If you are an astronomer looking for the best laptops for astrophotography or the best laptops for astronomy, our guide will help you make the right decision.

Our recommendations can run astrophotography and astronomy software like Stellarium, Starry Night Pro, Maxlm, SGP, Ascom, PHD2 and PixInsight without burning a hole in your pocket. We’ve chosen laptops with the right processors, graphics, RAM and storage.  A good laptop for astrophotography will be an excellent addition to your astrophotography equipment.

Our picks are adequate for data acquisition and image processing and storage. So whether you need a laptop for imaging planets or deep sky imaging, this article will put you on the right track. 

Best Laptops for Astrophotography at a Glance

No. Item  
1 Lenovo ThinkPad E580 Check Price on Amazon
2 Dell Latitude E7470 Check Price on Amazon
3 HP 15-CE198WM Check Price on Amazon
4 Dell Inspiron 15 5000 Check Price on Amazon
5 Lenovo Legion Y520 Check Price on Amazon
6 Dell Inspiron 15 7000 Check Price on Amazon
7 HP Spectre x360 13T Gemcut  Check Price on Amazon
8 ASUS Vivobook K571 Check Price on Amazon
9 Alienware m17 Gaming Laptop Check Price on Amazon

 

Things to Look out for When Buying a Laptop for Astrophotography

  • You need a hard drive with ample storage, especially if you’ll be downloading and storing lots of planetary images. So a 256GB or 512GB storage will be a good start.
  • We recommend an SSD because it enhances speedy transfer of camera images.
  • At least 4GB of RAM. However, we recommended more RAM (16GB, for instance), so you can process your images effortlessly.
  • The laptop must have USB 3.0 ports for connectivity.
  • Go for a laptop with a high screen resolution.
  • A large screen is also recommended. 13’’ is a good option to begin with.
  • Windows laptops are preferred. Most post processing software are available on Windows.
  • At least an Intel Core i7 laptop (if you’ll process your images on a laptop). Core i3 for image acquisition only.
  • Go for a laptop with a good battery life – At least 7 or 8 hours on a single charge. This reduces your chances of moving about with heavy external batteries.

Other Add-ons You Might Need

1. Lenovo ThinkPad E580

best laptops for astrophotography

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PROS

  • Excellent build
  • Great performance
  • Good internals
  • Very good keyboard

CONS

  • Display could be improved
  • Average battery life

Lenovo ThinkPad E580 Key Specifications

  • Display: 15.6-inch Full HD, 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • CPU: Intel 8th Generation Core i7-8550U
  • GPU: Intel UHD Graphics 620
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Storage: 512GB SSD
  • Size: 14.5 x 9.9 x 0.8 inches (368.3 x 251.46 x 20.32 mm)
  • Weight: 4.7 pounds (2.13 kg)
  • Operating System: Windows 10
  • Battery: 45 Wh

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The Lenovo ThinkPad E580 is a powerful mid-range laptop with components capable of tackling astrophotography-related tasks – from imaging to processing of images. It has a 15.6-inch Full HD display with 1920 x 1080 resolution. The E580 has a variant with a 1366 x 768 screen. This low-res model is not good enough for astrophotography.

Weighing 4.7 pounds (2.13 kg) and measuring 368.3mm by 251.46mm by 20.32 mm, the laptop isn’t really thin. It is not light, either.

The ThinkPad E580’s internals consist of Intel Core i7 processors, 16 GB of RAM and 512 GB storage. As for graphics, it is powered by Intel UHD Graphics 620. There is a Core i5 model, however we do not recommend this for post processing of images. The Intel Core i5 variant is ideal for data acquisition.

The laptop’s backlit keyboard has incredibly responsive keys. On the keyboard, you’ll find a dedicated numeric keypad. The backlit keys are perfect for astronomers and makes working in poorly lit environments hassle-free.

