The best laptops for engineering

The requirements that engineers have for their laptops are a little different from those of many other trades. We don’t necessarily care about having the thinnest, lightest, and most stylish computer in the room. However, for those who are less familiar with the IT lingo and who are less willing to spend weeks doing business, it is easy to spend more than a thousand dollars trying to have a good machine when you could you get by with just a few hundred. Best Laptops for computer science majors.

With this in mind, I decided to examine the requirements that suit most STEM students in terms of ease of use, preferences, and the need to run common software. Personally, I just bought a laptop myself and, as a student, I have to share the options I have considered for myself and the other offers available.

I organized this guide into three categories: IT, electrical / computer engineering and mechanical engineering. I put them in the order of increasingly powerful IT needs.

ASUS Vivobook: Quad- core quad-core processor, 14 “1080p display, 4 GB of RAM, 128 GB SSD

The Vivobook is basically an economical Ultrabook. ASUS is renowned for its quality and certainly offers the look of a high-end laptop. The price difference compared to the Acer Chromebook 14 gives you a processor twice as powerful and four times more powerful than storage, 1080p display and Windows. A very good deal, in my opinion.

P Pavilion x360: 13.3-inch 2-in-1 convertible touchscreen laptop (Intel Core i3-6100U processor, 4 GB of DDR3 RAM, 500 GB hard drive, Windows 10)

It may sound like a bad deal next to the Vivobook, but the i3-6100U is a hidden gem. It surpasses the Vivobook Pentium quad core in all benchmarks thanks to hyperthreading (four threads but two physical cores). If you need a compiler, find the sixth generation of i3 / i5 / i7 and the laptops from the EE list below.

Side note: Many of my CS friends are looking for backlit keyboards on their machines, which are generally top quality functionality. However, since you would probably only need this in a room, consider purchasing an external backlit keyboard. Coders use them a lot, anyway, and some are very inexpensive. I have personally used this one.

Best Laptop for Electrical and / or Computer Engineering

These specifications for EE / ECE notebooks are based on notebooks that can run AutoCAD Electrical. It is the most demanding PCB design software I could find and it is still not very demanding. Computer-centric people will have the same coding needs as CS employees, as well as the need to use lightweight graphical tools for card design.

  • 14+ ”screen, 1080p preferred
  • I3 or higher with Intel HD Graphics or higher
  • 4 GB RAM (8 GB preferably)
  • 500 + GB hard drive (128 + GB SSD preferred)
  • Decent battery life
  • Windows for AutoCAD Electrical, can use Linux for EagleCAD, KiCAD
  • Less than $ 600

Based on the above list, here are the laptops that would work best for electrical and / or computer engineering:

ASUS Vivobook: Quad- core quad-core processor, 14 “1080p display, 4 GB of RAM, 128 GB SSD

This is a repeat of the CS list, but it also deserves a place on the EE / ECE list.

HP 15-ay013nr: 15.6-inch Full-HD laptop (6th generation Core i5, 8 GB RAM, 128 GB SSD) with Windows 10

This HP has a nice generic and modern look, but it contains much more power than the x360 or Vivobook in a much larger case, at around the same price (as of 07/22/16). It’s probably a lot more power than what you would need as an EE. If the sale price is less than $ 450, like during my research, it’s a good deal.


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