An Architect friend recently asked my views on a laptop that he wanted to buy for his designing assignments. His query for a reliable laptop for running architecture software and applications efficiently inspired me to compile the ten best laptops for architecture students as well as professional architects. All the shortlisted laptops are capable of running ArchCAD, Revit, Vectorworks, SketchUp, V-Ray, Studio Max, and 2d or 3D modeling applications.
While shortlisting these laptops, due consideration has been given to the specifications and features of the laptops. The minimum hardware requirements to run digital drafting software include at least an Intel i5 processor, 8 GB of RAM, at least 2 Gigabytes of GPU VRAM, a full HD screen of a minimum of 15 inches’ size, and at least 512 GB of storage space. The other metric to take into account is the operating system. I have picked all the laptops with Windows operating system since it is capable of supporting a large number of application types as compared to Mac or Linux systems.
Reviews of laptops best for architecture aspirants
1. Microsoft Surface Book 3
Microsoft Surface book is one of the favorite laptops among Architects right now. This laptop is preferred, thanks to a powerful Intel i7 8th generation processor and detachable pixel sense touch screen with a high resolution of 3240×2160 pixels. The display is pepped to display the digital drafts and designs that even Apple MacBooks can’t do yet. The enhanced graphics is powered by a dedicated NVidia GTX 1660 Ti GPU.
Weight: 3.6 Pounds| OS: Windows 10 Pro | Screen Size: 15 Inch|Screen Resolution: 3240×2160|CPU: i7 processor|RAM: 32 GB |Storage: 512 GB| Battery Life: 17 hours| Price: Check Latest Price on Amazon
2. Lenovo ThinkPad P71
The ThinkPad comes with a scratch-proof matte-finish body and the full numeric keyboard makes it easy to use to feed in the dimensions of your designs. The laptop is powered by a high-end kaby lake i7 processor and 16 GB RAM which is capable of handling Revit, VectorWorks, and other architecture design applications. The high-speed 128GB SSD allows faster booting and lightning-fast file access and downloads whereas the 500 GB SATA HDD takes care of your data files. The FHD screen is powered by the latest IPS technology for better viewing angles much needed by professional architects.
Weight: 7.3 Lb | OS: Win10 Pro | Screen Size: 17.3 Inches |Screen Resolution: 1920×1080|CPU: i7 processor|RAM: 16 GB |Storage: 128GB SSD+500 GB HDD| GPU: NVidia 2GB| Price: Click Here to Check Price
3. Dell G3 Laptop
This laptop is packed with media-focused features and supports an attractive design. There is solid-state drive storage for instant access to architectural designs while the NVidia GeForce 1650Ti GPU means you can enjoy graphics-hungry applications without any lags. Moreover, the screen exhibits a resolution of 1920×1080 pixels backed by In-Plane Switching technology for enhanced sharpness and wide viewing angles.
Weight: 6.28 pounds | OS: Win10 Home | Screen Size: 15.6 Inches |Screen Resolution: 1920×1080|CPU: i7 processor| RAM: 16GB |Storage: 512GB SSD| GPU: NVidia 4GB| Price: Check Latest Price on Amazon
4. Acer Aspire 3 Model 2021
The low price and sturdy design make the Acer Aspire a great choice for both amateur and professional architects. Although the laptop is economically priced, the performance far exceeds the expectations with powerful and latest 10th generation Intel i5 processor, Intel graphics, and full HD display. The laptop is equipped with an HD camera that allows you to chat with colleagues or friends in crystal clear images.
Weight: 7.8 pounds | OS: Win10 Home | Screen Size: 17.3 Inches |Screen Resolution: 1600×900 |CPU: i7 processor| RAM: 12GB |Storage: 512 GB SSD | | Price: Check Latest Price on Amazon
5. ASUS S510UN
Asus is a respected brand that offers high-performance machines at a reasonable price tag and Vivobook is no exception. It features the latest 8th generation i7 processor in conjunction with NVIDIA GeForce MX150 GPU to handle all your architectural work smoothly. Furthermore, the laptop comes with a wide View display which lets you see sharp images even at a wide angle of 178 degrees. It has a thin profile with only 0.7 inches thickness and the thin bezel measuring 0.3 inches further enriches the viewing experience.
