Recommendation between Two Laptops - Budget $1000- $1,100

Hi OzBargainers!

I would like to purchase a laptop for work purposes (to run AutoCAD) but have limited knowledge regarding laptops. After conducting research, I found that programs such as AutoCAD are CPU-intensive and so I have looked at laptops with decent specs for processors.
My budget is $1,000-$1,100.

I have limited experience with purchasing laptops, so I would really appreciate your recommendations. I've browsed online and come to choose between these two laptops which are currently on sale:

Inspiron 15 Laptop ($1,137)

Processor: 11th Generation Intel® Core™ i7-1165G7 Processor (12MB Cache, up to 4.7 GHz)
Video Card: NVIDIA® GeForce® MX330 with 2GB GDDR5 graphics memory
Hard Drive: 512GB M.2 PCIe NVMe Solid State Drive
Display: 15.6-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) Anti-glare LED Backlight Non-Touch Narrow Border WVA Display
Memory: 8GB, 1x8GB, DDR4, 3200MHz
Battery: 4-Cell Battery, 53WHr (Integrated)

ThinkPad E15 Gen 2 - 11th Gen Intel ($1,104)

Processor: 11th Gen Intel® Core™ i5-1135G7 (4C / 8T, 2.4 / 4.2GHz, 8MB)
Video Card: Integrated Intel Iris® Xe Graphics
Hard Drive: 512GB SSD M.2 2242 PCIe NVMe
Display: 15.6" FHD (1920x1080) WVA 250nits Anti-glare
Memory: 8GB SO-DIMM DDR4-3200
Battery: Integrated 45Wh

Which laptop would you choose between the two? After looking at the CPU specs on, I found that the CPU specs were similar, so I had difficulty deciding which one.

Thank you for your help!


  • +3 votes

    Both of them are woefully under-powered to run AutoCAD 3D models. Particularly when you start adding in external references and federating models. Even our $2,000 work Dell Latitude 7200's struggle. You will need to research further and increase budget quite a bit if serious about this.


      Thank you for your advice! I wanted to purchase one as an amateur and get to learn AutoCAD first before deciding to buy a better one. Will do more research!

      • +2 votes

        I suppose they'll do okay if you're just dabbling for now but you may be better off building a desktop then and upgrading GPU in future when they're more in supply and your 3D horsepower needs increase.

        I'm not sure what capacity you're in but usually work provides you with the tools you need (even for training purposes). If you're learning CAD yourself to be a drafter then would think hard about it. Most of these resources are off-shored to India or Manila for peanuts nowadays (approx $5-6/hour).

        In fact this person is struggling to find a job right now:

  • +1 vote

    Really need to compare the screen and keyboard in-hand if possible. Does Officeworks carry these or a similar model you can test instore? Laptops have a massive variation between good and dodgy screens (i.e. inconsistent colour at angles, low brightness etc) and keyboards (spongy, unresponsive, crappy arrow keys) that make a huge difference to the usability.

    Given everything else is similar for specs, see what sets the two apart.


      Thanks for your advice!


        I'll try to go in-store and get a feel for these laptops (or any similar models) in-person before deciding then!


    it budget is 1k to 1.1k but both are linked above 1.1k…. lol

    do u need to travel with it or will it always be docked?
    will u use the screen or be plugging in to monitor?

    u will need to consider battery, weight and monitor screen if not docked on a monitor and u travel around


      You're right my description isn't accurate, the prices are a bit over 1.1k ^^

      I was planning to use it mainly at home and use the laptop screen itsellf, not a dual monitor.

      Thanks for the tips!

  • +1 vote

    I'd jump to $1499 and get a RTX3060 - way better futureproofing, don't be put off by the i5 it's still 6 cores, 12 threads.

    And yeah agree with the first poster. I'm in the engineering field and can comfortably say that graphics cards are the driver when it comes to pushing graphics hard. Processors are good, but throttling a lot of the time for us comes from the graphics card and lack of memory. Oh and heat, but lets not get into that.

  • +1 vote

    If you're learning AutoCAD on your own, you'll probably get by with integrated graphics, but barely.

    AutoDesk, Dassault etc are heavily optimised for workstation GPUs (think Quadro) as opposed to gamer GPUs, but any boost in the graphics department is a plus.

  • +2 votes

    You need more RAM. 8GB ain't gonna cut it. So you'll probably need to increase your budget too.

    I work for a design school; for their interior design courses (which involves a lot of rendering and use of AutoCAD), they recommend the following for their students' laptops:

    i7 or higher processor
    16GB or more RAM
    Minimum 1TB storage
    2GB or more graphics card