Best laptop / notebook for LA’s

Landscape Architecture for Landscape Architects Forums TECHNOLOGY Best laptop / notebook for LA’s

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    I’m wondering if anyone can offer up opinions on which notebook computers have been excellent for landscape architectural design and design software. For example, has anyone had luck with touchscreen tablet style computers, and can that take the place of a wacom tablet? This would be primarily for autocad, land f/x, photoshop / creative suite, and sketchup.

    I don’t need to know about processor speed, ram, etc, just wondering if there’s a model or two that has been particularly impressive for anyone. 

    Chris Lazarek

    I just bought a 23″ HP Envy Pro-Touch All in One and it works well so far. I have not had the chance to test out my Intuos Stylus yet but plan to soon. I bought it bc it has the same type of Bluetooth that my ipad has but a much larger screen. Check them out at BestBuy and see what works for you. This one is super fast too!


    I’ve always had luck with Asus brand computer. I’ve had my current model for over 3 years now. It runs AutoCAD, SketchUP, Photoshop. & more smoothly. Just make sure you have a ton of RAM!


    Hi Andrew:

    Unfortunately a touch screen will come at a large sacrifice to, processing and graphics power. There simply aren’t any powerful touchscreen computers yet (that I know of). So we have to hang on to the Wacom tablet (for now).

    Are you more interested in power or size? For software you probably want at least a 17″ laptop screen. Although I’m personally not partial to any brand, right now MSI’s latest models have both the best hard drives, and the best raid setups which will give you a very noticeable boost in software and file load times.

    This is the best small form factor 17″ laptop on the market:

    MSI GS70 17.3″ Notebook – GS70 StealthPro-024

    It’s light, solid, and powerful. It supports 3 external monitors, supports 3 Raid SSD’s… and has the second most powerful mobile video card.

    If form factor isn’t a big deal I’d suggest:

    MSI Computer Corp. GT70 DOMINATORPRO-889;9S7-1763A2-889 17.3-Inch Laptop

    It’s thicker and heavier, but has a better processor and video card.

    Hope this helps! 

    Jay Smith

    What are the biggest factors in getting SketchUp to run at peak efficiency? Is it just the graphics card and RAM? or is there more to it than that?  My work computer locks up a lot with SketchUp and it’s a fairly new machine.


    When you say “Locks Up” do you need to restart sketchup, or is does it delay momentarily?

    What are the biggest factors? Technically, all of them. Software will only run as fast as the slowest component.

    Processor = Determines how fast it can process commands, loading files, templates, tools etc.

    Ram = How much geometry, objects, and textures you can have open in a file. When this runs out sketchup is highly dependent on the hard drive which is much slower.

    Hard Drive = How fast files, objects and textures loads into ram when opened from the drive.

    Video Card = Since sketchup is 3D, a great 3D video card will make all difference with complex files and textures.

    Jay Smith

    It runs very slow or stops working momentarily.  Do you have any recommendations for those four factors you mentioned?  I was thinking of spending around $1000.


    I’d suggest a laptop with at least an i7 processor, a nvidia GTX 760, and although 8GB of ram is good 12GB would be better if you could stretch your budget.

    You may be able to find some good deals on laptops since the new generation is just coming out.

    This one is the lowest I would go for your price point:
    Acer Aspire V3-772G-9656 17.3-Inch Laptop (Sophisticated Black)

    For just a couple hundred more, this one is much better (maybe 40% faster)

    MSI GE70 Apache Pro-012

    If you compare the specs of those, you may find some better deals.

    Hope this helps!

    Jay Smith

    I’ll check those out, Thanks for the tips.


    Thanks, Noah. That MSI is a beast. I’ll have to check it out.

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