The other day a friend and I were looking for a laptop that he could use for AutoCAD and was dismayed to find several run-of-the-mill types fronted for running the software. Nearly all of them failed to meet his requirements. 

Which got us thinking… 

How many other engineers, drafters, or designers out there were having a hard time finding a laptop that met their niche-y needs? So, we made it our business to research the best laptop for AutoCAD and see what we could find. We were pleasantly surprised by what we found and we hope you will too.

Related Post: Best Laptop For Computer Science

Best Laptops For AutoCAD Comparison

best laptop for autocad
Laptop NameEditor's ScoreProcessorPrice
1. CUK MSI GF6510/10Core i7
2. Acer Predator Helios 3009.9/10Core i7
3. ASUS ZenBook Flip 149.5/10Core i7
4. Lenovo ThinkPad P52s9.5/10Core i7
5. Razor Blade 159/10Core i7
6. Lenovo IdeaPad L3409/10Core i5
7. Apple MacBook Pro (2019)8.5/10Core i7
8. Microsoft Surface 38.5/10AMD Ryzen 7
9. Dell Inspiron 14 50008/10AMD Ryzen 5
10. HP Elite Dragon8/10Core i5

Best Laptops For AutoCAD Reviews

1. CUK MSI GF65

“Our Top Choice for AutoCAD use”

CUK GF65 Thin by MSI 15 Inch Gaming...
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-9750H Six Core...
  • RAM: 32GB DDR4 2666MHz | Hard Drive: 1TB...
  • Keyboard: Single Backlight with...
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB...
  • 32GB RAM / 1TB NVMe SSD Upgrades |...
Pros
  • Fast processor
  • Expandable memory
  • Plenty of storage
  • Looks sleek
Cons
  • The fan may get loud

MSI GF65 is our top choice for AutoCAD use. It’s a gaming laptop which means that it’s equipped with the kind of hardware that’s also suitable for modeling, drawing, and other AutoCAD related work. It’s so well built, I am tempted to call it rugged, and is reasonably priced too. 

Performance

Beneath the cool chassis is the Hexa-core 9th generation Core i7-9750H found in high-performance laptops. It has high computing power with clock speeds ranging from 2.6GHz to 4.5GHz. As a result, the chip also consumes a lot of power and generates heat which is dissipated by MSI dedicated cooling system.

Combined with 32GB of RAM, this machine becomes a powerhouse capable of handling CPU-intensive 2D and 3D modeling work, object layering, drafting, and basic drawing among other tasks with ease. 1TB storage affords you the space to run AutoCAD software and to keep your active projects within easy reach.

Portability

Accommodating a cooling solution for the CPU has resulted in a somewhat heavy machine. It weighs 4.1lb, which leans on the heavier side, but it’s still portable. You can choose to have it as your on-the-go-machine or as a workstation laptop.

As far as battery life goes, MSI states that you can get up to seven hours on a single charge, however many users average it at 4 hours only. This is largely due to its power-hungry components. If you’ll be working away from your workstation, be sure to take the charger with you.

Display

MSI GF65 has a metallic top and keyboard so it’s sturdy and durable where it matters most. The hair-brushed aesthetics across its black body look very chic. Side bezels are narrow while the top and bottom ones are thicker to accommodate the webcam and company logo respectively.

The 15.6-inch display with its 1920 x 1080 resolution brings out vibrant visuals and tremendous clarity which will make working with AutoCAD feel like a charm. The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti with 8GB video memory comes in handy when you’re handling photorealistic rendering and other modeling work

Other Considerations

This laptop sports per-key red RGB lighting, that’s typical of many gaming laptops and offers anti-ghosting support to minimize lost input. The keys are nicely-spaced and offer decent travel which makes for comfortable typing. The touchpad doesn’t have clickable buttons, but it’s highly responsive.

To connect to peripherals you get 2 USB Type-C ports, two USB Type-A ports, an HDMI port, one mic in, one headphone, and an Ethernet port. Internal connections include Wi-Fi, Gb LAN, and Bluetooth 5.0 technology.

Bottom Line

This gaming laptop doubles as a high-performance productivity resource capable of supporting your working needs. Whether you’re creating blocks for prototyping, data pairing from spreadsheets, or working on basic drawings, it will be up to the task.

Specs Recap

  • Editor’s Score: 10/10
  • Processor: 9th Gen Intel Core i7-9750H
  • RAM: 32GB
  • Storage: 1TB SSD
  • Weight: 4.1lbs
  • Display: 15.6 inches
  • Battery life : 7 hours
  • Screen resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti
  • OS : Windows 10 Home

2. Acer Predator Helios 300

“Best for SSD & HDD Storage Combo”

Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop,...
  • 10th Generation Intel Core i7-10750H...
  • Overclockable NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070...
  • 15.6" Full HD (1920 x 1080) Widescreen...
  • 16GB DDR4 2933MHz Dual-Channel Memory,...
  • 4-Zone RGB Backlit Keyboard, Wireless:...
Pros
  • Edgy design
  • Superb cooling
  • Powerful
  • Lots of storage space
Cons
  • The edges may hurt your hands
  • Smudges easily

Storage is one of those things you can never have too much of. A quick look at the AutoCAD will reveal that the software isn’t taking too much space, but your work files are. If you work on very large projects or want a future proof machine, this Predator Helios 300 just might have what you need.

