Laptop is not just for watching movies or playing games but it can also be used for professional work like graphic designing. Graphic design is not just about applying effect but it is one of the toughest and challenging job. Powerful laptops are needed to make everything perfect and make it look realistic. To have a balance laptop, from portability to performance, everything should match but with an affordable price.
This article has every user laptop from beginners to professional graphic designers. Assisting you in choosing what you need among the best laptop for graphic design is easy now. Every technical aspect of the laptop from its design to what’s under the hood and what can be connected is listed here.
Best Laptops for Graphic Design 2019
|Laptop||GPU / Res||Price|
|Microsoft Surface Book 2||GTX 1060 / (3240×2160)|
|Apple MacBook Pro||Radeon Pro 560X / (2880×1800)|
|ASUS ZenBook UX303UB||Nvidia 940M / (3200×1800)|
|Acer Predator Helios 500||GTX 1070 / (1920×1080)|
|Toshiba Satellite Fusion 15||Intel HD Graphics / (1920×1080)|
|Lenovo Flex 4||AMD R7 / (1920×1080)|
|HP ZBook x2 G4||Nvidia Quadro M620 / (3840×2160)|
|Acer Aspire E 15||Nvidia MX 150 / (1920×1080)|
|Lenovo Z70||Nvidia GT840M / (1920×1080)|
|Acer Aspire V 17 Nitro||GTX 1060 / (1920×1080)|
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What do you need for Graphic Design?
Graphics designing is an intensive job so you will need a good laptop for that. From resolution to how fast your laptop is, everything should be perfect for best outcome. Let’s dig into what you need in a laptop which will be used for graphics designing.
Screen Size & Resolution
For content creation and graphic designing, the first thing that you should be looking in a laptop is screen size. The wider the screen, clearer would be the picture. If the screen size is 17 inches or above then you won’t need any multimedia as your secondary screen. The only drawback that wider screen has is portability, because big size makes them heavy and bulky.
On the other hand, a large screen is not effective if the screen resolution is not good. A high-end graphical resolution is required in graphic designing. Looking at the tiny details on visual content like adding effects to images, 3D image designing, or corporate designing with wide screen, Full, Quad or Ultra HD resolutions makes it easier to develop with more precision.
A powerful GPU is not only required in games but other things like video editing and graphics designing as well. Speeding up the process and enhancing graphic resolution while designing, requires a good GPU. Using Adobe creative Suite, Maya or 3DS Max for designing will need a GPU for more clearer illustration of visual effects.
A good GPU will always bring up the cost of laptop. However, for beginner or intermediate level, you can still work on mid-range GPUs or even the integrated one, provided it’s a good one.
Besides other technical components, one of the important factors that is preferred by graphic designers is a touch screen. Having everything under the touch of your finger is remarkable. Sliding the images around the desktop and adding the graphical effect with the stylus makes it easy.
A detachable or convertible laptop makes it easier to create content. Using stylus to apply effects exactly where it’s needed becomes much easier than doing it with mouse or trackpad. The more customizable the designing process, better will be content creation.
Best Laptop for Graphic Design Reviews
1. Microsoft Surface Book 2
Microsoft Surface Book 2 is unique than previous 13 inch model. Though the difference is not prominent but the new added features are way better. The design is tough, sleek, aluminum lid and the aesthetic silver color touch makes it more appealing. Weight is 4.2 lbs which is lighter for laptop having so much to offer. Creating graphics content with 15-inch display and 3:2 aspect ratio, is much easier and fun for designers.
Lifting the lid with fulcrum hinges, you will see PixelSense display with 3240 x 2160 resolution giving you almost 4K display effects. The display is backed up by 10 point multi-touch G5 touchscreen and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 GPU with 6GB dedicated memory. Surface pen with 4096 pressure sensitivity and no lag, makes surface book easier to use in tablet mode. For creating content like video or photo editing with touchscreen and high-end graphic resolution, Surface Book 2 is the best laptop for animation and graphic design. Giving you the Max Turbo 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8650U quad processor, along with 16GB of RAM and 512GB PCIe SSD drive, it does all your creative tasks in moments.
Talk about the supporting features, Microsoft Surface Book 2 has 2 Type-A and Type-C USB ports, SD card slot, and Windows Hello face authentication camera with 1080p video support. You won’t miss any sound while having front-facing stereo Dolby speakers. There is no Ethernet port but you can enjoy the same function with Thunderbolt in 3.1 Gen USB ports. Battery life is pretty good with 17 hours while video playback. Keyboard is shallow and require less actuation force and the touchpad is so perfect that it won’t miss any gesture.
