Laptops

Best Laptops For SketchUp

Trying to run cool apps like SketchUp on a laptop without the recommended specs is a drag, you just don’t get the same performance and speed.

And if your laptop doesn’t meet the minimum specs, you can’t run it at all.

But, there’s no need to worry. We’ve got the lowdown on what specs you need to be able to run SketchUp. And what’s more, we’ve also compiled a shortlist of 5 great laptops that are perfect for running SketchUp. We’ve tried to include ones for every budget and ones for all the major operating systems.

But if you’ve never looked into buying laptops before, we get how tricky it can be. Which is why we’ve also put together a handy buying guide for you which highlights the key things to consider when buying a laptop for SketchUp.

And to top that off, we’ve also got a section where we tackle some of your most frequently asked questions on the subject.

And without further ado…

In a hurry? Check out our top pick!


Review of Laptops For SketchUp

2020 Apple MacBook Air Laptop

2020 Apple MacBook Air Laptop: Apple M1 Chip, 13” Retina Display, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD Storage, Backlit Keyboard, FaceTime HD Camera, Touch ID. Works with iPhone/iPad; Space Gray

The Apple MacBook is still one of the most wished for laptops around at the moment, with generally way better specs and speed than their nearest Windows based competitors. 

It has a stunning screen, with an amazing resolution, coming in at 2560 x 1600 pixels, which is greater than full high definition, so you get crystal clear images of whatever you’re viewing. It can actually display crisper images than SketchUp can support.

The screen is modest in size however, coming in at 13.3 inches, which is slightly smaller than that of a traditional laptop. But when you see the other specs, you might decide that you can overlook that.

It features an 8-core CPU which is a whopping 3.5 times faster than Apple’s previous generation, which is way more than capable of processing all your SketchUp data. And it has 8 GB of RAM, which exceeds the minimum required to run either SketchUp Pro or free SketchUp.

And there’s considerably more on-board storage available, too. A staggering 256 GB minimum. And you don’t have to worry about whether the integrated graphics card is up to the job – trust us, it is!

Working on a MacBook is easy, quick, and hassle-free. And you never have to worry about the screen freezing or not being able to catch up to you.

Apple MacBooks are also known for their amazing battery life, with the MacBook Air able to last up to a whopping 18 hours on a full charge. 

It has other great features besides, like a neural engine which is somewhat unique to Apple products, Touch ID, and a HD camera for all your Zoom calls.

As a general rule, Apple hardware tends to cost significantly more than their Windows or Chrome based counterparts. But we would argue that this machine is very reasonably priced, and costs less than some of the really graphic intensive gaming laptops out there.

Amazon occasionally has deals on this particular laptop – simply click “Check Price” to see if there’s a deal on now.

Pros:

  • It has an amazing screen resolution!
  • Exceeds all the minimum specs for SketchUp
  • Meets the recommended specs for SketchUp
  • Amazing 18-hour battery life!
  • Very reasonable priced

Cons:

  • Premium product at a premium price
  • Relatively small screen, coming in at 13 inches wide

Sale
2020 Apple MacBook Air Laptop: Apple M1 Chip, 13” Retina Display, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD Storage, Backlit Keyboard, FaceTime HD Camera, Touch ID. Works with iPhone/iPad; Space Gray
  • Apple-designed M1 chip for a giant leap in CPU, GPU, and machine learning performance
  • Go longer than ever with up to 18 hours of battery life
  • 8-core CPU delivers up to 3.5x faster performance to tackle projects faster than ever
  • Up to eight GPU cores with up to 5x faster graphics for graphics-intensive apps and games
  • 16-core Neural Engine for advanced machine learning


Newest HP 17.3″ FHD Laptop

Newest HP 17.3' FHD Laptop for Business and Student, 10th Gen Intel Quad-Core i5-10210U 12GB RAM 256GB SSD + 1TB HDD DVD Writer, Backlit Keyboard, Win 10 Pro | 32GB Tela USB Card

If you want a bit more screen for your money, then this may be right up your street…

With a screen that’s 17.3 inches wide, it’s one of the biggest laptops you can get. And it happens to have an excellent display resolution, Full HD no less, so you can view all your SketchUp images super crisp and clear.

It comes with Windows 10 pre-installed, which is great, if not only because it’s the operating system that most people are already familiar with.

