If you are looking for the best laptop for graphic design, then this guide should help you choose the right one. It contains a detailed review of some of the leading laptops that are available on the market. Given the complex nature of the design process, you need to choose the best machine.
In this article, we’ll discuss technical features that make a laptop a “perfect” choice for graphic design and list some of the best options currently available.
How to Choose the Best Laptop for Graphic Design
You need a powerful machine to work on heavy tasks like animation and graphic design. However, the definition of ‘powerful’ is so extensive that you can quickly get confused.
Here are some of the factors that you should consider before choosing the best laptop for graphic design and multimedia work.
Computers use RAM to run all the necessary tasks during regular use. Machines that have high RAM capacity tend to cope with heavy workloads better than those with low RAM capacity.
For example with 16GB of RAM, you’ll be able to use any graphic design software like Illustrator, CorelDraw, Blender, Photoshop and even run them simultaneously.
The CPU of your laptop determines how fast the machine can process commands. In practice, graphics design can be quite intensive and requires a decent CPU. We’d recommend going for i5 or i7 processors when possible.
Also, as a rule of thumb, try to go for newer generations of processors. Although some old processors may have slightly higher clock speed, they tend to lack in a range of innovative features and in reality usually are slower.
You don’t really need a powerful GPU (I know it’s surprising as it has a word “graphics” in it) so you can even go with something like GTX 780, but we’d recommend going for GTX 980 or 1050/1060 as the price difference isn’t that critical. Off course, you can go for a better GPU if you wish and the budget allows.
1. Huawei MateBook X Pro
The Huawei MateBook X Pro is one of the best alternatives to some of the high-end brands that is ideal for complex graphic design tasks. One of the most important features of this machine is that it has the 8th Generation i7 processor and 16GB RAM.
The NVIDIA GeForce MX150 won’t let you play high-end games but is enough for a graphic design.
One of the main advantages is its laptop’s weight. It’s a very thin laptop and weight only 2.93 pounds so is ideal for traveling and just taking it wherever you go.
- Attractive design
- Excellent display
- Graphics Card
2. ASUS VivoBook Pro 17
The ASUS VivoBook Pro is a very interesting choice for pretentious gamers on the go, as it boasts a brilliant 17.3’’ full HD display (72% NTSC color gamut) and a thin and light chassis, which makes it highly portable despite the generous screen real-estate. But looks aren’t everything, hence this particular version comes with an 8th gen Intel Core i7-8565u CPU under the hood, and a powerful NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 4GB GPU, along with plenty of RAM (16 GB DDR4) and a cool 256G M.2 SSD + 1TB HDD combo.
The battery is a lithium polymer variety, which benefits from fast-charging technology, i.e. it will get at 60 percent capacity in under 50 minutes.
- good value for money
- all the connectivity options you need
- comes with latest-gen dual-band 2×2 Wi-Fi 5 (802.11AC)
- decent backlit keyboard
- good system performance in gaming
- the full HD display
- surprisingly good speakers
- the laptop lacks “bling” due to its all-plastic casing
- the fans can get on your nerves during heavy gaming sessions
- questionable internal built quality
- battery life is awful
3. HP ZBook Studio G3
The HP ZBook Studio G3 is not referred to as a workstation for no reason: it is another ideal combination of computing power and graphics in one single lightweight piece of design magnificence.
ZBook Studio Laptops were designed specifically for tasks like photo-, video-editing and graphic design. Moreover, users find it perfect for CAD and other related uses.
G3 is more of a “budget” variant from the line with i7-6700HQ, 8GB RAM, and 256 GB of SSD but is definitely enough for the majority of tasks you may face.
- Good performance
- Good display
4. Dell XPS 9570
The Dell XPS 9570 is one of the best laptops that you can rely on to complete all the graphic design tasks. The laptop comes with a 15.6’’ 4K UHD display which provides a very crisp image.
Compared to other laptops on our list the tech specs are pretty much on par except RAM. This laptop has an enormous 32 GB of RAM which is a great advantage for graphic design. 1TB SSD looks very impressive as well.
- 32GB RAM
- 1TB SSD
- Good Display
5. MSI GV62 8RD-200
The MSI GV62 8RD-200 is the perfect combination of RAM, CPU, and GPU capabilities, making it an ideal machine for graphic design at a reasonable price.
i5-8300H, GTX 1050Ti 4G and 8GB RAM don’t make this laptop a “beast” but what makes it great is it’s 16GB Intel Optane Memory + 1TB HDD. 16GB of SSD may seem like a joke but it’s Intel Optane which means it’s extremely fast and that the laptop boots in no time. And, of course, a 1TB HDD is a nice addition that lets you store tons and tons of your great artworks.
It’s marketed as a gaming laptop (on a budget obviously) but can be easily used for any graphic design tasks.
- Intel Optane Memory
- Battery life could be better
6. Apple MacBook Pro (with touch bar)
If you have been using iOS devices for long time, you may find it difficult to switch over to Windows.
In the case of graphic design, you may find it ideal to use the MacBook partially thanks to its famous Retina display. This laptop has a 2.6GHz (or 2.2GHz) 6-core i7 with a Turbo Boost of 4.3GHz.
It features Radeon Pro 560X graphics which isn’t the best but definitely good enough.
- Slim and sleek design
- Retina Display
7. Microsoft Surface Book 2
If you are looking for a perfect laptop for graphic design and money isn’t a problem, Microsoft Surface 2 may be a great choice.
First and foremost, the laptop has a great PixelSense Display which makes the image crisp and clear. It’s also 2-in-1 and can be used as a drawing tablet which is a noticeable advantage for graphic design.
The 8th generation Intel Quad Core i7 Processor and 16 GB of RAM are enough for any tasks you may have for this bad boy. Although the GPU isn’t as powerful as of Helios 300 (2 GB GTX 1050) it’s enough for the majority of games.
- Good display
8. Acer Predator Helios 300
The Acer Predator Helios 300 comes with an amazingly fast and powerful 8 Generation Intel Core i7-8750H 6-Core processor.
Besides, the laptop has an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 GPU which makes it a great choice for gaming.
The display is also decent and offers an astounding 144Hz refresh rate.
Overall it’s a great laptop for the money that can cope with a huge range of tasks, not limited to graphic design.
- Awesome display
- Great for gaming
- Advanced cooling
- Good keyboard