Graphic design has a high degree of system requirements, meaning you need a powerful laptop to handle all the workload. The best laptops for graphic design need to be fast for the workflow to be efficient.
When you finish projects more quickly, this means you get to take on more work with clients. Essentially, you can justify the high price for a high-performance laptop. Here’s what to look for when choosing a new laptop.
Determining the Best Laptops for Graphic Design
Graphic designers should consider certain features when choosing a new laptop. Before you purchase one, consider these factors:
- Operating system (OS)
- RAM Memory
- Processor Power (CPU)
- Disk Storage
- Battery life
Do you prefer to use Windows or MacOS? Maybe ChromeOS would be just enough for you if projects are simple. Some designers will start with Windows and eventually switch over to MacOS. However, this is all based on a preference.
RAM allows you to run multiple programs at the same time. In general, graphic design requires 8 GB at minimum. However, the recommended amount is 16 GB or higher.
If you can get the maximum RAM, you can perform your job more efficiently.
As a graphic designer, switching between applications, such as Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign, will require extra power.
The CPU is one of the leading factors to consider when choosing the best laptop. CPU determines how powerful the device performs. In graphic design, a powerful processor keeps tasks running smoothly.
To determine which CPU requirements are needed to run apps on Adobe, check its website for specifications.
For instance, Adobe Premiere Pro’s requirement for a MacOS CPU is an Intel 6thGen or newer.
Depending on your graphic design work, you’ll need space to save larger files. Graphic design source files — PSD, AI, AEP etc. — are heavy and need extra disk space for storage. If you work in 3D graphic design or video editing, these can require more space on your disk.
The screen display is one of the more important factors to consider when choosing a new laptop. Graphic designers need bigger and brighter screens to achieve better color accuracy. Any screen size under 15 inches is too small. Consider opting for 16 or 17 inches to get the best display.
One other thing to consider with the display is whether you’ll need a touch screen — which is optimal for illustrations and drawing flow.
Battery life is especially important when you’re constantly on the go and don’t want the limitation of a power cord.
When your battery is dying, and you’re in the middle of your work, this can ultimately be frustrating.
Aside from your graphic design requirements, pricing will also be an important determination. First, you should set your budget. Then, it would help if you looked for laptops within the budget range. You’ll want it to be affordable, of course, but also be powerful enough to handle your work.
To find the best deal all around, here are the best laptops for graphic designers.
The Best Laptops for Graphic Design
1. MacBook Pro 16-inch
Overall, one of the best laptops for graphic design is the MacBook Pro — which has an excellent build, power, and appearance. It’s also quite popular among the graphic design community and other creatives.
The 2021 MacBook Pro 16-inch includes M1 Pro or M1 Max chips to handle the most complex graphic design tasks. In addition, it has a stunning XDR mini-LED screen display and long battery life.
Apple also increased the size of the screen slightly compared to the 2019 model. Additionally, it added a better port selection, including HDMI and a memory card slot, making it one of the best laptops for graphic design.
- CPU: Apple M1 Pro 10-core-M1 Max 10-core
- Graphics: Integrate 16-core-32-core GPU
- Screen: 16.2-inch Liquid Retina XDR display
- RAM: Up to 64 GB
- Storage: Up to 8 TB
2. Microsoft Surface Laptop 4
If you love Microsoft, the best laptop among this brand is the Microsoft Surface Laptop 4. This laptop has an excellent design and makes the pricing worthy through its performance. It contains an aluminum body — similar to the look and feel of a MacBook. Inside the product, a powerful processor makes your graphics render beautifully. Additionally, it ensures there’s no lag when using Adobe programs.
The nice thing about this laptop is its new fast-charging feature. It enables you to charge at 80% in under an hour.
- CPU: Intel 11th Generation Core i5
- Graphics: Intel Iris Xe Graphics
- Screen: 13.5 inches
- RAM: 8 GB, 16 GB or 32 GB
- Storage: 256 GB SSD, 512 GB SSD or 1 TB SSD
3. Dell XPS 15
Dell XPS 15 is a feasible choice for those that want quality and have a larger budget. This is one of the best laptops for graphic design as it has a mix of powerful components and functional design.
This Dell laptop has everything a graphic designer looks for in a computer. The 15.6-inch display and robust Nvidia graphics card make an optimal choice for designers performing intense creative work.
The images and video editing software are Intel’s top features for executing skillfully. The Dell XPS 15 laptop gives you what you pay for with high performance and a gorgeous design.
This laptop is best if you don’t mind spending over $2,000 on a powerful machine.
- CPU: 10th-generation Intel Core i5-i7
- Graphics: Intel Iris Plus Graphics – Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Ti
- Screen: 15.6-inch FHD+ (1920 x 1200) IPS – UHD+ (3840 x 2400)
- RAM: 8 GB-64 GB
- Storage: 256 GB-1 TB SSD
4. Gigabyte Aero 17 HDR
The Gigabyte Aero 17 HDR laptop has everything you need in a graphic design laptop, from a powerful engine to a colorful display. If most of your work involves video editing and 3D design, consider this laptop. It has all the features, including portability and high-power performance.
The notebook itself is lightweight yet has the power and speed for rendering your creative projects. Gigabyte Aero 17 HDR makes the best choice for graphic designers needing a laptop for everyday use. It’s versatile and designed for professionals always on the go.
The 16 TB disk storage is available for creatives with heavy video editing and 3D modeling projects. You won’t have to think about hooking up your laptop to charge it. The average battery life is 10.5 hours — perfect for graphic designers needing a mobile version of their desktop.
- CPU: 4.6 GHz Intel_Mobile_CPU
- Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070
- Screen: 17.3 inches
- RAM: 16 GB DDR4
- Storage: 1 TB SSD
5. Huawei Matebook X Pro
If you’re a Windows fan but looking for a laptop as powerful as Apple, the Huawei Matebook X Pro is your best match. While Huawei is well-known for its smartphones, this laptop choice doesn’t fall short of performance.
It’s durable and has an Apple-like design, making it a viable option if you want a sleek-looking product with a WindowsOS.
The Huawei Matebook X Pro has a superior screen display and excellent specs — which is why this makes it one of the best laptops for graphic design.
- CPU: 8th generation Intel Core i5-i7
- Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620, Nvidia GeForce MX150 2 GB GDDRS
- Screen: 13.9-inch 3k (3,000 x 2,080)
- RAM: 8 GB-16 GB
- Storage: 512 GB SSD
Which Is One of the Best Laptops for Graphic Design?
The MacBook Pro 16-inch is the most trusted choice for many graphic designers. However, the 16-inch display can prove to be too big for some. Another option would be to go with the MacBook Pro 14-inch for a slightly smaller screen choice.
Yet, if you’re not a fan of Apple, all the other items from this list make for the best laptops for graphic design. However, the Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 remains the best pick for many graphic designers due to its performance and sleek design.
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