Performance

Powering the Predator Helios 300 laptop is the high-end 10th generation Core i7-10750H processor aimed at graphic designers, civil engineers, and construction teams among other professionals. The Hexa-core processor provides excellent performance in tasks that need constant and prolonged processor loads. 

With clock speeds of up to 5GHz and 16GB of RAM, you can run AutoCAD, Revit, Civil 3D, and Solidworks among other CAD software smoothly. An SSD/HDD storage combo is part of the offering, which gives plenty of space for your projects. I recommend storing the AutoCAD software, OS, and active projects onto the SSD card while keeping everything else on the hard drive

Portability

Predator Helios 300 weighs in at 5.51lb so yes, it’s one of the heavier laptops for AutoCAD use. As with the MSI GF65 laptop, we equate this weight to the 4th generation aeroblade fan used to cool the system. 

So is the laptop portable? Yes, it’s portable, so feel free to slip it into a backpack and go your way. You get up to 6 hours of battery life on a single charge which is fairly reasonable but like I always say, take the charger with you.

Display 

This machine design feels very futuristic with a matte black metal casing, angular planes, and tasteful chrome accents. I’m not sure this machine is suitable for strict office environments but it may be a subtle way of “breaking the rules” without causing any damage.

The laptop features a 15.6-inch 1080P that delivers fine image quality, clear texts, and rich colors. With up to 100% of sRGB, the colors on your screen are richer and more realistic and you get a wide palette. The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 with Max-Q Design is overkill here, but it can prove resourceful when you’re working with 3D rendering or photorealistic objects.

Other Considerations

The full keyboard has a spacious deck and features a customizable 4-zone RGB backlighting. The keys feel kind of mushy with short travel but offer reasonable feedback for fast typing. The touchpad is precise and has a solid click any time you press it.

Plugging into peripherals is made possible via a range of ports that include one USB Type-C port, one USB Type-A port, two 3.2 Gen 2 ports, a Mini DisplayPort, and an HDMI port. Gigabit Ethernet LAN, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth connectivity 

Bottom Line

This machine is a solid performer providing true value for your money. It can support basic data migration, layout viewports, and intricate processes like photorealism and 2D regeneration. It’s a good choice for professionals in different industries who rely on AutoCAD in their day to day work.

Specs Recap

  • Editor’s Score: 9.9/10
  • Processor: 10th Gen Intel Core i7-10750H
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Storage: 512 SSD and 1TB HDD
  • Weight: 5.51lbs
  • Display: 15.6 inches
  • Battery life : 6 hours
  • Screen resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 with Max-Q Design
  • OS : Windows 10 Pro

3. ASUS ZenBook Flip 14

“Best Convertible Laptop for Designers”

ASUS ZenBook Flip 14 Ultra Slim...
  • 14-inch WideView Full HD NanoEdge bezel...
  • Latest 8th generation Intel Core...
  • Fast storage and memory featuring NVMe...
  • Extensive connectivity with HDMI, USB...
  • Sleek and lightweight 3.3 lbs, 0.5 inch...
Pros
  • Luxurious looking
  • Fingerprint reader
  • Lightweight
  • Good battery life
Cons
  • The stylus is purchased separately
  • No Thunderbolt3

Creativity can be triggered by just about anything. You can wait till you get to the office to put it down, or sketch it on a piece of paper, or you can reach for your stylish AutoCAD-enabled ZenBook laptop and capture every fantastic detail before it becomes foggy. This ultra-slim, lightweight, 2-in-1 machine is the ideal companion for a designer.

Performance

The ZenBook Flip is powered by a high-end 8th generation Core i7-8565U processor that supports higher clock speeds of up to 4.6GHz. It’s got the muscle for heavy-duty stuff allowing professionals to design, draft, annotate, or document precise drawings using 2D geometry.

16GB of RAM supports the processor, giving you fast access to all your work. You get 512 SSD storage space which is sufficient for running AutoCAD and storing some light-duty work.

Portability

I meant it when I said that this laptop is a designer’s ideal companion, it weighs 3.3lb and has such a slim profile, that you can carry it from room to room, within the office, outside the office, to the coffee shop, and just about anywhere you want to go without straining.

The battery is reasonable too as you can get up to 7 hours unplugged. If you need to be out longer, take the charger with you, it won’t add much weight to the load.

Display

The ZenBook Flip exudes a minimalistic yet premium feel. The slate-gray colored laptop features Asus’s signature concentric-circles, glossy hinges, and rounded edges. This machine is a head-turner.

The 14-inch screen supports stylus input, perfect for sketching while the 1080P resolution offers crisp and clear images down to the finer details. With wide viewing angles, images you won’t worry about images distorting when you’re viewing the screen with a teammate or client. The NVIDIA GeForce MX150 is an entry-level graphics card but does a good job at loading images so it should be sufficient for your needs.

