With the amount of software, tools, and tasks required to design and execute architectural projects, selecting the right laptop is absolutely essential. Price should be the first point considered when selecting a laptop for architecture students. An architecture student will be looking for a good laptop that won’t cost an arm and a leg, and this need has been answered by the emergence of budget laptops in the market. These laptops, cheaper than the premium options, perhaps lack certain features like a sleek design or powerful graphics cards, but will still be able to handle most tasks required by an architecture student.
Power and Performance
As most reputable software used in the field of architecture is processor and RAM intensive, it is essential for architecture students to have sufficient power and performance for their laptops. A laptop for an architecture student needs to deliver on performance just as well as a premium option given the demanding nature of the software used. That is why the laptop should be powered by an Intel Core i7 processor and have more RAM than the average laptop, at atleast 8GB.
For an architecture student, the laptop display size and resolution are very important. A laptop used for drafting and design work will require clear and precise visuals, as well as a larger workspace to be able to see details without zooming in and out. A laptop with a 15.6″ display and a resolution of at least Full HD (1920×1080 pixels) is the way to go for an architecture student.
Graphics cards will not be required for the usual architecture work but may come in handy for architectural visualization and 3D rendering. Professional video cards are expensive and are probably not necessary for architecture students. That said, a mid-range graphics card should be enough for decent 3D performances.
While portability is not a major factor, architecture students would do well to look for laptops that are lightweight and portable, as they will be travelling from site to site and taking their equipment with them. A lightweight laptop such as a 14” should be considered to make it easier to take sketches with you when required.
In an ever-evolving industry such as architecture, software is absolutely essential, and a good laptop should come with the programs needed for work. Autodesk’s suite of software is the industry standard for architectural design and planning, so a laptop should include the programs you will require such as AutoCAD and Revit.
Storage should also be taken into account when buying a laptop for architecture students. With the amount of design data they will be working with, a laptop with a minimum of 500GB of storage space is recommended. An architecture student should also look into getting an external hard disk drive to store large files and back up work.
Durability is of paramount importance for architecture students as their laptop will be travelling with them to sites and enduring the outdoor environment, hence the importance of getting a laptop with a robust build. Laptops with a magnesium alloy chassis and an anti-glare display are recommended as they are able to take rough handling and endure the unpredictable outdoor conditions.
Long battery life is essential for architecture students, as they will be spending a considerable amount of time outside, away from power outlets. The laptop needs to be able to last for a minimum of 4 hours on a single charge, and longer if possible. This aspect should be carefully considered, as not all laptops have the same battery life.
Increasingly, the architectural industry is moving towards a more connected, “smart” future and architecture students should be aware of the possibilities. Being able to connect to the internet, store and synchronize work, transfer data, and collaborate with peers is essential and should be taken into account when selecting a laptop.
Another important factor to consider when selecting a laptop is the brand. Different brands offer different levels of performance, design, and customer service, and should be carefully considered by the architecture student.
Whether it’s hardware or software compatibility, an architecture student should make sure their laptop is compatible with hardware components and software programs, as well as the platform of their school or office. This is to prevent future issues and ensure that the laptop runs all required software programs.
It’s unavoidable that issues may arise with your laptop, and in these instances, good customer service from the laptop manufacturer could go a long way. Always make sure to research the customer service offered by the laptop manufacturer before purchase, as it could make or break your investment.
In conclusion, architecture students should consider several factors when selecting a laptop for them. These include price, power and performance, screen, graphics, portability, software, storage, durability, battery life, connectivity, brand, compatibility, and customer service. Once all factors are considered and weighed, the architecture student will be able to get the right laptop to help them pursue their architecture career.