Is your laptop or PC coming to the end of its life cycle? Or are you a new student looking to purchase your first laptop for the coming semester? If your answers are yes and you are currently stuck in a rut as far as making a choice is concerned, this post is for you. In this post, we analyze the best laptops for engineering students that will help you in achieving your daily goals. The analysis will take into consideration laptops that can handle engineering design tasks, Matlab, CAD, programming and other engineering-related activities. (Date Updated: June 2019)
At the end of the article, you will be able to:
- Make educated decisions when choosing a laptop
- Highlight the advantages of a laptop or a desktop computer
- Make a choice from the laptops outlined in the article.
Best Laptops for Engineering Students
After all has been said and done, here is our own list of the best laptops out there for engineering students. Read more below to find out why these laptops made it to the list
Choosing between a Laptop and a Desktop
The desktop computer is renowned for its power and adaptability when the need to update your computer system comes up. The fact that a few students are also comfortable with using a PC and working behind a desk makes desktops an attractive proposition for engineering students. The ability to customize a desktop is not the only pros to consider. Other advantages of using a desktop for your engineering pursuits include:
- Desktop computers support a wide range of accessories and it’s multi-functional.
- For gamers, the possibility of gaming on larger screens makes the desktop an attractive proposition.
- Desktop computers are modular in nature. You can customize just about any aspect of your PC whenever you choose.
With the good always come some limitations and the cons of using a desktop include:
- Desktops are permanent fixtures. The weight of a desktop computer means it wasn’t built for day-to-day transporting.
- Most desktop computers are powered directly through sockets and are not equipped with battery packs. This can lead to loss of data if a blackout occurs.
Laptops are also powerful workstations that are compactly built for daily use. The compact nature of laptops means they can be transported and used on-the-go. As an engineering student who is always on the move, laptops are tailor-made to fit your daily activities. The average laptop is a packaged device that comes equipped with preset graphics display cards, storage or memory, and processors. The pros of owning a laptop bestow on engineering students include the following:
- A personal workstation that can be transported using the average handbag or backpack. This supports the students need to work on the go.
- Laptops come equipped with multiple engineering tools that can assist a student to achieve engineering-related goals.
- Laptops also support external accessories and hardware which makes them versatile working tools for engineers.
The cons of using laptops as a student include:
- Although the features of a laptop can be upgraded, this is not recommended.
- The portable nature of laptop computers means that students can easily misplace them when swamped with activities.
An impassioned analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of both options highlight the fact that laptops are the better companion for engineering students. With this fact carefully stated, let’s look further to analyzing the top features engineering students must consider before purchasing a laptop.
The Top 5 Features to Consider Before Purchasing a Laptop
It is a known fact that every engineering student uses laptops to accomplish multiple functions. Some use it as both a workstation and a gaming device while others use it in a recreation capacity. However you plan to use your laptop, here are the important features to consider:
Operating Systems – Engineering students generally make use of hundreds of apps in achieving academic goals. App developers are always about profit and for a niche engineering app; developers must consolidate all efforts to operating systems that will help maximize profit. This makes your choice of an operating system the most important consideration when choosing a laptop for your engineering pursuits. The choices available to you are the Windows, Linux, Chrome, and Mac operating systems.
These four options are great as they run applications seamlessly. Differences begin to show when the type of applications supported on these platforms come up. Currently, Windows and Linux operating system are ahead of the pack. There are a plethora of engineering apps built for students on these operating systems.
Processing Unit/Speed – Students undertaking engineering design and animation courses will require a laptop with a high processing capacity for these applications. This is due to the fact that a quicker processor delivers high-performance. This performance can translate to shorter work durations and a better quality of work. The speed of a laptop’s processing unit increases rendering time and speeds up a simulation.
Display Resolution and Screen Size – The work, assignments, and project assigned to engineering student generally require a laptop with great resolution and larger screen size. A large screen size translates to an increased analytical ability when designs and intricate features need to be seen. Working on animated projects is also easier to accomplish if a larger screen is used. High display resolution also increases the quality of the modeled or simulated animation.
Battery Life – The nature of an engineering student’s workload means students continuously have to work on-the-go. The longer a laptop’s battery can last the more work hours it bestows on a student. Extended battery life on a laptop will assist students to overcome situations where charging ports are unavailable or there are no available power packs to use.
The Ideapad Y700 is a powerful laptop that allows you to harness the power of quad-core computing. This aesthetically built laptop is integrated with discrete graphics with full HD display which makes it a great option for engineering design and animation. The Y700 is also equipped with thermal cooling features that will stop it from overheating when working on large rendering tasks. The laptop is equipped with discrete NVIDIA GeForce GTX graphics processor. Its 15.6 inches of screen and 2.6 GHz on a core i7 processor is perfect for multiple applications.