For connectivity, port selection is wide. On the left side, you’ll find two USB 3.1 Type-A connectors, a USB Type-C port for charging, HDMI out, and an audio jack. The right edge holds a a microSD card reader, USB 2.0 port, and an Ethernet port. The biggest drawback here is the absence of a Thunderbolt 3 port.

If you enjoy listening to music while processing your images on a laptop, the ThinkPad E580 has good speakers that produce great sound, so you shouldn’t have a problem.

Lenovo packed in a reasonable 45 watt-hours of battery capacity into the ThinkPad E580 chassis. It is worth noting, as well, that the battery lasts for nearly 9  hours on a charge while performing tasks like browsing the web, playing music, and using  Word software simultaneously. This contradicts the 13-hour claim on the box.

Nonetheless, the Lenovo ThinkPad E580 remains one of the best laptops for astrophotography.

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2. Dell Latitude E7470

best laptops for astrophotography

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PROS

  • Solid build
  • Impressive display
  • Outstanding overall performance
  • Excellent battery life
  • Responsive keyboard

CONS

  • Speakers aren’t word-class

Dell Latitude E7470 Key Specifications 

  • Display: 14-inch FHD display
  • CPU: Intel Core i7
  • GPU: Intel HD Graphics 520
  • RAM: 16 GB
  • Storage: 256 GB
  • Size: 13.2 x 9.3 x 0.7 inches (335.28 x 236.22 x 17.78 mm)
  • Weight: 4.3 pounds (1.95 kg)
  • Operating System: Windows 10 Pro
  • Battery: 55 Wh

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The Dell Latitude E7470 isn’t the best-looking laptop, however, it sports a 14-inch Full HD panel which boasts bright and crisp pictures.

It will weigh your bag down to the tune of 4.3 pounds (1.95 kg), and occupies 335.28mm by 236.22mm by 17.78 mm of space. It is lighter than the Lenovo ThinkPad E580 which weighs 4.7 pounds.

The laptop is packed with Intel hardware. Precisely, Intel a Core i7 processor is tucked inside. The Latitude pairs an Intel HD Graphics 520 with 256GB of storage and 16GB of RAM. The processor/RAM combo makes the laptop very fast. It is indeed one of the best laptops for astrophotography.

The Latitude E7470 has a robust security system, the Trusted Platform Mode (TPM), which ensures your documents are not compromised.

Port selection is generous but their location isn’t the best. Most of the ports can be found in the back. That said, the laptop has two USB 3.0 ports, HDMI port, mini DisplayPort and Ethernet jack. The E7470 also sports a headphone/mic jack, an SD card slot, a SIM port and a third USB 3.0 input. Just know: You won’t find a USB Type-C port on the E7470.

The Latitude E7470 comes with Windows 10 Pro OS which is compatible with most astrophotography software.

You can get a full 9 hours from the battery, without getting energy anxious. The Dell Latitude E7470 is highly recommended as one of the best laptops for astrophotography.

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3. HP 15-CE198WM

best laptops for astrophotography

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PROS

  • Fast processor
  • Impressive sound
  • Excellent display
  • Responsive keyboard

CONS

  • Average battery life

 

HP 15-CE198WM  Key Specifications

  • Display: 15.6-inch FHD IPS, 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • CPU:  Intel Core i7-8750H
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Graphics
  • RAM: 16 GB
  • Storage: 1 TB + 256 GB SSD
  • Size: 15.3 x 10.85 x 0.98 inches (388.62 x 275.59 x 24.89 mm)
  • Weight: 5.71 pounds (2.59 kg)
  • Operating system: Windows 10 Home
  • Battery: 70 Wh

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The HP 15-CE198WM  comes outfitted with an Intel Core Intel Core i7-8750H processor, 16GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD + 1TB HDD storage. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 graphics are available.

The laptop is slim measuring 0.98 inches (24.89 mm) and weighs 5.71 pounds. This means it is heavier than some of the best laptops for atrophotography on our list including the Dell Latitude E7470 (4.3 pounds), Lenovo ThinkPad E580 (4.7 pounds), Dell Inspiron 15 5000 (4.85 pounds), and Lenovo Legion Y520 (5.2 pounds).

