8 Best Laptops Recommended for Architects and Architecture Students| 2020|Ar. Mohsin Sheikh

Hello everyone!!!

welcome back and thanks for clicking on the blog. Selecting the right machine for your tasks is important because that will be your tool for more than 3 years and will help you generate revenue or get good grades at university.

Whether you’re buying your first laptop or simply replacing an old one, here we will run through our pick of the best laptops for architects, architecture students and architectural visualizations.

While shortlisting these laptops, due consideration has been given to the specifications and features of the laptops. The minimum hardware requirements to run digital drafting software includes at least an intel i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, at least 2GB of GPU VRAM, a full HD screen of minimum 15” size and at least 512 GB of storage space.

The other metric to take into consideration is the operating system. I have picked all the laptops with windows operating system since it is capable of supporting a large number of application types as compared to Mac or Linux systems.

LENOVO IDEAPAD SLIM 3I

PROCESSOR: 10th Gen Intel Core i5 -1035G1

RAM: 8 GB DDR4

GRAPHICS CARD: Integrated GDDR5

WEIGHT: 1.85KG

OS: Windows 10 Home (Pre-Installed)

SCREEN SIZE: 15.6-inch screen with (1920 x 1080) full HD display & Anti-Glare technology

STORAGE: 1TB HDD + 256 GB SSD

PRICE: 50K

LENOVO IDEAPAD SLIM 3I

If you’re looking for something in a budget of 50k this is a laptop you should consider. It has the required RAM and can handle your basic AutoCAD/ Sketchup/ Lumion works. A package of a decent battery life, 19.9mm thickness & weighing 1.85kg. It comes with a narrow bezel, antiglare screen & privacy shutter in the webcam. A setup of dual speakers of 1.5W of Dolby Audio, Bluetooth & WIFI connectivity.

VERDICT

A package of power and performance in mid-range segment at a great price. This laptop is recommended for students of architecture and people who travel a lot and need a laptop on the go. Heavy rendering is not recommended on this laptop.

LENOVO IDEAPAD L340

PROCESSOR: 9th Gen Intel Core i5 -9300H

RAM: 8 GB DDR4

GRAPHICS CARD: 3GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050

WEIGHT: 2.2 KG

OS: Windows 10 (Pre-Installed)

SCREEN SIZE: 15.6-inch screen with (1920 x 1080) full HD display & Anti-Glare technology

STORAGE: 1TB HDD + 256 GB SSD

PRICE: 69K

LENOVO IDEAPAD L340

It comes with some kind of symbolic 180° hinge, I am not sure what will somebody do of that feature, but people tend to get creative with the features provided. The keyboard is Backlit. While selecting my own laptop I was of the opinion why to consider Backlit feature and I avoided it, very soon while working at night I realized that a backlit feature is a must for an architect.

This laptop is a bit on a heavier side as but offers a good graphics card which can handle heavy renderings. So if you’re someone who’s into 3DSMAX, RHINO, LUMION then this is the machine for you. This comes with a bunch of USB, HDMI, AUDIO, ETHERNET and even Microphone Ports.

You might feel that you need to turn your body a little to the left to type or use the trackpad as everything is a bit left-aligned. This isn’t really a problem and shouldn’t cause an issue.

VERDICT

A perfect product for someone who’s in their final year of architecture or for fresh graduates. It doesn’t go heavy on your pocket and still offers you a product with some balanced configuration in laptops.

In my book, this one is an absolute win and is probably the best laptop for a budding architect.

HP ZBook 15v G5 Mobile Workstation

PROCESSOR: Intel CoreTM i7-8850H  

RAM: 16 GB DDR4

GRAPHICS CARD: NVIDIA P600 4GB GDDR5  

WEIGHT: 2.14KG

OS: Windows 10 Pro

SCREEN SIZE: 15.6-inch screen (1920 x 1080)

STORAGE: 1TB HDD

PRICE: 149K

HP ZBook 15v G5 Mobile Workstation

You won’t be surprised when I say that this laptop resembles to some rival whose name you might find ‘ALIEN’ated. They have partnered with software providers like Autodesk and Solid works to ensure laptop is optimized for peak performance.

