10 Best Laptops for Engineering Students

Wally Nowinski
editor

Our experts used the PerfectRec decision engine to comb through our laptop database and find the best laptops for engineering students available in 2024. Here are our top picks.

Our criteria for the best laptops for engineering students:

  • Usage: We focused on laptops for creative software, such as CAD, MATLAB, and more.
  • Portability: We placed some emphasis on portability because students tend to move often with their laptops.
  • Battery: We placed some emphasis on battery because students are often on the go with their laptops.
  • Budget: We set a budget of upto $2,000
To consider others factors, try the PerfectRec decision engine to get your personalized laptop recommendation
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10 Best Laptops for Engineering Students

1
Lenovo 16”

Legion Pro 7i

BEST RATING
Gaming & AI:
4.8
Eng/Design: A
Size: 16"
Overall Performance: Best in Class
Portability: Thick, very heavy
Battery: Fair




Expert Summary
The Lenovo Legion 7i Pro is a premium laptop with a strong focus on gaming and high-performance tasks. It comes with a powerful Intel i9 processor and a top-tier Nvidia RTX 4080 graphics card, making it suitable for intensive 3D rendering, machine learning, and gaming. It has a large amount of storage and memory, enhancing its multitasking capabilities. The battery capacity is ample, but battery life is average, which is common in high-performance gaming laptops. The screen is sizeable and has a high refresh rate, ideal for fast-paced games, and the laptop is also equipped with a variety of ports, including USB-C and Thunderbolt, for easy connectivity. While the keyboard and speakers are of high quality, the laptop is relatively heavy, impacting its portability. If you require a machine for engineering, gaming, or other demanding tasks and can manage a less portable device with average battery life, the Legion 7i Pro would be an excellent choice.
Pros
  • High RAM and storage capacity
  • Powerful Intel i9 CPU and Nvidia GPU
  • High refresh rate and brightness display
  • Good color accuracy and coverage
  • Qualifies as a premium business laptop
Cons
  • Short battery life
  • Moderate portability due to weight
  • Lacks touchscreen capability
  • Less suited for on-the-go use
2
ASUS 16”

Vivobook 16X

BEST RATING
Engineering & Design:
4.8
Eng/Design: A
Size: 16"
Overall Performance: Excellent
Portability: Med. thick, med. heavy
Battery: Fair




Expert Summary
The ASUS Vivobook 16X packs a solid performance punch with its Intel i9 processor and Nvidia RTX 4060 GPU, making it suitable for both demanding software tasks and gaming. It offers ample storage and a high amount of RAM, ideal for multitasking and intensive workloads. The OLED display delivers sharp images and vibrant colors, complemented by a large 16-inch screen for an immersive experience. While it boasts a high contrast ratio and color accuracy, note that its battery life is relatively modest, which could limit its use during long periods away from power outlets. The laptop has a backlit keyboard with a number pad, a fingerprint reader for security, and a sleek design that hides its gaming capabilities, making it a versatile device for work and play. However, at over 4 pounds and with a thickness of 0.74 inches, it's not the most portable option. With a range of ports including USB-C and HDMI, connectivity is catered for, though it may not charge via USB-C. Launched in May 2023, this laptop sits at an upper midrange price and would fit users looking for performance and a large, high-quality display over portability and longer unplugged times.
Pros
  • High-performance Intel i9 processor
  • Ample 32GB RAM for multitasking
  • Powerful Nvidia RTX graphics
  • High-resolution OLED screen
  • Large 16-inch display for productivity
Cons
  • Heavier weight affects portability
  • Limited battery life
  • No touchscreen functionality
  • No facial recognition feature
3
BEST RATING
Build Quality:
5.0
Eng/Design: A-
Size: 14.2"
Overall Performance: Good
Portability: Thin, light
Battery: Excellent




Expert Summary
The Apple MacBook Pro 14 (2023) is a premium laptop with ample storage and a high-quality mini LED display, which comes with a robust Apple M2 Pro processor and integrated GPU, making it suitable for demanding tasks such as engineering or creative work that requires graphics processing. The MacBook offers an impressive battery life and a high-quality build with backlit keyboard, fingerprint reader, and multiple USB-C/Thunderbolt ports, but these features do contribute to its premium price tag. Note that it's not the lightest, so while it does offer very good portability, there are more lightweight options if that's a priority. Its screen is notably bright and provides an excellent color coverage, making it ideal for tasks where color accuracy is important. It isn't designed for intensive gaming, as it lacks dedicated gaming features like high refresh rates or hardware ray tracing. If you're looking for a high-performance machine for work that's also capable of handling creative tasks, the MacBook Pro 14 could be a superb choice, as long as the investment aligns with your budget.
Pros
  • High screen resolution and pixel density
  • Color accuracy covers DCI-P3 and sRGB
  • Solid battery life for typical usage
  • Excellent build and speaker quality
  • Backlit keyboard with fingerprint reader
Cons
  • Relatively high weight affects portability
  • No touchscreen functionality
  • Limited port selection
  • Premium price point
4
ASUS 15.6”

