Electronics & Gadgets

7 Best Laptops for Architects to Run AutoCad, SketchUp, ArchiCAD & Revit type Software

Becoming an architect lets you dabble in a lot of different things. You get to unleash your creativity while working in an orderly, organized environment.

You also get to contribute to something solid and long lasting. If you are an architect or are thinking of becoming one, you need to get a laptop that would help you make the most of your field.

Not all laptops will work best for an architect. To make it easier for you to find the right piece of hardware, we have created a list of the top 7 laptops that you can use. These laptops are built to make the life of an architect easier. Check the list out below. And do not forget to check our buying guide regarding architecture laptops.

Buying Guide for Architect Laptops

A laptop is the basic requirement for professional architects and students. Majority of your work revolves around your laptop and printers. An architect must have a perfect laptop that will support all the major computer programs like ArchiCAD, Revit, Vectorworks, SketchUp, V-Ray, Studio Max, and 2d or 3D modeling applications. We know that assessing the best laptop for your needs can be a challenging task for architects as not all of them are apt in technical specifications.

We care for the architects out there. In this buying guide, we will walk you through all the major concerns that you have in your mind before buying a new laptop or replacing your current one with the latest model.

We do not know the exact nature of your work and what specific programs you will be running on the laptop. For this purpose, we have prepared a well-studied and researched buying guide to help you buy the best laptop. We will try to satisfy all the inquiries that you may have in your mind.

What is the ideal speed of the processor?

The processor is like the brain of your laptop. It will process all the information, aid in running your heavy architect programs and ensure maximum performance of your system. Our experts recommend that for all the architect programs, a minimum of core i7 processor is needed. Anything below core i7 will slow down your working. Your system will start to hang once you start doing multi-tasking. Not only you have to run work applications, but you would also like to play some songs while workings, visit social media websites, open a lot of tools in your browsers and use other programs. For all this to run smoothly, you need a powerful processor.

How much RAM should I have on my laptop?

RAM (random access memory) provides agility to your laptop. The basic purpose is to support all your applications and programs related to your work. A minimum 8GB RAM works fine. Extendable option for RAM will help you down the lane. With this, you can increase your working capacity later on and avoid spending a huge amount of money on upgrading the entire laptop.

What are the GPU Requirements for the Laptop?

GPU or graphics processing unit is a very important component in an architect’s laptop. A minimum of 2GB GPU is necessary to support all your applications and give you the best graphics result for your blueprints and layouts.

How much storage space should I go for?

Do not settle for small storage space. This is a very critical factor. Most of the architect projects are of large size. You will need ample space to save yourself from the hurdle of additional storage drives or burning your data on DVDs. A minimum of 512GB is a must. You can select 1TB if you have the budget.

What is the ideal battery timing?

When it comes to battery timing, it is never enough. You have to be very careful while selecting this option. Keep in mind the time that you use your laptop without a power source or on the go 12 hours or more is a great battery time. It provides you with the option of working on the go, moving your laptop without the hassle of carrying your charger at the office and home. With this much battery timing, you can also relax and enjoy a movie on your laptop.

What is the best screen size?

This is really a question of your preference. Our opinion is that a screen size of 15 -17 inches are perfect for all your needs. Being an architect, you will have to analyze maps and designs so you must have ample screen size to keep your eyes relaxed.

How much resolution should I have?

Resolution is another important concern related to the screen of your laptop. Your laptop must have a minimum of ultra HD resolution. It will not only give you the best results when it comes to your professional working, but it will also make you entertainment time worthwhile.

What are the advantages/disadvantages of a detachable screen?

Nowadays, some models are coming with the option of a detachable screen. You can also use your laptop as a tablet. It can give you the advantage of taking just the screen to the project sites, during meetings and presentations. It is also lightweight and easy to carry. On the other hand, if the detachable laptop is of low quality, the attaching/detaching slots can become a problem for you after some time.

Which is better; MAC or Windows?

Both of them can manage your heavy working software and provide you with an amazing working experience. Windows are comparatively more user-friendly than MAC. MAC, on the other hand, is more secure and provides enhanced protection from viruses.

Should I go for warranty?

It is better to opt for a laptop with warranty covers of minimum 1 year. This will be really helpful in case you face any issue after buying the laptop.

What is the ideal weight for my laptop?

If you are work on the go and carry your laptop with you, then select a laptop that has less weight. Some of the laptops make it difficult to carry around because of their heavy casing and rugged design.

What features can make my laptop more fun, safer and more easy to use?