2. Apple MacBook Pro 15-inch
MacBook Pro 15 inch comes with a slim, thin, and lighter design. Easy for portability as the weight is 4 pounds less than Surface Book 2. Making no compromise on the tapered edges over Aluminum body, and silver & Space Gray color. Perfection is followed at every step but it comes at a price. MacBook Pro is designed for commercial purpose and is therefore placed among the best graphic design laptops.
Besides elegant design, other features that MacBook Pro provides are even better. MacBook Pro 15.4-inch LED backlit Retina display with IPS technology offers up to 2880 x 1800 native resolution with 500 nits of brightness. The Processor is 2.6GHz with 6-Core Intel i7, 16GB of RAM and 512GB SSD drive for faster performance. Creating content with Radeon Pro 560X GPU having extra 4GB of dedicated memory (GDDR5) can enhance the experience to next level. Using 3D graphic app like Autodesk Maya and adding effects with MacBook Pro makes it best laptop for graphic designers. The security of MacBook Pro is even more encrypted with T2 touch bar that allow you to control system management on fingerprint or touch ID sensor, audio controller, SSD controller and even Siri icon to get familiar with your voice. Every important customization feature is just one tap and touch away from you.
Getting to know more, MacBook Pro 15 inch has four Thunderbolt 3 USB-C ports, a 720 FaceTime HD camera, and Stereo speakers with high fidelity audio technology to provide the true tone. Battery life is good with both web and movie playback can work for 10 hours which proves MacBook Pro to be the optimal laptop for graphic designing purposes. Membrane Keyboard is more reliable, keys have backlit feature and provide quieter typing experience. The Force Trackpad precision, sensibility and touch is remarkable.
3. ASUS ZenBook UX303UB 13-inch
Sophisticated new smoky, Icey and Rose color to all-aluminum body of ASUS ZenBook makes it stunning. Elevated edgy design over the metal finish adds value to slimmer body and makes it perfect to be the best laptop for designers. Affordable price to pay for the features any designers would want, hence ASUS ZenBook is the best budget graphic design laptop 2019.
ASUS ZenBook doesn’t just have good design but the performance offered is also enormous. From its 3.2 lbs weight to its backlit keyboard, everything in ZenBook is balanced for creative work. The processor is Intel Core i7 6500U processor and at Turbo boost can work good like 3.1 GHz. Native IPS 13.3-inch touch display gives you maximum feel of almost 2K (3200 x 1800) resolution and makes ASUS best graphic design laptop. Colors optimization and fine-tuning in ASUS with splendid technology is overwhelming. The Nvidia GeForce 940M GPU with 2 GB DDR3 virtual memory backs up the display nicely. Speeding up the back-end process with 12GB RAM and 512GB SSD drive, now everything is just one click away for instant application launches. You can work for 7 consecutive hours while designing and depending upon your usage condition, the battery may work longer.
Among the ports, you get 3 USB 3.0 ports, 1 HDMI, 1 mini Display port, 1 SD card reader along with AC adapter and COMBO audio jack. ASUS SonicMaster Technology speakers give you a good sound when editing your tracks. Smart Touchpad of ASUS ZenBook follow all Window 10 gestures accurately. The built-in keyboard has backlit ability that adjusts itself with ambient light sensor technology. Putting together all of its performance, design, speaker and a nice keypad makes it the best laptop for graphic designing and video editing.
4. Acer Predator Helios 500 17-inch
Beastly design with a lot to offer in one laptop, Acer Predator Helios has made good efforts to hear “Awesome”. The edges are carved, Hot surface warning over the AC adapter, light black and grey color, and Predator power button with backlight makes it stylish, cool and attractive as next level tech. 17.3″ display and high technical specifications increases the weight to 8.3 pounds but who is counting if it gives you everything. If you need a motivation to do graphic designing creatively then get an Acer Predator under your fingers to make a difference.
The classy design is made in such a way that it provides maximum performance with its specification. Cooling system is integrated at every step to enhance the performance of GPU. The 17.3″ wide IPS Display having G-SYNC technology gives HD graphics with 1920×1080 native resolution making Acer Predator Helios 500 one best laptop for designers. The system has powerful processor of 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8750 with 6 cores that can be boosted upto 4.1 GHz. The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 GPU with 8GB DDR5 virtual memory help you to do graphic designing in a unique way. 16GB RAM and 256GB PCIe SSD with 1TB HDD drive allows you to do more work in a faster way. The laptop is full with all kind of ports around the chassis to support. Ports include, Ethernet, display port along with HDMI support, 3 USB 3.0 ports, 2 Thunderbolt 3 ports, and separate headphone and microphone jacks.
