As a graphics designer, you need a laptop that can handle all the resource-intensive tasks. It should support all commonly used apps and peripheral accessories, have a powerful processor that runs cool at all times, and a large display.
Other important features include portability, a powerful graphics card, ample storage and memory, and great battery life.
If you already checked ByteScout’s list of TOP-30 Laptops for Programmers, learn about the best laptops for graphic designers as well. Here you go.
In this buying guide, we are going to discuss the features of various laptops that can meet your graphic design needs. Here is what we have covered:
The Apple MacBook Pro 2019 is the recommended laptop for graphic designers if the cost is not an issue. It features a Core i9 CPU, an Intel UHD Graphics 630 or AMD Radeon Pro Vega 20 Graphics card, 16GB of RAM, and an IPS 15.4-inch (2,880 x 1,800) screen.
It also features ample storage of up to 4TB SSD. However, it also has a few downsides; for instance, there is no Ethernet port, only four USB-C ports. You need an adapter if you want to use your Ethernet cable, and the screen is not 4K.
The Surface Book is among the very best laptops for graphic designers, although as a PC, it does not support Sketch. It has a Core i7 CPU, an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card, a 16 GB RAM, and a 15-inch (3240×2160) PixelSense screen.
The Lenovo ThinkPad P1 is a high-end laptop worth its price tag, and it’s made with graphic designers in mind. It features a Core i9 or Xeon CPU, Nvidia Quadro P2000 Graphics card, and a maximum of 64 GB RAM.
Dell Precision 3540 is for graphic designers on a budget, and it offers impressive features. They include a Core i5 CPU, AMD Radeon Pro WX 2100 2GB or Intel UHD 620 Graphics, and an HD screen resolution of 1,920 x 1,080.
The HP ZBook Studio G4 DreamColor features an Intel Xeon CPU, with NVIDIA Quadro M1200 GPU, and 32GB of RAM. With its 512 SSD and a 15.6-inch 3840×2160 screen, and ports for connecting various peripherals, it is among the best graphic design laptops.
This laptop has all the high-end features such as Cori7 CPU, 16GB RAM, 512 SSD, 13.9-inch 3K screen, and an Nvidia GeForce MX150 2GB GDDR5 Graphics card. However, what makes it compete with the MacBook Pro is its terrific battery life.
It features an 8th Gen Core i7, Nvidia GeForce MX150 2GB GDDR5 Graphics, 8GB RAM, and a 13-inch 1440p (2,160 x 1,440) screen. Its portable design and bright screen make it among the best budget graphics design laptop.
Apart from its Core i5 CPU, GeForce graphics, 8GB RAM, and a 15.6″ FHD 1920×1080, it has a 100% anti-glare screen, and slim and lightweight design. That makes it ideal for graphic design students on a budget.
It has a Core i7 processor, 32GB memory, 2GB NVIDIA Quadro M620 Graphics card, 512 SSD, and a 10-bit, 4K multi-touch, 100% Adobe RGB UHD dream color screen display. However, it is also bulky, which is not a bad trade-off forgetting its amazing performance and display.
This a great graphic design entry laptop, with its Intel Core i5 CPU, 16GB RAM, Intel UHD Graphics 617, and a 13.3-inch 2,560 x 1,600 LED-backlit display. It also has a great battery life, but it lacks sufficient storage space.
This is a gorgeous laptop for graphic design, thanks to its Intel UHD Graphics 620 GPU, 16GB RAM, Core i7 CPU with 4.6GHz Max Turbo Boost, and a 512GB SSD. However, it has limited upgrade options, making it suitable for short-term graphic design use.
With an Intel UHD Graphics 620, up to 1TB SSD, Core i7 processor, and a 13.5-inch PixelSense (2,256 x 1,504) screen, this is among the best laptops. It also has touchscreen sketch functionality and an optional surface pen.
This is a gaming laptop, but that also means it offers the same features that you need for graphic design. It has a GTX 1660 Ti 6GB Graphics, 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD, and 15.6 inches Full HD 144Hz 3ms IPS Display.
