The Best Laptop For GIS
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GIS is a bit more demanding in terms of hardware compared to other studies and professions. So, unfortunately, you’ll have to get something that’s a bit powerful.
Truth be told, that’s easier said than done. Many sellers can pass off a laptop as an overall good and powerful choice without mentioning anything about the downsides of each option. And that’s particularly true in retail.
That’s why we decided to write this article for you which should hopefully make the buying process much easier. So, with that being said, let’s get right into it!
The Best Laptop For GIS
- Relatively cheap
- Decent battery life for a laptop with dedicated graphics
- Feels sturdy
- Thick Bezels
Dell Inspiron i5577
At just about $800 (Depending on the time of purchase), this isn’t exactly a cheap option. However, compared to other laptops that come in 4-digit units, this is as cheap as you can go without sacrificing too much.
With an entry-level GPU, a decent quad-core processor, and the small SSD, this should be enough for running GIS-related programs.
The only downside is that the screen bezels are somewhat thick and that gaming aesthetics are sure to be a bad thing for some people. But, as we mentioned above, there are pros and cons to everything.
Speaking of gaming, if that’s one of the primary features that you’re after, we’d recommend looking at something with a slightly more powerful GPU. Because if you spend just a bit more, you get a much better value for gaming.
- Feels sturdy
- Lots of IO by 2020 standards
- Mediocre battery life at best
- A bit expensive for what it offers
The MSI GL62M costs about a hundred dollars more on average compared to the Inspiron and it’s all-around very similar in terms of specs. The aggressive gaming aesthetics are pretty much the only extra feature that it offers, though.
It’s slightly more lightweight with slightly worse battery life. But, other than that, it’s pretty much the same thing with a SteelSeries keyboard.
- Very powerful hardware
- Insane value
- Plenty of RAM out of the box
- High-refresh-rate display
- Relatively thin bezels
- The battery life is mediocre at best (Don’t even think about gaming without being plugged in)
Acer Predator Helios
While we did indeed said that you won’t find a laptop which fits everyone, all things considered, this is the one that brings the most advantages without a lot of disadvantages. That’s why we consider it to be the best overall option.
If there’s one downside, then that’s definitely going to be the relatively high price-tag. But, don’t forget that it offers superb value.
For about a $150 more (Compared to MSI’s offering), you get a very powerful processor, a decent graphics card, and 16 gigs of RAM out of the box! Sure, the battery life isn’t all that great. But, that’s to be expected from a laptop with powerful hardware.
The high-refresh-rate display is also a huge plus in our book. Not only for gaming – but for general usage as well. Even scrolling and the overall responsiveness is much better at 144Hz!
If portability takes priority for you, then the Surface Pro 6 is most likely your best bet. The tablet + laptop design along with its removable keyboard set it apart from the competition in terms of weight and overall portability!
The battery life that it offers can hardly be rivaled as well – especially for a Windows laptop.
Now, with that being said, the only way to achieve this level of portability is by making a couple of sacrifices. One of them is the relatively small display at 12.3 inches. Other than that, the removable keyboard may not feel as good as a “traditional” one to some people – and that’s especially true for heavy writers.
- Decent specs for something so small
- 2-in-1 design
- Extremely lightweight
- Superb battery life
- The lack of dedicated graphics could be an issue for some
- A small display is better for portability – but definitely worse to look at
Microsoft Surface Pro 6
If you need something that’s as lightweight and portable as possible with great battery life, there is no doubt that this is your best bet from this list!
For those of you who don’t know, the Surface Pro 6 is both a tablet and a laptop in one package thanks to its removable keyboard. And we understand that it’s not a good fit for everybody. But, those who do love portability over everything else, it’s hard to go wrong with this one.
Unfortunately, the only way to get such great battery life and such a slim build is by sacrificing raw power. While 8 gigs of RAM and the Core i5 processor should be enough for most people, the lack of dedicated graphics could be an issue for those who need to work with 2D or 3D apps (Especially 3D).
- Powerful processor
- Plenty of RAM and SSD storage out of the box
- Decent for gaming as well
- Thick bezels
- Battery life is mediocre at best
Lenovo Legion Y520 (2018)
By flirting with a $1,000 price tag, the Lenovo Legion Y520 places itself on the premium/high-end market. And as far as high-end laptops are concerned for GIS, this is one of your best picks!
With 16 gigs of RAM, plenty of SSD storage, and a powerful processor, there’s not much more that we can ask for. The GTX 1060 is a bit outdated – but don’t forget that it’s still about as powerful as a 1650.
Overall, this may not be the best option for gamers (The Predator Helios has a better GPU), but it’s without a doubt one of the best for GIS!
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If that’s a bit too much to take in at once, here is everything you need to know as fast as possible!
Dell Inspiron i5577: One of the cheapest options which has all the basic specs we need – the only downside is that it’s not the best value (You can get something twice as good for only $300 more)
MSI GL62M: Good for a budget gaming solution – but it’s still a bit expensive for the specs that it offers
Acer Predator Helios: All-around the most powerful laptop in this list – but it’s also the most expensive
Microsoft Surface Pro 6: Nothing can beat this in terms of portability and battery life – but the small display may be a deal-breaker for some and the same goes for the lack of dedicated graphics
Lenovo Legion Y520 (2018): One of the most powerful options here. It has a slightly less powerful GPU than the Helios but more SSD storage – battery life is pretty bad, though
That’s all for now. We hope that this article helped you out. If there are any questions, feel free to let us know about them in the comments section down below!