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Best Laptops for AutoCAD – Buyer’s Guide & Reviews

Whether you’re an interior designer, engineer, or real estate developer, there’s a high chance that you deal with high-end design and drafting software applications like AutoCAD.

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However, not all laptops can run AutoCAD smoothly. We understand how frustrating it can be to work with it on poor hardware, as it can even affect your focus level.

Finding a laptop that can run AutoCAD efficiently can be challenging, especially if you don’t have much computer hardware experience. To make things easier for you, we’ve crafted a list of some of the best laptops for AutoCAD you can get at all budgets.

Top Rated AutoCad Laptops

Best Overall
ASUS TUF FX505DT AutoCAD Laptop
ASUS TUF FX505DT AutoCAD Laptop

The ASUS TUF FX505DT is deservedly our favorite laptop for AutoCAD, and for all the right reasons. This masterpiece delivers excellent performance and amazing image quality at a very decent price tag you won’t believe. You just can’t go wrong with this laptop if you’re a true AutoCAD user.

Editor’s Choice
ASUS ROG Zephyrus S Ultra Slim PC Laptop
ASUS ROG Zephyrus S Ultra Slim PC Laptop
  • Display: 15.6”
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Storage: 512GB
  • Battery Life: 2 hours
Best Graphics
Acer Nitro 5 Gaming Laptop
Acer Nitro 5 Gaming Laptop
  •  
  • Display: 15.6”
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 256GB
  • Battery Life: 8 hours

Laptops for AutoCAD – Reviews

Now that you’ve thoroughly analyzed the specifications and technicalities of our top picks, it’s time for us to give you the ins and outs of why they made it to the list. Let’s dive right into it!


1. ASUS TUF FX505DT – Best AutoCAD Laptop Pick

Hardware Specifications

ProcessorAMD Ryzen 5 R5-3550H
RAM8GB DDR4
Storage256GB PCIe SSD
GPUNVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650
Display15.6” IPS 120Hz Full HD (1920 x 1080p)
Operating SystemWin 10 Home
Battery Life4 Hours
Weight4.85 lbs

Top 3 Features


DisplayBattery LifeStorage
This laptop boasts a 15.6” 120Hz Full HD IPS display capable of delivering excellent image quality and good color accuracy.
The TUF’s battery life can last for up to 4 hours with continuous usage. While this is nothing impressive, it should provide enough juice when you’re away from a power source.
The ASUS TUF has a 256GB SSD for storage, which is quite common at this price range.
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Starting off our guide with our favorite laptop for AutoCAD, the ASUS TUF FX505DT delivers the right balance between price, performance, and battery life. 

For starters, it boasts an AMD Ryzen 5 R5-3550H processor that offers high processing speeds, which is likely to be the best processor for AutoCad. Additionally, the laptop has 8 gigabytes of RAM, which should be enough to run AutoCAD with a few other background applications.

The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 may not be a high-end graphics card, but you can’t get anything better at this price point.

It’s also worth noting that the ASUS TUF FX505DT has an RGB keyboard rated for 20 million keystrokes. Moreover, the laptop is equipped with dual anti-dust fans that provide the laptop with sufficient cooling. Bottom line: This is by far and away the best laptop to run autocad.

Pros
  • Affordable
  • Dedicated NVIDIA graphics card
  • Quad-core processor
  • High refresh rate display
  • Dual anti-dust fans
  • Durable RGB keyboard
Cons
  • Unimpressive battery life
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2. ASUS ROG Zephyrus S – Asus Laptop for AutoCad

Hardware Specifications

ProcessorIntel Core i7-8750H
RAM16GB DDR4
Storage512GB PCIe SSD
GPUNVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070
Display15.6” 144Hz IPS Full HD (1920 x 1080p)
Operating SystemWin 10 Home
Battery Life2 hours
Weight4.63 lbs

Top 3 Features


DisplayStorageBattery Life
The ROG Zephyrus S is equipped with a 15.6” IPS Full HD display with a 144Hz refresh rate.
The battery life is probably the laptop’s weakest point. You can’t rely on this battery with just 2 hours of battery life.
The ROG Zephyrus S has 512GB of storage space, which should be sufficient for most users.
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Our second favorite laptop on this list is the ASUS ROG Zephyrus S. With an Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB RAM, and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 GPU, the Zephyrus S beats the TUF FX505DT when it comes to performance. It also has double the storage space of the TUF FX505DT.

However, its battery life is about 50% of the TUF FX505DT, making it a less attractive option for those who need to use their laptops away from a power source.

