What Laptop Specifications are Critical for an Engineer / Engineering Student ?

To study engineering or to be an engineer is not a challenging job anymore if using all high-end engineering apps and software on the best laptop. A best laptop for an engineer is the one which having all those specifications which can run all useful engineering apps and also adds a value in other ways.

There are plenty of laptops available comes in budget and expensive category, but we are going to share with you all laptop specifications which an engineer require most in any laptop, so that you can easily choose a best laptop to meet own engineering needs and get the value for money.

Before we start discussing about those specifications in laptop which can add value in the engineer’s career, first discuss why they need a special laptop and what kinds of tasks they need to perform on?

Why Engineers Need A Special Laptop ?

A laptop was never a critical tool for an engineer two or three decades ago, but now engineers cannot even imagine to survive without a good laptop. There are engineering applications available for all main categories – mechanical, chemical, civil and electrical engineering.

These applications helps the engineer to apply everything virtually first and see the results, if something goes wrong can be corrected before physical development starts taking place.

These applications can save millions of dollars in infrastructure building projects and improves the work efficiency for civil engineers. It can also be very helpful for electrical engineering students to learn about electrical wiring, circuit design, frequency response, bode plots and many more. Similarly, engineers from other fields can learn more from such applications as compared to the syllabus books.

These engineering software also offer testing tools to apply the test and evaluate the expected outcome. They can accordingly plan the whole project and achieve the maximum work efficiency. For Instance, an electrical engineering student can apply power conversion features and reactive calculation through using relevant software on laptop.

How Laptop Specifications Are Critical For Engineers / Students ?

In a highly competitive environment, to be a successful engineer must be fully equipped with latest information technology and access to all advanced engineering software / applications. All these high-end programs require minimum specifications on laptop, then user can run them on machine.

Otherwise, an engineer equipped with these latest programs can be way more efficient comparing to those not using these intelligent applications on their laptops.

Critical Specifications On a Laptop for Engineer ?

We are going to share the critical specifications on a laptop for engineer and why it is critical.

Processor / CPU

All engineering based software are heavily coded and comes with all possible engineering logics to provide the results for any possible input enter by the user. There can be hundreds and thousands of logics applied in every field of engineering and each logic requires high-end processor to process such an advanced and massive amount of data.

Auto CAD software is mostly used by civil engineers and it performs complex civil designs, analysis and produces simulations for the engineers. All this process takes too much complex data to process and a slow processor will only lead to overheating issues instead of actually processing that complex data.

Therefore, Processor is the most critical hardware / specification on laptop and a buyer has to spend more money on it, who needs it for engineering tasks.


RAM stores the all data which frequently required by the user on Laptop / PC. It stores the data for all frequently used tools on engineering software by the user and provide the response on immediate basis, whenever user want to apply & re-use those tools. RAM basically stores the all engineering logics and tests which have been applied for multiple times and expected to be applied further.  

It shares the data processing burden of processor and enhances its efficiency. Therefore, a best laptop for engineers must be having at least 8GB of RAM which remains more compatible with the powerful processor and can run all latest engineering based software and tools.

Screen Size

Engineering software like AutoCAD involves the user to draw complex designs, requires using sophisticated tools and they have to be more focus while working on such software. Big size screen can help them to see the designs comfortably and perfectly. They need to analyze every little detail to make all logical decisions which otherwise can be a big deal against them.

Therefore, professional engineers and students should be go for a laptop with big screen size, otherwise small screens would be very frustrating while seeing complex engineering maps and processes.

Operating System

Windows as operating system was enjoying 88% market share in the first quarter of 2020. It is better to go for a Windows based laptop as you can have access to more engineering software and applications designed by the developers. Mostly developers are more interested in developing these engineering programs for Windows platform because it would be more financially profitable.

MacOS is better for having other useful features and its eco-system. It is highly unlikely that engineers other than software engineer would go for Mac considering its restrictive environment.

Hard Disk Drive

Hard Disk drive should be the least considering specification on laptop which going to be critical for the engineer. Now a days, every laptop must be having at least 512GB internal disk and it would be more than enough for the engineer or a student.

We can expect engineer’s needs to be installing two or three main engineering based software for working on. Each may be as big in size as 10GB, which makes in total 30GB. You would still be left with more than 400GB remaining storage which can be used for downloading and storing personal data.

Graphics Card    

A graphic card is going to play a critical role in a laptop for engineers. Graphic card are responsible for rendering the graphic related data and mostly engineering software like AutoCAD offers 3D based modeling of infrastructure. Its graphic related rendering can only be possible if having high-end GPU.

Civil Engineers draws complex designs on AutoCAD for the clients, so that they can see the whole housing or building structure in 3D modeling. A more powerful GPU can render better graphic quality which can turn into a satisfaction of client.

You are recommended to go for only NVIDIA or AMD branded graphic cards. It is better to buy a laptop having 4GB memory graphic card which do need to be updated for next three years.

Battery & Connectivity Options

Now days, laptops are available offering a powerful battery which can last as long as eight hours. A field engineer definitely requires long-lasting battery as it can be challenging to recharge a laptop’s battery during the field work when battery dies. Having a battery which can last at least 8 eight hours helps the field engineer using a laptop during all working hours.

An engineer who stays within the office and having proper recharging arrangements all the time, would not need the powerful battery as much as field engineer.

As far as connectivity is concerned, Type-C is the most demanding connectivity option on laptop because it can transfer the data at highest transferring speed from one laptop to other. Engineering students often shares course related data with each other and demands Type-C port.

HDMI connectivity is also critical to connect the laptop with big screen or project to give the presentation in University and share the data on bigger screen.

Final Words

We have shared the critical importance of each and every hardware /  specification on a laptop will be used by the engineer or an engineering student. Processor, RAM and Graphic Cars is going to be very crucial specifications for a successful engineer, whereas hard disk is the least crucial specification.