Do you closely work with the geographic information systems or are involved in GIS mapping or remote sensing, or are you a student who has begun your journey in the field of GIS? In that case, you’ll need a good quality laptop that can run popular GIS software like the ArcGIS 10 & ArcGIS pro.
We know that you are here for the list and we’ll provide you with one, but before we begin with it, we want to share a little research on GIS & ArcGIS. In case you know a lot about this field & system, feel free to jump to the list.
GIS basically is a framework that is used for gathering, managing, and analyzing geographical data. The data gathered and analyzed using it is used by mapmakers to make informative & accurate maps. It also reveals a lot of data about patterns, relations, situations which can help in making informed geographical decisions!
ArcGIS is basically one of the popular geographic Intelligent systems (GIS) used to work with maps and geographical information. It is used to create maps that compile multiple locations, geographical data, mapped information, managing locations data and much more.
This software uses multiple other applications on the Windows OS to carry out these operations. Such as ArcReader to view and query maps, ArcGIS desktop for editing and modifying maps and the newly introduced ArcGIS pro works in 2D and 3D for cartography and visualization, and include Artificial Intelligence (AI).
Not just any laptop with average specifications would work in such cases. Also, you need to keep in mind that there aren’t a lot of low priced options here as this tool demands a high-powered laptop that would last long. Just like other GIS software, the ArcGIS 10 or the ArcGIS pro requires a powerful laptop with the best processor and specs that can handle all the operations.
If you are a little tight on your budget, you may want to rethink, or there are multiple other options you can go for in terms of money. Now, without wasting any more second, let’s get with the list.
- Minimum & Recommended System Requirements
- 10 Best Laptops for ArcGIS in 2021
- 1. Best Overall: Asus ZenBook 15
- 2. Best Runner Up: Dell Inspiron i5577
- 3. Best Thin Laptop: Huawei MateBook X Pro
- 4. Best Business Laptop: Lenovo Thinkpad E590
- 5. Best for Apple Fanatics: Apple MacBook Pro
- 6. Best with Dual Storage: Acer Predator Helios 300
- 7. Best from Razer: Razer Blade 15
- 8. Best from Dell: Dell G5 15
- 9. Best for Portability: Asus VivoBook S
- 10. Best Ultrabook: Microsoft Surface Pro 6
Minimum & Recommended System Requirements
Like, we have already mentioned that ArcGIS & ArcGIS pro needs a high-end laptop, There are some minimum requirements and recommended ones, but you can always choose the best one and go for something higher and better.
|Minimum System Requirements||Recommended System Requirements|
|Processor||8th Gen Intel Core i5||9th Gen Intel Core i7|
|Storage||256GB SSD||512GB SSD|
|Display||13.3-inch FHD IPS (1920 x 1080)||15.6-inch FHD IPS (1920 x 1080)|
|Graphics||2GB NVIDIA GeForce MX250||3GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 or better|
|Battery||Up to 4 hours||Up to 8 hours|
10 Best Laptops for ArcGIS in 2021
|Asus ZenBook 15|
|Dell Inspiron i5577|
|Huawei MateBook X Pro|
|Lenovo Thinkpad E590|
|Apple MacBook Pro|
|Acer Predator Helios 300|
|Razer Blade 15|
|Dell G5 15|
|Asus VivoBook S|
|Microsoft Surface Pro 6|
So, if you have gone properly to the system requirements, you can easily find the best laptop or the least that can run the relevant software. The list has been curated keeping all the requirements in mind, and now all you need to do is choose from it. So. let’s get on with it without wasting any more time.
1. Best Overall: Asus ZenBook 15
Have you ever considered pursuing a career as a full-time geographer? If yes, the Asus ZenBook 15 is the perfect notebook to invest in. While we have already enlisted some of the other relevant gadgets for running GIS tools on, this laptop makes more sense to a professional geographer who is more inclined towards traveling across the globe for data analysis, population mapping, and other indulgences.
Processing needs are met by the Intel Core i7-10510U processor, which is a low-power entity but still capable of managing the ArcGIS platform with minimal effort. Despite being a U-series processor, it showcases a turbo clock speed of up to 4.9GHz. This attribute allows you to manage map edits, modifications, and queries sans lags or stutters. However, if you are interested in 3-dimensional cartography, high-end viewport rendering, and Visualization, the GTX 1650 GPU comes in handy.
