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Best laptop for Engineering Students & Professional Engineers January 2024

We answer the question 'which is the best laptop for engineering students?' plus select some options for actual working engineers

Updated: Jan 2, 2024 8:45 pm
Best laptop for Engineering Students & Professional Engineers January 2024

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Whether you’re interested in finding the best laptop for engineering students in 2024 or just for engineering itself as a paid professional, we’ve looked through all the latest models on the market to bring you a range of options for different budgets and needs.

We’ll be keeping this page up to date with the latest picks on a monthly basis, so you can rest assured that what you see here will be the best option at the time of writing (note though, that the best options doesn’t necessarily mean the latest model, as we’ll discuss below). Take a look at our Things to consider when buying a laptop for engineering section near the bottom of this page if you want to know more before making your pick, or if you’re short on time, we recommend the MSI Titan GT77 for a premium professional model, the ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 for a more portable and affordable model for professional engineers on the move, or the Lenovo Slim 7 Pro X for any engineering students. Do also take a gander at our Black Friday laptop deals page for some great offers this November, or see our shortlist of the best deals for today listed below.

Best laptop for Engineering vs best laptop for engineering students

A crucial thing to know before you spend your money is that the laptop requirements of an engineering student compared to an actual professional engineer can be quite different. Engineering students can sometimes get by using a laptop with integrated graphics, particularly if they are doing 2D engineering but even for the simple 3D engineering tasks they’re likely to be doing. However, any professional engineer doing 3D modeling, using the AUTOCAD software or Solidworks for instance, should make sure they have a dedicated graphics card, although it doesn’t have to be the most powerful GPU out there. Still, the more powerful the laptop, the better you’ll be able to run multiple simultaneously and the quicker you’ll be able to render your creations and get through your workload, so it can be worth it for some engineers to buy the most powerful piece of kit.

For more information, read the Things to consider when buying a laptop for Engineering section lower down this page. If you’re looking for devices suited to students more generally across a range of courses and ages, have a read of our best laptop for students guide.

Today’s best laptop deals

Best laptop for Engineering Students & Professionals 2024

Best high-end laptop for engineers (professionals) doing 3D modeling

MSI Titan GT77 (UHD 144Hz Mini LED, i9-13980HX)

MSI Titan GT77


Intel Core i9-13980HX

Graphics Card

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080 / RTX 4090


32GB/64GB/128GB DDR5 RAM


1 – 4TB SSD

Max Refresh Rate



3840 x 2160 (4K)

  • Very powerful GPU & CPU
  • Great color replication
  • High RAM & SSD upgrade options
  • Good port coverage
  • Great build quality
  • Expensive
  • Poor battery life
  • Heavy

The MSI Titan GT77 is a ridiculously powerful machine with a high upper ceiling on the memory and storage options you can equip it with. Frankly, this is overkill for most engineers out there, and certainly beyond the budgets or needs of most engineering students, but if you absolutely have to have the best around then this is it.

This 17.3-inch laptop has options for either the RTX 4080 laptop or RTX 4090 laptop GPU, plus the most powerful Intel 13th gen laptop CPU on the market: the Intel Core i9-13980HX processor, which comes with more CPU cores and threads than you can shake a stick at. You can equip it with either 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB of DDR5 RAM and up to 4TB of storage. You even get a 4K Mini-LED screen, which has terrific peak brightness and color replication, plus can reach a refresh rate of 144Hz for gaming. This larger laptop also comes with a plethora of ports and sockets to assist in your productivity, including ample USB type-C / Thunderbolt 4 ports, a fast SD card reader, Mini-DisplayPort and HDMI 2.1 ports, plus an RJ45 ethernet socket.

The main trade-offs for all this are that it’s a heavy, expensive laptop that drains battery charge at a very fast rate. As long as you don’t mind the weight and can keep it plugged in, however, you can have yourself a very well-made, stupidly powerful device with unbeatable specs that will demolish any rendering workflow or game at 4K on max settings with ease!

