We have tested the most powerful and stylish models’ of the best laptop for graphic design that will satisfy designers and artists alike. Don’t miss our selection of the best laptops for graphic design.
Whether you are looking for a laptop to use alongside your desktop or as a main computer, it is important that you choose a suitable device to carry out your work as an artist or designer, or graphic designer.
To carry out this classification, we have tested and benchmarked the four models presented here and also others that have not turned out to have a good relationship between power and portability.
Next, we are going to help you choose the correct configuration. But before analyzing what screen, processor, RAM, storage, graphics card, ports, and operating system you need, you may want to take a look at these recommendations.
Graphic design laptops: Today’s top deals:
Best Laptop For Graphic Design 2021:
The Dell XPS 15 offers the best combination of design, performance, and price. For the same price as an entry-level MacBook Pro, you get the fastest processor in average consumer laptops, 32GB RAM, 1TB of memory, and a 4K touchscreen.
In our tests, the XPS 15 only lagged behind the much more expensive HP ZBook Studio in Photoshop performance but instead ranked first in the Cinebench R20 benchmark. Of course, the battery life is less than that of a MacBook Pro.
The screen is capable of reproducing almost the entire Adobe RGB color spectrum, but the truth is that, compared to the other models, it is the one with the worst color accuracy. That doesn’t mean it’s not great, just not as great as others.
Operating system: Windows 10 Home
Processor: 8th Generation Intel Core i7-8750H
Graphics card: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050
RAM: 8GB DDR4
Storage: 512GB PCIe SSD
Display: 15.6-inch InfinityEdge (Full HD, 1920 x 1080)
Connectivity: Wifi 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac, Bluetooth, USB x 2, power plug, HDMI 2.0, Thunderbolt, jack port , SD slot
Battery: 56 Wh
Dimensions: 357 x 235 x 11-17 mm
Weight: 2 kg
- Excellent 16:10 display
- The upgraded bezel-free chassis design
- Great keyboard and touchpad
- Full-size SD card reader
- Below-average battery life
- Loud fans under load
- Runs hot
- Frustrating bloatware that affects performance
Since the first MacBook Pro was released in 2008, Apple’s laptop has been a very popular choice among designers and artists. It is the best designer notebook from an aesthetic point of view, but it’s few port offerings are somewhat disappointing.
The display is the one that displays colors most realistically, but it can only reproduce 87% of Adobe RGB colors. It is a matte panel with slightly less resolution than 4K and it is also not a touch screen.
The performance of the 16 ”MacBook Pro is quite similar to other models with 2.6GHz minimum six-core processors, although it took some time to load in our Photoshop tests. On the other hand, it has the best battery on the list.
Operating system: macOS
Processor: 9th Gen Intel Core i7 or i9
Graphics card: Radeon Pro 5300M
RAM memory: 4 GB | 8 GB
Storage: 512 GB | 1 TB | 2 TB | 4 TB | 8 TB
Display: 16-inch Retina (3072 x 1920)
Connectivity: Wifi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 5.0, Thunderbolt x 4, jack port
Battery: 100 Wh
Dimensions: 357.9 x 245.9 x 16.2 mm
Weight: 2 kg
- Improved thermals
- Best speakers on a laptop
- Improved battery life
- No SD card slot
- macOS Catalina is still buggy
The great particularity of the Asus ZenBook Pro 14 is that it includes an additional touch screen where we would normally find the trackpad. You can use it as a second HD monitor or control certain applications, or simply as a standard trackpad.
We have included this laptop in the list for those designers who are looking for a cheaper option but with which they can continue to unleash their creativity. The ZenBook Pro 14 is inexpensive but powerful.
Despite being cheaper, it offers better performance than some 13-inch models like the MacBook Pro or the Dell XPS 13. It is true that it is not up to the 15-inch models, but it is much more than we could ask for. half price.
Operating system: Windows 10 Home
Processor: 8th Generation Intel Core i7-8565U
Graphics card: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Max-Q
RAM: 16GB DDR4
Storage: 512GB PCIe SSD
Screen: 14-inch IPS (Full HD, 1920 x 1080)
Connectivity: 802.11ac dual band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, USB 2.0, USB 3.1, USB-C, power input, HDMI 1.4, jack port , microSD slot
Battery: 70 Wh
Dimensions: 323 x 225 x 17.9 mm
Weight: 1.6 kg
- On battery power, you can browse the web for 12 and a half hours.
