[Expert Review] 10 Best laptops for Graphic Design in 2019, Good for Students and Video Editing too

Are laptops of regular use good for graphic designing? Our answer to this question is “NO”. If you are a new graphic designer, then you would think of using the regular laptop for graphic designing in order to save few bucks. But believe us; this will not work at all.

Now when you are reading this post, means definitely you are keen to be a graphic designer and so start looking for the best laptops for graphic design and animation that supports 2D as well as 3D designs. Picking up the right laptop for graphics is a tricky job, unlike picking up a gamer’s laptop. The best laptops for graphic design students are the one that offers proper display size and screen resolution. It should also meet your CPU and RAM requirements.

We’re usually quite adept at picking out gaming laptops and putting together gaming PCs. We know what types of games we want and what sort of specifications the device needs to have but unfortunately, we aren’t as skilled at picking out laptops for designing. Even though they follow almost the same criteria as gamers, picking out laptops for designers can be a bit tricky as the display size and resolution also come into play along with the regular RAM and CPU requirements.

Graphics Design Laptop

What kind of laptops generally graphic designers prefer? Most of the designers consider using iMac or MacBook because these are the powerful devices available in the market. Even Windows machine can perform better if you know the right picks. When you are a newbie in this field, there are several other options available for you which you can further find in this article. The graphic design applications are intensive and to successfully run them over a laptop, you need a device with enough processing power. Have a look at the technical specifications related to the graphic card and also take care of the screen size.

We’ve put together a list of the top 10 Best Laptops for Graphics Designers that will aid designers in doing their job well.

Our Top 3 Picks of Best Laptops for Graphic Design & 2D/3D Animation

Acer Predator Helios 300

Acer Predator Helios 300
  • 8th Gen i7 Processor, 6GB GPU
  • 16GB RAM, 256 GB SSD
  • Less Storage
  • Bit heavy and hot

Microsoft Surface Pro 6

SurfacePro6 Laptop
  • 8th Gen, i7 Processor
  • 16GB RAM, Good Build 
  • Graphics card
  • Missing some ports

Apple MacBook Pro

Latest Mac Laptop
  • 512 GB Flash Storage HD
  • 6-Core i7 with 16GB RAM
  • Expensive
  • Not for Windows users

What do Graphic Designers and Animators Need in a Laptop?

There are few things that a graphic designer should keep in mind before buying a laptop for designing. Most of the designers usually end up buying a machine that is under powered and doesn’t have much processing power to render things quickly.

CPU and RAM

These are the two crucial things you need to check when buying a laptop for designing. Graphics designing is a very resource intensive task and having less RAM or processing power can lead to slow render times, system hangs and over all unwanted delay. Usually, it’s better to invest more in a laptop with better specs because the device will start to pay itself over time.

For modern day designing such as designer students, it’s suggested that designers have at least a quad core processor along with 8 GB of RAM. More RAM can be added later if 8GB simply doesn’t cut it. For professional designers, more powerful laptops are recommended, preferably the extreme series processors and 12+GB of RAM.

Graphics Card

Unlike in gaming, the graphics card on a designing laptop is basically used to process the image/video to be displayed on the screen. The GPU should be carefully selected keeping in mind the type of display your laptop has. A laptop with a higher resolution and a higher pixel density will require a GPU to match.

If you're just creating 2D work, you can save money by not getting a high-end GPU. What you get with a high-end graphics card is to ability to move around a highly detailed or textured 3D model with no lag. Such a GPU can handle detailed textured 3D scenes and move around without lag.

Display

The most important part of selecting the best laptop for a designer is its display. A display with a higher resolution would mean more detailed images with proper depth and clarity. A resolution of 1920x1080 pixels should provide ample working space and still be able to show menus and control palettes. Next consideration is screen size. A larger screen will enable you to see details clearer (if the resolution is high enough) and make it easier to click on the menus and control palettes. In our opinion, a 15-inch screen with a resolution of 1920x1080 is the minimum requirement for a laptop to be efficiently used for graphics designing.

These were the points we looked for in selecting the best laptops for graphic design. By the way, if you are a gaming addict, you can use these laptops for graphic design and gaming too. The laptops mentioned below are the best compromise between specifications and cost and are perfect for both professional graphics designers and novices who are just starting out.

