Best Laptops for Architects in 2023: The Specs You Need

laptops for architects

Becoming an architect allows you to contribute to something long-lasting and dependable. The job will enable you to unleash your creativity in an organized and orderly fashion. We’ve been pondering about what are the best laptops for architects.

And for a LONG time now…

Architectural design and drafting are performed on LAPTOPS.

For a long time, desktop PCs were used for high-demanding, intensive work since laptops sacrificed performance for mobility. While some professional architects still prefer desktops, architecture students have no choice but to rely on laptops.

These “mobile workstations” proved to be as powerful as desktop workstations while still portable. And they are slowly replacing desktops for architectural work and practice.

What To Look For In A Laptop

If you’re an architect or are thinking of becoming one, you’ll need a laptop capable of running design software. Still, that doesn’t mean you need to spend a lot and buy the most expensive laptop or most powerful laptop on the market.

Indeed, buying an expensive and powerful machine wouldn’t hurt. But the truth is, you’re better off investing in portability rather than power that will never be put to full use. This goes for architecture students and professional architects too.

Laptop Specifications For Architects

Here are some hardware specs you should aim for:

  • Choose a CPU with more than 3GHz for drafting and drawing. Any quad-core CPU should work.
  • Most of the laptops on this list have CPUs capable of dealing with architectural projects. Aim for NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050, equivalent, or better graphics.
  • 8GB RAM might be enough for a student, but 16GB/32GB is needed for more serious projects.
  • 15″ FHD displays allow for better portability, but 17″ is preferable for architects.
  • Any storage above 512GB is enough for project files.
  • The ideal weight is about 3 to 4 pounds, but more powerful laptops weigh more.

Not all laptops are fit for architectural projects. To aid in choosing your hardware, the list includes a laptop for every budget and project type.

Most of these configurations will fit both architecture students and professional architects.

The Best Laptops For Architects

Microsoft Surface Book 2

best laptop for architect

Microsoft was proud of what their original Surface Book accomplished, and that pride is still visible with the new Surface Book 2.

The design hasn’t changed at all. Like its predecessor, Surface Book 2 has a sturdy metal chassis coated in an elegant matte silver coat, giving it a professional look.

The screen is detachable so that you can use it as a tablet, which is convenient for project-based work.

Intel’s 8th Gen Quad Core i7 processor offers excellent multi-core performance since the software for building your blueprints is quite demanding.

This CPU, coupled with 16GB RAM and NVIDIA GeForce GTX1050, allows you to complete all the work quickly. In essence, you get top performance with this laptop.

The 15-inch display offers a 3240x2160p resolution which is more than enough to provide a sharp image. As far as the colors go, you’ll be amazed by the vibrancy the colors have. Battery life is essential; this laptop offers up to 17 hours of productive work.

Pros Of The Surface

  • Excellent performance
  • Unparalleled battery life
  • Versatile

Cons Of The Surface

  • Expensive

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Dell XPS 15 9570

This model might be one of the best and most lightweight Windows-based laptops for students and working architects.

laptops for architects

Intel’s 8th Generation Core i7-8750h (up to 4.1GHz), 32GB RAM, and NVIDIA GeForce 1050Ti performance are pretty impressive. As a result, working architects won’t be running into trouble when working on many projects.

The design hasn’t changed much since the original XPS 15 9550. Since it’s a premium laptop, its chassis is made from aluminum and carbon fiber.

The silver anodized aluminum is CNC machined to blend with dark-grey carbon fiber seamlessly. These materials allow for great portability since the whole machine weighs 0.86 pounds.

The XPS 15 9570 sports a glossy UHD (3840x2160p) touchscreen, which Corning Gorilla Glass protects. You can also opt for an FHD (1920x1080p) matte non-touch screen. This laptop achieves a respectable 8 hours of battery life with all the great hardware.

Pros Of The Dell XPS

  • One of the best-looking 15-inch laptops
  • Great performance
  • Affordable

Cons Of The Dell XPS

  • Limited battery life

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Lenovo ThinkPad P51

This 15-inch Lenovo ThinkPad is a full-fledged mobile workstation supported by a powerful quad-core CPU and NVIDIA Quadro M1200M GPU.

ThinkPad P51 can handle all the demanding tasks for designing and sketching. As a result, this is up there as one of the best laptops for architects.

laptops for architects

Various project files will require a lot of space, which is why this laptop comes equipped with 1TB of storage space. That’s more than enough space for storing your work files. And despite power-hungry hardware, ThinkPad P51 offers 8 hours of work.

The aluminum-magnesium alloy body with a scratch-proof finish offers excellent stability. However, it’s not exactly the lightest laptop, but a bulky one, weighing around 5.8 pounds. The fiber-glass-reinforced lid has a maximum opening angle of 180°.

The FHD IPS panels (1920x1080p) offer vibrant colors and a good-quality picture with wide viewing angles. In addition, Lenovo provides a 4K display with this model if you’re willing to pay extra.