It exceeds the minimum requirements for the free version of SketchUp, seeing as it has a 10th generation Intel quad-core i5 CPU, which can process data at speeds of up to a whopping 3.6 GHz. And it features 12 GB of RAM which exceeds not only the minimum requirements for SketchUp but also the recommended requirements.

It’s available in a choice of different on-board storage options. You can get 1 TB of HDD storage, 128 GB of SSD combined with 1 TB of HDD storage, or 256 GB of SSD combined with 1 TB of HDD storage. Any of these options would be more than adequate for use with either free SketchUp or SketchUp Pro.

Pros:

  • Comes with Windows 10 already installed
  • Exceeds all the minimum specs for SketchUp
  • Very large 17.3-inch Full High Definition screen
  • Great on-board storage options

Cons:

  • Not a budget laptop

Newest HP 17.3" FHD Laptop for Business and Student, 10th Gen Intel Quad-Core i5-10210U 12GB RAM 256GB SSD + 1TB HDD DVD Writer, Backlit Keyboard, Win 10 Pro | 32GB Tela USB Card
  • [POWERFUL PERFORMANCE]: The HP Laptop is powered with the latest 10th Gen Intel Quad-Core i5-10210U Processor (up to 3.6 GHz, 6 MB L3 cache, 4 cores) and 12GB high-bandwidth DDR4 memory, powerful processing for advanced multitasking, demanding computing, smooth gaming, multiple tabs browsing, and everyday tasks. 256GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD (15x faster than HDD, stay cool and quiet)+1TB HDD offers ample storage, quick boot-up times, fast data access, and improves the overall performance
  • [PREMIUM DESIGN]: The slim and portable HP laptop and you can work seamlessly, anywhere. 3-cell 41 Whr Battery, work, stream, game for hours. Every detail is crafted for comfort and style, with all the power you need to get things done
  • [STUNNING VISUALS]: 17.3" WLED-backlit FHD, IPS (1920 x 1080) display delivers a clear, crispy image that’s easy on your eye. IPS technology for wide viewing angles. Integrated Intel UHD Graphics gives you a new level of graphics performance with vibrant, lifelike color and details for internet use, photo/video editing, streaming, and gaming.
  • [COLLABORATION READY]: Windows 10 Pro 64-bit (best version of Windows OS, optimal for Business and Education) protects your data with enterprise-grade security, boosts productivity with powerful management tools, and keeps going with long battery life. Bluetooth 4.2 supports Gigabit speed and smooth streaming of high-resolution videos, ready for remote work, virtual meeting, and online class


ASUS VivoBook 15 

ASUS VivoBook 15 Thin and Light Laptop, 15.6” FHD Display, Intel i3-1005G1 CPU, 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD, Backlit Keyboard, Fingerprint, Windows 10 Home in S Mode, Slate Gray, F512JA-AS34

If you like the familiarity of a Microsoft Windows laptop, with all its numerous benefits, then this could be the best choice for you. It has specs that are good enough for what you want to achieve (much better in some instances) but at a much more affordable price than a MacBook or a gaming laptop.

It features the latest 10th generation Intel Core i3 CPU which can process data at speeds of up to a whopping 3.4 GHz, so you can rely on that not to slow you down. And there’s 8 GB of RAM, which exceeds the minimum requirements for SketchUp and meets the recommended requirements.

There’s also a lot more on-board storage than you need, coming in at a very healthy 128 GB. And we can confirm that the integrated Intel graphics card can keep up with the free version of SketchUp.

You also get a large 15.6-inch screen, which features a Full High Definition display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels, so you can really max out the crispness of your SketchUp images.

It has other great features besides, like a boosted typing position, a fingerprint sensor for security, and a pretty decent battery life.

Pros:

  • Comes with Windows 10 already installed
  • Exceeds all the minimum specs for SketchUp
  • Large 15.6-inch Full High Definition screen

Cons:

  • Battery life is ok but could be better

ASUS VivoBook 15 Thin and Light Laptop, 15.6” FHD Display, Intel i3-1005G1 CPU, 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD, Backlit Keyboard, Fingerprint, Windows 10 Home in S Mode, Slate Gray, F512JA-AS34
  • 15.6 inch Full HD (1920x1080) 4-way NanoEdge bezel display with a stunning 88% screen-to-body ratio
  • Compatible with Google Classroom; run Google Classroom on Microsoft Edge or Internet Explorer 11
  • Latest 10th Gen Intel Core i3-1005G1 CPU (4M Cache, up to 3.4 GHz)
  • 8 GB DDR4 RAM and 128 GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
  • Ergonomic backlit keyboard with fingerprint sensor activated via Windows Hello