The Lenovo Y700 is equipped with a 16Gn RAM and a 1 terabyte storage space that allows you to achieve set goals no matter how large and cumbersome they are. The Y700 is equipped with an average battery life of 4.5 hours to power the Windows 10 operating system on this bad boy. Other external accessories that come with the package are a 256GB SSS and HDMI cords.
If you intend to use the Y700 as a gaming device, then it is your lucky day. The laptop is equipped with an entertainment sound system consisting of JBL speakers and a subwoofer. The backlit keyboard also means you can use the Y700 regardless of the lighting situation wherever you are located. This makes it a rather affordable laptop for engineering students who need the extra power and features it has to offer.
ASUS VivoBook Pro 15 N580VD
Since ASUS came into the laptop development industry, the tech giants have quickly made a name for itself. ASUS is known for its laptops with excellent features and affordable pricing when compared to its competitors. The VivoBook Pro delivers an IPS touch screen in a 15.6-inch screen. This screen size is large enough for most of your engineering applications. The VivoBook is also aesthetically pleasing to look at and it is a lightweight laptop that is easy to move around.
The Lenovo Y700 is equipped with a powerful processor and you can easily accomplish difficult technical tasks by leveraging on its Core i7 base. This delivers a quicker performance making it a great option for mechanical, systems, and civil engineers working on design projects. The storage size of the ASUS VivoBook pro is 512 GB and it is also equipped with a 16GB RAM. This is more than enough to support the most complex engineering apps you will use as a student. The laptop is also equipped with student-friendly features such as its fast-charging technology which boosts the laptops batteries to 60% in 49 minutes. The VivoBook also comes with a long-lasting battery and you can get approximately 5 hours of work done before having to plug in.
This laptop is one of the top options available for engineering students in 2019.
Acer Aspire E15
In terms of market value, the Aspire E15 is a laptop you no engineering student can overlook. The laptop is a lightweight, simplistic machine designed for easy transportation when working on the road. The Aspire E15 is equipped with a 15.6-inch screen which is large enough for your engineering applications. The 15.6 inch is capable of producing high resolutions due to its 1080P non-touch IPS display. The display resolution ensures you get the same color consistency when you view the screen from different angles.
In terms of storage size and processor features, the Aspire E15 is equipped with a 256 GB hard drive and a 16GB RAM. As expected, you can choose to expand your storage options by taking Acer up on its cloud storage services. The Aspire E15 allows you to upgrade the Ram to 32GB if the need ever arises. The processor on this laptop is powered by a Core i7 – 8550U processor. This means the Acer Aspire E15 is quick enough to render your animation tasks with ease. The laptop is also equipped with an optical drive and backlit keyboards. These are gaming features students can take advantage off.
The laptop delivers an extended battery life of up to 15 hours which makes it a great option for students. The GeForce MX150 graphic card is also a feature for engineering applications.
Dell Inspiron 15 7567
The Inspiron has carved a niche for itself among engineering students over time. This is due to the durability it brings to the table, its features, and affordability. The Inspiron 15 is no different and it truly packs a punch. The laptop is equipped with a 15.5-inch screen which is capable of delivering full HD display. The laptop’s RAM is 8GB which can be upgraded to 32GB. The storage space provided on the Inspiron is 256 GB. This is large enough for your engineering applications and gaming needs.
The laptop is definitely not lightweight and like most Inspiron laptops, it weights a little over the average weight of most laptops. This does not mean it is too heavy to transport with ease. Its battery is capable of providing 6 hours of power before you will need to plug in the device. The Inspiron 15 is built to have a Core i5 processor. Although this is relatively less powerful than other options, the processor is powerful enough to do its job. The Dell Inspiron 15 is very affordable. (Date updated: June 2019)
The MacBook Air is fundamentally different from the other laptop on this list due to the operating system this laptop uses. As expected, the MacBook Air uses a Mac OSX instead of Windows and therefore comes with the tight-knit ecosystem of Apple. The laptop is equipped with a great display and at a resolution of 1440 x 900 dpi; it is great for engineering design. The MacBook Air is truly lightweight and portable which has made it a favorite for engineering students since its inception.
In terms of storage space, the laptop is equipped with 128 SSD and an 8GB RAM. This is relatively small compared to the options here but enough. The processing unit in this laptop is a 5h generation Core i5 processor. These do not measure up to others on the list but they do a fine job in executing engineering projects. Many students especially programmers have highlighted the fact that Mac runs their designs and codes smoother than Windows-based laptops. If you are interested in a new experience, the MacBook Air is cheap enough to consider purchasing for your daily use.
The battery life attached to the laptop is approximately 12 hours. This is great for extended use whenever you need to whip out your laptop and work.
The laptops shortlisted here fall under the criteria discussed in earlier sections of the post. They are mostly Windows run which means they are compatible with almost every engineering app out there. Their price range is also great for students although they may be out of reach for some students. If this is the case, then you can use the outlined choices as a stepping stone to discovering cheaper but similar options.