You’ve launched the latest edition of the photo editing software, make a cup of tea, answer a phone call, and you’re still staring at the loading screen of your laptop. In barely 5 minutes, you know it’s time to replace your old laptop with a new one for your graphic design needs.
But there are so many factors that go into choosing the best laptop for graphic design such as graphics card, battery life, hard drive, retina display, color gamut, number of USB ports, and many other options which makes it difficult to choose according to what we need.
So read below to determine the best laptop for the graphic designer in you!
Top Considerations When Choosing The Best Laptop For Graphic Designers
The laptop is one of the most indispensable items for graphic designers, and you’ll want to carefully make your decision when searching for a new unit. But with laptops manufacturers launching new versions every few months, it’s hard to keep up with the latest trends.
Regardless of which brands you’re leaning to, here are some of the considerations you’ll want to make before committing to a specific model from some of the best laptops for graphic designers.
Almost all of these laptops are good for basic graphic design work like Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, CorelDraw, Adobe Indesign, video editing and any other graphic design software.
1. Processing Power: Processing power comes in the form of the central CPU processor and the graphics cards. While the top range in the market can be pretty costly, you’ll want to ensure they are sufficient to run your suites of design software.
You’ll also want to get a laptop with adequate RAM storage; else you may find your software became laggy as the design gets complicated. A few of the newer laptop processors in 2018 are the GB Processor, Kaby Lake Processor, and the Skylake Processor.
2. Hard Disk: Chances are, you’re moving your files from your previous laptop to the new one. Coupled with the future project files that you’ll be saving, you need sufficient hard disk spaces.
Most laptops these days come with 1TB of storage size, although it doesn’t hurt to get laptops with 2TB. If you want a laptop that boots fast, choose SSD over HDD storage. You may also want to consider a solid-state drive because programs will open much faster on this hard drive.
3. Monitor: If you’re used to staring at larger screens, then you’ll want to get laptops that generally have a large monitor.
Of course, you’ll also want the best graphics with a minimum resolution of 1200 x 800, although higher resolutions are preferable for graphic designers. Out of the box color accuracy is very important to most designers.
4. Portability: Some graphic designers are often travelling around the regions and may prefer a laptop that’s considerably light and fits comfortably into a backpack. Others may be contented with the sturdy feel that comes with more large units. Most smaller graphic design laptops now include smaller ports so you can travel easily. To us, portability is one of the most important factors when looking for the best laptop for graphic design.
The Best Laptops For Graphic Design in 2018
Our graphic designers rely on the best laptops to create an excellent design for banners and foamcore signs for our customers. Instead of spending precious time filtering the best laptops for designers, we’ve handpicked our designer’s top favourites for you.
While some of these are good gaming laptops and video editing laptops, we’ve written this article for photo editing and graphic designing. We have separate articles for the best tablet and computer.
When you shrink a desktop workstation to a smaller size, you’ll get the HP Zbook Studio G4. It’s a powerful laptop that’s powered by the Intel Geon processor and an integrated Intel P630 graphic card for running your design software seamlessly.
It shows remarkable its predecessor G3 regarding thermal performance making it one of the coolest slim laptop around. At just 18 mm thick and 4.6 lbs, you’ll be able to fit the laptop neatly into your travelling backpack. This is great for running the Adobe Suite like Adobe Photoshop and other graphic design work.
The display itself has a 1920 x 1080 resolution over a 15.6” screen and produces vivid images from HP DreamColor technology. This has a wide color gamut with amazing color accuracy. The only concern with this laptop is it’s rather short battery lifetime, which keeps the laptop powered for less than 5 hours.
The ASUS P Series P264UA is one of the best laptops for graphics designers in the style department. It has an ergonomically designed matte finish body that makes it fits right in your workplace.
It has one of the best anti-glare display in its 1920 x 1080 15.6” monitor that allows you to work in comfort. If you forgot to bring the adapter along, the laptop could last for up to 9 hours on battery mode.
For a laptop that’s economically priced, you can expect decent performance from its dual-core i5 processor and 8GB of RAM. The laptop also features a fingerprint scanner to keep your files secure when you leave the laptop unattended. The battery life on this laptop is much better than the ASUS Chromebook.
Die-hard fans of Apple should turn to the MacBook Pro for their graphic design needs. The latest version features a Touch Bar that allows you to easy-access to key controls. The razor-thin and colorful design is what you’ll expect from Apple. This is a great high-performance laptop for any graphic designer because it has a retina display and USB-C port which is the wave of the future.
While you can choose between 13” and 15” screen size, we suggest selecting the latter version. That’s because it packs a higher graphics processing power with built-in powerful Radeon GPU. And with a 2.97 GHz i-Core seven processor, there’s more than enough processing power for running your latest graphics editing software.
To sum it up, the MacBook Pro is designed for productivity and portability. Eye performing graphics aside, the fact that it can operate on battery for up to 9 hours made it worth mentioning in our list of the best laptops for graphic designers. Make sure you also buy new cords that will work with USB type-c plugs.