Pros Of The ThinkPad

  • Strong performance
  • Great battery life
  • Amazing display
  • Good build

Cons Of The ThinkPad

  • Heavy and bulky

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ASUS ZenBook 13

If you’re looking for easy portability without sacrificing performance, ZenBook 13 is perfect. But, again, weight and thickness are where this laptop shines. At 2.5 pounds and 0.55 inches thick, it allows for excellent mobility.

ASUS ZenBook FHD 13.3-Inch Laptop for architects

Though made of plastic with a thin and light body, ZenBook 13 is flimsy. The keyboard is quite impressive and comfortable to type on. However, the touchpad is usable, but it lacks precise movement tracking.

This laptop has an Intel Core i5-8250U processor, 8GB RAM, and integrated Intel 620 UHD graphics. The configuration is more than capable of handling your designing and sketching tasks.

The 13.3 -inch FHD screen has a relatively high definition pixel count, with an anti-glare coat keeping the screen clear and visible.

The lithium-polymer battery provides up to 14 hours of autonomy. ZenBook offers excellent performance for students who need a budget-priced machine to work on.

Pros Of The ZenBook

  • Thin and lightweight
  • Solid productivity performance
  • Great battery life

Cons Of The ZenBook

  • No discrete graphics

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Apple MacBook Pro

If you’re in the market for a rugged laptop and not on a tight budget, you might want to consider getting a MacBook Pro.

It’s one of the most potent, high-performance hardware configurations capable of running software for your architectural work.


MacBook Pro Touch Bar from Apple

It comes with a 2.9GHz Intel Core i7 CPU and Radeon Pro 560 Graphics coupled with 16GB RAM. The 512GB SSD storage space is just enough for your files and projects.

The overall design of this laptop is an aesthetic piece of art that’s now famous for years. The keyboard is backlit and quiet. The trackpad is enormous and wonderfully responsive. Another great feature is the Touch ID, a fingerprint sensor allowing quick access.

If you’re looking for a powerful and aesthetic notebook, and budget is not an issue, you’ll love MacBook Pro.

Pros Of The MacBook Pro

  • Long-lasting battery
  • Amazing performance
  • Beautiful design

Cons Of The MacBook Pro

  • Pricey

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Dell Inspiron 7567

Inspiron 7567 is a gaming machine designed for high-intensity gaming over long periods.

In other words – it’s a workhorse capable of withstanding the use of heavy programs for your projects. So, overheating and lack of processing power are something you won’t have to worry about.

the best laptop for an architect

With 2.5GHz Intel Core i5-7300HQ, 8GB of RAM, and 4GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050Ti, you’ll find this laptop more than adequate for productivity and multitasking.

The body is made of plastic, with a simple, pleasing design. A full-sized keyboard backlit with red lighting feels good to type on. The screen is 1920x1080p, giving enhanced sharpness with a wide-viewing angle.

While Inspiron 7567’s components are far from the most influential tech, the combination of performance, battery life, and quality construction are worth the money.

Pros Of The Inspiron

  • Affordable
  • 11 hours of battery life
  • Attractive design

Cons Of The Inspiron

  • The display could be better

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Acer Predator Helios 300

This laptop is aimed at dedicated professionals who don’t mind using gaming laptops as work tools.

The Acer Predator Helios 300 is, by all accounts, a great laptop. In addition, you’ll be pleasantly impressed by this model’s performance, as it can handle almost any CAD software and project size.

Acer Predator Helios 300 best laptop for architect

Design sticks with gaming aesthetics, sporting a metal chassis, black colors with red accents, and geometric cuts. Metal chassis and geometric cuts give this laptop a bold look, but it’s surprisingly lighter than it looks.

Keyboard ergonomics are pretty comfortable, while the touchpad offers enough precision for productivity tasks.

With 7th Gen Intel Core i7-7700HQ, 16GB RAM, and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060, everything will load quickly and work seamlessly. This laptop truly packs power at a reasonably affordable price.

Pros Of The Helios 300

  • Excellent performance, easy to upgrade
  • Attractive design
  • Relatively long battery life

Cons Of The Helios 300

  • Display brightness could be higher

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You don’t always have to pay a tremendous amount of money to get a solid-performing system, and GL62M is here to prove that point.

This laptop is designed for high-end gaming, which means architectural software will run like a dream.

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MSI GL62M comes with a compelling set of hardware. Intel’s Core i7-8750H and 16GB RAM will easily handle applications and multitask. And with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070, it’ll make all the difference when drafting the most complex scenarios.

The device comes with a matte-finished plastic chassis. It’s pretty stylish, compact, slim, and easy to carry. The FHD matte-finish display offers a 1920x1080p resolution powered by IPS technology.

Thanks to its powerful hardware, this laptop can handle everything you throw at it. But there’s a price to pay, as the battery lasts about 4 hours under heavy load.

Pros Of The MSI

  • Solid gaming and productivity performance
  • Comfortable keyboard
  • Lightweight design

Cons Of The MSI

  • Mediocre battery life

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