Features like fingerprint scanner can make your laptop safe, the anti-glare display makes sure that your eyes are relaxed after prolonged use, the numeric keyboard allows you to process numbers at a faster rate than the standard keyboard and saves you from spending extra on the numeric keypad.

The option of multiple ports increases your connectivity and good speakers can give your laptop edge while playing audio and video. Multimedia touch panels can increase accessibility while playing music and videos. Keyboard lights allow you to work more efficiently without lights and help in typing.

Comparing the Options

Bestseller No. 1
Lenovo Ideapad 15.6' HD High Performance Laptop (2017 ), AMD A12-9720P Quad core processor 2.7GHz,...
455 Reviews
Lenovo Ideapad 15.6" HD High Performance Laptop (2017 ), AMD A12-9720P Quad core processor 2.7GHz,...
  • 15.6" HD display with 1366 x 768 resolution, Powered by a 2.70GHz AMD A12-9720P Quad core processor
  • 1TB 5,400rpm HDD hard drive provides plenty of storage, 8GB DDR4 memory
  • 802.11 ac Wi-Fi technology provides Internet speeds up to 3x faster than other laptops, Tray load...
Bestseller No. 2
HP 2018 Elitebook 840 G1 14' HD LED-Backlit Anti-Glare Laptop Computer, Intel Dual-Core i5-4300U up...
78 Reviews
HP 2018 Elitebook 840 G1 14' HD LED-Backlit Anti-Glare Laptop Computer, Intel Dual-Core i5-4300U up...
  • 14.1-inch diagonal LED-backlit HD 16:9 anti-glare (1366 x 768), Intel Dual-Core i5-4300U 1.9GHz (3MB...
  • 500GB 5400RPM hard drive, 8GB SDRAM DDR3(Fingerprint not included)
  • Bluetooth, Integrated 10/100 BASE-T Ethernet LAN
- $1.02Bestseller No. 3
Crucial 8GB Single DDR4 2400 MT/S (PC4-19200) SR x8 SODIMM 260-Pin Memory - CT8G4SFS824A
1141 Reviews
Crucial 8GB Single DDR4 2400 MT/S (PC4-19200) SR x8 SODIMM 260-Pin Memory - CT8G4SFS824A
  • Speeds up to 3200 MT/s and faster data rates are expected to be available as DDR4 technology matures
  • Increase bandwidth by up to 30%
  • Reduce power consumption by up to 40% and extend battery life
Bestseller No. 4
Timetec Hynix IC 8GB DDR3L 1600MHz PC3L-12800 Non ECC Unbuffered 1.35V CL11 2Rx8 Dual Rank 204 Pin...
477 Reviews
Timetec Hynix IC 8GB DDR3L 1600MHz PC3L-12800 Non ECC Unbuffered 1.35V CL11 2Rx8 Dual Rank 204 Pin...
  • DDR3L 1600MHz PC3L-12800 204-Pin Unbuffered Non ECC 1.35V CL11 Dual Rank 2Rx8 based 256x8
  • JEDEC standard 1.35V (1.28V ~ 1.45V) and 1.5V (1.425V ~ 1.575V) Power Supply This is a dual voltage...
  • Module Size: 4GB Package: 1x4GB For Laptop/Notebook, Not for Desktop
Bestseller No. 5
Adamanta 8GB (1x8GB) Laptop Memory Upgrade DDR3/DDR3L 1600Mhz PC3L-12800 SODIMM 2Rx8 CL11 1.35v...
73 Reviews
Adamanta 8GB (1x8GB) Laptop Memory Upgrade DDR3/DDR3L 1600Mhz PC3L-12800 SODIMM 2Rx8 CL11 1.35v...
  • 8GB ( 1x8GB ) DDR3L 1600 MHz Non-Parity/Non-ECC Unbuffered Memory 204pin Low Voltage Dual Rank...
  • Assembled and Made in the USA. Every module is backed by a lifetime limited warranty.
  • Free technical support from our experienced technicians.

