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Electrical and electronics engineering (EEE) is a technical subject that deals with modeling, computations, etc. This means dealing with software having specific requirements. Most engineering schools have well-equipped computer laboratories for students to practice. Now, this eliminates the mandatory part of EE students having their own laptops.
Yes, EEE students need computers, but not as much as students taking software engineering or IT. However, a laptop can give EEE students much more flexibility – students can work from any location within the college, given that most schools offer a Wi-Fi connection.
You can’t deny that a laptop comes with its own advantages. Apart from movement flexibility, it also lets you do your assignments or additional research at home. So EEE students can buy laptops if they can afford it.
However, if they don’t have the means, they can use school computers to finish their assignments or practices. School computers may not give you the satisfaction, freedom, or flexibility that a laptop offers, but it will at least keep you within the syllabus.
Well-equipped engineering labs have the latest computers – enough and powerful, which makes your lessons pretty easy, even when using tough software like Solidworks.
A computer lab comes with its fair share of disadvantages.
Space constraints, so you always have to rush to secure your spot. There is the security of your work – passwords can help, but people can crack it too. Moreover, many people use the lab, so there are time restrictions.
The provision of free Wi-Fi and the availability of powerful smartphones and tablets is fast changing the scene. Some EEE students may use their tablets to do some school assignments. Nevertheless, it’s worth noting that these devices come with incapacitating limitations. Most tablets do not support most of the engineering software.
Does A College Student Doing EEE Need A Laptop?
Honestly, yes. Apart from being one of the latest electronic fashions for students, laptops are really convenient for these technical subjects.
In the first year of study, a computer is mandatory for doing research and assignment. Besides, for any engineering students, programming languages like C and C++ may be taught in the first year. So a computer is essential – owning a laptop is significant in the first year, but a computer in a school’s computer lab will do the job decently.
However, as you scale your studies upwards, the need for a personal laptop becomes apparent. The reason here is due to the increased complexity in the types of engineering software you’ll be using. So you’ll need more time to practice, and owning a laptop lends you that satisfaction.
A laptop is portable; hence, offering much flexibility. Again, it allows you to store your data and access them any time you want.
That aside, a laptop or computer is handy for the following reasons to EE students:
Studying Basic C/C++ Coding
Basic C is common to all engineering branches in the first year. Having a computer can help you practice more, though the school computer can offer a decent amount of practice.
Now, C, C++, and Python fall under the category of embedded system programming, which is necessary for creating major/minor projects.
Different colleges may be using different programming languages, which may require you to own a laptop. Remember, you can only be good at coding if you spend many hours on a computer, of course practicing.
Electrical Circuit Analysis
The circuit analysis is a lab session that requires computers too. Actually, it’s software that lets you common elements, explore, re-mix, and simulate digital and analog components side-by-side with few clicks. Software like PSpice, MATLAB, and CircuitLab is used.
Seminar & Project Work
This module requires MS PowerPoint, excel, word, pdf reader, PSpice, and MATLAB.
Which Laptop Is Best For An Electrical And Electronics Student?
There are some tasks that an electrical and engineering student will perform along with his/her studies. Such computational requirements include:
- Programming: programming languages like C, C++, Java, Python, and R, etc., are mandatory
- Simulations: important in solving problems effectively and safely. They require software like Matlab/Simulink, NI Multisim, NI Labview, pSPICE, Saber, etc.
- CAD Software: improves the quality of designs and technical documentation. They require Eagle, computer-aided design (CAD), or computer-aided design and drafting (CADD)
- Word processing/ documentation: essential software for this role include LaTeX and MS Office
- Embedded Programming ecosystems: this includes Code Composer Studio, Vivado, etc
It isn’t an exhaustive list but a good representative. Keep in mind; software such as Matlab/Simulink requires intense processing power – a powerful processor and RAM.
And since you are a student, moving around a lot, you need something lightweight. So focusing on a large screen and keyboard, my weight down on you. Typically, the best laptop for EEE students should have the below features:
- Portability: buy a laptop that you can carry without for than an hour without having a feeling that it’s a burden. So something smaller but with decent battery life is ideal.
- Processor: Intel Core i3 1.8 GHz can handle most of the work you’ll be doing. If you opt for an AMD processor, A10 should be the baseline. However, an Intel i5 is excellent for intense jobs.
