Top 5 Best Laptops For Engineering Students 2020:
- HP Pavilion x360 14-inch 2-in-1 Convertible Laptop
- Lenovo ThinkPad P52s Mobile Workstation Ultrabook Laptop
- Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop, 15.6″ Full HD IPS Display
- Apple 13″ MacBook Air Core i5 CPU
- CHUWI Hi10 X,10.1-inch Tablet PC, Windows10
Engineering was always considered to be one of the most respected and, indeed, best-paid professions. Congratulations on enrolling – you have one incredibly promising career ahead of you.
But, as you will soon probably find out, engineering studies are far from the breeze, and you will have to finish tons of demanding assignments and projects before you finally get to the finish line. How efficiently you will be able to perform these tasks will, to a no small extent, depend on the tools you are going to use.
If you end up stuck with an outdated and laggy device, you will need to spend a great deal of time and effort on even the most menial chores.
That is something you definitely want to avoid – your schedule will be relentless even as it is.
So, let’s quickly go through some of the best laptops for engineering students and try to find the best device for your own personal needs.
5 Best Laptops For Engineering Students In 2020: Detailed Reviews
1. HP Pavilion x360 14-inch 2-in-1 Convertible Laptop – Best Laptop for Students Overall
HPis a name that requires very little introduction in the affordable laptop range. The brand basically made itself famous by releasing a series of competent and versatile but, at the same time, easy-on-the-wallet devices aimed at less demanding devices.
We are more than happy to report that the HP Pavilion x360 14-inch 2-in-1 Convertible Laptop fits this description like a glove.
For a start, the specs you can find inside the body are more than reasonable. Seriously, with the 10th generation i5-1035G1 processor, 8 GB DDR3 RAM, and 512SSD hard drive, you will be able to smoothly run the latest iteration of Windows 10 and power up all essential apps you will encounter during studies.
Sure, stacking up extensive multimedia content will be out of the question due to hard drive limitations, but you will most likely watch your favorite shows via streaming, so there’s that.
Moving on to the screen. Here, we have to admit that Full HD is not really the killer res you may be hoping for, but the IPS display is compact enough (14 inches) to maintain high pixel density. Also, the screen can be folded back and used as a touchscreen which factors quite nicely into the whole college dorm story. Viewing angles are great, image quality crisp and the whole thing is a joy to look at.
Last but not least, we have to mention the overall build quality, which is definitely rock-solid. The plastic body feels streamlined and durable, and a weight of 2.6 lbs keeps everything light and portable.
The main thing we would take away from this product is that the 9 hours of battery life are below the average by today’s standards.
- Great price-value ratio
- Solid specs
- Good build quality
- Excellent screen
- Shaky battery life
2. Lenovo ThinkPad P52s Mobile Workstation Ultrabook Laptop – Best Premium Laptop for Engineering
Although Lenovo struggled to find its footing in the cell-phone space, in the world of laptops, these five letters are the genuine mark of quality. ThinkPad P52s represents one of the company’s latest ventures into the higher mid-range segment, and you know what? The results are just as sweet as we expected.
The specs on display here are nothing short of fabulous. The unit runs on the 8th generation Intel Core i7-8550U Quad-Core processor, scores as much as 16GB of DDR4 RAM for effortless multitasking, and even throws into equation NVIDIA Quadro P500 (2GB of GDDR5 VRAM) for some casual gaming.
So, the foundations are more than solid.
The display does not disappoint either – the resolution may be stuck at Full HD (1920 x 1080), but the IPS standard combined with LED Backlight technology makes the usage as effortless as it gets. With the screen size of 15.6 inches, the pixel density is not that great, though, but this is something we can live with.
Still, what lacks in PPI, the device more than compensates with small touches like great 720p webcam, excellent tracking pad, backlit ergonomic keyboard, and all other things that make the owner’s life far simpler.
What about the drawbacks? Well, we have already mentioned pixel density. The other thing we are not thrilled about is the HDD size of 512GB. At this price point, we would like to get 1TB.
- A genuine workhorse
- Excellent ergonomics
- Killer specs
- Great webcam
- Underwhelming pixel density
- 512GB HDD
3. Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop, 15.6″ Full HD IPS Display – Best Affordable Laptop for Students
Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop is far from the ideal device. You will most likely hear this opinion for the people with good grand to spend. Still, this laptop is far below this price point, and that is something you should definitely take into consideration. Keeping the affordable price in mind, what we get here is one incredibly well-balanced value proposition.
So, let’s get one thing straight – 10th gen Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of DDR4 RAM, 526GB HDD and integrated graphics processor can’t exactly be considered to be monstrous specs. But they are not awful either.
