Frequently Asked Question
What are the best laptops for engineering students or engineers ?
Whether you are into electrical , mechanical , computer , civil , software , chemical , aeronautical or even an aerospace engineering , you’re probably thinking that most laptops out there may not be able to run all the different software you’ll encounter during your studies.
I had the exact same thinking. When I started my engineering studies I was afraid of whatever laptop I ended up with wouldn’t be able to keep up with the projects/programs I’ll encounter unless I had some crazy specs on mine.
Keep in mind…
Depending on your particular field of studies the software (therefore the kind of laptop you’ll need) will vary.
If you are an electrical engineer or computer engineer, you could simply be dealing with programming languages such as C++ ,circuit simulators (SPICE) for which most laptops out there will do just fine. But if you are a mechanical/civil engineer you’ll be dealing with CAD & CAE software in which case you might need a powerful laptop.
What’s most important…
Is the fact that you’ll have to deal with a bunch of classes that will keep you staring at the screen for hours trying to understand the solution to a problem you couldn’t solve. Wouldn’t it be nice to find a laptop that could help you out with every single class as well?
What kind of laptop can do that?
Focus on portability first so you can bring it with you everywhere while also making sure you have just enough power to handle tons of web browsing tabs open.
That’s not what you read around the web. If you check other sites, it is very easy to fall into the trap that you need a very powerful, expensive 10lb laptop to succeed. This makes the process of buying not only complicated but scary because these laptops are way too expensive.
The truth of the matter is….
Unless you are a working engineer dealing with CAD or CAE software, you don’t have to go that far.
If you are willing to spend a lot of cash on a laptop, prioritize portability because most laptops today can handle pretty much any engineering software you’ll encounter in college.
Again there a few exceptions: if you are a professional or a student doing a concentration with heavy CAD/CAE courses.
Recommended Hardware for Engineering Students & Engineers
Engineers can be divided into 3D engineers and 2D engineers.
If you are a CAD engineer(civil, mechanical, aeronautical) then you may have to worry about specs.
On the other hand 2D engineers (electrical , computer, chemical, software and so on) can settle for pretty much any modern laptop that can run Windows.
You can always find all the details about your field of study, classes, curriculum and therefore the software & hardware you’ll need.
However you still need a decent performance so as not mess up with your productivity when you have to deal with reports, research & running software all the same time.
All engineers should aim for 8GB RAM. This will prevent any lag situation with your software & the number of web pages you have open.
Intel Core i7 for both 3D/2D Engineers or Intel Xeon. 2D engineers can settle with core i5. However, Core i7, Xeon and above is a must for running 3D software.
Both 2D/3D engineers could really use the reading/writing speed of SSDs to maximize productivity. This is not a must however.
Any GPU with 2GB vRAM(in other words any GPU released within the last 3 years, yes any) for 3D engineers.
2D engineers do not need to worry about graphics card.
Lastly, only professional engineers should consider workstation cards (even then it might be too much).
Size: If you are going to be staring at this thing for days, why not be kind to your eyeballs? Get at least a 13” display, with a matte display if you can (or set brightness to low levels).
Resolution: 1080p for all engineers. This will give you enough workspace area & will scale up nicely with any software out there.
Probably the most important feature. Keep it around 3lb (if you can afford it: the ligther & more the powerful the laptop the more expensive it will become)