The Best Laptop for Architecture Students – 2020

Lenovo ThinkPad P53

  • Intel Core i7-9750H
  • 16GB RAM
  • NVIDIA Quadro T1000



Lenovo ThinkPad P52s

  • Intel Core i7-8550U
  • 32GB RAM
  • NVIDIA Quadro P500



Gone are the days when architectural drawing or drafting was done on papers. Now whether it be a professional architect or an architecture student all use the computer to get their tasks done.

But to render the drawings smoothly one requires the best laptop for architecture students. It makes no sense waiting for hours for a simple model to get rendered when you know that the same can be achieved on the powerful laptop in just a matter of a few minutes.

However, not just any other laptops available on the market can solve your purpose. There are hundreds of laptops that can run the desired architecture software, some fair well while some are just average.

So how to decide?

The laptop will be running the high-end computer-aided design software for that it is advisable to choose the laptop with the latest generation Intel i5 processor or higher. The architecture work requires working with graphics or designs, and for smooth rendering, we recommend a laptop with a dedicated GPU, preferentially Radeon and NVIDIA.

The software occupies a big chunk of memory, we recommend going with a minimum of 8GB memory. Now comes the storage concern, whether to choose SSD or HDD. Well, the answer is simple if you prioritize speed and performance than anything else, then SSD wins the spot. But if you also want massive storage capabilities, then mechanical HDD will solve the purpose. To enjoy the pros of both go with a hybrid drive.

Now that you know a bit about the features to look in for buying the best laptop for architecture students, straight jump over to the reviews of some of the laptops shortlisted. We have tried to compile the most accurate and unbiased reviews of the laptops so that you can make a wise choice.

Top 7 Best Laptop for Architecture Students 2020

ModelCheck Latest PriceProcessorRAMStorage
Lenovo ThinkPad P53

Intel Core i7-9750H16GB512GB SSD
HP Zbook 15V G5

Intel Core i7-8750H16GB1TB SSD
MSI WE73 8SJ-078

Intel Core i7-8750H16GB256GB SSD
Acer Predator Helios 300

Intel Core i7-8750H16GB256GB SSD
Lenovo ThinkPad P52s

Intel Core i7-8550U 32GB1TB SSD
Dell XPS 15

Intel Core i7-8750H16GB512GB SSD
Apple MacBook Pro

8th Gen Intel Core i716GB256GB SSD

In-Depth Review of Laptop for Architecture Students


Lenovo ThinkPad P53

  • Intel Core i7-9750H
  • 16GB RAM
  • NVIDIA Quadro T1000 4GB

If you've been a regular visitor of LaptopDiscovery, you might have noticed that before the ThinkPad P53, HP Zbook 15V was our #1 recommendation for architecture students. But now, with the latest updates that Lenovo has introduced, the ThinkPad P53 surely deserves this spot and can be called as the best laptop for architecture students and professionals

It comes with the latest Intel Core i7-9750H processor and a certified graphics card for architectural work. You can consider it as one of the best business laptops that you can buy; thanks to the large SSD storage, 16GB of RAM, and a full HD 15.6" display.

The best part we love about this machine is the availability of extra room for adding more RAM as per the requirement. The maximum RAM that you can add to this laptop is 32GB.

Along with all the features listed above, you get a 720P Webcam with thinkshutter for more privacy. The laptop also comes with an appreciable amount of ports for better connectivity.

The built quality of the laptop is quite rigid and it can easily run for 2-3 years. Before buying a new laptop, many people ask us how long do laptops last, we simply say it depends upon the build quality and configuration you are buying.

Since this laptop has a solid build quality and latest configuration you can easily expect this machine to work for 3 years at least. For more information regarding laptop's life span, you can visit the post given below-


HP Zbook 15V G5 15 Laptop

  • Intel i7-8750H
  • 16 GB RAM
  • 1 TB SSD

Available since 2019, this new HP Zbook is one of the best laptop for architecture students or professional architects, credit goes to its excellent specs combination which perfectly matches the criteria of an ideal workstation laptop.

For a laptop to run architectural programs, it is required to have a certified graphics card. Thanks to HP, this model comes with an NVIDIA Quadro P600 graphics card with 4GB of video memory. This GPU is officially certified by companies like Autodesk to running complex architectural programs.

Since it’s available from 2019, it comes with the 8th generation Intel i7-8750H processor. It’s a 6-core processor which is absolutely great for running all your programs.

Some people will wonder, why we shouldn’t go with the latest 9th gen processor and instead go with the 8th generation. Well, the answer to this doubt is quite simple, it’s all your budget.

For architecture students, I would recommend you to buy this laptop and in case you feel any need you can always upgrade your RAM to handle all the complexities. As far as the display is concerned, it comes with a 15.6″ Full HD touch screen display which further enhances your workflow.


