Best laptops for engineering students 2020

It’s not easy choosing the best laptop for engineering students. That’s because not all powerful laptops are shoo-ins here – engineering students require portable PCs that deliver that delicate balance of processing power, graphics prowess and affordable price. 

The best laptops for engineering students must have the best processors to handle all those computational tasks, as well as rock the best graphics to tackle all the graphical needs of CAD, simulation and CAM software. However, 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.

Narrowing down your choices for the best laptop for engineering students isn’t easy, so we did it for you. Each of the laptops on this list has been tested, reviewed and given the TechRadar seal of approval, so you can spend less time doing research and more time working on your school projects.

Asus Zephyrus G14

(Image credit: Asus)

1. Asus Zephyrus G14

Leading AMD’s charge to mobile dominance

CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 4800HS | Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti — RTX 2060 | RAM: Up to 32GB | Screen: 14-inch Non-glare Full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS-level panel, up to 120Hz – 14-inch Non-glare WQHD (2560 x 1440) IPS-level panel, 60Hz | Storage: 512GB / 1TB M.2 NVMe PCIe 3.0

Best battery life in a gaming laptop

Excellent performance

Thin and light

No webcam

Fans can get loud

The Asus Zephyrus G14 may be designed like a gaming laptop, but it’s proven itself a more than capable all-around laptop. Whether you are serious about your gaming or need a powerful laptop for productivity or content creation, this Asus laptop delivers incredible performance as well as an amazing battery life, a fast screen, and a thin and light chassis that makes it super portable. It’s not the cheapest option out there, but you have to pay a premium for quality. And, if you’re an AMD fan, you’ll certainly appreciate the processor under its hood.

Read the full review: Asus Zephyrus G14

HP Spectre x360 15T (2019)

HP Spectre x360 15T (2019) has the brains and brawn as well. (Image credit: HP)

2. 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

Beautiful design

Sharp 4K display

Excellent performance

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)

Dell G5 15 5590

(Image credit: Dell)

3. Dell G5 15

Gaming laptop that delivers a killer combo

CPU: 9th Generation Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 – RTX 2060 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 15.6 inch FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS 300-nits – 15.6 inch FHD(1920 x 1080) 300nits IPS Anti-Glare LED Backlit Display, 144Hz | Storage: 128GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD + 1TB SATA Hard Drive – 512GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD

Perfectly balanced feature set

Strong gaming performance

Great battery life

IPS panel is merely OK

Confusing configuration options

You’ve got a killer combo in the Dell G5 15, a gaming laptop that combines affordability with a solid gaming performance, an amazing battery life and the optional 144Hz refresh rate display. If you’re looking for a great value laptop, this one’s a winner, and not just for gamers everywhere. This is a great option for professionals and students as well, especially those who often rely on graphics-intensive applications and 3D design software. The fact that lasts up to 10 hours (based on our tests) on a single charge, a plethora of ports, and a chassis that has a more subtle gaming aesthetic are only welcome extras.

Read the full review: Dell G5 15 5590

Microsoft Surface Book 2 (15-inch)

(Image credit: Microsoft)

4. Microsoft Surface Book 2 (15-inch)

One of the best 2-in-1 laptops to date

CPU: 8th Gen Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620 – Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 | RAM: 16GB | Screen: 15-inch 3240 x 2160 PixelSense Display | Storage: Up to 1TB s
torage (SSD)

Crazy long battery life

Massively powerful

Excellent cooling

No up-firing base speakers

Small trackpad

Very pricey

What’s a better laptop for engineering students than one that’s actually designed for it? Microsoft developed the Surface Book line with graphical design and creative tasks in mind. It even built it to support Surface Dial and Surface Pen to make your creative experience more effortless and all the more immersive. Of course, this laptop boasts some pretty powerful specs, robust enough to support casual gaming, as well as a long battery life that will last you up to 17 hours on a single charge. Not impressed yet? Well, that excellent cooling system should round out this package nicely.

Read the full review: Microsoft Surface Book 2 (15-inch)

Lenovo Legion Y740s

(Image credit: Lenovo)

5. Lenovo Legion Y740

CPU: 9th Generation Intel Core i7 | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti – RTX 2070 with Max-Q | RAM: Up to 32GB DDR4 | Screen: 15.6″ FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS, anti-glare, 144 Hz, 500 nits | Storage: Up to 1TB SSD PCIe-NVMe M.2 + 1TB 7200RPM

Powerful internal components

New Nvidia discrete graphics

144Hz refresh rate

Keyboard arrangement

Poor battery life

Webcam placement

While there’s no such thing as a perfect device, the Lenovo Legion Y740 mostly succeeds in delivering on all fronts. With its incredible performance, a beautiful and bright display with a 144Hz refresh rate, and an elegant chassis, you’re getting a great package in this affordable gaming laptop. Its powerful internals – including 9th-generation Intel Core processors and up to NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 with Max-Q graphics – make it an excellent choice for engineering students as well. It may not be the cheapest option out there, but it’s still pretty affordable next to other top gaming laptops.

Read the full review: Lenovo Legion Y740

Dell G3 15

Dell G3 15 is a great combination of affordability and power. (Image credit: Dell)

6. Acer Predator Triton 500

Devouring the competition

CPU: 9th Generation Intel Core i7 | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 – 2080 with Max-Q | RAM: Up to 32GB DDR4 | Screen: 15.6″ Full HD (1920 x 1080) 16:9 IPS | Storage: 1 TB SSD

Beautiful display

Surprisingly long battery life

Kind of expensive

Flimsy lid

Awkward keyboard layout

As a gaming laptop, the Acer Predator Triton 500 doesn’t pull any punches. And, it’s those exact gaming strengths that make it among the best laptops for engineering students as well. Inside its subtly badass chassis are a 9th-generation Intel Core i7 processor, up to Nvidia RTX 2080 with Max-Q graphics and up to 32GB of memory. That’s plenty of power for all your design and drafting needs. On top of that, it’s got a decent battery life, as well as a fairly thin and light gaming design. It is, however, among the more expensive laptops out there, so it’s best for students with a bit more flexibility in their budget.

Read the full review: Acer Predator Triton 500

ThinkPad X1 Extreme Mobile Workstation

(Image credit: Lenovo)

7. 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

Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition

(Image credit: Razer)

8. Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition

A seriously powerful pro laptop

CPU: 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8750H | Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q – NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000 Studio Edition | RAM: 32GB | Screen: 15.6″ OLED 4K Touch 60Hz, factory calibrated | Storage: 1TB SSD


Beautiful screen


Razer’s idea of taking its famous gam
ing laptop and turning it into one of the best mobile creative workstations on offer has paid off. Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition would have taken the mantle as the best laptop for engineering students, if it wasn’t held back by its premium price. Without a doubt, this model was designed with creators in mind, rocking powerful graphics cards and an absolute stunner of a 4K display. Sure, you’ll be spending a lot of money to take this laptop home. But, make no mistake, it will be one of the smartest investments you’ll ever make.

Read the full review: Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition

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.

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