Best Laptops For Engineering Students: Budget-Friendly Options

Best Overall
Dell Inspiron i5577-7342BLK-PUS,15.6" Gaming Laptop, (Intel Core i7,16GB,512GB SSD),NVIDIA GTX 1050
Razer Blade Stealth 13.3" QHD+ Touchscreen Ultrabook Laptop - 8th Generation Intel Quad-Core i7-8550U - 16GB RAM - 512GB SSD - Windows 10 - CNC Aluminum- Black
Acer Aspire VX 15 Gaming Laptop, 7th Gen Intel Core i7, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti, 15.6 Full HD, 16GB DDR4, 256GB SSD, VX5-591G-75RM
Oemgenuine Lenovo ThinkPad P51 Laptop 15.6 Inch FHD (1920x1080) IPS Display, Intel Quad Core i7-7700HQ, 32GB RAM, 256GB SSD PCIe-NVMe, W10P
Acer Aspire R 15 2-in-1 Laptop, 15.6" Full HD Touch, 7th Gen Intel Core i7, GeForce 940MX, 12GB DDR4, 256GB SSD, R5-571TG-7229
Our Score
9.5
9.3
9.0
8.8
8.6
MSRP
$1,048.00
$1,639.95
$1,199.99
from $1,319.95
$489.99
Processor
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
Intel Core i7-8550U
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
Intel Core i7-8550U
Intel Core i7-7500U
RAM
16GB DDR4
16GB DDR4
16GB DDR4
16GB RAM
12GB DDR4
Hard Disk
512GB SSD
512GB SSD
256GB SSD
256 GB SSD
256GB SSD
Graphics
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050
Intel UHD 620
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti
NVIDIA Quadro P500
NVIDIA GeForce 940MX
Display
FHD (1920 x 1080)
QHD+ (3200 x 1800)
FHD (1920x1080)
FHD (1920x1080)
FHD (1920x1080)
Weight
5.07 lbs
2.98 lbs
5.51 lbs
4.39 lbs
4.74 lbs
Best Overall
Dell Inspiron i5577-7342BLK-PUS,15.6" Gaming Laptop, (Intel Core i7,16GB,512GB SSD),NVIDIA GTX 1050
Our Score
9.5
MSRP
$1,048.00
Processor
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
RAM
16GB DDR4
Hard Disk
512GB SSD
Graphics
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050
Display
FHD (1920 x 1080)
Weight
5.07 lbs
More Information
Razer Blade Stealth 13.3" QHD+ Touchscreen Ultrabook Laptop - 8th Generation Intel Quad-Core i7-8550U - 16GB RAM - 512GB SSD - Windows 10 - CNC Aluminum- Black
Our Score
9.3
MSRP
$1,639.95
Processor
Intel Core i7-8550U
RAM
16GB DDR4
Hard Disk
512GB SSD
Graphics
Intel UHD 620
Display
QHD+ (3200 x 1800)
Weight
2.98 lbs
More Information
Acer Aspire VX 15 Gaming Laptop, 7th Gen Intel Core i7, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti, 15.6 Full HD, 16GB DDR4, 256GB SSD, VX5-591G-75RM
Our Score
9.0
MSRP
$1,199.99
Processor
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
RAM
16GB DDR4
Hard Disk
256GB SSD
Graphics
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti
Display
FHD (1920x1080)
Weight
5.51 lbs
More Information
Oemgenuine Lenovo ThinkPad P51 Laptop 15.6 Inch FHD (1920x1080) IPS Display, Intel Quad Core i7-7700HQ, 32GB RAM, 256GB SSD PCIe-NVMe, W10P
Our Score
8.8
MSRP
from $1,319.95
Processor
Intel Core i7-8550U
RAM
16GB RAM
Hard Disk
256 GB SSD
Graphics
NVIDIA Quadro P500
Display
FHD (1920x1080)
Weight
4.39 lbs
More Information
Acer Aspire R 15 2-in-1 Laptop, 15.6" Full HD Touch, 7th Gen Intel Core i7, GeForce 940MX, 12GB DDR4, 256GB SSD, R5-571TG-7229
Our Score
8.6
MSRP
$489.99
Processor
Intel Core i7-7500U
RAM
12GB DDR4
Hard Disk
256GB SSD
Graphics
NVIDIA GeForce 940MX
Display
FHD (1920x1080)
Weight
4.74 lbs
More Information

Being an engineering student means you’ll be using computers a lot on a regular basis. 

From preparing presentations and reports to computer-aided designs, a computer is essential.

What do engineers need in a laptop? 

You want a machine that has efficient processor speed, decent RAM, a quality graphics card, and a Windows OS. This is because some software required can only work on Windows.

As a student, it’s not always easy to have enough money to buy an expensive laptop. But you don’t need to. 

Let’s take a look at some of the best laptops for engineering students: budget-friendly options abound.

#1​ Dell Inspiron i5577

Dell Inspiron i5577 Review

This is definitely one of the best engineering laptops you can find on the market today.

While this laptop is marketed as a gaming laptop, it actually has great features that engineering students will love. 