Expert Review of 10 Best Laptops for Graphic Designers and Animators in 2019

1. Acer Predator Helios 300 - Powerful Windows 10 Computer for Graphic Design

Acer Predator Helios 300

Named after the Greek Sun god himself, Acer’s new child in the Predator series is a perfect match for designers working on a budget. With a guaranteed price to performance match, the Helios 300 takes the cake when budget laptops are considered. The Helios comes packed with power under the traditional Predator casing. Arming itself with a new GTX 1060 by NVIDIA with dedicated 6GB NVRAM along with a superimposed processor of the new 8th Gen i7 (8750H) series, the Helios is everything one could need.

For the hardworking graphic designer, the screen is a generic FHD at 15.6 inches, but under the hood lies a powerful battery capable of running intensive programs such as Photoshop and Lightroom for an easy 7 hours! Not only so, but the GPU unit by NVIDIA also has 6GB dedicated GDDR5 graphics memory along with 16 GB RAM. The Acer Predator Helios 300 is the perfect laptop for graphic designers and 3D modelers/animators alike.

The Good

  • i7 processor, 6GB GPU
  • 16GB DDR4 RAM

Could Be Better

  • Only 256GB SSD Storage
  • Bit heavy and hot

2.  Microsoft Surface Pro 6

SurfacePro6 - best laptops for graphic design

Slowly it seemed that Microsoft was losing in the hardware monopoly that runs the computer world while up-keeping their software game intact. However, when the Surface Pro was introduced, all the dreams of possible takeovers as the new giants of the electronic industry were shattered for all competitive companies. In a 12.3 inch screen and a 1.7-pound casing, Microsoft came out with 2-1 laptop solution which boasts power beyond measure.

With the latest 8th Gen i7 processor and various size of RAM from 8 GB to 16 GB with flash SSD (128 GB to 512 GB) storage facilities, the Surface Book may seem weak but is a lot stronger than most would consider. With an integrated graphics card by Intel themselves, all graphic designing software bow to the mighty hand of the Surface Pro, unto do its bidding. It is a tool only for those who wish to stand out from the rest. With the additional accessories from Microsoft, this 2-in-1 laptop is certainly a best choice for graphics design in 2019.

The Good

  • 8th Gen powerful i7 processor
  • Build quality

Could Be Better

  • SSD for faster access
  • Missing some ports

3. Apple MacBook Pro

Mac Pro Laptop

Are you a great fan of Apple and iOS? If yes, then you may find it difficult to get comfortable with Windows. If you have already used iPhone or Mac then it is difficult for you to switch on to Windows supporting laptop. In such a scenario, Apple MacBook Pro is the best laptop for you for graphic designing and animation.

The MacBook Pro is truly a laptop built for graphic designing and animation work. Keeping its high end specifications aside, its Retina Display is truly the best display on the market. With perfect sharpness, brightness and excellent viewing angles, this laptop is a Graphics Designer’s dream (which is why it’s on number 3 on our list of the best computers for graphics designers in 2019).

You will find it comfortable and easy to use graphic designing software with this laptop because of the Intel Core i7 processor and 16 GB RAM. While designing graphics, you need to get soothing and clear vision. This is possible with Apple MacBook Pro as it is equipped with AMD Radeon Pro Graphics and the high-resolution screen. The screen size is 15 inches and the maximum screen resolution is 2880 X 1800.

Going by the Apple Company, it can be said that you can gain smooth experience because 90% review of their products is always good but expensive at the same time. The hard drive offers 512 GB flash storage. The 6-Core Intel Core i7 processor offers the speed of 2.2 GHz. The RAM size is 16 GB DDR3 SDRAM and the memory speed is 2133 MHz. There are Thunderbolt 3 ports available and the average battery life of the laptop is 10 hours. The weight of the laptop is 4 pounds.

The solid-state drive that is SSD storage is very fast, thus resulting in gaining device that is power efficient and speedy at the same time. The keyboard of the laptop features second generation butterfly mechanism that can allow you to gain more key stability.

The Good

  • 6-Core i7 with 16GB RAM
  • 512GB Flash, Retina display

Could Be Better

  • Expensive
  • Not for Windows Users

4. ASUS ROG STRIX GL703GS

Asus ROG Strix GL703GS uses Windows 10 as the operating system. This laptop is suitable for new as well as old graphic designers because it meets standard technical specifications related to screen, storage, graphics, speed, etc.

