Not just any powerful laptop can be the best laptop for engineering students, as surprising as that sounds. That’s because it’s not just power you want. For engineering students, you want an excellent combination of processing power, graphics prowess and affordable price.
In other words, the best laptops for engineering students must be powerful enough to handle all the complex applications and computational tasks, as well as rock the best graphics to tackle all the graphical needs of CAD, simulation and CAM software. And, much like the best student laptops, they must also be affordable – because engineering students have enough expenses to deal with without spending thousands of dollars on a laptop as well. Lastly, these laptops must be versatile enough for movie-watching, internet browsing and gaming post-schoolwork.
We gathered all the best laptops for engineering students, each of which we tested and reviewed ourselves. So you can spend less time doing research and more time working on your school projects.
Best laptops for engineering students at a glance:
- HP Spectre x360 15T (2019)
- ThinkPad X1 Extreme Mobile Workstation
- Razer Blade Pro
- Samsung Notebook 9 Pro
- Dell G3 15
1. HP Spectre x360 15T (2019)
Powerful performance in a head-turning design
CPU: 8th-generation Intel Core i7 | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050Ti with Max-Q design | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 15.6-inch, 3840 x 2160 pixels touch | Storage: 512 GB – 2TB SSD
Sharp 4K display
Problematic vent placement
Awkward trackpad position
The HP Spectre x360 15-inch’s beauty isn’t only skin deep. HP fitted it with powerful Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050Ti graphics and an equally powerful processor, so that one of HP’s latest and greatest 2-in-1s has the brains and brawn as well. This makes it a capable machine and one of the best laptops for engineering students. It also has a beautiful and responsive 4K touchscreen display, and the optional HP Tilt Pen so you can create those 3D models like a pro.
Read the full review: HP Spectre x360 15T (2019)
2. ThinkPad X1 Extreme Mobile Workstation
Great power, massive price tag
CPU: up to 8th-generation Intel Core i7 | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050Ti with Max-Q design | RAM: up to 64GB | Screen: 15.6” FHD (1920 x 1080) – 15.6” 4K UHD HDR (3840 x 2160) multi-touch | Storage: up to 1TB SSD
So much power
Glorious 4K screen
Great user experience
If you’re looking for a workhorse and you have the funds for it, then Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Extreme mobile workstation is the ultimate machine to shell out a lot of cash on. It has several configurations on hand, fitting different needs and budgets. But, at its most basic, it’s already pretty powerful, rocking a solid graphics card in a robust carbon-fiber and aluminum package that will survive any field work. There’s no doubt that this mobile workstation earned its spot in our best laptops for engineering students list.
Read the full review: ThinkPad X1 Extreme Mobile Workstation
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
Starboard trackpad placement
A desktop experience you can finally carry
Less than 5 hours of battery life
Make no mistake: the Razer Blade Pro is a gaming laptop first and foremost. However, it also makes for an excellent mobile workstation for engineering. Yes, it is a tad expensive for students, but it’s less than an inch thick so you can haul it around campus, and packs a Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 – what’s not to love? That’s not all; the Razer Blade Pro also brings Razer’s Ultra-Low Profile Mechanical switches to a laptop for the first time ever. It kind of resembles an everyday chiclet keyboard, but press down on it, and you’ll fall in love… though you probably shouldn’t be hitting those keys hard when you’re in a classroom.
Read the full review: Razer Blade Pro
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
Uses S-Pen to great effect
Excellent look and feel
Inconsistent battery life
The Samsung Notebook 9 has been the epitome of mobile computing since the emergence of 2-in-1 devices. It enhances 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 doesn’t require charging for convenience. While the touchscreen display is only 1080p, with that 350 to 450 nits of brightness, you won’t be paying any mind to the pixels, or lack thereof. Plus, the long battery life more than makes up for this hybrid’s very few shortcomings.
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 G3 15
CPU: 9th-generation Intel Core i5 – i9 | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 – GTX 1660 Ti | RAM: 8GB | Screen: 15.6 inch FHD (1920 x 1080) | Storage: 1TB HDD – 128GB SSD + 1TB
Great performer for the money
The Dell G3 15 might not be a lot of things, but for this price, you can get some pretty powerful components to back you up – whether you’re just gaming or actually completing engineering projects for school. We’re talking 9th-generation Intel chips and GTX graphics. It’s a great combination of affordability and power, and that’s exactly why it’s one of the best laptops for engineering students. As long as you don’t mind lugging a heavier gaming laptop around campus.
Read the full review: Dell G3 15
How to choose the best laptop for engineering students?
So, what exactly makes for the best laptops for engineering students? Since you’re likely to be running complex programs like AutoCAD, you’re definitely going to need a laptop with enough power to run them.
We recommend a laptop with the latest Intel Core i5 or Core i7 chips, and at the very least, 8GB of RAM – though 16GB is even better.
Many of the programs engineering students rely on are also graphically intensive programs – especially CAD, MATLAB and Solid Works, which are used for 3D modelling and video rendering. This means that it’s crucial to have a laptop with a dedicated graphics card – rather than an integrated one powered by the processor.
This is why the best gaming laptops are also ideal choices for engineering students, since they offer that kind of graphic power, and the fact that they can handle games for unwinding after classes is just the cherry on top.
A large screen with a high resolution is also advisable, and if you’re going to be working on site a lot, Finally, it would be a fine idea to take a look at some of the rugged or well-built laptops that are built to withstand accidents on work sites.