Personally, I would go for a good tower before a laptop. You can always get higher performance in a tower; faster processors, more RAM, better graphics. Laptops are also more expensive for similar speed and more fragile. I would only go for a laptop if mobility is really important for my job.
Check out the Administration forum for the best information on the best hardware, either laptop or desktop. Xi seems to be making some nice systems now.
I previously had a tower but needed a laptop due to the amount of travelling to site and working from home that I do. While I completely agree that if you are looking for performance you cannot go past a tower/desktop system, the laptop that I ended up with is fantastic and will open and run modells that our current (and older) desktops balk at. Here are my specs for your info:
- Dell Precision M6700
- Intel Core i7-3920XM @ 2.9GHz
- 32Gb Ram
- NVIDIA Quadro K3000M Graphics
- Dual SDD, 256GB setup as RAID 0
- Windows 7, 64 Bit
It is a heavy machine, not something you want to lug around for hours at a time, but again, the performance is great.
Still running the old Core2 Quad tower, and using the laptop with remote desktop to access the tower for solidworks. Our engineers are running HP ZBooks but I'm told there still isn't money in the budget for a workstation...
Well as Jerry is saying a tower would be a better choice for Solidworks. Also you should set you budget first and then choose a good configuration for the tower.
I've a entry level workstation which I assembled myself last year with following configuratiosn:
- Processor - Intel core i7-3770K @ 3.5 GHz
- RAM - 16 GB Corsair Vengence
- GPU - Nvidia Quadro 600 (entry level card)
- SSD - 128 GB
- HDD - 1TB
and Solidworks runs very good on this machine. It was around $1500 at that time.