- Small but lovely type factor
- Onboard GeForce GTX 1050 Max-Q
- 92 percent of the sRGB color space is used (AUO B140HAN03.5)
- It does not use PWM to change the brightness of the screen (AUO B140HAN03.5)
- The ScreenPad is a bright screen that often serves as a real second screen.
- Makes the most of the hardware.
- Heat is a trade-off for the results.
- A lack of upgrade ability
The HP ZBook Studio G5 is a sleek and powerful mobile workstation featuring the NVidia Quadro P1000 graphics card and, in our sample example, a Xeon processor and ECC RAM. That makes it a reliable and robust laptop.
We like the design that HP has opted for. The straight and non-curved angles give it a serious touch that you can’t find in other models. Best of all, it is no less powerful than models with Core chips, but no more. This is the best laptop for graphic design and photo editing college, school and university students so check it out.
In our sample model, the P1000’s graphics were somewhat less powerful than we would have expected and the battery life is significantly lower than that of the MacBook Pro or XPS 15, but the color reproduction is exceptional.
Operating system: Windows 10 Pro 64
Processor: 8th Generation Intel Core i7-8750H
Graphics card: Intel UHD 630
RAM memory: 16 GB
Storage: 512 GB
Screen: 15.6-inch FHD IPS eDP (Full HD, 1920 x 1080)
Connectivity: 802.11ac dual band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, USB 3.0, USB 3.0 charging, USB 3.1 x 2, USB-C, power connector , HDMI 2.0, jack port , SD slot
Battery: 64 Wh
Dimensions: 360 x 254 x 8.8-17.4 mm
Weight: from 2 kg
- Design that is both attractive and tough
- Long-lasting battery
- The keyboard and touchpad have a fantastic feel to them.
- Enough for both creatives and gamers
- External speakers with awe-inspiring sound
- It can feel a little too hot at times.
- At times, the fan is incredibly loud.
Latest Surface with 10th generation processor Ice Lake
Surface Pro 7 is the new Surface Pro with Ice Lake’s 10th generation Core processor.
There is almost no change in body size and mass from the old model, but the degree of perfection is increasing, such as installing a USB Type-C port.
It can be used as a tablet, a high-performance pen can be used, and a high-resolution LCD with an aspect ratio of 3: 2 is installed, which are the same as the conventional features.
By installing Ice Lake, the graphics performance is slightly improved in the models equipped with Core i5 and Core i7. In addition, a Core i3 model that was not available in the previous generation has also appeared. However, Core i3 / Core i5 is fanless and quiet, but please note that it is not good at processing that takes a long time. If you want to put a heavy load such as RAW development and encoding, I think the Core i7 model equipped with a fan is good.
Another disadvantage is that it does not support LTE and you cannot select the presence or absence of Microsoft Office.
If you’re going to buy this, you need to at least invest in there keyboard cover. It’s disappointing that to fully experience your Pro, you need to put down money on its keyboard and pen. Without a keyboard, from my experience, you’re pretty limited. I used a Logitech Bluetooth keyboard and mouse, but the portably is limited if you can’t attach them to the Surface Pro.
Also we’re in the age of laptops, tablets, and phones trying to reach the goal to be bezel-less. I have the previous model on hand and I can’t tell them apart in any way. Thanks to these 2019 new laptops/tablets, the bezels on this device make it feel like this tablet is from 2017. I’m also irritated that Microsoft didn’t at least try to improve the design.
But if you can deal with the design (and the battery) issues, you’ll know that Microsoft put all their money on what’s inside the system. From the new core processors, this tablet is a beast. I found it very fast, reliable, and it will stand its ground for 2+ years. For me that’s the beauty of a Surface Pro: a PC in the size of a tablet. I’m always a PC fan and this performs as if I had a laptop on my lap, something an IPad can’t do. If you can deal with the generic bezel look, and put money down for their keyboard, you’re getting a beast of a computer fitting in a tablet.
Overall: An outdated design that packs a lot of power for those who want more than just a generic tablet on the go.
Hope I was a help to you.
- It’s a very sold machine
- I go no flex issues
- Cortana listens to you pretty well.
- The microphone set up on the Pro is a big upgrade
- Charging on this is very fast.
