2023 is coming and with it a lot of new best laptops for GIS software. It’s time to look at all the options and choose what you need. I have selected the very best in each price range so you can find exactly what you are looking for.
Whereas, I put together this list with the following factors in mind: compatibility, performance, quality, price, and customer reviews. We also included the current price as it is updated regularly.
This list is a mix of regular laptops and ultrabooks as well as models designed for ArcGIS and ArcGIS Pro Software. We have also included the screen size, weight, processor type, and speed…
That being said, I will help you to understand how it works, which model is most suitable for GIS software, and attain your goal without burning a hole in your pocket while still getting the best laptop for GIS.
A great advantage of working with GIS is that usually, the software isn’t very demanding when it comes to hardware requirements so with average equipment you’ll be able to run most applications. Here’s a list of the best laptops for GIS 2022 that you can check out and select your prior option.
Our Top Picks For GIS Laptops
Razer Blade 15
Processor: Intel Core i7
Graphics Card: GTX 1060
Best Laptops For GIS Software 2022
2. Razer Blade 15 – Best With Thin Design
3. HP Envy – Best GIS Laptop For Professionals
4. Dell Gaming G3 – Best Affordable GIS Laptops
5. Lenovo IdeaPad 5i Pro – Best GIS Laptop For The Money
6. MSI Modern 14 – Best Cheap GIS Laptop
7. Acer Aspire 5 – Best GIS Laptop Under 1000
Suggested Hardware Requirements For GIS In Short
Operating system: Windows 8.1 Basic
Display: 1024x768P, 24-bit color depth
Disk Space: 6GB
Graphics adapter: 24-bit capable graphics booster
You can read further details here.
Best Laptops For GIS Reviews 2022
1. ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo
The first best laptop for GIS software is the ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo, an ultrabook that multitasks like no other with both Windows 10 and Android on board. It is one of the only laptops with a 4K screen that can be used without plugging it into power, which means you’re getting the most of its mobile performance.
This model of laptop is designed to run smoothly with Android apps, so it is compatible with the Android Studio IDE to run ArcGIS. This laptop has an NVIDIA GeForce GTX1050 video card which can handle multiple displays and high-end gaming or GIS software like ArcGIS without any problems.
The ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo also includes a 15-inch 4K display along with an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 video card with 4GB of GDDR5 memory. It offers lightning-fast Thunderbolt 3 connectivity along with one USB-C port, two USB 3.0 ports, and an HDMI port for connecting multiple displays. At less than 0.7″ thick and weighing less than 4 pounds, this laptop is portable enough for you to take anywhere.
For GIS professionals, having a laptop that can work in multiple spaces is key for your workflow. The ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo brings together Windows 10 and Android on one machine without compromising on performance or battery life. This best laptop for GIS software has the versatility to run all of your other essential programs like ArcGIS and other GIS programs so you can be more efficient and improve your workflow.
Overall, the ZenBook Pro Duo is capable of running the full versions of Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and Premiere Pro, making it great for graphic design work. It’s also compatible with Maya and other professional 3D modeling software.
2. Razer Blade 15
The Razer Blade 15 is the best laptop for GIS Arc 10 and GIS Arch professionals that money can buy. You will get an Intel Core i7-8750H 6 Core, 16GB of RAM, and GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q graphics card which enables you to play modern games on medium settings. The only thing missing here is the Quadro graphics card. But if you want the Quadro, you will need to spend more time and research for this one.
Moreover, the Razer Blade 15 is a great solution for professionals who wants a laptop that can handle several programs on a single machine. This best GIS laptop uses the hardware of another powerful gaming computer which is made by Razer. The only difference between this Razer Blade 15 and other powerful gaming computers is the design which has been made for professional use.
The Razer Blade 15 looks sleek, thin, light in weight, and elegant in white color. This laptop uses a matte white aluminum body combined with NVIDIA’s Max Q technology hardware injection that makes it thinner than you expect. It is 15.6 inches laptop with around .7 thick, 4.3 pounds in weight, and 16 x 10 x 0.8 inches in dimension which looked like the world’s smallest gaming laptop with a GTX 1060 video card inside.
The Razer Blade 15 has a VR-ready Graphics card that is very capable of editing GIS data using QGis and ArcGIS Pro. It has a 15.6 inch, 1920 x 1080p display which is good for editing maps on GIS applications or your other work on it. You will get 16 GB DDR4 memory (2x8GB SODIMM) with this laptop but you can upgrade it to 32 GB.
Inside this package, you get a 256GB SSD which is fast enough for GIS work and light games. The battery lasts around 5 hours with average use but it will be extended up to 7 hours when you are not using the laptop while charging.
