If you are a structural engineer looking to buy one of the best laptops for structural engineers, this guide will help you make the right choice.

We’ve narrowed down the best laptops for structural design and analysis. Our picks for the best laptops for structural engineers are well suited for designing lateral resisting frames, beams, columns, walls, slabs and foundations.

The laptops we’ve recommended have solid internals that can handle STAAD Pro, SAP2000, ETABS, SAFE, RISA, Tekla, AutoCAD, Revit Structures, and more effortlessly.

From Acer to Dell, we look at the best laptops for structural engineers in greater depth and what makes each laptop unique and worth owning.

best laptops for structural engineers

Best Laptops for Structural Engineers at a Glance

No. Item  
1 Acer Predator Triton 500 (Editors’ Choice) Check Price on Amazon
2 Lenovo Legion Y740 Check Price on Amazon
3 HP Spectre x360 Check Price on Amazon
4 Dell G7 17 Check Price on Amazon
5 Microsoft Surface Book 2 Check Price on Amazon
6 Lenovo ThinkPad E580 Check Price on Amazon
7 Gigabyte Aero 15x Check Price on Amazon
8 Dell XPS 13 Check Price on Amazon

 

1. Acer Predator Triton 500 (Editors’ Choice)

best laptops for structural engineers

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The Acer Predator Triton 500 is the best laptop for structural engineers and our Editors’ Choice.

The entry-level model comes with Intel Core i7 processor and a full-fat 512GB SSD storage plus 16GB of RAM. The GPU which is the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 is just more than adequate for structural design, analysis, simulations and CAD-related tasks.

You can access an even more powerful version of the Acer Predator Triton 500 which is powered by Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 GPU. The more powerful variant has 32GB of RAM and 1TB SSD.

The Acer Predator Triton 500 has more subtle gaming aesthetic and is lightweight, weighing 4.41 pounds. You won’t have problems hauling the laptop in your backpack on the subway, going to and from work.

Most powerful laptops get hot after a while. But not to worry as there are air vents at four different locations and fans on the laptop.

As for ports, there are more than enough on this powerful laptop. You get three USB 3.1 ports, one Thunderbolt 3 port, one HDMI 2.0 port, and of course, a microphone and headphone jack.

If you enjoy tweaking things a little, the Acer Predator Triton 500’s keyboard backlights colours can be changed. The GPU can be overclocked, too.

A full charge typically buys around 5 hours on a single change, during gaming. While this isn’t the best, it is not a deal breaker either. It is highly recommended.

Given its beefy internals, the Acer Predator Triton 500 remains our top pick and the best laptop for structural engineers.

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PROS

  • Portable
  • Impressive performance
  • Excellent screen refresh rate and response time
  • Good pricing options

CONS

  • Average battery life

Acer Predator Triton 500 Key Specifications

Display: 15.6-inch IPS 144Hz 1920 x 1080 pixels
CPU: Intel Core i7-8750H, 2.20GHz
GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 (6GB GDDR6)
RAM: 16GB DDR4
Storage: 512GB SSD
Size: 14.1 x 10 x 0.70 inches (358.1 x 254 x 17.78 mm)
Weight: 4.41 pounds (2 kg)
Battery: 82 Wh

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2. Lenovo Legion Y740

best laptops for structural engineers

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Another outstanding laptop for structural engineers deserving of note is the Lenovo Legion Y740.

The Legion Y740 is arguably one of the best laptops Lenovo has churned out in recent times. It is durable, powerful and elegant. It is not only designed for gaming, but can handle graphics- and CPU- intensive tasks with ease.

Running programs like SAP2000, ETABS, ANSYS, StaadPro and Tekla on the Y740 is seamless – thanks to its outstanding internals.

The Legion Y740 is outfitted with Nvidia GeForce RTX 1660 Ti graphics card, and a 9th- Gen Intel Core i7-9750H processor. It pairs 16 GB with 256 PCle SSD and 2TB HDD.

There are higher configurations with Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 and Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 graphics cards. These models pair 32GB of RAM with 512GB SSD, and 1TB of HDD.

These specs are perfect for running any structural design and analysis program. As a matter of fact, the Lenovo Legion Y740 can handle just about any intense computing task.

