The 8 Best Laptops for AutoCAD - 2020 Review

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IN THIS POST

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1. Best Overall: Acer Aspire 5 Slim

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2. Runner-Up: ASUS Vivobook FHD

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3. Best Budget: Acer Aspire 5 (AMD)

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4. Best Performance: HP Envy

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5. Lenovo ThinkPad P52s

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6. HP HD Touchscreen

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7. Dell Inspiron 15 Touchscreen

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8. Most Portable: MacBook Air

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5 Things to Look for in a Laptop for AutoCAD

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Choosing the best AutoCAD Laptop for you

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Most basic laptops simply don’t cut the mustard when it comes to running state-of-the-art computer-animated design (CAD) software such as AutoCAD.

 

That’s why businesspersons and students alike who work within or study engineering, architecture, and other industries that center around design have a great need for the best laptops for AutoCAD.

 

The Acre Aspire 5 Slim with Intel Core is our top pick because it has all of the specs needed to be an AutoCAD workhouse. This impressive ACER comes with a 10th Gen Intel Core processor, Turbo Boost technology, plenty of RAM, and enough memory to work on and save a plethora of CAD-type files. In addition, it has an extremely fair price. 

 

In comparison to some of the other laptops for AutoCad that we picked for this list the Aspire 5 Slim with Intel Core stacks up with just about any machine with a cost of under one thousand dollars.

 

Drawbacks with the laptop are pretty slim. However, it could include some Hard Disk space in addition to the SSD memory. It could also run Win Pro 10 rather than the standard version of Windows 10.

 

Key Features
  • 10th Gen Intel Core i5-10210U with Turbo Boost Technology up to 4 2GHz
  • Intel UHD Graphics Card
  • 15.6″ Full HD (1920 x 1080) widescreen LED-backlit IPS
Specifications
  • Screen Size: 15.6-inch
  • RAM: 8GB DDR4
  • Battery Life: 9.5 hours
  • Operating System: Windows 10 Home
  • Storage: 256GB PCIe NVMe SSD
  • Weight: 5.74lbs
Pros
  • 10th Gen Intel Core processor
  • Turbo boost technology built-in for smoother operations
  • Weighs under 4 pounds
  • Large 15.6-inch screen
Cons
  • Could include more Hard Disk space
  • Intel Core i5 could be replaced with i6 or i7
Our runner-up pick for the best laptop for AutoCAD is the new 2020 ASUS VivoBook FHD. It comes with all of the bells and whistles necessary for working on design-related projects including a superfast processor, a powerful integrated graphics chipset, half a TB of SSD memory, and a whopping 20GB of RAM.

 

The main reason the new VivoBook FHD ended up as runner-up instead of our top pick is its price. The machine costs approximately one-third more cash than our top pick, the ACER Aspire 5 Slim with Intel Core.

 

There are very few downsides to this laptop in regards to its usefulness for AutoCAD. One small drawback is that some professionals may prefer Win 10 PRO.

Key Features
  • AMD Ryzen 7 Processor Quad-Core with 8 threads
  • Radeon RX Vega 10: Integrated graphics chipset
  • 15.6″ Full HD energy-efficient LED backlight
Specifications
  • Screen Size: 15.6-inch
  • RAM: 20GB upgraded by CUE
  • Battery Life: 9 hours
  • Operating System: Windows 10
  • Storage: 512GB SSD
  • Weight: 4.11lbs
Pros
  • Massive amount of RAM
  • Powerful AMD Ryzen 7 Quad-Core processor with 8 threads
  • Extremely thin but extra sturdy design
  • Weighs under 4 pounds
Cons
  • Geared more towards professions than students
  • Win 10 Pro may be a more suitable OS

For the price, there is no better laptop for AutoCAD featured on our list. That said, the machine is almost identical to our overall top pick (which is a slightly more beefed-up version of the Aspire 5 Slim). If you’re looking for a machine with just over the bare minimum for running CAD software smoothly, this laptop is both affordable and will get the job done.

 

The price-point in comparison to its more than capable specs is the primary reasoning behind our choice for the Aspire 5 Slim with AMD Core as the best budget pick. A strong AMD CPU, adequate RAM, and gaming-worthy Radeon Vega 3 graphics make it a more than a suitable choice for an AutoCAD laptop.

 

The processor, as smooth and efficient as it is, however, could well be upgraded to a Quad-Core for just a bit more power. Likewise, the RAM could also use some beefing up.

Key Features
  • AMD Ryzen 3 3200U Dual-Core Processor
  • AMD Radeon Vega 3 Mobile Graphics
  • 15.6” Full HD (1920 x 1080) Widescreen LED-backlit IPS Display
Specifications
  • Screen Size: 15.6-inch
  • RAM: 4GB DDR4
  • Battery Life: 7.5 hours
  • Operating System: Windows 10
  • Storage: 128GB PCIe NVMe SSD
  • Weight: 3.97lbs
Pros
  • Fast AMD 3 Dual-Core Processor
  • Powerful AMD Radeon Vega 3 Mobile Graphics
  • Plenty of USB ports, HDMI port, and HDCP support
  • Long-lasting battery life
Cons
  • 4GB of RAM could be upgraded to 8GB
  • Hard Disk memory could be a bit higher

This beast of a computer is a true powerhouse among the best laptops for AutoCAD. The HP Envy 17t-cg000 Home and Business is hands-down one of the greatest machines currently available for those who work with CAD software. Especially for those active in the design workforce, there are few better options.

