Laptop for an ME undergraduate/graduate student

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  • #1
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What are some of the best laptops for mechanical engineering students that are capable of running all the programs for engineering? Keep affordability in mind if possible. :smile:
 
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  • #3
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What is your budget?
1000 give or take a couple hundred, I was considering a 2 in 1 but not sure if they have what is required.
 
  • #4
Dr Transport
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what do you need to run? CAD is a memory hog, and so is CFD, but Matlab can be run on a very inexpensive machine. My interns ran CATIA 3-Dx all summner on a reasonably inexpensive laptop. I have a work-station type laptop which runs everything and was about triple your budget.
 
  • #5
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what do you need to run? CAD is a memory hog, and so is CFD, but Matlab can be run on a very inexpensive machine. My interns ran CATIA 3-Dx all summner on a reasonably inexpensive laptop. I have a work-station type laptop which runs everything and was about triple your budget.
I am looking to run CAD and Matlab for now. What laptops do your interns use?
 
  • #6
Vanadium 50
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Why in heaven would you want to run CAD on a laptop?
 
  • #7
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Why in heaven would you want to run CAD on a laptop?
What do you suggest?
 
  • #8
Vanadium 50
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A big screen. You want a lot of information on a screen to do CAD.
Have you ever done CAD? On a laptop?
 
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  • #9
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A big screen. You want a lot of information on a screen to do CAD.
Have you ever done CAD? On a laptop?
No I've never done CAD. As I am a student, that's why I'm asking questions here thanks!!
 
  • #10
Vanadium 50
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You do not want to be drawing on a tiny little screen.

Givem that, I would not buy a computer now, since you have no experience with what you will be running. Wait a bit. Computers will be faster and cheaper then anyway.
 
  • #11
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You do not want to be drawing on a tiny little screen.

Givem that, I would not buy a computer now, since you have no experience with what you will be running. Wait a bit. Computers will be faster and cheaper then anyway.
Wait until when? I'm taking an intro into CAD this semester and because of covid I am working at home.
 
  • #12
Vanadium 50
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Do whatever you want.

I find it difficult to impossible to use CAD on a laptop. But do whatever you want.
 
  • #13
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Do whatever you want.

I find it difficult to impossible to use CAD on a laptop. But do whatever you want.
That's brilliant. Is being pretentious and not helpful a prerequisite for being an advisor on this site or is that just a coincidence?
 
  • #14
Baluncore
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What is your budget?
1000 give or take a couple hundred, ...
The first thing to learn about engineering is that numbers are meaningless without units.
 
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The first thing to learn about engineering is that numbers are meaningless without units.
cool.
 
  • #16
Baluncore
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cool.
1100 yen will not buy much of a computer, or did you mean baht, rupee or yuan.
 
  • #17
berkeman
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What are some of the best laptops for mechanical engineering students that are capable of running all the programs for engineering? Keep affordability in mind if possible. :smile:
You do not want to be drawing on a tiny little screen.
I find it difficult to impossible to use CAD on a laptop. But do whatever you want.
I agree with @Vanadium 50 -- you need to include the cost of a very large monitor in your plans (but luckily for you they are not that expensive anymore).
That's brilliant. Is being pretentious and not helpful a prerequisite for being an advisor on this site or is that just a coincidence?
That's uncalled for, IMO. You need a big screen for CAD. You will be completely ineffective trying to run CAD packages on even a large laptop screen (I'm using a large HP laptop right now, and there is no way I could use it for schematic capture, PCB Layout, FEA, etc.).

Please reset your attitude. Thank you.
 
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  • #19
harborsparrow
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If you're up for a little tinkering and not in a breakneck hurry, you can buy a Dell Latitude 3470 on eBay used for $200 to $300 and upgrade its RAM to 16Gb (crucial.com) and also order a 1Tb SSD from crucial.com and swap it in for the old hard drive. I just did this to my older laptop, and it's like new again. That would all cost $500, maybe $600. You'd also need to get a fan platform to set it on, since it's older--you want to keep it cool. Then, you'd have money to buy an external monitor--two screens double my productivity. Most laptops from 4 years ago I wouldn't bother to refurbish, but the 3470 is really nice. I've found RAM to be more important that CPU in running applications. Admittedly, I have not run CAD on this, but I think it would work.
 
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  • #20
Tom.G
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On the external monitor subject. Not only size, but resolution is also quite important. No point in a 27in. screen with 1280x1024 resolution unless you are sitting across the room.

ALthough I haven't done any CAD is several years, I've found just over 100dpi (dots-per-inch) to be just acceptable. My current monitor for mostly text and some graphics, is 23inch at 104dpi, that's 2048x1152 pixels. Sitting with my eye socket 24 inches away, I can scan the screen rather easily with very little head movement, of course looking at details requires head twisting.

I'm likely several decades older than you are, so your eyes may be able to take advantage of a greater dpi... if you can find and afford them! Also make sure the computer can handle the higher resolution.

Remember that your visual system is a parallel input channel, you don't want to be constantly scrolling trying to get 'the big picture' of your project.

Cheers,
Tom
 
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