Buyer's Guide

6 Best Laptops For Civil Engineering Students: Buyer’s Guide (2020)

Civil Engineering is one of the best as well as an interesting major for any college student these days. There are several tasks a civil engineer needs to perform in his/ her college days but one of the most important tasks is, choosing a right laptop that can perform their essential software like AutoCAD, Revit, STAAD Pro and more.

You may need to find the best laptops for civil engineering students to perform these software which can increase your productivity and helps you complete your projects on time.

Today, I’m going to share some of the best laptops a civil engineer would need that can help while doing any of their projects.

Just for the reference, I’m going to follow the guidelines of the University of Texas for the minimum system requirements for a civil engineering student.  By my own research, I have found that most of the universities follow almost the same guidelines. Every laptop on this list matches the minimum system requirements and you can pick any one of them without any hesitation.

Let’s get started.

Top 6 Laptops For Civil Engineering Students in 2020

1Dell XPS 15 512GB SSD16GB Check Price
2Dell Inspiron 7577 (Editor's Choice)128GB SSD+ 1TB HDD8GB Check Price
3Acer Aspir E 15256GB SSD8GB Check Price
4Lenovo Y7001TB HDD+ 256GB SSD16GB Check Price
5Acer Predator Helios 300256GB SSD16GB Check Price
6ASUS ROG Strix GL553VE256GB SSD + 1TB HDD16GB Check Price

 1. Dell XPS 15- A Complete laptop for a civil engineer

Dell XPS 15

The Dell XPS 15 is one of the best laptops on the market which offers a lot of features at a reasonable price. If you are looking for an alternative for Apple MacBook Pro with equivalent specifications at a cheaper price, then you should definitely go for this amazing laptop.

The XPS 15 comes in 2 different variants i.e Full HD or 4k version. I’m going to review the 4K model as it costs cheaper yet provides a great value. If you aren’t interested in 4k version, you can get the full HD model here.

As a civil engineering student, you won’t be giving many thoughts to the display quality of any laptop but I just want to tell you that the Infinity Edge display of XPS 15 is top-notch and has great viewing angles and color reproduction. The bezels on the display are very minor and it looks stunning.

The laptop comes with 16GB DDR4 RAM and 512GB PCIe SSD storage. The SSD performs really well and the memory management on this machine is outstanding. You can easily run multiple programs at once without any lags at all. The processor inside the laptop is Intel’s 7th Gen Core i7 processor i.e Intel Core i7-7700HQ which does a pretty good job and also helps the system to remain cool.

To run any 3D software or any games, Dell has provided a discrete graphics i.e GeForce GTX 1050 with 4GB VRAM. This may not be the best graphics card out there still, it performs really good.

Here’s the gaming performance of XPS 15 with GTX 1050 graphics card.

Dell XPS 15 gaming performance

Source: The Tech Chap

When it comes to connectivity, you’ll be getting a lot of ports on this machine. The ports offered by Dell on this XPS 15 are 2 USB 3.0, 1 USB Type-C with Thunderbolt 3, HDMI and an SD card reader.

The laptop also comes with the Backlit keyboard and trackpad of XPS 15 is one of the best in the market I have to say. The laptop weighs only 3.9 lbs (almost 1.8 kg) which is fairly portable but it won’t be easy to carry this laptop on a regular basis without any laptop bag.

And finally, the battery life.

If you are using the XPS 15 for entertainment purpose such as multimedia, online streaming, Browsing etc, you can expect up to 6 hours of battery life which is just decent I would say. While running any heavy programs or playing games, expect the battery to last up to 2 hours at maximum.

Overall, this is one of the best laptops for civil engineering students with lots of positive stuffs.

  • Gorgeous infinity display.
  • Great performance.
  • Excellent build quality.
  • Might be expensive for some students.
  • Weird webcam placement.
Recap Specs:
  • Screen Size: 15.6 Inches.
  • Storage: 512GB SSD.
  • RAM: 16GB DDR4 memory.
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-7700HQ.
  • Graphics card: GTX 1050 4GB.
  • Operating System: Windows 10.
  • Weight: 3.9 lbs

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If you still want to learn more about this laptop, then I would recommend you watch this video.