- RAM: a minimum of 4GB is necessary. Most importantly, it should have an additional RAM slot to make it easy for easy upgrade.
- Screen Size: a screen that tolerates programming is useful. So a lighter laptop with a 15-inch screen is excellent.
- Graphics Card: around 2GB or opt for an onboard Graphics if your RAM is 16GB
- OS: Windows
- Hard Disk: 1TB
Which Laptop Is Best For Programming And Electrical Students?
Electrical engineering has intense programming alongside multiple simulations, making the course both exciting and challenging. Students run a couple of programs alongside dozens of circuit simulators. Naturally, this requires a powerful laptop.
Any student taking electrical engineering has lots of hours of personal studies and lectures. And a laptop can make their work easy.
If you need the best laptops, you might consider checking out the following specs.
Electrical engineering mostly requires 2D-centric work, unlike other types of engineering. Therefore, a moderately powerful processor – quad-core processor is enough.
A processor with multiple cores handles many computational processes simultaneously, making the modeling process pretty easy.
Dedicated Graphics Card
Some Finite Element Analysis (FEA) apps can use a laptop’s integrated graphics card for modeling.
But a dedicated Graphics card can make your modeling (even 3-D) much smoother. Look for a laptop with ATI or NVidia dedicated graphics chipset.
For programming and simulations, a membrane keyboard works better than a mechanical keyboard. Ideally, it offers convenient typing since the soft rubbers underlay provides quick response time and tactile feedback.
Again, if a backlit keyboard impresses you, you might just consider picking one.
Screen size and resolution
Your screen should allow you to read the deciphering values and character easily. 14-to-15-inch screen size might work for many. However, the size shouldn’t sacrifice portability.
6 to 7 hours of battery life will work well for electrical engineering students. Remember, a dedicated GPU, screen size and resolution, and the process has a significant impact on battery life.
The below laptops might be appealing to you if you are electrical engineering students:
- Acer Aspire E 15 – most affordable
- Surface Pro 7 – incredible portability
- Asus ZenBook 13 – the perfect balance of affordability and portability
- Dell XPS 13 9360 – Best Windows Ultra-Book
- Acer Predator Helios 300 – robust and mid-range priced
Best Laptop for Engineering Students 2020
A powerful laptop can make your electrical engineering studies easy. But what you need depends on the type of software you’ll be loading on your laptop and any add-ons.
Two things are significant:
- A powerful processor for handling all computational tasks
- A graphics card for tackling CAD graphical needs, simulations, and CAM software
Look, finding the best laptop means combining graphics prowess and stately performance. Additionally, portability, affordability, and longevity must be part of a powerful laptop.
A lightweight chassis and a battery life that can last a full school day sum up an engineering student’s laptop’s best features.
Above all, understand that the needs of an engineering student are highly curated. Apart from the CAD tool, the students will handle MATLAB, coding platforms, SketchUp, machine accounting resources, learning interface, etc.
While it may be challenging to locate a single laptop offering all the aspects, you can get laptops with decent features to flawlessly run your engineering projects. Minimum system requirements include:
- RAM: 8GB
- Storage: 1TB SSD
- CPU: Core i5
- GPU: 2GB NVIDIA GeForce MX350
- Battery: > 5 hours
Here are the laptops that you might find suitable for your engineering studies:
Razer Blade 15 – offers a lot for both students and professionals, thanks to its powerful core i7 processor, 512 GB SSD storage, and 6GB NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 graphics card.
Dell XPS 15 – apart from excellent speakers, you get a powerful Core i7, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti, and 15 Inch FHD screen.
MSI GS66 Stealth – this beast has eight processors, a 15.6″ FHD screen, and an 8GB NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Super Max-Q GPU.
HP Spectre x360 – with six cores, Touch 4K UHD, and 4GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650, this core i7- i7 9750H offers real value for money.
MacBook for Electrical Engineering Students
There are different types of MacBook laptops. While they have a similar base plan, these laptops vary in technical specifications.
The MacBook Pro 13 is a good laptop for engineering students. Typically, the laptop offers many hardware specs that can run most of the engineering software. What’s impressive is that the laptop is affordable.
Its 8th Gen Intel Core i5 processor is potent– 4 cores and a clock speed of up to 4.7GHz, and somewhat energy efficient.
