Microsoft Surface For Engineering (Laptop and Pro checked)

One problem that engineering students and professionals face is finding the right laptop for school and work. Therefore, considering the many options available, you may wonder whether the Microsoft Surface is the right one for you.

So, is the Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 good for engineering? The 15″ and 13″ Microsoft Surface laptops work effectively for engineering students and professionals as long as they meet the minimum requirement for smooth running. If you are in training, your choice must be at least a core i5 with 4GB RAM and 512GB memory. Professionals, on the contrary, conduct bulkier and more complex tasks, mainly in 3D. Therefore, they will incline to more high-end and high-performance core i7 laptops with around 8GB RAM and more storage space of around 1TB.

If you are an engineer who wants to enjoy the perks that come with the Surface Pro models, your primary concern may be whether it can effectively support your computations and other technical tasks.

All Surface Pro laptop models are great for engineering at student or professional levels. Depending on how complex your tasks usually are, you can always find an SP meeting your requirements. For such cases, you will incline to high-performance versions with high processor speeds for calculations.

Your pro will also need massive storage for your projects. Preferably, it should have at least 8-16GB RAM, more than 256GB storage, and it should be Core i5 or more. Luckily, SPs have high image resolutions and can efficiently run essential software like AutoCAD since they are great for drawings and modeling.

If you are a student or professional in the engineering field, a Surface Pro laptop may be the gadget you need. Beyond the slim and lightweight design, this computer is a monster when it comes to performance. The key is to find one with the best features.

First, the lightweight design comes in handy to carry to class or work, and you can use it even when you are constantly traveling. In addition, the model comes with more than 10 hours of service when fully charged; no more worrying about abrupt shutting down.

The best part is that it can run the most critical software you need for your engineering work, given that it has a powerful processor. Secondly, it works whether you want a laptop or tablet. You can always fold it to fit into a small space and carry it along wherever you need. If you are an engineering student, you will find the lightness a plus because you can carry it when going for lectures to use it as your primary computer for all your needs.

It will tremendously benefit electrical engineers, especially those working on 2D projects. You can opt for the i7 version with high memory, particularly 8GB RAM, for the best performance. It will run AutoCAD, but some users would instead connect it to a bigger screen due to the small size.

The Surface Pro will also help if you are in mechanical engineering where you have many computations or need software installation like MATLAB. The only challenge may be that some apps drain the laptop’s battery. In such instances, you can opt for a home studio and only use your laptop when you are in transit.

Check out the latest prices on Amazon for Microsoft Surface devices.

Is Surface Laptop 3 Good for Engineering?

You would want to make an informed decision in selecting the best laptop, creating the need to discuss whether you can successfully undertake your engineering projects using the Surface Laptop 3.

The Surface Laptop 3 is an excellent choice for any engineering work, provided that you select an excellent option for you and the tasks you do. If you are a qualified engineer doing many 3D tasks, your go-to is an SL3 with insane processor speeds, preferably 16GB RAM and a Core i7 with massive storage space. On the other hand, if you are a student or an electrical engineer whose CAD tasks are mainly in 2D, you don’t necessarily need an extremely high-performance gadget. An SL3 i5 of 4GB RAM and a considerable space will suffice.

The variations in specs of the SL3 give you the advantage to choose a suitable gadget according to your needs. If you are a training engineer, you can opt for a smaller-sized laptop measuring 11.5″, a core i5, 4GB memory, and storage space of at least 256 GB. With these features, you will have everything you need to stay ahead of your course work because, in most cases, your school may provide laptops or have a computer lab with more powerful gadgets.

However, you can still go for the high-end Surface Laptop 3 if you can afford it since it is bigger and has the core i7 processor with 16GB storage and more than 500GB space. Generally, electrical engineering mainly deploys 2D modeling; hence, beginner students can benefit from basic features. In contrast, mechanical engineering uses more complex techniques that are primarily in 3D; therefore, it is safe to use a laptop with more advanced features.

Fortunately, the Surface Laptop 3 has other impressive properties to suit you regardless of your field in engineering. Even with basic features, you can still develop an exceptional and attractive final design for presentation to your professors or clients.

Note that the Surface Laptop 3 models are available in 15″ and 13.5″, and both work impressively but with a slight difference regarding portability. The 15″ option is bulkier to travel with and has a more powerful processor; hence, best for running the high-end software that mechanical engineers require for exemplary work. As seen with the CPU, this version still boasts of the best GPU; hence, ideal for quality graphic work.

Furthermore, the massive laptop has a broader display with HD quality. At the same time, the smaller alternative is a bit strenuous to use, and you may need a different screen when doing technical tasks. The keyboard sizes also differ, with the 15″ offering you a more expansive typing space to enhance your typing speed, enabling you to meet your deadlines when writing reports. The two laptops also have different ports to allow connection to other peripheral devices such as mice or projectors.

Moreover, the ports help link the machine to more devices, unlike the 13″, which may have fewer ports. Therefore, if you need a powerful Surface Laptop 3, whether you are an engineering student, electrician, or mechanical engineer, I recommend the 15 inch SL3.

