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If you’re into astrophotography, then you need a good laptop to get the best out of what you do. With the right tools, you will be able to accomplish much more than being a simple hobbyist or a part timer.
In a hurry?
Here’s our Editor’s choice:
Acer Aspire 5
Though we’re not astronomers, we do have the expertise in finding the best laptops for astrophotography.
After countless hours of research, there are a handful of laptops that are great for astrophotographers.
Without wasting any of your time, let’s get into it.
Best Laptop For Astrophotography (Editor’s Choice) – Acer Aspire 5
Acer’s Aspire series has given us some amazing machines and today we’re going to take a look at one laptop that is going to make life so much easier for astrophotographers.
The best laptop for astrophotography is Acer Aspire 5 slim laptop. With its specs and price, it is hard to beat this laptop in terms of the value it brings to the table.
One of the major advantages of this model is that you can customize the specs to fit your needs and your budget. If you can’t afford the specs we recommend then you can change a bit here and there to get something within your budget.
Let’s talk about the design of the Acer Aspire 5. The design language is very similar to what we’ve seen in the past with Aspire models. Nothing much has improved but if it’s not broken why fix it, right?
The laptop comes in black and though it is made up of plastic, it doesn’t feel that cheap or plasticky. Though the laptop is durable you may want to be a bit more careful around it.
The keyboard on this laptop is a pretty good one. It comes with excellent travel and offers you a solid typing experience. The keyboard is also backlit making it available for use in dark situations which is perfect for astrophotography.
The trackpad is decent and gets the job done. It comes with support for Windows gestures and that’s pretty much it.
The Acer Aspire 5 laptop is not a portable laptop by any means. This is not an ultrabook so you’re not getting a slim or a sleek laptop. This model here weighs around 4.5 pounds and that’s in line with what laptops in this category weigh.
The display in this laptop is a 15.6″ one with a full HD resolution. With full HD resolution, the laptop provides you with excellent colors and vibrancy. You will enjoy the picture quality, thanks to the excellent contrast ratio.
The screen is perfect for watching movies and tv shows. The IPS panel underneath makes this display a good one for media consumption. You get very good viewing angles which are pretty important for astrophotography.
There is no lack of processing power in the Acer Aspire 5 model.
We have an Intel Core i7 processor that drives this laptop. This Intel Core i7 8565U processor is a low voltage quad-core processor that comes with a maximum clock speed of 4.6GHz which is more power than you’ll ever need as an astronomer.
This is one of the best processors in the 8th gen of Intel chips and it handles all your astrophotography software without any hiccup whatsoever.
The processor gets good support from the memory department. We have 12 gigs of DDR4 type RAM which is more than the 8GB RAM we recommend for astrophotography laptops.
This memory allows smooth operation of astrophotography software which is perfect. This RAM also gives you the freedom to run many apps simultaneously without any performance issues.
What do you get for storage in the Acer Aspire 5? We have 256 gigs of storage space in the form on a solid state drive. Having an SSD over a traditional hard drive does make a lot of things better on a daily basis.
The solid state drive boots up the operating system in just a few seconds. You don’t feel a system slowdown of any kind and that’s mostly because of the SSD. Having an HDD would have made things a lot worse.
The graphics card in the Acer Aspire 5 laptop is an Nvidia GeForce MX250 GPU. This is an entry-level graphics card and comes with a dedicated memory of 2GB GDDR5 VRAM.
In terms of computing power, this is not the best GPU you’re going to find on the market. But for what we do, this GPU should be more than enough. Astrophotography is perfect with this GPU in place and that’s all we need.
If you’re a gamer, you might be able to do some mid-range gaming at best. If you’re planning to play some high-end games, prepare to be disappointed.
One of the best features of this laptop is its battery life. With regular use, the laptop can last for about 9.5 hours which is pretty impressive considering its price.
Even with some heavy load, the laptop should last for about 6 hours which is awesome. It gives you all the freedom you want when you’re out there exploring the space in all its glory.
There are a lot of connectivity options in the Acer Aspire 5 laptop. There is a USB 3.1 type C port, a couple of USB 3.1 gen A ports, a USB 2.0 port, an HDMI port and also a headphone jack. As you would expect, the laptop comes with built-in WiFi and Bluetooth as well.
Overall, the Acer Aspire 5 is a great laptop for astrophotographers. If you’re looking for the best laptop for astrophotography, then look no further if you’re a Windows guy.
Best Laptop For Astrophotographers (Mac) – MacBook Air
The 2019 MacBook Air is the best mac for people interested in astrophotography.
If you’re someone who loves using Macs more than Windows, then you need to get an Apple laptop that fits your needs like a glove.
The MacBook Pros are a bit overkill when it comes to astrophotography. That’s why we’ve gone with the MacBook Air. It comes with enough power and doesn’t cost you as much as the Pro lineup.
The MacBook Air is a durable machine that you can take outside without any problem. It might look like a slender piece of machinery but looks can be a bit deceiving in this case.
The MacBook Air is also very light so carrying it around will not be a problem of any kind.