As for image quality, both laptops have Full HD IPS displays with very close refresh rates. The Zephyrus’ display has a refresh rate of 144Hz, while the one on the TUF is capped at 120Hz. 

It’s worth mentioning that the ROG Zephyrus S is pricier than the TUF FX505DT, giving the latter an advantage when it comes to budget-friendliness.

Pros
  • Fast CPU
  • High refresh rate
  • Full HD display
  • Large storage space
  • Powerful NVIDIA GTX 1070 graphics card
  • 16GB RAM
Cons
  • Poor battery life
  • Slightly expensive
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3. Acer Nitro 5 – Best Value Pick

Hardware Specifications

ProcessorIntel Core i5-9300H
RAM8GB DDR4
Storage256GB NVMe SSD
GPUNVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650
Display15.6” IPS Full HD (1920 x 1080p)
Operating SystemWin 10 Home
Battery Life8 hours
Weight5.07 lbs

Top 3 Features


DisplayStorageBattery Life
The Nitro 5 packs a LED-backlit, IPS, Full HD 1920 x 1080p display that ensures an excellent image quality.
This laptop has an SSD that offers 256 gigabytes of storage space to store all of your projects.
The Acer Nitro 5 packs a lithium-ion battery that can last up to 8 hours.
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The Acer Nitro 5 packs an impressive spec sheet. It features an Intel Core i5 processor with 8 gigabytes of RAM, allowing you to use AutoCAD even with other applications running in the background. 

Moreover, the Nitro 5 is equipped with a dedicated NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 graphics card that makes running AutoCAD a walk in the park.

As far as battery life is concerned, the Nitro 5’s battery can last you up to 8 hours with regular usage, which is quite impressive. 

Additionally, it has dual fans that keep the laptop’s temperature under control, allowing you to use AutoCAD for a prolonged time without overheating your device.

Pros
  • Good battery life
  • Dedicated graphics card
  • Backlit keyboard
  • Dual fans for cooling
Cons
  • A bit heavy
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4. Acer Predator Helios 300 – Best Graphics Performance

Hardware Specifications

ProcessorIntel Core i7-10750H
RAM16GB Dual-Channel DDR4
Storage512GB NVMe SSD
GPUNVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 6GB
Display15.6” 144Hz IPS Full HD (1920 x 1080p)
Operating SystemWindows 10 Home
Battery Life6 hours
Weight5.07 lbs

Top 3 Features


DisplayStorageBattery Life
This laptop is equipped with a 15.6” IPS Full HD display with a high refresh rate of 144Hz, making everything feel smoother and snappier.
The Predator has a 512GB SSD, providing you with plenty of storage space for your designs and multimedia files.
The Predator has a battery life of 6 hours that’s close to the average for this class.
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By taking a quick glance at the Acer Predator Helios 300’s spec sheet, you can easily tell that the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 graphics card is the star of the show. 

It’s one of NVIDIA’s high-end RTX graphics cards that deliver an uncompromising graphics performance for all applications, including AutoCAD drafting. It also has an i7 processor and 16GB Dual Channel RAM that ensure consistent multitasking performance.

The display’s high refresh rate of 144Hz gives the Predator a smoother feel enhancing the overall user experience. We also like that it has a 512GB SSD, which provides the user with plenty of storage space to store their files.

As for battery life, the Predator’s battery can last you for up to 6 hours before it dies, which is pretty decent.

Pros
  • Stellar graphics performance
  • Powerful i7 processor
  • Plenty of RAM
  • High refresh rate display
  • Decent storage space
Cons
  • Unimpressive battery life
  • A bit heavy
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5. Microsoft Surface Book 2 – Best Premium Pick

Hardware Specifications

ProcessorIntel Core i7-8650U
RAM16GB DDR4
Storage256GB SSD
GPUNVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB
Display15” IPS 3260 x 2160p
Operating SystemWindows 10 Pro
Battery Life17 hours
Weight2.38 lbs

Top 3 Features


DisplayStorageBattery Life
The 15” IPS 3260 x 2160p display can make everything look 10x sharper and more vivid.
The Surface Book 2 is equipped with a 256GB SSD for handling storage.
The Surface Book 2 has a battery life that can last for up to 17 hours, one of the industry’s best battery life ratings.
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The Microsoft Surface Book 2 combines performance and portability in a slim and lightweight form factor. Weighing a mere 2.38 lbs and measuring just 0.9” in thickness, the Surface Book 2 is as portable as a sheet of cardboard.

With an Intel Core i7 processor, 16 gigabytes of RAM, and a powerful NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card, this laptop delivers exceptional performance for its size. You can even work on multiple AutoCAD projects at the same time with this beast.

