8 Best Laptops for Engineering Students on a Budget

By John Adebimitan

Laptops make surfing the internet and working on virtually anything as easy as you can ever imagine. In this guide, I take you through some of the best laptops for engineering students on a budget.

This article will focus primarily on super cool laptops. So it’s all about getting the best option for your money. I’ll be picking 5 main ones that I feel are the best. The fewer the options presented, the easier it often is to choose. Some of the laptops I will also be presenting are pretty great for gaming, so take note of the reviews for each of the laptops.

5 Best Laptops for Engineering Students on a Budget

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Apple MacBook Air – Best laptop for mechanical engineering students

Display13.3-inch (diagonal) 16:10 aspect ratio
Processor1.8 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 Processor
GraphicsIntel HD Graphics 6000
Hard DriveFast SSD Storage
Wireless802.11ac Wi-Fi wireless networking; IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n compatible. Bluetooth 4.0 wireless technology
Battery1 Lithium Polymer 
Dimensions12.8 X 8.94 X 0.11 inches
Weight2.96 pounds (1.35 kg)

One of the best laptops you can ever lay your hands on is the Apple MacBook Air. The laptop is 13 inches. The laptop is one you should invest in because you guessed it…it’s from Apple.

Apple MacBook Air

If you are into programming, video editing, or any other jobs that require a powerful laptop, and if you’re not willing to break the bank to acquire one, the Apple MacBook Air is an amazing choice. It deserves a place on our list of Best Laptops for Engineering Students on a Budget.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the key features of the laptop:

Lenovo Flex 14 – Budget laptop for computer science students

Display14 inches, 1920×1080 pixels
Processor2.1 GHz AMD R Series
GraphicsAMD Radeon Vega 8
Hard Drive256 GB. Flash Memory Solid State
WirelessWi-Fi, Bluetooth
Battery10 hours
Dimensions12.91 x 9.02 x 0.7 inches
Weight3.52 pounds

For the creative in the house, the Lenovo Flex 14 is one laptop that’s worth owning. The laptop is 14 inches wide, bigger than the Apple MacBook Air we discussed earlier, and the screen is touchscreen if that means anything to you.

Lenovo Flex 14

The laptop also comes with better RAM, and it runs on Windows 10, deserving a place on our list of Laptops for Engineering Students on a Budget.  Let’s take a closer look at the specs and features of the Lenovo Flex 14 and see if it’s worth splashing on.

Microsoft Surface Laptop – Best budget laptop for electrical engineering students

Display13.5 inches, 2256×1504 pixels
Processor2.5 GHz 1.2GHz Cortex A8 Processor
GraphicsIntel HD Graphics 620
Hard Drive256 GB Flash Memory Solid State
WirelessBluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi: 802.11AC Wireless LAN, surface Pen not included
Battery1 Lithium Polymer 
Dimensions20 x 9 x 3 inches
Weight5 pounds

The third laptop on our list and the best laptop for medical school students is the Microsoft Surface laptop. And we can confirm that the features you get to enjoy are worth the price. The PC is coming from the parent company of the Windows OS. So you can expect everything to work seamlessly.

Microsoft Surface Laptop

The PC is Core i5 and sports an 8GB RAM. The laptop comes in different variants, so you might want to make choices based on your unique needs. Let’s table the features and see what else the Microsoft Surface laptop offers.

Lenovo ThinkPad T470 – Cheapest laptop for engineering student

Display14 inches FHD (1920×1080) IPS; 1920×1080
ProcessorIntel Dual-Core i5-6300U (2.40GHz); Operating System: Windows 10 Pro
GraphicsIntel HD Graphics 520
Hard Drive1TB SSD
WirelessWi-Fi, Bluetooth
Battery1 Lithium Polymer 
Dimensions13.3 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
Weight3.6 pounds

Another really popular and powerful name in the laptop and computer industry is Lenovo. The company is a manufacturer of low-end but durable laptops.

Lenovo ThinkPad T470

This PC is in no way on the low-end for users, and in my opinion, is the best laptop for Ph.D. students. It sure ticks all the right spots for users who know what they’re looking to get from a laptop.

The first thing you notice about this PC is how basic it looks; only when you dive a little deeper will you see that this PC is anything but basic.

Lenovo ThinkPad T470

Let’s take a closer look at the features and specs of the Lenovo Thinkpad T470.

Lenovo Ideapad L340 – Best Lenovo laptop for engineering students

Display15.6 Inches; full HD IPS Display with 1920 x 1080 resolution
Processor2.4 GHz, 9th-generation Intel Core i5
GraphicsNVIDIA GeForce Graphics; 4 GB Graphics Card RAM
Hard Drive512GB NVMe SSD
WirelessWi-Fi, Bluetooth
Battery1 Lithium Polymer
Dimensions14.3 x 10 x 0.9 inches
Weight4.84 pounds

In our article about the best gaming laptops, we showed some of the best that money can buy. And I think that depending on your needs personally, a gaming laptop may be the deal for you.