The device we got was able to run laggy Windows 10 without any hiccups, performed rather well with popular engineering apps, and provided satisfactory multimedia experience. And that is pretty much what you should expect from an entry-level student device. So, there is nothing particularly wrong in this regard.
The screen is not bad, either. With 15.6 of size in diameter, IPS technology, and Full HD resolution, the laptop does provide a solid user experience and keeps eye strain at the bare minimum. Keep in mind, though, that viewing angles are not that great, so you’ll need to keep the laptop in position during the extended use.
However, the biggest drawback of this device is the cramped keyboard. Prepare yourself for a steep learning curve before you get a good grasp of all the buttons.
- Affordable price
- Compact dimensions
- Tackles all the basic tasks
- Solid design
- Cramped keyboard
- Poor viewing angles
4. Apple 13″ MacBook Air Core i5 CPU – Best Apple Laptop for Students
Taking a look at the specs of this compact MacBook may give you the impression that the device is horribly underpowered. If you take a look at the short buying guide we will present you down below, you will see that Apple products are optimized as hell. Hence, they are able to run even on modest configurations.
You will also see that the Apple products are pricey as hell, so don’t think that the price that’s just below one grand means you are buying some premium device.
Apple MacBook Air Core i5 is, for all intents and purposes, a midrange device that is incredibly easy to grasp, features streamlined user interface, reliable and bug-free performance, and a bunch of apps to keep you happy while you are taking a break.
And you know what – in the world of Apple products 8GB of RAM memory and Intel HD Graphics 6000 are not that shabby. Since the native OS is not destroying the laptop’s RAM, you may even get away with some casual gaming.
Throw into the equation a rock-solid 13-inch LED-backlit Retina display that features excellent viewing angles and manageable weight (2.96 pounds), and you will get a device well-tailored around the students’ needs.
However, even with all Apple optimization in the world, 128GB of SSD are just too little, and for the same money, you can get a far more powerful Windows device.
- Lag-free performance
- Great design
- Solid specs
- Checks all the essential boxes
- A bit too pricey
- Poor hard disk
5. CHUWI Hi10 X,10.1-inch Tablet PC, Windows10 – Best Affordable Transformer for Students
And for the very end, we have one incredibly punchy device coming straight from the transformer range of products. Now, you might be suspicious about Chuwi’s brand power or to put it more precisely lack thereof. But after a couple of weeks of testing, we didn’t encounter any major quality-control issues, so we can say that this gamble paid off.
What surprised us the most is that for the ridiculously low price tag that hangs on the package Hi10 packs more than decent specs. As a matter of fact, the Intel N4100 Quad-Core processor (2.4 GHz), 6GB of RAM, and 128 GB of ROM are way out of this price point. Thanks, Asian manufacturers.
The screen on the central unit (basically, we are talking about a glorified tablet) is also rock-solid. IPS technology combined with Full HD resolution and modest diagonal (10.1 inches) create a crisp image and excellent pixel density.
But, this is the point where the inherent drawbacks of this product type start to creep in. First and foremost, as crisp as the image is, 10 inches are not designed for achieving high productivity in the long run. The same can be said about the detachable keyboard, which is far from the champion in the ergonomics. And then, there is the fact that the battery will be able to survive only a couple of hours of use.
Still, the device is incredibly convenient and makes a great choice for lightweight, casual tasks.
- Excellent price
- Decent Windows 10 performance
- Transformer design is very convenient
- Good screen
- Poor battery life
- Not quite a productivity device
Things You Should Consider While Checking The Best Laptops For Engineering Students
And now that we had an opportunity to take a look at five best laptops for engineering students on the market, let us go through some of the most important considerations you will need to make before spending money.
The main thing you need to take into account here is that engineering apps are reasonably demanding, but they do not entail some excessive high-end specs. So, besides this necessary requirement, the kick you are going to get from your new devices will mostly depend on your personal interests.
And it’s not like the choices for killing off spare time are lacking.
The bottom line, we are going to present you with our top three picks further down below. If you think you will have more luck with something else, check this short buying guide and try to find something more suitable.
1. Native Os And App Ecosystem
The current offer of affordable laptops is very diverse when it comes to Operating Systems and their unique app ecosystems. As you can guess, all these offers are pretty different from each other. So, let’s break them down for you:
- Microsoft Windows – This is probably the most popular and widespread OS out there. Windows was always considered to be somewhat buggy and not entirely lighting fast, but it gets the job done. What sells this OS, however, is the killer ecosystem that features all the apps, games, and productivity tools you might think of.
