If you are in market for best cheap laptop for Solidworks or AutoCAD, so-called experts will tell you it is not possible. The reason is that these experts do not know what it actually takes to have decent experience in Solidworks or AutoCAD because they have never used any 3D modeling application in real life. However, if you know exactly what it takes to run such applications, you will have no trouble in finding a cheap laptop for Solidworks or AutoCAD. If you don’t want to know what it takes, just get any laptop mentioned below and you will be fine.
Cheap laptop for Solidworks and AutoCAD 2017
HP Pavilion 15
HP Pavilion 15 is one of the best 15” laptops for solidworks. It has latest 7th generation i5 processor, 12 gigabytes of memory and 1TB hard disk which is more than enough to run 3D modeling applications smoothly.
* 7th generation Intel® Core™ i5-7200U Processor 2.5GHz with turbo boost up to 3.1GHz, 12GB DDR4L SDRAM (2 DIMM), 1TB 5400 RPM Serial ATA hard drive
* 15.6″ HD SVA BrightView WLED-backlit Display (1366 x 768), Intel® HD Graphics 620 with up to 6230 MB total graphics memory, SuperMulti DVD Burner
* DTS Studio Sound with dual speakers, Multi-Format Digital card reader, Full-size island-style keyboard with numeric keypad, Front-facing HP TrueVision HD Webcam with integrated digital microphone
* 802.11b/g/n Wireless WLAN and Bluetooth Combo, 10/100 base-T Ethernet network, 1X HDMI, 1 SuperSpeed USB 3.1, 2X USB 2.0, 1 RJ-45 (LAN) 1 Headphone-out/microphone-in combo jack
* Windows 10 Home 64 bit, 4 Cell battery up to 7 hours, 4.83 lbs, Turbo silver
Acer Aspire E5
The Acer Aspire E15 is easily the most well-configured laptops out there. It has everything that one would need in a laptop that handles AutoCAD, Solidworks or any 3D modeling application like a champ. It has latest 7th generation i5 processor, full HD display and even an Nvidia’s discrete graphics card. Pair that with perks like backlit keyboard and SSD and you are looking at the best cheap laptop for Solidworks and AutoCAD 2017.
| 7th gen Intel Core i5 processor, 256GB SSD, 8GB DDR4 RAM
| Full HD 15.6″ screen, Backlit keyboard, Nvidia 940MX discrete graphics card
HP Pavilion 17
This is a desktop replacement laptop that offers great performance for the money. Its 17” screen offers HD+ (1600×900) resolution with decent viewing angles. It has large keyboard with numeric keypad and spacious touchpad. The i7 dual core processor is backed by 8GB RAM and 1000GB of hard disk storage.
| 17.3″ HD+ WLED-backlit Premium High Performance Laptop, 7th Gen Intel Core i7-7500U up to 3.5GHz, 8GB DDR4, 1TB HDD, SuperMulti DVD, WiFi, Bluetooth, Webcam, HDMI, USB 3.0, Windows 10
ASUS P-Series P2540UA
The Asus P2540 offers incredible value for money. It has 7th generation i5 processor, full HD panel and ample storage to let you run 3D modeling apps without any hiccups. Battery life under normal usage is upto 9-hours. It is only laptop on the list with fingerprint reader.
| 7th Gen Intel Core i5, 2.5GHz (3M Cache, up to 3.1GHz), FHD Display, 8GB RAM, 1TB HDD, Windows 10 Home, Fingerprint, TPM, 9hrs battery life. Designed to be powerful, durable, and portable to keep professionals on the go with the security features for peace of mind.
Dell Inspiron 15
Dell Inspiron 15 is one of the best laptop deals of 2017. It offers backlit keyboard with numeric keypad, i5 processor and full HD display in a cheap laptop with touchscreen capability. It features innovative features like Intel RealSense 3D camera and backlit keyboard –something that you don’t find in cheap laptops. There are plenty of ports onboard as well.
| 15.6″ FHD display with touchscreen 1920×1080 with multi touch support, Intel Core i5-6200U dual core CPU, 1TB hard disk, 8GB DDR3L RAM, DVD, backlit keyboard
HP Pavilion 15 is a high quality laptop with i5 processor with 1TB hard disk and 8GB RAM. Equipped with touchscreen panel, it comes with full size keyboard with 10-key numeric keypad that gives you an affordable desktop replacement laptop that handles 3D modeling applications just fine.
* 7th Gen Intel Dual Core i5-7200U 2.5 Ghz(max turbo 3.1 Ghz) 3 MB SmartCache processor
* 8GB DDR4 SDRAM, 1TB 5400rpm SATA hard drive, DVDRW, 802.11b/g/n WIFI,
* 15.6″ TouchScreen HD (1366 x 768) Widescreen LED-backlit Display, Intel HD Graphics 620
* Ports: Ethernet, HDMI, Headphone, Microphone, USB 2.0 x 2, USB 3.1 x 1, Built-in HD webcam with microphone
* Windows 10 Home, Full keyboard with 10-key numeric keypad
That was the list of some of the best cheap laptops for Solidworks, AutoCAD and other 3D modeling applications. So what are the things that experts at 100dollarlaptop kept in mind when choosing a cheap laptop for Solidworks? First thing is powerful processor. Try getting a quad core processor or high end i5 or i7 processor. Do not settle for cheap laptop with i3 processor or Celeron / Pentium as they just do not have enough horsepower to handle such 3D modeling applications. While a four core processor is ideal for such tasks, they are in 800-1000 dollar range which is not exactly cheap.
Second thing is large display. You will not want to squint your eyes while drawing or selecting lines, so do not settle for anything less than 15-inches. This means no mini laptops or small laptops with 12/13” displays. 15 inch or 17 inch laptops are ideal for such work. You also need to make sure not to fall for a cheap, low resolution screen. Try finding a laptop with full HD display as you will be able to see so much more at a time.
Discrete graphics card is one thing that gets a lot of emphasis. We too agree that a laptop with dedicated graphics card makes a world of difference while doing 3D modeling. However, it is hard to find any laptop under 500 dollars that has discreet graphics card. So getting a powerful processor with integrated graphics card should be your realistic expectation. There is one thing that should not be compromised upon though – memory. Make sure that the laptop that you are getting has atleast 8GB RAM. 3D modeling applications gobble up memory at astounding rate and if your system runs out of memory, the performance will take a massive hit. So avoid laptops with 4GB RAM like plague. Even though 4GB RAM is more than enough for your daily computing tasks, it is simply not recommended to run heavy applications like Solidworks and AutoCAD.
Last but very important thing is operating system. There are now powerful laptops with Windows, ChromeOS and Mac. Always go for windows to ensure you have maximum compatibility. A lot of universities and software houses have support for windows only. So no cheap Google Chromebook laptops and no Apple Macbooks. While there are some CAD applications on Mac’s appstore, they are simply at as feature rich or capable as their windows’ counterparts.