Like the Acer Predator Triton 500, the Y740’s chassis has a subtle gaming aesthetic. So, if you need a powerful laptop for structural design and analysis that doesn’t look like most traditional gaming laptops, the Legion Y740 ticks this box. It is simply a beautiful laptop.

The laptop sports a crisp HD display. The screen has an impressive 144Hz refresh rate and G-syn support.

Port selection on the Y740 is pretty decent, you won’t have problems. The right edge holds one USB 3.1 port and a OneKey Recovery button. The ports on the left side are a Thunderbolt 3, and a headphone jack.

The back of the Legion Y740 holds the rest of the goodies, like two USB 3.1 ports,  an HDMI 2.0 port, a power jack, an Ethernet RJ45 port, a security lock slot, and a Mini DisplayPort.

Put all the features (excellent graphics card, latest CPU, ample RAM) together and you get a knockout laptop for structural engineers.

It is worth noting that the Lenovo Legion Y740 has a thermal cooling feature. So, you need not worry about your laptop getting warm.

If you dig good sound, the Y740’s speakers won’t disappoint. The speakers pump out clear sound. You’d be pleased with the balanced profile of the sound, it does not lean too heavily toward bass or treble tones.

The laptop’s touchpad and RGB keyboard work well. The keyboard is quite comfortable to type on.

All in all, the Lenovo Legion Y740 is highly recommended, and it is one of the best laptops for structural engineers.

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PROS                                                                                        

  • Excellent refresh rate
  • Good graphics card
  • Powerful processor
  • Lots of connectivity options
  • Thermal cooling feature

CONS

  • Battery life isn’t impressive

Lenovo Legion Y740 Key Specifications

Display: 15.6-inch FHD 144 Hz, 1920 x 1080 Pixels
CPU: 9th Gen Intel Core i7-9750H 6 core
GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660Ti 6GB – Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070
RAM: 16 GB – 32GB DDR4 SDRAM
Storage: 256 PCle SSD + 2TB HDD, or 512GB SSD + 1TB HDD
Weight: 4.8 pounds (2.2 kg)
OS: Windows 10
Battery: 57Wh

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3. HP Spectre x360

best laptops for structural engineers

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The HP Spectre x360 is one of Hewlett-Packard’s best 2-in-1 laptops. Its specs and features are excellent and sure to handle all the computational needs of structural engineers.

It comes equipped with an Intel Core i7-8565U CPU, a whopping 256GB of storage, and 16GB RAM. The Spectre x360’s impressive 61 Wh battery will carry you through 13 hours of moderate use without getting energy anxious.

The laptop isn’t quite as expensive as laptops like the Apple MacBook Air, Dell XPS 13, and Apple MacBook .

Like the Lenovo Yoga C930, the HP Spectre x360 is shipped with a stylus.

Every port you could reasonably expect is on this powerful laptop including USB-A and USB-C ports.

Poseidon Blue and Ash Silver are colour choices available in either 13-inch or 15-inch model.

The only minor drawback of the laptop is its average touchpad – it isn’t as good a touchpad as you’ll find on a high-end laptop such as the MacBook Pro. That said, the overall impressive performance of the Spectre x360 overshadows this downside.

If this does not give you pause, then the Spectre x360 is absolutely worth owning. It is still one of the best laptops for structural engineers.

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PROS

  • Good performance
  • Smart, stylish design
  • Very long battery life

CONS

  • Mediocre touchpad
  • Display could be better

HP Spectre x360 Key Specifications

Display: 13.3-inch 4K display, 1920 x 1080 pixels
CPU: 8th Gen Intel Core i5-8265U/Core i7-8565U
Operating System: Windows 10 Home
RAM: 8GB or 16GB
Storage: 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, or 2TB
Ports: Thunderbolt 3, USB Type-C, USB 3.1 Type-A, microSD slot, headphone jack
Size: 12.2 x 8.6 x 0.57 inches (309.9 x 218.4 x 14.5 mm)
Weight: 2.9 pounds (1.32 kg)

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4. Dell G7 17

best laptops for structural engineers

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The Dell G7 is a capable laptop for running most structural engineering-related programs effortlessly. It packs tons of performance at a relatively reasonable price.