However, this variant of the Asus ZenBook 15 stacks in the Max-Q variant of the featured GPU, which readily adheres to the portability quotient. Therefore, the CPU-GPU combo allows you to run a host of GIS software modules like BatchGeo, MapInfo Pro, and ArcGIS online, at maximum efficiency. In case you are into leisure gaming, this mid-range GPU, clubbed with 4GB VRAM is good enough for entry-level and moderately demanding titles like Fortnite, PUBG, and more.
The 16GB RAM is also a reliable computing resource that allows you to manage spatial and geographic data without getting pushed to the brink. Besides, the existing chunk of system memory also makes it easier for the U-series processor to retrieve and manage temporary files and data sets in no time. Storing map info, location data, and applications is easy enough with the 512GB of NVMe-compatible SSD unit. This boot drive is efficient enough to load the pre-existing Windows 10 OS in no time.
The 15.6-inch display deserves a special mention, courtesy of the brilliant 4K visual experience it exhibits. However, we were most impressed with the NanoEdge bezels, which allow you to use the entire screen for mapping, remote sensing, aerial imaging, and satellite data extracting and viewing. When created, the digital maps look even better on the widescreen display that flaunts a cumulative resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels.
This variant of the ZenBook 15 introduces a standard backlit keyboard for productivity seekers, bolstered further by the proprietary ErgoLift design. What stands out, though, is the innovative trackpad that doubles down as the ScreenPad 2.0. This highly interactive, 5.65-inch touch panel is an asset to the geographers, allowing them to invoke apps, interfaces, and imaging resources at will.
Coming to the professional assets, this laptop houses the IR-powered webcam with Windows Hello support followed by an Alexa-compatible interface and impactful speakers for music listening. Coming to the aesthetics, this MIL-STD certified notebook is adequately durable and weighs a mere 3.60 pounds. As far as port arrangement is concerned, you get access to USB 3.1 Gen 2, HDMI, and other relevant output slots.
However, the Wi-Fi 6 standard makes the most sense to the GIS-users, considering their nature of work. The encapsulated battery, housed by the Asus ZenBook 15 is capable of lasting for close to 9 hours; an attribute that further qualifies this as one of the better gadgets for a geographer, remote image sensors, and GIS-enthusiasts.
- Stellar display
- 10th gen processor
- Mid-range GPU
- Optimal heat-dissipating hardware
- Light and portable
- Innovative ScreenPad 2.0
- Lacks Thunderbolt 3 support
- Not meant for high-end gaming
2. Best Runner Up: Dell Inspiron i5577
The Dell Inspiron i5577 is one of the best laptops for ArcGIS and perfect for college students looking for a reasonable one. With a 7th Gen Intel i7 processor, you can expect a powerful performance all throughout. You can also boost up the speed using Max Turbo up to 3.8GHz. It has a 15.6-inch FHD Anti-Glare LED-Backlit display that gives an amazing picture quality and amazing brightness level for all your activities.
This Dell Inspiron runs on 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD. The SSD gives a much faster booting time to the system and loads of space to store all the files and data. Moreover, if you need extra memory for better performance, the laptop has a slot to put up an extra 16GB RAM making this equal to a beast. It has been installed with the latest Windows 10 for a 64-bit system.
This laptop has a sturdy design and durable as well. Furthermore, the best part is that it is highly heat resistant and cools down the system very quickly. The GIS software needs a powerful system for smoother performance which in the case will heat up the system, but there isn’t anything to worry about anymore. For a stunning visual experience and highest quality graphics, it features the NVIDIA GTX 1050 with 4GB GDDR5 memory.
Also, the battery power is pretty great too just like most of the laptops by Dell, gives usage of about 7 hours that goes on for an entire day. As for the students, this could come in handy even the weight is a bit bulky. Some of the connectivity options include 2 x USB 3.0 ports, 1 x USB 3.0 with powershare, HDMI port, SD Card Reader, etc.
- Speedy and powerful processor
- Good storage capacity
- RAM memory with an upgradable slot
- Crystal clear Graphic Image
- Reasonable Price and study design
- Not a perfect battery power
- The display isn’t the brightest
3. Best Thin Laptop: Huawei MateBook X Pro
The Huawei MateBook X Pro is one of the biggest competitors of the MacBook series and one of the thinnest laptops for ArcGIS. This incredibly looking laptop has been known to be the world’s first full-view display machine with a 91% screen to body ratio. To add more to this, it has an excellent 13.9-inch touch screen display with an astonishing 3K resolution to have the best display quality. The i7 processor is equally powerful, and among the best, there is to look forward to it.
