What are the best laptops for mechanical engineering students? You will need a laptop for your mechanical engineering classes because it will not only help you in your studies and perform all the necessary tasks quickly but will also save the cost and physical labor involved in making those multiple designs.
Therefore, it goes without saying that you will need to use one of the best rated laptops for your mechanical engineering classes. But how exactly can you choose one without the knowledge of what to look for in them?
Not all laptops will be able to meet with your needs because all of them will not be able to handle all the software you need to run for your studies.
Therefore, you will need to have a powerful hardware configuration in your laptop that will deliver a faster, better, and higher performance.
The features of these laptops will enable you to perform your tasks in a better way with infallible attention to the details.
These power-packed laptops will also help you to do other tasks on it and even play some games at your leisure to refresh your mind with its powerful performance.
Now, you may be wondering that with all these things to consider, choosing a laptop for your mechanical engineering studies is not as easy as you may have thought.
This is where this article will be of great help for you to make your job simpler.
Here are the top five laptops that you can use. These are the specific laptops that can be used not only by the mechanical engineering students but also by the electrical and civil engineering students as well.
Just make sure you follow the guide before buying.
Laptops for Mechanical Engineering Students Price
The Role of a Laptop for Mechanical Engineering
With the breakthroughs in analytical tools and materials, mechanical engineering involves much more than what it used to be in the previous years.
It is more than simply studying the different systems and objects in motion.
Modern mechanical engineering also involves complex machines, creating complex designs, and more.
Using a laptop will be of great help in such studying. It will facilitate running computer-aided designing tools and manufacturing software.
It is for this reason most of the mechanical engineering students are now seen to carry a good quality laptop in their colleges and universities, along with their textbooks, in their backpack.
The laptop also helps in creating real world simulation of the physical designs and perform investigations that are risky or not possible in the real world.
It saves huge time and cost for the mechanical engineering students.
Apart from designing and manufacturing of machines, robots and others, a laptop is also useful for a diverse range of mechanical engineering needs and fields.
This includes FEA or Finite Element Analysis, CFD or Computational Fluid Dynamics and more.
Irrespective of the field of mechanics you are studying, a laptop can be really useful in nanotechnology, composites, biotechnology, acoustical engineering and lots more.
In fact, the use of a laptop has literally extended the toolbox for mechanical engineering.
Laptops used in nanotechnology helps in designing and manufacturing down to the elemental level whereas while creating composites it allows manipulation of materials to open newer manufacturing opportunities.
You will find better and more innovative ways to combine materials based on the diverse characteristics and find newer and better solutions by using your laptop.
It will also help you a lot in making complex analysis of the different algorithms involved in mechanical engineering.
You will find it extremely easy to create models of situations and designs which was not possible before.
Using your laptop for acoustical engineering, it will be easy for you to examine sound and vibration and find the best solution to reduce noise in a device.
Overall, using a laptop for your mechanical engineering classes will increase your efficiency in all fields, whether it is architecture or biotechnology.
Minimum & Recommended System Requirements for Mechanical Engineering Students
A laptop for the mechanical engineering students should have at least an Intel Core or AMD processor with multiple cores and a base clock speed of 3.3 GHz. The RAM amount should be at least 8 GB and the storage should be 256 GB, preferably an SSD. It will also need a dedicated graphics card equivalent of Nvidia GeForce MX 350 with 2 GB of video memory capable of handling AutoCAD, Inventor Pro, and SolidWorks assemblies and models.
You will need to draw and study a lot of images of different parts of a machine as a mechanical engineering student. Ideally, a laptop with faster processing and better graphics rendering ability will help you in that aspect a lot.
In that case, you will need a device with the recommended system requirements to make it ready to meet with the ever-changing needs of the mechanical engineering classes.