The laptop comes equipped with Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 graphics, 16GB of RAM, 256GB  SSD plus 1TB HDD. Additionally, the laptops ships with Intel Core i7-9750H processors. This configuration is more than adequate for computer aided designs, analyses and simulations, making it one of the best laptops for structural engineers.

It has a very good display, which is comparatively on the level of the Dell XPS 13 (2019), the Razer Blade Stealth (2019), and Apple MacBook Air (2018).

The Dell G7 is 5.5 pounds and has a 14.4 x 10.8 x 0.8-inch footprint. It looks sleek, but is quite heavy.

On the left of the Dell G7, there’s one Thunderbolt 3, USB 3.1 Gen 1 and a headphone/mic jack. The right side has a 2-in-1 SD card reader and another USB 3.1 Gen 1.

The back of the Dell G7 holds the rest of the goodies, like the power adapter, an HDMI port, another USB 3.1 Gen 1, Mini DisplayPort, Ethernet and a noble lock slot. It’s worth noting that you can charge any gadget via the USB 3.1 Gen 1 Ports even when the Dell G7 isn’t on.

The G7 has an RGB keyboard, with lightning that can be adjusted just like the 2019 Razer Blade Stealth’s keyboard.

A minor gripe: the Dell G7 gets warm after heavy use most times.

The Dell G7 ships with Windows 10 and some other software like Mobile Connect, Alienware Command Center, SmartByte Diagnostics, Digital Delivery, and more.

Dell sells the G7 with a 1-year limited warranty.

The final thing we’ll be looking at in our Dell G7 review is battery life. With amazing internals, the laptop comes with a decent 60 Wh battery capable of handling the power needs of the powerful Dell G7.

The Dell G7 is a solid laptop and we strongly recommend it as one of the best laptops for structural engineers.

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PROS

  • Good design
  • Good display with high refresh rate
  • Overall great performance
  • Good price for its features and performance

CONS

  • Audio could be improved
  • Average battery life

Dell G7 17 Key Specifications

Display: 17.3-inches, FHD IPS, 1920 x 1080 pixels, 144 Hz
CPU: 9th Gen Intel Core i7-9750H
GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB
RAM: 16GB
Storage: 512 SSD + 1TB HDD
Size: 15.9 x 11.7 x 0.98 inches (403.9 x 274.2 x 24.9 mm)
Weight: 10.1 pounds (4.6 kg)
OS: Windows 10 Home
Battery: 60 Wh

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5. Microsoft Surface Book 2

best laptops for structural engineers

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The Microsoft Surface Book 2 is made of aluminium chassis, looks great and comes with a wealth of handy features. The laptop is detachable and comes with a Surface Pen. It is thin and light.

Armed with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 GPU, 16GB of RAM and 1TB of storage, the Microsoft Surface Book 2 stands toe-to-toe with the best laptops for structural engineers on our list.

Of course, it ships with a powerful Intel Core i7 processor. The Core i7 will make running structural analysis, structural design, computer aided design (CAD) and simulation programs effortless.

The Surface Book 2 has a good selection of ports for connecting to external displays using the DisplayPort standard, lightning-fast external drives, and pretty much any USB peripheral.

The ports on the 2-in-1 are: two USB 3.1 ports, one USB 3.1 Type-C port, two Surface Connect ports, an SD card reader, and a 3.5 mm headphone jack.

If you are a heavy gamer as well, the Microsoft Surface Book 2 will serve you well. Microsoft was smart to put the Xbox Wireless radio which makes connecting Xbox One controllers seamless.

With regard to weight, the Surface Book lightweight at 4.2 pounds. For comparison’s sake, it is lighter than the Lenovo Legion Y7000 Gaming Laptop (9.15 pounds), 2019 HP Omen 17 (7.1 pounds), and the Dell G7 (5.5 pounds).

As for battery life, you’ll get around seven hours out of the laptop from a single charge, if not more.

The speakers are a bit of a letdown. The Surface Book 2’s speakers do not pump amazing sound as the 2018 MacBook Air, the Apple MacBook Pro with Touch Bar (2018), and the Razer Blade Stealth (2019).