 2. Dell Inspiron 7577

Dell Inspiron 7577

Dell has upgraded its Inspiron 15 7567 with Inspiron 7577 and have made some major improvements. If you can’t afford the above XPS 15, then this Inspiron 7577 could be your best choice as it costs at least $500 cheaper than that but offers a lot of amazing stuff.

You’ll be getting 15.6 inch IPS panel on this Inspiron 7577 instead of TN panel which came in the older model. Though I won’t say this is the best display at this price point but it is surely better than the previous TN panel and decent enough for everyday usage.

The storage offered on this laptop is 128GB SSD + 1TB 5400RPM HDD. The 8GB DDR4 memory handles every task easily and it can be upgraded up to 32GB. The CPU i.e Intel Core i5-7300HQ hasn’t changed from its older model but the GPU has been upgraded from GTX 1050Ti to GTX 1060 Max-Q.

You can easily perform any heavy games or run any heavy demanding games with ease on this graphics card.

Dell Inspiron 7577 gaming performance

Source: Dave Lee

As you can see the GTX 1060 Max-Q performs really well, you can expect some amazing performance on this machine.

The laptop weighs 5.8 lbs (2.6 kg) which isn’t portable at all. A laptop bag is definitely required if you are planning to travel with this laptop on regular basis. A red backlit keyboard has also offered on this laptop which is quite useful at times.

One of the surprising features of this laptop which hasn’t even mentioned on Amazon is Fingerprint sensor in the power button. I don’t know why Dell hasn’t mentioned it in their sales page but it is there and it works like a charm.

You can expect 4-5 hours of battery life for normal usage and around 1.5 hours while doing your college tasks or any other high demanding tasks.

In conclusion, i have to say this is one the affordable and top laptop for civil engineers.

  • Decent build quality.
  • Performance is good.
  • Somewhat heavy.
Recap Specs:
  • Screen Size: 15.6 Inches.
  • Storage: 128GB SSD+ 1TB HDD.
  • RAM: 8GB DDR4 memory.
  • Processor: Intel Core i5-7300HQ.
  • Graphics card: GTX 1060 Max-Q.
  • Operating System: Windows 10.
  • Weight: 5.8 lbs

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Here is the full video review of this laptop by Dave2D.


 3. Acer Aspir E 15- Cheapest Laptop for civil Engineers

Acer Aspire E 15

If you are looking for the cheap and best laptop for civil engineering, then you should definitely take a look at this Acer Aspire E15 as it costs cheaper and provides tons of features at just $600. I have talked about this laptop a number of times and I have no reason not to recommend this amazing laptop for a civil engineer.

The Acer Aspire E15 comes with 15.6 inch full HD IPS display which has decent color accuracy and viewing angles. The build quality of the laptop is just decent I would say. A better build quality would have been appreciated but nonetheless, for a $600 machine, you are a solid machine.

Currently, Acer is offering this laptop in various configurations. If you want the cheapest option, then I’ll suggest you get this one. This model comes with 256GB SSD, 8GB DDR3 RAM, Intel Core i5-8250U Processor and GeForce MX150 with 2GB GDDR5 VRAM.

As you can see, You’ve almost everything a civil engineer would need in a laptop. From storage to performance, this laptop has a lot to offer at a very cheap price.

If you are curious about the gaming performance of this machine, then take a look at this chart below.Acer Aspire E15 Gaming performance The MX150 performs reasonably well and considering the price of this laptop, there is nothing much to complain about. You should watch this video to know more about the gaming performance of this laptop.

Acer also has offered a good number of ports on this machine.

Acer Aspire E15 Ports

The laptop offers two more special features i.e an optical drive and a backlit keyboard. You may find many laptops with a backlit keyboard these days but it is pretty rare to see a laptop with an optical drive which might be handy sometimes.