While the specs are above average and one which I would include in the premium segment I was expecting a 512 SSD in this price range. But a 4GB graphics card sums up for that. Multiple ports, backlit keyboard and other features become a basic at this price point.

VERDICT

Aimed at students & small business owners this is the go-to device. The ergonomics of the laptop is managed well. The CPU performance is on the higher end of mediocre, but you can upgrade it to make it more powerful.

HP Omen 15-en0001AX

PROCESSOR: AMD Ryzen 5 – 4600H  

RAM: 8 GB DDR4

GRAPHICS CARD: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650Ti – 4GB (GDDR6)   

WEIGHT: 2.36KG

OS: Windows 10 Home

SCREEN SIZE: 15.6-inch screen (1920 x 1080)

STORAGE: 512GB SSD

PRICE: 81K

HP OMEN 15

This variant comes with a AMD Ryzen 5 processor. A feature for a connection with upto 3 external monitors, a full HD IPS panel and also supports dual 5K display. It comes with a competitive thickness of 22.5mm and smallest footprint in a 15inch laptop segment category. This laptop comes with a 512GB PCle NVMe M.2 SSD.

(FACT: SSD’s are 30% faster than normal Hard drives)

Added features have a backlit keyboard, 1.5mm key travel and an enlarged touch-pad making it more gaming centric Laptop. The CPU and GPU boost-up under performance mode .

VERDICT

If you already have a laptop and considering for an upgrade in a budget this is the best value for money. Little details of key travel and an enlarge touch-pad creates an edge over other laptop. It is already at a competitive price range which you will find in other laptops.

Dell G3 3500 Gaming Laptop

PROCESSOR: 10th Gen Intel i5- 10300H 

RAM: 8 GB DDR4

GRAPHICS CARD: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti 4GB GDDR6 

WEIGHT: 2.3KG

OS: Windows 10 Home

SCREEN SIZE: 15.6-inch screen (1920 x 1080) Anti-glare, IPS FHD Display.

STORAGE: 1TB HDD + 256GB SSD

PRICE: 79K

Dell G3 3500 Gaming Laptop

A gaming-oriented laptop with capacity of decent graphics. This laptop offers Alienware command center, Nahimic 3D audio. Dell promises for 10 hours of battery life making this is an ideal laptop for long usage. It has plenty of ports – USB 3.2 Gen 1 port with power share, USB 2.0, HDMI, SD-card slot, RJ45 & Headset ports.

The 15.6-inch screen is equipped with a 1920 x 1080 display. It is an anti-glare with a very wide view, which makes for added convenience. Color quality is above average at 72% NTSC, which means details in architectural plans will be clearly visible.

VERDICT

A perfect combination of setup for beginners’ gamers, architecture students who are in their 3rd year, can invest in this as this will be perfect machine till final year of architecture or more than that. If you are someone who likes to play games and work this will be something you should go for.

Dell G7 7588 Gaming Laptop

PROCESSOR: 8th Gen Intel i7- 8750H 

RAM: 16 GB DDR4

GRAPHICS CARD: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB GDDR6  

WEIGHT: 2.5KG

OS: Windows 10

SCREEN SIZE: 15.6-inch screen (1920 x 1080) Anti-glare, IPS FHD Display.

STORAGE: 1TB HDD + 128GB SSD

PRICE: 115K

Dell G7 7588 Gaming Laptop

It looks pretty neat in the Matt black finish, and the 15.6-inch screen helps it stay fairly lightweight. Performance wise, the Intel core i7-8750H is extremely powerful. When it comes to RAM, it can be upgraded to a maximum of 32GB. It provides 128GB SSD which makes it even faster.

As far as external connections go, this one has a USB 3.0, HDMI, Audio out, ethernet, microphone, card reader port.

VERDICT

If you are someone who’s starting his own practice and needs to get everything done by himself, then this is the perfect machine from AutoCAD to Google SketchUp to V-ray renderings. It’s on the heavier side but it provides a higher graphics of 6GB.

