Laptop recommendations for an engineering / programming student

Rubber Ducky

Sep 20, 2012
Hello all! My girlfriend is about to start her first year as a university student. She is getting a bachelor's degree in engineering, and the school requires students in this program to have capable laptops. She will be taking some engineering design classes, and at least one programming class. In the school's words:

Every engineering student needs a computer, preferably a laptop. Buy the most RAM and fastest CPU you can afford. You can choose the operating system you are most comfortable with (Windows, Mac OS or Linux). The engineering design software works only on Windows, but you will be given a MS Windows license to install on your computer.

1. What is your budget?

No more than $700 Canadian

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?

Small enough that taking it to class won't be a hassle, so nothing bulky like an Alienware. It doesn't matter much beyond that.

3. What screen resolution do you want?

1366 x 768 is fine

4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?


5. How much battery life do you need?

At least 2-3 hours, so it can be used in back-to-back classes if needed

6. Do you want to play games with your laptop? If so then please list the games that you want to play with the settings that you want for these games. (Low,Medium or High)?


7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.)

Like I mentioned above, it will be used in programming and engineering design classes. Other than that, the usual: browsing and typing school work. She has another laptop that will probably be used for non-school things

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?

500 GB would be plenty

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.

My girlfriend doesn't have a preference, but and have always been reliable for me. We live on the east coast of Canada, so if you know sites that have cheaper shipping to that area, please let us know. There is also a Staples, Walmart, and Best Buy nearby, so we could save on shipping.

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop?

5 years, the time it takes to finish an engineering degree

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?

DVD ROM/Writer

12. Please tell us about the brands that you prefer to buy from them and the brands that you don't like and explain the reasons.

She doesn't want a Mac - they're simply too expensive. Otherwise, no brand preferences

13. What country do you live in?


14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.

As noted above, this laptop will be used by an engineering student; according to the school, it should have as much RAM and the fastest CPU that will fit in the budget. Windows is preferred, as well, but the version is not that important.

Rubber Ducky

Sep 20, 2012
Sorry about the late notice, but after thinking it over, she says she can only spend $700 at most. Thank you both for the suggestions though