Best Laptops for Architects

Product NameProcessorRAMScreen size 
Microsoft Surface Book 28th Gen i716GB15" Check Price
ASUS ZenBook 138th Gen i58GB13.3" Check Price
Lenovo ThinkPad P517th Gen i716GB15.6" Check Price
Acer Aspire E 158th Gen i58GB15.6" Check Price
Macbook Pro8th Gen i716GB15" Check Price
MSI GL62M 7REX-1896US7th Gen i78GB15.6" Check Price
Dell Inspiron7th Gen i78GB15.6" Check Price

1. Microsoft Surface Book 2

Microsoft Surface Book 2 (Intel Core i7, 16GB RAM, 512GB) - 15


  • USB-C port
  • 8th generation Intel i7
  • Detachable 15 inch screen
  • Four modes of use

What We Liked

Detachable screen: A laptop is great but sometimes you would need a tablet that you can carry around to show people what you are working on. This laptop has a detachable screen. When you detach this screen you can use it as a tablet, something that’s very convenient for project based work!

Very powerful: This laptop comes with the latest generation Intel Core i7 processor. This is important because software that you will building your blueprints on are quite heavy. It will require a lot of processing power to work properly. This is a laptop that can easily let you use the software you need to get the job done without slowing down or hanging. You basically get peak performance when you use this laptop.

Solid battery life: You can watch up to 17 hours of constant video on this laptop if you have fully charged it. This shows that you get some amazing battery life when you use this laptop. Battery life is important because it helps you get the job done on the go even if you don’t have immediate access to a power source you can charge your device with.

Incredible display: When you first look at the display this laptop has to offer you will be amazed at how much vibrancy the colors have. Each detail is highly defined to the point where you can fine tune the most subtle aspects of your designs.

Stylish design: While the practical benefits of this laptop are certainly more important, it doesn’t hurt that this laptop is so darn pleasing to look at. The sleek design is a thing of beauty and helps make this a more valuable buy overall.

What We Didn’t Like

Prohibitively expensive: To get all of the qualities that this laptop offers, you are going to have to fork over a sizeable chunk of cash. This makes it an impractical buy for students or people on a fairly tight budget. But still you can get a laptop under 500 if you’re an architecture student or studying something else, head over to our under 500 laptops guide for students.

2. ASUS ZenBook 13

ASUS ZenBook 13 Ultra-Slim Laptop


  • Anti glare display
  • 8th gen Intel i5
  • 2.6 pounds aluminum body
  • Fingerprint reader

What We Liked

Easy access: Architects tend to lead rather busy lives, which is why they need easy access to their computer all the time. The fingerprint reader that comes with this product is a great feature. It helps you open your laptop faster than password protection. This also makes the laptop a lot more secure. You could potentially guess someone’s password but getting their fingerprint will be a lot more difficult.

Lightweight body: Not only is this laptop’s body made of sleek aluminum, it is very lightweight as well. This is perfect because architects need to be on the go a lot of the time. You will need your laptop on you so that you can work with ease. The fact that this device is lightweight is definitely something you are going to appreciate.

Anti glare display: Working in an office can be quite suffocating at times. However, working outside can often cause problems such as the sun reflecting on your screen. This would make it difficult for you to work. This laptop comes with an anti glare screen that is perfect for outdoor work because the screen remains clear and easily visible.

Quite affordable: A lot of people assume that a laptop capable of architectural design would be extraordinarily expensive. While this is true, this laptop is an exception. Available at under 800 dollars, this laptop is perfect for people that are looking for something relatively affordable that still has top notch features.

What We Didn’t Like

Less than stellar screen: The screen that this laptop offers has a relatively high definition pixel count but it lags behind some of the competition. This is not a deal breaker but it is definitely something you should factor in to your final decision regarding this purchase.

3. Lenovo ThinkPad P51 15.6″ 4K UHD Mobile Workstation Laptop PC

Lenovo ThinkPad P51


  • Numeric keypad
  • Fingerprint sensor
  • 1 terabyte hard drive
  • 7th Gen Intel i7 processor

What We Liked

Ample storage space: Your project files are going to require a lot of space, and if you are doing your job right you will have a lot of different project files that you’re working on at the same time. This is why you need a laptop that offers a lot of storage space. This laptop offers a whole terabyte of storage space which is enough to store all of your important files as well as ample amounts of movies and TV shows.

Rugged design: When you first look at this laptop you will notice that it is not very sleek. It looks bulky and rugged, and this because it has been designed for durability and practicality. You can use this laptop freely out in the open without worrying about it getting damaged. Even if you end up dropping it somewhere or bumping it into something it is going to stay safe from harm!

Supports 4K: If you really want to get into the details of your work you will need a screen that lets you do so. This laptop’s screen lets you look at things in 4K resolution which is perfect for subtle, detailed work.

Multiple ports: You have a lot of different choices when it comes to the ports this laptop has to offer. Multiple USB ports, firewire, HDMI and all other kinds of ports are available which is quite convenient.

