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Best Laptops for Sketchup [2020 Review]

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SketchUp is one of the most renowned 3D modeling software in architecture, video game design, film production, interior design, engineering. Like most software for creative work, SketchUp requires uncompromised computer power to run that only the best laptops for Sketchup can provide.

So, if you need to use this software, you might want to start researching the best laptops for Sketchup.

Our Best Laptops for SketchUp

If you are looking for a laptop that can comfortably handle this software and you’re short on time, we prepared this buying guide just for you. We have done some research and identified the following laptops to provide the right compilation of features for operating SketchUp.

Brand
Best Overall
Dell XPS 15 9560
Best for the Money
ASUS VivoBook Pro 15
Best Cheap Pick
Dell Inspiron I5577
Product
Dell XPS 15 9560 4K UHD Touch (3840 x 2160) 7th...
ASUS N580VD-DB74T VivoBook Pro 15 FHD Touchscreen...
Dell Inspiron Gaming Laptop - 15.6" Full HD, Core...
Processor
Intel Core i7-7700HQ Quad Core
Intel Core i7-7700HQ 2.8GHz
Intel Core i7 7700HQ Quad Core
RAM
32GB
16GB
8GB
Rating
-
Best Overall
Brand
Dell XPS 15 9560
Product
Dell XPS 15 9560 4K UHD Touch (3840 x 2160) 7th...
Processor
Intel Core i7-7700HQ Quad Core
RAM
32GB
Rating
-
Price
Best for the Money
Brand
ASUS VivoBook Pro 15
Product
ASUS N580VD-DB74T VivoBook Pro 15 FHD Touchscreen...
Processor
Intel Core i7-7700HQ 2.8GHz
RAM
16GB
Rating
Price
Best Cheap Pick
Brand
Dell Inspiron I5577
Product
Dell Inspiron Gaming Laptop - 15.6" Full HD, Core...
Processor
Intel Core i7 7700HQ Quad Core
RAM
8GB
Rating
Price

Best Overall Laptop for SketchUp: Dell XPS 15 9560

Dell XPS 15 9560 4K UHD Touch (3840 x 2160) 7th...

For many years, Dell’s XPS lineup has been the embodiment of premium notebooks. Dell XPS 15 is no exception. If you are looking for a laptop that packs every feature needed to breeze through 3D modeling on SketchUp, we encourage you to invest in this laptop.

The Dell XPS 15 is currently topping lists of the most powerful laptops in the market. This laptop has earned this position thanks to its 7th Gen Intel i7-7700HQ CPU, NVIDIA GTX 1050 GPU, 32GB of RAM and plenty of storage options.

Aside from the impressive set of internals, the Dell XPS 15 is also drop-dead gorgeous. It sports an alluring modern industrial design with a huge display engulfed between incredibly thin bezels.

The touch display can handle visual applications like SketchUp with a combination of 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) resolution with an NVIDIA GTX 1050 GPU to offer outstanding performance for creative tasks.

So, whether you are doing video or image editing, graphic design, 3D modeling or game development, the XPS 15 will be able to keep up to full potential of your creative self.

Moreover, for seamless SketchUp rendering, you need a powerful processor. Lucky for you, Dell XPS 15 packs the latest Kaby Lake i7 7700Q CPU. This is currently one of the most advanced processors in the computer industry. This processor can work wonders in combination with the Nvidia GTX 1050 dedicated GPU and 32GB of RAM. 

With this kind of combination, you can painlessly perform most creative tasks on SketchUp without throttling the laptop’s performance. 

What We Like

  • Brilliant and Crip 4K display for clearly displaying your work on SketchUp
  • Powerful Nvidia GTX 1050 GPU for working with graphic-intensive tasks
  • Impressive Intel Core i7 processor with 32GB of RAM for running the SketchUp software
  • Gorgeous industrial design
  • 1TB SSD for storing your projects and speeding up laptop’s performance
  • Long battery life

What We Don’t Like

  • Highly-priced
  • Middling speakers
Dell XPS 15 9560 4K UHD Touch (3840 x 2160) 7th...
  • 15.6-inch 4K Ultra HD (3840 x 2160) InfinityEdge touch display
  • 32 GB DDR4-2400MHz, No Optical Drive
  • 1TB PCIe Solid State Drive

Best Laptop for Sketchup for the Money: ASUS VivoBook Pro 15

ASUS N580VD-DB74T VivoBook Pro 15 FHD Touchscreen...

