Finding the best laptops for Architects and Architecture students can be tricky especially if you are not particularly sure about what to look for.
Clearly, laptops for regular use within the office or at home, are mainly used for lighter work or comes that do not demand a lot of in terms of specifics, compared to laptops for Graphic Designers, and laptops for Architects and Architecture students.
Usually, once architecture professionals join an institution to move their studies to become better in their trade. Such colleges or universities would recommend the best laptops for architects and students of architecture to use during the course.
Most, if not all, of the work involved in architecture, is regarding blueprints, maps, and drawings of structures, which needs the architect to prepare, edit, view, and even modify the draft blueprints.
In such instances, therefore, laptops for architects must have some salient yet basic features direct before making that purchase.
Minimum requirements to consider when choosing the best laptops for architects
The minimum hardware requirements to test for when finding the best laptops for architects include, but don’t seem to be limited to:
- Intel Core i7 or newer processor:
- 16 GB minimum (or more) System RAM for higher performance.
- Hard Drive (storage) of 512 GB SSD or 750 GB/7200 rpm minimum (or more) 15” monitor/display.
- A Video Adapter or graphics card with 512 MB VRAM, or more.
- Windows 10 Pro (not Home) operating system.
- A Windows-compliant (100%) sound card.
- Network Adapters: Wi-Fi included; wired ethernet adapter with an ethernet cable for faster connections.
- External hard drive for backups should be a minimum of the same size because the internal drive, or more.
- Warranty service of three years for onsite parts, labor, or third party damage/loss.
The minimum software needs to check for once finding the best laptops for architects include, but are not limited to:
- Microsoft Office 365.
- Autodesk AutoCAD 2017 or later version (not LT).
- Adobe Creative Cloud.
- With these in mind, you are well on your way to choosing the perfect laptop to use or get for architecture.
Top 7 Best Laptops for Architects and Architecture Students
1. Acer Predator Helios 300 (Late 2018)
If you have a budget between $1000-$1500, then there’s no better choice than Acer Predator Helios 300 (2018) in the market right now. This can be one of the best value for a money gaming laptop at only $1200.
This is a late 2018 model of Acer Predator Helios 300 that has been updated with a couple of major improvements from the older model.
One of the most important upgrades on this model is display. The laptop currently comes with a 144Hz FHD IPS panel that is surely one of the best in its worth category. You’ll be obtaining SRGB rating of 92 and Abobe RGB rating of 61 that is quite impressive I would say (Source).
Acer has offered 256GB PCIe NVMe SSD that delivers excellent performance and along with that, the 16GB DDR4 memory will pretty good in multitasking. The read and write speed of the SSD is 1500 MBps and 200 MBps (Source), thus you’ll run easily run multiple applications or programs with ease on this machine.
One of the most important change on this laptop is the Processor. Acer has upgraded its 7th gen Intel Core i7 to 8th gen processor i.e Intel Core i7-8750H. If you’re upgrading to this model from the previous one, you’ll surely notice a serious improvement in the performance department. Even if you’re getting Acer Predator Helios for the first time, you’ll be affected with its performance.
For gaming and to run graphics demanding programs, there’s a discrete graphics card i.e GTX 1060 with 6GB GDDR5 VRAM. It’s one of the most powerful GPU out there which may play most of the games at high settings.
Here are the performance three most popular games on this laptop (in high settings),
1. Overwatch= 171 FPS
2. Fortnite= 106 FPS
3. Doom= 108 FPS
This is a VR ready laptop which means you’ll take your gaming experience to the next level.
The laptop weighs 5.5 lbs (2.5 kg) that remains not light-weight in my opinion. You can occasionally carry the laptop to your college or a friend’s house but it might be hard to hold this with yourself on a daily basis unless you carry this with a laptop bag.