As a GIS student, having an incredible 16GB RAM with 512GB storage is something you cannot avoid. The SSD is much better than HDD and provides speed to run the applications. You can enjoy smooth functions for a longer period of time without any issue or error on your way.
The design is certainly a plus point here. The entire body is made of solid aluminum with a perfect finish to it. Like we spoke about how lightweight it is, weighs only 2.93 pounds. You can carry it with you anywhere you wish too. Apart from all this, it is super slim, i.e. 0.57-inch width only. Please do not be concerned about battery power, as it can give continuous support for up to 12 hours and even more depending upon your usage for the entire day.
Some of the additional features that set it apart from the rest are the privacy pop-up camera that works as a webcam and comes in handy when attending video conferences and online classes. It only comes out when called for or needed. For added security, we have a fingerprint reader to help you log in to the system instantly.
Additionally, it provides you with Mate Dock 2.0, USB-A port, USB-C port, HDMI port, and VGA ports. The price can be a bit higher since it gives such incredible specification if you feel you can add up more to your budget do not miss the opportunity.
- Amazing and powerful processor
- Lightweight and slim
- Pop-up webcam
- Incredible battery life
- Design is stunning and durable
- Expensive Product
- Not enough connectivity ports
4. Best Business Laptop: Lenovo Thinkpad E590
The Thinkpad E590 is one of the best business laptops that can be used for ArcGIS. Apart from being an incredible machine for business users, it is also lightweight and highly efficient. With an Intel i7 processor you can expect this to keep the system stable and faster and perform the best for a long time. Also, it has a 15.6-inch laptop with an IPS screen display providing an incredible brighter screen.
On the storage front, it is equipped with 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD storage capacity. You may not need an upgrade since 16GB would be more than enough to work with ArcGIS software at its best. Also, the storage capacity is way beyond amazing.
The design is pretty sleek and much lighter than many other laptops. This laptop is also known for its high durability and powerful performance that makes it unbeatable in terms of efficiency. Furthermore, to provide decent graphics, it is equipped with Intel UHD 620 graphics card. Not the best one you would love, but on average the quality is just fine.
For added security, you have been given the fingerprint reader. Even the hinge can be rotated to 180 degrees to use it comfortably with a perfect usage.
Additionally, it has been provided with 2 x USB 3.1 Gen 1, 1 x USB 3.1 Type-C Gen 2, 1 x USB 2.0, HDMI 1.4b, Ethernet (RJ-45), headphone/microphone combo jack, microSD card reader, and security keyhole. The battery life is approx 12 hours, which is more than you would have expected from this system.
- Incredible RAM and storage capacity
- Sleek and sturdy design
- Affordable and cheap
- Lightweight and portable
- Superfast SSD
- Poor graphics quality
- Screen brightness not too good
5. Best for Apple Fanatics: Apple MacBook Pro
If you’ve been using ArcGIS or have knowledge about it, you must know that ArcGIS isn’t compatible with macOS. If an Apple MacBook is something you NEED then as suggested on the ArcGIS Blog, you can install it using Boot Camp (Basically installing Windows OS on Apple MacBooks on which you’ll be running the ArcGIS software.)
The Apple MacBook Pro is a perfect machine for multiple kinds of purposes and high-end software. Not only the design is unique, but everything about it is stunning visually and technically.
Like mentioned above, you won’t be able to run ArcGIS or ArcGIS pro on the Apple MacBooks by default, to install it you’ll need to install Windows OS on the machine using Boot camp. So if you’re not looking forward to performing a few extra steps, then this isn’t a device for you!
You can expect a powerhouse from this apple machine with a powerful 3.2GHz Apple M1 8-Core processor.
Also, the 13.3-inch full HD display gives an impeccable visual quality with vibrant colors and brightness. The Macbook Pro has 8GB of RAM and 512GB SSD storage capacity. Well, it is quite enough for high-end software and you can save tons and tons of files and data all day long. Macbooks have been given the SSD drive for faster speed and better performance.
Undoubtedly, battery life is the highlight of this machine. It gives a straight 17 hours of continuous charge all day long for the greater good. One of the most attractive features of the laptop is the touch bar. Instead of the function keys, the touch bar allows you to handle all your applications through it very easily.
The fingerprint security is something you would appreciate since it works brilliantly. It has got two Thunderbolt 4 (Type C), USB 3.1 (Gen 2) port for charging, and a DisplayPort for connectivity options. Apple laptops are a bit expensive, and so is this, but totally worth it!