ASUS ROG Strix G15 

PROCESSOR: 10th Gen Intel i5- 10300H 

RAM: 8 GB DDR4

GRAPHICS CARD: NVIDIA GTX 1650 Ti 4GB  

WEIGHT: 3KG

OS: Windows 10 Home

SCREEN SIZE: 15.6-inch screen (1920 x 1080) Full HD  

STORAGE: 1TB SSD

PRICE: 100K

ASUS ROG Strix G15 

The Strix G15 comes with an intel i5 – 10300H processor, a Nvidia GTX 1650 Ti 4GB memory and a storage of 1TB SSD WITH A Full HD display. Asus smacks an electro-punk theme on the Strix G15 with a Pink ROG logo over a flaux – aluminum hood and pink trim surrounding the lid. There’s a thin cutout on the lid, revealing the deck and LED indicators. It features decent number of ports, USB type A ports, headphone jack. Instead of remaining ports being located on the right side, they are on the back of the laptop and include a power jack, HDMI port, and Type-C port.

VERDICT

The Asus ROG Strix G15 is a solid gaming laptop. It features strong performance, a comfortable keyboard and a nice design, but the life is subpar, while the speakers and display are simply awful. If you’re looking for something of higher configuration at a best price this is go to laptop for you.

MSI Gaming GF63 Thin 9sc  

PROCESSOR: 9th Gen Intel i5- 9300H 

RAM: 8 GB DDR4

GRAPHICS CARD: NVIDIA GTX 1650 Max Q, 4GB GDDR5  

WEIGHT: 1.86KG

OS: Windows 10 Home

SCREEN SIZE: 15.6-inch screen (1920 x 1080) Full HD 

STORAGE: 512GB SSD

PRICE: 68K

MSI Gaming GF63 Thin 9sc  

This MSI laptop features a NVIDIA Geforce GTX 1650 Graphics Card, an Intel Core i5-9300H and 8GB of RAM. You get a 15.6-inch screen laptop which for a gaming setup is mid-size. The laptop weight is 1.86kg. Some of the biggest PC games can run on this laptop.

VERDICT

If you’re looking for something in a budget with good speed, then this is something you should go for. A balanced configuration of i5 processor and 512 GB SSD memory it is recommended for gaming as well as architecture software’s.

What’s important in a laptop for architects?

Certain key factors should be considered when looking for the best laptop for your individual needs. Whether you are an architecture student, young architect or experienced practitioner, the following specs are worth investigating for each option:

CPU (Central Processing Unit): Any architecture student or professional architect will be running powerful CAD and modeling software. It is wise to get at least Inteli5 or above to avoid any hassle.

GPU (Graphics Processing Unit): You may be using hardcore graphic software like Rhino, 3ds Max, ArchiCAD, Revit or Vectorworks, all of which require a formidable graphics card. Thus, the ideal laptop for architect will have at least a 4GB vRAM GPU for smooth processing.

RAM: Architectural software will account for a big chunk of your RAM, particularly when multitasking and producing high quality renderings. Therefore, a computer with at least 16GB of RAM is preferable, though 8GB is sufficient for the majority of purposes.

HDD vs. SSD vs. Hybrid Drive: Architectural design files often require significant space, so the higher the storage, the better off you are. SSD (Solid State Drive) is faster and more reliable than a mechanical hard drive but comes with a higher price tag. To enjoy the pros of both SSD and HDD, we recommend getting a hybrid drive. You can install the OS and architecture software in SSD and all other files in HDD for optimum performance.

Mac vs. Windows: In terms of hardware and operating system, it all comes down to your personal preference. High-end Apple and PC laptops are well geared to handle the challenges offered by the job. Windows 10 is arguably more user friendly as it supports a wide array of software but is exposed to more viruses than Mac. The MacBook Pro in particular is well perceived by professionals as being great for graphic applications but is considered by many to be overpriced.