The HP 15-CE198WM ships with Windows 10.

There are an assortment of ports here: you’ll find three USB 3.1 Gen1 ports, a thunderbolt 3 port, HDMI, Mini DisplayPort, microphone/headphone combo jack, LAN, and an SD card reader.

You get a 1-year warranty when you buy the HP 15-CE198WM. Overall, it is one of the best laptops for astrophotography.

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4. Dell Inspiron 15 5000 

astrophotography laptop

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PROS

  • Commendable Build quality
  • Great performance
  • Superfast processor
  • Dedicated AMD GPU

CONS

  • Display isn’t particularly impressive
  • Battery life could be better

Dell Inspiron 15 5000 (2019) Key Specifications

  • Display: 15.6-inch FHD, 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • CPU: 8th Gen Intel quad Core i7-8550U
  • GPU: Intel UHD Graphics 620
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Storage: 512GB SSD
  • Size: 14.9 x 10.16 x 0.89 inches (378.46 x 258.06 x 22.61 mm)
  • Weight: 4.85 pounds (2.20 kg)
  • Operating System: Windows 10
  • Battery: 42 Wh

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Dominating the front the Dell Inspiron 15 5000 is a 15.6-inch Full HD panel.

Armed with 8th Gen Intel quad Core i7-8550U CPU, the Dell Inspiron 15 5000 also comes equipped with Intel UHD Graphics 620, along with 16GB of RAM and 512GB of SSD storage.

Put all the features together and you get a knockout laptop ideal for imaging and image processing.

So if you need a laptop with fair battery life, good processor, graphics, a functional design and want it in a reasonably lightweight machine, the Dell Inspiron 15 5000 hits all of those.

With the 42Wh battery, you should get around nine hours per charge.

The biggest drawback is here is the keyboard which lacks sufficient travel that makes typing a joy. The minor drawback aside, the Dell Inspiron 15 5000 is one of the best laptops for astrophotography.

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5. Lenovo Legion Y520

best laptops for astrophotography

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PROS

  • Cool design
  • Impressive performance
  • Responsive keyboard

CONS

  • Not-so-bright display

Lenovo Legion Y520 Key Specifications

  • Display: 15.6-inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • CPU: Intel Core i7
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060
  • RAM: 16 GB
  • Storage:  256 GB SSD
  • Size: 14.96 x 10.43 x 1.09 inches (379.98 x 264.92 x 27.69 mm)
  • Weight: 5.2 pounds (2.36 kg)
  • Operating system: Windows 10
  • Battery: 45 Wh

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The Lenovo Legion Y520 is a budget-friendly, reliable laptop with the right specs for imaging planets.

The Y520 ships with Intel Core i7 processors, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 graphics, 16 GB of RAM, and 256 GB SSD storage.

With the generous amount of RAM and the Intel processor tucked inside the laptop, you won’t have problems with speed while processing your planetary images. Additionally, multitasking on the Y520 will barely slow things down.

With regard to size, the Legion Y520 is fairly lightweight at 5.2 pounds. However, it weighs slightly more than the Dell Inspiron 15 7000 (5.07 pounds). Again, it’s not the lightest laptop in the world, but it is leagues lighter than the Dell Latitude E7470 (4.3 pounds).

When it comes to ports, you have a slew of different options. You’ll find on the left side, a USB-C port, an Ethernet jack, a power port, and a headphone jack. The right edge holds two USB 3.0 ports, one USB-C port, an SD card slot, plus an HDMI output.

The Lenovo Legion Y520’s speakers probably won’t win any awards, however, they pomp out decent sound.

Our only complaint here — and it’s not unique to Lenovo — is that it lacks class-leading battery. Therefore, we recommend bringing a charger with you whenever you want to use the laptop for extended periods.

