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Best laptop for architects in 2024 – our top picks

Here are some of the best laptops for architects
Last Updated on January 16, 2024
best laptop for architects

If you’re looking for the best laptop for architects, we have you covered right here.

Whether you’re an architect or studying to be one, you need a powerful laptop that can handle demanding software like AutoCAD, SketchUp, and more. For this, a laptop needs to have a powerful processor along with sufficient storage. For instance, a laptop with a 13th-generation Intel i7 processor and 1TB SSD will be sufficient for running architecture software tools.

Since you’ll be storing your projects on the device, you need to have enough SSD capacity. Plus, the laptop needs to have enough RAM to run multiple programs simultaneously and load apps faster.

Further, you might want to carry your laptop around, so it needs to be lightweight and have a long battery life. Usually, a standard 15.6-inch laptop weighs around 4 pounds and has an average battery life of 8 hours. However, some of the best lightweight laptops weigh around 2 pounds and offer more battery life – so do check out other options.

With that being said, there are many laptops out there that will fit the bill. But we have done the homework and picked what we think are the best laptops for architects.

Products at a Glance

How we picked

For this guide, we have researched and looked at several laptops that should run heavy software as well as help with productivity and picked the ones that we think are the best. We have chosen these laptops based on specs like processor, display, battery life, and other important factors. Also, we’re constantly on the lookout for new products to add to our guide and keep them up-to-date – so do check in again with us.

Our Recommended

Best laptop for architects in 2024 – our top picks

1
PROS
  • M2 Pro chip
  • 1.6-inch Liquid Retina XDR display
  • 22 hour battery life
CONS
  • Expensive

If you want a powerful and efficient laptop, then we recommend getting the Apple MacBook Pro, which is also one of the best laptops for working from home.

The MacBook comes equipped with a powerful M2 Pro chip, which should deliver faster processing and graphics for running resource-intensive software like AutoCAD and Revit. Plus, you get 32GB of unified memory, which should make multitasking faster for you.

The MacBook comes with a 16.2-inch Liquid Retina XDR display, so you can expect stunning, detailed graphics. Much like some of the best 16-inch laptops, this one, too, has 1000 nits of brightness, which should give you good picture quality even when you’re outdoors. 

With its 22-hour battery life, you should be able to take this laptop with you and not be concerned about charging it. The laptop weighs about 4 pounds, which is quite portable. For e-meetings, the MacBook features a 1080p camera along with a studio-quality three-mic array, which should be sufficient for video conferencing. 

2
PROS
  • M1 chip
  • 2560 x 1600 resolution
  • Lightweight
CONS
  • Limited ports

If you’re a student looking for a portable laptop, then you should check out the Apple MacBook Air 2020, which we think is a solid choice.

The MacBook is powered by the M1 chip that promises to deliver 3.5x faster performance compared to the previous gen chip. The 8-core chip should be able to handle heavy software like SketchUp and Rhino effortlessly.

The laptop features a 13.3-inch display with a 2560 X 1600 resolution, which is better than the FHD resolution – so you can expect better picture quality. Plus, you get support for the sRGB color gamut as well as DCI-P3, so you should get high color accuracy. You also get True Tone technology, so the display matches the ambient lighting in the room and changes color temperature accordingly.

As far as portability is concerned, the MacBook Air is quite lightweight – it weighs only 2.8 pounds, which makes it one of the best laptops for travel. Plus, the MacBook gives you 18 hours of battery life, which is more than enough to last you all day.

3
PROS
  • 12th Generation Intel Core i7-12700H
  • 15.6-inch InfinityEdge display
  • 10 hour battery life
CONS
  • No USB A port

If you’re looking for a powerful Windows laptop, we suggest checking out the Dell XPS 15, which we think is a strong contender for the best Intel 12th gen laptops.

On the inside, the laptop features a 12th Generation Intel Core i7-12700H processor that can clock up to 4.7 GHz, which should handle your tasks efficiently. For graphics, the laptop comes with NVΙDIA GeFоrce RTX 3050, so you should be able to work with your designs without any trouble. Plus, you get 32GB RAM and 1TB SSD to work with, which is more than sufficient to run demanding software.

The XPS 15 sports a 15.6-inch InfinityEdge display with FHD+ resolution (1920 x 1200), which should be enough for your day-to-day work. You get a brightness of 500 nits, and it has an anti-glare display, so you should be able to view the screen even under sunlight.