What We Didn’t Like

Rather heavy: This is not an easy laptop to carry around with you. Its rugged design makes it fairly heavy which is a problem for people that like to work on the go.

Below average battery life: Running multiple programs on this laptop would show you that the battery life leaves something to be desired. Make sure you save regularly because the battery might not last very long.

4. Acer Aspire E1

Acer Aspire E 15


  • 8th Gen Intel Core i7
  • 15 hour battery life
  • 1080p display

What We Liked

Good battery life: Once this laptop has been fully charged you can use it for up to fifteen hours constantly. This means that you can get an entire day’s work done without having to worry about charging your laptop.

Screen size: This laptop comes with a 15.6 inch screen which is perfect for showing people the scale of the projects you are working on. Smaller screens tend be less effective in these situations because a lot of the detail ends up being lost.

Very powerful processor: At a price that is surprisingly low you end up getting what is arguably the best processor for a laptop that the market has to offer. This makes it great for people that need to operate multiple programs simultaneously.

Price: For a laptop that offers so much quality, this product is surprisingly affordable. You will appreciate the price range because it will help you save money for other accessories that could help improve your workstation.

5. Apple 15″ MacBook Pro

Apple 15 Inch MacBook Pro


  • Intel core i7 processor with turbo boost
  • 512GB storage
  • Multimedia touch bar

What We Liked

Beautiful screen: Apple has made a reputation for itself for making amazing screens and this product is no exception. The screen has very clear colors that help you get a good look at the final product you will be showing your boss. If you are the sort of architect that takes pride in their work, this is a great product for you to create your projects on!

Multimedia bar: This product comes with a handy multimedia bar that you can use to easily change aspects of your project that you are not happy with.

Turbo boost processor: The processor that comes built into this laptop can handle some pretty heavy duty software and can easily run a lot of programs at once. This is useful for architects that love to multitask.

What We Didn’t Like

Price: This laptop is far too expensive for budget shoppers or architectural students. The price wouldn’t be that much of an issue except that there are other laptops on the market with similar prices that are simply better.

Operating system: This product comes with Mac OS. Hence, you will need to find special software that can run on this specific operating system which can be rather frustrating.

6. MSI GL62M 7REX-1896US 15.6″



  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050Ti graphics card
  • Backlit keyboard
  • 8GB ram

What We Liked

Powerful graphics: If you want a laptop that accurately displays everything that you have been working on, this laptop is definitely a good choice for you to look into. The great thing about the graphics is that they were designed for high end games, so architectural software will run like a dream.

Backlit keyboard: Architects tend to work a lot at night. This is usually because creativity often strikes hardest after dark, but there is also the fact that you might deadlines that you want to meet and need to work all night to meet them. A backlit keyboard can help you work in the dark which is useful if you have roommates or can’t turn the light on for some other reason.

Fast charging: This product comes with a 150W adapter which means that it charges relatively quickly. This is useful because you won’t have to wait ages for your laptop to charge so you can go somewhere with it.

What We Didn’t Like

Too expensive: A laptop offering the features that this one does doesn’t need to be this expensive. At over a thousand dollars, this laptop is needlessly inaccessible to architects that might not be able to afford this much.

Flimsy chassis: At a price like this you would assume that durability is a given. However, this laptop fails in this regard.

7. Dell Inspiron Gaming Laptop

Dell Inspiron Gaming Laptop


  • 7th Gen Intel i7
  • 128GB SSD + 1TB storage space
  • Comes with Windows 10

What We Liked

Highly durable: This is a gaming laptop which means that it is designed for high intensity gaming done over long periods of time. Hence, you don’t have to worry about your laptop overheating while you are using heavy programs to work on your projects, something that a lot of architects worry about.

Relatively lightweight: A laptop like this is limited with regards to how light it can be. Still, this laptop manages to be light enough to let you carry it around without getting too tired.

What We Didn’t Like

No optical drive: While CDs are quickly becoming a thing of the past, some old school architects might not like that this product does not come with an ODD.

Poor visuals: For a high end laptop, this product does not have a very good screen. You will have to find something better if you want top notch visuals for your projects.

Getting a laptop can be overwhelming because there are so many options available on the market. These laptops are the best of the best, so you can narrow your choices down and make it a lot easier for you to make a decision.

A final word

We see a great architect in you. One day you will be designing famous buildings and homes. For this, you need a laptop that will enhance your working and not inhibit it. We are sure that after reading our buying guide, you will be able to select the best laptop for you from our list.

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