Minimum system requirements: Intel Core i5 or i7 processor of the 4th generation | 8 GB of RAM | 256 GB SSD | Dedicated Nvidia GeForce GT 750 M graphics card or higher| 15 inches screen | 1920 x 1080 pixels resolution | 8 hours of battery life
Recommended system requirements: 7th generation Intel Quad Core i7 or higher processor| 16 GB of RAM or higher | 512 GB SSD or larger | Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti | 15.6 inches screen | 1920 x 1080 pixels resolution or higher | 10 hours of battery life or more
5 Best Laptops for Mechanical Engineering Students 2021:
1. Lenovo Ideapad L340 – Best Overall
Bottom Line: The mechanical engineering students looking for a laptop that will provide the best overall performance should choose this device. The 9th generation Intel Core i7 processor in combination with the dedicated Nvidia GeForce GTX graphics card ensures a better data and graphics processing.
- Screen: 17.3 inches
- Storage: 512 GB M.2 NVMe QLC SSD
- RAM: 8 GB
- Processor: 9th generation Intel core i7 9750H
- OS: Windows 10
- GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650
- The processor speed is good along with a fair enough mid-range graphics.
- The Eye Care Mode reduces light emission and adjusts the color tone of the display.
- The sound system is good and comes with advanced sound technology.
- The battery life is low and could have been more.
- There is no DVD player in the system.
- The selection of I/O ports could have been better and more in number.
This laptop is good for both gaming and working with its two distinct modes. You can switch between the two modes by simply flicking between them.
It will be quick while gaming and quiet while working and each of these two modes feels, looks and acts differently.
Apart from this unique aspect, this laptop comes with the latest 9th generation Intel Core i7 processor to provide you with all the power you need to boot, run and use different software.
The new supercharger of a graphics card included in this laptop will ensure a breakthrough graphics performance, thanks to the Turing architecture of NVIDIA.
The Dolby Audio system with advanced sound technology will provide clear and distinct sound.
As for the display, it will not strain your eyes as you can control the light emission using the Lenovo Vantage’s Eye Care Mode.
It will also enable you to adjust the color tone of the display.
All the features of this laptop provide power and performance that you will need to test your wits in mechanical engineering design.
The sleek and stylish design of this laptop is good though at 6.20 pounds, it weighs a bit more. Check out Lenovo IdeaPad L340 Review.
2. Dell Precision 5530 Mobile Workstation – Runner Up
Bottom Line: This Runner up laptop comes with an 8th generation Intel Core i7 processor with six cores. It provides suitable support to the graphics and operating system. A varied connectivity option with a Thunderbolt, the screen, and faster memory adds to its utility to the mechanical engineering students.
- Screen: 15.6 inches
- Storage: 512 GB SSD
- RAM: 16 GB
- Processor: Intel Hexa- Core i7 8850H
- OS: Windows 10
- GPU: NVIDIA Quadro P1000
- The six cores of the processor ensure faster performance and better processing.
- The memory is faster that accelerates the workflow.
- The cooling system is good enough and comes with dual fans.
- The audio system needs to be switched on manually.
- The display of the system flickers randomly.
- The system seems to overheat at times under heavy workload.
This laptop is designed and built for a high level of performance.
It will meet all your needs and help you to do all those things that you need to do as a mechanical engineering student.
Designed to excel, this impressive laptop is the lightest, thinnest and smallest laptop that you will get in the 15-inch category.
The display of the laptop is stunning in design and also happens to be the best in class.
The laptop will not get heated up easily even under heavy workload due to the effective cooling system that comes with two fans.
The vents in the casing ensures a better and more improved airflow to dissipate the heat from its inside most effectively.
At 2666 MHz, you will also get a faster memory speed to accelerate and enhance your workflow.
The system allows upgrading the memory up to 32 GB, if you need more power.
The Bluetooth and Thunderbolt Type C connectivity with x4 PCIe as well as HDMI 2.0 ports will help you to stay connected with anything and everything that you require for your mechanical engineering classes and projects.
3. Acer Aspire VX 15 – Better Cooling and Faster Performance
Bottom Line: This system with its fairly high-end specs will offer a faster and much better performance. Add to that, it is its efficient dual fans that will offer a better cooling solution to maintain the thermals of the system quite low even under pressure and extended use by the mechanical engineering students.
