Best Laptops for Architecture Students 2020 (Top 7)

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 laptops 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 laptops 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 laptop so that you can make a wise choice.

Top 7 Best Laptops for Architecture Students 2020

ModelCheck Latest PriceProcessorRAMStorage
Lenovo ThinkPad P71

Intel Core i7-7700HQ 8GB512GB SSD + 1TB HDD
MSI WE73 8SJ-078

Intel Core i7-8750H16GB256GB SSD
Dell G5587

Intel Core i7-8750H16GB128GB SSD + 1TB HDD
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 M.2 PCIe SSD
Apple MacBook Pro

8th Gen Intel Core i716GB256GB SSD

Note: At LaptopDiscovery, we intend to make the buying process of our visitors as simple as possible, and therefore we offer various awards to the laptop after researching and testing them. Below you’ll find a recommended laptop and a laptop that offers the best value for money. If you want to jump to our awarded laptop directly, then you can click the button below.

Recommended Laptop   Best Value for Money

In-Depth Review of Laptops for Architecture Students

1. Lenovo ThinkPad P71

Quick Overview
Processor: Intel Core i7-7700HQ | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 512GB SSD + 1TB HDD | Display: 17.3″ Full HD IPS | Graphics: NVIDIA Quadro M620 | Weight: 7.3 lbs| Battery Life: up to 8 hours

Lenovo is back with a premium Lenovo ThinkPad P71 laptop that provides bang for your bucks with an attractive design and appealing features. This laptop is an excellent mix of GPU and CPU, along with a good battery life. The 7th generation Intel Core i7-7700HQ processor provides the much-needed power for the architecture work. The processor is proven to be even faster than the 6th generation of the Intel Core i7 processor as seen on UserBenchmark.

The 8GB RAM is enough to carry out the day-to-day work without any lagging issues. Other variants of the same model are available which offer 16GB, 32GB, and even 64GB memory. For the faster rendering of the designs in the computer-aided drafting software, the Lenovo ThinkPad P71 comes with 512GB SSD. Though the SSD lack in terms of storage space, it covers up in speed, energy efficiency, and durability while the 1TB HDD meets the storage needs.

The NVIDIA Quadro M620 Graphics with 2GB discrete memory houses on the motherboard that lets you enjoy the action in Full HD. The laptop holds a massive 17.3 inches Full HD display featured with the matte IPS panel. You will be surprised to know that this workstation machine can manage to serve you with 8 hours of battery life.

The ThinkPad P71 comes with the full-sized keyboard with the backlight. Each key is illuminated brightly so that you do not make any wrong key impression while working in low light ambiance. Additionally, the laptop comes with the Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC (2×2) 8265 and Bluetooth 4.1 for a seamless wireless connection.

As far as the portability factor is concerned, let us clear that the ThinkPad P71 is a bulky laptop and is not portable. With the weight around 7.3 lbs, you cannot expect to carry it around effortlessly to places inside a bag.


2. MSI WE73 8SJ-078 – Recommended Laptop

Quick Overview
Processor: Intel Core i7-8750H | RAM: 16GB | Storage: 256GB SSD | Display: 17.3″ FHD | Graphics: NVIDIA Quadro P2000 | Weight: 5.95 lbs| Battery Life: up to 6 hours

MSI is a brand that has a record of creating some powerful laptop models, many of which are equally loved by professionals and casual users. 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 mentioned above.

With this processor, architects 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 a bulky laptop 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.


3. Dell G5587 Laptop

Quick Overview
Processor: Intel Core i7-8750H | RAM: 16GB | Storage: 128GB SSD + 1TB HDD | Display: 15.6″ FHD | Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti | Weight: 6.28lbs | Battery Life: up to 5 hours

Nothing can stop you with the Dell G5587-7866BLK-PUS as it provides you with more significant power, minimal loading time, firepower processor, and superior connection. While working on an architectural drawing, the graphics come in to use, so it is better to invest in it. The laptop packs in an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti graphics card that delivers brilliant performance while working with 3D models.

Pro Tip: Graphics cards are responsible for displaying the 2D and 3D models on the screen. The 3D models need more than any basic GPU, but if you will be only working on the 2D models, then you better save money on the GPU and invest that money in a faster processor, SSD or more memory.

The hexacore Intel Core i7-8750H processor is ready to take up any tasks thrown to it. The dual-drive 128GB SSD + 1TB HDD runs 4x times faster than the conventional ones. With the SSD installed to the system, you can expect faster loading of apps, stretched battery life, and improved shock resistance.

Coming on the display, Dell G5587 wraps a 15.6″ screen with the 1080p display resolution. The display is not what we expected, though being Full HD the colors are not satisfying. The screen feels a bit warm and yellowish at all times as if the night mode is permanently switched on. But it is good to hear that Dell has paid attention to the battery life of the laptop. The battery increase by 25 percent in flat 15 minutes so that you stay super-powered always.

At 0.98 inches thickness G5587 comes under the umbrella of a portable laptop but at the same time weighs way too much (around 6.28 pounds) to be carried around to places. For seamless connectivity, take advantage of the USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C port that supports data transfer speed up to 40GBps.


4. Acer Predator Helios 300 For Architecture

Quick Overview
Processor: Intel Core i7-8750H | RAM: 16GB | Storage: 256GB SSD | Display: 5.6″ Full HD IPS | Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 | Weight: 5.51 lbs | Battery Life: up to 7 hours

The next on the list is the Acer Predator Helios 300 the laptop 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.


5. Lenovo ThinkPad P52s Laptop for Architect

Quick Overview
Processor: Intel Core i7-8550U | RAM: 32GB | Storage: 1TB SSD | Display: 15.6″ FHD | Graphics: NVIDIA Quadro P500 | Weight: 4.3 lbs| Battery Life: up to 6 hours

So Lenovo ThinkPad P52s is another impressive laptop reviewed in the post. 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.


6. Dell XPS 15 for Architecture Students

Quick Overview
Processor: Intel Core i7-8750H | RAM: 16GB | Storage: 512GB M.2 PCIe SSD | Display: 15.6″ Full HD IPS | Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti | Weight: 4.41 lbs | Battery Life: up to 9 hours

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 an 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. 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 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.


7. Apple MacBook Pro

Quick Overview
Processor: 8th Gen Intel Core i7 | RAM: 16GB DDR4 | Storage: 256GB SSD | Display: 15.6: Retina display| Graphics: Radeon Pro graphics | Weight: 4.02 lbs | Battery Life: Up to 10 hours

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. 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 laptop for architecture students or experts came to an end. For architecture purposes, you must invest in a machine that has a good CPU and great memory space. The Dell G5587 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 product title.

For the ultimate performance take home the Acer predator Helios 300 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 “Best Laptops for Architecture Students 2020 (Top 7)”

    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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