5 Best Budget Laptops for Architecture Students

5 Best Budget Laptops for Architecture Students (Latest Models 2022)


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Updated on 2022-08-17

In Architectural Gadgets


A good budget laptop is essential for architecture students. The key features include long battery life, lightweight, portable and powerful performance. The architecture field requires a lot of creativity, design thinking, and problem-solving. These skills are often learned through hands-on experience. This means that architects spend a large amount of time using their laptops.

It is rightly said that a man is only as good as his tools. So, unlock your potential with these highly efficient laptops that will boost your performance and save you time while you’re at it. This is made possible with the latest selection of technology employed for the very purpose of helping create elevated visuals and graphics and designed to give you an undisturbed workflow.

Since architectural projects revolve around computer-aided drawing and the use of multiple software simultaneously, this list will help you choose the best-suited affordable laptop for you. So, without wasting any more time let's uncover some tips that will guide you in your next purchase.

Why you should buy a Laptop over a Desktop?

Are you confused between choosing a laptop over a desktop or vice versa? The confusion is quite obvious as we do not buy a laptop or desktop very frequently. And, for students of architecture, it becomes all the more important to consider and factor in a lot of variables while making the choice. Following are a few reasons that make laptops a better choice over desktops for architectural students –

  • Laptops are compact machines that do not require additional space setup, therefore, making them an ideal choice for students.
  • Today, laptops are powerhouses of enhanced performance, owing to the powerful hardware.
  • The biggest advantage is that it is portable and one can work from practically anywhere.
  • With enhanced battery backups, one can easily work even in case of a power cut or failure; this is not a possibility with desktops.
  • Laptops don’t require component set up before starting, unlike desktops.

Students should put their money into something practical yet long-lasting. Therefore, in addition to the above points, there are personal requirements that one should use as a yardstick while drawing comparisons. Going in for a laptop is just the first step of the entire process of buying a device. Other things that one should give due importance to are the operating system available and other specifications such as processor, RAM, GPU, battery life, storage, ports, compatibility, etc.

Operating System (Windows vs macOS)

Choosing the Operating system is one of the preliminary factors when looking for a choosing a laptop or a desktop. The two widely used operating systems are windows and macOS. Following are some pointers to help you weigh the pros and cons of both operating systems –

  • Windows is a more prevalent operating system, thus making it a more viable option.
  • Looking at the range of software and applications, almost most of them are available for windows as against the macOS.
  • macOS is sought to be more intuitive when compared with windows.
  • Both the operating systems are user-friendly.
  • Windows offers a compatible environment to help users operate old versions of software on new devices.
  • Windows is more susceptible to virus and spyware attacks when compared with macOS.

Specifications that one must consider while choosing a laptop –

  • CPU Processor: For seamless working, architecture students should prefer choosing processors like Core i5, Ryzen 5 and above.  
  • RAM: It is advisable to go in for a higher Ram (8GB and higher) for efficient and seamless working.
  • GPU (Graphics Processing Units): Architecture involves high-intensity graphic work; thus, the laptop or desktop must preferably have a high-end graphics card for incessant working. For a stringent budget, one should consider an integrated graphic card, however, for higher performance, a discreet graphics card should be given preference.    
  • Storage: Apt storage should be one of the primary considerations while choosing a laptop or desktop. There are numerous options available for storage volumes, starting from 256 GB. However, it is advised that one chooses a machine with an internal storage of 512 GB and above. In addition, choosing the type of storage (Hard Disk Drives and Solid State Drives) is equally important. SSDs are preferred as they offer enhanced speed and are quieter when compared with HDDs.
  • Display and Resolution: For architectural students, the resolution and quality of the display are important factors to consider. Therefore, they should consider opting for an IPS screen with a resolution of 1920 x 1080p (Full HD). These days laptops with higher resolutions [2560 x 1600, 3200 x 1800 and 3840 x 2160 (4K)] are also available, but a full HD display would aid in all the functions for students unless they are willing to go in for high-resolution configurations. 
  • Screen Size: For students of architecture, it is recommended that they opt for bigger screen sizes (15” and above).
  • USB ports: Today, the number of USB ports available in a laptop is also a considerable factor to consider, as most accessories require USB ports. In addition, one should also look for the type of USB port available in a laptop. It is advisable that one should opt for a laptop that has at least one USB 3.0 and USB C port.  
  • Battery Life: For students, every minute is important and they can’t afford to waste a lot of time searching for charging sockets or waiting for backup in case of power loss. Therefore, it is advisable that the laptop has a battery life of 8 hours and above.
  • Connectivity: Connectivity over an internet connection and support for wireless connections should be the primary considerations. One should go in for a laptop that supports 4G LTE or 5G network. For better wireless connectivity, look for devices that support Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5 technology.