If you are looking for the same GPU and CPU powering the Dell XPS 15 for almost half the price, we recommend the Asus VivoBook 15 Pro. While you will get half the storage options, this laptop strikes the best balance between functionality and price.

Just like the XPS 15, VivoBook Pro 15 sports a design that is hard to ignore. The chassis shines in a light gold finish that gives it a premium and classy look.  However, its combination of metal and plating casing, 15.6-inch display, and 0.8-inch thickness means that you will be sacrificing portability for better performance and durability.

Overall, if you cannot stomach the price that comes with the Dell XPS 15, the VivoBook Pro 15 provides a reliable platform for SketchUp plus a few bells and whistles. This laptop is for more than the occasional video editing. With Nvidia’s GTX 1050, Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM, 512GB SSD, and a large FHD touchscreen, you have a highly reliable computer for unleashing your creativity through SketchUp.

Unfortunately, If you are installing several large software or have a lot of SketchUp projects to store, the 512GB SSD might not be enough. You can future proof your purchase by going with the VivoBook 4K model with an extra 1TB HDD for a few more bucks.

Finally, since this laptop is for pro users, you can expect to find a host of connectivity options. This will come in handy when you need to transfer files between your devices. These include HDMI, USB-C, USB 3.1, and USB 2.0 ports. 

What We Like

  • Powerful GTX 1050 graphics
  • Plenty of ports for peripheral connections
  • Sleek design with a strong built quality
  • Powerful processor with 16GB of RAM for running SketchUp

What We Don’t Like

  • The laptop is a bit bulky
  • Awkward fingerprint sensor placement
ASUS N580VD-DB74T VivoBook Pro 15 FHD Touchscreen...
  • Powerful 7th Generation Intel Core i7-7700HQ 2.8GHz (Turbo up to 3.8GHz) Quad Core Processor with...
  • 15.6" Full HD 178° Wide view touch display and GTX 1050 4GB discrete graphics for flawless visuals...
  • Slim 15" wide, 0.8" thin and portable footprint; Ergonomic backlit keyboard with fingerprint sensor;...

Best Cheap Laptop for Sketchup: Dell Inspiron I5577

Dell Inspiron Gaming Laptop - 15.6' Full HD, Core...

For basic use, the Dell Inspiron I5577 wouldn’t feature anywhere on the list of cheap laptops. However, for complex SketchUp projects, this is the best deal you can get. This laptop packs a number of specs that parallel or better than those of laptops on the higher end of the price.

For instance, you will be getting the same Intel Core i7 processor, GTX 1050 GPU, and a Full HD 15.6-inch display featured in our other recommendations. So, if you are looking for an option that can comfortably handle SketchUp without breaking the bank, this is our best recommendation.

With 8GB of RAM, you might experience a few performance hiccups, especially when working on hardcore tasks. However, if you are doing basic image editing or entry-level 3D design, this compromise will likely not get your attention.

With a Full HD display and NVIDIA GTX 1050 graphics card, you can expect some pretty satisfactory 3D modeling on SketchUp. The huge screen is also a plus since you will be able to clearly see content and have more real estate while working on your projects.

Although the storage is not as impressive as that of the Dell XPS 15, you will still get plenty of space with the 1TB HDD + 128GB SSD. Given that you don’t download heavy software or many videos, you may not even need to upgrade this storage in the future. However, if you need more, we recommend that you consider our other recommendations with better storage options.

This laptop is a bit bulky and might not be a good option for creatives who value portability. The 5.6 pounds can, however, be attributed to the huge display, powerful internals, and durably built.

What We Like

  • Best value for money
  • Powerful graphics for 3D rendering
  • Impressive overall performance
  • Attractive design
  • Long battery life

What We Don’t Like

  • A bit bulk bit bulky
  • 128GB SSD may be insufficient
Dell Inspiron Gaming Laptop - 15.6" Full HD, Core...
  • 7th Generation Intel Core i7 7700HQ Quad Core (6MB Cache, up to 3.8 Giga Hertz)
  • 8GB 2400 Mega Hertz DDR4 up to 32GB (additional memory sold separately)
  • Dual drives with 128 GB Solid State Drive + 1TB 5400 rpm Hard Drive, No Optical Drive option

Best GPU Laptop for Sketchup: Acer Predator Helios 300 

2020 Acer Predator Helios 300 15.6 Inch 144Hz FHD...

Notebooks have for many years struggled with upgradability. This means that they don’t come with an upgradeable hard drive or RAM. Well, Acer ditches this trend with the all-powerful Predator Helios 300.

