This article will help you choose the best laptop for astronomy, the best laptop for astronomers and the best laptops for astrophotography. If you find this article worthwhile to read, we humbly ask you to like and share this article in return for our hours of research.
Let us be clear, none of us are astronomers or astrophotographers. But we have an enormous experience in finding the best laptops for almost any purpose. You could say how can you suggest us the best laptop for astronomy or astrophotography if you are not an astronomer or an astrophotographer. That is a fair question to ask. Let us explain how.
We started out by researching what an astronomer or an astrophotographer has to deal with in terms of computing needs. We then came across a really helpful page that has a database of popular astronomy software widely used by both astronomers and astrophotographers.
We visited each of those software pages to find out what their system requirements are to install and easily operate them. We then came up with our spec recommendation that would be optimal of ANY of those astronomy software. Below are some of the software specific requirements we went through to make our own recommendation.
- Go here to see system requirement on a laptop for Starry Night
- Go here to see system requirement on a laptop for MaxIm DL
- Go here to see system requirement on a laptop for Stellarium
After going over those and many other programs, we came up with our own suggested system configuration for almost any program.
Most astronomy software suggests “at least” 2GB of Memory and sometimes even less than that. From our experience, it is not so intelligent to settle for 2GB of memory. Forget astronomy, you will not be able to properly browse Facebook on the laptops with that kind of memory. We suggest not to buy any laptop that has less than 6GB memory. That will be more sensible if you will work on multiple photos simultaneously or watch 3D sky, planetary system, stars or constellation.
A laptop cannot be best for astronomy if it cannot process your inputs. A decent processor is absolutely important on a laptop for astronomers. While minimum requirement is often listed on the low end, it will be naive if your laptop for astrophotography does not have at least Intel i5 or at least AMD A8 processor. A CPU is basically the lifeblood to run any computer efficiently.
You can assume any laptop on the market today has enough storage to store your photos and projects. What you cannot assume is that all laptops will have SSDs on them. Although laptops with HDD are still around, laptops with SSDs are gaining popularity exponentially. HDDs are loud and less efficient than SSDs. In addition, SSD laptops reboots faster, is less noisy and is less vulnerable to mechanical failures. It is safe to assume the SSD technology will become standard few years from now. Thus, while not compulsory, getting a laptop with SSD storage is a wise decision.
Most integrated graphic cards on any computers are alright as long as they support openGL. But, you should aim for higher end GPU if your budget allows. That will make more sense if you work mostly on 3D projects.
Although not technically a requirement, it makes sense to get a laptop with good resolution to use for astronomy or astrophotography. Although most laptops out there already has good screen resolution even for the lowest price, you should aim for a laptop with better screen resolution if your budget allows. What good is your photography or project if you cannot watch it without putting strain on your eyes?
While we found some astronomy software that supports older operating systems, we don’t know why would you not get the laptop with latest operating system. Also, many program support 32bit OS but we recommend you to get one with 64Bit operating system. Same recommendation applies for MacBook if Windows laptop isn’t what you are looking for.
Now without wasting any time, let us show you a list full of best laptops for astronomy and the best laptops for astrophotographers. We will then review 3 of them in more detail.
Best Laptops For Astrophotography, Astronomers 2017
|Laptop Model||RAM | CPU | Storage | Display||Price|
|Acer Aspire E 15*||8GB | Intel® i5 | 256GB SSD | 15.6″-FHD||Under $600|
|ASUS UX303UB*||12GB | Intel® i7 | 512GB SSD | 13.3″-QHD||Under $1500|
|MacBook Pro*||Different Options Available||Under $1500|
|HP ENVY 13-ab016nr||8GB | Intel® i5 | 256GB SSD | 13.3″-FHD||Under $800|
|Acer Aspire VX 15||16GB | Intel® i7 | 256GB SSD | 15.6″-FHD||Under $1000|
|ASUS ZX53VW||8GB | Intel® i5 | 512GB SSD | 15.6″-FHD||Under $800|
|Lenovo Flex 4, 2-in-1||8GB | Intel® i7 | 256GB SSD | 15.6″-FHD||Under $900|
|Surface Book||Different Options Available||$900+|
|ASUS F556UA-AB54||8GB | Intel® i5 | 256GB SSD | 15.6″-FHD||Under $600|
|Dell Inspiron 15 5000||8GB | Intel® i5 | 1TB HDD | 15.6″-FHD||Under $500|
*Editor’s Choice and Reviewed below
Acer Aspire E15 – Best Laptop for Astronomy and Astrophotography
There are many good things about this laptop that prompted us to choose this laptop as the best laptop for astronomers as well as the best laptop for astrophotographers.