Pros

  • The Dell Inspiron screen has an anti-glare feature with full TN panel display. Two important TN display benefits include a good refresh rate and fast response rate.
  • This laptop’s processor is strong enough to withstand intensive work.
  • Its graphics memory card of 4GB offers better image details, and enables you to play games at a higher setting when you’re taking a break from work.

Cons

  • Some people have mentioned that they’ve battled a bit with the screen’s bright anti-glare display, so this machine might not be good for you if you have a sensitivity to light.

Extra features

  • When you’re working hard and for many hours, you want your laptop to stay cool. The Dell Inspiron will, thanks to its large vents, three exhausts, and 186 thermal fins that prevent the machine from overheating.

Buying Guide

The Dell Inspiron costs about $1100. 

It’s a budget laptop that doesn’t compromise on the important features you need, making it the best laptop for engineers.

In addition, it’s also suitable for extra activities, such as gaming, which makes it an all-rounder.

#2​ Razer Blade Stealth 13.3″ QHD+ Touchscreen Ultrabook Laptop

With its 7th Generation Intel Core i7 processor, the Razer Blade has what you need from a laptop, but it also has extra features to provide you with more comfortable use.

This makes it one of the top laptops for engineering students at an affordable price.

Pros

  • Its QHD+ feature provides excellent color saturation and the screen enables viewing angles of up to 178 degrees! QHD+ display gives you resolution of 3200 X 1800, and offers four times more pixels than QHD, which has a resolution of 1600 X 900.
  • The Razer Stealth laptop weighs just under three pounds with a thin body of just 0.54 inches, making it compact and easy to carry around.

Cons

  • The battery life of this laptop is not that great, as Laptop Mag reports it only lasted five hours and 21 minutes in one of their battery tests. If, as an engineering student, you need to use your laptop without a power source, this device is not suitable for your needs.

Extra features

  • You can dedicate different colors for different keys on the keyboard, which is a nice touch, especially since this could provide you with the practical benefit of improving your typing and making keys easier to spot.
  • The Razer Blade Stealth laptop has an anti-ghosting keyboard for more precise typing, so if you press more than six keys your other keys won’t fail you. This also has the benefit of being much more user-friendly when you play games on it.

Buying Guide

The Razer Blade laptop costs around $1600.

It’s quite a bit more expensive than the Dell laptop, but it does prove to be one of the best laptops for college engineering students, mainly because it has all the solid features you need in a laptop (besides for good battery life).

#3 Acer Aspire VX 15 Gaming Laptop

As an engineering student, you want a comfortable machine that enables you to work hard and fast.

That’s the premise behind the Acer Aspire Gaming Laptop.

Pros

  • The Acer Aspire laptop is focused on helping you type much easier and faster, thanks to its responsive keyboard. The red-backlit keys also make it easy to find keys if you’re working late at night in a dark room.
  • It boasts good performance, thanks to its processor and 256GB solid-state drive. In fact, you can play videos and keep many tabs opened on your laptop without the machine slowing down.
  • Its dual fans work hard to keep your hardware performing well and prevent the machine from overheating.

Cons

  • The laptop has many air grills which make it easy for dust to settle inside them, which can be a bit of a pain to clean.

Extra features

  • It’s got high-quality audio that enables you to listen to sounds as well as voices without a hassle, thanks to its Acer TrueHarmony and Dolby Audio Premium. This makes it valuable for video meetings with your co-workers or supervisor.

Buying Guide

This laptop costs $1900.

It’s a little more expensive than the Razer and Dell laptops featured earlier in this guide, but it offers a good performance that’s worth the money.

#4 Oemgenuine Lenovo ThinkPad P52s

Oemgenuine Lenovo ThinkPad P52s Review

This Oemgenuine Lenovo ThinkPad P52s laptop ticks all the right boxes when it comes to things like RAM and display – in fact, it’s right up there as one of the best college laptops for engineering students. 

But it also has important features that take it one level higher. An example is its 4K display, so let’s jump into its benefits!

Pros

  • One of the biggest benefits of this laptop, and what makes it such a gem for engineering students specifically, is that you don’t always have to be plugged into a power source. The laptop offers an astounding all-day battery life, thanks to its dual-battery configuration.
  • It enables you to connect and transfer data quickly and without a hassle, thanks to its USB-C Thunderbolt 3 feature.
  • It also supports high-res displays, and since it’s a 4K laptop it offers a wonderful 4K screen.

Cons

  • The laptop’s webcam is subpar, but if that’s not an issue for you and something you don’t really need in a laptop as an engineering student, then it’s something you can certainly overlook.

Extra features

  • It’s packed with NVIDIA P500 Quadro graphics that give you 2GB of GDDR5 VRAM. This creates a much faster and efficient performance.

Buying Guide

This laptop costs $1300, so it falls right in the middle when it comes to budget laptops, but its 4K display certainly makes it worth it – and its extra features make it a steal.

#5 Acer Aspire R 15 2-in-1 Laptop

Having a laptop that can give you lots of versatility and make it easier to work on the go is valuable if you’re studying engineering.

The Acer has some lovely features that are worth exploring, even if you’ve already set your mind on one of the previous computers for engineering students in this buying guide.