3. HP Envy
Speaking of another best laptop for GIS, how can I forget about the HP Envy, which is in the third position on my list.
There are two reasons why I think it’s the best laptop for GIS. The first reason is its high-cost performance, meaning you can get a computer with a nice design and powerful configuration at only $1,000. The second reason is its good heat dissipation. Because of this, you don’t need to worry about the heating issue during long time use.
The battery life of HP Envy is also very good, lasting about 6 hours under normal use. Whereas the hardware configuration is similar to Dell XPS, which means it can support geological survey software smoothly, no matter ArcGIS or QGIS.
Equipped with an i7 11th Gen, 8GB RAM, and 512GB SSD combo hard drive, this laptop has nothing to be dissatisfied about at this price. Thus, if you need a high-cost performance laptop for GIS, I suggest HP Envy.
The only shortcoming of the HP Envy is its low color gamut compared with other high-end laptops on my list. But you don’t need to worry about this issue during using GIS.
But no matter which machine you choose, remember to get a machine with a high color gamut or Adobe RGB(100%) display panel. It’s very important if you want to edit raster images on your laptop. And it will be a great pity if your laptop can’t display the complete color of the earth.
4. Dell Gaming G3
Apart from gaming, the Dell Gaming G3 is also a great choice for GIS software as seen from its specifications. Aside from that, this laptop model has an NVIDIA GTX 1050 graphics card with GDDR5 4GB VRAM and Gen Intel i5-8300H 3.90 GHz Processor for a powerful performance on the go.
Whereas, the exterior of the Dell G3 is made up of an aluminum cover which gives it a sleek and matte black finish. The cover has an etched “G” logo which can be found below the display screen and on the hinge of the lid.
On the other hand, the keyboard comes with an anti-ghosting technology that enhances your gaming experience where you can press up to ten keys at once without any problem. Its touchpad has been separated from the rest of the body so that the user has enough space to maneuver. The touchpad also follows you wherever your fingers may go.
Moreover, the Dell G3 houses a 15.6-inch IPS LED FHD (1920 x 1080) anti-glare widescreen display which can be used for different purposes, not just gaming. Aside from different video game genres, this laptop for GIS can also be used for graphic design, programming, and image retouching.
Overall, the Dell G3 is a good choice for professional GIS users who may want to own a laptop for GIS. Its price depends on the model you will choose. You’ll never regret purchasing this laptop because of its amazing features.
5. Lenovo IdeaPad 5i Pro
Lenovo IdeaPad 5i Pro is another laptop for GIS users. With an i5-3210M, 6GB RAM, and a GeForce 630M GPU with Optimus technology it’s powerful enough to run most GIS software.
Lenovo IdeaPad 5i Pro comes preinstalled with Windows 10 Pro Professional 64bit which is not bad for this price range. The screen has a resolution of 2560 x 1600 and it’s quite sharp and is enough for GIS work. It has a regular NVIDIA GeForce MX450 card with Optimus technology so it can be also used as a gaming laptop (not recommended).
Lenovo IdeaPad 5i Pro only weighs around 4.4 pounds which is pretty light considering its 13.3″ screen size.
Looking at the raw numbers you expect Lenovo IdeaPad 5i Pro to be a beast, but there are some problems with this laptop that make it less desirable. First of all the hard drive is only 320GB which is not enough for serious GIS work or even regular usage since Windows 7 takes more than 20GB.
Lenovo IdeaPad 5i Pro should be around $2500 but at the moment you can get it for only $2000 which is quite a great deal. For the money spent, you will get an average GIS laptop but there are other laptops in this price range that are better than Lenovo IdeaPad 5i Pro.
6. MSI Modern 14
The MSI Modern 14 has been around for quite some time and many people are using it for GIS software till then is considered the best for it. Speaking of the specs it has an Intel Core i5-10210UUMA, 8GB of ram, and a 512GB SSD. The OS is Windows 10 Home 64bit.
Whereas, the MSI Modern 14 comes with a webcam, microphone, and Bluetooth connectivity and it’s pretty fast for its specs I think the only thing wrong with it is the battery life which isn’t good at all. I mean the battery life is the only thing that it’s really lacking and besides that, it’s perfect for me especially coming from a Lenovo G570.
However, the processor of the MSI is much faster than that of the Lenovo it’s pretty quiet and it’s pretty lightweight.
When it comes to upgradability of components MSI has better upgradability especially when it comes to ram you can add up to 2 so 4GB more and having an extra 500GB HDD is pretty decent.
Still, MSI has decent upgradability over its components the only downside is the battery life which sucks, but I guess it’s normal because its specs are pretty decently good for running modern games since it has an AMD Turion II P540. The MSI Modern 14 runs pretty well with GIS software.
