Looking for a laptop that will seamlessly run AutoCad? Truth be told, these kinds of programs require a high-end laptop but how much exactly should you be spending?
Is a $2000-$2500 laptop going to cut it? Or can you get something on the cheap as well? And which brand should you go for so you get the best value for your money?
Buying a new laptop was never easy but that is exactly why we are here.
We tried and tested AutoCad on 25 laptops and picked out the 5 best so you don’t have to and you will be happy to know there is one of every budget.
So let’s dig right into those.
Best Laptop for Autocad
Lenovo ThinkPad P52s
Apple MacBook Pro
Acer Aspire E 15
ASUS ROG Zephyrus S
Lenovo ThinkPad P52s
Apple MacBook Pro
Acer Aspire E 15
ASUS ROG Zephyrus S
#1: Lenovo ThinkPad P52s (Best Windows Laptop for Autocad)
Are you a professional architect who used Autocad to churn out interior designs, Engineering designs, Aeronautical designs and so on, day in and day out? Then the ThinkPad P52s is exactly what you need and here’s why.
- 8th Generation Kaby Lake R Intel Core i7-8550U Quad-Cores Processor (1.8 GHz up to 4.0GHz, 8 MB Cache), NVIDIA Quadro P500 with 2 GB GDDR5 VRAM
- 15.6" Full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS Technology LED Backlight Display, 1 x 10/100/1000 Mb/s Gigabit Ethernet (RJ45), 802.11ac; Dual-Band and Bluetooth 4.1
- 32GB DDR4 Memory, Built-in HD webcam, Full-Size Backlight Keyboard, Numeric Keypad
- 1TB SSD (Solid State Drive), 1 x Thunderbolt 3, 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C, 2 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A, 1 x Docking Connector, 1 x HDMI 1.4, 1 x 1/8" (3.5 mm) Headphone/Microphone, Combo Jack, Media Card SD/SDHC/SDXC MMC
- Windows 10 Professional (Win 10 Pro), 4 (32Wh) cell Battery, 1 Year Manufacture warranty from the Seller
If you have used Autocad in the past you already know this baby requires a lot of juice, especially when using it for 3D modeling which only a workstation level laptop can provide.
And the P52s is just that with its whopping 4-core 8th Gen i7-8550U processor that turbo-boosts to 4GHz and the NVIDIA Quadro P500.
While the processor ensures you can smoothly workaround even the most complex of 3D models, the graphics card makes rendering quick whether in real-time or the final output.
Another important factor is the RAM and the 32G RAM of the P52s allows you to handle the motherload while listening to your favorite music or browsing the web for some tutorials (and that’s multitasking and its very best).
Further bolstering speed of the laptop is the 1TB SSD which ensures Autocad opens quickly and that your laptop takes mere seconds to boot up.
Not just that, it also gives you ample space to run both your OS and Software while giving you ample space to store all your files and folders completely eliminating the need for an HDD.
And in case you didn’t know, SSDs are also more durable than any HDD as they have fewer running parts and thus also adding to the durability of your laptop.
Also, you do not want even one vertex out of position and helping you notice even the minutest of mistakes is the large 15.6” Full-HD display.
Oh, and since it is an IPS Display, you not only get vivid colors and contrast but also more comfortable viewing angles giving so you are not stuck at your desk with a hunch all day long.
If you are a workaholic or a night owl that does his/her best work after the clock strikes 12, you will be happy to know that there is a backlit keyboard to assist you.
Transfer of all those large files and folders can be done at speeds of up to 10GBPS thanks to the thunderbolt port which is also handy in charging phones, smartwatch, etc. as it is faster.
The laptop weighs a mere 4.2 pounds so you can even carry it around for your business trips and meetings without feeling the weight of it.
Plus, its battery easily runs for 7-8 hours so you do not have to worry about power outlets or carrying the charger at all times, a feature rarely seen in powerful laptops (just what you need if you love working from cafes or co-working spaces).
The high price point is the only small drawback of the P52s as it will cost you over $1400. But if you are a professional and need something that can pack a punch, it is worth every penny.
- Ideal workstation for professional architects
- The powerful 4-core 8th Gen i7-8550U processor turbo-boosts to 4GHz to handle all complex calculations with ease
- The NVIDIA Quadro P500 makes rendering super fast
- With 32GB RAM, you can multitask on the laptop without it overheating or lagging
- 1TB SSD is the perfect combination of speed and space and adds to the durability
- The 15.6″ display is large and crystal clear
- Being an IPS tech display, it captures colors and contrasts quite well
- The Thunderbolt port allows for quick transferring of files
- You can also connect multiple screens for a much larger and clearer display
- It weighs a mere 4.2 pounds and thus easier to carry around
- The battery runs for 7-8 hours on a single charge
- It has a backlit keyboard so you can work even in the dark
- It is on the higher side of the price range
#2: New Apple MacBook Pro (Best Apple Laptop for Autocad)
Love Apple products? Well, who doesn’t and thankfully, there is one powerful enough for Autocad users as well. Yes, we are talking about the beastly Apple MacBook Pro (trust me, you really want to read about this one).