With a memory of 32GB and SSD storage of 2TB, the MacBook Pro 13 offers one of the best electrical engineering students’ performances. Keep in mind; MacBook offers PCIe-based SSDs. That only means dual booting is perfect – so software compatibility is not an issue.
The new Apple MacBook Pro 16 is another incredible choice for an engineering student. They offer one of the best screen resolutions and good graphics. It has a retina display, which makes it a contender for engineering laptops. Its dedicated graphics card is AMD Radeon Pro 5300M that is an addition to Intel UHD Iris graphics.
Reasons to Choose MacBook for Electrical Engineering
- Being an Apple product, it packs all the benefits of Apple, i.e., lightweight design and portability, an appealing design, and an array of appealing apps.
- Its battery life is longer than that of its Windows counterparts.
- Macbook accommodates almost all software programs that engineers need, and still, it’s increasing the number of such software.
Disadvantages of Using MacBook for Electrical Engineering Tasks
Few people use MacBook laptops. This reduced universality might make it a little bit inconvenient in some circumstances. However, if you are comfortable with the OS, it’s OK.
Your MacBook may not run some programs and software. But it is possible to run these programs by creating another Windows OS in your MacBook. However, it requires using parallels. This offers you MacBook performance as well as Windows compatibility.
Is MacBook Air Good For Electrical Engineering Students?
MacBook laptops are great, thanks to their premium nature. Many people would love to own them. However, for engineering students, technical specifications matter a lot.
Most engineering students who use MacBook laptops find the Apple MacBook Air to be a perfect fit for various reasons. For instance, the laptop has an attractive design, an exemplary battery life, and many powerful features.
Look, 9-hour battery life is something admirable in a laptop. Remember, an engineering student spends close to 8 hours in school. Having 9-hours of battery life means you won’t be competing for the power sockets with other students.
Intel Core i5, 8 GB RAM, and 128GB SSD storage offer any engineering student’s right combination. However, the screen size is only 13 inches, which might not work well with individuals who prefer large screen sizes.
However, it is crucial to note; if you are using software and programs that demand real power, the MacBook Air might not give you the performance you need. This laptop works well when you use it for light-duty computations and simulations.
So, if you need serious processing speeds, designing, and graphics rendering, this isn’t your go-to MacBook version.
Now, as you advance in your years of studies and you love apple products, consider investing in a MacBook pro over MacBook air since the former can handle most of the technical tasks without freezing or crashing.
What makes MacBook air a good laptop?
- An accurate retina display
- Its thin profile makes it incredibly lightweight; hence portable.
- It features a touch ID.
Why electrical engineering students may not find much use with Macbook Air
- The Macbook Air has a dated processor – it may not handle many software and programs, which means slow operations.
- Quite pricy
Best laptop for mechanical engineering students
Mechanical engineering involves 3-D modeling in addition to demanding computations and simulations. Therefore, mechanical engineering students should have laptops that can support Mathcad, CAD, Finite Element Analysis, VBA, MATLAB, MechaniCalc, Python, etc.
So the recommended specs include:
- CPU Processor – Intel Core i5
- RAM, Memory – 8GB
- Screen – 1080p
- Graphics card – Integrated
- Hard Drive – 300GB SSD
- Ports – at least one free USB
- Wireless – 802.11ac
- Front-facing SD camera plus microphone and speakers
With these minimum requirements, you can get a laptop that will make it possible to create intricate designs, equipment, machines, etc. So you have to look for a computer that can handle a series of manufacturing software and computer-aided design (CAD).
The below choices might be the best solution for you:
Features & specs
Processor- Core i7-6700HQ
Clock speed – 2.6GHz
RAM – 16GB
GPU – 4GB GeForce GTX 960M
Storage – 1TB HDD + 128GB SSD
CPU/processor: Intel Core i7-8565u
Speed: 1.8GHz up to 4.6GHz
RAM: 16GB DDR4
GPU: GeForce MX250 Graphics
Storage: 512GB SSD
Processor – Core i7-9750H
Clock speed – 2.6 – 4.5GHz
RAM – 16GB
GPU – GeForce GTX1650
Storage – 512GB NVMe SSD
Processor: 8th Generation Intel Core i7-8550U
Clock speed: 3.4GHz
GPU: GeForce MX150
Storage: 256GB SSD
Processor – Core i7-9750H
GPU – GeForce GTX 1050
RAM – 8GB
Storage – 1TB HDD and 256GB NVMe SSD
Processor: 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8565U
GPU: 4GB GeForce GTX 1050
Storage: 256GB SSD + 1TB HDD
Processor – Core i7
Speed- 1.8 GHz
RAM – 16GB
Storage – 1TB SSD
Best Laptop For Civil Engineering Students 2020
Each profession has specific demands when it comes to laptops – you already know that. Now, being a civil engineer means creating models too.