Overall, it is a good laptop for pre and post processing astro images. Go for the Lenovo Legion Y520 because it is one of the best laptops for astrophotography.

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Notable Mentions

Here are other notable laptops for astrophotography:

6. Dell Inspiron 15 7000

best laptop for astrophysiscs

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PROS

  • Beautiful display
  • Great performance
  • Good battery life
  • First-rate graphics
  • Good speakers

 CONS

  • Exterior feels less than premium

Dell Inspiron 15 7000 Key Specifications

  • Display: 15.6-inch, 3840 x 2160 pixels
  • CPU: Intel Core i7
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce 940MX
  • RAM: 16 GB
  • Storage: 512 GB SSD
  • Size: 14.2 x 9.5 x 1 inches (360.68 x 241.3 x 25.4 mm)
  • Weight: 5.07 pounds (2.30 kg)
  • Operating System: Windows 10
  • Battery: 56 Wh

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7. HP Spectre x360 13T Gemcut (2019)

astrophotography laptop

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PROS

  • Thoughtful design
  • Fast performance
  • Not so pricey
  • Great battery life
  • Impressive speakers

CONS

  • Trackpad could be improved
  • Display isn’t particularly impressive

HP Spectre x360 13T Gemcut  (2019) Key Specifications

  • Display: 13.3-inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • CPU: Intel Core i7
  • GPU: Intel UHD Graphics 620
  • RAM: 16 GB
  • Storage: 512 GB SSD
  • Size: 12.6 x 8.6 x 0.6 inches (320.04 x 218.44 x 15.24 mm)
  • Weight: 2.92 pounds (1.32 kg)
  • Operating system: Windows 10
  • Battery: 61 Wh

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8. ASUS Vivobook K571

astrophotography computers

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PROS

  • Brand new design
  • Great performance
  • Not so pricey

 CONS

  • Colour coverage could be improved

ASUS Vivobook K571 Key Specifications

  • Display: 15.6 inches 120Hz Nano edge full HD, 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • CPU: Core i7-9750H
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650
  • RAM: 16 GB
  • Storage: 256 GB + 1 TB HDD
  • Size: 14.1 x 9.8 x 0.9 inches (358.14 x 248.92 x 22.86 mm)
  • Weight: 4.7 pounds (2.13 kg)
  • Operating system: Windows 10 Home
  • Battery: 42 Wh

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9. Alienware m17 Gaming Laptop

laptops for astrophotography

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PROS

  • Lightweight
  • Eye-catching design
  • Powerful performance
  • Impressive

CONS

  • Pricey
  • Short battery life

Alienware m17 Gaming Laptop Key Specifications

  • Display: 17.3-inch FHD, 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • CPU: Intel Core i7 8750-H
  • GPU: Nvidia RTX 2060
  • RAM: 16 GB DDR4
  • Storage: 256GB PCIe M.2 SSD + 1TB (+8GB SSHD) Hybrid Drive
  • Size: 20.1 x 16.5 x 4.7 inches (510.54 x 419.1 x 119.38 mm)
  • Weight: 5.80 pounds (2.63 kg)
  • Operating system: Windows 10 Home
No. Item  
1 Lenovo ThinkPad E580 Check Price on Amazon
2 Dell Latitude E7470 Check Price on Amazon
3 HP 15-CE198WM Check Price on Amazon
4 Dell Inspiron 15 5000  Check Price on Amazon
5 Lenovo Legion Y520 Check Price on Amazon
6 Dell Inspiron 15 7000 Check Price on Amazon
7 HP Spectre x360 13T Gemcut  Check Price on Amazon
8 ASUS Vivobook K571 Check Price on Amazon
9 Alienware m17 Gaming Laptop Check Price on Amazon

Bottom Line

All of the laptops we’ve recommended are adequate for imaging and perfect for post processing: sharpening and setting levels, and stacking of sub-images. In addition you won’t have issues moving your images quickly from your laptop to external drives because our selections ship with fast USB ports.