ZenBook Pro Duo 15

BEST RATING
Engineering & Design:
4.7
Eng/Design: A
Size: 15.6"
Overall Performance: Excellent
Portability: Thick, heavy
Battery: Good




Expert Summary
The ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo 15 is an upper midrange laptop featuring a high-resolution OLED touchscreen which offers vibrant colors and detailed images, making it suitable for creative professionals. With an Intel i9 processor and Nvidia RTX 3070 Ti GPU, it provides excellent performance for 3D rendering, machine learning, and engineering tasks. The sizable storage and RAM will support intensive multitasking and large projects. The dual-screen design increases productivity but decreases portability; at over 5 pounds, it's less convenient to carry around. With around 7 hours of battery life, you'll likely need to bring the charger for longer work sessions. The build quality is top-notch, and features like a backlit keyboard and Thunderbolt ports enhance its usability. However, keep in mind the price is higher for this combination of features and performance.
Pros
  • High-end Intel i9 processor
  • Powerful Nvidia RTX GPU
  • Large high-resolution touchscreen
  • Premium build quality
  • Windows 11 Pro pre-installed
Cons
  • Moderate battery life
  • Heavy, less portable
  • No Ethernet port
  • No available RAM slots
5
BEST RATING
Build Quality:
5.0
Eng/Design: A-
Size: 16.2"
Overall Performance: Good
Portability: Thin, med. heavy
Battery: Best in Class




Expert Summary
The Apple MacBook Pro 16 (2023) is positioned at a premium price point with powerful performance thanks to its Apple M2 Pro processor. It boasts a large 16.2-inch Mini LED display with high resolution, making it an excellent choice for professionals who need accurate colors and clear visuals for tasks such as video editing or graphic design. Its battery is robust, providing long hours of typical usage, which is ideal for those who need to work on the go. Weighing 4.7 pounds, it is heavier than some laptops, which may affect its portability. This MacBook Pro also comes with a large touchpad, a high-quality backlit keyboard, a fingerprint reader for added security, and multiple USB-C/Thunderbolt ports for connectivity, but it lacks an HDMI port and an Ethernet connection. It doesn't come with a number pad on the keyboard, so for tasks that require numerical data entry, this could be a limitation. It’s not primarily designed for gaming, but it can handle general and engineering tasks very well. Overall, if you value top-notch build quality, excellent screen performance, and are not constrained by budget, the MacBook Pro 16 (2023) would be a strong choice, albeit with some trade-offs in portability and gaming capabilities.
Pros
  • High-resolution 120Hz display
  • Exceptional build quality
  • Long battery life
  • Excellent speaker and webcam
  • Powerful Apple M2 Pro chip
Cons
  • Significantly heavy
  • No touchscreen option
  • No available RAM upgrade
  • Only USB-C/Thunderbolt ports
6
BEST RATING
Build Quality:
5.0
Eng/Design: A-
Size: 14.2"
Overall Performance: Good
Portability: Thin, light
Battery: Excellent




Pros
  • Top-tier keyboard quality
  • Excellent build quality
  • Outstanding screen color accuracy
  • High brightness display
  • Long battery life
Cons
  • Not the lightest laptop
  • No touchscreen
  • Limited availability of RAM slots
  • No Ethernet port
7
BEST RATING
Keyboard Quality:
4.7
Eng/Design: A-
Size: 16"
Overall Performance: Very Good
Portability: Med. thick, med. heavy
Battery: Fair