MSI WE73 8SJ-078 – Best Laptop for Architecture Students

  • Intel Core i7-8750H
  • 16 GB RAM
  • 256 GB SSD

MSI is a brand that has a record of creating some powerful laptops, many of which are equally loved by professionals and architecture students. Here is another one the MSI WE73 8SJ-078 that packs in an 8th generation Intel Core i7 processor and NVIDIA Quadro Series graphics to energize any task you perform on the laptop. The processor equipped by the MSI WE73 is an H-series processor and is up to 24 percent faster than the i7-7700HQ processor of Lenovo ThinkPad P71.

With this processor, architecture students can expect some serious performance and can carry out processor-intensive tasks like a breeze. The latest 16GB DDR4 memory clocked at 2400MHz sets some serious multitasking standards. The NVIDIA Quadro P2000 is the most advanced GPU architecture ever created that delivers incredible creative experience while using professional 3D applications.

For preserving the data and other files the MSI WE73 8SJ-078 comes with the 256GB SSD. Many of you might find the storage capacity to be less to meet all the storage requirements, but you can cater to the issue either by upgrading the SSD or by purchasing an external storage disk.

To draw the 3D models or 2D models using the software, it is favorable to have a big screen so that one can work conveniently. This MSI laptop comes with a huge 17.3 inches Full HD anti-glare screen with wide viewing angles. The colors on the screen appear to be very bright and beautiful, thanks to the high color gamut with 94 percent NTSC. Also with the amazing refresh rate of 120Hz, you can experience smooth and fluidic graphics on the screen.

Even this MSI WE73 is one of the bulky laptops with large dimension and heavyweight. The chassis measures out to be 16.5 x 11.3 x 1.2 inches and weighs nearly 6 lbs, that is really heavy. Overall, it’s one of the best available laptop for architecture students, if we ignore it’s body weight.


Acer Predator Helios 300 For Architecture Students

  • Intel Core i7-8750H
  • 16 GB RAM
  • 256GB SSD

The next on the list is the Acer Predator Helios 300 laptop that is best-in-class and is manufactured for those who need to speed. Let’s first talk about the most beautiful thing about this laptop that is the 15.6″ Full HD panel with IPS technology, and 144Hz refresh rate. While the industry standard is limited to 120Hz refresh rate, the Helios 300 set the new standards with 144Hz. The higher refresh rate speeds up the frames per second to deliver ultra-smooth 2D motion. With shortened frame rendering time, every action on the screen appears to very fluidic and smooth.

The combination of 8th Generation Intel Core i7-8750H and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 is devastatingly powerful. The hexacore processor supports hyper-threading, the technology that virtually doubles the cores on the processor. This makes the processor run faster and be more effective by assigning the tasks between the various cores.

Note: Not all gaming graphics cards accomplish the same for CAD work. To run the architecture software like SolidWorks exceptionally well, the laptop must have AMD FirePro or NVIDIA Quadro card. For SolidWorks, we’ve also framed a complete list of laptops. Check it out: Top 10 Best Laptops for SolidWorks 2019

With 16GB DDR4 RAM, clocked at 2666MHz, leave a hundred screens open on your browser and concurrently work on AutoCAD as you have the best laptop for architecture students. To move hand-in-hand with the memory speed Helios 300 outfits the fastest internal storage drive available in the market. The 256GB PCIe NVMe SSD provides the data transfer rates up to 3GBps. It is fast. Insanely fast!

The PredatorSense gaming control panel provides customization including the CPU fan speed, system fan speed, and the laptop temperature. The laptop can feel a little warm near the keys, but the CoolBoost feature will serve your purpose. The laptop has bells and whistles for you including the extra ports and full sized keyboard.


Lenovo ThinkPad P52s Laptop

  • Intel Core i7-8550U
  • 32 GB RAM
  • 1 TB SSD

So Lenovo ThinkPad P52s is another impressive laptop reviewed in the post for the architecture students. The first thing that will come across your mind about the laptop will be, More Weight, as it is from the Lenovo ThinkPad series! But to your surprise, ThinkPad P52s is slimmer and lighter than ever. The laptop spreads out to be 14.4” wide and 0.8” thin with the weight around 4.3 pounds. At the core of the laptop lies an 8th generation Intel Core i7-8550U processor that strikes the perfect balance between power and thermals.

The 32GB RAM and the NVIDIA Quadro P500 graphics provides all the power needed for rendering big files and data. The great memory allows you to multitask even with hundreds of tabs open in the browser. The 1TB SSD offers 10x times faster data read and write speeds. For the architecture students, the 1TB storage is a dream comes true as it provides great storage capacity. NO heating issues have been encountered so far, not even during long hours of intense work.

The full-size backlit keyboard is excellent to type on and provides excellent feedback. The 15.6 inches screen of ThinkPad P52s combines a Full HD panel with the IPS technology. With this amazing display, you can enjoy the content in 1080p quality.

The battery life of ThinkPad P52s is mediocre, with mixed usage it can only last up to 5 hours. So you will have to carry the charger along where ever you take the laptop. The laptop holds an array of ports including the Thunderbolt 3 port, a USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C, two USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A, an HDMI port, a headphone jack, a media card slot, and a docking connector.

