What are best laptops for electrical engineering students? Apart from the usual textbooks and other supplies, a laptop has now become an essential companion for an engineering college student, civil, electrical or mechanical.
This is nothing unusual or to be surprised because in 2020, and in the following years, most of the coursework in colleges as well as in schools will happen remotely, thanks to COVID 19.
This is why you should choose a laptop that is one of the best to use for electrical engineering students.
In this respect, the most essential need of a laptop for the student is a high-quality camera that comes with an equally high-quality microphone built in it.
For this reason, portability of the laptop may not be that essential a factor for a laptop that most of the electrical engineering students will be using in their homes rather than carry it to their classes that will be seldom held as regularly as before.
Apart from the camera and microphone factors, the students should also consider other important nuts and bolts of laptop shopping.
The most significant one is whether to choose a Mac, Windows or a Chromebook.
Ideally, for most of the electrical engineering college students a Windows laptop is more preferable. This is because it allows running almost any software on it.
It is for this specific reason that most of the engineering colleges prefer their students to use Windows laptops.
In addition to that, a Windows laptop is comparatively cheaper and there are lots of different varieties, models and specs to choose from, not to say much about the diverse range in their prices.
The Windows laptops are inexpensive utilitarian workhorses that help the students in everything from basic computing tasks such as taking notes to more creative works such as animation and video editing.
Though a Mac will support all these, there may be a few limitations that you should consider while choosing your laptop for an electrical engineering student.
If you are on budget then you should go for the Chromebooks that are also very easy to use, and trouble-free.
However, it will also have some limitations as well just like the Mac OS which is why you should be very particular about your electrical engineering laptop choice.
Apart from knowing the specific requirements of your college you should follow the recommendations of some of the best laptops for electrical engineering college students like this article will provide you with.
You can follow the buying guide or the safest rule of thumb which says that if you are short of knowledge and funds, the best and most productive way is to get a standard Windows laptop that will run programs like Microsoft Office.
Laptops for Electrical Engineering Students Price
The Benefits and Uses of Computers for Studying Electrical Engineering
The life of the electrical engineering students is very stressful and undoubtedly challenging. There are a lot of things that you will need to accomplish within a period of three years.
Keeping that in mind, you will need a laptop as well as other technologies for education to make your work simple and less stressful.
If you choose the right computer for your electrical engineering study needs, you will enjoy a lot of benefits for sure.
It will be a worthy investment for today as well as for your future life after you leave your college.
Apart from simplifying your life, the laptop will be more convenient to use as compared to physical labor that you need to put in while researching loads of materials and papers.
You can work both online as well as offline and make the best use of the notes, emails and suggestions of the professors.
You can do this through emails, shared discussions, social media and other platforms. Indeed, the laptop will make your life faster and easier.
When you use a laptop as your learning tool it will also improve your performance as a student.
Your work will be more accurate and every project will be delivered on time. You will not only enjoy studying but with proper collaboration with others it will also teach you to be independent.
When you research and need lots of information, a laptop will provide you with faster access to the internet, the most useful and rich resource.
This is much better and faster way to research than your physical visit to the college library.
With such easy and useful online access, it will increase your efficiency.
You can even work on your projects and assignments beyond college hours. With such flexibility, you will be able to learn a lot more.
You will also get to use some of the best visualization tools and software for electrical engineering when you use a laptop rather than your textbooks.
It is easy to carry anywhere and start working on your project.
Minimum & Recommended System Requirements for Electrical Engineering Students
For basic electrical engineering it will never be lower than an Intel Core i3 or AMD Ryzen equivalent chip, 2 GB of RAM, 256 GB of hard drive, and a powerful integrated HD graphics card or a consumer or gaming dedicated graphics card with at least 2 GB of VRAM, and a 13-inch screen with a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels.
The specs of the laptop for electrical engineering students may be updated periodically by the college administration and therefore it is essentially required to make your system future ready. For this you will have to spend a few dollars more and go for a laptop that comes with the recommended system requirements as mentioned below and not the minimum requirements.