- The chunky bezel
- With the bezel issue
- The battery life isn’t great
Surface Pro X is the best laptop graphic designer and video editor for LTE compatible 2in1 notebook PC with a little habit of ARM base!”.
Surface Pro X is an edgy 13-inch 2in1 notebook PC equipped with the ARM-based chip “Microsoft SQ2”.
It supports USB type C charging and LTE, is lightweight, compact and easy to handle, and has outstanding practicality. It is quite easy to use if it is suitable for office use.
It ‘s hard to decide which one to choose, Surface Pro 7 , but if you don’t care about LTE support, you’ll have 7 and if you like advanced features, you’ll have X.
That’s it for the Inspiron 13 7000 2-in-1 (7306).
It is a 2 in 1 PC that can store a pen that is easy to lose in the PC body. The thickness of the pen is not too thin, making it easy to grip. It supports MPP 2.0 and is relatively comfortable to write.
Another feature is that you can buy a 4K display at a low price. Recommended for those who want to edit images on a high-definition display.
Equipped with the latest 11th generation Core processor as soon as possible, the processing performance is also sufficient.
The mass is not so light, but it is heavy enough to be taken out. It has a lot of battery capacity, and if it is equipped with an FHD display, I think it can be driven in a fairly battery state.
However, the exhaust port is small, and I have the impression that the heat dissipation performance is not so good.
Overall, I like this laptop, I am using it as a desktop, and love the screen and performance. So if you are in a market for a compact laptop with power, great screen, and sturdiness, then consider this one too along with the competition. You will not be disappointed. Recommended!
- SCREEN. The screen is gorgeous
- THIN & LIGHT. It is really thin
- STURDY. The notebook is made from aluminum, it is strong.
- FACE RECOGNITION. It comes with Infrared Face Recognition
- TOUCHPAD. Because of its smaller size
- FAN NOISE. Occasionally, you will hear fan noise. Not a lot, but you will notice it.
- ONLY 2 USB 3.0 PORTS
- SPEAKERS ON THE BOTTOM
Graphic Design Laptop Complete Buying Guide:
Most laptops with a 15-inch screen can be purchased with HD (1920 x 1080, 1920 x 1200…) or 4K (3840 x 2160) resolution. Our recommendation is that you always bet on the 4K screen if you can afford it.
A 4K screen will allow you to see much better the details of the project you are working on. In fact, the interfaces of current applications are designed for resolutions higher than HD.
In addition, laptops with a 4K screen are designed for professionals and offer better color reproduction. These panels typically offer the Adobe RGB range at 100%, while HD panels only at 75%.
Check It Out: How to fix Pink Screen on a Laptop Guide Updated 2021
Some models also come with a touch screen. These are not for drawing as in the case of tablets, but only to be able to perform controls such as scrolling or zooming with your hands. This is much more convenient than using the trackpad.
All the laptops on this list have Intel CPUs. Despite AMD’s efforts to gain a foothold in gaming and creative desktops, most brands prefer Core or Xeon processors.
This does not necessarily make things easier. Choosing a processor from the Core range also presents difficulties. We recommend choosing one of the latest generations. Then you will have to choose between Core i3, i5, i7, and i9.
The Core i5 and i7 processors are divided between models ending in U and H / HQ / HK. The “U” chips have between two and four cores and suck less battery and offer lower performance than the “H” chips. You will find them in the smallest laptops.
On the other hand, “H” chips have four to six cores and offer higher speed than “U” chips, making them ideal for more intense tasks. Most likely, you will go for an i7 chip, although if your budget allows it, go for an i9.
If you want to know what type of processor a laptop has and what generation it belongs to, you should look at the first number after the hyphen and the letters at the end. A quick Google search should help you too.
On the other hand, there are some high-end laptops that use mobile versions of the Xeon processors that are typically used in workstations. They are not necessarily more powerful than Core processors, but they do offer ECC RAM.
The gigs of RAM will determine how much information it is capable of storing in the short term. That affects the number of applications you are able to handle at the same time before having to rely on storage.
We recommend that you go for a 16 GB RAM laptop since this is the capacity that many design applications ask for. If you’re really on a budget, 8GB of RAM is the minimum you need.