- Amazing Display
- Touch ID
- Fast SSD storage
- Fluid macOS
- Durable and stylish design
- Dependable battery
- Need to Install Boot Camp and Windows
- Storage isn’t upgradeable
6. Best with Dual Storage: Acer Predator Helios 300
With an incredible Intel core i7 processor, unmatched speed and performance of the system make it favorable for ArcGIS. Also, with a remarkable turbo boost technology that goes up to 3.8GHz, the speed goes even higher and better. This laptop has a 15.6-inch full HD widescreen IPS display for brighter and high-quality images on the screen.
For Storage, it has been equipped with 16GB DDR4 memory double of what we had recommended running the software smoothly. Furthermore, the immense storage capacity i.e. 256GB SSD and 1TB HDD, making this a perfect combo for all your files and data.
For the GIS students, this could be a great system to go for since battery life is a killer. It can run straight for more than 7 hours depending on the usage. It provides an immersive graphics experience as it is equipped with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card that has a capacity of 6GB. Enjoy the most realistic and visual experience like ever before for GIS work.
It weighs about 5.95 pounds which is a bit heavier than most of the modern laptops you will come across, but it can be carried around. Also, it has a backlit keyboard to write during the night times.
On the connectivity front, it contains 2 x USB 2.0, 1 x USB 3.0, 1 x SUB 3.1 Gen 1 ports, along with USB Type- C port. The overall cost of this machine is justified, so you can totally look forward to the best performance.
- Affordable and study
- Great battery life
- Quality Made and durable
- Perfect cooling system
- Incredible storage capacity
- Heavier than estimated
- USB C does not feature thunderbolt 3
7. Best from Razer: Razer Blade 15
The Razer Blade 15 is the world’s smallest high-performance laptops that is also suitable for GIS students. We tested around 12 different GIS software including the ArcGIS 10, Pro, QGIS 3, gVSIG, etc. This line might sound like a sales pitch, but it isn’t one, “With an impeccable solid aluminum design and a thin sturdy body, you can achieve the impossible.”
It runs on an 8th gen Intel 6-core i7 processor, providing accuracy and power to the system. The system is ready for all your workloads like simultaneously playing, streaming, and recording gameplay. Also, it has a 15.6” Full HD edge-to-edge display is factory calibrated for accuracy and flanked by class-leading 4.9mm thin bezels, pushing the visual experience to the edge.
For a responsive performance, it has been given a memory of 16GB RAM and a storage capacity of 128GB SSD + 1TB HDD for saving all your files and data. You can even expand the memory up to 32GB RAM for extra speed and power.
Just like ther other laptops from Razer, you can use this machine to play the latest games, do video editing, photo editing, and more. It has been equipped with amazing frame rates by the VR Ready NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 graphics with Max-Q design and 6GB of video memory.
This laptop offers a smooth and precise large glass touchpad for all your GIS-related work and learning. Moving on, the single backlit keyboard has over 16.8 million colors available for a rich experience. Now enjoy every bit of your system using the Razer Synapse 3 which will help you to customize lighting to improve performance.
Additionally, the connectivity options include Microphone/headphone combo port, 3 x USB 3.1 ports, HDMI 2.0, Mini Displayport 1.4, Kensington lock, Power port, Gigabit Ethernet, and Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) port.
The price is on an average range but could be a little too much if your budget is very low.
- Incredible processor with Turbo boost
- Upgradable RAM
- VR Ready graphics card
- Backlit keyboard with million colors
- Multiple connectivity options
- Battery Life not good enough
- Slightly Expensive
8. Best from Dell: Dell G5 15
The Dell G5 15 laptop is yet another fabulous laptop in the G5 series by Dell for all students pursuing GIS as their career. Well, no doubt this is an affordable laptop for ArcGIS to provide smooth functioning. It runs on a processing powerhouse latest 8th gen Intel core i7 processor that can be turbo boosted to 3.9GHz. With a 15.6-inch screen display experience the true colors and stunning clarity and superior color richness thanks to the IPS FHD.
On the storage front, this laptop has been given a 16GB RAM memory along with 128GB SSD + 1TB HDD. All your storage needs and the need for the fastest storage drive have been fulfilled with the SSD drive. Also, it loads apps or data faster, runs your machine faster, stretches battery life and improves shock resistance. Moreover, this laptop has an expandable memory for up to 32GB which you can purchase separately.
