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Laptops for engineering students?

randommegsrandommegs Posts: 5Registered User New Member
edited July 2012 in Engineering Majors
Hi, I'm a High School Senior heading to study Mechanical Engineering at Bama next year. My parents are planning on giving me a laptop as my high school graduation present, but I wanted to do some research on what the best laptop would be for an engineering student.
I don't really want to split my hard-drive, so I'm really not leaning towards the Macs. But otherwise I'm really not sure what to get, opinions are so polarized on this issue. I do know I'd like something easily portable though.
So, objective opinions please?
Post edited by randommegs on

Replies to: Laptops for engineering students?

  • HPuck35HPuck35 Posts: 1,344Registered User Senior Member
    You should look on the Bama web site to see if they offer any recommendations.

    I would recommend a Windows based PC rather than a Mac for engineering. I have found several programs that I use regularly that run in a windows environment only. I know that Macs will run windows software but it seems crazy to buy a Mac (and spend the extra $$) to run windows software.

    I gave my son a laptop as a HS grad gift (he's now graduated from college and working). It was a nightmare. Video stopped working and the hard drive crashed. Two separate incidents and both time the customer service was horrible. The manufacturer was rated well from the reviews I found (but they were older) at the time I bought it, but they had moved overseas and it went way down hill. The moral to my story is to find the latest data on service for whatever brand you choose. I didn't and paid for it. You may want to check with the in-store service department (unofficially) and ask which they have the fewest repairs on.

    I bought a Toshiba laptop for myself about a year ago. It has an i5 CPU chip and a pretty good size hard drive. It got a smaller screen, a 14 (or so) inch one, for ease of portability. So far, so good.
  • crazedcrazed Posts: 1,970Registered User Senior Member
    Son is engineering major and a computerphile. Son has a Dell.

    Other son had a Dell (both kids got it from Grandma as a HS graduation gift). Now he has a Mac which he adores.

    FYI- Both have broken.. Dells and the Mac. Get insurance plans/warranty with both. Grandma purchased the plan that someone would come to their residence to fix the laptops if they weren't able to do it on the phone, etc.. (Yes, they have come over!)
  • MagnetronMagnetron Posts: 1,707Registered User Senior Member
    Some like to have the touchscreen laptops. My wife has 2 and they are expensive and glitchy.

    I bought my son an Asus 13.3" laptop with an I5 and 4G ram. Portable and long battery life, no problems yet in 6 months.
  • LakemomLakemom Posts: 2,841Registered User Senior Member
    We are a MAC family. 3 laptops. My son has has the same MAC for 4 years, without problems. Replaced the hard drive for a faster one otherwise it still works.

    He will start college in the fall and I believe engineering schools like PCs. 2 of the schools he applied to supply and support them: RPI and Stevens so you might check what they use.
  • ElrodElrod Posts: 123Registered User Junior Member
    Thinkpad Edge is a good basic laptop and seems to hold up well.
  • goldandblue92goldandblue92 Posts: 556Registered User Member
    I'm a mechanical engineering major too. I have a lenovo thinkpad w520, but any thinkpad would be great for you.
  • UTPG1234UTPG1234 Posts: 579Registered User Member
    My school requires all freshmen get the same laptop. When I transferred in it was a w510 I think this year its a w520. There are other engineering schools out there that require all freshmen to get the same laptop. I would look at what they are getting and get something similar, and as recommended above get something with windows 32 bit for your main pc as certain software will only run on this platform.
  • neowaveneowave Posts: 1Registered User New Member
    Get one that has at least an i5 or an i7 processor. You laptop should at least be able to run CAD or catia smoothly. One with more than 5GB of hard-disk is recommended - where will you keep those bulk designs you made on CAD?

    Top 5 Laptops For Engineers and Engineering Students
  • blueiguanablueiguana Posts: 7,496Registered User Senior Member
    This thread is 6mos old. My guess is the OP has purchased the laptop and is on their way to bama in a few weeks.
  • wwlinkwwlink Posts: 995Registered User Member
    Hehe :) Grats to the OP :D

    I'll echo that it depends where you go; At my school it really doesn't matter what you use.
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