Graphic designers and animators need the laptop which they can easily carry in different business events, meetings, client’s office etc. This Asus laptop is light in weight and portable.

Originally, Asus ROG is the gaming laptop that features NVIDIA GeForce GTX graphics. For graphics, you can buy this laptop as it can help you to successfully run graphics-intensive software. The appearance of this laptop is exceptional because of the existence of Armor Titanium and Plasma Copper.

This Asus laptop introduces 8th Generation Scar Edition that brings in minor changes to the series. Getting improvised thermal performance is possible because of the AURA SYNC RGB keyboard and 12V fans. Gamers and graphic designers show interest in this device because of the GTX graphics, Intel Core i7 processor, effective display, powerful 12V fans etc. 12 V fans enhances fan speed in comparison to the 5 V fans.

​Advanced cooling and anti-dust tunnels can allow you to keep your laptop away from dust and debris. Thus, it supports high performance and reliability factor. You can get good audio performance because of the stereo speakers with Smart Amp technology.

The screen size of this laptop is 17.3 inches and the screen resolution is 1920X1080 pixels. The Intel Core i7 processor offers the speed of 2.2 GHz. The RAM size is 16 GB DDR4 2666 and the graphic card RAM size is 8.00. the hard drive size 1500 GB flash memory solid state and the memory speed is 2666 GHz. The weight of this laptop is 6.5 pounds.

The Good

  • High specs
  • Good price

Could Be Better

  • May become hot & loud
  • Low battery life

5. Acer Aspire V17 Nitro Black Edition

While talking about established laptops or computers, we cannot forget the company Acer.

When it comes to Acer laptops, they are definitely reliable. This laptop is good for graphic designers because of the technical specifications like 2 GB GPU, Intel Core i7 processor etc.

It is important for graphic designers to take into consideration the disk space. If the disk space is good then they can find it easy to save thousands of designs and the disk space of this Acer laptop is 2TB.

The Acer Aspire V17 Nitro is equipped with 16 GB RAM DDR4 which is good enough for graphic designing and animation. The graphic card RAM size is 6 GB. The graphic coprocessor Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060, makes it a powerful machine.

The screen size of the laptop is 17.3 inches and the screen resolution is 1920X1080. The Intel Core i7 processor offers the speed of 2.8 GHz. It has 2 USB 2.0 ports and 3 USB 3.0 ports. The battery life of this Acer laptop is 6 hours and its weight is 7.05 pounds. The hard drive interface is Serial ATA and its rational speed is 5400 RPM. The Fingerprint sensor in the top left corner of the touchpad offers with extra level of free sign-in security with the finger touch.

The Good

  • 7th Gen Processor
  • SSD & HDD Combination

Could Be Better

  • Battery life
  • Nothing

6. Lenovo 15.6" ThinkPad P1 LCD

Lenovo is well-known brand for laptops in market today and few of its series are known for supporting graphics and offering bets speed. The latest Lenovo 15.6" ThinkPad P1  is one among the best laptops for graphic design students because the price of the laptop is comparatively lower to other big brands. Though the model is new for the market, but it has the all required features to become the best Windows OS laptop in this category.

Lenovo 15 6 ThinPad P1

The screen size of the laptop is 15.6 inches and the screen resolution is 1920X1080 pixels. The anti-glare feature of the screen can allow you to operate the laptop even in bright sunlight. Graphic designers select this laptop because of the HDMI feature. With HDMI feature you can find it easy to connect your laptop to larger screen and gain more clarity.

The processor Intel Core i5 offers the speed of 2.5 GHz and the RAM size of the laptop is 16 GB. The hard drive size of the laptop is 256 GB SSD. The graphic card RAM size is 4GB. The NIVIDIA GeForce is the graphic co-processor that makes machine further powerful with its dedicated video memory. It is a thin laptop and weight is around 3.76 pounds. The weight and most of the hardware specs make this laptop for better portability and mobility.

The Good

  • 16 GB Built-in RAM
  • Dedicated video drive - 4GB

Could Be Better

  • i5 Processor
  • 256GB SSD only, no additional slots to add more storage

7. Dell XPS 9570 Laptop - 8th Gen i7 Processor

Dell XPS 9570 is a powerful gaming capable Windows 10 laptop at reasonable cost for graphics design work. Suitable for graphics design college students to real professionals in this field. 

