If you are looking for the best laptop for graphic design, then this guide should help you choose the right one. It contains a detailed review of some of the leading laptops that are available on the market. Given the complex nature of the design process, you need to choose the best machine.
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In this article, we’ll discuss technical features that make a laptop a “perfect” choice for graphic design and list some of the best options currently available.
How to Choose the Best Laptop for Graphic Design
You need a powerful machine to work on heavy tasks like animation and graphic design. However, the definition of ‘powerful’ is so extensive that you can quickly get confused.
Here are some of the factors that you should consider before choosing the best laptop for graphic design and multimedia work.
Computers use RAM to run all the necessary tasks during regular use. Machines that have high RAM capacity tend to cope with heavy workloads better than those with low RAM capacity.
For example with 16GB of RAM, you’ll be able to use any graphic design software like Illustrator, CorelDraw, Blender, Photoshop and even run them simultaneously.
The CPU of your laptop determines how fast the machine can process commands. In practice, graphics design can be quite intensive and requires a decent CPU. We’d recommend going for i5 or i7 processors when possible.
Also, as a rule of thumb, try to go for newer generations of processors. Although some old processors may have slightly higher clock speed, they tend to lack in a range of innovative features and in reality usually are slower.
You don’t really need a powerful GPU (I know it’s surprising as it has a word “graphics” in it) so you can even go with something like GTX 780, but we’d recommend going for GTX 980 or 1050/1060 as the price difference isn’t that critical. Off course, you can go for a better GPU if you wish and the budget allows.
8 Best Laptops for Graphic Design
Acer Predator Helios 300
Great Choice for Gaming as Well
The Acer Predator Helios 300 comes with an amazingly fast and powerful 9 Generation Intel Core i7-9750H 6-Core processor.
Besides, the laptop has an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti GPU which makes it a great choice for gaming.
The display is also decent and offers an astounding 144Hz refresh rate.
Overall it’s a great laptop for the money that can cope with a huge range of tasks, not limited to graphic design.
- Awesome display
- Great for gaming
- Advanced cooling
- Good keyboard
Microsoft Surface Book 2
Well Balanced Laptop
If you are looking for a perfect laptop for graphic design and money isn’t a problem, Microsoft Surface 2 may be a great choice.
First and foremost, the laptop has a great PixelSense Display which makes the image crisp and clear. It’s also 2-in-1 and can be used as a drawing tablet which is a noticeable advantage for graphic design.
The 8th generation Intel Quad Core i7 Processor and 16 GB of RAM are enough for any tasks you may have for this bad boy. Although the GPU isn’t as powerful as of Helios 300 (2 GB GTX 1050) it’s enough for the majority of games.
- Good display
Apple MacBook Pro (with touch bar)
Advanced Features Complement the Excellent Performance
If you have been using iOS devices for long time, you may find it difficult to switch over to Windows.
In the case of graphic design, you may find it ideal to use the MacBook partially thanks to its famous Retina display. This laptop offers either i7 or i9 processor of 9th generation.
It features Radeon Pro 560X (or Radeon Pro 555x in i7 build) graphics which isn’t the best but definitely good enough.
- Slim and sleek design
- Retina Display
MSI GF63 Thin 9SC-066
Fantastic Laptop with a Thin Bezel and Great Storage Capacity
If you are looking for a product where “portability meets power”, this may be quite an excellent choice for you. Being of thin design and equipped with powerful components, it ensures great performance for the most complex tasks. The crimson red backlit keyboard adds more to the elegance of this great gadget.
If there’s a demanding project that needs to be completed, which requires the device to be on for hours and hours, worry not about overheating. The wild card for cooling sees 2 fans along with 7 pipes and 4 exhausts, guaranteeing the product will remain cool (and so will you!).
Having thin bezel and improved screen-to-body ratio delivers immersive visuals of the finest quality. The extremely great power of NVIDIA GeForce GTX will make the super graphics enchant you and offer you unique experience while playing games, performing tasks, watching movies, etc.
- Good memory and storage capacity
- Thin bezel
- Long battery life
- Crimson red-backlit keyboard
- Excellent match of quality and performance
- Screen resolution doesn’t live up to its specs
Dell XPS 15 7590
Great Laptop for Top-Quality and Extremely Sharp Graphics
Designed to be your faithful assistant while performing the most demanding tasks, the gadget will deliver a full spectrum of the juiciest colors. Thanks to the superior dynamic range, you will be able to experience the richest and the most vibrant graphic experience you can imagine.
Adding more value to overall superior audio performance, the gadget brings InfinityEdge display, allowing you to enjoy the virtually borderless experience. With revolutionized camera construction and location, you practically get the full insight into new dimensions and possibilities of visuals.
The audio aspect doesn’t fall behind either, thanks to Waves Maxx Audio Pro Boost. Several connectivity options along with reliable battery life and solid storage capacity make this one your favorite companion while performing tasks on the move.
Thanks to the optional fingerprint reader, the product is quick and easy to use. Moreover, it’s environmentally-friendly and approved by the most renowned portals.
- 9th generation Intel Core CPU
- Delivers rich pallet of colors
- Long and reliable battery life
- Multiple connectivity options
- Fantastic storage capacity
- Product is a bit overpriced
HP ZBook Studio G3
Excellent Workstation, Thanks to Speed, Display, and Memory
The HP ZBook Studio G3 is not referred to as a workstation for no reason: it is another ideal combination of computing power and graphics in one single lightweight piece of design magnificence.
ZBook Studio Laptops were designed specifically for tasks like photo-, video-editing and graphic design. Moreover, users find it perfect for CAD and other related uses.
G3 is more of a “budget” variant from the line with i7-6700HQ, 8GB RAM, and 256 GB of SSD but is definitely enough for the majority of tasks you may face.
- Good performance
- Good display
ASUS VivoBook Pro 17
Best Bang for the Buck
The ASUS VivoBook Pro is a very interesting choice for pretentious gamers on the go, as it boasts a brilliant 17.3’’ full HD display (72% NTSC color gamut) and a thin and light chassis, which makes it highly portable despite the generous screen real-estate. But looks aren’t everything, hence this particular version comes with an 8th gen Intel Core i7-8565u CPU under the hood, and a powerful NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 4GB GPU, along with plenty of RAM (16 GB DDR4) and a cool 256G M.2 SSD + 1TB HDD combo.
The battery is a lithium polymer variety, which benefits from fast-charging technology, i.e. it will get at 60 percent capacity in under 50 minutes.
- good value for money
- all the connectivity options you need
- comes with latest-gen dual-band 2×2 Wi-Fi 5 (802.11AC)
- decent backlit keyboard
- good system performance in gaming
- the full HD display
- surprisingly good speakers
- the laptop lacks “bling” due to its all-plastic casing
- the fans can get on your nerves during heavy gaming sessions
- questionable internal built quality
- battery life is awful