Furthermore, the Surface Book 2 has an IPS display with a resolution that’s slightly lower than 4K, giving you the sharpness you need to create outstanding designs on AutoCAD. 

Not to mention, the keyboard is detachable, allowing you to use the Surface Book 2 in tablet mode with the touchscreen display.

Pros
  • Powerful Intel Core i7 processor
  • Dedicated NVIDIA graphics card
  • Great battery life
  • Lightweight design
  • Tablet mode with Surface Pen
  • Sharp display
Cons
  • Expensive
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6. ASUS UX550GE-XB71T Zenbook Pro – Best Image Quality

Hardware Specifications

ProcessorIntel Core i7-8750HK
RAM16GB LPDDR4
Storage512GB PCIe NVMe SSD
GPUNVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050Ti
Display15.6” LCD UHD 4K (4096 x 2160p)
Operating SystemWindows 10 Pro
Battery Life9.5 Hours
Weight4.20 lbs

Top 3 Features


DisplayStorageBattery Life
The ASUS Zenbook Pro boasts a narrow-bezel 15.6” UHD 4K display that offers sharp details, high brightness, and excellent color accuracy.
With a 512GB SSD, the ASUS Zenbook Pro has enough storage capacity to archive your projects.
The Zenbook Pro’s battery can give you around 9.5 hours of continuous usage, which is pretty good.
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The ASUS Zenbook Pro has arguably one of the best displays ever on a laptop. At 4K resolution, this display blows everything else out of the park when it comes to sharpness and clarity. It provides you with a tremendous amount of details, so you can view and edit your designs on AutoCAD professionally.

That’s not the whole story; the Zenbook Pro also has an impressive set of internals that allow you to run AutoCAD flawlessly. It features an Intel Core i7, a whopping 16 gigabytes of RAM, and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050Ti graphics card.

Moreover, the Zenbook Pro has an impressive battery life, reaching up to 9.5 hours on a single charge. This should easily last you a day or two, depending on your usage. Additionally, this laptop features fast charging, allowing you to charge 60% of the battery in just 49 minutes.

The Zenbook Pro runs on the Pro version of Windows 10 for additional features and perks like the enhanced security system.

Pros
  • Impressive 4K display with slim bezels
  • High-end processor
  • Great battery life
  • Fast charging
  • Good storage capacity
  • USB Type-C ports
Cons
  • Hefty price tag
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7. Acer Aspire 5 – Best Budget Pick

Hardware Specifications

ProcessorAMD Ryzen 3 3200U
GPUAMD Radeon Vega 3
RAM4GB DDR4
Storage128GB PCIe SSD
Display15.6” IPS Full HD (1920 x 1080p)
Operating SystemWindows 10 Home in S mode
Battery Life7.5 Hours
Weight3.97 lbs

Top 3 Features


DisplayStorageBattery Life
The VivoBook 15’s display is more on the average size. It has a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels, which is just enough for a 15.6-inch laptop. However, the colors look a little washed out, which can be disappointing.
The Intel i3 models come with 128 GB of storage capacity, large enough for an average user. It’s also worth noting the Intel i5 model comes with 512 GB.
Upon purchasing this laptop, prepare yourself to keep it near a power outlet at all times. Its battery life is below average, and you’ll need to recharge it multiple times throughout the day.
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This is the go-to laptop for AutoCAD users who are on a tight budget. With a Full HD display, a dedicated graphics card, and an excellent battery life, the Acer Nitro 5 offers a lot for the price.

It boasts an AMD Ryzen 3 3200U processor, in addition to dedicated Vega 3 graphics and 4 gigabytes of RAM. These are low-end internals, but they’re capable of running AutoCAD at a decent level of performance.

The Aspire 5 excels in the battery compartment, averaging 7.5 hours with regular usage. Additionally, the laptop weighs just a little shy of 4 lbs, making it less challenging to move around with it.

However, the Aspire 5 relies on a 128GB SSD for storage. We recommend getting an external hard drive for more storage space, as 128GB won’t likely be enough for most users.

Pros
  • ErgoLift hinge
  • Comfortable keyboard
  • Speedy
  • Multiple processors configurations
Cons
  • Average display
  • Battery length could be improved
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8. Microsoft Surface Pro 7 – Best Portable Pick

Hardware Specifications

ProcessorIntel Core i5-1035G4
RAM8GB
Storage256GB SSD
GPUIntel Iris Plus Graphics
Display12.3″ IPS 2736 x 1824p
Operating SystemWindows 10 Home
Battery Life10.5 hours
Weight1.70 lbs

Top 3 Features


DisplayStorageBattery Life
The 12.3” IPS display boasts a resolution of 2736 x 1824p, providing sharp details and true-to-life colors.
This laptop has 256GB of SSD storage, which should be enough to store your projects and other multimedia files.
The Pro 7’s battery life can last you up to 10.5 hours, which should be good enough to last you for a full day.
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Introduced as a more affordable version of the Surface Book 2, the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 is designed to be as portable as possible. 