The minor gripe aside, the Microsoft Surface Book 2 is worth owning and remains one of the best laptops for structural engineers.

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PROS

  • Very powerful specs
  • Superb battery life
  • Good cooling feature
  • Quite lightweight

CONS

  • Pricey
  • Speakers aren’t the best

Microsoft Surface Book 2 Key Specifications

Display: 15-inch, 3240 x 2160 pixels
CPU: 1.9GHz Intel Core i7-8650U
GPU: Intel UHD Graphics 620; Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060
RAM: 16GB LPDDR3
Storage: 1TB PCIe 3.0 SSD
Size: 13.5 x 9.87 x 0.568-0.90  (343 x 251 x 15-23mm)
Weight: 4.2 pounds (1.9kg)
OS: Windows 10 Pro

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6. Lenovo ThinkPad E580

best laptops for structural engineers

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The Lenovo ThinkPad E580 is a powerful mid-range laptop with components capable of tackling all structural analysis and design-related tasks

It has a 15.6-inch Full HD display with a 1920 x 1080 resolution. The E580 has a variant with a 1366 x 768 screen.

Weighing 4.7 pounds (2.13 kg) and measuring 368.3mm by 251.46mm by 20.32 mm, the laptop isn’t really thin. It is not light, either.

The ThinkPad E580’s internals consists of Intel Core i7 processors, 16 GB of RAM and 512 GB storage. As for graphics, it is powered by Intel UHD Graphics 620. There is a Core i5 model, too.

The Core i7 variant is more than adequate for getting the most out of programs like STAAD Pro, SAP2000, ETABS, ANSYS, Tekla, AutoCAD, Revit Structures, and more

The laptop’s backlit keyboard has incredibly responsive keys. On the keyboard, you’ll find a dedicated numeric keypad. The backlit keys are perfect for working in poorly lit environments.

For connectivity, port selection is wide. On the left side, you’ll find two USB 3.1 Type-A connectors, a USB Type-C port for charging, HDMI out, and an audio jack. The right edge holds a a microSD card reader, USB 2.0 port, and an Ethernet port. The biggest drawback here is the absence of a Thunderbolt 3 port.

If you enjoy listening to music while using your laptop, the ThinkPad E580 has good speakers that produce great sound, so you shouldn’t have a problem.

Lenovo packed in a reasonable 45 watt-hours of battery capacity into the ThinkPad E580 chassis. It is worth noting, as well, that the battery lasts for nearly 9 hours on a charge. This contradicts the 13-hour claim on the box.

Overall, the Lenovo ThinkPad E580 is one of the best laptops for structural engineers.

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PROS

  • Excellent build
  • Great performance
  • Good internals
  • Very good keyboard

CONS

  • Display could be improved
  • Average battery life

Lenovo ThinkPad E580 Key Specifications

Display: 15.6-inch Full HD, 1920 x 1080 pixels
CPU: Intel 8th Generation Core i7-8550U
GPU: Intel UHD Graphics 620
RAM: 16GB
Storage: 512GB SSD
Size: 14.5 x 9.9 x 0.8 inches (368.3 x 251.46 x 20.32 mm)
Weight: 4.7 pounds (2.13 kg)
OS: Windows 10
Battery: 45 Wh

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7. Gigabyte Aero 15X

best laptops for structural engineers

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Equipped with 8th-gen Intel Core i7-8750H and Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070, the Gigabyte Aero 15X does not disappoint when dealing with structural engineering programs that tax a laptop’s internals, and are graphically demanding as well as.

Elsewhere, the laptop sports an enormous 512GB solid-state drive (SSD) storage, and 16GB of RAM.

If display refresh rate is your number one concern, you will not be let down buying the Gigabyte Aero 15X as the manufacturer has ramped up its refresh rate from 60 Hz on the 2018 variant to 144 Hz.

For connectivity, you won’t have problems as the Gigabyte Aero 15X parades one USB 3.1 Gen 1 port, two USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports, a USB-C port, an SD Card reader, Mini-DisplayPort and HDMI 2.0 ports. Lest we forget, a headphone jack is also present.

