UX designers, or user experience designers, are a crucial part of the product and website design processes as they work on functionality, usability, and aesthetics. As a UX designer, you will need a computer or laptop to do your work. This article will list the best laptops for UX designers and the criteria you should consider during your search.
Each laptop brand has many different kinds of laptops to choose from, and it is a challenge to decide which laptop has the best tech specs for a UX designer. Below we will discuss tips to help you find cheap laptops for UX designers and the five best laptops for UX designers that are under $1,000.
How to Choose the Best UX Designer Laptop
This section will discuss five essential criteria for UX design laptops. A laptop or computer is a crucial part of a UX designer’s job, so make sure you choose a reliable device that includes all the criteria below. It is good to make a list of key components for yourself and refer to it when looking at different laptops.
Central Processing Unit (CPU)
The CPU is also called a processor, and it is a crucial part of how computers and laptops work. A laptop processor is the circuit board of the laptop and is responsible for carrying out instruction on behalf of programs. Without a CPU, laptops will not work. UX designers should go for an Intel Core i7 or i5 processor. You can go for an i3, but it will not be as fast as the i5 or i7. An i9 processor will work well but is usually a lot more expensive.
Graphics Processing Unit (GPU)
UX designers work a lot with visuals and need a laptop with quality graphics and screen resolution. The GPU is a processing unit in a computer that usually executes graphics tasks. There are many different types of graphics cards that have various capabilities. A UX designer should consider a laptop with a dedicated graphics card, although this feature will come at the cost of portability because the graphics card will make the laptop a bit bigger.
There are two major kinds of internal storage on a computer. You can get a solid-state drive (SSD) and a hard drive (HDD). If you are trying to decide between SSD or HDD, it is important to know the SSD runs much faster but comes at a higher price. When looking for a laptop for a UX designer, you should consider a model with a 256GB SSD or larger because your files are most likely large, and you will need the extra space.
Screen Size and Display
UX design involves the functionality, usability, and design of a product or website, which makes the display of a laptop very important. When looking for a laptop to do your UX design projects on, you should choose a computer with a 13-inch, 15-inch, or 17-inch screen size. It should also include a full HD display to ensure the best screen resolution to design the perfect product or website. The bigger the screen you choose, the more screen real estate you’ll have.
Random Access Memory (RAM)
RAM is what we consider part of a computer’s brainpower. It stores files and programs that you use daily, so you can access these programs and files quickly. The more tasks you keep running at once, the more RAM your computer will use. The standard size of RAM for most laptops is 8GB. As a UX designer, you should look for a laptop with a minimum of 8GB RAM, but 16GB is a better option because it will give a faster performance as more memory is available.
How to Find Cheap Laptops for UX Designers
- Look at laptops with a smaller display size. Laptop brands often make the same laptop in a few different sizes. The smaller laptops have a much lower price tag. So, if you are on a budget, consider getting a device that has a 13-inch screen.
- You should buy a laptop with an i3 or i5 processor. An Intel Core i7 processor is the most suitable one for a UX designer, but if you are searching for a more affordable choice, you should go for an i5 or even an i3 processor because you will pay less for a smaller processor.
- Consider a laptop with smaller internal storage. Laptops come with many different storage size options. You can spend less on a device if you look for smaller storage or consider an HDD because it is cheaper than an SSD. It might be a good idea to steer clear of eMMC storage, as that is better for smaller file sizes.
- Search for a laptop that has 8GB of RAM or smaller. It is best to buy a laptop with at least 8GB of RAM or more for UX design because a smaller memory will make your computer run slower. If your funding is limited, you can buy a laptop with 4GB of memory. With this, just know that you will not be able to work on multiple projects at once.
The Best Laptops for UX Designers in 2023
|MacBook Pro 16”
|High speed, long-lasting battery
|LG gram 15”
|High power, lightweight
|Dell Inspiron 17 2-in-1
|Powerful processor, high screen-to-body ratio
|Acer Predator Helios 300
|High speed processor
|Lenovo Yoga 7i (15”)
|Cooling optimization, powerful processor
|Asus Zenbook Flip 13 OLED
|Super slim, long battery life
|Acer Aspire 5
|Many connectivity options, IPS display
|Dell Inspiron 14
|Solid build, FHD display
|Lenovo ThinkPad E15 Gen 2 15”
|High performance, enhanced security
|HP Pavilion Laptop 15
|Long-lasting battery, light design
Top Rated Laptops for UX Designers: In Detail
MacBook Pro 16”
- Best for: High-quality visuals, multitasking
- Price: $2,699.00
The Macbook Pro 16” runs on the macOS Monterey operating system, and it has an M1 pro chip making the laptop super fast with an amazing battery life of up to 21 hours. Its 16-inch screen size has an XDR display, which is better than the retina display. It also has an excellent keyboard that is sleek and effective. This device has a 1TB SSD and 16GB RAM. In addition, advanced thermal systems prevent this powerful laptop from overheating.