Gaming laptops: An increasingly popular choice among architects and designers, laptops primarily aimed at gamers can also be ideal for creatives that use programs with high demands on graphics and processing power. While their aesthetics might not be to everyone’s taste, the cost-to-performance ratio of many gaming laptops can be hard to argue with.

Screen Size and Resolution: Considering the level of mobility yet without ignoring the necessary attention to detail, a laptop with a screen size between 15 and 17 inches is the best size for architectural rendering. FHD (full high definition) resolution should be enough for the work involved; however, higher resolutions such as UHD (ultra-high definition), 4K or 5K prepare you for the upcoming future trends.

Ports: Consider how many USB ports, Ethernet ports and other specialist ports you might need; this will vary depending on your preference for wired or wireless peripheral such as computer mice, touch pads and external hard drives.


AND, AND, AND if you have survived till here and read all this article i really appreciate your patience.


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ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT 3D – PRINTING | Ar. Mohsin Sheikh

Technology has played a major role in human evolution. Any task today is being more optimum than a decade ago. Now, this is only possible when a CHANGE is brought. This change is particularly what we need, which makes human effort simpler. Let’s take an example of Architecture (because why not, we discuss Architecture here & things around it), earlier we use to HAND DRAFT our sheets for the drawing process. Then one fine day AutoCAD came and it changed the whole industry. And then there were successors of AutoCAD. Now this is evolving every single day, and this can’t stop and so as humans, we also keep learning new software’s to achieve more in terms of goals which we couldn’t achieve earlier.

Now in 2020, we have achieved a great deal in the construction industry yet we are having limitations.  There will always be some or the other limitation. Talking about limitation in Architecture there are different kinds of design approaches. One of it is Form based design. Even if you’re a 2nd year student of architecture you’ll realize you’ll still be able to make plan, section and elevation of the organic shape but what about the PHYSICAL MODEL.

There are many times when we get stuck in design because we’re not confident about the proportions getting it right. Or a certain part of a space of which we want a physical model so that we get an accurate understanding of it. “Prototyping” –  we don’t go there as a task of a single design becomes so hectic, we don’t explore other options and hence losing the new project.

The solution to all these problems is 3D – PRINTING. You might have heard it but today I want all your myths busted about it. We have a detailed blog covering mostly every aspect of this process so if you have wanted to learn this read the blog till the end and Leave a like if you learned something or just enjoyed reading.

What is 3D printing?

It is basically a process of converting a 3d software model into a 3d physical model done by mechanically depositing material layer by layer, so it is called as an Additive Manufacturing method. (meaning nothing gets waste)

The scope of 3D printing is not just limited to Architecture and Interior design, but also used in engineering field, automobile and Aerospace, product design, jewelry design and even in Medical field.

Talking about the BENEFITS of 3d printing it allows you to make unique or customized shapes quickly without start-up costs. As we mentioned earlier it’s an additive process so NO MATERIAL WASTAGE. Desktop printers are getting common where you can print your own design at your home.

You’ll be thinking that’s okay but we don’t know different types of 3D printers and what all materials it uses to make the object. I have got your back.

TYPES OF 3D PRINTING and MATERIALS normally used in 3d printing are FDM (Fused Deposition Modelling) is the technology where we can use materials like Nylon, PLA and other kind of plastic material. This is the most common type of 3d printer.

Other techniques are:

– Stereolithography (SLA) material use is Resin

– Electronic Beam Melting (EBM) works with a directed beam of electrons.

– Direct Metal Laser Sintering with titanium powder.

– Flexible material – Thermoplastic elastomer (TPE)

If it’s not sturdy it is not worth the time and energy. So, let’s discuss the STRENGTH OF THE 3D PRINTED MODEL. There are different varieties of products as mentioned in the above section from which, according to your requirement and convenience you can select one of them which ever suites your design. We can print a high density solid object to a flexible rubber-based model. The difference is the type of material and density of the model.

– PLA (Polylactic Acid) and Resin for tough models and TPE (thermoplastic elastomer) for flexible models

These two topics can be merged but kept away for technical reasons. One aspect of STRENGTH is remaining which we’ll cover in HOW SMALL OR BIG can the MODEL be made??