At just 1.70 lbs, this hybrid laptop for web designers and engineers who need to move around with their laptops frequently.

And it doesn’t just end there; the Surface Pro 7 has a beautiful 2736 x 1824p IPS display that can make your designs come to life with extra sharp details and outstanding color accuracy. The touch-sensitive display is perfect for taking notes about your designs and ideas.

Performance-wise, the Surface Pro 7 is equipped with an Intel Core i5 processor coupled with 8 gigabytes of RAM, which is pretty impressive. 

However, it doesn’t have a dedicated graphics card. It relies on Intel Iris integrated graphics instead, but that’s a tradeoff you’ll have to make if you want a portable laptop. Nevertheless, you should still be able to run AutoCAD at a decent speed.

Pros
  • Sharp 2.7K IPS touchscreen display
  • Lightweight and thin
  • Good battery life
  • Comes with a dedicated pen
  • Can be used in tablet or studio mode with a detachable keyboard and a kickstand
Cons
  • Subpar graphics
  • Small display
  • Expensive
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9. Lenovo ThinkPad P52s – Best for Large Storage Space

Hardware Specifications

ProcessorIntel Core i7-8550U
RAM32GB
Storage1TB SSD
GPUNVIDIA Quadro P500 2GB
Display15.6” IPS Full HD (1920 x 1080p)
Operating SystemWindows 10 Professional
Battery Life5.5 Hours
Weight4.30 lbs

Top 3 Features


DisplayStorageBattery Life
The Lenovo Thinkpad P52 sports a 15.6” Full HD IPS display that delivers sharp image quality and a high brightness level.
The storage capacity is one of the P52’s most vital points. With a 1TB SSD, you can store as many files as you want without compromising speed.
The Thinkpad P52’s battery life is rated at 5.5 hours with regular usage, which is quite acceptable.
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One of the most remarkable features of the ThinkPad P52s is its extra-large SSD. It provides you with 1TB of storage space, which is quite impressive, considering that most other laptops in this class are limited to 512GB of storage capacity at most.

Another feature that’s worth mentioning is the whopping 32 gigabytes of RAM inside this laptop. Running AutoCAD on this machine will be as smooth as it can get.

Additionally, the ThinkPad P52 boasts a powerful Intel Core i7 processor capable of delivering fast performance.

It also has a dedicated NVIDIA Quadro P500 graphics card, ensuring that the laptop is able to process high-demanding tasks like AutoCAD efficiently.

Pros
  • Large storage capacity
  • 32GB RAM
  • Powerful i7 processor
  • Dedicated graphics card
  • Windows 10 Pro
  • Good battery life
Cons
  • If being picky it’s somewhat heavy
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10. Dell G5 15 – Best Versatile

Hardware Specifications

ProcessorIntel Core i7-9750H
RAM16GB DDR4
Storage256GB SSD + 1TB SATA HDD
GPUNVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650
Display15.6” LED-Backlit Anti-Glare IPS Full HD (1920 x 1080p)
Operating SystemWindows 10 Home
Battery Life7.5 Hours
Weight3.79 lbs

Top 3 Features


DisplayStorageBattery Life
The G5 boasts a LED-Backlit Anti-Glare IPS Full HD (1920 x 1080p) display capable of producing a superb image quality.
The G5 has two storage options; a 256GB SSD coupled with a large 1TB HDD.
The Dell G5 has an excellent battery life, lasting for up to 7.5 hours with regular usage.
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We’re finishing our list strong with the Dell G5. This is the only laptop on the list that sports a dual storage system with a 1TB SATA drive along with a 256GB SSD, giving you a good balance between speed and storage capacity.

As for performance, this beast features an Intel Core i7 processor in addition to 16 gigabytes of RAM, providing a buttery smooth performance. The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 is what the G5 uses to handle graphic-intensive tasks like AutoCAD, and it does a great job at it.

Furthermore, the G5 has a great battery life, lasting for up to 7.5 hours of continuous usage. You don’t even have to bother taking the charger with you when on the go.

The G5 is also lighter than many other laptops in this class, weighing just 3.79 lbs. You should have no problem moving around with this laptop for prolonged periods.