Other Considerations

Both the virtual and physical keyboards are easy to use. I particularly like the physical keyboard that’s spacious and has soft keys. I must say that the keys are rather shallow but provide a positive tactile sensation. The touchpad is larger than usual and it has a smooth surface and accurate tracking.

Connectivity options are few on this laptop. There is one USB- port, two USB-A ports, an HDMI port, and a microSD card reader. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity are available. You can connect to ethernet LAN but you’ll need an adapter as there is no port 

Bottom Line

The ZenBook Flip is an attractive 2-in-1 laptop packaged in a design a designer would like to flaunt. It’s speedy, lightweight, and comes with the kind of muscle you need for drawing, editing, sketching, or modeling. 

Specs Recap

  • Editor’s Score: 9.5/10
  • Processor: 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8565U
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Storage: 512 GB
  • Weight: 3.3lbs
  • Display: 14 inches
  • Battery life : 7 hours
  • Screen resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce MX150
  • OS : Windows 10 Home

4. Lenovo ThinkPad P52s

“Best Workstation Laptop for AutoCAD use”

Lenovo ThinkPad P52s Mobile Workstation...
  • 8th Generation Kaby Lake R Intel Core...
  • 15.6" Full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS...
  • 32GB DDR4 Memory, Built-in HD webcam,...
  • 1TB SSD (Solid State Drive), 1 x...
  • Windows 10 Professional (Win 10 Pro), 4...
Pros
  • Powerful processor
  • Solid construction
  • Climate-friendly machine
Cons
  • It’s heavy
  • Runs warm

For every designer or engineer who loves a mobile workstation, there are a dozen more who prefer using desktop computers. Because PCs have more power of course. Yet the ThinkPad P52s is a beastly machine commanding the power and ability to sync with whatever CAD-specific preferences that you may have.

Performance

Under the hood, you’ll find the 8th generation Core i7-8550U, a high-end processor that packs a powerful punch thanks to its quad-core design and a high clock speed of between 1.8GHz to 4.0GHz

Coupled with 32GB and 1TB SSD, multitasking becomes a non-issue here. All the components work together to load the OS, AutoCAD, and any other demanding software in the shortest time possible.

Portability

ThinkPad P52s weighs 4.3lb which makes it as heavy as some other laptops we’ve reviewed here. Although the CPU isn’t extremely power-hungry, cooling must be factored in, which contributes to the weight. Its dimensions are still travel-friendly so if you need to travel with it, by all means, go on.

The battery life is highly dependent on the apps you’re running. Some users get around five hours of battery life, while our tests showed that the machine could last up to seven hours unplugged.

Display

The laptop feels very businesslike with a minimalistic design, rounded edges, and a smooth black exterior. It may be a good option for strict business environments (no breaking rules here haha).

The 15-inch display boasts a 1920 x1080 resolution which delivers good quality images and texts enabling you to see your work with vivid clarity. NVIDIA Quadro P500 is an entry-level discrete graphics card and a good choice for rendering images.

Other Considerations

A sturdy and durable backlit keyboard sees to it that you can work on your projects in dim environments or at night. The full-keyboard features island-style keys that have a solid feel and precise action. The touchpad has integrated buttons at the top that click quietly when touched.

Connectivity options are plenty. You get one Thunderbolt3 port, one USB Type-C, two USB Type-A ports, an HDMI port, one HDMI port, a docking connector, an SD media card, and a headphone/mic combo jack. Internally, Ethernet LAN, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth connections are available.

Bottom Line

Whether you’re in the field, at the office, or on the move, the ThinkPad P52s laptop has the power and connectivity options to keep you productive throughout the day, and well into the night. Its solid construction can take a beating which makes it ideal for construction teams, architects, and designers.

Specs Recap

  • Editor’s Score: 9.5/10
  • Processor: 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8550U
  • RAM: 32GB
  • Storage: 1TB SSD
  • Weight: 4.3lbs
  • Display: 15.6 inches
  • Battery life : 7 hours
  • Screen resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Graphics: NVIDIA Quadro P500
  • OS : Windows 10 Pro

5. Razor Blade 15

“Best Laptop for Work and Play”

Razer Blade 15 Gaming Laptop: Intel Core...
  • Fully loaded: 15.6" Full HD, 9th Gen...
  • Edge-to-edge action: Colorful and...
  • Packed with power: Driven by the latest...
  • Precision crafted: CNC aluminum unibody...
  • Ready to connect: Plug in multiple USB...
Pros
  • Premium metal construction
  • Strong overall performance
  • Nice keyboard
Cons
  • Poor battery life
  • Few ports

You know the saying, “All work and no play makes you…” Just because you work on highly-demanding jobs doesn’t mean you can’t let your hair down every once in a while and indulge in your favorite game. The Razor Blade 15 makes no compromises whether you’re tackling an opponent or creating the next wonder of the world.

Performance

Powering this machine is the 9th generation Core i7 processor found in many high-end laptops. It’s pretty powerful with clock speeds of between 2.6GHz and 4.5GHz. 

Supported by 16GB of RAM processor will make working on intricate two-dimensional and three-dimensional drawings, creations, and basic simulations that much easier. 256GB SSD storage is somewhat restrictive but fast enough for processing AutoCAD software and the OS.

