Looking for a convertible laptop

I have read a lot here regarding people using certain laptops for their SketchUp modeling. However, I think I have a unique situation. I would like a convertible laptop/tablet with which I can take pictures and be able to write on them, and will be able to display a large model using the SketchUp Viewer (or SU itself).

I have a client in the industrial field who wants me to model a sorting facility. The endgame is him providing his installers with tablets with which they can zoom in on specific areas and see precisely how certain pieces fit together. This would be in aid of 2D prints which call out dimensions and whatnot. I can accomplish all this easily with scene tabs.

So I would like to show the client exactly what is possible after I complete the model. The size of the model should be around 40-60 MB when it is finished. But I will not be creating the model on the laptop, merely displaying it. I have a work PC which I do all my modeling on.

I had a friend download one of my models onto a Microsoft Surface 3 Pro with a Core i5, 256GB, 8GB RAM and he said it worked flawlessly when he switched between scenes. Then he tried it on an SP3 with i3, 64GB and 4 GB of RAM and said the performance wasn’t quite as good, but still worked fine.

So my question is: with this in mind, do I really need to shell out the money for a Surface Pro or are there cheaper options? Will any laptop/tablet with these specs work? I’ve seen lots of laptops with Intel HD Graphics 5000, 5300, and 5500 and they all support OpenGL 2.0+, as SketchUp requires.

Have you considered sketchup viewer for distribution and viewing of your model? I imagine its much more light weight and supports scenes, there is an iOS app for it as well…



Yes, I mentioned this in my first paragraph. I only want to run Viewer on this machine.

My bad, missed the viewer part.

I would not shell out the $ for a surface pro just to view, if you could get the most use out of it then I highly recommend a i7core SP3, i have one, works great but they do get pretty hot, so that’s something to consider if you will be holding it to present a model.

I would say test out a mid range iPad or android tablet with mobile viewer and see if the scene to scene performance works for you before anything else.


There is the Asus Transformer line of tablets. Of course the smaller the RAM likely the slower.
Asus Transformer listed at NewEgg (listings also from affiliated webstores, not just NewEgg.)
Ie, use as a targeting list by applying filters. Then look for traustworthy dealers selling the models of interest.

Here is all Windows tablets sold by NewEgg:
10"+ Screen, 4Gb/8Gb RAM

I like the NewEgg site because you can filter on just about any technical spec you could ever want to.

BestBuy seems to be clearing out the Dell Venue 11 Pro. (They have good customer ratings.)
Dell Venue at BestBuy Intel Core M 2GHz/64Gb/4Gb

… because the newer ones have Win10 and 128Gb storage:
Dell Venue 11 Pro 7000

Problem is I would have to buy the unit to test it out.

It also doesn’t look like the mobile viewer has a very good rating, but I wonder if that’s what my friend was using…

Thanks Dan. I looked at these but didn’t really see anything cheaper than $1000 that would work. I’m trying to avoid integrated graphics cards, if I can.