7. Acer Aspire 5
The last laptop for GIS software I have for you is the Acer Aspire 5 which I consider to be the best laptop for GIS software at this time in my opinion. This laptop has an Intel Core i5 processor which is the basic starting point for processing a Geographic information system.
It also comes with an 8GB ram to ensure the smooth running of your workflow when working with GIS software like QGis, GRASS, ArcMap, and QDAS. It also comes with large storage of 256GB SSD which means you will get all the data that you need to process without having to worry about running out of space.
The other great thing I love about this laptop is its design and color scheme. This laptop features a silver-gray body making it look chic and beautiful while at work. The Acer Aspire 5 is a great laptop to purchase for less than $1000 USD at the time of writing this article.
This laptop also features an HDMI port which can be very useful when you want to connect your computer to a bigger screen for presentations or teaching purposes. It also comes with USB3, 3.0 ports which are essential for transferring very large files from one location to another.
The Acer Aspire 5 is a tremendous laptop that you must look at when choosing the best For GIS software and due to its cheap price and high efficiency, it’s one of our top picks.
GIS System Requirements
GIS software is often resource-hungry, particularly when working with large datasets. It can be very useful to have a fast processor or high-end graphics card, especially if working with spatial data sets that are only available in vector format.
Vector data may contain hundreds of thousands of shapes which must all be checked for intersections before computations are performed on them. Having a system with a high-speed processor can be particularly useful when working with spatial data sets that are only available in vector formats, as each shape must be checked for intersections before computations can be performed on it.
Operating System Requirements
As GIS software is so compatible across platforms most GIS applications will run on Windows, Mac, and Linux, or be available for download online on all three platforms. If you are using GIS software on a computer that is also used by others make sure you check whether it is compatible with the operating system of any other users of the machine and if not consider installing it on your own personal laptop instead of attempting to share it across a network.
Most GIS applications will run on Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7 (but not windows 8), If you are using a recent version of Windows such as Windows Vista or Windows 7 then ensure that your computer meets the minimum standards for these operating systems before purchasing any new software.
It can be very useful to have a lot of memory available on your computer. If you are using GIS software on a computer that is also used by others make sure you check whether it is compatible with the operating system of any other users of the machine before purchasing any new software.
The best way to determine how much memory you will need is to test the application on your own computer using a free trial or demo download, or by visiting the official website of the developer. If this is not possible then carefully read through the system requirements for each piece of GIS software before making your purchase.
GIS software often requires a minimum of 2 gigabytes of RAM, but 4 GB is preferable if running on 64-bit versions of Windows Vista or Windows 7.
Most GIS software only requires space for the application installation files (and any data that may be included in the demo) to be stored on your hard disk, but more advanced GIS applications may require external storage of video or image files for rendering, so it is important to check the system requirements prior to purchase.
The best way to determine how much space you will need on your hard drive is to test the application on your own computer using a demo download, or by visiting the official website of the developer. If this is not possible then carefully read through the system requirements for each piece of GIS software before making your purchase.
The minimum requirement for space on your hard drive is usually around 10 megabytes, but hundreds or even thousands of megabytes are often required if working with large spatial data sets that require rendering – particularly raster data. Therefore always ensure you have enough space before launching any GIS software.
You may wish to consider purchasing an external hard disk for use with your GIS software if you are working with large spatial datasets that require rendering. This will allow you to maximize the storage capacity of your computer’s internal hard drive, which is often much smaller than the maximum capacity of an external hard disk.
External hard disks will often be formatted in a format such as FAT32 or NTFS, and may not be compatible with all operating systems, particularly Mac OS X. Consult the manufacturer’s documentation before attempting to use an external hard disk with your system.
Graphics Card Requirements
Some GIS software requires a graphics card (such as a graphics processing unit (GPU), video card, etc.), and some do not. To find out if your GIS software requires a GPU you should visit the official website of the developer or test it on your own computer before purchase.
If this is not possible then carefully read through the system requirements for each piece of GIS software before making your purchase. If the system requirements do not specify a graphics card requirement then it is safe to assume that your computer will have a GPU if it was manufactured after 2005, and particularly if it has a higher-level processor such as an i5 or i7.
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So, to sum up, this article. We’ve gone over the basics of what a GIS is and why they are used in various different situations. We have also covered some of the GIS software that is available to use on your laptop computer, as well as the hardware you may need to get started if it’s not feasible for you to upgrade your current laptop.
We have also covered some of the laptops that would be great to use with GIS software and give you an idea as to what you will be spending if you want to purchase one of the recommended laptops mentioned in this article. We hope we’ve been somewhat helpful in finding your best laptop for GIS.