The smaller version will also effectively run certain apps for your design needs, especially for engineering students, with the advantage of being very portable. However, its display size may limit you if you do a lot of 3D projects.

The Best Features of a Laptop for Engineering

If you take engineering as a course or career, you understand how important it is to have the right computer. This section looks at the features to look out for when picking the perfect laptop to make your tasks easier.

As seen with the Surface Laptops, the best device for engineering should be lightweight and portable, with a high-resolution screen to display quality images. It should also have a large RAM of not less than 4GB, and it should use a high-end GPU. You will also need a massive storage space to support all your files. Lastly, it should enable connection to other devices via Bluetooth or projector and serial ports.

  • Display

Before I get to the technical features that your Surface laptop needs, I have to discuss the general aspects. Your laptop’s size and resolution will determine whether it will be effective or not. If your laptop isn’t too big, it will be lightweight, meaning portable enough to carry it along when you go to work or class.

However, it may be a slight compromise since a small screen will leave little room for your designs and software apps. It explains why some professionals would instead hook their laptops up to wider screens. Secondly, most users go for laptops with a high resolution because it is more convenient, and you can open up many windows side by side and still get a clear view.

  • Portability

Another essential feature to consider in a laptop is its weight, and, fortunately, the Surface versions do not disappoint. It is very lightweight and convenient since you can always detach the keyboard when you don’t need it. Students and working users tend to travel extensively with their gadgets.

Therefore, they wouldn’t want to suffer from carrying excessively bulky equipment. The only issue with most light versions is that they lose a level of output. Heavy laptops, on the other hand, tend to be more high-performance. However, the best way to go is to achieve the perfect balance between weight and power.

  • Device Connections

From sharing your tasks with your colleagues to presentation, an engineer’s laptop must allow connectivity. For instance, you may need Bluetooth if you require a fast means of data transfer since it is faster and more convenient.

Similarly, since you will regularly give demonstrations, it is safe to have a laptop with a serial or projector port. Still, if your laptop is a slim model, you can always buy an adapter. Your internet connection should also be stable enough to download software or other relevant resources from the internet.

  • RAM

If you are an undergraduate, you don’t necessarily need 16GB RAM for coursework since you don’t do many projects compared to a professional; therefore, an 8GB memory will do. Work, in contrast, is all about projects. Hence, some even go for 16GB RAM for their demanding tasks.

You may also need more RAM if you use your laptop for various apps every day. Luckily, RAM is upgradable; hence, you can buy an affordable Surface laptop with 4GB, use it for a while, then upgrade it in the future. Besides, if you find that your dream device has low RAM, you can still get it for later upgrading.

  • CPU

Your CPU must match up to the task for technical 3D CAD. You will need at least a core i5 to run all the essential apps for engineering. Otherwise, your computer may fail to give the best results. If you handle bulky software like Civil 3D, ANSYS, or other crucial stuff, you may require higher processor speeds.

While i5 will serve an engineering student, a professional will benefit more from an i7 due to the nature of work. However, note that such high-performance processors tend to drain your battery and are heavier than the standard ones in most cases.

  • GPU

Electrical and computer engineers are primarily more inclined to 2D modeling; therefore, they aren’t very keen on the GPU, as they are with the CPU and memory. Otherwise, you would go for a dedicated graphics card if you are a mechanical or civil engineer whose daily work entails 3D designing.

It will come in handy for applications such as MATLAB and general CAD. Your computer has to be high-end to see your projects through successfully. On the other hand, if you also want to use your computer for gaming, your go-to would be a DDR5 card.

  • Storage

Space is a crucial aspect of the engineering world. For one, you will deal with many projects or assignments; therefore, you will require a massive storage place for safekeeping and easy retrieval in the future. Besides, the engineering software can be pretty bulky, requiring more room in your device.

Students sometimes save their coursework on their computers. Therefore, if you have a lot of data to back up, it is best to ensure that you have around 512 GB, and if it’s not enough, you can always get an external drive. External storage may hold your most critical data to serve as a security backup if you lose your laptop.

  • Other Features

There are other cool features to look for in a laptop based on personal preference. For instance, some users love devices with a keyboard backlight feature. It’s a fantastic design that is also functional since it helps you complete your tasks at night or in rooms with low lighting. Another unique feature among laptop users is convertibility. Fortunately, the Surface newest versions have this aspect allowing conversion to a touch screen tablet when you fold it over.


The Surface has, over time, proven to level up to the competition. Thanks to its high performance, it can serve users in all fields, even in technical areas like engineering. It may seem too slim and lightweight, but this device is exceptional in its roles, and the key is to find one that meets your needs.

I recommend the core i5 versions with 4GB RAM for students, especially those doing many 2D projects. Alternatively, a more high-end core i7 of 8GB RAM and high storage will be more effective for professionals.

Bal Kang

Bal Kang is a technology expert based in the UK, with experience across a number of technology areas from phones, tablets, computers to gaming.

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