- Screen: 15.6 inches
- Storage: 256 GB SSD
- RAM: 16 GB DDR4 SDRAM
- Processor: 7th generation Intel Core i7 7700HQ
- OS: Windows 10
- GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti
- The screen is beautiful and displays sharper and colorful images.
- The i7 processor recalls faster and enhances its performance.
- The keyboard is good and comfy for typing.
- The system comes with bloatware.
- There is no optical drive.
- The system does not come with a Thunderbolt port.
This laptop will allow you to work on it for long hours and will still not get hot with its proper air circulation and heat dissipation.
The long enough battery life as well as the comfortable keyboard along with the i7 processor, adequate storage and RAM, all will add to the performance level of your laptop and enhance your productivity.
The build quality of this laptop is superb that ensures durability as well as good enough aesthetics. It is quite light to carry in your backpack weighing just over 5 pounds.
The keyboard and trackpad ensure convenience. The keyboard has an attractive look with the red backlighting.
The keys have a nice travel and texture. Though the arrow keys are not properly spaced out like in regular keyboards, the responsive trackpad balances for it.
You can use only two of your fingers to scroll up or down a page. For browsing the active apps, you can use three fingers and to change desktops you can use four fingers.
You can use the soft taps to right and left click if you do not want to use the dedicated buttons for it which needs some force.
Though the battery will not last for the entire day, its life is quite acceptable, when you do simple tasks like web browsing, word processing, or even watch some videos.
Ideally, you can expect a battery life of 4 to 5 hours, give or take.
The performance of the laptop is what makes it so good.
The processor and configuration of this laptop is powerful enough to run the software you need for mechanical engineering as well as to do some demanding IDE coding. It is also a good laptop for editing videos.
The SSD of the laptop is pretty fast. The Windows 10 operating system takes only about 5 seconds to boot just as the apps that load quickly as well.
The audio system of this laptop is also of high quality that will increase the clarity in the sound with the Acer True Harmony and Dolby Audio Premium technology.
The fan noise is low and the graphics are fast enough to support gaming.
All in all, this is a good laptop for productivity and studying. Check out Acer Aspire VX 15 Laptop Review.
4. Apple MacBook Pro – Dual Graphics Processors
Bottom Line: This laptop comes with all those good features and specs that will help all mechanical engineering students significantly when they use it in their college or at home for their studies. It will deliver better images on the Retina display with its dual graphics processors with all the minute details in it.
- Screen: 15 inches
- Storage: 512 GB SSD
- RAM: 16 GB DDR3 SDRAM
- Processor: Intel Quad Core i7 4980HQ
- OS: Mac OS X
- GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M
- The force trackpad is good and comfortable to use and comes with click simulation.
- Inclusion of the SD port in this lightweight laptop is very useful.
- The keys of the keyboard have a fantastic feel and good travel for comfortable typing.
- There is no optical drive in the system and therefore will not support DVD or CD.
- The 16 GB on board RAM of the system is not upgradable.
- The system does get loud when the fans start spinning.
The MacBook Pro has got all the features that will help the mechanical engineering students to use it.
It comes with an Intel Core i7 processor with four separate cores on one silicon ship and a 22 nm Haswell feature and operates at a speed of 2.8 GHz making the best use of the 6 MB shared level 3 cache.
The 16 GB DDR3L SDRAM operates at 1600 MHz but it cannot be upgraded later on. The 512 GB flash storage SSD however maintains the high level of performance of the system.
The best part of this laptop is that it comes with dual graphics processors.
There is a NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M graphics card that comes with 2 GB of dedicated GDDR5 memory.
It also has one Intel Iris 5200 Pro graphics processor integrated with it that comes with a 128 MB of Crystal Well embedded DRAM.
You will also find a 720p FaceTime HD webcam integrated in the system design that takes good enough pictures and shows it on the high resolution, LED-backlit widescreen display.
This ‘Retina’ display shows the images at 2880 x 1800 resolutions or 220 PPI.