Below we list our top picks for the best budget yet affordable laptops for Architecture Students-:


1. Lenovo ThinkPad E15 Intel Core i5 11th Gen 15.6" (39.62 cm) FHD IPS Thin and Light Laptop (8GB RAM/512GB SSD/Windows 11 Home/MS Office H&S 2021/Iris® Xe Graphics/Backlit/FPR/Black/1.7 kg), 20TDS0TA00

The Lenovo Thinkpad E15 laptop is an ideal yet affordable laptop for the go. With its strong built it can withstand rugged usage, which helps students to not worry about accidental knocks, drops, or even spills while working and traveling. This laptop offers the looks and functions of a premium laptop within a student budget.

Specifications:

  • 11th Gen Intel Core i5-1135G7  processor
  • 15.6-inch screen with (1920X1080) Full HD Display with anti-glare technology
  • 720p HD camera with Privacy shutter
  • 8GB RAM with a storage of 512GB SSD
  • Battery life up to 10.8 hours and 2x 2W Harman speakers with Dolby Advanced Audio.
  • Software included: Windows 11 Home, Microsoft Office Home and Student 2021
  • In the Box: Main Unit, Charging Cable, Charging Adapter, User Manual, Warranty Card

Features:

  • With its elegant look, the 15.6-inch screen with 1920 X 1080 full HD anti-glare FHD display makes working virtually more immersive.
  • All your important data is encrypted making you work safe while the 1.6 GHz base speed and 4.2 GHz max speed ensure that your work runs smoothly.
  • One can work in remote locations with a durable and long battery life its drop and spill-resistant qualities.
  • The 180-degree hinge and thin and light design allow for even more flexibility while working.

2. HP 15 (2021) Thin & Light 11th Gen Core i5 Laptop, 8 GB RAM, 512GB SSD, 15.6-inch FHD Screen, Windows 10, MS Office, Built-in Alexa Built-in (15s-fq2535TU)

This HP 15 laptop is a sleek and portable laptop with easy usability and reliable performance. It has advanced graphics and a long-lasting battery life that makes sure you are always powered and ready to work. These functional features and pocket-friendly price tag make for a perfect combination laptop suitable for students working on architectural projects.

Specifications:

  • 11th Gen Intel Core i5 processor
  • 6.5 mm micro-edge bezel display
  • 15.6-Inch FHD IPS anti-glare micro-edge WLED-backlit, 250 nits, 45% NTSC (1920 x 1080)
  • Intel UHD Graphics
  • 8GB SDRAM with a storage of 1TB HDD
  • Fingerprint reader to protect your data.
  • Software included: Windows 10 Home 64, Microsoft Office Home, and Student 2019

Features:

  • It has an 81 % screen-to-body ratio allowing a wider viewing and working interface.
  • With a reliable processor, advanced graphics, and abundant storage, it is good for everyday use and efficient output.
  • Working becomes even more navigable with the integrated precision touchpad.
  • It offers a long battery life with fast charge technology to keep you connected always.

3. ASUS VivoBook 14 (2020), Intel Core i5-1035G1 10th Gen, 14-inch (35.56 cm) FHD, Thin &Light Laptop (8GB/512GB SSD + 32GB Optane/Office 2019/Windows 10/Integrated Graphics/Silver/1.6 Kg) X415JA-EK562TS

ASUS VivoBook 14 has an elevated compact and lightweight design with an attractive aluminum body that gives it unmatched protection. The four-sided frameless display is an added bonus to its immersive visual quality that allows both professionals and students to produce work of the best quality.

