Best Laptop for Electrical Engineering Students – 2020 Guide

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This post reflects my opinions and should only be one source that you use when looking for the best option for you.

Electrical engineering is a tough field to study. Luckily, you don’t need the most powerful laptop around to help you through it. What you need is a decent laptop that will last you a long time, that is powerful enough to power the software that you need to run, and to be easy enough to carry around. In this guide we will explore what we think are the best laptops for electrical engineering students.

As part of making this, we have made some assumptions in order to guide our analysis and decision process. We hypothesise that the best laptop for electrical engineering students possess the following qualities.

  1. Mid-level pricing
  2. Good performance for mid-level budget
  3. 15 Inch full HD screen
  4. Can be used for playing games

If these are things you are looking for in a laptop then we hope you will find this guide helpful.

In addition to laptops that meet the above assumptions, we will also include one really good budget laptop, and one high end option. That way you have something to look into regardless of your particular needs.

Lets get into the laptops that we think are best for EE students.

Best Laptops for Electrical Engineering Students

Based on our research, our pick as the best laptop for electrical engineering students is the MSI GF65.

1. Best Overall – MSI GF65

When factoring in price and what an electrical engineering student needs a laptop for, we think that the MSI GF65 is one of the best options. 

Image of MSI GF65

Who is this laptop for

This laptop is for those who want a laptop that strikes a good deal between performance and price. You want something that is made by a reputable manufacturer with a lot of experience in making high end laptops, and you want the laptop to look decent. If these are statements that resonate with you then you should check out this option.

Why do we like this laptop

We like the MSI GF65 because it is a mid-level gaming laptop that strikes a good balance between specs and price. As an electrical engineering student you will not be doing the most intensive computer tasks for the most part, so you don’t need a really high end laptop. The GF65 though does have really good parts, including an RTX 2060 which will be quite handy if you do like to play video games once in a while.

We also like that it has a better than average screen for gaming, something which a lot of electrical engineering students like to do in their spare time. 

What do we not like about this laptop

One thing that we don’t like about the laptop is that it has the 9th gen CPU. This is by no means a bad CPU. It has been a staple in high end gaming laptops for a long time, but the 10th gen is becoming increasingly common, so we would like to have seen the new generation in this one too. That being said, this is one of the reasons why the price of this laptop is what it is.

How does this laptop meet our assumptions

As far as pricing goes this laptop hits the mark. It is a mid-level priced laptop. There are a couple of configuration options so you can change the price a little, but I believe we have picked the best option.

Performance wise this laptop is good. The CPU has been a staple in high end gaming laptops so it still performs really well even though the 10th gens are rolling out. The GPU is also really good, it is one of the better laptop GPUs you will find. There is 8 GB of RAM which you can upgrade yourself if you want more. RAM is easily upgraded so it is not such a big selling point if the laptop happens to have more. 

The screen on this laptop is better than average. It is a 120Hz option that is much better than a regular 60Hz monitor. The specs can easily power the high refresh rate. It is also a 1920×1080 screen which is the most common because it delivers the best performance. Higher resolution screens need really good parts in order to power them when playing video games so they are often not worth it for that purpose.

This laptop can definitely be used for playing video games. The CPU combined with the GPU can enable you to play on pretty decent settings. The only thing you might want to consider is to upgrade to at least 16 GB of RAM for better performance. 

See the MSI GF65 on Amazon.

2. Best Budget – Acer Aspire 5

The Acer Aspire is a great laptop for those who are looking for more of a budget laptop. The configuration that we have picked is not the cheapest, but that is to still meet some of the criteria that we defined under our assumptions.

Image of Acer Aspire 5

Who is this laptop for

This laptop is for those who are looking for a good laptop on a budget. There are many configuration options that you can select between on the product page, but we believe this option gives you a really good balance between price and specs. 

Why do we like this laptop

As stated before, the best laptop for an electrical engineering student does not need to be the most powerful option around. That being said, you can still get quite a bit of power out of a more budget oriented option. We really like this laptop for electrical engineering students because it offers pretty much what you need. Good enough specs to do what you need for your studies, and a little more so that you can even use it to play video games if you are into that.

What do we not like about this laptop

The Acer Aspire is a pretty well rounded laptop with a lot of configuration options. The model that we picked in order to bring down the price has an i5 instead of an i7 CPU. Other than that this is not too much to complain about.

How does this laptop meet our assumptions

This laptop is actually a bit below what I would call mid-level pricing. Because of that it does better in terms of price, but the price also dictates what specs you get most often.

As far as the specs you get for this price it is very good. Even though it is an i5 CPU, it is a newer 10th generation one. There are four cores which should be good enough for an electrical engineering student, as it provides for easy multitasking and  runs quite well.