The sound system is incredible with 2.1 Waves MaxxAudio speakers and subwoofer to empower you with every bit of frequency. RGB keyboard with customizable keys have anti-ghosting feature that never misses the stroke. The touchpad is precise, accurate with a little style of blue lit over the edges. Everything that you need for content creation and graphic designing is in this laptop and therefore is ranked among the best graphic design laptops.
5. Toshiba Satellite Fusion 15
Toshiba Satellite Fusion 15, a 2-in 1 notebook that is easily convertible into tablet mode, is a professional looking laptop. Slim, simple and tough design makes it perfect for graphic designing. Though, Toshiba Satellite Fusion 15 doesn’t have much to offer when it comes to high end tech specification, but at the moderate price for content creation it still performs well. It comes with a 15 inches display and weighs around 4.9 pounds. Combining all the technical aspects with the price, Toshiba Satellite Fusion is among the best budget graphic design laptops of 2019.
Toshiba Satellite Fusion 15 has TrueBrite IPS backlit display having resolution of 1920 x 1080 FHD to maximize graphical effects. Using in Tablet mode with touchscreen feature gives you more accessibility hence, Satellite Fusion 15 is the best laptop for designers. Under the hood, it hides an Intel Core i5-5200U 2.3GHz which can be boosted upto 2.80 GHz. Besides, its Mobil Intel HD built-in graphics, 8GB DDR3 RAM and 1TB HHD drive gives you an overall intermediate level performance. Though Toshiba Satellite has no SSD, so the process might not be as fast as in Acer Predator or ASUS ZenBook reviewed above. The battery life is up to 7 hours with video playback or web browsing which is better. Looking for the connectivity ports over the chassis, there is no Ethernet port, but has an HDMI port, 2 USB 3.0, a USB 2.0 port, combo jack, and SD card slot.
The rest of specs sheet includes a membrane keyboard with backlit capability, a force touch trackpad, stereo speaker by SkullCandy and a 720p web camera. Trackpad has gentle touch sensor while the keyboard keys are soft, clicky and elevated to enhance speed when creating unique content. Overall at such an affordable price Toshiba Satellite Fusion 15 is a best laptop for graphic design and video editing.
6. Lenovo Flex 4 15 Inch
Better changes than previous version, made it thinner, lighter with more precision and designed for those who like uniqueness. Each aspect looks good if it’s in tablet mode or in laptop mode. Mixed black and grey color with silver hinges for conversion gives a classy glance. The 15.6″ inches large screen put weights up to 4.58 lbs which makes it more portable when creating content.
Graphic designing requires high tech specs and this is why Lenovo Flex 4 fits the category of best laptop for designers. Wide screen having IPS Anti-Glare Multitouch display with integrated camera gives FHD resolution of 1920 x 1080. Under the hood, Lenovo Flex 4 has 7th Gen Intel Core i7-7500U processor, 8GB DDR4 RAM and 256GB SSD which gives you maximum capability in creating good graphical content. Graphics is supported by AMD Radeon R7 with 2GB dedicated virtual memory, due to all these tech specs the laptop can work fine up to 9 hours on battery with video playback. Looking at the supporting ports, the Lenovo Flex 4 has 2 USB 3.0, USB 2.0, HDMI port, a card reader slot and Audio combo jack over the chassis. Fine graphics resolution over the 15″ screen and high Gen processor makes Lenovo Flex 4 is one of the best graphic design laptop.
Stereo Speaker featuring Harman Technology give you good listening experience of all kind of sounds. Speakers are placed between the hinges and the sound is generated exactly where it feels good. The keyboard doesn’t have backlit capability and the keys are embedded over the membrane to give you a good typing experience. With all the extraordinary adaptability and convertibility feature over the sleeker design, Lenovo Flex 4 will not disappoint you as the best laptop for graphic design and video editing.
7. HP ZBook x2 G4 Detachable Workstation
Most powerful detachable laptop with remarkable features and performance, HP ZBook x2 G4 is one of the best laptop for designers. Edgy design with customizable keys at each side of the lid makes it easier to use in tablet mode. Support tilt stand for the lid and a pen that needs no charge can help you create graphical content with no interruption. 14” diagonal display with 4.78 lbs weight and 3.64 pounds weight in tablet mode inspires you to create next level 3D graphics. With all the supporting features HP ZBook is one of the best laptop for graphic design.
