Budget laptop for electrical engineering student


Novice Member
Hi, I'm a prospective electrical engineering student. So, I've been looking into laptops in the price range of 600 - 1000 USD (Although, the cheaper, the better xD). The use I'll be giving this device will be: some web surfing and sending email, using the Office Suite, watch/edit some FHD multimedia (I'm not into professional video nor image editing, just some casual edits on gimp or kdenlive), and do some programming (VS code, Arduino IDE, Quartus, Xillinx Vivado) while running some light simulations, like in proteus or with Xillinx Vivado.

I'm planning to use this on a library (I don't like to work outside that much), however, I'll be taking it with me most of the day that's why I'm looking for a reasonable battery life (at least 7 hours of light use) and a quite lightweight laptop.

The 2 main options that I've considered are the Lenovo Ideapad 5 15.6" 15ITL05 (FHD IPS 1920x1080 300nits, Ryzen 7 5700U, DDR4 16GB 3200 MHz, 512GB SSD) and the Dell Inspiron 15 5515 (FHD IPS 1920x1080 250nits, Ryzen 7 5700U, DDR4 16GB 3200 MHz, 512GB SSD). As you can see, both this models have very similar characteristics, that's why I would like to ask you, which one would you recommend?. And is there any other model (any brand) you recommend in this price range and/or similar features?

Thank you in advance!!!


Novice Member
Hey, I'm in the same situation, but I'm a prospective programmer. I've scoured all the internet and settled on the Dell XPS 15 for now. According to reviews, it is one of the best laptops for programming right now for those who want a Windows 10 (or 11) laptop. In short, it has 15.6 inches, a beautiful design (somewhat similar to the premium class) and good build quality. It is light, thin and I think it will be convenient to carry. In some configurations there are even video cards. Processors are powerful, and battery life is long.
Of the cheapest models, I would consider the Acer Swift 3. This is a budget laptop " with a 14-inch Full HD screen with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. It features an 8th generation Intel Core i5-8250U processor clocked at 1.6GHz, which can be boosted up to 3.4GHz. This processor is paired with an NVIDIA GeForce MX150 graphics card with 2GB of dedicated GDDR5 memory, VRAM. The RAM is 8GB LPDDR3, and the hard disk capacity is 256GB SSD". Suitable for those who want to save money by purchasing an all-in-one laptop :)
If anyone has any other recommendations, please share.
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Well-known Member
My son is doing computing degree at the moment. 20 minute walk to campus and sometimes takes it with him to mates so portability and battery life are important.

Also does a lot of maths which you will do in engineering so opted for a decent glass touch screen with stylus which most of other students also do either with laptop or tablet.

Then for his room he has a dock station (which also has ethernet which is good as WiFi is shockingly bad) 27" screen (actually 2 screens), kbd and mouse, etc which is more comfortable for extended use.

You will need to check prices but HP Spectre (envy is a couple hundred cheaper but plastic screen) 2 in 1, Dell XPS and Asus Zenbook which undercuts the HP and Dell on price. Also don't discount the surface pro though it's probably due a refresh.

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