- Apple iOS – Apple’s iOS can be best described as Windows’s far tighter, cleaner, and well-oiled distant cousin. The app support is excellent as well. But, iOS comes only on Apple’s devices, which tend to be quite pricey.
- Google OS – The newest contender in this league, Google’s dedicated laptop OS, shares much of the same DNA as its mobile counterpart – it’s fast, built on the versatile Linux foundations, and incredibly user-friendly. Still, the platform lags behind the previous two mentions in terms of productivity.
- Linux – Linux comes in so many different releases, builds and versions we won’t even try to count them here. The OS is versatile, can be optimized to a ridiculous extent, and features solid app support. But, you need to have some technical proves to use it effectively.
2. The Necessary Configuration
Usually, when we do buying guides like this, we do our best to break the products feature by feature and explain all of them in great detail. However, laptops are made from dozens of essential components, and as you can guess from the section above, all these OS’s need a different configuration to run smoothly.
So, assuming that you are familiar with the terms like CPU, RAM, HDD, and other basic laptop lingo, we will simply give you specs you need to get for each of these brands.
- Google and Linux – Since both these operating systems share the same building blocks, we’ll cover them together. The good news is that Google and Linux are very lightweight, so you will be able to run them on Intel quad-core Pentium N4200 CPU, 4GB of DDR4 RAM, and 64GB of storage. Short disclaimer – if you have the patience to tinker your Linux, you will be able to use it on even weaker configurations.
- Microsoft – Now, Windows is an entirely different beast, and its optimization seems to vary from release to release. So, just to make sure, set yourself an Intel i5 Quad-Core processor, 8GB of RAM, 1TB HDD as a bare minimum.
- Apple – Apple is a champion in convenience in this regard. Since the same company sells hardware and software, you usually get the configuration able to run the OS. But, let’s say that Intel quad-core Pentium N4200 CPU, 4GB of DDR4 RAM, and 64GB of storage are necessary for most of the apps you are going to use.
3. Portability And Battery Life
- As a student, you will do a lot of running from classroom to classroom and from dorm to dorm. Your device needs to be able to keep up with this lifestyle and allow you to stay productive on-the-go. Although there is not some unified opinion on what makes a convenient portable laptop, we say that 4 pounds and 6 hours of battery life are a good place to start.
4. Screen Size Vs. Resolution
- Both things help you to finish your assignment faster and with less eye-strain. However, ramping up the screen size will make the device heavy and bulky. In other words, you should put a priority on resolution and do your best to put at least 1920 x 1020 pixels (HD resolution) on that screen of yours.
5. Tracking Pad
- There is no way you will be able to drag the mouse around with you. Therefore, find a device with a responsive and precise tracking pad (engineering projects live and die on precision). Also, make sure you are getting the scrolling feature. This addition alone will save you a year-worth of time.
6. Additional Features And Connectivity Options
All the things we are going to mention here are not necessary for getting to the finish line, but they will make your student years far easier and a whole lot of fun.
- OLED screen – Eliminates annoying sun glare
- HDMI ports – Connect your device to a bigger screen
- Transformer design – Unhook your screen and use it as a tablet
- Good graphic card – For when you hit a pause button on your engineering projects
Final Thoughts And Recommendations
So, now that we had an opportunity to take a look at these best laptops for engineering students, it is finally the time to proclaim the winner of the roundup. Like always, we want to make a short disclaimer here. The picks below are chosen after extensive testing, but they are based on our opinion. Check the buying guide above and see if you agree with us.
And now, here are our top three picks:
Best Laptop Overall: HP Pavilion x360 14-inch 2-in-1 Convertible Laptop
- This was an easy pick. Asus ZenBook UX330UA-AH54 simply checks all the right boxes and makes very few mistakes along the way. Put together excellent Windows performance and the price suitable for students’ pockets, and you will get a purchase more than worthy of your consideration.
Best Premium Pick: Lenovo ThinkPad P52s Mobile Workstation Ultrabook Laptop
- This laptop may be a bit expensive, but it will easily carry you through all four years of studies and may even prove to be helpful once you start your engineering career. To put it simply, the device is a genuine workhorse that has no problem tackling any of the tasks you might throw in its way.
Best Affordable Laptop: Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop, 15.6″ Full HD IPS Display
- We were in serious doubt about whether to give this flattering title to Chuwi Hi10 Transformer or not. But, when all is said and done, Acer Aspire 5 simply offers a far higher level of productivity, stronger battery life, and overall more competent performance. So, take it as our budget pick.