Best portable laptop for engineers (professionals) doing 3D modeling

ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 (2022)

ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 2022


AMD Ryzen 9 6900HS (8C/16T)


AMD Radeon RX 6700S / 6800S (75-105W)





Screen Size


Max Refresh Rate


  • MUX Switch
  • great gaming performance for a smaller laptop
  • great response time
  • 16:10 screen gives more vertical space
  • great color replication
  • superb peak brightness
  • decent keyboard and great trackpad
  • superb battery life
  • good array of ports, including MicroSD slot
  • decent speakers
  • light and portable
  • looks great
  • refresh rate capped at 120Hz
  • keyboard build quality and backlighting could be improved
  • difficult to navigate onboard software
  • no ethernet caps your internet to 1Gpbs

The ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 (2022), is 14-inch a gaming laptop that we did an in-depth review of and can’t recommend enough for both gaming and for use by working engineers. The G14 series consistently impresses in the 14″ laptop category each year, but the 2022 version is the best pick for most professional engineers in our opinion, as it offers a great balance between affordability and power along with the best battery life of the series thanks to its AMD CPU and GPU. The more recent 2023 variant has more oomph for gaming, but the Nvidia RTX graphics suck up power faster and cost more money. With this model, you can either pick from the AMD Radeon RX 6700S or RX 6800S graphics cards – both of which are plenty powerful enough for an engineering workflow, particularly when combined with the Ryzen 9 6900HS CPU.

The 16:10 screen gives you more vertical space to compensate for the smaller size of the screen – ideal for working on. It has a great peak brightness for a gaming laptop (500 nits), which is good enough to use outside, and the battery duration as mentioned extends up to 10 hours on battery saving mode when doing general browsing, though obviously the use of engineering software will drain it quicker.

You get a good array of ports and sockets, including a MicroSD card reader, which could prove useful. You even get decent speaker quality – not exactly essential for engineering but nice to have during your downtime – plus can also dabble in playing the latest games as well. The keyboard isn’t exactly the best out there but it’s not bad either, and generally, this is a well-made laptop, with good build quality.

Best Windows laptop for engineering students

Lenovo Slim 7 Pro X (3K, RTX 3050)

Lenovo Slim 7 Pro X


AMD Ryzen 9 6900HS

Graphics Card

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050


up to 32GB DDR5


up to 1TB SSD

Screen Size


Max Refresh Rate


  • Good value
  • 120Hz 3K screen
  • RTX 3050 GPU & Ryzen 9 6900HS CPU
  • Good memory & storage capacity
  • Good battery life
  • Wi-Fi 6, not 6E

The Lenovo Slim 7 Pro X is a great option for any creative, engineering student, or even professional engineer looking for an affordable device with a dedicated GPU. The RTX 3050 graphics card might not be the best out there when it comes to gaming, but it’s certainly powerful enough to run most CAD software, plus it comes paired with the nice and powerful AMD Ryzen 9 6900HS processor.

Memory and storage is great for the price: you get 32GB LPDDR5 6400MHz RAM and a 1TB SSD, plus you get a good quality 1080p webcam. The efficient AMD CPU also gives a very solid battery life of around 10-11 hours with battery saving settings enabled during non-strenuous general usage/web-browsing.

The 14.5-inch display has an impressively high 3K resolution (3,072 x 1,920), 99% sRGB coverage (good enough for color-accurate work in the sRBGB space if you fancy doing some of this alongside your engineering work), and peak brightness of around 380 nits, which is a respectable result even if it’s not ideal for using outdoors on a sunny day. If you fancy playing some older/less-demanding games on the machine, the screen also has a 120Hz maximum refresh rate, meaning you can enjoy a smooth effective FPS.

The only minor downside of this machine is that you’re limited to Wi-Fi 6 rather than Wi-Fi 6E, but this is the same as all current MacBooks at the time of writing, so isn’t really that big of a criticism.