The keyboard on the MacBook Air gets mixed reactions from the crowd. Some feel that it doesn’t come with any travel whatsoever while some don’t mind the less key travel.
In our opinion, the keyboard takes some getting used to. But when you get used to it, your typing experience will be a lot better and you’ll churn out more words per minute.
The trackpad on this laptop is one of its best features. The trackpad is huge and comes with a super smooth surface. The macOS gestures are awesome and this trackpad does well to take user input promptly without missing any.
The display on this laptop is amazing and is one of the best ones you’re going to find on a laptop. The 13.3″ display comes with what Apple calls Retina resolution. This is somewhat closet to the QHD resolution and fills your screen with millions of pixels.
The image quality is brilliant and you get true-to-life colors. The contrast ratio is awesome and the deep blacks are a treat to watch. If you like watching movies on your laptop, then you’ll have a ton of fun with this Apple laptop.
The viewing angles on this laptop are great. The laptop can also get really bright which means you can take this one out with you even in bright sunlight and you’ll still be able to see the content on the screen.
How powerful is the MacBook Air?
Don’t be fooled by the slimness of the MacBook Air. It comes packed with an Intel Core i5 processor that has a maximum clocking frequency in upwards of 4GHz. This is only a dual-core processor but it does some amazing things.
Handling your everyday tasks will not be a problem as this laptop will plow through it without any issues. The laptop comes with 8 gigs of DDR4 type RAM that comes in handy at times of multitasking.
If you’re going to use Safari as your web browser, then this RAM will take good care of you. Not that other browser will underperform, but your experience in Safari will be a lot better.
The MacBook Air comes with a 256GB solid state drive. Having a solid state drive on your laptop makes a world of difference to the way you use your laptop. Everything is snappy and you don’t have to wait longer when opening applications.
Unlike the Acer Aspire 5 laptop, the MacBook Air does not come with a dedicated graphics card. It comes with Intel UHD graphics and to be honest, it is more than enough for most users in the astrophotography line.
Most software that astrophotographers use will run fine with this Intel UHD graphics card. If you’re a gamer, then you’re out of luck as this is a Mac and it’s not that great for gaming. You already knew that, don’t you?
One of the best things about the MacBook Air is its battery life. With regular use, you should be able to get around 10+ hours of battery life which is just fantastic.
Even if you’re going to be some processor-intensive work, you should still be able to get at least 6 to 7 hours of battery life which should come in handy when you are outdoors.
Overall, the MacBook Air is a solid option for people interested in astrophotography. If you prefer Macs over Windows laptops, then this one is a no brainer.
Honorable Mention – ASUS TUF FX505DT
The ASUS TUF FX505DT is an entry-level gaming laptop that is equipped to handle astrophotography.
If you love astrophotography and also love to game, then this laptop here should be a good option.
The ASUS TUF FX505DT is a gaming laptop that doesn’t cost you a lot of money. It comes with all the hardware you need for a satisfying gaming experience and delivers it without disappointments.
The display on the ASUS TUF FX505DT is a 15.6″ one and comes with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. This full HD screen is great with colors and you get excellent pictures as well.
But the real killer here is the refresh rate. The display has a 120Hz refresh rate and it just makes your game much more fluid. Every simple movement you see on the screen is super smooth and makes your user experience much better.
Being a gaming laptop, the ASUS TUF FX505DT is not that portable. If you don’t mind carrying a bulky laptop around, it shouldn’t be a problem.
The keyboard on this laptop is one of the best ones we’ve seen on a Windows laptop. The keys come with excellent travel and almost feel like mechanical keys which is a great complement for a laptop keyboard.
The keys come with backlighting which should be useful at dark times. The trackpad is pretty good and comes with Windows gestures support.
The ASUS TUF FX505DT comes equipped with an AMD Ryzen 5 processor. This is a quad-core processor that comes with a maximum clock speed in upwards of 3.5GHz. The processor also has a cache memory of 8MB which should come in handy.
There are 8 gigs of RAM in the memory slots and they should allow you to multitask without any problem. You can run multiple applications at the same time without facing any system slowdowns.
With 256 gigs of storage space in the solid state drive, there should be enough space for you to play with. The solid state drive is a good choice over the traditional hard drive and it does make things a lot better.
The ASUS TUF FX505DT laptop comes with a ton of connectivity options. There is a couple of USB 3.1 gen A ports, a USB 3.0 port, an HDMI port, an Ethernet port, and a headphone jack. The lack of a USB type C is disappointing, to be honest.
The graphics card in the ASUS TUF FX505DT is an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 GPU. This is a mid-range GPU and comes with 4 gigs of dedicated memory which should be enough for most astrophotography software and a ton of mid-range and upper mid-range games.
There are a lot of good things in the ASUS TUF FX505DT laptop that makes it one of the best laptops for astrophotography. If you are looking for a budget gaming laptop for your stargazing needs, then this one is no slouch.
There are a ton of other options out there for you if you’re not interested in these models.
But with these laptops, you can go wrong.
We hope we helped you in finding the best laptop for your astrophotography needs. If not do let us know what else we can help you with.
Also, we’d love to hear your thoughts and comments. Please use the comment section below to let us know what you think.