 

The HP Envy offers everything a CAD pro or student could want or wish for. It not only has one of the largest Hard Disk and SSD storages on the market, in addition to a truly powerful 10th Gen processor, but it also comes with perhaps the biggest 4K UHD screens.

 

As far as downsides go, the high cost of this laptop is the only significant negative factor. That said, for professionals there are few computers worth such an investment.

Key Features
  • 10th Gen Intel Core i7-1065G7 1.30GHz Processor
  • NVIDIA MX330 4GB GDDR5 Graphics Card
  • 17.3″ 4K UHD (3840×2160) Display
Specifications
  • Screen Size: 17.3-inch
  • RAM: 16GB DDR4 SODIMM RAM
  • Battery Life: 10 hours
  • Operating System: Windows 10 Pro-64
  • Storage: 1TB PCIe NVMe SSD + 1TB HDD
  • Weight: 6.02lbs
Pros
  • Superfast 10th Gen Intel Core i7 Quad-Core processor with 8MB Smart Cache
  • High-end 16GB DDR4 RAM
  • One of the largest 4K UHD displays available
  • Over 2TB or storage with Hard Disk and SSD combined
  • 1-year warranty from the manufacturer
Cons
  • Rather expensive compared to other suitable laptops for AutoCAD (but worth every penny)
  • Possibly more powerful than necessary (for students)

The Lenovo ThinkPad P52s Mobile Workstation Ultrabook is our second pick as best performance laptop for AutoCAD only by a few specs being lower than our first pick. That said, this powerful workstation is nearly as excellent an option for CAD students and workers in the design industry as the HP Envy.

 

Its GPU is more powerful than every other option on our list, aside from the HP Envy. Likewise, it’s memory (half a TB of SSD) and RAM (16GB DDR4) is equal or greater than most of our list-options as well. Even more, the computer runs Win 10 PRO and has a strong Quad-Core processor which is absolutely ideal for CAD software such as AutoCAD.

 

The only significant drawbacks that we were able to detect with the P52s are the high ticket-price, and the fact that for the price, it could come with at least a bit of extra Hard Disk space in addition to the SSD memory.

Key Features
  • 8th Gen Kaby Lake R Intel Core i7-8550U Quad-Core Processor
  • NVIDIA Quadro P500 with 2GB GDDR5 VRAM
  • 15.6″ Full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS Technology LED Backlight
Specifications
  • Screen Size: 15.6-inch
  • RAM: 16GB DDR4
  • Battery Life: 8.5 hours
  • Operating System: Windows 10 Professional
  • Storage: 512GB SSD
  • Weight: 4.3lbs
Pros
  • Intel Core i7 Quad-Core processor with 8 threads
  • Excellent amount of RAM (16GB DDR4) and 512GB SSD memory
  • Extra-smooth graphics via its NVIDIA Quadro P500 with 2 GB GDDR5 VRAM
  • 1-year warranty provided by the seller
Cons
  • A bit on the expensive side (albeit very much worth the money)
  • For the price, could be equipped with 10th Gen processor (rather than 8th gen)

HP’s HD Touchscreen Premium Home & Business is equipped with a lightning fast Quad-Core processor, high-end DDR4 RAM, and a half TB or speedy SSD memory. It has everything you need in a laptop for AutoCAD work. It’s price-point is also well more than reasonable for all the power it has to offer. The best part? It’s equipped with 10-finger touch NAV which makes working with CAD software easier than ever before.

 

Compared to other laptops for AutoCAD on our list, for the price, the HP HD Touchscreen Premium Home & Business is second to none. In fact, it offers a better Windows version, larger and faster storage, and multi-touch support in addition to the basics needed for CAD work.

 

Very few complaints are feasible with this machine. Sure, a slightly more powerful graphics chipset or a few extra GB or RAM wouldn’t hurt. But, none of those upgrades are remotely necessary for AutoCAD.

Key Features
  • Intel i3-1005G1 Dual Core Processor
  • Intel UHD Graphics Card
  • 15.6” Display with 1920x1080p resolution
Specifications
  • Screen Size: 15.6-inch
  • RAM: 8GB DDR4
  • Battery Life: 6 hours
  • Operating System: Windows 10 S
  • Storage: 128GB SSD
  • Weight: 3.75lbs
Pros
  • 10th Gen Intel Core i5 Quad-Core processor with 6MB smart cache
  • High-end 10-Finger Multi-Touch Support Display
  • Plenty of RAM and SSD memory (8GB DDR4 and 512GB SSD)
  • A great choice for the price and specs
Cons
  • i5 Intel Core processor could be replaced with an i7 or higher
  • May not come with HDCP support

The second choice for best touchscreen laptop for AutoCAD on our list is the 2020 Dell Inspiron 15 Touchscreen. This computer is perfect for students and working CAD professionals alike. The price is more than fair, the specs are point-on for running design software, and the Hard Drive space is through the roof.