Considering the tech specification of the HP ZBook, the Intel Core i7-8550U 4 Core processor with 1.8 GHz base frequency (4GHz at Turbo Boost) assist you in all kind of designing tools. Look at the 14” display with 4K IPS anti-glare diagonal screen that has 3840×2160 pixels, gives you millions color effects when supported by Intel UHD Graphics 620 with discrete NVIDIA Quadro M620 GPU. Speeding up the background process with 16GB DDR4 RAM and 512GB PCIe SSD memory will open any application with just a click or touch. The 4 cells lithium battery last more than 4 hours of continuous web searching and video playback at 150 nits which is fine for workstation which has high tech.
For connectivity you get, an HDMI, USB 3.0, 2 USB 3.1 Type-C Thunderbolt 3 (Display Port), an audio combo jack, and a Smart card reader. The Bang & Olufsen dual stereo speakers that are supported by keys over the lid needs no extra sounding effects for creating audio content while designing. These high specs of HP ZBook make it best laptop for animation and graphic design. Keyboard is extraordinary with function keys and backlit option while the touchpad has two buttons with ON/OFF capability and covers every gesture that is supported by the operating system.
8. Acer Aspire E 15 15-inch
Designed with black plastic, brushed nicely like metal, gives you everything that is needed for graphic designing. Despite its bulky design, Acer Aspire E 15 has a lot tech specifications that came at low price which makes it the best budget graphic design laptop. The wide 15.6-inch display with FHD resolution is adorable but the 5.27 lbs weight makes it hard to carry around. The best part of Acer Aspire is battery life which works more than 8 hours under extensive use.
Listing the rest of the tech specifications of the Acer Aspire E 15, the processor is 1.6 Ghz with Intel Core i5 supported by NVIDIA MX150 graphic processor that gives you a good 1920 x 1080 FHD display preview. Using many applications at one time with 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD is not a problem. Creating content with 1080p display and wide screen makes Acer Aspire the best laptop for animation and graphic design. The laptop is full of all supporting ports like HDMI, Ethernet port, USB 2.0, 3 USB 3.0 ports, a combo audio and display port. The Acer Aspire E 15 supports DVD read/write drive that helps you to save the progress when creating graphical content.
The sound system is loud and clear but the quality is not that overwhelming. Overall at such price and the tech capability that is provided is extraordinary hence it’s the best graphic design laptop. Extended keyboard with separate numeric and function keys which are embedded over the membrane is classy. The touchpad has white lining over the edges and support each gesture nicely. Getting a laptop with good configuration techs at low price is remarkable for beginner graphic designers.
9. Lenovo Z70 17 Inch
Lenovo Z70 delivers a best multimedia like experience with its 17.3″ large screen when creating graphical and visual effects. Average design with tactical black color, bulky look and what Lenovo offers for the price under the hood is remarkable. Though it’s not easy to carry around due to 6.6 lbs weight and you need to have those features which increases weight for creating graphics. Large screen with extensive FHD display gives you the detail look wwhich you want to see.
Under the hood of Lenovo Z70 lies a 5th Gen Core i7-5500U 2.4 GHz processor which definitely enhances the speed. The wide screen has 1920 x 1080p FHD resolution display that is backed up by NVIDIA GeForce GT840M graphical processor with 2GB dedicated memory. The system has 8GB of RAM and 1TB HDD memory that gives you speed and a lot of space for different designing programs. Lenovo Z70 has every port that you need which includes, USB 3.0, 2 USB 2.0, card reader, HDMI port, Ethernet Port and audio combo jack. The battery is average, it works for around 4 hours under extensive use.
Camera gives you 720p resolution while the JBL stereo Dolby speakers are incredible. With Lenovo Photo Master, graphic designing is now on just clicks and makes it the best graphic designing laptop. The Discrete Graphic processor enables you to enjoy 3D graphic content awesomely. The intelligent Touchpad gives you easy scroll, zoom and moving around the desktop. The keys over the wide full keyboard are flattered, curved and give you maximum comfort. Overall, Lenovo Z70 is the best laptop for graphic design and video editing.
10. Acer Aspire V 17 Nitro
If you are interested in graphic designing than you need a high-end tech workstation. Acer Aspire V 17 Nitro is a laptop full of components that keep you motivated to create unique graphical content. The 17.3″ display and good technical components increase the weight to 7.05 lbs which lowers the portability to a greater extent. Though the design is normal with black plastic but the silver lining over the hinges makes it look cool. Cheap price with extra enhanced performance and features that Acer Aspire V 17 Nitro provide, proves it to be the best budget graphic design laptop in 2019.
