Hello all. My daughter is going to start as a freshman in a BS Mechanical Engineering program. I want to buy her a PC that will last her through her 4 years of school. My initial thoughts were some of the light, but relatively powerful new offerings (Surface and other thin designs), but I started thinking that in her later years she may need to run student versions of Solidworks, MatLab, etc., and these lighter units (though relatively powerful) are not going to cut it. I checked out the Solidworks Systems requirements section, and the lowest end computer that is compatible is something like a Lenovo w550s. I am using Solidworks as a kind of reference. If you can run Solidworks, you can run basic FEM, etc. On the other hand there are computer labs, and she will live at home and I could plan to replace our older home computer with a more powerful desktop that she could put higher horsepower software on (but of course she loses the utility of having the software in labs, for on-site projects, etc.). Just for reference, I am an engineer, so I have some understanding of engineering software and hardware requirements. My general thoughts are that she may need to run some high end software, but likely will not be pushing it to extremes (i.e., large non-linear FEM models with contact, etc.) as an undergraduate student, so a more minimal, but capable laptop should work. If she really does not need to have that software, then a lighter general purpose laptop is fine, but even if it is not really needed, it may be beneficial to have it handy (i.e., crowded computer labs, late hours, on the spot project work, etc.). Any thoughts or experiences with this? I appreciate any comments. Thanks!