 

Compared to our first touchscreen pick, this machine is approximately $150 cheaper for a couple of reasons. The graphics equipment, though just fine for running AutoCAD, is a bit less powerful as is the Dual-Core processor in comparison to the Quad-Core processor of the HP HD laptop. However, the Hard Disk space is double that of our first choice.

 

The only real drawbacks we spotted with this touchscreen laptop is that it doesn’t come with 10-finger NAV, rather it has natural finger-touch NAV (if that makes a difference to you). In addition, a warranty may cost some additional cash.

Key Features
  • 10th Gen Intel Core i3-1005G1 Dual-Core Processor
  • Intel UHD Graphics
  • 15.6″ Display with 1366×768 HD resolution, Energy-efficient LED-backlit
Specifications
  • Screen Size: 15.6-inch
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Battery Life: 6.5 hours
  • Operating System: Windows 10
  • Storage: 1TB HD plus 128 SSD
  • Weight: 4.45lbs
Pros
  • Intel Core processor with turbo and 6MB smart cache
  • Massive amounts of memory (1TB Hard Drive and 128GB SSD)
  • High-def display with natural finger nav ability
  • Accelerated graphics
  • Excellent specs for the price
Cons
  • For a touch-screen, the display could be an inch or two larger
  • Dual-Core could be upgraded to Quad-Core

For working professionals and students always on the go, the Apple MacBook Air is an excellent choice for a portable and lightweight laptop capable of handling AutoCAD with ease. It’s powerful Intel-Core processor is equipped with turbo boost, it has an estimated battery-life of 12 hours or more, and weighs under 3 pounds.

 

When stacked up against other laptops on our list, the Apple MacBook Air certainly holds its own. Even more, it’s a good choice for a back-up or travel laptop for those who already have a dedicated machine for AutoCAD purposes at home. That said, it’s perfectly capable as a primary CAD computer as well.

 

The most significant drawback to this laptop is its 13.3-inch display (which is a good 2-inches smaller than many comparable units). In addition, those who prefer Windows operating systems may prefer to skip this selection due to its Mac OS X operating system.

Key Features
  • 1.8 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 Processor
  • Intel HD Graphics 6000
  • 13.3” LED-backlit widescreen Display
Specifications
  • Screen Size: 13.3-inch
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Battery Life: 12 hours
  • Operating System: Mac OS X
  • Storage: Fast 128GB SSD Storage
  • Weight: 2.96lbs
Pros
  • Powerful i5 Intel Core Dual-Core processor with turbo boost
  • Plenty of RAM and storage memory (8GB and 128GB SSD)
  • Very long-lasting battery-life
  • Weighs under 3 pounds
Cons
  • A bit larger of a display would be nice
  • Additional ports (extra USB and HDMI) wouldn’t hurt

5 Things to Look for in a good Laptop for AutoCAD

 

Now that we’ve shown you our picks, let’s go over a few of the most important factors to look for when choosing a laptop for AutoCAD.

 

1. PROCESSOR

8th generation (on up to 10th generation) or newer processors are the best for laptops running AutoCad. Likewise, i5 Core processors or higher ensure that your CAD programs run as smoothly as possible. Intel’s integrated graphics, while better than they once were, still can not compete with AMD’s graphics performance. While there are some decent Intel options in this price range, we still recommend going with something powered by AMD.

 

2. RAM

Random Access Memory is another critical spec to pay attention to while shopping for the best laptop. For the most part, anything less than 8GB simply won’t do for CAD purposes. That said, 16GB DDR is about as good as it gets.

 

3. DISPLAY SIZE

Working with AutoCAD is an in-depth process, the more you see without having to zoom or scroll is crucial. For this reason, fifteen inches or larger are the most preferable display sizes. LED backlighting also helps.

4. GRAPHICS

The clarity of the graphics and all of the little details presented on your laptop’s screen when working with CAD software is equally important to the size of the screen. That’s why an upgraded GPU is so important. However, high-end gaming graphics aren’t necessary.

5. COST & WARRANTY

Always an important factor with any major purchase is the overall price. Furthermore, guarantees and warranty options are also vital to pay attention to while picking out your new laptop. With electronics, a 1-year warranty is a sign that the manufacturer has faith in their product.

Chosing the Best AutoCAD Laptop for you

Hopefully our list of the best laptops for AutoCAD helps you to narrow down your selection and make the most well-informed purchase possible.

 

If you’re shopping on a budget, the ACER Aspire 5 is a great choice overall based on specs and price. For those who are looking to invest in the best of the best, regardless of cost, we highly recommend the HP Envy

 

Do you know about a great laptop for AutoCAD that wasn’t mentioned on our list? If so, we’d love for you to share with our audience by contacting us!

Happy laptop hunting!

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