There is a nice 15 inch full HD screen as well.

As far as playing games it is not the most powerful, but the model we picked has the GeForce MX350 GPU which makes it capable of playing games, just not on the highest settings for the most part. 

Overall the Acer aspire is a great laptop. You should check out the other features it has to offer.

See the Acer Aspire 5 on Amazon.

3. Best Runner Up – Dell Inspiron

The Dell Inspiron is our pick as the best runner up. It is a great laptop from a good manufacturer.

Image of Dell Inspiron 5593

Who is this laptop for

This laptop is also for those who want something that fits more into the budget category. It is on the upper spectrum of the budget price range, if not starting to get into medium pricing. Despite that, you get a little better parts than what you get in the Acer Aspire. So overall this laptop is for those who want just a little more than what the Aspire can offer and don’t want to spend a lot more money.

Why do we like this laptop

We really like this laptop for the new generation Intel Core i7 that it comes with. The Inspiron line has been around for a long run and is a staple in the Dell lineup. The laptop looks really nice and has a lot to offer. We think this is a really good option for any electrical engineering student. 

What do we not like about this laptop

The GPU in this laptop is not as good as we would like it to be. Considering the price though this is not very surprising, the fact that it has one is a nice feature though. The only downside about this GPU is that it is not as good as other options for gaming, but for regular students this poses no problem at all. It is much more important to have a good CPU in most cases.

How does this laptop meet our assumptions

In terms of price this is pretty good. I consider mid-level to be around a thousand dollars plus or minus a few hundred, so this is towards the lower end of the spectrum. 

Performance and spec wise the laptop offers a lot. There is a four core Intel i7, 10th generation, which should be more than enough for most electrical engineering students. It has a 512 GB SSD which is really good and 8 GB of RAM. the 8 GB of RAM is pretty standard, but it is not uncommon for laptops to only have 256 GB of storage in this price range. The GPU is not the best, but the fact that it has one is good.

The screen is a full HD 15 inch which is what we would be looking for. 15 inches is the best combination of portability and productivity. 

For playing video games, the CPU will carry it some of the way, and the GPU will help a little. It is not a gaming laptop so don’t expect it to run games on the highest setting, but you should still be able to play most things fairly comfortably. 

See the Dell Inspiron on Amazon.

4. Most powerful option – MSI GS66

One of our favorite laptops is the MSI GS66 Stealth. It is incredibly powerful and much more than what any EE student would ever need. Despite that, we have included it for those who want the best of the best. It did not make the top of the list simply because it is not what most people would be looking for in terms of price range.

Image of MSI GS66 Stealth 10SFS-032

Who is this laptop for

This laptop is for those who want one of the best laptops out there. This laptop offers some of the best parts in any laptop. There are quite a few configurations, and we picked the model that does not have the best GPU, simply because the RTX 2070 is more than good enough for an EE student who wants to play video games or do any other resource intensive task. We did this to bring down the price a little, you can still check out the option with the RTX 2080 if you are interested.

Why do we like this laptop

We really like this laptop because of the supreme specs that it offers. It has an Intel Core i9 with 8 cores. This is one of the best CPUs in a laptop right now, and will be able to handle pretty much anything that you can throw at it. The laptop also looks really nice. The only thing that gives away that it is a gaming laptop is the logo on the back of the lid, something which is common even among the most subtle gaming laptops. There is a whopping 32 GB of RAM, which you can still upgrade if you ever wanted more. There are a lot of other really nice things about this laptop that you can see listed on the product page.

What do we not like about this laptop

Great specs come at a price. The one thing we don’t like is that it is a bit pricey, but in terms of what you get for your money it is a great deal. You will have a hard time finding a laptop that offers you more for your money. 

How does this laptop meet our assumptions

For price this laptop does not meet what we expect is the best option for most EE students, but we stated at the beginning that we would include a high end option for those who are interested in that.

The second assumption was that the best laptop for electrical engineering students will have good performance for the mid-level price. As this laptop is not a mid-level priced option it does not really apply. What I can say though is that the laptop offers really good specs for the money. You can find options with the same GPU, but usually not with the same CPU. The RAM you could upgrade yourself to match this, and the same you could do with the SSD.

The screen on this laptop is amazing. It is a full HD option, with a 300Hz refresh rate. 300Hz on a laptop is really great. You don’t want more than full HD, because most can’t really tell the difference once you go higher, and the power needed to draw each image is not worth it after that point. 

The MSI GS66 is the best laptop in this list, just not the best option for most EE students because of the price. 

See the MSI GS66 on Amazon.

Conclusion

We hope you found the options provided here to be helpful. We have given you what we think is the best laptop for an electrical engineering student, and at the very least it should be a great starting point for your research so that you have something to compare your options against.