Specs of Acer Aspire E15 and why we believe it is the best budget laptop for Astronomy.
RAM: The Acer Aspire E15 has memory of 8GB DDR4 RAM. While that does not sound like a whole lot, 8GB RAM will be perfect for multitasking. Whichever software you use, 8GB will be enough to help you work on multiple projects and photos at once.
Processor: The Acer Aspire E15 comes with a powerful Intel® i5 processor. Unlike many other laptops, it has the latest 7th generation Intel® i5 processor.
Storage: Acer Aspire has 256GB of SSD storage. That will give you ample space to store your complex astro-photographs and projects.
Price: We don’t know what your budget is but if it is on the lower end, you are on luck. While this laptop is powerful and beautiful, it is available for an affordable price of under $600.
GPU: This is actually a gaming laptop with spectacular battery life. It comes with a dedicated GPU that can handle complex 3D projects. The GPU installed in this laptop is NVIDIA GTX 940Mx.
Display: The Acer Aspire E 15 comes with a beautiful FHD display on a 15.6″ screen. This is very useful for astrophotography.
ASUS ZenBook UX303UB – Best Laptop For Astrophotography and Astronomy
It did not take us too long to choose the ASUS ZenBook UX303UB as the best laptop for Astrophotography. While we do not have any idea what stage of career are you on, we do know regardless of your expertise in sky science, this is going to be an optimal laptop for you!
Specs of ASUS ZenBook UX303UB and why we believe it is a very good laptop for constellation photography
RAM: The ASUS ZenBook UX303UB 12GB of ample memory. 12GB RAM will make sure you will be able to able to open and edit multiple projects and photos simultaneously without compromising the performance. This is optimal for astronomy as well as astrophotography.
Processor: The ASUS ZenBook UX303UB has a powerful Intel® i7 processor. That will always come handy when you are using the laptop for complex projects.
Storage: The ASUS ZenBook UX303UB has 512GB of SSD storage. That is more than enough for ANY astrophotography or astronomy software out there.
Portability & Ease of Use: This laptop is pretty slim and weighs just 3.2 lbs. That assures portability of this laptop. This laptop also has backlit keyboard enabling you to use the laptop in any setting including in the pitch dark.
GPU: The ASUS ZenBook UX303UB laptop has NVIDIA GTX 940M pre-installed in it. Anytime you are processing 3D images or navigating 3D sky view, you will quickly realize the wise decision you made b purchasing this laptop for astrophotography.
Display: The ASUS ZenBook UX303UB has a 13.3″ QHD screen. That is more than crystal clear and will come in handy every time you do something on the laptop.
What if you prefer MacBook over the Windows Laptops?
If you prefer MacBook for astronomy or astrophotography over Windows laptops, that shouldn’t be a complicated issue for you. Most programs are compatible on the Mac OSX and you will not have any problems performance wise. While there are many different models of MacBook that can cost as high as several thousands of dollars, you can settle in for the most basic latest version of the MacBook pro for astronomy.
Now that we listed several and reviewed some of the laptops you can use for astronomy, we would like to remind you again to be careful about RAM memory and processor. Easiest and safest thing for you to do is stick with one of the laptop from our list. You can’t go wrong with them! And please like and share this article!
This Article Address:
- Best laptops for astronomy 2017
- Best laptops for Astrophotography 2017