Other specifications that makes Acer Aspire V 17 a good graphic design laptop includes, Intel 2.8 GHz Intel Core i7-7700HQ Quad core processor, and LED backlit FHD display with 1920 x 1080 resolution. The graphics are enhanced with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 GPU with dedicated 6GB RAM to give you maximum support while creating graphical content. Running numerous applications at back with 16GB of RAM and 256GB SSD is easy. More space is provided with 1TB SATA Hard drive to keep the record of every achievement you do along the professional carrier. Furthermore, HD webcam and Acer Fingerprint reader add more value to the laptop.
Acer Aspire V 17 Nitro includes a Thunderbolt 3 Type-C port, 2 USB 3.0, 2 USB 2.0, an HDMI, an SD card reader slot and an Ethernet port. Almost everything is available for connectivity in Acer Aspire which makes it the best laptop for animation and graphic designing. Smart touch pad that has finger print and red backlit keys makes Acer Aspire V 17 more appealing for graphic designing. Tobii eye tracking camera and 4 Dolby speakers are just next level tech that gives you a serious shock with its performance. Overall, Acer Aspire V 17 Nitro lacks nothing that a best graphic design laptop needs to pack. The reason it slides to to last position is its weight and slightly higher price compared to what it packs under the hood.
Buyer’s Guide for Graphic Design Laptops
A good graphic designer needs a good laptop that fits his line of profession. If you are looking for high-end performance laptop that will enhance your ability in graphic design then you need high spec components in your laptop. Having a perfect laptop that has speed, a novelty design, fabulous visual effects or resolution and portability, guarantees a good professional carrier.
Graphic design doesn’t need every technical component in laptop but those which provide performance, customizability, and high resolution are preferred by designers. If you want to buy a laptop for graphic design than you should be looking at these aspects.
Performance of graphic design laptop depends upon several technical factors like Processor, RAM, Storage device and good graphics processing unit. Every laptop has its own specification, however, higher the specs, higher the price will be. Looking for those specs which assist you in right way under the price you need is important.
Opening many applications at a time and running them smoothly requires a good processor chip. Graphic designing requires a laptop that can run as many applications as it can at once and for that you should consider the processor first. Ranging from Core i5 to Core i7 processors are available but having a higher generation processor is important. Some laptops have low processor but they are backed up by other tech components like RAM, GPU to enhance the performance.
RAM and storage memory play a secondary role in performance. The higher the RAM the more will be the cache memory to launch many applications at once. Preferred RAM should be above 8GB. Graphic designing needs a lot of space to store your data so that you don’t need an external drive. Having a NVMe or PCIe SSD drive to open every store file with just a click is extraordinary.
Besides wider screen like 15″ or 17″ the most important factor to consider in graphic designing laptop is resolution. Display with good technology like Anti-Glare or IPS display that has Full, Quad or Ultra HD resolution ranging from 1920 x 1080 to 3840 x 2160 pixels assist you adding visual effect while designing the graphics. The clearer the picture of the display, easier will be designing because making the graphics look more realistic is a tough job. Laptop that has good native display resolution and backed up by a good GPU is next level thing. Enhanced graphics help you design even 3D images with less efforts and more accuracy.
You need to be a lot handy in graphic designing and that can be done when your laptop is customizable. If the laptop is convertible to tablet mode, or there are extra feature like a NoteBook with touchscreen ability makes it easier to work with confidence. Laptop that works as 2-in-1 makes graphic designing easier, with accuracy and precision.
Laptop like Microsoft surface book 2, Toshiba Satellite Helios, and HP ZBook are convertible and detachable laptop with touch screen ability. Making changes in the design or adding visual effects to the content with a pen or touch gives maximum control to your work. Some laptops have customizable keys over the lid like HP ZBook or T2 touch bar in Apple MacBook Pro provide a lot of function with just a tap or touch.
Connecting possible equipment at once to the laptop while designing is necessary. Laptops that provides many connecting ports which has new technology like Thunderbolt 3 enhances the speed and allows you to connect with different devices.
Having both kind of USB connecting port like 2.0 and Thunderbolt 3 in a single laptop makes it easier to connect and share your data. Thunderbolt 3 has ability to charge your laptop, connect to smartphones, USB, Ethernet connection and even connecting with external monitors. Speedy, no connecting issues and read/write is just few clicks away with Thunderbolt 3. Other ports which are important for any graphic design laptop are Ethernet port, HDMI port, Combo audio jack and a SD card reader will give you maximum ability at every step while designing.
Graphic designing needs a powerful laptop that has a good graphical processor and gives you maximum performance when it comes to speed. This article has different laptops from touch screen to high definition NoteBooks that are perfect for beginner graphic designers to professionals. The list contains some expensive laptops with high technical components, for designing 3D graphics like Apple MacBook Pro and also contain some average laptop like Acer Aspire that do well in graphic designing.