If you’re a fan of 2 in 1 laptop, you’re going to rave about what Microsoft Surface Book 2 offers to you. It’s a much-improved upgrade from its predecessor that extremely powerful and with an incredible battery that lasts 17 hours.
The 15” model runs on an Intel-i7 quad core processor and provides fantastic graphics from NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 GPU. While it’s a more extensive surface book than its predecessor, Microsoft done brilliantly keeping it lightweight.
This latest version of Surface Book gives you more than the processing power you need for your design projects. And if you like scribbling notes, you’ll enjoy what the surface pen could do. For instance, it allows you to jot down a to-do list on the screen. This has a different screen size than the Surface Pro.
Gaming and design could co-exist on a single laptop. Both computers demand the processing power and graphics that can be offered by the Acer Predator 17. With an Intel i7 processor, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 and a 16GB RAM, it’s one of the most powerful laptops around.
Rather than a compact laptop, the Predator 17 is a heavyweight that’s packed with some expansion ports like USB, HDMI, Ethernet, audio jacks and an optical drive. It doesn’t belong in your backpack but instead sits proudly on your desk as a powerful gaming laptop.
The tradeoff between the extreme performance promised by the laptop is its incredibly short battery that barely hit the 3 hours mark. With it’s bulging size, we suspect you’ll hardly use the Predator 17 anywhere out of your workplace, and if you do, remind yourself to bring the charger along.
Manufactured by one of the largest laptop suppliers in the US, the Dell XPS 15 9560 is one of the best laptops for graphic designers with a 4K display. There are a few versions to choose from, but the most impressive performance comes with a 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD hard disk.
You’ll also get a 15.6” monitor that doubles up as a touchscreen with the higher end version. The 4K display puts merely other rivaling laptops to shame with its superior 282.4-pixel density that let you edit your works with almost perfect precision.
Overall, it’s a pretty portable laptop that graphic designers could carry around and a fingerprint scanner on the power button to keep their files safe. The only concern is that the battery will be depleted in about 6 hours.
Graphic designers who are an avid fan of gaming will love what the ASUS ROG G752 brings to the table. A portable laptop boasting Intel i7 Quad core processor, 16GB of RAM and a GeForce GTX 970M GPU made it a formidable unit amongst its competitors.
You’ll get a substantially large storage space as the laptop is built in with 1TB of HDD storage and a fast 125GB SSD. Bearing an aesthetic silver and bronze finish, the laptop will sit elegantly on your working desk.
Expect an impressive image from the 17.3” display at a maximum resolution of 1920 x 1080. And if heat has been a concern, this laptop is equipped with an exclusive ROG mobile vapor chamber that cools the machine down while you drive it to the max.
The ASUS Transformer Boom is another one of the best laptops for graphic designers regarding compactness and cost. At a relatively low price, the Asus Transformer T200TA weighs only 1.54 kg and can be effortlessly carried around.
For the mobility and low price, you’ll have to make do with a smaller screen resolution of 1366 x 764 but with decent brightness for indoor and outdoor uses. As a 2 in 1 laptop, you can dock it on the keyboard or use it as a tablet itself.
The laptop storage consists of 500GB HDD and 32GB e-MMC, but you have the option to upgrade the drive to a 1TB SSD. If you’re pretty tight on budget and would like something small, the Asus Transformer Book T200TA will be the right choice. We highly recommend this best graphic design laptop.
Acer Aspire V Nitro is a gaming laptop that you can proudly carry to work. It lacks the conventional bright colored extravagance design commonly found in gaming machines. Instead, you’ll have an ugly plastic ribbed exterior topped with a silver Acer logo.
Powered by the latest Geforce GTX 10 series GPU, the laptop runs from an Intel i7 processor. You’ll get nothing but astounding vivid display from its 17” screen at 1920 x 1080. While the color quality is on par with competitors, the brightness is slightly lower than the others. Make sure you order a reflective sticker for your laptop.
While blasting out your favorite soundtrack for inspiration, you’ll be impressed with the quality of the speakers. The clarity of the bass and vocal will get you to immerse in the song while crafting your best design.
Grabbing the final spot in our best laptops for graphic designers guide is the Asus Zenbook UX303UB. As expected from one of the largest laptop manufacturers, the Zenbook is a powerful machine within a slim form factor.
Beneath the brushed aluminium surfaces are a powerful Intel i7 processor and a GeForce 940M GPU that gives you enough power for running design software. Its 13.3” screen also produce excellent visual at full-HD resolution.
It has a generous amount of storage with 1TB of HDD and 512GB of SSD. You’ll experience smoother operation thanks to the SSD drive. For such a powerful compact laptop, it has an above average battery duration of up to 7 hours.
Keep in mind that these high-performance laptops are great for people who are graphic designing full time.
For graphic design students and those getting a bachelor’s degree who are running lighter programs, you may want to consider saving money and getting a cheaper laptop until you start your career.
If you are looking for gaming laptops that do not require graphic design software, we will create another article just for you!
Has our list of the best laptops for graphic designers served its purpose? We hope that it has helped you to choose the best laptop for your upcoming design projects. Check out the best laptop for photo editing here!