This lightweight system of 4.46 pounds comes with adequate connectivity options in the form of 802.11ac wi-fi, Bluetooth 4.0, two Thunderbolt 2 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, one HDMI port, one SDXC card slot and an audio in/out port.
The system also allows comfortable, accurate and fast typing on its backlit keyboard. The trackpad too is quite responsive to multi-touch and comes with no buttons.
You will be able to do all your day’s work on this laptop with its lithium polymer battery lasting for about 8 hours. Check out Apple MacBook Pro Review.
5. Microsoft Surface 3 – Value for Money
Bottom Line: This laptop with a better aesthetic and features will offer a great value for money when mechanical engineering students use it for the academic needs. This thin and light system comes with a good enough AMD Ryzen CPU and better graphics, a touchscreen, and a long battery life to work on it all-day.
- Screen: 15 inches
- Storage: 256 GB SSD
- RAM: 8 GB
- Processor: AMD Ryzen 5 Microsoft Surface Edition
- OS: Windows 10 Home
- GPU: AMD Radeon Vega 9
- The laptop is sleek and light weight and promises good performance.
- The touchscreen of the laptop is very responsive.
- The temperature of the system is kept low even on high CPU usage.
- The system runs into a blue screen often requiring restarting it every time.
- The system cannot handle a mouse connected to the USB C hub producing lags and jumps.
- The keyboard of the system is fragile as the surface bends while typing.
The clean and elegant design of the laptop adds to the aesthetics. It is thin and light, weighing just 3.4 pounds, making it easy to carry.
The premium finish and color will complement your style when you use it in your classes.
The latest processor will ensure faster performance. Ideally, the AMD Ryzen 5 Microsoft Surface Edition processor of this laptop is more than two times faster than the other Surface versions.
The features of this latest AMD processor will ensure a 10% increase in the performance level of the processor and a 15% improved performance of the graphics.
The USB Type C and USB Type A ports will provide you with enough connecting options for the displays, docking stations or any other necessary external devices. It will also help you in charging the accessories.
The battery of the system will provide you with the necessary power for 11.5 hours, apart from the standby time when you are not using it.
To sum up, with the multitasking USB Type C and Type A ports, SSD storage, interactive touchscreen, better audio system and enhanced Studio Mics along with wake on voice feature, this system will enable you to do a lot more with the Windows 10 Home operating system.
The system is safe to use in colleges due to the password-free Windows Hello sign-in feature.
With the new Microsoft Edge browser, you will be able to browse faster.
You can also use the integrated OneDrive feature that will enable you to store your files safely in the cloud and access them easily from anywhere by using any system.
Things to Know before Buying a Laptop for Mechanical Engineering Students
You must be wondering what kind of configuration will be good enough for your laptop.
Ideally, the choice of a laptop for a mechanical engineering student mainly depends on what is expected from the laptop and the type of work they want the system to do for them.
It will also depend on the types of software and apps they use in their engineering classes.
For example, a mechanical engineering student as well as a professional will use software such as AutoCAD, SolidWorks, ProE, CATIA, and others.
Therefore, powerful specs are necessary for the laptop to allow you to do multitasking with all these software and apps.
It is the specs that will deliver you a smooth performance and a better user experience. Here is what you should look for in a laptop for mechanical engineering students.
A powerful processor
The processor of the laptop is one of the most essential parts, no matter what type of use it is for.
If the processor is faster, then you can expect a better performance from the laptop for mechanical engineering studies.
On the contrary, if the processor is slow and low in power, it will take a lot of time to download the apps and software you will need to use in your engineering classes and practical sessions.
It will make the laptop slower in rendering the desired files as well.
Ideally, you should go for an Intel Core i7 processor because that will pack lots of power and assure transfer of files and data at a lightning speed, thanks to the Thunderbolt 3 technology.
It will also allow you to share or edit 360 videos most effectively and seamlessly.
However, if you are in budget you can choose a laptop with i5 or even i3 processors as well which will be good enough to run all those necessary programs such as MATLAB, ANSYS, SolidWorks, and more, but at a slower rate.
This is something in the laptop that will allow the mechanical engineering students to multitask, which they need to do often and heavily.
