Paul is going to college to study mechanical engineering and he needs a good laptop that can handle the work load. Leo says ideally, he'll get more bang for his buck with a PC. He'll also get more choices. Also, it's always best to check with the college or university for what they prefer. They may require more powerful hardware and specific software. He'll also want an SSD because it'll boot up faster.
Leo likes the Dell XPS line. The XPS 15 would be perfect. It has very good battery life, and it'll run Linux really well. It comes with 256 GB SSD minimum and 8GB RAM. Lenovo is another good alternative with the ThinkPad line. Acer and Asus offer more budget oriented options with the same performance. Even HP is making great computers right now.