The port selection of this machine is quite good. On the left-hand side, there’s an ethernet jack, a USB Type- C (not Thunderbolt 3), HDMI, a USB 3.0 and a full-sized SD card slot. On the right-hand side, there are 2 USB 2.0 and audio jack.
The battery life on this Acer predator 300 is pretty average. It will last 4 hours with a single charge by doing internet browsing, gaming and running some heavy apps.
Overall, I have to mention this is one of the best laptops for architects and architecture students.
- The best value for money laptop on this entire list.
- Great performance.
- Amazing display.
- Battery life should have beeen better.
- Not portable.
2. Dell Inspiron G5587-7866BLK-PUS
The Dell Inspiron G5587 is a mid-range gaming laptop from Dell that prices only concerning $1000. If you a budget of $1k, then there are several reasons to choose this laptop and I’m going to talk about that below.
The 15.6-inch display of the laptop isn’t very bright but it will do the job for both work and entertainment. The build of this laptop is great and therefore the laptop weighs 6.3 lbs (2.8 kg) that are quite heavy in my opinion. If you are searching for a light-weight machine, then this might not be the right selection for you.
You’ll be getting dual storage choices i.e 128GB SSD+1TB HDD that in my opinion is nice enough for both personal and professional purpose. To perform multitasking, Dell has offered 16GB DDR4 memory that will a fine job.
The processor you’ll be getting on this machine is Intel Core i7-8750H that is one of the most powerful CPU within the market right now. The graphics card i.e GeForce GTX 1050Ti is not the most powerful one but it’s perfectly capable of running any architecture software with ease.
The laptop also comes with Thunderbolt 3 port that transfers the data speedily and saves lots of your time. The average battery life of this machine with mixed usage is 6 hours that is pretty good in my opinion.
If you are planning to get this laptop, I might extremely suggest you restore point in Windows 10 on a regular basis as eblman has reported that it would crash sometimes whereas upgrading the Windows. Other than that, there are no issues on this laptop.
At last, I just want to inform that this can be a reasonably best laptops for architects who have a budget of $1k and wants a powerful machine.
- A decent gaming machine in $1k budget.
- Good performance.
- A better display would have been great.
- Slightly heavy.
3. Acer Aspire E15
The Acer Aspire E 15 is a budget gaming machine but it offers plenty of wonderful stuff at just $800. If you have a budget like this, then I would extremely suggest you take a look at Acer Aspire because, in my personal opinion, this is often the best price for money laptop on this list after Acer Predator Helios 300.
This is one of the best selling Laptops on Amazon that is reviewed by more than 750 customers and contains a rating of 4/5. I am not pushing hard you to get this laptop. I am just stating the facts and help my readers to decide on the right laptop.
Tip: I have written a separate post of Best Cheap Gaming Laptops under 600 dollars. Do take a glance If you have a similar budget.
The design and display might not attractive to most of the individuals. It has a very simple design and also the 15.6-inch display is simply good enough for everyday usage. The build quality is also slightly cheaper as a result of Acer Aspire has to cut down the pricing for powerful hardware.
If you are okay with the good build quality and display, then you’ll surely love the rest the features this laptop should offer.
One of the best thing about Acer Aspire is that you’ll get 2 storage options, a 256GB SSD memory, and an empty 2.5-inch bay to add a further hard drive or an SSD. It’s up to you. An 8GB DDR3 RAM is nice enough for smooth performance and if you want to extend its performance, then you’ll upgrade it up to 32GB.
The laptop is available with 3 different processors but I might recommend you go for Intel’s Core i7 processor i.e Intel Core i7-8550U. This processor handles almost any kind of tasks easily and does not get heat a lot.
For gaming, Acer Aspire has offered GeForce MX150 graphics card with 2GB VRAM. This is not a really powerful GPU but it will do the job for any architecture students.
The laptop weighs 5.3 lbs (2.4 kg) and you might need a laptop bag If you wish to travel with this laptop on a regular basis.
At last, the battery life.