When it comes to portability, the Acer Aspire E 15 weighs 5.3 lbs (2.4 kg) which might not be lightweight for most people. Hence, a bag to carry the laptop would be very helpful.

And lastly, the battery life.

Acer claims, the Aspire E15 can last up to 15 hours in a single but According to Mr.Turner, it is safe to assume a 12-hour battery life on this machine which is still very impressive I would say.

Overall, this is a damn good laptop for civil engineering students out there.

Note: If you want more laptops in the price category, then you should take a look my post where I have shared top 8 laptops under 700 dollars.

  • Provides great value for money.
  • Solid performance.
  • Great battery life.
  • Slightly heavy.
Recap Specs:
  • Screen Size: 15.6 Inches.
  • Storage: 256GB SSD
  • RAM: 8GB DDR3 memory.
  • Processor: Intel Core i5-8250U
  • Graphics card: GeForce MX150.
  • Operating System: Windows 10.
  • Weight: 5.3 lbs

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 4. Lenovo Y700


The Lenovo Y700 is another good mid-range gaming laptop for civil engineering which costs around $1000 and provides a reasonably good value for its money.

It comes with 15.6-inch full HD display which unfortunately doesn’t have a very good color accuracy. It is just good enough for daily tasks and won’t be suitable for those who are too picky about the color reproduction.

Lenovo has offered 1TB 5400 RPM Hard disk Drive and 256GB SSD on this machine. You can install some of your important programs in the SSD drive and rest of your personal data such as multimedia or MS office files in the Hard disk drive for good performance.

The 16GB DDR4 RAM is more than enough to perform your daily tasks, do your homework, consuming multimedia, all at once without any issues. The processor you’ll be getting on this machine is Intel Core i7-6700HQ which is slightly an older processor compared to other two laptops but it does the job very well.

For gaming experience, Lenovo has delivered this laptop with GTX 960M which is again not the most powerful GPU but a decent one which can handle many games with ease.

Note: I would recommend you get this Asus ROG STRIX laptop If you are looking for a better gaming experience as it comes with a better graphics card and provides more value than this laptop.

The JBL speakers on this laptop are outstanding and I have to say this is one of the best in the market currently. The laptop also offers a backlit keyboard which is always a good thing to have.

On the right side, you’ll find 2 USB 3.0, HDMI and Ethernet jack and you’ll get a USB 2.0 and a full-sized SD card slot on the left side of the laptop.

The battery life on this laptop is very poor in my opinion. You can get around 4-5 hours of battery life while doing simple and lightweight tasks and 1-1.5 hours while doing tasks which requires a high power.

Check out this video to learn more:

  • An affordable gaming laptop.
  • Great speakers.
  • Color accuracy is very poor.
Recap Specs:
  • Screen Size: 15.6 Inches.
  • Storage: 1TB HDD+ 256GB SSD
  • RAM: 16GB DDR4 memory.
  • Processor: Intel Core i7 6700HQ.
  • Graphics card: GTX 960M.
  • Operating System: Windows 10.
  • Weight: 5.7 lbs

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 5. Acer Predator Helios 300

Acer Predator Helios 300

When it comes to the Best Value For Money laptop on this list, then I’m sure this Acer Predator Helios 300 will take the throne without any doubt. I can give the reasons for that. Just continue reading.

The Acer Predator Helios costs only a little over $1000 but it provides a lot of powerful stuff at this price and currently, it is one of the Best Selling Laptops on Amazon right now. It is reviewed by almost 1400 customers and has got the rating of 4.1 which tells you a lot about this powerful and popular machine.

The Helios 300 comes with 15.6-inch 60 Hertz IPS panel which has decent color accuracy and viewing angles. It might not be the best display in this price segment but just like some of the above laptops, it is decent enough for daily tasks as well as gaming.

Acer has offered 256GB M.2 SATA SSD which has very good read and write speeds of 520MB and 450MB respectively. If you want to increase the performance of the laptop, you can replace the M.2 drive with any NVMe you want. The 16GB DDR4 RAM does a fine job in multitasking and you can upgrade up to 32GB.

