If you're an engineering student looking to buy a laptop during the back to school season, then you'll be looking for a powerful and flexible workstation that has plenty of graphical grunt and can handle complex tasks and demanding applications.
The exacting demands of an engineering student can in some cases make the hunt for the perfect laptop slightly easier, as it narrows your options in an increasingly crowded market.
However, it can also make it tricky to find the right laptop that offers the power you need, while also costing a reasonable amount of money. That's where we come in, as we've put together this list of the very best laptops for engineering students to help you find the perfect laptop to an ideal price.
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So, what do you need to look for in a laptop for engineering students? As we mentioned, you're probably going to be running complex programs, such as AutoCAD, which means you're going to need to have a laptop with enough power to run them.
We'd recommend a laptop with an Intel Core i5 or Core i7 processor and at least 8GB of RAM, though 16GB is even better.
Many of the programs engineering students rely on are also graphically intensive - especially ones such as CAD, MATLAB and Solid Works that are used for 3D modelling and video rendering. This means it's essential to have a laptop with a dedicated graphics card - rather than an integrated one powered by the processor.
This is why some gaming laptops are good choices for engineering students, as they offer that kind of graphic power, and the fact that they can handle games for when you unwind after classes won't hurt either.
A big screen with a high resolution is also advisable, and if you're going to be working on site a lot, it would be a good idea to take a look at some of the rugged laptops that are built to withstand accidents on work sites.
With those requirements in mind, here is our list of the best laptops for engineering students.
1. Dell Precision 7510
Build your own mobile workstation
CPU: Intel Core i5-6300HQ | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics | RAM: 8GB | Screen: 15.6-inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels | Storage: Up to 1TB HDD
As expected from a Dell workstation laptop, you get cutting edge components and the type of flexibility in the customisation process that sorely lacks with the SOHO-oriented Inspiron range. This is Dell's direct, built-to-order model at its best: from the latest Intel quad-core CPU to a plethora of other high end parts, this is as good as it gets.
For engineering students looking to get this excellent laptop, we'd strongly recommend adding a dedicated graphics card.
2. Lenovo ThinkPad P40 Yoga
A champion convertible of a workstation
CPU: 2.5GHz Intel Core i7-6500U | Graphics: Nvidia Quadro M500M | RAM: 8GB | Screen: 14.1-inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels | Storage: 256GB SSD
Lenovo hails this model as the world's first multi-mode workstation, one that manages to combine power and creativity thanks to a 360-degree hinge that has, to some extent, set the standard when it comes to convertible or 2-in-1 designs.
What's more, it is one of the very rare laptops to come with built-in Wacom Active ES pen technology, capable of delivering 2048 levels of pen pressure sensitivity and tilt recognition.
This makes it an excellent laptop for engineering students who need something easily portable, yet also very powerful.
3. Razer Blade Pro
Finally, a desktop replacement with portability in mind
CPU: Intel Core i7 | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 (8GB GDDR5) | RAM: 32GB | Screen: 17.3-inch, UHD (3,840 x 2,160) IGZO touchscreen with G-Sync | Storage: 512GB – 2TB PCIe SSD
This is one of those gaming laptops we mentioned earlier that also does a fantastic job as a mobile workstation for engineering students. It’s expensive, yes – it certainly won’t save you money when compared to building your own PC. On the other hand, it measures in at only 0.88-inches thick with an onboard 17-inch, 4K multi-touch display and a built-in Wi-Fi card. If that’s not enough to sell you on it already, the Razer Blade Pro also introduces the company’s Ultra-Low-Profile Mechanical switches to a notebook for the first time ever. These keys bear an appearance similar to your run-of-the-mill chiclet keyboards, but press down on them yourself and you’ll feel (and hear) the authentic click of a mechanical keyswitch.
Read the full review: Razer Blade Pro
- This product is only available in the US and UK as of this writing. Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the .
4. Samsung Notebook 9 Pro
The dawn of a new era for 2-in-1 laptops
CPU: 7th generation Intel Core i7 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620 – AMD Radeon Graphics (2GB GDDR5) | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch – 15.6-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) LED display with Touch Screen Panel | Storage: 256GB SSD
The Samsung Notebook 9 is what other 2-in-1 laptops have aspired to be since their conception. It hones in on the S-Pen, Samsung’s own proprietary stylus with 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity (the same as Microsoft’s new Surface Pen), a nifty little accessory that conveniently doesn’t require charging. Although the touchscreen display is only 1080p, at between 350 and 450 nits of brightness, you won’t be paying any mind to the pixels, or lack thereof. Plus, the lengthy battery life more than makes up for this hybrids few setbacks.
Read the full review: Samsung Notebook 9 Pro
- This product is only available in the US at the time of writing. UK and Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the .
5. Dell Inspiron 15 Gaming
Work hard, play hard, this laptop does it all
CPU: 7th generation Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050; Intel HD Graphics 620 – GTX 1050 Ti; Intel HD Graphics 630 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 15.6-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) – UHD (3,840 x 2,160) anti-glare LED-backlit | Storage: 1TB HDD – 1TB HDD; 128GB SSD
The Dell Inspiron 15 Gaming is another powerful gaming laptop that also doubles as an excellent laptop for engineering students thanks to a powerful processor and dedicated graphics card. As with most Dell machines, you're able to choose from a range of components to add to this machine, so you can configure the Dell Inspiron 15 Gaming laptop to suit your needs and your budget.
- Now check out the best 2-in-1 laptops