For connectivity, the laptop comes with a bunch of ports, which include two Thunderbolt 4 ports, one DisplayPort 1.4a, one USB 3.2 Type-C port, and other ports.

As far as portability is concerned, the laptop weighs around 4 pounds and has a slim profile, so it should be easy to lug around. Plus, you get 10 hours of battery life, so you should be able to get a day’s worth of use.

4
PROS
  • Intel Core i7-1365U vPro Processor
  • 14-inch touch screen display
  • Lightweight and portable
CONS
  • No dedicated GPU

If you are looking for a laptop to use Autocad, then the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 11 is a solid choice – and we think it is one of the best touch screen laptops out there.

The laptop comes with an Intel Core i7-1365U vPro Processor, which is a powerful processor that should handle your tasks well. Also, this processor has additional security features, which should be useful if you’re planning to use it for work or business.

Coming to the security features, the laptop has an automatic lock feature, which activates when the device does not detect your presence. Plus, you get ThinkPad PrivacyAlert, a fingerprint scanner, as well as a Kensington Nano security slot, which should add to the security of your device.

On the outside, the laptop sports a 14-inch display with WUXGA resolution, so you can expect clear, detailed visuals. Plus, it has a 100% sRGB color gamut, which should give you better color accuracy. And it’s a touch screen display, which should come in handy for creators.

As far as portability goes, the laptop weighs only 2.4 pounds, which, much like some of the best lightweight laptops, is quite portable. Plus, you also get military-grade durability, which is useful for frequent travellers.

5
PROS
  • 13th Gen Intel Core i7-1355U processor
  • Dual graphics card
  • Lightweight and portable
CONS
  • 60Hz refresh rate

If you want a laptop that can run Autodesk Revit and other software, then we think that the HP ZBook Firefly G10 may check a lot of boxes for you.

The laptop comes equipped with a 13th Gen Intel Core i7-1355U processor that has a max speed of 5GHz, so you can expect the device to handle your architecture applications well. Plus, you get an NVIDIA RTX A500 Dual GPU (integrated + dedicated), so your graphically intensive tasks should be executed well.

The laptop sports a 16-inch display with WUXGA resolution, so you can expect the laptop to deliver slightly better picture quality than an FHD one. Plus, you get a 60Hz refresh rate, which should be sufficient for most people. Further, it is an IPS display, which should give you wider viewing angles.

As far as portability is concerned, the laptop weighs 4 pounds, so you should be able to lug it around easily.

How to pick the best laptop for architects

While browsing laptops, you can use these pointers to narrow down your search. 

CPU

To run demanding software tools like AutoCAD and Rhino, you need a powerful processor. As per the minimum system requirements of AutoCAD, your laptop needs to have a CPU that can run at least 2.5 GHz to 2.9 GHz. However, to get the best performance, it is recommended that you get a processor that clocks in at least 3GHz. To give you an example, some of the best 13-gen Intel laptops have the latest 13-gen i9 processor that can clock up to 4.9 GHz and handle the most demanding tasks effortlessly. 

Display

As you might use your laptop for tasks like 3D modeling and drafting, you need to have a display that can deliver clear visuals, accurate colors, and good brightness levels. So you should be looking at FHD or higher resolutions, 100% sRGB or DCI-P3 color gamut, and around 500 nits of brightness. 

Battery life

If you’re planning to carry your laptop around for work, then a long battery life will prove beneficial. Typically, a laptop has around 8 hours of battery life, but some laptops offer more. For instance, MacBook Air offers 18 hours of battery. 

Weight

Now, the weight of a laptop will depend on a lot of factors, including battery size and screen size. Usually, a 13-inch laptop weighs around 2 pounds, and a 16-inch laptop weighs around 4 pounds. Depending on how much weight you are willing to lug around, you can pick a laptop. 

Our Verdict

After looking at several laptops, we think that the Apple MacBook Pro is one of the best laptops for architects. The laptop features the powerful M2 Pro chip, which is more than enough for handling demanding tasks – so software tools like AutoCAD should run fine.

Plus, you get 32GB of unified memory, which should make multitasking and loading faster. For storage, you can choose from 521GB and 1TB, depending on your requirements.

You get a stunning 16-inch display to create and view your projects. Plus, the display has 1000 nits of brightness, which should make it easier for you to use the laptop under bright light. The Macbook is also quite portable and has 22 hours of battery life, making it suitable for commuters.