The 1080p display is impressively bright creating the perfect platform for working with SketchUp. However, what got our attention, and perhaps the top selling point to creatives, is the GTX 1060 GPU. If you’re working on some graphics-intensive tasks and need a laptop that can comfortably handle all the complexity, this one should be your top priority.

With this kind of discrete GPU, you can more than run advanced creative software like SketchUp without bringing the laptop to its knees.

While it is cheaper than the Dell XPS 15 and ASUS VivoBook 15 Pro, you won’t be missing much apart from a few bells and whistles. Both of the pricier models come with lesser GPUs in the form of GTX 1050. Predator Helios 300 offers a better deal.

The 7TH generation Intel Core i7 processor and 16GB of RAM is just about what you need to ensure SketchUp doesn’t act up. While the 256GB SSD brings a bit of imbalance, if you are not one to store staggering file sizes, you should be fine. Plus there is an additional 1TB HDD so for the most part, this is not a major compromise.

The 15.6-inch Full HD IPS display is okay for this price point. However, we think that with such powerful graphics, 4K resolutions would have been more befitting for the Acer Predator 300 Helios.

What We Like

  • Amazing graphics performance
  • Striking industrial design
  • Best value for money
  • Powerful processor with 16GB of RAM

What We Don’t Like

  • Short battery life
  • Lack of 4K display to support the powerful GeForce GTX 1060 GPU
2020 Acer Predator Helios 300 15.6 Inch 144Hz FHD...
  • 【Upgraded】 Seal is opened for upgrade only, 2-years warraty on Upgraded RAM/SSD from NexiPC, and...
  • RAM is upgraded to 16GB memory for multitasking Adequate high-bandwidth RAM to smoothly run multiple...
  • Hard Drive is upgraded to 256GB PCIe SSD + 1TB HDD provides massive storage space for huge files, so...

What to Consider in a Good Laptop for SketchUp

There are several features to prioritize when looking to buy a good laptop for SketchUp. Below are some of the most important:

Person using SketchUp on a laptop to create a 3D diagram for a project

Screen Resolution

While it is a good practice to have a huge screen for creative work, the resolution is the most important. For SketchUp, you should aim for either Full HD or 4K resolution. This will enable you to clearly see whatever you are doing on the screen without straining your eyes.

If screen size is important to you, you will also want to keep portability in mind. If you travel a lot with the laptop, you should look for one that offers a good balance between size and portability. Big screens are good if you want plenty of space to work with and arrange your toolbars in an organized manner.

Otherwise, you should always prioritize resolution over screen size.

Dedicated Graphics Card

You can compromise on graphics when it comes to laptops for any other use other than creative tasks. For SketchUp, you should definitely get dedicated graphics as opposed to integrated ones. This is why lower-end laptops will not cut it for SketchUp since they mostly have built-in graphic cards.

Since they share system memory, integrated memory graphics will not only throttle the laptop’s performance but also result to lower work quality. They are also slower since they access the RAM via the same data bus as the system.

Most NVIDIA GeForce discrete graphics are a good fit for SketchUp. Just make sure not to go lower than the GTX 1050.

RAM

You may get away with 4GB of RAM when using SketchUp. However, for serious 3D modeling, you will need at least 8GB. Most of our recommendations have 16GB with the highest being 32GBB.

32GB of RAM is probably an overkill if you don’t plan on doing any serious creative.

Don’t blow your budget just so you can create a few basic designs. 16GB is the sweet spot.

Whether you are on a budget or not, you can easily afford this much RAM.

Person drawing a 3D diagram on a laptop

The best option is to futureproof your laptop by ensuring that it comes with upgradeable memory. This way, you can always add more RAM when the need arises.

Processor

You will most likely hear that you don’t need a cutting-edge processor to run SketchUp. That is partly true. However, to be on the safe side, you should aim for a better processor while taking care not to strangle your budget in the process.

The good news is most laptops for the creative market automatically pack powerful processors. Anything from an Intel Core 5 or AMD Ryzen 5 will be fine. However, we have found Intel Core i7s to be the best for use with SketchUp.

Conclusion

Buying a laptop for SketchUp is very different from when buying one for basic everyday use. You will need to be vigilant and look out for specs that directly inform the performance of this software.

These include display resolution, graphics, processor, and RAM. Lucky for you, we have already done the research and all the laptops we recommend in this guide are great for use with SketchUp.