Newest Dell Inspiron 3000 Business Laptop

Newest Dell Inspiron 3000 Business Laptop, 15.6 HD LED-Backlit Display, Intel Celeron Processor N4020, 8GB DDR4 RAM, 128GB PCIe Solid State Drive, Online Meeting Ready, Webcam, Windows 10 Home

Here’s another great Windows laptop that ticks all the boxes for use with SketchUp…

It has a nice, 15.6-inch screen with a High Definition resolution, coming in at 1366 x 768 pixels. And it’s anti-glare, too, which means you can still see it in direct sunlight.

It has a speedy CPU, the dual-core Intel Celeron Processor N4020, which can process data at speeds up to a very generous 2.8 GHz. It comes with 8 GB or RAM, exceeding the minimum requirements for SketchUp and meeting the recommended requirements.

And it’s available with a choice of different on-board storage set-ups, all of which exceed what is needed to run either free SketchUp or SketchUp pro. (We’d advise you to go with SSD storage over HDD).

Pros:

  • Comes with Windows 10 already installed
  • Exceeds all the minimum specs for SketchUp
  • Large 15.6-inch High Definition screen
  • Some great on-board storage options

Cons:

  • A mid-priced laptop rather than a budget one

Newest Dell Inspiron 3000 Business Laptop, 15.6 HD LED-Backlit Display, Intel Celeron Processor N4020, 8GB DDR4 RAM, 128GB PCIe Solid State Drive, Online Meeting Ready, Webcam, Windows 10 Home
  • 【Intel Celeron Processor N4020】Intel Celeron Processor N4020 (2 cores, 2 Threads, 4MB Cache, up to 2.8 GHz)
  • 【15.6” HD Display】15.6-inch HD (1366x768) Anti-glare LED-Backlit Non-touch Narrow Border Display. Watch what you love in all its clarity with detail and saturated colors from edge to edge thanks to the 15.6" HD display.
  • 【8GB RAM】Adequate high-bandwidth RAM to smoothly run multiple applications and browser tabs at the same time. It gives you enormous space to save all of your files. Enhance the overall performance of the laptop for business, student, daily usage.
  • 【128GB PCIe SSD】Boot up in seconds, get to files faster, and have room for loads of files with the lightning-quick solid state drive.
  • 【Windows 10 Home & 32GB USB Card bundle】Windows 10 Home, the best version of Windows OS and built for business and education use. Protect your data with enterprise-grade security, login from any device anywhere, and boost productivity with powerful management tools. 32GB USB from Best To Buy.


Samsung Chromebook 4 +

Samsung Chromebook 4 + Chrome OS 15.6' Full HD Intel Celeron Processor N4000​ 6GB RAM 64GB eMMC Gigabit wi-FI-XE350XBA-K03US,Silver

If you know you’re only going to use the free web-based version of SketchUp, then you can get away with a Chromebook, which are known for being the most affordable laptops on the market.

And if that sounds good to you, this would be the one we’d recommend…

For a budget laptop, it has a decent CPU speed, and is able to process all your SketchUp data at a speed of 1.1 GHz, just about exceeding the minimum requirements. And it also exceeds the minimum requirements for RAM, with 6 GB at hand rather than just 4 GB.

And while most Chromebooks only have an 11 or 14-inch screen size, the screen on this beauty matches that of a traditional laptop, coming in at 15.6 inches.

And it has an excellent High Definition display resolution too, coming in at 1366 x 768 pixels. So you get crisp and clear images. 

There’s 64 GB of on-board storage available, but better yet, you get a whopping 200 GB of cloud storage free for 12 months.

And while its battery life is not quite as impressive as a MacBook, it’s still extremely high at 10.5 hours on a full charge. 

There is a drawback to Chromebooks however, and that’s that you can only run web-based apps, and you cannot download anything. But you can stream away to your heart’s content.

Amazon occasionally has deals on this particular laptop – simply click “Check Price” to see if there’s a deal on now. But even if you end up paying the full listing price, it’s still great value for money.