This is another gaming laptop with features for graphic designers. It has a 17.3″ FHD 144Hz Display, an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 8GB GDDR6 Graphics, an Intel Core i7-9750H, 16GB RAM, and a 512 GB PCIe M. 2 SSD.
The Omen is a high-end laptop that features an Intel i7-9750H CPU, 16GB RAM, an NVIDIA RTX 2060 6GB Graphics, a 256 GB SSD, and multiple ports for all essential peripherals. It is among the best laptops for graphic designers.
The MSI is a gaming laptop; however, its features are exactly what you need to run resource-intensive graphic design tasks. It has an Intel Core i7-8750H CPU, NVIDIA RTX 2060 display, 512GB Nvme SSD, and 16GB DDR4 RAM.
This laptop features a 15.6” display powered by NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q Graphics, a Core i7-8750H CPU, 16 GB RAM, and a hybrid 128GB SDD and 1TB HDD. It offers a perfect balance between performance and price.
ASUS ROG GX701 comes with 16GB RAM, 17.3” 144Hz HD IPS display, GeForce RTX 2080 Graphics Card, and 1TB PCIe NVME SSD. While it is not highly portable, it offers a perfect balance between the power of a desktop and the portability of a laptop.
This amazing graphics design laptop closes our list of the best laptops designed for designers. Its features include NVIDIA GeForce RTX2070 Graphics card, an Intel Core i7-9750H CPU, 16GB RAM, and 512 GB NVMe SSD.
While it has a 17.3” display – perfect for designing – its thin bezel increases its portability.
The best laptop for graphic design and video editing is one that is fast, has sufficient RAM to store the huge files as you work on them, and has a decent graphics card for smooth rendering of your images and videos. In that regard, we recommend you buy a graphics design laptop with at least 8GB of RAM, and if possible, go for 16 GB RAM or more.
Well, having a laptop with a Core i7 instead of Core i5 may not make much difference for you as a graphic designer. However, you will notice a significant improvement, if you upgrade from a 4GB RAM to 16 RAM, and opt for a laptop with a dedicated graphics card, instead of an integrated graphics card.
In our list of 20 Laptops for designers, we covered various laptops for graphic design. However, if you are looking for a fashion design laptop, you can opt for Apple MacBook Pro 2019 with AMD Radeon Pro Vega 20 for the Mac, or HP ZBook Studio G4 DreamColor with NVIDIA Quadro M1200 GPU.
Both of these laptops will do a great job of rendering your designs, as well as providing you with ample RAM (16 GB and 32 GB respectively), for you to work on, and compare multiple designs.
If you are looking for a graphics design laptop that will work well with Adobe or Adobe Illustrator, then choose one with at least 16 GB of RAM, and GPU with at least 2GB of memory. Adobe Illustrator is great software, but it needs sufficient memory to seamlessly render and manipulate images.
In that regard, Dell Precision 3540, Huawei MateBook X Pro, and Microsoft Surface Book 2 will serve you well.
Most graphic designers work from either Apple’s OS X, or Microsoft Windows, with a greater majority working from OS X. However, it does not mean that one is better than the other is, because most of the leading graphic design software supports both systems. With that in mind, your focus should be on the actual software you will be using for your designs, as well as its hardware requirements.
When using Photoshop and Illustrator, your graphic design laptop should have at least 8 GB of RAM, but we recommend if you are not on a budget, go for 16 GB. Moreover, if you want to plan for the next two-four years, getting 32GB of RAM will serve you well.
Having more RAM means Photoshop and Illustrator will have more “superfast” storage space as you work. Moreover, if you are thinking of seamlessly rendering your images and videos, then consider buying a laptop with a dedicated graphics card, such as HP ZBook X2, which comes with a 2GB NVIDIA Quadro M620 Graphics card.
That wraps up our list of the best graphic design laptops, and we hope you will have a great time working on your projects, and rendering those great animations.