Specifications:

  • 10th Gen Intel Core i5 processor
  • 14.0-inch (16:9) LED-backlit FHD (1920x1080) 60Hz with anti-glare quality and IPS-level Panel.
  • Integrated Intel UHD Graphics
  • Built-in fingerprint sensor.
  • 8GB onboard RAM with a storage of 512GB SSD and 32GB Intel Optane Memory.
  • Software included: Windows 10 Home 64, Microsoft Office Home, and Student 2019

Features:

  • The overall weight of 1.60 kg with a sleek design.
  • 87% screen-to-body ratio and viewing angle of 178 degrees.
  • Up to 24 hours of battery life for uninterrupted workflow.
  • Suitable for harsh work environments with military-grade durability in extreme temperatures, altitudes, and humid areas.
  • The backlit keyboard makes working in dim environments easier.
  • Thunderbolt 3 port allows lightning-fast data transfers saving time and energy.

4. Dell Vostro 3400 14" FHD Anti Glare Display Laptop (11th Gen i5-1135G7 / 8GB / 512 SSD / Integrated Graphics / Win 10 + Office H&S/ Dune Color /1.64Kg/Backlit Keyboard) D552157WIN9DE

This Dell Vostro laptop is a great option for architecture students with its fast-paced processor and easy connectivity to multiple devices. With a two-sided narrow border and anti-glare display, it provides an amplified visual experience and removes any background distractions.

Specifications:

  • 11th Gen Intel Core i5 processor
  • 14.0-inch FHD (1920x1080) 60Hz with anti-glare quality and LED backlight.
  • NVIDIA GeForce MX330 with 2GB GDDR5 graphics memory.
  • 8GB DDR4 and 512GB solid-state drive.
  • Software included: Windows 10 Home 64, Microsoft Office Home, and Student 2019

Features:

  • Express charge recharges your battery from 0% to 80% in just an hour.
  • Multiple ports and an SD card reader make connecting to various other devices easier and quick.
  • The bright and vivid colors of the FHD panel render life-like images on a screen.
  • A commercial-grade security chip in the motherboard lets you work without the worry of losing private data.
  • Large storage availability makes your workday more efficient.

5. Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 3 10th Gen Intel Core i5 15.6-inch Full HD IPS Thin and Light Laptop (8GB/512GB SSD/Windows 10/MS Office 2019/Fingerprint Reader/Platinum Grey/1.85Kg), 81WE018TIN

Although an entry-level laptop, the Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 3 is built for long-lasting and reliable performance. From everyday tasks to intense drawing and editing sessions for student projects, this can do it all.

Specifications:

  • 10th Gen Intel Core i5-1035G1
  • 15.6" Full HD (1920x1080) with anti-glare quality and IPS Technology.
  • Narrow bezel and fingerprint reader.
  • 8GB DDR4 upgradeable up to 12GB and 512GB solid-state drive.
  • Software included: Windows 10 Home 64, Microsoft Office Home, and Student 2019
  • Battery life of up to 6 hours.

Features:

  • Easy to carry around with its slim profile and lightweight.
  • High productivity levels with the latest intel processors helping you work with no lags and delays.
  • Larger viewing surface with 2-sided narrow bezels.
  • Elevated graphics makes the videos more vibrant and Dolby audio ensures a truly immersive experience.
  • Lightning-fast wi-fi and Bluetooth connectivity.


For this list, we recommend HP 15 (2021) Thin & Light 11th Gen Core i5 Laptop. It is a highly popular laptop and gives you good value for money. Its sophisticated design and looks are an added bonus. The carefully selected features make it a product that checks all the boxes as a budget laptop for architecture students.

Investing in a laptop for architecture students determines their productivity and performance in the studios and ultimately builds their professional capabilities. Therefore, selecting the right yet affordable laptop at the get-go is a must. This list is composed of the products to help you choose the absolute best at the right price.

Hope this list was helpful. Let us know your thoughts and any comments on these products in the comments section below! We look forward to your valuable suggestions.

Also, check out The Top 5 Best Desktops/Computers for Architects and Designers

and The Top 5 Best Business Laptops for Professionals


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