The technical specifications of this laptop are quiet interesting against the price they charge and so it has became the popular choice among graphic designers. 

best laptops for graphic design - Dell XPS 9570

The glossy Full HD Non-touch IPS screen ensures that the graphics won’t get affected in any manner. Now whatever may be the angel of the screen, you can successfully create graphics.

The best part about this XPS model is that it offers powerful hardware combination, thus you can use it for any computing and graphic designing applications that require maximum power. The storage capacity of this laptop is 512GB GB SSD, that gives faster disk access on enough space. 512 GB should be enough in most of the cases. You can also find keyboard dock with 3.0 USB port, 2.0 USB port and Ethernet port. 

As other major points, the latest 8th Gen Intel i7 processor offers the speed up to 4.1 GHz. The RAM size of the laptop is 16 GB and the memory speed is 2666 MHz. Dedicated display card with 4GB VRAM available to handle all designing stuff on this machine. Spending around extra 200 dollars will allow you to get the 4K touch screen on this laptop model if you are interested.

The Good

  • Excellent Hardware Specs
  • Gaming Capable

Could Be Better

  • Display quality (on non 4K)
  • Nothing

8. Microsoft Surface Laptop 2

Again the Microsoft Surface series takes place in our list, this time their newest version of Surface Laptop 2 model. It is popular among graphic designers because of its sleek design and portable feature.

Graphic designers love to operate the 13.5 inches touch screen offered by Microsoft. The battery life is impressive, it can work all-day 14.5 hours without charge. Their optimized hardware make this laptop to work for longer time at its maximum power. Easy to carry. Ideal for the graphics designers who are on the move all the time. 

Microsoft Surface Laptop 2

The 8th Gen Intel Core i7 processor offers the speed of 1.3 GHz. The RAM size is 16 GB DDR4 and the hard drive size is 512 GB flash memory solid state. You have various models to select and buy. The PixelSense touchscreen provide extraordinary screen quality and touch response. Having the SurfacePen will allow you to draw superbly on this great touch response laptop. Surface Dock will help you to connect TV or Monitor and extend your workstation when you do studio-type graphics design work.

The Good

  • Great Touchscreen
  • All-Day Battery Life

Could Be Better

  • Non-Upgradable
  • Bit Expensive

9. Acer Aspire R15 Convertible Laptop

Every designer has a certain way of how they create their much sought after drawings. Some use the mouse while some are more inclined towards the traditional pencil drawing. The Aspire R15 is a 2 in 1 laptop, with a tablet screen that allows for its users to create designs using the touch screen feature! Standing in at 15.6 inches with a 1920x1080 pixel screen, the Aspire also hides a 2.7GHz Core i7(7700HQ) with a graphic co-processor by NVIDIA, the 940MX, in its sleek design.

With the steel gray color on the outside and light and portable body, the convertible laptop also boasts an average battery life of 9 hours! That means you do not even need to carry a charger around for when the work gets heavy. Alongside, it also carries within a 12GB RAM with an extra slot for those who which to exploit its powerful capabilities.

The Good

  • Low cost
  • 1 TB Disk

Could Be Better

  • No dedicated GPU
  • Not for higher designing

10. Acer Aspire VX 15 Gaming

Once again Acer walks back into this list with another high-end laptop with a budget price. In 2019, within a simple design, Acer brings out a core i7 (7300HQ) processor machine with a NVIDIA Geforce GTX 1050TI with dedicated 4GB of graphics memory. If that does not blow away your high processing needs, then the follow-up of 8GB DDR4 memory with a nice 256 SSD would surely help to do so.

With an IPS screen at 15 inches, the laptop is everything one could need under one roof (or keyboard). With dual iron-plated fans and a battery life of up to six hours, this laptop inevitably breaks away all needs for the newly starting out graphic designer or pleases the eye of a veteran to the career. Also, when the work gets too stressful, you could always kick back with new games that this machine is capable of handling.

The Good

  • 4 GB dedicated GDDR5 VRAM
  • 256Gb SSD

Could Be Better

  • N/A
  • May be the style of the laptop

We have picked up few of these best laptops for graphic design and animation that can allow you to perform your targeted task successfully. We hope our collection  will help you to identify the suitable laptop for graphic design and animation basic to advanced work. There are many other laptops supporting graphics are available in the market and you should select the one that can meet your quality as well as financial needs.

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