If the laptop comes with more RAM it will be easy to multitask.
If you are on budget and looking for a simple laptop that will help you to do simple tasks, then 8 GB of RAM will be enough for you.
However, a 12 or 16 GB of RAM is typically recommended for a mechanical student because they will need it for designing, 3D modelling and editing as they proceed with their mechanical engineering course.
It will also make the laptop future proof when you need to deal with high-end programs such as the catting programs or have to run several such programs at the same time at a later point of time.
The type and capacity of the graphics cards to use in a laptop for mechanical engineering students typically depends on the type of software needed to use.
If the software does not demand much power then any normal integrated graphics will be enough for such jobs.
On the other hand, if you have to work with software that needs high-graphics then you will need to look for a laptop that comes with a dedicated graphics card.
This will allow you to do 3D rendering, 3D printing and 3D modelling, all of which needs high-end software.
Ideally, you should go for a 2 GB DDR3 variant, at least, to ensure that your laptop is useful in all given situations.
This is also another thing that will be determined by your needs.
You can go for a 256 GB storage or higher but it is better to stay away from those laptops that come with 128 GB internal storage capacity. Of course, your budget will matter in this case.
However, no matter how big a storage you want in your laptop for studying mechanical engineering, make sure that it is a Solid-State Drive rather than a normal Hard Disk Drive.
This is because the SSDs are much faster than the HDDs. It will make your laptop work much faster and keep it cooler since there are no moving parts inside.
Though it will cost you more but with an improved overall performance of your laptop, this will be a good and more productive investment.
Alternately, you can also choose a laptop that comes with a dual storage. The internal storage of these laptops is ideally divided into a small SSD segment of may be 128 GB and a bigger HDD storage that may go up to 1 TB.
Few of these laptops also allow upgrading the RAM and storage which will make your laptop more useful for the future, but all these things come with a price.
A minimum of 512 GB of storage is recommended for a laptop for mechanical engineering students because those catting programs and software will use up a lot of room.
Windows operating system
The operating system in your laptop is another important thing to consider. Ideally, you should choose a Windows operating system.
This is because this operating system comes with a lot of features that will enhance both, the performance of the laptop as well as its security.
Moreover, most of the software and apps that you will use in your course of study will be compatible with Windows OS in comparison to other operating systems.
Finally, consider the weight of the laptop you choose. Since you will be lugging your laptop in your backpack, you must choose a laptop that is light in weight.
Hauling a super heavy laptop will not only be cumbersome but also painful, in the literal sense.
With that being said, choose any laptop that weighs within 3 to 5 pounds, even if you have to sacrifice a few features for that, such as a larger screen.
How much RAM do I need for my mechanical engineering laptop?
Well, as it is in most of the cases, an 8 GB of RAM is enough to have in a laptop for mechanical engineering students for CAD/CAM work. However, if you intend to use your laptop for other high-end and graphics intensive tasks, such as photo editing or video editing, it will not be enough to have 8 GB of RAM. In that case, you will need a minimum of 16 GB of RAM.
Which processor is best for mechanical engineering students’ laptops?
No doubt an Intel Core i7 processor is the top choice. The i7 processor will be able to handle all types of tasks that are power demanding such as CAD, video and film editing, gaming, and much more. However, that does not mean you should ignore the lower variants when you look for a laptop for mechanical engineering students.
Does the laptop for mechanical engineering students need to be powerful?
Actually, it is not mandatory. Even a simple laptop will be able to deal with all your mechanical engineering tasks, especially word processing. Most of the engineering schools will have dedicated laptops in their labs for other jobs such as 3D modelling and others. However, it is nice to have a personal laptop that can run anything and everything.
Should I use a Mac or Windows laptop for mechanical engineering?
In the STEM field, you can use a Mac or a Windows laptop, effectively and successfully. However, a majority of people use Windows laptops because these laptops support all types of software and apps. Moreover, employed engineers are mostly provided with a Windows laptop by their employers. These factors make the Windows laptop a clear winner but not indispensable.