Portability

Typical of gaming laptops this baby tips the scales at 5lb. Yes, it’s heavy and this is a compromise you may need to make for the power it offers. That said, the machine is slim enough to fit into your backpack if you need to commute or travel. 

Battery life isn’t worth writing home about, as you get between three to five hours on a single charge. If you decide to indulge in a game, that time reduces to an hour or two. I highly recommend keeping the charger close by.

Design

There’s no mistaking this laptop, it’s a Razor machine through and through. It features an attractive anodized black unibody aluminum chassis with green accents of a three-headed serpent that is Razer’s logo on the surface.

The 15.6-inch screen with its 1920 x 1080 resolution and thin bezels offer plenty of real-estate for AutoCAD users. The images are sharp and color vivid, so if you want to do any product design, lighting, or shading, you may not need an external display. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti ensures you can handle 3D modeling, and rendering without glitches.

Other Considerations

The RGB backlit keyboard lacks a dedicated Numpad (it’s a gaming machine) but the keys are so well-spaced you’ll enjoy working with it. The keys feel shallow but are bouncy which means you won’t need to use too much force to actuate. I also like the sizable touchpad that’s smooth to touch and responsive.

Connectivity options are rather few but you get a Thunderbolt3 port, a MiniDisplayPort, an HDMI port, and an audio jack. Internal connections include Gigabit Ethernet and Wi-Fi.

Bottom Line

Arguably, this laptop makes the list of the best laptop for AutoCAD with ease. It’s fast, efficient, solid, and runs both AutoCAD software and gaming like the beast it is. Definitely, a machine for both work and play.

Specs Recap

  • Editor’s Score: 9/10
  • Processor: 9th Gen Intel Core i7-9750H
  • RAM: 16 GB
  • Storage: 256GB
  • Weight: 5lbs
  • Display: 15.6 inches
  • Battery life : 4 hours
  • Screen resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti
  • OS : Windows 10

6. Lenovo IdeaPad L340

“Best AutoCAD Laptop on a Budget”

Lenovo Ideapad L340 Gaming Laptop, 15.6...
  • A new dimension of gaming performance...
  • Take it to the next level - With the...
  • A portal to a new sound dimension -...
  • Control your own fate - Game in 'quick'...
  • Final product may vary slightly from...
Pros
  • Affordable
  • Pleasing design
  • Good battery life
  • Comfortable keyboard
Cons
  • Fingerprint magnet
  • Noisy touchpad

As you may have noticed powerful machines come with a steep price tag which may not be practical for your budget. If you need a laptop that sports superb specs for your AutoCAD projects at under $1,000 the Lenovo IdeaPad is a worthy option.

Performance

The Lenovo IdeaPad is powered by the 9th generation i5-9300H, a high-end processor built to meet the needs of workstation-type laptops. It comes close to a desktop’s performance which is necessary for intensive tasks. 

With a maximum clock speed of 4.1GHz, this processor has the kind of computing power that you need for CAD-designing, modeling, drafting, basic drawing, and rendering. The processor works hand in hand with 8GB of RAM AND 512GB allowing you to retrieve data faster, multitask or work seamlessly on datasets and spreadsheets. 

Portability

Coming in at 4.84lb, this laptop leans on the heavier side but remains portable. At a small cost, you can purchase the shoulder bag for commuting or travel. The bag is water repellant and seems durable.

Lenovo IdeaPad offers a solid 9 hours on a single charge. It may not seem like much, but for CAD-related work, the hours are good.

Display

Clad in black brushed cover, the laptop’s surface looks and feels very smooth and slick. It boasts good workmanship including smooth edges that won’t hurt your wrists as you type. And although the machine is heavy, its chassis is quite slim.

The 15.6-inch screen has a 1080P screen that offers wide viewing angles and clear images bringing out patterns and textures vividly. Lenovo’s Vantage Eye Care feature minimizes blue light emissions and adjusts the display’s color tone to lessen eye strain and fatigue. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 graphics are good for the graphic-centric 3D tasks and renders.

Other Considerations

The keyboard looks absolutely gorgeous thanks to its monochrome backlighting that glows blue. The curved keys are well spaced on the deck that includes a Numpad, except for the arrow keys, that is. The keys offer a short travel but have a precise feel that makes them comfortable to use.

The touchpad is somewhat stiff so you may need to apply a bit of pressure when using it and it makes some rattling noise when you click.

To connect to peripherals you get one USB Type-C port, two USB Type-A, Gigabit Ethernet port, an HDMI  port, and an audio jack. For internal connections, there is Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Ethernet LAN.

Bottom Line

From basic simulations to 2D AND 3D modeling and rendering, this laptop helps stay productive without breaking the bank. It’s an excellent option for a workstation type of set up or for on the go productivity. 