Minimum system requirements: Intel Celeron N2840 or higher AMD Ryzen processor | 2 GB of RAM or higher| 128 GB SSD or 500 GB HDD | Integrated Intel HD graphics or better | 13 inches screen or bigger | 1280 x 1024 or higher screen resolution | 8 hours of battery life
Recommended system requirements: 7th generation Intel Core i7 or AMD Ryzen 5 processor| 8 GB of RAM or higher | 256 GB SSD or larger | Dedicated Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050Ti or higher | 15 inches screen or larger | 1920 x 1080 pixels resolution or higher | 10 hours of battery life or more
5 Best Laptops for Electrical Engineering Students 2021:
1. Microsoft Surface Book 2 – Best Overall
Bottom Line: The performance of this 2-in-1 laptop is the best overall and the electrical engineering students will be able to make the most of the useful features like the PixelSense touchscreen, the fast Intel Core i7 processor, the dedicated graphics, faster RAM and storage, the long battery life and more.
- Screen: 15 inches
- Storage: 512 GB
- RAM: 16 GB GDDR5
- Processor: 8th generation Intel Quad Core i7
- OS: Windows 10 Pro
- GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060
- The features and hardware of the system promises solid performance.
- The display of this laptop is excellent.
- The battery life is quite long enough to support the day’s work.
- The laptop does not come with a stylus.
- The machine may stop identifying the main graphics card.
- The cost of the system is a bit on the higher side.
This is a true 2-in-1 laptop. The features, the touch screen and the ability to detach the display completely will enable you to take notes in your class in the most efficient and comfortable way.
You can draw the best diagram for an electrical circuit directly on the screen. This will not only save your time but will also save a lot of manual work and using a pen and paper.
Ideally, most of the convertible laptops that you will get today allow a 360-degree turn of the screen to use it in the tablet mode. This makes it uncomfortable to write on it because the keyboard comes in the way.
The performance of this laptop is also much above average.
This laptop will be able to handle even the most demanding and complex applications and software used in your electrical engineering classes with the help of the latest i7 processor, NVIDIA GTX 1060 graphics, and 16 GB RAM.
The display is truly amazing and comes with PixelSense technology. It delivers images at a high resolution of 3240 x 2160 pixels with more brightness and color accuracy.
With a long-lasting battery life, you can expect the system to run for anywhere between 10 and 12 hours on a single charge.
This means that you will not have to look for a power outlet in your college and miss out on your classes. Check out Microsoft Surface Book 2 Review.
2. MSI GL62M 7REX-1896US – Runner Up
Bottom Line: This Runner up laptop in the list will be able to deal with any amount of data due to the decent processing power and graphics performance. The huge combo storage of SSD and HDD will be an added plus for the electrical engineering students allowing them to store a lot of college projects in it easily.
- Screen: 15.6 inches
- Storage: 128 GB SSD and 1 TB Hard Drive combo
- RAM: 8 GB GDDR5
- Processor: Intel Quad Core i7 7700HQ
- OS: Windows 10 Home
- GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050Ti
- The laptop comes with a powerful Intel Core i7 Quad Core processor and a dedicated NVidia GPU.
- The cooling mechanism of the system is efficient with dual fans and numerous heat pipes.
- The full HD display is of high quality and provides a 94% NTSC color coverage.
- The battery life is average.
- The laptop comes in big size and slightly heavy therefore reducing portability.
- The fans are really loud.
This is a powerful laptop for electrical engineers to use in their classes which will not cost much but will not compromise with the performance.
The i7-7700 HQ quad core processor is fast enough and operates at 3.8 GHz base clock frequency. It can deal with any amount of data.
The most energy efficient Nvidia 1050 TI graphics comes with 4GB DDR5 memory that adds to its capability.
The combo storage of SSD and HDD also adds to the performance speed and at the same time provides a lot of storage space.
The cooling system of this laptop is also very good which enables the laptop to stay cool even under heavy workload.
There is also an Ultra-Boost button to get some extra cooling but you will seldom need to use it.
Add to that, the cooling fans are also designed better and located at the right place to dissipate the heat from the system interior away from the back screen instead of the side of the keyboard.
