Graphic design is an expressive career path, as such, you need to find the right tools to enable you to explore your creative depths. If you’re a graphic designer and you’re looking for the perfect laptop to aid you in your work, this is the right article for you. Our list of best laptops for graphic designers contains everything you need to get started.
With a wide range of brands and models on the market, finding the right laptop can be overwhelming, even for a seasoned designer. That’s why we took the time to compile the best options for you. It’s time to find the best laptops for complex graphic design software as well as the best laptops for graphic designers under $1,000. Discover how to buy cheap laptops for graphic design below.
How to Choose the Best Graphic Designer Laptop
Professional graphic design jobs require the use of a powerful laptop. If you want to achieve superior results in your designs, you need a laptop with excellent performance and amazing battery life, amongst other features. Below are the most important features creative professionals should consider when buying a graphic design laptop.
GPU Speed and Graphics Card
Graphics type and performance is a key feature to review when buying a laptop for graphic design. For excellent performance, get a laptop with an NVIDIA Geforce dedicated graphics card. This graphics card is known for its superior speed and performance. You can also use Intel Iris Xe graphics and AMD Radeon graphics.
CPU Processing Power
The processing speed and performance of your laptop have to be considered when buying a graphic design laptop. You need a laptop with a powerful processor if you’re planning on creating professional designs. An excellent choice for either graphic design students or professionals would be a CPU processor of at least one gigahertz (1GHz).
As a graphic designer, your laptop can run on either a Windows OS or macOS. Either of these operating systems is a good option. They both support Adobe Illustrator and other major graphic design software. They both also have user-friendly interfaces. However, Windows laptops have a more complex interface arrangement and provide more options for customization than macOS.
Image quality is key in any graphic design project. As a professional designer, you need a lightweight laptop with an impressive HD display resolution. You can get several laptops with this feature at an affordable price. A laptop for designers should have a resolution of around 1920 x 1080. A higher resolution offers you a more responsive canvas and more vibrant colors.
Memory and Storage Space
Memory space is an essential feature to consider when buying a laptop for your graphic design tasks. For it to be considered an excellent laptop, it should have at least 8GB of RAM. Large RAM spaces enhance network connectivity, prevent system overloads, and ensure a fast refresh rate. For the best results, get a laptop with 16GB of RAM or 32GB of RAM space.
A larger screen size equals a larger canvas. The perfect choice for designers is a laptop with a slim design and a wide screen size. Most large screen sizes are usually found in premium laptops, but you don’t need to buy an expensive model for a large display size. There are affordable laptops with 14-inch to 17-inch screens, plenty of screen real estate to create high-quality designs.
How to Find Cheap Laptops for Graphic Designers
- Take advantage of discounts and special offers. If you’re looking to buy a good laptop within a cheap price range, you should take advantage of discounts and special offers. Most laptop manufacturers, including Apple and Dell, offer discounts to college students. You can also wait for holiday sales. The average discount offered on Black Friday is 25 to 50 percent.
- Go for fairly used or refurbished laptops. Instead of buying a new laptop, you can purchase used or refurbished laptops at cheaper prices. However, ensure you check the laptop’s condition, particularly the battery capacity and other hardware conditions, before paying the seller.
- Buy older models. If you’re not keen on buying a used or refurbished laptop, but still want to cut down on cost then you should avoid buying premium models. Laptops are usually priced higher when they are newly introduced. You should check out laptops released at least two years ago to enjoy a cheaper price range. You also have the option of building a personal computer yourself.
The Best Laptops for Graphic Designers in 2023
|Acer ConceptD 7 Pro
|Windows 10 Pro, NVIDIA Geforce RTX, 15.6-inch display
|ProArt StudioBook Pro 17 W700
|Intel Core i7, Windows 10 Pro, NVIDIA Quadro RTX, Wi-Fi 6
|MacBook Pro 14”
|Apple M1 Pro chip, Liquid Retina XDR display
|Dell XPS 15 Laptop
|16GB of RAM, NVIDIA Geforce RTX, Intel Core i7
|HP Envy 15 Laptop
|Windows 11, Intel Core i7, NVIDIA and Intel UHD graphics
|Galaxy Book Pro 360
|Windows 11, Smart S Pen, 11 Gen Core, 16GB of RAM, AMOLED touch screen
|Apple M1 chip, 18 hours battery life, 2TB SSD storage
|Microsoft Surface Laptop 4
|11th Gen Quad-Core or AMD Ryzen processor, PixelSense display
|Acer Chromebook Spin 713
|Intel Core i5 processor, UHD Graphics
|ASUS ZenBook 14 UX431
|Intel Core i5 processor, 14-inch FHD NanoEdge, 8GB of RAM
Top Rated Laptops for Graphic Designers: In Detail
Acer ConceptD 7 Ezel
- Best for: Precision drawing, sketching, and 3D models
- Price: $3,000
The Acer ConceptD 7 Ezel was built for designers and creative professionals. It comes in a stylish design, with a 15.6-inch screen size and an IPS touchscreen display. It has the Windows 10 Pro OS and an Intel Core i7 processor with a Hexa-core 2.60 GHz for maximum performance. Additionally, it has the NVIDIA Geforce RTX 2070 graphic card and offers Adobe Creative Cloud free for three months.
