Best 2-in-1, pen enabled Laptop for Rhino? MS SB2 vs. Dell XPS vs. HP Spectre vs. any other?

I know there are a ton of “what laptop should I buy” threads but i haven’t found any conclusive answer to my specific problem among them, so here it goes:

I need a new laptop urgently, since mine is dying on me. I work as an architect so I am on building sites often and need to be abled to walk around while looking at plans thus I really want a pen enabled 2-in-1. I want snappy 3D previews in shaded mode of complex models with lights and materials but I don’t do much actual rendering - if needed i don’t mind waiting for a while.

I’m looking into things like the Surface Book 2, the Dell XPS 15 or the HP Spectre x360 but i am totally lost on what to choose, especially on the GPU side of things! As always you can find people telling you a specific laptop is the greatest they ever used, while others will tell you it is crap for some reason.

I could currently get a used Surface Book 2, 15", i7, 16gb, GTX 1060 6gb for 2200.- bucks. I like the SB2 for its detachable display and rear Camera but am not sure if it is a good choice for Rhino at all!

Any help and input would be greatly appreciated! What would you choose, is there an option I’m missing completely and what specs do i really need?

Unless I’m mistaken the XPS is not a true 2in1.
If you had budget for new i’d go for the SB, last time I looked it was the best of those 3.
Lenovo have some 2in1’s that are work a look; remember that CPU (GHz) is king.

Allright - thanks for the input. Well budget is always a topic, especially with MS charging a premium, but as mentioned i can get one at about 1/3 of price (same config sells for 3200.- here in Switzerland).

The new XPS actually is a true pen-enabled 2-in-1:
However it apparently has lackluster battery performance and super noisy fans, and that’s never fun.

The only thing really holding me back from the SB2 is the lack of Thunder Bolt 3 and thus the inability to add an external GPU in case I ever want to get into heavy rendering!

1 Like

Bear in mind that in the Surface the Nvidia GPU is in the keyboard half so if you detach and just carry the tablet you are stuck with the Intel one. I don’t have any experience of the other makes, but worth checking whether there are similar constraints.

Yeah - i know. An apparently you actually have to shut down all applications that depend on the Nvidia GPU (like Rhino) to be able to detach and then restart them on the Intel again! I am currently leaning towards the brand-new HP Spectre with hexa-core i7, 16gb, GTX1050Ti, 4k display and Thunderbolt 3. Bought new it is about 800.- cheaper than the SB2.

The Battery life might not be as stellar as on the SB2 and it doesnt look as sexy in tablet mode, but you always get the full power and also the overall components are newer (except for the 1050Ti vs. the 1060 in the SB2)

Also I think the officially supported pen has pretty bad reviews - I-m using an XPS 13 convertible and gave up on the idea of the pen based on the reviews.

…of course there is also the HP Z Book Studio x360 where HP actually puts a Rhino Logo on the Product page and that offers Quadro Graphics! But thats just another 700.- bucks more and since the whole GTX vs. Quadro discussion is does not seem very conclusive to me I don’t see a reason to shell out even more for that.