So looking for a laptop with specs that allow you to create such models is very helpful. Some software, for example, heavy 3D software such as Revit and Cinema 4D, can crash or frequently free a laptop. Without a powerful processor and GPU, you’ll continuously run into problems.
Again, if you’ll be dealing with hard-core design programs powerful laptop is what you need.
To avoid buying a laggy or sluggish laptop, it is better to look at what you will be doing:
- Analysis/Design: this part requires processor demanding software like Strap, Staad Pro, GTS, ETABS, MicroStation, NISA, Sap2000, Struds, Xsteel, etc.
- For management: you’ll be carrying out various projects, and managing them is a must. More often, you use programs like MS Project, Project Kick Start, Smarta, Primavera, etc.
- Modeling: This is a core part of civil engineering. Software like AutoCAD Revit, Tekla Structures ArchiCad, D Studio Max, AutoCAD 3D Civil, PDS, etc., can be beneficial. But they are processor demanding.
Here are the laptops you might need:
2.2GHz Intel Core i7-8750H
Check the latest price here
256GB NVMe SSD
Check the latest price here
256GB SSD + 1TB HDD
4GHz Intel Core i7-8550U
1.8GHz Core i7-8565U
256GB PCIe SSD + 1TB HDD
Check the latest price here
256 GB SSD
Check the latest price here
2.3GHz Intel Core i5-8300H
256GB SSD + 1 TB HHD
1.6GHz Intel Core i5-8250U
Check the latest price here
Which Laptop Is Best For A Mechanical Engineering Student?
There are a lot of laptops that engineering students can use. What needs to be done in finding the right technical specs? Commonly, most students will buy laptops from the following brand’s Dell, HP, Acer, Apple, MacBook, Lenovo, and Asus. This doesn’t mean that laptops from other brands are useless. It’s a matter of brand popularity.
Even among these six brands, there are favorites. For instance, customers consider MacBook, HP, and Dell to be of superior quality; hence, they are among the most expensive products. On the other hand, Acer products fall on the lower spectrum of price and quality while Lenovo and Asus fall midways.
It’s worth noting that this is consumer perception and not the truth. Currently, the prices depend on the technical specification that the laptop features.
Any engineering student needs processing power. That translates to getting a computer with a minimum of Intel Core i5, but Intel Core i7 is the most recommended. Still, the AMD Radeon performs well.
If you are using advanced analysis and design software, you’ll need a graphics card. However, necessary software such as AutoCAD isn’t so demanding; therefore, an Intel integrated graphics card can handle it.
For the RAM, 4 GB is reasonable, but 8GB RAM is decent for faster action. Below are some of the best laptops you can buy for your mechanical engineering classes:
- Dell XPS 15 – great power, excellent computing experience, and stylish thin, lightweight chassis
- HP Spectre x360 15T – Combining powerful graphics cards and process lends a robust profile to this laptop.
- Asus Zephyrus G14 – besides and fantastic battery life, this laptop offers incredible all-around performance.
- Microsoft Surface Book 2 – this is an incredible 2-in-1 laptop that is actually designed for engineering. It has a graphical design and a range of powerful features making it a robust choice.
- Lenovo Legion Y740 – the beautiful display alongside an elegant chassis and powerful internals, this Lenovo laptop does not disappoint.
Engineering is about creating models and simulations. Besides, there are lots of computations. While a computer with the average technical specification can handle such tasks, it’s vital to get a laptop/computer that gives results faster – no freezing or laggy interfaces.
Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure that the information published on this website is accurate, the author and owners of this website take no responsibility for any loss or damage suffered as a result of relience upon the information contained therein. Furthermore the bulk of the information is derived from information in 2018 and use therefore is at your on risk. In addition you should consult professional advice if required.