Weight: 3.7 pounds | OS: Win10 Home | Screen Size: 15.6 Inches |Screen Resolution: 1920×1080|CPU: i7 processor| RAM: 8GB |Storage: 512 GB SSD | GPU: NVIDIA MX150 2GB| Price: Check Here to Check Price
6. HP ZBook 15 G4 Mobile Workstation
This is a workstation model specially manufactured for professionals in designing fields like architecture and other resource-demanding software programs. The laptop is equipped with high-performing hardware that includes an Intel i7 processor, 8 GB RAM, and dedicated graphics with 4GB VRAM. The full numeric keyboard helps in fast typing that increases productivity at work. Ideal for multitasking you can create and edit blueprints without any lags or slow-downs.
Weight: 8.15 pounds | OS: Win10 Pro | Screen Size: 15.6 Inches |Screen Resolution: 1920×1080|CPU: i7 processor| RAM: 8GB |Storage: 1 TB SATA | GPU: NVIDIA Quadro 4GB| Price: Check Latest Price on Amazon
7. Lenovo 330 Ideapad
It is a new model from Lenovo that has the right ingredients required for running the programs related to architectural work. The powerful NVIDIA GeForce 940MX is definitely a plus feature that helps architects to complete their CAD designs effectively. The laptop has speed, vibrant graphics attractive metallic finish, and five hours of battery backup. You can enjoy the mesmerizing sound, thanks to Dolby audio dual audio speakers. You can work for a longer duration since it has an anti-glare screen to protect your eyes from screen radiations.
Weight: 6.16 pounds | OS: Win10 Home | Screen Size: 17.3 Inches |Screen Resolution: 1920×1080|CPU: i7 processor| RAM: 12 GB |Storage: 1TB + 16 GB Optane Memory | GPU: NVIDIA GTX 1050 2GB| Price: Check Latest Price
8. MSI WS65
If you are looking for a lightweight yet high-performing laptop, this laptop model from MSI needs a mention in this list of best laptops for architects. The powerful hardware configuration and robust design of this laptop are perfect for architects who want durability and performance at the same time. MSI workstation is wrapped with 9th gen. Intel i7 processor, 32 GB RAM, and 512 GB SSD. It has a user-friendly full-size keyboard with a numeric pad and moreover, the keyboard comes with backlit keys to let you work in dimly lit areas.
Weight: 7.6 pounds | OS: Win10 Pro | Screen Size: 15.6 Inches |Screen Resolution: 1920×1080|CPU: i7 processor| GPU: NVIDIA Quadro RTX 3000(6GB) | RAM: 32GB |Storage: 512 GB SSD | Price: Check Latest Price
9. Lenovo Y700 17.3″
Both gamers and architects will love the powerful configuration of this beast machine. Designed for gaming and designing, Lenovo Ideapad Y700 is equipped with a powerful Intel i7 processor and a whopping 16 GB RAM. A large 17.3 Full HD Inches screen offers a larger-than-life viewing experience, much needed for analyzing blueprints and digital drafts. It has a hybrid storage space comprising of 1TB SATA hard drive and 512 GB Solid State Drive for quick booting. The state-of-the-art speakers let you enjoy crystal clear music while you work on your drafts.
Weight: 7.72 pounds | OS: Win10 Home | Screen Size: 17.3 Inches |Screen Resolution: 1920×1080|CPU: i7 processor| RAM: 16 GB |Storage: 1TB SATA+ 512 GB SSD | GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GT960M 4GB | Price: Check Latest Price on Amazon
10. Dell Inspiron 5502
This one is the best option for architecture students looking for a budget laptop equipped with high-end specifications. The graphics controller in the form of Intel Iris Xe will not let you feel sluggish performance even when running heavy CAD programs. All the hardware including CPU, RAM, and Hard-drive available in this laptop are generally found on high-priced flagship models. Dell Inspiron 5502 laptop comes in platinum silver color. The laptop comes pre-installed with Windows 10 Home OS.
Weight: 5.74 pounds | OS: Win10 Home | Screen Size: 15.6 Inches |Screen Resolution: 1920×1080|CPU: i7 processor| RAM: 8 GB |Storage: 256 SSD | Price: Check Latest Price on Amazon
The Best laptops for Architects to Unleash Creativity
All the laptops that have earned a place on this list are powered to run all the programs required in architecture engineering. So whether you are a drafting professional or an architect, you will find one perfect laptop that meets the hardware specifications and suits your budget. I hope the complications associated with buying the best laptop for your architectural needs will be satisfied by picking any one product from the above list.
I would be glad to answer any technical question that’s been bothering you about the best laptop for your needs. Feel free to mention it in the comments section below.