You’ll be getting the same processor which comes with the above-mentioned XPS 15 i.e Intel Core i7-7700HQ. Though the CPU does perform very well the highlight of this powerful machine is its graphics card i.e GeForce GTX 1060 with 6GB GDDR5 VRAM.

This is the most powerful GPU on this list which performs even better than the above mentioned Dell Inspiron which comes with GTX 1060 Max-Q. The difference in performance between GTX 1060 and GTX 1060 Max-Q might not be a big one but still, the GTX 1060 is the winner here.

Here is how the games will perform on this GPU.

Acer Predator Helios 300 gaming

These are just the performance results of 4 popular games. If you are interested to know about the performance of some more games, then you should definitely watch this video.

The port selection of this machine is just decent I would say.

Acer Predator Helios 300 ports

The Helios 300 weighs 6 lbs (2.7 kg) which is quite heavy in my opinion. It may not be a portable laptop but a laptop bag might help you while traveling with this beast.

This laptop can last up to 4 hours at max for doing basic tasks and 1.5-2 hours while gaming.

In conclusion, I just have only one thing to say. Just ge this beast ASAP. This is one of the best laptops for civil engineers which truly provides a ton of value for its money.

Check out this video if you want to learn more:

  • An affordable gaming laptop.
  • Great speakers.
  • Color accuracy is very poor.
Recap Specs:
  • Screen Size: 15.6 Inches.
  • Storage: 256GB SSD.
  • RAM: 16GB DDR4 memory.
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-7700HQ.
  • Graphics card: GTX 1060 6GB.
  • Operating System: Windows 10.
  • Weight: 6 lbs

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 6. ASUS ROG Strix GL553VE


The last laptop on this list is from Asus which is slightly on the expensive side but has some powerful specs to offer.

Just like other laptops on this list, the ASUS ROG Strix GL553VE comes with the same 15.6-inch full HD display which has a very good color accuracy. You won’t be disappointed with this display for sure.

The laptop comes with 16GB DDR4 RAM along with 256GB SATA SSD+ 1TB 5400 RPM hard disk drive. The SSD boots up quickly and performs very fast which won’t cause you any trouble while running some important tasks.

This is the third laptop on this list which comes with the same processor Intel Core i7-7700HQ which is a very good processor and handles almost every task smoothly. An 8th gen processor from Intel would have been better but still, there is nothing much to complain about this processor.

The GPU on this machine is a powerful one i.e GeForce GTX 1050 Ti which delivers one of the best graphics experience on the market right now. It performs a lot better than GTX 1050. You can read the full Review of GTX 1050 Ti here to know more about this graphics card.

One of the best things about this laptop is, it comes with fewer bloatware. There is not a lot of unnecessary apps or programs installed on this machine which will surely help in the performance of this laptop. The ports available on this machine are 2 USB 3.0 ports, 1 USB 2.0, 1 RJ45 LAN port and HDMI.

The battery life of this laptop is close to 3 hours while gaming which is very impressive in my opinion. Only a handful of laptops are there in the market which can deliver 3 hours of gaming experience in a single charge.

  • Top-notch performance.
  • Battery life is very good.
  • Slightly expensive.
Recap Specs:
  • Screen Size: 15.6 Inches.
  • Storage: 256GB SSD + 1TB HDD.
  • RAM: 16GB DDR4 memory.
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-7700HQ.
  • Graphics card: GTX 1050 Ti.
  • Operating System: Windows 10.
  • Weight: 5.5 lbs

Check Price on Amazon

Final Words:

These laptops have been chosen after spending lots of time in research. I have excluded expensive laptops such as MacBook Pro as it won’t be suitable for a civil engineer and it is very expensive. So, what do you think of these 6 Best Laptops for civil engineering students? Have you found your right choice? Do you think they are suitable? Shoot your comments below.

One Response

  1. Doni sivashankar June 14, 2019

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