Light laptop that is good for AutoCAD use

Hi bargainers,

I'm an engineer who just recently graduated from uni live. back in university I used an Asus ROG G551V laptop for my daily use which is very decent for the job.

but now I work at building project sites overseas and sometimes need to bring the laptop around the project site (I go back and forth from basement 3 to level 5 using stairs every day to manage things on the site).

as you can see, bringing an almost 3KG laptop inside my backpack all day combined with going up and down 8 levels using stairs is not a very good combination. so now I'm looking for a replacement laptop/ultrabook which can fit my needs.

my needs:

  • lightweight (preferably less than 2kg or close to it)
  • touchscreen display & stylus is preferable but not necessary
  • a processor+GPU combination that can handle AutoCAD files
  • some light gaming (overwatch, cs:go, psx emulators)
  • minimum 8GB of ram, 16GB is preferable
  • minimum 256GB of ssd storage


  • the cheaper the better, but $1900 is my limit (I don't know whether $1900 will be enough for my requirements or not. but if it isn't, feel free to suggest the laptop I should get anyway)



    I haven't used one but a Xiaomi 13" seems to meet your requirements


      isn't Xiaomi laptop comes with a chinese version of windows?


      the newly released 15" version has 8th generation quad cores though, a big improvement in workload efficiency over the 7th gen dual cores.

      Xiaomi laptop comes with a chinese version of windows?

      Just call microsoft and get them to re-issue you a Windows key that you can install over again with.

      main issue with Xiaomi is not the OS language — it's the lack of warranty options. If you bought a Dell XPS or a Thinkpad T series, you can customise it with 3 year NBD warranty which I would personally get if the laptop is the only machine I have for work.


    This may be out of your budget but a last resort and something I've been enjoying is my Surface Book. I currently have the i7 model with dGPU, 8gb RAM model and it was around 3k (way over your 1900 i know). I'm not sure whether or not it would handle AutoCAD but I've used it for a bit of video editing, gaming (League of Legends, Overwatch), app development (Android Studio) and general University stuff. Also has a detachable touch screen + stylus.

    Sorry if there are better and cheaper options as I havn't researched too much but this is just my experience as someone who is about to graduate and also currently working in an engineering environment.

  • +1 vote

    AutoCAD isn't meant to be run with iGPU. For best portability, you'd want an ultrabook class laptop with dedicated gpu. Dell XPS line would be my choice. Going by your budget, XPS 13 might be what you are looking for. But if CAD is main application, I wouldn't go with any screen below 14".


      I've never had issues with AutoCAD and an integrated GPU. I expect the newer ones are more than capable of handling it

      • +1 vote

        Well, "issues/performance" can be subjective. It could be a case of Ozbargainer paradox. You didn't know that you need it until you are aware of it. A decent CAD machine is one that is snappy and doesn't pause/stutter while navigate a decent sized model. And one that doesn't take 30secs to start blank. Since you are an engineer, I'm not quite sure what your Autocad usage is like.

        If you mainly work in 3D wireframe mode or just 2D work, you'd like to get a laptop with the fastest CPU base clock. Because Autocad at its core is not a true multithreaded application. It only uses 2 threads maximum. With the majority of laptops having 4 cores/8 thread these days, CPU base clock is what counts. iGPU would be adequate in this use case.

        If your work involves a lot of rendered/shaded 3D, or even with heavy 3D wireframe work, you would want dedicated GPU. I know I would.

        Source: I cad for a living.



      I use AutoCAD with the XPS 13, the screensize is definitely quite uncomfortable but usable. Beware there are a lot of known problems that occur with this laptop, although this may be the case for all laptops. (Trackpad lifting, mic is almost unusable, noise problems etc.) Otherwise it's a very good laptop.


      thanks for your hindsight about the small screen issue. I was thinking Dell XPS 13 would be a great choice but now I'm having a second thought about my choice.

      the surface laptop had a different 13" screen ratio (3:2). do you think it would be more tolerable with the increased height of the display?


    I would've expected the E570p with the HQ processor would be good for this kind of stuff @ $1199 - Deal recently posted. Correct me if I'm wrong !

    • +1 vote

      It's extremely heavy and the battery life "only" lasts a mere 6 hours.

      It's good for the "work at the cubicle, play when at home" type of laptop, but for road warriors travelling from place to place and no real office to plug into you're going to want something that can last more than 7 hours and is easy to carry.


    AutoCAD is not a very demanding product- it's a memory hog for sure but it's not very CPU intensive (and I'm pretty sure it's not multi-threaded). I wouldn't be too concerned about performance - just make sure you're 1080p+ with at least 8GB RAM behind you and should be fine.

    Source: Currently run AutoCAD Civil3D on a Miix 700 Core M (Lenovo surface clone)


      it's not very CPU intensive

      That's true and false. It's not CPU intesive in the sense that for a 4 core/8 threads CPU, Autocad can only max out 25% of the CPU workload, i.e. 2 threads.

      But that is misleading, because Autocad cannot use more than 2 threads. And of the 2 threads that it can use, I can tell you Autocad will easily max them out to 100% just with spining stuff around in your model or rotating objects, or even zooming in and out.


        Yeah I agree, but OP isn't looking for a machine to work at 8 hours a day- he's working on-site and this machine is being used for his own convenience (if it was a work requirement then I'm sure his company would supply him with a proper machine). I'd say any surface style machine would be adequate for whatever needs he needs to do on-site. I think his requirement for 'light gaming' is going to determine the machine he goes to rather than any AutoCAD requirements.

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