Best MacOS laptop for engineering students

MacBook Air 2022 (13.6″, M2)

MacBook Air 2022

CPU & graphics

M2 chipset





Max Refresh Rate



2560 x 1664

Screen Size


  • fairly powerful M2 chipset
  • bright and colorful screen
  • excellent battery life
  • superb build quality
  • solid speakers
  • solid webcam
  • looks great
  • light and portable
  • most options limited to 8GB of RAM
  • higher-specced RAM & SSD options can get pricey
  • webcam notch on top of screen can be irritating

As we discuss in more detail in our Things to Consider section below, MacOS laptops do require some workarounds to get certain CAD software working on them, but they do also come with certain advantages in terms of native coding language support as well. If you’re happy with this trade-off then the latest MacBook Air is a great shout for an engineering student looking for a good quality laptop.

Although not as powerful as the Apple MacBook Pro, the Apple MacBook Air has the advantages of being a more lightweight laptop, more slimline, and cheaper – all features that are advantageous to the cash-strapped student on the move.

The most recent iteration of the 13″ model is the 2022 version featuring the M2 chipset, while the 15″ M2 edition was recently introduced in 2023. These laptops only have integrated graphics, but as iGPUs go they are powerful performers, able to compete with weaker dedicated GPUs, and have superb energy efficiency to boot: you’ll get an impressive 11-13 hours of use from your laptop on battery-saving mode when doing non-strenuous general browsing etc. Running CAD software will sap the battery at a much faster rate obviously, but you’ll get more life from the MacBook Air than you would any other selection on this page.

Older variants with the M1 chip are available for cheaper but won’t handle the more demanding software an engineering student might throw at them as easily, plus they don’t come with quite as impressive battery duration. All variations of the MacBook Air boast a light and easily portable design, plus exceptional build quality, which extends from the chassis to the keyboard and touchpad. The Liquid Retina IPS display provides a vibrant, high-res picture with a very nice 500 nits peak brightness, meaning you can use it outdoors. Additionally, the built-in webcam is of good quality.

In terms of the downsides: the starting loadout typically has a mere 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD, which is less than ideal. Any upgrades come with a significantly higher price tag, but we still recommend that you do so. The placement of the webcam: cutting into the image at the top of the screen is a bit irritating, but this is a minor quibble on an otherwise excellent laptop.

Best touchscreen 2-in-1 laptop for engineering students

ASUS ROG Flow Z13 (2022)



Intel Core i5-12500H/ i7-12700H/ i9-12900H


Intel Xe (iGPU) / RTX 3050 (40W) / RTX 3050 Ti (40W)





Screen size


Max Refresh Rate

120Hz / 60Hz

  • combined with the ROG XG Mobile, as powerful as any gaming laptop
  • superb brightness & contrast
  • great color accuracy and panel uniformity
  • optional ROG XG Mobile comes with lots of ports
  • good quality detachable keyboard & trackpad
  • great build quality
  • poor gaming performance with the Flow Z13 on its own
  • very expensive
  • poor response times
  • insufficient ports on the Flow Z13
  • poor cameras/webcam and mic
  • lacklustre battery life
  • color gamut would be wider
  • No G-Sync

ASUS produces two forms of convertible, 2-in-1 laptops that are designed with gamers and creators in mind: the ROG Flow ‘Z’ series and the ROG Flow ‘X’ series. The ASUS ROG Flow Z13 is essentially a gaming tablet with a detachable keyboard that enables it to be used in a laptop form factor in a similar fashion to the Microsoft Surface Pro series. For engineering students however, we’d recommend the ASUS ROG Flow X13, as it has the superior keyboard typing experience for those long nights of work. Instead of detaching, the X13’s keyboard hinges all the way back around, enabling you to use it as a tablet in this way or prop it up in a ‘tent’ position to be used as a presentation screen.

Like the Z13 the X13 is touchscreen, and comes with a maximum 120Hz refresh rate. Again like the Z13, there are different dedicated Nvidia GPU options you can choose, and for engineering students, we’d recommend the GeForce RTX 3050 Ti. If you feel you want the option for some extra power, this convertible laptop is also compatible with the ROG XG Mobile external graphics card from ASUS, which lets you buy a portable RTX 3080 say that you can plug into the device for superior FPS in games, or rendering power for your engineering workflows. There’s also a MicroSD card slot in addition to a couple of USB ports and the usual audio combo jack.