This does not heat up the palm rest adding to the comfort level while typing on the keyboard.
The red backlit keyboard allows faster and better typing, and you can even change the color of the lights as well, if you wish. The best part of it is that it comes with a number pad.
The anti-glare screen is a plus as it will protect your eyes from strain when you work for long hours on the computer. Check out MSI GL62M 7REX-1896US Review.
3. Dell Inspiron i3451-1001BLK – Good Features and Functionalities
Bottom Line: It is due to the useful and good features and functionalities of this laptop that helps it to find a place in this list of best laptops for electrical engineering students. It comes with a fairly long battery life, a durable keyboard and responsive trackpad, a good thermal solution and audio system.
- Screen: 14 inches
- Storage: 500 GB HDD
- RAM: 2 GB DDR3
- Processor: Intel Celeron N2840
- OS: Windows 8
- GPU: Intel HD Graphics
- The system comes with better biometrics with Fast Access facial recognition.
- The Maxx Audio stereo speakers produce incredible sound.
- The system comes with a 3-in-1 media card reader slot.
- The RAM of this laptop is only 2 GB.
- The storage type of this system is HDD and not an SSD.
- No optical drive is included in the system.
This laptop comes with a lot of good features and functionalities that will help you as an electrical engineering student a great deal.
The battery life is good enough which will support your day’s work. You will also have a better typing experience due to the keyboard design with the keys having a better travel and feedback.
The system is fairly light in weight which will allow you to carry it easily in your backpack.
Though the design of the system on the whole is simple, the touchpad is designed well to work properly even with its unpolished finish.
The system works silently and does not heat up easily due to its effective thermal design.
The best part of this simple laptop is that it allows you to upgrade it easily if you do not like its simple performance.
To make it into a much better laptop you can upgrade the RAM up to 4 GB as well as the SSD drive.
This will boot up the system faster and enhance the functionality of the system on the whole.
This laptop is ideally a budget laptop making it most suitable for the electrical engineering students.
It is good for doing simple tasks on it and in a way just as you desire. It will boot fast and the CPU is powerful enough to deal with all your day to day tasks.
The screen of the laptop is also very crisp to deliver better and sharper images.
However, the speakers are simply decent and using a headphone will be much better and provide a more enjoyable listening experience. Check out Dell Inspiron i3451-1001BLK Laptop Review.
4. Lenovo IdeaPad 3 – Reliable and Fast Performance
Bottom Line: The electrical engineering students who want a reliable and fast performance from a laptop should choose this device. It comes with a decent blend of AMD Ryzen quad core CPU and graphics chip with 720p to deliver clear and sharp images and processed data fast on the good quality full HD display.
- Screen: 14 inches
- Storage: 256 GB SSD
- RAM: 8 GB DDR4 SDRAM
- Processor: AMD Ryzen 5 3500U
- OS: Windows 10
- GPU: AMD Radeon Vega 8 Graphics
- The graphics card is powerful enough to produce better images.
- The quad core processor makes the system perform faster.
- The anti-glare screen protects the eyes.
- The system comes with a fairly low SSD.
- The ports are limited.
- There is no optical drive in the laptop.
This laptop comes with the AMD Ryzen 5 3500U Mobile quad core processor and AMD Radeon graphics card that, in combination, delivers a powerful performance.
The graphics card is powerful with 720p and produces images at a frame rate ranging between 35 and 40 fps.
The system can handle all your daily electrical engineering tasks at your college as well as others most effectively and efficiently.
You will get a clear and loud sound output, thanks to the Dolby Audio system. For your viewing pleasure, the 14-inch full HD screen is enough.
The side bezels are narrow and therefore offer a higher body to screen ratio ensuring less clutter on the screen.
This anti-glare screen comes with a brightness level of 200 nits only which will protect your eyes as well as the screen from light.
The innovative features of this system allow quiet and quick operation. It also enables you to swap between battery saving mode and fast and powerful performance most effortlessly.
There is a webcam in the laptop that comes with a physical shutter which will allow you to maintain your privacy and keep it intact. The control of it is right at your fingertips.