Specs Recap

  • Editor’s Score: 9/10
  • Processor: 9th Gen Intel Core i5-9300H
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 512GB SSD
  • Weight: 4.84lbs
  • Display: 15.6 inches
  • Battery life : 9 hours
  • Screen resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650
  • OS : Windows 10

7. Apple MacBook Pro (2019)

“Best Apple Laptop for AutoCAD Use”

New Apple MacBook Pro (16-inch, 16GB...
  • Ninth-generation 6-Core Intel Core i7...
  • Stunning 16-inch Retina Display with...
  • Touch Bar and Touch ID
  • AMD Radeon Pro 5300M Graphics with GDDR6...
  • Ultrafast SSD
Pros
  • Sleek
  • Stunning display
  • Comfortable keyboard
  • Powerful processor
Cons
  • Limited connectivity options

The new Apple MacBook Pro was designed with engineers, architects, and designers in mind. It’s equipped with mind-blowing specs guaranteed to meet and exceed all your needs. If you’ve never tried a MacBook before, it’s time to open your eyes to its possibilities.

Performance

MacBook Pro uses the high-end 9th generation i7 processors whose capabilities have caused the chips to find their way into several high-end laptops. Thanks to the Turbo Boost feature, this processor can reach clock speeds of up to 4.5GHz.

When paired with 16GB of RAM, this chip can offer some of the best performances in drawing, simulations, modeling, and rendering. 512 SSD storage space is plenty for projects and AutoCAD software and effectively minimizes the time you’ll take to access and process your work.

Portability

We’ve seen some light laptops, but the MacBook Pro isn’t one of them. It weighs 4.3lb but only 0.6 inches thick, so it remains portable. Besides, it’s Mac, I’d show it off any day no matter how heavy it feels.

Battery life is solid, and nothing short of what we’ve come to expect from Apple products. It can run for up to 11 hours between recharge which is ample time to visit sites, work, and get back to the office or home on time to plug it in.

Display

In true Apple style, this is a stunner thanks to its space-gray color, rounded edges, unibody aluminum chassis, and smooth finish. It’s a premium machine with delightfully thin side bezels for more real estate.

MacBook Pro has a massive 16-inch screen that offers you a fuller view of the project you’re working on. It’s perfect for complex models with plenty of details and with a 3072 x 1920 resolution textures, detailing, and patterns will look clearer. AMD Radeon Pro 5300M Graphics is a professional grade card that comes with shaders for adding lighting and effects.

Other Considerations

MacBook Pro features a new and improved magic keyboard that’s an improvement from the previous models’ hard to use keyboards. The keys are nicely-spaced, quiet, offer a good amount of travel, and overall offer a comfortable typing experience. The touchpad works but requires a lot more pressure to use.

The connectivity options are thought out. You get four Thunderbolt 3 ports that you can use for charging and the DisplayPort along with one USB 3.1 USB port. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5.0 connections are available for internal connections.

Bottom Line

If you’re tired of Windows laptops and are looking for a high-end machine that can run CAD and AutoCAD software without glitches, the MacBook Pro is a fine option. It meets the requirements necessary for installing and operating the software and looks suave too.

Specs Recap

  • Editor’s Score: 8.5/10
  • Processor: 9th Gen Intel Core i7
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Storage: 512GB SSD
  • Weight: 4.3lbs
  • Display: 16 inches
  • Battery life : 11 hours
  • Screen resolution: 3072 x 1920 pixels
  • Graphics: AMD Radeon Pro 5300M
  • OS : Mac OS

8. Microsoft Surface 3

“Good Battery Life”

Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 – 15"...
  • Clean, elegant design — thin and...
  • Complement your style with rich color...
  • Improved speed and performance to do...
  • More ways to connect, with USB-C and...
  • All-day power on the go, with up to 11....
Pros
  • Amazing screen quality
  • Good battery life
  • Lightweight
  • Quality Construction
Cons
  • Only two USB ports available

If you travel a lot or spend a lot of time on site, having a laptop with long battery life is crucial to staying productive. There are more powerful laptops than Surface 3 but most of them will only give you half the time this baby can. With this kind of battery life, we just had to add the Surface 3 to our list of the best laptops for running AutoCAD.

Performance

An AMD Ryzen 7 Microsoft Surface Edition processor powers this laptop. It’s the result of the joint efforts between Microsoft and AMD to provide a chip that can handle a lot more than mobile processors do.

This CPU is paired with 32GB of RAM for fast boot times and launches while 1TB storage space comes in handy for storing your projects and fast retrievals. We must point out that this laptop is mainly good for part modeling, drawings, and assemblies. Rendering and simulations may prove difficult here.

Portability

Surface 3 laptop supports work on the go and checks all the portability checks. It weighs 3.97lb and is 0.57 inches thick. You can slip this into a sleeve or backpack and dash for your meetings.

The battery lasts over 11 hours unplugged. Most of the machines, so you can see the value you get from this laptop, especially if you’re out of the office most of the time.

Display

Surface 3 looks very sleek with its matte black surface, rounded edges, and clean lines. The metal palm rest always feels cool when you place your hands on it. Despite its swathes of metal, the laptop remains light and comfortable to hold.

A 15-inch touchscreen supports pen input and flaunts a 2496 x 1664 resolution. The display is sharp enough for text-based work and allows you to decipher textures and patterns in their truest form.  The integrated AMD Radeon RX Vega graphics are decent, but as we mentioned earlier, may not work for rendering and any other complex work.