Now, if part of your work involves using applications that demand a lot of RAM, such as After Effects, then you should go for a model with 32 GB. Some high-end models come with 64GB, but their price is usually very expensive.
Having faster RAM will improve the performance of your laptop. The best laptops use 2666MHz DDR4 RAM, while older or smaller laptops typically have 2133MHz DDR3 RAM.
Most laptops have two RAM module slots. Unlike before, now one of them is usually empty from the factory, which means that you can expand the RAM memory of your computer more easily.
However, dual DIMMs tend to offer better performance than individual DIMMs, so if you are not planning to expand your laptop’s RAM, it is best to go for a model with two RAM modules out of the box.
Most 15-inch laptops have a single disk, typically with capacities up to 1TB. Others even offer 2 TB of space, but this is usually at a price that is too high.
The 265 GB of storage is usually too little especially when we consider that Budget graphic designers need to install a lot of editing programs. Thus, the best option for most is an internal memory of 512 GB.
Typically, you will be able to choose between SATA or PCIe drives. We recommend that you bet on the seconds, also in the case of laptops with two discs, since they will give you an extra performance ideal for editing 4K video or creating animations.
5- Graphics card
If you tend to work in “two-dimensional” applications like Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, or Sketch, you might be wondering if you need the Best laptop for graphic design and photo editing that has a separate 3D graphics card like AMD or Nvidia, or if you can settle for the included Intel UHD.
In our experience, you will need a discrete graphics card if you are going to use Photoshop to create high-layered documents and encode videos and animations. On the other hand, the Intel graphics will be enough if you work with InDesign, Sketch, or XD.
On the other hand, if you use software like Cinema 4D, you should get the most powerful graphics card you can afford. It is also recommended to use an eGPU whenever you can to add more 3D power to it.
The supply of ports on 15-inch laptops has been shrinking as they have become thinner and thinner. An example of this is the MacBook Pro, which currently only offers four Thunderbolt ports.
The reason for manufacturers is that today much of the connections are made wirelessly, so fewer ports are needed. Also, you can always turn to an adapter if you need more.
Especially if you carry your laptop up and down, you will know how frustrating it is to realize that you have left the adapter at home. That is why in this list we also reward models with USB and HDMI ports.
7- Windows or Mac?
Although there are still aesthetic and user experience differences that place macOS above Windows, most creatives will not notice them, since the interfaces of the editing programs are practically the same on both platforms.
Further Check: Benefits of Buying a Refurbished Laptop 2021
Photoshop is Photoshop on both Mac and Windows. The only real difference is the keyboard shortcuts. Of course, there are some exceptions, since certain applications are only available for Mac, such as Sketch, or for Windows.
FAQs Related To Graphic Designer PC And Laptops
What laptop should I buy for graphic design?
- MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2019) The best Apple laptop ever. …
- Gigabyte Aero 17 (2021) A creative professional’s dream. …
- MacBook Pro 13-inch (M1, 2020) Apple’s little MacBook Pro gets a big refresh. …
- Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition. …
- Dell XPS 13 (2020) …
- MacBook Air (M1, 2020) …
- Dell XPS 15 (2020) …
- Acer ConceptD 7.
What should I major in to be a graphic designer?
Education for Graphic Designers
Usually, you require a graduate in the history of graphic design or a related field. Persons with a bachelor’s degree in another area can however take technical training in graphic design to meet the highest number of hiring qualifications.
Do you need a good PC for graphic design?
Naturally, graphic designers want the best computer that helps them design effectively and a desktop can provide a stronger processor, more memory, and a greater display than a laptop..
Do graphic designers use Mac or PC?
However, the vast majority of graphic designers prefer Mac to PC due to its widespread use in the industry, its user-friendly operating system, and the exceptional build quality Apple provides. These are only a couple of the reasons why 99.9% of graphic designers prefer Mac to PC.
Do you need a graphics card for graphic design?
A dedicated GPU is a good idea for anything but the most Graphic design basics. If the GPU you’ve chosen has the choice of a desktop or workstation unit, go with the workstation unit because it’s more durable. A dedicated graphics card would have memory, which is commonly referred to as VRAM (video random access memory).
Is SSD better for graphic design?
How much storage is a laptop supposed to have for design? There was a mistake. For design work, we highly recommend SSD storage. You find that the programs are opening faster, load times are reduced especially for large files and system responsiveness is better.
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