The CAD in AutoCAD stands for Computer-Aided Design, so it should be noted that AutoCAD is not
the only CAD software available for architects, civil engineers, and artists to work with. AutoCAD is
only a product developed by the company Autodesk. Even Autodesk offers a cloud-based CAD
alternative to the classic AutoCAD software package now, called Autodesk Fusion 360. Therefore,
any laptop that meets the requirements we are going to elaborate next, will also be able to run
TinkerCAD, FreeCAD, Creo, Catia, 3DS Max, etc. without a hitch.
An Excellent Touch Screen
A device which will be primarily used to work with AutoCAD or CAD software in general should most
definitely have a touchscreen. In fact, it should have the touchscreen of a high-resolution tablet, the
power of a fully-fledged computer, and the convenience of a keyboard. This is why the Lenovo Yoga
series is widely accepted as among the best laptops for AutoCAD available today. A 2-in1 design
allows users to use it as a traditional laptop and a touchscreen tablet for designing simultaneously.
The touchscreen should also be pressure sensitive and preferably come with a stylus.
A High Resolution Display
The resolution of the display is more important in laptops for AutoCAD than the display’s physical
dimensions. Make no mistake that a bigger display would indeed be better, but we are discussing a
laptop here. The size difference between a 14” display and a 15.6” display is not as significant when
you are designing with CAD. Most designers will connect their laptop to an external monitor via
HDMI if they really need a bigger view.
Therefore, the resolution of the laptop’s display holds more importance when you are working
directly on the laptop’s screen and not an external monitor. The high resolution makes every line,
every corner, and every shape appear smoother, clearer, and crisper on a relatively small screen. For
example, a 15” 2K, 10-bit touchscreen would be a delight to use with AutoCAD due to the higher PPI.
Pixels per inch or PPI is always going to be higher on a comparatively smaller display. Just make sure
that the display isn’t too small though!
Meeting Recommended Specifications
The rule to remember with laptops for AutoCAD or just about any other software in general is that
you should always try to meet the recommended requirements and not the minimum requirements.
As we are discussing laptops for AutoCAD users specifically in this post, check out the officially
recommended PC requirements below:
- CPU: 3.0 GHz Intel Core-i5/AMD Ryzen 5 (contemporary generation) or more.
- GPU: DirectX 12 GPU with 4GB VRAM and 106GB/s bandwidth.
- RAM: 16GB or more.
- Windows 10/11
Keep in mind that Autodesk has separate requirements for Mac as well, but these are the officially
recommended system requirements that all laptops for AutoCAD must meet. However, they do not
specify the requirements needed to run the special tool sets. Check them out here if you have plans
to run any of the intensive specialized toolsets on your new laptop.