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Laptop/Ultrabook for casual SW use (Dell/Windows/Lenovo)

Question asked by Oli Sparrow on Jul 17, 2017
Latest reply on Sep 13, 2017 by Stephen Copeland

Hi all,

At work I use a Dell Precision 5810, which works just fine, and I can always work on personal stuff on my breaks if I need to.

However I'm trying to replace my iMac and old old iPad at home with a laptop.

My requirements whittled down:

  • Slim, Light, ultraportable and solid
  • QHD screen for films etc.
  • Capable of HDMi out (with or without adaptor) for using larger monitor
  • Capable of really casual Solidworks modelling; for example if I wanted to draw up a new something or other for me to build at home, refresh my product design portfolio (assemblies up to 40 parts max.) or just mess around with surfacing techniques for fun etc.

Bonus Requirements:

  • 2in1/flip around screen for tablet mode for sketching, reading in bed, that sort of thing


I'm looking at

  • Dell XPS 13, i7, 16Gb RAM, Intel HD Graphics 620, 256 SSD (Averages arounf £1500)
  • 2in1 version of the above - £300 more expensive so might not be an option (Averages arounf £1700)
  • Windows Surface Book, similar spec much more expensive so i5, 8Gb, 512 SSD (Averages around £1500)
  • Lenovo Yoga 910, i7, 16Gb RAM, Intel HD Graphics 620, 256 SSD (Averages around £1450)


I love the design of the Dell although haven't had a chance to use a 2in1 demo model

Love the design of the Surface book and it has the detachable tablet + comes with the pen which is a bonus

Like the idea of the Yoga but haven't seen one in the flesh yet.


While I'm trying to figure out if I really need touch or not, it'd be good to know if people here have had any experiences with these running Solidworks.  As mentioned it will be very light work and all files will be saved in cloud storage rather than on the HD.  It'll be a portable family machine for home that I would like to be able to model on if I felt like it.