What 2-in-1 Tablets are best for SketchUp?

Looking for Tablet that can run SketchUp

You will need a tablet that is a full computer, has an Intel processor and runs the full desktop version of Windows.


According the the specs you will be fine with a desktop Mac. You should be able use an iPad with a Disto E7500i, but I’m not finding a direct way to import into SketchUp from there. Anybody?

I’m not sure I’m following your suggestion pedicini.

I’ll follow up on Anssi’s correct post with more specifics:

SketchUp is a Desktop application requiring a full Desktop operating system, specifically Microsoft Windows 7 or newer, or OS X 10.7 or newer.

If you wish to use SketchUp on a Tablet, the only thing going are the Windows based touchscreen laptops such as the Microsoft Surface Pro (but not the regular Surface.)

We do offer the SketchUp Mobile Viewer on iOS and Android which syncs with our 3D Warehouse and allows you to easily view your models on a tablet, there is no edit functionality in this mobile app.

To learn more about the Mobile viewers visit the app store for your device (Apple App Store, Google Play) and search for [SketchUp Mobile Viewer].

To learn system requirements for the Desktop version of SketchUp visit our site here: http://help.sketchup.com/en/article/36208

an cheaper alternative to the MS Surface Pro could be the Dell Venue 11 Pro.

Why not the regular Surface? It has a touch screen and Windows just like the Surface Pro.

I am looking into getting a tablet and am curious why one works over the other.

  • Surface 3 Technical Specs
    Basically uses an cheap(~50$) junky embedded / phone quality CPU called Intel Atom x7.
    It only has the basic Intel HD embedded graphics, which are likely not 3D quality.

  • Surface Pro 3 Technical Specs
    Options let you choose from all 3 series of Intel® Core™ 4th generation mobile CPUs, with 4th generation HD graphics, ie: HD4200 (i3), HD4400 (i5), HD5000 (i7) respectively.


Intel® Atom™ x7-Z8700 Processor

Intel® Core™ i3 Mobile Processors with Intel® Graphics

Intel® Core™ i5 Mobile Processors with Intel® Graphics

Intel® Core™ i7 Mobile Processors with Intel® Graphics

Thank you! I wasn’t familiar with the Intel Atom processor, that greatly helps me narrow down my tablet possibilities.

Greatly appreciate your help @DanRathbun!

The more important part about the Surface vs the Surface Pro is that the “regular” Surface would only run Windows RT, a tablet version of the Windows OS which SketchUp is not written to use. The difference is as Dan showed, the x86 architecture on a Surface Pro allows the full Windows install which SketchUp can use.

Great news though! Microsoft has ceased production on the RT tablets moving forward, you can ONLY get a Surface PRO 4, so getting a current generation Surface will be the Pro version with proper version of Windows. Several people in the office are using Surface Pro 4 tablets and like them a lot.

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The next question I have is about graphics. I know sketchup recommends a heavy duty graphics card, but I would assume that is for larger models and when working with renderings.

A large portion of 2-in-1s have Intel HD Graphics, would those suffice? Which series is the recommended minimum?

I ideally would find something with an Nvidia graphics card, but those up the price quite significantly when put inside a small device.

I think you just have to manage expectations when you’re buying a 2-1. You’re going to get portability and convenience at the expense of power. SketchUp will run on a system with an Intel video card but if you’re doing heavy production on hat system you may be frustrated with the power. That being said, it’s the perfect excuse to learn to model smarter so that your files are as efficient as possible from the start.

Here’s an old, but still relevant video from one of our 3D Basecamps on the topic.

I’m hopeful that the emerging handful of a high powered base that you can put your lightweight laptop into will catch on. The Surface Book seems more desirable to me than the Surface Pro for that reason, and the better keyboard, though the hinge is odd and seems like it’d break too easily. Again though, the Pro will do a decent enough job running light duty SketchUp work for demonstrations and smaller projects.

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Just to slip in there, I run a Wacom Cintiq, it has become my main SU interface.
I use it connected to my desktop, then on it’s own in the pub or site. It is seamless for me as I work with stylus and 3d mouse. It ain’t cheap, but nor am I.