- 9Th-generation 8-Core Intel Core i9 Processor
- Brilliant Retina Display with True Tone technology
- Touch Bar and Touch ID
- Radeon Pro 560x Graphics with 4GB of video Memory
- Ultrafast SSD
We talked about how important a processor and graphics card can be for running Autocad, right? Guess what, the MacBook Pro is equipped with one of the most advanced processors to date.
Yup, it is an astonishing 8-core 9th Gen i9 processor that can turbo-boost to 5GHz when called upon making it one of the fastest processors to date in any laptop (there are no 3D Models this bad boy cannot handle).
And so you do not have to wait for hours for those renders to show up (even at the highest quality), the MacBook Pro comes with a 4GB dedicated Radeon Pro 560x Graphics Card that even allows you play the latest gaming titles on off days.
The 16GB RAM allows you to switch between multiple tabs, windows, and programs in seconds as there is ample memory for all programs to run at optimal speeds (say goodbye to the annoying problems of hanging).
With the 512GB SSD, space will never be an issue and as you already know, SSDs give you longer life and better speed than an HDD turning the MacBook Pro into the speed demon any Autocad or gamer will find handy.
But that’s not all, Apple has a few hidden surprises in its new gem.
One of those is the Retina Display which even outdoes the Lenovo P52s is terms of colors, contrast or shadows giving you crisper images. So what’s special about?
Well, it has a higher pixel density and captures data so minute that some of it cannot be viewed by the naked eye if seen from a distance (all those sharp lines and curves will appear a whole lot smoother now).
And then there is the Touch Bar as well which automatically customizes based on the program you use. Thus giving you on the go access to important Autocad options and shortcuts allowing you to breeze past some of the tasks.
It does not have just 1 but 3 Thunderbolt ports so you can charge your mobile, have a bigger screen connected and yet transfer all your files at blazing fast speeds of about 40GBPS.
It is also one of the most compact laptops as it weighs just 4 pounds and has a battery life of 8-10 hours. So if you like to make your designs amongst the serenity of the hills, the beaches or a nearby coffee shop, you just found a new best friend. or travel buddy.
Once again, the high price might make you think twice but if you have the budget and like to get your designing done while on the move, this one is a no-brainer.
- The i9 processor is one of the fastest processors in a laptop, ideal for Autocad
- Both RAM and graphics card also aim to boost speed and functionality
- With 512GB SSD, you get ample space along with faster boot/load times
- Retina display captures more pixels for better sharpness and colors
- 3 thunderbolt ports give you the speed of about 40GBPS
- The Touch-Bar gives you quick access to the most-used Autocad features
- It’s ultralight and compact and can be taken on hikes, treks or used in a plane.
- The Battery runs of 8-10 hours
- It also features a backlit keyboard
- It will cost you over $2000
#3: Acer Aspire E 15 (Best Autocad Laptop for Students)
If you are a student and do not want to spend big on a workstation just yet then the Acer Aspire E15 is just what you need.
- 8th Generation Intel Core i5-8250U Processor (Up to 3.4GHz)
- 15.6" Full HD (1920 x 1080) widescreen LED-lit IPS Display
- 8GB Dual Channel Memory & 256GB SSD
- Up to 15-hours of battery life.Adapter: 65 W
- Windows 10 Home
The best part about this laptop is its super-long battery life. And when I say long, I mean really long as it can last you for about 13-14 hours.
This is perfect for students living in dorms or those who like to work from the libraries as you do not get access to power outlets frequently.
And the other features are just as impressive as well, especially considering this is a budget pick.
For example, the processor is an 8th Gen ii5-8250U processor with an ability to turbo boost to 3.4GHz making it easy for you to work on complex assignments.
Supporting that is the 8GB RAM and the GeForce MX150 2GB dedicated GPU unit. This even makes the laptop capable of handling multiplayer games like PUBG and Fortnite (because we all deserve that time off in the evening).
Oh, and since it has a 15” full-HD IPS display, all those hours of work, gaming and movies will be full of colors and contrast that catches the eye. Plus, you won’t have to be squinting or stick to the laptop screen to get a clear picture.
SSDs are rare in mid-range and cheaper laptops, especially this one has a 256GB SSD.
Now, this may not seem like a lot of space but there’s ample there to run important stuff like OS and Autocad for a much-needed speed boost. And when you do need more storage, you can easily upgrade the disk all by yourself thanks to the easily accessible door.
The speakers have decent bass so even if you were to forget your earphones, you won’t be disappointed with that either.
And of course, by now you know how helpful a backlit keyboard can be when you are rushing up those last-minute assignments in the wee hours.
The build quality of the laptop is poor as the chassis are made using low-quality material. So if you want it last you through college, make sure you treat it with care.
It is also not the ideal laptop for professionals as it isn’t powerful enough to handle highly complex 3D models and will start to hang or crash if pushed beyond its limit.
- The ideal laptop for Autocad students as it costs less than $700
- Yet it features an i5 processor, 8GB RAM, and MX150 2GB GPU Unit which even supports gaming
- The 15″ display is large enough to give you a clear view from a distance
- And the Full-HD resolution means you get excellent render quality
- Comes with a 256GB SSD even though it is on the cheaper side
- It has a long battery life of 13-14 hours
- Disk storage can be easily accessed so you can upgrade it yourself
- It has a backlit keyboard
- Not powerful enough to handle professional-grade Autocad projects
- Lacks durability due to the use of plastic materials for the chassis