Acer claims it can last up to 15 hours but you’ll expect around ten hours with light-weight to moderate usage. Whereas running some heavy demanding programs, you’ll expect up to 6 hours that is pretty sensible I might say.
Overall, I have to mention this is often one of the best laptops for architects that provides lots of features at this worth range.
- Great value for money.
- Performance is reasonably good.
- Battery life is above average.
- Relatively heavy.
- Build quality should have been better.
4. Apple MacBook Pro
Many people may be surprised or even might not agree with the inclusion of Apple MacBook Pro on this list due to its costly price tag but if you have a high budget and wish a premium machine, then I might suggest you give it a thought.
This is a 2018 model of MacBook Pro that offers 15.4-inch retina display with True Tone technology. This display will extremely stand out from other laptops in the market and it’ll not disappoint you in any way.
When it involves storage, you’ll get 256GB SSD and 16GB DDR4 RAM for multitasking. If the 256GB isn’t enough for you, then you can go for either 512GB or 1TB which can, of course, the price you way more than this model.
In most of the Apple laptops, there won’t be any discrete graphics however that’s not the case with this one. Apple has offered a dedicated GPU i.e Radeon Pro 555X 4GB which can help you perform Revit, Sketchup or any other architecture software with none fuss.
If you are going to use this MacBook Pro outdoors like colleges or school, then you can simply use it as it weighs only four lbs (1.8 kg) and it’s fairly portable in my opinion.
One of the largest cons of this machine is it does not have standard USB ports and no SD card, reader. But the great news is you’ll have 4 Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports that have faster transfer rates. If you heavily depend on normal USB ports, then you should consider before getting this laptop.
The battery life of this laptop is pretty good I might say. You can get up to 9 hours while using it for personal and entertainment purpose and while doing any heavy tasks like running Revit, it will last for 4-5 hours with mixed usage.
- mooth performance.
- Great display.
- Lightweight and portable.
- No USB 2.0 and SD card slot.
5. ASUS ROG Strix Hero Edition
The ASUS ROG Strix Hero Edition is again a mid-tier gaming laptop by Asus that is aimed for power users at cheap pricing. If you are trying to find the best laptop for architecture rendering, then this might be your next machine.
The laptop comes with 15.6-inch 1080P TN Panel that is not nice as an IPS display but it’s not the worst either. The display has an SRGB rating of 1000th and Abobe RGB rating of 88 that is great in my opinion. One thing which could bother you about the display is, it does not have nice viewing angles whereas using the laptop outdoors.
Asus has offered 1TB 5400 rpm SSHD on this machine that has read and writes speed of 134 MBps and 119 MBps respectively. Along with that, you’ll also get 128GB PCIe SSD that contains an excellent read and write speed of 1487 MBps and 469 MBps.
Just like a couple of other laptops on this list, this one will also include 16GB DDR4 RAM that is again absolutely suitable for power or heavy users. The processor offered on this machine is Intel Core i7-8750H but the special factor concerning this processor is it does not get overheated even whereas doing heavy tasks for a longer period. Asus has done an incredible on this department and kudos to them.
When it comes to gaming, you’ll be obtaining GTX 1050 Ti with 4GB VRAM. You can play most the most recent games at medium to high settings on this GPU.
The Asus ROG Strix weighs 5.7 lbs (2.6 kg) and also the story of heavy laptops continues once more. The laptop has customized RGB backlit feature that is quite useful whereas using it nights.
Recommended: Best 2 in 1 Laptop under $600
There are plenty of ports you’ll realize on this machine. On the left-hand side, there’s an ethernet jack, mini display port, HDMI and 2 USB 3.0. On the right-hand side, there are, two USB 3.0, a USB Type-C ( Not Thunderbolt) and below that there’s a full-sized SD card slot.
The battery life on this laptop is pretty average. You can expect between 4-5 hours whereas doing moderate to heavy tasks that are not bad I might say.