Pros

  • One of the biggest benefits of this Acer Aspire two-in-one laptop is that it comes with different modes. You can use it as a notebook or tablet, depending on your needs.
  • It has a 360-degree hinge which means you can position it in different ways – even as a tent – which offers the best versatility. You can also hinge it all the way back to watch videos on it, or use it in the regular laptop position when working. This versatility makes it great for when you need to do presentations.
  • Acer’s patented ExoAmp antenna makes it easier than ever to log onto the internet and enjoy fast wireless speed.

Cons

  • While the laptop’s screen is big and beautiful, its display can be a bit reflective at times, which could be a concern and limit where you can comfortably work on it.

Extra features

  • Thanks to how it minimizes bezels, the laptop screen is larger, which makes it easier to view documents with ease. This is also enhanced by its LED-backlit IPS screen display.
  • It easily gives you over nine hours of battery life when you can’t plug it into a power source.

Buying Guide

Coming in with a price of $ $1200 for a used item on Amazon, this laptop is reasonably priced for all the features it has to offer.

Laptops for engineering students FAQ

laptops for Engineering Students

Is the laptop required for engineering students?

In most cases, it’s definitely worth having a laptop if you’re an engineering student. In fact, some universities and colleges will expect students to have their own laptops. 

This is because students will be required to use advanced software that they’ll have to access from other computing resources when they’re not on campus.

While you might think you can use other devices, such as your smartphone or tablet, to access the software you need, this could very well backfire. 

The reason for this is because those devices won’t be able to run the majority of the engineering software you’ll need to have access to on a regular basis. This can make your work less efficient.

A desktop PC could obviously work to give you the software requirements you need, but a laptop can definitely be more practical and versatile because you can take it with you whenever you need it.

Is 8gb RAM enough for engineering?

As an engineering student, you’ll do well to own a laptop with a RAM capacity of 8GB, but even 16GB can be useful.

However, it really depends on the type of software you’re using. If you know that you’ll require more RAM, a laptop with more to offer in this department – such as the Oemgenuine Lenovo ThinkPad laptop with 16GB– will be more suitable for your studying needs.

Decent RAM isn’t just about storage.

Having at least 8GB of RAM on your laptop is also important when it comes to preventing your laptop from slowing down, such as when you’re busy with lots of different tasks simultaneously or have many tabs open.

Can I use a Mac for engineering?

Mac for Engineering Students

If you own a Mac laptop, you might wonder if you can use it for your engineering course.

This is where things can become a little pear-shaped.

Although Mac laptops can give you promising features and specs, they’re mostly not suitable for engineering students.

Here’s why: Windows has become the standard for engineering students.

This is mostly because some universities use software that makes use of Microsoft Windows and it’s unfortunately not compatible with Linux or Mac OS.

Even if you manage to run Windows on Mac, such as with the use of free programs like Boot Camp, there are still some disadvantages to using Mac instead of Windows. 

Mainly, Mac laptops tend to cost a lot more than the budget laptops featured in this guide and in other places on the market. In addition, Mac’s graphics are not always on par with ones that you can find on Windows-based laptops.

Using Windows is just easier all round if you’re an engineering student because it’s compatible with most programs and even if you need a UNIX system, such as in the case for developers, you can use a dual-boot setup so you can make use of your laptop’s full capabilities in Windows and Linux, as Grand Canyon University explains.

It’s probably just the safest best to stick to a Windows device. 

Why you should opt for non-integrated GPU?

When choosing from the best engineering laptops, you have to consider whether the laptop’s GPU should be integrated or non-integrated. What’s the difference?

An integrated GPU makes use of the laptop’s RAM instead of making use of its own.

On the other hand, a non-integrated GPU will have its own source of video memory.

The biggest benefit of having a non-integrated GPU is that it takes the extra strain off the system’s CPU.

It will process all graphics or do other graphic-related tasks without taking up any of the system’s storage, which is a really nice feature to have.

In addition, a non-integrated GPU will make use of a stronger graphics processor, which will make your machine perform better all round.

You will especially benefit from a non-integrated GPU if you have heavy software to install during your engineering course.

In fact, in the case of 3D projects, a non-integrated GPU can go quicker and take up less of your time with such intensive tasks. 

Similar to the way in which CPUs will have dual or even quad cores, non-integrated graphics cards will have many cores that allow you to process different visual information with greater efficiency.

Conclusion

As an engineering student, you need to look for specific features in a laptop when you’re interested in purchasing a new one. 

These include things like decent RAM, fast processing speeds, and graphics that can help make your tasks easier.

All the laptops featured in this buying guide offer you faster and more efficient performance. 

But some also have extra features that, while they might not directly impact your work as an engineering student, can make working on the laptop much more comfortable. 

This can be seen in features such as back-lit keyboards, larger screen displays, and high-quality audio. These enable you to complete various tasks with greater ease.

By choosing a laptop in this buying guide that caters to your specific work requirements as well as offers extra features you’ve always wanted in a laptop, you’ll soon realize that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to get a solid, efficient device.

Last update on 2019-11-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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