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Best Used Laptop Deals for Creative Students 2020


UPDATED VERSION: Top 8 Laptops For Architecture Students In 2020



Purchasing a laptop for school can be an overwhelming task consisting of hours of research. Being an architecture student myself and having a background in computer repair services I am able to provide you with research about the most current laptop deals, saving you research and time that you can spend on getting ready for the school year.


Where to Start

Check to see what programs your laptop will need to run. If you are starting as a freshman you may not need a laptop that can run advanced renderings but it is a good idea to see what programs your laptop will eventually need to run in the future. Architecture programs include AutoCAD, AutoDesk 3DS, Rhino 3d, Revit and at a basic level Google Sketchup. I have researched the specific requirements for these programs and all of the following laptops meet the requirements to run the programs you need smoothly.


Minimum Laptop Specifications:


Hard Drive: You will need at least 250 gigabytes as some programs and files will take up a lot of space. I would also recommend a SSD (solid state drive) as they are much faster at reading/writing data and are much less likely to fail because there are no moving parts.

Video Card: The graphics card is the most crucial aspect for architecture students as rendering programs require mid to high end graphics cards. This means that you will need a laptop that a dedicated video card, typically Nvidia Geforce. Do not purchase a laptop with integrated intel graphics as this will not be adequate for you.

Temporary Memory (RAM): You can usually upgrade the RAM in your laptop fairly easily yourself in the future, but I would recommend a laptop with at least 8 gigabytes of RAM.

Processor (CPU): This is a very important aspect other than your video card. I would recommend a CPU with at least the newest (6th gen) i5 or i7 (i7 is usually better).


Mac or PC? Most programs are compatible with both so it comes down to your personal preference/budget. I would personally recommend a PC because programs are usually built for PC first, with an exception of Rhino which was intended for Macs but can be used on either Mac or PC.

Screen Size: I recommend at least a 15″ screen with a high resolution for a crisp and clear view.

Back-lit Keyboard: a lit keyboard helps you see the keys for those late nights before projects are due.

Best Current Laptop Deals

Lenovo Yoga 15 710


This laptop has a dedicated graphics card paired with a crisp touch screen display and also converts to a tablet! The thin profile of the laptop makes it very easy to transport to class or work.

Screen Size: 15.6 inches
Processor: Intel Core i7
RAM: 16 GB
Hard Drive: 256 GB flash_memory_solid_state
Graphics: Coprocessor NVIDIA GeForce
Card Description: dedicated

Lenovo Yoga 710 15 – 15.6″ FHD Touch – Core i5-6200U up to 2.8Ghz – 8GB – 256GB SSD


Dell Inspiron 15 7000 series Gaming Laptop


This laptop boasts an amazing graphics card. Its a Dell laptop so it has a reputation for quality. Its a simple, robust laptop with the focus on power and performance.

Screen Size: 15.6 inches
Screen Resolution: 1920×1080
Processor: 2.3 GHz Core i5 6300HQ
Hard Drive 256 GB SSD
Graphics Coprocessor: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M 4GB GDDR5
Card Description: dedicated
Number of USB 3.0 Ports: 3
Average Battery Life: 4.5 hours

Dell Inspiron i7559-2512BLK 15.6 Inch FHD Laptop (6th Generation Intel Core i7, 8 GB RAM, 1 TB HDD + 8 GB SSD) NVIDIA Gaming GeForce GTX 960M

Acer Aspire E 15


The new Aspire E Series laptops provide a comprehensive range of choices for every-day users, with many appealing features and an attractive design aesthetic that exceed expectations. Incredible performance for the price point.

Screen Size: 15.6 inches
Screen Resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels
Max Screen Resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels
Processor: 2.3 GHz Core i5 6200U
Hard Drive: 256 GB SSD (Solid State)
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 940MX 2GB
Number of USB 2.0 Ports 1
Number of USB 3.0 Ports 2
Average Battery Life: 12 hours

Acer Aspire E 15, 7th Gen Intel Core i7, GeForce 940MX, 15.6″ Full HD, 8GB DDR4, 256GB SSD, Win 10, E5-575G-75MD


Microsoft Surface Book


It is ultra-thin, meticulously crafted, with an incredible 13.5” PixelSense touch-screen display with 3000 x 2000 resolution detachable. Use the included Surface Pen to mark-up presentations, sign documents, take notes and much more. The full punch of a high performance laptop with unprecedented versatility of a tablet. This is Surface Book. This is the future of laptop computing.

Screen Size: 13.5 inches
Max Screen Resolution: 3000*2000 pixels
Processor: 2.6 GHz Core M Family
Hard Drive: 512 GB Solid State
Graphics: Coprocessor Nvidia GeForce GPU
Card Description: dedicated
Number of USB 3.0 Ports: 2

Microsoft Surface Book (128 GB, 8 GB RAM, Intel Core i5)

HP ZBook


Be productive in the office or in the field. Take advantage of the power processing and graphics, simple scalability, and blazing-fast connectivity of the HP Book 15 G2 to perform and collaborate at the speed of creativity. Work anywhere and be confident the power you need is at your fingertips

Screen Size: 15.6 inches
Screen Resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels
Max Screen Resolution 1920 x 1080 pixels
Processor: 2.6 GHz Core i5-4200M
Memory Speed: 1600 MHz
Hard Drive: 500 GB Serial ATA-300
Graphics: Coprocessor NVIDIA Quadro K610M
Chipset Brand NVIDIA Quadro
Card Description: dedicated
Number of USB 2.0 Ports: 1
Number of USB 3.0 Ports: 3

HP ZBook 15″ Mobile Workstation – Intel Core i7-4800QM 2.7GHz 8GB 240GB SSD DVDRW Windows 10 Professional (Certified Refurbished)

I enjoy being part of Urban Splatter as it continues to create evolving opportunities within the digital realm of architecture.


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