SketchUp For Architects

Which Laptop Should You Use? – The 7 Best Choices

As an architect, you know that SketchUp is an intuitive, powerful, easy-to-learn 3D drawing tool. If you want to sketch up something within a couple of hours, this software is the one to use. But, like other software programs for architects, SketchUp works better on some laptops than others. Here are the seven best laptops to use with SketchUp according to an April 2018 article in Architecture Lab.

The 7 Best Laptops To Use With SketchUp

 

1. Dell XPS 9560 or XPS 15 9560

The XPS 9560-7001SLV-PUS is one of the best laptops out there for demanding visual applications.

It has one of the best configurations you can find in a reasonably priced package when it comes to creative tasks like Photo & Video editing, 3D modeling or graphic designing.

The Kaby Lake i7 7700Q is one of the most advanced processors you can find in a laptop. But that’s not important. This beast comes with a Nvidia GTX 1050 dedicated Graphics Card, and its 32GB of RAM is more than sufficient to run 3D Modeling software like SketchUp.

Dell XPS 9560-7001SLV-PUS 15.6” Laptop

Dell XPS 15 9560 4K UHD Touch

Pros

Brilliant, crisp 4k display

All-around package designed for performance and longevity

Excellent service backup

Cons

Expensive

The GTX 1050, while sufficient for SketchUp, is incapable of advanced tasks at 4k.

Key Specifications:

Processor: Intel Core i7-7700HQ Processor 2.8GHz

Memory RAM: 32GB DDR4 2400MHz

Capacity: 1TB PCIe Solid State Drive

Operating System: Windows 10 Home (64 bit)

Display: 15.6-inch Touchscreen InfinityEdge 4K Ultra HD

Resolution: 3840 x 2160

Graphics: 4GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050

  • 15.6-inch 4K Ultra HD (3840 x 2160) InfinityEdge
  • 32 GB DDR4-2400MHz, No Optical Drive

Dell XPS 15 9560 4K UHD Touch (3840 x 2160) 7th Gen Intel i7-7700HQ Quad Core 1TB SSD

Key Specifications:
Processor: Intel Core i7-7700HQ Processor 2.8GHz
Memory RAM: 32GB DDR4 2400MHz
Capacity: 1TB PCIe Solid State Drive
Operating System: Windows 10 Home (64 bit)
Display: 15.6-inch Touchscreen InfinityEdge 4K Ultra HD
Resolution: 3840 x 2160
Graphics: 4GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050

  • 32GB Ram Thunderbolt NVIDIA GTX 1050 Win 10 Pro Fingerprint Reader Plus Best Notebook Stylus

 

2. MacBook Pro 15” With Touchbar

The brand new MacBook Pro 15″ is a designer’s best friend. Macbooks have always been a cut above the rest in the market when it comes to creative tasks like designing, photography assistance, 3D modeling, etc. But Apple has made sure to raise the bar even higher with its latest version of the MacBook Pro.

This new MacBook comes with a Touchbar above the keyboard which makes accessing and switching across apps much easier. It’s got the firepower to handle software like SketchUp quite effortlessly, but you must remember that all this comes at a price. The latest we’ve found is $2,599.99. Although you must also bear in mind that Macbooks are much more reliable in the long run than Windows laptops, too.

Apple – MacBook Pro – 15″ Display with Touch Bar – Intel Core i7 – 16GB Memory – AMD Radeon Pro 555X – 512GB SSD (Latest Model) – Space Gray

Pros

Stunning Retina Display

Very reliable in the long run

2TB PCIe SSD is extremely fast and silent

Cons

Expensive – but then you’re buying a MacBook!

The lack of regular USB ports can be frustrating.

Key Specifications:

Screen Size 15.4 inches

Storage Type SSD

Total Storage Capacity 512 gigabytes

Solid State Drive Capacity 512 gigabytes

System Memory (RAM) 16 gigabytes

Graphics AMD Radeon Pro 555X

Processor Model Intel 8th Generation Core i7

Processor Model Number Intel 8th Generation Core i7

Operating System macOS High Sierra

Voice Assistant Built-in Siri

Battery Life 10 hours

Battery Type Lithium-polymer

 

3. ACER Predator Helios 300

The ACER Predator is significantly less expensive than both the Dell XPS or the MacBook

The Dell XPS and MacBook Pro carry a certain brand value and reliability that makes them that expensive. But the ACER Predator Helios 300 has them both beat as far as the specs are concerned.

It does make a few compromises but is otherwise the perfect laptop for 3D Modeling applications like SketchUp.

It comes with the same i7 7700Q on the XPS and the MacBook Pro and 16GB RAM. But here’s the best part — It’s got a Nvidia GTX 1060 6GB dedicated graphics card underneath its hood. This one’s a HUGE step above both the XPS’ GTX 1050 or the MacBook Pro’s Radeon Pro 555 both of which offer 4GB and 2GB memory respectively.

Pros

The GTX 1060 6GB Graphics Card makes for amazing graphics performance.

Attractive price tag

Striking design

Cons

Quite heavy

It doesn’t have a 4k Display despite having the Graphics Card to handle it.

Key Specifications:

Screen Size 15.6 inches

Max Screen Resolution1920 x 1080 pixels

Processor 3.8 GHz Intel Core i7

RAM 16 GB

Hard Drive 256 GB Flash Memory Solid State

Graphics Coprocessor NVIDIA GeForce

Chipset Brand NVIDIA

Card Description Dedicated

Graphics Card Ram Size6 GB

Wireless Type802.11.ac

Number of USB 2.0 Ports -2

Number of USB 3.0 Ports- 2

Average Battery Life (in hours)7 hours

 

4. ASUS Vivobook Pro 15

The Vivobook Pro 15 is a great option mainly because of its vibrant, sharp display. The 15.6” screen on the Vivobook Pro reproduces excellent color composition and is nearly as good as most Desktop Ultrasharp Monitors.

