a highly capable processor.
Other than that, this laptop offers a high 12 GB of RAM and 1 TB of HDD. The 12 GB of RAM is all the RAM that you will ever need for your electrical engineering related projects.
As far as the storage is concerned, it is ample but unfortunately, it is slow. An SSD would have been grand.
Lastly, this laptop offers a 15.6″ FHD Touchscreen. Personally, we find Touchscreen as a useless feature for engineering students specially given the fact that this isn’t convertible laptop that can be used as a tablet.
In the end, if you work on advanced projects, then this is one of the best laptops for electrical engineering students.
3. Acer Aspire E5-576-392H – 15.6″ – Budget Option
If you are in such a situation, then this is the best budget laptop that we can recommend. Acer Aspire E5-576-392H features a Core i3 processor from the 8th generation.
While Core i3 are generally optimized for normal day to day use instead of engineering software, the Core i3s of the 8th generation i.e the Core i3-8130U have made a giant leap over their predecessors.
As such, they are comparable in performance to Core i5s of the previous generation. Therefore, you can safely consider this laptop for majority of your electrical engineering related coursework.
Sure, it may get a bit frustrating on larger projects, but it’ll certainly get you through all the way to the end.
The reason we have selected this particular laptop is because it is one of the cheapest laptop that offers this processor among other things. This laptop has truly set a new standard for what budget laptops should strive for.
Other than that, this laptop offers 6 GB of RAM an 1 TB of HDD. They both are more than ample for a machine of this price category.
One interesting feature that it offers it he FHD 15.6″ screen. Generally , most budget laptops cap at offering only an HD screen. FHD means you will get more pixel real estate and sharper images as compared to a mere HD screen.
All in all, if you have budget constraints, we highly recommend this as one of the bests laptops for electrical engineering students.
4. Acer Predator Helios PH315-51-78NP – 15.6″ – High Performance – Gaming Laptop
We have primarily selected this laptop because it offers the high performance Core i7-8750H and 16 GB of DDR4 RAM at the most affordable and reasonable price tag. The rest of the features are just cherry on cake.
For starters, the high performance Intel Core i7-8750H is a hexa core processor with 12 threads. It IS one of the flagship processors of the 8th generation. This a processor designed not just for your trivial coursework, but for intensive research projects.
Besides that, the ample 16 GB should allow you to multitask and open large design files without any hassle. In fact, this amount of RAM is even sufficient for 3D rendering and video rendering projects.
The cherry on cake here is the mid-high range NVIDIA GTX 1060 graphics card. This is not just more than sufficient for 3D modeling but should be able to operate all AAA titles at high graphics. The gamer in you will certainly like this.
Storage wise, it only offers a 256 GB of SSD. While the SSD is a welcoming feature, an extra 1 TB of HDD would have been nice.
Lastly, it offers one of the most advanced display for its price category. It offers a gaming IPS 15.6″ inch FHD display that supports 144Hz refresh rate. Conventional displays only support 60 Hz refresh. A higher refresh rate has a huge impact on the quality of gaming/visuals.
In the end, if you are looking for a high performance machine that also happens to be gaming grade, then this is one of the best laptops for electrical engineering students.
5. Lenovo ThinkPad P52s – 15.6″ – Mobile Workstation
What separates a mobile workstation from the rest is the graphics card installed in these machines.
Instead of a conventional Nvidia GeForce card, these laptops boast the specialized NVIDIA Quadro card (Or the AMD Equivalent)
Quadro cards are used for simulation, data science, scientific calculation that require floating point operations and for all the fancy good stuff that a research student would understand.
So basically, a student working on a cutting edge electrical engineering project would appreciate what this laptop has to offer. It is certainly beyond the capacity of an average undergraduate student.
Specifically this laptop offers the NVIDIA Quadro P500. Besides that, it also boasts Intel Core i7-8550U processor, 32 GB of DDR4 RAM, 512 GB of SSD and a decent 15.6″ FHD IPS screen.
Therefore, if you need a mobile workstation for your Thesis report or a scientific research project, then this is a one of the best laptops for electrical engineering students.
In short, the best laptops for electrical engineering students have a powerful processor and ample amount of RAM.
Depending upon the extent of software use in your coursework, you would likewise choose a fitting laptop.
A real life field engineering project is way more complex than a project provided in a typical coursework. Furthermore, a project for an undergraduate student would be far less demanding than a project being prepared by a PhD student.
A PhD electrical engineering student would find appropriate use for a mobile workstation laptop like Lenovo ThinkPad 52s for his/her cutting edge thesis. However, an undergraduate may find it an utter overkill.