There seriously can’t be a better match made in heaven than that of the engineering student with a piece of tech. With a tablet, you’ll be able to do all sorts of things ever so essential for college. From jotting down notes, watching lectures online, playing around with AutoCAD, and even sneaking in a cheeky session of Netflix during your precious downtime, a tablet will enable you to do all of this and then some.
Sure, on one end, you may be leaning a little more towards an actual laptop, citing things like faster processing speeds and larger storage capacities. But this is where you should reconsider – thanks to the advent of a myriad of tech innovations, tablets are now comparable to laptops when it comes to all of this. So, if you’re looking at battery-life, storage space, processing power, a tablet will do anything but disappoint.
Even so, a tablet can do things most laptops can’t. Not only are they more compact and lighter, making carrying it around in your backpack a breeze, but some options even come with LTE configurations and most allow you to draw on them with the digital stylus. Diagrams and formulas after all are the bread and butter of any engineering discipline.
And if you’re still worried about not having a keyboard for whatever reason, you’ll be pleased to know that detachable tablet keyboards are a dime a dozen in the current market.
If you’re convinced by what we’re saying and find yourself in a comparable situation, you should totally read on and check out our list below where we’ve compiled and reviewed the best tablets for engineering students available right now.
Best Tablet for Engineering Students of 2020
1. New Apple iPad (10.2-Inch, Wi-Fi, 128GB) – Space Gray (Latest Model)
Kicking out our list with a brand that known and loved for delivering quality products, Apple’s 10.2-inch iPad will tug the heartstrings of any college student for good reason. Underneath its slick-looking, metallic composition, any user will be satisfied upon finding its A10 Fusion Chip paired with 128GB of in-built storage.
With specs like this, practically any task conceivable will be a reality, from hosting solid Zoom calls to taking notes on OneNote and even programming a range of programs! The iPad’s gorgeous 8MP camera capable of 1080HD video capture will also be a blessing for online conference calls which as of late, have been quite a common activity.
Now even once the current situation is resolved, taking this tablet to college and fiddling with it all day will not be an issue thanks to its 10 hours of battery life and light weight of just 1-pound.
But before we forget, the iPad’s best feature has yet to be mentioned: its display.
Jam packed into its humble 10.2-inch screen is a full retina display that will undoubtedly provide some of the crispest and sharpest viewing experiences ever. So, whether you’re watching a movie on the side, editing a poster for your presentation, or even drawing up some circuits with the Apple Pencil (unfortunately not included), a beautiful screen will bring all these tasks vividly to life.
2. Microsoft Surface Pro 7 – 12.3″ Touch-Screen – 10th Gen Intel Core i5
Another equally fine tablet for engineering students that offers both portability and functionality is Microsoft’s Surface Pro 7 – a solid brand like this too, needs no further introduction. With a display resolution of 2736 x 1824 spread across a generous screen size of 12.3-inches, while it doesn’t quite offer a retina-quality display, a screen like this will be more than appropriate for any student.
But we digress, what really sells the Surface Pro 7 is what’s on the inside. Specifically, its 8GB of RAM, 128 GB of storage, and laptop-class intel processor. Just like the iPad, you’ll be able to play around with any application from the most graphically demanding video games to the lightest of eBook reading (which we expect any student will be spending hours on). Its solid 10.5-hour battery life also complements such a high-performing tablet, so you don’t need to worry too much about lugging around an extra charging cord during any college day.
Better yet, at just 1.7-pounds, this tablet will go virtually unnoticed even when carrying it around on the longest of work sessions. And finally, what really sells the tablet to most students is its included keyboard that even comes with a touchpad of its own! With an addition like this, separating the Surface Pro 7 from your conventional laptop becomes almost impossible.
The best of tablets and the best of laptops are truly blended into a singular product here.
3. Lenovo Flex 14 2-in-1 Convertible Laptop, 14 Inch FHD Touchscreen Display
Truly living up to its name thanks to its flexible build, the Lenovo Flex 14 sits slightly lower on the rung of price but still offers an equally suitable tablet to anyone willing to give it a try. Absolutely built like fully-fledged laptop, this device is packed with performance-inducing specs. With an AMD Radeon Vega 8 and 2400 MHz of memory speed along with 256GB of storage space, with proper care, we assure you that this tablet will last for the long years to come.
From daily computing tasks like browsing the internet to playing around with graphically demanding software such as Photoshop, everything is within hands reach with the Lenovo Flex 14. All this paired with a solid battery life of 10-hours just adds icing to the already sweet cake.