So, to understand this we need to understand that there are different type of PRINTERS and different sizes of printers. While using we can make the model at once, or if there’s a big model you can join it as per your design. Commonly used printers are desktop printers, which can vary in size but can generally print volume of 25cm x 25cm x 30cm.

But one can make big models like houses, bridges and cycles as well, using different printers which can use concrete, clay and metals to print. For now, the biggest 3d printed building is in Dubai of 640sq.m area. Again, getting back to the topic of strength and scale of the model, if a house can be made, your model can surely be made and it will be strong enough.

The density of the model decides how much time the model will take to finish. A model with low infill density will be completed faster than the one with higher density. Here are a few examples to get an idea of what scale of models takes how much time. Now here in the figure you can see 3 objects. A Pawn, a dice and a Vase.

The pawn took 55 mins, the dice took 2 hours 37 minutes and the vase took 5 hours 49 minutes.

You don’t need to learn a new software for 3d printing. So, the question arises ‘Which software’s 3d model soft copy do I need to provide to get the model?’ You need to generate a 3d software model using any 3d modelling software like Sketchup, Rhinoceros, Blender, Maya, etc. or if you want a replication of any kind of model you just need to 3d scan the model and get the design for printing.

You guys might be thinking that how do I know so much about 3D – printing in such a small time period. Because some of the things which are mentioned here, are such that one can get them, only when one has experienced the process. These are two super Awesome dudes from my college, who are now completely involved in this segment. They have been aware of these technologies for 4-5 years and they got the opportunity to work on this from past 1 year. They have also explored Robotics, Virtual Reality, Laser Crafting. They have their practice named as NASCENCE and they provide solution in the field of Architecture and Product design using 3d softwares and tools like 3d printing and Laser Crafting

Abhishek (L) 7 Pankaj (R)

They believe 3d printing can make a change in Architecture in 2 ways in this field. One is enabling a designer and architecture play around with different ideas and identify design problems in complex geometrical models by printing small scale prototypes for presentation and design development purposes. For example, imagine an architect proposes a special kind of wall tile. You can 3d print the mould for the tile. Secondly, 3d printing the entire building which is happening in china, Dubai, USA, etc. NASA had also conducted a competition of building structures on planet Mars. The winning competition was a design proposal of a modular 3d printed structure.

A creative process where students have the freedom to explore should be incorporated at a very basic level in our educational system, which when introduced at an early age, where they should be aware about this new technology and also that enables the physical manifestation of someone’s thoughts and ideas. The early introduction of students to the new technology will make them fit for the future, when 3d printing will become more and more important for the workplace and everyday life.

SACRED HEART SCHOOL, KALYAN

The school has taken the initiative to introduce to students of 5th standard onwards to technologies like 3d printing, Robotics, Virtual Reality etc and give bright young minds the exposure to these futuristic technologies.

Lastly discussing the limitations of 3d printing. Since a model is printed layer by layer it takes a lot of time to print the whole model. Every new technology when released in market is expensive as not many people know about it and not many are using it, that’s the reason for it being expensive. Same is happening with 3d printing. I agree it is expensive but when it will be common then the cost of machines will come down which is happening with every new technology.

I hope you enjoyed this informative blog. It was a fun collaboration with Pankaj & Abhishek. If you have learnt anything from this, I’ll request you guys to go follow ‘NASCENCE’ on Instagram. Or just thank them for this fascinating information. Except one,  all the images are made of 3d printing and examples of what you can make through this process. If you have any requirements for 3d printing, you can surely get in touch with NASCENCE.

Nascence’s Instagram handle: https://www.instagram.com/nascence.3d/


We write blogs on Architecture and everything around it, so if you are interested get in touch through these mediums:

Don’t forget to Like, comment, follow and share it with your friends
Say Hi on INSTAGRAM
Tweet us @moh0392
Want your space designed by us, mail at: armohsinsheikh@outlook.com
UNTIL THEN, STAY TUNED & STAY SAFE.