This is the right budget laptop for you to do all your electrical engineering projects as well as play a few good quality games in your leisure. The keyboard is small but works perfectly.
All in all, the performance of this laptop is as good as any Windows or other laptops that come in the same price range. Check out Lenovo IdeaPad 3 Laptop Review.
5. Acer Aspire 5 – Value for Money
Bottom Line: This is a good laptop for the AMD fans. It promises a higher value for money with its consistent price-performance ratio. The electrical engineering students will love the display, selection of ports, its upgradability, the durable and backlit keyboard, and the webcam of this lightweight laptop.
- Screen: 15.6 inches
- Storage: 128 GB PCIe NVMe SSD
- RAM: 4 GB DDR4 SDRAM
- Processor: AMD Ryzen 3 3200U Dual Core
- OS: Windows 10 S
- GPU: AMD Radeon Vega 3
- The system is light in weight but heavy in performance.
- The full HD display delivers much better images.
- The backlit keyboard allows easy and accurate typing even in dimly lit settings.
- The SSD storage of the laptop is very low in comparison to all other modern systems.
- The RAM of the laptop is also of only 4 GB.
- The battery life could have been a bit more.
This slim laptop comes with a dual core AMD Ryzen processor that can operate at a speed as high as 3.5 GHz, making this system fast enough for electrical engineers.
The full HD Widescreen LED backlit IPS display supports the AMD Radeon Vega 3 graphics card and delivers images that are clear and sharp.
There are lots of ports to connect several external devices. These include one USB 3.1 Gen 1 port, two USB 2.0 ports, and one HDMI port that supports HDCP.
The backlit keyboard allows you to type in darker settings most accurately and the 802.11ac wi-fi connectivity allows you to surf the internet most conveniently for research.
This light in weight and high-performing laptop is another Acer masterpiece that runs at an impressive memory speed of 2666 MHz which even supports playing some low-spec games on this laptop most conveniently.
The RAM is enough to allow you to do your regular college work.
However, if you want more, then the system allows you to upgrade the RAM and SSD as well. You will also get a good webcam on the laptop.
Considering the price, you will have very little to complain about the features and performance of this simple yet useful laptop. Check out Acer Aspire 5 Review.
Things to Know before Buying a Laptop for Electrical Engineering Student
Ideally, when you are looking for a laptop for school or college, there is no specific and magic formula to choose the best one.
The usual shopping tips for all types of laptops apply when you choose a laptop for electrical engineers as well.
Ideally, the specs in a laptop to be used by an electrical engineering college student include at least an Intel i3 processor, 64 to 128 GB of SSD storage, 4 GB of RAM, and a decent 13 to 15-inch screen of at least 1766 x 768 resolution.
It is needless to say that the faster is the processor, the better will be the performance of the laptop.
However, this may not be required by all students and will depend largely on the specific course you are into.
If you are studying creative and more complicated arenas of electrical engineering, you will need a powerful CPU in your laptop.
You may also need a powerful GPU as well for that matter.
However, if you use the laptop for basic computing needs then you should not care much for the specs of your laptop.
But, if you do more than writing reports and essays, doing online research, and making presentations then these are the specific factors you should consider.
Research your college
To start off, you should check with your college IT department whether or not they have any limitations or minimum requirements for electrical engineering students.
Most of the time they will, due to several good reasons. Follow their rule in order to ensure that you are not prevented from using your laptop in the college due to non-compliance.
Most engineering colleges recommend using Windows laptops in order to do away with the software incompatibility issues.
It is also done to keep their tech support team focused on one specific platform. On the other hand, some colleges may allow the use of any type of laptop by their students.
There may be some colleges that may want to buy a laptop from them or any affiliated store in order to avail the services of the on-site repair centers.
The good thing about this is that in case of any issues, it will be repaired in quick time as you will not have to send it to the original manufacturer of the laptop.
Also check for the software bundles required and allowed by the college so that you do not unnecessarily overspend on anything that you will be not allowed to use.
Keep it light
Weight of the laptop for an electrical engineering student matters quite a lot because you will need to carry it along with your heavy textbooks in your backpack.