Pros:

  • Affordable price point
  • Exceeds minimum requirements for the free SketchUp
  • You get 200 GB of cloud storage free for 12 months!
  • Large 15.6 inch High Definition screen
  • 10.5-hour long battery life

Cons:

  • No numeric keypad
  • You can only run web-based apps, so you can run the free SketchUp bit not SketchUp Pro

Sale
Samsung Chromebook 4 + Chrome OS 15.6" Full HD Intel Celeron Processor N4000​ 6GB RAM 64GB eMMC Gigabit wi-FI-XE350XBA-K03US,Silver
  • Large and immersive 15.6” display in a compact frame
  • Compact design - military-grade durability - Slim, under 3 pounds, and with military-grade durability, 1 it's made to handle Bumps and drops. Plus, it comes with a full-sized keyboard and trackpad.
  • Ultra-fast connectivity with Gigabit Wi-Fi -with a Lightning fast Gigabit Wi-Fi connection, stream or download massive files rapidly.
  • Advanced security with multiple layers of built-in virus protection
  • 10.5 hours of battery life - delivers up to 12 hours) of battery on a full charge that quickly recharges on a USB-C charger.


Buying Guide

As promised, here’s your buying guide. Here are the main things to consider when buying a laptop for SketchUp. (It’s not an exhaustive list, and you may also want to consider battery life and webcam functionality.)


Free Web-Based SketchUp vs SketchUp Pro

The free web-based SketchUp is great for personal use, but if you want to use SketchUp for architecture or engineering design, then you may be better off subscribing to one of the paid versions. There’s SketchUp Shop which is the most affordable option, then there’s SketchUp Pro, and then there’s SketchUp Studio which costs over $1000 per year.

Operating System

One of the great things about the free web based version of SketchUp, is that it’s not particular to any one operating system. So long as you have an internet connection and a web browser, you’re good to go. You can even run it on a Chromebook.

The same cannot be said for SketchUp Pro however, which will only run on Windows 10, macOS 11+, macOS 10.15+, and macOS 10.14+.

Screen Size

Technically, there’s no “Minimum” screen size recommendation for SketchUp. Since screen resolution is way more important. But we would argue that the bigger your screen is, the better.

Our advice is not to settle for an 11-inch screen just because it can double as a tablet. A 13-inch screen is ok, but a 15-inch screen is the standard size for a laptop. And you can also get laptops with a 17-inch screen.

Screen Resolution

The screen resolution decides how crisp and clear all your images will be. It’s measured in pixels, the number of vertical pixels times the number of horizontal pixels. SketchUp can display images of up to 1024 x 1024 pixels. So any better resolution than that is superfluous to requirements for SketchUp, including Full HD displays which have a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels.

CPU / Processor

The CPU is basically the brain of the computer, and it determines how quickly data can be processed. For SketchUp Pro you will need a CPU that can process data at speeds of at least 1 GHz, but preferably at 2 GHz or more.

RAM

The RAM of the computer determines how much data it can handle at any one time. For both SketchUp Pro and the free web-based Sketchup, you will need a minimum of 4 GB of RAM, but 8 GB or more is recommended.

On-Board Storage

You will also need  some on-board storage. We recommend that you look out for at least 700 MB of RAM storage regardless of whether you use SketchUp Pro or the free web-based SketchUp. But 1 GB (that’s 1000 MB) would be better.

Graphics Card

The graphics card is one of the more important components for running SketchUp Pro, which will require a special 3D class video card.

However, to use the free web-based SketchUp, you can get away with an Intel HD integrated graphics card.

Value for Money

If one laptop costs more than another, that does not mean that the cheaper laptop is necessarily better value for money. High-end functions cost high-end prices.

If you have a budget that you need to stick to, we strongly recommend checking the prices as you go along. 


Frequently Asked Question

What are the system requirements for SketchUp?

In the interest of brevity, we’re just going to concentrate here on the hardware requirements to run SketchUp Pro on a Windows laptop. But it’s also important to note that SketchUp Pro will also work on macOS laptops, and both SketchUp Pro and SketchUp for the Web will also run on Chromebooks.

  • 1 to 2+ GHz processor
  • 4 to 8+ GB RAM
  • 500MB to 700MB of available hard-disk space
  • 3D class video card with 512 MB of memory or higher and support for hardware acceleration. (Video card driver must support OpenGL 3.1 or higher)
  • And ideally a 3-button, scroll-wheel mouse

About the author

Laptop Review Team

At LinuxHint we have a specialized team focused on studying the Laptop Computer market and writing about this space, providing reviews and insights to users to both make the right decisions about which laptops to purchase and also show tips and tricks on how to get the most value from your machine