- An affordable gaming laptop.
- Decent performance.
- RGB Backlit feature.
- An IPS display would have been better.
- Poor viewing angles in outdoors.
6. MSI P65
The MSI P65 is a desktop replacement laptop that is extremely powerful as well as expensive. I think this might an ideal laptop for architecture students who wish the performance of a desktop in a portable machine. This is often a very powerful laptop for architecture design.
The MSI P65 comes with 15.6-inch 1080P IPS display that is very bright and has minimal bezels at the highest and sides. The display is quite bright and has an SRGB rating of ninety-nine and Adobe RGB rating of ninety-seven (Source).
The 512GB SSD offered on this machine performs quite fast and has read and write speed of 480 MBps and 450 MBps severally (Source). MSI has offered massive 32GB DDR4 RAM on this machine which can amaze you with its multitasking ability.
The processor offered on this machine is that the same as above one i.e Intel Core i7-8750H. The Geekbench 4.2 score of this processor is 4815 on single core and 18142 on multicore.
The graphics card you’ll get on this machine is that the most powerful GPU on this list i.e GTX 1070 with 8GB GDDR5 VRAM. You can literally play any kind of games or run any kind of heavy rigorous software, it will simply run it with none issue.
Here are the gaming performances of three popular games played on this laptop (In ultra settings).
1. Doom= 119 FPS.
2. Battlefield 1= 98 FPS.
3. PubG= 73 FPS.
There is additionally a fingerprint reader within the left corner of the trackpad which can help you unlock the laptop quickly while not entering the password.
Unlike several other laptops on this list, this laptop weighs only 4.1 lbs (1.9 kg) that is fairly portable in my opinion. You’ll simply carry with yourself wherever you go.
The battery will last up to 6 hours with mixed usage i.e using it for both personal and skilled tasks. If you are using it just for light-weight tasks, it will last extra 1-2 hours which might be great I might say.
- A perfect desktop replacement laptop.
- Excellent build quality.
- Great display.
- Quite expensive.
- Not easy to upgrade storage and RAM.
7. ASUS VivoBook S
The last and final laptop on this list from Asus i.e the ASUS VivoBook S that is again worth for cash laptop under just $800.
The ASUS VivoBook S offers a 14-inch display that has nice color accuracy and viewing angles are excellent. It’s also suitable for outdoor usage. Considering its budget, the build quality of the laptop is nice I would say. It’s sturdy and does not feel low-cost for its pricing.
You’ll be obtaining 256GB M.2 SSD as storage and 8GB DDR4 memory to perform multiple applications. The processor is additionally a powerful one i.e Intel Core i7-8550U. This is often the same processor you’ll realize in the above Acer Aspire E15. This CPU can help you run any software while not troubling you at all.
This laptop additionally comes with the same GPU as Acer Aspire i.e GeForce MX150 with 2GB VRAM. This is often an entry-level graphics card which might play modern games at decent frame rates but you can’t expect too much from it as a result of it is not as powerful as GTX 1050Ti or GTX 1060.
One of the most effective things about this VivoBook S is its portability. It weighs only 3.2 lbs (1.4 kg). This is often the lightest laptop on this list. If you have been searching for a powerful yet light-weight laptop for architecture, this is often the best option for you in my opinion.
There is also a fingerprint scanner on the right side of the trackpad. The I/0 offered on this laptop is pretty smart. You’ll be obtaining 2 USB 2.0, 1 USB 3.0, a USB Type-C (not Thunderbolt), HDMI and an SD card reader.
The battery life which might be expected from this laptop is around 5-6 hours that is not bad for a gaming laptop.
- Affordable and value for money.
- Performance is amazing.
- No Thunderbolt port.
I have done quite in-depth research to find these laptops and I have to say these are the best Laptops for Architects in 2019. You’ll choose any of these laptops according to your budget and you’re good to go. If you have questions/ suggestions, drop it down in the comments section and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.