There is a unique feature installed to the laptop, and that is the Fingerprint sensor. You can find it at the top right side of the trackpad. Using this fingerprint scanner, you can log in to the system swiftly and securely without the need of typing the password again and again.


Dell XPS 15 for Architecture Students

  • Intel Core i7-8750H
  • 16 GB RAM
  • 512 GB M.2 PCIe SSD

Meet one of the smallest 15-inch laptops on the Earth, measuring 11-17mm thick and the weighing 4 pounds, lighter than the ASUS VivoBook Pro 17. The laptop flaunts nearly borderless display and accommodates a 15.6 inches display inside a chassis closer to the size of 14 inches, credits to the bezel measuring just 5.7mm. With the Full HD IPS display, you can see action on the screen with dazzling details. The XPS 15 with 100% Adobe RGB color covers all of the color gamuts so that you can experience the lifelike visuals with more depth. The 400 nit brightness opens the door for you to work in brightly lit surroundings.

In such a higher range laptop one could expect the 8th generation Intel Core i7-8750H processor with 9MB cache memory. The laptop also packs in the promising NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti graphics card that blazes through graphics-intensive tasks effortlessly. With the 16GB memory, clocked at 2666Mhz, you can get your content up to 1.2 times faster. While the 512GB M.2 PCIe SSD is a cherry on the cake for all the architecture students. The PCIe SSD provides high responsiveness to run the applications quickly and reduces the system booting time so that you can do more without waiting.

This XPS 15 has all in abundance what an architect or architecture student would require. To get undisrupted WiFi connection the Killer 1535 Wireless-AC prioritize network traffic assuring that the most important tasks get the priority over less urgent ones. The battery life of the laptop is worthy of appreciation, as it is HUGE. One downside to the XPS 15 is that it doesn’t hold the number pad, which gets a little disturbing sometimes. Otherwise, the laptop is good to go right out of the box.


Apple MacBook Pro

  • 8th Gen Intel Core i7
  • 16 GB RAM
  • 256 GB SSD

Cheers! If you were able to make up to the end of the list and we assure you that this laptop will also provide bang for your bucks and is also one of the best for the architecture students. The all-new Apple MacBook Pro has more power, delivers more performance and is more pro. The major highlights being the eighth-generation Intel processor, up to 32GB memory, the touch bar, and the excellent Retina display. The MacBook elevates once expectations from a laptop, as it houses all the high-performance hardware.

With the 8th generation, Intel Core i7 processor at the core all the pro-level processing jobs like rendering 3D models get done easily. For faster performance, while handling large data, the 16GB DDR4 RAM can be configured up to 32GB. Like every other 15-inch MacBook Pro, this one also features discrete Radeon Pro graphics.

The sweet spot is gained by the Apple T2 chip, the second-generation custom Mac silicon to make MacBook Pro even more guarded. The chip incorporates a Secure Enclave coprocessor that provides the grounds for secure boot and encrypted storage capabilities. The 256GB SSD fused to the motherboard is capable of delivering sequential read speed up to 3.2GBps.

In the pursuit of making the slimmest laptop, Apple has compromised on the few essentials. The MacBook Pro only comes with the Thunderbolt 3 port eliminating HDMI port, USB-A, SD card slot or Thunderbolt 2 ports. It is so inconvenient to always carry and plug-in dongles or adapters for connectivity. Also, most adapters are a step backward when it comes to data transfer speed or charging speed.

The Touch Bar which replaced the row of function keys can be very confusing at first. It keeps on changing based upon what you are performing and shows tools related to it. The position of system control (Volume, Emoji, and Brightness) on the Touch Bar keeps on changing. But this can be fixed by going into the settings.


So here we wrap up the post, believing that your hunt for the best budget laptop for architecture students came to an end. As architecture students, you must invest in a machine that has a good CPU and great memory space.

The Lenovo ThinkPad P52s is a mid-range laptop but provides a great price to specs value. That is the reason it is awarded the best value for the money laptop title.

For the ultimate performance take home the Lenovo ThinkPad P53 as it got the massive 16GB memory, latest H-series processor and powerful graphics. That makes it so obvious for Helios 300 to achieve the title of the recommended product on LaptopDiscovery.

3 thoughts on “The Best Laptop for Architecture Students – 2020”

    1. Hello Ahmed,

      Firstly, a warm welcome to LaptopDiscovery

      Whether Alienware 17 R5 is good for architects or not depends on the software that you’ll use for your projects. If you use programs like AutoCAD, etc then we would recommend Lenovo ThinkPad P52s if you have a budget of around $1500 dollars and MSI WE73 8SJ-078 if you a budget more than $2000 for your workstation. Both of them comes with Nvidia Quadro graphics which falls under the listing of the certified graphics card on the official Autodesk website. Do let us know what you think about it. Also, we’ll update this post with more laptops with Nvidia Quadro graphics very soon.

      Keep visiting and sharing LaptopDiscovery

  1. Hi,
    My name is Imran could you suggest me to buy laptop for Architecture and solid work , graphic design now I am in Saudi Arabia my budget up to 4000k SR +- 500 around $1200k

    Best Regards


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