Expert Summary
The ASUS ROG Zephyrus M16 is a laptop with an upper midrange price that offers a combination of high performance and portability. It has a large storage capacity and sufficient RAM to handle most tasks, a powerful Intel i9 processor, and the Nvidia RTX 4070 graphics card, which supports ray tracing and DLSS, making it well-suited for gaming, 3D rendering, and machine learning applications. Its high-resolution, high-refresh-rate IPS display will provide excellent visuals, especially considering its high color accuracy and brightness. Despite these features, the laptop remains relatively portable and has a good battery life for typical usage. It has a premium build quality, good heat management, and a range of ports, including Thunderbolt 4 and USB-C charging. If you need a laptop that is versatile for gaming, engineering, and general use, and is also easy to carry around, the Zephyrus M16 is a solid choice. However, for extended use away from power sources, there are other options with longer battery life.
Pros
  • High-resolution, fast refresh rate screen
  • Strong performance for gaming and engineering
  • Comprehensive color coverage for creative work
  • Good port selection including Thunderbolt 4
  • Backlit keyboard with fingerprint reader
Cons
  • Heavier than ultraportable laptops
  • Average battery life for typical usage
  • Lack of Ethernet port for wired networking
  • No facial recognition feature
8
BEST RATING
Build Quality:
5.0
Eng/Design: A-
Size: 16.2"
Overall Performance: Very Good
Portability: Thin, med. heavy
Battery: Best in Class




Expert Summary
The Apple MacBook Pro 16 (Late 2023) is positioned at a premium price point and is equipped with a large 512 GB storage capacity and 18 GB of RAM to handle demanding tasks efficiently. Featuring Apple's M3 Pro processor and an integrated 18-core GPU, it's well-suited for professionals in creative fields needing high performance for tasks like video editing and design. It boasts a 16.2-inch Mini LED display with high brightness and wide color coverage, making it excellent for color-sensitive work. With a weight of 4.7 pounds and a battery life that can last for an extended period, it balances portability with endurance. The machine includes multiple USB-C and Thunderbolt ports for connectivity, though it lacks a built-in Ethernet port. Its backlit keyboard, fingerprint reader, and high-quality speakers add to a premium user experience; however, its heft and cost may be less appealing for those seeking a budget-friendly or highly portable option.
Pros
  • High-resolution screen
  • Long battery life
  • Solid build quality
  • Excellent speaker quality
  • Outstanding webcam
Cons
  • Heavier than competitors
  • Moderate port variety
  • No available RAM slots
  • No facial recognition
9
Lenovo 14.5”

Slim Pro 9i

BEST RATING
General Use Screen Quality:
5.0
Eng/Design: A-
Size: 14.5"
Overall Performance: Very Good
Portability: Thick, light
Battery: Good




Expert Summary
The Lenovo Slim Pro 9i is priced in the upper midrange segment and offers a premium combination of storage and RAM. It is equipped with an Intel i7 processor and Nvidia RTX 4050 GPU, making it a strong performer for engineering, 3D rendering, and machine learning tasks. The laptop has a high-resolution Mini LED touch display, which should offer vibrant colors and high brightness, favoring professionals who need accurate color reproduction. It is relatively lightweight and compact but has a comparatively short battery life. The Slim Pro 9i comes with Windows 11 Home, has a good selection of ports including Thunderbolt, and features like a backlit keyboard, fingerprint reader, and facial recognition, aligning it well for business and premium personal use.
Pros
  • High-resolution touchscreen display
  • Powerful Intel i7 processor
  • Nvidia RTX 4050 graphics
  • Sturdy build quality
  • Backlit keyboard
Cons
  • Relatively heavy at 3.7 pounds
  • Moderate battery life of 6 hours
  • Heat management is fair
  • Fan noise can be noticeable
10
BEST RATING
Keyboard Quality:
4.7
Eng/Design: A-
Size: 14"
Overall Performance: Very Good
Portability: Med. thick, light
Battery: Good




Expert Summary
The ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14, with its AMD Ryzen 9 processor and Nvidia RTX 4060 GPU, is designed for high performance and is suitable for engineering tasks, 3D rendering, machine learning, and gaming. With a 14-inch IPS display, high resolution, and a high refresh rate, it's great for fast-paced games and creative work, though it doesn't come with a touchscreen. Portability is very good given its light weight and compact dimensions, coupled with a solid battery life for typical use. The laptop also boasts a backlit keyboard, USB-C charging, and high-quality sound and build, but if you're looking for a laptop with Thunderbolt ports or a number pad, this might not be the best fit.
Pros
  • AMD Ryzen 9 CPU
  • Nvidia RTX 4060 GPU
  • 76Wh battery, long life
  • Lightweight and portable
  • High screen refresh rate
Cons
  • No touch screen
  • Limited port selection
  • Fingerprint reader, no facial recognition
  • Moderate fan noise