Lenovo Ideapad L340

The best gaming laptops are known for being quite pricy, so having an amazing deal for a gaming laptop can’t be overlooked; it surely is one of the best good laptops for PH.D. College and high school students.

Let’s explore some features of this gaming laptop and see just why you might need one, especially if you need a laptop to play video games or if you need one for your schoolwork.

Lenovo Ideapad L340

Which of the laptops discussed in this article sounds good to you? Are there other brands and models that should be included in this list? Feel free to talk with me in the comments.

Looking for laptops for gaming and programming? Here are the best.

Dell Latitude 14 5414 – Best laptop for computer engineering students

The Dell Latitude 14 5414 laptop is the newer version of the Latitude 14 5404. However, it comes with the same rugged build the Latitude 14 5404 had.

The Latitude 14 5414 laptop can withstand minor knocks thanks to its rugged build.

Latitude 14 5414

However, despite having the same build as Latitude 14 5404, Latitude 14 5414 features some changes in its build. First, the Latitude 14 5414 features three Type-A USB 3.0 ports and a fingerprint sensor.

The Latitude 14 5414 also comes with a touchscreen display. This laptop’s 14-inch matte touchscreen display offers a native resolution of 1920×1080 pixels.

Regarding hardware components, the Latitude 14 5414 features an Intel Core i5-6300U dual-core processor. This processor runs at a base clock speed of 2.4 GHz but can reach a maximum frequency of 2.9 GHz.

For a laptop with its level of hardware configurations, the Latitude 14 5414 is an adequate performer. It can handle regular day-to-day computing operations like web browsing and document editing.

Latitude 14 5414

Running intensive operations on the Latitude 14 5414 may be too much to handle because its hardware components are not very powerful.

Take its 128 GB SSD storage capacity into consideration. Though this storage type aids its performance, its capacity is too small to boost the laptop’s performance significantly.

Nonetheless, Latitude 14 5414’s storage performance is not bad. The Latitude 14 5414 can offer sequential read and write speeds of 487.7 MBps and 316.7 MBps.

As for its graphics card, the Latitude 14 5414 offers an HD Graphics 520 graphics card. Though you shouldn’t expect this laptop to handle graphically intensive activities, it can run a few games at low resolutions and settings.

Lastly, the Latitude 14 5414 has good battery life. It can last for 9 hours and 13 minutes under regular web browsing activities.

Overall, the Latitude 14 5414 is a reasonable option for engineering students on a budget. However, one major thing you may have to worry about is its size and weight. The Latitude 14 5414 measures ‎9.57 x 13.66 x 1.73 inches and weighs 6.53 pounds.

Emerald Computers Rugged Laptop with I7-8550U Quad-Core – Affordable laptop for engineering students

The Emerald computer is another rugged laptop and a great addition to our list of Laptops for Engineering Students on a Budget, with a solid casing. Its rigid build makes it capable of withstanding harsh weather conditions and minor accidental drops or knocks.

Its edges and lid are protected with an extra aluminum sheet to prevent scratches and other damage. Overall, the laptop is built like an armored tank.

However, while this laptop’s form factor has its benefits, it also has its downside. The effect of its armored-like build weighs on the laptop’s overall size and weight.

To put things into perspective, the Emeral laptop measures 16.22 x 12.2 x 4.37 inches and weighs 2.86 pounds. Its bulky weight is the price you pay for its rigid build.

Hence, if you prioritize portability over rigidity, you might want to reconsider.

9Aside from its large size, the Emerald laptop offers good value for money, considering the range of hardware configurations it features.

The Emerald laptop’s hardware configurations list includes a 4 GHz Core i7 8550U processor, 16 GB RAM, and a 512 GB m.2 SSD drive. In addition, the Emerald laptop uses an ‎Intel HD 620 graphics card for graphics processing.

With these hardware configurations, you can expect the Emerald laptop to be powerful enough to perform basic computing operations. You will also be able to get it to produce a good performance with slightly more intensive tasks, but you shouldn’t push it.

You should also run most graphically intensive tasks on low to moderate levels.

In terms of battery life, the Emerald laptop can last about 6-8 hours, depending on the intensity of the tasks you run.

The Emerald laptop is a laptop for engineering students on a budget.

Acer Aspire 5 – Cheap laptop for mechanical engineering students

The Acer Aspire 5 A515 is an affordable 15.6-inch laptop. Amongst the other laptops mentioned in this section, the Acer Aspire 5 A515 is the most promising in terms of its attractive design and performance capabilities.

Despite being affordable, the Acer Aspire 5 A515 looks good enough to rival some premium laptops in design. It has a sleek styling that screams luxury, yet it is simple enough to avoid any form of flashiness.

