Tablets for SketchUp


Hey all, I have seen a few discussions talking about tablets but most of them evolve in to conversations about laptops.

I am looking to work with my models (fairly small but detailed, anywhere from 100-5000 objects). I don’t deal with rendering at all, mostly just looking to build or edit models.

I have done some research regarding tablets. I know that Sketchup will not work off an Android platform, only Windows. That being said, there are a ton of tablets out there. I was curious if anyone uses a tablet or if there are any recommendations.

Some tablets I am considering are:

MS Surface Pro 3 (highest contender)
MS Surface 3
Asus Transformer Book
Dell Venue 11 Pro
Samsung Galaxy TabPro
HP Pavilion X2

Obviously price is a big factor here, but I am wondering if any of these are more convenient than the other. (I am not a frequent tablet user so I am not that experienced).

Any and all insight or help is greatly appreciated.



Hardware Purchasing Advice For SketchUp & LayOut [wiki]

SketchUp Hardware and Software Requirements — SketchUp Help

The basic premise of hardware for SU is a single fast processor core coupled with a fast graphics card will always supply the best performance in SketchUp

What are your thoughts regarding a keyboard and mouse?



Whatever you do, make sure to test SketchUp on the tablet before you buy it. I tried SketchUp on a Surface Pro in Best Buy (the guys there were super helpful about letting me install it on their demo Surface Pro), and the high resolution screen made some SketchUp elements so tiny that my eyes watered. Even the endpoints and lines shrink down to nothing.
I’m sure SketchUp will eventually fix the high-resolution shrinkage issue, but for now, it actually helps to find a screen that doesn’t have a very high resolution.
It’s a challenge nowadays to find a low-res screen with a really good processor and sufficient RAM, though.



Actually my.SketchUp is in beta and can run in a web browser on any platform.
To try it, go to:

Some people do, for limted sitework.

But neither desktop SketchUp, nor my.SketchUp currently have touch interfaces. So, you likely need to use a pen or stylus. Also a popup virtual keyboard would be needed to enter values into the Measurements (VCB) box, or attaching a keyboard.

Because the market trend is away from tablets, and toward “detachables”.

The devices you listed are not really tablets. They are “detachablesaka "2-in-1"s. So they’d come with a keyboard. (With the exception of the Dell Venue 11 Pro, which the keyboard is an option at extra 60 dollar cost.)




From Jody:



When was this? Because SketchUp team has somewhat improved this issue with 2016 version. - Including vector toolbar icons and others.
I say somewhat, because it is still a bit more difficult to land the courser on the endpoint.
I often use SketchUp on my Surface Pro 4.



It was after 2016 was released. 2016 did make a lot of it better, with the icons, but not for everything. I teach SketchUp, so I can’t have near-invisible endpoints, it doesn’t show well on projector screens. And the “In Model” icon? I think I recall it’s just a tiny speck on really high-res screens, although I haven’t looked in awhile.

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would have a look at the Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 12 and HP EliteBook Revolve 810 G2 too.



@sketch3d_de Those are more on the expensive side, although it would be nice, price is still a huge factor.

@DanRathbun I apologize for not being as clear as I should have been in the beginning. Although I said tablet, I meant 2-in-1s, ideally a keyboard and a stylus or mouse if possible which is why I am leaning towards the Windows side of things opposed to the iPad.

Any other tablet users aside from @josephkim626 with the Surface Pro 4?



Just to be clear though. My Surface Pro 4 is just my machine on the go. I don’t necessarily do much “work” on it.

I have two other machines (Desktops) where I do the work.



then maybe the brandnew Acer Switch Alpha 12 promoted as a “Surface Killer” for less bucks (>= U$ 599.-) already including the keyboard (optionally illuminated) could be an interesting deivce:



Do you think the Intel® HD Graphics 520 would be able to handle sketchup? The other specifications are significantly better than most 2-in-1s in this price range.



integrated graphics solutions are targeted at low power consumption in connection with office/video/internet applications and therefore slow by design. Additionally, the OpenGL support of drivers provided is obviously not optimized for 3D modelers and may show flaws in this area (screen/print artefacts, crashes).

You can avoid the latter by disabling the OGL support of SketchUp at “… > Preferences > OpenGL…” which requires the CPU to calculate the screen/print ouptput but avoids the issues mentioned above.

As already mentioned above, for showing your (non high-poly-count) models to your clients a convertible should work, at least with the SU OGL option disabled.

In general, even with a 64-bit version of Windows use the 32-bit version of SU which is in general more compatible with the 32-bit OGL stack of video drivers.



Thank you! I appreciate gaining the extra knowledge.

I definitely want to find/pick the ideal machine before going ahead and just buying something that wouldn’t work.



I have a Samsung Galaxy Note 12.2 that is absolutely brilliant for my architectural work -

I seriously don’t have any paper in my office and

quite frankly any architect worth their salt should have one of these or [cough Ipad Pro].

I have Sketchup Viewer on it [Android] and also have tried My.Sketchup

both work fine for smaller models and are very easy to use with a pen.

Nevertheless, all my core work is really done on my notebook…

The samsung comes into play with sketching -

I [ r my staff ] simply screen capture a Sketchup view…

copy it to Gdrive or email it to myself

Open it on my Samsung with Sketchbook [came free with the Samsung] and

sketch overlay new ideas… test alternative layouts etc etc…

even markup consultants autocad drawings [there are free apps for opening them on an android]

PS - I am a great fan of the Android ecosystem [ not W10]
so cheap,
so flexible,
so stable,
apps interchange data so easily
And amazing apps [slab design, structural design, on and on]

anyway some screen shots to give you some ideas of sketchup + sketchbook

If you have never tried a Pen Tablet [Wacom] just do it…

I have not printed a piece of paper in 3 years

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These are really great. I ve a samsung tab S3 and and was trying my hand on unfortunately this is not working on my tab web browser. do I need to change some setting to work on my browser? pls do advise. thnx.



just to be clear, I am not running SU on my Samsung,

I am sketching over SU screen captures from my PC

using the SKETCHBOOK app on the Samsung …

transferring images between the two by emailing myself or

my recently using Google Photos

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if you buy a laptop , please make sure the graphics has at least 6GB RAM ( such as GTX 1060) , try to get a decent spec CPU with that as well, together with adequate RAM (16GB should be fine for most use cases, more if you can afford it) and a SSD (but I guess that part is a given seeing that it is a SurfaceBook) with plenty of space.

I think you need to be using the stylus with another input device.

I use a stylus in work and at home with SketchUp on a XP-Pen Artist 12 pen display monitor tablet , I only got them last month but has been pretty easy to get the hang of.

The trick is using the pen on the tablet , However the pen has two buttons built in and also 6 on screen buttons and 1 touch bar you can program per application. So it’s pretty easy to add in features such as delete, undo and other tools. I also have programmed gestures on the tablet (two finger swipe left for undo etc).

more details : .