Therefore, if you do not want to pinch your nerves with an additional burden of a laptop, make sure that it is light in weight.
Consider buying a laptop with a bigger or smaller screen based on how far you will have to haul it every day on your shoulders.
Anything more than 4 to 5 pounds in weight is an absolute no-no.
However, if the size of the screen matters to you, pay a few hundred dollars more to buy one of those ultra-thin and ultra-portable laptops.
Keyboard and touchpad
The keyboard of the laptop should be soft and easy to type on.
It is also necessary to be of full size, preferably backlit if you have to work in the evenings, in dimly lit areas or sit at the back and dark corner of your classroom.
Apart from that, the touchpad also needs to be comfortable and usable.
However, laptops with smaller screens and lower price tags will not offer you these benefits.
In that case, leave the majority of the typing work for your dorm or home where you can use a standalone keyboard.
Even a desktop monitor will be a nice compliment attached to your laptop via a HDMI port.
You will also need to consider the power that you need to work on your laptop in your college where recharging it could be an issue.
A battery with a long life of 8 to 10 hours, if not more, will enable you to be more productive.
To ensure that the battery is not drained off easily, you should make some tweaks in the brightness of the screen and resolution as well.
Remember, the type of processor you choose will also determine how long the battery will last as well as the type of work you do on your laptop.
Most of the laptops will come with Windows 10 operating systems other than the Macs and Chromebooks.
However, as a electrical engineering student, it is better to go for a laptop that comes with a Windows 10 S Mode.
This is because this specific operating system is considered to be the best one for educational purposes.
This is the student-oriented version developed by Microsoft. Apart from its features, it prevents the system from downloading malware inadvertently.
This operating system is however compatible with any software and app that you may need to use in your college.
However, there are a few things you should know about this specific type of Windows 10 operating system.
This version will support the Edge browser only and will not allow you to use any third-party Windows programs.
For that you will need to convert to Windows 10 Home or Pro version using the Microsoft Store app for a fee.
However, it will depend on your device and once you do you will not be able to go back to the Windows 10 S again.
Remember, the display and the logic board are the most expensive parts of the laptop.
The repair cost can be as much as half of the price of your device. If it is faulty, it will fail within a year.
After that, it may fail due to regular wear and tear. Therefore, and finally, do check the warranties of the laptop.
Ideally, it should come with a minimum warranty for one year for the parts and labor.
You may also purchase an extended warranty but that will once again depend on its worth as well as the type of user you are.
On top of the extended warranty you may also purchase accident coverage plans which are sold separately by the manufacturers to save you from the cost of repairing for the damages caused to your laptop due to spills and drops.
Ideally, if the warranty costs you more than 15% of the total cost of the laptop, stay away from it and invest rather on backup drives.
Apart from the above, you should make sure that the laptop you want to use in your college comes with some useful additional features as well.
In college, you may need to attend a few video lectures or online electrical engineering classes as well. You will also need to watch some videos and tutorials on YouTube.
Therefore, you must make sure that the screen size and the resolution along with an integrated webcam comes with HD features.
It will also be very useful in these video lecture sessions as well as for those media related courses if your laptop comes with a decent pair of stereo speakers.
The good news is that all these are now a standard inclusion in the modern laptops and therefore you will not have to push hard to find one.
How much GB storage is required in a laptop for an electrical engineering student?
It entirely depends on the usage and saving of data. Ideally, being an electrical engineering student, you will need to be working more on notes and documents and different software. For that matter, it is enough to have 128 GB of storage. However, if you want to store and play games or watch HD movies on it, you will need a lot of storage space.
Are Chromebooks better for electrical engineering studies than other laptops?
Yes, the Chromebooks are quite good to invest on. This is primarily because these devices are quite affordable and the Chrome OS will support most of the tasks that you will need to do on it. Though not hi-fi, it will even allow downloading useful apps for your college work from the Chrome store.
Should I use a budget or a premium laptop for my electrical engineering studies?
This depends on your affordability. You will get a lot of budget laptops but these will come with low specs. If money is not an issue for you and you have enough leisure time after college to play games, you can cough up a fair amount to get one of those high-end laptops.