LG gram 15”
- Best for: Taking on the go to meet with clients
- Price: $1,399.99
The LG gram 15” has a Windows 11 operating system. It also uses an Intel Core i7 processor and the Intel Iris Xe graphics allows for a Full HD IPS display. It has a storage size of 512GB and 8GB of memory. The body is lightweight, making it a portable laptop with 19 hours of battery life. However, this device has limited ports, so multitasking is more difficult.
Dell Inspiron 17 2-in-1
- Best for: Large screen makes UX designing easier
- Price: $1,379.99
The Dell Inspiron 17 is a 2-in-1 laptop that uses Windows 11 and has an Intel Core i7 processor and 16GB of RAM. This 17-inch laptop has a backlit keyboard, a larger screen size, and the fast processor and graphics ensure excellent performance. This lightweight laptop has an internal storage space of 512GB, and it has an SD-card slot to add additional storage. It’s also a touchscreen laptop, which is a little easier to use than a traditional laptop.
Acer Predator Helios 300
- Best for: Running high performing programs
- Price: $1,299.99
Acer designed the Predator Helios 300 as a gaming laptop with a 15-inch screen that uses NVIDIA GeForce RTX graphics, which is great for the visual aspect of UX design. This high-end laptop can run at high speeds because it has an Intel Core i7 processor. Its storage space includes 512GB SSD and 16GB of RAM to facilitate high-speed performance. This excellent laptop has many connectivity options and plenty of ports.
Lenovo Yoga 7i (15”)
- Best for: High-quality visuals and portability
- Price: $1,199.99
The Lenovo Yoga 7i is a 2-in-1 hybrid laptop with a touchscreen. This device has Intel Iris Xe graphics that delivers 100 percent standard red, green, and blue (sRGB) color accuracy on the 15.6-inch screen. It is an expensive laptop, but it has many benefits like a 15-hour battery life and an Intel Core i5 Processor that guarantees high-speed performance.
Best Laptops for UX Designers Under $1,000
Asus Zenbook Flip 13 OLED
- Best for: Multiple connectivity options
- Price: $949.99
The Asus Zenbook Flip 13 has an OLED display on a 13-inch screen and this light laptop has a sleek design. It has 512GB of storage space on an SDD and can run at high speeds due to the Intel Core i5 processor. This touchscreen laptop has 11 hours of battery and a decent port selection with USB Type-A and USB Type-C ports.
Acer Aspire 5
- Best for: Daily UX design tasks
- Price: $899.99
The Acer Aspire 5 is a high-quality laptop at an affordable price and has an Intel Core i7 processor. This device’s display is large, with an 81.61 percent screen-to-body ratio and full HD screen. It has a backlit keyboard and eight hours of battery life. This device has amazing features such as three USB ports, a large 17-inch screen, and 512GB of internal storage.
Dell Inspiron 14
- Best for: Daily UX design tasks
- Price: $839.99
The Dell Inspiron 14 comes with Windows 11, and its Intel Core i5 processor performs well. It has a 14-inch screen with Intel Iris Xe graphics. The storage size is good, with a 512GB SSD and 8GB of RAM. You can also enjoy extensive connectivity with a wide range of ports.
Lenovo ThinkPad E15 Gen 2 15”
- Best for: Daily UX design tasks
- Price: $829.00
The Lenovo ThinkPad E15 Gen 2 is an affordable laptop with an Intel Core i3 processor and Intel integrated graphics. It has a 15.6-inch screen and plenty of ports to use while you work. The storage size is only 256GB, and it only has 4GB RAM. This computer has an average battery life of eight to 10 hours.
HP Pavilion Laptop 15
- Best for: High-quality graphics and multitasking
- Price: $799.99.00
One of the most affordable laptops for UX designers is the HP Pavilion. It has Intel Iris Xe graphics which ensures an amazing display on the 15.6-inch screen. It can run at high speeds because it has 16GB of built-in memory and an Intel Core i5 processor. Notable features include a card reader slot for a MicroSD, 512GB of SSD storage, and an excellent battery life.
Should I Use a Laptop for UX Design?
Yes, a laptop is an important tool for a UX designer, whether you work as a remote, freelance, or in-house UX designer. Although not all of the best laptops are small and lightweight, they are all still portable. Even a graphic design laptop with a touchscreen display could be the ideal choice for your price range.
With a laptop, freelance and remote UX designers can work from anywhere, and in-house UX designers can take their devices home and access important files for their UX design projects. UX designers need a device to work on, so if you use a laptop for design, you are on the right track to a very successful career in the UX design field.
Best Laptops for UX Designers FAQ
A laptop is generally better for UX design because it provides you will all of the same features as a desktop, plus the added benefit of portability. However, if you always work in one place or work for one company, a desktop computer will suit your needs perfectly. If you are always on the move or if you are a freelance UX designer, then a laptop will be better for you. Sound quality isn’t generally as optimal on a laptop, but it’s a fair trade if you don’t have a stationary place to work.
The most popular operating system for computers is Windows. However, operating systems are highly preferential and many creative professionals have adopted macOS as their go-to operating system because of its functionality and user-friendliness.
No, a 128GB SSD is too small for a UX designer and will fill up very quickly. It is best to buy a laptop with at least 256GB or more. If you opt for a computer with only 128GB, you will need to keep some of your files on an external storage device.
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