On the graphics front, you can rely on the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti with 4GB GDDR5 video graphics memory, providing clear and detailed gameplay. The backlit keyboard with dedicated numpad has been made with precision with multiple layers of reinforcement and 1.4mm keystroke travel.
Some of the significant ways you can connect this laptop with other devices or networks are Headphone/Mic, SS USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-As, Thunderbolt 3 Port (USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C with support for 40Gbps), HDMI 2.0 | 5. Noble Lock Security Slot, Power, Gigabit Ethernet RJ45, SuperSpeed USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-A, 2-in-1 SD / MicroMedia Card.
- Excellent processor with turbo boost
- Incredible and upgradable memory
- Much better graphics
- Affordable and sturdy
- Tons of connectivity options
- Bulky and heavy
- Not a great battery life
9. Best for Portability: Asus VivoBook S
The Asus VivoBook S is the thinnest and lightest laptop that you will find in this price range. It has been built with good precision and the design is incredible. With an 8th Gen i7 processor you can achieve exceptional speed and power-packed performance.
For continuous hours of usage, this can be the best laptop for all the students in their career in GIS. Also, the small 14-inch Full HD Wide-view display is like a dream to have a screen smaller than usual. It has a 178 degrees wide view and Asus NanoEdge bezel for a stunning 77% screen to body ratio.
For speed and accuracy, it runs on 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD to provide you with a decent quality memory and tons of space. The design is completely unexpected since the body is solid metal and weighs only 3.2 pounds, hardly any other laptop has such a lightweight making it travel-friendly notebook.
This laptop has a width of only 12.8 inches making the thinnest of them all. It will be much easier for you to carry around with you along with your classes. The backlit keyboard and fingerprint sensor speaks for itself. Also, the battery power has been good enough to work for around 6-7 hours, not the best but surely decent enough.
Speaking on the connectivity front, we have 1x USB 3.1 Type-C (Gen1); 1x USB 3.0; 2x USB 2.0; Dual-Band 802.11AC Wi-Fi; Bluetooth 4.2; 1x HDMI; SD card reader; 1x Headphone-out & Audio-in Combo Jack.
- Great battery life
- Thinnest and lightest body
- Smaller and wider screen display
- Affordable and cheap
- Excellent keyboard design
- Wifi issues
- Loud fan noise
10. Best Ultrabook: Microsoft Surface Pro 6
Firstly, it has a 1.3GHz Intel Core i5 8400T processor decent enough for all your ArcGIS software. Works perfectly fine and speeds up the system as needed. The touchscreen display size is about 12.3 inches not likely similar to what we see, making it rich in colors and very handy. Moreover, it can be put in multiple positions such as in Tablet mode, laptop, etc.
The best part is the design of this machine. It weighs only 1.96 pounds, the lightest among all we have mentioned and easy to be carried around. Also, it runs on 8GB RAM and 128GB storage capacity with a precise and much faster SSD drive. This is more of a tablet than a laptop since you will need to buy the stylus and the keyboard separately which won’t cost much.
With an incredible battery life of over 13 hours can make your work go for an entire day without another charge. There haven’t been any issues of overheating as well since Microsoft has taken care of it pretty well.
The only disadvantage you can experience is that it has limited connectivity options. Such as 1 USB 3.0 port and an SD card reader as well. This is pretty much it apart from the charging port. So, if you aren’t thinking of connecting it with any external device except for the USB, you are good to go.
- Affordable and durable
- Superb build quality and design
- Portable and lightweight
- Excellent battery life
- 2-in-1 accessibility
- Limited connectivity ports
- Expensive stylus
This is everything you need to know about ArcGIS and the best-suited laptops for GIS systems and tools like ArcGIS, ArcGIS pro, ArcReader. Well, this may be new to those who are unaware of the term. But the list of perfect for you to select the best laptop if you have chosen a career in GIS. There are tons of laptops out there, and frankly, not all of them are worth spending money on. So instead of wasting time, stick to the list.
It will save you money and also loads of your time. There are some highly affordable options as well if you are a little tight on your budget. But if that is not an issue you can go for the best option as mentioned in the list. MacBook, Acer Predator Helios 300, Asus laptops, etc are some of the best options. All of the options are highly curated and have been well-reviewed just for your benefit.
Furthermore, we understand that it may be a little too difficult to pick up the right option every time. This is why all you need to do is leave a comment below with all your requirements and queries so that we can pick out the best option for you.