Although we haven’t yet benchmarked an X13, you can see our review of the ASUS ROG Flow Z13 to get a good idea of the power as the two devices are fairly similar in this respect. If you’re looking for a bigger version of the X13, also check out our review on the highly recommended ASUS ROG Flow X16.

Things to consider when buying a laptop for engineering

Do engineering students use Mac or Windows?

Engineering students can use both MacOS or Windows laptops, however, professional engineers will invariably want to go with a Windows machine, depending on their specific workflow. The reason for this is that whilst MacBooks can run software like AutoCAD, MatLab, and LabView natively, other 3D CAD software like Solidworks, Catia, and Creo are not compatible, along with some Circuit design (DAQ Boards) software. You can still use these incompatible pieces of software on a Mac using a workaround: specifically, the software Parallels will let you run Windows in a separate window on your Mac’s desktop, however, this is a bit too much of a hindrance to be an effective long term solution for professional engineers with money on the line; for students, it will suffice though.

If you have an older MacBook you may be able to use Bootcamp to install Windows directly onto the hard drive, however, this feature hasn’t been on the newer MacBooks for a few generations now. The one advantage that MacBooks do have is that they natively support programming languages like C, C++, Python etc. so if you’re doing some coding as well this may appeal to you.

CAD vs AUTOCAD – what’s the difference?

CAD stands for Computer Automated Design and is just the broad term for any software that is designed to produce technical drawings, be they 2D or 3D; AUTOCAD however is a specific software designed for this purpose. AUTOCAD is typically used by professionals and is both more complex and more expensive than the simpler CAD tools on the market, including those used by engineering students.

If you’re using AUTOCAD, you generally want a more powerful laptop, almost always one with a dedicated GPU. You can get more information on this and see more AUTOCAD-specific selections in our upcoming best laptop for AUTOCAD guide.

Is 16GB RAM enough for engineering?

Whilst an engineering student may be able to get by on just 8 GB of RAM we wouldn’t recommend it, and suggest going for 16GB to ensure you can run any software you’re likely to have to use. Professional engineers should consider 16GB to be the minimum but should probably actually aim for 32GB to make sure they can tackle any demanding programs without them causing slowdowns in their workflow.

AUTOCAD requires a minimum of 8GB of RAM to run, but this doesn’t mean you’re going to get good performance from it, and the recommended requirements state at least 16GB.

How much storage do I need for an engineering laptop?

We’d recommend aiming for a minimum of 512GB SSD storage if you’re an engineering student, though you can always supplement a 256GB SSD with an additional external hard drive. Professional engineers will likely need substantially more, and should aim for the 1TB SSD bracket, though again external storage can be used for this purpose.

Best laptop for Engineering Students FAQs

Should I buy a laptop in first year of engineering?

Although you can get by without a laptop in your first year of engineering – instead relying on the computer resources of your college/university or using a tablet for instance – we wouldn’t recommend it as you will be at a disadvantage compared to your fellow pupils that do have one.

If you have your own desktop computer then you may not need one, however a laptop will give you a much more flexible ability to work on the move, in a coffee shop, or whatever study area you choose, and can be brought into classes with you.

Which laptop is best for AutoCAD and Solidworks?

For AutoCAD and Solidworks you will definitely want a laptop that has a dedicated graphics card. Engineering students would be best served with something like the Lenovo Slim 7 Pro X. Those with more money may want to consider the ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14, which is a nice portable option for professional engineers and can be used to game as well.

Finally, if you’re looking for an absolute powerhouse of a workstation laptop, the MSI Titan GT77 is a premium desktop replacement machine that will churn through anything you throw at it.

Best laptop for Engineering Students 2024: Final Word

With any luck, you’re now well-versed in what the contenders for best laptop for engineering students and engineers are. Do also consider taking a look at our best laptop for working from home guide or our best gaming laptop guide if you’re looking for something a bit different from the options here.

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