Pros
  • Excellent processor
  • Dual storage system
  • Dedicated graphics card
  • Good battery life
  • 16GB RAM
Cons
  • Low brightness
  • Bulky design
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Guide to Buying A Laptop for AutoCAD

Performance 

A laptop’s performance is probably the number one thing you should consider when getting a laptop for AutoCAD.

Three main factors affect a laptop’s performance: CPU, GPU, and RAM. For the CPU and GPU, you can check each component’s benchmarks to see how each of them fares against the other models.

RAM is quite simple; having more RAM will almost always result in better performance, especially if you run multiple programs at the same time.

Size

Bigger-sized laptops ensure a better user experience since they have larger displays, making the overall AutoCAD experience much more pleasant.

It’d be nice if the laptop has slim bezels, which allow for larger displays with smaller form factors. As a general rule of thumb, a display size of 12” is the bare minimum for AutoCAD.

Moreover, keep in mind that a laptop’s size affects its portability. Smaller laptops are usually easier to carry around and fit into bags. Weight also plays a huge role here. Most laptops weigh anywhere from 1.70 lbs up to 5.5 lbs. Ideally, your laptop should be as lightweight as possible.

Storage 

While hard disk drives are cheaper and offer more storage capacity than solid-state drives (SSDs), they’re very slow. 

SSDs are a much better option for modern laptops due to their high speeds and smaller physical sizes. Most SSDs have a storage capacity of anywhere from 128GB and up to 512GB, but some can have a storage space of up to 1TB.

Resolution

Interior designers and artists need a high-resolution display to execute their designs on AutoCAD properly. That’s why you need to make sure that the laptop’s display has a minimum resolution of 1920 x 1080p. 

After all, your laptop’s display can have a significant impact on how you judge your designs before printing them. You don’t want to waste time and ink on designs because they looked different on the laptop’s screen.

Battery Life 

If you spend most of the time on your laptop at home or in the office, then battery life may not be that important to you. On the other hand, if you’re always on the go or even enjoying working outdoors, try to get a laptop with a battery life that can last you through the day. 

Either way, long battery life is always a welcome addition!

Operating System

All of the laptops we’ve reviewed run one of these two iterations of Windows 10: 

  • Windows 10 Home: The mainstream release of Microsoft Windows.
  • Windows 10 Pro: A more advanced version of Windows 10. 

There are several advantages that Windows 10 Pro has over Windows 10 Home. The main difference between these two versions is that Windows 10 Pro has several enhancements in the security and business compartments. We’ve also included an article with some tips on using Autocad on your laptop, which may be of interest.  

Other than that, both versions of Windows are almost identical. Windows 10 Pro would be nice if you want to have an extra layer of protection for your designs.


Frequently Asked Questions

What Laptop Specs Do I Need for AutoCAD?

  • Graphics card: A mid-range NVIDIA GPU should get the job done.
  • RAM: A minimum of 6GB RAM for AutoCAD.
  • Processor: An Intel Core i5 processor would be a safe choice for most users.
  • Display: To deliver a good level of detail, accurate colors, and high brightness.

Is AutoCAD a CPU or GPU-intensive Process?

AutoCAD is a very graphic-intensive task, and you need a powerful GPU for it to run smoothly. The CPU is the least important PC component for running AutoCAD, but you still need to have a good one.

How Much RAM Do I Need for Optimal AutoCAD Performance?

For 2D models, AutoCAD will take up 2GB of your computer’s RAM. That number goes up to 4GB for 3D models. 

As a general rule of thumb, get a laptop with a minimum of 6GB RAM to run AutoCAD with no performance drops.

Which CPU Works Best When It Comes to Advanced AutoCAD Usage?

AutoCAD doesn’t require lots of processing power to run smoothly. A recent generation Intel Core i5 processor would be good enough for AutoCAD. You can also get an i7 laptop processor if you want to future-proof your laptop for future releases of AutoCAD.


Conclusion

We’ve come to the end of our guide. This is where we give you some recommendations that you can take as a reference to make the ultimate decision.

We just love the ASUS TUF FX505DT. It offers a nice blend of performance and price, making it one of the best laptops for AutoCAD you can get for the money.

If you want a portable laptop with great battery life, get the Microsoft Surface Pro 7. It’s very small and lightweight, making it super easy to carry around. However, you’ll have to sacrifice a bit on performance since it doesn’t have a dedicated graphics card.

Finally, if you’re on a strict budget, consider getting the Acer Aspire 5. It has a Full HD display, dedicated Vega 3 graphics, and good battery life.