The specs are fairly standard given the price tag — an i7 7700Q (tried and tested, hence everywhere) with 16GB RAM and a Nvidia GTX 1050 Graphics Card. This laptop also comes with a 1TB hard drive and a 256GB SSD which makes file transfer and application loading a fairly quick process all the while ensuring you have adequate storage.

Rest assured this combination of specs can handle pretty much everything you throw at it as far as SketchUp and other 3D modeling applications are concerned. It also comes with a beautiful and durable aluminum chassis.

Pros

Spectacular display

Really good specs for the price

Aluminum chassis feels good to hold

Lightweight and compact design

Cons

The GTX 1050 feels underwhelming when paired with such a stellar display.

Key Specifications:

Screen Size 15.6 inches

Max Screen Resolution 1920 x 1080 pixels

Processor 2.8 GHz Intel Core i7

RAM 16GB DDR4

Hard Drive 512 GB Flash Memory Solid State

Graphics Coprocessor GTX 1050

Chipset Brand Nvidia

Card Description Dedicated

Graphics Card Ram Size 4GB

Wireless Type 802.11.b, 802.11.g, 802.11.n

Number of USB 2.0 Ports – 2

Number of USB 3.0 Ports – 1

 

5. ASUS ROG Strix GL703VD 17.3 Inch Laptop

Another ASUS on this list –This time it’s a full-fledged gaming laptop based off ASUS’ very popular gaming line of products; ROG or Republic of Gamers.

The Strix GL703VD is on this list because of the sheer size and viewability of its display. Also, because of its affordable price tag.

The “humongous” 17.3-inch screen has a whopping 178 viewing angles and comes with competent and incredibly striking Full HD IPS technology. The standard Kaby Lake i7 7700Q processor is bundled up with 16 gigabytes of DDR4 RAM and the omnipotent Nvidia GTX 1050 dedicated graphics card.

A large screen with a full HD IPS display, a competent configuration package and excellent storage space.

Pros

Excellent display with a lot of viewing angles makes for a comfortable experience

Quite affordable

Extra multimedia functions (it being a gaming laptop and all)

The screen is almost as large as a regular desktop monitor.

Cons

Really heavy

Key Specifications:

Screen Size 17.3 inches

Screen Resolution 1920X1080

Processor 280 Intel Core i7

RAM 16GB

Hard Drive 1TB SSHD + 128GB SSD

Graphics Coprocessor. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050

Chipset Brand NVIDIA

Card Description Dedicated

Graphics Card Ram Size 4.00

Wireless Type. 802.11.a

 

6. ASUS M580VD-EB54

We had to mention a budget laptop here because not everyone can afford $1,000+ laptops. So, our choice for that is the practical ASUS M580VD-EB54 laptop.

The M580VD may not be able to cope with all the firepower that the more expensive laptops have. It can’t keep up at all. But what it offers is a relatively inexpensive option for 3D modelers without really compromising on the quality.

Remember that a graphics card is the most important piece of equipment to run SketchUp comfortably. This one’s got the same Nvidia GTX 1050 that most of the laptops we’ve mentioned come with. And that’s what matters the most here.

Pros

Affordable and available to almost everyone

GTX 1050 Graphics at this price range is really helpful

Can handle everything you throw at it

Quite compact in design

Cons

256GB SSD is hardly enough storage

Key Specifications:

Screen Size 15.6 inches

Screen Resolution 1920 x 1080

Max Screen Resolution 1920 x 1080 pixels

Processor 2.5 GHz

RAM 8 GB DDR4

Hard Drive 256 GB Flash Memory Solid State

Graphics Coprocessor NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050

Chipset Brand NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050

Card Description Dedicated

Graphics Card Ram Size 2

Wireless Type 802.11.ac

Number of USB 2.0 Ports – 2

Number of USB 3.0 Ports – 1

 

7. Dell Inspiron i5577-7359BLK

This is another one for those on a budget, and it’s quite a bit better equipped than the ASUS.

The Inspiron i5577-7359BLK has got an i7 7700Q processor which can be found in every top end laptop. It’s also got 8GB of RAM and the trusty Nvidia GTX 1050 Graphics Card that is so prevalent on so many of these laptops.

It’ll breeze through almost everything you can throw at it, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a fault. The display is quite potent at a 1080p resolution, but the viewing angles are a bit limited. The storage is sufficient too. It comes with a 1TB hard drive and a 128GB SSD.

Pros

Brilliantly priced

Has quite a lot to offer for the price

Can trade blows with laptops that are much more expensive than this

Cons

The viewing angles on the display are a bit limited

A bit heavy to move around

128GB SSD might face problems if you install too many programs on it

Key Specifications:

Screen Size 15.6 inches

Max Screen Resolution 1920 x 1080

Processor 3.8 GHz Core i7 Family

RAM 8GB DDR4

Hard Drive 1000GB Hybrid Drive

Graphics Coprocessor NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050

Chipset Brand NVIDIA

Card Description Dedicated

Graphics Card Ram Size 4GB

Number of USB 3.0 Ports – 3

Average Battery Life 7.5 hours

 

For more information see the article in Architecture Lab entitled “Ultimate Guide Towards the Best Laptop for SketchUp Today.” You can find it at: https://www.architecturelab.net/best-laptop-for-sketchup/.

For the latest prices on the laptops mentioned above, you can check Amazon.com.

Looking for more advice on laptops to use with your architectural software? Contact the experts at eSOZO.

 

eSOZO Computer and Network Services

200 Route 31
Suite 202
Flemington NJ, 08822 Phone: (888) 376-9648 Email: info@esozo.com

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