Other Considerations

The keyboards on Microsoft Surface laptops are generally good and Surface 3 is no exception. You get a spacious deck while the keys are quiet and provide plenty of travel with good resilience. The touchpad is also incredibly smooth and precise.

Connectivity options are fewer here. There is one USB Type-C and one USB Type-A, a 3.5mm audio jack, and one surface connect port. Bluetooth and Wi-Fi make up internal connections.

Bottom Line

This laptop is an excellent choice for engineers and students who spend quality time in the field working on large and small projects and use CAD programs for drawings, part modeling, and assemblies. It’s lightweight and has a good battery life, which are true qualities of a portable laptop.

Specs Recap

  • Editor’s Score: 8.5/10
  • Processor: AMD Ryzen 7 Microsoft Surface Edition
  • RAM: 32GB
  • Storage: 1TB SSD
  • Weight: 3.97lbs
  • Display: 15 inches
  • Battery life : 11.5 hours
  • Screen resolution: 2496 x 1664 pixels
  • Graphics: AMD Radeon RX Vega
  • OS : Windows 10 Home

9. Dell Inspiron 14 5000

“Best AutoCAD laptop with an AMD Ryzen Processor” 

Dell Inspiron 14 5000 Series 14-Inch FHD...
  • This Dell Inspiron 14 5000 comes with...
  • PROCESSOR: 3rd Generation AMD Ryzen 5...
  • MULTITASK EFFORTLESSLY: 8GB system...
  • STORAGE: The Inspiron 5000 series is...
  • DISPLAY: Full HD (1920 x 1080)...
Pros
  • The touchscreen is easy to navigate
  • Fast start-up times
  • Affordable
  • Great multitasking abilities
Cons
  • Screen collects fingerprints
  • Only meets the minimum requirements

Most of us are accustomed to Intel processors, and they are good at their job, but then so is their competitor, AMD. We chose this laptop because it comes with an AMD chip whose main rival in the Intel world is the 8th Gen Core i5-8250U. If you’re ready to move away from the comfort of Intel Chips, say hello to this machine.

Performance

Dell 14 is powered by the 3rd generation AMD Ryzen 5 3500U, a mid-range processor that reaches a maximal clock speed of 3.75Ghz. The chip is paired with 8GB of RAM which meets the minimum requirement for AutoCAD software. So you can draw, draft, or work on spreadsheets with ease, 

The processor is great for home and office use and it can handle demanding stuff without experiencing any lags or bottlenecks. 128GB SSD storage is a little low and restrictive for advanced CAD users, but it still supports fast loading times.

Portability

I love how slim and lightweight this machine is. It weighs 3.81lb making it the kind of laptop you can carry without straining. If you need to commute or travel, throw it (not literally) in a backpack and get going.

The battery can last up to 8 hours unplugged. That’s plenty of time if you ask me, coming close to a full day of work. But we know how fast time flies, so if you think you’ll be putting in extra hours, take the adapter with you.

Display

This is one of the few Dell laptops that don’t feature a boring textured finish. Contrary, the Dell 14 sports a silvery glossy finish that looks very cool and attractive. If you can’t stand the grays and blacks, here’s an option.

This machine has a 14-inch screen that supports touch and gestures which can be useful when you’re looking at objects from different perspectives or comparing data. Plus, it comes with anti-glare to help protect your eyes from strain after spending several hours staring at your machine. 

With 1080P you have clear images and text which is highly necessary for precision work while the integrated Radeon RX Vega8 Graphics provides a decent experience.

Other Considerations

The keyboard feels okay and the keys are properly sized. They feel a little spongy but have good travel making it comfortable for use. The touchpad is well-positioned and responsive to multiple gestures.

There are far more connectivity options on this machine that include two USB 3.1 ports, one USB Type-C, one USB 2.0 port, an HDMI port, an SD card reader, and an audio jack. Internal connectivity comprises Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

Bottom Line

The Dell 14 5000 series is an affordable, lightweight and stylish laptop built with an AMD Ryzen processor that’s capable of handling light AutoCAD work. If this meets your needs, look it up. 

Specs Recap

  • Editor’s Score: 8/10
  • Processor: 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen 5 3500U
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 128GB SSD
  • Weight: 3.81lbs
  • Display: 14 inches
  • Battery life : 8 hours
  • Screen resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Graphics: Radeon RX Vega8
  • OS : Windows 10 Home

10. HP Elite Dragon

“Best Laptop for Students using AutoCAD”

HP Elite Dragonfly Home and Business...
  • 【Upgraded】 Seal is opened for...
  • 【Powerful Performance with Intel Core...
  • 【High Speed and Multitasking】 8GB...
  • 【Enormous Storage】 512GB PCIe NVMe...
Pros
  • Upgradable memory and storage
  • Very stylish
  • Fantastic keyboard
  • Vivid display
Cons
  • It’s rather pricey

Do you need a laptop that will last you through college? If it has to look stylish, feel durable, versatile, and more importantly, have space for your projects, check out the HP Elite Dragon laptop. We believe it fits the bill.