Acer Aspire 5

However, you shouldn’t take its glamorous look for granted. Despite the elegant Acer Aspire 5 looks, it has a rugged build quality.

You could say that its ruggedness impacted its overall weight because the Acer Aspire 5 weighs 3.88 pounds. Fortunately, it has a sleek appearance in terms of dimensions, as the Emerald laptop measures 14.31 x 9.86 x 0.71 inches.

On the inside of the laptop, you will meet a beautiful display that offers a Full HD resolution with colorful and rich images.

The Acer Aspire 5 also has a good collection of hardware components. It comes with an AMD Ryzen 7 5700U processor, which runs at a clock speed of up to 4.3 GHz.

This processor enables the Acer Aspire 5 to produce solid processing performance. Unfortunately, the Acer Aspire 5’s 8 GB RAM weakens its overall performance capability.

Acer Aspire 5

In combination with the laptop’s AMD Radeon RX Vega 8 graphics card, this memory capacity is not capable enough for intensive operations. As a result, though you can still get adequate performance from the laptop, you can’t run very demanding operations.

Fortunately, you can upgrade the Acer Aspire 5’s RAM to 20 GB. In addition, the Acer Aspire 5 laptop’s motherboard also has space for an additional SSD/HDD.

Aside from its hardware deficiency and its mediocre speakers, the Acer Aspire 5 is a good laptop, especially considering its price. Moreover, the Acer Aspire 5 also has a good battery life of 11 hours.

Overall, the Acer Aspire 5 is a good laptop for you if you are an engineering student on a budget.

Are Gaming Laptops Good For Engineering Students?

Yes, they are.

Gaming Laptops are usually built to handle heavy usage and performance-critical tasks. As a result, they have fast hard drives, lots of memory, and fast processors that can help you handle most of the operations you will be running as an engineering student.

After all, many modern engineering applications have similar demands to the games the gaming laptops are built to handle, so yes, gaming laptops can also qualify as Laptops for Engineering Students on a Budget.

Top Things To Look Out For When Choosing Laptops For Engineering Students On A Budget

Before purchasing laptops for engineering students on a budget, you will need to consider these things:

  1. Weight: One of the essential things you need to consider is the weight of the laptop. As a student commuting frequently, you don’t want to be stuck with a laptop that will feel like a burden in your bag while you move around.
  2. CPU Speed and Performance: You need a laptop with a solid central processing unit. The Core i9 processor is considered the best on laptops for engineering students on a budget.

Core i7 or i5 processors are high-speed and reliable, enabling users to run large-scale applications conveniently. You should note, however, that laptops that feature core i7 and i5 processors tend to be very expensive.

  1. Operating System: Whichever laptop you get, ensure it can run the latest versions of Windows, Ubuntu, and MacOS. These operating systems are great for engineering laptops.

They usually come with advanced processing, loading, and execution management to enable you to get the best out of your laptop.

  1. GPU Performance: As an engineering student, there’s a high chance that you will be tasked with creating lots of design models. Hence, you must ensure that your laptop has a powerful graphics card.

So long as the laptop features an NVIDIA graphics card or an Intel Iris Xe graphics, you will be able to achieve a lot in your design tasks. There are quite a few nice laptops for engineering students on a budget with amazing graphics.

  1. RAM and Storage Space: You will need enough RAM size to ensure that your laptop will be powerful enough for multitasking.

An ample amount of RAM will let you run multi-threaded applications simultaneously without experiencing hiccups or hangs.

A large amount of storage space will also help you ensure that your laptop runs smoothly. Therefore, you should look for laptops for engineering students on a budget with a large SSD or HDD.

  1. Screen Size and Screen Resolution: You need a laptop with a large screen size and good resolution to review data and images on your system efficiently.

Look out for a laptop with a 14-inch screen size, and it should have an HD display resolution – at the very least.

Can Gaming Laptops Be Used For Studying and School Assignments?

Yes, gaming Laptops for Engineering Students on a Budget can be used for studying and completing school assignments. They are helpful for school work because their powerful hardware can help render videos and do other schoolwork that would typically stress thin ultraportables.
A gaming laptop will be handy if you are likely to keep 20 Chrome tabs and MS Word open for your research paper.

How Much RAM Does An Engineering Student Need?

An engineering student will need a laptop with a RAM size of at least 8 GB. But, even at that, 16 GB RAM laptops for engineering students on a budget are preferable.

Which Processor Is Best For Engineering Students?

We recommend Intel i7 or i9 processors or their AMD equivalents. If you will be running CAD applications like AutoCAD or SolidWorks, an i9 processor is the best processor to go for.
Other than that, a core i7 processor should be sufficient.

About The Author

Last update on 2024-02-25 We are an Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, and Amazon.in affiliate and earn from qualifying purchases through our links at no extra cost to you.