As far dimensions go, Aero 15X’s FHD, 15.6-inch IPS panel is a little larger than the 2018 model which has a 14-inch screen. It is not the thinnest gaming laptop on the market, although it is quite thin at 0.74-inch.

To put its thickness in perspective, powerful laptops like the ASUS ROG Zephyrus GA502 has a thickness of 2.9 inches, and the Alienware Area 51m is 1.7-inch thick.

With its solid internals, and excellent performance, the Gigabyte Aero 15X is recommended as one of the best laptops for steam games.

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PROS

  • Excellent 144Hz display
  • New sleek design
  • Excellent Battery life
  • Lots of Ports

CONS

  • Touchpad could be improved

Gigabyte Aero 15X Key Specifications

Display: 15.6-inch FHD 144Hz IPS, 1920 x 1080 Pixels
CPU: 8th-gen Intel Core i7-8750H
GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q
RAM: 16GB DDR4
Storage: 512GB SSD
Size: 14.0 x 9.8 x 0.74 inches (355.6 x 248.9 x 18.8 mm)
Weight: 4.49 pounds (2.03kg)
Battery: 94 Wh

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8.
Dell XPS 13

best laptops for structural engineers

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The Dell XPS 13 is one of the best laptops for structural engineers worth mentioning.

It is sleek, professional and portable.

With a 3820 x 2160 4K Ultra HD display, the laptop’s screen flaunts incredible bright and stunning colours which make for an awesome viewing experience. If you prefer a larger screen, you could opt for the Dell XPS 15.

Memory options range between 4GB to 16GB of RAM, and storage goes from 128GB to 2TB. You won’t have problems running more than one structural engineering program with the Dell XPS 13.

The Dell XPS 13 maintains the same weight at 2.7 pounds (1.23 kg) and size at 11.9 x 7.8 x 0.3 inches (302.3 x 198.1 x 7.6 mm) as the 2018 model.

Port selection is generous on the XPS 13: two Thunderbolt 3 USB-C ports, one USB-C 3.1 port, a 3.5mm headphone jack and a microSD card slot are the ports available on the laptop. Some laptops like the Microsoft Surface Pro 6 lack the new thunderbolt 3 port.

Three colour models available are: rose gold-on-white, silver-on-black, and frost-on-white design.

The Dell XPS 13’s predecessor which is shipped with Kaby Lake R Core i7-8550U is fast, but the Dell XPS 13 which has Intel Whiskey Lake Core i7-8565U is faster and more efficient. The slightly superior CPU speed will help the XPS 13 tackle many computing tasks effortlessly.

As far as battery performance goes, you get approximately 12 hours of use on the 4K model and 21 hours with a Full HD display, depending of course on usage.

The Dell XPS13 is highly recommended and remains one of the best laptops for structural engineers.

PROS

  • Excellent performance
  • Cutting-edge 4k display
  • Slim & lightweight
  • Excellent keyboard

CONS

  • Decent battery life

Dell XPS 13 Key Specifications

Display: 13.3-inch display, 3820 x 2160 pixels
CPU: 1.8-GHz Intel Core i7-8565U processor
Operating System: Windows 10 Pro, Windows 10 Home (64-bit)
RAM: 16GB
Storage: 1TB
Ports: Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C), USB-C 3.1, microSD card reader, headset jack
Size: 11.9 x 7.8 x 0.3 inches (302.3 x 198.1 x 7.6 mm)
Weight: 2.7 pounds (1.23 kg)

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No. Item  
1 Acer Predator Triton 500 (Editors’ Choice) Check Price on Amazon
2 Lenovo Legion Y740 Check Price on Amazon
3 HP Spectre x360 Check Price on Amazon
4 Dell G7 17 Check Price on Amazon
5 Microsoft Surface Book 2 Check Price on Amazon
6 Lenovo ThinkPad E580 Check Price on Amazon
7 Gigabyte Aero 15x Check Price on Amazon
8 Dell XPS 13 Check Price on Amazon

Bottom Line

We’ve reviewed in detail, the best laptops for structural engineers. These laptops are a great pick for structural engineers who need robust, fast, and responsive laptops that work at all times.