Performance

Giving life to this machine is the 8th generation i5-8265U, a mid-range processor that’s perfect for daily use in web browsing, spreadsheet, and text processing, exploring and learning design concepts, and innovating product design.

Working with 8GB of RAM ensures you don’t experience any lags as you get your creative mind going which 512 SSD storage is plenty much for installing and running AutoCAD software so you can train yourself on 2D or 3D modeling among other things.

Portability

This laptop weighs 2.2lb and is one of the lightest machines we’ve reviewed here. I think it sets the standard for portable but usable laptops. If you need to carry it to class, or dash to a site, the weight will be the least of your worries.

The battery can last up to 8 hours on a single charge which is perfect for those strenuous times when you need to concentrate on the project at hand while questioning your purpose for living (haha).

Display 

Many experts say the HP Elite Dragon is too sleek to be a business laptop, I say it’s sleek enough for college and beyond. It has a magnesium chassis that’s covered in an iridescent dragonfly blue color that looks absolutely stunning. This is a statement piece and a head-turner as well.

The 13.3-inch screen is rather unique and smaller than most displays we are used to. It comes with a 1920 x 1080 resolution that is sharp and clear giving you the precision you need for your work. Although the machine uses Intel UHD 620 Integrated Graphics, they provides just the right amount visual representation for light work.

Other Considerations

You would think a laptop this thin would cut corners on the keyboard, but HP doesn’t. The island-style backlit keyboard is simply sublime with its large well-spaced keys that have a satisfying click and positive feedback. The touchpad feels cool to touch and smooth enough for your fingers to glide over it effortlessly.

To keep you connected to peripherals, the laptop is equipped with two Thunderbolt3 ports, one USB 3.1 port, one USB 3.2 port, an HDMI port, and a headphone/mic combo jack. Bluetooth 5.0 and Wi-Fi connectivity is available.

Bottom Line

We can sum up this machine with the words stunning, efficient, and lightweight. If you’re in the market for a laptop that will help you innovate designs, explore concepts, draw, and tinker with AutoCAD software, you’ll be right at home here.

Specs Recap

  • Editor’s Score: 8/10
  • Processor: 8th Gen Intel Core i5-8265U
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 512GB
  • Weight: 2.2lbs
  • Display: 13.3 inches
  • Battery life : 8 hours
  • Screen resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Graphics: Intel UHD 620 Integrated
  • OS : Windows 10 Pro

Consider Before Buying Best Laptop For AutoCAD

AutoCAD is a highly demanding software that requires more processing power and RAM than your ordinary laptop can provide. Further, the software continues to evolve to meet our ever-growing which makes it, even more, resource-hungry.

When choosing the best laptop or AutoCAD, it makes sense to choose a machine that’s optimized for the software. Let’s look at some of the essential requirements you need to run AutoCAD:

1. Processor

We won’t delve into the details of what a processor is because we know you already know that. Look for a laptop that runs on a Core i7 (possibly the 9th and 10th generation models) or a Core i9 processor as these chips have the power and efficiency to run AutoCAD software.

Clock speed is crucial here as it tells you the number of calculations the processor can perform in any one second. If you’re working on drawings of average size, look for a processor with a clock speed of 3GHz.

2. RAM

RAM is just as important when you’re tackling CAD-intensive work. The overall performance of your laptop depends largely on the synergy of the RAM and the CPU. The more RAM your processor has access to, the easier it will carry out its tasks.

I recommend investing in more than the minimum required amount if you want good performance. 8GB of RAM is listed as the minimum requirement for AutoCAD, but experts will tell you that 2D drawings work well with 16GB of RAM, 3D drawings are better off with 32GB of RAM while rendering may need a little more. 

3. Graphics Card

The video card is in charge of displaying 2D and 3D models on your screen. If you’re only working on 2D models then the basic GPU will suffice. 3D models, however, will require more GPU power with dedicated video memory for better frame rates and smoother appearance.

Unless you intend to run AAA games on your laptop or professional editing work, you don’t need a high-end graphics card. You skimp a bit, but only to invest in a more powerful processor or RAM. If you have a high-end graphics card and a sub-par processor, your machine will be sluggish.

4. Storage 

Having 2TB HDD storage is naturally more tempting than 500+GB SSD as you’ll be getting tons of storage space. SSDs, albeit more expensive, are designed to work faster which translates to quicker file transfers, system boot-up times, and loading times.

Where possible, I recommend using SSD storage for your OS, AutoCAD software, and active projects and investing in a traditional hard drive for your other stuff. This will ensure that your working experience remains smooth. Some laptops offer both SSD and HDD storage which gives you the best of both worlds.

5. Battery Life

CAD applications are hardware-intensive and tend to drain battery power fast. So, unless you’re looking for a workstation laptop that will be plugged into a power source for the better part, if not all day, battery life is important. 

If you work on the go, look for a laptop with good battery life or invest in an external battery pack to keep you productive wherever you’ll be.

Requirements for AutoCAD Laptop

There are other factors to consider like, portability, the size of the display and resolution, and a well-spaced keyboard, but these five are by far the most important. Now, let’s look at the minimum and recommended requirements for an AutoCAD laptop.