The cost of this of course is in its display. With just a 1920 x 1080 HD touch screen, you won’t get the pixel density as you would with the other tablets above, but we think that this will probably go unnoticed unless you’re planning on doing professional-level photo editing. Now wait, you’ll probably be thinking isn’t this a laptop?
Well yes but this is where the lines get blurry. Living up to the convertible in its name, with the flick of the wrist, you’ll be able to convert this device into a full-on tablet which we think isn’t technically cheating – what’s in a name after all? With the power of a laptop and portability of a tablet, the Lenovo Flex truly lives up to its name.
4. Lenovo Miix 630 2-in-1 12.3″ FHD WUXGA Touchscreen Laptop
Another similar product offered by Lenovo is their Miix that will make for the perfect device for anyone looking for a quality product but is on the lookout for something more affordable. This convertible comes with a beautiful 1920 x 1280 HD display that offers clear viewing experience from just about any angle. It even comes with in-built 4G LTE compatibility so even when on the go or when you’re working with unreliable WiFi, you won’t face any stoppages when it comes to finishing up your college assignments.
It is also a pretty capable divide with its 4GB of RAM and a QualComm Adreno 540 graphics processor and QualComm Snapdragon. All this combined will enable any engineering student to easily go through their entire curriculum without want for a more powerful tablet. Programming with Python, drawing with AutoCAD, and even notetaking with Word will all be done without breaking a sweat.
Just like its sibling Lenovo product, this is a 2-in-1 tablet cum laptop so whenever you feel like using either configuration, with just a flick of the hand, you’ll be able to make a total switch. But it doesn’t stop there, the true beauty behind this device is its battery. It boasts up to 20 hours of constant usage on full charge – to contextualize this, this is enough to get you on a full intercontinental, long-haul flight!
So, we imagine that for the average student, the Miix should be enough to get you through a day at college.
5. Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 10.5″, 128GB Wifi Tablet Cloud Blue
No list of tablets would be complete without mentioning at least one Samsung device. In this case, we present the Galaxy Tab S6. Coming in a number of configurations, you’ll be able to opt for either an LTE option or just a WiFi option and if you feel like it, you can add on a Keyboard Case (which we think will be super helpful for the college student). With its beautiful cloud blue design, this 2-in-1 powerhouse allows users to freely switch between the two modes effortlessly.
It even comes with an S Pen that lets you take notes and draw sketches which we assure you, will be more than helpful for any of your engineering courses! Better yet, with a display resolution of 2560 x 1600 across 10.5-inches, sharpness and clarity of images is practically a given.
Breaking this tablet down reveals a powerful Qualcomm processor which will outperform a number of fully-fledged laptops. It goes without saying that you can’t go wrong with this option. Though, while its battery life isn’t quite to par with the Lenovo Miix, you’ll still be able to squeeze out a little over 14-hours of constant usage – more than enough for the average engineering student’s day at college in our opinion.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is a tablet better than a laptop for engineering students?
In our personal view, yes. Given that you actually pick an appropriate tablet (which all products on our list are), they will give you a better experience than your traditional laptop. Not only are they lighter, more convenient, and more compact, you’ll find tablets to be just as powerful as a normal laptop if done right.
That being said, if you decide to venture beyond our list and make a choice of your own, we strongly suggest you get a tablet that has at least 128 GB of storage space, 4GB of RAM, and is configured with a solid operating system (e.g. Windows). Stick to these configurations and we assure you that your tablet will be fully capable of acting as your primary computer!
Will storage space ever be an issue for tablets?
Most tablets come with either 128 or 256 GB storage options which is enough for most students. Though, if you plan on downloading several movies, songs, applications, and so on, it’s fair to say that it might just be insufficient for you. Don’t worry though – you can always opt for cloud storage (e.g. Google Drive and Dropbox) to add on some additional storage space if it comes to that.
What are some things I should consider before buying a tablet?
There are a few things college students should especially account for before making any sort of purchase. These include price, battery, and accessories. When it comes to price, the student’s wallet generally isn’t the most flattering, so it is absolutely crucial that you stay within your budget. However, if you truly can afford it, more expensive tablets generally tend to have a longer shelf life due to their superior specs but again, this is more of an optional point for you to consider.
Battery also is imperative for any student – no one wants their tablet to die on them halfway through a lecture! A good tablet should be one that can last the whole day so anything with a reported life of at least 10-hours will be fine for you.
Finally, when it comes to accessories, there are some we highly suggest you invest in. These include a tablet-compatible pen which makes taking notes and drawing diagrams/formulas a breeze, a solid tablet keyboard as not everyone likes using a touchscreen to type out entire essays, and a decent protective case to ward off those nasty falls your tablet will probably face throughout its life in college.