Additional laptop for basic use of Sketchup

Hi all!

I am looking for advice in terms of laptops/notebooks compatible with Sketchup Pro.

I have a main computer I use for Sketchup and Layout and I use it to design bespoke cabinetry, not really rendering any of my projects, but my computer would handle that too.
I would need a simple laptop/notebook that I could take with me to meet with a Client and be able to maybe remove or move a shelf. Not to create designs or do major changes.
Also, for the carpenter to be able to take it with himself and open it to check the cutting lists etc. Very basic actions, really.
I’ve spent the last few days trying to figure out what to buy, but I think I can’t make it on my own.

Ideally, I would want to spend no more than £500 as I think what I need the laptop for is quite basic.
Maybe using the web version would make it more realistic?

I hope someone here has some advice and I will be very grateful for any tips!


My tip would be a refurbished MacBook Air M1. It’ll handle everything you throw at it imo.

1 Like

Thanks! Quite a few articles mentioned MacBooks as a versatile solution.

1 Like

Almost any laptop would do what you mentioned. No need to go Apple if you are more comfortable with Windows.

1 Like

I’d go with an m1 MacBook Air, you can get refurbished ones for 500 or less if you find a used one in good conditions.


I’m gonna be blunt, the mac fans will tell you to take a mac. doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.

from your profile, I see your main machine is a PC. therefore, take a PC.
this machine is supposed to be an extension of your main, the shuttle to your spaceship. keep the same OS, the same tools, the same interface.
Getting a mac — no idea where people find below 500€ M1 by the way — will be a handicap to you. It will require getting used to a different OS and interface, tools will be different enough that you’ll need to get your marks again, same for your carpenter.

Get a pc, same interface, same tools, apps, make it an extension of your main one.

After 25 years on mac and about 15 on PC, I can tell you, it’s mostly the same. and in the case of Sketchup, there is nothing a mac can do a PC can’t. so in your case, I don’t see any reason to get a mac.

I don’t know the brands and websites in the Uk, in France I would check stuff like Backmarket and Leboncoin. You could check ebay or amazon.

With luck, someone here will come with a good reference to buy. but beware, other people will come and start telling you to get better gear. because 16gb is better than 8. and 32 than 16. and double the ssd, and faster CPU… or a mac :wink:


I use both, Mac and PC, I suggested an M1 MacBook Air cause it’s light, powerful and incredible efficient. You can’t get a new one for 500 dollars but refurbished or on eBay I’ve seen pretty good deals between 450-650 dollars. I don’t know any other windows laptop that with the same form factor delivers the same performance without getting extremely hot and with a battery that lasts easily 2 days working without charging, also the screen is good, it’s silent cause it doesn’t need active cooling and the most important, it will last for many years. As I’ve said on other threads, I used a 13” MacBook Pro from 2013 as my only machine for 8 years, and it never let me down, my wife uses it now, and the performance is the same as it was on day 1.

Anyways it’s just a recommendation, at the end he must decide what’s better for him, research the options on the market.

The laptop I often use for both modeling and rendering is kind of a joke: 1.8GHz Celeron Mobile, 4GB RAM, integrated Intel HD610 graphics, and an old school hard disk drive (ie not an SSD). This runs Win10, SUP 2022, and V-Ray 6.

It works fine most of the time, although the framerate is low with complex models and rendering them takes a long time at high settings. It’s definitely good enough for basic stuff like viewing and modifying non-Gojira scale models.

In other words, you don’t need to spend big.


I was hoping to hear that, actually!

1 Like

Thank you! This makes so much sense!
I do enjoy my PC and I never really liked Apple devices, apart from their nice look and great pictures on the iphone. Right now, I am looking for an extension of my PC, like you said.
Thanks for your advice!


That’s impressive!
I will keep the MacBook in mind for sure, though in UK these are more expensive even refurbished.
Thanks again!!!

It’s great to hear this! I really don’t need much from this extra one, so reading that a device, below recommended specs, manages is great!

For your stated purposes, a low-end i3 or i5-based laptop with 8GB RAM and an SSD ought to do just fine.


… plus you will be able to get a refurbished ( and guaranteed) model a good bit cheaper than brand new. Worth considering.

1 Like

I have been using MSI gaming computers for SketchUp for 17 years now and they are great laptops and won’t break the bank like the fru fru apple products. You are just paying for a name. My MSI GE76 performs just a well and for less. Don’t pay too much for a laptop. The are all hype. SketchUp only uses a single core anyway. :slight_smile:

1 Like

When I started my firm, I went to Tier1Online and got a great secondhand Lenovo X1 Yoga (light and powerful touchscreen laptop that ran SketchUp very well). It was two years old when I bought it (so probably a 2016 model) and lasted very well. I passed it on to church when I could afford a replacement and they are still using it.

You do have to be careful with their website and check the specs but this might work for you:

I would search for an used but not too old Windows notebook with a high-clocked intel i5 Gen. 8 (or higher) CPU in combination with a low-end but dedicated nVidia Geforce MX GPU as e.g. a Dell Inspiron or maybe HP.


This is great! Thank you!
A touchscreen would be a bonus for my side hustle!!!

I’ll throw in another option: a refurbished iPad Pro. I use an iPad Pro with an Apple Pencil in conjunction with my desktop machine. The mobile version of SketchUp is quite nice, robust, and the touch screen with SketchUp is smooth. And you can’t beat a tablet in terms of portability, especially when meeting a client on-site.


You’re not just paying for a name, I’ve never had a windows laptop that lasted more than 5 years, with terrible performance after the first year or even less time, I used a MacBook Pro from 2013 till 2021 and the performance was the same as day 1, I never got a virus, the screen was ahead of every other laptop, it’s still great under todays standards, my wife uses it now and works perfectly. It’s known that apple silicon chips are extremely efficient and powerful, there’s no windows laptop that offers the same performance per watt, it’s not even close, an M1 MacBook Air will last forever and if he decides to sell it at some point the depreciation is less than any windows laptop. Most people that don’t like apple products haven’t even tried them.