Minimum Requirements for Windows

  • Operating System: Microsoft Windows 10 (64-bit only) (version 1803 or higher)
  • Processor: 2.5 – 2.9 GHz processor
  • Memory: 8GB
  • Display: 1920 x 1080 with True Color
  • Graphics: 1 GB GPU with 29 GB/s Bandwidth and DirectX 11 compliant
  • Disk Space: 6GB 
  • Browser: Google Chrome (for the AutoCAD web app)

Recommended Requirements for Windows

  • Operating System: Microsoft Windows 10 (64-bit only) (version 1803 or higher)
  • Processor: 3+ GHz processor
  • Memory: 16GB
  • Display: Resolutions up to 3840 x 2160 
  • Graphics: 4 GB GPU
  • Disk Space: 6GB
  • Browser: Google Chrome (for the AutoCAD web app)

Minimum Requirements for macs

  • Operating System: macOS Catalina v10.15, macOS Mojave v10.14 or macOS High Sierra v10.13
  • Processor: 64-bit Intel CPU 2 GHz or faster
  • Memory: 4GB
  • Display: 1280 x 800 display with true color
  • Disk Space: 3GB
  • Browser: Apple Safari 5.0 or Google Chrome (for the AutoCAD Web app)

Recommended Requirements for macs

  • Operating System: macOS Catalina v10.15, macOS Mojave v10.14 or macOS High Sierra v10.13
  • Processor: 64-bit Intel CPU 2 GHz or faster
  • Memory: 8GB or higher
  • Display: 2880 x 1800 with Retina Display 
  • Disk Space: 3GB
  • Browser: Apple Safari 5.0 or Google Chrome (for the AutoCAD Web app)

Frequently Asked Questions

Are gaming laptops good for CAD?

Gaming laptops are some of the best machines for CAD since they are equipped with the kind of hardware and power you need to run AAA games. Think powerful processors, plenty of RAM, and good graphics among other future proof elements. This very nature allows them to handle CAD smoothly.

Is Intel UHD 620 enough for AutoCAD?

Yes, Intel UHD 620 is enough for AutoCAD especially if you’re running non-intensive tasks, however, the system may work sluggishly. That said, any 3D modeling and rendering won’t work with these integrated graphics. You’re likely to experience inaccurate colors, screen tearing, and crashes.

How do I install AutoCAD on my laptop?

Installing AutoCAD can be a relatively lengthy process but it’s worth it in the end. The first thing you’ll need to do is visit the Autodesk website, scroll down to find AutoCAD, and click on that button. You’ll have the option of downloading a free trial or buying the software. Proceed as desired.

Are Macbooks good for AutoCAD?

Yes, MacBooks are good for AutoCAD. According to AutoDesk, AutoCAD’s developers, the following models are compatible with AutoCAD software: Apple Mac Pro 41, MacBook Pro 5,1, iMac 8.1, Mac mini 3.1, MacBook Air 2.1, and MacBook 5.1.

Which version of AutoCAD is best for Windows 10?

All 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020 AutoCAD software run on Windows 10. The 2016 version may run on Windows 10 but only if paired with the specified service pack specified. 2015 and earlier versions are generally not compatible with Windows 10 unless otherwise indicated in the system requirements.

Is 256GB SSD enough for AutoCAD?

AutoCAD software isn’t heavy in itself, but the projects you’re working on are. The storage you need will depend on the projects you’re working on and how long you hold on to them (while working on others) before handing them over to your clients. Students can work with less storage space but professionals should consider 256GB and above. 

Which graphic card is best for AutoCAD?

It depends on the work you’re doing. 2D models or small 3D models can do with basic graphics. However, the story changes when you’re working with bigger 3D objects, in which case mid-range graphics will be sufficient to run AutoCAD. You can work with a GTX 1660ti, for example.

Is i5 enough for AutoCAD?

There are several instances when a Core i5 processor may be enough for AutoCAD, like if you’re working on objects that don’t use viewport (3D models). You do want to keep a close eye on the clock speed and RAM. Getting them right can be the difference between a smooth workflow and throwing the laptop out the window in frustration.

Is i3 enough for AutoCAD?

If you’re finding your way around AutoCAD or are only interested in creating simple drawings then a Core i3 processor may be enough. But it may most likely only work with the 2016 version. If you want to take on heavier loads then you’ll need to upgrade to a more powerful processor.

What laptop is best for AutoCAD?

Ultimately, the best computer for AutoCAD is the one whose configuration meets the stipulated requirements set by Autodesk. A laptop with a Core i7 processor or higher, over 8GB of RAM, 256GB storage, and above, as well as a solid battery life should run the software smoothly.

The Final Verdict

As we conclude our review of the best laptop for AutoCAD, it’s our sincere hope that you’ve identified a laptop or two, that you can use for running AutoCAD software. We have brought you machines with powerful processors and plenty of RAM as we felt these specs are necessary for smooth operations.

What’s the most important consideration you make when choosing an AutoCAD laptop? Let us know in the comments. 

Last update on 2021-04-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API