ASUS ProArt StudioBook Pro 17
- Best for: 3D rendering and CAD
- Price: $2,000
The ASUS ProArt Studio Pro 17 laptop is an excellent choice for designers who wish to perform CAD and 3D-modeling tasks. It comes in a flexible and sleek design, making it a portable device. It is a 17-inch laptop with a 1920x 1200 NanoEdge display, NVIDIA Quadro RTX 3000 graphics, and 6GB of RAM. It also has a 2.6GHz processing speed to keep up with demanding tasks.
MacBook Pro 14”
- Best for: Multitasking and visualizing
- Price: $1,999
The MacBook Pro series is often regarded as the perfect productivity device because of its multitasking capabilities. This powerful laptop comes with the M1 Pro chip, a 10-core CPU, and a 16-core GPU, giving it advanced neural engine speed and performance. It has an amazing Liquid Retina XDR display, as well as advanced video and sound quality. The Mac also has a touch bar and long-lasting battery.
Dell XPS 15 Laptop
- Best for: Product animation
- Price: $1,900
The Dell XPS 15-inch laptop comes with impressive performance and a high-quality display. It is an ideal option for creatives who wish to perform professional graphic design and animation. It has an amazing display quality of 1920 x 1200 FHD+, an 11 generation Intel Core i7 with 4.60 GHz processing speed, NVIDIA Geforce RTX 3050 graphics, and optimum selection of ports for connectivity.
HP Envy Laptop 15
- Best for: Photo editing and video editing
- Price: $1,550
The HP Envy Laptop 15 offers you an array of advanced features for graphic designing at an affordable price range. You can accomplish a lot with its powerful processor and graphics quality. It comes with an Intel Core i7 processor and up to 4.60 GHz processing speed. It has integrated Intel UHD graphics and a discrete NVIDIA Geforce RTX 3060 GPU.
Best Laptops for Graphic Designers Under $1,000
Galaxy Book Pro 360
- Best for: Digital art creation
- Price: $1,000
The Galaxy Book Pro 360 is a multi-purpose, affordable laptop and an excellent choice for design students and professionals. It comes with solid performance and a light, beautiful design so you can optimize your productivity wherever you go. It comes with a brilliant AMOLED screen, up to 21 hours of battery life, 5G connectivity, 16GB of memory space, and a smart stylus pen.
- Best for: A budget laptop for graphic design
- Price: $999
If you prefer to work with a macOS but would like a more affordable option that still has machine learning features, the MacBook Air is an excellent choice. This sleek laptop has a light design and was built with the Apple M1 chip, giving it faster performance and speed than most laptops within its price range. You’ll get an 8-core CPU and GPU, and 18 hours of battery life in a single charge with this compact laptop.
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4
- Best for: Editing and multitasking
- Price: $900
This Windows laptop is an excellent laptop for graphic design students as it comes with an impressive pricing offer for students. The 11th Gen Quad-Core or AMD Ryzen processor offers faster performance while multitasking. Plus, its slim design makes it perfect for mobility. This 13.5 and 15-inch touch screen laptop has a 2256 x 1504 display resolution and surface pen.
Acer Chromebook Spin 713
- Best for: Note-taking and sketching
- Price: $900
The Acer Chromebook Spin 713 is a portable laptop for beginners and students. If you’re new to graphic designing, you need a laptop like this that can fit into your routine and help you to learn graphic design. It comes with a Quad-Core i5 processor. It also has integrated UHD graphics, a 13.5-inch screen, and a 2256 x 1504 screen resolution.
ASUS ZenBook 14 UX431
- Best for: Basic graphic designing
- Price: $800
The ASUS ZenBook 14 UX431 is also an ideal choice for graphics designers who need an affordable laptop for graphic design. It has a Quad-Core i5 processor and up to 1.6GHz of processing speed. It has integrated Intel UHD graphics, a 14-inch screen size, and a 1920 x 1080 resolution with an IPS display. It also features a backlit keyboard and a wide selection of ports.
Should I Use a Laptop for Graphic Designers?
Yes, you should. A laptop offers essential features that a desktop can’t offer you. You can easily move around with your laptop, thereby optimizing your workflow and productivity. You can use your laptop and graphic design applications without an active power supply. You can also use a two-in-one laptop as a note or sketch pad when you need to.
Best Laptops for Graphic Designers FAQ
Ideally, you should aim for at least 16GB of RAM for graphic design devices. However, if you find a good laptop with only 8GB of RAM space, it can also work but extra storage space will lead to faster performance.
Yes, you can use a gaming laptop for graphic design. Laptop brands like Razer Blade or MSI gaming laptops are excellent options for all types of designers. Most gaming laptops are optimized for speed and powerful performance. As such, you’ll find the graphics features and core speed suitable for your design tasks.
Yes, an Intel Core i5 is good for graphic design, as long as it has up to four cores and a processing speed of up to 1GHz. However, this core level may not be suitable for most complex computing such as 3D designs and CAD tasks.
Both Mac and Windows operating systems are excellent options for graphic designing. They both support a bunch of graphic design apps and can be easily optimized for incredible performance and speed. However, the macOS is restrictive as it is only found on Apple laptops, whereas most of the laptop brands you’ll find in the market use the Windows operating system.
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