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todd_bettenhausentodd_bettenhausen Member Posts: 8
Hello, first post here. I’ve just started dabbling with a free account on my iPad, with the goal of introducing Onshape to my employer. Due to the limitations of Onshape Mobile (no drawings), I’m looking for a good platform that won’t break the bank. Are any of the better Chromebooks suitable for running browser-based Onshape? Most of the Chromebook references here are from 2015-2016. How about any other current good choices that won’t break the bank? Thanks in advance for your help!


  • NeilCookeNeilCooke Moderator, Onshape Employees Posts: 3,182
    The deciding factor for chrome books is the graphics card (and RAM too). If you can go to your local computer store you can run https://cad.onshape.com/check to see the relative differences. 

    If somebody out there is using a chrome book and is happy with the performance can you post the results of the check here with the chrome book specs?  @paul_chastell
  • john_mcclaryjohn_mcclary Member, Developers Posts: 2,855 PRO
    I went to best buy a few times and tested Onshape on a lot of laptops before buying mine.

    They are usually mid range in the compatibility meter.

    And it really shows when rotating medium size models, I usually pull up the electric guitar model as a test (even that small model is very lagy to rotate), then a giant system installation that solidworks struggles with (still can handle it, but wouldn't want to do it for more than a shop viewer).

    It is very noticeable that chromebooks are not meant for CAD :)
    Rotation is very choppy on most chromebooks under these conditions.

    But if you are not worried about getting 60 frames / second and are ok with a little lag while rotating. Onshape does most of the heavy lifting on the server side. So you can still build giant models. They just open a little slower and are slow to rotate.

    You defiantly get what you pay for.
    You can also buy an eGPU unit and throw a desktop graphics card in it for your work station. But by that time your cost have risen to the price of a decent gaming computer 
  • paul_chastellpaul_chastell Onshape Employees Posts: 117
    I've got a PixelBook that I use for everything, including Onshape. Now, I will admit that I don't do a lot of intense work with large assemblies but I am happy with the performance. I would definitely suggest that you test drive Onshape on devices of interest if possible. Given that Onshape is online you may well be able to find demo models in store and log in there to test how it performs. Model rotation and other graphical update will not be affected by the store's internet connection.

    Paul Chastell / VP of R&D / Onshape Inc.
  • todd_bettenhausentodd_bettenhausen Member Posts: 8
    I decided to give this one a try. It has better integrated graphics than a MacBook Air. If it doesn’t run Onshape well enough, no Chromebook will. I’ll post the test results tomorrow and also impressions manipulating models.

    Acer Chromebook Spin 13 CP713-1WN-53NF 2-in-1 Convertible, 8th Gen Intel Core i5-8250U, 13.5" 2K Resolution Touchscreen, 8GB LPDDR3, 128GB eMMC, Backlit Keyboard, Aluminum Chassis https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07GD4CMDH/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_.HDYCbERZM7XJ
  • todd_bettenhausentodd_bettenhausen Member Posts: 8
    I don’t really know how much interest there is in this subject, but I did contact 3Dconnexion to inquire about 3DxWare support on Chrome OS. Being that it’s Linux-based, hopefully those tools can or will work. I should know more today.
  • john_mcclaryjohn_mcclary Member, Developers Posts: 2,855 PRO
    3dconnexion + linux is not maintained, doubt you will get much help :(
  • todd_bettenhausentodd_bettenhausen Member Posts: 8
    I know Linux apps can be installed on newer Chromebooks, so at the very least, I could try that to see if it works. If the Chromebook works well enough, it might be something they need to look at supporting, so I’m at least adding my voice.
  • todd_bettenhausentodd_bettenhausen Member Posts: 8
    Well, 3dconnexion never got back to me, so I punted. Sent the Chromebook back without opening it after finding a really good deal on a refurbished Dell Precision M5530 with a Xeon processor, 16 GB RAM, and Quadro P2000 graphics.  I’m sure that machine will destroy Onshape.
  • john_mcclaryjohn_mcclary Member, Developers Posts: 2,855 PRO
  • todd_bettenhausentodd_bettenhausen Member Posts: 8
    Here is the response I received from 3Dconnexion technical support. It doesn’t sound like support on Chromebooks is going to happen anytime soon:

    Dear Mr Bettenhausen,

    you can see all supported applications here: http://www.3dconnexion.com/solutions. As you can see is Onshape on Linux not supported.
    Additionally you are using a Linux distribution that we do not support officially. See here for the supported operating systems: http://www.3dconnexion.com/operatingsystems.

    Uta Schulze-Hädrich

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